Sunday, July 26, 2009

Uh...yeah...Mt.Lemmon trail run again

Kenny came back in town for the weekend, toting a pair of trail running shoes and socks! So, of course, we did a little run/hike together. He has been doing some trail hiking/running up in Silverton, CO, and is much better acclimated to elevation than I am, as Silverton is at 9,300 feet.

Here he is sporting his new trail running shoes, trail running calves and tattoo.
We started the run in Summerhaven again. Taos Dog came with us, too. She can run FOREVER. She carries her pack, which slows her down a bit (so we can keep up with her!)
First, we ran Turkey Run Rd. to Aspen Draw Trail and took that up to Radio Ridge. Nice and shady.
We then ran over to the Meadow/Lemmon trails, which connected with the Sutherland/Samaniego trails and took it to the junction with the Canada del Oro trail, which is where we turned around. Samaniego is very steep and overgrown. I have lots of little scratches on my legs from the sticker bushes. Lots of hiking through here, not much running. Nice views, though!

The Summer Trail Series race on Saturday, August 1st, will be on the Meadow/Sutherland/Samaniego trails. Should be fun!
Taking a break at the halfway point:

We also stopped at the Lemmon fire lookout point:

Total distance: 12 miles
Total time out: 3:22
Total elevation gain/(loss): 5,597/(5,514) feet
High point: 9,210 feet

Flying down the Aspen Draw trail on the way back to Summerhaven: What a great run. Kenny made me run a lot of the uphills. I won't be sorry come September 12th.
Total miles for the week: 32.
Oh, we saw 2 very large turkeys up there off the road on the drive up. Too quick for the camera. You can see a lot if you just get out there and experience it. Get on up there to these trails; they are really beautiful and green and lush right now. Lots of wildflowers.
"You may never know what results come from your action. But, if you do nothing, there will be no result." ~ Gandhi

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Loopy Mt. Lemmon trail run

After working almost 65 hours this week, I did head out on a long run this weekend, but it has taken me forever to post about it (because I have still been working too much...)

Here is what I did:

I parked in Summerhaven, right when you drive in at the parking lot.

I ran two loops of the following trails:

Up Turkey Run Rd., which turns into a dirt road, then trail (new for me! I like this trail - very shady)

Up Aspen Draw trail (lovely!!!) to Radio Ridge. Very runnable:

Down Upper Aspen trail (the only thing harder than going up Upper Aspen trail is going down Upper Aspen trail...)
Down Mint Springs trail (new for me, also!) Burnt out forest, but I really liked it because it had good views, lots of foliage, and small roller coaster hills with some steep spots. Pretty runnable, overall.
The trail comes out on Carter Canyon Road in Summerhaven, which I took to Sabino Canyon Parkway, and then back to the parking lot to refuel and get more water.

6.4 miles round trip.

I then did the same loop in reverse. I wanted more miles, but I didn't have time to do the loop a third time, so when I did the reverse loop, I crossed Radio Ridge over to the Meadow trail and added on a bit. Meadow trail has really big trees. Nice.

Total miles: 15.4

Total elevation gain/(loss): 6,074/6,078 ft.

Total time out: 4:22 (not including the refuel break at the truck)

High point: 9,162 feet

Purpose of this run was to get a decent amount of climbing, while staying up in elevation. Quite a bit of the run (hike) is over 8,000 feet, with a handful of miles over 8,500 feet and a few over 9,000.

It was really fun - I like that route. I think I'll do it again towards the end of August - maybe do the 3 loop option and add on the Meadow trail for about 21-22 miles. A few stickery bushes, but not many - just enough to draw a little blood...

I'm thinking of heading up to Flagstaff and doing Mt. Humphreys - highest peak in AZ at 12,633 feet - before the end of August, too (maybe the last weekend?) That should get me ready for Imogene as much as I'll be ready for it.

Here are the tentative plans...of course, I'll be doing lots of TTR group runs as well, once they start up in September.

8/1/09 - Summer Trail Series Race #1 - 6 miles on the top of Mt. Lemmon at 7:30am. Afterwards, I'll add on probably a couple of those loops I just did about for an additional 12.8 miles.
8/2/09 - Saguaro Labor Day Race training runs start - 8 mile loop - 6am.
8/8/09 - Summer Trail Series Race #2 - 7 miles in the Tortolita Mountains at 6:30am. I'll probably add on a few miles to that, too.
8/9/09 - Another Saguaro 8 mile training run!
8/22/09 - 21-22 miles on Mt. Lemmon (another loopy run!)
8/23/09 - Yes, another Saguaro 8 miler!
8/29 or 8/30/09 - Mt. Humphreys? 9 miles round trip, possibly do it twice?
9/7/09 - Saguaro Labor Day race - 8 miles
9/12/09 - Imogene Pass Race - 17 miles over a 13,000 ft. pass!
10/17/09 - Nashville Ultra - 50k or 60k, haven't decided yet. 60k would be 37.2 miles, the longest I've run yet, so I might do that. Going to visit my brother, sister and Mom.
10/31/09 - maybe pace someone at Javalina 100?
Something in November?
12/13/09 - Tucson Marathon - looking to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I would need to run 3:50 to do that. I think I can do it.

Well, that ought to keep me busy. :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Run with the Roosters 5 mile race

Cockadoodle doo! Woke up at 3:30am for the long ride over Gates Pass in the Tucson Mountains to Old Tucson. The race started at 5:15am.

Me and Shari at the start: It was just getting light out when the race started. It was about 80 degrees out already - supposed to get to 109 today!Total distance: 5 miles (I calculated 5.04)

Total time: 43:01 minutes

Average pace: 8:37 min/mile (although I calculated 8:32 because my distance was slightly longer on my Garmin)
I placed 3rd in my age group!

