Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sweetwater Preserve Trails

I thought I had been out here before, but I was wrong. On this previous post, I was actually in the Tucson Mountain foothills, which was beautiful, but was a little North of the Sweetwater Preserve. So, Julie and I decided to check it out - an inaugural Sweetwater Preserve trail run for both of us. We pretty much did the red outline you see below, which consisted of these trails: Saguaro Vista, Black Rock Loop, Sun Circle Loop, Lost Arrow, Homestead, Red Tail Ridge, Oxbow, the Spine, Wildflower Ridge and Roller Coaster. I read that there is about 10.4 miles of trails total, but we covered the outer area (most of the area marked in red below) for about an 8ish mile trail run. I wanted to do 10 miles today, but with this being my first return to true trails since my accident, I felt good about the distance. I did a few toe stubs and trips, but felt in control. I'm still trying to get my leg mojo back after being off running for almost a month.
Here is a map of the area, although this is a rough sketch:
We never got 'lost', but there is no trail signage out there. So, at every junction (and by the long list of trails (10!), you could see how many junctions there were), we stopped and checked the map. Julie's Garmin recorded 26 minutes of pause time! I think after running it a few times, I'll get the hang of it and figure it out. Here is Julie at one of those many trail finding pauses:

Julie is a great running friend - topics from marriage, politics, religion, dealing with life's problems - everything is easy to talk to her about. Very fun. We only saw a handful of mountain bikers, which was great. I think we both concluded that mountain bikers sleep in.

To get there:

Go West on Camino del Cerro, take Tortolita Rd. South until it dead-ends at the trailhead (North end of the preserve). I believe you can also get there from Sweetwater Rd. on the South end - I will try to access it from that side this next week or two and report back. There is still a lot of construction on the Tortolita side (I think they are putting through a road of some sort on the side of the preserve), but access to the trail is not obstructed.
I did wear my brace (just in case?) but the doctor on Thursday gave me a good report on the bone healing and told me to not wear it at all anymore. I didn't specifically ask him if I could return to trail running (if you don't ask, you don't hear an answer) but he said the bone was healing up enough to start physical therapy right away. The only restriction he gave is no heavy lifting for at least two more weeks. Otherwise, physical therapy 2 - 3x a week should give me mobility and strength back. I can't really bend my wrist now, so the PT should help with that, although it is expected to be painful. Here is the latest pic: The scar is healing up nicely thanks to Mederma. I can feel the screws in there and if I bump the plate - yeeee-ouch!
I kept my mileage fairly low this week - 24. I would have had a few more if our run was longer today, but I'm glad I was careful. My legs are still trying to get with the program, so I was fine with the shorter run. I was having some shin pain at the beginning of last week, which I attributed to jumping my mileage up a little quickly (and, of course, I badly need new road running shoes).
Thanks Julie, for a wonderful return to trail running adventure. I surely missed it.


Joyce said...

I'm so happy that you're back on the trails again! Good luck with the physical therapy. Will we see you at the Thanksgiving Day race?

Marathoner in Training said...

Thank you for the trail recap, sounds like a really nice one down there in Tucson. Glad you are healing well and out on the trails again.

RunningTroysLife said...

looking strong