Thursday, July 5, 2012

(First Annual) Ironwomen Training Camp in Kona!

So I'm sitting here feeling immensely satisfied with how that training camp went last weekend... Of course it's over now and I've got a ton of other stuff to do (yikes I am way behind!) but I want to get some thoughts down about the experience while they are still relatively fresh in my mind.

Of course we all had an amazing time... Though seriously, who ever leaves a training camp and says "Nah that really wasn't very much fun..." Ha! Not us!

I flew over before the sun came up last Wednesday morning... rode 105 miles by myself and then finally got to meet Mary in person! She flew in a day early and helped me get everything ready for the rest of the girls. We checked into our sweet house- which was right off Ali'i Dr past the 4 mile marker- and then made a Costco run stocking up on all things fruit and vegetable while chatting like old friends.
Everyone else flew over Thursday morning... I didn't really try to kill anyone on Thursday as the first day of camp tends to be a bit nervous as everyone tries to get to know each other, etc... so we headed to Kealakekua Bay for an ocean swim... We were looking for dolphins and while many times this bay is full of them, we didn't find any. Still a superb swim though!

 Then we went for a run along what can only be described as the true road to hell. I'll say it was indeed peaceful out there but yikes if it didn't feel like an oven. Welcome to Hawaii!

Friday was the longest day of the camp... We were in the water at the pier swimming at 6:45AM. One thing I have to say I was super impressed with was the ability of these women to get it together and be totally on time for everything. No slacking or dragging ass in the mornings at all!
That swim may qualify as my favorite ocean swim of all time. Water was warm and clear and glassy... we got out to the King's buoy and did a bit of a regroup/assess where we were going and immediately spotted a group of spinner dolphins jumping and playing... so scrap the rest of the swim plan! We spent the next 20' totally just playing with those dolphins... There must have been 30-40 of them all around us. Magical! No one could swipe the goofy grins off our faces after that...
Then it was on to a long ride to Hawi and back. I think I did a good job of scaring the girls into fueling and pacing correctly... The eating started immediately post swim and pretty much didn't stop for the rest of the day. :)
It was a good day on the bike... winds picked up for sure and were near Honu levels... It was indeed scary at times but everyone did great and I only had to talk a few of them off the ledge... and had one rather serious #quitbeingapussy #yourestrongerthanyouthink talk that resulted in a major breakthrough in confidence. :) I think that's really what these weekends are about.
Funny little story here... Thursday afternoon I did a little basic bike maintenance clinic with the girls (which is funny if you have ever seen the state of my bike- do as I say, not as I do...) But one of the things we talked about was changing a flat tire... everyone said they were totally comfortable doing it except Mary who assured me she didn't need to know b/c her husband always takes care of that kind of thing... Lol. Madam Pele had something else to say about that though and Mary got her practice ~85 miles into the Friday ride. Good news! She is now capable of changing her own flat tire. :)
So 116 miles later we rolled into our driveway. I was seriously impressed with how everyone held up. That was NOT an easy day.

I'd say everyone went to bed early but really we all just laid around with our iPads and laptops. What would camp be without bunk beds??

Saturday morning again came early as we were off to Hapuna Beach for an ocean swim race! It was only a mile but it was a good solid effort for sure! Gotta love these Big Island show up and sign up races they don't even charge you for... We came away thinking that these Big Island girls can swim! It was highly competitive. We held our own though and 4 of us came away with age group placings. Oahu girls can swim too. :)

I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little worried about the upcoming run... Jennifer (our awesome massage therapist/sag for the weekend!) was driving the van and dropped us off on the Queen K (about 7 miles from the airport) and it was time to run home. Yep. 10:30AM start running along that desolate highway... We piled on the sunscreen (I tried to tell Elizabeth that one coat of Planet Sun would be sufficient but she went ahead and applied 4 anyway! ;) and headed off.
I think a good thing about having a fairly high level of fear about a workout (or group of workouts) is that you respect it/them enough to really fuel and pace correctly... and then it is never really as bad as you think it might be. It was hot and we had a headwind most of the way but in good news Jennifer was driving the van and stopped every few miles for us so we could dump ice in our bras and refill our bottles. Seeing that white van up along the side of the road was like a beacon... we laughed about it being a mirage... but really it was perfect to be so supported the whole way. The worst part was arriving at our street at mile 18.5 and having to go an extra 3/4 mile past the house and back... but the determination to make that damn garmin say "20" was high and we did it!

The carnage...

Evening massages, a great home cooked meal, and a view like this helped with recovery for sure...

Sunday morning we slept in an extra 1/2 hour or so and then headed out to ride the South Loop... beautiful route that is definitely worth doing if you're in Kona. Lots of climbing there basically from sea level to ~1500 ft back to sea level back to ~1500 ft. This ride was pretty mellow just get it done kind of thing... including a nice little stop at a cute little coffee shop along the way.
A 7ish mile brick run into "The Pit" finished off the day and as Nalani and I sometimes do, we ended up drilling it (and each other!) there toward the end... progressing down to a pace I held for an open 5K over the winter. So ya, after that it was like stick a fork in me...

Or give me a martini.

Monday morning was on the mellow side... couple pots of coffee... jog down to the pier... another successful search for dolphins... more good coffee/conversation... and an acai bowl from Basik. A perfect finish to the long weekend! :)

I think universally the girls flew away from Kona knowing that they are indeed capable of WAY more than they ever thought. I spent the whole weekend being so proud of all of them. That kind of training is no joke but they handled it all so well. I'm already looking forward to next year! I'm thinking it'll probably be later in the summer next year... probably August so mark your calendars and let me know if you're interested! I liked the small group b/c it is easier to manage so I am going to limit the group to 6 again... I'll also keep it 'all-inclusive' meaning I'll rent the house and car and do the meals, etc. Those logistics worked out really well. It was indeed everything I imagined it could be and I can't wait to do it again! :)

13 comments:

Iron Krista, "The Dog Mom" said...

mememememememe!

Kathy said...

This sounds awesome. but does anyone do crazy epic training camps for Oly racers? :-)

TriGirl Kate O said...

I want to swim with dolphins! Riding to Hawi and back...uh, not so much.

mtanner said...

So far me and Krista are in!
Awesome recap! LOVED IT SO MUCH and esp meeting you!

TriGirl Kate O said...

I want to swim with dolphins!!! That ride to Hawi....uh, no thanks!

Rebecca DeWire said...

Swimming with those dolphins sounds like the most amazing experience ever!!! Sounds like an awesome camp.

Run Gunn Run said...

Sounds amazing! I reeeeaaaaallllly hope I'll be able to join! It's on my calendar!

Damie said...

first of all- congrats on an awesome camp. I KNOW the girls had to have enjoyed it and came away with a lot. I know you did a good job. I just know ;) Also, um, you are going to CRUSH your IM. I am just saying. xo

mmmonyka said...

You indeed showed a lot of love to those girls:)
Sounds like you had a lot of fun!!!!

My calendar is marked for next year and I am going even if I had to swim over from Cuba or cross the desert from Mexico:)

tejasrunnergirl said...

So fun! Love the pictures and I'm sad to say my fear of missing out was justified. :)

Oh. And your shoulders are ridonkulous.

That is all.

Angela and David said...

Sounds fabulous! Nice work pulling it off. I'm sure it must be exhausting to coordinate such an event.

Katie said...

oh wow. i want to come oh please I want to come but plane tickets from halfway around the world might stop me. this sounds amazing!!

Kiet said...

All I can say is Whew! on the dolphins, easy to come through on promises like tons of mileage and hard training days, but dolphins, that's a whole another story. Glad to see the first annual camp work out so well!