Thursday, March 31, 2011

weekly summary: Mar 21-27

Mon-PM: 7 miles- Treadmill- Cottonwood Rec Center, 300'
Pretty horrible run on this contraption! I really don't know why i always think this ain't gonna be so bad... its always bad!

Tue-PM: 10 miles- Chuckwalla Mesa/jeep roads/Silver Spring Gulch/FR413, 1200'
Whew... I'm really glad my calf held up, it was solid. Good run. Legs felt strong.

Wed-AM: 4.6 miles- Mingus Union High track, 0'
AM speed work... 1 mile warm up.... 3x100, 200, 300, 400, with 100m slow runs in between... 1 mile cool down.
Wed-PM: 5 miles- Chuckwalla Mesa/jeep roads, 600' 
Nice and easy evening run.

Thu-AM: 8 miles- Chuckwalla Mesa/jeep roads/Silver Spring Gulch 1000'
Mellow morning run, legs a bit heavy.
Thu-PM: 5 miles- Chuckwalla Mesa/jeep roads, 600'
Easy evening run.

Fri-AM: 8 miles- Chuckwalla Mesa/jeep roads/Silver Spring Gulch, 1000'
Very nice early morning tempo run
Fri-PM: 5 miles- Blue Monster Trail, 400'
Just an easy loop on Blue Monster with Gordon, Mike, and Paula.

Sat-AM: 4 miles- Lower Black Canyon Trail, 800'
WOW... I had quite an ambitious plan to make this a 14 mile outing.... NOT TO BE! Just really had nothing on the climbs. Enough of an indicator to not proceed with my plan, this is a difficult trail on a good day... almost impossible if things aren't coming together.

Sun-AM: 4 miles- Lower Black Canyon Trail, 800'
Oh boy! Days like this and yesterday are extremely frustrating, but also very humbling. Its crazy how hard this can be when your body has nothing to give you. Just can't muster the strength to get up this mountain. I have far too much respect for the difficulty of this trail, I'll choose to be smart and live to run another day.


-Miles: 60.6

-Vertical: 6,700'

Well... this was an interesting week, my body seems to be falling into this 60-ish miles per week groove. Things started off on a positive note being that my calf showed no signs of slowing me down, or becoming a bigger problem. My speed work went well.. i really do hope these sessions pay off. The end of the week sucked because of my inability to run up my favorite trail. Again i just have to be patient and understand that days like this happen and my body just needs to take it easy. I can't help but feel a little disappointment when for whatever reason i just can't enjoy these "focus" runs. I call them focus runs because i think week in and week out i put in a lot of work/practice to be able to do specific runs that are a little more special than others. Most people train to race.... and i train to experience this amazing place that i live. Runs like Black Canyon amplify how profound this landscape is to my soul. Oh well... I'll be back to it soon enough. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

weekly summary: Mar 14-Mar 20

Mon-PM: 5 miles- Chuckwalla Mesa, '400
Just taking it easy. Without actual days off these kinda become recovery runs... whatever the hell that is.

Tue-AM: 8 miles- Chuckwalla Mesa/jeep roads/Silver Spring Gulch, 1000'
Early morning tempo run.. felt great!
Tue-PM: 3 miles- neighborhood streets/Chuckwalla Mesa, 200'
Just an easy evening run... felt good.

Wed-AM: 5 miles- Mingus Union High track, 0'
This was interesting, I've never set foot on an actual track for running purposes. This was my first of several speed workouts. Mike was kind enough to invite me, and basically show me the ropes as it pertains to speed training. I did a 1 mile warm up followed by 6 x 800 meters @ 2:47, 2:53, 3:00, 3:02, 3:00, 3:00, followed by a 1 mile cool down. This was me trying to figure it out. I will refine/dial this process and get faster over the next month. I knew going into this kind of training that i would be engaging muscles (fast twitch) that i never really use, and my body would be going faster than i ever really go on a typical trail run. So i assumed this would bring with it some soreness, and possibly a strained/stressed muscle here or there. This kind of training will be necessary to put me in the best possible position to compete at the Cave Creek 10k trail run on Saturday April 23rd.

Thu-AM: 8 miles- Chuckwalla Mesa/jeep roads/Silver Spring Gulch 1000'
As expected a bit sore this morning from the speed training yesterday. But it turned out to be quite a pleasant morning run.
Thu-PM: 7 miles- Bell Trail, 600'
Nice evening run after work with Gordon. This is a beautiful trail that takes you into a cool red rock canyon. I wore my NB minimus trail running shoes on this and was surprised at how well they performed... great grip on the upper canyon rocks.. and most importantly no blisters as i chose not to wear socks.

Gordon and I enjoying a moment on the red rocks down in the canyon on Bell Trail.

