Trication Part 2 – Estes Park…The Middle

Monday:

We woke up early to head to the Estes Park pool for 2400 yards of #swimlove at an elevation of 7500+ feet. I was a little winded during this swim, but once I got into a rhythm it was great!!

Estes Park Swimming Pool
Estes Park Swimming Pool

After swimming, we drove to Rocky Mountain National Park and took a short walk around Sprague Lake…ABSOLUTELY Magnificent!!

We walked the 1/2 mile loop around Sprague Lake and ventured out off the trail in a few places.
We walked the 1/2 mile loop around Sprague Lake and ventured out off the trail in a few places.
I climbed a rock and took a picture of the boys below.
I climbed a rock and took a picture of the boys below.
The view of Sprague Lake from the top of my rock.
The view of Sprague Lake from the top of my rock.
Standing on top of my rock at Sprague Lake.
Standing on top of my rock at Sprague Lake.
Two men fishing in a canoe at Sprague Lake.
Two men fishing in a canoe at Sprague Lake.
A stream just off of Sprague Lake
A stream just off of Sprague Lake
The mountains and sky reflected beautifully off of Sprague Lake.
The mountains and sky reflected beautifully off of Sprague Lake.

When we returned to our cabin, we spent about 3 hours cleaning our bikes. Mojo is MUCH happier now that she is clean and shiny!! During this time, we also did laundry…everything dries so quickly in Colorado ๐Ÿ™‚

We spent 3+ hours cleaning bikes.
We spent 3+ hours cleaning bikes.
This is how we dry laundry in Colorado.
This is how we dry laundry in Colorado.
"A clean bike is a happy bike."
“A clean bike is a happy bike.”

After lunch, we thought we were going to do some stand up paddle boarding, but the timing wasn’t in our favor, so we’ll have to go later this week. Instead, we walked down on the strip and got a late afternoon treat…I had a caramel apple covered in Snickers and it was delightful ๐Ÿ™‚

Caramel apple with Snicker...YUMMY!!
Caramel apple with Snicker…YUMMY!!

For dinner, we had homemade pasta and garlic bread before heading to bed early so we could get to the Boulder Reservoir early in the morning for our first open water swim (OWS) in Colorado at altitude.

Tuesday:

We woke up EARLY to driveย down to the Boulder Reservoir for a 6:10 am OWS with BAM (Boulder Aquatic Masters). LOTS of the swimmers are soon to be fellow Ironman Boulder finishers, since most were chatting about the upcoming race. There were LOTS of others who just swim or are training for other races as well. It was great to have kayakers/lifeguards surrounding the 1000 meter and 750 meter buoys watching out for us while we swam. The $15 was well worth it!! It would be nice to have something like this back home. ๐Ÿ™‚

People lining the shore getting ready for the BAM OWS.
People lining the shore getting ready for the BAM OWS.
The Iron Hippie on the left getting his swim cap on and getting ready to swim.
The Iron Hippie on the left getting his swim cap on and getting ready to swim.

It was a perfect morning for a swim and I was VERY pleasantly surprised by how good I felt despite swimming at altitude.

OWS complete...I felt GREAT!!
OWS complete…I felt GREAT!!
OWS in the Boulder Res was faster than my IMWI pace last year...hmmm...maybe IMBoulder will be a PR swim.
OWS in the Boulder Res was faster than my IMWI pace last year…hmmm…maybe IMBoulder will be a PR swim.

After the swim, we had a short run, which we did around the Res checking out where we would be staged for IMBoulder. This was the fastest run I’ve had in quite a while and I was super happy about my pace…I started easyย and picked it up to sub 8:00/mile pace near the end ๐Ÿ™‚

Short run post swim. This is the fastest run I've had in quite a while and I was super happy to show this pace at altitude!! Acclimation is paying off :)
Short run post swim. This is the fastest run I’ve had in quite a while and I was super happy to show this pace at altitude!! Acclimation is paying off ๐Ÿ™‚
Post swim/run high...with the mountains in the background and at altitude.
Post swim/run high…with the mountains in the background and at altitude.

After our run, we showered at the Res before driving Allen to the airport in Denver. He had to fly to Las Vegas for an overnight workย trip. On our way back up to Estes Park, we stopped in Lafayette at Morning Glory Cafe for an amazing breakfast!!

I'm in love with their food...I wish they were closer to Estes Park :)
I’m in love with their food…I wish they were closer to Estes Park ๐Ÿ™‚
Avocado toast with a side of bacon.
Avocado toast with a side of bacon.

