Racing at altitude sucks, especially if you have never done it before.

There is no other way to put it.

Conference went okay in the sense that I ran tough and finished the race. Other than that, it was the most uncomfrotable race I have ever run. I have never felt like such crap, running so slow. We came through the first mile in 4:57 and everyone was already breathing deeply. It only got worst too. At 2mi we hit a 300m or so long hill that absolutely killed. From that point onwards it turned more into a survival match instead of a race. My parents said that they’d never seen a race where everyone looked so bad, and they’ve seen a looooot of races.

Needless to say, I didn’t survive to well and finished 9th. The UTEP kenyans swept it 1-5 and Tulsa ran well to get second. Congrats to them.

It kinda pisses me off that the race was at altitude. It doesn’t seem that fair to me, but I guess life isn’t always that way either. Anyways, I took up the challenge and gave it my best. At least I can gain confidence from toughing it out on a course at about4k feet with a big hill and tons of sand.

As a team, we didn’t help ourselves out much either. Arriving Thursday morning, 2 days before the race, is about the worst thing we could do. You generally feel the worst on the 2nd through 4th day when arriving at altitude…..yay…genious move…. When racing at altitude when your not used to it, it’s best to get up and get out (meaning get there about 24hrs or so before the race…)…Oh well….

On to Regionals!

Training since last update:

morn-7 easy
aft-7mi of 2mi w/up, 5×800 w/ 2:30 rest on gravel (2:16, 2:14, 2:14, 2:12, 2:09) WINDY (20mph, gusts of 33), 800 easy, 4x hill sprints, 1.5mi c/d CRAPPY WEATHER, windy and cold for first time. Accomplished the goal of the workout though, so no complaints.

morn-7 easy

morn-7 easy
aft-7mi of:
2mi w/up, 6LT, 3E, 3LT+, 6E, 2×400 w/ 45sec rest in 69-70, 2E, 4x10sec acceleration with 50sec easy, 3min at 6min pace, 1mi c/d

morn-4 easy
aft-7 at El Paso….felt off, dry air…

aft-5mi of:
3mi, 4x100m strides, 2mi c/d

morn-10mi of:
2mi w/up, 8k race (25:49, 9th), altitude sucked, tough race, 3mi c/d

morn-10mi easy

morn-7mi decent pace
aft-9mi of:
2mi w/up, 1mi LT (4:50),short rest, 2mi(9:11), short rest, 1mi LT (4:55), short rest, 1mi(4:27 going 2:20, 2:07) 2mi c/d, windy and on gravel in flats so not best footing. Excellent workout. Needed that. Legs a little sluggish, which is expected, but got into a good rhythm. Had to consciously try and slow my self down on LT sections, it felt like I was jogging.

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    1. Anonymous on October 30, 2007 at 3:52 am

      The joys of altitude racing. In 1978 I was living in Boulder after moving there from Maryland and handlingthe altitude pretty well when I trained. I went to a 10 k road race in Breckenridge, maybe 8,000 plus feet. I was running slower than usual, no surprise there, but thought I was holding up ok. Then we went up a very slight hill. Everything went black. Literally I could not see but decided I’d just keep running anyway. My vision came back in a few seconds but when it did I noticed that everyone was running towards me.
      Somehow I’d turned around during my “blackout” and was running the opposite direction. It was perhaps the freakiest experience I’ve had in forty years of racing.
      Rich Englehart

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