Epilogue

A few days have passed since Epic Camp is over.  I am still on this island of Lanzarote with a continued love-hate relationship! Haha!

A look back: I am so happy I did all the camp required workouts.  I wasn’t too sure if I would have been able to do the runs since I have been injured for over a year with very little running, but I managed! And by the end of the week my running legs felt like they were coming back! :)  Woohoo!!!

I was surrounded by an amazing group of women and athletes!  I knew I would be one of the slower ones for the run and bike but I thought I would have been midpack with my swim! Nope!  Very humbling week!  I was pretty much the slowest in everything! Lol!  But I continued and it did not stop me.  I just tried to make the gap less…but don’t think I achieved that!  I was really in survival mode for the bike rides.  I got through them despite the wind and the hills!

A huge thanks to our coaches, Tara and Jo.  As well to our sponsors, Trisport Lanzarote, Coffee of Hawaii, GU, and Zoot.  The camp would not have functioned without all these key participants.  Debs and Daz – your house was awesome!  I was planning (hoping) to lose some weight during this camp but I do not think I achieved this with all the eating of your delicious food I was doing! ;)

A bonus to this camp was the new friends I made.  Found out a couple of fellow campers live close to me so we are planning on doing some rides or runs together.  Yay! New training partners. And Lisa: you bet! IMSA 2015!!! Deal!!! ;)   Looking forward to seeing all of your success this racing season and beyond!

I will be leaving this island tomorrow.  Lanzarote made sure I had a good send off with colder temps and high winds again!  I spent the last two days surfing.  Yesterday was brutal!  With the high tide we were in the rocks and the waves were all over the place (it was also a full moon).  Robyn joined me on this surfing adventure yesterday and we were thrown all over the place.  It may have been the fatigue of the camp or the water was really rough, but the water won yesterday and I could not stand up on the board.  Today was another story! Yay!  I stood up on the board numerous times!  That was more like it!  It was low tide so we had a sandy beach and either I got used to the waves, had more strength, or the waves were tamer, but I had a great time today.  I was still thrown all over the place and am coming home with new bumps and bruises but I stood up! Lol!

I also did a little exploring today.  Since I do not have a car I am restricted to my bike or feet.  I was very reluctant to jump on the bike but I thought I would get to where I wanted to go quicker and I would just EASY pedal.  Easy I did go and I felt pretty good.  Also took a walk around the volcanoes today and my legs were feeling good then to!  Maybe I should have pushed harder during the camp! ;) Haha!  However, I think the effort of the camp finally got to me because now I am sick! Boo! :( I will be flying home with a runny nose, sore chest, and nasty cough – good times!

Well, that is a wrap up from me!  2014 Epic Women Camp Lanzarote was a success!

Adios! y Gracias!

 

 

 

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With thanks.

EPIC camp is now complete. Sigh. It is bittersweet – I sure was happy to see the smiling faces of my three kids and my husband when I returned home last night but… EPIC camp is now complete. UNTIL NEXT YEAR!

It was truly a fabulous experience. I am new to much (most!) of this – I have never trained high-volume before, nor have I attempted a long race (this year I will do my first half IM) and I only got back on my road bike at the end of December after a significant hiatus. In light of all this, EPIC camp enabled me to build confidence and a firm sense of independence while riding, all whilst testing my abilities and focus. It also provided me with a window into how I and others manage intense training. I have learned that while for the most part I am positive and upbeat, when I don’t fuel sufficiently, I get mentally fatigued, a bit cranky and it is harder to stay positive. In learning this about myself, I have gained respect for those who simply turn inwards from time to time with a focus on meeting their needs in order to reach their goals.

