I am now in Boulder, training in preparation for the Pan American Championships in Oklahoma City on May 16th.
The transition to altitude is a crazy thing. Here I thought I was in excellent shape and only come to find out that I can't breathe at all! Wearing my Garmin 405 yesterday on my easy run, I thought it would be amusing to track my heart rate. At sea level I got it down to 132 on my easy runs, but now, it was very content to sit at about 178. By the end of the run I was dizzy and ready to lie down.
Last year, when I came to altitude, swimming was the most difficult sport for me to get used to. In fact I don't think I ever really got used to it. This year, though, swimming seems to be the easiest sport for me to adjust to. Although, I haven't tried to go hard at anything yet, so maybe that will change things.
Today, I am off on an easy long ride. I plan to take my Edge 705 and my HR monitor to make sure that I keep my effort as easy as possible. If you go too hard too soon at altitude you can end up burying yourself in a ditch that you can't climb out of. With a big race coming up it is really important to acclimate quickly and then get in a short block of really hard training to set myself up to race fast.