My 2015 Year in Review via Photos

January:

Running with the family
Running with the family
#solesistasweat
#solesistasweat
Getting some #runlove with my favorite four-legged baby girl!
Getting some #runlove with my favorite four-legged baby girl!
One of my favorite trainer workouts
One of my favorite trainer workouts

February:

#solesistasweat
#solesistasweat
Getting my Coeur Sports Ambassador gear :)
Getting my Coeur Sports Ambassador gear ๐Ÿ™‚
Swim clinic...love to learn
Swim clinic…love to learn
#solesistasweat
#solesistasweat
#heartandcourage strong
#heartandcourage strong
Conquering Mountains
Conquering Mountains

March:

#Yogalove
#Yogalove
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Fun times with my #solesista
Birthday funday!
Birthday funday!
Bike fit love
Bike fit love
Spring break with my #solesister
Spring break with my #solesister
Fun with my nieces at the park
Fun with my nieces at the park
Playing tag with the family
Playing tag with the family
Running a 5K with my sister
Running a 5K with my sister

April:

Our own 70.3 workout day
Our own 70.3 workout day
Teaching women how to do bike maintenance
Teaching women how to do bike maintenance
#runlove with the family
#runlove with the family
Drake 1/2 Marathon fun!
Drake 1/2 Marathon fun!
Drake 1/2 Marathon fun
Drake 1/2 Marathon fun
Niece #5 was born!
Niece #5 was born!

May:

Outdoor training :)
Outdoor training ๐Ÿ™‚
I love to ride my bicycle!
I love to ride my bicycle!
Oops...learning lessons
Oops…learning lessons
Visiting the Aerospace Engineering Department at Iowa State University
Visiting the Aerospace Engineering Department at Iowa State University
Changing a flat while the Iron Hippie watches...I'm sure many people who passed us had some thoughts about his "supervision" duties ;)
Changing a flat while the Iron Hippie watches…I’m sure many people who passed us had some thoughts about his “supervision” duties ๐Ÿ˜‰
Last day of school!!
Last day of school!!
Getting my Undress in the mail and loving it!!
Getting my Undress in the mail and loving it!!

June:

First outdoor swim in 2015
First outdoor swim in 2015
Finishing the Legend 100 hand-in-hand with the Iron Hippie. Photo courtesy of Legend Endurance
Finishing the Legend 100 hand-in-hand with the Iron Hippie. Photo courtesy of Legend Endurance
Who's ready to race?!?!?!
Who’s ready to race?!?!?!
Dad (blue) and Tom (gray) figuring out how to get into their kayaks to escort me on an open water swim
Dad (blue) and Tom (gray) figuring out how to get into their kayaks to escort me on an open water swim
We are ready to ride the Tour de Cure Cedar Rapids!!
We are ready to ride the Tour de Cure Cedar Rapids!!

July:

