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.
The inside of the Rav4…minus 3 Ironman athletes.
All of our clothes and luggage were stowed outside of the vehicle.
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.
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 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!!
The view off of the deck overlooking the lake.
Walking Darwin down by the lake…
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.
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.
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 🙂
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.”
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 😉
Darwin loves sticks!!
Kuby is an AMAZING cook!! We were able to enjoy another AMAZING meal…this time Turkish cuisine.
Turkish yummy goodness!!
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.
Allen, the Iron Hippie and me on the water.
Growing up on the lake, I had the most experience driving the boat.
The Iron Hippie and Allen are enjoying the view.
Kuby and Allen loading the boat back onto the trailer after our ride. The water was 52F…Allen’s feet and calves were numb 🙂
After being chilled on our boat ride, we decided it was time to get in the hot tub.
We all have the best tan lines…
I followed this up with my first “workout” at altitude…strength training 🙂
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 🙂
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 😉
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)
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
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.
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.
The boys checking out the lake one last time before we leave.
3 little ducks had to hop up the dam to swim away.
The lake was as smooth as glass.
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 🙂
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!!
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.
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
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.
We made it to 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.
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.
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!!
This was my Mediterranean Pizza…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?