7/10/15

4th of July adventures


On Saturday morning, Karel and I headed out for a perfectly planned ride up to Flat Rock, into NC and back to our home. 

First off - we just love our new bike stands from Feedback Sports - even though Karel installed a rack on our garage wall to hang our bikes, I can't believe we went so long without these affordable, easy to use floor stands!. Also, I just LOVE my new bar tape from Lizard Skins which matches our "Kona edition" Canari kits (we received a prototype product which Karel put on each of our bike handlebars). 

The ride started out great and I was feeling strong staying behind Karel (for the most part) until we got to the watershed area and then up to Flat Rock. I was doing great switching my gears, primarily in the small chain ring to maintain a nice cadence when I came to a descending segment and I tried to change my gears into the big ring and well, no shifting was happening.
Hmmmm. 

When I finally linked up with Karel at the top of the climb, I told him that I wasn't able to change my gears into the big ring and he let me know that my battery was dying in my Di2. Well there is a first time for everything!

It was just over a month when we last charged the battery on my bike (which is typical - about a month per charge depending on miles ridden) so I ended up turning around as Karel carried on with his ride as I was limited to less than 150 shifts before I was stuck in whatever gear I was left in when my battery completely died. 

Needless to say - it was a very interesting ride home just wondering when my battery would die. Thankfully, I made it home (over 20 miles) just fine on the rolling terrain in my small chain ring and was still able to change my gears for the steeper climbs. 

As I was finishing my 4-mile run off the bike, Karel came home from his ride and told me about his exciting ride. Although both of us experienced a bit of a rain shower on the bike (for me in SC and Karel in NC), Karel was riding along when George Hincapie and two other guys rode right by Karel as Karel was doing a higher effort interval to finish his ride. Karel stayed draft legal behind George but it was certainly not an "easy" effort. At least we both had exciting stories to tell after our ride! 


After some recovery food and a little resting while watching the TDF, we were off to Landrum to spend the late afternoon/evening with our friend Katie Malone and her hubby Brad and adorable baby Keene. 


Katie is not only a triathlon coach and experienced triathlete but she is also a huge dog lover. She rescues Weimaraner's (she has 5 of them) but recently she rescued an adorable puppy named Claudette. What a sweetie!!! 


It was nice to hang out, talk triathlons and snack on food but it's hard for a group of triathletes to stay still (and their furry children) so we all went out on the water. 
The guys went kayaking and Katie and I went stand-up paddle boarding (SUP).  


Katie had a small doggy life jacket that we put on Campy as this was his first time in open water. Although he can swim (by default when Karel wants to prove to me that Campy can swim in a pool), Campy is not a natural swimmer like his momma. 

We decided to put Campy in the kayak so that he didn't have to be close to the water but after a few minutes of kayaking, Campy decided that he wanted to be out of the kayak. 

So he jumped out!!!

I was so concerned about my little one swimming in the lake but Campy did not seem too concerned. Campy actually made his way to my paddleboard and I picked him up on his life jacket strap and Campy bravely stood on my paddleboard for the rest of our exploration around the lake. 


Unlike Keene and Claudette, Campy was not so still on the board. He actually jumped off my board (on his own) twice. Karel says he was enjoying swimming and that's why he jumped off. I think he was trying to swim to shore to get the heck away from the water but nonetheless, Campy gave us quite an exciting thrill of a ride on the SUP. 


Much better...back on land. 


After our trip on the lake, it was time to eat!

Brad made burgers and I chopped up some sweet honeydew. We also snacked on chips. 


 Katie put mushrooms on the grill topped with pesto and fresh cut mozzarella cheese, topped with a thick slice of tomato - YUM!!!


I made a refreshing broccoli summer slaw: 
2 bags broccoli slaw tossed with 6 ounce light Daisy sour cream. Add in 2 chopped pink lady apples, a handful of raisins and salt to taste. Refrigerate (if possible) for at least 4-8 hours before serving.


4th of July 2015 was filled with excitement and adventure.

 Oh the fun we have while being out in nature!!

No surprise, Campy slept ALL day on Sunday. He was SOOOOO exhausted from his SUP workout. 






7/8/15

Trimarni Greenville camp - Day 4 recap


The final day of camp had arrived and it was time to put everything together that our campers learned over the past 3 days.