I came in 75th out of 265 finishers. I came in 24th out of 152 women finishers. Here I am checking out the results (I look so serious....):
Not bad for doing no speedwork for a long time. I felt pretty peppy for 5:15 in the morning.

The course was great - along Kinney road and into Ironwood picnic area. Kinney road was closed for the event, so no traffic! Nice rolling hills, but mostly flat; only 524 feet elevation gain over the whole course. The Tucson Mountains are just beautiful. Nice race course.

Finished with a free Robek's smoothie (ice cold!) and some free breakfast - beans and tortilla (they also have eggs, but I skipped that) and stayed for awards. I got a medal. Joyce got a pic of me happily strutting back with my medallion: We also got super cute technical tanks for finishing, and they had women's sizes! I got a small, which fit perfectly. Many races give out men's size shirts, and since I'm so short waisted, they usually look like dresses on me!

I was home by 7:45am! Nice way to start the day.
I got in a whopping 20 miles running for the week, and 5 miles walking (walking Cracker Dog). Cracker ran 4 miles with me one day.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sunset Loop trail run redo.

Ross from TTR hosted another round of Sunset Loops. Thanks Ross! Usually, there are no TTR runs for the summer.
I need to be doing some more higher altitude runs, so up Mt. Lemmon I went. Everybody picked their own route, with some doing counter-clockwise runs of the previous Sunset Loop run, and others doing shorter versions. I did the same as last time, except I veered off the Lemmon trail for a bit and did the Meadow trail at the top. VERY pretty. Glad I did that.
Total miles: 16.4

Elevation gain/(loss): 7,612/(7,544) - kinda suspect; the last time it was just under 7,000 ascent and descent. Hmmm.....

High point: 9,130 feet
Route: Sunset trail to Aspen. Aspen to Radio Ridge. Radio Ridge to Lemmon Trail. Veer off on Meadow trail, then back to Lemmon Trail. Lemmon trail to Wilderness of Rocks. WOR to Marshall Gulch. MG to Sunset.
Aspen trail (lower)- it is a jungle out there! The rains have really made things grow since 5 weeks ago!The forest has been reborn; it has been 6 years since the big fire, but the regrowth of pines is evident everywhere (upper Aspen trail shown). You can't stop nature!
I got pretty dehydrated on this little run/hike. I think the Meadow trail at the summit bypasses a water source where I was going to refill. I therefore conserved water and really got tired - I only had 2 liters - not enough.

The Meadow Trail, with the really big pines, untouched by the fire: Taking a break on the Lemmon trail: Getting through the Wilderness of Rocks:
Luckily, with just Sunset trail left (1.5 miles approx.), I ran through Marshall Gulch and into one of my blog readers, Bonnie (and her SO Dean). She said, "Hey, aren't you the pink lady? Oh, no, never mind, you aren't wearing pink." Then she proceeded to tell me about Pinkcorker and this blog and then I showed her my visor and said, "That's me!" She was so excited. I was flattered. They gave me some much needed water, which was great. I think I was already affected, which slowed me way down on this run, but it was good to get quenched. She was so nice. Thanks Bonnie for boosting my spirits that day and thank you and Dean very much for the water.

I finally finished in 4:56, which was slower than last time by 3 minutes, but my pit stop with Bonnie was a 3-5 minute affair. Also, I think the miles I did this week affected me, too. My legs were tired and getting dehydrated didn't help.
I recovered a lot more quickly this time, though. Was hardly sore at all.

The Craziest Thing: At the end of this run, on the Sunset trail, I saw a guy on a mountain bike UNICYCLE. Holy cow. And that trail is rocky in spots. Amazing.
I got 46 miles for the week. Oh, and Cracker ran 4 miles with me one day.

This next week will be a mileage cutback week. I'll be doing the Run with the Roosters 5 miler next Sunday at 5:15am!!!!, so I'll take it easy this week before I ramp it up again. Then it will be back up to Mt. Lemmon for the next 3 weekends. I'll be signing up for the Summer Trail Series (the first 2 of the 3 races), and the first one starts at the summit of Mt. Lemmon on August 1st.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Trail run in Sabino - didn't get to Hutch's Pools, though....

I dragged myself out of bed late after a week full of overtime and hard work, so I didn't get to Sabino until 7am! I ran the tram road to Sabino Canyon trail and then took that trail to the Sabino Creek, where East and West Fork trails meet. I only had to go a little less than 1.5 miles more to get to Hutch's Pools, but my intuition said, no, not today. It was weird, but I heeded it. I was the only one out there that I could tell, and it just didn't seem like a good idea. That's the thing about intuition - you may never know if it pays off...but it is good to listen to it from time to time. I rested there a few minutes, and then returned. I like this rock striping on Sabino Canyon trail...
On the way back, I took Phoneline trail instead of the tram road. Ran into a couple of guys that I chatted with a while - one, an ex-Arthur Anderson fella (he had a t-shirt on) so, we talked accounting shop for a while. Anyway, it was hotter than you know what by the time I got done and the storm clouds were building. I really need to get out earlier! Heat training is always good, though.
My watch was being a little wiggy, but it appears I did about 13.2 miles. (I lost signal on the tram road for a bit, but I know the distance of that road, so it was pretty easy to tell what I was off by.) About 3,300 feet ascent, though that could be a little off, too.

I'll rest tomorrow, and then I have the run on Mt. Lemmon on Sunday with TTR! I hope to do about 16-18 miles. Anyone is welcome on that one. Starts at 7am just past the Butterfly trailhead on the left. You can do any distance you like. Should be fun. Hope it doesn't rain!

Hope everyone has a great 4th of July.