Wednesday, September 19, 2012

TTR & The Phoneline Trail

This past Sunday, I got to run with my favorite running group, TTR (or Tucson Trail Runners). I love this group for a number of reasons! First of all, they all have a great attitude. Sure, they can get competitive, but they aren't snobby about it. Some groups in town (I won't name names) are comprised of a whole lot of...jerks. Seriously! Based solely on my experience. If you are in one of those groups, I do apologise, but come on! Be a little nicer. TTR has been accepting of everyone, even little 'ol me, who runs trails at about the speed of a turtle.

Another reason I'm loving TTR is for the runs. They pick the best routes! I may be biased because I love trails but they really are quite an experience...much more of a difference than running on a road.

The route this week was the Phoneline Trail to Sabino Basin. The total mileage was supposed to be about 13 miles, but I figured I would only go 8 miles (that way I would just be combining Saturday's and Sunday's run).

I got to the parking lot at Sabino Canyon at 5:45am to sign in. We waited until 6 to start. Since I didn't really know anyone, I stood alone, scoping out the scene. I spotted one or two people my age (I'm usually always the youngest) so I was a little excited about that. I think more people are hearing about TTR and so the runs have been filled with more runners (to the dismay of many senior members).

A beautiful Tucson usual. 

Right as the clock hit 6am, we were off! We ran as a group on a flat dirt trail for about 3/4 of a mile, and then hit the Phoneline trail. We started climbing and climbing and climbing. And somewhere around mile 1.1, I just couldn't keep up anymore. I jumped off to the side and let the runners behind me pass. I walked uphill awhile while I caught my breath. I know I need to train on trails more if I want to keep up with them.

About where I fell behind :c

I fell behind and became the very. last. one. 

At first, I was upset about not being able to catch up. But then I realized that I have no pressure on me. No one behind me and no one too close in front of me. It was like I was just going for a run alone (which sort of defeated the purpose of running with a group...).

The trail up ahead...
I had my eye on a runner a little ways in front of me. For about 10 minutes, I was too freaked out to pass him because then I would I have to keep up my pace so he wouldn't pass me again. But around mile 2, I got a boost of energy! (Also, the trail started flattening out...but don't worry about that...)  I zoomed past him and then a few miles up, past a hiker too (which definitely counts).

Feeling pretty good around mile 4. 

At mile 4, I told myself I should turn back even though I was running at a good pace. But the curiosity of what lay ahead was just too much and so I kept going.

A little past mile 5, I came to a runner turning around so I thought, "I must be close!". Soon, I reached a fork in the trail. which meant a really good sign for me. I could turn around! One day I would go all the way to Sabino Basin (it was really only 2 more miles, but I wasn't sure about all the climbs).

A plant cut me! Finally, I got a battle scar on the trail! 

And so I ran back. Two runners coming from Sabino Basin passed me (they were so fast!). I was still in the shade of the mountain, but the sun was coming up quick. And I knew that as soon as I hit the trail that had no cover, I would be in trouble. Thankfully, I brought a hat and sunglasses. But the heat still really takes a lot out of you! You have to be careful out here in the southwest.
It was even starting to LOOK hot.
I got back in about 2 hours. The run directors were super nice and they brought some really yummy snacks. (Also another reason to love TTR...the RD's always have food for you afterwards!). I chatted and chilled out with the runners for about 30 minutes and then I took my leave.

I'm always worried about coming to a run and not having a good time but that's never the case.. I always have a great time with this group.

Do you have a running/workout group that you love?


  1. Loving your recaps of trail running in Tucson. Makes me miss home, and inspires me to run some trails the next time I'm there.

  2. Great job!! So pretty!!! I ran with some ladies and enjoyed the conversation but they were very slow. At some point there was another lady around my age and we started our own group. Now we are about 4-5 people and all have the same pace. We meet every Saturday and it is a great motivation!! The right running groups totally make a difference!


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