Karel and I knew that we wanted to make our camp bike heavy simply because our terrain is amazing for improving bike fitness. With all of our rolling hills, mountains and punchy climbs, you have no choice but to ride and get stronger.
However, a big part of a bike-focused camp is making sure that our campers understand how to ride their bikes. Yes, it's very easy to sit on a bike and just pedal but many athletes do not know (or never take the time to learn) how to use their gears properly, how to descend and climb in the "proper" line, how to fuel/hydrate while riding (especially during intense efforts or while climbing/descending), how to sit properly on the bike and how to anticipate climbs and when to stand, sit or to stay aero (specific to triathletes). 

Karel and I constantly hear these "rules" that triathletes try to abide by like never using the small or big chain ring, they must always wear an aero helmet on race day for "fast" times, never standing or getting out of aero during a triathlon race or not putting adequate nutrition/hydration on the bike because it is not aero or fast. 

And then you see/hear triathletes that will put deep dish race wheels on their bike but struggle to ride in a straight line due to wind resistance and difficulty controlling the bike. The triathletes will forget to install a climbing cassette in hilly terrain races and without understanding how to change gears, they waste precious energy in the legs that can be used for the run. And lastly, many triathletes will chase a specific MPH pace for the bike regardless of the terrain and forget that the fastest ride is the one where you can run strong off the bike. 

Having said all of this, it is critical that triathletes learn how to ride their bike. Above all, you need to feel safe on your bike and know how to ride your bike safely on all terrain. And lastly, you have to have fun while riding your bike. If you dread riding your bike, if you are not comfortable on your bike (and have not been professional fit by an experienced fitter) or if you are scared to ride your bike around others, the best thing you can do is to focus on your skills to make you a smarter rider. 


Our ride was delayed by about 10 minutes because when I got on my tri bike, there was an issue with the derailleur that stumped Karel. It was one of those random mechanical issues that Karel could not fix or figure out in 10 minutes so I was on my road bike for day 4 of camp. (Karel was able to fix my bike later in the day to make it ridable for the week but we did end up having to buy a new derailleur - so happy to be married to my bike mechanic!)

At 7:30am, the campers met us down the road on their bikes and we all went on a recon ride of the run route that we would be running off the bike. After our 7 mile warm-up ride (which was quite welcomed as it was hilly but very conversational pace). Then we made our way 10 minutes down the road to the base of Paris Mountain.

The ride today was twice up Paris mountain. It's a 2.5 mile climb with only two steeper sections but after all that our campers experienced and accomplished, Paris Mountain was an "easy" climb. The only thing that made it hard was that our campers were climbing it after 3 days and over 10,000 feet of climbing already.

On the first ride up, our campers could ride at any pace. We wanted them to work on their bike skills going up and to understand the terrain. Just like in a race when you can pre-ride/drive the course, you can anticipate climbs a lot better when you know what's coming.

The descend down Paris Mountain is a great place to improve descending confidence because you don't go directly down once you arrive to the peak. There are several rolling hills on the top of Paris Mountain and then you eventually make your way down. There are no sketchy sections and every turn offers a view as to what's to come so it's one of those climbs where you can descend and not be worried about  having to quickly break before another switchback.

After the descend, we made our way to a very technical area for our campers to really test their skills. Karel and I have actually ran this entire bike course (that we rode at camp - it's about 13 miles) which is the entire Paris Mountain Road Warrior 20K course and we use the back section of this course (after Paris Mountain) to warm-up on chilly days in the winter with all the punchy climbs.
The course is extremely technical on a bike (after Paris Mountain) but we knew that our campers had the skills to feel confident on the changing terrain. To understand how technical the climbs are - in less than 3 miles you will go through every gear on every chain ring (big/small), stand, sit and be aero.

After the technical section was complete, we regrouped and did the climb up Paris Mountain one more time. However, this time - best effort!!

With the climb taking most of our campers between 14-18 minutes, we told our campers to ignore the pain in their legs and give the best effort possible. Everyone pushed hard and was breathing heavy at the top but no one gave  up - it was an incredible sight to see for me and Karel.

We then descending on the same side that we climbed and heading back to our house to quickly transition to the run. 



Our awesome SAG support had brought all of our campers run gear to our house in the changing tent (garage) and we all did a little dynamic warm-up and it was off for our last run/workout of camp!
The weather was absolutely amazing - in the upper 70's, which was welcomed by our exhausted bodies. 



It was nice to have all of our campers start together. As pictured below, this is our street which is a .25 mile climb out of our neighborhood. Karel and I get to climb this for every run, which certainly makes us tougher as it's not easy to start climbing immediately when you start running. 



