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Mile High Miles

Hello from Denver!

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I clearly have a ways to go before mastering the art of the mirror self portrait. First goal: take straight photo. 

I’m here for a work conference but staying through the weekend to play in Colorado and race the Garden of the Gods 10 Miler with my mom and brother. Adding a couple of fun days to the trip was the best plan ever, since, when I finally looked at the agenda for the trip last night, I realized we are booked from about 7am to 9pm daily. Not leaving a lot of time for exploring the city and playing in my Hokas.

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But this morning I dragged myself out of bed at some ungodly hour, that felt slightly less ungodly thanks to the time difference between DC and Colorado, to do a little bit of exploring in the running shoes.

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I’m notorious for being that girl who falls asleep before the early bird special starts on my trips to the West Coast, but I can dominate the heck out of the early morning hours.

I had done some preliminary research online to make sure there were nearby running routes that were both good for a workout and safe to hang out on in the dusk, and was pleasantly surprised when the hotel front desk even equipped me with a map to get to the closest trails. You know you’re in an athletic city when…

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Unfortunately, that’s pretty much where the convenience of the run ended. Denver had some pretty crazy thunderstorms/hail/tornado warnings last night and the path was flooded in several spots.

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I would run a few tenths of a mile, get stuck, try a different direction and get thwarted again.

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Finally, I sucked it up and forged the flooded paths and managed to find a long stretch of dry territory. You can see from the above picture of my feet that the decision was a muddy one, but luckily I had all that creek crossing experience from my ultra to get me through it.

I ran 7 slowww miles, lack of speed compliments of the altitude.

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If I needed a reality check for how low my expectations should be for Sunday’s 10 miler, then this run did the trick. Although, really, no such lesson was needed. The last month of marathon(+)s has already informed my legs that this will be a pretty dismal showing.

I’m off to immerse myself in work for several hours and work on acclimating to the thousands of feet above sea level thing.

21 Responses to Mile High Miles

  1. I really want to go to Colorado, it looks so cool – and after my DC run last weekend I’m such a fan of running to get to know new cities!!

    Good luck with the long work-days, I would die with such a packed agenda!!!

  2. Have a great run this weekend – such a beautiful setting!

  3. What shoes do you wear? The sole looks super thick!

  4. That rain looks crazy! Have fun in Denver. If I could live and work in the States, I’d choose Denver or Phoenix. I just love it there.

  5. Yeah, that storm was kind of nuts. I’m just a little north of you in Boulder, and while we didn’t have tornado warnings for our area, all of the surrounding areas including DIA and southeast Denver were under watch. We got the thunderstorms for sure, though.

    Welcome to altitude, where the motto is ‘sea level is for sissies!’

  6. I know that creek – that’s the same route we ran a few weeks ago in the Colorado Colfax Marathon!

    If you have a chance, do your best to go to Denver Beer Company. Preferably on a sunny afternoon. Awesome beers, all offered in tasting sizes if you want, and dirt cheap too!

  7. Ahh, my home town. I remember that Denver doesn’t mess around with the thunder/rain storms. But unlike Portland, it usually clears up and makes room for the sunshine to say hello. :)

  8. Yep, my homeland is high! And since I live in Seattle now, I get so freakin’ tired running (and racing) at home!

  9. Wow. Crazy flooding. Sorry you had soggy socks & shoes, but glad you got a run in.

  10. I ran Bolder Boulder about 2 weeks ago. It was the day after we arrived (after spending 4 nights in New Orleans) and it was slow – 5 min slower than my 10km PR. It was a great experience though! We’ve now been at altitude for 2 weeks and I’ve acclimatized pretty well. I having been running much though, just hiking.

    I love Colorado. If I moved to the US I’d choose to live in Boulder!

  11. Ha, you came just in time for the crazy weather! That hail was brutal!!!

    You’ll love the Garden of the Gods– it is stunning down there!

  12. Just remember that it takes deeper breaths than normal to run where you are and since the race is up another 1,000 feet, that is another atmosphere less. The more you can get into your lungs, the better off you are. It may feel funny, but as training at nearly 7,000 feet will teach you…breath deep, the try even more.

  13. Not sure where you are in Denver but there is a GREAT park with a beautiful garden and sprinklers that go on in the early AM hours and cast quite a pretty picture (fellow east coast gal who pounds early west coast pavement :)) It might be called Memorial Park….not sure though!

  14. Wait. I missed something. Why are you in Colorado? I feel like if I read your blog, I’m supposed to know everything about your plans and schedules and somehow I don’t remember the upcoming CO race.

  15. You are actually pretty super cute in your cockeyed picture :)

    Have a great time running all the way up there! And I totally want to pick your brain about the Hokas…

  16. I love exploring a new city on my feet…even if it means having to turn around a few times. Thoroughly enjoyed exploring Siem Reap at the end of last year on my recovery run. Have a fun weekend!

  17. I actually rather like the crooked mirror photo!
    Way to brave the flooded walkways to get some miles in!

  18. Welcome to Denver! That trail is usually a great one but it does flood pretty easily. I’m doing the Garden of the Gods 10 miler on Sunday too! I live here and I’m still a little nervous about the altitude/hills. Should be a beautiful run though – maybe I’ll run into you there! :)

    • Good luck and have a blast! Um, after driving the course today, I’m terrified of the hills, but it’s fine, we are going to love it, because it’s in the frickin’ Garden of the Gods! If you see me, definitely wave me down for a hello!

  19. We have been having crazy weather here lately! I hope you enjoy Colorado as much I like living here :) Garden of the Gods is a 15 minute drive from my house!

    My dad has that race twice and it’s one of his favorites. You get to run through the park without any cars or bikers :) Also, take a moment to enjoy your surroundings. Garden of the Gods is so beautiful! Good luck on your race!

  20. Don’t feel bad about falling asleep early on the west coast…I do it too. It makes 5 AM in Denver more reasonable that 5 AM on the east coast.

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