I will be flying in to Albuquerque on April 15, six days prior to the Half for work. My company is sending me out there and the timing could not be better. I will have six days to acclimate myself to the elevation and this will hopefully lighten the impact on race day. The challenge will certainly be the adjustment and preparing myself for what may turn out to be a less than desirable finish time. I'm not sure 1:30 is realistic if I'm not prepared and breathing becomes challenging. This may be a tough one.
As I've posted before, Albuquerque has one of the highest elevations of any major city in the United States. An advantage that may prove useful is its southwesterly continental position. Because of this, the effects of elevation are greatly tempered. The elevation of the city ranges from 4,900 feet above sea level near the Rio Grande (in the Valley) to over 6,700 feet in the foothill areas of Sandia Heights and Glenwood Hills. At the airport, the elevation is 5,352 feet above sea level.
Runners used to lower elevations know that running at higher altitudes is challenging. See here. I remember a few times on work trips out there feeling the dizziness and waking up to a headache. I'll be limiting my caffeine, avoiding the alcohol, staying hydrated, and just simply walking around and getting my body adjusted. The alcohol part may also present a challenge as the week leading up to this Half will fall on my very good friend Doug's birthday. I guess a small exception can be made.
The area around my hotel is nice and inviting to some post work running. At first I'll limit myself to no more than 3-5 miles with some walking throughout.
I'll update as AQ gets closer and be sure to get some nice pics along the route.