Training Camp Survival….Halfway Alive

Team Ossenbrink members, our first ride!

As I sit here, just finished my enormous dinner, enjoying a glass of delicious Merlot, I decided now is a better time than any to shoot up a quick blog post. Why not? It’s one of the few spare moments I have to myself, that I’m not training, eating, sleeping, or stretching. Yup, this is camp. My second BIG camp away from home, and by away from home, I mean AWAAAAAAYYYYYYY (far) AWAY from home. Tucson, Arizona, to be exact. The triathlon mecca, frequented by the sports fastest athletes, and home to the infamous Mount Lemmon (a DAMN solid 29mile climb, but more on that later.) I have been here since March 26th, so technically I’m over halfway done. But really, I feel like the biggest, best, and hardest is yet to come. Already logging some MONSTER mileage (especially on the bike,) all the while enjoying weather that has pushed to the upper 30’s Celcius on many occasions, I’ve enjoyed the company of many.

Elliot and I, Observatory, TOP of Lemmon
The team on top of Lemmon. 27MILES!
Jonna and I at top of Lemmon, Ski Valley
Summit number 2, CRUSHED!

First off, part of Team Ossenbrink was down here during my first week’s stay (Elliot Holtham, Megan Wolfe, and Jenn Kohm,) and I had the pleasure of logging some great days with them. Really learned about the heat with them, as on one occasion I found myself out in the middle of Fricken Nowheresville, smoking hot, and having run out of water. And got a flat. That was an interesting day for sure! We had an outstanding time climbing Mount Lemmon (twice,) and the second time around, Elliot and I did probably 1.25 times up Lemmon. I was sad to see my teammates leave, but will be back with the group soon enough.

Jonna’s first ICEBATH!

Another athlete I had the pleasure of enjoying my first few weeks of camp with was Jonna Trexler, an exceptional triathlete who is relatively new to this sport, but is already tackling her first season as a professional. She is already a force to be reckoned with, and you should keep your eyes on her, as she’ll really be tearing it up out there this year! We spent many long days on the bike together, and made Mount Lemmon a regular ride. Our most memorable moment was just the other day actually, when we discovered there was a ‘Cookie Cabin’ up at the top, in Summerhaven, that sells (try and guess THIS one) GIANT COOKIES!!! I, of course, had to ensure that this place actually existed, so before Jonna and I’s ‘date’ at the cabin, I rode up there to check it out. Oh boy, did they EVER exist!

Our Cookie Date, and my PIZZA!

Yeah. A monster. PLATE-SIZED ‘Sampler.’
Post Lemmon treat: MEXICAN!

 These are no ordinary sized cookies, they are friggin RIDICULOUSLY HUGE! The size of a plate, literally! We decided we would have a monster climbing day, and reward ourselves with a date lunch at the Cookie Cabin. Not only did we BOTH polish off a monster cookie (Jonna, the chocolate chip, and I, the ‘sampler,’ consisting of all 6 flavors combined into one cookie,) but I also had 3 cups of coffee (because it’s NECESSARY for dipping the cookie in,) and an ENTIRE pizza to wash it down. I absolutely SMASHED the rest of the bike, I’ve never felt that great on the roads. Unreal. Perhaps my secret weapon for racing should be eating cookies! It’s a nutrition strategy that’ll have NO complaints from me!

Jonna’s 703 and my P3C. Perfect match.
Eload Camp Kit

But seriously, I’ve had some MAJOR help since I’ve been down here. They say it takes a village, and in my case, the village is the most outstanding team of support that anyone could possibly imagine! For starters, Eload Nutrition sent me down a huge Camp Package consisting of Eload, FLY, Emend, Eload GELS, and ZONE CAPS, all of which have been instrumental in keeping me hydrated, fueled, and recovered for the heat and intense training load (pushing 40hrs a week.) The amount of sweat that I’m letting go out here would leave me crippled without Eload products to replenish it all. Seriously. Ask Jonna, I look like frosty the snowman at the end of every day from the thick layer of salt coating my face!

How I get ‘BAJONGED’

Choco-blueberry Recovery!

 Jennifer Bajus of BAJONG BAR shipped me a few boxes of bars to train with, and not ONLY do they give me a good hit of energy for the LOOOONG hours on the bike, but they also taste AMAZING! They are like a treat out there, I was using my favorite (Chocolate Peanut Butter Chew) as my reward for climbing Lemmon! All natural and nutritious, they help me get fuel in throughout the days.

Recovering as HARD as I can. Tough Life.
Speed Theory induced cockpit

Another key ingredient in my recipe for camp success has been my Compressport gear. I’ve been practically LIVING in my full leg sleeves, calf guards, and quad sleeves (not all at the same time, of course!) They have kept my legs fresh for the repeated abuse that I’ve been putting them through, whether it’s been 35k runs, or 180km bike rides, they haven’t let me down.

The ONLY way to start the day!
Frequent view of the Mount Lemmon start, Mile 0

My butt wouldn’t be the same without my Belgum Butter, Assos Afterride gel (both from Speed Theory,) and my Speed Theory Vancouver bike kit. It’s so comfortable, and unlike last year’s Las Vegas camp, my rear hasn’t felt better (along with the PERFECT fitting Cobb V-Flow Plus Saddle.) Ever. Along with the goodies Speed Theory has provided me for this ‘journey,’ I’ve been shredding apart the desert in some epic runs with my New Balance 1400 race flats and NB 890 V2 shoes, all from New Balance Vancouver. Without my support team, I don’t know how I’d survive here (with the workload from Coach Bjoern, I probably wouldn’t.)

It feels THIS good EVERY time I climb to the top of Lemmon!

Anywho, time to hit the hay, getting ready for some more massive miles tomorrow! I hope everyone is enjoying the start of Spring, I’ve heard it’s starting to get a **little** nicer back home. Happy training everyone, and be safe!

Nathan

The ‘Theme’ of camp. Words, and rules, to live by.

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