Monday, August 19, 2013

Back to our regularly scheduled programming

The Boulder lovefest continues...
  • I bought gas on Saturday for the first time in 15 days.  And it was 75 cents per gallon cheaper than back in California.
  • My 1 mile commute to and from work looks like this.  It's even nice when raining along the way.

  • I've ridden my bike to work nearly every day the past 2 weeks.  It's a 5 minute ride, maybe 8 minutes with red lights.  The way home can be as short as 3 minutes, all downhill :)
  • Max and Stanley are settling in well and getting used to the routine.  They do love their new park.

  • Easy afternoon rides on the bike path lead to insanely beautiful views.

  • On my early clinic days, my commute looks like this.  And it still takes under 10 minutes.

  • The boys haven't found anyone really fun to play with here yet but the dog parks are sure huge.

  • Sunsets are AMAZING.

  • Even getting caught in a rainstorm on the bike is beautiful.

  • No, really, have I mentioned the sunsets yet?

  • I was the 4th person in line at the DMV last week, 45 minutes before opening.  I got my new license in less than an hour as a result.  OK so maybe one thing Colorado could use is more drivers license offices...

  • My lab totally rocks.  I'm learning how to do so many cool things and it looks like I'm going to take on a pretty awesome project sometime soon.

  • When it's 90+ degrees out and you live next door to Boulder Creek, you take advantage.

  • Campus is a quiet place to walk at 6am on a Saturday morning.  You will see wild animals roaming around too…thank goodness my dogs aren't interested in deer and raccoons.  Boys, meet Ralphie.  Ralphie, meet the boys.

  • I spent my entire long ride this weekend with a permagrin, in awe of the mountain views.

  • I found the secret hidden pool in my lab building…it's one whole flight of stairs away and totally free.  Score!

  • I made it two whole weeks here before I got out for a trail run.  That's it, I'm never leaving.

  • I went to the farmers market this weekend with one of my fellow grad students.  OMG, everything I brought home has been to die for.  I'll be a weekly attendee until it shuts down for winter.  Beats the pants off the crappy vegetables I've gotten at King Soopers - there is something wrong when you buy stuff at 7pm and it's rotting or moldy the very next day.

  • I've got 3 different evenings lined up to do stuff with friends this week (a bike ride, a swim event, and just hanging out with dogs) - that's about 3x more stuff than I ever had with friends on any given week back home.  
And that's just the happy thoughts off the top of my head.  Yes, maybe it's lack of oxygen up here but I'm definitely giddy...

Saturday, August 17, 2013

USAT Age Group Nationals

Apparently I've told myself I can't post more about life in Boulder until I get last weekend's race report done, so let's get on with that.

Last triathlon of the season, age group Nationals - theoretically a very exciting time, except I'd had plenty of excitement for 2 weeks already with the move and the road trip and my first week of work in the lab.  So while I was looking forward to racing a big event, I was not really uber-stoked to leave town already and be in a hotel again.

That said…it was a quick trip to Milwaukee and the awesome Robyn picked me up and whisked me off to our hotel room where we chilled out with a great view of downtown.  Later in the afternoon we went over so I could do packet pickup and she could drop her bike for Saturday's race.  It was reminiscent of Ironman with the mass of people and general chaos but slightly less stressful and egotistical.

Saturday dawned bright and early for the Olympic race.  It was a blast to cheer for Robyn and our coach and Amanda!  I tried to stay off my feet and eat a lot.  Super proud of how well everyone raced.

Come Sunday it was time for the sprint championships…

Melissa and I with Julia and her friend Sarah before the start.

The waves were staged to go off one after another and we were allowed into the water just as the previous wave was going off.  All year, I've had a good long 15+ minute warmup to get ready for sprint effort and on Sunday, I just didn't get anything close.  The gun for the 35-39 women went off, I hammered the start and then…just couldn't breathe.  When my coach had said she was curious to see how the altitude at Boulder might be affecting me, I'm pretty sure this wasn't what she meant.  I tried to just swim a little slower but still my lungs just felt tight and I started to panic a little.  I ended up popping up to breaststroke for a minute before I could get down to the business of swimming but by then my draft - and my entire wave - was gone.  When the next wave's fast swimmers caught me, I was probably finally warmed up enough to go hard and I did.  But it was too little too late.

Oh well, nothing to do but put the swim behind me and jump on the bike.  I'd heard about the course from the day before and I knew to just put my head down and ride hard without worrying about power output.  I actually really loved this bike course, worked my ass off and rode a 19+ mph average.

I was a little sad to say goodbye to the bike as I was enjoying it.  But then it was time to run.  I started off at a steady fast pace and thought I'd just wait and see if I could sustain it.  As it turned out, I ran very even splits, till the pace increased at the end, for my best run leg of the year and a 5k only about a minute off my open 5k PR.

I think this photo was taken right after I'd shoved a handful of ice down my top and shorts

Thanks to Maggs for this shot of me headed to the finish

And then I crossed the finish line, Chrissie Wellington put a finishers medal on me and I promptly burst into tears.  The stress of the past couple weeks had caught up with me and I was just…done.  I found Melissa, we caught up on our races (she kicked ASS in our AG), and we shivered in the cold rain that rolled in while we waited waited waited for transition to open and get our stuff out.

For my first time at Nationals, it was quite an experience.  If I were to go again, I'd certainly hope for a little less life stress leading up to the event itself.  But I'm happy with 2/3 of my race and relieved that tri season is done nice and early for me this year.  The trip back to Boulder was unfortunately far too long, thanks to some ridiculous SuperShuttle antics, but it was good to be home.  I'm excited about my training schedule ahead and the shift in gears to run-focused training for the fall!

And NOW I can get back to the fun and excitement of life in Boulder.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


It's safe to say…it's everything I've hoped for and more.

Hiking near the Flatirons was a must-do upon arrival

I've been a bit busy settling in with the new house and starting the new job in the lab right away.  It's been exciting and exhausting and a bit overwhelming but overall I'm happy and enthusiastic.

The boys like their new park

We got out for a little hike on the weekend

And our first concert at Red Rocks

The reward for being an early riser is the sight of these Colorado sunrises

I mean, really!