Triathlon Training Camp Summary (aka I survived Fat Camp!)

I apologize for how long it’s taken me to get this post up. A few of you have been poking me to find out how fat camp was and I kept responding, “Awesome! I’m writing a blog post… it’s coming!” Here is is three weeks later and I’m only just getting it posted.
March 3rd through 10th I was away in Panama City Beach to spend a week training with the Fighting Koalas.  One word description of the week: incredible.
I can’t believe how much I accomplished in the week, even with a bum knee! This camp was well organized, well run and so. much. fun. Of course, it helped that the group of people I spent the week with were awesome too. In case you want to check out the camp for yourself, you can find more at: It is very competitively priced and the coaches are amazing, answering all kinds of questions, offering support and feedback on the fly as you’re doing the workouts. 
Here’s how my week went down…
Saturday 3 March
Picked up @FitBoundy from Clappison’s Corners, aka Mecca For All That Is Camouflaged. Seriously, there were at least four people in line at Tim Horton’s wearing camo. I could only see them because they didn’t blend into the background of a grubby roadside coffee stop. When they went outside… poof! Gone.
There’s a Dodge Neon in this picture, can you see it?

From the rear

 We then made our way to Buffalo for our flight to Panama City Beach. The weather over the states was really poor that day, so we were delayed by an hour and a half in Atlanta and arrived in PCB just in time to go to the welcome meeting on Saturday night. It wasn’t so nice

Sunday 4 March

Lots of machinery! Ginger is 3rd bike on the right from the bottom.

It was sideways raining on Saturday night and I was really concerned that the weather wouldn’t clear in time for Sunday’s start to the camp. I was pleasantly surprised however, on waking up on Sunday morning. The day was clear, with a cool wind.  That morning, we did 40km of biking, getting a glimpse of Michael Jordan’s home. This was by far the longest ride I’ve had on Ginger. My lady parts were sore after but I didn’t care because I was FAST. (Sidebar: when I got home I tweeted @Cervelo to give them my love and they paid it forward, retweeting me to their 12,000+ followers!) I so very much love my P1.

That bike ride, for me, was the start of a week-long endorphins high. The best descriptor of this feeling was that it’s pretty much the exact same feeling as finishing a race.

After a quick lunch, we headed to the pool, a 2.5K run there and 2.5K back afterwards. I spent an hour in the pool, the first time I’d swam since the fall of last year.

After supper we went for a walk in Park Helen, scoping out some trails and historical buildings.

I was in bed by 8PM and asleep by 8:10PM. Not even kidding.

The setting sun from our balcony

Monday 5 March
We immediately headed off to the pool (2.5km run) in the morning.The main set on Monday, and keep in mind that I was in the slower/lower volume lane, was about 1200m. That’s a big deal for me. I’m not a big swimmer and I’ve got terrible form but there is something about a giant pool and 50m lanes that make me a guppy.

After lunch was a cycle, time trial styles.We did 10K warm-up, then 5 repeats of the 3K time trial sprint. I was pleased with my abilities, getting progressively faster.  I was pretty sore from the ride the day before but after about 10minutes, I was numb and flying on my Ginger. God I love that bike. I got sun burnt on the backs of my legs during this ride. So much for no sunburns in 2012…

That afternoon, right after the bike, we did a 5K run along the beachfront road. Lots of honks. Must have been my lobster red legs and face and pasty white arms…

The wonky eye comes out when I’m dopey. Which, really, is pretty much all the time.

The evening was a dinner out as a group. I had a giant plate of pasta… guess why… Also, I ate about three loaves of bread on top of the pasta. Starvin’ Marvin!

Early to bed again but I think I made it until 9PM this night.

Lines of beach chairs in front of our condo and the waters of the Gulf

Tuesday 6 March
More swimming (2.5k run to the pool, rode back) in the morning. My knee was sore from the run on Monday and the afternoon bike was one I didn’t want to miss!

For the afternoon session, we rode for 3 hours on the Ironman Florida course. @FitBoundy and I covered 30km out and 30km back, a whopping 60km bike ride for me. That’s both the LONGEST RIDE I’VE EVER DONE and probably close to a third of the total kms I’d put on Ginger! This ride was awesome. We were pushed by the wind going out and needed some help from Koaches  Mat and Evan to get us back as quickly. At the halfway point, we stopped to have a snack of PB sandwiches and gatorade. We were careful to watch for alligators too.

That afternoon we checked out Pier Park (shopping, not historical or nature). Found the very important Starbucks and Marble Slab establishments.

I’ve never seen so many flying advertisements in one week!

The training day was wrapped up by a nutritional talk, given by Joanne Matters, of, a holistic nutritionist. Joanne taught us about getting sugar out of our diets and healthy fats in. It was very interesting and eye opening.

We’d bought some red wine by this point and I think we drank a bottle that night. I doubt I made it past 10pm… @FitBoundy was making fun of how quickly I could fall asleep.

More beach…

Wednesday 7 March
Guess how my day started! (Swimming, 1hr…)
Rode to swimming because I was trying to rest my knee for the run in the afternoon.

After the swim and some lunch, we headed out for a speed workout. My knee was acting up by this point so I had to take it easy(ier). I only could do 2×1.5km of the speed workout instead of the 4 repeats I wanted to do. In total, I did about 6km in that run workout with the warm up and cool down. Not too shabby for an old lady knee.

Afternoon was filled with more shopping, especially for groceries. We ate SO MUCH FOOD. Fat camp wasn’t really fat camp… I didn’t lose any weight (there, have since coming home though) but I ate probably 2200 calories a day, no problem.

