Have a bit of catching up on the blog here so I’ll be heading back to earlier this month first —
Coming home from CDA, it was not quite time for some R&R just yet. There was still Charlottesville Tri Camp to be done!! Comprised of mostly TeamHPBers, yet open to all, it’s a great compliment to the Tucson Camp option that I help coach with Hillary and Maik. We had a great mix of experience with the campers for this year, and I was really excited to see the weekend grow from last year.
Leslie and Nate were on the same CDA-Camp double schedule with me, and it was nice to get to see them so much more often than normal! We headed over to the UVA track to meet on Thursday night for our shakeout run with the campers. Followed by a low key pizza night, it’s always a great night as the mix of nerves and excitement for the training ahead is tangibly in the air.
Friday and Saturday are my favorite days of the camp, as the longest days that we have it’s often the largest chunk of back-to-back training many campers have experienced to this point. Friday’s Skyline ride is also pretty special for those coming in from out of town. They might not have called 8,000+ feet of climbing “special”, but I think that’s a good word for it 🙂 Once again, we were super lucky with the Charlottesville weather forecast, managing to narrowly miss some strong summer storms, and finding the riding weather actually quite comfortable – a good break from the stifling heat and humidity we had seen a few weeks earlier.
After conquering 104 miles of some of the toughest (but most scenic!!) climbing in the area, Saturday’s adventures on paper don’t seem like much, but soon the campers found out otherwise 🙂 We rode over to Walnut Creek Park this year for some Open Water Swimming practice. With a comfortable water temperature and a good swimming beach, it’s a great place to practice all sorts of things for open water, especially starts and sighting. Soon everyone realized how tiring sprinting in and out of the water can be!!
No rest for the weay though – a 20 mile ride was ahead over to Ridge Road. A hidden gravel road that many people come to Charlottesville to experience as a runner, the 4 mile long stretch of rolling hills is my favorite place for a progression run in the area. It just wouldn’t be proper to bring people to Charlottesville to train and not show them that then, right?! Ridge road can be humbling, and it wasn’t the first time that I saw some campers experience their first “blow up” during the progression portion. It may not be fun for them to have coach running alongside when that happens, but having it happen in a controlled training environment where I know we’ll ultimately get them home safely is actually a good thing in my mind. Better in training than a race for sure!!
A final easy spin home and, time for some food and rest.
Sunday includes an easy spin along the country roads, followed by a long swim session. We had a few 100×100 takers this round, but Leslie and I used the time with folks to focus on technique and form as well. Nothing like 3 hours in the pool to really get some time looking at strokes, right?! 🙂 The traditional Sunday night BBQ was well timed this year with the women’s world cup final. We piled into the living room to watch the USA victory and I think it helped to keep everyone inspired for the last task at hand: Monday morning long run! A mix of roads, trails, gravel and plenty of hills, we tackled 3 hours on the feet before hugging goodbye and sending everyone off to the “real world” once again.
Leslie, Nate and I had SO MUCH fun coaching this group. It was also fun to get to see Stephanie’s progression with the sessions year over year as our returning camper. She has been working so hard the past few years and her improvement is proof that it’s working. After seeing her progress this year at camp, I have no doubts about her ability to smash IM Chattanooga! Several of the other campers I will be getting to watch this weekend in Lake Placid. They are all so fit and so ready, it’s going to be a great day for sure!!!!