I have so many things to say about camp I don't even know where to start. Maybe the I should just start at the beginning??
I got to the camp (Camp Maranantha in Scottsboro) about 2:30 for packet pickup and check in. Check in sounds like I was at a spa...uh, no. I was given my awesome 140.6 camp shirt and a goody bag I have yet to investigate. After unloading my bike I took my stuff to the bunk house to stake claim on a bottom bunk. When you're young you fight for the fun of the top bunks, but the fun factor is negatively correlated to age (as age goes up, the "fun" of sleeping on a top bunk goes WAY down!). I had several bags-my clothes/toiletries bag (which should have included the towels I left behind in the dryer*), my tri bag (with all my workout and transition stuff), and two bags of food (because with all my allergies I brought all my own meals). I also had my bike pump and bike stand (which I didn't use). I should have had the big comfy pillow I left on my bed at home but hey, why bring something to make a camp bed feel more comfortable, right?
After making up my bed and taking a look at the schedule, I changed into my tri kit, grabbed up all my transition stuff and headed to the bike racks to get set up.
Okay...so here's where I'm going to go into "quick" mode just so I can record the bare bones. I'll be writing MANY posts about various parts of camp, but for now I want to get a summary lest I forget. You know when you wake up from a vivid dream and at first it seems real but the longer you are awake the further away from the "reality" of the dream you get?? That's how I'm feeling...as if I don't write it all down I might wake up next week and all that happened will be gone.
Friday we had some transition and swim instruction, swam 2 "laps" around some buoys, ran straight up to transition, hopped on the bike for a 24 mile "social" ride and then ran about 6 miles which ended in the pitch black dark. ((Running in the dark could have been a real downer however.....upcoming story..."Being a Doug". You know when someone is known for something their name becomes sort of synonymous with that thing? One of my reader's husbands, Doug, was at the camp. He had a way of pointing out the silver lining in every situation. Being around someone who is so positive is unbelievably encouraging. I'm going to have to devote a whole post to this later on.)) We ate dinner, showered and collapsed into bed about 10pm. Although none of us slept, there was surprisingly little (read: NO) chit chat and talk going on. (Yet another thing that changes with age I guess.)
Saturday morning started with the alarms (we had all agreed on) at 5:30. We had a long day ahead of us which started with a mile warm up run, 10K race and a mile cool down. After breakfast we swam. Following some bike instruction we rode for 56(ish) miles. ((I think the little group I was with may have made some wrong turns at the end and cut it short a couple of miles, but we rode the last 10-15 miles in the pouring rain so surely that has to count for something.)) We finished the long ride by putting on soaking wet shoes to run 3 miles. After lunch and some awesome instruction on nutrition we had a nice short ride back to the camp where we ran a mile on a nice trail (even with the rain it really wasn't too muddy). The final workout before dinner was supposed to be 1000m relays, but I cut that WAY short along with many other campers. After dinner we had a panel discuss the road to IronMan---VERY INTERESTING information. Showers and even less talk ushered in the second night of fitful sleep.
Sunday morning someone flipped on our light before the alarms even went off. I'm glad I had the honor of being around Doug so much on Friday and Saturday or I might have been inclined to be something less than positive. I think that's all I have to say about that... Following some speed work instruction and a mile easy warm up, we had a mile of ...you guessed it... speed work. Okay....again....Doug was a significant influence on me here. That coupled with the fact I had chosen to wear an FCA Endurance team shirt (knowing I'd need to be reminded I run for God's glory on this final day of camp) had me focusing on the positive instead of wondering what kind of person would plan to have speed work on Sunday morning after all we had done the two previous days. What could be positive you might ask?? I'll save that for another post as well..... After breakfast and some more instruction we had a "non-racing" sprint tri. I'll say more about that later but for now let me say I finished feeling very strong. Showers, lunch, door prizes and FINISHERS SHIRTS rounded out the camp weekend.
It doesn't seem to sound like much in three short paragraphs....but I think this weekend was pretty life-changing for me. I don't want to make more of it than it was...but it was actually a lot more than I can put into words right now. I know I might always have bugs to work out in my brain as far as confidence goes, but I found myself thinking (and more importantly BELIEVING) "I CAN DO THIS" significantly more than any negative this weekend. The bike is the hardest leg for me, but seeing how far I've come in swimming has me "being a Doug" when it comes to the bike. ((By the way...I really can't wait to write up the "Being a Doug" post...stay tuned!))
Thanks for stopping in...come again soon!!
*Thanks to one of my Dixie Daredevil teammates for sharing her towel supply with me so I didn't have to dry off with my washrag!