Monday, January 12, 2009

colorado rocky mountain hiiigh!

i used to spend endless hours singing along to john denver songs on the 8-track. i still sing them ... only now it's usually while riding or running and to the annoyance of j.

well, here i am ... vail, colorado. ain't no one gonna mind if i belt out a tune or two!

only thing is, who knew i got altitude sickness? the highest i've ever been is about 7,500 feet and that's at mammoth. i definitely get winded there. headachey and i have trouble sleeping. but i get used to it and i've skied, gone running and riding. here? notsomuch.

not being active here makes me so sad. it's not just the "i have a race in 3.5 months, i gotta stay on top of things" sad/mad/frustrated ... but the "i'm on vacation and it is soooo dang beautiful here all i want to do is run around and be active and soak up every minute of it, but i can't cause i don't feel right" sad. the prospect of having 8 days off of work, unleashed ... no desk ... no obligations ... just makes me want to swimbikerunskirecover.

coming up from denver i felt a little breathless. the higher we got the worse it was. by the time we hit 10,000 feet i was on the phone back to california asking j. to look up altitude sickness on the internet. i had never felt these feelings and i was flashing on the mini series "everest" we watched a few seasons ago on the discovery chanel. i wanted to know i wasn't going to die. that sounds so overly dramatic, but i was freaked out. i couldn't get enough air, my heart was racing, i felt a little sick and woozy. it doesn't sound all that bad written out, but trust me ... it was bad.

oh and a side note: when we arrived at the car rental place we had no idea we'd be heading out in this:giddyup!

taking our humvee driving seriously we immediately headed here to fuel ourselves for the task.

which turned out to be a good idea ... here's some of the nail biting scenery from our drive.

thank god we were in a tank, literally.

okay, back to the drama ... as we started to descend into the valley where vail village is, the serious, serious symptoms subsided a little. i spent the rest of the first day not feeling so hot. sometimes i would feel almost normal and then whamo! i'd think i was going to either hurl or pass out. turning my head too fast was a big no-no.

this morning i went over to the vail athletic club. beautiful little place if you are ever here. i took the "gentle honey flow" yoga class. and while i was disappointed that there was no honey involved, i did "set my intention" at the beginning of the class that i would stick with the "gentle".

i don't do a lot of yoga, yet i'm that girl who when the instructor gives two options for a pose (regular and more challenging) i usually go for the more challenging. i always want to see if i can. fact is it often turns out i can, but i probably shouldn't. today passing out with all my vail yoga lovelies around was not something i needed to do. that's not gentle and it certainly don't flow.

i spent the next hour taking a ridiculously long time getting ready in the swanky locker rooms and probably averaged one fluffy white towel per 5 minutes. wasteful, i know, but desperate times (no fun winter wonderland training) call for desperate measures (excessive towel usage).

now i'm back at our cute little chalet having a rest. i know i am not yet 100% because there are fresh baked brownies in the kitchen and i haven't even touched them so, i'll wait and see how i feel tomorrow before committing to anything, however cross country skiing or snowshoeing are in the running.

i've found a gym in denver that caters to triathletes so once i am there and no longer at altitude i'll be able to pick it up again. then it's on to colorado springs and if you've ever been there you know that garden of the gods is heaven for running. i can't wait.

enjoy the scenery!



Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

Feel better soon! I've driven the Vail Pass twice before (in summer) - and experienced the headache and sinus pressure and stuff. NOT fun. Hang in there! I hope you get a chance to enjoy the XC skiing and snow shoeing - sounds like so much fun. And the scenery is BEAUTIFUL! WOW - makes me want to move to Colorado! Sort of...

Pedergraham said...

Garden of the Gods=fun, fun and beauty, beauty. Will you have time to check out Manitou Spring and Pikes Peak? Hope you are having lots of fun and the altitude eases up on you.

BreeWee said...

Oh my gosh, I will never complain about cold again... that is bitter! A brain freeze from snow and from altitude! ALL the best to you... ENJOY!