Dateline: Lake Tahoe, CA
July 17, 2000
What a week!! Karen and I just returned from eight
days at the Jeff Galloway Fitness Vacation at Squaw Valley. This
was my third year in attendance, Karen's second.
The format of the camp is pretty simple: get in
as much running and hiking and eating as you can stand. With the
ascent of Pike's Peak only a month away, we had a training agenda
in addition to the opportunity for fellowship with Jeff and his
family and the rest of the campers.
The Olympic Village lodge where the group stayed
is at about 6,000 feet altitude. That alone is enough to get your
attention. The experience of the past few years taught me to take
things easy for the first couple of days. With that in mind, we
did a relaxed 90 minute hike on our first afternoon.
We followed the Granite Chief trail, as best we
could. With any luck we might have found the Pacific Crest Trail
that goes from Canada to Mexico. We didn't. I'm not sure how the
early settlers found their way around, but I know I wouldn't have
been much help.
Tuesday morning we met and ran with Jeff and the
campers. We renewed some old acquaintances [a couple of folks have
been coming to the camp for 20 years] and made some new friends.
The early morning run along the Truckee River is enough to remind
me why I keep coming back. Crisp temperatures, blue skies, and warm
Tuesday afternoon we hiked to the overlook above
Emerald Bay. There may be more beautiful places on earth, but not
many. The hike is not especially difficult--just challenging enough
to make you savor the view.
We took Wednesday morning off in anticipation of
the week's most difficult workout that afternoon. We knew we would
be running, hiking and trekking along the rim trail that STARTS
at around 9,200 feet. It was perfect training for Pike's Peak.
Our plan was to run 1 minute, then walk 3 minutes,
and try to maintain the pace. The trail meanders along the rim with
some modest ups and downs, but with no major climbs. As it turned
out, Karen and I, along with four other campers, managed to knock
out a 2 hour, 24 minute walk/run. It was as exhilarating as it was
I wore an "adventure" style backpack and carried
100 ounces of water. When it was all over I had consumed almost
80 of those ounces. I learned my lesson about the dangers of dehydration
at Rock and Roll the HARD way. I was not going to take that risk
The highlight of the weeklong camp is always the
Thursday night "Awards" ceremony. It's impossible to describe unless
you experience it--a combination of a very bad imitation of the
academy awards and a very good imitation of the funniest talent
show you've ever seen. My only real injury of the week was from
laughing so much that my stomach hurt.
Friday morning brought the good-byes. But Friday
evening brought in a new group for the weekend version of the camp
and it all started up again.
As I told Jeff, the experience of being at Squaw
Valley, the warmth of his family, the strength of the bond of those
who return, and the freshness of the newcomers make being there
better every year. I can hardly believe it's over. And I can't wait
until next year.
For more information about the camp, go to: www.jeffgalloway.com\
We're off to Toronto this week for our first Canadian
Flight School. More on that later.
Takin' it to the streets....