Week 31 of Ironman Training: New Heights

It has been a strong week of training, with new adventures and many new highs. Booyah! The highlight this week was Wednesday’s ride with Matt–a three hour jaunt up through the hills of Montecito and Santa Barbara. It was a gorgeous day, and Matt and I zigged and zagged up and down and around some of our town’s most scenic roads, gobbling up nearly 4,000 ft. of elevation. The exclamation point to the day came when after riding for a couple hours, we turned onto Gibraltar and headed up to the climbing rock. Seriously fun stuff. Thank you Matt for the push and the inspiration!

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I was especially happy on Wednesday because before I met Matt for our ride, I had chiseled out time to go to my favorite yoga class in the morning. Erin DiAngelis always has a way of helping me get my mind and body ready for the day! Thank you Erin!

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Here’s what this week’s schedule looks like:

Monday: Strength, Run 8 miles (building so I run the second half faster than the first)
Tuesday: Swim 45 minutes, Bike 1h 20 m, Run 2 miles
Wednesday: Yoga, Bike 3 hours (hills)
Thursday: Run 60 minutes (hills), Ocean Swim
Friday: Easy recovery day with an Ocean Swim
Saturday: Run 50 minutes, Ocean Swim
Sunday: Bike 3 hours

On Monday Killer Kate’s strength class was cancelled so I worked up a sweat in my living room for a half hour instead before heading out on my 8-mile run. I did a mix of arms, legs and core.

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I threw in “The Dozen” too, something I came across in my “Believe” journal. Short and sweet.

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Then it was off for my run along Mountain Drive. This location never disappoints.

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It was hot, hot, hot in the middle of the day, but gorgeous and challenging with the gentle rollers. The goal was to run the second half faster than the first. Mission accomplished.
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Tuesday was a little frustrating with mechanical problems. I couldn’t get my bike to shift properly, so after heading out to ride twice, then heading back home to try to fix it both times, I finally decided to go to Plan B–go for a swim, then take my bike to my favorite peeps at Hazard’s.

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I had an appointment with Bruce later in the day anyway to see if he could work some magic with my cleats and pedals to alleviate an ongoing issue with my knees. This guy is the bomb. He is so patient and determined to get it right for me–just what you need when you’re training for your first Ironman. Then, in the midst of their crazy, busy day at the shop, he and Matt worked some additional magic on my funky gearing so I could still get in a ride. So nice!!

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After my swim and ride, I ended with a short 2-mile run. My husband was so sweet and surprised me by showing up on the corner near our house to run the final bit with me. Love my #1 supporter! After spending most of my day struggling to get in my workouts, I felt like I had done an Ironman. I guess they’re right when they say 10% of Ironman is physical and 90% mental. If there’s a will, there’s a way–especially if you have an awesome support crew.

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My reward for my persistence was date night with my IronHusband, and a little Thai food to refuel.
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I was also happy my friend Laura texted me earlier in the day to tell me about a PBS special being aired that night about “The Boys in the Boat”–the 1936 underdog US Olympic rowing team who took home gold. The book it’s based on is really inspiring, and seeing this reminded me once again that anything is possible with enough hard work and grit.

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Thursday I had a 1-hour hilly run scheduled, so I opted for a little scamper through Hope Ranch. After Wednesday’s epic hill ride with Matt, I wasn’t sure how my legs would feel, but they held up just fine…in a “tired, but fine” kind of way. You know what I mean. Once again, my goal was to run the second half faster than the first. Check.

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It was nice running on a freshly graveled road for part of it, making each step a little softer.
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That evening I went to Reef & Run again to get my butt back in the ocean. I didn’t race (not quite “there” yet), but I did get in some yardage to remind myself that I actually do like to swim in the ocean. Small steps! I thought it was appropriate to wear this awesome hat afterward. This was given to me by my 2x Iron(wo)man friend, Jenni Miller, who continually works hard to raise funds for her foundation, Strides for SMS (Smith-Magenis Syndrome). This was something she sent me for being one of her supporters. Dream big, baby! Here’s the link in case you’d like to check out her important cause and support her efforts: STRIDES FOR SMS.

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Here’s the start of the race…happy hour at its finest.
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Friday was an easy recovery day so I opted to get my hiney back in the ocean again for another swim. Trying to keep the momentum going! The water was glassy, which made for an awesome swim. Bonus points…my legs were happy to be cooled off in the water after working hard for a couple days in a row. Aaaah.

And sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself because you remind yourself so much of a frog –a happy, slightly cross-eyed one with salt water in one eye. Never mind the seagrass hanging off the goggles in the back. This frog was happily whooped.

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And even happier that evening when the opening ceremonies finally took place for the Olympics! Go USA!
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Some days it’s simply a challenge logistically to squeeze in your workouts without missing something important or completely disrupting your family’s life. My husband had a meeting early yesterday morning and my daughter had a ballet performance, so after dropping her off for dress rehearsal, I squeezed in a 5 1/2 mile run before zipping back to the theater for her performance. Not ideal, but done. Shower? Sometimes you just gotta roll with the sweat (or the glistening drops of inspiration, as we like to say).

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A few hours later, it was time for another ocean swim. This time I was joined by my friend Cheryl Hutton, who inspires me to no end. This lady is fierce! Don’t be fooled by her sweet smile. She already knocked out 20 miles on her bike before joining me for what we coined our “epic swim.” It was a windy afternoon and the water was so choppy, it felt as though we were being thrown around like the SS Minnow on Gilligan’s Island. All good stuff to make us stronger and tougher, but definitely epic. Fortunately, we had fun too!

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And now it’s Sunday morning and I’m about to head out on another 3-hour ride through the hills of Santa Barbara. I can hardly wait (and no, that’s not the coffee talking). This girl is feeling stronger and looking forward to another fun and challenging training day. Bring it on!

Until next time…
xo
Becky

PS: As always, if you missed any of my previous posts about Ironman training, you can click on the links below:

Kicking off My Journey to Ironman Arizona
Week One of Ironman Training: Believe
Week Two of Ironman Training: The Power of Friends
Week Three of Ironman Training: I Think I Can
Week Four of Ironman Training: Progress
Week Five of Ironman Training: Wind at my Back (and Front) and Peeps by My Side
Week Six of Ironman Training: Baking a Cake
Week Seven of Ironman Training: Courage
Week Eight of Ironman Training: It’s All About the Base
OMG, You did WHAT?! (AKA Sleep Deprivation + Training = Embarrassing Moments)
Week Nine of Ironman Training: Growing Pains
Week Ten of Ironman Training: Trust
Week Eleven of Ironman Training: Speedbumps and Breakthroughs
Week Twelve of Ironman Training: A Bundle of Sticks Can’t Be Broken
Week Thirteen of Ironman Training: Spring!

