Mesa Neighborhoods/'Mill/South Mountain Trails-
So this week was a relatively productive one in that I made it out for a couple of longer runs and one or two shorter runs on the treadmill and along the canal. My running has been coming to me a little easier as of late and I think I am finally starting to notice a change, albeit slightly, in my overall running fitness. I headed out to SMP for what was to be a 10 miler along National Trail along the rocky ridge that lines the center of the main range in the park, but after entering from Central I noticed that the normally gated off roadway leading down to the San Juan Ridgeline of the park was for whatever reason open today. So, I veered right and decided I would try something new just for the sake of going out of my comfort zone. Isn't that what life is about? After a few miles of twists and turns along the desolate roadway I found a lot adjacent to Alta Trail which traverses the western most line of mountains in the park, the San Juans. After hopping out of the truck to check the trail head sign I decided that I was gonna give it a try. I would ascend the range and follow it all the way down to the San Juan Lookout which was a 9.6 mile round trip loop. With my fluid amount in hand that did not seem out of touch so I ate half a banana and chugged some agua and out I went.
Right from the start I did not feel too great. Also, the trail seemed to annoy me with it super rocky/jagged terrain right from the get go so I was unable to really get into a solid rhythm from the start but I motored along and before I knew it 22 minutes later I was atop the ridge. The views up top were definitely a welcome site to the normal sights and sounds from the eastern side of the park with wide expanding views of the Estrella and White Tank Mountains in the distance. The trail, surface wise, was not spectacular and left me without any kind of pace I was looking for throughout. I actually found myself having to literally climb certain points of the trail on all fours which finally talked me into throwing out any time goals I had and forced me into the reality of just finishing out the loop at a moving pace. However, that did not happen either. I turned at the 4 mile point as the trail literally started falling apart as well as descending at a fast rate.
I noticed at around the 6 mile mark that my right heel was rubbing considerably on my heel cup and as I made the final descent to the truck I was in considerable discomfort but pushed through to the truck. This was maybe a mistake. I have never been one to let pain or discomfort keep me from something I love to do so sure enough I was out on the mountain again yesterday and on the treadmill today for some shorter runs. I have decided that running some flats with my elastic ankle braces on for the next few days may give my foot time to heal up. We will see.