US Training & Travels; Part 1: Albuquerque

I am currently out at Altitude in Albuquerque New Mexico with my friend and fellow steeplechaser, Sarah Benson from Scotland. My steeplechase coach Geoff Watkin has also flown out for support along with his wife Karen who is a massage therapist, so we are well looked after.


The first two weeks have flown in and we have packed so much into our training and adventures.

I am staying with the lovely Judy Anderson again at the foot of the Sandia Mountains and it’s feels like I never left the place two years ago. Judy’s place is so relaxing with magnificent views and fab food too. Judy is a goddess in the kitchen and always has a treat for us after the long run or track sessions. We have been arriving home to the sweet smell of home made waffles and also Judy’s specialty Migas which is an Albuquerque Pro’s secret recipe.


My first run out here didn’t go quite smoothly when I tripped on a low lying hidden wire on the Academy school trails, a few cuts and bruises, a popped bit of cartilage in my chest and a badly bruised knee cap hasn’t held me back though. I’m really enjoying discovering the desert trails along the Rio Grand river and becoming accustomed to peanut butter m&ms again, they are my downfall and kept aside for a wee post session treat, honest.



This trip has been full of Kerry and Sarah’s adventures, lol. The first weekend we were here was also the same weekend of the NCAA Indoor track Champs. The talent at these Champs is amazing and so we looked up online to see that tickets were still available and decided to go see the action on the final evening. We both had two runs to do so we planned that we would get back from the second run, showered and fed before driving over to the event just in time for the miles.
So into the car, on the freeway, got to the stadium, parked up, rushed to the ticket office, bought tickets, into the building and then we paused took a look around, looked at each other and then at the tickets! We where at the basketball, the wrong event, the wrong building and the wrong part of town. So like a pair of ticket touts we ran back outside talked some people into buying our tickets off us and then explained to the guys on the gate and got our car parking back and headed to try and find the indoor stadium in town. We hadn’t a clue, lol, we then saw some runners and followed them in our car, parked up and stalked them into the building. We ended up missing the miles but we saw the rest of the evenings programme and the women’s indoor 400m record being broken.

St.Patrick’s Day at Judy’s was great Craic. We had Paddy’s or as they say here in the US Patty’s Pot luck night where everyone (neighbours and guests) all bring an Irish dish. Judy made some fab Irish Guinness stew and I contributed with freshly baked Irish wheaten bread, soda farls and some champ on the side. It was a really enjoyable evening as we sat and planned out some the neighbour’s trips to Ireland and Scotland.


The running is coming along nicely and coach Watkin has me back over the hurdles on my track sessions, which is tough going at 6000ft. Not sure I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s session of 1600m/ 1200m/ 800m/ 400m off a 90sec recovery all over hurdles and at race pace, but it will set me up nicely for the first steeplechase race in two weeks time at Stanford. I just gotta think about Judy’s waffles at the finish line & maybe a packet of peanut butter m&m’s too.