Friday, June 07, 2013

A Trip to Phoenix and a run up a Mountain

At the start of the trail just after 5:00am
Last week I took a trip to Phoenix, AZ to visit family. It was a great time of enjoying each other's company, playing games and doing a little bit of working out. I did several runs while I was there. A seven mile on Thursday with my mom for the first mile. Got some new Saucony running shoes at Sole Sports in Tempe later that day. Friday, I did a three mile run with my stepdad Rob (followed by a 10 mile road bike ride, since he is a cyclist and beginning runner). But Saturday was the real kicker. Rob was going to ride the 7 mile road up South Mountain in Phoenix (check out this video to get an idea of this 'city park') with his riding partner. After some debate,  I decided to try and run it. I picked up a Nathan Elite One Plus water/nutrition pack the night before and hit the trail the next day with no real idea of what I was in for.

pushing hard
Originally I was going to run up, then have Rob ride back down and bring the truck up to get me at the peak.  What a scenic, beautiful, peaceful and awesome run. After the 1:30 minute climb (which included some 11% and 12% grade climbs), I still felt pretty good, so I decided to run back down. I didn't quite go all seven miles back to the start, but when it was all over I clocked 13.2 just a little over 2h 30m.

A beautiful morning to run up a mountain

That was a PR for distance. and with a total of 1700ft climb/fall it was certainly the most intense run I've ever done. But it was beautiful! That is for sure. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. Completing a run of this intensity is really what gave me the encouragement to go ahead and sign up for the half marathon in the fall.
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