Have you ever gone from sea level to 9,000 feet in less than 24 hours and run a half marathon? I know, that's a dare on par with betting someone they can't eat a whole jalapeño. This was not a dare. I did this on my own accord because I am training for the marathon and needed to get my long weekend run in while on vacation. I had planned this trip in advance of signing on for the marathon and there just happened to be a half marathon in Aspen at the time I planned to travel there. Lucky me.
So, here's a rundown of what to expect on a very hilly course (hills at the end of the race...extra awesome), in the hot sun at 9,000 feet after coming from sea level with less than 24 hours to acclimatize; cramping, flaming knee and thigh pain, wanting to cry in the middle of a race and utter and complete exhaustion. This was the first half I have ever had to walk at several points but somehow I managed to beat my Chicago Women's Half time which I ran about a month ago. I started out strong but the hills at the end killed me. The race organizers said that this was a mostly downhill course. Bastards lied.
Anyway, so I lived and the remainder of the vacation was excellent. As you can see from the pics, Colorado is never short on breath-taking scenery and fun things to do. This was my first paddle boarding stint and I loved being much closer to the water and scenery than I would be in a boat.
One last tip on the Aspen and Basalt areas; skip the high end shops and head to the consignment shops. God bless rich people throwing out gorgeous clothing after wearing it once and sometimes not wearing it at all. At one consignment shop I saw a Versace dress with the Saks tag still on showing a price of $1,335. The consignment shop price was $250. I ended up getting a jacket, skirt and a top for just under $100. These items, with their gorgeous cut, fabric and design fit me like a glove. Hooray.