Training Camp Triathlon Style

Training Camps have opened all across the country for the players of the National Football League.  For me, this past weekend was a training camp as well but this was a triathlon training camp.  I made the decision about a month ago to invite myself down to the Houston area to spend the weekend chasing The Carrot (Jeff Irvin) all around his neighborhood.  The timing worked out perfectly as Jeff was going to be doing his final big block of training in advance of Ironman Mont-Tremblant and I am in the throes of training for Rev3 OOB Maine and Ironman Arizona.


At A Rest Stop Flashing Off Jeff’s FLO CYCLING Race Wheels

Our plan was for me to head out from Dallas on Friday afternoon to get to Jeff and Annie’s by dinner time.  We would eat, load up water bottles and be asleep early so that we could catch up with a group ride that started at 630a on Saturday.  We would ride for 4 hours then follow that up with a 30 minute run.  After that we had no plans but to make sure to get to bed early again so that we could be on the road running for 1.5 hours by 530am and then hit the pool for a good swim and then I would be back on the road to Dallas by lunch time.  All sounded great and you know what…..we nailed it.

Friday around 1pm I got on the road after packing as if I were moving in with the Irvin’s and not just staying for a weekend. This sport of triathlon that I love involves a lot of shit.  Let’s see what I brought:  1 cooler with Herbalife products, rice cakes, powdered peanut butter, honey, plates and knives and forks.  1 triathlon bag with cycling shoes, helmet, water bottles, running shoes, swim cap, goggles, pull buoy, towels and running sneakers.  1 bag with clothes for wearing and clothes for training.  1 bag with laptop, ipad, cords and magazines.  Oh, and don’t forget the bike and the pump in the car plus the small cooler that had fruit and 3 water bottles for the 4 hour drive.  As I had planned on taking it slow I didn’t mind stopping nearly every hour to have to use the restroom.  Pulled up to the Irvin’s house around 5pm and unloaded all that garbage.  As soon as Annie got home it was off to dinner.

Now here is a funny story about dinner.  We go to an Italian restaurant and I order a veggie pizza with no cheese.  After Annie and I split a hummus plate I can see the waiter walk up to the table with the pizza and then turn around to head back to the kitchen.  Annie says that there was cheese on the pizza and so they had to take it back to make a new one.  After the food comes and we are chowing down and laughing and having a good time the waiter comes by with a complimentary dessert.  Guess what he brings?  He brings a cheesecake?  Really?  I just ordered pizza with NO CHEESE and you bring a cheesecake to make up for bringing the first pizza over with cheese?  Annie, Jeff and I just laughed at the irony of it all.  Off to the house we watch some Olympics and then early to bed.

When the alarm went off in the morning I hit snooze about 100x as I was just not ready to hit the road but it was time to go.  Jeff and I load up the Team Baha vehicle and head out to the Lifetime Fitness gym.  From there we would ride two miles to the launch site of the group ride.  When we got to the launch site I had to buy some HoneyStinger waffles.  I got two vanilla and 1 chocolate.  I had never tried the chocolate and it was good.  Not as good as the Vanilla and Honey but better than Strawberry.  7am comes and the ride starts.  After about 30 minutes we are stopped by a train crossing and as we are standing there I say to the group:  Nobody told me we were going swimming in the ocean first.  I was covered in sweat and could feel the wet blanket of humidity covering me.  It was unreal how covered in sweat I was.

Jeff and I split off from the group and ride at our own pace and move around the area at a very nice clip.  The one thing I noticed about this ride is that it is FLAT.  I mean completely flat.  I downloaded my Garmin data and the total elevation gain over 70 miles was 217 feet.  The ride in and of itself was great as it was a different route, obviously, than I had been riding but the company was awesome.  Jeff and I talked the whole time and laughed a lot throughout the ride.  One thing that was key was that we stopped a few time and I had to pee which meant that I was hydrating properly.

At one point Jeff and I were going about 20 mph and enjoying ourselves when this terrier comes tearing out of his yard and chasing us.  We picked up the pace to the tune of 28 mph and the little dude was not just hanging with us but he got right in between us which means he was going faster than 28mph.  It was hilarious and I could not stop laughing at this dog.  Thanks pup for giving us our interval work for that hour.


