IMCdA recovery in the mountains.


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.

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  • Reply Beth 07/15/2015 at 9:57 am

    What a fun trip!! Seems like the perfect way to recover from IMCdA. I am sure it will soon be back home and back at it for IMWI :)

    • Reply erin 07/20/2015 at 6:23 am

      It was… though it made coming home tough :) Back in full swing for IMWI! Thanks, Beth!

  • Reply Amy M. 07/15/2015 at 2:41 pm

    What a beautiful and fun trip-I’m glad you’re feeling well after your race! ps. I’m no longer amylynnruns or have the blog since I’ve learned I have a degenerative issue in my knees :( My running and triathlon dreams have come to an end, but I’m still going to be a part through announcing and volunteering. Cheers!

    • Reply erin 07/20/2015 at 6:24 am

      Oh, man… that’s such a bummer. I’m so sorry to hear, Amy :( What’s the prognosis if it’s degenerative? Don’t give up! Love that you’re involved with announcing and volunteering!

  • Reply Jessie Bohner 07/15/2015 at 8:35 pm

    Wow, yeah anything in the 50s is freezing, but it looks like you had a great trip! And um super envious you hung out with Haley Chura!

    • Reply erin 07/20/2015 at 6:26 am

      She’s awesome, Jessie! Thanks… we had a blast! It was hard to come back to reality and work!

  • Reply Erin 07/15/2015 at 8:49 pm

    I would be having total Montana envy right now, except I’ll be there in 3 weeks. I cannot wait. There’s just something about that place that makes me feel like no where else does.

    And yes! Mtn bike!!! N+1 baby!

  • Reply Monica 07/16/2015 at 9:22 am

    We’re real friends now!!! Though, of course we always were, but now Nick can’t call me fake!

  • Reply ami 07/16/2015 at 9:35 am

    Looks like you guys had a fun trip!!! You two are so active (& cute) and I want to be like that!!!! :D Teach me. xoxo!

  • Reply Danielle @ Eat Primal, Run Hard 07/17/2015 at 5:01 am

    The food, the relaxing, slow starts to the morning and all the activities – sounds like my ideal holiday! And a great way to recover from your race :)

  • Reply lisa ulrich 07/17/2015 at 6:20 pm

    Hello! Love your blog Erin, it is awesome! Thank you for the shout out :) Sounds like your recovery has gone very well and you’ll be back into training right away, it so exciting you are racing another Ironman this year! I had briefly thought about jumping into another one this summer, but nope that’s not going to happen and I’m totally okay with it. Happy Training! -Lisa

  • Reply Leslie @ TriathleteTreats 07/17/2015 at 11:37 pm

    Fun trip!! I am glad that you are taking a little time to rest and relax before you start up again!!! So awesome that you ended up stopping at the hot springs!! :)

  • Reply Kecia 07/18/2015 at 7:44 am

    What an AWESOME racecation!! I love Montana!! We stayed there for a few days on our way to CdA in 2012 and loved it!! You are VERY lucky the water in CdA wasn’t colder…in 2012, the water temp was 54F…talk about take your breath away!! Good thing I wasn’t racing that year and only spectating ;)

  • Reply Change of Pace 07/18/2015 at 3:46 pm

    Such gorgeous pictures! I’m glad you guys were able to vacation after the race. You’re right- the BEST way to beat post-race blues! And lol- love your bike math of n+1!

  • Reply Jen 07/28/2015 at 10:15 pm

    Looks perfect! And thanks for the mention FRIEND ;)

  • Reply Luv What You Do 08/02/2015 at 9:05 pm

    This looks amazing!
    Did I thank you yet for the beet powder? My brain has been all over the place these days : )
    Love seeing all of your adventures!

  • Reply ironman wisconsin 10/26/2015 at 5:00 pm

    […] recovery went well and much quicker than I expected. After a week of rest and play in Big Sky, TrainingPeaks had a full week of workouts, albeit super easy with zero watts and slow, short runs. […]

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