Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Running the Arizona Trail (From Highway 83 to Kentucky Camp)

The Arizona Trail is a National Scenic Trail from Mexico to Utah that traverses the whole north-south length of the U.S. state of Arizona. (From Google Maps)

Last Sunday, TTR held a run on the Arizona Trail. The idea was for it to be a 50k, but I decided to run 20-25 miles just so the run director didn't have to wait any longer for me. I knew I would be slower than the group I was running with. We started at a pullout on Highway 83. It was cold and cloudy, but the weather forecast said we would have a high of 75. 

I wore a bright orange shirt because there were hunters on the trail most days. I was the only one who wore one. The majority wore white. I felt I needed to be safe. I'm not going to trust a hunter to not shoot me. I actually had to tell a hunter where I was because they still couldn't see me! Had a few shots fired in my direction actually...

I started a few seconds late because someone brought a dog and I had to say hi (of course, dogs are the cutest). :)
We ran up a dirt road and then up a hill. Suddenly, they all came running back at me. Runner Stampede! Wrong way apparently. So, we took the AZ Trail and got back on course. I kept up with the group for a little while, then they all left me in the dust. But that's alright, I got used to rounding up the group in the back...I make sure there are not any stragglers. ;)

On the Arizona trail, following Robert and Abraham. 

Most of the group up ahead on the AZT.  

Showing off my bright orange shirt. Had to make sure the hunters
could see me! 

Friday, January 23, 2015

What Happens When Your Running Buddy is Injured? (The Dog Edition)

 And I feel terrible about it because I am partly to blame. 

My main running buddy (for short training runs) is my dog, Sookie. We used to head out on the local river path or dog-friendly trails for 3-4 mile runs together. And boy does she love to run! 

The best running buddy. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Motivate Me! Monday: Rory Bosio

But how do you keep up that determination to try again? We all have our own forms of motivation. I started this blog in 2010 to keep me focused and connected with the running world. It has also been a huge source of my motivation. I look forward to writing about my trail adventures each week and I love reading about other runner bloggers race experiences, especially if those bloggers are local. I can't tell you exactly what it is about local bloggers, but reading their blogs gives me that extra push I need to get out the door. Maybe it's the fact that their stomping grounds are my stomping grounds and I am familiar with the same trails/roads.  Whatever it is, it works for me and I will have a post later on my favorite local running blogs. :)
I have written about motivation before, but I wanted to focus on a specific thing each time that I write about it now. Recently, I have been following the athletic endeavors of an ultra runner named Rory Bosio. 

From what I have read so far, Rory is a resident of Truckee, California (originally from Tahoe) and is a pediatric nurse. She is currently sponsored by North Face and she is a kick-ass ultra-runner (from my own conclusion). She has won the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc twice (2013 & 2014)! 

At her first UTMB win in 2013. She even set a new course record!
Photo Credit:

Saturday, January 10, 2015

First Week of 2015 - Goals and Updates

Happy New Year! A week into 2015 and it's going great! 

I normally don't make New Years resolutions, but I did find a list from Jan. 2014 in a pile of junk in my office. I had wrote a list of possible New Years resolutions (just playing with the idea), and then stuffed it into a stack of papers. Of course, I forgot about it...until I found it a few days ago. A whole year had gone by and sadly, I didn't accomplish half of it. I know, I know, it wasn't a REAL list or whatever. But it was a list of general goals and I am sad that internally, even though I forgot that I wrote it, I didn't not reach more than one or two of the goals. It listed stuff like travel (check!), volunteer more, watch less TV, and become a morning person. 
So general. 

Maybe that was the problem. I had made goals that were not specific enough. I think that may be a problem for many people. Not just me. Possibly why many people don't keep their resolutions? Or maybe they don't want it enough? Not sure, but I guess this could be another post that I don't have time for. I won't try to dissect resolutions any further. :) Let me know your thoughts on them,..

I did however give myself a CHALLENGE for 2015. 
I am going to accomplish (or at least try to, and get really really close!) running
2,015 miles in 2015. 
It is very specific (at least 5.5 miles a day) and very do-able, especially since I am training for an ultra in March. It's that extra push that I need. :) 

For the first week of January, I have completed about 44 miles. I'm a little behind.  But no worries. I am planning some high mileage weeks pretty soon, many of the runs being with my trail running group.

