Thursday, September 27, 2012

Jog Log: 9/17-9/23, Serpents and Asses

With yet another move on the near horizon and my upcoming job as a 6th grade Social Studies/Language Arts teacher, my morning outings have been filled with large amounts of stumbles due to full gray matter rattling around my skull. These stumbles have nothing to do with the fact that it is now pitch dark at 4:30 in the morning and my stubbornness doesn't allow for new batteries for my head lamp. Anywho, here is the dirt on this weeks adventures and encounters with mother nature:

Monday 9/17/2012
PM: 163rd Ave with Patsy-5 miles (48 mins)
Normal nightly outing with my blonde beauty.

Tuesday 9/18/2012
AM: Jeep Trails-White Mine Hill-S. Ridge Traverse-7.5 miles (86 mins)
As previously mentioned it is now really dark in the wee hours of the morning and I have realized that I am not very sure-footed when it comes to running in the darkness. I'm sure it doesn't help that my head torch is dwindling and the ground upon which I tread is thickly littered with rocks, cacti and cobwebs waiting to wreak havoc on my body. I had planned on a simple out-n-back this morning but once I was done with the out portion I decided to do some cross country hiking along the southern ridge of the mini hill range I run next to. Was a lot of hiking for the first part of the hills and then it opened up more as I gained the ridge. Not sure I'll do that one too many times as it was pretty slow.

Wednesday 9/19/2012
AM: Jeep Trails-74 Hill-9 Miles (88 mins)
Another dark run. Couldn't see for the first 45 minutes which made for pretty slow going. Scared some wild burros and then was subsequently frightened myself by nearby barking coyotes. Wild burros are quite pretty.
 AM: Picacho Hills-6 miles (57 mins)
Legs felt dead this morning. Was planning on doing 2 rounds of the trails to get some good hills on my legs but I called it quits after one round.

PM: Neighborhood Run w/Patsy-2 miles (20 mins)
Quick shake-out with the wife.

Thunderbird Park-3.7 miles (35 mins)
Drove over to T-bird Park and made a quick round of the mountain. Was going to do a little more but had to get back to get the car back to Patsy.  

Saturday 9/22/2012 
Spruce Mtn Overlook Trail #307-16 miles (2:50)
After dropping my lady off at work, I ventured up north to the Bradshaw Mountains for a run at some elevation. I typically do not do well at elevation so I planned on taking it really easy on this run. I chose the Spruce Mountain. Loop Trail due to the looped nature and my research led me to believe that the views from the top were spectacular. The views definitely did not disappoint but I was so in the zone that I took only a few photos. I did one loop and planned on reversing direction for a second loop but opted to go back to the fire tower and back down again. The second trip up was much more relaxed than the first and I spent a bit more time at the top than the first time. I plan on making some more trips up this way especially as it gets cooler since the drive is amazing as well as the trails. Here are the few photos I did take.   

Partial Panoramic from near the Fire Tower
View coming out of the mountains on the road down from Yarnell, AZ

Sunday 9/23/2012
163rd-5 miles (48 mins)
Easy run with Patsy. 2nd snake encounter of our time in AZ. This one was way too close for comfort. It was dark and I nearly stood on this thing. Video is a bit dark but you get the point. Rattle is chilling. Behold the Serpent from the Bible.

The weather has finally been cooling off and I have been enjoying exploring some new places around Wickenburg and up north a bit more. This next week will be a little less miles as I'm going to be pinning on a race number for the first time since March for the first XTERRA trail series here. 

Jog on Mates! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Weekly Jog Log: September 10th-16th

Although I have been lax about updating the training on this blog, I am able to keep track of stats via my trusty Garmin. I never thought I would be so in love with a piece of technology. Between that thing and my phone I would be quite lost. I do want to continue to update training stats on here more so for my own sake so I can look back over it from time to time. It's always fun to reminisce about past runs, both good and bad. Maybe that's the history geek in me. Nice thing is my running has been consistent all summer. Many 4 am wake ups to run through what I hope is public land. There are jeep trails that weave all around a chunk of property about 4 miles from where we are currently living and these have become my outlet of physical exertion for the summer. They are pretty rugged trails in some spots so I have torn through my shoes this summer but have recently purchased a pair of Montrail Rogue Fly's and then subsequently won a pair of La Sportiva Vertical K's. Yay Me.

I have been increasing my mileage at a pretty steady pace as I'm hoping to be in good shape this fall racing season. I have been running twice a day most days. My AM run is typically 1-2 hours and then the PM run is about an hour with my wife! My philospohpy aon run tracking has changed quite a bit. I no longer pay too much attention to mileage but rather run for time. I do this by simply running out for X amount of minutes and then running back to the car. This has made my runs more enjoyable becuase I am no longer trying to hit some arbritrary number but rather just run for a certain amount of time. is the breakdown from this week.

Monday 9/10/2012
Bike Ride down 163rd-8 miles (47 mins)
Was going to take today off completely but got a little restless in the house. Took a leisurely spin around the neighborhood with the wife.  

Tuesday 9/11/2012
AM: Mile Repeats+Barefoot-7 miles (55 mins)
Woke up late this morning and it looked as if it was about to storm so I decided to stay around home. First mistake. Second Mistake was deciding I would try to do some mile repeats. Did 3 x mile with full recovery in between. This amounted to about a 1/2 mile slow jog. Miles went like this: 6:23, 6:06, 6:40. Added on about 20 minutes of barefooting in the grass around the neighborhood. The reason this was a mistake is because I am writing this about 3 days later and I haven't run since. I tweaked both calves somewhere in the workout and have turned this week into a down week thanks to my over zealousness on this run.

