Trication Part 4 – Boulder

Thursday:

We woke up early to head to Boulder for our last BAM OWS 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 of 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 🙂
Getting our game face on :)
Getting our game face on 🙂
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 for an easy 20 minute shake our run. 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, got 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 🙂
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 at 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 T1 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!!

Advertisements

Trication Part 3 – Denver Metro

Sunday:

The Iron Hippie and I left Estes Park early in the morning to head to my cousin’s house in Parker, CO. Unfortunately my cousin and his wife are in Europe, but my aunt is house sitting for them, so we get to spend some time with her.

After arriving, we unloaded the car, ate some lunch and then went to the mall to hit up a few stores we don’t have access to (other than online) back home.

Athleta...I love your clothes!
Athleta…I love your clothes!

I spent some time in the late afternoon catching up on blog posts (I kind of slacked on posting my Estes Park blog posts, which you can find here, here and here), some last minute information from DC (the Ironman Boulder race director) and emails before dinner.

Eggplant Parmesan for dinner...yummy!!
Eggplant Parmesan for dinner…yummy!!

After dinner, we all got comfortable on the couch and watched a documentary before bed…Nicky’s Family…If you have not seen this yet, I HIGHLY recommend it. WOW!!

“Before the start of World War II, Briton Nicholas Winton masterminded the rescue of more than 600 Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Prague.”

Snuggling on the couch to watch Nicky's Family
Snuggling on the couch to watch Nicky’s Family

Monday:

I started the day with a smoothie and some relaxing with Sophie cuddling up next to me, while I worked on some writing.

Sophie is cuddled up next to me as I write.
Sophie is cuddled up next to me as I write.

 

We then went to the Parker Recreation Center for our last long swim (4700 yards) before lunch.

Monday Motivation...Ironman Wisconsin swim cap with only 6 days until race day.
Monday Motivation…Ironman Wisconsin swim cap with only 6 days until race day.
Last long swim complete...4700 yards.
Last long swim complete…4700 yards.

After cleaning up and eating lunch, we kicked our feet up while watching one of the dumbest movies ever…Jackass.

This is such a DUMB show!
This is such a DUMB show!
Characteristics of a Professional athlete
Characteristics of a Professional athlete
Getting some advice from Sophie (my cousin's dog)...she thinks I have a lot of characteristics of professional athletes.
Getting some advice from Sophie (my cousin’s dog)…she thinks I have a lot of characteristics of professional athletes.

At about 3:30, we went and picked my cousin up and then his parents came over after work for dinner. It was nice and relaxing and great to catch up…especially since I won’t get to spend much time with them on race day.

Tuesday:

We woke up early on Tuesday morning, went for an easy 30 minute run, packed up the Rav4, cleaned up and headed to Louisville Cyclery to pick up Mojo. We then went to Lululemon in Boulder where we found our names in their Ironman recognition window and did a little shopping before meeting the Iron Hippie’s sister for an Indian lunch shortly after 1:30.

Thanks Lululemon for all of your Ironman Boulder support! I can't wait to see you on race day out on the course :)
Thanks Lululemon for all of your Ironman Boulder support! I can’t wait to see you on race day out on the course 🙂
I found my name in the Ironman recognition window at Lululemon in Boulder.
I found my name in the Ironman recognition window at Lululemon in Boulder.
Here I am!!
Here I am!!
This is where Lululemon will be on the run course at Ironman Boulder.
This is where Lululemon will be on the run course at Ironman Boulder.
Lululemon...thanks for my free tank (the one on the left) and your amazing workout clothes!!
Lululemon…thanks for my free tank (the one on the left) and your amazing workout clothes!!
What a perfect name for an Indian restaurant!!
What a perfect name for an Indian restaurant!!
My Indian meal...full of yummy goodness!!
My Indian meal…full of yummy goodness!!

We relocated to the Iron Hippie’s sister and brother-in-law’s house for the next two nights (which is also a bit closer to Boulder than Parker). When we arrived to their house in Lakewood, we unloaded everything before relaxing and enjoying snacks for dinner instead of a big feast.

The Iron Hippie, his sister and brother-in-law all in the kitchen enjoying conversation and kitchen prep for tomorrow night's meal.
The Iron Hippie, his sister and brother-in-law all in the kitchen enjoying conversation and kitchen prep for tomorrow night’s meal.

It was early to bed for me. I was so tired and feeling a little sad and homesick…I REALLY miss my girls and can’t wait to see them. Seventeen days away from them has been TOO long!! I wish they were here with us and I hope they didn’t forget about us!!

This is where my heart is today...miss these two so much!!
This is where my heart is today…miss these two so much!!

