Running a Mile High

In Thought of the Day, Training on January 11, 2012 at 6:00 am

I was in Denver the other day. Business travel is a necessary evil for me. On the bright side I get to run in different places. On this trip I had planned to run inside on the treadmill, the dreadmill as I like to call it. Denver in the winter is supposed to be cold, snowy and just plain ugly. Imagine my surprise when the weather was sunny, no snow and in the low 50s. My business meeting ended early for the day giving me the opportunity to run the streets of Denver. But I had no Garmin! I purposely left it at home on the charger because I had planned a treadmill run. Could I actually run without it? Could I run naked? Or so it felt as I stepped out the door of the hotel.
Isn’t it strange how running without something you are so accustomed to, that has become so apart of your lifestyle can make make you feel naked without it? I haven’t run without a recording device like a Nike+ or a Garmin in such a long time, probably 4 years. This run would stretch my comfort zone as I would soon find out.
The run started out from the hotel and I took a quick left. The sun was beginning to set so the once balmy short sleeve temperatures were becoming a thing of the past. I crossed the road as sidewalks that see no direct sun still had the remnants of last Saturday’s snowfall. Running while traveling is both adventurous and scary especially for the directionally challenged like me. My plan was to run for 5 miles. Without a GPS I was going to have to estimate. After a right turn I ran for another 10 minutes I am guessing was a mile and another right turn. I was going to run a big square. So what I thought was around 2 miles I headed back for the hotel. Running along the side of a highway I felt like Dean Karnazes running for a purpose rather than the experience. Traffic roared by me and my thoughts were being drowned out by the tires on pavement rolling past me. I realized that the sun had now set and I was running in complete darkness on the edge of a highway. The temperature had now dropped to what I suspect was freezing when I heard a ding, my cellphone. It was telling me that the battery was now dead. Another bad decision and I took the on ramp to the Interstate instead of the off ramp back to the hotel. So there I was shorts, t-shirt, dead cellphone and running on the Interstate. How stupid is that. I could have turned around but by now the wind was starting to kick up and to face traffic would have been like running in a sand storm. I ran for another quarter mile to the next exit which would get me off I-70 and take me back to the hotel. By now my hands were freezing with an ache in my wrists, the early onset of hypothermia. I rounded the final corner with the driveway leading back to the hotel. I stopped the timer on my stopwatch and the time read 48:15. I’m guessing the run was about 5 miles and I could probably validate that on but I won’t. To me it felt like 5 and that’s good enough.
In hindsight the treadmill would have been the safer bet and probably more comfortable. But it’s not about comfort is it? It’s about living outside that comfort zone, running naked!

  1. Nice job and very adventurous. From the title of you post I thought the read might be a little different…like the amount of work required to actually run one mile high.

    Work is defined as force*distance. So, for a 200lb person to go from sea level to one mile high, it would require…

    1056196 foot-pounds or 397.7 watts-hours or 341.96044712 calorie (nutritional)

    just saying…


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