Tuesday, May 06, 2008

WF Training Camp (more details)

You knew I couldn't resist giving you the whole story!

After a long drive (with an unexpected tour de San Jose) Clayton, Bronwyn and I arrived at Lake San Antonio on Tuesday afternoon. The rest of the crew, with one exception, were already there:

- Andrew, coach and fearless leader
- Jessica
- Brenda
- Penny
- Marie
- Benny
- Zosia (her husband Matt came on Saturday)

The training camp was mostly about riding, but of course we did some running and swimming. It took me a couple days to get over the drive, I felt that I had no power in my legs and I was just plain tired, so I didn't enjoy the first couple days of working out. Frustratingly, Bronwyn and Clayton didn't seem to be affected at all!

We did a mini duathlon, some swim sprints and rode the bike and run courses several times, all good workouts.

As the week progressed more triathletes trickled in then on Friday the trickle turned into a torrent and the massive campsite was overflowing with triathletes. The race shirt said 7,000+ athletes participated in the three events (half iron, mountain bike tri and olympic tri) and it felt like they were all there on Friday. The buzz in the campsite on that evening was amazing - I see why people call this the "Woodstock of triathlon".

We went against the flow and headed out of camp to Paso Robles for dinner. It felt extremely civilized to be in a restaurant!

The expo area was great - enough gear to get any triathlete salivating and super deals. My plans to do some serious shopping were threatened by me losing my credit card (and driver's licence) on a ride on Wednesday but luckily someone found them on the road and turned them in to the lost and found. I had killed my Polar HR monitor the day before leaving so I got a super deal on a RS200, $50.00 less than the US suggested retail price so likely more off the Cdn price. There were also tons of freebies that I took full advantage of - Triathlete magazine, visors, energy drinks, etc. We were camped near the Cliff bar guys and scooped up lots of samples (we weren't sure if we were being greedy but the guys kept offering us more stuff) and I got hooked on POM. We also came up with about 20 ideas for products that would make us all millionaires, sadly I don't think anyone wrote them down!

Saturday was all about Penny as she was the only one of the crew doing the half iron . We fit our short pre-race workouts in around catching her on the bike and run course. As some fairly huge names in the tri world were doing the race we also got our chance to get a little star struck and cheer on Macca, Lieto, McGlone, Cave, Pip Taylor, et al.

Penny had an awesome race and almost made it look easy. The half iron is a brutal race - the bike course is super hilly with "Nasty Grade" (beware of hills that have nicknames) coming near the end, and the run is much the same except that racers get to do it in the full heat of the day.

Despite the fact that it's a seriously tough course, I started thinking it would be a fun one to try out. Okay, "fun" might not be the right word but suffice it to say I'm contemplating the half.

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