30 miles into our 115 mile bike ride. Last big ride before Ironman Boulder
30 miles into our 115 mile bike ride. Last big ride before Ironman Boulder
Last big swim before Ironman Boulder
Last big swim before Ironman Boulder
Last long run before Ironman Boulder
Last long run before Ironman Boulder
Meeting my blog friend, Kelli, and her family :)
Meeting my blog friend, Kelli, and her family ๐Ÿ™‚
The view off of the deck overlooking the lake in Red Feather Lakes, CO.
The view off of the deck overlooking the lake in Red Feather Lakes, CO.
The morning sunrise on the mountains at Red Feather Lakes, CO.
The morning sunrise on the mountains at Red Feather Lakes, CO.
Taking a boat ride in Red Feather Lakes, CO
Taking a boat ride in Red Feather Lakes, CO
Sunset with a double rainbow in the background (this photo does not do the real beauty justice) in Red Feather Lakes, CO
Sunset with a double rainbow in the background (this photo does not do the real beauty justice) in Red Feather Lakes, CO
We made it to Estes Park, CO!!
We made it to Estes Park, CO!!
The view of Longs Peak from our patio in Estes Park, CO.
The view of Longs Peak from our patio in Estes Park, CO.
Happy Anniversary to the Iron Hippie...what a great way to celebrate 5 years in Grand Lakes, CO ;)
Happy Anniversary to the Iron Hippie…what a great way to celebrate 5 years in Grand Lakes, CO ๐Ÿ˜‰
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.
We all survived our first run at altitude :)
We all survived our first run at altitude ๐Ÿ™‚
Three athletes ready to ride in Boulder, CO!
Three athletes ready to ride in Boulder, CO!
The view from the path around Lake Estes, CO.
The view from the path around Lake Estes, CO.
Ward, Colorado was our turn around point for the Peak to Peak Highway ride.
Ward, Colorado was our turn around point for the Peak to Peak Highway ride.
People lining the shore getting ready for the BAM OWS in Boulder, CO.
People lining the shore getting ready for the BAM OWS in Boulder, CO.
BAM OWS in Boulder, CO complete...I felt GREAT!!
BAM OWS in Boulder, CO complete…I felt GREAT!!
Stand-up paddle boarding in Lake Estes, CO :)
Stand-up paddle boarding in Lake Estes, CO ๐Ÿ™‚
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!!
Riding the Peak to Peak Highway in Colorado
#bikelove onย the Peak to Peak Highway in Colorado
We found a "sign" of back home in downtown Denver!!
We found a “sign” of back home in downtown Denver!!
Loch Lake, CO...Loving the hike!
Loch Lake, CO…Loving the hike!
Having a little fun throwing snowballs in July on our way up to Loch Vale.
Having a little fun throwing snowballs in July on our way up to Loch Vale.
"Riding" tandem in Estes Park, CO
“Riding” tandem in Estes Park, CO
Ironman Boulder...here I come!
Ironman Boulder…here I come!
Ready to race IMBoulder :)
Ready to race IMBoulder ๐Ÿ™‚
Getting Registered for Ironman Boulder
Getting Registered for Ironman Boulder
I'm so lucky to have my family at IMBoulder to cheer me on!
I’m so lucky to have my family at IMBoulder to cheer me on!

August:

Mojo is all racked and getting a good night's rest at her temporary home so we can have fun at IMBoulder!!
Mojo is all racked and getting a good night’s rest at her temporary home so we can have fun at IMBoulder!!
My aunt, cousins and Dad came out to the Rez for the IMBoulder swim
My aunt, cousins and Dad came out to the Rez for the IMBoulder swim
Whizzing through Hygiene on the first loop...Serious #bikelove on this course!!
Whizzing through Hygiene on the first loop…Serious #bikelove on this course!!
Mom and the twins are cheering me on to the run!
Mom and the twins are cheering me on to the run!
This smile sums up my race day experience!!
This smile sums up my race day experience!!
Erin...one of my Coeur Sports teammates and my angel on race day!!
Erin…one of my Coeur Sports teammates and my angel on race day!!
My cheer squad...Love them all!!
My cheer squad…Love them all!!
Dad and Sam cheering me on down the finish shoot...yes, that blur is me :)
Dad and Sam cheering me on down the finish shoot…yes, that blur is me ๐Ÿ™‚
Coming into the finish shoot all smiles...it was a daylight finish, but these photos don't represent that.
Coming into the finish shoot all smiles…it was a daylight finish, but these photos don’t represent that.
Visiting my sister and nieces in California
Visiting my sister and nieces in California
Sister time in Cali!
Sister time in Cali!
Running up Mt. Diablo in California
Running up Mt. Diablo in California
#solesistasweat
#solesistasweat
#bikelove with friends
#bikelove with friends

September:

Team Kecia crossed the finish line at the Des Moines Triathlon...job complete.
Team Kecia crossed the finish line at the Des Moines Triathlon…job complete.
Holy Crap! I think this is a sign that I left it all out on the bike course.
Holy Crap! I think this is a sign that I left it all out on the bike course.
Volunteering at Ironman Wisconsin...Race morning in front of the Capitol.
Volunteering at Ironman Wisconsin…Race morning in front of the Capitol.
Ironman Wisconsin Race morning...who is ready to swim?!?!?!
Ironman Wisconsin Race morning…who is ready to swim?!?!?!
The women volunteers in T1 at Ironman Wisconsin
The women volunteers in T1 at Ironman Wisconsin
Getting my Sound Probiotics Ambassador gear
Getting my Sound Probiotics Ambassador gear
Basil walking toward the Supermoon on a rural gravel road.
Basil walking toward the Supermoon on a rural gravel road.