Fri-PM: 8 miles- Chuckwalla Mesa/jeep roads/Silver Spring Gulch, 1000'
Another beautiful early morning on my typical trail. My body is really liking these early morning outings.

Sat-AM: 10.4 miles- Black Canyon Trail (to the saddle) 2300'
Nice morning up Black Canyon. It was very hazy, but otherwise beautiful as always! This is really just pure mountain running bliss!

Sun-AM: 6 miles- Chuckwalla Mesa/jeep roads, 800'
Definitely dealing with a calf strain from a combination of the speed work on Wednesday, and going faster than usual on the Black Canyon run yesterday. I thought if i skipped my Saturday PM run, and did some icing and a gentle massage on my left calf that i would be fine on this run... but it was not to be. I have to be very patient with incorporating this speed training into my routine as my body is not quite adapted, i hope this gets better SOON!


-Miles: 60.4

-Vertical: 7,700'

Once again, I knew going into this week that the speed training might be something that could possibly keep my mileage down, and it was. I just need to be patient while my body acclimates to incorporating speed. Not a bad week, just really hope this calf strain works itself out so i don't fall further behind on mileage/vertical in the coming weeks. Although i suppose its a fair trade to sacrifice a specific mileage goal, with training myself to go really fast when i need to... such as a trail 10k next month!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Its official

My first trail race will be the Cave Creek Trail 10k, on Saturday April 23rd. I've gone back and forth in my soul about racing in general, over the last year. With some sound advice from my partner Monica, and a few of the people that i run with (Gordon and Mike.. who have far more racing experience than i do), and just listening to my heart... I've come to look at racing as a measuring stick with where i am as an athlete and as the runner. Believe me it doesn't change a thing about why i run, or how i will continue to approach running, it will just (hopefully) satisfy that competitive curiosity that i sometimes get. Running couldn't be more personal and spiritual for me, but to share that with others i think could be a very good thing. After all i don't train to race, so an occasional competitive Saturday morning once in a blue moon might feel nice.

The idea of this race brought along with it a feeling, or a need to give myself the best possible chance to compete. So this past week I've decided to incorporate some speed work, and tempo runs into my daily schedule... at least for the next month. This will probably be the only 10k race that i do as i would prefer to get into ultra distance (anything longer than a marathon) races as time goes by. Basically i don't like going fast for short distances, I like going slow and steady for long distances. The speed work will be interesting to see just how fast i can actually run (something I've never really known), and I'll learn just what it takes to train the fast twitch muscles which i don't really engage on a regular basis. At the end of the day I'm looking at this as an experience to be had, and to learn something about organized racing to see if its something i wish to proceed with as part of my running. That and it gets me out of town to run in a beautiful place that I've never been.

Monday, March 14, 2011

weekly summary: Mar 7-Mar 13

Mon-PM: 10 miles- Chuckwalla Mesa/jeep roads/Silver Spring Gulch/FR413, '1200
VERY windy!! Made this mostly unpleasant... like running while anchored to a bolder. Felt extra tired from the effort.

Tue-PM: 5 miles- Chuckwalla Mesa/jeep roads, '600
Legs were heavy and tight.

Wed-PM: 2 miles- Chuckwalla Mesa, '200 
Its sometimes hard to understand why days like this are so difficult. They're bound to happen, just sucks when they do.

Thu-PM: 10 miles- Chuckwalla Mesa/jeep roads/Silver Spring Gulch/FR413, 1200'
I dealt with the worst stomach issues I've ever experienced before on a run. Not exactly sure what was going on. My system just wasn't taking anything, no calories, no water... left me feeling very nauseous. Pretty difficult when you try to grind it out for this many miles. I met up with John on the turn around on FR413. We ran back together, which helped take my mind off of the fact that i felt horrible. John wondered why i was going so slow.

Fri-AM: 10.2 miles- Chuckwalla Mesa/jeep roads/Chuckwalla trail/old mine roads, 1600'
Woke up early (4:30) for this run. Had some residual stomach issues but disappeared as soon as i took my first few running steps. Turned out to be a beautiful morning and a solid run!

Sat-AM: 10.4 miles- Black Canyon Trail (to the saddle) 2500'
Never really felt great on this. But its hard to complain about anything when i get to run on this trail up this mountain.
The early part of black canyon trail before it transitions to very narrow single track

My favorite trail!
Looking down into black canyon from the trail
Looking up towards the summit
Beautiful snow capped peaks

Looking back you can see the thin single track carved into the side of the mountain
The dense pine forest after you drop down from the saddle

Sun-AM: 10 miles- Chuckwalla Mesa/Silver Spring Gulch/FR413, 1200' 
Felt surprisingly good on this run, legs were peppy, good energy, a beautiful morning.
Sun-PM: 4 miles- Tonapah/Fir/Chuckwalla/Mesquite/Ochoa/Pioneer/Chuckwalla Mesa, 200'
Again, thrown in just to get some more miles as i want to be in the 70 mpw range.


