Hello! After a crazy day of catch up yesterday, it seems life might be getting back on track.
I was even able to go through a few of the pictures from the amazing weekend in Utah and I can’t wait to share them below.
But first, the important stuff. I mentioned last week before leaving, that I was planning on doing a run with a few other bloggers on Saturday morning. I also mentioned that I was scared as heck because of the altitude difference: Sea level in Charleston… 8,000 feet in Park City.
I had been warned of shortness of breath, headaches, light headedness, and even nose bleeds (thanks to my boot campers). What was I thinking going on a run with marathoners?
Images above from Bobbi
Yes, it was raining, cloudy and cold (in the 30s) but I was in complete awe of our surroundings and with great company that I actually didn’t let it bother me. In fact, instead of seeing the rain, I saw the steam coming off the mountain tops around us, reminding me of how little I am in this great big world. It was beautiful and very humbling.
I kept annoying the girls by saying how grateful I felt to be there with them on those gorgeous mountainous paths.
We pumped out 9 miles at a 9 minute mile pace which I was pretty thrilled about! Hello… I run flat!
Did the altitude affect me? Sure it did. And since a lot of you asked me to report back on it and how I handled it, here you go.
What Difference Does Altitude Make?
According to a study by the Federation of Sport at Altitude, oxygen is cut by as much as 25-40% above 10,000 ft. What does that mean? Because air pressure decreases as you go up in elevation, so does oxygen. Less oxygen is able to be pumped through the lungs and to the muscles.
The heart has to work harder to try and maintain performance/pace.
Here’s an interesting thing that I learned from Amanda: at over 7,000 feet elevation you will get the same workout as on less elevation by running 30 seconds SLOWER with your pace.
For me, that means that the 9 minute mile, was actually a 8 min 30 sec mile pace. Sweet.
To be honest, there weren’t many times during the run where I felt unusually out of breath… it’s running, I’m always out of breath a little. This really surprised me. The biggest factor were the hills, my legs were burning at the end!
I think a lot of it had to do with being excited because there were other times during my trip where just walking up stairs caused me to be out of breath.
Why do athletes love training at high altitudes? Because after about 14-60 days the body begins to produce more red blood cells and hemoglobin (responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body) which can help out when they go into events not at such heights.The body also increases production of erythropoietin (EPO) which stimulates bone marrow production to make even more red cells.
If you’re going to be going up in the world, here are some tips!
How To Adjust To Altitude Changes For Exercise
1. Hydrate! Because you’re going to sweat more and lose more water through respiration (breathing) make sure to drink lots of water.
2. Get plenty of sleep. Toss in a nap or two if you’re able to allow your body time to acclimate to the area. It’s much easier to do it sleeping then when running all around.
3. Get a move on. I learned that it takes about 48-72 hours for the altitude changes to really hit you, so get a workout in within the first 24 hours if you’re able. I landed at 11am on Friday and went running at 6:30am Saturday.
4. Listen to your body! If you get light headed or short of breath, pull back a little. Stop, rest, and realize you’re not going to be performing the same as you would if you were at the beach.
5. Enjoy yourself. The views of Utah were completely, 100% night and day from Charleston. And instead of focusing on the miles and the run itself… I enjoyed the views, the fresh air (it smelt amazing) and the company.
A now, a few highlights from the Blend Retreat in Park City Utah:
I can not say enough wonderful things about this retreat. I was able to meet so many wonderful ladies, unplug from the computer, and I truly got wrapped up in the beauty of it all. Blend isn’t about sitting in a conference room all day, it’s about hanging out with other women with similar passions for healthy living and fitness… oh and wine!
Starting off with cocktails! Champagne for Lindsey and I! We knew we would be friends as soon as we clicked our glasses.
The hike started off a bit “rough” and muddy. Paula’s face is classic!
Our hike immediately followed my 9 mile run and was just over 4 miles… so on Saturday I am claiming that I did a half marathon. That’s fair, right?
Thanks to Christine for sharing this pict… post boot camp flex! It was fun to be on the other side of a boot camp. Instead of telling others to do burpees… I was the one being
tortured told what to do. GPP Fitness was a sponsor of Blend and a local fitness facility. They did a great job, and I think I can speak for us all when I say I was feeling it on Monday!
I stayed an extra day to see more of Park City, of course this meant checking out the 2002 Olympic Park, which was beautiful and offered some amazing views of the city. Meg took advantage of it and actually did the bob sled…
I went skiing??
Then more hiking! We headed into Salt Lake City for the final leg of our trip to Red Butte Garden. It was gorgeous, despite the name.
I am in love with all the wild flowers. Black eye susies are my favorite!
Meg and Meg, my dates for our final day!