What an epic first day–tougher than any of the previous EpicWoman camps for sure!The day started off with an almost 3k swim from DigMe beach (I probably logged close to 3k since I swam off on a tangent at one point–good thing Tara has a loud yell, and that I heard her and reversed course ). I swam over a huge school of surgeon fish at one point–probably close to a thousand of them–what an amazing sight! I was pleased to see that my swim strength has finally returned since my multiple shoulder injuries three years ago, and rather enjoyed the swim (minus the swells, of course–thank goodness for meclazine)!After a yummy hot breakfast (thanks, Etienne!), we set out from the house to ride most of the IM course, the only detour being that we started and ended the ride from our gorgeous digs up at 1600ft, halfway up the mountain. The cruise down to almost sea level is exhilarating….the climb back up, not so much.This camp is similar in ways the the very first EpicWoman camp (Arizona, 2010) in that due to 4 last-minute cancellations, we are only a group of 5 women–but very lucky to be waited on by Etienne Couture and David Taylor! Every camp has a different vibe depending on who attends, but with fewer women, there are more opportunities to face your demons alone, if there aren’t campers of similar abilities–or lack thereof, as in my case! We hung together for the first 15 or so miles, but as the day progressed, I found myself dropped like a bad habit multiple times.
I’m increasingly reticent to push beyond a certain level of discomfort anymore (asthma attacks and nausea being big deterrents…but I also am just not as ‘hungry’ these days, perhaps a bit too complacent for my own good!), and I’m hoping to tap into that desire to suffer a bit this week; no complacency at this camp!
However, once my legs started cramping in multiple muscle groups halfway up to Hawi, I had little choice to do anything but attempt to remedy and manage the at times paralyzing discomfort. (You know it’s bad when you’re reliant on Lamaze breathing…)
So dspite almost perfect conditions, wind-wise, for that route, I was sadly unable to really ride well most of the day. Hopefully as the week progresses and I become more heat-acclimated, I’ll be able to hang with the gals a bit longer during the rides (although at 55 years old, perhaps that’s too ambitious?). This is an exceptionally strong group of women cyclists–very inspiring and determined!
The day’s run was (thankfully) cancelled by executive decision–it would not have been a pretty sight, were I even able to complete it in the 12-hour training window! So with a 2k tack-on along the Mumalahoa Highway, I finally arrived at our digs after 180k in the saddle.
Dinner was salmon, quinoa and salad–delicious and much appreciated! I’m hopeful that meal and a good night’s sleep will work some magic and I’ll be ready to give a better effort tomorrow….!