Trication Part 1 – Red Feather Lakes

When we signed up for Ironman Boulder, we knew we wanted to take a few weeks vacation before the race to acclimate to the altitude and arid climate. Thankfully we were lucky to get to spend 3 weeks in Colorado acclimating and catching up with family and friends. The first part of our trication (vacation with a triathlon) is at Red Feather Lakes, Colorado (elevation 8,600 feet).

Friday:

We loaded our Rav4 on Friday evening so we could leave bright and early Saturday morning.

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The inside of the Rav4…minus 3 Ironman athletes.
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All of our clothes and luggage were stowed outside of the vehicle.

Saturday:

We rolled out of Ames and onto the interstate at 5:15 am Saturday morning in the pouring down rain. Thankfully it only rained on us for the first 3 hours of the trip, but visibility wasn’t great during that those first three hours and my co-pilot and navigator were both sound asleep…

My co-pilot and navigator are sleeping.
My co-pilot and navigator are sleeping.

We eventually made our way to Cheyenne, Wyoming after traveling through Nebraska (AKA…The. Most. Boring. State. EVER!), where we loaded up on groceries and gas before making the final 2 hour trek up into the mountains. As we crossed the border into Colorado, it started to rain on us again, but thankfully it didn’t last.

We got a bit wet as we entered Colorado again.
We got a bit wet as we entered Colorado again.

We arrived at our friend’s home in Red Feather Lakes at about 4:15 pm (mountain time), unloaded our vehicle, had great conversations with Kuby (our friend whom we stayed with), went for a walk down to the lake and enjoyed some amazing homemade Bolivian cuisine.

We are staying in a BEAUTIFUL home!!
We are staying in a BEAUTIFUL home!!
The view off of the deck overlooking the lake.
The view off of the deck overlooking the lake.
Walking Darwin down by the lake...
Walking Darwin down by the lake…

Sunday:

I woke up at 3:40 am (mountain time) and made myself go back to bed before getting up at 5:30 am and spending some quiet time on outdoor deck in the sun. It was 49F and ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!!

The morning sunrise on the mountains.
The morning sunrise on the mountains.
Drinking my Karma Kombucha on the deck watching the sunrise.
Drinking my Karma Kombucha on the deck watching the sunrise.

We made some breakfast and then I went back to bed for a 2 hour nap. These first few days at altitude are all about resting and acclimating to altitude without getting altitude sickness. I spent some time working on my blog posts, catching up on other blogs that I follow and playing cribbage with the Iron Hippie in the afternoon.

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The Iron Hippie was beating me at this point of the game (he was blue and I was red), but I came back and beat him big this game ๐Ÿ™‚

Before dinner, we prepped the boat to take out in the morning on Monday, while Darwin (the Golden Retriever) played with sticks in the “yard.”

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The Iron Hippie and Allen deciding how to put the trolling motor on…I have the most experience with this, but it was fun to watch the two of them try to figure it out ๐Ÿ˜‰
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Darwin loves sticks!!

Kuby is an AMAZING cook!! We were able to enjoy another AMAZING meal…this time Turkish cuisine.

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Turkish yummy goodness!!

Monday:

After breakfast, the Iron Hippie, Allen and I loaded into the boat and cruised around the lake before the winds really started to pick up.

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Allen, the Iron Hippie and me on the water.
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Growing up on the lake, I had the most experience driving the boat.
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The Iron Hippie and Allen are enjoying the view.
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Kuby and Allen loading the boat back onto the trailer after our ride. The water was 52F…Allen’s feet and calves were numb ๐Ÿ™‚

After being chilled on our boat ride, we decided it was time to get in the hot tub.

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We all have the best tan lines…

I followed this up with my first “workout” at altitude…strength training ๐Ÿ™‚

Step-ups with ankle weights
Step-ups with ankle weights

After lunch, I went down to the lake and read by the dam. It was so peaceful and I actually got a bit warm sitting in the sun.

One of my favorite books on mental training...perfect pre race reading :)
One of my favorite books on mental training…perfect pre race reading ๐Ÿ™‚
The bald eagle was soaring above me while I was reading.
The bald eagle was soaring above me while I was reading.

