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RMTC Moab Spring Training: Day Two

Day two started with....ARCHES NATIONAL PARK. Third trip to Moab, first trip to Arches. Definitely not one to miss.
Jen, Maria and I-- ready to roll!
We started behind the group and really wanted to have a chilaxing day- well, as much as you can on this ride. I warned Jen I took a lot of pictures, to which she said "I am cool with stopping for pictures." Little did she know, I don't really stop for pictures.

Now, I was told that there was 10 miles of climbing, then all was good, so when I saw the first ascent into the park, I wasn't that surprised.
Going into the park-- UP.
And more UP.
The climbing was hard (especially since I hadn't done any since last summer) but the views were AMAZING, so it made it all worth it.

After awhile, we reached Balanced Rock.
Considering this is a national treasure (and we wanted to make sure we weren't lost),
we stopped for the picture.
Shortly after, we turned off to go to the windows section.
Here there were a bunch of cool formations that were, you guessed it, windows.
 We hit ten miles and were still going up (and some down) so I realized that "it can't be all down after 10", as we were doing a 50 mile out and back-- sometimes ignorance is bliss.

From there, it was down to Delicate Arch. Evidently, you have to hike to see the delicate arch, picture. Robbed.

And then it was up, up, up to Devil's Playground.  
Again, more really cool rocks. It was here that we kinda caught up with some people and it was fun to be part of a group again. As we made our way down, up, and then down again, I tried to snap some more cool pictures. Note: The day was overcast, so these pictures don't do the scenery justice.
Looking back on Arches

Patty & Charley leading the charge home.
Kelly's favorite rocks (and Joey's IMMOO bum)
I love the mountains!

So, I thought nothing could top THAT ride. It was gorgeous and... exhausting. But I was wrong!!!

I got back to the hotel and loads of people were (a) done for the day or (b) going out for a short run. I, on the other hand, had a 90-minute run. I was supposed to do it later in the day, but I felt like if I didn't go then, then I wasn't going to go. So I refueled and off I went.

I was less than excited since my directions for the run since they had me on a paved road for most of it. Not too crazy about paved roads these days, especially in a place with so many trails. So about a mile into my run, I spotted a trail and off I went. It was pretty fun stuff and took me up a hill, then I realized I was running on private land, so I exited...before I got shot. Back on my paved road, I got a little farther and whoolah! Another trail. This one was public land and just said motorized vehicles were not to enter that way. Not a motorized vehicle, off I went!
The trail is calling me...
 Once on my trail, my mood immediately changed. It was like an adventure. Up, down, around. I saw a trail that went UP, so I took it.
"Come run up me!" this trail is shouting!
 At the top it was kind of a "make your own trail" system, so I did.
Me on top of the world... or at least on top of Moab.
 Then, for the sake of not getting lost-- or falling off-- I went back down and continued more on my designated trail till I hit 50 minutes. Sad I was heading home, I still enjoyed the views going the opposite way.
THIS is why you should come to Moab-- SO BEAUTIFUL!
I got back to the hotel absolutely DONE for the day and ready for a glass of wine. I was happy as can be for my little adventure... knowing it wouldn't be my last this weekend!

RMTC Moab Spring Training: Day One

A lot of people were curious-- Moab, again? Yes. It really has become one of my favorite places over the past two years... and I haven't even touched on all that there is to do there. It is a haven for running,  camping, atv'ing, mountain biking, sight seeing, anything. (My favorite being trail running.) My in-laws even had to come back twice within two years from Wisconsin- they loved it that much. It is gorgeous and just had my heart the first time I came with Beth and the crew.

So when my plans to race the Buffalo Run (a race I was really looking forward to on the same weekend) fell through, I asked Charley if I should do Moab. Why, of course. Yay, for me. So, here is how the weekend started off. Three girls, three bikes and one SUV FILLED with stuff.
Our smiling faces as we head off to Moab
Stoked and excited, off we went through the mountains. The plan was to get to Grand Junction and stop to ride the Colorado Monument ride there. We got there and winds were a gusting 40 mph + it was spitting some rain. Yuck. We opted for the Irish pub instead.
Lunch - done.
 As we headed out from Naggy McGee's, it had cleared up and the sun had come out. It would have been perfect for a ride, had our bellies not been filled with fried food and beer. Bummer. ONTO MOAB!

Rolling into Moab, the sun was out and we decided to hit up a ride before we even got to the hotel with Nina, Charley and Patty.

First ride was on Potash Road, just north of town. It was the perfect first ride-- a *little* protected by wind, gorgeous and no real climbing. The ideal way to get my legs under me for the weekend.
Starting off in the shadows is always kinda cool

Sun peeking out as we rode along

Probably my favorite picture of this day-- love being surrounded by God's creations!

Halfway Picture
Heading home
More fun on the bike

I was trying to get a picture of Charley, and did, kinda...

Sun setting...
The ride ended where we started and I was happy the weekend to have gotten on its way. I knew this was just a taste of what was to come and so excited about that. Despite my intense desire for a trail run, we opted for the hotel instead. We checked in, got showered, settled, had a bottle of wine and then off to meet up with the other RMTC'ers for more food and fun at McStiffs. It was the beginning to a fun weekend!

