Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Back in the Saddle Again!

Laurie, Lisa, Sheryl and I headed out for a trail run today in Saguaro National Monument East. We ran a combo of different intersecting trails for about 6-7 miles. Feels great to be back on the trail.

Lisa, Sheryl, and Renee on 'Pink Hill'

We saw a desert jackrabbit. He was hiding from us. Can't miss those ears, though!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I banged myself up pretty badly on my fall at Phoneline trail, so between my knee and my stitched up wound (and all of my other scrapes and bruises), I haven't felt much like running. I've been resting on the beaches in Mexico with Cracker (we named our crazy little new dog) and Kenny and his family. :)
Got my stitches out today. I'll be off in just a little bit for a short run, then back out to the trails tomorrow morning...

BTW, peroxide DOES get blood out of clothing. AND trail running shoes.

On Wednesday, I was tagged by Angie, a blogger who lives here in Tucson. The rules:

• Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
• Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
• Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
• Let them know they are TAGGED by leaving a comment on their blog.

Well, here it is:
1. I read all sorts of survival/outdoors/true story books (Into the Wild, Into Thin Air, Angels in the Wilderness, The Climb, No Shortcuts to the Top, Shattered Air, Eiger Dreams, High Exposure, Death in Grand Canyon, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Under the Banner of Heaven, and on and on and on). I can’t remember the last time I read fiction. I think I learn and grow a lot by reading what gets others through difficult experiences. Also, I learn about how to avoid and deal with the things that come with being in the wilderness.

2. I love documentaries. I do watch regular movies, too, but I just love a true story in any form (yeah, another form of #1). Last one I watched was ‘God Grew Tired of Us’, which was amazing. Put it in your Netflix queue if you get a chance. It made me think about the things I take for granted in life.

3. I’m definitely an accountant through and through. I like all of my clothes facing the same way in my closet. I usually make plans for the coming weekend before Wednesday (no calling me at the last minute – I’m usually booked!) My husband knows what time he needs to get up by my routine in the morning. A structured schedule suits me best. I’ve even considered planning my 2009 races! That’s why my husband is so good for me – he is fairly unstructured and teaches me to lighten up and be spontaneous! I continue to mellow along all of these lines as I get older.

4. I have chocolate (preferably dark) in some form everyday. Lately, I’m addicted to dark chocolate covered edamame from Trader Joe’s. The edamame is crunchy (dried). I justify this because the edamame has both fiber and protein, and with the antioxidants from the chocolate, it is a perfect snack!

5. I love buying clothes (especially for running!), and that hasn’t always been that way. My husband talked me into throwing out my junior high clothes about 5 years ago. When I was a child, my mother sometimes made my clothes or we wore hand-me-downs from other friends and relatives. I continued to buy used clothing (which I still do on occasion – nothing wrong with a bargain!) and deny myself new clothes on a regular basis into my adulthood. When I started running, clothes started fitting better and I really enjoy outfitting myself in things that make me feel good. I always felt geeky and awkward as a child and enjoy being a woman today, of which clothes are only one thing, I realize.

Unfortunately, I don't know many other bloggers, and the ones I read regularly have already been tagged by others!

I can't wait to get back to running.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Trail Runner Takes a Fall at Phoneline Trail!

It was me. I have fallen before when trail running, but never like this. I was on the Phoneline trail in Sabino Canyon when down I went. Along with other numerous lacerations and bruises, I punctured my right arm on a rock, which caused it to start spurting blood! I was so frightened. I called to my friend Martinho (Mar-teen-yo), who was ahead on the trail, but he couldn't hear me. I had to get up, bleeding everywhere, and get myself around a corner before he heard me. He came running over and took off his tank top and got it wrapped around my arm to stop the heavy bleeding. I almost passed out from seeing all the blood and I had a hard time breathing (I think I was panicking?) You can't really see it in the picture, by I have blood all over my legs, my left hand is covered in blood and my right arm is wrapped up with the tank top.
We were having such a good time before that happened! It is so beautiful there in Sabino Canyon. I kept a good attitude and we were even telling jokes on the way back to get help. No crying for me. We thought my bleed-out on the rock that I whammed into looked like a hieroglyphic animal!