It was our night to cook…Thai food, here we come!! Most of our late afternoon was spent prepping food for the meal.

Just call me the sous chef ;)
Just call me the sous chef ๐Ÿ˜‰

After dinner, we took the dogs for a walk and saw the most spectacular sunset with a double rainbow off in the distance. It was more beautiful than this photo shows…

Sunset with a double rainbow in the background (this photo does not do the real beauty justice)
Sunset with a double rainbow in the background (this photo does not do the real beauty justice)

Tuesday:

I started my day with some pre race planning and mental training, while sitting in the sun on the deck. What a beautiful morning and the perfect way to start the day!!

Pre race planning
Pre race planning

After breakfast, I continued to bask in the sun and read books until lunch. I finished On Top of Your Game by Carrie Cheadle and started reading The Champion’s Mind by Jim Afremow.

Mental training!!
Mental training!!

We prepped food for dinner…nothing to extravagant tonight…roast, potatoes, carrots and onion. Simple and tasty.

My afternoon was spent doing some laundry and repacking my bag and our cosmetics so I was prepared toย head to Estes Park on Wednesday morning.

Everything is all packed up and ready to go to Estes Park.
Everything is all packed up and ready to go to Estes Park.

After dinner, we went for one final walk around the Red Feather Lakes area before hitting the sack.

A moose on the side of the road.
A moose on the side of the road.
The boys checking out the lake before we leave.
The boys checking out the lake one last time before we leave.
3 little ducks had to hop up the dam to swim away.
3 little ducks had to hop up the dam to swim away.
The lake was as smooth as glass.
The lake was as smooth as glass.

Wednesday:

We got up bright and early, enjoyed some breakfast and then loaded the vehicle for our travels to Estes Park. On our way to Estes Park, we stopped in Fort Collins for a swim and an amazing sushi lunch. I was a little nervous about swimming at altitude, but was VERY pleasantly surprised…the swim went much better than I had anticipated and I had some serious #swimlove ๐Ÿ™‚

Super happy with my swim workout at the Mulberry Pool in Fort Collins.
Super happy with my swim workout at the Mulberry Pool in Fort Collins.
Suehiro was an AMAZING sushi bar! Thanks to Kuby for the suggestion!!
Suehiro was an AMAZING sushi bar! Thanks to Kuby for the suggestion!!
Mick treated us well with amazing food and conversation...he definitely has the Midwest hospitality (he is from Minnesota after all)!!
Mick treated us well with amazing food and conversation…he definitely has the Midwest hospitality (he is from Minnesota after all)!!
This was an AMAZING fish casserole and two rolls that Mick picked out.
This was an AMAZING fish casserole and two rolls that Mick picked out.
These three rolls Mick picked out and he flame kissed them with a blow torch!
These three rolls Mick picked out and he flame kissed them with a blow torch!

We then headed to the Ironman Boulder bike course and drove the route to get an idea of the course as well as the turns we would be making for some pre-race riding we had planned later in the week.

Ironman Boulder Bike Course
Ironman Boulder Bike Course

After finally arriving in Estes Park, we unloaded the car and I spent some time organizing my room before finding a nice place for dinner andย settling in for the evening.

We made it to Estes Park!!
We made it to Estes Park!!
This is our cabin for the duration of our stay in Estes Park.
This is our cabin for the duration of our stay in Estes Park.
This is the view from our patio for the next 11 days.
This is the view from our patio for the next 11 days.
My own personal room for the next 11 days...I get a break from the testosterone!!
My own personal room for the next 11 days…I get a break from the testosterone!!
A stream that runs through Estes Park's downtown area.
A stream that runs through Estes Park’s downtown area.
Waiting for our table at Poppy's...enjoying the quiet of the stream and the band off to my left.
Waiting for our table at Poppy’s…enjoying the quiet of the stream and the band off to my left.
Poppy's Pizza was fantastic!!
Poppy’s Pizza was fantastic!!
This was my Mediterranean Pizza...Yummy!!
This was my Mediterranean Pizza…Yummy!!
Salt water taffy for dessert...yummy!!
Salt water taffy for dessert…SWEEEET!!

