Saturday, June 27, 2009

Canine Classic 5k

Cracker Dog's first 5k. She did so well. We ran 3.2 miles (supposed to be 3.1), which was 3 laps of the course. Some people and their dogs did one lap, but not the Crackinator! She ran the whole thing. It was about 95 degrees out, although it didn't start until 6:45pm. It was quite crazy at the start of the race (dogs and people everywhere!), but Cracker immediately knew we were !!!!running!!!!! Yay!!!!!! I'm not sure if this picture is blurry because she is so fast or because we were running... Man, she had fun. She did it in 36:32. (11:23 min/mile average). We stopped at almost all the water stops on each lap, too!

There was a doggie fashion show and talent show. Cracker's only real talent is her ability to sleep all day on the sleep number bed, but she does have the cutest pink camouflage rain jacket that would have stolen the fashion show. Maybe next year. :)
Here are a few of the dogs at the fashion show:

This was a great event. Can't beat it for $20. Got a cute little scarf, too.

So, I got in 18.2 miles today and just about exactly 40 miles for the week.

Hutch's Pools trail run

Ran from Sabino Canyon Visitor's Center to Hutch's Pools and back.

Route: Sabino Canyon road to Sabino Canyon Trail. Sabino Canyon trail to West Fork. West Fork to Hutch's Pools. Return the same way.

Total distance: 15 miles exactly

Total elevation gain/(loss): 3,493/(3,491) feet

Total time out, including breaks: 3:21
On Sabino Canyon trail, overlooking the tram road:

I took a nice little break at Hutch's Pools: There isn't much water there, but there is a little. I felt pretty remote out there. I saw nobody the entire time I left the road. I kept hearing noises off the trail which were most likely little ground squirrels, but spooked me nonetheless. One thing mountain lions like this time of year in Tucson is water - there isn't much - so these spots are pretty attractive. I thought about going a little further, but it was getting pretty hot, so I turned back. I was going to take Phoneline trail on the return instead of the road, but was worried I was running out of water. I was drinking much more water today than usual.
Saw a snake on the way back on Sabino Canyon trail. I took his picture and then politely asked him to move out of the way so I could pass. He did. What a nice snake. :)
It was about 82 degrees when I started and about 93 when I finished. I ran out of water the last mile. I started with 2.1 liters. It was smoking hot out there.
I liked this run. I might do it again this Friday, July 3rd, since I am off. Anyone want to join me?

Gotta go rest up with a nap. Taking Cracker to the Canine Classic 5k, which is tonight. Her first race! More on that later.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Esperero Canyon Loop

I have never attempted this loop of trails before, as I was always worried about getting lost. So, Kandi was my trail run guide today. I officially met Kandi a while back at a TTR run. She is super nice and a fellow accountant (Although we didn't talk shop on our run; hey, it is our day off!) She does this trail almost every week, so I trusted her to keep us from getting lost. I'm not sure I'd attempt it by myself even still - the first part is fairly sketchy in spots. Kandi and others are responsible for clearing this trail to make it much easier to navigate, though. Thank you!
The loop starts at the Sabino Canyon Visitor's Center. After heading down the road a short distance the Esperero trail picks up on the left. We took this trail until we hit Cathedral Rock trail. We took this to the West Fork trail, which passed Hutch's Pools and connected with the Sabino Canyon trail.
The SC trail ends at the end of the SC tram road, which we went down and finished at the SC Visitor's Center where we started. Some of the canyon and other spots were nice and shady. Total distance: 20.8 miles

Total elevation gain/(loss): 7,853/(7,713) feet. 80% of that elevation gain is in the first 8 miles.

Total time out, including breaks: 7 hours 14 minutes. We pretty much took our time on the uphill section, with Kandi stopping to show me different things on the way, like a good tour guide.We also stopped at mile 13 at Hutch's Pools to filter some water. However, even at over 5 hours out, I had only drank about 1 of my 3 liters, so I didn't need any more water. I must have been very hydrated to start the run, but I do think I tend to conserve water too much. I'll have to watch that so I don't get in trouble one of these days.

