Liza Howard. Ultrarunning Mom.

Ultrarunning Mom

Altitude nerd

If I had to list a “happy place,” Leadville at the end of May would be that place.  Here’s our outdoor classroom:


I brought my pulse oximeter along on this trip to track my o2 sats — because I’m just that nerdy.  And because I’ve read and heard how it’s better to show up the night before a race at altitude than try to acclimatize over two or three days — and I wanted to see if that was true for me.
So I flew from DC to Denver and drove directly to Leadville.  My 02 sat was 96% at 4pm when I headed out to run along Turquoise Lake.  (I’m regularly 99% in San Antonio.)  I was 94% the following morning. By 5pm I’d dropped to 89% and 12 miles around Turquoise Lake felt harder than the day before.  This morning I was back up to 93%.  I’m curious to see how the run will feel this evening.  I’ve heard the third day is the worst day as far as running performance goes during acclimatization.  I hope I don’t run too much more slowly than yesterday because I’ve got a lot of work to get done tonight.

So I wasn’t planning to show up the day before the Leadville 100, but it’ll be fun to see how much my sats increase over the next week — and how quickly.

Gotta get a cup of coffee to fuel the afternoon now.

8 thoughts on “Altitude nerd

  1. Alison Bryant says:

    Glad to hear that other people enjoy checking their O2 sats as well.  I like to check it when I am having asthma trouble, I would have loved to see what it was when I finished Jemez half marathon.  Looking forward to talking to you

    • Liza Howard says:

      Same!  about the talking.  
      My students are having a lot of fun with the pulse ox too.  The 02 sats drop throughout the day — I was back to 90% tonight.  I wonder why that is.
      Good grief it’s beautiful here.  

  2. Mike Whitenton says:

    Keep us posted on the pulse O2 progress. I have a running vacation to the Sangre De Cristo mountains in July. Seven days and I’m deciding when to insert my 40 miler – right away or day 6? Leaning toward day 6 so I can acclimate as much as possible.

    • Liza Howard says:

      That sounds like a wonderful trip.  This morning my O2 sat was 93% (3.5 days total at altitude.)  My run felt about the same as it did the first afternoon I was here.  I felt and ran much slower on the Day 2 and Day 3.

  3. Steph says:

    that looks way funner than the indoor class I’m in for part of the summer… students sleeping, checking their phones, texting. Yikes.
    Would much rather be outside, even if I would still be learning calculus! haha 

    • Liza Howard says:

      I am glad I’m not teaching calculus right now Steph!  Wish you could be out here taking this class.  

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