Wednesday, April 7, 2010
When I first heard that I was invited to the Zoot ULTRA Team Camp, I assumed it was a training camp and an opportunity to meet the team. I also assumed we would hear about all the things that Zoot and the other sponsors expected from us, but I figured I should go since I was new to this sponsorship thing. Well, we all know what happens when we assume something. I was only correct on 1 of the 3 things, we didn't really do any training and we didn't once hear about what we had to do... I did get to me a bunch of great people though.
Thanks to Jake and Molly at Zoot and Tom from Team sports it was a great experience and here is my quick summary. Like usual I had a camera in my pocket all weekend and took a total of about 12 pictures. I'll get better at that someday.
I decided to fly in as late as possible and leave as early as possible because with a 7 week out baby at home, I really didn't want to be away any longer than I had to. I knew I didn't have to go to camp, but I wanted to check it out and get to know some of the team. I ended up flying in Saturday morning and heading to Ironman 70.3 California in Oceanside. I went straight to the race and made it in time to watch about 2 hours of the run. Endurance Nation team members started to show up after they finished the race and we ended up getting pizza and hanging out most of the afternoon. It was great to meet a few more team members and see Rich again. Plus, any time I can eat pizza outside in 75 degree weather in March is just awesome.
I headed to the hotel to check before our Zoot team dinner. The hotel was up on a hill with a great view of the ocean, a lap pool, and an In-n-Out burger close by … It doesn't get much better than that.
After taking a quick shower and unpacking the few things I brought, I went to meet up with the team before dinner. I walked in and Jake from Zoot recognized me and came over to introduce himself. Not only does Jake respond to every email quickly, we had never met and he knew who I was. I then talked with him and a few of the pros on the team that had raced that morning for a while and Jake gave me a box with all my race gear for the year.
We then went and had a great dinner sitting outside and I ended up sitting next to Brian who had been on the team for a few years already. We had a great conversation and he was able to answer a few questions I had. Sam McGlone also decided to stop by and join us for a while.
We started the day with a easy run as a team. It was about 60 and the weather was prefect so Jake lead us over to the beach were we stopped to enjoy the view of the dolphins, surfers, and sun rising over the mountains behind us. After the run a few of use decided to go a little further and others went to swim. I ran further and Bryan and Clara agreed to run again with me on Monday.
Our schedule for the day was pretty much back to back presentations and then dinner. Brandt started off with talking us through the history of Zoot and shared some interesting stories. He then talked about all of the current Zoot clothing, compression gear and a little on wetsuits. Of course everything Brandt shared was very informative, but the coolest thing I learned was how to quickly and easily get a compression sock on.
The day continued with a number of other presentations including Brian from ALCiS, Sam McGlone, Sonia from Zipp, and Aaron from Zoot to talk through the entire line of Zoot shoes. I went to talk to Aaron afterwards and shared some of my feedback on the shoes I had been running in. Aaron offered for me to stop by the Zoot office tomorrow so we could talk some more and I could try on some other shoes.
We finished up the day doing individual and team photos and then heading to another great dinner. I always hated picture day in school and it wasn't much better when I was wearing nothing but spandex, however Larry Rosa was a great photographer to work.
I was really glad that Bryan and Clara agreed to join me for at least some of my run on Monday as it was nice to have the motivation to get up and get out. Mark and his wife also decided to join us and we ran about 11 miles. We tried to run by the coast, but ended up a little inland and on a shoulder of the road most of the way. It was another perfect morning and great to get to know everyone a little better. Clara has a 1 year old so it was great to learn a ton about what Theresa and I have to look forward to from her.
The route we took was pretty flat and with some rolling hills, and after they went back to the hotel I decided to take advantage of the real hills. I turned east and ran straight up for 5 miles. I attempted to hold my threshold pace, but that didn't last long. I did however average a pace faster than I'm planning on running in Boston. Then I turned around and the fun started, the 5 miles downhill was pretty much at my threshold pace, but was very easy, in fact I was slowing myself down most of the way. It was a great pre-Boston workout though as we don't have hills like that in Illinois.
I was worried the downhill at the end killed my legs so I figured with was the perfect chance to test my new Zoot Compression gear and ALCiS. After a quick shower, I rubbed on the ALCiS on and put the compression socks on.
After checking out I headed to the Zoot office and meet with Aaron and Dave. I showed the TT 2.0s I have been running in and shared some feedback. They then showed me what changed in the TT 3.0 that would resolve the minor issues I was having and they suggestion I try giving the 3.0s a go for Boston. We talked a little more about what I liked and their current line of shoes and then they shared a few prototypes that will be some great shoes.
On the way to the airport I had to stop and In-n-Out burger to refuel after my long run. It was good, but not as great as I remembered. My tastes really have changed over the last two years of watching what I eat.
My legs never got sore from the long run and downhill running. I assumed that this just meant I really thrashed them and was going to be in a world of pain tomorrow.
My recovery meal:
When I got up I could tell that I did a hard workout yesterday, but my legs really felt ok. I decided to go swim instead of doing my normal Tuesday morning bike interval workout. The swim felt great and my legs were still fine at lunch, so I jumped on my trainer and nailed 2 x 20' at FTP. Needless to say I was quickly sold on the compression socks and ALCiS. I'm even convinced enough I may wear them during a run for the first time.
Up Next: Boston
Well, that was my second long run for Boston and another great result with little to know soreness after. Those runs combined with a 2'30" PR at the March Madness half marathon are giving me a bunch of confidence for Boston! I'm going to do one more long run and then consider my Boston training complete. I'm pretty confident I could set a big PR, but I'm still worried because of how few miles I have in my legs right now. I think I am going to take a conservative approach and then see what happens in the last 6-8 miles.