Sunday, August 23, 2015

Freiburg: Germany Day One

I spent a long couple of days traveling to get to Germany today. Eleven hours flying and three hours on a train made up the bulk of the two days, and now I'm eight hours ahead of home, trying to get accustomed to the new time zone as quickly as possible.

Once we arrived in Freiburg, we ventured out for an easy evening on the town. Most of the shops were closed on a Sunday, but we were able to find some traditional German food and some amazing sights. It seems kind of surreal to be here, always having heard stories of this country from my family members who traveled here before. The little villages look exactly like all the pictures I've always seen, so what I have below doesn't really do it justice... But it's really exciting to see up close and personal today.

The only bad part about being here to finally see some of these buildings and churches in person is that I'm sorely missing the one person I've wanted to do this with for a long time. Hubby and I really need to get Europe on the books for a trip soon. If these small little Southwestern German towns look so cool, I can only imagine what the bigger destinations are like. Maybe we can figure that out soon, together.  <3

Birthday Weekend Activities

We had a great weekend in Colorado with the hubby's parents. We had some amazing meals around town, including one of our new favorite Mexican restaurants, CycleHops up in Longmont. We spent a day down at Red Rocks, taking a little time on the trails and checking out the amphitheater as well.

We were also able to take a trip up to Arapahoe Basin for the finish of the 2015 USA Pro Challenge Stage 2. It was a very exciting finish, with BMC coming in first and second place! The hubs and I had never had the chance to see a race at the finish line, so it was a fun, new experience. Definitely something we'd love to do again in the upcoming years.

Happy Birthday Honey!

So every year, I bake a German Chocolate Cake for my husband's birthday. I'll admit that there have been a couple of years here or there when the cake just didn't turn out well. But this year, I was really happy with the result and I think everyone else was too.

On top of that, we cooked chicken enchiladas all together in the kitchen, which also turned out pretty good! I don't have as any final pictures of the enchiladas because we devoured them too quickly... So I guess that's a testament to how they turned out?

Preparing for House For Guests

My in-laws traveled out to Colorado for the hubs' birthday this year, and I took a couple of days off work to prep the house for their stay. Among a full, long day of scrubbing and cleaning the house, I was able to finally hang some pictures and do a little decorating. Little by little, the place is coming along! Sometimes small improvements make a room feel so much more like home.

Thai Green Curry Chicken

Ok, so I'm a few weeks out from updating the blog... so let's start with the oldest missed event. The second weekend in August, we made Thai Green Curry Chicken as our cooking challenge for the week. The recipe kept calling for me to work with the "curry paste," but my curry sauce ended up more like a soup... So I'm pretty sure I did something wrong along the way. In addition, this recipe called for a lot of cilantro again, and it tasted very over-powered by cilantro. Maybe next time, I'll eliminate the water and cut the cilantro in half.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

My New Training Buddy?

In the last 13 months, the hubs has had some serious set-backs in his race season:

July 2014 - Crash at the Longmont Crit - Broken Collarbone - Out 6 weeks
March 2015 - Crash at the CSU Crit - Road Rash - Back on the Bike Next Day
May 2015 - Crash at Koppenberg Crit - Stitches in Right Shin & Broken Bike - Out 5 weeks
August 2015 - Crash at Littleton Crit - Broken Radius at the Wrist - Out TBD

With all the turmoil and trouble that has been seen in the Cat 3 field this year, it seems to be time to make an official call. Option number one is to continue with bike racing, but focus only on the year's road races. There's usually less of an issue out on the road courses, as opposed to the fast, sharp turns we see in the crit races. Option number two is to make the switch into the world of triathlon. Both options present their own sets of challenges, so we'll see where he decides to take himself in the next year. I personally think he'd be amazing in triathlon, and I'd love to have a training buddy who can help to keep me motivated to train for three different sports all the time.

In the meantime, he's in a wrist brace, and nurses his road rash every day. (I swear, I should have invested in Tagaderm a year ago!) I hate it that this kind of routine has become almost normal for us, so I'll be happy to see a healthy husband at home for more than nine months at a time. But it's also sad to think that we might be done with the road racing scene for a while. It has become a way of life, and I really enjoyed the community of it all. Maybe we'll re-visit when he's old enough to join the masters' races - less inexperience in the field and less ambition to get to the next level right away. Until then, here's hoping that we are DONE with all these injuries!

Tri Boulder Olympic Triathlon: July 26th, 2015

On Sunday, July 26th I participated in the Olympic Distance Tri Boulder race at the Boulder Reservoir. It was slated as my year's biggest race, and I was feeling super prepared, despite a weak month of training leading up to the race. Work had started to get crazy, and I was honestly burning out from months of training. On the bright side, I had been spending a lot of time at Union Reservoir, practicing my open water swimming. More than anything, all that practice gave me a bit of confidence that I'd never had before... So heading into the water wasn't the scariest thing imaginable!

My best practice swim time had been 39 minutes for 1500 meters. My best practice bike time had been 1 hour and 40 minutes for 26.5 miles. And I thought I could probably finish the 10k run in 1 hour 10 minutes after all that.

In the end, I shaved 3 minutes off my swim and 9 minutes off my bike. However, I know I should have tried to stick to my goal times, because I clearly went too hard at the beginning of my race. I ended up walking a good portion of the run, and it took me 1 hour and 15 minutes to finish that last portion. Overall, with some improvement on my transition times, I finished 3:31:07. Beat my over-all goal time by 9 minutes!!

The biggest lesson of the day was by far the difficulty of eating and drinking properly during this length of a race. I'd actually over-loaded myself on carbs and calories the days before the race, and ended up feeling too full. I also need to figure out a better race eating schedule, so that I don't have so much sloshing around in my stomach when I start the run. That was a big issue that I had, and one of the reasons I had a pretty poor run leg.

I'm still putting eyes on a Half Ironman in the next year. I have a lot to learn, so I'll probably need to make sure I do a few practice races before I get there, and figure out the nutrition piece. I also need to get back into a better training schedule, and get back to a morning work-out routine. With work always being so busy, a lunch work-out isn't always guaranteed anymore. So I guess I have to join the ranks of hundreds of other triathletes who fit in their training in the dark hours of the day...