Mileage in the Mountains

OK, I’ll admit it. I’m throwing this post together while on vacation, sitting next to Fritos and a Blue Moon. I’ve been running strong, though, despite my other bad out-of-town habits, which isn’t quite a surprise since I keep writing about how much I like running in other locales. But I truly do love it — the change of routes, the different scenery, learning about other places, and sometimes really challenging myself.

This time around, I’ve been facing the challenge of running at a different altitude. Between Phoenix, AZ, Young, AZ, and Silver City, NM, I’ve been putting my lungs through all sorts of demands. (Not to mention the heat of Phoenix and the colder than expected mornings in Young!)

The mountains, while they are beautiful, are difficult for runners. A friend just moved to Denver and has mentioned multiple times that he has cut his normal distance in half in order to comfortably get his daily run in. I can’t imagine what it’ll be like for him when he visits Ohio and breezes through his runs — I know that even after a short time in one of these places, it’s a relief to get back to Cleveland and run at the altitude that I’m used to.

But, all things considered, even though it’s a bit of a struggle, I managed over 6 miles in Phoenix, two 3 milers in Young, and 3 miles in Silver City, and I still have 2 more mornings that I might eke out a few miles in Silver City again. These runs have been great because I’ve been forced to slow down and occasionally even stop to take in the scenery — making some great memories and Instagram photos ;).

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So, I guess my point — if I have one — is that a difficult run can be a blessing because you have to stop and think about what you’re doing. And maybe we should all do that normally instead of saving those moments for vacation.

-K

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