Week Fourteen of Ironman Training: Rollercoaster
Week 15 and 16 of Ironman Training: Staying Happy and Healthy

Week 17 and 18 Ironman Training: Inspiration and Purple Rain
Weeks 19 through 21 of Ironman Training: Transitions

Week 22 and 23 of Ironman Training: Holy Epicness…Julie Moss
Week 24 of Ironman Training: Consistency is the Key
Week 25 of Ironman Training: Embracing New Challenges
Week 26 of Ironman Training: Hills, They’re What’s for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Week 27 of Ironman Training: Taking This Show on the Road (Tri-cation!)
Week 27 of Ironman Training: High Altitude Tri-cation
Week 27 of Ironman Training: High Altitude Fun Continues
Week 28 of Ironman Training: Rocky Mountain High
Week 28 of Ironman Training: Finishing Aspen Strong
Week 29 and 30 of Ironman Training: Rollercoasters, Crazies, and Comebacks

Week 29 and 30 of Ironman Training: Rollercoasters, Crazies, and Comebacks

TriJerseyRide71816Coming back from our epic Aspen vacation the week before last, I was excited to get out on my bike again and see how my legs and lungs felt riding at sea level.

After three day’s rest (two days of driving home from Colorado and one “just because”), I was ready to roll. It wasn’t a long ride–less than an hour–but it was magic. One of those great spins, which leaves you grinning from ear to ear. Most exciting, my knees weren’t cranky for the first time in several months. Woohoo! Bonus “happy points,” my sweet new SB Tri kit arrived.

This was the perfect way to launch back into my regular training schedule. I was ready to kick it up a notch, and I couldn’t wait to see what my coach, Matt, had in store for me.

With Ironman Arizona less than 4 months away, it’s time to start rocking for real.

Late in the afternoon, after my morning ride, I headed to Goleta Beach Park to enjoy a 7 mile run around UCSB’s Campus Point. It was a beautiful day, and a perfect reminder of how freaking lucky I am to live and train in Santa Barbara, even if I may have left a tiny piece of my heart back in Aspen.

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My run went well, except for a niggling pain in my rib/back, which I’d been trying to ignore since I’d tweaked it playing in the snow on the superpipe back in Aspen. Until this run, I simply  refused to acknowledge its presence, even though I was far too familiar with this pain. I had injured this exact same spot twice in the past year and a half. Once was during an intense track workout and another time was earlier this year when I hit a pothole really hard while riding my bike. Clearly, I have a weakness in that part of my core that I need to redouble my efforts to strengthen.

On this run every breath felt like having a sharp knife jammed between my ribs, each step like a jackhammer chiseling away at my confidence. How could this happen again?! Then, no matter how hard I tried to distract myself with the beauty around me, I could not stop the flood of doubts and mental f-bombs as frustration washed over me.

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When my coach got word of this little “issue,” he immediately trashed the week’s workouts he had planned for me and opted for a daily check-in instead, to see how things were progressing. And things did not progress at nearly the pace at which I was trying to force. %#!@#

After two weeks of riding high in Aspen, this felt like bottoming out on the Ironman training rollercoaster. Argh. Throw in some fatigue from going non-stop on vacation with little sleep….cue the “How low can you go?” music.

Here’s what Week 29’s scaled back training schedule looked like:

Monday: Bike 45 minutes, Run 7 miles
Tuesday: Bike 2 hours
Wednesday: Swim 600y super easy to test rib
Thursday: Rest/Recovery (took this as a mental reboot day)
Friday: Bike 1 hour
Saturday: Run 30 minutes to test rib
Sunday: Rest/Recovery 2 mile walk with family

Every endurance athlete knows there will be aches, mental fatigue, and “things” that pop up along the way during a long training cycle. It’s how you handle them that will determine the outcome. As my coach wisely counseled, “An easier week of light maintenance isn’t the worst thing in the world.”

So I tried to embrace this week, snap out of my malaise, and spend it doing things like finally cleaning out our garage and having a yard sale, relaxing with my family at the beach, and doing some back-to-school shopping with my daughter. The tricky part was not getting grumpy or impatient without my usual flood of exercise endorphins to keep me chirpy. 🙂

An evening picnic at Butterfly Beach helped. And so did an awesome massage from my friend and massage therapist, Stephanie Trager. Thank you Stephanie!

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When I tried my 30 minute “test run” on Saturday, my rib was still quite uncomfortable, but at least it was fun to chill out at the beach with my family afterward.

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Here’s what this week’s schedule looked like:

Monday: Bike 3 hours
Tuesday: Rest/Recovery (road trip to LA with friends)
Wednesday: Run 5 miles
Thursday: Bike 2 hours, Ocean Swim
Friday: Run 30 minutes, Swim
Saturday: Bike 2 hours with moderate hills, Run 6 miles
Sunday: Run 1 mile, Bike 3 hours with hills

On Monday’s 3 hour ride, I sported my Colorado jersey to try to rekindle that feeling of joy while navigating the roads here in Santa Barbara. Never mind several close calls with distracted drivers, it was still a solid ride. 40 miles with 2000 ft of elevation.

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Wednesday I was stoked to be back running without huge pain in my rib! 5 miles logged and feeling optimistic again.

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Thursday’s workouts, I’m VERY happy to say, finally took this Ironman rollercoaster on an upward swing back up to the top again. Not only did I have a nice, solid 2 hour ride where I was finally able to keep my cadence up the whole time, but I FINALLY got myself into the ocean to swim.

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I’m not sure why it has taken me so long this summer to get into the right frame of mind to swim in the ocean, but I guess we all have our silly mental blocks we need to work through. I’m glad I finally did. It was fun–super short and sweet before the Reef & Run races started. Hopefully I’ll be joining in a race soon too.

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Friday’s run was hot, hot, hot in the middle of the day, which made my swim afterward feel nice. My rib was still not 100%, perhaps from being jostled a little in the ocean the night before, so I only swam 650y, but it’s a start back in the right direction! Woohoo!

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And this how we roll after we train…stretching, foam rolling and aaaahhh!
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After yesterday’s 2 hour ride and 6-mile run, I was completely overheated, but feeling super happy to have put that one in the bag. From day one of my training, my mantra has been, “One Day, One Workout at a Time,” and that is exactly how I’m doing this. A tall iced latte afterward helped a little too.

