The smart me said don't do it.
The competitive me won, because us humans tend to favor the side that we really really like better and therefore I found more pros vs cons for racing.
I decided since I will be in Flagstaff for the next year that I should take full advantage of the beautiful trails, the 7000 ft, my access to awesome student athletic facilities...AND...racing the NATRA series in Flagstaff.
*May 18th, 8 AM: Mountain Charter School Run for the Mountain 10K/5K/2K at Fort Tuthill.
*June 1st, 7:30 AM: Native Americans for Community Action Sacred Mountain Prayer Run 10K/5K/2K at Thorpe Park Picnic Ramada.
*June 15th, 8 AM: Flagstaff Nordic Center Gaspin' in the Aspen Summer Woods Trail 15K/5K/kids dash Limited to 300 runners.
*June 29th, 7:30 AM: Northland Hospice Run for Life 10K/5K/2K at Wheeler Park (Kid’s Dash 7:00 AM)
*August 3rd, 8 AM: Machine Solutions Run and Walk for Kids 10K/5K/2K at Fort Tuthill. (Children’s Health Center)
*August 10th, 7:30 AM: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff Run for the Magic Half Marathon/5K/Walk at Wheeler Park. (Half Marathon Walkers start at 6AM ).
The competitive side should have listened to the smart side. Being at 7000 ft for one week now left me pretty out-of-shape...The run was a trail run with lots of ups and downs. I felt great until the first hill, where I transformed into a whale-sounding run...I mean...jog....I mean speed walker. Have you ever had such moments where you are breathing so hard you want to make yourself invisible? Yep, that was one of them.
Anyways, I got passed on the uphill and there was nothing I could do except for keeping a great attitude and believing that I would gain fitness out of this tempo run. And I believe I did.
I ended up 2nd overall women. :-( and :-) at the same time.
In Phoenix I usually run 6:45-7:15 isch for all my runs.
My first run in Flagstaff felt fantastic. 8 miles, I thought I was moving. Then I thought my garmin was broken. Then I remembered that gamins don't break easily...I averaged an 8 min/mile pace.
Since then I have been able to hold a 7:30 avg for 8 miles and even a 7:10 avg for 5 miles.
I think the trip when moving to altitude is to just take it easy for about 4 weeks, until your body has acclimated to the thin air and your cells have developed into "altitude-endurance-cells".
I currently try to run 2* a day for 3 days, include one long run a week, but stay with slow and go-by-feel pace. I am mountain biking, swimming and doing yoga. Everything slow to allow my body to adjust. The next race is coming up next week and I know I will feel better then but still not acclimatized, so I will take it as another workout to enhance my fitness, but also to enjoy the forest and the great running community in Flagstaff.
I ran the course already and I will upload my garmin info post race, otherwise no one would believe me that there is a 1 mile steep uphill about 1/2 mile into the race...let's hope that this whale can transform into an antelope by then :-)