Over Memorial Day weekend I attended Team Endurance Company’s training camp in Columbia, MO. Between the extensive packing list and the pre-camp nerves (will I make any friends? will people think I’m weird?) it brought me back to feeling like a 10 year old kid going back to camp again.
Friday: I did a quick spin on the trainer to see how my abductors were feeling (ok!), and then got to packing. Good grief. I felt like I was going to be gone for a week! So many clothes, so much food (mostly nutrition for the bike and snacks) and so much gear! Finally around 2:30p I was ready to roll and head to Columbia.
When I arrived there were two other people there, and older lady and and older gentlemen, and they seemed to be deep in conversation so I just fiddled with my phone and tried to look busy. Then a few other girls around my age arrived and they introduced themselves and we made small talk. Eventually the coaches (my coach and the other coach, who is the owner/founder of Endurance Company) arrived as well as a few others from their entourage (wife and significant other) and we were ready to start! Apparently since they had just filled the pool it was in the mid 50’s. WHAT?! Several people had brought their wetsuits and were suiting up, and boy was I jealous I hadn’t brought mine 😦 However, as we were slowly (well, I was slowly) getting in the water, lightning struck and we were forced to wait 20 minutes. Then 20 minutes later it struck again and you could see that a storm was rolling in, so the swim was called off and we headed to the house the group had rented for the weekend.
On our way there the skies opened up and it started pouring. Once we got to the house, unloading my car was a lot of fun since my bike had a bike lock around it and the rack so it took some time to unlock it, then get the bike off the rack and carry it into the garage. After that whole process I was soaked. Then I quickly made two more trips to carry in my gear/bags and I was finally in for the night. I changed shirts but I still looked like a drowned rat, such a great way to meet 15 new people. 🙂 The coaches had ordered pizza for everyone and we just hung out in the kitchen chit-chatting. Everyone seemed very nice and welcoming, so hopefully this meant that the weekend was going to be fun! After dinner we had a quick session on how to upload maps on your garmin and then we all turned in around 10p since we had an early start the next day. Also, I had really lucked out and got my own bedroom, I was expecting to sleep on the floor somewhere, so hooray for that.
Saturday: The group was up at 6a, I ate breakfast, prepped my bottles (I had one bottle of 3 hrs Infinit and one with water), put on a crap ton of sunscreen and then headed outside where everyone was gathered to get ready to ride.
Off we went, and I ended up doing most of the ride with an older man (who is fast and wins his AG) and since he usually does olympics, I was able to match his ‘slower’ pace for this ride. The weather was really nice, the roads were great and the motorists were very friendly too. Only one honk! Other than several heart-attack enducing hills (which deep down I love hills that are challenging), it was a really fun, relaxing ride. We rolled back to the house with around 64 miles on my Garmin.
I relaxed for a bit until the head coach came back from the long ride route (they were doing 100) and I rode with him (car not bike :)) to the pool where we were doing our swim analysis. The pool was pretty cute, I had no idea we were going to swim at a swim school.
After the coach finished taping myself and the other four athletes that were there, we headed back to the house where we had pulled chicken and pork, cole slaw and baked beans for dinner. Yum. After dinner we talked about training with power. I had already been slightly considering a powermeter, but I was really overwhelmed with the various options/types (and prices!) that were out there. I currently train with heart rate, but I know it isn’t as reliable/accurate as power, so I knew if I wanted to improve my training/racing, power was probably the next best investment. (I still haven’t purchased one yet, but am getting closer to finding the best one for me!) After the talk we we were all pretty tired and headed to bed around 9:30p.
Sunday: Up at 7a and after breakfast we headed to the outdoor 50m pool for an hour long swim session. The pool temperature wasn’t as bad as it was on Friday, but it was still chilly! I had trouble seeding myself as I seemed to be in between the pace/speed of the two different groups. I ended up going with the faster group but it was pretty frustrating feeling so much slower. I couldn’t wait to go over my swim analysis with my coach to see what I could fix/improve to gain some speed. After the swim we headed back to the house and headed out a little before 11a for our rides. Many of the people that did the long ride the day before were switching to the shorter (60 miles) ride today, so it was fun to have a bigger group. Off we went and I ended up riding with two other ladies who were riding at a similar pace (they are much faster than me, but they both aren’t training for any upcoming races so I was taking advantage of their ‘slow’ pace :)). Once again, the weather was great, the roads were great, and the hills, well, there were some big @ss hills again.
Since we started later in the day it was much hotter than Saturday’s ride. I made sure to take my enduralytes every hour and stay on top of my hydration.
The only eventful (ha) part of this ride was when a dog darted out of a yard and proceeded to chase/nearly bite me. I tried to sprint away but didn’t realize I was in my little ring, so much for ‘sprinting’. Fortunately I got away unscathed but it gave me a little scare. (Note: what you are supposed to do is either yell ‘Go Home!’ in a low voice or slow down, not encourage it and ride faster. Oops)
When we got back from our ride it was HOT out. I still managed to do a one mile transition run, followed by a recovery shake, followed by a beer 🙂 After I showered I headed to the store with my coach and his significant other to pick up dinner. We had lasagna, garlic bread and salad. Carb heaven 🙂 Following dinner we all headed inside to watch a powepoint presentation my coach had put together regarding mental toughness. He played a couple of inspirational videos that really pumped you up, and after his talk/presentation, I think we were all ready to go out and ride or do something! Finally after winding down we all headed to bed around 10p. One more day to go!
Monday: I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t really in the mood to ride again, and nor was my undercarriage. That’s a lot of riding it isn’t used to yet. Anyways, I rallied and by 7:30a we were all gathered outside the house ready for our last ride. I stuck with the two ladies again and once again, I had so much fun riding with them. This route was by far the hilliest though and man, there were some tough hills.
I was glad that we started earlier and it wasn’t as hot as Sunday’s ride or it would have probably been a pretty rough ride. The miles flew by and before I knew it we were turning back into the subdivision after 47 miles. It was getting really hot out so we hung out in the garage, had our recovery shakes and watermelon and waited for the others to get back. Once a few of them pulled in, I headed downstairs to shower and get packed up. By the time I had packed up my car and was ready to go everyone had gotten back from the ride, so I said my goodbye’s and hit the road.
What a great weekend. It really turned out better than I had imagined (and honestly, I was really anxious about the camp) and was so glad that I went. I have my first 70.3 of the season coming up on June 12th, and several of the athletes from the camp will be there (including my coach), so I’m excited to see everyone again, and also to race. Hopefully this bike-heavy camp put some important miles into my legs. Oh, also, I did NOT get burned! I used spray sunscreen on Saturday and Monday and Sunday I used armcooler/spf sleeves. Winning combination 🙂