Sunday, November 15, 2009

Saguaro West (Wasson Peak) run

First - TTR cancelled the run, but I decided to go anyway. Guess there was nobody to direct it. :(
Second - forgot my Garmin GPS watch, but at least I had gone to the Map and Flag store and got a good map. And, another TTR member gave me some general directions, which were super helpful.

Jerry C. showed up, so I knew I wouldn't be totally alone for the run.  Jerry is new to TTR, but is already fitting in well.
We met at the Cam-boh picnic area off of Picture Rocks Rd. and ran South through the Tucson Mountains on beautiful trails with tons of saguaro cactus. The run started out cool (42 degrees), but I quickly shed my sleeves and gloves as I warmed up.
Route I took:
Cam-boh trail to Ironwood Forest (IF)
IF to Brittlebrush
Brittlebrush to Thunderbird
Thunderbird to Sweetwater
Took Sweetwater trail to the top of Wasson Peak (elevation 4,398 feet)
Then I ran down the Hugh Norris trail (over 1,200 steps! Good Tucson Marathon downhill training) and connected with the Hohokam Rd, and then the Golden Gate Rd. (both dirt). I finished on the Cam-boh trail.

I only ran with Jerry for about 4-5 miles (right into the sun most of the time!)

He was ahead of me and then I finally lost sight of him. I had a feeling that he had  missed the trail at some point. He came off Wasson Peak and went down Sendero-Esperanza (SE), which is about 5 miles shorter than my route. He did 18 miles total, so I guess I did about 23 miles.

I was sure hoping that he wasn't lost and was worried that I would get back to the truck and his vehicle would still be there. Had thoughts of sending out help, and then voila! there he was around the SE trailhead taking a break! So, we ended up doing the last 4-5 miles together. He did say he had taken some breaks and got off course for a few minutes, which is probably when I passed him. He said that my sign in on Wasson Peak was about a half an hour ahead of him.

So...I ran about the middle 14 or so miles by myself. It was really peaceful out there in the desert. I got to Wasson Peak as a bunch of hikers were leaving. One of them snapped my pic and I had the peak to myself for a bit. Nice.

Wasson Peak is at 4,687 feet. I think this is my 4th time up it.
Total time out: 5:15
Total cumulative elevation gain: Approximately 4,800 feet (from the last time I did a variation of this run).

Guess I'll have to do that run again since I don't have accurate run data. :)

Actually, it was nice not having the watch - I didn't know how fast I was going, what time it was, how far I had to go, bla bla bla. I ought to do that more often (well, as long as I know where I'm going!)

Today is a milestone in my life; 14 years since I quit smoking. I used to smoke 2 packs a day. I started smoking when I was 14 and quit when I was 28. Hard to believe I used to smoke that much and now I run 23 miles!
Next up: 2 big runs with TTR the next two weeks, then taper time for Tucson Marathon. I have a lot of runs and races to look forward to in the next 6 months. I'm glad, because my life feels so sad and hard right now. I feel like God is carrying me through though.
I move into my new place in 10 days. My new life will start and I will find strength in God and all of my friends and family. I have hope that like every other difficult time in my life, I will heal and become a stronger woman.


streak said...

Congrats Renee on both the great run and the 14 year quit smoking. You are such an amazing and beautiful person, the list is long. Hang in there and have a great day and week.

Pinkcorker said...

Thank you so much Streak for posting your comment. That made my day. :)