Saturday, August 13, 2011

Mogollon Rim/South Mountain Runs

Total Distance: 8.9 m
Time: 1:43
Location: South Mountain; Pyramid Trail, Pine, Arizona, Pine Trailhead/Highline Trail
Total Miles: 239.00 m
Total Time: 37:47

Elevation Gain: 3643 ft

I have a love, hate relationship with the state of Arizona. I find it hard to believe sometimes that I decided on the desert as the place I hang my hat. Reason being, there are those days where the heat, the death (of most living things in the low desert), and the landscape of my desert home just eat away at my motivation to do mostly anything. However, I do find myself some days coming to a truce with my dry, deserted friend and agreeing that when you can look past "green" as being the epitome of beauty; ie green pastures, trees, lawns, forests, etc. then you can realize that Arizona has it's perks and it's tiny little pleasures that it call's it's own.
After a routine run atop South Mountain on Pyramid trail for a measly few miles in the 100+ degree heat, I finally made the long awaited trek up to the Mogollon Rim's Highline Trail for a relatively short but grueling 6 mile run today. I knew I would enjoy the run considering it is both scenic and more importantly at 5000+ altitude. I was not let down. The trail which was easy to access, lead immediately through an open acreage of ponderosa pine's with little shade, letting the 85 degree weather seem a little hotter than normal. Then immediately came the ascent. I knew from the trail map that it would have a fair share of vert right from the get go and even though I held strong for the first 1.25 miles the Rim proceeded to chew me up like a chunk of jerky. I had hydrated myself plenty and got in enough calories I felt to hold me over but over the course of a little under 3 miles up this Rim the vert/elevation just took its toll. However, I do feel like I held my own especially on some of the tough climbs as I just concentrated on the perks of finally getting to the top and taking in the views. I ran most of the tough climbs with a good groove and only really hit rock bottom on a few of the initial climbs.
Now, as some of you may know, this is the same route that the Zane Grey 50 ultra-marathon is run on and I took solace in the fact that I knew that no more than 90 days or so prior Geoff Roes floated through those same trails, breathing in the same views on the way to his strong victory at the ZG50. So in short, it was an amazing experience and an amazing trail.
All in all the run was super awesome and one that I will stroll down again, maybe with a bib on someday?

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