Getting some miles in on the Northwest River Path. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Whiskey Row Marathon Recap

 In May 2014, I ran the wonderful Whiskey Row Marathon. I know it's been a while since I've run it, so I will try my best to recall memories from the race. I do have photos, so that always helps me remember!

I had planned to run the half with my sister. I bought her a race entry (as well as one for myself) for her 32nd birthday. A few months later, she decided it was too much and decided to drop out. I was pretty bummed, but decided to make the best of it and upgrade to the marathon.

Chance and I arrived at the Hotel St. Michael in Prescott on Friday night after a long drive up from Tucson. There had been an accident just North of Phoenix and it stopped traffic for two hours on the highway. I was planning to card load in Prescott for dinner and now that was out of the question since we ended up arriving around 10pm. I grabbed some food at the grocery store and went straight to bed.

The alarm went off around 5AM but I was in no hurry because the hotel was literally a few steps away from the start line. I didn't know this when I booked the rooms. Chance and I have stayed at this hotel at least 2 times in the past. When we were both in school for archaeology, our field school surveyed in the wilderness surrounding Prescott and we would come into town for supplies once in awhile. They always chose this hotel. And since I already knew about it, I went ahead and booked it. Glad the start line was right next to it! :)

There were 2 start times. If I remember correctly, one was at 6AM and the other was at 7AM. And this is becuase the race promptly cuts off at 1pm. And I mean PROMPTLY. One of my friends finished after 1pm, and they literally left her medal in a pile on the ground where the finishline used to be. I'm not sure why they have to end so abruptly. Maybe the city is cutting them off early, but it sure is annoying. I was nervous about not being able to finish in the alotted time (there is a TON of elevation change in this race) and I was considering the early start time. But, since we got in late the night before, I just decided to sleep an extra hour and start at 7AM.

The 7AM Whiskey Row Marathon start line.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Pacing at the Javalina Jundred 100 Miler

The Javelina Jundred 100 mile race is staged out of the Pemberton Trailhead at McDowell Mountain Regional Park north of Fountain Hills, Arizona. The 100 Mile distance is comprised of six full loops on the popular Pemberton Trail with an additional half-a-loop on the Pemberton and Tonto Tank Trails. Runners reverse directions each lap of the race and are supported by four on course aid stations per loop (Javelina Jeadquarters, Coyote Camp, Jackass Junction & Rattlesnake Ranch). 

I recently had the opportunity to pace my friend at the Javalina Jundred 100 miler at the beginning of November. I have always had a fascination with this race, but the distance has always scared me away. Thankfully, my friend Kathryn decided she wanted to give it a go, and thus I became a pacer. :)

She created a schedule of all the laps and who would accompany her on each lap. I would accompany her on a nighttime lap, from 8pm-about 11PM. I didn't start driving out to Phoenix until about 5pm, so I was cutting it really close. I finally made it to McDowell Mountain Park and took the shuttle to the start line up the road. I literally made it within minutes!! And we were off!

Kathryn is getting ready to run another
night loop! 
Before our 15 mile
night loop together. 
I tried to keep her entertained and focused. We ran some, and walked some. She got through the aid stations so fast. I mainly drank Coke and munched on salted potatoes (both are my favorites during ultras!) Near the end of the 15 mile loop, we both started to tire, so I tried hard to keep the pace up so we could get to the finish in the time she estimated.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Running the Grand Canyon Part 1: Rim to River to Rim

This past April, I finally made the decision to run the Grand Canyon...well, at least some of it. :) 

My amazing running friend Kathryn (and by amazing I mean she is a BEAST on the trail!) was going to run R2R2R (that's South Rim to North Rim to South Rim, for those unsure of our South of the Canyon lingo) again and she asked me to come along. I originally planned to run the entire 40 mile-something out and back, but decided in the end to try my hand first at a trip to the bottom and back. I would see how I fared and try again in the fall, hopefully. 

We planned on meeting at the South Rim on Friday night. I decided to take the day off from work and get there super early (like 2 pm) so I could walk around and be a little touristy. I got there, found our hotel room at the Maswik Lodge, and took off on foot exploring what the Grand Canyon Village had to offer. I did some shopping, got a "bite" to eat (as in, I ate prime rib at one of the nicer restaurants with a view!), explored the museums and watched the film in the visitors center. But I really wanted to see the sunset (I have never seen it here before!), so I stayed out until dark to catch a glimpse of it.  

Sunset on the South Rim.


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