Thursday, August 13, 2009

camp day 1 & 2

i haven't even gotten to the great training j. and i did for s.o.s. last sunday and already i have to skip ahead and tell you about now!

i'm in chicago training with liz, andrea and danni for a few days. we all arrived in chicago yesterday afternoon and we off and running ... literally.

i've met liz a few times before, but i know danni and andrea only from their blogs and facebook. they are both surprisingly what i would have imagined, awesome! i felt immediately at ease with them both as we got our stuff together and jumped in the odd s c and headed toward the wisconsin border to meet up with jen h. and swim at her wednesday night LITH (lake in the hills) swim and run. it's an informal gathering of triathletes. everyone is at different levels and have different goals. you can swim as much as you want and if you want to run a hilly 5k or 10k there is a fantastic marked course.

before we got to LITH we stopped off at trader joe's. i was in search of buckwheat cereal for the morning and everyone else wanted a little sumthin' sumthin' before hitting the water. never have i seen an elf swing a left turn off of the cereal aisle so fast as when she realized there was a coffee dispenser one aisle over. i was afraid she'd roll an ankle in her pursuit of a pre-swim boost. 

there were a few stare downs as i traipsed through the store in my one piece tri suit (folded over my hips, of course, rocker orange t-shirt and flip flops). i think i went from airplane to liz's to minivan to trader joe's so quickly that it hadn't quite sunk in that i was in the midwest and maybe i ought to show a little more ... midwest discretion.

buckwheatless we left and drove the run course. 
"lake in the hills", cat. 
right ... what was i expecting, flat?

andrea, liz and danni were planning on circling the entire lake twice for a total of two miles. i decided i would do an out and back swim for a half mile (shoes stuffed in drawers, of course), run the 5k and then jump back in for another half mile swim.

before the swim we hung out with jen a bit, met angela and scoped out the lake. before i knew it, we were off. i stayed on some feet for a bit and then as usual started futzing about with my sighting, essentially losing any chance of staying in anyone's draft. all i knew was to head to the last "buoy" (basically a pull buoy tied to some rope) and to make sure to not swim off the dam. HUH???!!!

andrea, me (in said questionable outfit), jen, danni & liz

i went out on the run while the rest of 'em were swimming. i was a little intimidated about running since i tend to not feel so hot training-wise when i travel, but pretty soon into the run my legs were there. it was warmer out than i am used to and evening instead of dawn, but it felt pretty good. i loved where i was running. i loved watching the dappled sun coming through the trees and seeing the folks out on their lawns. i've lived in big cities my whole life, but often think i'd be happy living a life surrounded by green trees, lakes, and little country roads.

i was pleased with my run time and jumped back in the lake for my second swim. we all finished up about the same time. washed the goose poop off our bodies as best we could and headed off to noodles. where we ate noodles (duh) and froze our wet-haired buns off!

then it was another 2 or 3 stores in quest of buckwheat cereal until it was obtained. we rolled into liz's, showered and collapsed. i was joined by maybe the cutest bed partner (after j. and fraidy of course). see for yourself ...

bossman waterstraat, in all his cute cha-hooah-hooah glory!

today it was fill our bellies, digest, go to the track for drills and a surprise two all out 800's. OUCH! it was hot, there was no shade ... it was "track". but ya know what? it was some of the best time i've ever spent on that blasted oval. liz filmed all three of us, watched us run and took notes, and encouraged us. (pictures later).

when we were done we sat down and went over what she noticed. not surprisingly, i have a weak core and it shows up in my running. the great thing about the time on the track was that it became clear that we were all there with a genuine desire to learn and improve. we cheered each other on and, as far as i'm concerned, there is nothing like a few great women shouting at me to motivate me through that last painful 50 meters.

later on we went swimming in a place that i am not sure i can accurately describe. instead i'll just show you pictures. 

way over to the right there are some 50 meter lap lanes

i learned that i don't rotate my hips. i knew that, but there's nothing like someone who's opinion you trust looking at you and saying "yup, you don't rotate". liz gave me what sounded like a simple enough drill to do and sent me on my way. yeah, notsomuch. i proceeded to completely humiliate myself in front of some pre-pubescent boys and girls bopping in and out of our lane. i continually jammed my fingers into the lane line and almost took out both danni and andrea as they swam by. but liz stuck with me, suggested a few things, walked along helping my body to feel what my mind wanted it to do and at the end of our hour there i can honestly say there was some progress. it left me breathless and wanting to hurl after 25 meters, but i'll stick with it and build some endurance with the new stroke and some new pathways to my brain!!

there may have been some coffee consumed to get us from the swim to the next activity on the list: a ride through the arboretum. man was it beautiful! closed to traffic, nice sweeping roads, beautiful green everywhere!! liz narrated our tour and next time promised to wear a p.a. system on her back so that those of us in the back can follow along in learning about the different programs that take place on the grounds.

liz had a longer ride to do so andrea, danni and i headed home ... i believe with the intention of getting dinner started. we did our best to think about it, but no actual progress was made. i think we were all still unsure if perhaps we might need to bust out a fourth discipline or whether we were just going to fall asleep ... too tired to eat. once again, liz and all her energy saved us as she walked in the door and infused us all with a second wind and a scrumptious dinner was rustled up.

this post is way too long, but then again ... we've done A LOT in just a little over 24 hours. tomorrow we're starting out with a brick in the infamous fermilab and i've heard rumor of a mall outting. swim/bike/run i can handle, but swim/bike/run/shop? i may have to switch from tea to coffee for this one!



Mama Simmons said...

You write good blogs when you take time sit sit down and write! :) Glad you're having a great week! I'm on the plane... Getting ready to take off and leave my island... Wine and Ambien kicking in... Yay for good weekends! :)

ADC said...

Fun, fun, fun :)))

Jennifer Harrison said...

YAY we had fun on Wed PM - great seeing you, as always!!! :) ENJOY the rest of the weekend, the weather is amazing for here!

Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

Hey Cat - I don't think you realize how funny you are. I LOVE reading your blogs! Sounds like a really great time - that run sounds awesome. Just the woods, sun-filtered through trees, and the lake. Aaahhhhh - the midwest. And YES, I can attest to the fact that 1) I would have worn the same thing to TJ's and 2) it's probably a little too much over-the-top for the non-CA-stylin' Midwestern folk.

Happy training and GOOD LUCK with the shopping!

Beth said...

Yay fun!!! Hope the brick went well today...and! :) Can't wait to hear about the rest of camp!

IAN said...

Sounds like a whirlwind start. Keep it up

Charisa said...

Sounds awesome!! And you guys are having a blast :) LOVE IT!