After an early morning TRX workout led by Trish, the girls and I packed up and headed to the airport. It was bittersweet I must say. Yes, I was ready to sleep in my own bed and ready for a day of recovery. But on the flipside, it’s time to re-enter the real world. The daily grind, if you will. The daily grind is so very different for each of the girls which is what makes coming together as one such an amazing experience. Everyone’s goals, life, race schedule, abilities were all so different, yet we all shared one thing in common – a love for triathlon.
As cliché as it may sound, I have returned home feeling like a new person. This camp was literally a “once in a lifetime” experience. The generosity of Jim to put this camp together and the time Cliff spend with us are irreplaceable. The cards and gifts we’ve given and no amount of “thank you’s” can come close to justifying our gratitude.
First and foremost, I feel rejuvenated. Looking back, I realize how bad I needed a “week off” from life. I talk a lot about how much I love everything I do in my crazy life, but the reality of it is that it can be exhausting. I wouldn’t want to be forced to give any of it up, but a week off every now and again is sure nice! I also return excited to share what I’ve learned with my athletes and to build on the fitness I gained during camp. This week is a recovery week and Saturday kicks off with some sort of mystery hill repeat test set. I can only imagine!
Secondly, I am in awe. I spent the week hearing the accomplishments of the girls surrounding me – most of the time with my jaw to the floor. From being recruited to complete in the Olympics to sub 10 hour Iron-women. To one girl that will head to the Olympic marathon trials in Houston running a sub 2:40 marathon to (several) others who can swim 100’s on 1:00 like it’s a jog in the park. Girls who are turning in sub 16 minute 5k’s to others who swim Ironman in sub 53 minutes. Girls who can ride Mt. Lemmon much faster than I can (or at least when I can’t breathe) and girls who have finished on the podium at Kona. These are honestly just a few of the examples I can think of and I’m certain there are so many accomplishments that weren’t discussed. So awesome to be in such company!
I also feel realistic. I have always been a “good” athlete…never the absolute best, but always successful at my endeavors whether I was playing softball and volleyball earlier in my life or as a runner and triathlete later in life. Early on when I started doing triathlon, I thought I’d like to pour myself into the sport to see what I was made of. Over the years though, I’ve learned that the reality is there are so many far more talented girls out there (hence the previous paragraph). Camp has solidified that I’m 100% okay with being a “pretty good” triathlete. My aspirations are not to be the next Chrissie Wellington (don’t get me wrong, that would be awesome) but I realize that’s never going to be the case, and I can rest my head at night perfectly happy with what I’m able to accomplish.
Lastly, I feel pretty stinkin’ drained. My body doesn’t feel as physically exhausted as I thought it would…I just feel drained. Here in Charlotte, I chose to do a lot of my training alone because so much of my work day requires me to be “on.” My training is “my time” where I can reflect and unwind and collect and organize my thoughts. Having been group training for the last week has been an awesome change of pace, but also different than what I’m used to. In addition to the quantity of training, the chatting, laughing, coordinating, arriving on time, remembering your room key, your chapstick, your phone, etc, etc, etc for a week straight was somewhat exhausting. Day to day life is a well-oiled machine that doesn’t require as much energy to operate. Coupled with a (to-remain-nameless) snoring roommate that limited my usual 9-10 hours of rest, and I’m officially spent.
So that wraps up the week in Tucson. I am so happy to come home a better coach, a more fit and experienced athlete, and with a few more friends! I’m looking forward to following all of the girls throughout the season and hope to cross paths with some of them on the racecourse! Thank you Jim, Cliff, TJ, Sean, Damon, Kelly, Meghan, Trish, Gwen, Laura, Sarah, Amie, Melissa, and Jennifer for a week I’ll never forget!