Thursday, April 25, 2013

Camp Day #4... finally too!

Day #4... another 7am start, but today it was for my favorite... a RUN; yet not... a TRAIL run!  I have NEVER trail ran, except for maybe a small of road portion at the Kerrville Tri.  I was slightly nervous because we had already decided 1:4 will fall... who was it going to be Kris, Linda, Herb, or myself?  Nobody wanted to take one for the team!

Once again, we were split up in groups.  Hillary's team consisted of Linda, Kris, Marc, Kate, Susan, & myself.  I started out on Hillary's heels, mimicking every step she took, yet leaving enough room between us that I could see where my feet needed to go.  WOW, this takes focus and concentration, but once I got the hang of it... it was kinda fun!

Well, for the first 2hrs at least.  By then, Linda had stepped up... and took one for the team!  Ouch!  I put my Dr. hat on and cleaned her up really quick, scrubbing some rock pieces out with water.  She wasn't my biggest fan at the time, but she thanks me now... ouch!  And like a true trooper, Linda headed back out with the team to finish up the run.  It was around the 2hr mark that I remember Hillary pointing out the JW Marriott (near our casitas) and then we continued running... AWAY from them!  Aye!  3 1/2hrs later our run was over... and so was camp! ;-(  We DID IT... We SURVIVED Camp!!!

Camp Day 3... finally :-)

 Day #3 started off bright and early... again... at 7am!  The mornings in Tucson were pretty chilly, so the idea of getting in the pool... again... was less than appealing, even to Linda, the human fish.  We made our way down the to pool, and assumed our respective lanes.  Kris, Taryn, & I got to chase each others feet again, if you ask us, we could probably go into pretty deep detail after 3 days :-)  Luckily, this was more of a technique swim and was a pretty short set.  Good thing, because afterwards we saddled up to ride Mt. Lemmon!
We parked our cars and started the ride up the access road towards Mt. Lemmon.  Our group consisted of Hilary, Kris, Linda, Taryn, Kate, & myself... Smashing Girls!!!  This had been the ride we had all been waiting for.  Listed amongst the most epic bike rides in the US, with a 27 mile climb at about 5% grade, this was going to be one for the books!  I knew it was going to be a challenge, I knew it was going to burn... constantly, I knew there was only one way up & no way to get out... so time to pedal... and pedal... and pedal!!!  But what I also knew was that at the top awaited the prize of all prizes, the infamous, the coveted, the most ginormous cookie I had ever seen in pics... and I was going to ride to one!!!  After miles and miles of changing scenery; from rock formations, to cactus, to pine trees, and finally snow, we made it to The Cookie Cabin!!!  We made it!!!


The decent was #2 on my list of things I looked forward to.  After we threw on a few layers that we had sent up in the SAG, we were ready for our decent.  I tried to take in the scenery, as I had on the way up, but it wasn't as easy.  Especially since Hillary had explained to us on day #1 that on the bike, you look where you need to go... so don't be looking over the cliff! ;-)  I did stop a few times to get some pics, but that rest of the time was flying downhill!!!  I hit 42mph... the fastest I have EVER gone!  

 That night Hillary & Maik were gracious enough to host a dinner at their house, where we met Sam McGlone, a longtime friend & kick ass Ironman champion, like Hillary!  Sam is now in her first year of medical school, so we got along right off the bat :-)  After dinner & a Q&A session with the Pro's, Hillary lead us to the mecca... Smash Warehouse!  The girls, quickly swiped up TONS of smash gear... and we even convinced the men to rock the Smash!  And ROCK it, they did!!!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Tucson Tri Camp- Day #2

