Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Running on empty

One would have thought that after 51 years I would have learned most of life’s basic lessons, but evidently not. With overnight temperatures approaching freezing and clear sunny weather predicted for Thursday afternoon, I decided to sleep in this morning instead of hoping out of bed at 5:00AM to get in an 11 miler before my day started. My wife has been sick for the past several days and it appears that I may have caught a little bit of whatever she has. I awoke with a soar throat and runny noise, but otherwise I felt OK. After dropping my youngest off at her High School, I took my wife to her office and stayed to help her with a project (since I’m on vacation, I might as well do something worthwhile). The project stretched through 1 PM and was followed by a trip to the central Post Office in Phoenix and another errand or two. We didn’t get home until 3:30 and I still needed to get the 11 miler in. I was worried about running out of light and, of course, I hadn’t had anything to eat since breakfast; but what the heck, who needs fuel anyway?

I drove over to the Christiansen Trail in north Phoenix with the intent to run 11 miles through the rough and rocky trails between North Mountain and Shaw Butte. This is a real peaceful area of town, protected from land developers and still in its natural state. The real challenge is that the trails are a virtual rock-fest. I spent the first 4 miles carefully picking my way through the rocks while running up and down hills (see graph below). My ankles hurt, my right foot was throbbing from a hard landing on a sharp rock and my left foot was getting all tingly. And my pace. I’d call it slow, but that doesn’t really describe it. I was worn out from all the high-stepping but wasn’t moving fast enough to really stretch out my legs.

I left the trails on mile 5 and headed back onto the street, running down hill to Thunderbird Road along 7th Street and then chugging up the 200’ hill during the next mile get over the pass separating the Moon Valley area of Phoenix from the main central valley. I ran down the south side of the hill weaving through the neighborhoods before starting the 250’ climb up the south side of the hill. Although my ankles no longer hurt and the tingling sensation in my feet had gone away, my pace was still gut-wrenchingly slow. I just trudged up the hills and plodded down the hills and never really got moving through the entire run.

Fortunately, tomorrow is another day. Hope yours is going better. I know I will at least eat before I try running any kind of distance tomorrow.

Training for the week:

Mon- Rest Day

Tue – 8.5 miles w/5x600m @ 6:36/mi pace
Wed – 11.0 miles, general aerobic, 9:32/mi avg pace

Hill Course:


Javamom said...

Looks like a gorgeous area to run but I would not have liked the rocks either. Hopefully tomorrow will feel better.

Ewen said...

Sounds like a perfect 6' track training course :)

Thomas said...

Running in difficult terrain is very good training, as long as you don't get injured, of course. I deliberately choose a path with difficult footing from time to time only to curse myself each time when I actually have to run over said terrain.

angie's pink fuzzy said...

well, at least you got out there and did it. great workout on those rocks!

D said...

Today's run has to be better!

Lana said...

I can be hard headed like that too, Phil. But you are right, tomorrow is another day. And thankfully so. Get some fuel in ya!

Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

Great job on that trail! That pace is very good. I've run that trail before and you are right, it is very hilly with softball-sized rocks everywhere. And the Moon Valley area has some very steep climbs. They hold a 10-mile race there every year and nobody snifs a PR. Sounds like you did very well.

Bapp said...

Your new blog design looks nice. I know you changed it a little time ago.