Posts Tagged ‘Abiquiu’

An Adventure of Another Kind

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.

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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

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I am often judgmental of the articles on how to  keep motivated during marathon training or just running in general was ridiculous. If you are not motivated, doesn’t that mean that you just don’t want to do it, and that is okay? If I want something I am going to do it. If I am not that excited for something, I am not going to do it. Pretty simple.

When I am in NYC, I will run every time someone calls me which can be twice a day.  I will run in NM every time someone calls me (thought that never happened until very recently). When I am motivated I will get up at 5am and drive 100 miles, round trip, to run with friends in SF. I will rent an apartment, even if I only live there on the weekends to run with friends, to cut down on driving time. I love to run alone too, but not every day and not 15-20 miles and not on the side of a busy two lane road or getting chased by dogs.

Boston is still 8 weeks away but I have lost interest, not motivation, but interest in completing my training, boarding the dogs and flying out to Boston. I missed two 20 mile runs already. At first I thought my 4 hours of XC skiing could cover part of that, plus I had a 2.5 hour run on the trails, but it is not the same as 20 miles on the road. I realize the real joy I get, is in training with my friends, the shared pain of hard runs, long runs, cold runs, sweating bullets runs. Don’t get me wrong, I want a PR, I want to run hard. When I can’t run hard, it is just not as fun.

I like  hours of X-C skiing on the weekend, snowshoeing, daily hikes with the dogs and yes running. But I don’t want to wake up every morning and think about what my prescribed workout is, I just want to run and explore so that I can have time for my other activities, like making art which is my profession.  I have a fall exhibition to work on now.

I met a guy a couple of years ago on a 50k run who told me he never raced, but he ran all distances and mostly ultras.  I was out for a 17 mile run and met this group on the same course, so I joined them, and completed 50k because I enjoyed being with them. I could not understand just running to run and not racing. I run to race or do I? I thought training in NM would be the best and yes it is pretty darn sweet especially in the mountains, but I am not getting fitter.  I like to blame it on the altitude, I love reaching new levels during a training cycle, but it is not happening. I honestly don’t know, maybe I lost my motivation or was that my interested?

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Forest Road 100, Youngsville by Robert Frislie.

Friday’s run on Forest Road 100, Youngsville photo by Robert Frislie.

In the past I have been fanatic about my run training. I haven’t gotten lazy, but based on all my marathon times, there is minimal time between a 45 mile training week max and 70 mile training week max. In fact my 70 mile weeks yielded some of my slower times. I have been a bit casual about my training this winter, especially when I get the chance to go skiing which I do every Saturday or hiking, which I did today. Last weekend, when I did not post, I was out snow shoeing. I will do my long run, this week 16 miles, (making it a medium run in the big scheme of things) on Monday.

I planned on running 16 miles on Friday so that I could ski for 4+ hours on Saturday and hike Sunday. I drove about 30 miles to a forest road that leads up a popular mountain called the Pedernal in Youngsville NM. (That dark peak on the left of the photo is the Pedernal the red is where the road goes.) The asphalt road has been tearing up my feet and I just can’t run on it. I spend all day on dirt, so even 10 miles on the road really affects me. I parked on the side of the dirt road, it was hard packed and dry. I began my run up, and up and up. This was killing me as the incline was only up the mountain. In less than 4 miles the elevation changed from 6100 ft to 7200 ft. The dry clay road turned into mud, then 100% snow. I  felt defeated and knew I was not going to run, or crawl 16 miles and I turned around and ran back down. That down was fun. The scenery on forest road is spectacular. I did not bring my camera but I found this photo by Kevin Wolfe.31892220