Funnily enough, EPIC camp also introduced me to new meanings of well-known sayings:
1) “Suck it up, Buttercup” was a favourite of my mother’s – it is also a favourite of Tara’s. It is a keeper. By the end of EPIC camp I learned to stop cursing the wind and just BE in it, I learned climbs and malfunctions are a part of every journey and they make the journey all the more fulfilling, and I learned a bumpy road only rattles you if you let it.
2) “You snooze. You Lose.” is another keeper – what aspect of life does it not apply to? Some (as in, Joe :) ) may think I snoozed on the ocean swims and therefore lost out but I disagree. This camp allowed me to tackle a significant, and fairly long-standing, hang-up swimming in a wetsuit. As non-EPIC woman as it is, after the first ocean swim, I aimed to take advantage of morning swims in the pool to finally get comfortable with swimming in a wetsuit. I must say, this was my first experience with a Zoot wetsuit. Tara lent me one of hers at camp and while I own another $600+ well-respected brand, I will be giving it away and not looking back! Furthermore, Suzanne swam with me one morning and gave me feedback, which I needed and listened to. Thanks to the ZOOT wetsuit and Suzanne’s supportive observations and advice, I can now say that I actually look forward to open water, wetsuit swims at the lake. Thanks to progress at this camp, EPIC 2015 will see me in the ocean and strong (and as an aside, I will also have learned the butterfly to prevent further humiliation!). I am committed.
3) “Shit happens.” Indeed it does – we get lost (okay, I got lost), we have mechanical difficulties, we get mentally worn down, we get injured, we miss ‘the boat’,… the list is endless. Usually there is a good reason for it (which one only considers and recognizes in hindsight) and there is ALWAYS a lesson to learn from it.
4) “SMASH IT!”. While this is a new saying for me, and it was not natural to shout out at first because I associated it with crashing my bike or some other event worthy of pant shitting, I understand it is a popular saying amongst those who visit Daz and Debs at TriSports. I quickly learned that it is akin to “KILL IT!” or “SHRED IT!” – just get out there and give it all you’ve got! After 9 days at the villa with Daz and Debs, “SMASH IT!” has a firm place in my heart and I will be raising my kids on it.

I do not know how to properly thank everyone who contributed to my EPIC experience but I shall try, beginning with: Kevin and the kids for their support as I ventured away from daily life as mother, wife and professional, to feed my soul in a new and addictive way; to my new amazingly EPIC friends and coaches who made every day, every meal, every challenge SO much more enjoyable; to Tara, Bruce and Maya for bringing a bit of family life for me to enjoy while being far from my own; to Suzanne for her mentorship and support (especially in the pool which I really needed); to Debs and Daz at TriSports Lanzarote for making me at home in their villa and their daily support and encouragement; to GU for THE BEST chomps and electrolytes which I fundamentally needed to “SMASH IT!” hour after hour, day after day; and to Zoot for the outstanding and generous contribution of hi-tech, comfortable and flattering gear AND for designing a wetsuit that, for the first time ever, has me truly excited about open water swims (!).

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! See you next year!

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Day 8 – an epic finale!

Saturday was our last day of camp.  It is so strange how quickly the last few days flew by.  After the first 2 days of camp, I kept wondering – if I am this tired today, how am I going to get through the rest of the week?  However, before I knew it the end of the week had arrived.

Saturday was a solid day. In the morning we did swim relays, which were a fun way to build some team spirit and force everyone to swim hard, even if only for a short while.  After the relays was the big event of the day – riding the ironman lanzarote race course.  I started the morning with the faster group.  I stuck with them for a while (though Tara dropped us all like a hot potato :-) .  As we entered the series of descents into La Santa and La Fumara, I fell back as Karen and Jo got aero and flew into the winds.  I decided the chase wasn’t worth it that early in the day, so I pushed at tempo power and forged ahead on my own in hopes of catching my mom.

I honestly haven’t seen much of my mom this week and I was really hoping to spend at least part of the day riding the island with her — a perfect way to end our grand adventure.  We met up at the lunch stop and ventured on together, seeing Alicia and Wendy at various points during the remainder of the ride.

