Sunday, September 17, 2000

RR Albuquerque Marathon

Race Report
Albuquerque Marathon
Albuquerque, NM

Now that you are awake you can go to work or read on to find out some
information on Albuquerque and the NM marathon if you have any interest.

Nicole and I closed up the condo on Friday and headed south. We traveled the backroads through Alma, Fairplay and along the Arkansas River through Salida and Canon City to enjoy some of the Colorado back country. We finally emerged out on to I 25 at Pueblo, CO; set the cruise control to 80mph and headed directly to Albuquerque, NM. We stayed in Old Town which is the original town center. The marathon finished at the Sheraton in Old Town so it was a convenient location. It had been about 5 or 6 years since I last visited Albuquerque so I had forgotten how flat, barren and ugly the city is. The only thing that prevents it from being as ugly as Dallas are the Sandia
Mountains at the eastern edge of the city.
On Saturday we toured out to the Sandia mountains and up to the Sandia Crest at 10,600 feet where we enjoyed a spectacular panoramic view of the city.
Then we toured some of the back roads through Madrid and Cerillo which are old mining towns that have been taken over by artists and craftspersons. The landscape is mostly high desert plains with lots of tumbleweeds.

The marathon started at 6am on Sunday on Tramway Blvd, the boulevard that runs along the base of the Sandia mountains. The temperature at the start was 70 degrees which is 10 to 20 degrees above the norm. The first 7 miles climbed gradually about 400 feet to 6,000 feet and then dropped 1,000 feet over the next 7 miles. As a result I ran the first half too fast. I was on an 8 minute pace at the half and paid dearly for it over the second half that was flat - but at 5,000 feet! The last 10K was very difficult and I had to struggle and use all my willpower to keep my legs moving at a 10 minute pace over the last 4 miles! As many of you know that can get real ugly and believe me it was! But I had no artificial time limit - my only goal was to finish without stopping or walking and I did manage that! But some quick math will
show that my finish time of 3:43 meant that I added one minute per mile to my pace on the second half! The temperature was a balmy 80 degrees when I finished!
It is not a very interesting course or marathon but it happened to be in the right place at the right time. And as I proved to myself, I needed the training!

We decided that we had seen everything interesting to see in Albuquerque so we left right after the race and drove through some very boring desert and mountain scenery but some interesting towns such as Socorro, Elephant Butte, Truth or Consequences, Hatch and Las Cruces to El Paso. We wanted to get a head start on our visit to the Big Bend region of Texas. So tonight is time for a huge TX steak (24 to 36 oz)to replace all that protein and iron I used up in the marathon and then we head out to Big Bend in the morning.

I will try to keep y'all woke up and smiling during our travels. Take care all!

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