Running at a mile up, then down here again

by david on November 3, 2013

I left China’s shore (my jog around the world) and ended up in Albuquerque last week. At a mile high, the locals recommend lots of water, no alcohol and no strenuous activity in the first 24 hours. I did the first two but the time was ripe on Wednesday afternoon to get in a run. The hotel gave me a card with a six-mile route and that sounded great. I ran up Route 66 to the country club area and, behind the tennis courts, found myself alone on a plowed dirt path alongside the mighty dried up Rio Grande River. It was depressing and stark. The river looked more like an irrigation canal. The surroundings were not country club-ish at all. I reached Route 66 again and crossed over to a paved path that went another mile along the river. It was also quite deserted and visually unspectacular. I must say, there was plenty of undergrowth that made me security-conscious. When I got to the turn-around point I opted to continue on the path to Mountain Road which I hoped would be more visually interesting. My decision took my to Old Town where I poked around to get a semblance of the popular local attraction. I wound my way through neighborhoods and streets in downtown ABQ and retuned to the hotel after a six mile jaunt.

The temps were cool out there. It was in the high 50s on my run and I was rained on briefly. The surrounding mountains were a spectacle worth seeing and the food out there certainly was clearly all southwest. I did go local on the recommendation of former ABQ-native Sam Stark and patronized the El Pinto restaurant up by the ballooning grounds. The experience was memorable and the dinner is still quite memorable two days later, if you know what I mean. I also came up with a hypothesis that the salt in margaritas helps with water retention which reduces the likelihood of high-altitude headaches. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Back home. With the travel, the time change, the weather change (low 60s in ORL), the lost sleep, the recovered hour of sleep and the El Pinto diner, I was not sure what would come of my Sunday morning run when I went to bed Saturday night. So I got up at 4:45 (5:45), ate some breakfast and prepared to go somewhere around 16-20 miles, if all systems were working. I ran the Sunday course in reverse from Park Avenue and had the good fortune to see everybody along the way instead of at 7 a.m. on the Avenue. In fact I got to see them all twice, because I did the 10-mile course twice around. The weather was so nice and my legs kept wanting to run. In the end, I calculated it was 20.8 miles in all, which really shocked me. I hope to bank that bit of confidence for four weeks from now, when Runner Susan flies in for the Space Coast Marathon. She did the Monumental Marathon in Indianapolis today. Her time was good enough for me to believe we’ll be running together the whole way.

Runner Susan November 4, 2013 at 9:02 am

My time was okay. It was Matt’s first marathon and we had to make two very long bathroom breaks and 2 short ones (at least 25 minutes worth). I did run the whole way, though. And, I felt great until about mile 18. Miles 20-25 were rough, but I was running. And, I plan on running a few more very long runs before Florida.

What are your long runs for the rest of training so we can be all matchy matchy?

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