Breathing Through a Straw

I met up with Josh and family Monday night for some delicious Mexican fare.  Josh’s high school track coach, Kirk, also joined us for dinner.  He was a super nice guy.  We had some great conversation about running, training, and life.  Kirk said something to me that really hit home.  He said his advice to his athletes is, “In your 20’s do all you can, in your 30’s learn all you can, and in your 40’s make all you can.”  This struck a chord with me because it made me feel more confident in my decisions as of late.  I am currently learning a lot about myself, my life, and my profession.  I will admit, a bit of doubt goes through my head occasionally but all of the positive support I have received drives me to succeed and work hard to make the most of my opportunities.

That being said, upon finishing dinner Josh and I agreed to meet at 9:30 a.m. the next day for some interval work.  We met at a beautiful park close to downtown Mammoth.  We ran a 3 mile warm up, then the pain began.  The workout was 3 x 1 mile, with 2 minutes easy between, followed by a 4k tempo run.  The idea being to hit it hard on the 4k on some heavy legs.  We started the first interval, and I was instantly suffering.  I felt as though I was breathing through a straw.  I my air was so limited.  Up until this point I hadn’t really felt the effects of the altitude while running, but I WAS FEELING IT NOW!  My legs got heavy quickly and Josh pulled a head of me.  He was completing the intervals sub-5, I was coming in around 5:15/mi.  I didn’t set my Garmin for splits because I didn’t want to get frustrated at the times.

After the second interval Josh told me I had some blood coming from my nose.  My saying is, go so hard you, “Bleed from your pores.”  Now I actually was.  It was actually bleeding because it is really dry here, but we don’t have to say that.

After the 3 x 1 mile we started the hard 4k and this is where I hit the wall.  Mentally I felt like I was pushing harder than ever, but my legs wouldn’t move.  It was a pretty trippy feeling.  Josh smoked down the trail and I brought up the rear.  After, we were chatting and he told me this adaptation happens, just stick with it.  The lack of oxygen causes the crap to build up in your legs and not get flushed out like it would at sea level.  There is less fresh, oxiginated blood circulating in the system, so the old blood is trying to replenish the system which is a lost cause.  That’s why the legs don’t move.  I can’t wait until they learn to move again.

After the run I met the rest of the Mammoth Track Club.  What a great bunch of people.  These are the best runners in the world, and they were as welcoming as any family would be.  This is going to be fun, and painful!  Today the team is doing a long trail run which fits into my schedule nicely.  I hope I can hang.

Before I wrap this one up I wanted to remind everyone that Lube’s 12 Weeks to More Power Trainer Session at Triathlon Lab has been CANCELLED.  The Santa Monica City put the nix on it.  I figure they saw how powerful all of the riders were getting and didn’t want those Monsters pedaling around the streets of Santa Monica.  RACE HARD!




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