Friday, January 27, 2012

Dutchman Trail#104

Javalina Jundred 2011(Hal Koerner's Big Day)

Elev. Gain:4,400'
YTD Miles:74.10
YTD Time:12:35
YTD Elev.:11,600'

Mesa Canal System/Superstition Wilderness-

Was able to make it out for a couple of afternoon/after work runs along the canal in near picture perfect running weather, which is becoming a norm lately. The real highlight of the runs so far has been the fact that my feet have been sporting the hot off the presses New Balance MT110's, NB's and Tony Krupicka's, as well as a host of other New Balance ambassadors, upgrade to the MT101's which I can/could say are/were the best trail shoe I have worn on the trails in my short running life. I can honestly say that I was a bit apprehensive at first since after my first stint in them which was a 12 miler on the Dutchman Trail, I noticed very early on that it seemed that my left foot's upper arch along and above my metatarsals was quickly becoming painful and tender almost as if my foot was planting incorrectly upon impact causing the discomfort. And it did seem as though I was planting incorrectly in the shoe. I was a little cautious as the run wore on since the discomfort did not seem to go away and my thoughts started turning to whether I was going to do major damage to my foot since my plan was for a run that would take over 2 hours. But, to make a long story short I have now traveled over 20 miles in the 110's and after tonight's short run, with no discomfort whatsoever, I am slowly coming to the conclusion that these shoes really were worth the wait and that Tony K's assertion that these truly are a huge upgrade from an already great and ambitious trail shoe was correct and on point. The selling points I have found are the traction/sole which has been beefed up from the 101's and seems maybe even a bit tackier. Also, the back tab and topline collar are a huge advancement over the 101's with their thicker, sturdier yet still flexible makeup. I had a major problem before here with the back tab actually splitting halfway down to the sole bringing in small debris and other undesirables. Moving forward, the shoe is shaping up to be a great addition and one that my foot will become good friends with hopefully.

My 12 miler in the Superstitions was obviously the highlight with an out and back that took me along a running spring which was leftover from the recent rains before dumping me atop a lookout in the shadows of Weaver's Needle. It was a great trail and a great morning. Looking forward to digging my nails deeper into this trail in the coming days.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Grand Canyon Is A Good Enough Excuse

Elev. Gain:1,900'
YTD Miles:45.0
YTD Time:7:48
YTD Elev.:7,200'

South Mountain Park/Mesa Canal System-

I love to travel. I love to run. So why, after venturing to the Grand Canyon, did I not run a mile in one of the most picturesque places on earth? If I had the answer I would feel a lot better right now.

Myself and my buddy Rob decided last week that since he had not been there since early childhood, and me myself had been there twice but for a measly total of about 30 hours, that we would head out early, and I mean EARLY Saturday morning and hug the highway for the 5 hour drive to a creation nearly 6 million years in the making. After pulling in mid morning on Saturday we proceeded to jam pack the remainder of the day with all the sights and sounds of the Canyon and all its inhabitants. It really is a glorious place that no other place on earth can really compare to.

So, to make a long story short, after enjoying a day and a half of down time for both of us and our busy, bustling lives, I was left with very little time to dance on the trails. Fortunately for myself and Rob it was a great time, one I will never forget. I have made a promise that I will soon return for a more extensive hike and run into that Canyon. I will return with any secrets I can find. Promise.

I will post pictures soon of the trip which I hope do justice.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Elev. Gain:4,100'
YTD Miles:32.0
YTD Time:5:43
YTD Elev.:5,300'

South Mountain Park;Pima Canyon/National/Mormon Trails-

Decided to head out to the old stomping grounds on a nice crisp early morning run on my trusty old loop which also happens to cover a decent amount of elevation. I noticed early on that it was not a great day, just average, so I kept it moderate and was able to get a decent time of just under 57 mins for the loop. Good run with little traffic on the trails.

Superstition Wilderness; Dutchman Trail-

I really do love this area, this trail. I have only done an 8 mile out and back now a few times so I have not delved deep into its sweet tangy center as of yet but what I have seen is absolutely my favorite place in and around the city of Phoenix. I love the fact that it keeps you on your toes with just the right amount of incline but also spoils you with nice cushioned dirt packed singletrack that winds and winds like a corkscrew throughout the crevices of the valley behind the magnificent Superstition Mountains. I usually still have reserves when I have reached my turn around point so it is just a matter of time before I venture deeper into her belly. Great mid day run.

South Mountain Park; Desert Classic Trail-

After the 8 miler on Saturday this 11 mile run was a little taxing on the legs so I will not bore you with the details of my lead footed jaunt through the desert. Overall a nice long run without any mishaps.

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 Is Officially Underway

Elev. Gain:1200 ft

Superstition Wilderness
; First Water/Garden Valley

So after missing out on the glorious opening day of the year on the trails I was able to use my extra off day from work to hit the trails on a beautiful mild winter day that lit the trails afire with bright sunlight under a cloudless sky. I only had time for a shorter run since I wanted to make it back into civilization by mid day for the Rose Bowl and that I did with a short but extremely rocky 6 miler that brought me for the first time through Garden Valley which was decorated throughout with crystal clear pools, leftover from the recent snow fall on the upper reaches of the mountains surrounding the area. The trails however along this area are much more suited for hikers and horsemen, which there were plenty of, and this made for a overall slower go at it over the hour or so on the trail.
Overall I am very pleased in what my physical abilities afforded me on this day and am looking forward to a year of pleasing days both on and off the trails. Happy New Years!