Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sub Four Mile at Altitude

Hill stalks Lomong at the Cherry & Silver Invite - courtesy of Blake Wood
World Champs 5000m finalist Ryan Hill dropped-in at the UNM indoor track meet this last weekend and blitzed a sub-four minute mile in the men's open race, an effort rarely seen here at altitude. Hill clocked 3:59:00 flat to best two-time Olympian Lopez Lomong in a tune up for next month's National Indoor Track & Field Championship hosted once again at the Albuquerque Convention Center. This is an off year in track, meaning that there is no outdoor World Championship on the schedule. The big meet on the elite track circuit defaults to World Indoors, meaning that the National Indoor meet coming to town in four weeks is going to be a ripper.

Before last year very few sub-four miles at altitude had been run on American soil. This is partly due to the degree of difficulty and primarily due to almost no quality races held under such limiting conditions. Surprisingly, no sub-four has ever been run in Colorado. Until just last year none had been run in New Mexico. Olympian and BYU alum Doug Padilla was likely the first to accomplish the feat on American soil back in 1983 (Utah). Thirty years later native Montanan Pat Casey cemented his high-country bona-fides by soloing a sub-four in Bozeman as a junior at Montana State. Pat rabbits for Galen Rupp these days. Will Leer ran to a National Indoor title last year to be the first to accomplish the feat in New Mexico. At the time he was likely just the third to ever do it, with numbers four and five less than one second behind him. Eleven months later Hill joins the group. For sake of comparison, the most impressive American mile/1500m at altitude was easily Jim Ryun's run at the '68 Olympic Games - a 3:37.8 1500m at 7300ft (~3:54.8 equivalent mile), only good enough for silver in the wake of altitude trained legend Kip Keino.

Doug PadillaProvo, UT (4549ft)19833:57.83
Will LeerAlbuquerque, NM (5000ft)20133:58.79
Craig MillerAlbuquerque, NM (5000ft)20133:58.90
Ryan HillAlbuquerque, NM (5000ft)20143:59.00
Pat CaseyBozeman, MT (4800ft)20113:59.76
Cory LeslieAlbuquerque, NM (5000ft)20133:59.88
Jim RyunMexico City (7300ft)19683:54.8*

Related Posts:
 - New Mexico's Four Minute Milers
 - US Indoors 2012
 - US Indoors 2011

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Santa Fe Winter Brew and All Things Beer

This Friday is the 3rd Annual Santa Fe Winter Brew sponsored by the New Mexico Brewers' Guild. Good times, tasty beverages, a helluva lot more fun than your regular happy hour. In fact they sold clear out of tickets on Tuesday. In honor of Winter Brew I thought I'd pen some beer related write-ups this week. Here goes:

Duel Brewing became the newest Santa Fe craft brewer when they opened shop on Rufina St. this last summer. The place specializes in Belgian brews and serves waffles, so it's an awesome addition to the current options in town. If you haven't been out there you'll find they did a more than admirable job building out a warehouse space on Rufina. A recent report in the New Mexican notes that they're already tripling their space under lease to increase production demands.

Duel Brewing
This same New Mexican report states that Santa Fe Brewing Co. continues to grow apace under owner Brian Lock. Now solidly a regional brand, the company just purchased an extra 3 acres of property adjacent to their facilities off NM 14 in an effort to continue expansion. They hope to eventually ramp up their production from 30,000 barrels (already the state's largest by volume) to as much as 200,000 barrels in a few years.

Lastly, Embudo's own Blue Heron Brewery, long a staple on the drive up the Rio Grande Gorge to Taos, has presented plans for a second location on the west side of the river in Espanola, in a now defunct restaurant space near the Espanola Plaza. If approved and finalized they'll be the first brewpub in the Espanola valley, and an extra rest/food option on the road between Santa Fe and Bode's up in Abiquiu.

All of the above brewers will be sampling their wares this Friday at the Farmers' Market Pavilion. Consider that I'm in need of an extra ticket to Winter Brew if you happen to 'know a guy'. Email is at the top of page.

