Monday, January 19, 2009


I'm back.

First, most of my athletes are finished with The Cleanse. If you were one of the one's who stuck it out, very well done. It takes will power. I was talking to one of my athletes today - again, this isn't a weight loss plan, that's just a nice added side effect if you have some weight to lose - she lost 9 lbs and feels great and her husband who she sucked into doing The Cleanse with her lost 15 lbs and feels great. Good stuff. I'll be sending out my Part II of The Cleanse to everyone this evening which describes what to do after The Cleanse to keep the benefits going.

This past weekend was my Cleveland Winterfest Camp that I cohost with my great friend Angela Forster. Angela and her husband Scott are the people that people are proud to call their friends.

Two things you can depend on at the Cleveland Winterfest Camp; Shitty weather and great, genuine people. Not the guarded, "you're out to get me", "who the hell are you", "what are you looking at bitch" CT types (which I am one of), but open, friendly, nice people.

I had a 6am flight out of Hartford on Friday meaning a 3:30am wake up call. Across from the Cleveland airport was a new gym owned by one of the camp attendees, Kyle, who was extremely generous in letting us use the place for Sunday. Ange and Trephina grabbed me at the airport and we headed over to the gym to check it out. I changed into some running gear and by 8:45am, I was out running in the -9 degree temperatures in deep snow, checking out a trail course for the Sunday run. Kyle was nice or stupid enough to join me for this run.

After that, we headed back to Ange's house to set up and prepare for the 12pm campers arriving for bike fit and HR testing on the computrainers. The position changes I made to most campers bike set-ups were quite dramatic. Some of the attendees even traveled far to very popular bike shops for their initial set-up and I wonder if these so called experts even take flexibility, core strength, and the specific events the customer is preparing for into account. HR testing is a bastard, although somewhat easier maybe with a bunch of campers cheering you on.

We banged out bike fits and bike tests all afternoon, one after another in Scott and Anges basement. Don't confuse your thought of their basement as unfinished, cement walls, exposed pipes, cobwebs, dirty floors and musty smells. This is a finished basement with beautiful carpet, an endless pool room, mirrored walls, flat screen TVs (yes, plural), dual computrainers, a True treadmill and a bathroom and shower.

Baker arrived Friday night, in time for Trephina's amazing Thai dinner. Saturday started at 6am, finishing up bike fits and testing, then right into a 2+ hr indoor cycling session. It actually went by really quick - especially for me who didn't ride but instead just barked out orders and controlled the music. One of the camp attendees, Anthony, a "kid" who looked 20 but was 29 had a brand new bike, has never done a triathlon, didn't know anyone in attendance and received this camp as a surprise holiday gift from his wife. This can be an intimidating situation to say the least, but he jumped right in, had a great attitude and really did well. This really impressed me.

After the indoor bike session, I demonstrated running technique and efficiency on the treadmill and showed some of my favorite treadmill secret sessions for those stuck indoors on frigid, icy days. Baker then videotaped each campers running form on the treadmill from all angles, as I made comments about the pros and cons of their form.

Quick lunch brake and then back to Ange and Scott's kitchen for a nutrition and healthy cooking demo including how to prepare your own energy bars and sports drinks using real, healthy ingredients. This was followed up by a standing meditation session from martial arts and eastern medicine guru Todd. He then led everyone through some relaxation exercises - again, great stuff.

After the campers headed out, Todd performed some acupuncture on me which really relaxed me. Well, that plus the many glasses of wine with dinner.

Sunday, we met at the pool at 6am to review and video swim strokes, learn drills, and do a group workout. Then breakfast, then to Kyles gym where we changed and did an outdoor trail run in 18 inches of snow, including hill repeats. Funny, the majority seemed to really enjoy the challenge and extremeness of this run. How could you not though? Sure, the footing was a bit tricky in the small footpath from others and in the fresh deep snow, the strength effort was very challenging, yet the trails were really pretty and light snow was falling and the trees were covered white with fresh snow. It was one of those sessions that most wouldn't do on their own, yet relished in getting out there with the group. We changed into dry clothing and then I went through my strength and core routine for endurance athletes at the gym, followed by a brief talk, nice lunch, and then Baker and I were back at the airport waiting to catch our flight home.

We had a lot of returners at this camp which was cool - it tells me they have really benefited from previous camps, enough so to endure another round of antics from Baker and myself. I am a very loyal guy and respect and appreciate loyalty. Then we also had a nice group of first timers who jumped in open minded and enthusiastic.

Regardless of their beyond shitty weather, as long as they will have me back there, I will be there to cohost these camps. Many said that they were quite motivated coming off this camp and you know what, It charged me up as well.

Thanks to those of you who attended who may read this.




Keith said...

That sounds like a great camp. Having crappy weather is the perfect time to get bike fit fine tuned, and work on indoor stuff, while there's still indoor time coming.

Anonymous said...

Camp was great. I actually had more fun and enjoyed this year's camp better than last year and I thought last year's camp was great. You are right, I never, never would have ran in 18 inches of snow. Hard as it was, it was beautiful and took a lot out of me. I did pretty good for 1/2 hour and then my legs pretty much told me I was spent, but kept it going for another 20 minutes. I really like this camp because it really does take the tedium away from winter training when you get together with a group and it does jump start your season. Thanks for everything. Mary