As hot as IRONMAN Coeur d’Alene was, I reminded myself often throughout the race to not wish it away (thank you for that nugget, Nanette!). Regardless, the race flew by and we were onto the race-cation and recovery in Montana. Taking a week off after was the best way to not only recover, but to combat the post-race blues. I’m certain they would have been worse had we come straight home to Minnesota. Mountains are a good distraction (especially when the race doesn’t turn out the way you wanted)!
With that, the highlights…
Turning “fake friends” (what Nick calls my social media friends) into real friends! After months of chatting about life and triathlon almost daily, Monica and I finally met. You know when you haven’t seen a good friend for awhile and you pick up right where you left off? Yep, that. Grateful to call her a friend and for all her generous hospitality while we were in CdA!
Monica and I at bike check-in.
Lucky me also got to meet Sam (and her pup, Mimi!) and Doris at the race expo as well as race with Coeur Sports teammate Lisa (she crushed it! And, super random, she swam with one of my dear friends when they were in high school). After the race, I caught up with my Canadian friends, Christine and Liz, over Mexi Coke, and the next day, with Jen over coffee at Vault. I’m so glad all of our paths crossed!
Can we all please agree to live in the same location (preferably the pacific northwest) so we can hang out and swimbikerun all day?!
Liz, Christine and I celebrating with Mexi Coke.
Nick and I stayed in CdA through Tuesday morning to get our vehicle fixed (new cylinder coil and spark plugs) before heading east to visit friends in Missoula. We caught up over dinner and continued the conversation in their backyard (light until well after 10p!), where I relaxed in a hammock.
Nick was up bright and early Wednesday to mountain bike – I slept in obviously – before we hit the road, and Rocket Coffee, late morning for Big Sky.
We took the beautiful road less traveled, winding through the Tobacco Root Mountains, Madison River Valley, and Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park. About halfway there, we drove by Norris hot springs and though it sounded neat, we kept driving… for a couple miles before we turned around. Because vacation! It was well worth the detour. We soaked for about a half-hour in the 100F water (as if the race wasn’t hot enough, right?!) and made friends with a true hippie couple.
We arrived in Big Sky midday and met up with my parents at the condo before going back down the mountain to the farmers market. We wandered around for awhile before meeting up with Nick’s friend Shane for pizza at Ousel & Spur (the Montanan with elk sausage!).
I have no problem being lazy and sleeping in, but by midday on Thursday, I was itching to move my body. Going from 100 to zero is tough! So, we hiked! The way up wasn’t so bad and the views from the top made the descent (a steep blue square ski route) and sore glutes well worth it.
Friday brought another lazy morning before meeting up for coffee with Haley – so much fun to chat life and triathlon! – while Nick
held on for dear life as he chased Tim up and down the mountain via bike. All my fingers are crossed that Haley snags a Kona spot in the rankings!
We topped off the day and our stay in Big Sky with a mountain bike ride along the Spanish Peaks flow route with Shane. I have no problem bombing down a mountain at 45mph on my tri bike, but wow, through the woods on a mountain bike is a different story. I was terrified and became fast friends with the disc brakes. By the time we were halfway down, I was much more comfortable and thoroughly enjoying winding through the woods along the Gallatin River. I may need to add a new bike to the collection… because n+1 is the magic bike number, right?!
And, right before we packed up to make the trip east on the Fourth, a quick swim in the lake at Big Sky. Er, well, I lasted a whopping 75 yards. It was FREEZING… maybe 55-57F? After a bit of panicking and my heart rate skyrocketing, I decided it wasn’t worth it, so I got out (Nick managed 1,000 yards!). Thank goodness CdA wasn’t that cold!
Solo swim under Lone Peak.
How we spent the Fourth… road tripping east across Montana.