So, we walked back to where the trail meets the road (we actually walked 4 more miles) and the paramedics were waiting for me. :)
Thanks Martinho for being a true friend and making sure I got back safely!

I was whisked away to St. Joe's hospital, where my wounds were cleaned out (holy cow, that was about the most painful thing ever!) They didn't get all of the rocks out - they said they would come out with time. Oh, the wound that keeps giving; how nice! The puncture wound (we got a bleeder here!) required 4 stitches. I have blood on my trail shoes, skirt, and new running top! I was told that peroxide gets blood out. Who knew?

My sister came and got me from the ER (here I am with my niece Amanda) and I'm back at home resting with all my new bandages.

Crazy thing is, I kept worrying about what the other runners would think - this was the first time I had gone running with this trail running group. They said I was officially initiated into trail running. :)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

New addition to our family!

Say hello to ______, our new dog (fill in the blank - help me out!). Haven't named her yet, but she is a super sweet, 10 mth. old Chinese Crested Powderpuff/Terrier mix. I got her from a rescue shelter here in Tucson today. It has been over a year and a half since I lost one of my Pekingese (Buster) and two years since I lost the other (Taylor). They were brother and sister - it took a while to want another, but I found that one must keep on loving, even though there is always loss.
She even came with a pink collar - I think it was a sign that I picked the right dog. :)

Rails to Trails 11 mile race - DONE!

3rd place in my age group! I finished the 11 mile race in 1:34:15. It was a beautiful course in Prescott, AZ (about 3.5 hours north of Tucson) with mountain views, rock outcroppings and open meadow areas. Some downhill, lots of hills and mostly trail - an old converted rail line (thus the 'Rails to Trails'). I was holding a pace of under 8 min/mile for the first 6 miles (no wonder I was so tired!), but then it just got pretty hilly towards the end and the elevation was bothering me a little (I think it is around 5,300 ft. or so - yeah, I know, I'm a flatlander), so I slowed it down some. Even so, I ended up doing a 8:35 min/mile average! The weather cooperated and it was lovely.

My friends Christina and Joe let me spend the night with them last night. Christina is a serious trail runner who has done the Imogene Pass run 7 years in a row, I think. Tough gal - just look at her killer legs! She keeps trying to talk me into that race. Check it out - you'll see why I've been too afraid to do it yet.

We had a lot of fun at the race today. The picture is of Christina and I after the race and I am proudly wearing my 3rd place medal!

Here I am before the race in my new outfit from Atalanta Athleticwear. Love it, love it, love it. I'm wearing the new 'courage' top and their 'commitment' skirt that has the shorts underneath (yes, I already have a black skirt). They have these huge pockets in the back, so I stuffed all my race essentials in them. I love the names of the clothing. Do you think being color coordinated makes you run faster? Well, it sure makes it fun, anyway.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

What makes a runner a REAL runner?

I was giving this some thought (after comparing myself to other runners) and this is what I came up with for myself:

1. I run between 25 - 42 miles a week, depending on whether I'm tapering for a race.

2. I own 10 running skirts, over 25 running shirts (short/long), 2 pairs of trail gaiters, 9 pairs of running shorts, 8 pairs of running shoes (trail and road), 3 earwarmer headbands, 3 pairs of gloves, 15 pairs of running socks, 10 running bras, 6 different hydration systems (fuel belt, waist packs, handhelds, vest/bladder pack), 5 running pants/tights, 1 running watch, 1 race number belt, and 1 pair sunglasses. I'm sure I'm forgetting something!

3. I have run a lot of different races, from a 5k to 2 half marathons and 1 marathon.

4. When I'm not running, I like talking about running, reading about running, blogging about running, or going on the Runner's World forums and writing/watching others write about running. :)

5. I love to run and I do run. A lot. This running part is, I think, the only REAL thing that makes me a REAL runner.
I'm currently tapering for my 11 mile race (Rails to Trails) on Saturday in Prescott, AZ. No running today or tomorrow. I have already run 20 miles this week, and with the 11 mile race on Saturday and my planned 9 mile trail run on Sunday (Phoneline), I'm calling it good!
I am thankful today for strong legs, sweet friends, a loving husband, a wonderful family, and a full and grateful heart - all gifts from a loving God that seems to watch over me no matter what I'm up to.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Yetman Trail to Starr Pass Trail

Dixie and I did 6-7 miles on the Yetman Trail this morning and explored part of the trails that head to Starr Pass resort (there are 3 or 4 of them!).
We passed by Stone House again, of course, so we break there and get in a photo opportunity. I'm wearing my plain grey gaiters. I'll have to go back to Dirty Girl Gaiters and get another fun pair (one for every outfit?)

