Week in Colorado

It’s Friday!  Feels kind of weird to me because I got back from a 6-day trip last night…just in time for the weekend!

Last Saturday, Andrea, Bre, and I left for Keystone, Colorado, for an audiology conference/camp.  We flew out of Chicago early Saturday morning for a week of learning and networking in the mountains with other audiology students.  I had fun meeting future colleagues who are also going through this difficult yet exciting endeavor called grad school, and I was interested in hearing about different clinic & research experiences.

photo 3Bre, Andrea, me

We alternated eating and learning all week and joked that our typical day looked something like this:
…They clearly have graduate students all figured out, and the food was fantastic.  BBQ buffet, pizza & ice cream sundaes, cook outs, lasagna, a grill-your-own-meat restaurant…and a bowl of Jolly Ranchers on every flat surface.

We were also given plenty of free time to explore the area.  I had only been to Colorado once before, but it’s on my short list of The Most Awesome States…as long as I can get over a bad hair day every day (curly hair likes humidity).  I’m from the flat and corn-filled Midwest, so the mountains are extra exciting and BEAUTIFUL.  I woke up super early each morning to run before our academic day began (it was light out by 5:45am!), and the hour of running seemed flew by because there was so much to look at.

Saturday: ~6 miles EARLY before we left
 ~6 miles (didn’t notice an altitude difference in breathing because I stopped every 5 minutes to take pictures)
Monday: ~6.5 miles (stopped twice to breathe)
Tuesday: ~6.5 miles (stopped twice to breathe)
Wednesday: ~6.5 miles (stopped like 6 times to breathe/wheeze/pant)
Thursday: rest
Friday: rest

Transitioning from about 600 feet (Purdue) to a little over 9200 feet (Keystone) was a big shock to my lungs, and they needed a walking break after a few miles to gasp for air.  I wore a normal watch instead of my Garmin and went at an easy-feel pace, but it’s crazy how an easy run for my legs felt like speed work to my lungs.  Here’s a good Q&A on the basics of running in high altitude.
The morning runs were so much fun that I looked forward to waking up early to see the mountains again.  I probably shouldn’t have run so many miles in a short amount of time immediately after an injury, but nothing ended up hurting, and I took off both Thursday and Friday to recover.

Now…a photo dump of my favorite pictures taken from runs throughout the week.  I ran the same trail every morning because I am fully aware of my history of getting lost.
photo 2photo 2 photo 3  photo 2  photo 4  photo 3

As I mentioned, Bre and Andrea also came on this trip, and I was happy to travel with and spend a week with two of my greatest grad pals.  Little sleep, lots of together time, and still friends 😉photo 2

Travel tip: If you have a leaky water bottle in your book bag, put a package of pretzel goldfish crackers at the bottom of your book bag.  It will soak up all of the water like a sponge, leaving you with soggy pretzels but a dry camera and iPad.
photo 1

Aside from learning, eating, and running, we:
…hiked the Continental divideDSCN1857

…appreciated its vast beauty

…toured a gold mine (Fun fact: I mixed up the name and legitimately told people that we were going to the Little Boy Cave instead of the Country Boy Mine, so we dubbed it that all week).
photo 5

…gawked at things we don’t see in the Midwestphoto 4

Things we didn’t do: sleep, get hungry

I have family in Colorado, and I got to see them too!  They so kindly took me out to dinner, and I got a salad to help out the food triplets in my stomach.

It was a fun and power-packed week, so I’m ready to catch up on sleep and vegetables.  Have a good one!

Have you run at a high altitude?
Most fun thing you’re doing this weekend?
Favorite jolly rancher flavor?


13 thoughts on “Week in Colorado

  1. Isn’t Colorado just amazing?! I’m a transplant from the east coast and after living here for 14 years, I am finally hiking my first 14er tomorrow! Blue jolly ranchers are my fav! 😉

  2. Oh my goodness! I’m actually reading this from Colorado not nc haha!

    Ey im so happy you love this state, it definately my happy place. That’s so cool you get to travel I awesome places for your school!

    It’s so funny how some days running at alititude feel semi-normal while others feel like death.

    Love love love the photo dump! I seriously can’t get enough of this place!

  3. You know that the way to a grad student’s heart is through their stomach! The Mountain west is so amazing. I’ve met so many Midwesterners who first came out west for a couple of years and have never found their way back!

  4. Pingback: 10 miles and Lake Michigan | the mile report

  5. So fun! I love Colorado and want to visit again soon, I went a few years ago. My favorite Jolly Rancher flavor is definitely watermelon 🙂 One of my best friends from nursing school always has a ton with her and I loved those babies!

  6. WOW so jealous- I really want to visit colorado! Also that food all sounds amazingggg. hahaha I legit laughed out loud at the soggy goldfish picture. I would probably be heartbroken over that, ha!!

    • haha glad you appreciate the soggy goldfish pic!

      After the picture, this conversation happened:
      me: “guys, I think the goldfish will be okay if I just put them in a big ziplock.”
      friends: “no, that’s gross”
      me: “…but I love pretzels”

      • bahaha! that’s what friends are for… telling you to not eat soggy goldfish, no matter how delicious they once were!

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