Time passes and stalls so freely here. The week cycles through bike routes, strength session progressions, run distances and frequencies, resetting each Saturday with the rest day. Even the themed meals in the dining room are on a two-week rotation. I'm experiencing a time warp: it feels like I arrived both yesterday and a year ago.
But the truth of my time in Fuerteventura specifically and working at a triathlon camp in general is that there is never enough time. Everyone shortens the time between sessions, even as the sessions become longer and more frequent (since you paid good money to go someplace warm and be flogged senseless, right?), until no one is not wearing spandex all the time and carrying a bag full of enough equipment and clothes to set up a transition area and race on command.
The best way to put it is that Playitas - or vacation-spot triathlon camps - is both vacation and a total grind. Some days I sleep fewer hours at night than I train during the day. Trust me, I get that this is fuzzy math.
To give you a better sense of what I mean, I've decided to do a "Day In The Life" (but retrospectively so some times are estimates). Let's dive into Monday....
7:00 AM - wake-up after going to sleep at 11:40 the night before, after a day of 4 sessions totaling 6:15; dress, pack for everything until 10 am, head down two hills to the hotel reception (the coaches are staying in the spartan hotel employee apartments)
7:30 - 8:00 AM - run #1 for the day, an easy 30 min as laps of the crushed-stone cart trail around the golf course with one camper and another coach
8:00 - 8:40 AM - change because the mornings and evenings here are cold and sweaty quickly turns to chilly and then breakfast
8:40 - 9:10 AM - short bout of computer time...we have 8 coaches sharing two jacks/cables and internet is only available in our camp headquarters
9:10 - 9:20 AM - walk back up the two hills to our apartments
9:20 - 9:40 AM - dress, pack, and bike maintenance etc for the day's ride
9:40 AM - head down the two hills back to the hotel
10:00 AM - 1:25 PM - bike 77 km with three long sustained climbs, leading a group of 8-ish men
1:25 - 1:50 PM - eat (hard-boiled eggs and fruit pilfered from the dining room), rinse off, change
2:00 - 3:00 PM - nap...an absolutely huge accomplishment and supremely momentous occasion, as I am sharing an apartment with three other people who have their own schedules...in retrospect I should have been swimming
3:00 - 3:30 PM - snack, change, pack for everything until 6:30 PM, head back down the two hills
3:30 - 4:00 PM - another burst of internet time...ya gotta strategize and be sneaky to get one of those cables!
4:00 - 5:00 PM - run #2 for the day, ended up being alone as the Second Day Curse continues and only myself and another coach show up for the run...he heads to the bar to get a coffee and I get in a quick 10k in the hills
5:00 - 5:20 PM - slam down some food (bread, fruit, another egg) as I change into my swimming stuff
5:30 - 6:00 PM - jump in with the group technique swim in progress
6:00 - 6:45 PM - deck change, head back up the two hills, shower and dress for dinner
6:45 - 7:05 PM - walk back down the two hills to dinner
7:05 - 8:45 PM - dinner...I basically don't talk, as if I could speak German anyway, or breathe as I shovel down plate after plate of food
8:45 - 9:20 PM - type up the day's journal entry sitting outside our headquarters as a German-language swimming seminar is conducted inside
9:20 - 10:00 PM - talk to campers who hang around after the presentation
10:00 PM - daily coaches meeting
10:40 PM - walk back up the two hills for the last time today
10:50 PM - sit in our kitchen and take a deep breath not induced by a increasing heart rate for the first time today...chat with my apartment mates/fellow coaches, snack, wash bottles, rinse and hang clothes, unpack my bag, repack my bag, organize my room so I can find my bed underneath a whole lot of discarded spandex
12:07 AM - go to bed
Some vacation, huh?
Ok, sad little personal pity party over. I still get to ride here....
Back to our regularly scheduled jovial and witty updates.