This little blog has been pretty quite the last few months….
I really love this time of year….September has always had a special place in my heart. To me it feels like the real start of a new year. I guess this comes from years of loving school and working in education since graduating from college.
The year feels fresh, I love the leaves changing and it feels like you get a new start. To be honest I don’t love the shorter days, but you take the good with the bad.
Luckily in Colorado it stays pretty warm most of September so we can still enjoy dinners al fresco and runs in the mountains so summer isn’t over just yet!
My goals for the last few months of 2015 are very simple and have shaped some of my recent decisions. I have two main goals:
Find Fun and Seek Peace.
These are simple but difficult tasks but will frame my decisions…if an activity will be fun then great, yes please. If a decision will disrupt the peace in my life than no thanks….I’ll move on.
One of the ways we are look to meet these goals is to book a trip to Disneyland in October just because it will be fun. I grew up going to Disneyland almost every summer but haven’t been back in almost 10 years. Cory and I went back in 2006 and had the best time! I am so looking forward to a trip that is just about having fun!
Also I am looking forward to planning some fall adventures on trails. I love trail running and don’t get to do as much of it as I would like when training for triathlons. So more time and trips will be planned to find more dirt on my shoes while thinking about BIG future dreams.
What are you plans for the last quarter?
While my race may have ended in disappointment, Whistler did not disappoint. Western Canada is so beautiful, we loved visiting BC! I may be a bit biased since I grew up in Portland, Oregon but I think the rain forest of that area is one of the most beautiful places in the world. BC was especially beautiful because it melded the temperate rain forest with the ocean and the mountains that I have grown to love living in Colorado for the last six years. If you are thinking of racing an Ironman next year I highly suggest IM Canada, especially if you aren’t afraid of a few hills, altitude and unpredictable weather.
On the way to Whistler we flew into Seattle and drove up to Canada. In Seattle we stopped for lunch, since we live in a landlocked state it had to be Seafood! We headed to the waterfront and enjoyed lunch at The Crab Pot.
It was great, we didn’t have time to hang around long but have been to Seattle many times. If you go make sure you visit Pike Place Fish Market, it’s a must see in Seattle. Also the space needle and a walk along the waterfront aren’t to be missed.
It was great, we didn’t have time to hang around long but have been to Seattle many times. If you go make sure you go to Pikes Place Fish Market, it’s a must go in Seattle. Also the space needle and a walk along the waterfront aren’t to be missed.
Then we were on our way across the boarder to Canada and up the Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler. I wish we had much more time to explore Vancouver, guess it will have to be on another trip.
Whistler Village is really cute and easy to navigate. Lot’s of beautiful views and restaurants everywhere.
We stayed at the Market Place lodge booked through Airb&b It was a great choice for Ironman since it was right on Olympic Plaza where the Athlete Village was. There was also a grocery store, drug store and coffee shop steps from our condo. It was a bit noisy during the day with all the Ironman events as well as a playground directly below us but it quieted down early each night.
There were many places to eat around town, a couple of my favorites were:
Caramba! – Mediterranean food made with lots of local organic food.
La Cantina – REALLY good street tacos and salads
La Bocca – Yummy simple Italian Food
Crepe Montagne – We didn’t eat here until the last day but it is an amazing little breakfast spot.
Marketplace IGA – Ok this is just a grocery store, but it’s amazing and they have great sandwiches at the deli if you want to grab something to take with you on a hike.
Whistler is full of some amazing sights, and the best way to see them is on foot. We took a short hike to Wedgemount Falls, it’s a little challenging hiking up the side of a mountain but the views were worth it.
Or you can drive to Alexander Falls and see it from the parking lot. It’s worth the drive
By far my favorite thing that we did was to ride up to Whistler Mountain and ride the Peak 2 Peak Gondola It was amazing to hike around and enjoy the views. Seriously the photos can’t do it justice.
