Monday, June 8, 2015

Santa Fe Running

I am not a fan of Long Island living.  I don't like the traffic.  The malls are too crowded.  The suburbs are...well, the suburbs.  Did I mention the traffic?  The one thing I do like about this island of Long is the lack of predators.  I am referring to the non-human predators, the human ones are still out there (Am I the only one who is concerned that the Long Island serial killer has not been caught?  In fact, I think I know someone who might be dating him.  I digress.)  When I go out the door for a run, I do not have to worry about bears or snakes or mountain lions mauling me.  The worst encounter might be with a possum or rabid raccoon (Okay, those are pretty bad, too...).  As much as I can't wait to get the hell out of Dodge, I always fret over where I will do my long runs once I'm out.

Last Friday night I returned from a six day vacation in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  One of my best friends turned 40 so we took our One-of-Us-Is-Turning-Forty vacations.  I flew into Albuquerque from JFK airport Sunday night Monday morning after a three and a half hour delay due to lightning and a sick passenger.  Sitting on the plane waiting to take off was not as bad as you might think, thanks to my last minute seat change to the first row (Sooo worth the extra $45) and my new Hanson's Marathon Method book.  Monday, May 30 was the beginning of the program's Week 1.  The book was a fascinating, easy read.  We finally arrived at the hotel at 6am Monday.

I did my research before I left, meaning I discovered two super important facts related to my running:  1. Santa Fe's elevation is 7,000 feet above sea level (!) and 2. mountain lions have attacked joggers as recently as January of this year. I kept these in mind Monday afternoon when I ventured out for my first New Mexican run.  The Hilton Buffalo Thunder property (Which coincidentally resembles Mereen from Game of Thrones.   Coincidence, because George R.R. Martin lives in Santa Fe!) has a 1.5 mile walking route and a 2.5 mile running route.  I took the latter up a winding hill near the golf course.  The path was empty, possibly because it was midday and freaking hot.  The only people on the golf course were the groundskeepers.  I wondered who might save me if I was attacked by a mountain lion (A remote possibility, but in my head, "possibility" is the key word).  My breathing was labored and I had to walk in a couple of spots.  My Long Island lungs were not used to this elevation.  After 3.6 miles, I decided to finish up at the gym.

Tuesday's run was the same as Monday's, but my breathing was easier.  Wednesday was my scheduled day off, however I decided to run and take Friday off, instead.  We were checking out on Friday and traveling back to New York.  We did a lot of activities, sightseeing, relaxing at a spa, and shopping.  I happened to notice that there were a lot of statues and paintings of mountain lions.  After watching a news segment the night before about a girl killed by a lion while on safari in South Africa, I  got the hint.  Wednesday and Thursday I ran on the treadmill.

View from the hotel running trail.

Running downhill.

Yes, that's snow on top of those mountains.  
In the Southwest.
In June.

Monday 6/1/15 - 6 miles, between an 8:50 and 9:28 pace

Tuesday 6/2/15 - 6 miles, 57:12, 9:32 pace

Wednesday 6/3/15 (Happy birthday, Hiro!) - 6 miles, 57:32, 9:35 pace

Thursday 6/4/15 - 6 miles, 57:32, 9:35 pace

Friday 6/5/15 - Off

Saturday 6/6/15 - 8.05 miles, 1:13:54,  9:11 pace

Sunday 6/7/15 - 8.01 miles, 1:12:50, 9:06 pace

Hanson's Marathon Method calls for all easy runs to be run EASY, for me, no faster than a 9:00 pace.  It takes some getting used to.  We shall see...


  1. I'm glad you didn't get attacked and eaten by a mountain lion. I say this because I care.

    I had a similar experience running in Colorado Springs a few years ago. I decided to run three miles around the Garden of the Gods. I felt fine until I reached mile 2 and went "Hey, where did all the oxygen go???" I ran about 3.5 miles the next day in Bear Park. No bears, but I did come face to face with a huge buck that was about 7 feet high with its antlers. The ranger told me that if we'd locked eyes the buck would have charged.

    1. I'd like to run into a huge buck, the kind with Benjamin Franklin's face! Thank you, thank you. I'm here all week, try the fish.

  2. The cars are our predators on Long Island, and they're a hell of a lot more dangerous than mountain lions.