Saturday, August 2, 2014

Summer 2014

Lake Dillon, Colorado

Hey y'all. Remember me? What? You thought I dropped off the face of the earth, didn't you? Nope, I'm still here. I have just had a busy, busy summer. Actually, I'm sort of on top of the world right an elevation of  9100 ft., to be exact. Yep, Cliff and I are in Colorado. We are staying on the beautiful Lake Dillon....not far from Keystone, Breckenridge, Copper and Vail ski slopes. As we speak, I am looking at the mountains draped with clouds. The sun is actually peaking through today and I can see snow patches on the tops of a few of the mountains. You wonder how in the world, especially with the intense sun, can snow still be on the mountain top. Well, here at 9100 ft. it has been in the 60's during the day and 40's at night. I can only imagine how cold it must be at 14,000 ft. They call these 14'ers, by the way. Whitney and Jason love to hike them. As a matter of fact, they are taking Cliff on a 14'er hike this Sunday. They are going to hike Mt. Elbert. Apparently, at an elevation of 14,000+ feet, it is the second highest peak in the lower 48.

I'm not going! I didn't even get invited. Hang on, you'll see why.

Coming from sea level to 9100 ft. proved to be somewhat of an issue for me. Immediately upon arriving, I got a headache and couldn't breathe well. Then came some nausea, fatigue and not much of an appetite. After consulting with WebMD, I discovered that these, indeed, are symptoms of altitude sickness. I need to contact WebMD to let them know that there is another symptom.....bloodshot eyes.  The treatment is to take it easy, stay well hydrated, take something like Advil and even eating a high carb diet. If the symptoms don't subside in a couple of days, then they recommend going to a lower altitude or get this, go to an oxygen bar. Did you know they had those? Me either! But they do. And, you can buy cans of oxygen at the local sports store. Well, I am happy to report that I didn't need to go to the oxygen bar. I followed WebMD's advice and Jason bought me some altitude sickness pills. They helped, too.

We came here for exercise and training.....and well, to visit Whitney and Jason, of course. They are spending the weekends with us. This place is a mecca for exercise. You can literally walk right out of the door and be on a bike/run/walking trail. Our trail goes all the way around Lake Dillon, which happens to be about 18 miles. Great for Cliff's Ironman training for sure. He wasn't bothered with the lack of oxygen until he decided to do a triathlon in Silverthorne only 2 days after arriving here. He said he just could not get in enough oxygen on his swim. He probably felt like a fish out of water. It took him way longer than usual to finish the swim. I was starting to get worried. But alas, he emerged and was off on his bike. I knew he would recover on the bike....that's his thing. And the run wasn't too bad either. He placed 3rd in his age group. Go Cliff! 

Cliff and me at the finish of his triathlon...the Highest Triathlon in the World.
This little guy has a great sense of humor!

Even though I was experiencing some altitude sickness, I really wanted to try running. So Saturday, Whitney and I went for a 4-mile run. I say run loosely, of course, because I had to walk a lot. I was just coming back from a 2-week recovery break because of a hurt ankle. Not to mention, the running path was hilly. Uphills are a challenge anyway, but to run them in a 'lack of oxygen' state is far beyond challenging. It's downright brutal. We managed to finish the run and our time wasn't too shabby, considering. Downhills rock! And, the scenery....OMG! I don't know if there is anyplace any more beautiful. Well, maybe. But good land, this place is pure gorgeousness.

On a 4-mile run at Lake Dillon, CO.
Sunday, I rested after Cliff's Triathlon and then Monday, I needed to run 8 miles. I'm still in training for the Revel Rockies half-marathon....remember? I knew I would need some time to acclimate to the lack of oxygen, but I felt like after running 4 miles Saturday and not having any trouble that I could probably handle 8 miles. I started out slowly and was doing well. I ran around the lake to the dam, over the dam and into a very wooded area that led to a campground. By the time I got to the campground, I had ran about 4 miles and my water supply was gone. I saw a bathroom...decided I may as well and then was off to look for some water (primitive water). Surely, a campground would have some water. Well, everywhere I looked was primitive camping; no water hook ups. And then I saw a sign for the Camp Host and decided to take a chance. Sure enough, there was a water spigot outside his camp and I was able to fill up. I ate a GU gel and drank some water and was on the way back. Cliff was out on the bike, somewhere. He was finishing his ride and tracked me on his phone (we have an app called Find My Friends - great app!).  He saw that I was in a remote area and came looking for me. He found me just as I was leaving the campground, made sure I was ok and had plenty of water and then went on his way. It was a little warm that day and in hindsight, I think I may have been a little ambitious attempting 8 miles only three days after arriving from sea level. When I got back to the condo, I started feeling bad. I was getting nauseous. I showered, went straight to bed and tossed around like a beached whale trying to get back to the sea. And then it hit breakfast, water, Gatorade and gels wanted out. And up they came. OMG, I was sick! I went to bed and rested for a long time. Physically or should I say fitness wise, I felt fine. I just needed oxygen. I felt bad for the next couple of days and then the altitude sickness seemed to just go away. I have acclimated, mostly! Yay!