Our campers had their bikes in transition area (our backyard) while we ran. 



I had drawn a map of our run which happens to be one of my most favorite run courses around where I live. It includes about 800-1000 feet of climbing in around 7 miles but with all the scenery, it goes by really quickly. And there are no shortage of hills!



We all ran a mile, walked 20 seconds for the entire run and amazingly kept a strong pace even though we kept it conversational until the last two miles. 



Go Angie, Alex and Taryn!!





We had our SAG crew out on the course around mile 3 so that we could all refill our bottles. Even though it was cool outside, underdrinking/fueling was not an option. After 3 days of training and our previous 2+ hour ride with 3000+ feet of climbing, an underfueled body would not perform. 



After the SAG stop, the climbs got a bit longer and the descends got a bit shorter. For the final push, the last 2 miles were strong with a best effort up the Roe Ford Road hill where we live. 



It was great to see my group push really hard on terrain that they had never experienced in their life for 4 days of training. Joe, Adam and Justine finished super strong...and Justine even out-sprinted me! You go girl!



We all waited until everyone was finished and as typical Trimarni camp practice, we all cheer for each other until everyone is finished with the very last workout. 


Our oldest camper (but certainly no less strong than the rest of us), Jim N ran super hard up the hill. Karel ran (run/walk) the entire 7 miles with Jim and we all finished together. 



It felt so great to be done with camp and after 4 days of exhausting training, our campers were a few days of recovery away from a mega boost in fitness. 



We all walked home, chatted and laughed about all the suffering that we did over 4 days. 




When we got back to our house, it was time for delicious and refreshing watermelon to go along with our recovery drinks (which were pre-made and kept cold in the cooler). 




Karel and I gave our final talk for the camp and told our campers how proud we were of their dedication, commitment and great energy at camp. 



We also had our campers talk about their experiences which was great for us, as coaches, to understand what makes their camp experience so great.



I want to give a BIG shout-out to our awesome SAG crew and photographers. 



Thank you Taylor for taking great behind the scene and action shot pictures, for taking care of all of our campers at the lodge (and helping to feed them) and for giving great energy to us on the course. 




Thank you Tricia for giving us the best SAG support!! I know camp would not have been so successful without your help and support. You really made my job easier to coach the campers so I really appreciate all the behind the scene work that you did to help us out!



Thank you Elizabeth for giving great positive energy throughout the camp and for taking the most amazing pictures to capture every highlight during the camp. You also made some amazing meals which was super important for our campers to have happy tummies. 

And thank you to the Swamp Rabbit Lodge for providing the best lodging environment for our campers and last but certainly not least, a BIG thank you to the Trimarni Team sponsors for supporting our camps and our athletes. 



After 4-days of camp: 
SWIMMING: ~2.5 hours
BIKING: ~10 hours and 11,600+ feet of climbing
RUNNING: ~4.5 hours and 3,300+ feet of climbing
TOTAL: 17+ hours of training and over 14,900 feet of climbing in 4 days!!!

We are so excited to plan our next Greenville camp for 2016....and we plan to have more than one!
We hope to see you there! 




7/6/15

Trimarni Greenville camp - Day 3 recap


As much as our campers love the entire 4-day camp experience, after day 2, our campers tend to move a little slower, talk a little less and take a bit longer to warm-up. But that's ok - it's all part of the overloading process and it's much easier to suffer with friend/teammates. 


We knew that our campers would be moving slow after the last two days of camp and Karel and I wanted to change up the scenery so that our campers did have to go into day 3 workouts with a "just get through it" mindset. 

We are big proponents of changing up the scenery in our own training, especially when it comes to the final push before an endurance race. When training on the same roads all the time, we often need a mental boost to help keep us entertained to get out the door and to have quality workouts. It's no fun to just check off workouts to get them done so a new place to train can often be a welcomed reboot for the system. 



Just an hour drive away from the lodge, we knew that Lake Jocassee would be the perfect venue for day 3 of our camp. We planned a morning full of swimming and running, followed by a picnic at the lake. Talk about a great way to train and recover!


We divided into two groups with my friend Tricia (SAG support) leading one swim group and I lead the other swim group. We divided up into similar swim abilities for 2 x 15 min out and back segments, swimming parallel to the shore and toward the mountains. 