Although this may not be of the epic mindset, the ride Saturday was exactly what I needed.  It was the type of ride that keeps me riding my bike day after day.  I was not in a great place mentally on Friday: I was upset at myself for not being able to keep pace with the others; I was frustrated that I was wheezing all day long.  I wanted more of all those things that only come with hard work and constant vigilance – more speed, stronger lungs, higher pain tolerance…  I just couldn’t tell my brain to shut up and ride…

So when the last day of camp rolled around, I decided that I wanted to enjoy my last ride out on Lanza.  I have spent so much time this week pushing myself until I couldn’t see straight, I hadn’t really seen much of the island. So for the last day of camp, I wanted to enjoy the views, the climbs, and the good company.  Thus, my ride on Saturday, though not completed at epic intensity, was how I wanted to close this chapter of one of the many wonderful adventures I’ve had with my mom.

I am currently sitting in the airport at JFK, reflecting on the ups and downs of the week.  It is odd to me how the memories of pain and strife have already started to fade, whereas those of triumph and success shine more brightly.  Entering this week, I had many goals for myself, which all revolved around the upcoming road cycling racing series in Ohio.  After the cold winter of riding indoors, I wanted to increase my endurance and capacity to recover during a ride from multiple hard efforts.  I am also on a continual campaign to learn my body better and be able to know how hard I can push for QOM or TT sessions without ending completely knackered.  I am happy with how hard I pushed throughout the camp and think that I achieved many of these goals.  I felt strong on several of the TT’s through the week and am proud of finishing the rides in such challenging conditions (and adding more mileage to many).

Throughout the week I was attempting to make up for not running by adding extra swim workouts.  Somewhat surprisingly, I rediscovered my passion for swimming this week.  Up to this point I have been swimming once a week as an off day or recovery workout.  I swam on a team back I elementary and middle school, but lost my excitement about the sport somewhere along the way.  However, as i racked up the meters in the pool, I increasingly enjoyed the rhythm of the stroke and the movement through the water.  Who knows, if I can figure out how to get my knees and legs to struggle through a run with a shred of grace, perhaps my mom will make a triathlete of me yet!

Though tired and sore now (the thought of lugging my bike box into my car makes me want to cry!), I am excited for the upcoming racing season.  Among many lessons I learned this week, one was that my mom is always right – she has told me many times that I am only limited in what I can do by my own imagination.  This week was a true demonstration of the saying.  Thanks for letting me tag along for another great adventure mom, no matter how old I get, you continually open my mind up to new adventures and experiences.  Because of you, I know to always reach for the stars.

Here’s to an epic week.  It was inspiring to have the opportunity to train alongside such an amazing group of athletes.   I really appreciate all of the patient encouragement and advice from everyone.  Special thanks to our leaders, Tara and Jo, it was an honor to attempt to hold your back wheels this week!!!

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EWC Day 8 FINAL DAY

All done.  Day 8 complete.  And was it Epic all right!

The day started with some fun relays in the pool.  We did an IM relay as well as a free relay.  It was fun as we cheered everyone on, trying not to drown while doing butterfly.  My team lost both relays but we put up a good fight!

We then headed out to ride the Ironman course minus the Puerto del Carmen section because of a marathon that was going on at the same time (and this isn’t the nice part of the course anyway) for a total of 161kms.

Jo, Karen, Maya and I (Suzanne left early this morning to go home to work) set off 3omins after the first group and when we got to the El Golfo loop (one of my favourite parts of the course), I was feeling surprisingly fresh.  After regrouping to head back along the LZ2 into a headwind, I still felt great and once we hit the Timanfaya, I decided to just do my own ride.  I figured it was the one day I could do my own thing and not spend as much time at stops, especially seeing as everyone had now ridden the entire course at some point in the camp.  My motivation was to get the ride done quickly and hang out with Maya and Bruce.

However, as one does when riding for hours on end, I began to ‘think’, AND do math…IF I finished by 4pm I would have 3 hours to do a 3K pool swim with a 20 x 100 set for points and an 18K run.  Add in my KOM points, and just maybe I could win…  I couldn’t do all the math for certain (plus, I knew Jo would do her best to get as many points as she could) but decided I would at least go for it and at the very least, maybe Jo and I would tie… One thing would be sure, it would be Epic!