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It’s always nice to be able to balance training with family and friend time. After this one we joined friends at the Mission Rose Garden for an evening picnic.
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Today’s ride was meant to be a toughie, and it was. All great stuff. Hills, hills and more hills. Love it! I can tell I’m getting a little stronger with each ride, so it makes the sufferfest worth it. I didn’t take any pictures today, except for this one when I stopped to fill my water bottle back up at Gobernador Canyon. The flowers were so pretty, I couldn’t help myself.

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As I sign off for the week, I thought I’d leave you with one parting thought…something I remind myself of daily.

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Until next time, my friends…

Thanks for continually lifting me up on this crazy journey. Knowing you’re right there gives me a shot of confidence when I need it most!

PS: As always, if you missed any of my previous posts about Ironman training, you can click on the links below:

Kicking off My Journey to Ironman Arizona
Week One of Ironman Training: Believe
Week Two of Ironman Training: The Power of Friends
Week Three of Ironman Training: I Think I Can
Week Four of Ironman Training: Progress
Week Five of Ironman Training: Wind at my Back (and Front) and Peeps by My Side
Week Six of Ironman Training: Baking a Cake
Week Seven of Ironman Training: Courage
Week Eight of Ironman Training: It’s All About the Base
OMG, You did WHAT?! (AKA Sleep Deprivation + Training = Embarrassing Moments)
Week Nine of Ironman Training: Growing Pains
Week Ten of Ironman Training: Trust
Week Eleven of Ironman Training: Speedbumps and Breakthroughs
Week Twelve of Ironman Training: A Bundle of Sticks Can’t Be Broken
Week Thirteen of Ironman Training: Spring!

Week Fourteen of Ironman Training: Rollercoaster
Week 15 and 16 of Ironman Training: Staying Happy and Healthy

Week 17 and 18 Ironman Training: Inspiration and Purple Rain
Weeks 19 through 21 of Ironman Training: Transitions

Week 22 and 23 of Ironman Training: Holy Epicness…Julie Moss
Week 24 of Ironman Training: Consistency is the Key
Week 25 of Ironman Training: Embracing New Challenges
Week 26 of Ironman Training: Hills, They’re What’s for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Week 27 of Ironman Training: Taking This Show on the Road (Tri-cation!)
Week 27 of Ironman Training: High Altitude Tri-cation
Week 27 of Ironman Training: High Altitude Fun Continues
Week 28 of Ironman Training: Rocky Mountain High
Week 28 of Ironman Training: Finishing Aspen Strong

Week 28 of Ironman Training: Rocky Mountain High

Combining Ironman training with our family vacation was a delicate balancing act, but Aspen was the perfect place to pull it off. Knowing the town like the back of our hands, and still having many friends there, we were able to squeeze in A LOT, so everybody felt happy. It also helped knowing that I wouldn’t get too many sideways glances if I showed up somewhere still wearing my workout gear. Casual is how we roll, and so does much of Aspen.

The second week of our adventure began on a wonderfully mellow note–no epic workout, just a fab long lunch with our friends, James and Hensley, on the deck of Plato’s restaurant at the Aspen Institute. Then, while Jeffrey went to another lecture at Anderson Ranch Art Center, I took Olivia to Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s School of Dance where she enjoyed taking ballet and jazz classes. Their studio space is gorgeous, and it was a treat for her to experience another dance school, even if she was a little uncertain at first.

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While Olivia danced, I squeezed in a short 3 1/2 mile run from the ASFB studios back toward the hotel on the bike path, then down Owl Creek Road. Some days you just have to celebrate what you can piece together. And that’s exactly what I did.

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When Olivia finished ballet, we let her choose where she wanted to go to dinner to celebrate her courage in trying something new, especially since she didn’t know anybody and had never tried jazz. She opted for Mexican food at Su Casa, which was just fine with me (okay, a margarita might have had my name written all over it…I repeat, MIGHT). Even though it’s not easy, we continually encourage our daughter to try new things, especially things that make her uncomfortable, as all these little things add small drops of grit into her confidence bucket. Also, they’re usually the most memorable things we experience in life, right?

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On a side note, this picture of us at dinner cracked me up because it unintentionally captured the ridiculous size of my Garmin. I’m so accustomed to wearing it, I don’t even think about it anymore, but holy cow, that’s as big as a brick! Quite the fashion statement, huh?

After dinner, once again, we strolled around town…

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And yep, there might have been more ice cream from Paradise Bakery involved for these two as we listened to a quartet playing classical music on the corner.

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I made a quick stop to Ute Mountaineer to pick up some more nutrition for my ride the next day. Love this locally-owned store.

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In the morning I had the joy of another big cycling day, starting off by once again riding up to the Maroon Bells.

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This time it was even more fun though, because my friend Sarah joined me. We’ve been friends for more than two decades and have enjoyed this ride many times over the years. It never gets old.
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After our ride up to the Bells, Sarah headed off to work while I headed Down Valley once again via the Rio Grande Trail. Yep, that meant going back up the hill to McClain Flats…woohoo. This time after cruising down to Woody Creek, I rode up to Lenado, another gorgeous rural area in the valley. I thought about stopping and snapping a picture of Hunter Thompson’s house for my friend Robert, but remembered that he always tells me to keep on grinding, so I knew he’d understand. Right, Robert? 🙂

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By the time I pedaled back to Aspen, I’d logged about 50 miles with nearly 3500 ft. of elevation. Another solid day in the books, and one step closer to Ironman Arizona.

After my ride and a quick bite, I swung by Aspen Sports Medicine to see my old PT/chiro, Eric Haynie. I hadn’t seen him since we moved away a decade ago, but since he helped get me to the starting line of my first three NYC Marathons many years ago, I knew he might have an answer to what was going on with my grumpy knees. Sure enough, he pinpointed it to some bio-mechanical issues–inflexible hips and ankles, along with tight calves (the story of my life). The combination had been torquing my knees with every revolution of my pedals for quite some time. In addition to stretching exercises, he suggested switching out my pedals and cleats from Look to Speedplay, which are little more forgiving as they have a little more float.

After seeing Eric, we were off once again–this time zipping to Snowmass Village to pick up Olivia’s friend, Maia, so she could hang out at pool with us. While the girls had fun creating elaborate games and races on the rafts, I soaked my tired legs in the jacuzzi. Aaah.

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A couple hours later we enjoyed catching up with our friend Curt, and sharing some laughs over a few nibbles and vino before we headed to the ballet. I was already whooped from my ride and another full day, but I’d heard nothing but good things about this performance being put on by Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, so I rallied for their 8:00 pm show. We were not disappointed. Talk about talented dancers and innovative choreography!

