Specialized Women Sport Camp in Lake Tahoe
(emphasis on “women” and “sport”)
When I first spoke with Inger Norman, Founder and Co-Director of the Specialized Women Sports Camp Series, I could feel her enthusiasm through the phone. She was down-to-earth, easy to talk to, and most importantly, she genuinely cared about her business. Her passion, energy and integrity lived within the overall idea of the camp: women and sport. After our conversation, I couldn’t wait to attend the event.
With four camp packages to choose from (and optional a la carte), I was gearing up for the “Triathlete’s Edge.” This two-day challenge would put me on the road, on the trail and in open water, with some of the world’s elite athletes.
My A-list instructors included Anik Wild, Pro Stand Up Paddler and Owner of Waterman’s Landing; Heidi Boynton, Founder of Mini Mermaid Running Club, Triathlete and Coach; Julie Young, former Cycling Pro and US Team Rider; Jessi Stendsland, Elite Multisport Athlete and Creator of MovementU (along with Sag Monkey, Le Grand Adventure Tours and Specialized).
With little knowledge in the road cycling and open water swim aspects of the “Tri,” I was going to jump in, head first, and get as much out of this camp as I possibly could!
- 8 am: Waterman’s Landing in Carnelian Bay (GREAT coffee/café) with Anik. It was 1.5 hours of SUP instruction, practice and racing fun!
- 10 am: Open Water Swim Clinic with Heidi. This was my intro to swimming with a purpose, in a wetsuit, in open water. It was challenging to say the least! My fear: not being able to “steer” toward my target. Also, breathing correctly was an issue. In the end, albeit tired, I was ready to jump back in for more!
- 12:30 pm: Road Bike Maintenance Clinic with Sag Monkey. I now know how to change a road bike tire (I just need a bike)!
- 2 pm: I met with Specialized reps to saddle up for my upcoming ride. My $9K demo bike weighed in at a mere 14 lbs. The helmet: a perfect fit!
- 2:30 pm: Road Skills and Ride with Julie (and Jeff from Le Grand Adventure). My fear: sharing a road with cars without getting hit. So, riding downhill, from Northstar to a nearby neighborhood, while cars sped by, was new to me. It was exhilarating! I came. I rode. I conquered.
- 4 pm: End of day announcements, tear-inducing “best moments of the day” and giveaways.
- 5:30 pm: The Grubby Social. Apps, wine and socializing at Petra in Northstar Village. Sweat, helmet hair and stories required.
- 7:30 am: Yoga at Northstar Village. It was a great way to ease our muscles into the day’s coming activity.
- 8:30 am: Running Efficiency Clinic with Jessi. Although I felt confident and experienced in my running, I gained a few new go-to practices, along with a new perspective on training and running prep. Jessi’s passion for movement was contagious.
- 10:30 am: Trail Run with Jessi. As our heels hit the sand, dirt and rock, I felt compelled to put forth all effort as I sustained the mental and physical focus Jessi asked us to maintain.
- 1 pm: Open Water Swim, Tri Tips, Skills and Training with Heidi. No, we did not have steak. But, we learned the ins and outs of a triathlon transition, and then we put it to the test. I went from wetsuit on land, to water, to land, to bike, to run. Triathlon: here I come! And, thank you Heidi for your one-on-one help!
- 4 pm: End of camp announcements, “best moments” and giveaways. And, of course, our goodbyes [insert sad face].
After looking at the financial tally of camp registration, travel, accommodations, gear, food, etc., the price tag is absolutely more than a typical race registration or an everyday trip to your favorite sporting gear store. But, overall, this camp is well worth the financial investment.
Campers leave with new strategies and techniques for training, a deeper level of knowledge in each sport, and an energizing and encouraging sense of accomplishment. Combine that with new friends, adventure-filled stories, maybe even a battle wound or two, and this event should become a female athlete’s to-do list staple!