Wednesday, August 18, 2010

This Altitude Ain’t No Joke

This is how the day started – watching Miss Emma walk up to school. Bittersweet. She just keeps walking away. For the rest of her life! She claims she will always want to live with me, but I know the minute she gets her period she’ll hate me and be ready to move out


Two hours after the Emma drop off, Sam and I were in Breckenridge for my trail run. I told Julie to kick my ass. To take me climbing up some big hills on trails.


By mile one, my ass hurt and I was crying mercy. She didn’t mess around. We started at 9,600 feet and within three miles we were at 10,300 feet. I had to walk up some of the big inclines. I was gasping for breath. If you have not tried this high altitude running thing, just imagine a time when you felt you could not catch your breath. Someone is sitting on you like your big brother and they are pretending to drop those big loogies into your mouth. It almost makes you panic.


I was truly humbled today on this run. We only went 7.5 miles, but it hurt me. My run with Dean will not be this high. It starts around 8,200 and the highest we get is about 9,600. That’s high enough. I am hoping I am not such a pathetic mess.

The good news is I ran with and LOVED the Camelbak. I used this one, only in red. I got it on sale at Dick’s for $35 (I love me some Dicks):


It holds 50 ounces and is effortless to run with. It stays in place, is light and has an extra pocket for gels, phone, etc.

Tomorrow is Sam’s first day of 7th grade. If you read this blog regularly, you know that Sam is my precocious yet precious boy.  I fell in love with him while he was still in my belly, his butt wedged under my left rib. I loved him even more when he came out sunny side up (always had to do things differently), demanding attention and engaging us all. He hasn’t stopped since. Long ago I started writing down Sam quotes.

When he was two, some lady in a restaurant said, “You are a very cute boy!” He replied, “And YOU are a very cute girl!”

Again when he was two he told Ken, “Dad you need to go back to the office and make some more money for mama.”

That was then:


This is now:


I love how as they get older they become your biggest fans and you theirs No one is more excited for me to run this race this weekend than these two. Sam has read Dean’s books, long ago, and is an admirer. Emma just thinks he’s cute and strong. I told Dean about the kids and he said, “Tell them I can’t wait to meet them.” Nice.

One more big thing for today then I’m going to get wine and lie down. Someone emailed me today saying they learned about my blog from Dean’s Runner’s World blog. He posted today about the TransRockies Run. He didn’t single me out, but said, “The TransRockies is a team event. This year, I’ll be running with six different individuals  {one each day} during the course of the event. The experience level of these individuals ranges from elite athletes to beginning trail runners. For someone who has competed in hundreds of endurance races on all seven continents, twice over, I’m really looking forward to experiencing this race through the eyes of another.”

That’s right. He’ll be seeing through the eyes of me as I fart, crap, whine and cry my way along the trail. Bet he’s never done that on seven continents.

Obviously he was talking about me when he said beginning trail runners. In fact, that part linked back to my blog and the interview I did with him. Nice again!



  1. awww! i love the "then & now" pics :)and it's awesome that your kiddos are just as excited for this run with dean!

  2. that is such a sweet post! I can't believe how big they get so fast! It's awesome that your kids are so excited for the big upcoming run! My little attitude just rolls her eyes are says, "you're running again?? sigh!:)"

  3. I live at about 700 feet above sea level. My in-laws live in Flagstaff, AZ which is 7,000 feet above sea level. The first time I ran there I thought I was dying even though I was running a minute slower than my regular pace. Altitude is sneaky like that.

    And I love that your kids are so excited for your run this weekend. You must be doing something right :-)

  4. 7.5 miles is also NO joke - especially at that altitude! Give yourself, and that aching glute, more credit ;)

    Those kiddos are adorable - as is Dean and his linking and mentioning and, ya know, kick ass running stuffs. SO excited for you this weekend!

  5. I'm sorry but're kids are too spankin' adorable;-)

  6. love the pics of your kids! I can't wait to hear how your run with Dean goes!!

  7. That last part about Dean made me burst out in laughter. I needed that tonight! Too funny... That'll be an awesome experience.

  8. Those pics of your kids are so sweet!
    Nice trail runs. I'm sure the trails and altitude get better the more you do them. You are such an inspiration to me!
    I'd also like to try a Camelbak. I'm not so into the fuel belt. This might work better for me.

