I can’t believe how fast the past 5 weeks have flown by in Albuquerque. I really do feel at home here & once again I have enjoyed training on the Rio Grand trails & doing sessions at Academy & UMN track.
After a winter of injury I packed a lot into my first 3 weeks here and with only a few track sessions under my belt I felt that my first steeplechase race in Stanford went well. In the early laps there was a lot of barging and pushing and clashes of legs and spikes which I had not been used to in a while, but I felt strong throughout and just lacked that race speed which will come over the next few weeks.
Since Stanford I have been back in Albuquerque training hard and eating well. Judy is a fabulous cook and has been spoiling me. It has been great to come in from sessions and have a yummy healthy meal waiting and the long Sunday runs are topped off with Judy’s delicious brunches. We have had Migas (a Mexican type omelette that has tortillas in it), waffles, Belgian pancakes (like the little ones you get at the Christmas markets), frittatas, and Dutch pancakes too. Judy’s food is so good that I’m going to have to write a separate blog, she might even share some recipes with everyone!
In my spare time I’ve been doing a few touristy things and indulging in my other favourite pastime next to running……..SHOPPING!!!!
Albuquerque has some great wee places to chill and shop; Target has been a favourite of ours but there are some nice little running shops that are great value. The Albuquerque Running Shop has been a favourite and I treated myself to a cute running vest and matching visor, the vest was a little big but Judy came to the rescue with the good old Singer Sewing machine (remember them?); I would have made a hash of it! It’s a great job and fits perfectly now, I’m well chuffed.
We have visited Old Town on a number of occasions to see what the Indian jewellery makers have to offer, they have some unique hand made silver and turquoise pieces and they love a good bit of bartering. All the shops stock Breaking Bad memorabilia but I must admit I haven’t watched it yet, I’m gonna have to so I know what Sarah Benson is on about, I did visit Walter’s house with her!
Santa Fe is quite like Old town and we went twice this trip, it’s a neat little place and also has a fashion outlet just off the I-25 which we also visited twice. I’m gonna be like the Michelin man in a few weeks times heading home with the excess.
I have been enjoying the landscape and the nature while I have been out here, the mountains are amazing and on Sunday Geoff (my coach) and I took a trip to Tent rock out in the middle of the desert, the rock formations are amazing and you can see for miles and miles.
Judy’s garden is starting to come into bloom and the smell from the lilac trees is amazing, so good that they have been attracting the most beautiful butterflies I have ever seen. The double tailed Swallowtail is about the size of your hand and it flutters about so elegantly it looks like someone is dangling it by a string. Today I was lucky enough to have my camera at hand and got some great shots of one. I had a bright pink jumper on and it landed on my shoulder for a few seconds.
Numerous birds visit Judy’s garden everyday and we have been a right pair or ornithologists. Plenty of doves, sparrows, finches, Jays and a pair of thrashers, I have even photographed a woodpecker and chased a road runner round the house to get a photo of him, beep beep!!!! It’s nearly time for the hummingbirds to arrive and the feeders are out for them, but we leave in a day and I think we might miss them again but I did get the chance to get a photo of one last time in San Francisco.
I’m really going to miss Albuquerque and the lovely Judy Anderson, wish I could come back again after Mt Sac, but it’s time to race and get stuck into the track season now.
A big thank you to Geoff and Karen for supporting me out here throughout my training and a massive thank you to the wonderful Judy who has looked after me so well, had great laughs with us and made sure we always ate well.
I’m really going to miss my American Mom so much, but I will be back Judy and you have to start planning your next trip to Ireland.
Every runner needs a Judy in their lives, Love you loads xxx