Mission accomplished (unless I messed up points somewhere which is entirely possible as I recorded the daily points with large amounts of fatigue) and while it may not have been the smartest (I have a bit of a cough now), it was worth it!  I played the game and it was fun.  I am sending all the points sheets to Jo so she can double check my math, but it was fun to push my limits once again with such a stellar group of women these last 8 days!  Thanks to all the amazing women, Trisports Lanza and all our amazing sponsors!  Zoot, GU, Coffees of Hawaii, Fuel Belt, you all rock and make this camp possible!!

We had a nice dinner out with some prizes and mujer de la dia (play of the day) goes to Lisa.  Lisa was nominated to be `player of the camp` by the other campers and I agree – this woman is Epic.  Lisa is strong, she is a multiple Ironman and soon to be Ultraman, Lisa has done 5 Epic Woman Camps, Lisa completed camp and this year tacked on a ton of mileage doing so to prepare for Ultraman, Lisa is an amazing athlete, Lisa is a fabulous Mom, she is kind and thoughtful and she is 54.  Lisa is one incredible Epic woman!  Congrats Lisa…see you at Epic Woman camp #6 (she always says this will be her last camp but each year we know she will be back )!

I have to say that ALL the campers deserved Mujer de la Camp – everyone pushed to their own limits during this camp, and everyone helped support each other in accomplishing each of their goals.  Congrats to all the Epic Women!  Thank you for inspiring me to push and do my best!

Can`t wait to do it again next year!

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Another lesson learnt today!

Today was the last day of Epic Camp. So doing the big ride and going round the whole Island Lanzarote. First we started off with a relay swim. Short but a lot of fun with everybody in the pool and being cold in our wetsuits cheering each other on being a sprinter in the water haha as hardcore endurance women.

For me the bike ride doing the Ironman route was a good practice of the real deal in may. So my mind was set up to go for it. Started of in a steady pace together with Lisa. At timanfaya mountain I felt strong and wanted to ride. My legs were hurting anyway, so got over that and found a good rhythm. After Tinajo I started flying. Going through La Santa, Soo, famara and then up to Teguise where lunch was waiting. Up there I looked at my bike and saw that my bottle with all my spares in it was gone, totally vanished. A good lesson, tape your stuff on your bike when you are riding in the wind with bumpy roads at Lanzarote.

Got the lunch in and went up to Mirador, another nice climb. Started going up and discovered that I went up Teguise in my big gear at the front. I was stuggling then and thought oef, my legs are more tired than I thought. But that wasn’t the case, just rode in a big gear, so the climb up to mirador looked better now thank god!

After the climb it was downhill to arrieta, 10k going fast and enjoying the view and the nice road. Then the last bit of the ride. Nazaret road was waiting for me. This little bugger is a 3k road that shakes you up like you have never been shaked up before. Even more tired after that, but had to do the last 30k. And did it! Pushed it through.

Wow what a feeling. and my limits have really been stretched. I know now that even when you are tired you can still do a lot. If you set your mind in the positive mood and you really want to go for it it is possible! I am really tired and muscles are hearting, but I feel stronger than ever. Looking forward to the super compensation that will rise in a few days.

These week has been fabulous, I learned a lot about myself, my body, the mental game, the spirit you need to do these kind of crazy training weeks. I am defintly taking this home with me and will help me through all my races that I am ging to do this year.

Thanks to all the Epic women and Debs and Daz from Tri Sports Lanzarote who took so good care of us during the week!

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Day 8 – Mission Accomplished!

Done!  And I survived!  Woohoo!

This morning we had a fun swim and did relays.  I was on Coach Jo’s team and we won both the IM relay and free relay.  We each had to do 50m of each IM stroke and then 100m for the free relay.  I did the swim sans wetsuit since mine died and everyone else did it in a wetsuit because of the cold.  But it really was not that bad.

Then for the longest ride of the camp – the Ironman course.  We had tastes of bits and pieces of the course throughout the week, but now for the whole thing.  The wind was not as bad as earlier in the week so the ride was a bit more manageable.  Still tough with the climbs and winds but with some good company and sag support we got through it.  165km total at the end.  DONE!

