Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sea level is for sissies...

Ok... for those of you that have run or walked the Bolder Boulder 10K in Boulder, CO, you'll recognize this sign at the high point of the course.  Living at 8,500 feet, we would joke that this course was for sissies too!

This last weekend I had the opportunity to go to Seattle to visit my older kids, and of course had to run while I was there.  What I learned was that running at near sea level was in fact for sissies.... or more specifically.. ME!  Wow.. what a difference it made.

On Saturday I met a friend for what was to be a short run.. maybe 5K.  After a pleasant conversation along the Cedar River Trail, we completed 5.2 miles and it felt like less than 2!  I just couldn't get over how good it felt.

So of course, I couldn't wait to get out on the trail again the next day.  It was a little bit chillier (around 40F), and the rain was really coming down hard.  I actually sat in the car waiting a bit to see if it would slow down at all.

About the time it slowed down just a little, I decided to just get out and get going.  I figured I would warm up anyway, and you can't live in the Seattle area and be afraid to get a little wet.

So... off I went, and 1 hour and 17 minutes later I had just ran 8.2 miles.  My longest run to date, and at a pace faster than I have run before.  If I hadn't had a date with my kids for breakfast that morning that I needed to get to, I might still be out there running right now!  What was so great was that I could spend the time focused on my form and pace, and not distracted by trying to avoid a cardio-pulmonary seizure...
So.. I've come to the realization that we just don't have nearly enough oxygen up here!  Ah well, I am pretty sure that after a few more runs there, I wouldn't have felt nearly the boost that I did.  But it was a great ride!!

One thing that I did notice, was that running that far on smooth pavement really started to create a lot of tightness in my feet and calves.  Fortunately, I figured out that by periodically moving off to the side to run on the loose gravel and dirt did wonders to relieve that tension by providing an uneven surface that worked like a massage. 

In addition to visiting family, and running.  I did get the opportunity to do a few touristy things in Seattle.  Before moving to Colorado 4 years ago, we had lived in the area for 18 years, so it was really great to visit.  This included a trip to Pikes Place Market of course... where all the fresh flowers made me anxious for spring.

I also got the opportunity to pop into the Born to Run store.  It was really cool to be able to see and pickup a wide variety of minimalist shoes that I have been pining for.  I know.. spoken like a true "barefoot" runner :-). 

They did have a clearance table of what looked like returned shoes.  I dug around in there, but didn't find anything I "needed" in my size.  Was tempted to get one of their cool T-shirts, but $30 for a thin shirt that amounted to free advertising wasn't working for me.

Anyway, I'm back home now, and altitude or not, it is really good to be back.  Temps have been in the mid 60's and I was able to get out today for 3.3 miles in my Invisible Shoes...   I took them off for about .5 miles of it and that was awesome...  tender feet, but the feeling is the best and I look forward to getting more naked miles in as the weather improves.

Happy Trails!


  1. I'm so sorry that my schedule got all messed up and I couldn't run with you!!! I really had been looking forward to that, and it sounds like you had a GREAT run. I'm jealous. I listened to people argue about a wood stove. Not kidding.

    Glad you had a fantastic trip, maybe it will work out next time...

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  3. I had no idea there was a Born to Run store!! I'm close to sea level so I probably shouldn't complain! I'd probably go into cardiac arrest if I tried to run up in your neck of the woods :)

  4. I love my "Sea Level is for Sissies' shirt!!! It really amazing to run at a lower elevation - makes you feel like a machine! Great job!


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