Climbing THE FIG (Mount Figueroa) in Solvang is a commitment in itself, regardless of your individual specific goals on any set day. It’s a serious climb, 9.3 miles with an elevation difference of 3086 feet. It takes physical fitness, serious bike riding skills and above all, a certain mental toughness each time the climb is tackled.
Dana Platin, Founder of The Warmi Project and a first time Solvang camp athlete, set out to ride ‘The Fig’ as part of our Spring Fling Camp 2017. You always wonder what goes through another athlete’s head as they face a big challenge. Did they have concerns, doubts, were they confident, what were their real goals? Dana’s write up of her climb up The Fig, shows the value in embracing new challenges as an opportunity to grow. Thank you Dana for this great read, it’s motivating stuff!
There Is No Comfort In The Growth Zone – by Dana Platin
I lean in, push down my right pedal, breathe deep as I pull my crank up. I drop my head down as my eyes fixate on the road ahead, the pain has set in my lower back as I work the incline on Fig mountain outside Solvang, California. I have a 9-mile climb with about 4,800 feet of elevation gain with little to no flats along the way to recuperate. I have never ridden up this climb before, do not know what to expect, was told there is a section with 17% grade. Need to take it steady so I don’t run out of my mental fuel half way up this beast of a climb.
I have been an avid cyclist since 2008, regardless, each time I am on a new route it’s as though it is like the first time I clip into my pedals. I still get a little nervous, I have the tendency to question my ability, and I usually stay within my comfort zone, hence, I hold back.
Lee-Ann is part of a group from Timmins, Ontario, (a small town 700km north of Toronto) which has seen many of whom escape to Solvang over the last 5 years for some warm spring training. This year, Lee-Ann was unable to make the trip to Solvang due to her changing careers to become a massage therapist. Lee-Ann’s story is a cool one, with a motto “it’s never too late to try something new”… read on for the scoop.
Below we checked in with Lee-Ann to see how she is keeping her training going, while juggling school work and the northern weather this winter/spring.
Name: Lee-Ann Wearing Location: Timmins, Ontario, Canada (8 hours NORTH of Toronto:) Camps attended: Spring Fling x 2 and March Miles Sport Experience: Over the course of the last five years, I have developed from an athlete who couldn’t swim 25 m, had run a few half marathons and had only ridden 20km, to an athlete who has completed several sprint, olympic, half iron and 2 full ironman distance triathlons. It’s never too late to try something new.
In the off season I enjoy cross country skiing, downhill skiing and snowshoeing. Timmins affords us quite a long off season to enjoy winter and the activities that bring us outside during our cold snowy winter months.
2017 Goals: Since I am moving to the east coast where accessibility to races is much easier than in Timmins, I am planning to race often at the sprint and olympic distance while exploring Nova Scotia and finishing my last year of school. Overall my goal is to build my comfort in going all out (being comfortably uncomfortable) by racing often.
By Solvang Athlete Timmy J. (Timmy Johnson from Millerville, Alberta, Canada)
The annual “Get Fit for Solvang Spring Fling camp” kicked off in south New Zealand January 10th. Spring Fling alumni Tim & Dawn Johnson are seen taking a break at Tauranga Bay near Westport on the Tasman Sea.
Little know fact, sheep outnumber people in New Zealand 3 – 1. This has sparked the substantial interest of Earl T. (Spring Fling Camp Athlete from Surrey, B.C. Canada) who plans on attending next year with a healthy stockpile of Velcro gloves.
Riding is epic, food is wonderful, and the scenery is something to write home about!
Peter Reid, 3 X Hawaii Ironman Winner, 10 X Ironman Champion, and Ironman Hall of Fame Inductee, is returning to Solvang this March to be part of our coaching staff. Peter, now a pilot by day, is excited about this coming race season where he is hoping to be competitive in the masters category at marathon mountain bike events and cyclocross. No pressure for the other masters athletes hey?!! Last summer Peter won the Axel Merckx Gran Fondo in Penticton, so has great form!
January/February in the Northern Hemisphere is usually the time of year that athletes are starting to get into a consistent training rhythm and ramp back up from hibernating over the holiday season. The motivation could be signing up for the big race of the year or needing to shed some winter warmth that was accumulated over the holidays. Most people get highly focused on adding workouts back in or looking at dieting to quickly shed the pounds. Time and again I see athletes get hurt by adding too much training too quickly or try to cut calories and have training be compromised by being out of energy.
While most call this season the off season, I kindly refer to it as the preparation phase in training. Athletes should be focused on putting in time and getting in a good training rhythm, establishing a good pattern of sleep and preparing their bodies for the best season with their nutrition as well.
There are a few things you can do now that will set you up for success later in the season in regards to your nutrition. If you think about your body as your engine and the food you put in the gas, now is the time to run a diagnostic check and make sure the systems are running at full steam and can best utilize the high-octane fuel you’ll be putting in to spool up the turbos on race day.
a) Clean out the fuel lines first
A lot of people talk about a cleanse or juice fast to clean out your fuel system. Especially in January it’s the buzzword. While a cleanse can be a good idea, if your waste processing systems like the liver, bilary glands, intestines and lymph systems aren’t working at 100% all you’re going to do is back the stuff you are trying to cleanse up in another part of the system. I recommend a yearly detox that starts with using food and supplementation to support these functions first, then a gentle detox that focuses on heavy metals, toxins and lymphatic systems. I recommend a some of the protocols taught in the 7 Day Detox Miracle book or will work with my clients to customize a program for them.
b) Make sure your belts are working and lubed well