Chunky Illinois air

So this is something I probably should have mentioned earlier, but in early July I took a new job, which required me relocating to Denver, Colorado! This is a big change for me since my whole life I have always lived in Illinois. In fact, Illinois is where I got my start in the running and triathlon worlds. Say what you want about that state, but you will be hard-pressed to find higher quality people. I will miss my friends, family, and colleagues (you all had better visit or at least stay in touch). However I am completely stoked for a new adventure in Colorado!

Rocky Mountains

To the untrained eye this photo might appear to be only of the Rocky Mountains. But also pictured is a large quantity of Colorado air. It is so thin you can see right through it.

I have already been out here a week and have had a chance to run and ride in the city, in the suburbs, and in different state parks. Each of these workouts has highlighted what I was looking forward to and dreading all at the same time…the altitude.

Now I am used to the nice, chunky Illinois air. Let me put it in perspective. When I was living in Illinois, every morning I would wake up and take a deep breath. Then I wouldn’t need to breathe again until about 7:30 or 8 p.m. that night. That’s how thick the air is.

Colorado is different. Here I get moving and instantly have to inhale air like a chubby kid gulping down candy from an unattended trick-or-treat basket.

Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but the air is definitely thinner up here. I felt it a few minutes into my first run. It was suddenly as if I had been running for miles. A week and many miles later, I still feel it, but I can manage it. I am excited for how it will affect my IM Louisville performance.

In the meantime, I will be hoping one of my suitcases turns out to be empty and instead full of some of that hearty Midwestern air I enjoy!

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3 Responses to Chunky Illinois air

  1. Kecia says:

    We have been out here for just shy of 2 weeks acclimating for Ironman Boulder (staying in Estes Park). Coming from Iowa, we too miss the hearty Midwestern air. Only 10 more days until race day and I think we are starting to breathe a LITTLE easier with every workout we do. It should be a great race, but I’m most excited to go back and race in the “flatland” after spending just over 3 weeks at altitude.

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