I knew things were going to be less than ideal when almost every single camper emailed me the week before to ask “What will we do when it rains?” And yet as I type this on the plane home my legs are as tired as always, and my spirits are super high for all of our campers…here’s how it all went down.
Thursday — Run 8.5
I managed to sneak in a nice easy run before we kicked off camp dinner / welcome meeting. It was great to meet everyone and watch as online friends started to get to know one another in the real world. We mapped out the next day and got to bed.
Friday — Ride 112 + Run
We rolled out under gloomy skies to tackle the full Ironman Texas bike course. In an unusual twist, we decided to ride day one together due to the pending weather — this made for a “live” coaching experience as we rode along. Pretty cool.
Our valiant SAG supporter, Vic, was there at every turn to support us as we navigated the long road out to Richards, TX and back in again.
There were a few showers, but nothing terrible. The only crazy part of our day was being joined by two other cyclists out riding the course. They had no food, no maps and really no plan — so they lucked out BIG TIME!
Interesting to note, the chip seal portion seemed less evil than in years past. Sure there’s some rough spots, bu nothing like the 15-mile forearm-beating surface of past years.
I personally had to check out at Mile 90 of the day (bummer!) when my crank started to come apart — just after my DI2 shifting turned off as well. Clearly a sign!
Returning to the hotel us some gave time for a short run before the evening course / race lecture. We covered race week planning, race execution, post camp training, nutrition and pacing guidance before calling it quits for a massive dinner.
Saturday — 73-mile Tempo Ride and Run
We awoke to find the rain had arrived in force, and we made the executive call to postpone our ride start until 9:30 when the clouds were due to part.
Instead of the full course, we opted to ride to a local 5-mile loop where we could bail / seek shelter if a thunderstorm hit.
We lucked out, however, with just a few light sprinkles…allowing us to get in a really quality 70+ mile ride with some fun team tactics. It wasn’t until the ride home that things really started to stink. It was cold and the rain was there and traffic had picked up. Ugh.
By the time we got back it was proper raining and there was a run to do. Nothing like a cold cup of SuckItUp to get you mentally ready for the challenge of race day!!!
Sunday — Long Run Tour
Even though 25% of the run course has been shut down due to the construction of a new hotel, we were ready to not ride our bike and explore the final challenge of race day — the marathon.
A three-loop affair, the Texas run course splits its time between circling Lake Woodlands and tracing the edge of the canal that winds into the downtown area. The lake portion is very quiet, and offers brief periods of shade between time on the bike path and on the road. The canal portion is packed with spectators cheering you on — an incredible boost for all of the participants.
We ran one loop together to cover all of the basic details from transition logistics to the course layout, the swim start, run special needs and even the “deserted” area that is Majesty Row. Along the way we had to dodge a ton of puddles as the rain from the previous day had proved too much for the drainage system.
After halfway, we split up to run the return leg at our own pace.
Overall the camp was a success — we got to spend critical time getting familiar with the course. Campers had lots of 1:1 questions about their training, technique and race plans….so I was in full game-on mode most of the time! Yet we still managed to have a blast working out and hanging out. Good luck to everyone else out there preparing for Ironman® Texas…we’ll see you on race weekend!
Everyone else, if you are looking for a camp for your next race, be sure to explore our options on the Endurance Nation Camps page here.
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