Once back at the cabin, we put all of our swim gear out on the patio to dry (wetsuits, swim suits, tri kits, etc.) before layingย down for a much needed nap. When I woke up, I went outside to bring in all of our swim gear and it was SOAKED! It had apparently poured during our nap and all of our gear was more wet than when we put it out there post trip to Boulder. We left it all outside, hoping it would dry.

We had an earlyย dinner at Mama Rosa’s in Estes Park and then walked around the downtown area checking out the local shops and buying a few things.

Caprese Salad for an appetizer
Caprese Salad for an appetizer
Salad
Salad
Shrimp in marinara sauce over noodles and a side of garlic bread
Shrimp in marinara sauce over noodles and a side of garlic bread
Sitting on the patio next to the stream for dinner = perfect!!
Sitting on the patio next to the stream for dinner = perfect!!

It was early to bed to try and soak up the sleep during the taper ๐Ÿ˜‰

Wednesday:

We woke up, went to the grocery store before everyone else did (that is definitely the way to go), came back to the cabin to make breakfast smoothies and then walked 2 miles down to the Estes Park Marina so I could rent a stand up paddle board and the Iron Hippie could rent a kayak. The last time I went stand up paddle (SUP) boarding was in Coeur d’Alene in 2012. I LOVE stand up paddle boarding…maybe it is time to invest in my own board ๐Ÿ™‚ It was a very windy morning, which made for a rough ride…lots of whitecaps on the lake. It was still a lot of fun, but I think we need to go back and do this again when it is a calmer day…I’d love to be out there longer than 30 minutes!!

A snake slithered across the path right in front of us as we walked around Lake Estes to the marina.
A snake slithered across the path right in front of us as we walked around Lake Estes to the marina.
Lots of wind and whitecaps made stand up paddle boarding more like "kneel paddle boarding"
Lots of wind and whitecaps made stand up paddle boarding more like “kneel paddle boarding”
Finally able to stand...for a little bit :)
Finally able to stand…for a little bit ๐Ÿ™‚

After our 2 mile walk back to the cabin, we made some lunch, did some laundry and cleaned up before heading down to Denver to meet the Iron Hippie’s sister for the afternoon and evening. We had US Thai for dinner and followed this up with a short stroll along Sloan’s Lake.

I LOVE Thai food!!
I LOVE Thai food!!
Thai curry = da bomb!!
Thai curry = da bomb!!
A walk along the path at Sloan's Lake.
A walk along the path at Sloan’s Lake.
The Iron Hippie and his sister look a lot alike!!
The Iron Hippie and his sister look a lot alike!!
Another view of our walk along Sloan's Lake.
Another view of our walk along Sloan’s Lake.
We found a "sign" of back home in downtown Denver!!
We found a “sign” of back home in downtown Denver!!

Then we picked Allen up from the airport at ~8:30. This made for a late night getting back to our cabin.

Thursday: (Happy Birthday to the Iron Hippie Today)

We slept in this morning, made some breakfast, loaded our bikes into the car and drove to Nederland (or Ned as the locals call it). Once in Nederland, we rode a different section of the Peak to Peak Highway up to Ward. You can check out my complete blog post on this section of the Peak to Peak Highway here.

Taking a break from the riding and doing a little core work in Ward!!
Taking a break from the riding and doing a little core work in Ward!!
High above the trees!!
High above the trees!!

We relaxed at the cabin for the remainder of the day, grilling dinner and enjoying some down time before turning in early for the night, since there are more adventures to be had tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚

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Trication Part 2 – Estes Park…The End

Friday:

Today marked the start of single digit countdown to Ironman Boulder…

We are now onto single digits for the countdown to IMBoulder!!
We are now onto single digits for the countdown to IMBoulder!!

