Day 8 at Epic Camp

Last Day at the Epic women Camp!! I cannot believe it is over! What an amazing week I had!!

Our last day started out with a 20 km run but of course Tara and David did 30 km (show offs, hahah)!
Had an amazing run and was able to do a negative split! Thanks Michele for that! We started the run together and the goal was to finish it together but at the 15 km mark I tried to get two chomps out of my pouch but the zipper was stuck, so I stopped for a few seconds. Michele kept on running as she did not know I had stopped. So I started to run harder to catch her again. But she turned to see where I was and I knew she would go harder. Damn!!!!
There was a downhill coming and I thought perfect I can close in but of course Michele runs downhill fast (I love downhills).  I could not get closer so I put the third gear in, and I started to make progress! But I had to put it in fourth gear and I managed to be behind her when got close to the gate of the drive way. I passed her and said only 500 m to go. At this point I knew I had to put it into 6 th gear and book it up the hill to the house to not let Michele catch me. Wow was I happy to get to the house. We were laughing about it, that was amazing!!
Friendly competition is good, it made us both work hard and get out of our comfort zone.

I used Etienne’s mental coaching and it worked.

Thanks Tara for pushing me to my physical and mental limits. I really did not think I was able to do what I did this year.

A big thank you to the crew David Taylor and Etienne for all the cooking, driving and entertaining!!
Thank you Tara for being an awesome coach and getting me closer to my goal to get to Kona!!

We finished this camp with a great dinner at Huggo’s and watched a beautiful sunset! Perfect ending !!

See you all next year.


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Suddenly we are at the end again of an epicWoman week. Every year brings new challenges and issues to work through but somehow with the support of our crew (the indefatigable David and Etienne!), each other, and of course the amazing and inspiring T, we manage to come out the other side stronger, wiser, and improved versions of ourselves. As the saying goes, “You can’t always get what you want, but you get what you need…” ;p

Today was supposed to be a longer run (20k minimum) and swim sets in the pool. We started relatively early to beat the heat, but that proved unnecessary, as Madame Pele again took mercy on us, providing cloud cover/vog to temper the strong sun for most of the run. I wasn’t optimistic when I first headed out, but over the course of the first two miles, my hips stopped complaining and I actually felt like I was almost running. I only had to take a few walking breaks when I felt the familiar unwelcome twinges, but in the end, I managed to ‘run’/jog over 10 miles of the 20k–truly an EpicWoman camp miracle! (I wasn’t sure how my theory about training to the point of exhaustion until your body finds the most efficient and ‘correct’ way to move would hold up; apparently, there seems to be some validity in that logic??! The trigger point massage therapy from Gabby the previous evening most certainly facilitated this as well ;) )

The run route was from the epic house, then north on Ali’i and up to the QueenK where Etienne parked the van at the turnaround point (midway between the harbor road and Honokahau St). As always, the support van waiting just up the road was a welcome sight; E handed me the coconut water I’d sent him out with–nectar of the gods! Retracing my steps a little slower, but still making progress, I was back just about the time my legs and hips cried ‘uncle’. As soon as I got home, I waded into the dipping pool (remembering to take my iPhone out of my pocket first, unlike a few days ago!) and sent up gratitude to the universe for a successful 20k–not fast but steady, and relatively pain-free. Not long after that, David and T returned, equally stoked at the end of their 30k (!!) run. (They are going to rock their 50miler in June!)

After some serious refueling, we set out for swim sets at the pool. But Michele (who had biked there to test out her knee) called T to tell her the pool was closed for a private event. Etienne chose to swim at the pier, but Tara made the executive decision that it looked a bit rough for an end-of-an-epic-week swim (tired, cramping legs and open water swimming are not a good combination)… we went for the traditional post-camp acai bowls instead! (Like Tara, I’d been looking forward to this treat all week; we definitely earned them ;) ) We are going to do our last camp swim tomorrow….

