Saturday, April 29, 2006

A stroll in the park

Phoenix is littered with great parks; unfortunately, many of these parks sit virtually unused. Phoenix’s largest parks aren’t parks in the usual sense of the work. While most people imagine a city parks as cool, relaxing places with lots of grass and trees and perhaps a few picnic tables, our parks are, for the most part, desert sanctuaries that have been saved from the land developers. They have few amenities other than miles of great trails, no cars and fantastic scenery.

One of my favorite parks for running is the little used Reach 11 Recreational area. This park is a tiny strip of land about a ½ mile wide running along the North side of the Central Arizona Project. The park runs from Cave Creek road on the west to Scottsdale road on the east with Tatum Blvd dividing the park into two parts.

I’ve decided to forgo any speed work and simply work on endurance in preparation for my Grand Canyon hike on May 19th. With this strategy in mind, today’s run was a leisurely 7 mile jog along the main trail from Tatum to Cave Creek and back. I didn’t pay much attention to my pace, but did stop to take my pulse at the 4 mile mark. Evidently, I wasn’t pushing myself very hard since my pulse rate was only 114. Picking up the pace, I quickly hit a lactic acid wall and walked for a ½ mile. After starting up again at a slower pace I finished up the 7.25 mile run with an average pace of 8:47. My splits were 9:04, 8:50, 8:55, 9:03, 8:42, 8:38, and 8:29.

All in all, not a bad run. I sure had a great time.

This week's training: 30.4 miles at 8:41/m

Keep running

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