At this time last year, I knew nothing about Dare2Tri – or even that it existed. And it had been at least 15-20 years since I had done any serious swimming. But the dominoes fell, starting with me deciding to do a local Triathlon because the TV coverage made it look fun, to Keri being the Shamrock Shuffle AWD coordinator. Once Keri shared Dare2Tri with me, I was hooked. Because of my coaches continually pushing me, I was given the opportunity to apply for, and was selected to the 2016 Dare2Tri Development team.
This weekend in Chicago was an opportunity for the team to meet, get baselines and training in, and take care of all the other necessities. Because sessions started early Saturday, me and several others were in the city Friday night. It was great to have an opportunity to meet several of the team in a relaxed atmosphere, and we had a good time.
While Friday night was fun, things got serious Saturday morning. After warm ups, our group (ambulatory) started on the run testing while the other (wheelies) started on the bike testing. After a 10 minute warm up, they would then start pushing you further and further until you hit your limit. During the training Terri and I have been doing, the pace had been somewhere between 12:45 and 13:00. During the testing, I had to tap out at 5.3, which is about 11:35 pace. Once done, I went and walked around the track and it took about 4 laps before I was ready to go again. I jogged laps with a guide while the rest of the group did their testing.
Once everyone in our group was done testing, we headed to the bike testing. I have never done a CompuTrainer ride before, so this was an entirely new process for me. For those of you who’ve never done it, the process is that your bike is put onto risers (one of which is connected to the computer) and the computer fluctuates th tension. About 3/4s of the way through the testing, my right calf started hurt enough that it was hard to ride. I think that the bike I was borrowing was too tall. Ice, Gatorade and stretching helped to make it feel better by lunch.
During lunch, I got to learn a lot of what’s expected and received my first piece of team gear. I also learned the lesson that I need to go up a size in all of my Tri gear, even when other clothing of the same type fits right. I’m glad I learned that at the start instead of finding it out after everything had been ordered. Dare2Tri has and will be putting a lot behind me, so all of the gear needs to fit right and well.
The afternoon started with our turn in the pool, during which Coach Stacee brought out a new pool toy for me to try. It’s a figure 8 folcrum, and the purpose behind it is to force your fingertips into the water first like they should. I think it helped, and will continue to work with it.
After finishing in the pool, it was back to the bikes for another CompuTrainer session. In the morning, the issue had been the bike seemed too tall; in the afternoon, the issue seemed to be with the seat. After about 15-20 minutes, my ass hurt so much that I could only do a minute or two before having to stop, stand up and then start again. While it was painful, I struggled through it until we went to Yoga.
The day wore me out so much that after dinner (with us next to the noisiest group of teenagers ever), I collapsed. I knew that Sunday would be more of the same, and needed the rest.
For us, Sunday started off with a pyramid run (2/4/8/4/2 200s). The 2/4/8 piece wore me out (although I was able to finish the mile in 11:46), and I had to walk a good chunk of the 4. We then headed to the pool for another swim workout.
After doing several sets of warm ups, Coach Stacee took us through ‘the gauntlet’. That consisted of up/down each lane, then into open water, around a human buoy, through the whirlpool and then backwards up the lazy river. Being in lane lines wasn’t bad, since I could see the bottom of the pool. But the other pieces were a challenge since I wasn’t tethered (shared guide). But I made it work, and that was a fun experience. Once changed, we headed to functional strength, which was the last workout of the camp.
While it was an exhausting weekend, I learned a lot, had an opportunity to meet a lot of my teammates, and had a good time. And while there were frustrations during it, I now have a baseline and an idea of where to be pushing towards. I know that it will all come together, as I’ve got a strong group of coaches to help me, and a strong group of teammates to push, support and help me.
A huge THANK YOU to the entire Dare2Tri staff/Coaches and volunteers who helped to make this weekend possible! And another huge THANK YOU to Dare2Tri for this amazing opportunity! I am excited for the 2016 season and everything to come for all of us!