Yesterday, I went into the Running Shop to buy a new hand held water bottle and I just felt like I wasn't a REAL runner. They are really nice there, but everyone who works there is young and superfast! So, I am giving that some thought, and will do a blog post on what makes me a real runner. If I'm not mistaken, it involves running, which, of course, I do plenty of!
I felt like a real trail runner today. I was a strong woman out there in the desert. I ran a lot of technical parts and uphills. I'm starting to figure out the Tucson Mountain Park trail system!

We saw a snake. Looks like a common gartersnake, which is pretty harmless.

I love running with Dixie. She is a good trail finder. I actually insisted on one turn off that she tried to take that she was wrong. Just a few minutes down the wrong trail, I realized she was right! No wonder she gave me that look when I said "No, that's not the way back, Dixie." She is a great running companion. Never even complains, even when she is hot.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Chiclet Concrete/Shopping/Show Run!

Early this morning (6:15am, it was cool still!), Nancy, Sue, Sheryl, Lisa and I went on a 11 mile run around town. Yes, lots of concrete, but we got to do some interesting things, too.

We walked through a bike swap on 4th Ave.
I saw a bunch of bicycles that I wanted.

We ran through a classic car show at Reid Park.
Steve, Sheryl, Lisa, Nancy and Renee
Sue is doing her best 'Olga Korbet' up front
(who says runners aren't flexible?)

That is Steve and Sheryl's mustang in the back. Steve, Sheryl's husband, was showing one of their mustangs there. So, we visited for a minute, and off we went.

We did sneak in a little trail through a neighborhood towards the end, which was nice (it is part of 'Viola's loop' near Reid Park).
This was the last long 'Chiclet' run (where all of us will be together) before Lisa moves to OR. Lisa and I wore our Chiclet shirts from last year's Tucson Marathon relay we all did together (we called it the 'Chiclets All Girl's Marathon Relay' on the shirt and we had our names on them as well). Lisa, you will be very much missed.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Ran a little over 8 miles today at the Rillito River path today. I was a happy runner gal - it was a great run! I was tired from work, but averaged an 8:45/per minute pace. I did fartleks during my run, since I missed my Workout Group yesterday. It was 90 degrees when I started, but it cooled off a tad by the end. I finished right after it was getting dark. That wasn't quite enough exercise for one day, so I finished the day with a one hour weight workout! Wednesday is my calorie burning day. :)
Helps relieve the stress that builds up over the workweek.
Currently reading: Angels in the Wilderness by Amy Racina.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

David Yetman Trail

I absolutely love trail running!!!!! I wish I lived closer to more trails. Dixie and I did a little trail run on the David Yetman trail today. It is in the Tucson Mountain Park (West Tucson). We ran around 7 miles. The Yetman trail is a combo of flat, rocky, and hilly single-track, and sandy/rocky wash running. Beautiful! There are large saguaro cactuses everywhere.

A little over a mile in on the trail is the 'Stone House'. It has no roof, but it has the remains of two old fireplaces.

I'm still not used to Tucson Mountain Park - there are so many trails in - I tend to get lost a lot! I even have a map, but there are so many offshoots that mountain bikers have created that aren't on the map. I just go with the flow, run around a lot, and eventually find my trail back to the trail head. Looking around doesn't help, because everything looks the same! I don't worry about getting too lost - I always remember the general direction back.

I would have run longer, but I had Dixie with me and it was really heating up. Also, I ran 12+ miles yesterday up in the Foothills (hilly) area near Swan/Sunrise with Nancy, Sue, and Sheryl. We saw a pack of javelina (with babies - so cute) but my camera was dead, so no pictures. These gals aren't trail runners, so we just run road. I really enjoy running with them, so it is a good trade-off. I was craving a trail run, though, so that's why I headed out today!

The Sonoran desert is so beautiful. I can't wait for it to cool off a little - it should be soon. Doesn't seem to slow me down too much, though!