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).
We loaded our Rav4 on Friday evening so we could leave bright and early Saturday morning.
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…
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 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.
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!!
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.
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.”
Kuby is an AMAZING cook!! We were able to enjoy another AMAZING meal…this time Turkish cuisine.
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.
After being chilled on our boat ride, we decided it was time to get in the hot tub.
I followed this up with my first “workout” at altitude…strength training 🙂
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.
It was our night to cook…Thai food, here we come!! Most of our late afternoon was spent prepping food for the meal.
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…
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!!
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.
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 to head to Estes Park on Wednesday morning.
After dinner, we went for one final walk around the Red Feather Lakes area before hitting the sack.
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 🙂
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.
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 and settling in for the evening.
Have you ever been on a trication/racecation? If so, where did you go? How did you get your training in while traveling?
20 thoughts on “Trication Part 1 – Red Feather Lakes”
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….
That could have been a friend of my husband’s that you heard. 😉
Wow…you are doing the taper RIGHT!! You are definitely setting yourself up for success 😀
Thanks Amy! It has been a great trip 😉
Our trications are pretty tame, just one a year for my wife… next year though, we’re taking our pop-up everywhere!
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 😉
Yeah, but I don’t think I could handle jackets in july!
I saw a guy in a tank top. I don’t think he knew what he was doing.
How was On Top of Your Game? I’ll also be interested to hear how you like The Champion’s Mind. You can be my book critic. 🙂
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 don’t know what it is like to go from sea level to altitude. Has it affected you at all?
Continue enjoying your trip – it seriously looks heavenly.
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 😉
Thanks Kristen!! We will continue to have fun and I’ll keep posting updates 😉
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!
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 😉 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!!
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!! 🙂
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!
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 😊
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!! 🙂
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 😊
Awesome!! Love SF!!!!
Sushi!!!! It is beautiful out there! Glad you are enjoying yourself! 🙂
Thanks Jessie!! Such a great trip 😃