  9. I love reading your blog just to find out how your Ass is doing! Perhaps you shouldn't invite people to kick it.

    Just remember, high altitude means lower pressure, gases expand, and hey presto you fart more. Probably best to let Dean go ahead of you as you climb!

    I ran with him (albeit on and off) in Australia a couple of years ago, and he's genuinely a nice guy and very inspiring. He even shared his chocolate covered coffee beans with me as we plodded through the night.

    Have fun!

  10. "big loogies in your mouth" - way too funny and a perfectly app description

  11. Hate when the kids go back to school, even though it is admittedly nice to get some free time back. Your kiddos are so cute and look just like you.

    Can't imagine running at altitude! You're ready to kick some Dean butt!

  12. What a tough but great run. My race in Sept will go to 10200 feet. I live and train at 6500 so will just have to cope. I love my hydration pack. Don't know why I waited so long before I got one. Your kids are the best!

  13. You're right. "Altitude ain't no joke!"

    Also, you sounded like you were describing my kids! Geeze, they are going to have A LOT of fun together in October.

    Leaving to watch the smaller one go to school.

  14. I need to go shopping with you. I can never find anything that seems reasonably priced at Dick's. That sounds like a great run to me!

  15. your daughter looks just like you! i always think sam is older by your must have your hands full!!

  16. What marvelous area you are training in!
    As for the altitude I know what you mean. A couple of days ago we hiked from 8200 to 9900 and I wished I had oxygen bottles with me. You are RUNNING this high! WOW!

  17. Oh memories! And more gasping for air as I look at your trail pics. I spotted the CB right away...may need to lavish myself with one.
    Love the back to school pics--Thing 1 still says she'll always live with me or at least next-door too. Hilarious!

  18. Your kids are so precious!! Growing up there were 4 of us kids and we used to take a picture together the first day of school all teh way from kindergarten through high school :D

  19. Back to school time already! Sheesh! I love that you've kept some quotes from Sam growing up. Those will be so fun for him to look back on.


  20. Love the "then and now" pics. Great post!

  21. Absolutely love that view you had on the trail, beautiful! Your kids are so cute. I laughed when I read the funny things your son said!! It's cool that they are your biggest fans!

  22. I need to get me to Dick's.

    Love the photos of the kido-s.

  23. The pic of the kids is and your daughter are twin like.

  24. Love the pics of your kiddo's! They seem like the perfect team together ;)

    Wow, you were quoted by Dean! Remind me when we meet in Boston to get your autograph - you're famous now! Oh, and I won't be able to wash my hand after we shake or take a shower if we hug! Hahahaha! Good luck today!

  25. Can't help note: Dean's experienced 7 continents, but he's never experienced your incontinence!

  26. Man, seeing your little ones makes me think "it's okay that they grow up, it's okay" . . . adorable kids. I have a "quote book" too of funny things my kid has been saying AND funny things my husband has said in his moments of sleepless nights and scared $hitless newborn moments! HA Great memories.

    Looking forward to your run. Amazing (and crazy) altitude run! When I come to Colorado (some day) I want to run there! :-)

    Remember, it's always okay to walk up the hills, I bet even Dean does once in a while! :-)

  27. SO jealous of your run, it looks beautiful! Your kiddos are so cute and funny, I love reading about what your son says :)

  28. OH, you're first coupla sentences just made me teary. THANKS... Good luck this weekend!

  29. That is awesome on the shout out!! I read that blog post, but didn't even think to check to see if that URL link went to your blog. I'm super excited for you

  30. Precious is right!!! Beautiful kiddos!!!

  31. your kids are so cute! its great how they admire you isnt it? i dont have any kids but i have kids that look up to me and its a great feeling!

  32. I can't imagine running at that altitude. We don't have many mountains (more like none) in Wisconsin so I have no idea what that must feel like. Something I must experience. I'm so excited for you and your run with Dean! Crazy! CAn't wait to read all about it :)
    Beautiful kiddies!

  33. I just keep reading all these posts about your running with Dean. I am just quite jealous.... that is all I can say.

    Enjoy! Looking forward to reading all about it!

  34. This high altitude thing doesn't sound like my cup of tea. I like sea level just fine thankyouverymuch.

    My daughter's my little shadow most of the time. I have a while yet (I hope) before she completely shuns me.