Wednesday:

We slept in, which is something my body was REALLY craving. WOW…10 hours of sleep later and I felt like a completely new person. I started the morning by relaxing in the living room while the Iron Hippie slept and everyone else was at work. When the Iron Hippie woke up, we went for a short (20 minute) bike ride to make sure all of my gears were working properly, since we picked Mojo up yesterday at the shop.

Mojo is race ready!!
Mojo is race ready!!

After our ride, it was time for a breakfast smoothie full of all the good things…

Love my morning smoothie with Osmo Recovery and Pure Clean Powder
Love my morning smoothie with Osmo Recovery and Pure Clean Powder

I spent the rest of the morning doing laundry, getting ready for our final relocation to Boulder and Thursday’s workouts (swim at the Boulder Rez, followed by an hour spin on the bikes). I am soooo ready to relocate for the last time this trication!!

We made a quick trip to Target for some last minute items we will need for our race and to get us through the last few days of our trication. On our way, we stopped at Panera for a tasty summer salad for lunch.

My Panera salad for lunch hit the spot!!
My Panera salad for lunch hit the spot!!

I laid down for a short afternoon nap and was ready to go for dinner…homemade Thai food is da bomb!! Thanks Greg and Sarah for a wonderful stay and yummy food to fuel us into race weekend 🙂 We capped off our evening watching some television and packing up our stuff to relocate one last time before race weekend…Boulder, here we come!!

Glass noodle salad
Glass noodle salad
Curry
Curry
Mango sticky rice
Mango sticky rice
Sarah and I using bowl pad holders...perfect for holding hot bowls any time of the day!!
Sarah and I using bowl pad holders…perfect for holding hot bowls any time of the day!!

Thursday:

It was off to Boulder early for the last part of our trication…pre-race, race day and post race 🙂

1 week ’til Ironman Boulder

Race Week…WHAT?!?!?!?!?!  Well, time moves forward even when we wish it would slow down. I have LOVED my trication in Colorado and would have loved for time to stand still during these last 2 weeks so I could enjoy more of Colorado. BUT…I am SUPER excited for race day and am looking forward to pushing myself to new limits!!

IMG_4470

This last week involved a lot of training at an altitude higher than Boulder, which hopefully means we have been acclimating well and are race ready!!

Swim: 4.44 miles

Most of our swimming this week was done at the Boulder Rez. The water temperature has been hovering in the low 70s. We have been doing some rain dances in hopes that it cools the water off in the Boulder Rez just a bit before Sunday. I had two really good swims in the Boulder Rez and am confident this will transfer to a great race!!

OWS complete...I felt GREAT!!
OWS complete…I felt GREAT!!
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”

Bike: 48.8 miles

We had 2 bike rides this week. The first was on the Peak to Peak Highway from Nederland to Ward to celebrate the Iron Hippie’s birthday and back and the second ride was the “blue loop” of the Ironman Boulder bike course. Both of these rides were AMAZING and filled me with LOTS of #bikelove

We are all still together...
We are all still together…
Some of the BEST cookies around are at the Utica Store in Ward, but be sure to bring cash...they do not accept cards and have no ATM.
Some of the BEST cookies around are at the Utica Store in Ward, but be sure to bring cash…they do not accept cards and have no ATM.
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 with the mountains in the distance.
High above the trees with the mountains in the distance.
We're all good...just riding our bikes :)
We’re all good…just riding our bikes 🙂
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.

Run: 10.6 miles

We had one short run down in Boulder, but our last longish run occurred at an elevation of 7500+ feet. It was fun to go fast on the short run in Boulder and see how much I could push myself to determine how well I’ve acclimated. I felt really good about my runs this week, which have really boosted my confidence for race day 🙂

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

Strength Training: 1 hour & 20 minutes of core work

Other Activities:

Monday morning we went for a walk around Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), which was BEAUTIFUL and so peaceful!!

The mountains and sky reflected beautifully off of Sprague Lake.
The mountains and sky reflected beautifully off of Sprague Lake.
I climbed a rock and took a picture of the boys below.
I climbed a rock and took a picture of the boys below.
Standing on top of my rock at Sprague Lake.
Standing on top of my rock at Sprague Lake.

Wednesday morning I went stand up paddle boarding. I LOVE SUP boarding and only wish the water would have been a bit flatter…

Finally able to stand...for a little bit :)
Finally able to stand…for a little bit 🙂
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”

We spent Friday morning hiking in RMNP up to Loch Vale and back (between 5 & 6 miles round trip). It was a BEAUTIFUL morning!! I can’t believe how green all of Colorado is right now…

Hiking up to Loch Vale.
Hiking up to Loch Vale.
The Iron Hippie hiking along on the trail.
The Iron Hippie hiking along on the trail.
Just keep climbing the trail.
Just keep climbing the trail.
Eating an apple by Loch Lake.
Eating an apple by Loch Lake.
A beautiful waterfall on the descent.
A beautiful waterfall on the descent.
Loch Lake...so peaceful and magnificent!
Loch Lake…so peaceful and magnificent!
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.

