I spent the week visiting friends in Denver, but I forgot to take my cable to upload photos so I couldn't post anything while I was on vacation so here's a week's worth of riding and running in one shot....

I drove out last Sunday and - not being sure of the we
ather - I took tons of winter gear - snow shoes, hats, lobster gloves.... But it was in the 50s and 60s the whole time so I spent the week cycling and running (in shorts).

Since I was doing the drive alone, I picked up a bunch of new CDs to pass the time...every road trip I've taken, there's been a song or band that would later remind me of that vacation. Drops of Jupiter by Train was on the radio a lot a few years ago so that reminds me of driving to Colorado. This time
it's Kings of Leon (thanks Toby for introducing me to them)...

That song was playing as I drove away and started my journey home. I left great weather and drove into freezing rain. It took 2 days to get home.

Day 1, I biked into Denver with Dave on the bike path. They have a great path out there - no streets to cross. That's a picture of the park we biked to. You can see the mountains in the background and off to the right is REI - the mother ship.

After that ride, I ventured out on my own for a few more miles. It was a simple ride - down 100th, left on Riverdale, turn around at the end of Riverdale and come home.

I could instantly tell I wasn't used to the elevation. My HR was hovering between 90% and 98% of my max HR. I started to get used to it a bit and a HR of 92% started to feel relatively comfortable. Riverd
ale is pretty flat and I had a crosswind. I don't get to ride on many roads that go on forever like this so it was pretty fun to just get in my drops and ride. The total ride was almost 22 miles and I averaged 20.4 mph. Total for the day was 47 miles. Then I went out for a 3 mile run, which was really tough, but I had a good case of cabin fever.

Riverdale Road

The next morning, I went to the gym with Jean and let her trainer beat me up. I would've been much better off if they weren't doing legs that day. That workout was brutal and my legs were shaky for the majority of it. That put a hurtin on me so I ditched the long ride I had planned and went back out on the bike path with Dave again.

Wednesday my legs were okay....sore, but not too bad, so I mapped out a 44 mile
ride. I forgot that some roads in CO aren't paved....

Then it got worse....

This road was rough, and I hit it at about 20 mph and almost went down. This went on for a few miles until I hit one of the crappiest small towns I've ever ridden through. After that, the roads were decent.

Later in the week, Jean and Dave dropped me off in Boulder so I could ride to Lyons with all the other cyclists. Apparently this is a popular route because there were a lot of cyclists out. It's one road - Hwy 36 - all the way there with rolling hills. I had a tail/cross wind going out and it was really fast - long descent into Lyons. I maxe
d out at 48.5 mph and was cruising at 37 mph for a while. I averaged 23 mph going to Lyons....

The way back wasn't quite so easy. I had a strong headwind and plenty of climbing for the first half of the ride. I finished with an average of 19.4 so the way back was quite a bit slower...still fun though. 12 miles on one road with no stops. You don't get that in Wisconsin. It made me wish I had brought my TT bike.

After that I got in some more running and the last day Jean, Dave and I biked into Denver again and stopped at Ink (coffee shop) and watched the pups play in the park.

All total, I biked about 200 miles and ran about 15. No swimming. Other than working out, I just hung out with Jean, Dave and....

...Sadie. She's a good pup.

I also met up with a co-worker at the Handlebar and Grill - a bar and grill with cycling memorabilia hanging on the walls...pretty cool. Good burgers too.

No touristy stuff this time. I didn't even make it into the mountains because I wasn't in the mood for snow. We went to some good restaurants and explored the city a bit. It was a great break from our crappy Wisconsin winters. The next time I head out there, I may not return.

Now that it's the new year and my vacation is over, I guess it's time to get in shape and start training for tri season. Spring is just 4 or 5 months away...

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