Apologies for the lack of blogging at the CT camp, in case anyone besides Baker is actually reading this. This camp was so unbelievably busy - I just didn't have the time. This was by far, my busiest camp to date. In fact, Baker asked me yesterday "how do you think this camp went?" The Sunday of all my camps, I usually know exactly what I thought of the camp. This time, I responded with "to tell you the truth, I haven't had any time to digest it yet." Now that I have had a bit of time, I can say that this was one of the best ones, if not the best one, yet. (I know - it sounds like every current camp that I finish up seems to be the best one yet, but honestly, I really do try to up the ante each time.)
As I posted in my last entry, it started off with me a bit stressed and minus two bikes. Thursday was an awesome day including a 90 minute swim, a 5 hour bike with an 8 mile time trial in it and a 5 mile great climb, and an easy 30 minute beautiful trail run along this lake that's in the middle of nowhere. Then we had bike fit and aerodynammic analysis and dinner.
Friday, we met at 6:45am in the front lot to make the 5 minute drive over to the parking area in Salisbury for the Appalachian Trail. We were doing an out and back 90 minute run. The first 15 minutes of this run is up hill on the trail, some parts so steep that you have to walk. Then, it rolls up and down for 5 minutes, before another 5 minutes of climbing, including scaling a rock wall. Once up the wall, you are greeted with one of the most picturesque views around. It's an overlook that shows off the Berkshires and Connecticut, including some lakes. We then ran along the ridge for a bit and up and down a few more ridges, before returning. It's an amazing run, even though Mark took a face plant at one point earning him four stiches just below his nose! He had a pretty good nose bleed going. When we returned to the parking area, I mentioned to everyone that if they ventured off course, they'd end up getting punched in the nose by Baker, just like Mark did. Big Rock's came over to me and said "how cool is this that I ran on the Appalachian Trail on my 65th birthday!"
We headed back to the Inn for a great breakfast, and then dressed to ride. The weather forecast called for showers, so most dressed with quite a few layers. Kenn V. earned mvp honors by showing up for the ride dressed in what appeared to be a warm-up/track suit, like he was next in line on the bench in an NBA game. The ride was the Hudson River ride - an out and back ride to the Hudson, going over the Kingston Bridge. This Bridge is high and long! It's a 72 mile round trip on what I consider rolling hills. The campers argue that my definition of rolling hills isn't the same as their definition of rolling hills. The plan was for everyone to ride steady and at their own pace. I notice that when I ride with many at these camps, they seem to ride a bit harder than maybe they should, and I didn't want them digging too deep today, considering what they went through Thursday and what they had ahead for Saturday. I took off early and rode out to the bridge at a steady effort. This is a great, solid ride. It has hills constantly, yet you can stay aero and steady over the majority of them. Everyone did really well on this ride.
We met back at the conference room after this ride and had a long discussion on nutrition. This is such a hot topic and I gave my two cents on what works well for most. One of the main things I suggested was that those that are ultra regimented and over focused usually seem to be the same ones that wind up running into trouble on race day. The other suggestion I mentioned was that if you had a plan to use low glycemic carbohydrate sources like the hammer products, which I recommend, then stick with only low glycemic carbohydrate sources.
Friday night, John Brennan, Jeff Molson, Baker, Ken O. , and myself ventured out to an irish pub at another Inn to discuss John's exciting new business "My Athlete". This is going to be a winner, trust me. After a few too many Guiness's, we headed back to get some sleep before the big Saturday plans.
Saturday started at 5:45 am, with a short drive over to the pool. We did a swim session until 7:40, including some fun relays at the end. The losing teams had to do side planks and push-ups. Then, back for another solid breakfast, including an omlette I had with habenero peppers that the chef tried to talk me out of. I tasted these for the first two hours of the ride. We met to ride next and this ride was going to be a big one. I took out the first group at 10 am, and Baker and Kenny took out the second group at 10:20am. We were to meet in Kent center after an amazing amount of climbing including a jaunt up a 20% grade. From here I'd access how everyone was doing and decide the latter part of the route. My group did really well during the first three hours. we rolled out into a bit of drizzle and I could tell the group was a bit dejected by this and the fatigue from the past few days. I pulled them aside early and told them on days like this they need to go "emotionless". They can't think to much and let their emotions interfere. Instead, go into robot mode and just pedal. If it's slow pedaling, who cares? Just pedal and don't think. The drizzle past quickly and it was dry the rest of the ride. we lucked out unbelievably with the weather. While most of the surrounding area got wet over the four main days of this camp, we had barely a shower.
We regrouped in Kent center with some coffee and cookies, and then I sent a group back up rt. 7 to rt. 112, while I took another group up rt. 4 to 43 to 63 and over music mountain. Everyone rode really, really well! Most thought they'd be flat today after the previous two days and they rode strong. Scott Smith is riding at a new level, as is Mark M.. Dangle puts a lot of negetive pressure on himself but he rode very well. I got a chance to ride with every single camper today, for a good bit of time. We arrived back at the Interlaken around 4'sh and headed out on a hilly 6 mile brick run. Then, everyone received massages before dinner. Lot's of wine was drunk this evening, including a few bottles while Baker showed his infamous Saturday night video. Once again, he came through strongly. What he throws together and edits in just a few busy days is quite amazing. After everyone cleared out at 10pm, I met with Sean and Greg who are producing some spin dvd's with me. Greg had been filming all day which was quite bizarre for me. This meeting was very positive and I'm really excited about this business venture. Thes two guys are very, very good at what they do.
So after not much sleep, I awoke, grabbed some coffee with Baker as we tradionally do every morning of camp, and prepared for the 7am long run. It rained during this run, but that didn't matter. It was another stunning course. For those of you that have never seen this part of CT, you are missing out big time. I have put on camps around the country now and this one is probably the most scenic. Plus the roads are great and have no traffic. I started out in the back of the run talking with some of the campers. There was a group of four at the front and I bridged up to them and sat right behind them. After 15 minutes, they all slowed somewhat significantly. I ran the same pace as they started. I was curious to see if they would start out too quick, like most do on their long runs, and sure enough, they did. Most ran the very hilly course in 2 hrs to 2 hrs 20 minutes. We had brunch and then said goodbyes.
It was a great camp! Lots of training, lots of laughs and great people. I know that those attending will benefit significantly from the training they did. They should all realize that they are capable of handling a lot more than they may have thought.