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Photo credit ASFB website

Sleep was elusive for much of this trip–something that’s especially tough when you’re training hard–so after yet another night of few zzzzs, Jeffrey and I headed into town for some much-needed coffee. This time we opted for good java from Peaches, then a decadent breakfast of oatmeal pancakes and spinach eggs from Poppycock’s. Spinach is good for you, so I could justify every damn last bite, right? (never mind all the rest of it). 🙂

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From then on, it was another packed day with a whole lot of this and that, going here and there, and doing dumb, yet necessary things like hand-washing a pile of workout clothes. This is just a tiny portion. The balcony looked like Green Acres.

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Then of course I needed to squeeze in a run and a swim workout. After playing frisbee in the park with Olivia, I headed to the pool. Even though there were multiple options for lap swim in Aspen, somehow this was the one thing that seemed hard to fit into the equation while we were here. I never drummed up the hard core attitude I needed to drag myself to the early swim or evening master’s class. Instead I had my own little sufferfest in the hotel pool.

Fins, hand paddles, music…nothing made swimming feel easier here. I cut myself some slack though, and celebrated the fact that at least I got it done on some small scale. With 25% less oxygen at this altitude, eventually I figured out that I needed to alter my breathing in order to settle into it. Breathing every fourth stroke made be feel like my lungs were going to blow, but when I alternated every other stroke when necessary, it became more comfortable . Even so, I’d still collapse on the chaise after my workouts.

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My run took place in the evening while Olivia was at another dance class. Here she is with her awesome jazz instructor, Eric Chase.

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Jeffrey dropped me off at the North Star Nature Preserve were I knocked out 5 beautiful miles, running up the Pass to Difficult Campground, then back into town. It’s remarkable how many easily accessible trails are found in Aspen. It makes running and cycling so much fun!

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At the end of my run, my sweet husband texted and asked me to meet him at the art museum for a mini date. There are few museums in the world I’d go to in my sweaty running clothes, but Aspen is so casual, I didn’t hesitate. Not to mention, we had the entire place to ourselves. Jeffrey had ordered wine and nibbles right before the rooftop cafe closed and they told us we could stay as long as we liked. Okay, maybe not the best recovery fuel, but definitely the best way to end another fun and full day. Love this guy!

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There’s only a couple more days left of our Aspen adventure…check back again if you want to follow it to the end. Next time I’ll be going up, up, up…

Until then…Happy Trails
xo Becky

PS: As always, if you missed any of my previous posts about Ironman training, you can click on the links below:

Kicking off My Journey to Ironman Arizona
Week One of Ironman Training: Believe
Week Two of Ironman Training: The Power of Friends
Week Three of Ironman Training: I Think I Can
Week Four of Ironman Training: Progress
Week Five of Ironman Training: Wind at my Back (and Front) and Peeps by My Side
Week Six of Ironman Training: Baking a Cake
Week Seven of Ironman Training: Courage
Week Eight of Ironman Training: It’s All About the Base
OMG, You did WHAT?! (AKA Sleep Deprivation + Training = Embarrassing Moments)
Week Nine of Ironman Training: Growing Pains
Week Ten of Ironman Training: Trust
Week Eleven of Ironman Training: Speedbumps and Breakthroughs
Week Twelve of Ironman Training: A Bundle of Sticks Can’t Be Broken
Week Thirteen of Ironman Training: Spring!

Week Fourteen of Ironman Training: Rollercoaster
Week 15 and 16 of Ironman Training: Staying Happy and Healthy

Week 17 and 18 Ironman Training: Inspiration and Purple Rain
Weeks 19 through 21 of Ironman Training: Transitions

Week 22 and 23 of Ironman Training: Holy Epicness…Julie Moss
Week 24 of Ironman Training: Consistency is the Key
Week 25 of Ironman Training: Embracing New Challenges
Week 26 of Ironman Training: Hills, They’re What’s for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Week 27 of Ironman Training: Taking This Show on the Road (Tri-cation!)
Week 27 of Ironman Training: High Altitude Tri-cation
Week 27 of Ironman Training: High Altitude Fun Continues

Week 27 of Ironman Training: High Altitude Fun Continues

I started my second ride in Aspen early in the morning because I knew it was going to be a long one–about 4 1/2 hours. Let me tell you, it’s no easy task sneaking out of a hotel room without making a peep when you’re trying to navigate a bike and your gear through a darkened room. I got into ninja mode though, and left my peeps peacefully snoozing.

It was gorgeous this time of the morning, but I forgot how cold it can be in the mountains, especially for this Cali girl! Yep, I’ve turned into a complete weenie. I rode from the hotel into town past Buttermilk Mt. and Highlands, then headed down Cemetery Lane, before powering up McClain Flats to the Rio Grande Trail.

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The Rio Grande Trail is a bike and running path the follows where the historic Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad once ran up and down the Roaring Fork Valley. Forty-two miles long, it connects Aspen, Woody Creek, Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs, with side links to Snowmass Village, Lenado, and Old Snowmass. It’s a cyclist’s dream to be able to ride for hours without having to think about cars. And the path is well-maintained. No potholes here!

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I rode down to Basalt, 18 miles from Aspen, then pedaled upstream along the Frying Pan River toward Ruedi Reservoir.

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I was happy by the time I headed back up to Aspen it had warmed up nicely so I could peel off my jacket and arm warmers. Loving this blue sky!

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Then it was back up over McClain Flats for a kick in the butt hill at the end of a 61+ mile ride. Booyah! It’s beautiful and flat on top, but getting up to it on both ends is always a good challenge.

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After my  ride, I ran a couple miles to keep practicing what it’s going to feel like in Arizona when I run a marathon after riding 112 miles. There’s a reason they call this a “brick” workout; that’s exactly what your legs feel like when you first get off the bike. Surprisingly though, they come back to life soon after you get started.

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I finished my run at the base of Buttermilk Mt., where our hotel was located. The X Games are held at Buttermilk every year, so the snow you see in the background is left over from the half pipe.

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My sweet girl was happy to see me when I finished, and even happier to go on a mom-daughter outing while Jeffrey went to a lecture at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village. We hopped on the hotel shuttle and ventured into town for lunch and shopping.

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There I spoiled her with her favorite treat from Paradise Bakery. This little enterprise brings in more revenue per square foot in Aspen than any other business. That’s more than Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and all the others. You’ll usually find a line out the door every hour of the day.

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Jeffrey joined us later in the day at Herron Park, where we lazed along the Roaring Fork River and sipped on ice blended lattes from Cafe Ink.

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Its icy waters were perfect for tired feet.

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Such a fun, relaxing afternoon…these girls got goofy and giddy.

