Dogs in the studio waiting for Hilary

Dogs in the studio waiting for Hilary, photo by Lisa Studier

We have been having a lot of rain in Abiquiu, NM, big thunderstorms every afternoon. This causes flooding and roads to wash out but so far things were passable, until my adventure last night. This has nothing to do with running, not really, but it is an adventure and my broken foot is involved..

After dinners with friends at a restaurant 30 miles from home, I return to find the road completely washed out and a fast running riverin it’s place. There was no way to cross it. I turned around, backtracked 12 miles try another way home. Just after my turn off, I seestalled headlights and a flood of rushing water. Two girls drove their tiny car into a rushing arroyo of water. Of course it stalled and they were stuck in who knows how much mud with water up to the car doors, at 9:30pm in the dark, no stars, no moon, totally dark.  I had no cell service told them I would go get help. I find a guy with a truck; that did not take long. As he went to rescue them, I drive back the 12 miles to get a room at theAbiquiu Inn. Meanwhile I was freaking out because I had a friend at home, Lisa, who I could not call and tell her what was happening. (I am not concerned about getting home, only that she is there and has no idea where I am). I get to the Inn just before 10pm, their doors are locked and no one is working. How does a hotel stay in business if they are closed to last minute travelers?  I freak out a bit more because I cannot tell Lisa that I am sleeping in my car tonight because the road is washing out. The nearest cell phone reception is 15 miles away and I was not about to drive it.  On top of that, just today I took my survival kit of boots, blankets, flashlight and goodies, out of the car to move some tables.  I do not even have a blanket, but I do have a jacket. Not that it is cold, I just like be covered up when I sleep.

I think about who’s house I can show up to at 10pm, and who has a passable road.  I was at dinner with Debra and Frank and I decide to go there. Their road is covered by mud slides but the good ole’ Subaru gets through fine. I get to their dirt driveway and see both their gates closed. The closed metal gate has tall tree limbs stuck through it preventing people from leaping over. But after all my attempts to get home, broken booted foot or not, I was getting over the fence. I climb the fence and it is pitch black out and muddy. I slide down the hill and work my way around to the dark back yard. Not a single light anywhere.  I then think, “What if they have guns?” It seems like most people do out here, so I decided to start calling out their names, even though I know they can’t hear me in the house.  I was worried  if they did hear me, they would think I am a prowler. (I never told them that part of the story) I find the front door and knock loudly, calling out their names. Frank comes to the door and just as I open my mouth to say what happened and how I have to call Lisa, I begin to cry a bit.  Debra immediately asks if I want to stay, “yes, please I need to stay.” I felt instantly better and so happy to be with them in their home. What a relief. After I called Lisa, I was fine. But guess who wasn’t? Homer, look at the sad face he wears when I am not home.

Sad Homer waiting for Hilary to return

Sad Homer waiting for Hilary to return, photo by Lisa Studier

When I drove home the next morning about 7am the giant earth movers had already been out for a couple of hours putting the road back together. It was  a good feeling to get home. The dogs have been stuck by my side all day. My foot is a little sore now but I do not think it was because I climbed a gate and sloshed around in the mud. I have been doing a bit too much on it. On Friday I get my next x-ray to see how it is healing, it has been 5 weeks.  I hate not being able to run, but even more I hate that I could not ditch my car last night and just walk home. That was the worst part of this.

Yesterday I posted my sold painting, it was on the wrong blog. I have my art blog, hilarylorenz.wordpress.com where I am doing a 30 day watercolor challenge.  But that mistake  get me to update this sports and adventure blog.

Basically I am about to jump out of my skin. Four weeks in a boot with my broken foot. While the pain has gone down tremendously, the doc wanted me 100% non-weight baring for another week. I have not complied. I always wear my boot, but I walk without my crutches. I am swimming a bit, but mostly feel pretty depressed from my total lack of exercise. I go back on July 10th for a follow up x-ray. At least I can see the bones in my feet now that the swelling is gone.

In the meantime I try to keep my humor with a weekly dose of donkey visits, really visits to see my friends Michelle and Tom, but the donkeys are a real bonus. After my foot broke I coached Michelle who is headed to Senior Olympic Nationals today for her first competition on Saturday. Good luck Michelle, I know you will do great. I will pet the donkeys while you are away.

Hilary with mini donkey

Hilary with mini donkey

Day 1 Elk Watercolor Sold

Day 1 Elk Watercolor Sold

Day 1 Elk Watercolor is sold, but check in tomorrow, July 2 for the Day 2 Watercolor Challenge, available at 6pm EST from

I arrived in Roswell for the Senior Olympic State Meet on Wednesday, a day early so that I could watch Michelle Holland crush  her competition in the 10k, coming in first female and third runner overall. It has been a blast training with her over the past three plus months. Next up for Michelle Nationals  July 4th-12th in MN.

