Deciding to stay in Boulder was a no brainer this year. Despite cold temperatures and wind that Boulder can encounter, we felt like the best decision for us was to stay in Boulder this winter. There are lots of reason that we decided to NOT pack up and head south for the winter. But our primary reasons are our Senior cat, Frisco and Senior Dog, Blue. Senior pets are tough at times, emotionally. At 14 years old, Blue is in good health, however, he is has his senior days…which means he has days that he isn’t quite himself. Last year while in Austin, he did not do well. He had a lot more bad days than good days. Finding a vet there was a bit traumatic for all of us. We have had some bad health scares concerning our 15 year old cat that usually stays in Boulder with a house sitter while we are away for our 5 month stints. While he is feeling much better now after a few surgeries, it didn’t feel “right” to pack up and leave again.  I would have never forgiven myself if he passed on to kitty heaven while we were away.

Big Frisc

We Lovato’s have been very lucky by picking this year as the year to stay put. Boulder has been blessed with a rather mild winter. December only saw a few coldish days with some snow around Christmas time. If you ask me, snow at Christmas is perfection!

January brought a bit of wind, snow, and lots of sun…I find that the sun makes a world of difference, especially at altitude. We spent a little time on our trainer and treadmill, but it wasn’t daunting or mentally tough. We had enough nice days to break those indoor days up a bit. In January, we were lucky enough to be invited back to Pucon for the 70.3 which was a nice break from the cold and a nice opportunity to get a little boost in fitness, despite me having a craptastic race.

405538_329105577122242_120371851328950_1149156_946395529_n

So far February has encountered record mile per hour WINDS which knocked out our power, quite a bit of snow, AND it has been pretty darn cold. I really can’t complain, however, as I have only been in Boulder about 6 days of February. :)

My long time good friend, Kim Loeffler, invited me for a 2 week training block in Florida with her coach Lisa Bentley, to soak up some rays while enjoying some awesome outdoor riding, swimming long course meters, and running trails through gorgeous orange groves.

I had mixed feelings about going. My training had been going very well in Boulder. Michael and I have surrounded ourselves with awesome training partners and friends. Despite cold temps, the wind, etc, Michael and I have had solid and consistent training. Best of all (knocking on wood right now), I have not been sick since 2010. For me, this is HUGE!

There was a bit of risk doing a training camp in Florida. There was the risk of getting Kim’s nasty cold. There was the risk of overtraining myself. And there was the risk of becoming incredibly homesick.

However, the promise of sun, warm weather, swimming long course meters, and having an awesome girlfriend like Kim to train with outweighed all of the risk.

Long Course meters!

However, in order to minimize all of the risk, I entered our Florida training camp with a smart plan and I really did follow it. I didn’t overstretch myself. I didn’t treat training like races. I didn’t overdo coffee. When in doubt, I called ML to discuss some workouts.

Kim and I had an awesome two weeks of training together. Not only do I love Kim as a person and friend, but we are truly great training partners who respect each other,  push each other and try to bring out the best in each other. Kim is one tough, hard working, east coast girl and I love that about her. I really think that we both got a nice fitness boost out of the “camp”.

One integral part of my camp with Kim was having Kim’s coach, Lisa Bentley at workouts. Lisa is one of the most passionate, enthusiastic, and inspiring coaches that I have ever encountered. She demands professionalism, and hard work. She puts so much of herself into Kim’s program. I know that she takes Kim’s success as well and downfalls as her own. She really cares about Kim. While I could tell that Lisa and Kim had a special bond, I never felt left out.  At each and every workout, Lisa coached me as much as she coached Kim. I am so appreciative and grateful for her support and feedback during that two week block. I’m not sure I could have gotten through some of those hard workouts with out her positivity and gentle toughness! Lisa is an incredible coach! I hope she does some pro camps in the future. She has an innate ability to coach, especially professionals. She gets it.

The hardest part of the two week training camp was getting home sick and missing ML and my furries. By Day 13, I felt myself getting a little bitchy, tired, and really missing ML 3hours into a 5 hour ride. Ugh I hate it when I get bitchy. I apologized like crazy to Kim. Lucky for me, I have an awesome friend who just rolls with it. Like I said, Kim is real BFF!

Check out what ML sent for Valentines day:

Kim’s husband was sweet enough to send something to share. Thanks Brian!!!

In my two week training camp, I went through 2 containers of Lemon Lime EFS, 4 gel flasks, and god only knows how many energy bars/candy bars. By the end of two weeks, I am a efficiently burning everything that I am putting into my body. LOL! My GI has never been better…

Sad to leave Kim, but happy to come home, I’m back into my regular routine of training. ML is leaving for his training camp in California on Monday.

Team Lovato has some cool things coming up in the near future. Look for us racing San Juan 70.3 March 18th!

In the meantime, I’ll be training happy…and healthy!!