So we have been in Colorado about one week and I have learned several things. First, running at 8000 feet is hard, hard, hard. The lower oxygen level means higher heart rates and harder work to maintain the same pace. Because you feel your body working harder and struggling, it is much harder to get into a rhythm or pace or groove. Its just heavy breathing, pushing pace, pushing oneself further. And I know that I won't get any altitude training effect when I go back to sea level -- apparently you need to be at altitude for 20 days to get significant training boost (mainly increased red blood cell count). So, my runs have been hard runs, and recovery is more difficult.
Also, it is much drier up here -- much less humidity. That means I am always thirsty, and on my runs, just parched.
Finally, my appetite has been crazy. I have been ravenously hungry almost non stop. But when you stop to eat, you get full without eating a huge meal. And then like three hours later, back to starving. I have no idea what my weight will be when I get back to the flatland.
Finally, it is simply beautiful here. Today on my run (in which I crossed the Roaring Fork River 6 times), I saw an uncountable number of chipmunks, bear tracks, 2 rabbits, and a female deer munching on grass about ten feet away from my trail. That is in addition to various kayakers, paragliders and fly fishermen. Just another lovely summer day in Colorado.