Highest point (topout): 6,922 feet

3 of the miles uphill are over 1,000 feet elevation gain each (2 almost 1,200!) It was pretty steep on the way up. Once you top out at 8 miles, that 9th mile is over 1,000 feet downhill. Lots of slippery scree stuff. Move slow to avoid sliding off the edge! Kandi took this pic of me from uphill, so an optical illusion makes my legs look super short!
Kandi led until about mile 10 or so? and then I led us back. The downhill on the way back is super runnable and so much fun!

My quads are pretty trashed from the steep downhill. I felt like I had tons of energy today, though. I used Hammer gels and Perpetuem. I also had Cytosport drink in my pack.

Good run. Thanks, Kandi.

I ran 42 miles for the week.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Finally got one. Was going to get a larger tattoo on my back, but decided to get a small 'test' one first to see if my skin could handle it. Those who know me know that I have horribly sensitive skin. I have been wanting to get one for quite a while now. No better time than the present, I guess. Here it is, pretty fresh and red:
It didn't really hurt too much when I got it done (getting a tattoo beats a fall on the asphalt any day of the week!), but I have had quite a bit of swelling and redness since I got it. In the pic below, my ankle is so swollen, it is hard to see it. I put an ice pack on it and it looked better the next day. Cree at Red Sky Studio Tattoo Gallery did it for me. He was super nice. I think the shading will be good once it heals.

It is the infinity symbol, which, for me, has a load of meaning.

My Yogi tea bag saying tonight was this:

"Open up to infinity and you become infinity." I thought that was so weird. I had never seen that particular saying before. Hmmm...

I may hear something about it from a family member or friend or two. In the big scheme of things, though, it is really no big deal. Kenny got one, too, on his calf. It still needs a little more shading, but he had enough after 4 hours:

The whole experience is kind of cool, actually. I feel different. I'm already planning the one for my back. Not to worry, Mom. Won't be getting an arm sleeve of tattoos or anything like that. :)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Catwalk

After finishing my run at Luna Lake, I traveled back to Tucson via Hwy 180, which dropped into New Mexico before heading back to AZ. I did not want to take the curvy Hwy 191 back this time. Plus, I had the ulterior motive of stopping off at The Catwalk, one of my favorite places.
The Catwalk is in a very narrow canyon and the trail is a little over 2 miles total for the out and back. The name 'catwalk' refers to the original plank-board walkway, placed atop the steel pipe which carried water to an ore processing plant. Most of this is gone, although you can still see old remnants of pipe in spots, and the canyon is now a recreation area. There are steel walkways constructed in certain areas, which are necessary because of the narrow nature of the canyon and the water flowing through.
Anyway, it really lifted my spirits. Very beautiful and good canyon to go visit. One of my absolute favorite places. I love it when I am traveling and I can just stop whenever I want and have fun along the way.

I did 31 miles this week. A little lower mileage than I usually like to do, but I'm still in healing mode from the falls I took last week. The wounds are coming along, but I tell you, falling on asphalt is not good. I'm going to try to avoid that in the future. :)

Trail run at Luna Lake

On the way home from Alpine, I drove to Luna Lake and ran through a beautiful pine forest on forest roads. There was nobody out at all - just some cow elk! I saw this group of 4 on both sides of the loop. They were running both times. See, the animals know how to experience the wild!
Distance: 10.5 miles
Elevation gain/(loss): 2,391/(2,496) feet
High point: 8,442 feet. I was breathing heavy for the first 3-4 miles, but it was uphill on the first half. I think if I continue to do some runs at higher altitude over the Summer, I should be ready for Imogene.

I took a wrong turn at some point, and didn't realize it until the road turned into a game trail. I realized I had lost the small metal blue diamonds (on the trees marking the trail), so I backtracked and found my error. It added on about 2 miles (the loop is supposed to be 8.5 miles). I was good with that. Bonus miles.
I figured out how to not lose my chapstick! I bought it at Zombie Runner. It is chapstick (brand is called 'Cat Crap' which totally cracked me up) that is attached to a carabiner. I tuck the whole thing in my pocket, but if it comes out, it is still attached to me! I just love it when I find stuff that works. Speaking of stuff that works, yes, I am wearing shorts, not a skirt. I finally found a pair of shorts that I love! Pearl Izumi. Super comfy. I'll still be wearing my skirts, but I have to say, I'll be buying more of these. I was a little slow, but I am having some problems with a tight/sore outer shin muscle on my left leg (maybe because I tripped both times last week with my left foot?) Probably a strain. So, I babied it for the first 4 miles until it really warmed up and then it didn't bother me anymore.

