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Month: December 2013

Another Desert Mtn. Run

Another Desert Mtn. Run

Ok, I have been seriously limping around AZ all week.  That last run was a mistake.  I should have taken it easy.  But, I just could resist.  Well…today was our last full day down here in the valley of the sun…so I thought I would throw caution to the wind and run again – suffer the consequences later.

I had my wife drop me off at the Pyramid Trail TH with the plan to meet up with her, my kids, and some of our cousins later as they hiked up to the Lost Ranch Mine Ruins for a picnic.  I went up the Pyramid Trail to the top of that peak, and then followed the ridgeline NE to where it connects with Telegraph Pass – almost all the way to the radio towers, then lopped back SW on the opposing ridgeline to the north on the National Trail. I then dropped down the Lost Ranch Ruins Trail and arrived at the old ruined farmhouse right when the family did.  Perfect timing!  As with the last run, the conditions were amazing, and the trails were in great condition….except for the descent down the Lost Ranch Ruins Trail – that one was a mess.  Super steep and lots of loose rock.

My foot hurt the whole time and BOTH of my IT bands were hurting from about mile 4 onward.

6.3 miles @ 13:16 min/mile and 1,710 ft. elevation

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After eating, we took the kids up to a little abandoned mine and then made our way back to the cars…SLOWLY.  Kids like to drag their feet.

Top of the Pyramid Trail, looking East

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Kids exploring the mine

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My  boy showing off his muscles

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Phoenix South Mountain Thawing Out

Phoenix South Mountain Thawing Out

One positive to having family in Arizona is visiting there for the holidays.  My word – 60s-70s feel glorious. I have a problem though – my right foot is still quite painful. So – do I take advantage of the warm weather and trails, or be a good boy?  I opted for the trails.  Today I started at my sister’s house (on the south side of Phoenix’s South Mountain in Ahwatukee) and accessed the trail system there.  I took a dirt road out of her neighborhood East to run the Southernmost ridge that runs WNW to ESE above her house.  I took the Pyramid Trail up West to the Bursera trail and followed that along the ridge until it drops down the backside into a valley and connects with the Gila Trail.  That loops around the far SE end of the ridge, where I followed a trail under the power lines back over to the backside of my sister’s neighborhood.  It felt amazing to be running shirtless in the sun on new trails – Saguaro cactus all over the landscape.  Just beautiful. Unfortunately, my IT Bands really started hurting on the descent down the backside side of the ridge at about mile 3.5.  And, the foot pain didn’t go away.  While running it actually didn’t hurt to bad, but whenever I slowed down to a walk – or when I climbed back in my car – it throbbed bad.

7.5 miles @ 12:03 and 1,083 ft. elevation

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Top of Bursera Trail, looking SE towards Ahwatukee, Chandler, Tempe


Descending Bursera down to the Gila Trail, looking West towards the Gila River Reservation and Sierra Estrella


Right Foot/Ankle Injury

Right Foot/Ankle Injury

Ok, I did something to my ankle yesterday.  The outside arch of my right foot KILLS!  Stuff online suggests that it might be a pulled peroneal tendon – which wraps around that outside part of the foot.  The ankle is sore a bit by the ankle bone – also where the tendon goes.  In any case, I bet that running on the snow is what did it.  It is not just an uneven surface (dirt and trails is always plenty uneven – and not a problem) but it is an uneven surface that unpredictably sinks or depresses under your footfall.  It is hard to gauge what its going to do for every foot fall, so I wonder if the brain has a hard time tensing up the right muscles to prepare for impact.  In any case – I’m totally limping.

First Snow Run

First Snow Run

A couple months ago I won a pair of Montrail Badrocks from Max King on facebook.  They just arrived and I got them specifically for wet. snowy, or muddy conditions. So, I grabbed my neighbor Matt and we did an EARLY morning run up Farmington Canyon, which was snowpacked. It was my first run on the snow and the shoes did great.  Unfortunately, my knees did not.  I gave them an almost 2-week rest, but wasn’t very diligent at using my foam roller on them.  Also – I was feeling pretty lazy or something, and just had to power hike most of the way up. I’m sure it was MVH’s slowest time ever going up the canyon.

6.9 Miles @ 15:14 min/mile and 1,533 ft. elevation

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Also – did I mention that it was about 15 degrees.  Here is my solution for the cold weather.

It’s my bandito look.


Farmington Canyon in the Snow