21 April 2008

Tri-Camp Takeaways

Because my tri-camp report ended up being so VERY LONG, I decided to do a shorter list of my takeaway points from the camp and why it was so meaningful to me. I've already written about my reasons for deciding to attend the tri-camp, so I guess I need to address whether the camp met my expectations (it did) and how the expectations were met.

I had such a great opportunity to learn from Chris S. and Chris D. I was completely intimidated to think of even speaking to either one of them, and to be totally honest, I'm still pretty intimidated by Chris D. Both of these guys are amazing triathletes and have such a vast breadth of knowledge and it was so awesome to be able to ask them questions and to hear about what works for them. I learned so much and while I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with the knowledge, I think I could e-mail or call either one of them to ask a question.

I also wanted to test my training and in some respects I was pleasantly surprised, like in my swimming, but in other respects I was completely discouraged, like in my hill cycling. My endurance is there, but my speed and power are not and I need to do alot of work to get to where I want to be. I'm willing to put in the work and I think it was a real eye-opener to me on where I am in this whole triathlon adventure. I had a great opportunity to learn my weak areas and now I can take away that knowledge to become a better triathlete.

This weekend was rewarding to me because I showed myself quite a few things. First, I can stay on a bike for 3 hours. I was comfortable and not totally wiped out at the end. I learned that I'm a pretty darn good swimmer and that while I definitely have things to work on, my fundamentals are pretty good and I can make alot of improvements with some pretty small adjustments. I learned that while I'm pretty hard on myself, that it's that part of my personality that will help me to achieve my goals and to accomplish what I truly want to.

While the Utah 1/2 IM is not until August (3 1/2 months away), I know that attending this camp will prepare me for that race. When I get to that start line and when I cross that finish line, I know that I will be able to look back on this experience at camp as one of the defining points of the season.

There were points during the weekend that I really struggled and got angry with myself. Why in the world can all of these other people make it up this hill multiple times and I can't even get halfway up? Why am I so slow? Those were some of the questions that I was asking myself, but I realized that I have what it takes to accomplish my goals, because I'm willing to push myself. Instead of saying, "Wow, this hill is really hard." I said, "I really need to get over here and start training in the hills, so that I can be prepared for IM Wisconsin." This was definitely a good lesson for me and I need to make sure I remembered it.

I think that the final takeaway, and perhaps the most meaningful right now today, was earning that "Most Potential" award. I guess I should have mentioned that the award was a visor, which was cool, but hearing two amateur elite triathletes say that I was the female camper with the most potential is something that I will definitely be carrying with me over the next several months if not years. It's fine when my parents say, "You can do it" or whatever, but hearing two people that I really respect, who are pretty much strangers say that was truly a fantastic experience. I'm still glowing inside just thinking about it.

So, I guess this was not as long as the report, but I think I hit the high points. I will definitely be making it a priority to head back to tri-camp next year (if they decide to do it) and I'm really looking forward to seeing how all of this knowledge that I gained will benefit me.