"Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing."
Unless you live by, in, on or near the mountains, it's not every day that you can get on your bike from your front doorstep and ride up and down a mountain.
Karel and I consider ourselves really lucky in that we can ride from our house and within 10 minutes we can climb Paris Mountain. In less than 2 miles, we are on bike-friendly, country roads with endless options for riding.
Although we do not do the long mountain climbs very often in our training, it is a nice treat to know that we can climb a mountain anytime we want without having to drive our bikes anywhere.
And if you haven't figured it out yet, Karel and I love to climb!
It was a no-brainer that we would give our campers an opportunity to climb a mountain (or two) during camp. Not only would it provide great stress on the body for our campers to climb (without stopping) for up to an hour but it would also force our athletes to dig deep and to discover new possibilities with their fitness. And because what goes up must come down, we wanted to put those who are not comfortable descending into the position where they had to descend in order to come down the mountain and we would be right there to give them the tips, encouragement and support that they needed to conquer any fears.
The morning started early for Karel, Joe and Adam. The dynamic trio (all training for IM Lake Placid) set out for a 92 mile, 7000+ feet elevation gain ride. I have never done this route before but Karel has done it three times.
I have never done this route but one of these days I will test my strength (and mental toughness) and try to conquer all that climbing.
Our amazing SAG Support (Elizabeth, Taylor, Tricia) met the trio out around 36 miles into their ride to restock bottles.
The guys met the SAG after/before a climb so it was a welcome but quick refueling top. Although we don't recommend athletes load up on fluids/foods before a climb, this was the only spot where the SAG could meet the guys and still make it to the Ceaser Head SAG stop for my group. Lots of logistics when it comes to training camps and we could not have done it without our fab SAG crew!
The guys had a great view of Table Rock before climbing Ceaser's Head from the other side of the mountain.
Karel was super impressed with Adam and Joe - both Floridians who never had this much climbing in one ride. Adam's body had enough at the top of Ceaser's Head which meant he still did around 64 miles of the ride which was incredible. Karel gave him a pep talk and told him to call it a day.
(I remember when I did my longest ride in Greenville last summer - we did some of the Hincapie Gran Fondo route and after climbing/descending Skyuka Mountain, I told Karel I was done with all that climbing. I had a little breakdown but because we were still around 40 miles from home I had no choice but to continue. Thank goodness for Karel's pep talks because I managed to get myself back on the bike. We all have those days - we are human)
As for our group, we left around 8:30am (the guys left at 7:15am) and we were off to the mountains. Our ride was a planned 4+ hours of riding and 5000 feet of climbing.
I love chasing the mountains!
This is one of my favorite stops for a picture. You are so close to the mountains and the views are incredible.
My group was amazing!! Everyone stayed strong and focused for the 7 mile climb up to the top of Ceaser's Head. Everyone finished in less than an hour (yes - 60 minutes of climbing!).
I was just so proud of everyone for climbing the unknown mountain. There were bumpy roads and switchbacks and with the temps approaching 100, it was not an easy day to be riding 4+ hours but hey, if it was easy, everyone would be at a Trimarni camp!
(BTW - Taylor - front of pic - is our awesome Trimarni photographer. You will also see some great pics from Elizabeth - back of pic. Tricia in the middle was our awesome SAG coordinator - she rocked!)
Our SAG crew earning their post SAG meal - yummy Sidewall Pizza from Traveler's Rest.
After we all finished our ride (we all finished around the same time), it was off for a 15-20 minute run. We asked our campers to run comfortable with good form for no more than 15-20 minutes but the last 5-7 minutes were strong. As usual, all campers were required to have a hydration system with them (handheld or belt) for the run WITH a sport drink.
For the ride, we all went through at least 1 bottle of sport drink per hour. I provided the campers with specific fueling suggestions for the long run and run (and pre/post workout) and no one bonked or had GI distress - well done campers!
After a few hours of resting (well more like hanging out and eating) for our campers at the lodge, it was time to clean up and head to downtown Greenville for our camp team dinner at Roost Restaurant.
Half way through camp and we only gave our campers a teaser of our challenging terrain and what's to come in day 3 and 4 of Trimarni Greenville camp.
Stay tuned for day 3 recap of camp!