Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I couldn't be happier with my decision to transplant myself to Boulder for the summer. In San Diego I'm use to being surrounded by the "who's who" of triathlon, but Boulder is just another little bubble....something different, something out of my ordinary, something to challenge me, and something to motivate me. This has a lot to do with triathlon, but even more to do with life outside of triathlon. I fully believe we can only achieve the extraordinary when all the pieces of our lives are aligned and ready to propel us towards our dreams. As much as I am uncomfortable with change, change is exactly what I needed.
Here are some things I've learned about adjusting to altitude:
1. 8yr old girls are completely capable of smashing me in the pool while I suck for air and try to push even a sub-par swim pace.
2. Every 1,000 feet I climb over 6,000 hurts exponentially more! For the first 2 weeks, every time I went above 7,000ft and tried to produce any power on the bike I felt like I was going to yack. I pushed hard anyways-AND kept my breakfast down.
3. It's totally normal to feel like you might throw up AND have a heart attack at the same time. I just prayed I'd throw up prior to the heart attack so I wouldn't choke and die.
4. It is really dry here, so at times you might want/need to guzzle water. But you can't breath while drinking -which means drinking water may increase the heart attack feeling. Sip, breath, sip, breath, a better tactic.
5. Recovery and sleep are not easy when you're both adjusting to altitude, as well as temps over 100degrees.
6. Altitude means you are way closer to the sun- so I often feel like I'm baking under a broiler. I've never used THIS much sunscreen in my life.
7. I am fully capable of running 9:30miles! OUCH! But it sure did feel amazing when mr. elephant departed my back and left me to run alone and feel my natural fluid stride once again.
8. It is BEAUTIFUL here. Yes, I miss the ocean, but the mountains are providing ample eye candy for the time being.
The #1 best thing I've found here in Boulder is a HUGE smile that has emerged while...wait for it... riding my bike. I don't think I've ever really smiled like this while riding. Things are coming together and I am finally feeling like the bike doesn't have to be my enemy.  I'm pretty confident this week marks the first time I've ever really surprised Chris with one of my ride files. From day one here I've been hammering away, and finally the Quarq numbers are there to prove it! One of my many smashing rides involved a steady effort to this climb, 3 long/painful intervals up this beautiful monster,
 and then a solid tt effort home (at which point I clnd't see straight and my mind was in a complete blur. Result- 120 miles with a higher power output than I shelled out in CDA- once again...SMILE!)
I leave you with one last image. It pretty much sums up my time here- because more often than not, this is how I've felt at the end of each training day. Deposit in the bank, smashed, but ready to work again tomorrow!!
I am reminded of how I felt when I got into this sport- I go to bed so excited for my next workout that I can hardly sleep. Speaking of tomorrows, I requested mile repeats and/or a track workout for this week (I haven't done either in ages). Chris didn't disappoint, and by weeks end he might have me "watching what I wish for."
11 days until my next race-Boulder70.3, and my first back-to-back 70.3 racing attempt. Steelhead70.3 will be second up, on August 14th.

1 comment:

Zachary said...
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