We woke up at 5 am so we could go into Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) for a hike to Loch Vale. This was about a 5 mile hike round trip…

Allen in his natural environment...this is where he belongs.
Allen in his natural environment…this is where he belongs.
The Iron Hippie hiking along on the trail.
The Iron Hippie hiking along on the trail.
Loch Vale is 2.7 miles away.
Loch Vale is 2.7 miles away.
Allen pointing at the "mouth" of the rock that "smiles." According to Allen, this rock says, "Shh...there is a secret trail." We took fireman's trail up to Loch Vale.
Allen pointing at the “mouth” of the rock that “smiles.” According to Allen, this rock says, “Shh…there is a secret trail.” We took fireman’s trail up to Loch Vale.
The Iron Hippie and me by the "smiling" rock.
The Iron Hippie and me by the “smiling” rock.
A view of the trail and our quiet surroundings.
A view of the trail and our quiet surroundings.
Part of the way up to Loch Vale.
Part of the way up to Loch Vale.
Allen and the Iron Hippie leading the way.
Allen and the Iron Hippie leading the way.
Just keep climbing the trail.
Just keep climbing the trail.
Part of the trail along the way.
Part of the trail along the way.
Having a little fun throwing snowballs on our way up to Loch Vale.
Having a little fun throwing snowballs on our way up to Loch Vale.
The Iron Hippie and Allen still hiking.
The Iron Hippie and Allen still hiking.
A fun stone sculpture on the trail up to Loch Vale.
A fun stone sculpture on the trail up to Loch Vale.
My shadow on the trail.
My shadow on the trail.
Hiking up to Loch Vale.
Hiking up to Loch Vale.
A beautiful waterfall along the trail.
A beautiful waterfall along the trail.
Loch Lake...so peaceful and magnificent!
Loch Lake…so peaceful and magnificent!
Loch Lake...beautiful!!
Loch Lake…beautiful!!
Loch Lake...so peaceful!
Loch Lake…crystal clear waterl!
Loch Lake
Loch Lake…so peaceful!!
Eating an apple by Loch Lake.
Eating an apple by Loch Lake.
Loch Lake...nature's beauty.
Loch Lake…nature’s beauty.
A gorgeous view of RMNP!
A gorgeous view of RMNP!
A beautiful waterfall on the descent.
A beautiful waterfall on the descent.

We went back to the cabin, ate a snack and took a nap to recharge the batteries ๐Ÿ™‚ After our nap, we went for a run, before eating leftovers for dinner, walking down on the strip for ice cream and having an early to bed for a Saturday early morning trip to Boulder.

Last run at an elevation of 7500+ feet!!
Last run at an elevation of 7500+ feet!!

Saturday:

We woke up at 4:45 to head down to Boulder for a BAM OWS at the Boulder Rez. I felt a little sluggish to start, but eventually found my groove and settled in to a pretty solid pace.

BAM OWS...the Rez was as smooth as glass!!
BAM OWS…the Rez was as smooth as glass!!
Funny that we swim by a sign that says "No Swimming No Wading"
Funny that we swim by a sign that says “No Swimming No Wading”

After the swim, we hopped on our bikes and rode the “blue” loop (also known as the 3rd loop) of the Ironman Boulder bike course. I really do love this course and can’t wait until race day!! Mojo was having a few issues shifting, so after the ride, we loaded her up and took her to Louisville Cyclery, where they are going to take really good care of her and make sure she is race ready. Thanks to Susan McNamee for the referral ๐Ÿ™‚

The signs are up on the roads to warn drivers to expect delays next Sunday...it is getting real :)
The signs are up on the roads to warn drivers to expect delays next Sunday…it is getting real ๐Ÿ™‚
On Lookout Road...what a beautiful view of the mountains!!
On Lookout Road…what a beautiful view of the mountains!!
We're all good...just riding our bikes :)
We’re all good…just riding our bikes ๐Ÿ™‚
The Iron Hippie was assisting Allen with his bike.
The Iron Hippie was assisting Allen with his bike.
The Iron Hippie was assisting Allen with his bike...thumbs up means it's all good?!?!?!?!
The Iron Hippie was assisting Allen with his bike…thumbs up means it’s all good?!?!?!?!
The Iron Hippie was full of shenanigans after assisting Allen with his bike.
The Iron Hippie was full of shenanigans after assisting Allen with his bike.
The Iron Hippie was full of shenanigans after assisting Allen with his bike.
The Iron Hippie was full of shenanigans after assisting Allen with his bike.

We decided to stop at Mary’s Market in Hygiene for a sandwich on our way back up the mountain and it was our lucky day!! Thanks to Lululemon for the free food, drinks, fuel and conversation to all cyclists that stopped and purchased anything at Mary’s Market on Saturday morning/lunch hour!! You put a smile on the faces of so many cyclists ๐Ÿ™‚

These sweet ladies from Lululemon bought our lunch for us!!
These sweet ladies from Lululemon bought our lunch for us!!

