|After hiking up. Way up. To get a better view!|
This was mile 4-ish.
I picked up my newly purchased and altered-to-perfection dress uniform (and it's gorgeous) and found dry-cleaning services to get it completed by Wednesday evening. Then I grabbed some lunch at the D-Fac (can you believe the chow hall had humus? I was uber happy!) and decided to head to one of my favorite places I've found since arriving here: Garden of the Gods.
I've now been in Colorado Springs (elevation 6500 feet) for a little over a week. I thought it would be a relatively easy acclimation and gave myself just two days last week before going on my first run. My first run was three miles and I completed it in about 33 minutes. I was happy with that; given the altitude, I expected it to take longer than my usual time (30 minutes). Two days later I embarked on a four-mile run. LUNGS ON FIRE! That is all I can say about that run. I was only about a half-mile in to the run before I realized I was out of my league. No matter how deep the breaths, I just couldn't seem to catch my breath. My legs and arms felt like jello. Even when walking I was huffing and puffing and miserable. But I still did four miles, even though it took me 51 minutes and enjoyed the view of Cheyenne Mountain, and moved on.
Then two days later (Mother's Day!) I went on a sweet little three mile run. It was 85 degrees outside, and I had just finished day three of my long work weekend. Exhausted, I performed poorly as compared to my usual pace (39 minutes!). But, I still did it, so I moved on again.
|Still on mile 1. Check out how far out I am|
from the Garden of the Gods main area!
You can also see Pikes Peak in the background.
Here's what I've learned in one short week of living here and running:
1. Give yourself more time than you think you'll need. The altitude really does make a difference. Don't be so hard on yourself if it takes you WAY longer to do the distance that it usually would. Tell your brain to shut up! and enjoy the run and the view.
2. Hydrate. And then hydrate again. (I forgot to bring my H20 along with me, and the last 20 minutes were spent day-dreaming about a drink. Thankfully, I had a triple soy latte waiting for me in the car!)
3. It's terribly dry here. Hydrate again.
4. The sun is closer. I got sunburned AGAIN today when I thought I had done a good job covering up with a shirt. Nope. It didn't cover my neck or my forearms. Guess what got burned. Must. Buy. Sunblock.
5. Hydrate. Again.
Enjoy the photos (sorry about the quality - I only had my iPhone on me!). This place is truly amazing.
|Only about 1/2-mile to the Garden of the Gods!|
|Mile 2 complete!|
|Pikes Peak way in the background!|
|Magnificent Garden of the Gods.|
|View to Pikes Peak. I'll be trail-running the base|
of that bad boy on Thursday!
|The final mile back to my car. Paved and FLAT!|
|View from the paved trail back to the car...|
|Beginning mile 5!|