Do you see the fox on the log? He was not afraid of us, at all.
Just going about his business of hunting dinner.

Yesterday, Cliff and I went for a bike/hike/run. It was so beautiful. We biked to the trailhead, then hiked through a meadow with wildflowers. We saw the fox, pictured above, pouncing on mice and he didn't even mind that we were there. We saw cute little chipmunks and small squirrels. And then, we entered the wooded portion of the hike, up the small mountain. At the top, we could see gorgeous views of the lake below and the surrounding mountains. It was breathtakingly beautiful. We took our time, stopped at the overlooks and finally made our way down on the other side to a dirt road that led back to the trailhead. We hiked up the hills on the mountain and ran the downhills. And, we ran the dirt road leading back to the trailhead and bikes. Back on the bikes now, it was starting to get chillier and the wind had picked up....and then came the rain. It didn't take us long to get back to the condo, but I was huffing and puffing just the same. There is a very steep hill as the path approaches the condo. I didn't think I would be able to ride the bike up, but Cliff told me how to gear the bike down and make it easier to pedal. I made it....I couldn't breathe, couldn't talk or even sit up straight, but I made it. And the thought of vomiting again was real. But, I didn't even do that. I was tired, but felt fine afterwards. I had made a breakthrough. Who needs oxygen, anyway? Our total miles for yesterday was 7.94 miles.

Here are a few pictures from our hike........

The meadow with the Lake Dillon in the background.
There were pretty wildflowers scattered all around the meadow.
You can't see them very well here.
A close-up of some of the wild flowers.

Cliff at one of the overlooks.

The trail back down the mountain.

The dirt road that leads back to the trail head.
You can vaguely see the condo in the background, across the lake.

And a view from the condo looking towards a part of the mountain where we hiked.

I have so many pictures that it is hard to pick and choose. I want to show you all of them, but I would be here until next week trying to download them. So, I'll have to share a few at a time.

Today, I am going on this neat run that is all downhill. I ran part of it Wednesday and then it started raining on me. You know The Weather Channel's motto....turn around, don't drown. I figured I better heed their warning. Anyway, have you ever seen the "crookedest street in the world" in San Francisco. Well, this section of the running path is almost that crooked. It's like switchback city and it's all downhill. Loved it! Hopefully, I can make the whole 5 miles today without getting drenched, again.

UPDATE: Today's 5-mile run was rained out. Figures. I need to get an earlier start. However, after lunch, Cliff and I did go on another short hike between rain showers. We are going to do the whole thing next week. It was another pretty one, so I'll be sure to bring my camera and share those pictures soon.

Well, after catching you up on the last few days, there is still so much more to tell. I'll have to do it in spurts. I don't think any of us can handle the whole whopping summer all at once. And I'll continue to share our Colorado adventure with you along the and all.

But for now, I'm going to bullet the summer highlights, thus far. I'll go in depth with those a little later on.

June and July:
  • Lidia and Sawyer spent a whole lot of time with us this summer...LaLa Heaven!
  • I've been running a lot. Had to take a couple of weeks off, early July, due to some tendonitis in my ankle....I'm better now and rearing to go.
  • We bought a lake house on Lake Greenwood in SC....A total shocker.
  • Lidia and Sawyer are now avid fisher children....Just wait until you hear this story.
  • Lidia and Sawyer learned to kneeboard.....It was Deja Vu and pure joy.
  • Cliff, Whitney and Jason's 14'er on Mt. Elbert near Leadville, CO.
  • Revel Rockies Half-Marathon - Whitney and me.
  • Cliff's Ironman in Louisville, KY.
Hope everyone is having a great summer. I sure am!

Talk to you soon,



  1. Wow! So many little time! Looks like it was fabulous and getting a lake house to boot...sounds like more info is needed! We had a family reunion years ago in Dillion...great place! Glad you got through the altitude sickness...I had it too when I was there. Crazy! Can't wait to hear more about your adventures and see more pics! Have a good week!

  2. That sounds like a dream place! Somewhere with loads of fresh air, nice springs and where it's so easy to be active. I hope you enjoy the rest of your time and keep sharing your beautiful pictures with us!

  3. I am glad you are enjoying my beloved CO so much - and acclimating to the altitude. It still takes me a few days, each time I go back. The entire area around Dillon and Breckenridge is so wonderful - was glad to see Lake Dillon had a bit more water in it this summer! Take er' easy on the runs - drink lots of water (but you know that), and I would watch out more for lightning than flooding up there! XOXO

    1. So true....I have seen some lightning that was very scary. Love your beloved CO!!!