Heading into the 57 degree water of Lake Mead! 

 

Henderson lived up to our high expectations! Wes and I were floored by how incredibly lucky we were to share these four days with such amazing, talented, fun, caring athletes from all over the country! We had athletes from Florida, Utah, California, Idaho, and Colorado all join us in Nevada and it couldn't have been a better experience!

We started out with an early morning swim in the frigid morning, at the outdoor City pool. Wes and I weren't easy on them, after a solid warm up we divided the lanes and then did drill work followed by a timed 1,000 yards! Everyone did great, the water was really warm! The coaches froze! After swimming for another 20 minutes we jumped out and hit the hot tub!

Then we meet for brunch and some GPP. We did the workout "Hit the Deck" for 15 minutes, this was new for many of us! But we loved it and did great!

 

We got to get to know one another better as everyone had a chance to introduce themselves and why they were there. Parker joined us from Salt Lake. So did the Hardy family. Brian, Kim, James, and Matt are all related and are ALL doing the Boise 70.3 in June together. They came to camp as a family to train hard. It was so much fun to have them there! James brought his wife, Carmen, and she was invaluable as a support driver for the rides. When she wasn't out driving and fueling athletes, she would swim with us at the pool and then go for multiple runs. 

Bill and Jackie Clifton flew in from Florida. Jackie is training for the World Championship Long Course race that will be held in Henderson in November. She is an incredible athlete and person. There wasn't a single moment, all weekend, where she wasn't giving all she had and smiling about it! There is no doubt she will do great at Worlds!

                                                             Jackie, Jen, and Curry

We had some returning campers from our St. George camp in February. It was like a family reunion! We welcomed Kathryn, Curry, Moka, and Barbara, who are all competing in Ironman St. George in less than 3 weeks! They have worked so hard and have prepared so well for this race! Henderson was their last big volume training push before their taper.

We were grateful to have Matt (the bike expert) come and train with us, as well as keep us all tuned up and ready to ride! Kriss joined us from Colorado and fit right in....immediately! Not only was he hilariously fun, he set a fast pace in the pool, on the road, and on the trails!

Friday we met for our bike ride from the hotel to Lake Mead and back, around 56 miles. The day stayed cold and super windy! We had to go down to our smallest gear just to keep moving on the 8% grade down hills! The 10 miles heading to the lake took an hour and a half! It was brutal! But we fueled up, "sqooze" orange juice in Kriss's eyes, and headed back to the hotel. After 4 1/2 hours of brutal cycling we made it back in time to eat quickly before meeting back at the Recreation Center for a group run and PNF stretching.

Dinner and very little sleep followed.....why is it we never sleep at tri camp?

 

Saturday we hit Lake Mead and it was COLD! The water was 57 degrees, choppy, and rough. This was Darby's first open water swim EVER! What a day to have your first dip! She was incredible as she overcame some serious anxiety and kept going out for more! Despite the serious cold and white capped waves, everyone still got wet! It was a thing to witness, the fear, the trepidation, the current, and the brave athletes that put their faces in and swam for 45 minutes! Course....when you are numb it's not so bad.

We hit the road again, after a quick bike maintenance seminar, for our brick workout. The Ironman group rode back out to the lake, ran for an hour, biked home and ran again. The 1/2 IM group rode for an hour, ran for 30, rode for 30, ran for 20, rode home to the hotel for 40 and then ran another 20 minutes. This day brought some sun and an unexpected burst of energy for everyone! It was like they had recovered for days, not just mere hours, for the brick! It was so exhilarating to see the smiles and the effort put into this day! It was very cool!  Saturday was also Amy's birthday and we all went out to celebrate! These camps wouldn't be what they are if not for her. She is my biggest supporter. Amy is the absolute best organizer and implementer around and it was awesome to go out and celebrate her! Course...we kept celebrating back at the hotel...again very little sleep. And, really, who could when Wes performs his rap?! Parker followed with his own rap and...well....memorable hardly does it justice!

Sunday we swam in a calm, blue lake where the sun was brilliant! It was a perfect day and it was hard to get out of the water! There were lots of other swimmers and kayakers there, it was fun to meet them. On the beach we changed, got on our bikes, and headed out for more cycling on the World Championship course! This course winds around Lake Mead and it isn't easy! Long climbs and false flats make for a very tough course. But again, they all rose to the challenge and there were a few that wanted more and more. Between Moka brushing her teeth on the bike and Jen singing, "It's the final countdown....", I started to wonder if maybe we were being too easy on them.

                            Moka, Jen, Barbara....contemplating more swimming?

Sunday night was our final dinner together and we were lucky enough to be honored with Wes's rap. There aren't words. It was a great evening getting to know everyone better and just to sit and enjoy eachother. But wow!!!! Can triathletes eat!

Monday we met at the outdoor pool again for an epic swim. 90 minutes of specific stroke work and efficiency practice and speed. It seemed like the harder we worked everyone the better they got! After 90 minutes we were all exhilarated! It was a great swim! We ate a huge breakfast and then switched plans up so we could go run on a trail that everyone was telling us about! It's called the BootLeg trail and it was beautiful. 3 miles of winding trail up to the top of the ridge where on one side you look out over Vegas, and on the other you have a killer veiw of Lake Mead.  It was so much fun! At the end of the run we all stood around talking and laughing, none of us wanted to leave. Eventually we car pooled back to the hotel where we all had to check out. We said our good bye's on the 3rd floor and headed to the 2nd to say good bye to a few others where all of us ended up meeting again! The same thing happened on the 1st floor and then outside by the cars. We just couldn't get enough of each other! What a group of incredible people!

                                   You should see what Kriss can do with a swim cap!

Wes and I are thrilled to be apart of all of this and so grateful to share this time with all of you. We are already planning a camp for this summer in Bear Lake and then 3 triathlon training camps for next year. Look for the first one to be in Tucson in January of 2012!

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