Journey to the West

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hola from Nevada! Finally, the dust has settled from our move out west, and it’s time for a post/update!

When people hear about my decision to pursue triathlon full-time, one of their first questions is: where do I live and train?! They typically expect me to answer with Florida, Boulder, or southern California so are clearly disappointed when I respond, “South Bend in the summer and Henderson, NV in the winter!” Neither are your typical "triathlon" hotbeds, but I’ve shared my thoughts about the Bend, and now that we're in Henderson, I thought I’d share a bit of what it’s like (aka how awesome it is) to live and train here!

It was a long drive out west, particularly since I was sick for the 3 days we spent driving from SB to NV – lucky for me I had my knight in shining armor, who crushed the trip! Ad, Eth (my Prius!), and I made it through wind, rain, sleet, snow, and were only too happy when the Boulder City mountain came into sight!

Now, we’re here in our happy Team IE house, we’re healthy, and we’re workin' hard with our awesome teammates – can’t ask for too much more!

Team IE Henderson House!

Team IE Henderson House!

With some of my favorite things from my room in SB, almost anywhere can feel like home sweet home!

With some of my favorite things from my room in SB, almost anywhere can feel like home sweet home!

Team IE Henderson Selfie (Thanks for your long arm, Robby!)

Team IE Henderson Selfie (Thanks for your long arm, Robby!)

Henderson has been voted one of the best walking cities in NV, and we at Team IE can tell you why – there is an incredible network of trails that weave through the town and desert here, from paved to gravel paths, to legit off-roading, you will never get bored running here. I tend to gravitate towards flat, straight asphalt, so it’s been SO good for me to have to run on uneven surfaces. I might even say I’m coming around to liking them? (gasp!)

AM neighborhood run with the team!

AM neighborhood run with the team!

Learning to love trails and off-road adventuring! (Thanks, Ad, for the action shot!)

Learning to love trails and off-road adventuring! (Thanks, Ad, for the action shot!)

It’s been colder than usual here this winter, with lows in the 30’s in the morning and temps getting up to high 50’s if we're luckily – hopefully that will change in the coming weeks! That being said, it’s nice and dry, so 35 in NV feels a lot better than 35 in the Midwest. It’s still pretty cold on deck before morning swims at the outdoor pool though!

All smiles after a morning swim in the mist! Preparing to launch out of the pool and sprint to the showers!

All smiles after a morning swim in the mist! Preparing to launch out of the pool and sprint to the showers!

Henderson is just a few miles from Lake Mead National Recreation Area, which has incredible riding! We have yet to find a flat road anywhere in Henderson, and it’s awesome to constantly be climbing and descending with a spectacular backdrop at every turn. An uphill always seems to come just when I least want it – which, I keep reminding myself, is a good thing! (queue music in my head)

Hard to beat this scenery - so vast!

Hard to beat this scenery - so vast!

It's also just a few miles from the iconic Las Vegas Strip, which is always nice to have around when we need to blow off some steam! I've only been once - last year when Adam and I visited, and it did not disappoint! Now, I have to laugh as we're running and riding through the peaceful desert, knowing the debauchery that's going on just minutes away! Good stuff.

Scenes from last year's trip to the strip! Hopefully we have time (and energy!) to go again this year.

Scenes from last year's trip to the strip! Hopefully we have time (and energy!) to go again this year.

Moving to live near my coach in South Bend last year was life-changing. Working face-to-face with him everyday allowed us to dial in training better than we could have otherwise and the gains came quickly. But LIVING in the same house as your coach takes everything to a whole nother level!! It might not be for everyone, but I feel so lucky that he can see everything – the good, the bad, the ugly. I learn every day - from both him and my teammates - and getting feedback about my nap schedule, the amount I roll/Normatec, my post workout recovery nutrition, how I warm up for different types of workouts, etc. has empowered me to raise the bar in my physical and mental recovery and performance.

Here are a few more pics of Henderson and Team IE for your enjoyment (thanks to teammates for a couple of these pics!). Stay tuned to hear more next week about a day in the life at Team IE Henderson winter camp and, later in the month, what it means to me to be a “professional triathlete."