September 28, 2014

Altitude Training

Week -2 before Chicago was very eventful.  A big busy work week (end of the quarter), tons of chaos in the house remodel (extra bathroom remodel?  Sure, why not?), and a quick trip out to Rocky Mountain National Park for a wedding.

We flew in to Denver Thursday night, spent the night in an airport hotel and woke Friday AM to work and work out before hitting the road.  I was pleased to find that the Mile High City didn't seem to negatively affect my strength intervals (which I did on a treadmill).

After we'd cleared our email inboxes as much as possible, we set our out of offices and headed to lunch.  We officially started our Colorado adventure with lunch at Ted's Montana Grill (neither of us had ever had the pleasure):

Open-Faced Chili Buffalo Burger (Swiss Mushroom Buffalo Burger in the background) -- 'MERICA!
  From there, we enjoyed a gorgeous 1.5 hour drive out to Estes Park, Colorado.

The Rockies are beautiful.

We checked in to our "haunted floor" at the historic Stanley Hotel (which inspired Stephen King to write The Shining).

There was a "Shining" channel, which played the movie on a loop.

Climbing the stairs to our 4th floor room, I could feel the elevation.  Denver didn't really affect me, but Estes Park had me winded.  It had been a while since I'd been in air this thin:

The rehearsal dinner and wedding were both at this beautiful venue, and the weather could not have been more cooperative.

View from the ranch house, where the extended family stayed.

The ceremony was here.

Saturday AM, after a night of well-behaved designated driver activities and typically fitful first-night-at-elevation sleep, I headed out for a "long" run with trepidation.  My scheduled called for 8 miles and my plan was to do at least 80 minutes of cardio, hopefully closer to 100 minutes, and to run/walk as much as necessary to make that happen, without worrying too much about the distance.  I was pleased to find that I could run without walking and it felt reasonably okay in the low 11s/mile, I did 3.2 on my own and then doubled back for 4 with MS around Lake Estes, which truly could not have been more picturesque.

Reward for the big climb.

Seriously.  This.

Just out for my Saturday AM run in Estes Park, it's kinda pretty.

Sunday, after the wedding, I woke with great intentions to do 10 miles, but found I had developed a cold!  Annoying.   So, I started out slow and settled for 5.  Also, I marveled at the difference a day could make in the weather.  The lucky couple obviously had people pulling weather for them:

Sunday: Overcast.  Not ugly.  But nothing like Saturday.

Overall, it was a great week.  I cut my scheduled mileage quite a bit due to life constraints, but when all axes are evaluated, it was wonderful.  Friends enjoyed, life milestones celebrated, much work and house stuff accomplished, beautiful nature of this wonderful country enjoyed, and 31.5 miles, including several high effort speed and/or elevation workouts.

Just 2 weeks to go to CHI, wish me luck!


Jen said...

Estes Park looks beautiful!
I can't believe it's less than 2 weeks to go until Chicago. Good luck!!

bt said...

@Jen -- it was gorgeous! And, I'm with you. I also can't believe it's so close!