Mon-PM: 7 miles- Cave Creek 10k Trail Course, 1000'
Traveling down to Phoenix for a couple days for work related distractions. Decided to check out the Cave Creek Trail Course. This was a hot evening run before dinner. Definitely a gnarly little course.... very few straight sections to gain any real speed. Should be interesting on race morning with a few hundred people thrown into the mix. I also ran an extra mile just checking things out.
Tue-AM: 2 miles- Phoenix streets around hotel, 0'
I had something more substantial planned, it just didn't turn out that way. I was feeling a bit off.. plus my left hamstring was tight/sore. Decided to just take it easy and enjoy the rest of the morning back at the hotel with my babies.
Wed-AM: 6 miles- Hotel treadmill, 0'
This was more of a caution decision than a convenience decision. I wanted to make sure i didn't wonder out onto some desert trails with this lingering hamstring issue. As it turns out i had no problems... other than the obvious annoyance of the wretched contraption i happened to be running on.
Thu-AM: 10 miles- Chuckwalla Mesa/jeep roads/old mining trails, 1600'
Ahhhh... first run back (in a few days) on my usual Mingus Mountain trails. Felt great this morning.
Fri-AM: 8 miles- Chuckwalla Mesa/jeep roads/Silver Spring Gulch, 1000'
Super windy this morning, gusts around 30 mph. Very hard to get a rhythm/groove in weather like this. Looks like a big storm blowing in.
Sat-PM: 2 miles- Chuckwalls Mesa, 100'
Very cold... with blowing rain, sleet, and snow... Nasty winter storm. I opted to not have a slog fest and take it a little more conservative for a big run tomorrow.
Sun-AM: 18 miles- Black Canyon Trail, 3200'
This one definitely goes into the "special" category! Just amazing for numerous reasons... I was supposed to run in Sedona with Mary and Tony, we ended up deciding to do Black Canyon instead, Perfect! I got to the trail head around 8 am, Mary and Tony were coming from Flagstaff... Mary showed up about 20 mins. late letting me know Tony would be even later, and we should start without him. We hit the trail by 8:30 with a plan to trek the 7 miles to the end of the trail and back. It was an amazing weather day with the previous days storm still lingering around Mingus Mountain. It was cold and sunny at the base while the mountain disappeared into the low hanging clouds. We started the ascent literally climbing into the clouds.. it got more and more dense as we climbed until we popped out at the saddle 5 miles in, and it was calm, still, with brilliant blue and sunny skies. Once we descended into Gaddes Canyon from the saddle it was ankle/shin deep snow... fun fun! We made it to the turn around at Allen Springs Rd. downed a gel and began the 7 mile return. We got just below the saddle almost 2 miles back where we met up with Tony who had gotten a later start due to his travel/weather delays. Tony wanted to continue on to the end of the trail where we just came from. We decided to make the turn around as well... adding several miles, and several hundred vertical feet onto the day. Not a problem at all as I've been wanting to hit the 18 to 20 mile mark for several months now. We hit the turn around (me for the second time) and began our 7 mile mostly decent back to the base of Mingus.. where my jeep awaited with some much needed bananas and water. This was a great run for me. The awesome feeling of being back on my favorite trail was only amplified by extra miles and vertical.
An interesting week... this was my second week in a row of being out of town for work distractions, which always screws up my running in some way. It was also (not coincidentally) my second week in a row with two runs of zero climbing. And it was the second week in a row of zero double run days. Mostly my mileage decrease was due to early week travel coupled with my trying to accommodate a long run. While I ended up a little short on miles, I got to check out the course I'll be racing on in a few weeks, and i got to have an amazing long run on my favorite trai/mountain. More changes will come as i put the various pieces of this puzze together.