Thursday, July 17, 2008

2008 Camp Stotan

--Scott Bowe on his way to 1st @ SP YMCA Triathlon--

Stevens Point, WI and Cross Plains, WI
7/10-7/13 2008

Matthew J. Amman & Scott Bowe

Originally, Scott Bowe had this idea to put on our own little triathlon training camp in the same style as Gordo’s Epic Camp. Our invite to our friends stated our intentions nicely:

"Mark your calendars, tell your boss, get brave and break the news to your significant other - you're invited to a week of pure triathlon bliss. In the spirit of Gordo's Epic Camp, Matt Amman and Scott Bowe are organizing the first annual Stotan Training Camp.

The camp will take place July 9th, 2008 and end July 13th, 2008 - 5 days of dedicated triathlon training. This week is timed almost perfectly for your largest volume week of training leading up to Ironman Wisconsin. The goal of this week is to simply train and recovery as much as possible away from the distractions of the world."

Well, our idea of swimming 25K, biking 500 miles, and running 60K intimidated everybody and ultimately us too. When the big week finally arrived, we agreed to scale it back. Furthermore, at the last minute, we relocated the camp to the Stevens Point (SP) area because of pristine road conditions and Scott’s nostalgia for SP. Nick Hanson, Scott’s friend and fellow Point swimmer, provided us with accommodations.

Day 1 Wednesday
After heading to SP after work, we managed a short 30-minute run at 7:15 pace. That is it.

Day 2 Thursday

Swam in the morning at the UW-SP pool:
1000 warmup
5 x [75, 125, 150, 200] 300 kick b/w #3 and #4. 15-20 sec rest.

We biked 4 hrs with 1 hr at HIM pace. We both managed to crank with even power at 25 mph; soft-pedaled back home. We ran 30 minutes at 7:30 pace off the bike.

Day 3 Friday
Bike 3.5 hrs with Nick joining us (He is also training for his first IM.) followed by 30 minute run at 7:30 pace.

That night we rendezvoused with Al Boelk, the UW-SP swim coach, at Central Waters brewpub in Amherst, WI. We had a great time. In the midst of conversation, we found out that there was a triathlon in SP the following morning. We were stunned and immediately jumped at the idea of trashing ourselves at the race. Calling it the night, we headed to Starbucks to capture WiFi and look at the race’s website.

Day 4 Saturday - Stevens Point YMCA Lactic Edge Triathlon (500 yd; 18 mile; 5K)
We woke up early to head over to the race and slap down the cash to play. We were going to have fun at this one: no aero helmet, no race wheels, no race running shoes, no race-belt, and no race-top. Heck, we even forgo ‘ed the heart rate monitors.

The swim was in the Wisconsin River. I got the opportunity to wear my new wetsuit. She was tight and a struggle to put on, but performed beautifully. Scott and I screamed out the water 1, 2 a good 25 seconds ahead of the field. Scott had the pleasure of inhaling Harley exhaust and led the bike leg start to finish. It was a tough ride for me. I dropped back a minute from Scott. The run was manageable. I think that both of us where suffering a lot more from general training fatigue than pain the race was attempting to inflicting upon us. At the halfway point, Scott looked strong and I was managing a side-stitch. Meanwhile, two UW-SP runners turned triathletes managed to run me down. Kudos to Scott for hanging on for dear life to win.

1 Scott Bowe 5:39.7 20:11/M 46:34.8 2:29/M 19:16.0 6:13/M 1:11:30.6
2 Christopher Pfaffenroth 6:36.1 23:34/M 48:51.8 2:37/M 16:22.6 5:17/M 1:11:50.7
3 Cory Baumann 8:45.1 31:15/M 46:56.2 2:31/M 16:47.7 5:25/M 1:12:29.1
4 Matt Amman 5:44.3 20:29/M 47:34.4 2:33/M 19:54.5 6:25/M 1:13:13.2

