Monday, July 4, 2011

Living at high altitude

So, after 4 days of driving (and 1 day of riding the IMKY bike course), I've made it to Colorado Springs, CO. This city is at 1839m asl (6035ft), and is thus categorized as a "high altitude" city.
  • High altitude = 1500-3500m (4900-11500 ft)
  • Very high altitude = 3500-5500m (11500-18000 ft)
  • Extreme altitude = above 5500m (18000 ft)
(Source: Wikipedia, of course)

I had no idea what to expect in terms of how my body would react to living at high altitude, and especially how it would react to training at high altitude. So far? Well, I haven't really noticed anything at all. I've been riding, up to 2133m, and I still didn't notice anything shocking. If I were really looking, I'd say *perhaps* the heart is working a tiny bit harder to get up the hills... but that's something like 2-3bpm higher than expected. And maybe I'm just imagining it? I'm not sure.

Nevertheless, it feels damn good to be here!! I'm a bit afraid of how big Colorado Springs is (approx 416,000 people). Then again, any town or city that is not walkable from one end to the other I find enormous. It, however, is spectacular here. I'm house-sitting for my coach while he is away, then I am going to Estes Park, Colorado, where I am couchsurfing at a fabulous young guy's place for about 2 weeks. Now, a small town of approx 4000 people... that I can handle!

Here are some shots of Colorado Springs so far:

Look at how CRISP and BEAUTIFUL everything looks!
The roads were quiet and the vegetation smelled AMAZING!

Basically: AWESOME. Hilly riding, I love it. 

It was a quiet morning and I cycled up to a deer on the road.
Took a photo of her when she'd moved off to eat some grass. 

At the top of Gold Camp Rd. Don't ask me the names of those
reservoirs... I do not know... I chatted with some cyclists at the
top, but they were telling me sooooo many things that I remember
just a small percentage of the info!!
 Next up: this week I have one run very tentatively scheduled. After a full 3 week break, and about 6 weeks of inconsistent run training, let's see if these shin splints are still around.


  1. Hey I'll out for shin splints for me...ITB issues these days...have fun on those rides..I'm jealous!!!!

  2. couchsurfing at some guy's place!? WHO!?
    I hope you know this person tyna-face
    but man, looks amazing.
    I'm super excited for desert running in two weeks!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

  3. @Shawn -- ouch, ITB issues are a pain. I remember maybe about 1 year back I was starting to develop them so I would spend a half hour every 2nd day just foam rolling it out. It would hurt, I would want to cry, but in the end I stuck with the foam rolling and continue to do it even before I get ITB issues. Are you strength training at all? Nothing dramatic, just your own body weight squats and lunges... that has REALLY helped strengthen the stabilizing muscles of the legs and core. Hopefully those ITB issues sort themselves out!!! :)

    @Steph... bahaha, nah, don't know the guy. He's a local DJ in Estes Park (I think?), got in touch with him through, should be rad. Doing the same thing when I'm in Louisville as well, staying with a local triathlete. Haven't figured out Calgary, Boulder or Arizona yet. Will do when the time approaches... Best way to meet people!!