• TeamHPB Coaching

    Alyssa is coaching with TeamHPB in 2014 -- find out more! Read more here....

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    A TeamHPB camp is coming to the east coast! Come join Alyssa over the 4th of July for a training focused camp in Charlottesville! More

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  • Her story....

    Alyssa has evolved from soccer player to ultrarunner to professional triathlete. Read about how she has progressed here! More

2014 Racing is in Full Swing!

I'll be racing next on August 3rd at IM Boulder!

Blame it on the A-A-A-A-Altitude

Now that I am finally caught up on Atlantic City and Camp blogging I can finally begin to be somewhat current with my whereabouts! If you follow me on twitter or instagram, you’re already well aware that I’m not in Kansas Virginia anymore. I’m in Frisco, Colorado! It’s been a crazy week, one that started out with a 2.5 day drive from Charlottesville –>Frisco. My dear dad decided to hitch a ride with me and share the driving so he could come out to visit a friend in Colorado. This meant about 24 driving hours of father-daughter bonding time in the car. It was great to spend time with him, and we did all the typical things you’d expect of father-daughters on a car trip. We took video:

Spoiler alert: we never actually drove through Dodge City after all.

We chronicled every gas stop and took notes on mileage, price of gas. How I’ll use this in my life, I’m not quite sure.

We played the game “I’ll say the name of a town or city and you guess what state it’s in.”….you know, typical road trip stuff.

After that time warp though, things got back to “normal” in my new summer home in Frisco! I am so lucky that a major part of my job with Bad to the Bone is to be in Colorado for the rest of the summer. I know, I know – but won’t I miss the heat and humidity of Charlottesville Summer? I will, but after a few days these views have helped me keep my chin up, and I think I’ll survive the next 8 weeks :)

If you aren’t too familiar with the area, Frisco is at an altitude of 9,075 feet. That means there’s not a whole lot of oxygen to go around. My history of time at altitude has been all over the place:

-Western States ’09 (running) – thought I was going to die in the first 30 miles, slowly pulled myself out of it (also probably due to the fact we descended to normal altitudes)

-Western States ’10 (pacing) – Couldn’t run more than 1.5 miles at altitude

-Frisco, Feb ’14 – Managed easy workouts, felt pretty good, came down after a week and won a 50k with a PR

So, I wasn’t really sure what to expect this time. The first couple days were so-so. I alternated between feeling fine, and feeling like I was going to die. And for the first couple days I swore even eating a sandwich caused me to feel out of shape. I couldn’t remember basic vocabulary words. I only wanted to eat ice cream. All proven side effects of altitude. Since then it seems I’m coming around just fine and things will be good to go while I’m up here! In fact, I’m actually quite looking forward to gaining some more oxygen when I head down to Boulder in a couple weeks for the Ironman. Between the altitude and the heat, Boulder should be one for the books – can’t wait!

Charlottesville Triathlon Camp, TeamHPB Style!

After all of the fun from Challenge AC, I got home and had about 24 hours before getting ready for my next adventure: CAMP! When I made the move to Charlottesville, one of the first things on my list was putting together a training camp. Hillary and Maik host the TeamHPB Tucson camp in March, so we figured, why not do a TeamHPB Camp, East coast style? The 4th of July seemed like a great time — people already had a built in day off of work, plus there’s no better time to be in Charlottesville than a patriotic holiday! History aside, Cville has recently been named:

One of America’s Five New Foodie Cities

#1 College Town in the Country

One of Five Hot Summer Getaways from DC

So, it’s a good place to be, swim/bike/run aside. But for anyone who does triathlon, Cville takes the cake for a great training ground, and I was so excited to show it off. Plus, with Leslie and Nate nearby, the 3 of us realized we make a perfect trio for coaching such a camp. And so it was born!

Structured similarly to the Tucson camp, Day 1 started with a group run (which summer storms nicely departed just in time for us!) and a group dinner at Zinburger. Then it was early to bed because there was a long day on 2 wheels ahead of us: the Skyline Drive ride!

I was really excited about camp because it gave me the opportunity to see some of my athletes in person. I had the good fortune of riding the 100+ miles with Stephanie, and I could not be more proud of the work she has done on the bike this year! She really is proof that hard work does pay off. And, at least on Skyline, you’re rewarded for all the hard work with some amazing views!

Day 3 was my most anticipated day: The Tour de Charlottesville! This was a day I had dreamed up several years ago while in school at UVA, but I was never able to piece together the logistical help to make it happen. Totals for the day were going to be ~45 miles of riding, 3k yards swimming, and 8 miles of running….but not necessarily in that order!

First, we rode the long way out to the Blue Ridge Swim Club. I say the long way, because BRSC was actually about 10 miles from where we started….but we took the 30 mile route :) If you were wondering why, once you rode Taylor’s Gap road, you saw that the long way was worth it for the views! BRSC was the first treat of the day. The 3rd oldest pool in the United States, its history is actually really interesting. It now serves, as my opinion, as one of the best places to practice open water swimming. With not-clear water, 150 yards long, and no lane lines, it’s basically a controlled OWS environment!

We constructed a buoy and after a warmup, practiced some open water swim starts. We even had someone be the “bully” of each group to make sure that we got the true start experience!

After some more race-start practice fun and an actual swim set, it was time to get back on our bikes! Now we were riding to Ridge Road – an iconic run for those in the area, this 4 mile long dirt, hilly, road serves as a classic place for a workout! And, indeed it was a workout run as we all took the 4 miles out easy, and then it was game time on the way back in! I really loved getting to see everyone work hard and get the legs moving here. And luckily we had the SAG help from Shannon to get us water on the run and watch our bikes while we ran!

After Ridge, it was the last leg of the day – the ride home!

Sunday was another fun TeamHPB-esque day. After a light 90 minute ride, it was time to hit the pool – 100×100 time of course! We even got to induct another TeamHPB-er into the 100×100 club – Matt – and Stephanie impressed me yet again by upping the anty to 75×100. That means 100 is just around the corner! Leslie and I also had the pleasure of swimming with Carol, from Luray, VA. Never having swam with paddles or a band was no biggie – she kept up with us no problem for the whole 10k! No doubt she’s ready to crush IM MD.

It’s not all hard work though – Sunday we had a great little BBQ! I also invited a few other triathletes and runners from the area, and it was a great chance to get to know the SAG help a little more. And, there was a dog. It doesn’t get better than that!

One final workout left: Monday long run! This is always more of an “Adventure Run” given that everyone’s legs should be pretty tired by now! Again, I loved getting to show off some of the hidden nooks of Charlottesville’s running scene.

Before I knew it, the whirlwind of fun was over, and it was time to say goodbye. I have to say though, within a day Leslie, Nate and I decided we were ready for next year’s camp already!

As always, huge thank you to my sponsors who helped support this weekend! Powerbar, SMASH and Bad to the Bone Endurance Sports!