Thursday, July 18, 2013

Runner's High on Vacation

I'll post more details about our hikes on the trip later, but I wanted to get down some notes about the two short non-treadmill runs that I did while on vacation.  Our first stop was in Vail, Colorado.  We had flown in to Aspen and chosen to drive to Vail via Independence Pass.  That was a bit of a shocker to get off of the airplane and be at slightly over 8000' elevation only to jump in the car and climb to 12,000'+ within an hour.
Pit toilet at 12,095 feet so of course we had to use it!

  Everyone was a little cranky and loopy, and the drive was a bit terrifying.  JD drove up, and I drove down.  We were pretty excited to hit Twin Lakes and get some snacks and water and be back to 8000'.

Heaven on Earth aka Twin Lakes
Who knew how good that would feel after surviving the Pass?  We also made sure we drove through Leadville because how can you be a trail/ultrarunner and not pass through Leadville.  Leadville Trail Marathon is definitely on my bucket list!

On our second day in Vail, I had a little free time to go out for a short run.  After walking around Vail, I had discovered the Gore Valley Trail that you could pick up in any of the little villages.  I ran from Lionshead into Vail Village and back using the trail for about a 3 mile run.  The first mile was tough because I was having a lot of trouble catching my breath.  I did manage to run slightly under 10 minute miles for the last two miles and was definitely starting to feel better as I went.  The trail was gorgeous, and I was disappointed that I didn't get to run on it more.
Eagle River right along the trail

When we hit Moab, Utah the following day, I was really excited to get in a short run on the trails around the Red Cliffs Lodge where we were staying.  They had a short but extremely scenic nature trail that ran right along the Colorado River.  We were back down to 4000' elevation which really didn't seem to bother me too much, but the temperatures were pushing 100.  It seriously did not feel that bad though because there was virtually no humidity, and there were nice breezes off of the Colorado.  I got close to three miles in around the lodge area.
I don't think I've ever been this happy to run in 100 degrees!

I would really like to experiment more with running at altitude because when we hit Las Vegas (2000') a few days later I killed a treadmill workout.  It felt like nothing to run 5 miles at close to 9 minute pace.  That is usually speedwork for me.  Sadly, the effects didn't last long as we are back in Northern Virginia dealing with a heat wave and on our third day of highest heat index east of the Mississippi.

1 comment:

  1. Those photos are amazing! You are so lucky to be able to run in those areas.