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After our lazy afternoon, I did another short swim workout at the hotel (still gasping for air), then we dined down in Basalt along the river at the Riverside Grill before watching more of the Olympic Trials way past our usual bedtime, then crashing for the night.

The next day Olivia was invited to spend the day with her friend, Maia, and her family at the Aspen Recreation Center (ARC), a world-class fitness center with an ice skating rink, rock climbing wall, tennis courts, swimming pools and more.

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It’s a well-designed facility situated near all the schools and it has stunning views of Tiehack. It seems Aspenites know how to prioritize their tax dollars to create wonderful things for the town. So nice.

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Any parent knows it’s a luxury to have solo time on vacation, so I opted to take a rest/recovery day and spend time with my guy instead of riding for several hours. Aaaah. Thank you Alicia Dewey for your generosity!! Olivia had a blast and so did we!

Later in the day I arranged to pick Olivia up “Down Valley” near Carbondale while my husband was doing some work on our property. While I waited, I decided to sneak in a quick run. It wasn’t long by any stretch of the imagination, but it was a good chance to move my legs some more and work my lungs again. This is a typical view in this area.

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Dinner was take-out picnic items from Whole Foods, vino and an evening by the pool. Olivia and I had a great time splashing around where she kicked my butt in raft races. And then there was the jacuzzi….aaaaah.

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In the morning, it was time for another early morning ride. This time it was about 45 miles, starting from the hotel, going part way up Red Mountain, then up Independence Pass past North Star Nature Preserve to Difficult Campground.

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Then it was back “Down Valley” again via McClain Flats, then the Rio Grande Trail. This time I jumped off in Old Snowmass to revisit an area we lived in during the early 90s. It’s such a gorgeous valley, and I couldn’t help but stop by Rancho Gringo, our old barn, which we renovated and turned into our home many moons ago. Our old tractor was still there too, which brought back great memories of Jeffrey harrowing the meadow between zipping around the world on his photo assignments. What a memorable chapter in our lives.

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Continuing on past our property, I pedaled back along Capital Creek Road and then back on East Sopris Creek Road. Cars were never an issue while riding here, which was such a treat!

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I stopped at the bottom of Watson Divide before heading back to the Rio Grande Trail and heading down to Basalt where I met my peeps for breakfast at Cafe Bernard, a french-style cafe owned by our friends Kathy and Bernard.

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After cruising around Basalt, then going to the Saturday Farmer’s Market back up in Aspen, and bumping into lots of old friends, we grabbed take-out salads and wraps from another of our favorite places, the Big Wrap, owned by our friend Babs. I find eating out tedious on vacation so getting stuff to go and sitting in a park or along one of the pedestrian malls suits me perfectly.
The next day was Sunday (already!), and we couldn’t believe we’d already been in Aspen for a week. After breakfast at Peaches once again (great coffee and poached eggs over fresh, organic veggies), we headed up Independence Pass to hike to the Grottos.

Peaches

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Ballerina hiker…

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Cheeseball hiker…

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After our Grottos hike, we went back to the hotel so Olivia and I could hoof it up Buttermilk to play in the snow. Even though Olivia was born in Aspen, snow is still a novelty to her, so I humored her by joining the fun and “skiing” down on our shoes.

OliviaSnow

Then it was time for another run! Jeffrey and Olivia dropped me off at the bottom of Cemetery Lane so I could run on the Rio Grande Trail while they went shopping for picnic items. At 2:30, it was hot at altitude, but it was a fab run along the Roaring Fork River.

I headed Down Valley for a couple miles, then looped back around and headed back Up Valley, eventually logging about 6.3 miles before ending my run at the Benedict Music Tent where my family was waiting with a delish picnic. Running at high altitude still felt hard, but being distracted by all the natural beauty around me helped take my mind off how sluggish my legs felt.

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The perfect ending to a full and fabulous day…classical music (Berlioz, Dvorak, Stravinsky, and Ravel) and a fab picnic…not to mention bumping into several old friends. I’m not sure how I got so lucky! Life is good.

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If you aren’t exhausted by now, stay turned for week two of our Aspen adventure….there’s more fun to come!

Until then…Happy Trails
xo Becky

PS: As always, if you missed any of my previous posts about Ironman training, you can click on the links below:

Kicking off My Journey to Ironman Arizona
Week One of Ironman Training: Believe
Week Two of Ironman Training: The Power of Friends
Week Three of Ironman Training: I Think I Can
Week Four of Ironman Training: Progress
Week Five of Ironman Training: Wind at my Back (and Front) and Peeps by My Side
Week Six of Ironman Training: Baking a Cake
Week Seven of Ironman Training: Courage
Week Eight of Ironman Training: It’s All About the Base
OMG, You did WHAT?! (AKA Sleep Deprivation + Training = Embarrassing Moments)
Week Nine of Ironman Training: Growing Pains
Week Ten of Ironman Training: Trust
Week Eleven of Ironman Training: Speedbumps and Breakthroughs
Week Twelve of Ironman Training: A Bundle of Sticks Can’t Be Broken
Week Thirteen of Ironman Training: Spring!

Week Fourteen of Ironman Training: Rollercoaster
Week 15 and 16 of Ironman Training: Staying Happy and Healthy

Week 17 and 18 Ironman Training: Inspiration and Purple Rain
Weeks 19 through 21 of Ironman Training: Transitions

Week 22 and 23 of Ironman Training: Holy Epicness…Julie Moss
Week 24 of Ironman Training: Consistency is the Key
Week 25 of Ironman Training: Embracing New Challenges
Week 26 of Ironman Training: Hills, They’re What’s for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Week 27 of Ironman Training: Taking This Show on the Road (Tri-cation!)
Week 27 of Ironman Training: High Altitude Tri-cation

Week 27 of Ironman Training: High Altitude Tri-cation

After a late night on the 4th of July, my husband and I were in need of coffee (understatement of the century), so we headed to Main Street Bakery, one of our favorite haunts, owned by our friends, Bill and Jane Dinsmoor. Once fueled up with a hearty breakfast and major caffeine, I headed out on my first high altitude ride. Woohoo!

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I choose one of my all-time favorite rides–up to the Maroon Bells, which is always a good challenge—about 20 miles round-trip with a steady uphill that eventually reaches 9,570 ft. The road is mostly closed to private cars so it’s a cyclist’s dream.

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This view never gets old. It was the backdrop to our wedding many years ago, so it also holds an especially dear place in my heart.

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Once again, it did not disappoint.

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The ride down from the Maroon Bells is always exhilarating, and at times, nerve-racking. Flying down at over 40 mph, all you can do is hope a marmot or another little critter doesn’t decide to cross the road in front of you. So far so good!

