Monday, June 16, 2008

Altitude running

This morning I went for my first run here in beautiful Sedona, AZ. The town is at about 4300 feet above see level so it's at the lower limit of "official" altitude status. I flew in yesterday, Sunday, and I missed my long run so I decided to do it this morning.

I got up at about 7AM, later than I had hoped but the temperature was still under 80, so it was ok. I packed my 4-bottle fuel belt and left with my wife. I didn't have gatorade so I used water instead. We drove up to a hiking trail, where my wife wanted to go to a "vortex" while I was running. Today's run was 10 miles (16k).

It was hot. Perspiration evaporated immediately, so I didn't have the feeling of perspiring heavily that I get at home, but my chapped lips soon let me know that it was time to start drinking. The first 4k were on paved road, then I kept going on a unpaved road for another 4k and then turned around. Running on flats was fairly easy, but uphills were just murder. I had to breathe really fast. Same with drinking. Usually I have no problem grabbing a bottle and holding my breath a bit while I drink. Today, after my gulp of water I had to breathe heavily to pay my oxygen debt. After a while I just walked while I drank, because I was just too tired. The last 3-4k was hard. Temperatures were climbing, my water was hot and I had lost the spring in my stride.

Lessons learned:
  1. Bring Gatorade, not water;
  2. Bring chap stick
  3. Run slower
  4. Get up earlier!
After I got back to the car, I took my hat and belt off and walked around. Now the sweat kept coming. My wife was in the car, I packed my stuff and we left. I was so out of it that I left my running cap on the roof of the car. We went back later and could not find it. It is gone.

This is it for today.

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