Three Days, Mile High


Plan: non-run, cross-training workout. Modification: expected to take the day off. Completed: approximately 1.5 miles of hiking and close to 400 steps.

I flew into Denver on Thursday, and by some divine stroke of luck I managed to score a single ticket to the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, with Joe Cocker as the opening act. Please, click through to the Red Rocks site to see how gorgeous this place is. I’ll wait.

Back? Good. When I arrived at the hotel I asked the guy at the desk for the best route to Red Rocks at rush hour. He gave me two stellar pieces of advice. 1) Even though I thought that I was just going to a concert, I was really going for a hike, and 2) Drink two liters of water on my first night — “no alcohol, caffeine or… other stuff at the concert” — to counteract the dehydration from the flight and altitude.

He wasn’t kidding about the hike. My parking spot at Red Rocks was approximately three-quarters of a mile from the entrance, but that was just the start. Once you get to the venue, you have to climb stairs. It was something more than 150 from the road to the stage level, then another 200 to the top. Even though I was only in row 18, I did walk all the way to the top just to see the view of the sparkling city lights beyond. Absolutely gorgeous.


Plan: rest day. Modification: cross-training non-run workout. Completed: upper body weights and yoga at the hotel gym.

Considering the previous evening’s hike, I was going to bail on the workout, but then decided that I really did need to pay a little bit of attention to my abs and arms, simply for the sake of balance.


Plan: 3 mile easy run. Completed: 3 mile easy run plus 3.5 miles of easy walk.

I hadn’t planned to do six miles today. Really. I went out early and ran the Cherry Creek trail in Denver, meeting my mileage requirement. Then I ran into the walking group from the conference. Sure, I thought, I can tag along with them. A cooldown walk would be good. What I didn’t realize was that we were going to do the same three mile loop that I’d just done. The extra half mile came from my additional walk to Starbucks for my standard on-the-road post-workout breakfast of oatmeal and a large black iced tea.

I’m feeling surprisingly good here. Denver is a beautiful place, and I want to make the most of the outdoorsy fitness options that the city has to offer. It turns out that I have a larger schedule gap on Monday than I’d originally thought, so I’m considering heading back out to Red Rocks and doing a hike, just because it’s there. We’ll see how the rest of the trip plays out.

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