I’m a little too tired right now to write down more.  We are going out for dinner soon!  I am staying on the island for a couple of extra days to try out some surfing!  Hope I still have some legs left!

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Day 8: Last Day!!!

The last day of Epic Camp has come and gone.  It started off with a “fun” swim relay, which was kind of an intimidating event for me. It wasn’t until I turned 30 that I learned freestyle, and I’ve never really learned any other strokes, other than crappy breaststroke.  We started with relay IM (breast, back, fly, freestyle).  I knew I could kind of fake backstroke, but the one and only time I have ever tried fly, I ended up syringing 2 lungs’ worth of water.  Anyways, the relay hurt, but somehow I managed to do a comical rendition of fly back and forth along the pool without drowning myself.  Jo made sure to get video of it – thanks Jo.

We did most of the Ironman Lanzarote bike course for the remainder of the day.  The wind was supposed to be a light 25kmh, but I think it ended up being in the solid 30′s.  I hung out with Alisha and Wendy for a good part of the first half. My lower back was spasming for most of the windy sections. Alisha was an angel and let me draft through Famara.  We stopped at Teguise for a lunch stop.  I was dreading the next section (25km straight into wind), so I decided to just get moving and get it over with, so I head out solo and spent the rest of the day alone. *Luckily*, it was a pretty hilly 25km, which gave my back some time to change positions.  Once I hit the 100km point, I knew the worst was behind and just pushed through the rest of the ride, stopping only briefly to replenish water.  I did quite well on the Gu products this last ride – I didn’t eat a lot at our lunch station, but with the Chomps and gels, was able to get through the long ride without any energy dips.

Speaking of the camp sponsors, I just wanted to give some honest, positive feedback on some of the awesome shwag that was supplied to us.  First of all, I love the Zoot visors.  I have an enormous head and have found that most caps/visors look ridiculous on me.  The Zoot visor is the only one that I can kind of pull off, so I am really thrilled to have a hat that won’t make my race photos suck. That means a lot to a girl. The Zoot tri shorts were also really flattering and comfy, especially considering how itty bitty they look when you pick them up.  I ended up riding Thursday’s ride in the new shorts, which is usually a risky thing to do on a longish ride so late into a camp when you don’t know if the shorts will work.   I actually kind of missed them yesterday, when I opted to go back to my tried-and-true shorts. The Gu Brew was a nice change from the more acidic electrolyte drinks, especially on my throat, which was raw from seasickness.  As always, the Gu Chomps and gels are standard parts of my fuelling. I seem to be able to get them down when nothing else will go down (I took 50 Gu gels during Ultraman Hawaii in 2007, when my seasickness was so severe that my body rejected every other type of food that I’d brought along). It was all great stuff and much appreciated – but these things made the top of my list this year!

Thanks so much to Tara and Jo for putting on this amazing event. I really live for these camps. I’ve trained so much in mixed/male-dominated groups, but sometimes find it difficult training with guys who are either just way too fast, overall, or who hammer and then fall apart.  It is nice to train with a solid group of like-minded women. I have such respect for how strong Tara, Suzanne and Jo are.  I am just so happy to be able to participate!

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day8+ Epiclogue

It never ceases to amaze me how our bodies can heal with a nite’s (and not even a good one–my Sleep Cycle app tells me that last nite’s sleep was only 38% quality!) rest. Yet somehow i woke up mentally and physically ready to survive a final epic day on Lanza. I have realized that my body definitely takes longer to recover, and these camps sure don’t allot that!

We started the day with a fun swim–pool relay races (1000m IM and 500 free), with five to a team (and each member swimming a 200IM in the first race, and 100m in the second). Sad to report that Jo’s team of Iona, Wendy–sans wetsuit!–Maya, Jo and Karen beat Tara’s crew (me, Robin, Alicia, and Josta, and T ;) )….but we all had fun, and it was a great way to wake up our tired bodies and spirits.

