Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Wind Cave at Pass Mountain

The last two years I ran in the Mesa Turkey Trot. This year, my kids and I decided to finally hike up to the Wind Cave on Pass Mountain in Usery Recreation Area.
That's Emily and Tyler in front of Pass Mountain. The cave is just below the summit to the right, almost above Tyler's left shoulder in this picture.
There's the cave. Tyler and Emily resting in the center of the picture. It's about 2800 feet above sea level and about 700 feet above car level (parking lot).

You can see Tyler was yawning. He was having a bout of hiccups the entire hike down.

Wind Cave is about 300 feet below the summit of Pass Mountain and there is no trail to the top. But, there is lots of boulders and I'm sure many more experience hikers go to the top. We saved that for another day. Amy spent the morning baking pumpkin pie. We rushed back home to help Amy with the rest of the dinner prep (ok-I'm blogging, but I think the kids are helping).

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

3 Years of Weight Loss

My graph

Started this journey back in June of 2006 weighing close to 260. December of 2008 was my low point at 210. The summer weather and minor injuries have resulted in weight gains all three summers.

The plan for 2010 is to get under 200. Today's weight is 228. I have 13 months to reach this goal. 2.15 lbs. per month.

Cardio: 1000 miles run.

Hiking: 1 major hike per month.

Races: 1 race per month.

Cross Training: 2x week. Resistance training.

Fuel: Calories at 14000 per week (2000/day).

Burn 3500 per week. About a 7000 calorie deficit.

Reduce fats, keep carbs and proteins almost the same.

More salads, vegetables and fruits in diet.

Race Schedule:

PF Chang's Rock N Roll Marathon

Lost Dutchman Marathon

St. Patty's Run

Pat's Run

ARR Summer Series

Sabino Canyon Run

Jerome Hill Climb

Hike Schedule:

Rim to River -Grand Canyon

Summit - Mt. Humphreys

Summit - Flat Iron Superstitions

Summit - North Mtn.

Summit - Shaw Butte

Summit - South Mtn.

Summit - Picacho Peak.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

17 Miles and two lost soles

Saturday morning and it's cold. Somewhere between 45 and 50. And it's dark. The alarm went off at 6 am and I was supposed to be out in 30 to 45 minutes.

I wasn't up to the run. Nope. Not going to happen.

But, I figured I was up and I'll read the paper and have some breakfast. By 7 pm I was planning my run.

The World's Largest Cul De Sac.

For a change of pace I decided I was going to run west into Ahwatukee, a Phoenix neighborhood that is separated from the rest of Phoenix by South Mountain. Think of the UP of Michigan, but smaller and no mosquitos (and no obnoxious Wolverines). Some call it the world's largest cul de sac because there are only a few ways into it and it dead ends on the west side. My plan was to run 8.5 miles to were the roads of Ray and Chandler meet. Out on Ray, in on Chandler. 17 miles all at around a 12 minute pace. And for the most part that worked for the first 12 miles.

Then the Wheels came off

After mile 12 my calves started to tighten. I think I was sweating less too. I had a GU at mile 5 and another at mile 10.5. I, even replaced my water with gatorade at a gas station. So, I think I was fine fuel wise. I pushed forward, but my calves were barking. I've experienced this before on long runs, but not lately. My legs didn't feel like this at Twin Cities. Not even after 20 + miles. My legs didn't feel this bad on my trial Tucson run last week. 12 minute miles were not going to happen for miles 13 to 17. After the run my face was crusted with salt. Amy laughed.

I'm thinking my potassium level was low and it resulted in muscles going bad. Today, it's Sunday and my legs feel fine. I'll probably go for a run tonight. 17 miles done at a 12:47 pace. The first 12 miles great. The last 5, not so much.

Lost Soles

I read an article in Outside Magazine about single shoes washing up on shore with feet still in them. Seven washed up in 2007 and 2008. Weird. Then I found a website called "One Shoe Diaries" about a guy that finds single shoes and takes photos of them. He's an artsy type that traveled the US and did this on the side. Now, I'm thinking what are the odds of finding one shoe along the side of the road? Evidently, not so difficult.

Around mile 13 or 14 I ran past my first "Lost Sole". I borrow that phrase from Randall's blog. So, this is Lost Sole #1. I'm thinking she didn't have a designated driver and had to walk home.
Two miles later at the entrance to Harter Park in my neighborhood is Lost Sole #2. A kid's slipper. Two shoes found on one 17 mile run. On Randy's blog he says he takes the picture, but doesn't touch the shoe (there might be a foot in it). So I'll do the same. These two were taken with my camera phone. Not the best quality.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Run Today

Camelback Mtn. from Papago Park
The Zoo from the Hole in the Rock

The Hole in the Rock

The Hole in the Rock from below.

Papago Park.
3 Miles.
72 Degrees.

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Three Objectives for Yesterdays Trial Run.

This is the map and elevation of my training run. Mile 9 of the marathon starts where I was at mile 4 and it continues in a similar fashion until a short hill at mile 25.

