Monday, January 28, 2013

OTC: People and Place

I have now been at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs for two weeks. The experience has been amazing! Waking up every morning with a beautiful view of Pike's Peak has started to convert me from always being an ocean girl to a mountain lover as well. I have already gotten to meet so many incredible people, Olympians and other athletes alike! I've sat down with Lopez Lomong and bonded over Syracuse basketball, got Ryan Lochte to sign his autograph for my little sister and waved to Kara Goucher as we passed along the Santa Fe trail. I've also gotten to meet a lot of amazing people that I had not known prior to coming here. I've met paralympic athletes, shooters, wrestlers, modern pentathletes, weight lifters and gymnasts. It's been awesome learning about all the different sports!

I am here with a group of five other triathletes who are in the same situation as I am; all on our way to becoming competitive professionals. There are three boys and three girls and we all come from a Division I background in running. Indiana is well represented by Kyla Chapman and Justin Roeder. The mountains of Colorado have given us Alex Willis from Leadville and John O'Neill from Vail who are actually coming down from altitude to be in the Springs. And then Chelsea Burns is coming from Seattle, but actually went to school at Colgate in central New York (Colgate always being the first race of the season for Syracuse!). I really love our group and like how each person brings something different to make our group more dynamic and fun!

Back row: Me, Lindsay (our bike coach), Justin, and Kyla
Front: John, Alex and Chelsea

As for exploring the Colorado Springs area, we've gotten a good start but there is still much to see and do! One of my favorite rides we did was our Sunday long ride where we went out toward Cheyenne Mountain, although we did not go up it (it's about 16% grade). We did go up a road called Goldcamp Rd. which is littered with cyclists and is a much nicer consistent 4% grade. We then checked out a steeper incline on Alta Vista and then rode through the Broadmoor/Marland area where there are some HUGE houses! I'm really looking forward to continuing explore and find new things to do. At some point Pike's Peak will be conquered, I'm thinking by car ;)
Heading up Goldcamp Rd.
The view from the top!