Last Sunday, the Lovejoy Leopard JV boys loaded up into a 12 passenger van en route to Taos, New Mexico for a week of running at an altitude of over 7500 feet. It was an 11-12 hour drive through beautiful northwest Texas (sarcasm) and northern New Mexico (not sarcasm, actually beautiful). I knew it would be both a fun but difficult week, because I hadn't been away from my girls for that long.
We stayed in a cabin that was halfway up the mountain toward the ski valley, and there was no cell service unless you went all the way to the top (4 miles from the cabin). It was hard not talking to Jess some days until about 6 pm her time. I think Cecelia grew about a foot while I was gone, but she was so excited to see her daddy when I got back! :) I am traveling back out next week for the varsity boys' camp and it will be tough again, but at least this time we will know what to expect. I think I'll plan better this time for calling back home.
The running in Taos was great, with a low in the upper 30s to low 40s in the mornings and highs in the afternoon in the mid to upper 80s. I think it hit the 90s one or two days but with the dry climate, it was fantastic weather. I got a good 40 miles in in 5 days, though it felt like 60 at sea level with trying to adjust to the elevation. The last morning, we continued the tradition of the run to the ski valley. It is 4 miles up from the cabin and goes from 7200 feet or so all the way up to over 9000 feet. It was VERY tough, taking me 35 minutes to get all the way up (almost 9 minute pace) but only 27 minutes to come back down, with the help of the nice downhill on the way back.
The kids had a great time and set some good goals for the upcoming season and the next few years. It was an excellent team building exercise. The only downside for the kids was the inability to take me down in ping pong, and I was the camp champion!
At this point, my running is going very well, too. I'll get another 50+ miles in this week and hopefully get over 50 again next week at elevation. That will set me up for some 60 mile weeks in the next 3-4 weeks and 70+ after that. I am running a 15k on Saturday, so we'll see how that goes.
The picture gives you some insight into where my loyalties now lie when it comes to choosing a training shoe.