Dangle the Carrot and Cook Train Eat Race enjoying the Olympics

When we were done we put in a solid 30 minute run and the legs were starting to feel it by the end of the run.  There was this feeling of a huge gorilla sitting on my chest.  The air is thick and damp and it is a much different climate to work in than the weather in Dallas.  Once we were done with the run we decided to have lunch and as we were getting ready to go grab food we made the best decision ever which was to go and shower first.  Now here is where I feel for Annie.  In to the house come these two smelly and sweaty guys that had just finished working out for nearly 5 hours.  It was a horrendous smell that came into the house.  Shower off to lunch then onto the couch for some Olympics.  Now when they invent the ability to watch TV through your eyelids Jeff and I will be ready. As you can see from the pic we both passed out.

On Sunday morning we were going to put in 90 minutes (sounds much longer than 1.5 hours doesn’t it?) and then hit the pool.  As soon as we walked outside I knew that the run was going to be a slugfest.  Jeff and I had planned on running 10 miles in the 90 minutes for a 9 minute pace.  We decided to incorporate a 10 second walk break at each mile to simulate the aid stations at the Ironman races.  Once we started that gorilla on my chest had been joined by an elephant.  Seriously difficult to breathe with the humidity.  After about 2-3 miles I finally felt in a groove.  After 45 minutes we stopped at the car to top off liquids and off we went.  It was at this time that the sun was coming up and the weather felt great.  That lasted about 20 minutes and then the heat began to creep in.  When the 10 miles was up (after 95 minutes) and we were walking toward Starbuck’s I could feel the bucket of sweat just dripping down over me.  I changed shirts in the parking lot and could actually ring out my clothes they were that bad.

At the pool after the run and the 70* water felt cold.  Once I started my swim I thought:  Holy crap this is long.  Did the heat and humidity sap every ounce of strength from me?  That is when I realized that this was a 25 meter pool and not the 25 yard pool I was used to swimming in.  Every set felt longer than the next and it actually was.  I put in 2500 meters of swimming and it felt good on my legs.  The hot tub felt even better.

Back at the house and Annie had made us waffles……yaa-hoo!  Oh these waffles were the best thing I had ever eaten.  I jumped in the car for an eat and run incident but I knew that if I did not start driving I would never make it home as the exhaustion would take over soon enough.  I managed to get home in about 4 hours and when I walked through the door the only thing I could think about was food.  I was starving and wolfed down dinner then watched Running the Sahara with Karen and started to doze off around 8pm.

An awesome triathlon training camp weekend with Jeff was done and it was time to get ready to get back into my routine.  I cannot wait to have another triathlon training camp and right now we are looking at February in Austin where we can get some climbing in.  Thank you Jeff and Annie for hosting me.

What did you do this weekend?  How was your training?


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  1. Maria Simone says:

    Cool camp! I love those kinds of weekends :)

    I know exactly what you mean about the gorilla on your chest. Our humidity has been in the 80-90% range for almost two months now. It’s terrible.
    Maria Simone recently posted..There is no magic on race dayMy Profile

  2. Jill says:

    What a great, fun, weekend with your friend. I’m not sure how you guys in humidity-land do it…it gets to about 20% humidity here and I literally fall apart. Spoiled I am I guess :).

    They make a Honey Stinger Waffle in lemon now – delish!!
    Jill recently posted..Predict It, Win It!!My Profile

    • CTER says:

      I saw that they make it in Lemon as well. They didn’t have any at the bike shop otherwise I would have tried that as well. I need to order so I will include lemon in my order.

      Yes you are spoiled without the humidity but you do have elevation. Every location brings with it its own challenges.
      CTER recently posted..Training Camp Triathlon StyleMy Profile

  3. Jeff Irvin says:

    Great weekend buddy! You and Karen are welcomed here anytime!

    Even though it was a slugfest with the weather and we felt like a couple of sloths we still got it done.

    We will have to figure out the Austin camp in Feb – it will be awesome to get out around Lake Travis and blow ourselves up for a couple of days.

    Now go clean your bike (-:
    Jeff Irvin recently posted..I Fought the Heat and the Heat Won …My Profile

    • CTER says:

      It was a blast out there and the camp in February will be even better. Talk about trashing our bodies for a couple of days…..that will be it.

