New Mexico Escape
Three days with nothing to do but my workouts and relaxing with Nick's parents. The perfect way to finish my last hard week - get some solid training and be able to recover well with no distractions. I could do that more often if only we had the money and time. Training hard is never the problem. It's finding the time to recover smart that is always the issue. Not this week. Sitting around the wood stove with a book was the order of the day. Even Nick was able chill out and do nothing!
We did make sure that we got some quality workouts in. I got up to run in the fresh snow Christmas morning. It was perfectly quiet, with first tracks on the road. Nick ran the first few miles with me, then returned to the house. Without a map, I had decided to just do three out and backs on the dirt road leading to his parent's house. No traffic, just a few dogs, some crows and a bunch of horses. A brisk wind kept the temperature chilly but the sun was making quick work of the snow. It was perfect day. After my run, it was time to stretch and take a nap before supper with Nick's parents and their friends.
The next two days called for intervals on the bike. After going into town for some food and such, Nick and I headed south on a dirt road. We had debated staying on the black top and going north but decided to risk the mud. And while the road worked great for my intervals, we were covered in mud in minutes. There was still snow on the shaded slopes which made things interesting at times. After the workout, we attempted a trail Mel had recommended. It would have been great if not for the clay. I couldn't even get clipped in! We did see a few big cat prints - the size of my hand.... and they were pretty fresh - not melted at all. And that was enough for the day. The following day we stuck to black top - both because of the animals and the mud! The pavement road was even better for the intervals with 20 miles of steady climbing. We froze riding back down though - with a stiff and cold head wind and clouds covering the sun. I had to wait a while for my feet to unthaw before running!
Next time we visit, we will better prepared with maps and some ideas to explore. We know where we need to look and there's a lot of trail potential. Whether or not the trails are there, who knows. But the road riding is fantastic - both paved and dirt. And the quiet is worth it. Just focus on training and recovery without distractions.