Friday, June 19, 2009


I just got back from a three day business trip to the high desert City of Albuquerque New Mexico. I travel for work about twice a month and always try to fit in a couple of runs in my destination City. As a business traveler with limited free time, I find a run around a new City to be an excellent way to orient myself and get a speedy tour of the local sights. I also find that a run of 5 or more miles soon after arriving is a good way to shake off the effects of a long flight and get the blood pumping back into legs that feel half crippled after three hours in a coach seat.

While I am usually pretty proactive about researching the running conditions and routes beforehand, I sort of dropped the ball on Albuquerque. I knew it was a desert climate and that there was a long trail that tracks the Rio Grande river, but that was about the extent of my advance preparations. Per my usual routine, soon after I checked into my hotel I got my gear and drove my rented Prius to an access point on the Busque trail. The Bosque is described by Runner’s World as a bucolic “19-mile-long, flapjack-flat, cottonwood-lined bike path.” Sounds good to me, I thought, as I started down the trail. Somewhere in the middle of my seven mile run, I started to feel seriously fatigued. And Hot. What I failed to realize was that daytime temperatures along the northern section of the trail are well into the 90s, even though other parts of the City closer to the mountains clock in at almost 10 degrees cooler. I was also pretty winded, which at the time I attributed to a lingering cold. Imagine my surprise when I got back to the car and saw that the outside temperature was registering as 98 degrees Fahrenheit! No wonder I was dragging my ass. It wasn’t until an hour or so later that I realized the other source of my fatigue. Albuquerque is over a mile above sea level. In fact, it’s even higher than Denver, the so-called “mile high” City. The combination of the heat and altitude left me feeling a bit woozy for the rest of the day. The next morning, still on East Coast time, I got up at 5 and was out running on another trail closer to the mountains which was much cooler, in the mid-60s. (See Picture above).

On Sunday morning I depart for another trip to Boise Idaho. I’m going to do a little more research before I head to the airport.

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