Running in Reno
Of all the places I’ve run, higher elevations are always the most challenging.
They higher up you go, the less oxygen there is to breath. While “sea level” versus “5,000 feet” might not seem like a big difference, it really is — especially when you’re working out and gasping for air. This becomes critical after a few miles, because there’s just not enough oxygen to breath without getting a bit light-headed.
In sports, we often hear about visiting teams playing in cities like Denver and Salt Lake City, and getting winded late in the game. I think it’s the same for amateur athletes and recreational runners, too — like me. Probably even more so for someone a bit older, since we’re not in nearly as good physical condition as younger people used to this elevation.
I’m visiting Reno over the next week, staying at the famous Peppermill, which is located in the center of the city. In fact, there’s a small lake nearby. From the vantage point of my hotel room window, this seemed like the perfect place for my daily run.
I like exercising at high altitude (Reno is perched at 4,400 feet). But it’s admittedly challenging. A few weeks ago, I visited South Lake Tahoe which is a heart-melting 6,200 feet in elevation. That’s always been the most difficult of my many runs over the years (sea level is by far the easiest). It’s also much colder there, too. In fact, each time at Lake Tahoe I had to scale back my distances to just three miles or so, because I’m simply not used to the thin air.
This morning, I ran in Reno for the first time. Here’s a snapshot I took of Virginia Lake Park, right in the middle of the city. You can see the Peppermill Casino there in the background.
Here’s the backside of the park (below). What a great place to go for a walk….or a run!
Here are a few of the “locals” enjoying the sunshine.
There’s a canal on the other side of the lake, filled with ducks.
Here’s the farthest point away from the Peppermill, on the other side of the lake. The fountain is in the middle.
Now, I’m leaving Virginia Lake Park, and heading back to the Peppermill. Note there are no fences built around this park and lake, and everyone seems to be doing just fine.
Since I started running seriously about two years ago, I’ve had the pleasure of running in many different places. I’ve written about a few of those experiences here:
While I’m staying here in Reno, I hope to run each and every day. But there’s more much excitement ahead, if you want to call it that.
My next goal will be to make at least one run from the Peppermill all the way downtown, to the famous “Reno: The Biggest Little City in the World” sign. With zig-zagging streets and traffic, that’s about seven miles total, round trip — which is considerably longer than I’m used to running each day.
And so, that’s my next goal.
I’ll post a photo soon of me in my running attire, standing in front of the famous sign in downtown Reno. Hopefully, I won’t be too much out of breath.