Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sleeping in a tent

All my gear is spread out in the other room. Still trying to figure out how to cut 2lbs out of my pack, but if I arrive heavy I'll just have to figure it out gametime style (cause thats how I roll!)

Making my attempt at pre-aclimitizing. Sleeping in an altitude tent. Hope to be up past 16,500 for a couple weeks before the trip. Want so much to be able to skip the meds to ward off HAPE (high altitude pulmonary edema). They make everything taste like copper. No wonder everyone losses so much weight on this trek...Blechh!! Stuff is nasty. Possibly necessary if you are at risk but nasty.

I am now sleeping at 11,000 and rising in altitude about 1,000 feet a night. No anoxic headaches and have done some basic calcualations to try to be rising consistently. When you get into really thin air (12-13% oxygen or lower) it gets harder to make the increase in altitude smooth. Anoxic headaches are the worst. Migranes that kick your butt for a couple hours (until you get enough oxygen back in your system). Sleeping at such altitude carries its own set of risks, so I'll be very mindful of staying hydrated. As my body adapts, my hemoglobin (material that carries oxygen in blood) will jump precipitously. I'll get some bloodwork done in a couple weeks to make sure it doesnt get dangerously high. If it goes too high, then your blood gets "thick" and can clot = heart attack/stroke. Not ideal. That and when you wake up in the morning you are mildly oxygen deprived so you are "foggy" for 30-45 mins. So I am up a little earlier to stumble around the house and rebound before beginning work. The good side of this is my athletic endurance will be off the charts since my blood will be able to carry extra oxygen. Thats a side effect I will enjoy! :)

Since I live near sea level, climbing the local hill and altitude training is all I can really do physically, that and 20+ miles a week of running. The rest will be mental. For that, it will come naturally.

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