Rock Springs, the town I live in in Wyoming, is located at 6338 feet. Higher than a mile, and the highest elevation I have ever resided at (other than summer camp in the Sierra’s). The elevation here, is deceiving though. It’s a high plains desert, and doesn’t feel like places you associate with high elevation, like the mountains.
I live in that green section that you see, with that “mountain” view out my bedroom window. This is only half the town, but it gives you an idea of the topography. Brown. Good thing I was born and raised in the high mountain desert, or this might be quite the shock for me.
Last week I was in Reno for my baby shower, thrown by my mother, and a family friend came up to me and told me to make sure I was drinking enough water. I thought she was just giving me advice, because I am pregnant and people are compelled to give you advice and ask you how your are feeling every second of every day. But then she started talking about elevation changes. She is a Labor and Delivery nurse, and said she sees with some amount of frequency, people who come to Reno/Tahoe for a final vacation before the baby comes and end up in early labor due to the elevation and lack of hydration. I wasn’t too worried about myself, having previously been living at an elevation of 2,516ft and Reno is located at 4,505, and I was only there for a few days, but it did get me thinking about the jump to almost 6400 feet.
Hydration is crucial all the time, not just in pregnancy, and I’m sure the hospital here in Rock Springs sees plenty of dehydration cases in visitors and newcomers. But, it’s even more crucial in pregnancy, and at 30 weeks, I really don’t want to go into labor just yet.
I was talking to my best friend about elevation and exercise on the phone, the day after I arrived here in Wyoming. She is currently in Afghanistan and training for a half marathon in Scotland. She said, after the 3000 feet in Afghanistan, that her race in Scotland should be pretty easy. I mentioned the elevation here, and how that combined with my increased blood volume, and extra weight strapped around my stomach, working out felt hard and that these days even a 20-30 minute walk was enough exercise for me.
Four days later this showed up on my doorstep…
A Camelbak hydration pack! Inside the pack was a note from my friend about staying hydrated etc. A perfect “welcome to wyoming” gift. I am sort of a gear-nerd, so I was excited to see the padded straps, sternum strap, and all the pockets in which I could carry my keys and phone etc. I have been holding a 24 ounce water bottle in my hand during my walks, and this is going to make it so much easier, have you ever tried holding a nalgene with thick winter gloves on? Not so easy.
I’m excited to get out for my walk with the dog this morning, in fact, that is what I am off too next. It is a balmy 18 degrees outside, but no wind! Gotta take advantage of the still air while I can.