About my blog

Welcome to my trail running site. I enjoy being on the trail where I can take in nature and clear my mind. I prefer running in the mountains, but anywhere rural will do. I have completed four 100 mile trail races and many other ultramarathons. I spend countless hours running in the Franklin Mountains in El Paso, TX. I call it "going to church". I'm a member of Team Red, White and Blue. "Enriching the lives of America's veterans."

Sunday, January 10, 2010

River Ramble

I decided it was time to knock the cobwebs off my ultramarathon legs and get busy training for the ambitious goals I’ve set for 2010. I spent the fall maintaining my base mileage of 4-6 miles 5 days a week with an occasional 2-3 hour run. This recovery period was both mentally and physically beneficial after running 50K, 50 Miler, and 100K races in the first half of last year.

Having run/hiked to the top of two mountain peaks in the last month, I decided a nice flat 15 miler would be best this morning. I’ll be able to keep a steady running pace instead of the usual power walk up hill, run flats and downhills. Today’s adventure takes us to the Upper Rio Grande Valley (W. El Paso) where we will run along the river levee. I’m accompanied by Lucy, Sierra, and Taz who is wearing his “cape” to battle the low 20s temp.

Shortly after we begin, we notice two ornamental trees that have been felled by beavers; I didn’t even know beavers lived here. The city is not going to be happy about this. My running companions look on curiously as I scout the water and shoreline for the culprits. No beavers in site so we continue on down the levee road.

About this time the sun finally shows up to give us a little bit of warmth. Just in time because my face and fingers are numb. We soon approach a little bridge where a sign reads “BEWARE OF SNAKES”. I doubt any snakes are active on a below freezing morning, so we move on. The nice aspect of running early in the morning in frigid temperatures is that no one else is out. We have the whole river park to ourselves.

Soon we spot a hot air balloon taking off from a field which gives us something entertaining to watch for a while. It seems we are following the balloon as we continue down the track. I wonder what it would be like to be floating along above the fields. This reminds me of my visits to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta where I once asked a balloon pilot about steering and controlling his aircraft. “Up and Down” was his reply. Hmmmmmmmmmmm…that sounds kind of dangerous, so I’ll just stick to using my two feet to travel the countryside.

I stop to get a few pictures of the balloon and my friends chase after a roadrunner. He quickly takes flight to escape his predicament which is rare, because these ground dwelling birds usually don't fly as they can run up to 18 mph. The greater roadrunner is my favorite bird because we both like to run along desert roads and trails. Unlike me, though, the roadrunner never needs to drink (although they will) but gets all the moisture it needs from the reptiles it catches and eats. I wish I didn’t have to drink as my 3 liter camelback is starting to feel heavy on my shouders.

After a 7.5 mile run we head back the other direction. The wind is behind us now and we start to warm up. A peaceful morning is had by all as we finish up our 15 mile river ramble.

Lucy, Sierra, and Taz, my running buddies
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

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