Friday, July 22, 2011

Running at Altitude

I've always prided myself on knowing that most of my runs take place around the 6000 foot mark where my home sits. Denver may be the Mile High City, but I know that unlike most of the city, in Parker I'm always running higher. As a result, when I go somewhere to do a race--even to Boulder, I'm always competing at a lower altitude.

Well today, none of that meant squat. I did a six mile run here in Red Feather Lakes where the minimum elevation was 8200. In addition, hills here in the mountains are, well, mountains!

My parents home up here is surrounded by some particularly steep hills and with the Streak just over a week away, I wanted to avoid anything that would break me down too much. So I drove a few miles down the road to a local elementary school and parked there to start out.

The terrain was variable. I began running on the shoulder of a paved road like this one:

but I also spent more than half of it on dirt roads like this:

By the time I got to less than two miles to go, I was feeling it. In addition to thin air and hills, it was also pretty warm for the mountains, a little under eighty as I ran about. Jumping into a lake like this sounded pretty good.

Yes, that's my finger in the frame. Like I said, I was feeling it.

It was a slow day. I didn't have my HR monitor (I was using a borrowed Garmin FR205) but I worked hard not to exert myself too much. I just wanted to burn off some calories and stay ready. 

I was pretty spent afterwards. But with scenery like this, it's also hard to complain. I've not been a big fan of the weather here in Colorado lately (I did not even try going to Tuesday's Aquaman because the lightning was so bad), but today made me appreciate what a I great place I live in.

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