The end of camp dinner at Huggos is always bittersweet, but I think everyone is ready to return to a more normal life after this week of training heaven (and hell!). I’m going home with a very tired body (and awesome swag–special thanks to the camp sponsors: Zoot, GU, and Trek!!) and grateful spirit….especially to my long-suffering husband (who has had to tend to my menagerie this past week), and to Tara, David, Etienne, Alicia, Anja and Michele–till we meet again!
Cheers ;)

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day 8

started the day with a 20k run and i was somewhat anxious as my knee ached all night but it was most probably from getting art treatment.. the run turned out be to be great..i love to run and i felt strong.. anja and i started together and stayed together till we reached town and then as we managed to get through town we parted some and then it was race till the end..great fun..its always good to have someone push you and its exactly what we did..i then was completely fired . I didn’t get to do the mileage on the bike which saddened me a great deal but i still put in some great time in swim and i got on my bike and cycled to bike works to finalize my bike fit and then cycled home..i still have some recovery on the knee but was able to cycle and that made me so happy.. i completely enjoyed everyone here ..i came here very excited but in truth i was mentally fried and i believe it all just caught up… and my body just needed to rest more then i would of liked..i think about all the cycling i missed and what would of been the end result of all that..its the unknown.. i leave here with more than i came in..on that thought i can’t say there will be a next time because my life is very unknown right now but i will leave with all the lessons learned..

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Epic Camp 2016 Day 8

Last year I walked 10K to finish camp, this year I ran 30K!  I am stoked.  I have never finished an Epic Camp with a 30K run (or even run 30K in the middle or beginning of camp for that matter), not even my co-ed Epic Camps in New Zealand.  And my body felt great, even after all the mileage.  The beauty of this camp is that the fitness gain from high mileage really is from the bike so the risk of injury is minimal once you are here.

Today we planned to swim at the pool after our runs but it was closed so camp has just been extended a day – we all plan to do one more swim tomorrow :)

I want to thank all my campers – the 8 days of insanity are intense and we all have to work through some ups and downs and we made it :)   Of course, the camp IS MADE 100% POSSIBLE because of David and Etienne and so I want to say to you two:  I LOVE YOU BOTH and thank you.  A few words about our campers:

Michele had some leg issues coming into camp and so it flared up with the bike mileage but we are pretty certain we have fixed her bike fit issue and she is going home from camp injury-free (better than when she came) and a stronger athlete with a kick start to continue training on her mission for 2016 (her runs and swims were great).

Anja came to Epic Camp #2 and the improvement from last year is PHENOMENAL.  Her hard work over the last year showed and I am so excited to watch her develop as an athlete.  She was right with me this camp and she is going to have a kick butt 2016 season.  Watch out!

Alicia came back for camp #2 (she was in Lanzarote) and did her longest training to date.  Unfortunately her undercarriage suffered after a climb post lava sand swim with no butt butter but she toughed it out and will go home and feel the effects of the mileage and have a surge in fitness :)   She also rocked it in her first ocean swims.  So cool.

Lisa was back for camp #7 (she says this is her last one, but she always says that :) ) and despite a hip injury completed this camp incredibly well.  She had to do SOME walking to complete the run but when I caught the Lisa Love Train it was fun (my only draft this camp).  Lisa talks about being slow at 56 but she ain’t slow.  She is a machine.

I also want to thank our AMAZING sponsors – GU, Trek, Zoot and Bike Works for all your help.  We’ll be back next year :)

It was a small camp due to a number of last minute cancelations (I know you’ll all be here next year :) ) but whether small or big, I am psyched to continue making this amazing camp happen.  Ok, so I am getting ready for our final dinner and getting a bit ‘emotional’ – as I drink my Blue Moon beer (that tastes sooooo good right now)… Bring on the final dinner (and final swim tomorrow – Day 9)!!


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And on the seventh day….we started with a 3k swim at the pier. The water was calmer than the past few days, so it was really great! I swam over a huge school of fish, so dense that at first I thought it was a reef. I managed to actually stay mainly on course for once, all in all a very satisfying swim.

While I was rinsing off at the outdoor shower on the pier, Anja and I were accosted by a Hawaiian dude who was very interested in flirting with her, and teasingly called me “auntie”. While I know that he probably thought I was also native Hawaiian (being quite tanned from all of the outdoor training by this point in camp!), and that is a respectful way to refer to one of the ohana (extended Hawaiian family), it was a funny reality check for me. Here I am, 56 years old (never athletic as a kid) trying to keep up with this hardcore group–very happy to be able to still play the crazy camp games!

We came back and had a quick breakfast in preparation for Tara’s ‘short’ ride of the day. She had changed the route a bit, and it ended up including a completely ridiculous amount of climbing–multiple trips up to and down from the upper highway (the scheduled QOM up the King Kam3 turned out to be the easiest part of the day!) As a special challenge, after the QOM, we traveled south (again) then north (again) through Hualaloa to tackle the notorious Kaloko climb (because we hadn’t climbed enough already by this point??!!). Kaloko is a snaking, 7 mile climb from 93′ to over 5,000ft up into a cloud forest…if you make it that far.

