Although I had no races in the schedule for June, it proved to be a busy month of training and work. When my work stress increases, I have to be able to manage my training stress better. I had a lot of prospect meetings this month so I was appreciative of a 13.5 hour training week for the first week in June.
That weekend, I went up to Greenville to see coach Karel and get a new saddle and bike fit. I had been on the same saddle for 4 years so it was clearly worn out and uncomfortable. Karel fit me with a Dash saddle, and did a whole new bike fit to make me more aero. He was able to get me down lower on the bike and raise the aero bars to further close off the gap between my head and chest. The new bike fit feels great, and I can’t wait to see if there’s a speed improvement at my next race!
The following week was another busy work week packed with meetings, and then 13.5 hours of training. I’ve started to track my menstrual cycle using the new feature on Garmin Connect. This week it told me I was in my luteal phase, where hormones would make thermal regulation a bit more difficult. Well, that’s certainly what happened as I felt overly hot and sweaty for all of my workouts. It wasn’t a pleasant feeling! That weekend, I was asked to be a “celebrity swimmer” at an event put on by Subway and Easterseals of SC to teach autistic children water skills. It was a real honor and surprise to be asked, and it was really heartwarming to see the kids playing in the water. I was interviewed by the local news station WOLO, and the segment aired at 11pm that night. I never saw it, and they haven’t posted it online, but my dad recorded it so one day I’ll get to see it.
For the third week in June, my crazy schedule (and my period) caught up with me and made me have a few crappy workouts. Travelling for 2 weekends in a row (one to Greenville, the other out and about in Irmo and Columbia all day) robbed me of the few hours of downtime that I normally get to recharge at home. To help manage my mental and physical fatigue, I skipped two of my optional workouts – red boxes in Training Peaks – but I’ve learned from my coaches that we need to listen to these cues and not beat ourselves up about missing a workout here and there. I knew it was something that I needed to do for myself to bounce back and be fresh and ready for TriMarni endurance camp on June 26-30!
TriMarni Endurance Camp 2019
TriMarni Endurance Camp started on Wednesday, June 26th. I worked in the morning and drove up to the Swamp Rabbit Inn in Greenville that afternoon. The other campers travelled in from all over the country – Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio, California, Kansas, and Pennsylvania. We had an easy social ride that afternoon, which is a great chance for everyone to test their bikes and work out any kinks before the big workouts started the next day.
On Thursday, we started the day with a 90 minute swim at the pool at Furman University. The coaches worked us hard and I got some invaluable tips on my stroke. This is what I look forward to the most at camp – my coaches seeing me work out in person and giving me those pointers I need to improve. The swim was quickly followed by a run around the Furman campus. This workout focused on running strong uphill, fast downhill, then recovering with Fatigue Based Run Form (FBRF). We did 4 loops that included the Furman hill and an out-and-back to the bell tower. It was tough! After a 90 minute break to clean up a refuel, we headed out on our bikes for 2.5 hour bike workout focused on terrain management. Did I mention that we’re in the middle of a heat wave? This workout was super hot and hard. We did out and backs on Tugaloo Rd., perfect for learning how to manage hills and then pick up speed on the backside. We followed that up with a big gear climb up Paris Mountain. Oooft! I went hard, and by the time we got back to the Swamp Rabbit Inn, I couldn’t fathom how we could get up the next day and do it all again.
Friday started off with a 3 hour bike ride out to the “pink loop”, a quiet 4.85 mile loop with sharp right turns and lots of hills. For the first loop, we rode easy to familiarize ourselves with the terrain. On the second loop, we rode at race pace. For me, that’s Olympic race pace so I went pretty hard. Coach Karel followed me for most of this lap and gave me pointers. I think he’s pretty pleased with the new bike fit, and he says I’m riding really strong and making the right gearing choices. The 3rd lap was a reset lap to prepare us for the 4th loop, a time trial (TT) effort. I went really hard and fast on the last loop, but I was actually faster on my 2nd loop than my 4th (14:58 vs. 15:14). Oh well! Once we got back to the Swamp Rabbit Inn, we launched straight into a 30 minute brick run on the Swamp Rabbit Trail. So hot! And so happy that the Swamp Rabbit Inn had a cute little pop up pool for us to jump in afterwards. After 90 minutes to refuel, we went back to the Furman pool for a 90 minute endurance swim. It was so nice to be in the pool on such a hot day!
Saturday, we headed out on our 5+ hour endurance ride. This included about 2.5 hours of riding out to Tryon, NC, where we would start the big climb up Saluda grade. Unfortunately, our ride to the mountain included 4 dropped chains, 3 flat tires, and 2 dropped bottles (both mine). Safe to say we were spending more time on the side of the road than anticipated! I was excited to get to the climbing part. For me, there’s something meditative about climbing a mountain on your bike. There’s no going fast. You have to settle into a sustainable effort and just keep plugging away. It took me lots of bonks on mountains to get to this mindset, but now I love settling into sub-10mph and taking however long it takes to get to the top. While we rode at our own pace, everyone in our group finished within 10 minutes of each other. Then, we got to ride down Watershed back into South Carolina and back to the Swamp Rabbit Inn. I was pretty grumpy in the last 5 miles – every bump was excruciating, and I was hating the heat – but I tend to be the same way in a race so I knew I’d feel better once I was off the bike. Off the bike and straight into a 30 minute, race pace brick run. I’m happy that my body felt good, and I feel like I did some good efforts on that run. Of course, it was straight into the pool with all my teammates once we finished. Thanks Swamp Rabbit Inn! With close to 6 hours of working out done for the day, we got to relax a bit before the pizza party that night.
Sunday, the last day of camp. Writing this now, I wonder how we got through it but it’s amazing what our bodies can do! Our Sunday workouts were at Lake Jocassee, 45 minutes away from Greenville. We did a 60 minute, race-specific open water swim in the beautiful, clear, cool waters of the lake. Then, we had a very tough, hilly, 90 minute building run. Oooft, I didn’t know if I could do it but my final interval was strong and I felt great! One thing I’ll take from this camp is to not doubt myself. My body came round over and over again when I thought I couldn’t do anymore. Next time I feel horrible in a race, I’ll have to remember this.
Overall, camp was awesome. I highly recommend the TriMarni camps. The coaches will push you but also keep an eye on you so you are safe. The campers are great. I really loved every minute with my camp buddies. And although the 4.5 days are physically exhausting, they are mentally refreshing for me.