Skip to main content
Triathlete Blog

Summer Camp

By June 27, 2008June 10th, 2015No Comments

Next week is the start of summer camp.

Summer camp was put together when I convinced Ness and Beth they needed to spend a week with me. Hanging out, drinking coffee, training. Really I just wanted to show them the finest of suburban training – how to share a swim lane with someone walking with a foam noodle, how to bike the same 3 mile loop around an industrial park for 33 miles while dodging trucks, how to run bricks in the gutter.

You may not have read about it in magazines but trust me the Chicagoland suburbs are one of the top 10 places to train for triathlon in the world. And in the famous words of Sinatra, if you can make it here you’ll make it….anywhere. That is, if you survive the trucks, crazy people driving on cell phones and the highway bridge of death by my house.

I am plucking Ness right out of wherever she lives. I’m convinced she lives in a treehouse somewhere out east with her dogs and her crazy homemade contraptions for cleaning cobwebs. I’ve already warned her – out here we have noise. Each morning around 5 am the sounds of the highway, the construction trucks reversing, the wind, the train, the car alarms – they all start like revelry on a bugle.

She assures me she can sleep through anything.

When I asked what she needed me to the stock in the house her request was simple – soy creamer, the one in the pink carton and…don’t screw this up Fedofsky.

I’m a little scared.

Beth is even more of an enigma. Plus she’s married to some guy named “O”. Talk about mysterious. Like Ness, I’ve never met Beth. I am sharing my home with two complete strangers. Don’t you love blogosphere? Nothing says psychoonlinestalker like…we’ve never met, now come stay in my house. So you’ve got me pegged. I am an online stalker that preys on young female triathletes inviting them to my house so I can….draft off of them.

My husband asked if I wanted him to disappear for a week. Did he purchase some kind of magic wand? If so, can we keep it around the house all year just in case? I told him no, there are reasons you should stay. For one thing, how often can you say you are the only male at camp with nothing but tri hotties? Second of all, who will be our mechanic on call? Third, I bet the blogs from his point of view will be worth a read so I’m keeping him around for journalism purposes too.

When I asked Beth what she needed she requested something like 5 bags of frozen vegetables. I thought – wow, she must be on some hard core sports nutrition diet eating vegetables at all 3 meals. She told us that the bags are to ice all of her body parts every night.

Beth, we are going to get along just well.

It’s important to note this is not camp htfu. You can only do one of those a year. Instead I’m calling this one stfu – soften the f*ck up, slow the f*ck up or – as Ness reminded me if I get too sassy before I have my coffee – shut the f*ck up.

Thanks, Ness.

The training will be what we normally do and what we’re supposed to do. By golly if my coach says ride 75 minutes that’s what I do and not a minute more. I am totally prepared to put my bike down at 75 no matter where we are. And I don’t go out of my heart rate zones. So go ahead and drop me because I spend a lot of time in zone 1. I know, I know everyone thinks everyone else is out there training in zone 100 getting faster while their mean evil coach is making them train in zone 1. Boo hoo. Well, zone 1 is where I live most of the time. It is slow and in case you don’t believe me – come run with me for 2 hours on Sunday. All in zone 1.

Beth gave me her schedule, I took my schedule and the funny thing was that they were quite similar. There are a few bikes, a few runs and to Ness’ surprise – a lot of swims.

You people sure do swim a lot.

Considering we were not born into the ocean and raised on an island, Ness, us land lovers do have to swim…lots. We’ll do the open water swim race in Lake in the Hills. Yes, I already accepted what will likely be defeat from the entire Multisport Madness Kids Team. Bob, you’ll be pleased to pee yourself about the fact that we will also be attending the group ride. Other than that it’s just your standard stuff that us triathletes do – train, recover, train again, eat, relax. Throw some coffee in there and you’ve got a perfect day.

There’s been some talk from the children about doing workouts before 9 am. Beth even mentioned 5:15 am. Who goes to the track at 5:15 am? Someone still in their 20’s. Jen will join us for some workouts and politely reminded Beth that the elderly (those of us in our 30’s) do not go to the track before 9 am. In fact I’d rather go at 9 pm. Ness chimed in by telling us she’d be in bed by 8 pm. I said how could that be – that’s when masters starts?

Fear not, we’ll figure out the timeline and in the meantime enjoy the good company of each other all week long. And I do hope they enjoy the best of my training in the suburbs. I may not have rolling hills or country roads but the places I train are beautiful and challenging to me. We have miles of crushed limestone running paths that wind through meadow and oak forests. Fermilab is serene and makes me feel like I am somewhere otherworldly with the contrast of high power lines set against the prairie landscape. The quarry is a gem tucked along the riverwalk. And my masters team is number one in the state. For all those reasons I’m convinced that anyone who poo poo’s my training grounds will spend the week picking up my dog’s poo poo.

Girls, don’t test me on that.

So let the summer camp taper begin. You have one weekend to build your glycogen stores and relax your legs. Because we’re going to shell ourselves all week long in zone 5a. Beth just cried into her bag of frozen peas. I’m just kidding about all of that. Honestly I’m convinced the hardest thing we will do all week is figure out who is tough enough to handle how absolutely adorable my dog is.

I know, Liz….stfu.