1. To see how the elevation would affect me.

The Tucson Marathon starts at 4800 feet above sea level. That's like 3500 feet above my bed. Can I go from bed to Oracle in just one day and survive. Luckily, the first 3/4 of a mile is all downhill. If you drop your water bottle, you'll retrieve it at the bottom, kind of downhill. But, then the hills start. I don't do well and the hills+elevation was tough on me yesterday. On marathon day I'll have to put up with it for the first 8 miles. It'll be tough, but I think I can manage.

2. To see how hilly Oracle, Az really is.

The hills are like being in the ocean. One wave after the other, but no water to give you buoyancy. Just before the first mile marker they start on Mt. Lemmon Road. I know, when given lemons, make lemonade. My plan is to run all the flats and downhills up to about the half way point of the uphills. Then to walk to the crest and pray there's a downhill on the other side. I didn't see any false summits, so I should be able to do this and keep my mile pace under 12 for the first 8 miles. Miles 1, 2 and 5 should be closer to 11. I need to conserve my energy here, so that I can do the last 18 miles strong.

3. To find out what my comfortable pace is on the downhill portion.

The beauty of the Tucson Marathon is the final 18 miles. All downhill. From about 4500 feet above sea level to about 2000 feet. A 2500' drop in 18 miles and it's pretty consistent. One short hill around mile 25. I ran 5 miles of this portion and between 10:29 and 11:16 miles. I'm pretty sure about two things. I'll be able to run this portion well and my legs we'll feel horrible when I'm done.

Tucson Marathon Expectations.

I break up my marathons into 0ne mile segments and into larger chunks. I like to crunch data during the run. Here's my plan. The first 8 miles is the first chunk(The hills of Oracle). I plan to keep each mile around 12 minutes. I should leave Oracle after 1 hour and 36 minutes. The next five miles (entering civilization) are all downhill and will bring me to the half way point of the marathon. At 11 minute miles, I should get to Biosphere road at 2:31. The next 5 miles (down to Catalina) I plan to do in 11 minute miles, so I should get to mile 18 by 3:26. And then there's the last 8.2 miles. I need to get these done in 1:30 minutes to break 5 hours. That means an keeping it at 11 minute miles all the way to the finish. Can I do it?

I really want a PR for a marathon that starts with a 4. Here's hoping for a 4:56 marathon on December 13th.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tucson Marathon training run

Thanks to Blue Pants racing for supporting our training run 0n the front half of the Tucson Marathon course. We parked at the 13 mile mark and got shuttled to the start. Yeah, it was cold at 4000 feet elevation in the back of a pickup. But, our biggest fear was that the border patrol was going to stop us and since we didn't have ID and deport us to Mexico.
The marathon starts at 4800' elevation and we pass this sign. I need to call that number and tell him it's time for a new flag. His was pretty worn.

A nice motel in Oracle, AZ.

From mile 8 until the finish it's all downhill. About 1500 feet of elevation drop from that point. If I can just survive the first 8 miles, I think I can get a PR.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Over 50 races completed

Here's a list of all the races I have done. I didn't realize that the Twin Cities Marathon was my 50th race completed since August 2006. Races 52 and 53 will be this Sunday at the Phoenix 5k/10k. I plan to run both.

Run for Brooke 5k(1)
Ghost & Goblins 5k (2)
New Times 5k (3)
Mesa Turkey Trot 10k (4)
Bumble Bee 5k (5)
PF Chang's RnR Half Marathon (6)
Run for the Islands 5k (7)
Lost Dutchman Half Marathon (8)
Ostrich Festival 5k (9)
Valley of Gold Half Marathon (10)
Summer Series (4 races) (14)
WRRC Summer Scamper 4M (15)
Remember 9/11 5k (16)
Casa Grande half Marathon (17)
Phoenix YMCA Half Marathon (18)
Race for the Cure 5k (19)
I Did A Run 5k (20)
New Times 5k (21/2)
New Times 10k (22)
Las Vegas Turkey Trot 5k (23)
Mesa Turkey Trot 10k (24/2)
Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon (25)
PF Chang's Rock N' Roll Marathon (26)
Beat the Heat 5k at Higley High (27)
Air Force Anniversary 5k(28)
Race Judicata 5k (29)
Chandler Challenge 10k (30)
YMCA Half Marathon (31/2)
Phoenix 5k (32/3)
Phoenix 10k (33/2)
Ironman AZ 5k (34)
Mesa Turkey Trot 10k (35/3)
Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon (36/2)
Paloma PTA 5k (37)
PF Chang's Rock 'N' Roll Half Marathon (38/2)
Run for the Islands 5k (39)
London's Run Half Marathon (40)
Lost Dutchman Half Marathon (41/2)
Goodyear Heart & sole 5k (42)
Ostrich Festival 5k (43/2)
Sunrise at Old Tucson 3.8m (44)
St. Pat's One Miler @ Kiwanis (45)
Sabino Canyon Sunset Run 7.4m (46)
Pat's Run 4.2m (47)
Jerome Hill Climb 4.5m (48)
Higley High 5k (49/2)
Twin Cities Marathon (50)
Santa Monica 5000 (51)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Tara Costa from the Biggest Loser

Tara ran a 4:23 NYC Marathon. That's pretty impressive, given the fact that a little over a year ago, she was weighing nearly 300 pounds.