Mild Temperatures and Masters Swimming

Dirt roads, snow-capped mountains

Dirt roads, snow-capped mountains

I must have done something to please the weather gods, because the fall has continued to be amazing. The thing that Colorado is really good at is the 30 (and sometimes even 40)-degree temperature span. These last few weeks have been mornings in the 30s and afternoons in the 60s. Save for the sun beginning to set at 4:30pm, it's basically perfect. 


I've done a few morning rides in lobster-claw gloves, and even more afternoon rides in short bibs. The afternoon sun is glorious. I've also been riding a lot of dirt, which means almost entirely empty stretches with incredible views. There are ways for cars to easily avoid these roads, so they do. Seeing the snow-capped Rocky Mountains has not gotten old. 


But, winter is coming. Ski season starts next week. The magazine that I test products for is sending me waterproof, heavy-duty gear. I should, in reality, be praying for precipitation. So I joined a US Masters Swim club. Approximately 30 people, ranging in age from 28 to 70, gather at 5:30am at a (really nice) high school aquatic center Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Some are religious about it. Others show up once a week at best. I'm averaging twice a week for now. I have to say, these folks can SWIM. I did my first 3K test and was humbled at how fast some can swim that far. I've got some new goals, for sure. 

Sky on fire, post-swim

Sky on fire, post-swim

And, it's not bad walking out into the sunrise after swimming 2-miles of drills to start the day. You get to see the sunrise, for one, and have that good-exhausted feeling going into work. If I can hang with my lane for the entire winter, I think I'll be a lot stronger come spring. And, what else is there? 


Race Report: Harvest Moon Long-Course Tri

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And so the race season comes to a close. For now. I'm endlessly thankful that I signed up for the 5430 Boulder Triathlon Series instead of an Ironman race. It was so great to have a small field with local athletes who love their community. Plus! Ironman doesn't have that sweet, sweet slip-n-slide finish! And maybe it's fitting that I completed the last race of the 5430 series in 5:43. After a 3:03 finish for the Olympic race (with tons of hills and heat) all I really wanted for the 70.3 was sub-6.


A month ago, when we were hitting the 90s each afternoon, I said I'd do anything for a race-day high of 70 and a low of 50. Yesterday was exactly that. The air temperature for the swim was 50-degrees and the water was 65. The bike was brisk and perfect. The run was warm, but not oppressive. 


The bike route was 2-loops on mostly empty country roads. 2K feet of gain over 56 miles, which I found to be perfect. Small climbs and awesome downhill rewards. The run was also 2 loops on a packed-dirt course. Around 400-feet of climb, which took its toll on me. I had to run a lot slower than I prefer, but I was thrilled with my swim and bike performance, so I can't complain too much. 

I'm stoked to rest a bit. Training up was awesome and exhausting. I've never slept better than I have over the last few months. I've also probably never eaten as much! A couple of weeks "off," then onto some trail cycling this fall!