This morning, I handed my ego to the mountains with a sweaty, tired hand.
I had no idea what to expect; with two runs under my belt since our arrival (four days ago), I only knew this would be much harder than my lungs were ready for. Each 5-miler was doable, but the “easy” pace I’m used to doesn’t feel so when Oxygen is available in limited amounts.
That being said, I was lucky to have these three things with me at all times: D, water, and a view of the mountains.
I packed two experimental snacks; if you’ve been here for a while, you know that eating-on-the-run is usually the biggest challenge for me during training. I’ve learned many lessons up to this point, but have yet to find that “magic fuel” (if it exists?) that works with my stomach, my taste-buds, and my energy needs.
On hand today:
I found “Bobo’s Oat Bars” at the coffee shop in Boulder yesterday, and was intrigued. It seemed small enough to carry with me, and that little guy is calorie-dense! What you see is two servings, 180 calories each. Not ideal for a everyday-snack, but perfect for getting calories in when you need them. I cut it into 4 squares, for easy eating.
Clif Shot Bloks, Lemon Lime flavor: I’ve realized that I don’t crave/enjoy “sweet” things during a run, usually Lemon/Lime lends itself to a saltier taste. I relied on that assumption, anyway. 🙂
With me: D on the bike, Water, Accelerade (one scoop in a 16 oz bottle), Snacks, Garmin, HR monitor, new Sony Walkman Runner shirt for a test-run (will be wearing on Marathon day!).
We found a trail that picks up about 1.5 mi from the house, hopping on saved me from a big hill in the early miles. Little did I know this trail would carry us towards the mountains, and help us avoid suburbia, for almost the entire run. I know where I’ll be spending my time in the coming months!
The route wove around open fields, little creeks, hotels, neighborhoods, and busy roads. Not once did we have to stop for traffic, to think about where to go, or to turn around (until it necessary). Here are a few pics (thanks, D!) to show you the view:
I turned around at 8 miles; we hit a lake and the trail seemed to dissipate unless I hopped on a nearby road. Cutting an out-and-back short is rarely a good idea, but I would’ve rather added on miles at the end, than spent 2 miles walking home with exhausted lungs and legs.
How I fueled: 2 Shot bloks at mile 6, 1/2 Bobo bar at mile 9, 2 Shot Bloks at mile 12
How I hydrated: Water every ~1-2 miles, Accelerade every ~2 miles
After 9 miles, I took 3 walk breaks (included in total time and distance) for a little rest, but mainly to try and get my HR down. After 13 miles, the “190” beats per minute were getting stubborn. The distance was wearing on me and even with “breaks”, my HR stayed above 180. I took this as a sign that my body was working hard, and I had Amy’s high-altitude warnings in the back of my mind.
In the end, we arrived back at the house with an even “16 miles” and that was all I had in me. D fed my self-confidence by saying “16 in altitude probably took the same toll on you as 18-20 would’ve at Sea Level“. True or not, that’s what I needed to hear. 🙂
16.0 miles, 2:34:04
avg 9:38 m/m, avg 180 bpm
How I REfueled: 2 scrambled Eggs, Sauteed Spinach & a Whole-wheat Pita
Add to that a LOT of water, the rest of my Accelerade (electrolytes!), and a serving of Whole-Wheat tortilla chips to satisfy my salt-tooth.
Next week, as I continue to acclimate, I plan on reinstating speed work and swapping 18 miles for the “20” on deck. Rearranging the Training Plan is no stranger here, you do what you have to do!