Friday, July 07, 2006

The last run in Carlsbad

I managed to hit the send button instead of the save button on my black berry and sent my last post before I finished a complete thought.. So here is round two.

All good things must come to an end. This morning was my last run in the cool ocean breezes of Carlsbad. Whereas the locals were complaining about the extreme heat and high humidity those of us from central Arizona were basking in the cool moist air.

This morning I ran the steepest portion of the Carlsbad Marathon course along Palomar Airport Road from the 405 freeway to the turn around point past the Airport Entrance and back to my sister-in-law's apartment. 7.6 miles in all.

The first couple of miles are slow rolling hills. The traffic wasn't too bad at 5:30, but I was forced up onto the sidewalk from the bike path several times upon hearing some huge semi bearing down on my frail body. The route detours off the main drag on the uphill portion  and runs through a small commercial / office district before rejoining Palomar Airport road. This area has a couple of very steep but short climbs that force you up onto your toes (oh joy), but the real fun doesn't start until the course joins back up with Palomar Airport Road.

The total elevation change from the Freewasy is only 300 feet, but most of it is along the last 1/2 mile of the hill and this is one bitch of a hilll. I felt vey fortunate that I was running it on mile three this morning. I think it is on mile nine of the Marathon. At this point in my life, I can't imagine running another 17 miles after this hill. I've got a lot of work to do on hill training. And there is nothing like this hill in North Phoenix.

The fun doesn't stop once you get to the top either. After cresting the hill, I got to run down hill to the turn around point on this branch of the course. The course looses 50 feet over 1/4 mile along here. Although this little section wasn't nearly as steep as the other side of the hill,  1/4 mile wasn't eneough for me before I had to do an other climb.

Once reaching the top again, the course continues back down the very steep section of Palomar Airport Road back towards the Freeway.  I averaged just over 8:00/mi on this down hill section. Could have gone faster, but this run was suppose to be an easy 6 miles this morning and I knew that I was already blown through the top of the mileage range..

As the miles dragged on, the dull ache in my left foot continued to increase.  The pain usually subsides after a few miles, but there was something abiut runnig uphill that it didn't like. I also felt a bit dehydrated by the time I got back to the apartment. We'll see how I feel tomorrow back to the heat in Phoenix. It has been a hard week of running. I've logged 34 miles already this week and I still have 6 scheduled on Saturday and 12 scheduled on Sunday..

This is also my last BlackBerryBlog. Tomorrow it is back to a real computer with a real keyboard. I expect my spelling to improve dramatically. I can't promise any improvements in my prose.

Keep running



Dusty said...

Great job on running those hills - will be good to know what you are coming up on.

As far as hill training in the valley - have you ever run South Mountain? From Central Avenue, there is an entrance. We would park outside it and run up. With the extra distance, I thought it was 8 miles, but would have to look it up - and don't think I could give directions as to where we parked from TX. One thing we did do is get a ride down from the top to save our knees. If you can run it with someone else, you both drive - drop one car at the top, drive down and start. I really miss the mountains - I could handle almost any hill because of that training. Also you could run Cloud 9 (I believe its more common name is Shaw Butte, it is in North Phoenix off 7th Avenue, North of Dunlap - if memory serves. On one side there was a paved road that went to a restaurant with awful food, but a great view - called Cloud 9. The paved road is almost gone, but it is a great mountain to run. I go up it when I'm in town. We ran from our school, up the mountain & back.. was called the "Cloud 9 Marathon" - I believe it was around 16 miles. Over North of the Biltmore there is a drive that goes strait up and we did repeats there (would have to look at a map to figure out the street - was like a girl's name - Christie something?). If you are closer to ASU, we did Papago Park as well. Hope these ideas help for you to prepare. If you want further details, let me know. Painful runs burn a memory in your brain you will never forget - haha!

I took a look at my bottle of Glucosamine - I have 1000mg of it (not mixed with anything) It says "Supports Movement and Flexability for Joints" -- "Maintain healthy structure and function of cartilage in your joints. Support movement and flexibility. Provide the building blocks for joint fluid and cartilage." I'm not sure if this would be helpful for your toe. I take one every few days (3 per week), the directions say 2 a day. Don't take if you can't eat shellfish. Anyway, I took it based on the reccomendations of others that say they really can tell when they don't take it. I do notice a difference in my knees, but I must admit, I'm not faling apart too bad (YET) in my joints. I think it helps my foot too, but I try to block out my foot, so I didn't pay attention. Anyway - not sure if it would help with the toe - but thought I'd pass it on incase it can help.

Have a safe trip home & don't overheat tomorrow!

Phil said...


Thanks for the advice. I'm extremely impressed if you were able to run up to Cloud 9 from the South entrance to Shaw Butte. The pavement is all but gone and the course is very very steep and rocky. You must have much stronger knees than me. And what school did you run from to make it a 16 mile round trip?

The north side of Shaw Butte (off of Central) is also steep and not as treacherous. Most of it is dirt, but the rocks aren't as loose. I hadn't thought of Shaw Butte until you brought it up. In fact, North Mountain is also paved all the way to the top (I think) ... again, I hadn't thought of that either.

I also like your South Mountain idea. I hadn't considered doing this myself due to the traffic. Is the road wide enough to avoid the morons driving their SUVs up and down the hill?

Great ideas. Thanks,


Dusty said...

North Mountain... forgot about that one. Well, Cloud 9 was back in the late 80's and the asphalt was pretty worn then... so I'm not surprised it is almost gone. I hike it with my Dad when I'm in town, but we go from the entrance closer to the park. By the way - don't leave valuables in your vehicle that can be seen - someone broke in and got my Dad's CDs. Has only happened once - a year or two ago (knock on wood). I went to Apollo - Coach Emmett Smith. You have to respect any coach that can give you a head start and wiz by you running up a mountain when he is in his 50's and has a tumor in each calf and no inner ear for balance due to a previous tumor. He was very motivational. Miss talking to him.

South Mountain - it was usually our Saturday morning run. If you go in the early mornings (before it gets too hot) there isn't much traffic... but watch out for the cyclists. You can run up a hill by them like they are standing still, but when they come back down... stay out of their way!!! Scared the begeebies out of me - however you spell that!!

Also - I did SM before there were too many SUVs (early 90’s) - but again - if you can get there while they are still asleep, you should be okay. I would avoid it in the evenings -- guys trying to take their girlfriends up to the top of the mountain and drive crazy on the way up -- surprised there are not more wrecks from that.

Brian said...

I came across your blog after seeing you comment on dusty's blog, great job on your record number of miles posted for the week ending 7/9/06!
Also, reading back through your postings you mention using your blackberry to blog, do you have any tips? I am leaving on a week and a half trip soon and want to continue blogging my running log? I have a blackberry 7105t. Any comments/tips would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Brian