I was very grateful to a friend (Meredith) for letting me borrow her Safe Swimmer Float. Karel and I will be ordering ours soon as I highly recommend that swimmers who swim in open water (ex. lakes/rivers/oceans) use the swimmer float. Even for experienced swimmers, it is nice to have an orange target for a boat so you are seen but also it is really beneficial for other swimmers to use for spotting and it can be good for resting in the open water. 


After the first out and back, we picked up the pace with a few harder segments followed by easy segments for the next 15 minutes and then steady back to shore. 


It's not that often that triathletes can swim an hour without resting on a wall so this was one beneficial swim for everyone. 



Great picture Elizabeth! Love the water at Lake Jocassee!


Trimarni photographer Taylor and Trimarni athlete Jim checking out the views. 




Since we asked our campers to swim in normal triathlon attire, it was a quick transition before we started a dynamic warm-up before the long run. 



Trimarni camp took over the picnic area - triathletes do not pack light!


Thanks to Clif Bar and Veronica's Health Crunch - our campers were well fueled and energized throughout camp. 


Our campers loved the new energy food packets from Clif Bar, especially the banana mango with coconut. So refreshing!! 


We made sure to spend a little time warming up as we had a long run planned for our campers on very challenging terrain. Did we mention that Lake Jocassee is hilly....like 500 feet of climbing for every 30 minutes of running, hilly?



Like what goes up.....



Keeps going up!!!!


We gave our campers the option of doing 3 x 30 min (out and back 15 minutes) for half IM athletes or 4 x 30 min (out and back 15 minutes) for Ironman athletes.
Either 90 minutes or 2 hours of running with walk breaks as needed within each loop (we suggested every mile). It was cloudy and on the cooler side compared to our long ride the day prior but we still required all athletes to carry hydration for 30 minutes of running and adequate calories and to stop to refill bottles every 30 minutes. 



We asked our campers to run by feel - very conversational pace but the last segment should be the strongest - with the last 5-15 minutes as a "best" effort. This required our campers to hold back and to not obsess about pace (which is easy to do when you are accumulating around 2000 feet of elevation gain in a 2 hour run!)





I ran with Trimarni athletes Joe and Adam who are training for IM Lake Placid so it was nice to give them some tips and suggestions as we were running. Plus - they really kept the run entertaining.





Karel provide course "support" on his mountain bike


Justine and Kate looking strong!



Jim and Elizabeth are refueling thanks to Mother Earth. 




There are some things that Karel and I can not plan for at our camps. We love seeing how friendships are made throughout camps, how every camper brings out something good in another camper and how fitness improves after camp.
What Karel and I witnessed on day 3 of camp was incredibly amazing. As Joe, Adam and I were finishing the last 15 minutes of our run, we didn't see anyone else out running. We assumed everyone was done for the day since we had all started at the same time. But as we were running back to finish our last segment, we saw the rest of the campers still running. It was so awesome to see that not one camper gave up during the long run on day 3.

Everyone gave a best effort at the end and Karel was there on his bike cheering for each camper to dig super deep. It was really incredible and I think we will carry that special moment of determination by our campers to our upcoming races. 



After the run it was time for a recovery soak in the lake. Oh it felt SO good to rest the legs. 







After we relaxed, it was time to eat!! 



We had chips, delicious homemade bread from Trimarni athlete Sara Ran Away with the Spoon, pretzels, deli meat, cheese, watermelon, oranges, apples, water and orange juice.
Everyone started with a recovery drink (thanks to Clif bar) and then it was time to enjoy some real food!



My mom came with Campy a bit before we finished the run and he enjoyed a bit of relaxing at the lake in his comfy chair in the shade. 



Around early afternoon, as the clouds began to get a bit darker, we all cleaned up and headed back home. What a great day 3!!!


Around 6pm, we all enjoyed a delicious dinner from SideWall Pizza and a nutrient filled salad at the lodge and it was nice to relax with our campers over dinner, before our last day of camp. 



Yum...pizza!!!!!

In case you couldn't guess, pizza is a Trimarni camp must-have meal!!


Thanks Elizabeth for this shot. Even Campy enjoyed winding down in the evening with the campers. 



We just love how friendships are made at camp - Trimarni athlete Jim and Taryn talking after dinner. 



And of course, there are lots of laughs and inside jokes at Trimarni camp. 



It was early to bed for our campers (and Trimarni camp doggies) before day 4 of camp.

One more day to make memories, to push hard and to discover new capabilities! 

Stay tuned for my last recap of the Trimarni Greenville camp!
Thanks again to Elizabeth and Taylor for all of the amazing pictures!!