Bike, Run, Swim, Triathlon

Pool Pressure and Humble Pie

Camp Day 2

The alarm went off and I was so not ready.  I had to be at the pool at 6:00 am, and I was a good 30 minute drive away, so I got up at 4 (you know why, I don’t need to keep talking about my business).  I did all my morning stuff and headed out.  I was pretty terrified of the pool swim because I have seen videos of other camps and I haven’t been really pushing myself in the pool lately.  A little part of me felt more confident than I would have because of all those nice comments the day before about my stroke not being as horrible as I thought it was. 

We got assigned specific lanes and coach asked who there had never circle swum.  I raised my hand and his comment was “BOOOOO!”  He explained that the first person goes off and then X seconds later the next person, etc.  He explained you cannot stop at the other end since someone is coming up right behind you.  Great.  I always pause when I turn around, I mean I really like stealing that extra second of rest and extra breath!  He told us to swim 300 to warm up.  I said, “May I use the pool buoy?  I have never gone that long without it.”  His response was “No, there’s a first time for everything.”  Jerk.   

We got going, with 5 seconds between each person taking off and I actually didn’t do half bad!  He ended up giving me the buoy towards the end because he could see I was huffing a bit.  I was happy to see that at least I was not the only one.  I said to one of the girls that the pool felt really long to me and she asked about it because she thought that too.  Turned out it is 25 meters, not the 25 yards I am used to.  Not a huge difference, but longer just the same.  On our next set of laps, I kept hitting the feet of the lady in front of me with my hands  and slowing down.  He ended up making us swap spots.  Could it be?  I am not the last swimmer?!!!  That was pretty cool and gave me a nice boost. 

Once we were done with the main pool workout, he split us into groups that contained fast and slow people and were doing a relay.  Oh lordy, here it goes.  I don’t like to try to go fast but I did my best.  I had two different people comment on how good my stroke was.  Were these people paid off by coach to blow smoke up my butt or what?!   

Prepping for circle swims

We left the pool and headed to breakfast.  We had about two hours to order, eat and finish up to head to the Natchez Trace for our hill bike workout.  I figured that was enough time to digest.  I had what was called the 18 wheeler.  Oh yeah, it earned it’s name.  It was scrambled eggs, bacon, potatoes and french toast baby!  I ate every bite and felt like I still had room to go.  After chatting with some of the other campers and hanging a bit, it was time to go.  I stood up and thought, oh man, maybe that was not a good idea. 

We got to the trace and I had to pee really bad.  I was let down when I found out there was no bathroom…. Other than the woods.  Dang, I should have brought my tinkle bell.  Oh well, me and three other girls made our way into the dense treescape and did our thang.  

We were split into groups and told what to do.  My group was supposed to go down this 2+ mile hill and then back up it twice.  Once we were done with that, we were to go the other way, to the steep hill and do that one twice.  I was actually feeling a little confident.  I like what is called big gear work, which is just fancy for a gear that is harder to pedal in.  I like it more than when I am pedaling fast.  I hadn’t considered two things in this confidence equation.  First, the down hills and second, these were real hills, not overpasses like in FL!  I started down to the first turn around and was totally terrified!  I was going 25 miles per hour down a curvy hill!  I immediately began to start braking, which didn’t seem to be having the effect I expected.  It got to the point of where my hand was cramping I was trying to squeeze so hard!  I finally made it to the bottom and was excited for the uphill part. 

Beautiful Natchez Trace

I started the climb, which looked relatively even and not super steep, I switched gears to make it a little easier to pedal and huffed away.  I switched gears again to make it a little easier to pedal.  I did that a few more times until I realized I was completely out of gears!  I was dying!  My legs were on fire and my heart was beating out of my chest!  I finally got to the top where we turn around to head back downhill again and I almost threw up.  My heart rate was super high and I felt like my head was going to explode.  I was doing everything I could not to see the 18 wheeler again. 

A few minutes later as I was holding in my puke and trying to get my heartrate down, coach rode up beside and said “what are you doing?”  I told him I was trying not to toss my cookies and needed to get my heart rate back down before trying again.  I said, “I’m sorry.  I am just not sure I can do this.”  His response was “Don’t be sorry, you can do this.  And sometimes breakfast just needs to come back out.” He rode off and I thought, Jerk.  I took another minute to compose myself and headed back down.  I was ready for the shame of having to get off the bike and walk it back up if I had to, but I also realized that I was so confident and gung ho that I really tried to do it too fast on the way up.  I headed back down, death grip intact on the brakes, but I did let it up here and there when it wasn’t so curvy. 

I started the climb and this time, I did not change gears until my legs absolutely could not take it any more in the gear I was in.  I went very slowly and made the climb as stead as I could.  I made it back up to the top and was super thrilled and humbled.  I watched the others going by like maniacs on the downhill and rocking the ups like the rock stars they are.  Coach told me to continue that hill, over and over.  So, that’s what I did for what seemed like forever.  Then, it was time to run.  I wish I could say the run went well.  It was blistering hot and my legs were jelly after that ride.  Thankfully, we didn’t have to run the same hill, but it was definitely hilly enough to hurt.  Most of us walked in between rather we wanted to or not.  It wasn’t a very long run, so that was good and I knew that once it was over I would be eating and showering, two of my favorite things lately. 

We all talked about the plan for the next day and headed out.  Part of me wanted to get Burger King again but I knew that this time I really needed to shower before eating, but I also knew that I would not want to move after I showered so I opted for another old favorite… Jimmy Johns.  Thankfully there was one on the way home.  I picked it up and headed in for a shower and shoveled that sub in my face so fast it was probably dangerous.  Dangerous but delicious.  I realized that if I stayed there, I would probably fall asleep (it was 4pm) and that may not be a good idea.  I decided to explore the local shops including my favorite REI.  I found a really awesome bike shop and actually got a new pair of shorts.  I got a text that some folks were meeting up for pizza for dinner at 5:30.  It was about 3:30 when I had lunch but figured I could fit some pizza in and socializing would be good for me.  Ugh 

I headed over to meet up with the folks that were getting pizza, including coach.  It was very different than I expected.  Yes, a lot of the talk was about triathlon, but there was a lot more about where we were from, our families, etc.  It was reinforced how lucky I am that my boys support my crazy adventures.  I heard nightmare stories of family members being against their loved ones participating.  I was a little worried it might go late, but we were done by 7 and I headed back to the room to get everything ready for the next day.  The long ride and run day.  Why am I here again? 

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