Michelle Holland, 10K

Michelle Holland, 10K

I had been nursing what I thought was a high hamstring pull. I honestly don’t know what it is, it still hurts. But I had a bunch of acupuncture, massage, chiro to get me to the starting line. We got up at 4:30 a.m. I dressed, ate, did my pre-race exercises and Tom drove up to the starting place. Michelle and I warmed up with three laps around the block, about 3/4 of a mile, then strides and various other pre-race prep. I got my before photo. I thought I was looking pretty good and very ready.

Hilary Lorenz, June 2015, pre-race photo

Hilary Lorenz, June 2015, pre-race photo

The race started out well, and I enjoyed the faster pace with 3,000 feet less of altitude. Roswell is at 3300. I stayed just behind the lead pack of one other woman and four men. I was lagging a bit behind them at the turn around, but no one was behind me for some at least 20-30 seconds. Then I hear a guy say 14:00, I look down at my watch and see the 2 mile line, then “POP” almost like the sound of a tire blow out, but inside my body. The snap reverberates though me and I screamed “fuck” unbelievably loud, then follow it with another 4 “fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.” I have to admit I took a certain pleasure in my drunken sailor foul language. I rarely hear people swear out here and  coursing is just part of the daily language in NYC. I knew immediately  I broke my foot. I have done it twice before. The finish was one mile away, so I decide to cry, to sob and walk my way back. I thought crying might be kind of enjoyable, I was so stressed out from training, overtraining, over mental stress, that I just needed to let go. Everyone passed me, but I figured I would cross the finish and go to the ER. My other breaks I did not go to the doctor for a couple of days, they did not hurt nearly so much, and yes, both happened during a run and I walked home. About a 1/2 mile from the finish a walker not associated with our group, tried to cheer me on, “you can do it, you are almost there” “Yes, and I can still hobble over there and smash your face in” Stage two-anger. I was happy when I saw Michelle coming to scoop me me. I crossed the finished line and walked to the truck.

Tom drove us to the hospital. I thought I broke my fifth metatarsal until I took off my shoe. I told the ER I broke a foot bone, when  I palpated it (they never touched my foot) and told the doc, “nope I broke the fourth, right here.” I could see he did not believe me. He said, “well it might be a hairline fracture or a pulled tendon, I will look at the x-ray which might not show it for a couple of weeks if it is small.” He comes back, you fractured it. HA! Told ya.

hilary_footI am what is called a “beginner” at the Senior Olympics, the youngest of the folks there, and yes, I am the only one that broke a broke. I watched a 94 year old athlete complete the 1500, the 800 and the 400, while I watched from the sidelines. That seems like a cruel joke. There were senior discus throwers, high jumpers, shot putters, and pole vaulters and there I sat. Tom, Michelle’s husband did great in the 20k and 40k bike races, taking home bronze and gold medals. Michelle took home a gold the 10k and silver in 800. I took home a boot .and crutches Well, that is not entirely true, there were only two people in my 5k age category, so I would get a silver by default, but I did not want it.

All in all, I am really glad I went. Despite breaking my foot I had a great time. We went to the banquet on Saturday night and had a really good time. I think I laughed more in the last five days than I have laughed all year.

Here is a picture of the three of us at the banquet. Oh and I am won a free entry into next years at the banquet drawing!

Michelle, Tom, Hilary at Senior O

Michelle, Tom, Hilary at Senior O

I think it is safe to assume that if you say you are training for a 5k, people think you are either a newbie or coming back from an injury. After all isn’t running all about conquering the marathon, or is it the 100 miler these days?

In March I ditched my Boston marathon training  for the 5k. I just wasn’t feeling good on my long runs and I did not feel like I was progressing. It could be my new life at 6-7,200 feet or my heart was not into running so many 20 milers. My race, will be the 5k at the Senior Olympics, it is my first year, and before you scoff, the women’s 5k for 50-54 record time is 18:55 and the mens 16:27. How many of you have done that?

I took a 10k  plan that Vince Sherry at the Run SMART Project wrote for me a couple of years ago when I was running a strong 22:00 on the Van Cordlandt XC course in the Bronx and a solid 45:00 in the 10k in Central Park, changed up some times to match my heart rate training, and altitude affects, i.e. lower performance.

Why is 5k harder than marathon training? First off, every week is between 40 and 50 miles, there is no build up, then taper. Almost every week is the same.  There are two 10 or 11 miles runs and two track workouts, the 10 mile runs are the day after a track workout and I usually do them on the trail which means they are slow but much harder than the road.  Track workouts amount to an average of 6 miles of running, often times mile repeats, but a favorite of mine is 4 x 200, 200, 400 with equal recovery. On easy days it is 6 -7 miles. There are no recovery weeks and only one rest day. And guess what? I am freakin’ beat, sore and cranky.

