Monday, December 26, 2011

Trail Contraband

Figured since my running life has been essentially non-existent over the last 7-10 days that I should post a few pictures I was able to capture on my last run in the Superstition Mountains which, after a recent cold spell, also left a few inches of snow on Four Peaks, just east of Phoenix. That is definitely a rarity. I am hoping my trip to St. George, Utah in the coming week will bring some more trail porn and miles and miles under my feet on the trails, we will see. Enjoy:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Minimus In The Superstitions

Location: Superstition Wilderness; Dutchman Trail #104, Treadmill

Miles: 14.0
Time: 2:23
Vertical Feet: 1,400+

Dutchman Trail#104-

So I was finally able to head out to the trails in the Shadows of the Superstition's on a weekend instead of the measly 4 mile after work weekday runs that I had been trying to pepper into my already cluttered week and I must say that it was a welcome retreat from the aforementioned endeavors. It was a bit breezy but apart from that it was clear skies and I was feeling pretty good for a bit of a longer trail run to ensue.
The drive there was nice and apart from the fact that there was a couple of bus loads of boy scouts out rummaging through the trails learning the tricks of the mountains, I had a pretty good time getting out into the gut of the trail and delving deep into the canyons, passing Yellow Mountain along the way as well as the vista of the backside of Weaver's Needle. The elevation gain/change throughout the trail is not too significant but it is definitely enough to burn the lungs and fill the legs with lead. After hitting the 4 mile mark I enjoyed the views of the surrounding cliffs and took note of just how quiet this earth is when you let it watch you instead of you watching it.
Dug deep and carved my way out of the maroon canyon and floated back to the truck for a day well spent.
I had eluded before to the Trail Porn from the recent runs and that is no lie but my camera is at my wife's mercy/mother's house and should be getting it by weekend. Hopefully I will have another set of pics by then.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Hidden Gem(Nov.30 thru Dec.7)

Location: Superstition Wilderness/Treadmill

Miles: 17.4
Time: 3:01
Vertical Feet: 1,921

So as those who live in the Phoenix area already know so well, Arizona has been a bit on the chilly side the last few days. And when I say chilly I do not mean chile, as in green chile for which we in the desert are known for, I mean the thermometer has dipped into the 20's over the last few nights and has been regularly hanging out around the mid 30's mark for good portions of the day. Now I know those in the upper northeast and the eastern states in general are calling me a wuss but I come from a cold little berg on the Oregon coast that dips into the 20's occasionally with horrific winds and even I thought this past week was wickedly cold. Anyways, not to deter from the subject I actually found a few spots to get in some quality running over the week which left me content in that category. I was able to make it out to the Superstition Mountains twice, finding an absolutely beautiful piece of trail off of First Water Trail on the northeast side of the Supers. This trail with its packed singletrack, shaded and overgrown crevices, and overall unbelievable views of the back of the Supe's and also of neighboring Four Peaks have given me every reason to tag this trail as my favorite running trail in all of the Phoenix area and maybe in the state. Yes, it was that good! I love my winding singletrack and when you combine that with seasonal springs and the assorted mesquite and palo verde groves, this is hard to beat.

I was able to get about 12 miles in on the trails over the course of the week and loved every minute of it. I rounded off the rest of the runs with a couple of treadmill jaunts which were monotonous as always. However, both trail visits left me energized and feeling like I could of tackled another 3 or 4 miles each time. I am stocked that the trail motivates me to push further and further deep into the wilderness and detracting my mind from the obvious droughts of fatigue which would normally set in when I let my mind wander.

Side note, the Zane Grey 50 is unfortunately sold out which really took the wind out of my sails since I was earmarking that as my first "real" ultra. I emailed the RD regarding the waiting list and am awaiting a reply but I just thought I would throw that out there. Sucks royally but what can I do? Rookie mistake.

Trail porn pics to come soon!