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.
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.
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 again...so 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.
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.
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.