Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Graduation Weekend…back to Lynchvegas!

This past weekend my wife and I traveled back to Lynchburg, VA to participate in our graduation ceremony to confer our master’s degrees. My wife received her Masters in Professional Counseling and I will be getting mine in Teaching as soon as I finish my last classes this summer. The ceremony was awesome and over 10,000 students graduated. My parents and my sister flew in from MN for the occasion and as always time with them was too short but tons of fun. Aside from the obvious fun of hanging out with them, I was equally stoked to run on the trails surrounding Liberty Mountain. Upon arriving, I was disheartened to learn that the forecast for the weekend was rainy with a chance of rain. Luckily,  the rain held off for the graduation as well as both of my morning trail runs. I did however manage to find myself some large mud holes in which to dirty myself. Below are some pictures taken from my phone while on the run. As you can see, my phone doesn't take the greatest of pictures but it does the trick.

I'm grouping 2 weeks of training together because I'm still playing catch-up and have been very busy. I am currently researching some races near Phoenix to run this fall. You can see the very, very tentative race schedule posted on the right. These are all up in the air as of right now because money and time off work are going to play a part in them since most are 4-5 hours away, save a few. But either way, I'm training to be ready to run an Ultra this fall. Most of my weekly mileage is done on the flat bike path near my place and I try to get my weekend runs done in the "mountains" in the city. My run mileage has been quite low due to increased bike mileage and simply lack of hours in the day. I've also sufficiently bruised the mess out of my feet.

Monday, 5/2/2011
AM-Ride to Work-11.66 miles (45:35)

PM-Ride part way home from work-7.25 miles (27:38)
      -Flat Tire Run-4.13 (34:06)
Ended up blowing a tire on my way during this run so had to run whilst pushing my bike the rest of the way. Ended up making pretty good pace considering I was pushing a deflated bike. Looked pretty retarded too.

Wednesday, 5/4/2011
Arizona Canal-3.13 miles (22:52)

Thursday, 5/5/2011
Arizona Canal-4.76 miles (34:58)

Sunday, 5/8/2011
Hedgepeth Hills-5.45 miles (53:14)

Monday 5/9/2011
Bike from Work-11.88 miles (49:51)

Tuesday 5/10/2011
AM-Arizona Canal-3.01 miles (23:13)

PM-Bike from Work-11:11 miles (44:34)

Wednesday 5/11/2011
Shaw Butte Trail-5.19 miles (53:06)
Tried out the North Mountain Preserve area next to work. Good trails. Really rocky but some decent elevation change. Will try to use this trail more often. Most likely will have to be in the morning as the afternoons are getting too hot for my liking. Ran a mile barefoot on the infield of the track by work while waiting for Patsy to come pick me up.

Thursday 5/12/2011
Ride home from Work-12.85 miles (57:50)

Sunday 5/15/2011
LMTS-Lake Trail/Great Escape/Split Decision-7.5 miles (1:18:20)
Great run on the trails. Started the run very early and in the dark and the rain so it was very slow going to start with and the slow pace seemed to continue throughout the whole run. I didn't mind because it was good to be back out in the woods again.
Was nice to run under a canopy and in the mud and green!   
It was also nice to get some decent hill climbing in as well. The run up the Split Decision road/trail is all uhill and by the top I was above the low cloud/fog and the sunrise was beautiful. Monday I ran basically the same route with a short detour onto the lawn mower trail, picture featured here.
High quality images from my high-res phone!
Fog or clouds?
As always friends...
My contribution to the graffiti in the gazebo on the mountain

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Jog Log is Back

I know its been a while since I've updated my training plans lately, and that is mainly due to the sporatic natuer of both the training and life itself. Due to my new method of daily transportation I have been accumulating a large amount of bike mileage. As I mentioned in my previous post, there is a bike trail that is right next to our apartment and it goes all over the city of Phoenix and surrounding suburbs. The trail conveniently dumps out right next to where I work. Amazing how God has a plan in everything. Nice part about the canal is that it can provide a variety of different loops and out and back runs. The only complaint I have is the frequency of thorns and the complete lack of elevation. Hill running is something my training is going to lack severely. Here is my activity over the last month or more. Everything since my last jog log update.

