Working Out at High Altitude

26 Nov

Spending the last week at my parents’ house meant that I was going to the gym and exercising at an altitude about 1,000 feet higher than where I live. I didn’t think about the change until I went to the gym on Tuesday to start my walk-to-run program and was exhausted after 30 minutes of run 1 minute/walk 1 minute. I realized when I left the gym that the slight change in altitude had probably worn me out sooner. On Wednesday I did 30 minutes of incline walking and was similarly exhausted, and also frustrated because I’m used to being able to really push myself at home.

I skipped out on Thursday to spend more time with my parents and to help my mom cook Thanksgiving dinner, and I think it was totally worth it. I’d considered going to the gym first thing in the morning but it was better to be at home.

I woke up on Friday really not feeling the gym. My mom suggested I go for a run around our neighborhood and I decided to walk up to the track at my former middle school and run on a flatter surface since I’m not used to running outside.

The weather outside was frightful.

And this “run” was anything but delightful. I tried to push myself to run 1 minute/walk 3 minutes like I was supposed to do for my walk-to-run plan but the wind was freezing my ears, my lungs were burning, and my head was pounding. I spent 30 minutes trying to get my body to do what I wanted before heading home. It was definitely the most miserable workout I’ve had in a long time. Once I got home I couldn’t stop coughing and I’ve gained a new respect for people who run outside all the time. I used to do it and I’m definitely out of practice so I’m hoping I can get back into it in the spring when the weather is more agreeable.

On Saturday I thought about skipping the gym because I was going to drive back to Denver but my friend Trish from when I was growing up posted on Facebook that she was heading to the gym but wasn’t really feeling it either so I commented to see if she wanted to go together. We hadn’t seen each other for 10 years and it was great to catch up and have a gym buddy.

Sweaty and tired after our workout!

Trish recently became a personal trainer and she ran me through a total body workout and helped me with my form on some strength moves I’d been doing wrong for basically forever. Thanks, Trish! I learned so much from her about how to build muscle, which I’m trying to do, and her friend Pauline told me I have a “cardio build” which made me feel like I look more in shape than I actually am, hah!

Totally buff!

I had a really great time and it was wonderful to catch up with a friend who I really hadn’t seen in forever. I’m so proud of Trish who has lost 80 lbs, reached her goal of becoming a trainer, and is building her own client list. She’s done a total 180 as far as her health goes and I think she looks great. I think she’s going to be an amazing trainer because she’s so relatable and not judgy. She seriously wants to help people work hard to reach their health and fitness goals and feel better about themselves the way she has worked hard herself. I’m trying to convince her to start a blog to tell her story because I think she’s an inspiration and many people will connect with her.


  • Do you prefer to work out inside or outside?
  • Have you ever worked with a personal trainer?

2 Responses to “Working Out at High Altitude”

  1. Sarah November 28, 2011 at 3:39 am #

    look at you muscles!! thanks for all the sweet comments. it’s nice to know that I’m not alone. the hardest part is not cheating!!

    • Felicia November 28, 2011 at 3:52 am #

      Not cheating is really hard. At this point I’ve pretty much cut out fried foods because they make me sick, dairy because I’m intolerant, a lot of gluten because it just makes my stomach feel really heavy, and high fat foods in general. I still let myself have treats once in awhile but I eat a lot of veggies, rice/rice noodles, soups, stir fries, soy based protein, eggs, and some fish because I can’t give it up. It’s not so bad! It makes you get creative with cooking for sure.

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