It really hasn’t sunk in yet that it’s ironman week! T-minus 4 days until Ironman Canada. It’s been a long journey to get to the start line but I am ready to see what the day brings and deal with it the best I can. The last miles have been banked in Colorado before heading to Whistler.
So packing and weather stalking has started and thunder storms are predicted so my plan (similar to Lake Tahoe in 2013) is to bring everything and hope I have everything I need. Baggage fees might be interesting.
It’s my first time flying with my bike, any tips?
See you all on the flip side in Canada, wheels up tomorrow morning!
Tapering // for Ironman Boulder 70.3 – This is a mini taper as Ironman Canada is so close so I don’t think this will be an PR race but it will be great prep for my full IM.
Prepping // I raced Ironman Boulder 70.3 in 2013 on my way to Tahoe and had a great race so I am looking forward to toeing the line again. But this will be my first triathlon for a very long time so there’s a lot to try to remember and figure out.
Loving // Swimming! Our neighborhood outdoor pool finally opened and it is so amazing to swim under the sunshine.
Also I finally got an open water swim in at Boulder Reservoir last week and it feels really good. My swimming isn’t drastically faster but I have been much more consistent in my training and that makes me feel much more solid in the water.
I also got my new wetsuit from Xterra, thanks Team SOAS for the amazing discount!
Reading // Witsup.com I am loving their articles and coverage of triathlon! And the book The Silent Sister so good!
Gearing up// to go back to school, I am planning on perusing my PhD and start taking classes this summer. I have two degrees in biology but have never taken an A&P class, I am excited!
How did three weeks slip by? Time seems to accelerate the closer I get to an Ironman. Life becomes eat, train, eat, work, eat, train, eat, sleep, repeat. Sometimes I can slip in some laundry (sometimes) housework (rarely) and downtime (what’s that?)
But it’s all fun, it feels so good to see my training peaks calendar fill up with workouts and then tick them off one by one. I was able to take a four day weekend at the end of last week so I asked coach for a training camp like weekend. It was much more fun to think of the weekend as a camp vs. just another weekend training. We made an agenda and planned our routes so we knew what we *planning* on doing. The weather here in Boulder was less than ideal but it could have been much worse!
It will be too boring to go over daily workouts for three weeks so I will just go over some of the highlights:
12 weeks to go was a little light since we traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico to attend my graduation. The plan was to get some good training in over the weekend and we even schlepped our bikes with us but with terrible weather and no trainers we gave up on the idea and just celebrated mother’s day with my mom. Got in 9 hours of training before leaving town.
11 weeks to go was a little more productive, after driving back from New Mexico I got back into some workouts with good focus and intensity including:
The longest swim of year so far (4,000+ yds)
All bike rides on the trainer (come on summer)
Long run turned because of flooding
Totaling about 15 hours and a lot of focused work
10 weeks to go was the biggest week so far because of the long weekend. All workouts are getting longer now meaning that the alarm is creeping closer to 4:00am and getting later at night. But it’s not too bad since this week (9 weeks to go) is the last biggish week (17 hours planned) before a little taper and recovery for Boulder 70.3.
Then it will be one last big push for IM Canada – here we go!!!
Last week went by quickly but I felt pretty good and was happy with how I was hitting my intervals. Now with just 12 weeks until Ironman Canada it’s time to FOCUS! Here is how last week turned out:
Monday: Easy Yoga with the pug
Tuesday: 3000 m swim // 30 min easy spin
Wednesday: hour and 20 minute trainer ride // evening massage sooo painful!
Thursday: Progression run // easy spin warm up and TRX workout
Friday: 3100 m swim
Saturday: 4.5 hour bike ride with a 40 minute t-run
Sunday: Beautiful long run in Boulder before the rain started (so much rain for CO!) // evening 90 minute spin
~16 hours of training, only 12 weeks until Ironman Canada!
