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Dispatch: This One Time, At Tri Camp…

  • By Holly Bennett
  • Published Mar 6, 2014

Day 3

Thunder and lightning, cheers and fist bumps, rainbows and unicorns. OK, I made up the part about the unicorns–but otherwise that more or less sums up day three.

The morning was meant to kick off with an epic swim–a 100 x 100 set for the majority of campers, with half that distance (50 x 100) for us slowpokes. The excitement mounted as we caravanned to the University of Arizona Rec Center pool and kicked off our first few hundred yards. My lane was merely 750 into our set when a huge crack of thunder and a flash of lightning had the lifeguards scrambling to clear everyone from the pool. Plan B? Head to a nearby Starbucks.

I should interject a little something about coffee. I’m a coffee addict–nothing happens in my world before brewing a deep, dark mug of thick sludge each morning. I often travel with my own coffee making equipment, rather than risk a less than ideal morning fix. While packing for Tucson I texted Hillary: Are you coffee people? She responded with a photo of their fancy schmancy coffee/espresso machine, so I knew I was in good hands. But I had no idea just how much coffee I would consume throughout the course of camp! My coffee drinking is usually confined to the morning hours, but our sidetrack trip to Starbucks marked only my second of three rounds of highly concentrated caffeine on day three of camp.

We held out hope that the thunder and lightning would subside and the lanes reopen, but the storm clouds stuck around and it looked more and more like swimming would have to wait until the end of the day. Instead, we seized the opportunity to descend upon Pico de Gallo for a second time, stuffing our bellies once again with a brunch we hadn’t yet earned. But soon enough we would burn it off–our flip-flopped training schedule meant that we rode immediately after lunch, this time a shorter but steeper climb up and over Gates Pass.

Post-ride we made our way back to the pool, starting from scratch in our quest to conquer what would be the longest set many of us had ever swam. I led the 50 x 100 lane and delighted in keeping myself, Donna and Steph squarely on track. At the 2500 mark I mentioned to the girls that we were halfway through. Cheers erupted! At 4200 I noted their milestone: Let me point out that you’ve now covered the distance of an Ironman swim! Fist bumps all around! Soon after, the clouds cleared and a perfect rainbow arced over the pool–reward enough for our delayed swim start. By the time we reached 5000 yards, all three of us were pretty stoked–and pretty tired! I tacked on an extra 200, simply because I wanted to go an even 1,000-yards longer than my previous longest swim–my own personal milestone. I also took note of the workout of one of the 10,000-yard lanes–something I’m determined to tackle once I‘ve logged another month or two of regular swimming

The evening ended with a group of us waiting and cheering at the end of the lane as Nancy (from Nova Scotia) and Jillian–the final 10,000-yard finishers–pushed through their last round of 100’s.

Quotes of the Day:

“I did so much better using the pull buoy. I need to have one of those surgically implanted between my thighs!” – Steph, referring to the 100’s that we were instructed to pull.

“I’m outside of my comfort zone in more ways than one on this triathlon camp!” -Steph 
again (seriously, I can’t get enough of this girl!), after a laughter-laced round of oh-so-intimate girl talk while waiting for the storm clouds to clear.

By the Numbers:
9 shots of espresso (the total I consumed to survive the day–4 in my morning mug, 3 in my Starbucks latte and 2 as a boost between our ride and swim)

RELATED: The Making Of Ironman Champion Hillary Biscay

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