Saturday, September 13, 2008

Catalina State Park trail run

This morning, I headed out for a training run for the upcoming Catalina State Park 11 mile trail race. Julie (my new friend from Colorado), Shari (my trusty trail running partner in crime), Shari's friend Jen, and I met out at the park today to check out the course. We arrived right about 6am, and it was just getting light enough to be able to hit the trails. Our plan was to do 2 loops of the course, which is 11 miles (some people can choose the 5.5 mile option only). Jen was out on her first trail run, I think, so she was only going to do about 8 miles. The course is a 'reverse the course' from the race in April. So, we go down the steps (all 92 of them) this time around, but up a big hill instead (and you still have to go up the other big hill on the Nature trail either way). Seemed just as hard, but it is a fun and beautiful course. It was Julie's first time on the full course, and I think she really enjoyed herself, too. She has good stories to tell and the time passed fast.
Julie, Renee and Shari

The park is glorious right now! I'm not used to seeing it after so much rain. Everything is very green and the wildflowers are in full bloom. Morning glories have taken over and are covering everything with the bright blue flowers and vines. There were also tons of these purple flowers which were amazing! Definitely a great place to be this time of year. Morning glories are actually considered a 'noxious weed' in Arizona (they spread like crazy). The reason I believe they have classified it as such is because they are highly allergenic and of course, Arizona has enough problems with allergens.

The tens of thousands of little blue flowers didn't bother me today, but Shari was really suffering with her breathing. The morning glories were everywhere! Really pretty, but not if they are bothersome to someone! I sure hope Shari feels better.
Julie, Renee and Jen (Isn't she tan? Holy cow, I look like a pale white girl next to her)

This is a fairly sandy course, which feels great on the body, but gives the lower legs a real workout! There are some rocky areas, but not too bad. We had to rock hop across a few creek crossings, and there are some hilly/uphill sections along the course.

If you haven't made it out to Catalina State Park recently, go check it out. Better yet, join us for the race on Saturday, September 27th.
This puts me at 35 miles for the week (four 6 mile mid-week runs and about 11 today). I'll be taking tomorrow off from running to get back into the Bikram (hot) yoga. I feel a little creaky and think it would be good. I'll be upping my running mileage a bit and getting serious about marathon training soon and I want to make sure I'm really taking care of my body. I skip the hot yoga all summer because it is already super hot in Tucson, and sitting in a hot room just doesn't sound fun. Now that the weather is cooling off, it shouldn't be too bad.
Oh, and I consumed raisins again during my long run today, and they were great. I just get a small snack bag, fill it up and snip a corner off. Then, I squeeze them out to eat them. I don't have to worry about touching them, because they are sticky. Works great!
What a fun morning. I think all of us felt like little kids out there today, running in the sand, rock hopping, running screaming fast on the downhills (thought I heard a 'wheeee' out of someone today) and just having a blast. Trail running in the desert is a real kick.

1 comment:

T Z said...

Sounds like a fun day. My faves are the ones with no expectations and no set places to run. With friends, of course!