Only Anja, Tara and I were riding today, and T kept saying “And then there were three,” while I kept wondering what this old auntie was doing trying to keep up with them! (Anja insisted that she didn’t mind waiting periodically for me to catch up to Tara and her; it gave her a bit of a breather I think ;) ) but once we hit Kaloko, no one was waiting for anyone. It was unlike anything I’d ridden….or maybe more like a combination of ALL the steep and grinding stuff we rode this week, condensed into a few short miles!? I used my emergency asthma inhaler more times than I ought to have, and it barely helped. We later learned that the vlog (or volcanic fog/pollution) was significant, although I’m doubtful that was the source of my woes today. The road was beautiful, with lush tree ferns and Ohia trees all around, and few man made structures, especially the higher up you went. I took advantage of a driveway or three to attempt to catch my breath but I was not near the top when David drove the van down from further up the road, with instructions from T to turn around and head back. We each had reached our personal limits by then; I was both frustrated and relieved. The descent was pretty terrifying, and I’m fairly certain that my bike needs a new set of brake pads now. So Anja, T and I headed back to the house for the final training of the day, the 10k run. I stepped into the dipping pool briefly, then put on my runners and optimistically headed out the gate. Needless to say, my hips were not happy and a sizable amount of walking was involved. While I’ve been pleased to have woken up my cycling legs this week, running still is not accessible. It’s been almost exactly a year since my collision…and I was hoping for redemption at this year’s camp. So tomorrow will be a bittersweet last day (as all EpicWoman camp day8′s are for one reason or another)…I’m grateful to have made it this far.

It’s been an especially challenging week for Michele (who has made lemonade out of lemons), and Alicia (who has struggled mightily with undercarriage issues and decided to fly home this evening since she was unable to ride, and is starting a new job in a few days and could use the extra days focusing on the important things in her life). We all bring our hopes and personal challenges to epicWoman camp, and rarely unfolds exactly the way you’d imagined (or feared!). It’s a learning process for sure…you just never quite know what lessons you will take away from the week.

We’re all going to miss Alicia tomorrow, but bring on day8!

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Day 7 at Epic Camp

Last day riding!! And what a ride it was!
Hills, hills and more hills. Crazy!! After yesterday’s ride I was not 100% sure I was able to do this hilly ride today.
Our warm up consisted of going up hill for about an hour with some flats, than a nice decent down Kam III. At the bottom we lined up (Tara, Lisa and I) for guess what? Correct – a Time Trial! Thank you for that!! Good thing I love you Tara:):)
It was a very hot and humid day, so racing up that road was tough. Tara took of like a mad woman and I was trying the same thing but for the love of god I could not clip in with my right foot. So I really worked hard to catch up to Tara.
A few times I did get closer but she knew I would try and kept checking up on me. That woman has too much power, she kicked it up a notch and pulled away again.
Darn!!!! On the last bit I just could not go any harder, I ran out of gears.
It was awesome.Lol

Then we climbed some more and went back on the upper highway to Palani and turned right and a few km up hill we turned right on Koloko…. And climbed some more. I think it is about 13 km up and when you reach the top it is about 5000 ft of climbing. It was soooo steep I was going zig zag up on some parts. Absolutely insane.
My quads were already hurting but now they are destroyed.
Tara made it all the way up but I stopped before the last few turns and hopped in the van as I wanted to see the rest of the road. Yikes, I think I would have fallen off the bike on the last climb!

That was an Epic climb for sure. Have to do this one again. Maybe not on the second last day :)

Alicia was not able to ride with us today As she had some issues down below .Ouch!!
Really missed my Twin today! On top of that she is leaving tonight to go back as she is starting a new job next week. All the best and you will be awesome as you are an amazing person. Love you girl!!! See you soon and we will do a class with David . Pilates with David:)

Michele was not with us as she has a knee issue, so she was out as well. Hope you heal up quick so you can have an amazing Ironman.

To finish up the day we had to run 10 km. Surprisingly I was able to run and it was not even to bad of a time after a week of getting destroyed, I ran 56 min. ! Thought for sure it would be over that as my quads are killing me.

Dinner was fantastic and the beer tasted really good tonight. Now I am tired and hop into bed as we are doing our long run 20 km tomorrow plus a swim.

