Running in the cold at high elevation has its rewards |

Running in the cold at high elevation has its rewards

Kristen Lodge
The View from 8,000 Feet

Every Sunday for the past two weekends I ran up Cottonwood Pass (well, I should say I was run/walking since my heart felt like it was going to explode in my chest). Running is my way to release stress and think through problems. I always write the best stories in my head while running, too. I waited until noon for the warmest part of the beautiful blue, bird day to start running. I waved to everyone who drove by – one of the great things about living in small towns – everyone waves.

I’m still adjusting to the cold and elevation. After three years of living at 2,000 feet in the southwest desert, it’s taking some time; getting older doesn’t quicken the adjustment to living at almost 8,000 feet.

I will myself forward and make it to the four mile mark on County Road 55, which is one mile farther than the week before. The elevation app on my iPhone displays that I am at 8,685 feet. No wonder my heart feels like it is will explode.

My life has always been about pushing myself out of my comfort zone. My comfort zone is typically a 20-mile radius from my house. I sign up for races, try new sports, and tag along with friends who like to go out to push myself from the ordinary. Despite what life has thrown at me my mantra has always been to keep moving forward – no matter what – hopefully with grace, gratitude, and purpose.

I’m just 30 days into this new adventure coming back to the mountains and becoming the general manager at the Sky-Hi News. It’s not new terrain working at the newspaper but being responsible for it is. Balancing work life and triathlon training in the winter is an adjustment but I feel lucky that there are amazing facilities here for athletes who like to train and race year-round.

So far I have worked out at the Fraser Valley Rec and participated in Deanne Burgos’ Spin Circuit class. Wow, was that tough. I met a few triathletes in the class and will join the triathlon training class they will hopefully have at the beginning of the year. I plan to swim at Snow Mountain Ranch and join Mountain Fitness to get in Ironman-racing shape with weights and indoor cycling class.

Explore Grand

In two weeks we will be publishing the winter edition of Explore Grand. I challenge our Grand County locals, second homeowners, and visitors to use this magazine as your go-to guide to learning about the area and to inspire you to try new sports, restaurants, and activities. Explore Grand is chock-full of things to do in Grand County for families and the hard-core adventurer from fat biking and winter training to snowmobiling and dog sledding. Plus, we highlight all the major events in the calendar.

I’m happy to be back in Grand County despite exchanging extreme heat for extreme cold. It has been a treat to be welcomed back by so many people who have called, emailed, or stopped by the Sky-Hi News office. I eagerly await more visitors, new and old, to say hi and offer suggestions on how to make this an even better newspaper. I will be out at events taking pictures and asking questions (one of my favorite things about being in the newspaper biz) so please introduce yourself if you see me.

And, if you see me huffing and puffing as I run on the snow-packed county roads, please wave.

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