October:

Signed up for Ironman Wisconsin 2016!
Signed up for Ironman Wisconsin 2016!
300+ 8th grade students ready for the AMS Spirit Run!
300+ 8th grade students ready for the AMS Spirit Run!
Fall #bikelove is the best :)
Fall #bikelove is the best ๐Ÿ™‚
Date night with the Iron Hippie as we work on our strength training
Date night with the Iron Hippie as we work on our strength training
Finding some motivation with my #IMWI finisher medal and race bib on the wall next to me as I ride
Finding some motivation with my #IMWI finisher medal and race bib on the wall next to me as I ride
Lots of #heartandcourage as I heal up from bursitis of the my left knee
Lots of #heartandcourage as I heal up from bursitis of the my left knee
Taking the dogs for a swim
Taking the dogs for a swim
Nailing my intervals on the trainer! #bikelove
Nailing my intervals on the trainer! #bikelove
Dry needling to assist my healing...thanks to Dr. Chris at Team Chiropractic
Dry needling to assist my healing…thanks to Dr. Chris at Team Chiropractic
Getting our #solesista tattoos :)
Getting our #solesista tattoos ๐Ÿ™‚
IMG_6223
This ink will be my constant reminder while training and racing to #believe in myself, my abilities and my training!!

November:

Enjoying some outdoor #bikelove in November in Iowa...short sleeves and shorts!
Enjoying some outdoor #bikelove in November in Iowa…short sleeves and shorts! WHAT?!?!?!
Century ride in November in Iowa...this amazing weather is unheard of!!
Century ride in November in Iowa…this amazing weather is unheard of!!
I found out that I made the Coeur Sports 2016 Ambassador Team...Such a badass group of women that I'm overjoyed to be a part of!!
I found out that I made the Coeur Sports 2016 Ambassador Team…Such a badass group of women that I’m overjoyed to be a part of!!
My fitness article on "Giving thanks in an active lifestyle" was a big hit this month ;)
My fitness article on “Giving thanks in an active lifestyle” was a big hit this month in our local magazine ๐Ÿ˜‰
Girl's night out with some running friends...so much fun :)
Girl’s night out with some running friends…so much fun ๐Ÿ™‚
Outdoor #bikelove lasted through November 14 this year!!
Outdoor #bikelove lasted through November 14 this year!!
Pleasantly surprised with a Passion Planner from one of my colleagues.
Pleasantly surprised with a Passion Planner from one of my colleagues.
Winter greeted us with a LOT of snow (7.6 inches) for the first snow fall of the season.
Winter greeted us with a LOT of snow (7.6 inches) for the first snow fall of the season.
Romping and snowshoeing with friends
Romping and snowshoeing with friends
Riding a motorized animal because I can :)
Riding a motorized animal just because I can ๐Ÿ™‚
Spending an afternoon with Mom and Grandma.
Spending an afternoon with Mom and Grandma.

December:

"Believe, Endure, Achieve" will be my mantra for 2016. It will remind me to #believe in all that I am and to #endure and overcome challenges throughout my journey so I can #achieve big dreams! #dreambig #meaningfulmantras
Thank you to Simone for my wonderful bracelet!! “Believe, Endure, Achieve” will be my mantra for 2016. It will remind me to #believe in all that I am and to #endure and overcome challenges throughout my journey so I can #achieve big dreams! #dreambig #meaningfulmantras
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Looking back at 2015 to move forward in 2016 #goalsetting
Yahoo!! So pumped for my new Roka Sports wetsuit!!
Yahoo!! So pumped for my new Roka Sports wetsuit!!
Taking part in Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching's #rttc10dayroutine Challenge and developing a routine that has helped me #believe in myself deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being. 1. Start my "Believe" playlist...time to get down and jam! 2. Take a couple of swigs of Karma Kombucha Orange Ginger..."I #believe I can fly" 3. Listen to my pep talk (previously recorded) while I pull on my workout gear..."Don't stop believing" 4. Grab my lucky charm from Tonja and head out the door..."In a world of ordinary mortals, you are a Wonder Woman!" 5. Stand on the front step in power pose for 30 seconds because...I am Wonder Woman!
Taking part in Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching’s #rttc10dayroutine Challenge and developing a routine that has helped me #believe in myself deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being.
1. Start my “Believe” playlist…time to get down and jam!
2. Take a couple of swigs of Karma Kombucha Orange Ginger…”I #believe I can fly”
3. Listen to my pep talk (previously recorded) while I pull on my workout gear…”Don’t stop believing”
4. Grab my lucky charm from Tonja and head out the door…”In a world of ordinary mortals, you are a Wonder Woman!”
5. Stand on the front step in power pose for 30 seconds because…I am Wonder Woman!
Finally reconnecting with my mat after 9 months off.
Finally reconnecting with my mat after 9 months off…#yogalove
Running on a beautiful cold morning.
Running on a beautiful cold morning with 2 of my faves!
Grandma Annie continues to show up at Christmas and surprise us all with her awesomeness...Our hideous pajama pants were a family favorite this year!
Grandma Annie continues to show up at Christmas and surprise us all with her awesomeness…Our hideous pajama pants were a family favorite this year!
Snowshoeing in the offseason!!
Snowshoeing in the offseason!!
Basil loves playing in the snow!! #happyheart
Basil loves playing in the snow!! #happyheart
Love my sole sister!!
Love my sole sister!!
Girls night out!! Lots of laughs!! :)
Girls night out!! Lots of laughs!! ๐Ÿ™‚
My new Cobb Cycling V-Flow saddle :)
My new Cobb Cycling V-Flow saddle ๐Ÿ™‚
Fun times with family!!
Fun times with family!!

Happy New Year!! Cheers to an awesome 2016!!ย 

xoxo

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Trication Part 4 – Boulder

Thursday:

We woke up early to head to Boulder for our last BAM OWSย at 6 am in the Boulder Rez. I was so lucky to meet my Coeur Sports team mate Rebecca at this OWS and am super blessed that she delivered a special shirt for me to Boulder from Kebby and the gang at Coeur Sports. I am part ofย such an amazing team!!

Hello sun!! You are magnificent this morning!!
Hello sun!! You are magnificent this morning!!
Meeting up with Rebecca...turning virtual friends into real friends :)
Meeting up with Rebecca…turning virtual friends into real friends ๐Ÿ™‚
Getting our game face on :)
Getting our game face on ๐Ÿ™‚
Turning another virtual friend into a real friend...Susan McNamee
Turning another virtual friend into a real friend…Susan McNamee

After the swim, The Iron Hippie had some bike issues, so we went forย an easy 20 minute shake our run.ย We then showered at the Rez before going to Ironman registration. It is always fun to get the Ironman wrist band and all of our race bags!!

Meeting DC at registration...our race director has been AWESOME!!
Meeting DC at registration…our race director has been AWESOME!!
Getting Registered for Ironman Boulder
Getting Registered for Ironman Boulder
IMG_4546
In line for registration…
Getting my stickers and swim cap
Getting my stickers and swim cap
All registered!!
All registered!!

After registration, we went to Louisville Cyclery to get the Iron Hippie’s bike fixed, checked into our host home in Boulder at about noon, grabbed a quick sandwich, went back to the Boulder High School for the the athlete meeting at 2 pm, gotย some ice cream to cool off and then went back to Louisville to pick up the Iron Hippie’s bike.

This is my room at my home stay.
This is my room at my home stay.
I even have the Ironman Boulder SBR flag up in my room :)
I even have the Ironman Boulder SBR flag up in my room ๐Ÿ™‚
Yummy sandwiches...located on Pearl Street
Yummy sandwiches…located on Pearl Street
Allen and his wife and I are sitting in the shade at the athlete briefing.
Allen and his wife and I are sitting in the shade at the athlete briefing.
Allen's girls were so good at the athlete briefing!
Allen’s girls were so good at the athlete briefing!
Mango dairy-free ice cream
Mango dairy-free ice cream

We then went to the house that my parents have rented for their stay in Boulder and enjoyed some time with them before going to Pearl Street for dinner. We ate at the Cheesecake Factory for dinner since we had a large party and knew that we could get basic meals there.

