Our trip to Lake Tahoe was fun and filled with gorgeous scenery (it was also eventful – Jesse will provide a recap of his experience later this week). One thing that wasn’t so fun? Running at elevation. While Jesse tackled 16 miles with his Ironman Lake Tahoe training group, I set out to run between 8 and 10 miles in my new Altras along the same trail in Squaw Valley where the Ironman group was training.
After a very short run on Saturday and a swim in Lake Tahoe earlier on Sunday, I knew that the 6,200 feet of elevation was going to negatively affect my run. I’ve never exercised (or skied, snowboarded, etc.) at elevation before, and Jesse had warned me about how difficult it can be. As I ran, the air felt thin and dry, causing my nose to run precipitously. I gasped for breath during the entire run, taking me back to the days when I first started working out, and I was completely uncomfortable until about mile five, when I felt a little more warmed up. My slow pace of 10 minutes/mile felt like a herculean effort. I definitely know what I’m getting myself into during our weeklong trip next month leading up to Ironman Lake Tahoe.