I arrived in Tucson smiling but sleepy–the dratted insomnia that I often struggle with had left me tossing and turning the night before. But my sleep setback was soon forgotten when Hillary and Alyssa (Godesky) scooped me up at the airport and we launched immediately into our first round–of many–of girl talk and gossip. Alyssa is one of Hillary’s athletes heading into her first season as a pro. She recently made the leap away from a secure day job to focus on full-time triathlon training, racing and coaching, and she served as assistant coach for the TeamHPB Camp. She and I both stayed with Hillary and Maik, our foursome forming a fast family-style bond.
From the airport we went straight to Pico de Gallo Taqueria–our first of three massive lunches at the authentic Mexican hole-in-the-wall–where we wolfed down homemade corn tortilla tacos (four apiece), pints of horchata and a giant plate of chips and guacamole. Then we headed home to chill out briefly, sip on pick-me-up lattes and prepare for camp introductions and a welcome run around Starr Pass resort (the bulk of the campers stayed in comfy casitas at Starr Pass, providing a central meeting spot as well as access to the resort’s pool for our shorter swims). The run lasted maybe 45 minutes–during which I revisited every flavor of my Pico de Gallo lunch. I reminded myself that one of my athletic goals is to get comfortable running despite an uncomfortable belly–something I’m guaranteed to have unless I run first thing in the morning before eating any food–so this was ideal battle-the-belly-bloat practice.
Post-run we headed en masse to dinner at La Cocina, a healthy eatery with an outdoor patio heavy on Southwestern charm. I mostly chatted with Johnna, a Pasadena-based divorce attorney with an awesome wealth of experience as to the inner workings of “complicated” couplings, and the cool humor requisite of someone that spends a great deal of time dealing with other people’s most challenging moments. Johnna and her equally cool husband Barry attended camp together–she’s prepping for Ironman 70.3 California and Ironman Coeur D’Alene and he’s gearing up for the grueling Ultraman Canada in August. With full-to-bursting bellies and a flock of newfound friends, it was time for campers and coaches to head home and hit the hay.
Quotes of the Day:
“Wait, wait! Can we stop for a McFlurry?” – Coach Alyssa, en route home from dinner. Alyssa’s lithe, lean body was burning fuel like a furnace as she was in her final prep for her debut pro race at Ironman Los Cabos.
“When I first moved here I was desperately seeking a javelina.” – Hillary, during a discussion about javelinas and the other various wildlife we might encounter while running Tucson’s trails
By the Numbers:
2 amazing meals
(A rather satisfying ratio, I must say.)