SMASH Camp 2015: Day 1

SMASH Camp 2015: Day 1

Day 1: March 4, 2015

More so than any other year that I can remember, this winter has been weighing very heavily on me. It hasn’t been the worst that I can remember, but between the cold, wind and snow, I’ve become incredibly anxious for warmer weather. Fortunately, my short reprieve from the Midwest winter has come in the form of SMASH Camp 2015. After joining the Team HPB crew last February, I’ve read many posts about this adventure. The thought of Arizona weather in March, meeting new friends and getting smashed with five-days of intense training hooked me into signing up.

I have a tendency to get quite anxious around events that require significant travel, wanting to give myself ample time to get where I need to go, settle in and mentally prepare for what’s to come. So I decided to fly to Tucson a day early. Wednesday, the 4th, was my travel day. It started early with a 4:45am alarm for my 7:30am flight. Much to my appreciation, everything went incredibly smoothly. I arrived in Tucson at 12:30pm, all my bags came through safely (a huge relief as this was my first time flying with a bike) and I found my way my house for the week.

My next challenge was putting my bike back together. Thanks to the generosity of Patrick Davis, I packed my Shiv in Ruster Sport’s Hen House, avoiding having to pay extra to ship it. What that meant, however, was that I had to disassemble the machine more than I ever had before. The thought of putting it back together provided a few new gray hairs, but it was rather simple, to my surprise; the worst part was not having a bike stand. A short test ride showed that something wasn’t quite right with the shifting, but a quick stop at TriSports took care of that (that’s a great group of people to work with!).

In the evening, I met up with Mary Knott, Dan Beaver and Marc Rubin for dinner. Before heading out we met up with Dawn Elder, Chris Coffee and Kris Cordova. Social media has been my only connection with other athletes for the last year, and it was so great to finally start meeting them. This was the part of camp that i was probably looking forward to the most…and it was already living up to my excitement. Listening to them recount stories of past camps both excited and terrified me. In preparation for what I was hearing was going to transpire over the next five days, I ate an entire pizza to make sure my store of carbs was high.

Day 1 (official camp start): March 5, 2015

The hour time difference meant I woke up very early, like 4:30am, and with my window overlooking downtown Tucson, mountains and the rising sun, it was hard to stay in bed. I made it until 7ish, when I made my way to a close by YMCA for a short, pre-camp swim. The pool was open-air, and with temperatures in the mid-40’s, steam was coming off the water. This didn’t bother me in the least bit, as I was swimming in an open-air pool; it was a great feeling! With nothing else on my schedule until late afternoon, I spent most of the day at Starbucks on the University of Arizona campus outside, wearing shorts and loving every minute of it!

The official start to camp was at 4:00pm with group introductions and an easy, hour run. After a nice, relaxing 6.4 miles, we headed out for a group dinner at La Cocina. With lots of food and drink consumed, my bed was a welcomed site, especially as a ~100 mile ride and 3,000+ yard swim were in the very near future. Details on Day #2 to come…