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?