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After riding up to the Bells, I ventured up Castle Creek Road to the historic ghost town, Ashcroft, another 20+-mile trip, which peaks out at 9,500 ft. It was such a treat riding along the creek and mostly having the road all to myself.

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For those of you who don’t know, Aspen has a rich silver mining history. Before skiing, celebrities and all that hooha, this town was booming with silver. Between 1879 and 1885, Ashcroft had about 2,000 residents and 20 saloons. What remains now is nine original buildings, maintained by the Aspen Historical Society, all nestled in the eye-popping Castle Creek Valley.

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I knew my peeps were waiting for me to return so we could do a family outing, so I didn’t stay to snap pictures of the ghost town. It was another mostly downhill zoom, with a few rollers, all the way back to the hotel. 47 miles total for the day with nearly 3500 ft. of elevation. A solid first day of riding.

After a quick change, we zipped over to the music tent to enjoy a wonderful dollop of culture, a free classical music concert showcasing young, up and coming conductors. The Aspen Music Festival and School is world-renowned, bringing conductors and musicians from all around the globe. While we were visiting, all kinds of big names were in town to perform, including Midori and Soprano Renee Flemming (to name but a few).

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I was famished from my earlier ride, so after the concert we grabbed some take-out and headed to one of Aspen’s many walking malls and plopped ourselves down to chill out and enjoy evening in town. There’s no better place to hang out and people-watch during summer.
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FamilyMall
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The next day we were up early again, and hiked up Smuggler Mt. before breakfast with our friend Sarah and her Corgi, Henry. Smuggler is an old silver mining road that’s short and steep (1.5 miles up with 1,050 ft. of elevation), and it’s a staple for locals. It’s a great go-to run or hike when you want a good workout, but don’t have much time. Our daughter was a trooper on this steep ascent, and was especially happy to have Henry and Sarah to distract her from her tired legs and burning lungs.

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The view at the top always makes the effort worth it…Aspen Mountain and the town below.
OverviewAspen
When we got to the top, Sarah encouraged us to continue on and do the Hunter Creek Loop. Love her enthusiasm! It was a wonderful hike–another 4.5 miles. The sign below warned of mountain lions, but hikers we passed along the way let us know about a bear they’d seen nearby–a very common thing in Aspen.
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PaintbrushHunterCreek

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After our hike, we headed to Peaches Cafe for a well-earned lunch and a much-needed iced latte. FYI the quinoa bowl at Peaches is to die for. Then we swung by the Aspen Art Museum, which has a killer view of Aspen Mountain from its rooftop cafe.

ArtMuseumSculptures
Then it was time to swim! I hadn’t done a swim workout in a week so I knew I needed to get my butt back in the water. There are multiple pools in Aspen, but I opted for the hotel pool, which was convenient (and free).
PoolHotel
OMG, I thought running at altitude was challenging. I was completely unprepared for how hard swimming felt. After four lengths of the pool, I thought my lungs were going to blow. If there’s a will, there’s a way, though. I kept at it for another 20 minutes before I finally called it for the day. Short and sweet. Fortunately, only Olivia was there with me to hear me gasping for air. Ha ha. And then there was the jacuzzi afterward. Aaaah.
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The one thing I was extremely happy about on this vacation is that my coach, Matt, gave me a general overview of what he’d like me to accomplish while in Aspen, but kept it open so I could take my family’s plans/ideas into account. They were more than supportive of all my training on this trip, but I always made sure to keep it in balance. After all, the point of a vacation is to spend time together, right?

Check back tomorrow to see what the rest of the week looked like. It involved my longest ride, several runs, and another gorgeous hike with the family.

Until then…Happy Trails
xo Becky

PS: As always, if you missed any of my previous posts about Ironman training, you can click on the links below:

Kicking off My Journey to Ironman Arizona
Week One of Ironman Training: Believe
Week Two of Ironman Training: The Power of Friends
Week Three of Ironman Training: I Think I Can
Week Four of Ironman Training: Progress
Week Five of Ironman Training: Wind at my Back (and Front) and Peeps by My Side
Week Six of Ironman Training: Baking a Cake
Week Seven of Ironman Training: Courage
Week Eight of Ironman Training: It’s All About the Base
OMG, You did WHAT?! (AKA Sleep Deprivation + Training = Embarrassing Moments)
Week Nine of Ironman Training: Growing Pains
Week Ten of Ironman Training: Trust
Week Eleven of Ironman Training: Speedbumps and Breakthroughs
Week Twelve of Ironman Training: A Bundle of Sticks Can’t Be Broken
Week Thirteen of Ironman Training: Spring!

Week Fourteen of Ironman Training: Rollercoaster
Week 15 and 16 of Ironman Training: Staying Happy and Healthy

Week 17 and 18 Ironman Training: Inspiration and Purple Rain
Weeks 19 through 21 of Ironman Training: Transitions

Week 22 and 23 of Ironman Training: Holy Epicness…Julie Moss
Week 24 of Ironman Training: Consistency is the Key
Week 25 of Ironman Training: Embracing New Challenges
Week 26 of Ironman Training: Hills, They’re What’s for Breakfast, Lunch, and DinnerWeek 27 of Ironman Training: Taking This Show on the Road (Tri-cation!)

Week 27 of Ironman Training: Taking This Show on the Road (Tri-cation!)

As you know, life doesn’t stop when you’re in the throes of Ironman training. It’s summer, baby, so this family took off on an epic 16 day road trip to the Rockies! I had every intention of blogging each day while we were there, but I quickly discovered there weren’t enough hours in the day to write, train, be fully present with my family, and enjoy our time in Aspen. Soooooo….here’s a recap.

First of all, packing for a tri-cation is anything but simple. I thought I took a lot of gear on last summer’s run-cation, but whoa Nelly, our little Prius was packed to the gills. Then there was the bike, which we strapped on to the back of our car. Thankfully, I have a supportive family who understands all the crap important items I need to bring for training.

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We left Santa Barbara on July 1st and drove to Las Vegas, about 5 1/2 hours away. Vegas is not my cup of tea at all, but it’s a convenient stopping place, and our daughter loves it (for some unknown reason). We plopped ourselves in the middle of this concrete, high-rolling freak show (did I mention not my cup of tea), which was 111 degrees when we arrived, and settled in for the evening.

Hotel
Thankfully the hotel and pool are enough to entertain our sweet girl, so that’s what we did. Not a workout by any stretch of the imagination, but crazy people-watching and cooling off before having dinner and crashing for the night.

