Sunday, August 20, 2006

Running the Santa Cruz

This weekend we drove down to Tucson (home of Mike and Angie) again to install our 2nd daughter at the University of Arizona (UofA). She is now living in one of the UofA dorms, only a ½ mile from her older sister. Now that we have two children in college, we are taking donations … any domination will do :)

Although I was up well past mid-night again on Saturday night, I managed to sneak in a 10 mile run before taking everyone out to breakfast on Sunday morning. We were staying at the Marriott adjacent to the west side of the campus. From the Marriott, I ran down the hill west to the Santa Cruz River and headed north along the paved trail on the east side of the river. The Santa Cruz River has been sucked dry from excessive ground water pumping, so it is little more than a large drainage channel; although it was once a flowing river. The paved trail stopped a mile down the river, but the trail continued as hard packed dirt strewn with stones beyond this point. I dislike running over this type of surface since it is very hard on my toes, but it beats the heck out of dodging traffic on the main roads.

The run went fairly well considering I’m still recovering from my blood donation on Friday and a total lack of sleep the last three nights. I didn’t break any land speed records during 1 ½ mile run down the hill, averaging just above a 9:00/mi pace. My muscles finally warmed up by the time I hit the river trail and I held 9:00/mi for miles 2, 3, 4 and 5; however, I had some trouble getting back in the grove after the turn and my pace ballooned up over 9:10 for miles 6 and 7. I settled back into a 9:00/mi pace again for mile 8 and then started climbing back up the hill for miles 9 and 10.

The funniest thing happened on the way up the hill; the hill didn’t look as steep going up as it did running down. I ran mile 9 in just over 9:00 min and mile 10 in 8:53. I extend the run for an other 0.3 miles beyond 10, running this section at an 8:53 pace, which helped bring the average pace for the whole run down to 9:01. Not too bad considering all I really wanted to do this morning was stay in bed.

I also ran across (almost literally) a fellow sleeping under one of the underpasses along the river trail. I must have scared the crap out of him as he woke up with a start as I pounded the pavement towards place of slumber on the path. He’d fallen asleep again by the time I got back to this point on the return. I must have been much quieter on the second pass because he didn’t stir at all. I also ran by a fellow sitting on an old tire under a Palo Verde tree doing a cross word puzzle. Other than the scruffy beard and unkempt hair, he would have fit in with any of the thousands of people sitting in Starbucks throughout Tuscon at that very instant doing the Sunday Crossword puzzle. I haven’t a clue how he managed to get a paper where I found him; that’ll have to remain a mystery.

Training for the week:

Mon – Rest Day
Tue – 8.0 miles, easy, 8:55/mi pace
Wed – 8.0 miles, easy, 8:34/mi pace
Thr – 8.0 miles, easy, 9:16/mi pace
Fri – 8.0 miles, easy, 8:46/mi pace
Sat – 8.0 miles, easy, 9:16/mi pace
Sun – 10.3 miles, easy, 9:01/mi pace

Total for the week: 50.3 miles – 6 runs

Other random Tuscon pictures:

This is the view of the Santa Catalina Mountains across the top of UofA

This is my oldest daughter's house in Tucson. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but the inside is incredible. It has real paster walls and real hardwood floors.

The front room of the same house, with 4 high school freshmen we had with us for dinner

Oldest daughter and boy friend (center) along with other friends


Mike said...

Hey Phil, nice to have you in the neighborhood. That first pic of the dorm; do you remember it from "Revenge of the Nerds"? Ahhh, U of A's claim to fame.

I used to live downtown and run the Santa Cruz, and was somewhat politically incorrect when I called the route the "hobo hop". While reading your post I was actually waiting for it to happen! Follow the river far enough in the other direction and you get to run right by a high security prison. Truly scenic!.

I'm serious when I say email ahead and we can get a run in together, hobo hop or otherwise.

Jim said...

Congrats on getting daughter #2 into school. Of course you'll be broke for the 4 or 5 years but perhaps it will be an investment that will pay off.

It looks like you had a great week of running based on your mileage. As much as I enjoy my running, 4 or 5 days is about all my body can take without rebelling. Sounds like you had a good weekend run too . . . I just love to go out when I am in other cities and go "exploring". I'm jeolous of everything except for the heat out there.

5 weeks, 6 days until Portland marathon. Are you going to join us???

carmen said...

How fun! Good luck to your daughter on her first year in college. I remember mine like it was yesterday and I cried when my parents had to leave. She's very lucky her sister lives nearby. :)

Good job on the runs last week! Very consistent and committed! I believe tonight is my last night in Tempe so I may do a farewell run to my old route tonight. *sniff* She was good to me.

Yvonne said...

awesome job on the running! and your pics make me envious. it looks so nice and spacious and 'big sky' down there!

Brian said...

Nice run after giving blood on Friday and no sleep on Saturday Phil! The different scenery must have helped you kick through the 10 miles on Sunday. What's in store for this week?

angie's pink fuzzy said...

nice! I won't run the Santa Cruz - too scary :) Your daughter's house in awesome!

DawnB said...

Outstanding week Phil, Thank you for sharing the photos. Goodluck to you and your daughters. My son Elliott is a SR. this year. I'm searching for colleges now. I found my dream house about two weeks ago but I think I'll have to put it on the back burner.

Phil, I just want to thank you for all your input I really appreciate it. I will certainly keep up with loging my miles in the log. and thanks again I think a little hope is renewed for breaking 1:50 :)

Ann Ewbank said...

College is in full swing. It was fun having the students back on campus today. Plus we had the grand opening of Starbucks in the library. Awesome!

Thomas said...

I haven't tried running after giving blood, and I don't think I ever will, so kudos to you.

Not sure if I feel sorry for your finances at the moment. My kids are a very long time away from college, yet I'm broke, too. At least you can enjoy some peace and quiet.

D said...

I did a TKD class after giving blood and remember as if it was yesterday how light headed I was. I don't think I will run afterwards. Considering the blood donation, nice job on the runs. Congrats on the two kids in college. I feel your pain (in your wallet.)