Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Real Start To Summer

Elev. Gain:2,000'
YTD Miles:259.7
YTD Time:42:03
YTD Elev.:35,600'
5/19/12 Treadmill 8 miles. Some inclined with some speed and heart rate concentration sprinkled in. It was a tough week prior with sleep, work, etc. so this was not ideal conditions coming into the new week.
5/26/12 South Mountain 6 miles, 1,200'. After a few nights of decent rest I had an open day to myself so after getting some errands done I headed out in the late morning for what I had hoped to be a 6 mile+ run at SMP. The relentless temps from the week prior I knew were going to relent so I knew that if my fitness held up that this could be a pleasing day on the trails. After realizing the park was quite busy due to the cooler temps I decided to do a reverse of my normal loop which would normally give me some time to myself but with the reversal I figured I may be able to avoid even more of the crowds which lined the roadway like the lines found at Disneyland. Luckily I was right. After gearing up for what I had hoped to be an hour to hour and a half trot, I headed out at a little bit slower pace than normal because I knew that even the low 80 degree temps could catch up with me soon in the somewhat weary state I found myself in. But, to my surprise I was able to hold my own throughout the first few miles, keeping both my breathing and my mind in the right place. It really was a pleasant day with breezes creeping in at just the right moments and the nice rolling terrain played well with my limited energy levels and fitness. I somewhat surprised myself with carving up a new trail that I had never laid foot on, this was not intentional, and found it to have a prolonged inclined stretch which lasted just a shade over a mile which seemed daunting at first but yet I found myself able to settle in at a decent climbing pace and tackle this stretch quite effectively. I was a bit astounded at my energy levels and found this to be quite endearing to my confidence moving forward. 
After a speedier decent off the back half of the loop back to the truck I rounded out the day by a good meal and a good flick with the old lady, Moneyball.
5/27/12 Papago Park 5 miles, 700'. I felt like I had some momentum on the heels of my last few runs so I headed into the closest set of tall rocks I could find in my immediate area, Papago Park. I have always found the Papago Park area of Tempe to be quite mysterious and astounding in that it gives the runner/hiker/walker a taste of all that a wilderness or state park has to offer in terms of flora and fauna as well as all that comes along with a water source and yet it is situated literally in the middle of a metro/dry desert area in the outskirts of north Tempe. I really do sometimes like to let my mind wander while I run under cottonwood trees and over rushing meadows all while being no more than 20 feet from a busy freeway linking Tempe to the local international airport. It was a treat. I was still a bit tired from the day prior's outing so I rounded out a sluggish 5 miles and headed east to my hut.
I really do feel like I made some progress in my health and fitness this past week. I cannot say that I have found a remedy for my insomnia other than just positive thoughts. I will try to post from across the pond in Great Britain over the course of the next few weeks. 'Til then, cheers. 

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