Monday 3/21/2011
Beechwood-2.66 miles (21:19)

Tuesday 3/22/2011
LMTS-4.2 miles (42:15)

Saturday 3/26/2011
Terrapin Mtn 1/2 Marathon

Thursday 3/31/2011
Poplar Forest-7.31 miles (1:02:56)
Great run on my normal route. First run back since the 1/2 Marathon. Really starting to feel the pressures/stresses of preparing for the move.

Friday 4/1/2011
Timberlake-Sandusky-11 miles
April Fools run. Wasn't really sure about where the heck I felt like running today. Just went out and ran. About half way thru the run I thought it would be fun to see if I could make it to Lynchburg College and back before work. Almost made it. Better luck next time I guess.

Saturday 4/2/2011
LMTS-3.65 miles
Great trail run. Jammed out to some Katy Perry (yes...guilty as charged) and stumbled accross this out in the middle of the woods. Great relaxed run. Took my time and got enjoy and soak up the company of the trails.

Monday 4/4/2011
LMTS-6.68 miles (1:07:31)
Ran same trail as I did on Saturday in search of a lost article from Saturday's run. Didn't find it but had a great run anyway.

Tuesday 4/5/2011
Timberlake-Sandusky-10.3 miles (1:30:42)
Tried again to get to LC but didn't quite make it due to weather and time constraints. As the time of this run reflects I was quite sore and I also got poured on about one mile from home. Good to get some miles in.

Wednesday 4/6/2011
Best Coffee Ever!
This run marks the success of making it to LC. Being as I didn't have to go to work today I took my time and made sure to make it all the way to Lynchburg College. In celebration of this monumentous achievement (it is in my mind anyway), I stopped at the local gas station for some coffee. BEST CUP OF COFFEE TO THIS DAY! WIN!

Saturday 4/9/2011
Altus, OK-3 miles (25:30)
Barefoot run with Cory in the streets around the massive city of Altus, OK. Good to run with an old friend! This is the first run on our great journey accross the nation.

Sunday 4/10/2011
Altus Cotton Feild-5.55 miles (43:01)
Great Vibram run on some dirt roads outside of Altus. Very flat.

Sunday 4/17/2011
Canal-3.25 (37:56)
First run on the canal. Ran in the Vibrams with Patsy.

Monday 4/18/2011
Canal-4.88 miles (38:16)

Tuesday 4/19/2011
Canal-2.72 miles (21:25)

Wednesday 4/20/2011
Canal-2.86 miles (25:10) +barefoot

Thursday 4/21/2011
Canal-6.56 miles (48:32)
Great Tempo Run

Sunday 4/24/2011
Hedgepeth Hills-5.05 miles (53:53)
First trail run in AZ. Trails out here are very rocky and busy. Lots of foot traffic if you go any later than 5am. This set of trails is fairly close to the house so this may become my usual weekend spot unless I want to drive a little further for some trails.

Monday 4/25/2011
AM-Bike AZ Canal to Work-12.07 miles (43:43)
First bike commute to work. Great ride with nice trails the whole way.

PM-Bike AZ Canal from work-12.09 miles(51:45)

Tuesday 4/26/2011
AM-Canal Run-2.72 miles (19:22)
      -Ride to Work-12.3 miles (48:05)

PM-Ride from Work-12.23 (59:56)
Very windy ride home.

Wednesday 4/27/2011
Ride to work-11.91 miles (46:48)

Thursday 4/28/2011
Ride from work-12.11 miles (47:40)

Friday 4/29/2011
AM-Ride to Work-11.5 miles (43:42)

PM-Ride from Work-12.23 miles (50:24)

Total Mileage for April
Running: 75.21 miles
Biking: 96.42 miles
Hiking: 1.51 miles

Now I know that was just a whole bunch of useless info but I needed to spit it out somewhere so there it is. Another post is soon to follow regarding this weekend's trip back to the great city of Lynchburg.

Jog on Mates!