I am feeling ambivalent about going to Boston. I have now for two weeks. I had so much fun last year. I ran with my NM buddy Andy for 23 miles of the marathon. I made a new friend, Ayako, at the Hostel and we planned on staying together again. I rode Amtrak from NYC to Boston with a bunch of my Front Runner Buddies and hung out with my Dashing Whippets Racing Teammates at the expo. But now I am out in NM. I love it out here and I am not so sure I want to board the dogs, make the ridiculous series of flights to get to Boston and spend the money when I can be out here running in the mountains. No matter what I will keep up the training, but I am kind of looking for an out. I don’t know, we’ll see. Maybe I will feel different after I get a few 20 milers completed at altitude. It is rather daunting. Next Sunday I will do a mountain run with my Santa Fe Strider buddies, that should shake some thoughts loose. I love to run with people, it is a great social outlet, doing this alone is a little lack luster and nerve racking. I get attacked by dogs on the rural roads, and stupid guys in pickup trucks throw beer cans at me. It is hard to stay excited when I know I will face both of those things every time I go out. But the bottom line is, I love to run. Until the next post, stay outdoors!

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Third Place in Age Group

Third Place in Age Group

First the great news, I won 3rd place, 13th female over all at the Santa Fe Snowshoe Classic. (I desperately need a travel  mug and winning one is the best!) The route was  a 3.8 mile clockwise loop consisting of Big Tesuque Trail #152,Winsor Trail # 254, Pacheco Canyon Rd. and unofficial, short but obvious linking trail back to the Big T trail. Start/end elevation is 9640 ft. with 610 ft. total climbing.  I felt like I was always climbing. It topped out just under 10,000ft. There was a nice downhill along Pacheco Canyon Road, but it was a climb to Pacheco and a climb after it. It was so much fun! It was a small race, 81 runners  all in the woods. I had a few opportunities to be completely alone They had the women start 5:00 after the men to give  more room on the single track trail. Though the first 5 women, despite starting 5:00 behind  smoked more than 1/2 the men! One of which was in my age group. She is 59 and immediately reminded me of Katherine Martin – she is an incredible runner.  Snow was not great, it was hard packed but I hit about 5 places of  dirt and rock, no snow. The whole time I was running I  felt pure joy and my hip flexors.

The day before I took a cross-country ski lesson, part of the UNM community program in Los Alamos. The instructor, Hans-Peder Hanson and his wife Sue who taught the class are both Division 1 college skiers, NCAA award-winning racers. I have not checked them out on-line, well just enough to know they went to Dartmouth,  but it is obvious by watching them move that they excel in the world of ski competition. The class meets every Saturday for 2 hours for 2 months.  This week we met at Pajarito Ski Mountain.

I have not skied in 30 years. That makes me sound like I am 105, but frankly I did not ski after high school. I bought a new pair of skis over Thanksgiving in Lake Placid and this would be my first trial. Hans and Sue had us on a  snow covered gravel road with ski tracks running along each side. It was not more than 150 meters, It started up, then dipped down, then up again. We went back and forth practicing drills and form. I focused on my glide, which at times  felt good, my hips extending far behind me stretching my hip flexors in a big way (yep, this is the trigger). Hans had to keep reminding me to keep my hand pushing far behind me and pulled my elbow up behind me, kind of like this photo I found on the internet:
ski_floatI would stop it at my hip. I also learned to open my hand up as it goes back, like the guy above.  My biggest issue? I get tangled up and move the same size arm and leg forward. For example, I move my right leg forward and my right arm. It is crazy, so I start my motion by walking with my skis so that I alternate arm and leg. After two hours and up and back gliding, within a 150 meter track I could feel my hip flexors were tired. After driving home the 45 miles, they were a little more tired. At night they woke me up several times, or was that the dogs on my bed pushing me into a little ball so that could not stretch out? Anyhow when I started today, it was hard to lift my knees, it got better a mile in and pretty good near the end. But as I type this, oh boy, they are spent.
Next weekend there is another snowshoe race and x-c ski race. I would like to run the snowshoes and watch the ski race. It is part of a weekend long festival in Chama called Chama Chili Ski Classic. it begins on Friday and runs through Monday. There is beer tasting, music, pasta dinner, chili cook off, yoga, 2 days of racing, fat tire snow bike race, more music, more chili. It looks like a blast! It is 60 miles one way, but I think Sunday I may  head up there. I think this snowshoe race increased my lung capacity by at least 50%, maybe 100! I sure busted a lung out there and it was delightful! This is a huge plus in aerobic building for the Boston Marathon come April.