Note: as awesome as I am at taking pictures on the bike & run, I really slacked at the social photos. (ie, where is the pict of McStiffs?) Will get better at that... or maybe just *borrow* some off of Facebook?


Today was a rough day. Not necessarily because the workout was hard. Well, it wasn't easy, but I have had worse. But mentally and physically it was HARD.

It actually started yesterday with me whinging to my coach that, "could I just have a rest day and do my run on Wednesday". To which he said I could have my rest day on Wednesday, but he really wanted me to run and swim tomorrow (which is today). OUCH! I wasn't sure I even had it in me to run (tired legs), and he wanted me to swim and run. But, I sucked it up. I felt like I pleaded my case, but at the end of the day, I hired him for a reason, so I should listen to what he says. So I did.

The swim was actually pretty nice. I had a good workout that worked my endurance without taxing my legs too much. Then I hopped in the hot tub and did some stretching.

In the afternoon, I set out for my run. From the beginning I knew it would be hard. I literally ran out of the house, down the street, turned around, ran back in the house, grabbed my phone and told Ross, "I better take this in case you have to come get me", and off I went. And here is where everything that could go wrong did.

Nutrition. Lately, I have been experimenting with different foods on the run. So today it was peanut butter on tortillas cut up into pieces. I had one bite right as I was heading out the door, just for a taste. What a mistake. 10 minutes in I was nauseous... and I stayed that way for the next 15 miles. When I took in water, it only made me want to yak more. Great.

Wind. It was horrible, in your face, whipping around you type of wind that is relenting. Gotta love Springtime in Colorado.

Tired. Just plain old legs-not-feeling-so-snappy. On top of that, my heart rate was pretty elevated at a slow pace and I felt like I am working too hard to be going this slow.

But, here's the kicker. I got her done. That's what I needed to do. I suffered through. Not every day is going to be peaches and roses. Today certainly wasn't. I was spent, tired and pretty miserable for a good part of 2.5 hours. It stunk. BUT,  as a good friend told me last year --
"It's those bleep-bleep, long training days that pay dividends on race day. "
And I don't doubt it is true. I had plenty of those long training days and my results come race day were exactly what I wanted them to be.

So here are things to remember in the middle of a hard training day if you start to doubt yourself/your fitness/your training/your ability to complete your race (I've doubted them all):
- You (hopefully) will not be experimenting with anything new on race day.
- Use this experience so in the future, you can say to yourself "I've run x miles on more tired legs than this, I can do this."
- You will have adrenaline on your side on raceday.
- You (may) have altitude (or lack of) on your side.
- Whatever adverse conditions you are experiencing, remember they only make you stronger.
- You will not be swimming/biking/running/whatever on a tired body on raceday (like you most likely are in training). You will have tapered. You will be rested. You will be strong.

Here's to one TOUGH training day in the books. Looking forward to a glass (or bottle) of wine tonight and a well-deserved rest day tomorrow.

Back in the tri life again...

Something weird happens in winter. The days get shorter. The workouts change... and sometimes cease to exist. A lot of people disappear. Taken to the inside by the weather, family, holidays, etc. As the new year kicks off, some people start coming out of the woodwork and by March, well, by golly, it seems like everyone is raring to go.

So, with the start of March, comes the Rocky Mountain Tri Club kickoff. Ross and I joined the RMTC when we first started triathlon. 2 years ago this week, in fact. It has served as an endless resource for information, discounts, support, coaches, advice, workouts and training partners. Oh, yes, and friends. Over the years (all 2 of them), we have gained so much from the club and made relationships that are priceless (can you say IMMOO crew?).

Joey & Kelly & me-- we can't wait for Moab!
Matt & Ross catch up
Michelle & Molly modeling the new RMTC shirts
Elizabeth is still not used to my incessant picture taking
 With Spring right around the corner, it seems like everyone is up for working out and I am excited for my "new" schedule. After training primarily by myself (or with Ross) for... years, I am excited about the fact that I will now be doing some of my workouts with others.

Among other things, my new schedule includes:
Mondays-- hills with Tawna! Any other takers on hill repeats in the A-town???
She will keep me in check. (We may be dressed a little differently come Monday.)
Tuesdays-- HRCA Tri-masters.
I tell you, if there is one thing that gets you out of the bed at 4:40
in the morning, it is meeting these fools in the water.
Thursdays-- Distance with my tri-nutty buddies
The comedic value of these friends will make the time go faster. Or so I am hoping.

Sundays-- Runners Roost runs (from the Aurora store). 
Getting ready to run on a Sunday morning with our fearless leader, Keith, making announcements ahead of time.
On top of that, the kids have expressed wanting to do yoga with us. They last about 5 minutes, but it is still fun to include them.
H & L practicing their tree pose

So, as the winter goes away and training picks up, I am excited to not be going it alone. As some of you know, after IMMOO, I lost my training partner. Yes, Ross has retired from IM training until... further notice. Rest assured, he is still partaking in a number of activities-- bowling, beer-making, biking, to name a few. I still have his devoted love and support, although I don't have him to suffer through with me on the long days. For that, I am now depending on you all. :)