Sunday, January 9, 2011

An Albuquerque Run

Sandia Mountains, Albuquerque, NM
This past week, I hit my peak mileage goal (well, 1 mile short) with 59 total miles over 6 days of running.  Now, 3 weeks out from the Miracle Match Marathon, I have started my taper.  This perfectly coincides with a 9 day trip to New Mexico.  I flew from Austin to Albuquerque yesterday, and took a much needed day off from running.  In the previous two days, I had run a 7.8 mile hilly tempo run with a sub-8 minute mile pace, followed by a more relaxed, but still hilly 9.1 mile run at a sub-8:30 minute mile pace.

Channel Trail, Albuquerque, NM
So now that I am tapering and on vacation, I decided to start off this morning with a relaxed but enjoyable run.  Fortunately, I woke up to a perfectly clear, blue sky and bright sunshine.  While it was cold here (high 20s), the sunshine made up for it.  Nonetheless, it was an adjustment coming from Austin.  I had to put on running tights and a running hat for the first time in about a year.  I skipped the gloves though.  The hotel was located right along a bike trail called the Channel Trail, which runs for miles along a steep, concrete drainage channel.  The bike trail runs alongside some busy roads, but is completely separate from the traffic, which makes it ideal for an uninterrupted run.  Also, because it just keeps going for miles, it makes it really easy to head out for a run without getting lost.  The scenery wasn't great, but running in a new place is always interesting enough (the first time around) so I didn't mind.  I simply ran for an hour, 30 minutes out and then turned around.  My splits were perfectly even and I ended up covering 7 miles, just what I was hoping for.  My legs were still feeling pretty tired from previous workouts, and I felt a little winded, which I attributed to the high elevation of 5300 ft (for reference, Austin has an average elevation of 576 ft).  While I didn't feel like I could bust out a fast track session this morning, I did feel fit and had no problem holding an 8:30 pace.

Today we move North to Santa Fe and tomorrow will be a ski day.  I may not run tomorrow, but if I'm feeling good I might get a short run in.  I'll be skiing 4 of the days on the trip, so I intend to run at least the other 5 days, maybe more.


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