Last week we flew to Colorado to visit some friends in Boulder and visit family and snowboard at Beaver Creek. Colorado’s natural beauty is stunning but from a runner’s perspective, Colorado is a blow to the ego.
First Boulder. This place must hold the fittest population on the planet. How do I know? For example, we drive into town, the temperature is in the 20’s, ice patches dot the sidewalks and streets and within 2 minutes of entering downtown, I swear, I see seven joggers. And these aren’t your everyday joggers. These folks are tall, lean and glide with a stride learned over a lifetime of running.
I didn’t run while in Boulder, with an elevation about 5,400 feet. But I did run (just once) at Beaver Creek (elevation 8,100 ft). How tough is it to run at 8,100 feet? Several people staying at the house all commented that if you ascended the stairs faster than a slow walk, you would instantly bend over, completely out of breath. When I jogged, it was about 15 degrees but that wasn’t a problem. Most of the path was snow/ice covered but that wasn’t a problem either. The elevation, that was a problem. To avoid spending an hour struggling to suck in oxygen, I was forced to run slow, very slow.
I’d love to return to Colorado and run again. But, I wonder how long it would take me to acclimate so I could run my normal pace (8:30 per mile) instead of 11:00 per mile??