Friday, 20 June 2008

Epic Italian training week

Saturday 7th June 2008.

It’s warm but wet in Verona, Steven and I have been walking its charmingly ancient streets carrying my Campagnolo 10 speed, Eastern wheel with broken Velomax hub. We’ve visited a number of small bike stores and an even greater non- bike stores (a result of either our lack of Italian or lack of local knowledge amongst the locals) all of which were stocked to the eyes with Shimano gear…but no Campy stuff. This is Italy, forchrissake!

Of course that is not the reason for our visit to Italy. We are here to attend one of long distance triathlon’s most infamous training camps – Epic Camp. An 8 day swim-bike-run as-much-as-humanly-possible fest organised by John Newsom, Scott Molina and Gordo Bryn -3 training and racing gurus, whos websites and forums I have regarded as invaluable sources of expertise and inspiration since becoming ‘a bit more serious’ about my sport of long distance triathlon racing. The week is intended as my last breakthrough week prior to Ironman Germany (6th July) and it will certainly be just that. I’ll be the only female on the camp and though they have had other women attend in the past, these have as far as I know, all been professional triathlete. I am apprehensive – there were strict criteria for places on the camp, and although I satisfy these, the points based competitive set up encourages highly testosterone-charged environment where the weak are likely to fall by the wayside. My goal is to enjoy the camp, get the most the fantastic riding in the Dolomites and resources of expertise available, having completed all the set workouts ( 3k swim, 60km bike and 50 min run) each day.

At present though things are looking a bit bleak.. After 2 days of persistent positive thinking and wheel carrying through Verona after the hub fell apart on our ‘shake-down’ ride yesterday (yes, I shook it down proper!) we’ve been up as many metaphorical dead ends as we have literal in this city. We’ve had some nice coffee along the way, though. The Epic camp support crew, who also arrived early for the camp, have been very helpful and positive with possible solutions – the most likely now seems to be borrowing John Newsoms’ bike whilst he rides one of the spares. That’d be quite sweet, wouldn’t it!

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