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Great Arizona Adventure

Well friends...its been a while...I know....I'm sorry. As I alluded to in earlier posts, my family (Wife, myself, and Jermaine) have journeyed across the USA to the desert state of Arizona. Now let me clear up a couple of misconceptions about moving to the desert. So far...the desert is beautiful...yes we know its going to get extremely hot and miserable but there is always A/C, swimming pools, and/or ice cubes. Now why Arizona you may ask? Well...we honestly had never given this state any thought in our future plans, but as always, the Lord has other plans. Patsy has an awesome internship at an eating disorder facility called Remuda Ranch. I am currently working as an enrollment counselor at GCU. We have been here for approximately 3 weeks now and have yet to see a cloud. This state is beautiful in a such a different way. The Lord truly is creative when it comes to designing landscapes.

Now to the gritty details...we left Lynchburg on April 6th at about noon. After a late night of loading and packing and cleaning and loading and packing and cleaning we finally got the U-haul loaded and were ready. We made it to Nashville the first night and then headed toward Altus, OK where we spent a day with the Nordstrom family. It was great to get to meet their newest edition and catch up. Cory and I got to share some miles in our bare feet on some flat OK streets and country roads. From there, we journeyed across Texas and New Mexico and finally into Arizona. Those are some boring states to drive through. Scenery was limited and very flat. Nothing compared to the hills of Virginia. Once we started  getting close to Flagstaff we could see a large mountain in the distance. From Flagstaff the drive is all downhill into Phoenix. Once in Phoenix, Kyle Schultz came to our rescue and essentially moved all of our stuff into our apartment, with a little help from Patsy and I. THANK YOU KYLE!

Now I know that was a very abbreviated summary of our journey but below are plenty of pictures which essentially tell the entire story. Since moving here I have acquired a new hobby. Patsy's job requires a daily commute of at least an hour each way, my commute varies from 20-40 minutes depending on traffic. Problem is....we only have one car. Our apartment is conveniently located near a canal that has a bike path along it. It is also quite convenient that my job is located on the same canal and the same bike path. So for the last 2 weeks I have been riding my bike to and from work on days where Patsy cannot pick me up. So my running has slightly taken a back seat as I allow my legs to adjust to the added mileage. Again, this is all very summarized as I have been way behind on updating this blog.

New Lessons Learned.
1. We are pretty good at moving. This trip has taught both of us the value in throwing things away. The Lynchburg Good Will should have an abundance of good items resulting from our purging activities prior to the move.

2. We now know why everyone says that Arizona is "hot, but beautiful". When we first told people we were moving here everyone always had the same response..."It is hot there, but beautiful". That couldn't be more true. This state has so much natural beauty and beauty that is so different than any I've ever seen.

3. Jermaine is the best cat ever....

4. New beginnings are scary, but amazing as well. This move has taught us that new things are scary as all get out. When we finally moved into our apartment we both just sat there and had a proper sulk. The emotion and stress of weeks of rushed preparation all came barreling down at once. The most amazing thing is, we have quickly adapted and have made our place our own, and are loving every minute of it. Yeah there are times when we wonder what the heck we are doing but that makes it all the more exciting. We miss the mess out of our VA friends and really miss our families but we are confident that this is the path the Lord has chosen for us right now and we couldn't be more happy about that.

5. WATER! I have never drank so much water in my life. This state is so dry that you don't sweat...at all. But no matter how much water I drink, I can never get enough.

6. FLAT, but not. As you can see by the pictures. The state is flat....but also has "mountains". Now these protrusions of rock and sand are by no means the size of mountains that were out East, but they sure do the trick. We have been hiking every weekend and are hoping to hike as much as possible before the sauna is turned on this summer.
New Running Trail...FLAT!
My new Ride to work

An Arizona-style Mountain

Well that is enough for this post, I'm sure I'll have more stories and additives as they come to me but for now enjoy the photos and updates. Be looking for race/training updates soon as I continue to get plugged in to the new running community.

Me looking ever so pensive
I've updated the race schedule on here to show the races that are on my radar. Mainly so I know what ones I am shooting for. Many of these races are not nearby so they are going to require more money and planning. I have not registered for any of these yet but I am definitely hoping to do at least some of them....hopefully!

As always...Jog on Mates!