There is no other way to put it–my nose is in pain! The insides are dry and cracked and breathing is no easy feat. Although, I do have a partial deviated septum, it’s usually controllable…in the Mile High City of Denver, Colorado it is most certainly not! But the good news is that my lungs handled the altitude during a 12-mile run on Saturday.
I just returned home after a few days out west for my work’s annual meeting. Since I had been to Denver before, I prepared myself for the higher altitude by drinking plenty of water on the flight out. That did me a world of good as the only thing I had to truly contend with later was my nose and cracked lips too.
Prior to the start of the meeting I had a few hours to kill on Saturday so it was time to squeeze in a long run. Although I would have liked to do 15-20 there was not enough time, so 12 would have to do. My college roommate who I was so blessed to see the evening before (as well as her husband–another college friend–and their 8-month old, who by the way I am now in love with), gave me the recommendation of checking out the Cherry Creek Trail. Sure enough the hotel concierge told me the entrance was only four blocks from my hotel. So at 8 am I bundled up in the 45 degree weather and headed out.
The trail wound its way along Cherry Creek and the South Platte River. I saw old railroad cars which reminded me of the wild west and some signs along the trail marked historical notes such as the 1858 discovery of gold in the river’s tributary when thousands flocked to the area to settle and make their own discoveries.
What I was most amazed at during my run was just how few other people were out running. I surely thought the trail would be packed. Isn’t Denver the world of outdoor adventurers? I saw a few runners, bikers and others walking their dogs, but the further I got from the city the more desolate the trail became. I passed some homeless folks and perhaps even some Occupy Denver protestors taking a break.
Yes, I realize that I was heading towards the more industrial part of the city and probably should have turned back, but I become fearless when I run. I know I should be smarter. At the very least I should have turned back when I smelled a nasty landfill stench. Needless to say, parts of the trail were beautiful–others not so much. In all honesty, it made me really appreciate the trails in the greater DC-metro area. Until proven otherwise, I am convinced that I live in a runner’s haven.
My main excitement was the fact that I survived the high altitude and of course my delicious breakfast afterwards at the Denver Diner!