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Archive for June, 2011

First Few Days in Abiquiu

I wrote a post on Sunday about how much harder it is to run at altitude. I did not post it yet because I did not have Internet access. I am abbreviating that post and adding an overview of the last five days.

I ran only three times, 3.5 miles, 4.7 miles and 6 miles. The altitude makes my HR much higher. For example I ran an easy 15 miles, 9:00 pace, with a HR of 148 in NYC, I huffed and puffed 6 miles here on Sunday barely managing to average 9:40 pace with a HR of 160. In NYC a 160 HR would be a 7:00 mile pace. It is a strange feeling, my legs feel good, I am rested, but the altitude makes respiration and HR much faster. I can see it in my dogs too, Conrad is breathing fast and Homer just can’t chase the ball like he usually does.  But the exciting thing is running at altitude is going to make huge improvements to my aerobic economy and pushing myself over all those hills I can just feel the mitochondria proliferating. I expect that in 3-4 weeks it will level out.

I arrived Wednesday at my small stone house in Abiquiu, NM, 45 miles north of Santa Fe and at 6000 feet altitude. My summer plans include running, drawing and building a studio. I have only been at my house once before which was last summer for two weeks, it was totally empty except for the dogs beds and two dogs to go in those bed which I drove out, 2100 miles.

I have already made several friends.  My second night I was invited to a birthday party where I was the only non-Spanish speaker. I ended up mostly communicating with the dogs but it was fun. But I was happy to be invited. Then there is the weird stuff. A 20ish year old guy, his mom, and daughter came by. First my house is very hard to find, it is in an arroyo, a river bed, three sides are surrounded by earth, but it is a famous house built by a famous guy in the area. (It was his birthday party). The family, Carlos, Carmella, and unknown daughter’s name came by because they like to look at my house. I have no idea how they found it. They stayed for a long time showing me photos on their I-phone of another brothers drawings, telling me about their 200 year old adobe house, just chit chatting. What was really cool was Carlos and his brother hand paint lowriders and he showed me a video of some really sweet cars. When they left they all hugged me. Why? I have no idea. Then at the El Rito Library plant sale, several people introduced themselves to me, three of which turned out to be neighbors, one of those three is the mother of the tattoo artist who owns the shop in NYC, East Side Ink, where I get my work done. I have an open invitation to stop by her house any time I want, which I intend to do as it is on my running route. I met Ann a master gardener who designed and maintains one of my very rich neighbor’s gardens. It is a vacation house for a guy from NJ. She asked if I paint landscapes and invited me to come to his house and paint in the gardens. I don’t make work like that but I will go there to see these magnificent creations. And finally on my quest for furniture I was told I must go see Linda who lives across the road and has barns of super high-end stuff from when she had a store. Turns out Linda is mother of designer Todd Oldham. I have a great network started in just a couple of days and I think I will end up with some really awesome furniture. Now I just need to meet some runners, which may be much harder to find.

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