Ironman athletes getting ready to eat lots of food!
Ironman athletes getting ready to eat lots of food!
Post Cheesecake Factory photo shoot...
Post Cheesecake Factory photo shoot…
My parents made the trip to Boulder to cheer us on!!
My parents made the trip to Boulder to cheer us on!!
My twin nieces even made the trip to cheer us on...
My twin nieces even made the trip to cheer us on…
I'm so lucky to have my family here to cheer me on!
I’m so lucky to have my family here to cheer me on!
The twins and Allen's daughter Sara posing with a stuffed bear.
The twins and Allen’s daughter Sara posing with a stuffed bear.

Friday:

We slept in and went to the Boulder Rez at about 10 am for an hour bike ride before getting groceries. We dropped off the groceries atย my parents house before heading back to our home stay so we could shower and pack our gear bags.

Hour long ride went really well...Mojo and I are ready!!
Hour long ride went really well…Mojo and I are ready!!

After all was ready, we went over to my parents house and made a homemade pasta meal while we sat around chatting. It was a nice and relaxing evening, with an early to bed to end the day.

All the gear bags are ready!
All the gear bags are ready!
Mojo is ready for race day!!
Mojo is ready for race day!!

Saturday:

What a whirlwind of a day…we woke up to go swim at the Rez, but the line of traffic was too long and we couldn’t get to the gates before 8:15 (which was the time cutoff apparently, even though it was advertised until 9 am), so we weren’t allowed to swim until 9 am on the short course. We did a little swimming and then test rode our bikes to make sure everything was working well before we put our bikes and bike gear bags into T1ย at the Boulder Reservoir.

Mojo is all racked and getting a good night's rest at her temporary home so we can have fun tomorrow!!
Mojo is all racked and getting a good night’s rest at her temporary home so we can have fun tomorrow!!
Giving Mojo a "good night" kiss.
Giving Mojo a “good night” kiss.
Bike gear bag is delivered.
Bike gear bag is delivered.
Swim buoys are set...this is just the first leg. That orange turn buoy is a long way out there!
Swim buoys are set…this is just the first leg. That orange turn buoy is a long way out there!

We then drove to the Boulder high school where we dropped our run gear bag at T2 and then grabbed some lunch at Lyfe Kitchen before going back to our home stay for a shower.

Run gear bag is delivered.
Run gear bag is delivered.

We went to my parents house to chat for a couple of hours before going back to our home stay, eating a plain meal (plain chicken and a plain baked potato) for dinner and then EARLY to bed. With a 2:30 am alarm, 6 pm bed time it was…

Sunday:

Sunday was race day. I’ll have a completely separate post for my race day.

Monday:

We woke up early to go down to Ironman Village to get some finisher gear.

I love my puffy finishers coat!!
I love my puffy Ironman Boulder finisher coat!!

We then went back to our home stay and took a nap before loading the car and leaving Boulder by 1 pm. We made it to Kearney, Nebraska where we stayed overnight at the Holiday Inn Express and grabbed a bite to eat. All I wanted for dinner was potato skins, so we went to Applebee’s thinking they would have them. Nope. I was so tired and hungry that I started to cry. I don’t think the poor server knew what to do with me. The Iron Hippie looked online for a place that served potato skins. Did you know that if you google potato skins in Kearney, Nebraska, you won’t get any results?!?!?!?! We ended up leaving Applebee’s (I did leave the server $2 for my meltdown) and going to the Chicken Coop where I was super happy with my potato skins!!

Tuesday:

We woke up at 5:30 am, ate some breakfast and went back to bed until almost 9 am. We were obviously tired…we showered, loaded up what little we took into our hotel room and hit the road at 10 am. We finally arrived home at 3:30 pm. I was so happy to see my girls!!

I've missed these two faces!! They were so excited to see us!!
I’ve missed these two faces!! They were so excited to see us!!

I guess this means it is time to come back to reality and normal…whatever that is!! I already miss Colorado and want to go back!!

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™‚

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˜‰