I have bipolar feelings concerning Leadville, Colorado. It’s remote beauty is mesmerizing, but it’s harsh weather and altitude are like my kryponite – it’s sucking the life right out of me.

I’m pretty sure I’m suffering from altitude sickness. I’m drinking more water but nothing seems to help except sleeping it off, which is such a bummer because I want to be taking in all of this gorgeous wilderness that surrounds me.

I tried to take the kids on a hike yesterday, but the 1/2 mile approach to the trailhead left me winded and lightheaded. I had to turn back before we even made it there. I know… the irony is not lost on me:  My husband runs up mountains and I get winded up a 1/2 mile hill. But before you judge me, remember I’m pushing a double stroller with about 55 pounds of kid weight.

Yeah, that makes me look better.

In other embarrassing news, everyone in Leadville is talking about the race. It’s the Leadville 100 and Caleb is pacing our friend for a portion, 36.5 miles to be exact. So anytime I strike up a conversation with anyone, it always comes around to this: “Oh, your husband runs ultras, so you must be a runner too?”

I hate this question. I end up staring down at my shoes and muttering something like, “No, I’m really into walking.”

Really into walking? Seriously? I have got to get an extreme hobby, and fast before I get kicked out of the cool kids club. I do consider keeping my kids alive an extreme sport, especially since they both seem hell-bent on dying. Abby likes to ride her bike at break-neck speed while staring up into the sky. Josh likes climbing anything wobbly or ill-equipped to handle his weight. Together, they keep me running alright.

But right now I am sitting down. It’s nap time and there is this beautiful meadow right behind our trailer. The sun is beating down from a cloudless sky, but it’s still only 68 degrees out. I can hear the wind roar through the evergreens that encircle our meadow. The sound gathers and falls, not unlike the waves of the beaches back home.

Oh, home. Sea level. How I miss you! I was not made for this mountain climate. I love being here as a visitor in this awe-inspiring place but I could never call it home. The people who live here must be made of something sturdy and unyielding. Lead, perhaps.

Read Caleb’s take on Leadville and his experience pacing during the Leadville 100.

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