MICHAEL LOVATO | Professional Triathlete




Multisports Ironman Coeur d’Alene Training Camp

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Multisports Ironman Coeur d’Alene training camp!

What a fun weekend I’ve just had up in Idaho. The folks at Multisports were kind enough to invite me back to one of their entertaining and imformative Ironman training camps, after my first attempt at being camp counselor back in Tempe in February. That weekend was full of laughs, and this one proved to be a full barrel of monkeys as well. Barrel of monkeys: what a strange phrase.

I traveled out to Spokane, WA late on Wednesay night. I met up with fellow coaches, Jimmy Riccitello and Steve Katai. We made the trek over to the host hotel, a great little spot on the side of a gorgeous river. This picture doesn’t really do it justice, but we had one heck of a view from our rooms.

As the IM CDA bike course has changed quite a bit from the previous four years, we all had to get out there early to pre-ride the course. It’s a good idea to be familiar with the route when acting in the position of group leader. At least that’s what they told me.

The only way to sum up the new bike course up here is to say that it’s very beautiful, and quite challening. After getting through a few flat sections, the middle segment of the ride is peppered with a variety of medium length rolling hills. Depending on where you come from, these hills can be quite tough. All in all, I give the new route a double thumbs-up!

Friday was the first day of organized camp activites. We all grouped up for a short ride over to the swimming pool. We had to split into two groups, as the pool would only accommodate twenty folks. I treated group number one to an up-close peek at my Splish Sausage Suit. (I suppose it’s a wiener suit, but the alliteration here sounds better.)

I think some of the campers were a bit alarmed, but anyone who knows me realizes that I wear this suit becuase I’m a winner not a wiener.

Day two began quite early, as we had a five-hour ride to tackle. The plan for our faster group was to cover the whole loop once, and to add on a second dose of the upper (hillier) section of the ride. I ended up with only two campers, Mike and Dave, while a local cyclist took over with the second part of the “fast group”.

I think the one lesson we all learned out there was that this course is really going to kick the butts of those athletes who go out too hard on the first lap. Words to the wise: start conservatively!

We three then headed out for a short run at the end of our ride. These guys were tolerant of my chitter-chatter (a prelude to Sunday morning’s long run), and they even played along with one of my favorite games: Guess Who’s Running Form I’m Doing! I like to run along and mimmick some of the better-known triathletes. I covered Cam Brown, Faris al Sultan, Dave Scott, Simon Lessing, Lori Bowden and a few others in my routine.

The long run was nice and easy, and I managed to tell a few more stories. Those running with me seemed to be interested in hearing the play-by-play account of my past marathons in CDA. If they weren’t interested, they were too polite to tell me that they didn’t care where I passed Spencer Smith or where I bonked or how I tried to win the race at mile ten.

It was a beautiful day, and I am pretty sure everyone was happy to be out running in such a pretty place.

The final step of camp is Awards. This is when each camper gets the opportunity to win various prizes and gifts. It’s not merit-based, so it’s a unique award ceremony: just be there and you win! I don’t have any photos to prove it, but I know someone out there must… I figured the final touch would be to hand out some prizes while dressed, once again, in the Wiener suit. It’s a good thing these campers, and the coaches, have a sense of humor!

Thanks for checking in.

4 Comment(s)

Comm's on 5/3/07 said:

I have always wanted to do one of these camps for the exact reason I think you explained well, Michael. I want to hear those story’s that pro’s tell because there is always something I can take from them.

Thanks for once again affirming that pro’s are great guys.

allbilly on 5/4/07 said:

i think you might be a littel too into that weiner suit. But it didn’t discourage comm from wanting to see it. lol

Capt. cool on 5/11/07 said:

you have a stinky butt!

SpeedLeopard on 6/7/07 said:

The pictures of the Splish Sausage suit are on my blog :)

I loved your description of camp. It was a blast and a great learning experience for me.

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