Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Road Trip

PHOTO - Coyote at Santa Rosa Lake State Park
Not *my* coyote, but a coyote nonetheless

After returning from New York City, Emily and I turned her car west and drove to Los Angeles. There were stops along the way of course.

Emily got a sweet new gig with her old company and hopefully I'll be joining her in California shortly.

Although I'd gone on numerous cross state road trips, I had never driven across country before. Here, essentially, was our route: Washington DC to Kingston, TN to Muldrow, OK to Albuquerque, NM to Flagstaff, AZ to LA.

We only had five days to get there so time was of the essence. I had no time for long runs or workouts. I had an hour, every day, to get my run in. So, I ran hard.

In Tennessee I ran a hard 9 around some river whose name I'll never remember nor care to. I was humming along at sub6 pace near the end.

Since Muldrow, OK offered no stop lights let along running routes I ran Wednesday evening in the prairie somewhere in eastern New Mexico at a state park called Santa Rosa Lake. An hour before twilight, I set off into the unknown and could literally see for miles around me in all directions. It was incredibly peaceful, and serene, but also a little scary. After 4.5 miles, I U-Turned and negotiated my way back to my car. A couple miles later a large coyote came bounding out onto the dirt road ahead of me. He (or she) trotted along at a good clip then looked over his shoulder and spied me coming on strong. The coyote doubled down and then vanished into the prairie. The fox continued back to the car, just as the sun set and the wind whipped up.

The next morning I ran in the foothills of Albuquerque. My first 2.5 miles (up the mountain) took me 25 minutes. I decided that this was an exercise if futility, so I returned to 6,000 feet above sea level and zig-zagged about the various trails near the parking lot. I got in 8.

The next morning I ran with GRC expat Dirk (Beastman) de Heer in Flagstaff. We hit up Buffalo Park, which is frequented by McMillan and NAU athletes alike for tempos. The weather was a bone-chilling 24 degrees and it was too early to get any benefit from the sun. I only got in 7, but it would have to do.

We arrived in LA about an hour before schedule. The next day I flew back to Washington and started a new job. 

Life moves quick on the road.

No comments: