Well there is so much to say and since it's been a good 10 days I will do my best to post the highlights and not babble on too much! ( haha, good luck)
I went into camp with some fears, fears about my ability to do all the work and fears of having Rich come pick me up bc i couldnt finish camp. I had to let those rest and accept that i could do camp, if i just did the work, nobody was coming to camp to win. ( Ben Won, by the way, we are getting his trophy as we speak. More on that later)
Day one was a Butt kicker. We met at Tri Sports and off we went, waiting a bit bc Amy's bike was not ready, etc. but that let the temps warm up a bit ( yay) and we got to digest our breakfast and eat again ( me) before we even hit the roads. We had the awesome staff of Tri sports including their owner "Seton" riding with us. Funny story there, for later ( see this isnt going to be short) but we were off towards Madera Canyon. ( NO "i" in Madera people) I was THRILLED. This was the first ride i ever did when i came down to Green Valley to visit Rich before we were even married. He took me up that canyon ( its about 10 miles from where we stay with my mother in law) so i knew the climb were were taking on DAY 1 was gonna bust a few butts, mine included. Just getting to Green Valley from TriSports was a ride for most of us who had barely been on our bikes. Natural Selection had us into 2 groups after about mile 10 and we regrouped a bit along the way, the entire time Tri sports sagged us and that was SO AWESOME. nobody got dropped or left behind bc The TS van had our tails. ( Yes can you see that i was in the backgroup?) ha:)
When we got to Madera Canyon road i was with Elizabeth and Kari and Liz turns to me " are we climbing?" You bet we are. And up we went. Its not too bad till you get into the canyon, and the last 3 miles to the top make Lemmon seem like a downhill ride. Kari was a 100Yds ahaed of me, And my honey Rich had joined us, he and Liz were right behind me, and JEnny and Amy were back there too. I seriously hit my MAX HR and was having a total asthma attack...20 feet from the top. Kari had pulled off into a parking turn around not knowing we were that close, and i knew we were close but i think i was having a " I HATE JEN.I AMDYING. MOMENT."
Kari " are we almost there."
Me ( WHEEZE WHEEZE WHEEZE) " I CANT TALK RIGHT NOW."
Kari " ARe you ok?"
Me " NO."
Kari " are you going to be ok?"
Funny, we made it the last 2o feet to the top:) And we rode down and home. Now home means back to Tucson. So tho we got some free miles downhill ( maybe 20 or so) we still had a good 25 to get home. Kari and i took our time and decided ( well not really, we were like 200 feet behind a group of 5 and i am not sure why we got there, but we just stopped to take our jackets off or something and could NOT catch them) so we were with the Tri sports van the entire way home. Thanks to Kari for pulling my sorry MN legs, and trust me, we exchanged a few of our favorite lines ( those lines were not our favorite after we rode with Jimmy later on) " THIS SUCKS. BARF." and things along that line. And yes only in Tucson and Green Valley can you have a headwind out adn a head wind back.
Note: Green Valley is higher than Tucson, its like a bowl, and Green Valley is on the southern edge, and Tucson is in the middle. So you can start the day with winds in your face, and midday the winds are in your face again. nice.
We survived and Seton hopped on with us about 5 miles from Tri Sports. I didnt know what his name was and when i finally got it " YES SETON. Like SETON HALL." I of course said "or like SEAT POST." then i went on to say i was expecting more of a retail storefront. What i meant was i didnt expect it to be a warehouse. I really had no idea they stocked it all there. And so when i got there i was expecting more of a commmercial retail ( aka Sports mart) type location. It's not. Its not a place people would just stop by if they didnt know it was there. And when Seton said " I think we have a pretty competitive retail space" I think i then realized he was someone. Yup. the Owner. Oops. Sorry, i meant no offense but after 80 miles on day 1 i think i am entitlted to a few oops moments. Lovely place, lovely people, and a great retail space! Really!
Jimmy Ricitello spoke to us all after we did a T run and had lunch. I had no idea who he was/is, so sorry if i wasnt all " starstruck." but after talking to him, and listening to his funny stories, and down to earth look at Triathlon and being a USAT Ref, i was giggling and laughing at the goofiness of this sport. And how fun it was to share that day with my friends.
JImmy joined us again up Lemmon and the commentary got even better.
I wont go on and on about each day, i promise, but Lemmon deserves some commentary as well. Yes we ran in there and did a swim that was my longest swim ever....less than 12 hours before we had to get up to climb Lemmon, that wasnt pretty, but i kept saying "do the work."
So Lemmon. I have to tell you that climb does not get any easier. We had good winds and good temps, so that part was nice. But when you are geared out in mile 1 riding a 12-23 it makes you really think you need a 25 or 27 or a compact crank sometime in the future. or an all carbon or Ti bike. Anyways ...rich was able to get up to Tucson to ride with us for this as well, which was nice. I wasnt sure how he would do, but he did great. Hanging on with me til nearly the tip top. I think he figured that i could order his cookie and have it waiting.
Jimmy rode ( backwards) with us for the first 6miles and talked nonstop. It was hilarious. When he heard that Rich was an oral surgeon he had some things to talk to him about and all i heard from behind was Rich saying " yes, ok, uh-huh. really? Yes, i know, yes, yes." When they were done i said to Rich " so did you help him?" And Rich said " i think he talked it all out, and figured it out for himself." too funny. That is how Jimmy rolled. And roll away he did about mile 6...darn there goes our entertainment. At mile 14 we had a quick stop and he rode with us some more. Stories of Lance and other things not fit for the blog, kept us going till about mile 19-20 when he went back down ( seriously) to check on Jen and Kari. all was fine, and he danced on the pedals past me and Rich to see who was up ahead. ( EVERYONE) Julie H had already shredded her rear derailleur ( animal) so she was not up there but Erik was in my sights and I was hoping to catch him, but no luck.
He and Julie were so fun to hang with. I have never really been with them other than for the usual " Hey Jules, good race, way to kick my ass on the bike," talk and to feed Erik cupcakes:) haha, ( I know you are reading) but i am not sure i can find Paleo cupcakes you two!
So when i got to the top of Lemmon I was so happy. It was hard, and i knew i would make it, but i had had some medial Quad tightness leading into camp and after the day 1 ride I had some lateral quad issues ( I blame this on the DUMB BENTO BOX, my legs are too long so i hit the thing when i ride, so i then ride more on the outside of my feet, ie using my lateral quad more)
so i ditched the bento and dont know if i can use that for my IM, which presents an problem for another day. But i made it and now the only work was to descend. Yippee!!!
We had a cookie ( well actually we scored, getting the oatmeal raisin, not the choco chip which got poor reviews) and then put some warmer clothes on that we really didnt need since it was 60 at the top, and headed down.
This is at Windy Point, 14 miles from the base. I met up with super descender Rich and we checked on Kari who was rocking the road, just being safe and smart and headed on down. Around mile 9 Rich had stopped. He had 2 bee's in his jersey, they got into his bibs and stung him. Luckily he was able to stop and not go down. YIkes. he had two welts for the entire rest of our trip but was ok! Descend with a closed jersey people!
We got home ok and Kari and i ran ( short and sweet) but we ran and then it was day done! What do we do now? We help rich put the bikes in the back of the car bc we are done riding and he can take them down to Green Valley. What a sport. We hung out with The cool nice people from Chicago, Dean and Russ and??? not sure who they are but they are from the midwest so they had to be nice, and then it was Blanco time! Rich had to go home to get the car back to his mom, but what a nice day, thanks everyone for welcoming my hubby to the camp that day!
And maybe this is a note for Kari but dont fret the descent. The first year i raced my bike ( um only like 5 years ago) I was such a chicken descending. I am finally not afraid ( not totally true) but it takes time to learn to descend and to learn how to take corners, etc...its fun but heck living where we do we dont do it much:)
Not sure but we all look like we need to go to bed, other than Glen who rode with his phone locked to his side, i was so afraid he would drop it! He had lots of business to do:)
Not sure why Kari and i decided to model our half full beers, and Liz in the background looking like we feel " um 1/2 a drink is fine, check please, i am tired." Food was great as always at Blanco! Such a neat place. I am curious if i went there having not climbed lemmon if i would think the place had bad food, ha!
Last day was all about survival, A shorter run at another trail then a shorter swim of 3000( thank you jen!) and then it was home for most of us. some had to skip the swim due to travel issues but to swim outdoors one more time was worth any fatigue we had.
I have pretty much used up your "break time" for a blog, so here are a few more pics and the commentary from the after party is this:
Rode alot more. Ran alot more. Swam 1x in a heated pool in GreenValley that was 90 degrees and i got out after 2500 so i didnt get heat stroke. Temps were well into the 90's each day ( this was when JH had her 2nd camp) and i felt for those campers! I did get a chance to drive up to Tri sports to see Kate, Melissa, Jamie, And meet some others. They were doing great! And tri sports sold them some salts, that is for sure.
I didnt get any pics of Ben, but Ben is a rock. What a good solid athlete, and more tolerant of things than i can imagine. Kari and i named Ben the winner of camp. Our criteria is subjective, sort of like the Oscar's but we think Ben won Camp. Always a kind or enocouraging word, and even on email he stands tall, does the work, and doesnt complain. Yay Ben. Your trophy is in the mail. ( not really)
Rich and I had a blast with his mom and we were very sad to come home to our backyard piled high still with snow. Thanks for reading :)
Kari and I contorted around the Sabino Canyon Rock:
Jerome feels like death but still takes a good picture:)
Recovery day ride, to Tubac, 40 miles round trip with a LONGCOFFEE stop!
Recovery done, thursday was Aravaca Road day. We bet we would see 5 Border patrols, 1 bus of "campers" being taken back to Nogales and 5 open range cows on the roadside. We didnt see the bus this time but we had a great ride, pulling in some LT intervals along the way and a quick stop at the Gadsen Coffee house where somehow the drinks still have prices that harken back to the 1990's. Maybe they didnt get the memo from Starbucks and Caribou that each drink should cost $5. Thank heavens for shade grown coffee:) according to the sign!