Sunday, April 17, 2011

Race Training Challenge

So I've got a LITTLE conundrum.  I finally decided on what my new goal is: two races for the summer.  That's it.  CRAZY low number considering I ran 12 last year.  But I picked my favorite race of all time {Go HERE to read about me running it last year}, the Jackson Hole Half.  And I am positively GIDDY about running it again.  And the other is my mecca race {go HERE & HERE ; it was my first race since high school, my first 5K, my first full marathon.  And apparently I've got a lot of family who will be running different races this year!  It's dually sentimental too, this year is the 35th year since the break of the Teton Dam.  

Doesn't sound like much of a conundrum does it?!  Well the challenge comes in this fact.  The elevation of St. Robert Missouri is 831 feet above sea level.  The elevation of Rexburg Idaho is 4865 feet!  And the elevation for Jackson Hole?!  That would be 6237.  The air down here is THICK!  I have a hard time breathing when I run here {strange I know considering the oxygen content is so much higher}, it's hard to explain but it really feels like it's HARDER to take in this thicker air!  Now how will it affect me to transition from running HERE and racing THERE?!  Will I immediately get in to my groove and breathe easily or will I be acclimated to this air and struggle to get enough oxygen up there?

I've tried reading up on the subject and I've gotten conflicting messages.  Some say that after a couple days at the higher elevation it should be fine {I will be home for about a week before race #1}.  Some say it takes a month.  Some say it doesn't make a difference unless your running over 8000 feet.  There are the die hards that sleep in altitude tents for 6 weeks at home before traveling to the race.  Ginkgo Biloba regiments.  Breathing hypoxic gas mixtures while training at home.  The list is pretty endless and obviously I'm not at THAT level of competition.

My game plan?  Well.  Nothing really.  I'm going to train here.  When I get home I have some runs planned, one is a long one {11 miles on my 11 year anniversary... Remember LAST year?}.  But this year isn't about breaking any PRs.  I am ONLY running to ENJOY the run.  So if it's harder to breathe, I'll back off so that I can still ENJOY the run!  On the same note... if it's EASIER... well, maybe I'll blow the doors off!


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