Monday, July 30, 2012

Sabino Festival of Routes

April 22nd, 2012:
Sabino Festival of Routes
Tucson, AZ
Choice of distance

Back in April, before the heat really hit us, I thought I would try a run in Sabino Canyon with TTR. I was a little worried about the heat but we started at 6am and I assumed it would be early enough. I went solo for this one, although I wish I had brought someone else along.

I arrived to the Sabino Canyon parking lot around 6am greeted by a circle of TTR runners. I made just before they were about to run. Phew. I'll admit I was a little nervous, thinking they wouldn't like me or something ridiculous. If they had left before I got there, I wouldn't have stuck around. Got to get to these things earlier so I won't give myself the chance to wuss out! 

And off we went! The sun was just coming up and it looked like it was going to be a beautiful run. 
Trailing behind the other TTR runners. 
I quickly fell behind knowing that I am not as seasoned as most of these other runners. I wanted to conserve energy. So I trotted behind until I lost them on the beginning of he Phoneline trail. I decided to take the Seven Falls route and check out the beginning portion  of the Bear Canyon Loop (my goal is to conquer that route this winter). I was keeping my eye on some other runners and followed them up the Phoneline trail instead of my intended route. I had to backtrack a little bit, but it didn't make that much of a difference. 

The beginning of the 7 Falls trail.

Throughout the 7 Falls run, I was constantly looking around me. I was paranoid. A lone runner, running on a trail that is known to have mountain lions, yeah...I was freaking out a bit. I kept thinking: I'm the only person out here right now. If I get attacked, no one will know. 

Yeah, I wasn't really helping myself out...

A portion of the 7 Falls trail.

Everything was so still...

On my way into the canyon. Oh my that a MOUNTAIN LION behind me?? Jk, jk...

Just before the climb up to the start of Bear Canyon Loop.
Finally, I saw another runner. Phew! And then another one! I was okay. I really calmed down knowing there were other people out here. It helped me re-focus on my run. 

The wash was dry, as usual. 

Overlooking 7 Falls. 
I got to the trail sign above 7 Falls and followed the trail up a little bit. I plan to run this route in the winter when they host this run. However, the sun was coming up a little faster than I intended and I needed to make sure I got back before the heat really hit.
Going up the Bear Canyon Loop trail. 

The trail going back down.
It was already so hot when I got back to the trailhead. I still had about 2 miles left to go until I reached the parking lot. I know I'm Heat Runner, but running in the heat is serious business. This summer, 2 people died from heat stroke. Both were from out of town and didn't understand summer heat. So, you'll forgive me if I was freaking out a little. Which I was. Thankfully, I knew where the water faucets were so water was no problem for me. It was the sun beating down on my head, neck and back. I walked for as long as I could but soon realized it would mean I would be out here for a longer period of time. I forced myself to run the last .70 miles. Man, that was rough. 

I made it back safety though! I reached the parking lot and was greeted by lots of food and cool drinks. I went straight for the Gatorade (wasn't feeling like eating anything). I chitchatted a little with some other runners who had recently made it back. At least I wasn't the last one! Although, I was surprised to hear other runners were still out in the heat.

It was a little weird trying to make conversation with the other runners. I am, by far, the youngest person out there. I have yet to meet anyone my age. It's a little disappointing. What really doesn't help me is how much younger I actually look (I look like I'm 18). People don't take me seriously because of it. So, it's always weird going to these events and trying to make conversation. Anyone else have this problem? 

Overall, I had fun. The TTR events are usually laid back, which I don't mind. I have to mix a few those in with the big, loud, crazy running events, right? I hope to continue going to these runs, considering that I now have my weekends off. Can't wait for the next one! 

Happy Running!

Getting Fancy with the Blog

I made this new blog header! What do you think? Still having trouble adding it to this particular layout (and I'm really liking the layout, so I'm hesitant to change it). I may play around with the program some more and make a few other headers, just for kicks. Finally, it's starting to look like the other blogs....almost there.

In other news, I found a teaching job! I'm not officially announcing it on here (haven't signed a contract just yet...) but I'm really excited about it. And nervous. Definitely nervous. Sometimes, I ask myself, "what did I get myself into?" But at the same time, I'm excited to plan, teach and decorate my classroom. So, right now, I'm in a limbo of sorts, trying to figure out what I'm feeling. I'm pretty sure I'm more excited than scared, and that's a good sign. I plan on taking it one day at a time. :)

I have some photos of my runs on Mt. Lemmon from this past month. And a recap of my 11 mile training run with a new running buddy (who before that run had never run over 4 miles!). Posting them asap!


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