Monday, November 26, 2007

Running in Albuquerque

Earlier this month I spent a few days in Albuquerque for a conference there. Looked like a great place for biking, but I left my bike at home (didn't really consider it, really – no time, no desire to deal with taking the bike on the plane, etc.) I did do quite a bit of running there, though. I think I ran three of the four days I was there, including upon my arrival. (Or maybe it was three out of four, I don't remember). It helped that I kept waking up at 5 in the morning!

All but one of the runs involved running over to the UNM golf course, doing a lap, then heading back. Around five miles total. Apparently, the golf course is a staple in the local running scene. It's nice – it's soft, which is important to me. But it wasn't fantastic. I'm told that a lot of really good runners run there, which I can believe.

Here's the gmap –

I included the elevation just to show that the whole place is really high! I was surprised I could run there at all!

One of the runs, though, was a much more interesting adventure. Before leaving, I'd sent a request to Slowtwitch for info, and among the responses, one user – Ironlobo – offered to take me on a run for in the mountains. I'm pretty sure that, had the internet been around when I was a kid, my mother would have warned me against letting strangers from the internet lead me on runs in the mountains, but lacking that specific warning, I decided to take him up on the offer.

And I'm glad I did! The run was fantastic. It started still higher. I'm including a gmap here, but it's only got the loosest attachment to what we actually ran. We parked at the start/end spot, true. We turned right, then did a counter-clockwise loop. And we ran for around an hour, which should be at least 7 miles. But I really couldn't match what I remembered doing with the trail lines I saw on the satellite photos. And while this one did throw me for a loop with the altitude, I'm also pretty sure that we didn't get as high as the elevation in this map indicate. The starting point, though – yup, 5900 feet.

The photos below are from the second part of the run. I think we ran somewhere around 55 minutes, so we decided to round it out. I grabbed the disposable camera and we headed out. The photos are, for the most part, between the parking spot and high point that just a bit ENE of there. A few are from the summit. (You can see that point if you click on the gmap and zoom in a bunch, but it also shows up in picture 3).

This is the start of the run, right by where we parked:

This is what the terrain looked like at the start:

The peak here is where we went at the end of the run; that's Adam, aka Ironlobo, on the side.

The next one is me running. I can't decide which is a better caption -"Like a Photo from Outdoor Magazine" or: "Helen's Right: These Shorts Really Are Short."

Adam, AKA Ironlobo

The next two are views from the peak you can see earlier

If you look closely, you can see where we parked

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