I have been meaning to write about one of the most memorable and fun weeks of my summer, but haven’t gotten around to it until now. From July 28th thru August 1st, I went to Wartburg College’s cross country camp in Waverly, Iowa. I really loved the camp. I had only been to running camps at Iowa State University in Ames before. Wartburg’s program emphasized positive attitude and mental strength. We did lots of visualization exercises and the coaches and student-athletes shared a “positive attitude story” at the beginning of each twice daily learning session.
As for the workouts: The workouts were great! We got a taste of many different types of workouts (long run, tempo run, negative split, out and back, recovery, hills, etc.) and were challenging but not impossible. Running at your own pace and getting what you were supposed to get out of the workouts, was stressed. While we worked hard during the day, we let loose (a little) at night. There were optional team-building and recreational sports activities, as well as a movie night at the only movie theater in Waverly and a pool party in the athletic center’s amazing pool (think water slide, whirl pool, hot tub, sauna, lap lanes, steam room……)
Everything about the camp was organized really well. We did everything on the schedule they gave us at the beginning of the week and got enough-but not too much- free time (about an hour and a half after breakfast and lunch and until bedtime in the evenings.) The head coach was great, too. Coach Johnson was super nice and very passionate about distance running. He was so enthusiastic and was always smiling! The student-athletes were very approachable, supportive and seemed to loooooove running!
The food at Wartburg was the best! We ate in the cafeteria and it was soooo delicious! I didn’t have very high expectations because of the high school cafeteria food I’m used to. There were so many options that even the pickiest kids found something they liked at each meal.
Since we stayed in the dorms, I had a roommate. Her name was Rebecca and she’s from Fort Dodge. She was really friendly and we had fun chatting late into the night and poring over the August issues of Running Times, Women’s Running and Self magazines.
If I had to pick one highlight of the camp, I would choose the long run. On Wednesday, the second to last day of camp, we woke up and ran first thing in the morning. This was supposed to be our longest run of the summer. I settled in with some girls from Linn-Mar early on who were running my pace and we stuck together as people spread apart. We ended up running ten HILLY miles at 8:15 pace and had a blast talking. The time flew by and we all agreed we wouldn’t have been able to run that far without each other!
Coach Johnson said the goal of the camp was to leave the camp stronger than when we arrived and prepared- mentally and physically- for the season ahead. Goal accomplished!!!