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Carls Meadow

Carls’ Meadow

Is that right, the end of week three? Right now I am too tired to get up and check my log. I am not tired because I ran hard today, in fact I did not run, I printed.  It is not a bad thing that I missed my weekend long run, though it is hard to consider 9 miles long. But it is when you have a quad that does not fire.  I will run the 9 or maybe 10 tomorrow on my “rest day” I am not too concerned. I got in my other days.

Yesterday I had a magnificent time snow shoeing at the Santa Fe Ski Basin with my friend Lisa. More specifically we started at Aspen Vista Trailhead,  shoed up the Windsor Trail past the ski lifts, made a loop into the creek bed and back down and round to the Aspen Vista Road.  We started at 9,900 ft of altitude and climbed to 11,427 in 1.83. That is steep. We hiked for almost four hours,  at times we were up to our hips in snow.  It was great.

My runs are getting  better. No longer am I walking or running backward for 1:00 after every 2:00 of forward. I reduced it to 30 seconds. Also I ran 3 miles on Thursday without any turn around. That made me feel great! My quad is freezing up less and most of my run pace is close to 8:00 miles.

Today I had a big day of printing which is why I did not run. I was in the studio all day working on my 30 prints in 30 days series and just ran out of daylight to run.

Next Sunday I have a 3.8 mile snow shoe race. That should be interesting, running in snow shoes at 10,000 ft of elevation.   This will be like Elmer Fudd chasing Rabbit in slow motion.

I am taking bets at how long it will take me to complete this. My most recent marathon time is 3:49 (April 2014) best x-c time 22:30, 10k time 45:30, all at sea level. Whoever comes closest to how long it take me gets their choice of print from my 30 prints in 30 days project which you can read about here. Remember you want to win a print, not worry about hurting my feelings. There will be no ego in trying to complete 3.8 miles of running in snowshoes at over 10,000 ft. For reference the fastest male  in 2014 was 33:46, fastest female 43:25. I am going to try out the trail on Wednesday, and hope I can complete it in under an hour. Wish me luck.

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Hilary Lorenz at Wave Hill, NY

Hilary Lorenz at Wave Hill, NY

I was reminded today how little I  update my blog. This is true, but while I have not been updating this one, I have been updating my new art website blog at hilarylorenz.wordpress.

Mostly my excuse is that I have not been running, but rather making art, a lot of art, over 4,000 prints in the last few months to be exact. But now all my shows are up and I am hanging around NYC promoting them and running. Yes, I got back to running again. It is crazy how fast I can get of shape and quite frankly it is a lot more fun to run an 8:00 pace with a 150HR than a 9:30 pace with a 150HR. But that is my reality right now.

Last night I took my dog Homer and jogged 6 miles through the Bronx Streets and  into Van Cortlandt Park. It was completely dark, no street lights, warm but with a very cool fog lifting off the fields. I really needed a headlight as I could not see four feet in front of me, but oh I really loved it and I think Homer did too.

Plans for the next couple of months include, selling my NYC apartment, going to Northern Ontario for an art’s residency, closing my exhibitions at Wave Hill, NY and the Printmaking Center of NJ on December 7, closing my show at the Gallery at Pioneer Bluffs after a reception on December 12, then hunkering down in Abiquiu, NM until next August. And who knows if the stars align I might just stay out there in the high desert. Oh and I am in two holiday sales, where I will have a boat load of hand printed journals, one in Brooklyn and one in Los Alamos, NM. I will also post some here.

Happy Fall.

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