I like to think I’m in decent shape. Truthfully, I’m just lying to myself, but I do enjoy running. I am finally back on an exercise program since leaving the States. The problem? I’m at 8,000 feet.
I think I realized I had a problem a few weeks ago. While I was drinking a glass of water, I broke out into a sweat and started huffing and puffing. Since when did drinking become exercise? I mean, yes, curling the beer to your mouth pumps the biceps, but I’ve never had my heart race as fast as it did that night with that glass of water. But, I reminded myself, I am higher than the mile high city. I’m higher that every major city in America (I think), and I’m at the third highest capital in the world. Ok, so I have an excuse to be this out of shape.
Still… I hate that feeling. I hate huffing and puffing as I walk around. Frequently, I have to stop and take a breather as I walk up a small (but intimidating) hill. Time to make a change.
I knew of an outdoor theater near by my apartment. I figured this would be a great place to kick off my workout, run a few stairs, and pump some muscles. For my first intense workout at altitude, I casually walked to where I was going to begin. But, when I got to the stadium, I was already spent. I knew this workout would be interesting.
After stretching, I took off. Sprinting up the stairs, I found the first three seconds surprisingly easy. But then, for some odd reason, my body needed oxygen. That’s when it hit me. No joke, after eight seconds, I was having trouble breathing. Each sprint took me less than twenty seconds, something that was easily accomplished in the States. Here, I was crawling within ten seconds.
I kept going. No pain, no gain. I seriously thought I was having a heart attack after every sprint, but I knew I had to push myself. I kept going and going and going. And then, after an intense 2-hour workout (at least I thought), I decided to call it quits. I looked at my watch. I barely made it twenty minutes.
Since that day, I have kept working, pushing myself harder and harder. I’m now able to run a few miles, but it still kills me. Hopefully, it’ll continue to get easier.
There’s a road I run along in the mountains… overlooking Bogotá. The view is to die for. Expect a photo journey of my run soon.