It turned out to be a good thing we stopped for a sandwich at Mary’s Market, because it ended up taking us 31 minutes to drive 9.2 miles thanks to a festival in Lyons. Had we waited to refuel back at our cabin, we all might have been a bit hangry!!

Traffic jam...took us 31 minutes to go 9.2 miles thanks to a festival in Lyons.
Traffic jam…took us 31 minutes to go 9.2 miles thanks to a festival in Lyons.

After arriving back to our cabin, we all cleaned up, did some laundry, went to the grocery store and waited for Allen’s wife and daughters to arrive. After being surrounded by only testosterone for the last two weeks, it was nice to have some estrogen around me ๐Ÿ™‚

The girls are here!! The girls are here!! Yay for estrogen :)
The girls are here!! The girls are here!! Yay for estrogen ๐Ÿ™‚

We grilled food at the cabin for dinner, made s’mores and then headed down to the strip so weย could get ice cream and enjoy the sounds along the stream…after all, this was our last night in Estes Park. I have LOVED my stay here and would highly recommend a trip here to anyone who loves the outdoors. There is so much to do here for people of all types ๐Ÿ™‚

A heated dinner conversation about who's idea it was to sign up for Ironman Boulder...it was definitely Allen's. He is the one who signed up first after all.
A heated dinner conversation about who’s idea it was to sign up for Ironman Boulder…it was definitely Allen’s. He is the one who signed up first after all.
Mmmm...S'mores :)
Mmmm…S’mores ๐Ÿ™‚
This is the only way you'll catch the two of us on a tandem together...in a garden as part of their decor ;)
This is the only way you’ll catch the two of us on a tandem together…in a garden as part of their decor ๐Ÿ˜‰

Sunday:

We have moved on to the flatland…AKAย the Denver metro, where we will be staying with family for the next 4 days. After staying up in the mountains for the last 2 weeks, Denver and Boulder feel flat in comparison ๐Ÿ˜‰

Trication Part 2 – Estes Park…The Beginning

I’m so excited to start training again, but this time at altitude…7596 feet is where I have laid my head every night since we arrived in Estes Park!!

Thursday: Happy 5th Anniversary to the Iron Hippie ๐Ÿ˜‰

I started my day watching the sunrise over the mountain on the patio at our cabin, while drinking my Karma Kombucha…can you say #perfectstarttotheday?!?!?!?! WOW!!

What a spectacular sunrise over the mountain!!
What a spectacular sunrise over the mountain!!

We followed this upย with a drive through Rocky Mountain National Park to Grand Lake, where we had breakfast at an amazing little cafe, followed by a walk along the lake.

On the drive to Grand Lake through Rocky Mountain National Park.
On the drive to Grand Lake through Rocky Mountain National Park.
On the drive to Grand Lake through Rocky Mountain National Park.
On the drive to Grand Lake through Rocky Mountain National Park.
On the drive to Grand Lakes through Rocky Mountain National Park.
On the drive to Grand Lakes through Rocky Mountain National Park.
Blue Water Bakery Cafe...YUMMY!!
Blue Water Bakery Cafe…YUMMY!!
Veggie Croissant Sandwich and Blueberry Muffin for breakfast...YUMMY!!
Veggie Croissant Sandwich and Blueberry Muffin for breakfast…YUMMY!!
Grand Lake...elevation 8367 feet :)
Grand Lake…elevation 8367 feet ๐Ÿ™‚
Kayak and wind surfing on Grand Lake
Kayak and wind surfing on Grand Lake
Happy Anniversary to the Iron Hippie...what a great way to celebrate 5 years ;)
Happy Anniversary to the Iron Hippie…what a great way to celebrate 5 years ๐Ÿ˜‰

After breakfast and a short walk along the lake, we loaded back into the car and drove to the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park so we could hike up to Adam’s Falls…

We took a short hike up to Adams Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park.
We took a short hike up to Adams Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park.
On the trail to Adam's Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park.
On the trail to Adam’s Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Adam's Falls...so majestic!
Adam’s Falls…so majestic!
We made it to Adam's Falls...with Allen and the Iron Hippie.
We made it to Adam’s Falls…with Allen and the Iron Hippie.
Staring out over the running water...so peaceful!
Staring out over the running water…so peaceful!
A hideout area by the stream.
A hideout area by the stream.
Allen deciding to walk in the FREEZING cold water...he lost feeling in his calves and feet (~39F water temperature)
Allen deciding to walk in the FREEZING cold water…he lost feeling in his calves and feet (~39F water temperature)
The Iron Hippie checking out the water.
The Iron Hippie checking out the water.
I LOVE nature and was cherishing every moment in Rocky Mountain National Park!!
I LOVE nature and was cherishing every moment in Rocky Mountain National Park!!
Enjoying the peace and quiet of nature...
Enjoying the peace and quiet of nature…
Just past Adam's Falls, it opens up to this majestic prairie with a stream through it.
Just past Adam’s Falls, it opens up to this majestic prairie with a stream through it.
The prairie, stream and mountains in the background.
The prairie, stream and mountains in the background.

