Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Long Drive...and the first three days of camp's Wed already, and I'm safe and sound in Flagstaff Arizona, after 3550km of travel. Spread over Fri, Sat, and Sun, the drive went really well. No bad weather, lots of football on ESPN radio, and some good sights driving through New Mexico. Let's just say that I'm glad to not be sitting in a car any longer. I'll try to post some pictures taken during the drive up here in a couple of days.

The whole group is now here, with the final four arriving Monday evening. Our apartment is pretty cool, a four bedroom unit, with kitchen, and 2 bathrooms. I'm sharing the apartment with Colin Jenkins and Kirsten Sweetland.

The rest of our group includes : Simon Whitfield, Kyle Jones, Jordan Rapp, Jill Savege, Lauren Groves, and Natasha Filliol. Joel Filliol is the head coach, and Adam Campbell is our manager/organizer. Simon drove down from Victoria, as did Joel and Colin. Jordan Rapp drove over from the Rye, NY area, and everyone else flew in.

The three days of training has been interesting. Getting used to the altitude here in Flagstaff (6950 ft) has been a challenge. Even walking up the flight of stairs to get into our apartment is tough! Swimming is the toughest challenge, as the lower level of oxygen in the air, combined with the fact that breathing while swimming is tough enough, makes the first week of swimming or so tough. Your heart rate (HR) is also higher here due to the altitude, and while we have been out riding, you notice it the most while climbing a hill (We've been sucking air up the hills).

The riding we will mostly be doing here will be on Cross bikes, which essentially are road bikes, but with bigger, wider tires (35mm)and most people have disc brakes on their cross bikes (so the mud doesn't collect around the brakes) Disc brakes are located down near the hub of each wheel. Riding cross is totally awesome, we came back yesterday from a 2hr ride with the bike totally covered in mud, as well as a lot of our clothing. Riding on the snow and mud along the fire roads and trails is so much more exciting than riding on the road or the trainer. Simon says riding cross makes you a stronger rider, so I'm hoping he's right!

Today the group had blood work done in the morning (I chose not to do the blood work due to my phobia of needles, and the fact that I'd most likely pass out) to measure their red blood cell levels (among other things) so that they have a base line measurement to compare how the altitude training is affecting their bodies during the course of the camp. We had a 60' ride (Colin and I rode cross outdoors) and the group headed down to Sedona, which is at 4000 ft elevation to swim and run. There's supposed to be a difference between 7000 and 4000 ft, but I couldn't notice it today! Hopefully soon I'll get used to the elevation. We swam 5000m, and followed that up with a 60' run in this beautiful park, that had these huge rock formations jutting out of the group, and trails running all over the place on a red clay surface. What a great place for a run.

Thursday is a casual rest day, we are going to go on a group snowshoe in the morning, and then chill out the rest of the day. We are supposed to be getting a bit of bad weather rolling through the next couple of days, some snow and highs around 32 F. We've had highs of 50-55F thus far, which has been great!! It gets really cold at night here, and then warms up during the day. The upcoming lows are forecast to be about 5 F.


DS said...

Hey Dano,
I'm so jealous of you right now. Maybe one year I will join you guys at altitude. How long are you guys there for?

Daniel Wells said...

Sharratt, Flag is great. Altitude takes a bit to get used to. I'm here until sometime in March