Have you ever been on a trication/racecation? If so, where did you go? How did you get your training in while traveling?

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20 thoughts on “Trication Part 1 – Red Feather Lakes

  1. I was at Lifetime Minneapolis Triathlon last weekend. As we were waiting for transition to open so we could get our gear post-race, I overheard 2 other athletes chatting about the race, upcoming events for the season etc. one started talking about a friend and his wife who are running Bolder IM in a few weeks. They had already left to acclimate pre-race…something they could do since they were teachers. I was about to jump in when they opened the gates and we all swarmed to our gear. But, it is amazing the tight little community we have in triathlon….

    1. There are some AMAZING bike ride routes out here…climbing from where we are (7522 feet) to over 12000 feet. With the turn around, it is close to 50 miles. You’d have a great challenge ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. How was On Top of Your Game? Iโ€™ll also be interested to hear how you like The Championโ€™s Mind. You can be my book critic. ๐Ÿ™‚

    It looks like you guys are having a wonderful time and are enjoying life before the big race. Have you noticed any different with the altitude and elevation? I live and train at a higher elevation (anywhere from 3500-6000ft) so I really donโ€™t know what it is like to go from sea level to altitude. Has it affected you at all?

    Continue enjoying your trip โ€“ it seriously looks heavenly.

    1. I LOVED On Top of Your Game!! The Champion’s Mind is good, but I don’t like it as well…it seems to be more stories (on how others are mentally strong) instead of tools and resources to help you develop stronger mental strength and focus.

      We are having a great time!! I have DEFINITELY noticed a difference with altitude! We breathe heavier and have a higher heart rate with lower exertion. My run time was about 1 min/mile slower than normal yesterday (at 7500+ feet), but the bike today was right where I have been (at 5200+ feet). It is crazy how winded I get just walking up a long set of stairs to our cabin here in Estes Park ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Thanks Kristen!! We will continue to have fun and I’ll keep posting updates ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Sounds like things are really going well and you are spending time getting acclimated. I have never done any intensive exercise at elevation so I would not know what to expect. It really seems smart that you game plan involved quality time to try to adapt. I would have no idea how I would do with the transition. Glad you are enjoying your time and sounds like the weather has been wond wonderful!

    1. Thanks Lee!! We’ve been at altitude before, but not to race, so we did have an idea of what to expect regarding adjusting to the altitude. It is definitely a good thing that we are up here acclimating for so long since we are still winded and have higher than normal heart rates when exercising. Today marks one week at altitude…hopefully in 2 more weeks we’ll be ready ๐Ÿ˜‰ The weather has been nice up in the mountains. Going down to Boulder yesterday was really hot and windy, but hopefully those conditions aren’t around on race day!!

  4. Fun trip so far!! You are getting closer!!! That is so awesome that you can get acclimated before the race!!! I am sure that it will help a lot!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    That pool in Ft Collins looks awesome too!! I just can’t figure out why Portland doesn’t have any good pools!! I just don’t get it!!
    I don’t think that i have been on an extended trication…esp before hand..i don’t like to get to my destination because it makes me more nervous just sitting around! I did stay in Phoenix for a week after IMAZ and it was amazing!

    1. I think it helps that we aren’t really in Boulder yet and we still have workouts to do as well as touristy sight seeing. I wish we had pools back home like the one in Ft Collins. We don’t have good pool options for lap swimming in Ames either. I’ve never done a vacation after a race, but it sounds like a great plan ๐Ÿ˜Š

      1. Yes! I am sure that helps!!! You still have a little bit of time too!! I forgot we went to San Juans after Whistler too!! Yes going on a vacation after the race is so nice!!! But you will still have time before you go back to school!! ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. I will have a little time. I’m going to visit my sister and her family in San Francisco (East Bay) shortly after the race for a few days. It will be a good break and I get to meet my youngest niece who was born late April ๐Ÿ˜Š

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