Tuesday, June 4, 2013


The first time I came to Leadville in 2009 I will never forget the feeling as I summited Fremont pass. I had a headache, I was breathing rapidly and I was lightheaded. I was driving. 

A week and a half after I arrived here this time I rode over the pass on my bike. I was happy to not experience those same sensations. I wasn't able to push hard though and took it pretty easy to the summit both directions.  The first few days I was here I would check my pulse oximetry (I may not work as a nurse anymore but I still love the medical devices:)). At rest I was 90-93% with a heart rate in the low 50's. When I would test it at light activity, such as scrubbing walls (which took 3 days) I would drop to 86-88% with a heart rate in the 80's. The first time I did an easy trainer ride I couldn't get my heart rate up over 120 without my Oxygen sats dropping to the low 80's. This is probably not that interesting to most of you but it is how I was testing my progress. It's funny that I am so excited to use my pulse oximeter when I don't have a computer on my bikes and I don't use a heart rate monitor and rarely break out the Garmin. (which I haven't done yet here because I really don't need to be told I am going slow). 

Last Friday I was able to do a tough trainer workout and actually work hard. It was super windy, gusting to 50mph in town and I didn't think it was smart to head out over a pass with no one available to rescue me. Tana has been a great companion but she still hasn't mastered driving. We will work on that. During the trainer workout I was happy that I could push as hard as at sea level. Three years ago when I had the princess canopy bed I also had a mask to use on the trainer. The more acclimated I got the harder it was to drop my oxygen saturations. It is a nice feeling when it is no longer your lack of oxygenation holding you back but your legs. Now the real work can begin, I am saturated.

Drove my heart rate into the 160's and couldn't get my saturation below 90. (it was tricky to get a picture while still working hard enough to maintain these numbers)


  1. It's probably a good thing I don't own one of those oximiter thingies, I'd probably come unglued knowing the stats (I'm already half undone as it is :)). I think it's really impressive though; you're making progress in our thin air here, those numbers don't lie!

    You're going to laugh when you hear how hard I breathe when I come up there to "run". Like I live below sea level on the Mariana Trench or something.

    Have a fantastic rest of the week training!

  2. I think I need to learn about these things! :)