Newspaper Article:
STEVENS POINT JOURNAL July 13, 2008 -- Over 200 athletes braved the windy conditions to compete in the 19th annual Stevens Point Lactic Edge Triathlon at Bukolt Park on Saturday. Participants came from as far as Seattle to go through the grueling combination of a 500 yard swim, 3.1 mile run and 18 mile bike ride, but both the men's and women's winners had ties to Stevens Point. Scott Bowe, a UWSP graduate, finished in one hour, 11 minutes and 30 seconds, while Kimberly Kuphal, a current resident of Stevens Point, completed the race in 1:24:34, to win their respective divisions. Bowe, 28, a Milwaukee resident, has done over 20 triathlons and four Ironman competitions, but never had a first-place finish until Saturday. "A triathlon is more mental than physical," Bowe said. "It's a struggle to keep your body going and keep the intensity up the whole race." Bowe's previous best finish since he started competing in 2003 was 29th in the 2007 Arizona Ironman, which he completed in nine hours and 46 minutes. Kuphal, 38, included swims at the Stevens Point YMCA and biking the Green Circle Trail as parts of her training. Over the last seven years Kuphal has finished around 30 triathlons and she is proudest of her third place finish in the Racine Half Ironman, which she completed in under five hours. "I was battling the wind and waves today," Kuphal said. "The hardest part is finding time to do the training with two children." Kuphal's husband David was the volunteer race director for the Lactic Edge Triathlon. He said that all proceeds from the event will go to the Stevens Point YMCA. Christopher Pfaffenroth, 27, was the second place male finisher with a final time of 1:11:50. Cory Baumann, 22, was third with a time of 1:12:29. The second place female finisher was Kristen Schram, 19, with a time of 1:30:30. Beth Mortenson, 46, placed third with a final time of 1:31:03. Twelve-year-old Thomas Edwards was the youngest competitor this year. The oldest participant was 73-year old John Milbauer who finished in 2:51:16.

After the race, we collected our hardware (imprinted pint glasses) and rode our bikes back to Nick’s house. After hanging out for a while, we packed up the car and drove to Cross Plains to stay with my folks to ride the IM course the next morning. Nick drove down a few hours later to join us.

Day 5 Sunday
We started out at 7 am in Cross Plains. It was a beautiful, sunny morning. Once in Verona on the first loop, we headed to Madison along the stick (the nickname for the section of the IM bike course Madison-Verona). This way we could get the entire 112 miles in. Short of the actually race start, we turned around at Rimrock road to avoid heavy traffic. On the way back to Verona, I started having left leg pain and thought about calling it quits, but at the last minute decided to stick it out. By riding out of the saddle, the muscle-firing pattern was different and disengaged the strained biceps femoris. However, by standing on the pedals, the effort is harder and I ended up surging ahead of Scott and Nick.

The second issue with the ride was the wind. Gusts up to 40 mph tried to break me down, but I refused and slugged my way through for another loop and managed to complete the whole thing. When I got back to the house, Scott and Nick were already there: changed, showered, and ready for brunch. Apparently, they felt tired and only did one loop (plus the stick). Huh! Only the suffering/hurt guy toughs it out.

After brunch with the folks, we headed home to resume our normal lives.

Injury Report:
As of Tuesday, I am officially hurt. The medial strand of my left biceps femoris and left gluteus medius is strained. Prior to the camp, I knew I might be flirting with trouble so I had a massage. It helped a bit. On the car ride to SP, both hamstrings were tight and caused noticeable discomfort. The hard effort on Thursday managed to push me into “hurt something” territory. In refusing to give up during the 1 hr HIM interval, the weak hamstring started to recruit the gluts to pump out the necessary power. Meanwhile, the moderate bilateral hamstring pain progressed to severe pain in the left hamstring and left glut. Somehow, the right hamstring survived. This week is a recovery week. Coupled with another massage today, I expect to be 100% in two weeks.

Final Thoughts:
Camp Stotan was a blast. I could tell Scott was in his element. He really likes the SP area—-many memories for him. I must admit the roads in central Wisconsin are much nicer than any other part of the state that I have ridden. Although we did not post insane S/B/R numbers, I believe what we accomplished was epic for us. Doing a sprint triathlon in the midst of IM training really made the whole thing an adventure.

Matthew Amman