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  • Mindless Moments – December 10, 2008

    Wed, 10 Dec 2008 20:27:45 -0800

    Huddle’s comments on Paula’s recent post regarding the trip to Utah for snow (we don’t get much of that here in so. cal), hiking, running, swimming, and losing weight at altitude.
    Roch demonstrates how not to start your first day (evening) at 8,000 feet…with a beer. That’s just Roch. He’s a giver. He wants to take one for you and make sure you don’t make the same mistake.

    Well, if Roch’s having a beer, Paula might as well have a beer too. 8000 feet? Hah! We’re athletes. Kind of. Sort of. We were at one time. Anyway, what’s a beer or two among friends…at 8000 feet.

    Meet Gidget and Morgan. The dogs didn’t drink beer last night and look ready for what lies ahead.

    Roch, however, wasn’t looking so hot. Nevertheless, the beauty of the great outdoors was too much – why not get in an easy 1.5-hour hike/jog. Great idea.

    Roch, Paula, and Heather at about 9,000 feet. Shouldn’t have had that beer last night, huh? Ah, it’s only another 1000-feet to the top and then it’s all downhill. Maybe we’ll have a beer when we get back – or collapse in a heap.

    By the look of their smiles, Morgan and Gidget are unaffected by the climb, altitude, or distance. “Where are the deer? We want to chase deer. We don’t want to catch deer but we want to chase them. They look like big dogs. Big friendly dogs. Do you think they carry snacks

    It might be downhill but that doesn’t mean that the humans aren’t breathing. Gidget takes the lead away from Roch on the long downhill to the bar, er, house.

    What a run. Everyone gets together for the obligatory group shot. We were happy to just stand. The dogs, however, were ready to keep going. “why is everyone just standing here facing a fence with a camera on it? Where are the deer? Can we start running again? When do we eat?” So it goes.

    There’s nothing better than a couch at the end of a big running day. Morgan and Gidget agree.

    Whose shoes? We thought it was a pain to put on two shoes ‘til we got shoes for the dogs. When Newton comes up with canine shoes we’re doomed – we’ll never keep up.

    Do as we say? Whatever. That’s why we’re so darn good at handing out advice – we make sure we live the mistakes so that you don’t have to. No, there’s nothing quite like being immersed up to your cranial follicles in a good mistake to drive the lesson home and make it part of the fiber of your being.

    Ok, yeah, Paula’s right. On our recent trip up to Utah, we made every stupid mistake an athlete (and I use that term very loosely) can make but, hey, we were excited. It was beautiful and there was snow and we used to do this for a living…like 20-years and 20-lbs ago. I’ll use the excuse that I was just following my dog’s lead. Gidget (The Wonder Dog) didn’t seem too worried about going easy or pacing herself so I was just keeping up with her. She didn’t seem any worse for the extra exuberance. What a mistake.

    Sleeping at 8000 feet is a workout. You heard right. You can lie there and get in shape. Ok, not really but it sure felt like that. Realizing that I was working harder just sitting around – let alone sleeping – meant that I was burning more calories. I relayed this physiological fact to the crew but everyone just gave me that look. They knew I was just giving myself an excuse to eat more – like I need an excuse. Well, after 5-days on the hill, I can tell you that I am 3lbs lighter than when I started…and I didn’t skimp on dessert!

    Move over Jenny Craig, there’s a new sheriff in town and his name’s Paul “Chomolungma”* Huddle. I’m going to build the ultimate fat camp – at 8 to 10,000 feet. Don’t laugh. Have you ever seen a fat sherpa? It’s going to be a blockbuster. You can stick with a decent amount of daily calories but you can’t go below the camp’s altitude for the duration of your stay. You can exercise for altitude credits. For every half hour of walking you do, you get to sleep at 500-feet lower altitude (hyperbaric chambers). No walking, you sleep right there at 8 to 10,000…and watch yourself disappear with every hypoxic breath.

    Ok, maybe I won’t start this next year but if this coaching thing ever dries up, I’ve got a backup plan to rid mankind of the spare tire.

    Speaking of tires and, in particular, changing them, what’s all the crying about? I’ll wait to get into that subject in the next installment.

    *Tibetan word for Mt. Everest