After a remarkably easy drive from Portland to Tucson, the other Chris B and I are here at camp (to avoid confusion, everyone at camp simply calls me “Baggs,” a welcome reminder of little league, where my coach Mr. Kane appended an “S” to my last name that has since stuck quite firmly). It’s a slightly smaller but definitely more fearsome group: Heather Jackson, TJ Tollakson, Jackie Arendt, and Liz Lyles make up the “major champions” portion of the group, with Leanda Cave due to arrive tomorrow. It will not be an easy two weeks.
But the first swim of camp has got to be the shortest-feeling 5000 yards I swim all year. The U of A Rec Center pool is so large that one is not conscious of the sides of the pool while swimming, the company is excellent, and the sun is usually shining. We rolled through a long 2400 yard warmup, and then went through one of my favorite sets: 4x(4×100 fast, 100 easy). Trying to hold back on the first day of camp is hard, but Cliff always makes it easy on us by following up the swim with an easy run designed to get the travel out of our legs. We made two casual loops of Reid Park, the site of our tempo runs and easy fartlek runs, and then we all called it a day. Chris and I retired to the Residence Inn that, after three three-week stays, feels like home. The rest of the day was spent finishing up details: calling parents and athletes, fixing the bikes, and making sure that our real lives back in Portland were looked after.
There isn’t much more to report. I put this short video together—I’m hoping to shorten up the posts this year and give you a sense of what our days look like in real time. Consider this one a teaser.