Clermont, FL Training Camp March 15 – 17

I had written out an entire race-report type blog about my training camp weekend. It was long. I looked at it and thought “Who in the world would read it?” The fact is it was long and boring to most people but me (for my memory). I opted not to bore anyone who would read (hopefully – although if you chose to peruse it I have posted it here. As a warning, there are no pictures. I decided to use them all in this post), and went for a more condensed and photo-filled format.  So here we go!


I am a part of the 2013 TNT GA Chapter Ironteam. You can visit and donate at my fundraising site here! My teammates and I are training for Ironman Cueor d’Alene on  June 23, 2013. We are also raising a heck of a lot of money along the way for blood cancer research and patient assistance. For more about TNT you can visit here.

This is my second ironteam (the first being in 2011 for IMAZ) and third training camp. I have attended two other training camps, one for the previous ironteam and another as a much smaller group run by the same coaches (Mary Doyle Smith and Mike Gaw) held at ZAP Fitness. Both in Blowing Rock, NC. So this is my first venture south, and first time to the NTC (National Training Center). I was very much looking forward to a great training weekend and spending time with my teammates.

And FYI – I have 2 categories: highs and lows. As I am at a training camp doing what I love to do, my “lows” are relative. The few that were there did not ruin the weekend.

Thursday March 14 – Drive to Clermont, FL


-Track session before leaving.

pre-ride team picture
Team photo before our ride

-Susan’s car is a boat and had loads of room for the training equipment for three people on a long training weekend. Mary (my coach), Susan and I fit all of our equipment easily in her car and didn’t even use ½ of the space!

-Susan and I as roommates. We just work.

-Our hotel room was on the first floor. Score! Quiet AND easy access.

-Having a flexible nutrition plan mapped out. Although I didn’t really realize this until the weekend had started, it was terrific to just check my sheet and know what I was looking for in a meal, and what I needed to prepare for a training session. I knew the breaks between sessions and was ready. It was awesome. Had worked with my nutritionist Marni on this before the weekend and LOVED it! And I learned a lot.

-Dinner at the Olive Garden with a few of my teammates.

Love Sam's face here
Love Sam’s face here



Friday March 18 – planned 85 mile ride (Mary later told me to go for the entire 5 hours, 45 minutes. Due to stops, wind, and getting of track I didn’t end up going as far as I wanted/thought), 30 minute T-run, open water swim later in the day


Atop Sugarload Mountain - the first time
Atop Sugarload Mountain – the first time

-Finding John Dapper’s wheel at about mile 8 or so and staying with him for the rest of the ride

-Learning about Sandhill Cranes from John on lap 2 as we saw a few

-Learning about Citrus Tower from John (I asked him how he knew all these things…he’d lived in Florida!)

-Lap two of the two lap ride – felt strong (even with a lot of headwind) and it was continuous

-Finding a nutrition plan that didn’t leave me burping up my liquid nutrition. Woo hoo! 200 calories per hour Strawberry Heed, 8 Sports Beans (orange) per hour for 250 calories per hour.

-Climbing Sugarloaf Mountain – twice

-Chatting with teammate Emily for a bit on our 5 mile group ride from the hotel, down the trail and to where we got on the road for the rest of the ride

No Swimming?!
No Swimming?!

-The fact that Mary had to chase us down after we missed a turn (and going down a highway) and she thought it was the funniest part of the ride – we were just heads down and go. At a stop light she was behind us and yelling we had missed a turn. I never heard that, and those that did thought it was just a crazy lady. We were about two miles off when she got us to stop and turn around.

-Feeling strong on my 30 minute T-run. Woo hoo!

-Team ice bath in the hotel pool (outdoors and unheated)!

-Being able to go pretty well on the open water swim. It was more than “Get ‘er done” I was actually fairly focused and able to get my body to respond to a demand to swim for the 30 minute time slot

-Hopping in to Heather Trainers car on the side of the road to go out for Cuban food. Random!

Before our open water swim
Before our open water swim


-That first bike loop. Lots of turns. Lots of stops and starts. Lots of checking the cue sheet. Not continuous at all, and very annoying. Felt like junk miles and was concerned the entire ride would be that way. After missing that one turn John kept his cue sheet out and would tell me how far to the next turn. See “Riding with John” as a high.  Glad the ride went on to a high point on lap 2!

Saturday March 16 – 16 mile run, 1 hour swim, stretching session, team dinner


-Felt strong for my 16 mile run

Rich and I heading out for our long run
Rich and I heading out for our long run

-The entire team ran very strong and did awesome – loved running with them and seeing them along the train

-Running with Rich, John and Jeff each for a portion of my run. The time flew by

-Realizing I want to try a trainer warm up before long runs in the future to warm my legs up and work out the previous days long ride. Thinking back to my first T-run….I could have never anticipated that I now feel better running off my bike more often than not.

Beautiful outdoor pool. Made sure to put on sunscreen!
Beautiful outdoor pool. Made sure to put on sunscreen!

-Team icebath number 2! This time there was sun on the pool area and it made it all the better!

-Feeling strong for our afternoon swim at NTC. That just made me smile and pushed me further

-Team dinner at Oakwood Smokehouse Grill (loved that I knew what to order based on my nutrition plan too). Elegant, no. But, we got to sit together and have a meal as a team for the only time all weekend.

-Team bonding in the Hampton Inn hotel lobby!

-Celebrating Mary’s “birthday” a few months early. The ice cream was fantastic, though


-That second glass of wine (well,75% of it)

Sunday March 17 – Reverse triathlon – 2 mile run, 1 hour bike, 1 hour swim


Finishing up our short run
Finishing up our short run
Day 3 Heading out for a quick bike
Heading out for a quick 1 hour ride – probably should have kept my jacket on!

For our reverse tri (2 mile run, 1 hour ride. Check out from hotel and then go swim at the NTS) my body responded as if the previous two days hadn’t even happened. Woo hoo!

Seeing how strong my teammates were on this day. There had been some drinking the night before and the next day some teammates could have backed out (or thrown up)….and they still gave (and didn’t throw up). Strength of character and mind. I was impressed. Seriously.


-Waking up several times throughout the night with a migraine-like headache. Extra fruit made it go away before the run began but….I felt bad until then. And it returned the next night. Should have stopped after the first glass of wine. Lesson learned – even a little alcohol, sun and hard training don’t mix for me.

-There wasn’t one more day

Overall I had a fantastic time. I learned my body is ready to give more than I realized….and I need to start making use of that understanding. I also got to spend quality time with my fabulous teammates. Each person never fails to impress and inspire me to push a little harder.

Last group shot after our last swim
Last group shot after our last swim

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