In 2006, I was hosting a camp in Palm Springs with a friend of mine. We had a large group and needed some staff so my friend, who was a military guy, brought in some two of his friends, also military guys. One was Scott Jones who is a class act and now lives in Boulder and has gone on to form a great coaching business of his own there. The other guy was Brian Grasky who lived in Tucson. He asked in Palm Springs if I'd consider coming out to Tucson to host a camp with him and I remember me replying "well what does Tucson have to offer?". It was an easy sell and plus I liked Brian. After my first camp there in 2007, I knew I had found my winter training camp local. It's been great to also watch Brian grow his coaching business.
So we are back again, and just like last year, the first day, weather wise, turned out a bit auspicious for Tucson. It was colder (40's) and there was snow in the mountains. But we were still heading over to Sabino Canyon bright and early to run the phoneline trail. This is probably number five on my favorite run routes of all time and i love beginning the camp this way.
There is something about running that i love. I don't quite know what exactly it is - trust me, not all runs feel light and fast and smooth. But I know I don't take any run for granted - I'm always appreciative of just being able to go out and run. To do so in a place like Sabino Canyon, well that's just takes it to another level that's hard to describe. We have a big group this year with 18 campers and it was easily apparent on the phoneline trail that they all shared in my appreciation. The group ranges from 32 yrs of age to 63. We have a mix of beginners to advanced with goals ranging from Olympic distance to Ironman. There were the pre-camp nerves - people nervous about what's in store and if they will be able to keep up, but after putting on more than 30 camps, that's never been an issue. I'm enjoying the diversity and personalities in this group. We once again have a really nice bunch of athletes. It makes it a lot easier to run the camp when there isn't a lot of ego and bs attitude to deal with.
After the run, we had some breakfast, and then met to do some strength training. I brought out my TRX as well as Kevin Crowell, and we rigged them up in the courtyard outside our rooms. For the next hour, with no weights or other equipment, we put them through a functional session addressing a lot of lateral movements.
Next was off to the University of Arizona's pool for a 2 hour swim session. They have a huge plaque on the wall at the pool with all the Olympians that have come through the university - really impressive. We did a lot of drill work and stroke analysis and then did a solid session before calling it a day.
At dinner that night, we gave out some MVP awards to Doug, a 52 year old from Kansas (flat) who had never run trails, Sue from New jersey who just had the right attitude all day, and Molson, who deemed his as the lifetime achievement award.