Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Fact...I live in Williston, Vermont.  The latitude of Williston is 44.437N and the longitude is -73.068W.  I reside in the Eastern Standard time zone.  My house sits at an elevation of approximately 604 feet.  I live about half an hour from the base of Mount Mansfield which is the highest mountain in VT with a summit that peaks at 4,395 feet above sea level. 

Therein lies the problem.  I have chosen to race at altitude this year.  Having experienced Hope Pass in Colorado, which has a summit elevation of over 12,500 feet during Transrockies two years ago I know that my body does not acclimate with the blink of an eye or a beat of my heart.  Knowing that I do not want to unnecessarily suffer further than I already will I came to the conclusion that every problem has possible solutions.  With some research and some advice from a fellow Salomon teammate I contacted Hypoxico to learn more about their products and get recommendations.  In the end I went with the queen size deluxe tent and generator.  

When they arrived I lugged them into the house and figured it would be a good project for Geo and I together.  Of course as I became impatient I opened the boxes and pulled out the tent and generator and then cleaned up the shipping materials.  I read up on the instructions for erecting the tent and hooking up the generator.  I then visited the interweb to check out information on progressing with elevation.  The most common advice seemed to be to take it slow and let your body adjust as it is a process that cannot be forced.  

Before I knew it Geo was home and carrying our new sleep system upstairs.  To his amazement I had already rearranged our bedroom furniture to accommodate the height of the tent, crossfit is paying off! Setting the tent up was very similar to putting up our normal outdoor tent.  Snap some poles together, thread them through sleeves, insert poles into tabs and allakhazam the tent was standing.  

As I stepped back and looked at it with Geo we both pondered over what it reminded us of.  The determination was that if it had wheels it would be a chuck wagon.  

We actually spent the first night with the side flaps up and zero generator just to let the dogs get accustom to seeing it. Thankfully Timber and Lily do not sleep in our bed, otherwise that would just make this experiment even more interesting. We are now slowly building in altitude and started at 6,000ft. It is a bit embarrassing, but us "sea levelers" felt the lack of oxygen even at that elevation.  Some nights I feel like bubble girl all zipped in.  The generator immediately replaced my noise machine and it all is becoming more and more routine.  


  1. Oh man, the (closer to) space race has started. I'll need to up my game, literally to hang at Leadville! ;-)

  2. Glad you decided to go with the tent! Awesome!

  3. Ease into acclimating and be sure to cut back on the volume for the first few weeks. You'll find it will help a LOT!

  4. Devon - Thanks for your input on the tent, getting feedback from an actual user was helpful and much appreciated.

    Bryon - I figured I needed to up my game since you were purely a gentleman last year letting me go by on the climb up to Devils Thumb.

    Derrick - Thanks for the advice, I am sure I will have more questions for you and Sara as things progress. Are you snowshoe marathoning this winter in VT?

    1. Doubt I'll be running Pittsfield. Just raced a 100 in the Yukon. You?

  5. Aliza,
    I was thinking, if you don't want to carry everything with you to the airport you are always welcome to mail stuff to our house. Let your fam know if they want to come out there's room for them too!

  6. it sounds like a great solution to acclimate to run in that height. It is impressive tha there is something like that to do it better in that height.