PM: 163rd Ave with Patsy-5 miles (47 mins)
Went on the nightly route with Patsy. Calves were not hurting yet. Didn't hurt until the next morning.

OFF-Calves were on fire. I'm dumb.

AM: Ride to Library-19 miles-77 mins
Legs were still a little sore so I decided to be smart and not run. Rode my bike into town to return some reading material instead. Wind was at my back on the way in. Always spells misery for the return leg. Will go out for a run tonight with Patsy. 

AM: Jeep Trails+Pinnacle Hills-3 miles (33 mins) [600']
Left Calf still a bit tender. Lesson learned. Ran a mile to the hills and then slowly hiked up to the top and watched the sunrise. Hiked back down and ran the mile back to the car. I expect to be back in action tomorrow. Guess a down week is what the doctor ordered. Moon was rising just ahead of the sun this morning. It's starting to cool down here finally and it was quite windy this morning forcing me to don a shirt for the first time in months. Quite restrictive.
AM: Constellation Road-Unnamed Ridge Trail- Buckhorn Rd.
Due to the ever cooling weather we are having in Arizona I thought I was due a trip out to Wickenburg while my wife slaved away to put bread on the table. What a good woman! Figured I would also do some exploring/geocaching so I had no agenda with this run. Being as my left calf was a little dodgy still this should've suited me well. Parked my car at the end of Buckhorn Rd. and then ran into the ghost town of Constellation. Took a few detours along the way. On the return trip I picked up a ridge trail that linked up with Buckhorn and then ran/hiked easterly in hopes to find another cache (unsuccessful) and then ran back to the car. Was a very good run. Took it real easy and once again, found my legs had plenty of energy but the rest of me seemed pretty zapped by the time I was done. I'm guessing this was because of lack of food intake other than a few pretzels and about 4 hours of sun exposure. Here are some pictures of the mine as well as some of the views. This will definitely be something worth doing again. 
View from the top of the first climb of the day
Abandoned Mine
Hey look at this artistic photo I took of a flower and the sun!
Little did I know I would be running up the ridge on the left. You'll see that road again!
Monte Cristo Mine
Not as Tempting
View from the Top of the Ridge Road. That road under the gnarly rocks is the same one at the bottom of previous picture.
PM: 163rd with Pats-4 miles (39 mins)
Normal nightly run with the wife.

Sunday, 9/16/2012
OFF. Apartment hunting. ugh.

All in all a down week. I think it was much needed as I have been ramping up the mileage the past few weeks. The early week soreness prompted the down week. Looking forward to getting back after this upcoming week as the weather gets colder.  

Jog on mates!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Summer Lovin!

Wow, to say I have been busy would be a complete lie. This is actually the least busy I've ever been in my life so there is no excuse for letting this outlet of expression fall to the wayside. So I will not offer any excuses. Instead I will just continue on as if nothing ever happened and we can all pretend that I've been diligently posting on a weekly basis. Good deal? Great. I'm glad we cleared that up. Now where were we? O yeah, I was about to tell you about what has happened since JANUARY!!

In the interest of time I will keep this very brief. Since I last posted I have finished my Graduate degree and am currently jumping through many hoops to obtain my Arizona Teaching License. I am currently licensed in Virginia and will soon be in Colorado as well. Now I'm sure wondering why someone would need to be licensed in so many places. Explanation: Virginia is where I went to school, Arizona is where I currently live and Colorado is where I would like to live. Simple right? Not so much. The hoops of the education world are many and frustrating. I have been waiting all summer for various investigation agencies to look at my fingerprints and then do whatever it is that they do to verify that I am in fact not a pedophile.

While I wait for all these requirements of teacher licensure to be met, I have significantly sharpened my skills at puzzling, vacuuming, and even sun-bathing. O yeah, I run copious amounts through the desert but most of you who know me already guessed that.

As for running, I have not ran a race all summer simply because Arizona racing season takes a backseat to monsoon rains and dust storms during the summer months. O yeah, heat too. Obviously. I did run a race in March, and I did write a detailed mile by mile race report but never posted it due to my complete lack of...well...we'll just call it laziness. So here is the condensed version...albeit 6 months late. I started way too fast, like 5 min/mile too fast.Decided after two miles that I would never run again because I hurt so bad. Had a pity party for six miles. At mile 10 decided the race was too beautiful to waste the view and started pushing the pace again. All in all, I ran a PR half-marathon of 1:49. Full results are on the link on the right.

View from Finish Line

Okay this post is long enough, See the right hand column for new racing ventures that are in the works for the fall. I've enjoyed immense amounts of fitnes thanks to running on my own in the morning and then running with my lovely wife in the evenings. Who, by the way, is training to run her first half. She is committed now. I wrote it and it on the interwebs. No going back.

I'm not even going to promise to post more because that is getting old. In the meantime...enjoy some pictures from some of my summer adventures, many of which will be of the sunrise or sunsets here in the valley. Mainly because they are awesome!

Jog on!

Lightning from Monsoon this Summer
Desert Scenery
Sunrise on the way to Flagstaff
View from the top of the trail I run each day.
Box Canyon, Wickenburg

Summer Project, getting ready for deer season. JOG ON!