Biking & Hiking At Elevation Is Humbling, to say the least

If I had to rate my fitness, I’d give myself a 9/10. 

Because back in Florida, I rode fast with the early morning boys’ group, and logged some long weekend running miles in the hot sun. I destroyed set after set of burpees, and threw around some weights during HIIT workouts at the gym.

Then. Then I moved to Colorado, and that 9/10 suddenly dropped to about a 5/10. Maybe closer to 4.

The other day my sister asked me how I was adjusting to the elevation out here. (Louisville, CO sits at about around 5,335 feet. Tampa is hovering around 48 feet << LOL) I said, “I’m pretty sure the elevation isn’t affecting me. Just the hills.”


We had a jam-packed Saturday. Let me show you what went down.


I’m pretty lucky because my cousin’s husband is an Ironman triathlete and he’s always down to train. We got kitted up and rolled out around 8 a.m. without a planned route.

Rolling hills turned into HILLS. Everywhere we looked: mountains! You can’t escape them even if you wanted to.

Poor guy had to wait for me at the bottom of every hill. I’m a wussy on the descents.

The inclines were just brutal, but totally awesome, so that’s what I chalked my serious huffing and puffing up to: the ascents. I think the lack of oxygen has killed off a significant number of my brain cells. 

I got in around 40 miles, which was just enough to get the cold, dry coughs. Brings me back to my XC days ❤

Back home we re-grouped and refueled for our next activity of the day…because it’s way too beautiful here to sit inside all day.

Basically all the veggies I didn’t want to go bad plus eggs. SUH GOOD.


When my cousin got home from work in the afternoon, we stuffed our backpacks with PB&Js and headed for Estes Park.

Everyone had the same idea because it took us about two hours to get there, normally a one-hour trip.

We parked at the Deer Lake trailhead, which starts at almost 9,000 feet. STARTS. AT. NINE. THOUSAND. FEET. The second we got out of the car and started the climb, I felt it. The elevation hit me so hard. I was dizzy and breathing hard right away. Not good. I even felt a little nauseous. The hike was six miles round trip, but I’m pretty sure we only made it about one mile out before my pansy ass needed to turn the group around.

The views, though? Come on.

Just trying to hold it together.

We came back down and stopped at Sprague Lake, a little body of water nestled between the mountain peaks. Gorgeous!

If Saturday was a fitness test, I probably would’ve failed. But I gave myself an A for effort and a big juicy elk burger back in town as a reward. Not the best thing ever, but…when in Colorado!

Here’s to more adventures, and more training at elevation, so we can crush the next hike!

Push on, PUSH ANIMALS >>>

2 Replies to “Biking & Hiking At Elevation Is Humbling, to say the least”

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