I want to preface this post with the recognition that Boston is a huge city and we were only there for a few days. But if you do travel out to Boston for the marathon here is what we found out from our trip:
Stay// Anywhere you can! Not surprisingly hotels fill up fast for marathon weekend. Also be prepared to pay a pretty penny to stay near the finish. Cory and I stayed in a condo that we found on airbnb in back bay. It was a little disheartening to see that the rental prices about tripled for race weekend, but supply and demand. The place was small but clean. Third story walk up was difficult for Cory after the marathon but he managed. It was fun to stay in a residential area and see what it felt like to live in Boston for a couple days
My parents stayed at the Omni Parker House Hotel
It was very nice, opulent hotel and the longest continuously running hotel in the US. A little longer walk to race events than our place in Back Bay but still close to Boston Common. Their room was a little smaller than expected but very nice.
Do// There are so many things we did not get to do while in Boston but here are a few worth your time:
Old Town Trolley Tours this tour was one of the best uses of money and time. When you purchase a ticket it’s good for two days (which we used). The tour is a narrated drive of historic and important places in Boston. The best part is that you can hop on/off whenever you like so it’s also great transportation around the city. They also offer ghost/haunted tours that sounded really fun.
Boston Harbor Cruise – We got cruise tickets included in out trolley tour ticket, it was a narrated tour and really fun to see the city from the water and hear more about the history of Boston. There are also dinner cruises and whale watching available
Cheers Pub – The Bull and Finch pug was fun to visit. We ended up eating lunch there, the food was just meh, so I would suggest just getting a beer and seeing the inspiration for Cheers and eating somewhere else.
Another must do is walking the Freedom Trail. We bought a small guidebook and really enjoyed seeing the city by foot, following the red brick path.
Welcome to the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile, red-lined route that leads you to 16 historically significant sites — each one an authentic treasure. Explore museums and meetinghouses, churches, and burying grounds. Learn about the brave people who shaped our nation. Discover the rich history of the American Revolution, as it began in Boston, where every step tells a story.
New England Aquarium- Very famous aquarium that is worth a visit
Eat// There are many great places to eat in Boston but a couple places not to miss are Mikes’s Pastry just a short detour off the Freedom Trail tour.
Mast One the best meals I have had in my life, the pizza is amazing and the lobster ravioli was unreal. Great place for carb loading!!
To be very clear, I did NOT run the Boston Marathon this year (maybe one day) but this year I got to tag along a spectate for my speedy hubby Cory who did run.
Going to Boston for the marathon was pretty amazing start to finish. On the plane it was pretty surreal to have so many athletes on one flight. At least half the people were wearing Boston Marathon jackets from years past the other half seemed to be wearing other marathon gear or ironman backpacks.
Just being in the city was also incredible, athletes everywhere! The locals were all so nice and encouraging. Everyone would wish athletes luck and seemed genuinely happy to have you in their city.
If you can ever go to run or even just to spectate I say do it, it was an incredible experience. I will write another post with tourist information I learned while there, but for now I will focus on the race and activities.
Pre Race Information: Boston Marathon had the best organization I have ever seen for a race. They sent great information well in advance and provided many maps and information. I felt like we always had everything we needed and Cory was clear on where he needed to be when and with what.
Expo: The race expo for the Boston Marathon is like nothing I have seen before, it was HUGE. While it took a little while to get in, the wait wasn’t long and there was bag check security. While it did cause some backups I did appreciate the level of security and that they seemed to really be concerned about everyones safety.
For being as large and busy as the expo was, I feel that it was organized well. Staff, security and volunteers were all friendly and happy to help. We were directed in to packet pick-up, got Cory’s bib, shirt and goody bag.
All the gear was pretty nice. Next we headed into the expo and made it into the official Boston Marathon gear area. There was so much stuff to pick from, it reminded me a lot of Ironman gear. The “must have” piece is always the official jacket that changes colors every year. It was pretty neat seeing runners wearing jackets from past years, I think the oldest one I saw was 1995. Cory didn’t love the jacket but my mom and I decided he needed to have it so we bought it for him anyway 😉
Races – On Saturday there was two races being put on by BAA both finishing at the marathon finish line. An open 5k, that I so wish I had known about ahead of time. It would have been so fun to race even a 5k there with mom and dad! There was also a mile invitational. We watched a few waves go off, so fun to watch such speedy racers!
