QT2 Camp Day Four

February 13, 2012

I’m home. We landed in whiteout conditions and it made me instantly miss Florida, although Florida was 32 degrees Sunday morning. Those of us who didn’t have warm weather clothes took to the spinning bikes at the NTC and then to the treadmills. And then we packed up our things and went our separate ways.

Camps are unique. You come together as a group of thirty strangers and you leave as a family of sorts. At least we do. Now that I have experienced QT2 camp on the athlete and on the coach side…. I can say with all honesty…. and if I didn’t think this I wouldn’t say anything at all…… these camps are something special.

During Friday’s 6 hour ride one of the guys confessed to me he hadn’t slept the night before camp, he was just plain terrified of what he was getting in to. He left with the camp champ award, that’s what he was getting into.

What you are getting into with us is four days of swim, bike, run, mechanics, nutrition… it’s total immersion in a sport that we all love and live. During rides we designate a coach for the groups of differing abilities. We have the incredible Brian from Fast Splits sag waggoning the rides and providing nutrition support. You get coaches at your disposal for whatever you need outside of the topics we have on tap.

I have been running a Lake Placid camp for ten years up in Lake Placid. When I came to QT2 they jumped on and made that camp more than I ever could imagine it would be. On thise side of things I think the value is excellent. Click here for the Placid Camp agenda, it’s really good and join us in June. You don’t have to be a QT2 athlete to camp with us (just be warned that you might feel the need to be one of ours after).

I learned a lot during this camp. Last year I learned a lot as an athlete, this year I learned a lot as a coach. I learned what I needed to come and learn. The universe always gives you what you need as they say.

As I pulled into the driveway last evening (and I had zero travel issues + wifi on the flight so I was even productive!) I felt instantly grateful. My career as a coach and my passion as an athlete have allowed me to travel all over the world (literally). Not because airline tickets land in my lap…. that’s hardly the case. But because I worked hard for it and that’s the kind of thing this type of work brings. I am lucky I have been able to make a career in this world of triathlon as a coach, a race announcer, a writer. It’s allowed me to keep the athlete part separate and that’s allowed me to really have the right reasons to be an athlete (for me).

As I came into the house and got the biggest huggs from the best guys in the world I felt even luckier that I get to share all of this with them. They don’t come on every trip (I wish they did) but they are part of it. Having a husband fully entrenched in this sport is everything for me. He gets it. I would be able to do none of this without his blessing and support. And with the support of my really awesome parents who always jump in when needed.

The hard work is paying off, that’s for sure.

A special thanks to my BFF Pat Wheeler by the way. He works tirelessly behind the scenes at QT2 to do put these camps together (among many other things). I have to sit back and laugh. He’s done a 9:17 in Kona, which for some reason gives others this impression that he’s a high end sponsored pro who works from home which must mean he trains all day and lays in bed. I can promise you, it’s the exact opposite. I think he works more hours for us at QT2 than he even admits. He’s got no free bike, he’s got sponsors sure but nothing comes for free. Working from home….. I do that as well and believe me… it doesn’t mean lounging around in recovery boots all day long.

So a  giant thanks to him for all his work in getting this camp together.

And thanks to Jesse, our fearless leader of course for all his incredible work. It wouldn’t even exist without him.

Now I have to switch gears for just a moment and touch on the Lance Armstrong issue, as so many have asked me about it. You noticed my Face Book status yesterday stated I was thrilled that he was second at Panama 70.3 yesterday. Because I am. I saw a lot of whining and moaning about his performance and his presence in our sport. I saw everything from he got prize money and I didn’t….. he got to start at the front and I didn’t…… he got ______ and I didn’t.

Is that what you teach your children too?  Wah. Woe is me.

I have no opinion on whether Lance Armstrong doped while he was a a cyclist. I was not privy to his urine samples, any testimony, or any blood results. I am only privy to gossip. And gossip means nothing to me. Those in charge are there to represent me and if they deem him innocent, then it’s enough for me.

Here is what I do know: I have been more entrenched in the world of Cancer than I ever want to be or ever will truly admit. Only certain people understand what this world is like. This is a man who does. Who has looked down the barrel of a smoking gun just like everyone else who has had Cancer has had to do. This is a man who never had to do anything about it. He could have still fought and won and took his money and retreated to his house in Texas with his family.

But instead he realized that he has the power and the finances to make a giant difference, and he’s done exactly that. Look at what the Livestrong Foundation has done. Everyone will run around with their yellow bracelets and yellow t-shirts …. but do you understand what it means? Do you understand the far-reaching impact the dollar goes?

For this I celebrate Lance Armstrong. For this I shout “Come to our sport, start in the first wave, collect all the prize money for all I care.” It won’t go to his own pocket, he’ll put it to where it needs to go. If you watched his performance yesterday you know he’s the real deal. He’s not some celebrity who has no business being in the front and is there because they are famous. I bet he needn’t even try to qualify for Kona. He could buy a spot to Kona for god’s sake.

But he’s not.

As we like to say…. haters will always hate. Their topic this week just happens to be Lance. Next week it will be someone or something else.

Trust me… you don’t want to live in Cancer world. At the same time however…. it’s one of the most beautiful places to live. And that’s what a man like Lance Armstrong sees. You don’t know it unless you’ve walked through that door. That’s the common bond, the common thread, the piece that ties it all together.

So thank you Lance Armstrong. Thank you for bringing a spotlight to our sport. Thank you for bringing with you the Livestrong army. Thank you for bringing a way for all of us to make a difference in this fight against Cancer.

I dont’ know about you but I imagine the guys up front there were drooling. To be on the starting line with a 7 time Tour de France Champion? It’s be the chance I have waited my entire life for. If I were Chris Lieto I’d have been in my glory. And I’d never wash my ass again, because I am sure Lance gave him a pat on it at some point during the race. I’d run around pointing to it and screaming “Lance put his hand HERE!”

But that’s just me.




One comment

  1. I can’t agree with you more. I loved camp and everyone there, last year was great but this year was awesome. I also can’t agree with you more about how hard our fearless leaders work to put these things on, we had 29 people that needed to be coordinated and it was done without a hitch. So thank you.
    With regards to Lance I also agree, I don’t know whether or not he doped or not and as of now the case is closed so at this point the discussion should be over. At the end of the day the guy is just plain talented and he placed 2nd in a very talented pool of people. He didn’t have the fasted bike split, actually he had the 3rd fastest, but out of the two he was behind he out ran than by 4 and 8 minutes respectively. Good for him and good for triathlon. The one thing people have to remember is he had stage 4 testicular cancer, major chemotherapy, brain surgery, I mean for goodness sake he’s still able to compete at this level after stuff like that, its crazy. Bring it on Lance, I can’t wait to see more, it can only mean more publicity for our sport and more money to go to cancer research.

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