I got started at 4:45 am this morning. It was still dark. I made my way up the road and onto the bike path across the Dillon Reservoir Dam. Once there it was just light enough to see the horizon. Running up to the lake and heading south and west around it there was a head wind. I started pretty slow, but once I got to the level I found myself averaging around 8:30 a mile. On the south side of the lake I had to go over a pretty good hill and down the other side. The uphill was 2 miles long and my pace slowed to around 11 minute miles. All totaled I ran just a tad under 20 miles and finished just with just enough time to shower and get down to the conference….
I did a little research last night trying to find out exactly when it would get light. The Sunrise would out be until around 6. But of course, it is light before sunrise. So I tried to find out when it would get light. I learned that there were two kinds of twilight in play here. At Nautical twilight the horizon would become visible and ancient sailors could use it for navigation. At Civil twilight there is enough light to carry on normal daylight activities. As I said, I began the run at around nautical twilight. Once I got to the dam I noticed that I could see the horizon and that I could easily see my running path. As the run carried on, on several occasions I had a definite experience of sudden changes in the intensity of the daylight.
The other observation is the effect that the altitude appears to be having on me. As I walk around and go about my day I do not notice anything…… except when I climb. Our room is on the 4th floor and Cheryl and I almost always take the stairs. Every trip, we get to the top winded. As I ran today, going up the big hill winded me, but big hills are supposed to do that. The unusual effect I was experiencing was that every single little climb, and there were lots of them, would cause a great apparent increase in exertion. During one, I paused to drink some water and I had a difficult time drinking due to the labored effort of my breath. So, any increase in exertion must be met with an unusually large increase in respiration…
But still, like I said before, on the flatter parts of the run, my pace was typically 8:15 to 8:30….
Tomorrow we are taking a ride up to the continental divide to watch the sunrise….. Fun!