-Miles: 61.6

-Vertical: 8,700'
Another pretty solid week, i increased my mileage slightly and increased my vertical by a few thousand feet. Friday thru Sunday were all great running days, all early morning outings... i really love running this time of day (apparently so do lots of jack rabbits and mule deer) . I'm already starting to see signs of warmer weather, things are getting greener, there are increasing numbers of insects, and not much snow up high.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

weekly summary: Feb 28-Mar 6

Mon-PM: 3 miles- Chuckwalla Mesa, '200
Not feeling great today. Hard to focus on running. I don't like this "just get it done" feeling.

Tue-PM: 8 miles- Chuckwalla Mesa/jeep roads/FR413, 800' 
Felt good on this, went nice and easy with Gordon. I've been wearing my modified NB 101s... they're great! (much more on this and all of the other shoes that i wear/test in a future post).
a quick thumbs up before turning around for the 4 miles back.

Wed-PM: 10 miles- Chuckwalla Mesa/jeep roads/Silver Spring Gulch/FR413, 1200'  
Felt unusually fatigued and heavy the first couple miles. Things started coming together... i finished feeling good.

Thu-PM: 2 miles- Chuckwalla Mesa, 200'
My body had nothing to give me. Felt weak and tired, just wanna lay down.. YUK!

Fri-PM: 8 miles- Grief Hill Trail, 300'
This was supposed to be a trail run, but ended up being a mostly off-trail run trying to find the actual trail we were supposed to be running on. Otherwise this was a nice outing with Gordon and Mary.
Where the hells the trail Gordon?

Sat-AM: 10.4 miles- Black Canyon Trail (to the saddle) 2100'
This has become my favorite trail run to do. Met Gordon and David at the trail head @ 7am. This has it all.... mostly single track, amazing views, a good amount of vertical, very technical terrain, switchbacks, ankle deep snow, lots of wildlife! This will become a regular run for me in the future, and I'll be writing lots more about this trail and all things Mingus Mountain related in an upcoming post.
Sat-PM: 6 miles- Chuckwalla Mesa/jeep roads,  700'
Kinda just testing out my new NB minimus trail shoes. But i also wanted to put on a few more miles for the week being that I'm trying to get back into the 70 mpw range.

Sun-AM: 8 miles- Chuckwalla Mesa/Silver Spring Gulch, 970' 
Eh, feeling very fatigued... its ok, gotta take the bad with the good.
Sun-PM: 3 miles- Tonapah/Fir/Chuckwalla/Mesquite/Ochoa/Pioneer/Chuckwalla Mesa, 200'
Just some running around neighborhood streets with a steep climb thrown in at the end for some extra miles in a very weak week.


-Miles: 58.4

-Vertical: 6,670'

So this is what the format for logging each week will be until i decide to change it. For the 4 or 5 of you who might happen to read more than one of my weekly summary's you'll start to see some reoccurring/repetitive things... one of the most reoccurring things is how much running i do near, around, and on Mingus Mountain here in Cottonwood. I will elaborate on why that is in an upcoming post.

But for now this is kinda what a typical week looks like for me, with the exception of how much mileage/vertical i do... as I'm usually in the 70 mile range with around 8,000 to 10,000' of vertical. Almost all of the running that i do is on trails and in the mountains, with lots of focus on vertical climbing. This i my absolute favorite type of running, its really the only reason that i run. So for now I'll leave things by saying that i will explain more details (in an upcoming post) as to why i focus so much on certain aspects in my daily running. Below you'll find a monthly look at running totals in the previous months for 2011, as opposed to a detailed weekly breakdown as the one above.


2011 by month

-January: 236 miles, 26,650' vertical (This was definitely the most consistent, and successful month of running for me since i started. Lots of variety and vertical)
-February: 153.4 miles, 19,270' vertical (this was a frustrating month w/several days missed due to being very sick)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Verde Valley Trail Runners!/pages/Verde-Valley-Trail-Runners/180084565369481?sk=wall

....So it begins

Not really the beginning.... just a starting point to convey thoughts, ideas, and feelings of everything related to my running adventures, specifically here in the high desert of northern Arizona. I will hopefully (very soon) be posting daily running logs, including- mileage, elevation gain, terrain, with associated pictures. Myself and a few of the cool people that i occasionally run with have started a facebook page for others who might be interested in joining on some of our escapades.... check it out under Verde Valley Trail Runners. Much more to come including some upcoming racing plans.