Part 1: Trip to Florida
I traveled to Florida in on March 16th to attend a professional symposium. I suspect conference organizers schedule winter events just to sucker people from attending that live cold and snowy places.
This is a photo of the plane that took my to sunny Florida. There was a break in the weather and the plane was not covered with ice.
This is a plane being de-iced at Denver International Airport. I took this picture a year ago while sitting in a plane that had just finished the de-icing process. DIA de-ices planes on an massive industrial scale.
My early morning "red-eye" to Florida was smooth and uneventful. The weather cooperated for once.
Part 2: Snow and Ice
My wife was born in North Carolina and grew up in Florida. When she graduated from college, she moved to Colorado as quickly as she could. I am a 4th generation Colorado native. When I first met the woman that would be my wife, I asked her why she moved here. She had never been in Colorado before she moved from Florida. She answered, "I saw Colorado on TV". Living in my whole life in Colorado I had never seen a commercial for Colorado.
I found this 60-second commercial for Colorado on YouTube. Wow! This commercial makes Colorado look great! Of course, when I see a guy suspended in air as he leaps into a high-country lake I cringe. That water is about one degree above freezing. When he hits that water his lungs are going explode in a gurgling underwater scream! At least when he bounces off the rocky bottom the cold will slow the bleeding! The water may be cold but it ain't deep! Hopefully, the camera crew pulled his battered body out of the near freezing water before hypothermia set in.
There are things in Colorado that the tourism board doesn't show you.
I took this photo with my iPhone. I wasn't going anywhere and had some time on my hands. My car is actually moving at about 3 miles per hour, which turns a 45 mile commute into an epic journey.
My wife loves the snow. I view snow as a simple fact of life. I taught my wife how to drive on icy roads. The general rules are pretty simple: (1) go slower than you think you should; (2) don't do anything suddenly; (3) gearing-down is often better than hitting your brakes; (4) leave lots of room between your car and the car in front of you; and (5) replace your tires way before you see the wear bars.
Part 3: Run In The Florida Sun
On the Tuesday, March 17th, the weather in Orlando was great. The temperature was 86° F. The humidity was a manageable 33%. There was a light breeze of 10 mph.
I decided to go for a run in the sun. My Garmin 910XT reported that the elevation was about 90 feet above sea level. I live at 8,450 feet in Colorado. I was looking forward to having some air to breath.
Here is an oxygen saturation chart. My house is about the same elevation as Breckenridge. Although it may not sound like much, but even after acclimatization, blood oxygen levels at my elevation are 70% of blood oxygen levels at sea level.
I left my hotel in Orlando in light running gear and started slowly.
I ran along a wide sidewalk lined with palm trees. I kind of liked the palm trees. My wife hates palm trees and calls them giant weeds!
I found a concrete path that went around a lake. Even though I crossed a few streets, there were pedestrian bridges over each street. I think that was because of the giant convention center located nearby. You can see the convention center in the background.
I was cruising at an easy pace of 7 minutes per mile, which is a way faster pace than I normally run in the Colorado high country. I pick up the pace a little. The concrete was smooth. There were no hills and lots of oxygen!
The area around the lake was well maintained. There are a few fountains here-and-there. The grass was perfectly manicured.
I was lulled into a false sense of invincibility. I am running like the wind. All of a sudden my legs don't want to cooperate. I have plenty of air in my lungs. I am not tired.
My legs are just not used to going so fast.
I slow down to a 10 minute per mile pace. By the time I make it back to the hotel, I am barely moving at a 12 minute per mile pace. My legs feel like lead. My lungs are feeling just fine-and-dandy. In Colorado, my lungs give out before I can really work my legs. In Florida, my legs gave out.
I guess I have a lot of work to do to get faster. I only ran 5 miles in Orlando. I ran very well for about 2.5 miles on the way out. The run back to the Hotel was misery.
I left Florida the next day.
When I got back to Colorado a storm was rolling in. The green of Florida was replaced by the bleak brown of winter in Colorado.
When I got home the snow was just starting to fall. We have a pot on our deck with sunflower seeds for the Squirrels. We call this "Squirrel in a Pot".
Thanks for reading my blog.
P.S. As of May 3rd the sun is out and the temperature is a balmy 55° F. I am going for the first non-snowy bike ride of 2015.