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Bringing the bike was kind of a pain in the ass, but Olivia was always happy to help, no matter how many sideways glances we received as we pushed Lucy through hotels.

As you can imagine, this mama was super excited to leave Vegas the next day. Our plan was to stop at a couple national parks on the way to Aspen (much more my cup of tea), but we were so busy before we left, scrambling to get everything packed, organized and buttoned up, that we didn’t do much research. We’d originally planned to swing by Zion National Park, but a friend reminded us that it would be miserably hot in July, so we altered that idea and opted for Bryce Canyon. With its higher altitude, it would likely be cooler. In addition to Bryce, I also pushed to throw in Grand Staircase Escalante Monument, since it was nearby, and I’d seen a ton of eye-popping images of it over the years.

Sooooo…we set off for Kanab, Utah, which Google said was only three miles away from Grand Staircase.

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RoadTripUtah
People, I’m hear to tell you…NEVER believe what Google says without doing your own “real” back-up research. It turns out Grand Staircase Escalante Monument isn’t 3 miles away, but 1 1/2 hours away from Kanab, and after driving for many hours, and arriving at Kanab in the late afternoon, we weren’t excited about adding a 3-hour round trip to the day. We quickly nix’ed the Grand Staircase idea and simply strolled around Kanab, which took about 5 minutes.

When you’re annoyed by your own stupidity, what else can you do but go for a run, right? I headed toward the mountains and quickly came upon Squaw Trail with Utah’s famous red rocks. It didn’t take long before I felt like this little side trip was more than worthwhile.

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SquawTrailSignKanabRedRocks

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It was a perfect run to set my happy vibes in motion. Olivia joined me for my final mile in town too, which was fun…

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Kanab…what can I say? Sleepy and charming…

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with a wonderful camera shop, which my husband and daughter explored while I was running…

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and one REALLY great restaurant, the Rocking V Cafe.

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The Chicken Escalante was to die for, as was the wine and homemade bread.

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The next morning, we made a family decision to bypass Bryce Canyon all together and head straight to Aspen. We were most excited about getting to the mountains and we knew we could always hit Bryce on the way back if we were still inspired.

We arrived in the late afternoon on the 3rd, strolled around town and drank in the beauty of our old stomping grounds. No matter how many years we’ve been away (10 years already), Aspen will always still feel like home to us. As we say, there’s magic in these mountains. The rich green color was such a contrast to our drought-stricken California, not to mention the crisp, clean air, and deafening blue sky. Aaaaaah.

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After a yummy dinner, Olivia and I ventured over to the base of Aspen Mountain so I could sign up for the Boogie’s Buddy 5-mile race, which was taking place the next morning. This race is a fundraiser for the Buddy Program and the course is always a good challenge. I knew coming from sea level to 8,000 ft. would make it even more “exciting.”

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In the morning, after a mile and a half warm-up with strides, I met my dear friend, Sarah, at the start of the race. Sarah is an awesome athlete who is always up for adventures.

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I have to admit, I was already winded from my warm-up, so I was happy the first two miles took us down the Rio Grande Trail, a gorgeous, gently sloping bike path that follows the Roaring Fork River. But then we turned onto Cemetery Lane and headed up the hill. Boom. That was all it took to turn my sea level legs to lead. Fortunately, I spotted an old friend, Curt, who was cheering and ringing his cowbell near the top of the hill, which helped me lift my feet a little higher. Then we went down and back up another hill, then meandered through the West End where Sarah’s son, Spencer, and husband, Richard, were volunteering and cheering us on. So sweet.

As you can imagine, I was happy to log this race in the books. Even though it kicked me in the butt, it was a fantastic way to start the 4th of July. Booyah! I think my finish time was 46:something. Ha ha. High altitude training was officially underway. Got oxygen?

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After the race, it was time to enjoy Aspen’s quintessential small town 4th of July Parade, which was a mix of kids on bikes, people walking goats and alpacas, floats, horses, military veterans, a plethora of firetrucks, political statements, irreverence, and lots of candy throwing and water fights (no drought here!).

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After the parade we zipped down to visit our friends, Tom and Lindy, who live in a beautiful house along the river in Woody Creek.

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Later in the evening, we enjoyed a fantastic al fresco dinner with our friends, Sarah, Richard and Spencer, and Sarah’s parents, Kathy and Dave (sadly no picture–we were too busy catching up). Then the grand finale, fireworks over Aspen Mountain. There was no better way to cap off our 4th of July.

Fireworks
High altitude training kicked into full gear the next morning, when I rode 47 miles with nearly 3500 ft. of elevation. Since this blog post is already looooong, I’m going to break it down into several posts. Check back tomorrow and see what fun was in store! I venture off to one of my all-time favorite places.

Until then….Happy trails…
xo Becky

PS: As always, if you missed any of my previous posts about Ironman training, you can click on the links below:

Kicking off My Journey to Ironman Arizona
Week One of Ironman Training: Believe
Week Two of Ironman Training: The Power of Friends
Week Three of Ironman Training: I Think I Can
Week Four of Ironman Training: Progress
Week Five of Ironman Training: Wind at my Back (and Front) and Peeps by My Side
Week Six of Ironman Training: Baking a Cake
Week Seven of Ironman Training: Courage
Week Eight of Ironman Training: It’s All About the Base
OMG, You did WHAT?! (AKA Sleep Deprivation + Training = Embarrassing Moments)
Week Nine of Ironman Training: Growing Pains
Week Ten of Ironman Training: Trust
Week Eleven of Ironman Training: Speedbumps and Breakthroughs
Week Twelve of Ironman Training: A Bundle of Sticks Can’t Be Broken
Week Thirteen of Ironman Training: Spring!

Week Fourteen of Ironman Training: Rollercoaster
Week 15 and 16 of Ironman Training: Staying Happy and Healthy

Week 17 and 18 Ironman Training: Inspiration and Purple Rain
Weeks 19 through 21 of Ironman Training: Transitions

Week 22 and 23 of Ironman Training: Holy Epicness…Julie Moss
Week 24 of Ironman Training: Consistency is the Key
Week 25 of Ironman Training: Embracing New Challenges
Week 26 of Ironman Training: Hills, They’re What’s for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Week 25 of Ironman Training: Embracing New Challenges

I’m now well into my sixth month of training for Ironman Arizona, and the one thing that remains constant is that every week there’s a new challenge to embrace. Sometimes it’s physical, sometimes mental, sometimes logistical. Figuring out ways to take on these challenges head on and overcome them is one of the many reasons this Ironman journey is so gratifying.

