For Christmas 2009 the man and I decided to visit his grandparents in New Mexico - as well as meet up with his parental units who were visiting from CA. It was a torturing 13 hour drive to get there - man was not designed to be held captive in a motorized hunk of steel for so long! Anyway, we arrived at around 7:00pm on the 20th, just in time for some yummy home made tamales, visiting, then bed. Monday we got up and I needed to run - just so happens Brady's dad is a runner so we headed out for a 6 mile jaunt. The weather was great - cool and brisk - I was dressed appropriately and was running a slow and steady pace. One problem - I couldn't breathe??? Turns out that the variance in elevation was enough to set me back a bit (1,000 ft. in MO vs. 4,700 ft. in La Luz, NM). Regardless we got in about a 7 mile out and back run. We had
gradual downhill on the way out which of course meant gradual uphill on the way back, but it was good. I felt like I had done something when we finished.After the run we showered up, went to visit his grandparents cabin in the mountains, did some shopping in CloudCroft, then went to White Sands where we acted like kids and jumped, slid, ran, and fell down the huge white dunes. I seriously wished we would have had more time there - it was more impressive than I had anticipated!
Day 2 we decided on a hike at Oliver Lee State Park - the Dog Canyon trail. Biking was determined to be the best mode of transportation to the trail head (I was still a bit anti-car at this point!). It was a 20 mile ride at a slight incline for most of it. Overall it was good - it felt like we were going slow, but my quads were toasted a bit by the end. We met his parents and uncle at the trail head, ate a bite, changed clothes and headed out. It was a beautiful hike with vast changes in vegetation as you climbed. It was only around 6 mile round trip, but it had a lot of elevation change to make for a semi-challenging hill walk for us low-landers.
Day 3 Brady's dad, Duane and I had decided we would go for a run DOWN the mountain. Brady volunteered to drive us out and up 6 miles out so that we could run back in for a change of pace (literally). That morning we woke up to snow in the valley! Craziness really - who knew we'd see snow in the valley of New Mexico. I run in snow in MO so we decided we'd head on out and do the run. By the time we got out and up to the 6 mile mark the roads had gotten a bit crappy, but they weren't slick so we went for it. The snow was still coming down - the mountain was already covered in white, the weather was brisk and we were out running - AWESOME! I didn't know it until after the run, but we did the first 4 miles in 31 minutes - that's a 7:45 pace (compared to my normal 9's - that's super fast - lol!). After 4 miles is where we hit the flat land and I was tired, I know I slowed up for the 5th mile, but I tried to really kick it in at the end and it must have worked a little because we still finished in 48 minutes - a solid 8 minute mile - still pretty dang good for me!
On a completely non-running note, we followed up this fantastic run with a trip to some local wineries - they ended up being better than anticipated (New Mexico wine vs. say Napa or Sonoma??) and we ended up buying a couple cases of mix and match.
Day 4 was an easy 3 mile recovery - my quads felt like I had run a marathon from all the pounding they took down the hill.
Day 6 (Christmas Day) was skiing - as toasted as my quads were the day before running wasn't in my cards pre-skiing. I think the skiing was enough exercise for that day. I'm not a natural skier by any stretch, but I ended up being glad we got out there to hit the slopes! It did make some muscles sore that I didn't really know I had, but sometimes that's a good thing.
Yep - I am still snow plowing a bit, but at least I had cute new chartreuse Body Glove ski pants! :-)
Now we are back in MO and the challenge is keeping up with the running and biking with these snow packed streets - we'll see!
Till next time - run on!