Running out of breath in Nevado de Toluca

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I’ve set three running challenges for the coming months. First a 10k in Paris (oh là là!) where I’ll try to improve my time last year. According to El Vikingo I have the advantage of training in high altitude, so I should have a good chance. Then I have a 21k and a marathon. In preparation I’m trying to change my diet. Well not much, but I’ve started drinking healthy smoothies every morning and I’ve bought pinole and chia to see if the Tarahumara’s might be on to something.

And, as another part of my training I thought I’d change things up a bit and go for a run in Nevado de Toluca. Before I got there my only concern was whether I should do the 17k trail or be lazy and do the 8k. Man, was I naive. Because as it turns out, trying to run 4000m above sea level is A HELL OF A LOT harder than 2000m. After staggering just few meters my lungs were ready to collapse. I felt like shit, and I was so frustrated. But … when the oxygen started returning to my brain and I started noticing my surroundings, my misery soon faded — what a stunning landscape. And after this I have I a whole new respect for mountain runners.

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