Weekly Totals: 9 hours and 11 minutes

Weekly Highlights:

We made it to the single digit countdown for race day…

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

Free lunch at Mary’s Market thanks to Lululemon…

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

We enjoyed some time with the Iron Hippie’s sister in downtown Denver…

The Iron Hippie and his sister look a lot alike!!
The Iron Hippie and his sister look a lot alike!!
We found a "sign" of back home in downtown Denver!!
We found a “sign” of back home in downtown Denver!!

How was your week? What races do you have that are coming up?

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 🙂

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 🙂

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 drive 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. 🙂

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 easy and picked it up to sub 8:00/mile pace near the end 🙂

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 🙂
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 work 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 🙂
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 laying 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 early 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 😉

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 🙂 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 🙂

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 🙂

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 🙂 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 🙂

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 🙂
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 🙂
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 🙂

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 🙂

The girls are here!! The girls are here!! Yay for estrogen :)
The girls are here!! The girls are here!! Yay for estrogen 🙂

We grilled food at the cabin for dinner, made s’mores and then headed down to the strip so we 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 🙂

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 🙂
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 😉

Sunday:

We have moved on to the flatland…AKA 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 😉

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 😉

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 up 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 🙂
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 😉

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 🙂

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 🙂
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 🙂

After our run, we cooked taco meat for taco salads…the perfect post workout meal!! Then it was time to 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 🙂 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 🙂
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 🙂
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 of 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 bikes 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 🙂
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 😉

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 ate 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 🙂

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 🙂

I’ll have the middle part of our Estes Park trip up on the blog later this week. 🙂

2 Weeks ’til Ironman Boulder

It is crazy that we are so close to race day!! This week has been all about acclimating to altitude and enjoying taper workouts.

“Not everyone will understand your journey. That’s fine. It’s not their journey to make sense of. It’s yours.” ~Zero Dean

Monday and Tuesday we were still in Red Feather Lakes, CO (elevation 8600 feet) and enjoying the peace and quiet in the mountains. Wednesday we ventured to Estes Park, where we will be for one more week. You can check out our Red Feather Lakes adventures here.

Swim: 2500 yards

Our only swim this week was on Wednesday at Mulberry Pool in Fort Collins. I was a bit nervous before the swim, because I was uncertain how my body would respond to the altitude difference from what we had experienced in Iowa, but I was VERY pleasantly surprised!!

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.

Bike: 67.6 miles

Friday we rode the first loop of the Ironman Boulder bike course (which also is the 2nd loop). I was shocked at how good I felt on the bike at altitude and how much I loved this part of the course. We will be riding the 3rd loop later this week…I hope I love it just as much!!

My absolute FAVORITE bike ride…possibly ever…happened yesterday morning. We rode the Peak to Peak Highway from Raymond to Ward and back to Raymond. It was 2000+ feet of climbing at 7-10% grade for 10 miles to an elevation of 9200 feet and I. Was. In. Love!! I will have a separate post devoted entirely to this ride, so stay tuned. For now…here is a sneak peak at a few photos of this amazing ride. I’ll have more in the Peak to Peak Highway post 😉

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.
Climbing, climbing and more climbing.
Climbing, climbing and more climbing.

Run: 20 miles

I have enjoyed 3 separate runs at altitude. I was most pleasantly surprised with my 12 mile run in Estes Park. My body felt great…a little winded, but it was manageable. I saw lots of wild life and ran around the lake a few times so I could see this amazing view…

The view from the path around Lake Estes.
The view from the path around Lake Estes.

My run pace was a little slower than back home, but not as bad as I had anticipated. I think this means I’m acclimating nicely to the altitude!!

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!!

Strength Training: 2 hours & 20 minutes

I managed to get 2 full body strength training sessions in and one core work session in this week. Now that the race is getting closer, I will be scaling back on the full body strength training and just doing core work this week.

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!!

Weekly Totals: 11 hours

Weekly Highlights:

I am so pleased with how well I am acclimating to the elevation difference that we’ve experienced. I can’t imagine coming up 4000 feet higher than we are use to for a race and not having time to acclimate. This 3 week trication was definitely the way to go!!

Definitely the Peak to Peak Highway ride…I was in serious #bikelove mode!!

How was your week? Have you ever trained/raced at a much higher altitude? If so, how did you acclimate before your adventures?