Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Move

Timeline of the week:
June 9 - Arrive back in Greenville (IL).
June 10 - Move out of house in Greenville. Go home to Ottawa (IL).
June 11 - Unpack, repack, sleep.
June 12 - Drive from Ottawa to Estes Park...950 miles in one shot.

It has been a crazy few days. So far I have been able to get in some short rides/runs, a decent swim, okay longer ride, and preview the Estes Park Half Marathon course. I thought it might be easy to jump right back into things since I was only back in IL for 3 nights...we'll see how this coming week goes.

Shakeout ride

VFuel - Maple Bacon is legit!

32 degrees for my long run? What?!

Chillin' by the pond

That doesn't look too steep...

Bear lake!

Good night!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Colorado - High Altitude Camp 2014 - Pt 2

The rest of my Colorado trip was pretty interesting. I was able to meet a lot of cool people and see a lot of neat places.

Tuesday 6-3

Swam in the morning. This was the 2nd day of swimming at altitude, and it was a little rough. I am used to bilateral breathing, but I had to switch back to one side.

I ended up going for a walk Tuesday evening. I figured after the super long run the day before, I needed a recovery day.

Wednesday 6-4

I had the brilliant idea to ride from the house to the Alpine Visitor Center via Trail Ridge Road. This made for quite an interesting ride. It was basically a couple hours of climbing, then it took less than an hour to get home.

As I was riding up, I had many people in cars say, "you're crazy" or "I wish I had your strength" or "you know, it is much easier to see the view from the top in a car." Obviously it is easier to see the view from the by car...but when have I ever done things the easy way?

Wednesday also happened to be National Running Day, so I wet out for a 1 mile run. I was kind of spent after the ride, but I figured a short mile couldn't hurt anything. I even got to see a decent sunset at the pond.

Thursday 6-5

The day started out with a swim. Swimming seemed to get easier as the week went on. The pool heater was also fixed and running that may have had something to do with it.

Thursday evening I went mountain biking in Pinewood Springs. I don't remember the exact trails. We started at 6:30pm and ended around 11:30pm. We made it to Stony Pass for the sunset. It was pretty neat to be able to look out and see Boulder lights from the top of the mountain. We then made our way back down using headlamps. Round trip was almost 5 hours of riding. This was one of my favorite experiences of the trip.

Friday 6-6

I slept in Friday. My normal routine has a 5:30 am wake up call, but that was not happening. I went to the noon lap swim and relaxed for the rest of the day. Well...most of the day. My aunt and uncle picked me up in the afternoon and we went back into Rocky Mountain National Park.

First we went to Alluvial Fan to check out the waterfall. It is pretty crazy how all of the rain/flooding last year caused the river to make it's own path.

Then we went up to Bear Lake for a partial loop around the lake. I feel like that could be a fun loop to run some mornings.

Saturday 6-7

Our last day in Estes Park. I ran a nice, hill 8 miler in the morning. We went back to the waterfall to explore for a bit.

We finally had to say goodbye to Estes Park and made our way toward Westminster to visit family. After dinner I met up with one of my old high school teammates, Jesse, that I hadn't seen in 9 years. It is always fun to catch up with old friends.

I had a great experience out in Colorado. I am very thankful for Joe and Audrey for opening their home to me. They are always such great hosts. I had a lot of fun meeting new people, seeing new sights, and challenging myself on runs/rides. I liked it so much that I decided I should stay! I was offered a job and found a place to stay, so I will be moving to Estes Park next week! I can't wait!

There will be some new challenges that come with this decision. Training at 7500 feet will be a new adventure. There isn't really anything too flat in the area - everything is uphill then downhill.

I said I wanted to get back to short course racing this year - short, fast stuff. It will be interesting to see if the altitude slows me down at sprint/Olympic racing. There is only one way to find out!

Thanks for reading! Good luck to all racing soon.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Colorado - High Altitude Camp 2014 - Days 1-3

I had the opportunity to go to Estes Park for a week. I love Colorado, so I was not going to pass it up.

Friday we drove to western Kansas.

Saturday morning we drove to Colorado. 

Within an 30 minutes of unloading my stuff, we were already heading out on a trail run. The nice thing about Estes is the Rocky Mountains are right there. We took a trail off Trail Ridge Road.


Sunday morning I met up with my buddy Mark and a new friend Alan for a trail run. We met up with the Estes Park Trail Runners and went out to Cow Creek Trailhead. From there we did the out and back to Bridal Veil Fallls, and the added on a couple extra miles. Mark was saying he was still tired from the marathon he ran the week before...but he sure put the hurt on, on the way up to the falls.

Sunday afternoon I had my first real mountain biking experience. Mark took me out on a trail and it was rough. A lot of up/downhill and "ballsy" sections... Great for a first timer...right? Riding up to 9000+ feet sure made for an interesting time. I was starting to get a little too comfortable descending and I flipped over my handlebars on a technical downhill section. It was awesome! Let's just say I am in love with mountain biking!


I had my first swim in Estes on Monday. The pool is located at 8,000ft. I did my normal warm up and was about 6 seconds/100yds slower during the warm up. For my main set so did 2x[10x100 on :15 RI]. I was able to come within about 3 seconds of my normal times...but it was not pretty. I felt tired and could definitely tell the difference between CO and IL.

In the afternoon I met up with Mark and Alan again for a trail run. It was supposed to be the Twin Owls Loop from the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead - maybe 11 miles. I am not the best with directions and ended up going way off course. I finished with 13 miles...and 2:26 run time. So that ended up being my longest duration run...ever. I'm not so sure I really ran everything - there were some pretty wicked hikes out of some sections. Either way that was a lot of time on my feet.

The log run was fueled by a new product I am trying called ViFuel. It is made lin Estes Park. It would be along the same lines of most energy gels, except better. They taste great (Maple Bacon is my favorite...and saved me 2 hours into the run) and they go down so smooth!

Anyway. The Monday log run may have been a little (or a lot long) but it has been fun so far. Can't wait to see what other exciting things happen in the next 5 days of CO! Thanks for reading and have a great   week!