Friday, February 11, 2011

Racing at Altitude- A 10k in New Mexico

I just took a lil vacation. Went down to NM and visited my best friend from college, her hubby and their cute as a button 9-month old twins. The plan for the trip was to have my friend run her first 5k with me on Sunday. Well life happened- she ended up needing surgery to have her gallbladder out on Friday. Which made us running together on Sunday's IMPOSSIBLE. I took her to her surgery and tried to help her husband with the kids- man he has it down by himself he didn't need my help.

Since my friend pulled out of running the 5k I decided to register to do the 10k. The weather in NM was cold by their standards- in the 30s or 40s. I did a run in Friday morning at the gym in hopes it would help me with the altitude adjustment. The morning of the race I had a why am I doing a 10k feeling. My hip wasn't feeling too great and I didn't pack my cold weather running gear. It was a cool morning and the wind was howling at the start line. I kept thinkin I haven't done a 5k in a while... why didn't I sign up for a 5k?

The race started on the high school track then went out around the school and had a 2 loop path for the 10k and a single loop for the 5k. The field was pretty full. And I quickly realized when I was at mi 3 getting lapped by the top male racers in the 10k that this field was fast. I had decided at the start line with my hip pain and the altitude I was just going to race my race. I knew it wasn't going to be an easy run so I just kept a slower pace to be able to finish without issue.

Well it was cold at the start but at about mile 4 I had to take of my sweatshirt and I was running in shorts and a t-shirt. Which is a HUGE deal in February if you are used to being in New England. The sweatshirt slowed me down a bit and my rhythm just wasn't there but I kept chugging along. I finished in 1:10- which is slower than any 10k I have done. I had a lil hyperventilation issue right before the 6mi mark. I could hardly breathe from the altitude and I started getting upset about how slow I was going and the pain in my hip. But with a lil help from D- I pulled it together and finished.

I have a goal of getting a race (run tri whatever) in every one of the 50 states. So my bigger goal was to finish a race in New Mexico- which I did. I have so far checked Texas, Georgia and now New Mexico off the list- in addition to Massachusetts obviously. The mountains all around the race course were gorgeous and having t-shirt and shorts weather in the winter was fantastic. Even though I didn't have a great finish time or a great race I took another state out of my list and enjoyed the scenery while I was there.

To finish out my long run miles I went out for a run after the race- it is nice to run through the desert. All in all- I had a great vacation. I really needed the break from work and life- both have been really stressing me out lately. It is always nice to hang with old friends and get to play with kids to help relax you and bring it back to the simpler things.

The pictures are of me post race and of me with my friends twins :) The plan is to race with my friend sometime in the future- whether it be when we are both traveling for work in the DC area or maybe when she comes to visit or we go to visit again.


  1. What a great vacation, I'm jealous! The 10k was a bit of a struggle, but I'm sure you're happy you did it! I've only done one 10k, and I accidentally started with the 5k'ers (two diff start times), lol, so don't feel bad about being lapped, at least you started at the right place!