2014 Slowtwitch Womens training camp: part 2

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Day four: After the last couple of three-workout days, it was nice to have just a longish bike ride on the schedule. We planned to do the dam ride from last year, with a couple of ladies adding more miles and a few adding less. But everyone headed out for at least something:

2014camp-GroupRideGail was kind enough to snap some photos of the initial riding, before she and Mindy peeled off. Here’s yours truly climbing the hill:

2014camp-HillclimbWe re-grouped at the top and bid farewell to Gail & Mindy. I took a few photos at the next regroup point. You gotta love riding in the desert:

2014camp-RideScenery2 2014camp-RideScenery

At this point, we bid farewell to Susan and Christina, who embarked on some epic climbing (more on that later.) And then there were six… The road out to the dam is rolling and has a bit more traffic than normal, so we spread out a bit more and rode our own pace. There wasn’t quite as much wind as last year, so this section was definitely easier.

Last year, Kristi had to walk a section of the climb up to the dam, but this year she made it up with ease. (In fact, everyone did.) We paused on the top for a picture:

2014camp-DamRideGroupShot

And then headed in to see if the store was open. It wasn’t, but there was this rad fish statue that I wanted a picture with:

2014camp-FishMe

Which led to a series of silly photos…2014camp-FishMcGee 2014camp-FishMyriam 2014camp-FishKristiAnd some even sillier photos. I think that poor fish is going to need counseling.

2014camp-FishDoubleUpThen it was back out the way we’d come. When we reached our initial turn-off point, we had some decisions to make. We could see a McDonalds on the highway that goes through the valley, so most of us opted for that. Suzanne bid us farewell and headed back to the house. (And then there were five… )

It was a nice quick descent down to the valley floor. Before we knew it, we were pulling into the McDonalds parking lot. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any outdoor tables, so we had a little sidewalk picnic:

2014camp-McDpicnicI’m sure the local denizens were quite surprised to see five females clad in lycra come into the place and order a ton of junk food. We even gained a mascot for the ride home:

2014camp-Mascot

To get back, we had to ride along the highway for a little while, but thankfully, there was a nice wide shoulder. When we turned off, we had a fair amount of false flat (a gradual hill that appears to be flat road and is completely dispiriting to ride). Kristi was flagging and, despite her urging us to go on ahead, I opted to ride with her. I wasn’t feeling particularly ambitious and it was much more fun with company. We regrouped with the other ladies at some point – they opted to add some more riding while we headed back toward the house. The miles went much easier than yesterday without the crazy wind, and we chit-chatted easily as we rode along.

Meanwhile, the other ladies had seen a hilarious sign “Back in, Lights Out” and posed with it. We’re very serious athletes, as you can clearly see:

2014camp-BackInLightsOutWhen we got back to the house, Kristi and I decided to go for a short brick run down the driveway/road, despite the strong temptation of homemade guacamole. Gail and Mindy joined us and we headed out. When we got to the bottom, the other three members of our group were passing by en route to a little more punishment, I mean fun. (Not even the guacamole could deter them!) I had them strike a heroic pose before we bid them adieu:

2014camp-RideReturnThe four of us on foot headed back to the house for a shower and to eat ALL THE THINGS. (Poor guacamole never saw it coming… ) Our heroic trio joined us and we all cleaned up/ate/relaxed. We went and took the bikes apart and got them packed up. Then headed back to the house for dinner. But Susan and Christina were still out on their epic ride. We’d gotten texts from them, so we knew they were okay, but they’d been out for about eight hours at this point. I got the bright idea to head down with a couple of beers to meet them. Gail and I were the first ones out and saw them coming up the road. They looked tired, but were laughing and joking as they walked toward us. Their faces lit up when they saw the beer like a couple of kids at Christmas, so I was pretty pleased that I’d thought of it:

2014camp-RideHerosA group watched Monty’s video of the first Ironman in Kona and I hung out with the conquering heroes to hear about their adventures. (I’ve seen that video a few times already.) The margaritas were already flowing, so Susan had to play a little catch-up. I couldn’t resist getting a picture of her double-fisting it with Monty’s 2.5 year old son, Wyatt in the background:

2014camp-DoubleFistingAfter everyone had a chance to eat and clean up, we got things set up for the gear exchange. This is becoming one of my favorite parts of camp. It’s fun to see what people bring and awesome to have stuff that’s been kicking around your house go to a good home. As I was contemplating the items that were left and musing over whether a tri top from tiny Gail would fit me, the other Michele (aka McGee) pointed out that I had small boobs and it would probably fit me. I, of course, responded with faux outrage and the rest of the group joined in. This led to me putting the tri top on and attempting to take a selfie and then getting someone else to take it, while getting coached on posing to show off the girls. End result = hilarious:

2014camp-NewTopI texted the above picture to T at one point. I’m sure he wondered, yet again, what kind of craziness was happening. But he’s a good sport. There were margaritas aplenty, followed by wine and, of course, lots of laughter and frivolity. There was talk of a margarita dance-off to replace the margarita mile that didn’t happen this year. But in the end, the exertions of the day (combined with the three days prior) had us all heading off to bed before long.

Day five: Most of the girls were planning to do a long run, but I’d promised Heidi that I’d be heading their way in the morning, since I hadn’t seen them on Wednesday. (Not to mention, I was pooped!) So, I bid everyone farewell and hit the road. I had so much fun this year. I wish we could do these camps more than once a year, it would be so much more fun to have a chance to train with these girls more often. Lord knows, I could use the motivation.

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