Friday, February 29, 2008

Greetings from Camp HTFU!

We have connected to a random interent connection from Ashley's house. The only thing you have to be sitting on the floor with the laptop pointed at just the right angle. For now it will do.

We have survived the first day. I am not so sure I want to sign up for this camp next year.

Yesterday Jen and I arrived in Charlotte to find Miss Mary and Leslie on loop #206 at the airport. They picked us up in something that looked like an armored vehicle but at least it had seats. The rest of the evening was spent assembling bikes. I might know how to use a torque wrench but that skill isn't much use if you don't know where to put it and how much to turn.

This morning we were at the pool at 8:30 am. Thanks to Pedergraham we were fully caffeinated and oatmealed up. Jen almost raged when she found the pool was short course yards and not the long course meters she was driving about. The pool workout was painful. Jen, Marit and Mary took one lane, Ashley, Leslie and I took another.

The workout was a mixed bag of free, IM, and pulling. There were 10 x 75 in there that almost made me throw up in my mouth but we made it through. Off to the bike shop to have nearly all of our bikes reassembled. Thanks to Carolina Triathlon for taking care of us and making us feel safe. I am still convinced however that my aerobars aren't straight. More coffee, a faked out George H. sighting (I think they just wanted to pre-fatigue me and see me spill my second cup of coffee). In the end, Jen and I decided it wasn't George because he would never be seen in pants like that.

On to the bike finally at 1 pm. Seriously! The weather didn't cooperate but at least it was not my basement. It was about 50 degrees and overcast. And who ordered the wind? Thirty minutes into the ride Mary had her 20th flat or something so she had to go back to the bike store and then ride alone. Mary was a trooper! The rest of us rode. HARD. For 2 hours. I don't know about anyone else but I was working my ass off while Marit was practically singing, hooting and shouting car back all in Zone 1. She is an ANIMAL. We all took turns pulling and basically soiling ourselves in the front, up hills, into the wind. Or at least that is how it was for me. Good times.

The one thing I didn't know about South Carolina is that it is mandatory to own a junkyard dog. Which has made me realize the BEST four words in the English language are "it's on a chain." If you want to reach a new peak power CP.2 you should ride in South Carolina by some junkyards.

I also found the four corners of hell today. You will find them when you are (1) ascending a hill into the wind, (2) a junkyward dog charging from the right, (3) with a school bus coming at you, and (4) a car back. And if you are lucky you also realize hell has five corners because you are also off the back playing your favorite game bridge the gap which is not such a good game to play while you are riding through the four corners of hell.

Three hours, 10 minutes and my toes were very very very cold. It was time to run. Except for Marit and Leslie who are training for IM Arizona and had another 10000 miles to go. The run hurt! How can it be 5 days later and I'm still feeling the duathlon? Finally made it back and then it began - the Jen Harrison meltdown in which she needed food NOW, took command of the van, went out to find Mary on her 45 minute run (talk about hard core), took Mary into the van and drove to the grocery store.

Once fed she settled down (sort of) then we waited for Marit and Leslie to finish their run in the dark and cold. They get the gold star for today! Leslie gets two for dancing in the parking lot when she finished her run.

We had some food and now we are finally done at.....9:18 pm. It was a long day and a hard day. But that's what camp is all about. I called Ness and she said there is some bad mouthing from those left behind....trust me, you don't want to be here! There is not your safe place! There are dogs and hills and......crazy women that are willing to ride fast, hard and long and if you drop your gel you will then get dropped with a band of angry foaming dogs at your back.

Honestly though it is all good times and tomorrow there will be many more. Everyone here says hi - Marit, Jen, Ashley, Mary, Leslie and if we can get on a connection tomorrow we'll update more.......

8 comments:

BreeWee said...

Thank you for updating us... blog land feels so weird with you all not in your normal home town talking about Boss, snow, Kids, sharks... you know! Have fun tomorrow- you guys are crazy!

Sally said...

Thank you for the update Elizabeth. Sounds hard+challenging+more. Hugs to the group. Sally

Beth said...

Oh man sounds like a blast!! (minus the junkyard dogs of course...although the backroads of PA have the same and I know, those dogs are tenacious and vicsious!!) Hope the weather at least warms up a little for you guys although 50 sounds like a dream! Hope days #2 and #3 are awesome!

Pedergraham said...

Bree is right. Blog land was lonely without you guys. I don't know what Boss or Tabbitha have been up to, how much snow the Harrisons had to shovel at 4am to make it to 5 am masters practice, what type of helicopter Nathaniel was flying in the green chair last night, what sort of hijinks Chris is up to in the feng-shued basement, how much fun sledding Mary's son and her husband are doing, plus no pictures of Ashley running outside in sunny 70s South Carolina weather!

Hope you guys get some nice sun and warm weather before you have to head back home!

IM Able said...

Find a connection tomorrow.

Because your coachees are enjoying every single little bit of this (pain). Every. Single. Little. Bit.

(wink)

Ness said...

I cannot even speak to you because you used the word "cold" in this blog entry. TWICE. Be safe and ride hard. I hope the weather "cooperates" for you today and tomorrow. It simply won't be helpful for those of us who are trying to stay warm vicariously if it's not warm over there.

Alicia Parr said...

Thanks for the report. Weather was nice up in NC and made it up to 60 with tons of sunhine by the end of my ride. There was wind, but it didn't bother me much since I stayed away from the front.

I also see you now have a good understanding of what I meant by "dog sprints" during my long IM training rides last summer. Big fun.

Kellye Mills said...

Gosh... sounds almost like my ride today... hills, chasing vicious dogs, etc! :) I just wish I was in the company of a group of awesome girls to share in the "fun"!

Have a blast, and let us know all about it when you can! :)