North East Training Weekend

Traveling while Ironman training is difficult to say the least. Lucky for us, the DC Tri Club organizes some super fun training weekends. I actually just joined the DC Tri Club board and became the Director of Club Training, so when I transition into the position next month, these weekends will fall under my responsibilities and I’m super excited about it!

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Pablo and I have tried hard not to let training stop us from traveling, but it isn’t always easy. Training weekends are not only great because they allow you to travel to new places, they are also a way to breathe fresh air into your training, and they are super fun social events…even if the rest of the group has 5 extra hours to sit around camp while you get through your super long workout!

This weekend’s training weekend was at Elk Neck State Park near North East, Maryland the site of the North East Sprint and Olympic Triathlons on August 24.

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Never heard of the town of North East? Neither had I, which was awesome, because I always love exploring new places!

Friday after work, Pablo and I packed the car and headed north. We didn’t get to our campsite until after 10pm, and I was super grumpy and tired, so we said hi to some folks, set up the tent and crashed.

Emma sleeps quite comfortably when we camp.

Emma sleeps quite comfortably whenever we go camping.

Saturday we got up bright and early and prepped our bikes and nutrition for our long long rides. Due to some misunderstanding, we failed to pack my oatmeal and we packed jalapeños instead of jelly (Yes, I swear, that actually happened), so Pablo borrowed some jelly and I experimented with a new pre-long ride breakfast: a peanut butter sandwich (I skipped the jelly because I didn’t want breakfast to be too sweet).

At 8am we met up with the group and each of us headed out for anywhere from 26 to 100 miles. From the start I was on my own, as those going shorter distances were pushing much harder than I was.

On our drive in, I had seen some crazy hills, so I knew I needed to take it easy. A few miles in I found Mike, who decided to ride with until mile 30. I had mentally prepared myself to ride alone, but I was so happy when Mike and I found each other!

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The Olympic bike course

I was on my own for the rest of the ride. It was a pretty cool day and while the rain made me a more cautious downhill rider, it felt great! The course was very hilly, especially the section where I made a wrong turn, went down a 34mph hill just to realize I needed to turn around!

About 80 miles into the ride, I decided that my legs had enough (my goal was 6hrs and I was getting close to the time) and I headed back to camp. I rode strong until the 2nd to last hill where I ran out of gears and then ran out of steam. I had reached the mid-80s, so I called it a day.

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My 100-hilly-miles superhero!

Knowing I had just a little under a mile left to the campsite entrance, I jumped off my bike, pulled off my shoes and decided to run the last hills (those suckers were steep!) I called Pablo (who rode 100 miles!) and he met me at the campsite entrance where he took Emma in exchange for my running shoes.

I wish I had a picture of that transition! We must have looked so funny to people entering the park!

I slipped on my shoes and was off on my brick. I was surprised how well I ran, considering how tired my legs were. I ran around the park and camp for 30 minutes and finally rejoined the group, who had gone out for a ride, had lunch, gone for a swim and were sitting around the campsite.

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Little bit of yoga post-long ride & brick

Before settling into a chair, I did some yoga and foam rolling, inhaled the BBQ pork sandwich, some cheese fries and ice cream bar Pablo bought for me at the Camp Store (No, this is not proper post-workout nutrition! To my defense, our diet is normally very healthy, but every now and then we eat the worst stuff!)

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Gigantic marshmallow s’more. YES PLEASE!

After a shower, I joined the group for some dinner and s’mores! Stef brought gigantic camping marshmallows and over the course of the night we perfected our s’mores making.

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Now that’s a serious s’more!

I thought I’d be asleep by 9pm, but with the fun company I made it until after 10 pm before calling it a night. As most other nights, I slept like a baby.

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Time to rest (not sure how I became the foot rest!)

Sunday morning we had planned to meet at 8am, so when I woke up at 7:49am, I freaked out. Lucky for me everyone else was still in their PJs! We got ready and some people headed out for a bike ride, others for a brick and some of us for a long run. I was again on my own pretty soon, sticking to my 4:1 run/walk, but this time we were doing a loop, so I knew I’d see people.

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Ran into Pablo on my way to the Lighthouse.

We’d also planned to meet at the beach for some swimming, so while most people drove to the beach, I timed my run so I would be at 14 miles right as I got to the beach. I got in a quick 0.5 mile swim then lazied around in the water a bit longer while Pablo finished his swim.

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North East Beach

After clearing the camp, a few of us decided to go check out the quaint town of North East.

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We had a yummy lunch at Steak and Main, then stopped by Woody’s Ice Cream ally for some delicious chocolate banana ice cream.

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I couldn’t resist smooching with Calamity Jane.

Pablo and I wandered around a little longer and right when I asked him if he thought I looked weird in my compression sleeves, we ran into this awesome gentleman!

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I have no idea why we both look so dorky in this picture!

While Pablo bought coffee, he chatted with me about North East, Nova Scotia and Maine (we visited Maine a couple of years ago and I loooooved it!) Then it was time to head back home, but not before capturing one last picture at the souvenir shop across the street from Steak & Main.

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Check out my Catch of the Day “sexy”pose. Lol.

Did you travel this weekend? Where’d you go and did you get a chance to workout? Ever walked around quaint towns with your calf sleeves? 

4 comments
  1. What a super cool opportunity for you (this new position!). I really respect and admire how you and Pablo have thrown yourselves into this–and I think that it is the right way to do it. With Ironman, you need to go whole-hog, to feel that team behind you both for support and also tough love (GETCHO ASS IN THE WATER FOOL). I also know that you will be marvelous at it!
    This seems like my type of camping trip! Camping always comes with it’s hilarious gaffs and guffaws, someone always makes a wrong turn or brings the wrong thing, and that is what is so infuriating and hilarious about it. And I dig the BBQ + smores decision. ALWAYS.
    As for compression sleeves, DID YOU SEE THE PIC ON MY BLOG TODAY AND YESTERDAY. ALWAYS obnoxious compression sleeves/socks. Go big, or go hoooommmmme.
    Alex hates camping, I am actually not opposed to it. I say I go with next time, but I will run, you all can bike (a) don’t have the bike b) not in as good shape)

    • That is the best outfit ever! Is that compression socks with boat shoes?
      Next time we’re in same area we should go camping! Or maybe glamping?

  2. Mike and I are lighthouse obsessed so I need to go here! It is really, really, really hard to travel while training. We can’t go to Maine this summer (where I’m from) because of it, and I think for the most part all of our travel weekends (that don’t have a race) are done until after the Ironman. It is just too stressful!

    • I know, it’s so hard. I’m exhausted after the trip, but well worth it. I love love love to travel and it has been so hard. I want to go back to Maine. The lighthouses there are beautiful, everything there is beautiful!

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