Today was rough. I have a high hamstring strain on the left side, I’m tired because I do not refuel well, and I just want the race to come. It is hard to run hard for 12 weeks!I met Michelle and it should have been really fun, bring the dogs, cut the running in half because I was so sore, and hike up 5 trail miles,  then jog down, easy.  Along the way we  both agreed walking is way too hard. It takes too long, you get too hot and too tired. I brought Conrad and Homer who were also too hot. On the way down, Homer kept tripping me. He was tired and hot and stuck to my feet. The trail finally opened up to a very wide arroyo and we had just 2.5 miles left to run home when Homer clipped my left foot and went under my body, sending me to the ground with what felt like an arrow being shot into my left butt check. I felt searing pain as if  I ripped my left leg right off my body, and started to cry in pain and frustrations. I sat there, the dogs running around me wanting to know what happened. I got up, and  hobbled for the next half mile until I could straighten up. I felt really sad. We still had two miles to get home, where then Michelle got me some ice. It was a life saver on that 30 mile drive home.

I decided to thumb though my training books and read about “overreaching and overtraining” then I thought, “Hilary, you are an idiot, if you need to read what you are doing to yourself, you are obviously doing it.” Why is it hard to admit? Because none of the runs are long, 11 miles, the track workouts are fun, so how could it be overreaching? Well, not refueling properly, assuming it is not so hard and also adding 4-6 miles a day of dog walking, and the full 12 weeks without recovery is too much. I was running better at the end of March than I am now.  So, what to do? Grill up some salmon and spinach, eat up and watch a good movie from the sofa.  All with a block of ice stuck to my ass and the dogs piled on top of me. I still have 10 days to “recover.”

I spent the past two weekends in Albuquerque. I think every running who likes cities and loves running trails should visit there. The Bosque trail is the best urban /wilderness trail I have  run. We caught it just off Mountain Blvd, right in downtown and were immediately cloaked by trees, rivers, ditches, birds and jungle of reeds; it was fantastic.

I have been bitching and moaning about my quad for weeks, it is all very boring but Sunday was a real turn around in my joy of running. I went with my friend Hondo. We started out thinking we would make a 5 mile circle on the trail, Hondo would stop after 5 and I would make a second loop to 10. Instead, as soon as we got off the road and onto the trails winding around the Rio Grande banks, we just kept running and running. We had not planned on being long but before we know it, we ran 17 miles. I wore my HR monitor and kept saw afterwards my HR average was 72% which is rare. I often run way over that, even on what should be my aerobic run. This run further convinced me to keep long runs and easy runs at 70%. The run felt great, I was not tired, I didn’t hurt too much anyway. I had not planned on that run so I wore my Saucony Type A5 usually reserved for track running and racing, so my feet were a little sore from the rocky parts of the trail but not bad. When got back home to meet Laura who spent the morning pampering homeless animals and helping them  find homes.  Laura is  Hondo’s wife and one of my funnest friends, she and I met in 2006 hiking the CDT for Backpacker Magazine.  We went to bunch at Hannah & Nate’s in Corrales and thankfully timed it right to miss the church and mother’s day brunch crowd.

There are paved bike trails and an abundance of dirt trails on the Bosque. You can check out the maps here. I want to run the there everyday!  I want to live in Albuquerque, wilderness trail running followed by delicious food, great coffee and all things weird. It is a weird city caught in some strange 1970’s time warp and I like it, so do my legs and my dogs. When the dogs are happy I am happy.

I have eight weeks before my target 5k race and I am within 3 pounds of racing weight. I say that  tongue-in-cheek, because while I am at a nice 114, I lost three pounds over the weekend with the flu. It was a total melt down, and most likely it  was not the flu but food poisoning that I did to myself.  That is one way to slim down fast,  NOT recommended.

Today is the first day I ran in 5 days, I did a  3.5 mile jog around the trails, my stomach not feeling great but okay.  I feel about 70%. What is letting me know I am not too well is my lack of desire to eat yet and rather just drink Emergen-C and Alka-Seltzer. That stuff is pretty great.  (and my extreme crankiness) I never take anything, no aspirin, nothing, but when I gave in to Alka-Seltzer it was awesome. I was staying at my friend’s, Laura and Hondo’s home in Albuquerque (and I cannot imagine a better place to be while sick, plus I really dig ABQ) and after trying their Alka-Seltzer I had to buy some. I know it sounds simple, but I never buy pain relievers. I prefer to feel the pain from training errors, rather than mask it and damage myself more.

Training was going great before I got sick. I saw Dr. Damien Passalacqua, chiropractor because all the PT was not helping my weird right leg and oh boy, did I feel good. I did a track workout on Tuesday, 6 total miles with warm-up and cool-down, of 400’s in 1:40 or 6:42 pace. I have not been able to do anything under 7:10 pace  without my leg flaring up. But this was a piece of cake, it was as if I was running a 9:00 pace. It felt so good, finally. But then I got sick and I am a little set back, but nothing to worry about for the race.

Finally it is Boston Marathon Day, my favorite day of the year. While I did not run this year, I cancelled entry, I was thrilled to see Kenyan born, Santa Fe, New Mexico based Carolina Rotich win today. That is the NM pride in me. I would have also really loved to see Desiree Linden win, Desi is always my number one pick! But that smile on Carolina’s face could not be beat.


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