Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Mexico

My parents moved to Rio Rancho New Mexico a few months ago (just north of Albuquerque).  My wife, brother, and I decided to drive down and spend New Years with them.  It's usually a few degrees warmer there than in Colorado Springs so I was looking forward to doing some runs in slighty more pleasurable temperatures. 

We arrived late Wed. night and spent most of Thursday morning playing Wii (my parent's have more video game systems than I do).  Around 1:00pm I got motivated to get outside and asked my parents where I should go.  The good thing about having adventerous and active parents is that they've already explored miles and miles of trails near their house.  They told me about Cibola National Forest that was about 10 minutes away.  I reached the trailhead and could see the Sandia mountain range in the distance.  The trail started going through the desert and I got too hot after about a mile.  I stopped and took off my pants, rolled them up, and bungeed them to my pack.  The temperature was perfect with just my shorts.  After two miles or so the trail joined up with a road and I travelled along that for about a mile before taking another trail towards the mountains.  The trail followed a narrow ravine and once it went beyond the reach of the sun it started looking more like home.  The snow was a few inches deep and the temperature dropped significantly.  I was still good in my shorts. It got pretty steep and narrow through the trees and I wasn't able to run as much as I would have liked.  I hiked and ran for about 30 mintes before I decided that I better head back before the sun went down.  I was able to decend much faster than I went up and I found myself back at the road in no time.  I traveled along the road for a couple of miles before I realized that my pack was light.  My pants had come out.  Shit.  I stopped and contemplated the cost of the pants and if it was worth it to go back and look for them.  It was.  I turned around and made my way back to the trail that headed up into the hills.  I hiked/ran for about 20 minutes before I found my pants laying by the side of the trail.  I tied them around my waste and decended once again.  I rejoined the road and headed back to toward the car.  I covered 7.25 miles.  It wasn't as long as I would have liked and I was frustrated with having to back-track to retreive my pants but it was a good run. 

Over the past two weeks I've run in the trails north of Colorado Springs, the beach of Southern California, back in Colorado Springs for a few days (and runs), and the desert and hills of New Mexico.  Not a bad end to my running year.  Tomorrow will mark the beginning of my most ambitious running year yet.  Happy New Years to all and a happy running 2010.   

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I arrived in L.A. yesterday for a week of work.  I didn't have time to get to the beach after working for a few hours and then buying groceries to stock my hotel room.  Today I left work a little early, stopped by the hotel to get my running clothes, and headed straight to the beach.  I had never been to southern California before.  70 degrees outside towards the end of December is definitely more pleasant than the weather we've been having in Colorado lately.

I laced up my shoes and headed up the beach.  With the ocean breeze the weather was perfect for running.  I don't feel as "at home" running on the beach as I do running in the Colorado Rockies but it's sure a close second.  Definitely calming.  Today was an especially stressful day at work but after a few minutes running along the ocean I totally forgot I even had a job (ah, wouldn't that be nice).

I finished the run, sat on the hood of my rental car, and watched the remainder of the sunset.  My running shoes are sitting in the corner of my hotel room right now covered half in the red soil of the Colorado Rockies and half in southern California beach sand.  If running shoes could smile they'd be doing it from ear to ear.  I sure am.