Return to South Mountain

Return to South Mountain

Phoenix’s South Mountain Park/Preserve was the site two years ago of my first time ever running a marathon distance – a 29 slog that hurt more than it should have. I was undertrained and paid for it. Of course, it was simultaneously amazing. Back in AZ for the holidays I set my mind to revisiting those familiar trails and proving that I had improved as a runner. I drew out a altered route that totaled 32 miles (50k). 3 loops…

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Petroglyphs, Monster Wolf Spiders, and More Johnson’s Hole

Petroglyphs, Monster Wolf Spiders, and More Johnson’s Hole

For some reason my last few local runs have all been around the Johnson’s Hole area. There are a lot of dirt access roads for the aqueducts and water infrastructure up there – which makes for some nice easy miles, when I’m too lazy or beat up to bang out the singletrack. Here’s some recent routes. I took the kids up to some boulders above Johnson’s Hole that have petroglyphs on them. Very cool. They are quite weathered due to…

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Tennessee Trails

Tennessee Trails

Work found me in Nashville, Tennessee this week. I managed to squeeze in one run in the large Percy Warner Park. Fall leaves were bright and the temperatures were perfect. The trails were well-maintained but at times rocky. I was particularly surprised by how taxing the constant up-down-up-down was. Very hilly and tough to get into a good rhythm. The fact that my stomach was totally off (too much delicious fried southern food) probably didn’t help.  

Arches and Canyonlands

Arches and Canyonlands

Work brought me down to Moab for a conference and I took the opportunity to squeeze in a couple evening runs after the conference activities wound down. In Arches I did a loop up into Devil’s Garden. I was in a hurry and didn’t hit Dark Angel or Private Arch but I did hit a bunch of others. On the back side of the loop (the east side) there is a little sand to deal with but mostly super fun…

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Autumn Red Maple Explosion

Autumn Red Maple Explosion

I scaled  back plans to bag Mahogany Peak (via Grove Creek) today, and opted for the Grove -> Battle Creek loop. It never disappoints. My still faltering health did disappoint though. After 3-4 weeks with little to no running due to the cold+sinus infection of the century, I can still feel my lung capacity lacking and overall energy lacking. Thankfully, autumn has hit and the maple trees were blazing red. Grove Creek was a bit more tame, but the Battle…

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Johnson’s Hole and my Sinuses

Johnson’s Hole and my Sinuses

I have been out of commission for about 3 weeks with a cold turned sinus infection turned lingering cold. Yikes. I haven’t been this sick for this long in a while. Being sick in the summer is just cruel. Beautiful weather, but stuck inside. I finally had to get out. I hit up Johnson’s Hole from Canyon Glen Park. I can’t believe I’d never been up there before. It’ll be gorgeous in the spring when the grass is green. I…

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Big Baldy from Battle Creek

Big Baldy from Battle Creek

Panorama from the Big Baldy Summit I have never gone all the way UP Battle Creek (I’m always coming down) and I have never summited Big Baldy from the saddle. I did it once from the SW ridge for the vertical kilometer challenge. Plans to loop the North Timp ridgeline fell through, so I slept in until 9 and did this instead – Battle Creek to the Big Baldy Summit and back. It was warm and I felt sluggish. I…

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