Thursday 8 March
Ride to swimming because my knee sucked. Did 1600m in the pool like a rockstar. By this point in the week, both @FitBoundy and I were suffering from raw skin on our cheeks. Something about the combination of a lot of sun, wind, salt water and SPF50 made for sore spots on our cheeks that stung in the pool.

Epic Brick 8km run, 24km bike. 2.5hrs.Written out like that it doesn’t seem like much but this was probably my favourite workout of the week. It wasn’t supposed to be a race but your adrenaline and endorphins are up and all hell breaks loose.

The work starts with Koach Mat taking us through the loop – the 3km bike out and back on a narrow-ish recreational path with a tight turn around point at the top of the loop, more on this in a minute, then back into transition and out for a 1km run. Easy right? At the end of the first loop we had to commit to how many repeats we’d do. I picked 8, @FitBoundy picked 10 because she’s kind of a big deal. Everyone gives their number and away we go. I go flying out on the bike loop on my second repeat and because I’m a cocky shit, I’m going too fast at the turnaround and end up bailing of Ginger, into soft gravel. My left foot I managed to get unclipped and of course, that’s the knee I fall on. The sore one. My right foot is still attached to my pedal so I’m pretty quick getting up and rolling again, losing maybe 20 seconds for the whole episode. As I’m sprinting off to get back up to speed I’m grinning ear to ear, elated to finally be able to say that I’ve fallen off my bike and Ginger has officially be ‘worked in’. A few scrapes and (more) bruises for me, a couple of scuffs on Ginger but no one is worse for wear. I’ve learned a valuable lesson: unclip the inside foot on tight turns until I become a better cyclist.

Fast forward a few more repeats. Allie, an athlete training for her first 70.3 (that’s a half ironman for you non-triathletes), is knocking out her repeats. Keep in mind that while this wasn’t supposed to be a race, we’re all revved up like it’s a race and that makes us all a bit reckless. She comes flying into the turnaround on the bike, loses control and ends up in the swamp, still clipped in with her bike wheels in the air and her body and head underwater. Under warm, stagnant, stinky water. She’s the epitome of the saying, “Tits up in the rhubarb.” Oh, and it’s her birthday. Happy Birthday Swamp Girl! Luckily she’s fine and a trooper! She went on to finish her workout all with a big grin on her face and swamp weeds all over her and her bike! What a star!

In the evening was Deanne Deitz’s Super Foods talk. Coach Deanne, of, is a triathlon coach, holistic nutritionist and personal trainer. Deanne taught us about a variety of super foods, foods that fight oxidization in the body and help us to maintain healthy, balanced insides. She also had chocolate energy balls (hehehe chocolate balls) for us to try. Check out the recipe here. They were delicious. I learned a bunch about adding super foods to my diet. Between Deanne and Joanne’s talks, I’m definitely motivated to make some changes to my diet!

That night we went out to Margaritaville for Allie’s birthday. We’d decided that since tequila is made from cactus plants and there’s only lime juice + sea salt + tequila that makes up a margarita, it’s almost exactly like a super food. A giant margarita and three pints later, I’m feeling pretty good and we all meandered home. Here’s some pictures from the evening to give you an idea of the mood.

Balloon hat wars

@FitBoundy and I

@FitBoundy and Swamp Girl

Almost everyone from camp that week!

I owned those nachos. Diet changes were implemented AFTER.

Friday 9 March
The very last swim… le sigh. I have a big soft spot in my heart for that tank of water. Drove there and back and didn’t use my legs for the entire swim. My knee was trashed so I was up close and personal with the pool buoy. My shoulders were pretty fatigued as well so this was my lowest volume swim day of the trip. While I was in the pool for an hour, I only did about 1km, spending plenty of time socializing and whinging.

The rest of the day was spent doing the relay. We were broken into teams of four and had to do a half hour workout in every 2hours. I did a 4km run and then ~5.5km of walking total + nutrition talk with Deanne. My knee said no thank you to any more running or gym workouts after the 4km run first thing. @FitBoundy and I used some of our time to track down a duffel to get our gear home.

Target shopping
Trying to open the bag…
Apparently I’m special and struggle with zippers
@FitBoundy and Kenny Chesney

The dryfit/workout clothes explosion, tamed.

The last workout, term used loosely, was another walk on the beach at dark with the whole camp to wrap up the week. It was great to rehash some of the favourite points of the week and say our goodbyes, all with the cool salt waters of the Gulf to ease sore muscles. A great end to a great week.

Saturday 10 March – Travel day.

Random collection of other stuff:
– Koach Mat has the craziest diet: icecream after workouts. He ate 2 quarts in a week. Dill pickles and yogurt (gack!), and the bestest yummiest stirfries of all time. Hint: soup, guacamole and peanut butter. Awesome.
– I’m considering getting a tattoo of gear grease marks on my calf because I had ‘rookie badge’ marks all week. Just kidding.
– Don’t forget to have salt in your diet, especially when you’re working out this much! Pringles… mmmm….
– I heart triathlons.
– I heart working out. Any ideas on how I can make training my full time job?
– The one thing I didn’t capture very well in this post is the high I felt all week. Working out so much, pushing yourself further and faster than you’ve gone before is incredible. The sunshine, the warmth, the camaraderie, the exhaustion, the food, the feeling of accomplishment, it’s all delicious and empowering and motivating.

Week Totals
Run: 35.5km
Bike: 112.47km
Swim: 8km
Walk: 5.5km

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