Monday, July 18, 2011
CTS training camp and some lessons learned
So those who are in the know are aware that because after the last IMWI DNF I waited so long to sign up that I had to go to a Carmichael Training Systems camp in order to get an entry.
So last weekend on Friday was the first day of camp. I had to check in by 1pm for a swim in Monona. Once again, I had to take some time off of the job I have had less than a month. Even though I told my boss I needed days off as a triathlete, I never could have expected this. Very cool.
So I get to their host hotel on Dayton St with my bike (more on that later) and we all head down to Monona to swim in the lake. There was 10 of us and 4 coaches (more on the coaches later). The water was awesome. Perfect temp. I still hate the rocks and gravel at the end of the concrete ramp leading in. I just don't have Flintstone feet. That shit hurts.
We swam quite the distance. From Law Park down past the terrace and farther than where the IM buoys will be and back. We were in the water over an hour. My swim is what it is. I know I need to work on getting my hips up and pressing my chest farther down but unless I totally focus on it, I just swim like I always do. I'm not looking to make huge swim gains at this point. Just get in and get out alive. I still will focus really hard during the swim and try to stay long and rotate and pull water under my body and all that stuff. But the coaches were good at pointing out the defects in my swim. It felt good to swim solid for over an hour. I'm very convinced that I can swim the distance feel somewhat fresh out of the water.
Of course this had to be the weekend of my 25th class reunion and I needed to be back in Madison ready to ride the course by 7am. So Jenny and I went to the pre reunion party at a local watering hole coincidentally called The Watering Hole for a couple hours and saw some classmates I had not seen in 25 years. It was kind of fun and I really wanted to stay and hang out. But Ironman calls and I'm not missing this call. So I was home in bed by 10. I haven't had but only a couple drinks in Hawaii in the past 2 years and it doesn't bother me so I was good.
Up early and got myself there and ready to go. Having dropped off my bike Friday allowed their mechanic to go over my bike, fill my bottles, and have it ready to go for me. Pretty cool. We rode the stick and the loop and stopped every 20 miles and they provided GU products for us to use. I really liked the GU brew and the GU chomps. I think I may have to switch from Powerbar products. The ride went pretty well. I rode harder than I probably normally would as I didn't want to seem slow. Most of the ride was done at over 17MPH. We had 2 slow spots back in Madison in and out. I was pretty stoked. I have a lot of confidence about riding that course now. It doesn't seem as hard. After the ride they provided lunch and had a great talk on nutrition. The light bulb came on for me and I realized a few things.
1- I don't drink enough on the bike
2- I don't eat enough calories on the bike
3- I should be eating something right before going in the water and as soon as I get out
4- Water, water, water and less sports drink
I have tried a few things on my last couple long rides that have really helped. I eat more and more frequently and I drink 2 bottles per hour. One gatorade and one water. I have been feeling better and biking better.
And bonus their mechanic had cleaned my bike including the chain and lubing everything up.
After the ride and lunch and talk, some people paid extra to go have a swim stroke analysis done, but I didn't. I went home smiling and feeling AWESOME because I had just biked the course better than ever. I know the course now. I know where I can make up time and I know where to conserve energy. The compact crank I put on my bike and the 11/28 cassette worked well. The rest of the campers had tried to get me to come back to Madison at 6am to start running the course. I protested and agreed to 6:30am run. UGH.
So I got home and was feeling good. I got some fluids and relaxed and didn't go to my class reunion and instead I went to bed early.
Woke up the next morning EARLY (for me anyway) and went back to Madison to run. We all started as a group but I knew I would be falling back and I'm o.k. with that. I'm not a super runner. About 1/2 mile into the run on State Street, I see a young lady exiting an apartment still dressed in Saturday night's outfit with short skirt and heels and totally messed up hair and make up. WALK OF SHAME. I chuckled and was sure to make eye contact. She looked hungover bad. I laughed some more.
One of the coaches was biking and rode next to me for about 4 miles. It went by super fast. Pretty soon I was at 7 miles, then 10 and then at mile 11 I ran into some guys from the camp who thought they were lost and were walking. I stopped and talked to them and with about half mile to go I walked it in with them. I was very happy with how I ran. 11:30 per mile in almost 90 degree heat and I swear I could have turned around and ran the course again. Once again I was very happy.
Camp wrapped up with a tour of Monona Terrace and transition and another lunch and talk about race day logistics and pacing. And with that I now have my entry and as soon as I get the code I will be an official participant.
At first I thought these coaches were kind of a joke. I then took the time and looked them up and they are no joke. The girl who did the most talking has bachelors, masters, all sorts of coaching certificates and has coached some pros including Norman Stadler. She knows her stuff. Most of the other coaches have similar credentials. I picked up a few tips and I had a good experience. Worth the cost? Well I'm on the fence on that. It was very expensive but included the entry. I did get some tips, etc.
So I have a ton of confidence now. I need to work hard these next 2 months and get my endurance even better.