Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Difference Between Altitude and Sea Level

Where I come from in Florida (after almost 8 years I should probably claim the state as my own), elevation is measured by the amount of feet above sea level. Our house stands a proud 8 feet above sea level, which is very high for the area. The only hills we have are bridges.

Here in Utah, elevation is referred to as altitude and is mostly measured in thousands. Logan has an approximate altitude of 4500 feet. Hills are virtually unavoidable, especially since my parents live on the side of a mountain.

So, what is the difference between altitude and sea level?

For me, blue lips.

I went for my first high altitude run today and I thought I was going to pass out. My goal was just to make it through the run alive -- or at least without having to seek medical attention. The good news: I survived, and even enjoyed the change in running climate. I think the cold affects my bladder, too, because I didn't have to pee at all (whew!). The bad news: I think my lips were blue due to oxygen deprivation.

Because of this, I am seriously re-contemplating my participation in the Salt Lake City marathon this spring, seriously (I know I said seriously twice, but I thought it deserved emphasis). The problem is two-fold. First, Saturday marathons in Florida are rare. For being in the Bible Belt, people sure do find a lot of other things to do on Sundays besides going to church. Second, I didn't run last year with my sister-in-laws and this year would be a redemption run for me. But would it be too little too late?

As for my full-body pics next year, I am SERIOUSLY re-contemplating that! I glanced at myself this morning in the brutal Utah light of my parents house and I almost laughed (or cried, sometimes it's difficult to distinguish the two). But, alas, I have committed to myself and all three regular bloggers that read my site (thanks mom, Anna, and Alisa). So, come the new year, I'll be baring all that is within my moral limits to help the cause of regaining my skinny self.

Until then I'll try not to glance -- and try to enjoy the altitude.


Liza said...

Consider me a groupie :) Ok where I live at about 4400 ft (says Ed I just asked,) it was a high of 29 today and I would wager that you were colder (Logan is usually is)and that the blue lips had to do with the fact that they havn't probably been that cold in 8 years. I do think elevation plays some role, but when I went home to WA and went running next to the water, so at sea level, it was still hard- I think mostly because it was so muggy. Also when Erin came from low elevation TX to run the half marathon it didn't seem to bother her. So don't give up on it just yet- please! But WAY TO GO, going running on your first actual day here and in such cold weather. I usually opt for the treadmill. You rule!

julie said...

I've been lurking around and reading your blog religiously--just not leaving comments. Sorry about that. I'm a blog newbie, I guess.

Good for you going running in the Logan chill. I'm with Alisa and opt for the treadmill. As for the SLC Marathon, I'd love it if YOU ran it, and I'd be there for you if you did, but you'd have to do a lot of sweet-talking to get me to run it. It's just a little to soon for me, perhaps. Oh, and I can't wait to see these oh-so-horrifying full-body pics!

Diet Coke and Zingers said...

Hey- Anna's aunt here (and Brandon's too I guess)... your blog is great... and I'm just impressed that you're running. Period. I only run when someone is chasing me with a knife, and since that doesn't happen often... well... you get the idea.