Breakfast was efficient (learned how to eat well and quickly this camp–”you snooze, you lose”, as Daz taught us!) and we got on our bikes remarkably quickly after Jo’s group map review. It has been really challenging with each successive training day to attend to and absorb directions….but we all hit the road with full island maps in our pockets; today’s route was close to the full IM course, and it was with no small amount of trepidation that I set out (having raced here in 2010, I knew it was going to be a looong day…)

It was like a trip down Memory Lane (and up the lane…..and down again. And up. And down. You get the picture! At least the winds were slightly less brutal (25-30 mph). We’d ridden the various components of the route multiple times over the past week, so it was all more or less familiar…just all the bits strung together today.

Like any enormous undertaking–epicWoman camp is like being served an elephant to eat each day: it helps to focus only on the task of consuming just one segment at a time…before you realize it, you’re almost done!

We were all pretty cautious pacing ourselves initially, but as the day progressed, our group of six split into two pairs of 3, and ultimately ones and twos. The lunch stop saw a bit of shifting, and I was glad to overlap with the faster group and switch it up so i was able able to share the second half of the ride with Maya. We have ridden together all over the world, but this place may be the most amazing and fun locale yet. I continually remind myself when things got really tough, to appreciate the moment, for this quite probably is the only time I’ll be able to do this camp; it was fairly brutal….

It was especially wonderful to share the last riding of the camp with Maya….I had the thought (as I watched her ride off up a climb) that this moment was a metaphor for parenting: You do your best to raise strong, independent, self-sufficient kids, and if you succeed, you have the bittersweet opportunity to watch them pull away from you and head off toward a distant horizon. (AND if you’re really fortunate, they’ll come back to check that you’re okay periodically ;) ) I’m so proud of how well she did this past week. Major mental barriers were smashed here at camp, and I know it will give Maya the courage to continue to stretch her boundaries; if i’ve learned anything over the past 5 epicWoman camps, it is that we are only limited by our imagination!

I absolutely loved the campers this week: Josta–you are going to smash the IM here in May! Karen–I expect to see your name on the podium this year for sure. Robyn–I love your indomitable spirit! Alicia–your positive enthusiasm really helped keep us all going this week! Wendy–I think we were sisters in another life ;) ) …. IMSA next year, right?! And Iona–fellow EpicWoman vet, I can only hope continue to in your ultra epic footsteps (although in warm places, not the north pool)!

Many kudos to Debs and Daz here at TriportsLanzarote for opening their hearts and minds to us. And of course, thanks to our fearless leaders–and phenomenal athletes–who did every single session (and them some!!), Tara and Jo. You guys are the inspiration and engines that kept the EpicWoman camp machine going! I look forward to all our paths crossing down the road…..

Cheers!
Lisa

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day 8 – an Epic ending (Jo)

day 8 truly was an EPIC end to the camp, starting as is an EPiC tradition, with swim races. Tara and I split the teams as evenly as possible, based on what we have seen this week and the swim times from our aquathlon race. 50m of each stroke by each team member for the medley relay followed by a 5x 100m freestyle. Lot’s of cheering and laughs and everyone gave top effort even though some had never tried to swim some of the strokes before! Nice work :o )

The main feature of the day…and possibly the whole camp for some…was to ride the Ironman lanzarote bike course. We’d switched our original week’s schedule in which we’d originally planned to to this EPIC ride on thursday based on forecasts of lighter winds today. However, listening to the winds during breakfast, it was quite apparent that this was not the case – but we were committed to it and everyone set off with full pockets and good spirits, ready for the adventure. Tara, Karen, Maya and I followed about half an hour later with the plan of the group coming together more or less for lunch at Teguise, around 80km in. The first section of the ride was a dream, pushed south by the winds; we knew that we’d be paying for it later though! I was feeling pretty weary at this point in the ride and dropped back bit as we looped El Golfo, knowing that I’d come good later on in this long day. We allowed Tara to take the strain right into the headwind on the way North towards and up Fire mountain…Tara holds the course record on this Ironman – how cool is it to be on a camp on this Island, riding the Ironman route on the wheel of the fastest woman to ever have done so? pretty cool :o )  I punctured on the descent, and whilst Karen and Maya waited for me to fix it, Tara had taken off. I didn’t figure that we’d see her again – when we arrived at lunch, she’d just left and that gap was only ever gonna grow! maya hooked up to ride with her mom after lunch, leaving Karen and I together for the remaining half of the ride. We rode solidly together for the rest of the day (with a “sort of” QoM up M.del Rio – which K took) but were really just trying to get through the day and home as soon as possible! Epic, but tired :o )