I woke up this morning getting mentally prepared by convincing myself that nothing happened yesterday and today was a new day!  Gates Pass with McCain Loop AND 100 x 100 swim!  No sweat... :-o
As we rolled out from the casitas, we all left in groups: the A group, the Gold group, and the #1 group... I was in the Gold group along with Kris, Linda, Jeff, Taryn, and Kate, lead by Coach Doug.  We quickly renamed our group the Golden Girls and headed out.  Immediately, a certain part of my body jumped off the seat... What are you doing here again!?!?!?  I can't remember the last time I had rode my bike two days... in a row!  To my surprise, unlike yesterday's ride, we took a left out of the development and... time to climb!  What???  Don't I get a few miles to warm up my legs?... Oh, this IS our warm up! We headed up towards Gates Pass & at about 6mi hit the outlook to which we would decent on the other side and ride McCain loop. But before I reached the top, we had a pile up! As we were climbing Kris noticed Taryn was still in her big chain, beast!  She later told us she likes to keep it in the big chain as long as possible & use the small chain as a "treat"!  Well, I guess it was dessert time at the top of the climb!  Taryn switched from big chain to little chain mid-climb & dropped her chain! Kris was behind her & was able to clip out and stop, Linda was behind Kris and moved quickly to the left, I came up behind Kris and slammed on my breaks!  The next 3 seconds went like this, in slow motion: WTF?!, Brake!, rear wheel lifted in the air!, stalled out on my front wheel! (which seemed like 1 minute), and slowly tipped to the right!  I did a quick 1 sec. inventory to assess any injuries... I was fine.  Then I looked to the right... hmmm, that could have been a lot worse.  We had been climbing with a cliff to our right and LOTS of cactus! Yikes!  Luckily, I did not become a pin cushion & continued our ride.  Good thing, because the next part of the ride was my fave!  McCain loop was a beautiful 4mile stretch of some rolling hills and a few small climbs, surrounded by gorgeous views!  Now, the hard part, climbing back up the steep 0.5mi hill we had descended to get to the loop.  My legs were spent from day 2 of riding, but there was no way around it... literally!  I breasted up the hill the best I could; sitting, standing, sitting, standing... DONE!  I'm pretty sure I yelled out a dying animal noise when I reached the top & quickly hugged Kris & Linda who also were beaming at their accomplishment!  We even got a shout out from our Coach Doug on how well we all ride together! Blush!!!
The ride back to the casitas was glorious and downhill... until we were turning onto our street! I was riding on Linda's wheel a little to close and swerved to miss some gravel... Oh, hello pavement, fancy meeting you again!  A little less than slow motion: I fell to the left, clipped out quickly, and tucked & rolled, and popped back up onto my feet!  Hanging my head in shame, I picked up my bike & tried to scrape my ego off the pavement, the only thing that got hurt! And to add salt to the open wound, I hear Hillary yelling from the car riding behind us, Are you OK?  Wow, nice, I really just fell in front of Hillary... I'll go hide under a rock now!!!

We made it back to the casita, showered up quickly and got into the caravan to Sunnyside pool where  we were going to tackle Hillary's fave 100 x 100!!!  My longest swim to date had been 4100yd, so to tackle 10,000yd was going to be a huge challenge!  Well, that's what I came to camp for, so let's do this!  We got our workout which included 15 x 100 warmup, 30 x 100 swim, 200 easy kick, 20 x 100 buoy band,  20 x 100 PBB, 12 x 100 swim, 100 cool down!  Kris started out leading the lane for 15 x 100, Hillary had told us to alternate leading our lane, which consisted of the two of us and Taryn.  After the first set I got nervous, it was my turn to lead.  Kris had warned me a while ago about being lane leader and all of the pressure involved in counting laps, yikes! So I knocked out the set of 30 & was feeling great.  Kris asked me if I wanted to keep on leading, um ok?! The next 5500 went by fairly quickly, all things considered.  We were at a public pool, so I was thoroughly entertained by the kids jumping off the high dive, a scuba diver, and other kids fooling around in the shallow end.  Between 6500- 8500, I started to get really cold.  I could feel my lips turning blue, as they usually do whenever I am down too long scuba diving.  Finally, we were done!  Taryn & I decided to celebrate with a jump off the high dive.  I hadn't done it since college, but I was so elated that I threw a 1.5 in pike position off the high dive! WooHoo!  Day #2... in the books!