Thursday, May 1, 2014

GPP Endurance Tri Camp

I have never been to Arkansas and did not know what to expect. What a beautiful place! There are rolling hills that aren't so rolling in places and the people are wonderful.

A slight detour for me on the way to camp happened on Wednesday. I was able to fly through Atlanta and go the store and meet with a few of my team members. It was fun to put faces to names.

I went to the tri camp put on by GPP Endurance from Thursday to Monday. This is my fifth tri camp and I was looking forward to it and to seeing Coach Lizz.
There she is! The time is too far and in between for our face to face chats. She coaches me from afar via Training Peaks, email and texts. I was probably most looking forward to this part of camp.

Besides the fact that this camp was in Arkansas, the biggest difference for me from past camps is that I was not the newbie! I was, in fact, an experienced triathlete. Who knew that would ever have happened. It was fun talking with others who have not done a triathlon yet. But being experienced by no means translates into knowing it all - I learned so much and still have so much to learn.

We started the day on Friday at the pool at 5:30am with a two hour swim. The local tv station was there doing a story on the camp and the reporter was actually participating in the camp!
After the swim, we had a little break to get ready for the rest of the day.  We met up at the GPP facility for introductions and a little workout, then headed out for a 30 mile bike ride.
Everyone made it even though we had some flats and a tumble off the road by one person. She was okay, just a little scraped up. That evening we were all participating in a trail run race. I'm not particularly fond of trail running but am always up for a challenge. We had the option for 5k or 10k and of course my coach said "10k!". This was a boy scout benefit race and they did a really great job with setup, volunteers, course marking (although some of my peeps would argue that point!). I even got to see an old friend from my very first tri camp.
So fun to see Coach Shawn!
Almost every single GPP camper earned a medal at the race. We pretty much swept it all!
The next day, after a "dead to the world" sleep, we started all over again! GPP workout, bike, run and open water swim.

As most of the time happens during a camp, the minute the itinerary was printed, it changed. There were severe storm warnings throughout so we had to adapt and work around it. We lucked out for the most part but Sunday instead of a planned long bike ride, we stayed inside and rode computrainers plus some mini clinics, run and swim analysis and bike fits.

We actually lucked out and didn't have to run for shelter since the tornadoes missed us by a few miles but instead of having our end of camp party at Coach Kevin's home, we opted for having at GPP.

One of the many highlights of the weekend was getting to meet Gordon Haller - the very first Kona Ironman winner. He trained with us all weekend and then we were honored to have him speak to us Sunday night. What great stories he has! If you haven't heard much about him, check out this website.
It was a joy to meet Gordon and his lovely wife, Beth.
We had a little band action after with Coach Moe and his band. It was a great way to wind down.
There was still a half day training planned for Monday but I was missing out on it so I could get things packed up for my flight home. I've decided I need to get much more familiar with my bike so I can be self sufficient. In the meanwhile, I am eternally grateful to my bike expert friends. I've already talked about Top Gear Bikes in Bountiful and Jeff at Precision Bikes who have helped tear down and reassemble my bike but I have to give another shout out to Joe in Arkansas who was waiting for me to arrive on Thursday and met me early Monday morning to pack it all up again. Thank you so very much!

I am trying to write this in a hurry because I am heading down to St. George to volunteer for the IM70.3 this weekend and to cheer on all my racing friends. I'm forgetting so much about the memorable weekend and haven't even touched on how much food gets eaten during one of these training sessions! I absolutely love everyone that I met this weekend and look forward to a long friendship with you. And to the GPP coaches - thank you for all your support and feedback. You continue to make me a better athlete!
I hope to do you proud as an athlete and fellow coach - Oh yes, by the way, I PASSED the certification and am now a proud USAT level 1 Triathlon Coach!