This week my biggest challenge was staying consistent with my training while doing a road trip to Palm Springs where we visited Jeffrey’s parents for Father’s Day weekend. On the surface that might not sound terribly difficult, but between heat, sleep deprivation, and battling to maintain healthy nutrition, it all added up to being a whopper.

We packed up Saturday morning and hit the road, only to be stuck in horrible traffic from the get-go. After about an hour we realized that at the rate we were going it would take us 6-7 hours to get there instead of 3 1/2 to 4, so we turned around and came home.

Sunday morning we got up super early and tried again, hitting the road before most people were awake. I had a short 40 minute run on my training schedule, so I got that done at 5:30 before loading up the car.

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After the initial pain of getting up, I love early morning runs. They stretch me in all the best ways.

It was wonderful to spend time with Jeffrey’s parents, but like many parts of the country, Palm Springs was in the middle of an insane heatwave the entire time we were there…

TemperaturePS

Although frying our noggins in the heat was often unpleasant , it gave me the perfect opportunity to do some warm weather training (cup is always half full, right?). Absurd, I know, but I do believe it was good for me. If it happens to be hot in Arizona on race day, I’ll know I have at least trained a little in those conditions. And of course, it’s also important to embrace the challenge of being uncomfortable during this whole process. After all, going 140.6 miles in one day is bound to be uncomfortable at times.

Here are a few snaps from my sizzling morning run. It was already 95 degrees at 6:30 am.

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Sucking it up, Buttercup, and getting it done with a little 6.2-mile jaunt.

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This was my reward…a “special delivery” iced latte from my peeps and a dip in the pool.

After my morning run, a few hours later it was time to hit the pool for my swim workout. Palm Springs has a beautiful Olympic-size pool, and I had the luxury of having an entire lane to myself. So nice, even if it had reached 118 degrees by then.

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I swam 3275m with a 1000m time trial and 10 x 50 m with hand paddles…actually 11 because I lost count. My pace was a tiny bit slower than usual, but I’m chalking it up to the affects of my morning run and perhaps being a little dehydrated. There are no bad training days though. I got it done, enjoyed much of the process, and feel fortunate that this awesome pool was available; otherwise I’d be swimming endless laps in my in-laws’ backyard kidney shaped pool. And yes, I’m sporting 5,000 lbs. of sunscreen. I also wore a protective sun shirt a bit later too.

118Degrees

The last night we were there, when we returned from a delish dinner at LuLu’s, the skies grew smoky, an eerie reminder of wildfire potential. We had just left a wildfire near Santa Barbara and now there were some burning near LA. It’s going to be a long summer.

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After packing up and heading home the next day, I was never so grateful to run in our cooler coastal weather when we arrived home. As the fog started rolling in, I logged 5 miles blissful miles along the beach. Aaaaaah.

I was also extremely happy to eat “normal,” healthy food again. My husband spoils me terribly, making me a Breakfast of Champions every morning: oatmeal with fresh fruit, almonds and peanut butter. How did I get so lucky?

Breakfast

Yesterday’s new challenge was doing a blood lactate threshold test on the bike. You may remember I did one on the treadmill at The Lab in early March (click HERE if you missed it). This new test is meant to help assess where I’m at with my fitness and indicate what heart rate zones I should aim to train in on the bike and run. The test comprised a 10-minute warm-up, then while keeping my cadence consistent at 85 rpms, increasing resistance every three minutes, pedaling until I could no longer keep the pace. At the same time my heart rate was logged, my finger was pricked to draw a blood sample, and I was asked to express my perceived rate of exertion on a scale of 6-20. It was all very cool, and tough at the end when my mind wanted to keep going, but my legs and lungs were screaming to stop. Thanks to Bentley Nunes from The Lab and Bruce Davis and Matt Tague from Hazard’s for making this a great experience, even when it became a sufferfest.

LactateThresholdTest

Bentley taking a blood sample while I spin.

After my test, I went for a half hour jaunt along the waterfront…a little shake-out run…so nice…I love this town.

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Running in my rabbit duds. Love my “bunny hop” tank. www.runinrabbit.com #borntorunfree

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Here’s what this week’s training schedule looks like:
Monday: Run 1 hour, Swim 3275 m
Tuesday: Core, Run 45 minutes
Wednesday: Bike 75 minutes
Thursday: Lactate threshold test, Run 30 minutes
Friday: Swim 3100y, Bike 1 hour
Saturday: Bike 90 minutes, Run 75 minutes
Sunday: Bike 4 hours with climbs, Run 25 minutes

It’s hard to believe it’s Friday already! I’m looking forward to some longer workouts this weekend, ones that will continue to challenge me and push me to grow. And in case you think all I do is train, here are a couple snaps from the week that prove otherwise. It’s all about balance. My daughter and her friend begged me to go boogie boarding with them on Wednesday. How could I resist these two?

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And yesterday my husband I celebrated our wedding anniversary with some bubbles and a picnic at the Rose Garden. It’s the little things. Seriously.

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Parting thought…as I sign off, I wanted to share something I saw the other day on the Women for Tri Facebook page. This just made me laugh. I think we can all apply this as we get pumped up for the day . 🙂

AdorableBadass
Thanks to all of you, my adorable badass friends and family, for coming along on this Ironman journey with me. Your support is like the caffeine in my morning cup of joe. It doesn’t get any better.

xo Becky

As always, if you missed any of my previous posts, you can click on any of the links below:

Kicking off My Journey to Ironman Arizona
Week One of Ironman Training: Believe
Week Two of Ironman Training: The Power of Friends
Week Three of Ironman Training: I Think I Can
Week Four of Ironman Training: Progress
Week Five of Ironman Training: Wind at my Back (and Front) and Peeps by My Side
Week Six of Ironman Training: Baking a Cake
Week Seven of Ironman Training: Courage
Week Eight of Ironman Training: It’s All About the Base
OMG, You did WHAT?! (AKA Sleep Deprivation + Training = Embarrassing Moments)
Week Nine of Ironman Training: Growing Pains
Week Ten of Ironman Training: Trust
Week Eleven of Ironman Training: Speedbumps and Breakthroughs
Week Twelve of Ironman Training: A Bundle of Sticks Can’t Be Broken
Week Thirteen of Ironman Training: Spring!

Week Fourteen of Ironman Training: Rollercoaster
Week 15 and 16 of Ironman Training: Staying Happy and Healthy

Week 17 and 18 Ironman Training: Inspiration and Purple Rain
Weeks 19 through 21 of Ironman Training: Transitions

Week 22 and 23 of Ironman Training: Holy Epicness…Julie Moss
Week 24 of Ironman Training: Consistency is the Key