I love running through the forest. Very quiet. Too quiet. I had a lot to think about today. Sometimes I pray when I run. Please God keep me safe, help me be in the moment, help me make good decisions in my life, help me be a better person. Help me see the truth about me and the world. Help me love others more.
And then, if I'm not wrapped around my own axle about stuff, I sometimes remember to thank God for the beauty that I get to see that many people never experience.
"Don't surround yourself with yourself..." ~ Yes (the band)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Heading to Alpine, AZ

Behind on my blogging - I went to Alpine, AZ (8,000 ft elevation) for a conference this weekend. I was by myself, but I love traveling. So, heading up there I saw 3 mountain goats (wild goats?) outside Morenci. I think that is what they are? They just scaled right up the side of this hill as I was coming around the corner... I saw about 100 deer and elk on Highway 191, the curviest, twistiest road I have ever been on (I was nauseated for an hour and a half!). It used to be named Hwy 666, Devil's Highway, but was renamed to be P.C. Many of the deer and elk were standing in the middle of the road around a lot of curvy corners. Yikes! It was a beautiful trip up. Looking forward to doing some trail running in the area over the weekend. A little training at higher altitude for Imogene!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Trail run and another fall. Good Grief.

Shari and I ran out at Saguaro East today on the Cactus Forest trail from Broadway to Old Spanish Trail and back (about 10.3 miles). I wasn't picking my left knee up enough, which was pretty bruised and sore from the banging it took on Friday. So, on the way back, about 2 miles from being finished, I went down. Shari was in front of me, and afterwards, said that she was worried it was going to happen because she could hear me tripping a lot behind her.
However, I saw it coming, and to avoid ripping up my right hand and elbow and left knee, which were still super raw, I threw myself on my left side and onto my back, scraping up my left hand, bruising up my left hip pretty badly, and getting a few scrapes on my upper back. Shari was the best - she didn't judge me or laugh at me or anything - she just put her hand out and pulled me up and helped dust me off. Thank you Shari. Hope you are okay with me putting your picture up here - I did sneak one in of you - but you look so fit and it was such a good pic.
I wasn't even going to mention that I fell on my post, but I just really felt so thankful to Shari for being so loving about it. She just said don't be too hard on yourself - you are tired. You got that right. I'm EXHAUSTED. My emotional life has been so hard this week. I'm sad on so many levels. I'm not sleeping enough. happened. Maybe I am clumsy. Maybe I fall more than some. And, it is what it is. I'm tired of judging myself for so many things. Thank goodness for friends.
We saw 3 of those big jackrabbits, which was cool.

Afterwards, we got Robek's smoothies and I stopped at Walgreen's for some more larger bandaids (I seem to be going through them at a high rate at the moment!) and ran into Troy! He looked great, although he said he was tired. He'll be doing a 12 hour run/walk this week. Good luck Troy! He looked so much more 'grown up' since the last time I saw him. He and Poppy had a baby this year - super cute baby Zane - and I don't think he could be happier.
Well, guess I'll work on getting some rest and healing up this week.

Friday, June 5, 2009

I'd much rather fall on the trail (I think)...

Oh man. I tripped 2 miles into my 6 mile run with Taos this morning while crossing a neighborhood asphalt road and ended up with some pretty bad road rash. Holy Moly. It really hurt. I managed to run back home and get cleaned up before work (shower was quite painful). So, my 6 mile run was only a 4 miler today. I almost didn't go into work, but I took some Aleve and was feeling good enough to go. I scraped up my right hand, right elbow, left knee, and I have a long, but light scrape from my ankle to my hip on my right side.
Lesson of the day? Be present. In today. In the moment. That is where God is. :)

I've still fallen less than 10 times the whole time I've been running. It just seems like a lot because I broadcast it to the world through a blog.
I'll still be running this weekend. I won't let it stop me. I think I'll be cancelling my massage on Monday, though....