Related Posts:
 - Craft Beer in New Mexico
 - Santa Fe Winter Brew (2012)
 - New Belgium Brewery and their Awesome Beer

View New Mexico Craft Beer in a larger map

Saturday, January 18, 2014

January Cycling

Moon and the Santa Fe River Valley at Frenchy's
On the bike this morning for a ride on Super Loop. It was pretty eff-ing cold - needed the sunglasses just to keep my eyes from icing shut. It's January, yes, but had sold myself on this week being warm. Not how it works on a bike. The water in my bottle turned to slush in an unfunny attempt of further ridicule.

If the snow won't fall at least it means the trails are clear for riding.

Curiously, didn't see too many folks out. First on at La Tierra and had the trails to myself. My old friend the moon sat above the blue horizon of the Jemez and would say hello each time I veered to the west.

19mi, 934ft, 1hr45min

The improved NM 599 bike underpass to La Tierra
NM 599 on the right
Overkill with a buncha' needless bridges
La Tierra
Moon and the Jemez from the east La Tierra Ridge
Related Posts:
 - La Tierra - Trail 34
 - Moonlit Ride in the North Hills

View Super Loop Trail - Santa Fe, NM in a larger map

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Additions to the Tough Guy List

La bandera de Nuevo Mexico
Another four badasses from New Mexico's running-past have been added to our Pantheon of Tough Guys. The grand total is actually three smoking fast dudes and one chica - Lionel Ortega, David Segura, Leo Torres, and Janine Aiello. All have superlative bonafides over the marathon distance; Some crushed the trails; Some distinguished themselves on the track. Torres is a trail legend bordering on the mystic; Ortega and Segura are two of the greatest to run with the UNM vest; Aiello is somewhat of an unknown but is our first addition from Taos. Go have a read.

Related Posts:
 - New Mexico's Four Minute Milers
 - Leo Torres and Santa Fe Three Peaks Run
 - The Tough Guy List

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Mileage: How Much is not Enough?

Holiday miles
I'm always keenly aware when I haven't been getting outside regularly because my body seems to age an extra five years and my energy levels tank. Negative feedback loops take hold. A review of my activity logs only confirms this slide in fitness. When I downloaded my end-of-year mileage last week (while smackin' through a box of Christmas cookies, natch) I wasn't happy with the year I'd rung up. Witness the falloff:

Total Hrs:262hrsTotal Hrs:361hrsTotal Hrs:193hrsTotal Hrs:129hrs

I couldn't even hump it over the 500mi mark at year end due to an ill-timed tweak in my achilles. What have I become? It appears I've become a marshmallow (or maybe a box of cookies), that's what.

The mileage over the last four years tell a story - Years 2010 and '11 were outliers since I was training for and running marathons. The marathon in 2010 was completed much faster than in 2011, for obvious reasons. In 2011 I upgraded my mountain bike to awesome, then bombed through 3000 miles of trails over the next eighteen months. This year's less-than-impressive totals are a reflection of a busy life, the somewhat unhealthy result of months focused on professional exams and the addition of a smiling baby boy around the house, one who prefers to be ridiculously cute all the time then to being buckled into a running stroller.

Digging into the numbers is a disappointing exercise: 500 miles a year (or 481 without the rounding) is not a lot. This is ten miles a week or just two measly runs a week. Hardly even running really, that's glorified jogging. If you can't even find the time to get out and do what you enjoy then you're just too busy - some number of extracurriculars will need to be cut from my current schedule to correct this. The broader metric is even more convincing: 129 hours in one year - which includes ski outings, snowshoeing, swimming, etc. - is less than three hours a week. That is not enough and I know this even without parsing numbers in a log because I just generally feel like a schlub. When the beer doesn't taste as good as it used to, it's because of a drift toward schlub.

Holiday aesthetic
So there's the outline of my new year's goals and resolutions, supported by numbers to better measure my progress. Does your view of the new year include finding time to do more of what you enjoy and less of the path of marshmallow? Hopefully so. And we will raise a cheer to our new found ways as the year fades to winter once again.

Related Posts:
 - New Years in the Sierras: 2012
 - New Years above Taos: 2011
 - Year in Review: 2010


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