On the return back to Estes Park, we made one stop at the Continental Divide.

The Continental Divide...this is where water flows to either the Pacific or Atlantic.
The Continental Divide…this is where water flows to either the Pacific or Atlantic.
A lake at the Continental Divide.
A lake at the Continental Divide.

When we returned to Estes Park, I relaxed for a little bit before doing an hour of strength training at the cabin. At about 5:00 pm, the Iron Hippie, Allen and I went for a run around Estes Park. I was VERY pleasantly surprised at how good I felt at 7500+ feet elevation. This was just the attitude adjustment that I needed!! This was some serious #runlove ๐Ÿ™‚

Strength training with the mountains in the background...I may never leave here!!
Strength training with the mountains in the background…I may never leave here!!
Not super fast, but I felt really great at 7500+ feet elevation :)
Not super fast, but I felt really great at 7500+ feet elevation ๐Ÿ™‚
This run was just the attitude adjustment I needed today!!
This run was just the attitude adjustment I needed today!!
We all survived our first run at altitude :)
We all survived our first run at altitude ๐Ÿ™‚

After our run, we cooked taco meat for taco salads…the perfect post workout meal!! Then it was time toย clean up dinner and dishes, get ready for our bike ride on the Ironman Boulder bike course Friday morning and let my head hit the pillow for a good night’s sleep.

Friday:

After breakfast, we loaded up our bikes into the car and headed to Boulder to ride the first ~40 miles of the Ironman Boulder bike course. Can I just say…I’m in love with the first loop (the red loop) of the bike course (which is also happens to be the 2nd loop of the bike course)?!?!?! Serious #bikelove here ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m planning to ride the 3rd loop of the bike course next Saturday, and I can’t wait!! I hope I love it just as much!!

The Ironman Boulder bike course starts at the Boulder Reservoir, so this where we started our ride.
The Ironman Boulder bike course starts at the Boulder Reservoir, so this where we started our ride.
Three athletes ready to ride!
Three athletes ready to ride!
Ironman Boulder Bike Course
Ironman Boulder Bike Course

We stopped in Hygiene at Mary’s Market to refill our water bottles. This is the most bicycle friendly place I think I’ve ever been (well…except for the Kyle’s Bikes of course). It is truly AMAZING!! They cater to cyclists in so many unique ways…I really hope it is packed on IMBoulder race day!!

Mary's Market...we need one of these in Iowa!!
Mary’s Market in Hygiene…we need one of these in Iowa!!
Mary's Market even lets the cyclists know where to park :)
Mary’s Market even lets the cyclists know where to park ๐Ÿ™‚
Special parking for all of the cyclists who stop at Mary's Market in Hygiene.
Special parking for all of the cyclists who stop at Mary’s Market in Hygiene.
Mary's Market has the perfect place for people to relax during a long ride.
Mary’s Market has the perfect place for people to relax during a long ride.
Mary's Market has Skratch (sports drink) "on tap" for cyclists :)
Mary’s Market has Skratch (sports drink) “on tap” for cyclists ๐Ÿ™‚
Mary's Market has lots of sports nutrition for cyclists to chose from.
Mary’s Market has lots of sports nutrition for cyclists to chose from.
We rode the first ~47 miles of the Ironman Boulder bike course in a pretty impressive time for us! I'm super excited to see what this equates to on race day!!
We rode the first ~47 miles of the Ironman Boulder bike course in a pretty impressive time for us! I’m super excited to see what this equates to on race day!!