As we rode the very final nasty climb to the villa, it dawned on me that my hold on the Primera Mujer’s jersey was only a few points…some of which wold be absorbed by the Qom competition…and that she’d have been home a good half hour before us – time for a swim set, or a run!! our ride distance was 20km short of the 180km needed for a bonus – so when we returned to the villa and I saw that T was indeed in the pool, sans wetsuit, I had no choice but to turn my bike around and get those additional 20km done.

it didn’t take long, and i was going to be back well in time for my 6pm massage – then i saw tara heading out for a run WHAT!!! oh no. we had a quick chat and neither of us really knew what the “score” would be….i reckoned that if i ran I might stay in the lead…but, the appeal of that massage couch was too great. Tara put in an EpiC day, pushed me to do a bigger ride than planned and demonstrated that she really is one helluva athlete and sets an example for all of us :o ) if she took a jersey home to prove it, then it’s well deserved.

Everyone arrived form their rides though the late afternoon, pleased and proud of having completed a tough day on a tough camp. I’m proud of everyone for “taking it to the next level” – whatever that means for themselves. We’ve had a great time doing it, meeting these women and look forward to having the opportunity to do so again next year!

The support of Deb and Daz at TriSports has been fantastic, we’ve been real lucky to have such a great group of athletes here…and Lanzarote did not fail to deliver the EPIC training conditions in the ocean, on the bike and even the rugged trail running.

we SMASHED it.

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day7

If the previous days of training on Lanza this week could be described as ‘playing on lava mountains in the winds’, today was more like training in a wind tunnel (with mountains) with the windspeeds set at max–and from all directions.

The day started with an informal aquathon, in the form of a 3k swim in a very active ocean; i swallowed way too much of the cold saltwater to make for a comfortable 5k run along the waterfront. Maya and i decided to slog thru it together, and the time passed relatively quickly, thank goodness!

We returned to refuel with a hearty breakfast (I’m really going to miss these freshly laid, totally organic eggs next week!), in preparation for the extreme wind conditions on the ride up to the northernmost point of Lanza… where the winds shoot over to the island.

Iona, Josta and i had a solid ride together up to Orzola, the start of our day’s TT, and not a moment too soon–battling 30-40mph winds (mostly all crosswinds and headwinds) for nearly 3 hours was pretty challenging. Although we’d done most of the day’s work prior to the 9k uphill TT from Orzola to Mirador del Rio, the latter half of the ride turned out to be tougher for me. I’d basically just paced myself to get up the TT climb without triggering an asthma attack–and also have enough air to sing Happy Birthday to Wendy! (Good thing I wasn’t in race-mode, as my electronic shifting refused to shift for the first kilometer…..) Anyway, I was happy to descend from Mirador post-TT for a brief lunch. But I got shivery-chilled at the stop, and then my energy never really returned. For the second time on the day, Maya rescued me, slowing to ride–and guide–me back to the TriSportsLanzarote house without any detours. I was pretty tapped out, and barely made it thru Thomas’ yoga session on the veranda; while the stretching and gentle movement was definitely needed, I’d had my fill of cold winds for the day.

I really feel my age today; this may well be my last epicWoman camp (tho I’ve told Tara frequently over the camps that I’d be more than happy to participate in the camps as a member of the support crew ;) )…..

BUT. Tomorrow is the last day, and unlike other epicWoman camps, rather than being a shorter day, it will be the biggest ride of the week: the legendary IMlanzarote course. Let’s hope the island winds die down as predicted!

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