      El D is in the back of the house waiting for the hose to be turned onto it…..haha! It needs it badly.!
      CTER recently posted..Training Camp Triathlon StyleMy Profile

  4. Matt Oravec says:

    I love this!!!! So cool you guys hammered out the weekend like that.

    I have one question though… Powdered Peanut butter… Seriously dude?!?!? What is the benefit? Enlighten me because I did not know it existed haha.

    Great job w/ the last big weekend, so happy I got my saddle time in this weekend or I would be afraid of never catching up w/ you at Maine ;)
    Matt Oravec recently posted..MS150 – Pedal to the Point 2012My Profile

  5. HAHAHA! That photo of you guys watching the Olympics sums up every weekend after training! Slumped on the couch halfway in and halfway out! Love it. Sounds like a great weekend =] I had a 30mi ride on Saturday with a 20min TT (all out) and then yesterday we rode 44mi (6500′ climbing in the first 22mi) backed up with an 8mi run. It was hot and hard!
    Rose @ Eternal Recess recently posted..Thoughts From a Long RunMy Profile

    • CTER says:

      Uhhhh….6500′ of climbing in 22 miles? WTF! If I pulled up all my miles from this year and calculated elevation gain I would guess it would not be 6500′. Damn that is a lot. WOW!

      And Rose… was hot and hard! TWSS!…..haha!
      CTER recently posted..Training Camp Triathlon StyleMy Profile

  6. sounds like a fun weekend! Glad you getting some humidity training in prior to maine since today the dew point is 69 and the humidity level is 93%….yeah, sticky.

    all weekend and only two pics.
    cmon boys~

    MilesMusclesMom recently posted..Tri for a Cure Weekend & A ContestMy Profile

  7. Natasha says:

    Lucky! I have always wanted to do a triathlon camp but there aren’t any close enough to me to be affordable. I had a great weekend of training now I hope to keep that momentum going through the week!
    Natasha recently posted..But I must!My Profile

  8. Kevin says:

    Did I catch from your comment on Jeff’s blog that you are just learning to do flip turns???

    You should just move in with Jeff and Annie. They have the room. Bailey and Ernie would love it. And training in that heat would make you even more BA.

    Wait, there is cheese in cheesecake??? BAHAHAHA! Was it the Home Depot Italian restaurant???

    You don’t like strawberry waffles? I love them. Just got a box of them in the mail actually.

    You better find some hills before MiTi. There are a couple of climbs alone that are 217 feet ;)

    That pic of you guys passed out is absolutely hilarious. Probably because if you were to add me on middle chair, it would have been just like The Woodlands.

    Annie made you waffles!?!?! I thought that was a special treat that she made us!!!

    • CTER says:

      Not just learning but trying to perfect. Don’t do it as much as I should because I keep whacking my head on the bottom of the pool. Flipping too deep.

      Yeah, I could move in with them but I would need Annie to promise those waffles on Saturday and Sunday after the long workouts. And the waffles Annie made for me were the ‘Here, get out of my house’ variety where as yours and Jennie’s were probably of the ‘Here, so happy to have you here’ variety.

      No Home Depot restaurants this time around but the service there was at least smarter. Then again when you dine with all the 70-90 year olds there is bound to be wisdom.

      Trust me that is only down in the Houston area. I rode for 1.5 hours today and probably had 3x as much elevation in 1/3 the amount of time riding.

      Yeah dude I was totally thinking of the day of The Woodlands marathon. We woke up and Annie had ordered 17 pies for 5 people……good times!

  9. Marlene says:

    Sounds like the perfect weekend – except for that awful humid air. Blech. Way to tackle some major workouts! That is too funny about the speedy little dog and the cheesecake. bahahah
    Marlene recently posted..Insta-Friday and a Planet Gear GiveawayMy Profile

    • CTER says:

      It was a tone of fun.

      Yeah that little dog was flying. Think about this. Jeff and I were at 20 mph and when he came ‘charging’ out of the yard we went up to 28 mph and he not only caught us but was in the middle of our bikes when he stopped chasing. That means he was going faster than 28 mph. Unreal.

  10. Nice! That’s a good hard weekend full of fun. Well done!
    Carolina John recently posted..Lake Logan Race ReportMy Profile

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