Good night and wish me luck for tomorrow:)

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Epic Woman Camp 2016 Day 7

EPIC!  I always strive to have one day where I push my limits and watch the campers do the same.  Today was that day.  It looked “short” on paper but the amount of climbing in combination with the heat and vog (volcanic fog), it proved to be one of the toughest rides I have done on this island.

The day started with an ocean swim and the waves had died down back to normal which was great.  I felt so tired starting today’s swim but it was soooo good for my aching body.  Swimming is definitely good for recovery.  I felt much better once it was over :)

Up next was the ride.  I rode a total of 97km and the ascent was over 6500 feet!!  That hurt, in a good way :)   I have not climbed Kaloko for a few years and I was quickly reminded of just how hard this 7 mile climb is (AFTER climbing Hualalai to Holualoa then riding to the end of the upper highway, back down to the bottom of King Kam III and then a TT KOM to the top of King Kam III, back up to the upper highway and North all the way to the start of Kaloko!!!)!  This climb has 5 ‘switchbacks’, however, they are not quick 180 degree turns but long sweeping turns that go on forever.  And these switchbacks get steeper (or just harder the more you climb) and make me have those moments of panic that I will have to unclip and not be able to start riding again because the road is so steep.  The top is about 5000 feet and to get there in 7 miles shows just how much climbing must be done.  I did forgo the last km, mostly because I want to run 30K on the last day of camp…EPIC!

We got home in time to run a 10K before heading out to pick up our Thai take-out.  Yum yum.  I ate so much coconut sticky rice that I have a ‘food baby’ (coined by Epic Woman Andrea Z)!  Good carbo loading for my attempt at a final day of 30K run and 3K swim (I have two swim sets left for points:))…

Alicia left us tonight (early) as her undercarriage has said ‘enough riding Alicia!’ but this means she has more time to get ready to start her new job which is a good thing.  We will miss her :(

One more day.  Hard to believe camp really is almost over… So far my totals are:
Swim:  18K, Bike:  812K, Run:  50K

Bring on Day 8!!

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day 7

the day started with a 3k swim and i felt great well of course I’m not cycling :( but i have done the right thing to rest and get therapies here . They all have been great and checking in with me daily to see how i am..i don’t even know these people more then a hour but the warmest kindness people live here..its been team work here to get me grateful.. i did my 10k midday..feeling was another good day..peaceful -

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Epic Camp – day 6

Some days require more humour than others to get through and for me (and my sorry undercarriage) that was today. Thank God for my encouraging and good humoured co-campers and coaches who shared their own saddle-related crotchy horror stories and lots of laughs (at my expense this time but I’ll take it).

It all started on day 2 when I forgot to apply chamois butter for a time trial climb after a lava-sand filled swim at Captain Cook. And while I’ve been paying for it ever since, it reached a new level with today’s long ride.

There are all kinds of saddle jokes (fat lip, hamburger, meatloaf, etc.) and any woman who rides will understand the references. Epic Camp can make all of these references a reality (are you sold for next year yet?). It just isn’t EPIC until someone (this time, me) rides until the pain (crotch) seems to fall clear away (off) at about kilometre 140. What a relief it is when you just can’t feel it anymore! – and then at the end of your 200(ish) km ride you get to take a shower! (Is there someone giving birth in the neighbourhood, dear? …)

Anyway, there are too many one-liners to mention that originated from our crew today that will forever make me laugh and no shortage of people to remind me of them once we get home. It was an unforgettable (and yet great) day.

….Eyes locked, David? Pass me something to bite down on – I can’t get back on this bike until I’ve slapped on another handful of (burning minty fresh) chamois butter.

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Day 6 at Epic Camp

I cannot believe it is already Day 6.
This is the big day 213 km and because I did not find Kam III I went down a different road and ended up doing more. Oh well good for me. Hahahaha

I loved this ride, I loved it last year and I did this year again.
You ride through the Lava fields, then you are in Switzerland but it is actually called the Kohala’s (it really looks like it up there) and then back through the lava fields. Absolutely stunning.

Of course my Di2 died again and I had to ride back in my small chain ring. Felt like a Hamster, but I sure worked on my cadence.:)
Always looking for the positive. (see Etienne I listen)

The day was fantastic again , that ‘s just that!!
Great crew , great athletes and lots of laughs. And I love laughing.

After this long, long day we all had a drink and it got even funnier. We are all so tired except Karl-Fritz. He does not do much at camp.Hahahaha
Yes he does, he entertains us. Love you David, camp would not be the same without you.

See you all in the morning, need to sleep!!


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