Pasta Dinner – The night before the marathon there is a hosted pasta dinner. I can’t comment on it since Cory decided he didn’t want to go. I can’t blame him, every other race meal we have gone to the food has been bland and not terribly appealing. But I do wonder if we missed out on hearing some cool information. Let me know if you have gone, was it worth it?
Race Day – For racers, be sure to bring throw away warm ups! You have a checked bag but you leave that in Boston Commons and have HOURS before you start running. So bring something to keep you warm at the start that you don’t mind not getting back. Also if you can carrying your cell phone is nice if you have family or friends with you. It’s a huge race and it was so helpful that Cory had his, he carried it in an SPI belt and said he didn’t even notice it. Cory has offered to write a race report that I can post soon.
For spectators I will state the obvious and say get there early for a good spot and be prepared to walk kinda far. Public are not allowed very close to the finish line so wear comfortable shoes. Also there are multiple security check points. Don’t assume that because you have made it through a check point you are “in” like at an airport. I think we went through 8 check points. If you want to get around fast be sure that you don’t carry anything, even a small wrist bags will need to be checked. This year it was pretty cold and poring down rain so that added additional issues. I did carry a back pack with warm ups for Cory and in the end we were glad that I did! It was really fun to watch the elite racers come through I couldn’t believe how fresh they looked so close to the end. While I would have loved to see Des or Shalane win it was still amazing.
It was really inspiring to see all the men and women from the military running in their fatigues. Can you imagine running a marathon in combat boots, much respect!
There is a service you can sign up for that will text you updates with your runners splits at certain check points, this was really nice to see. We cheered on everyone until seeing Cory come past us, the cold had gotten to him (he did not have throw away warm ups) so he wasn’t having his best race but was still having fun. We hurried as best we could back towards the finish line to meet Cory. There is a family meeting area organized by last name that makes things a lot easier, Cory had just beat us there. He was cold and tired so we were extra glad that I had his warm ups with me so he didn’t have to walk to Boston Commons in the rain to pick them up.
Overall great race and really fun. My Mom and Dad traveled with us, they are multiple marathoners themselves (hmmmm…apple doesn’t fall far from the tree does it) so they loved it too.
Up next: Boston Tourist Report
You know what they say about making plans……
I had my race plans for spring and summer all laid out, you can find it here. But as things tend to do some changes came up and plans had to change, a bit.
February 14th – MOAB Red Hot 55k and 33k – Did Not Race! I started my new job on February 2nd and did not feel it was ok to ask for a day off in my second week of work. If this had been an A race I may have but it was just for fun. I thought about leaving after work but that would have had us in town 2 am the day of the race, didn’t seem worth it.
March 15th – Run Through Time Trail Marathon Another did not run. After not getting to run Red Hot, I was bummed about not getting to race in Moab and not feeling super excited about running a marathon. Since I hadn’t yet signed up I started trolling for another race, hopefully in Moab. I officially decided not to race Run Through Time when I found…..
March 28th – Behind the Rocks 50k Soooooo excited and it’s this Saturday. A little freaked out that it’s going to be almost 90 degrees and I have been running in conditions more like this:
May 2nd – Collegiate Peaks 50 Mile trail race – this is a big stretch, if necessary I could drop to the 25 mile but for now I gunning for the big show. – UPDATE, will be dropping to the 25 miler. Turns out 50 milers aren’t great training. (rest of my races are staying the same for now…)
June 13th – Ironman Boulder 70.3 – I raced this in 2013 and really liked it.July 26th – Ironman Canada I have unfinished business with with IM Canada and I am determined to show up ready to race in 2015.
The rest of the year will be focused on trails….hopefully the big show in November.
Another big change is that I started working with a coach again, it’s no nice to have someone else take the driver seat and help me get out of my head. This year I will be working with the amazing Beth Gerdes again =)