In the last 4 miles ofย the bike ride, the winds picked up and the temperature soared to 92F. I hope race day conditions are cooler and less windy, but if they aren’t, we are ready!! After loading the bikes, we drove downtown to have some lunch and then rode our bikesย to a local bike shop to get an extra pedal washer for my right pedal. I was having a bit of some knee pain after this ride, and Kyle (my amazing bike fitter) said I needed to put another washer between my crank and pedal. Unfortunately, Allen was having issues with his seat post and couldn’t sit on his saddle and the bike shop couldn’t help us, so we rode off to another shop…who also couldn’t help us. UGH!!! At this point, we called Kyle again and he told Allen what to do, so we made a few more stops in Boulder before heading back up the mountain to Estes Park. Upon our arrival to the cabin, we made dinner, showered, cleaned up and walked around Estes Park before hitting the hay. It was a beautiful night!!

Saturday:

I woke up shortly before 6 am, ate breakfast and then at 7 am we all set out for a 2 hour run around Estes Park. I was a little nervous going into this run, because it was double the distance of my Thursday run and I am at 7500+ feet of elevation, but I just took it one step at a time and had a fabulous run at a faster pace than Thursday, which I was pleasantly surprised by!! I basically ran by myself, leaving the boys in the dust which was really good mental training for IMBoulder race preparation. And. I. Felt. Great!! I couldn’t have asked for a better run…and at altitude!!

There were elk along the path that I was running on around Lake Estes.
There were elk along the path that I was running on around Lake Estes.
More elk along the path around Lake Estes.
More elk along the path around Lake Estes.
Deer on the side of the road along my running route.
Deer on the side of the road along my running route.
The view from the path around Lake Estes.
The view from the path around Lake Estes.
The path around Lake Estes.
The path around Lake Estes.
12 glorious miles at 7500+ feet elevation :)
12 glorious miles at 7500+ feet elevation ๐Ÿ™‚
12 happy miles at 7500+ feet elevation brought a huge smile to my face!!
12 happy miles at 7500+ feet elevation brought a huge smile to my face!!
Allen playing a "tune" after our long run.
Allen playing a “tune” after our long run.
The Iron Hippie playing a "tune" after our long run.
The Iron Hippie playing a “tune” after our long run.
I was playing a "tune" after our long run.
I was playing a “tune” after our long run.

After doing some core work, refueling and showering, I did lots of laundry. Thankfully our cabin has laundry facilities (actually below our cabin) and we can do as much laundry as we need. The Iron Hippie’s sister and brother-in-law came up to visit us from Denver, so we had a fun afternoon of just chatting and relaxing in Estes Park. It was great not to have to drive anywhere, since the last few days we had been in the car quite a bit ๐Ÿ˜‰

I ate leftovers for dinner and then walked around Estes Park, ate a cookie as big as my face and drank tea while relaxing by the stream for a while before turning in early to bed.

I love peanut butter cookies!!
I love peanut butter cookies!! SaWEET!!
Ginger Twist Hot Tea from Kind Coffee...mmmmmmm
Ginger Twist Hot Tea from Kind Coffee…mmmmmmm
Relaxing by the stream, drinking my hot tea and listening to live music...doesn't get much better than this!!
Relaxing by the stream, drinking my hot tea and listening to live music…doesn’t get much better than this!!

Sunday:

After 10 hours of sleep, I woke up ready to ride! We ateย some breakfast, loaded up the bikes and drove to Raymond, CO for a shorter ride on the Peak to Peak Highway. This was absolutely, without a doubt, my favorite bike ride EVER!! If you are ever near Raymond or Ward, Colorado, I HIGHLY recommend this ride!!

Climbing, climbing and more climbing.
Climbing, climbing and more climbing.
On top of the world...or maybe just Colorado at elevation 9200+ feet.
On top of the world…or maybe just Colorado at elevation 9200+ feet.

We did a short run off the bike in Raymond before heading back to Estes Park…with a short detour to Glen Haven for some amazing cinnamon rolls!!

Homemade cinnamon rolls was our post workout snack from Glen Haven, Colorado.
Homemade cinnamon rolls was our post workout snack from Glen Haven, Colorado.

We cleaned up and grabbed an early dinner and some ice cream (it was National Ice Cream Day after all) before hitting the hay early for another exciting day in Estes Park ๐Ÿ™‚

Smokin' Dave's for dinner. I had a burger with sweet potato fries.
Smokin’ Dave’s for dinner. I had a burger with sweet potato fries.
Strawberry Guava Sorbet...it is lactose free, so I can eat it :)
Strawberry Guava Sorbet…it is lactose free, so I can eat it ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ll have the middle part of our Estes Park trip up on the blog later this week. ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

IMG_3716
The inside of the Rav4…minus 3 Ironman athletes.
IMG_3714
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.

IMG_3775
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?