Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Three Days, 120 Miles

Just got back from three days of running in Arizona, but the weather gods didn't want to make heat this past weekend. One day did get up to 91 degrees but the other days were in the 80s. The weather was perfect by normal running standards.

I got three good long comfortable days in, and tested a few new items on my feet and in my stomach for Badwater. Looks like I will have to do a repeat in June to get the heat training I wanted.

The saguaro cacti were blooming and there is no better park anywhere than McDowell Mountain Park. Several running events, including the Pemberton Trail 50K and the Javelina Jundred have donated thousands of dollars over the years to support this park. I hope these events continue to give to this unique and beautiful place.

For three days I stuck to the asphalt roads because of the necessity of asphalt training for Badwater, so I didn't get back on the trails. Still, I was not disappointed by the scenery.

I could have been arrested for RWT: running while texting. I entertained myself on some of the long climbs on the out & backs on the park road by sending messages to my crew and a few friends. Here are my comments during the three days of the run:

Day 1I'm finishing up my last 7.5 mi out and back, I'll have a hair over 48 miles after this. It was in the 80s, which feels cool. I never put ice on me, but I still managed to go through 64 pounds of ice for drinks and the coolers.

Only glitch today was having to give up an hour of my precious running time to make an ice run. Silly me I forgot it was hot here, and ice melts!
Good thing I'm the runner, not the crew at BW!

Bonus was ice for only $2 at the liquor store in our old neighborhood so didn't have to drive all the way into Fountain Hills.

Got about 3700 ft of vertical too, and some decent uphill running (ah, low altitude)

This park is awesome. I miss having it in my backyard. But I'd rather not pay the price of having to live here.

Tried a new drink to use as an alternative to gatorade, Crystal Light pure fitness. It worked well, no stomach issues.

Better focus on the road, so I don't step on any critters slithering out to soak up the heat.

Tomorrow is another adventure...

Day 2
Started same time this morning. It was 10 degrees warmer. Stopped for 20 lbs of ice. Nice park ranger who saw me yesterday offered me ice from the compound this morning.

Should heat up nicely today. I feel fresh this am, legs are good. Only 6 1/2 hrs sleep, but I'm awake.

After 15 miles I made a sandwich and put ice around my neck. It's considerably hotter today. 7.5 mile out and backs might have to be shortened to 5 for carrying fluids and keeping them cold.

A few gambel quail, a scraggly coyote and a 2 foot racer on the road are the only company I have this morning. Cyclists and runners are all on the trails.

Ran into an AZ running buddy, Debbie Leftwich, in the Pemberton trailhead parking lot. She was running the trail with a guy who is training for Kettle Moraine.

Update: 86 degrees at noon, will get hotter. Now have white jacket on. Jello, V8 and yogurt tasted great at 22 miles.

End of day 2
Stats: 91 degree high temp, 43 miles. only went through 40 lbs of ice today. Used shadescreen and parked car opposite sun.
No rattlers yet just one racer. Still have 5 miles to go today.

Found out hot gummy worms don't taste too bad.

At the end of today I'll have 91 miles in 2 days. All that's left to reach my goal is a 29 miler tomorrow, when I will be have the company of my AZ Badwater friends Woofie and Don Meyer.

So far no blisters, thanks to my improved taping job. Just a little heat rash on my legs.

More tomorrow...

Day 3
Now at 16.5 miles. Today I woke up at 3 am AZ time and tried to get an early start. I needed ice and food, but none of the stores are open, not even in Scottsdale. By the time I arrived in Fountain Hills, I only had to wait 5 minutes for the Safeway to open at 5.

It was 70 degrees at 6 am when I started.

Today should be nearly as warm as yesterday. More clouds though.

I felt good starting this morning. I have been happy with my ability to recover overnight, even with little sleep- less than 5 1/2 hrs last night.

My feet feel good. That tincture of benzoin spray is a miracle, Nathan, thanks! We will want plenty of that at BW.

On my second out and back this am, I briefly stepped off the road to pee and when I got back on the asphalt, there was Woofie riiding toward me on his bike.

He rode alongside me up the steep hill and I was not even paying attention to the fact that I was RUNNING, until suddenly we were almost to the parking lot in record time.

Woofie took off for home and I took a food break, and here I am on the road again, Don will be out here later.

I would like to stay another day and run, yes I do feel like another 30 or 40 mile day is not only possible but comfortable. I am bummed that I have to leave! It's very tempting to come out here on my way home!

I need to wrap up early today as my dad has invited dinner guests, a business acquaintance of his who is interested in ultras and wants to meet me!

I hope I'll have enough of a brain to make conversation!

End of Day 3
Just got back to my dad's house in Scottsdale. Mission accomplished. Today 29.1 miles, high 80s, felt strong mentally and physically. Only 25 pounds of ice today. Total time running over 3 days was 28 1/2 hours. With breaks add another 4.

With sleep and travel time, plus errands, shopping for food and ice, 56 hours. Not bad! Who says you can't shop, blog, and run at the same time?

Only one tiny blister on the side of my big toe from day 2.

Don joined me at noon, which made the last 6 miles fly by with his stories of Badwater.

When we were done, Don took a picture of me at the STOP sign.

Time to rest even if I feel like I could go on forever.

Tonight I will miss the coyotes serenade that I heard the past 2 nights.

On the way out of the park I stopped by the visitor center to check on Houdini, the Gila Monster. He was curled up taking a nap in his cage.

My feet looked pretty good after the three days. Add another 40 degrees and that might change, but in general my tape job worked great, and all I had was some heat rash.

Now it's back to Colorado to finish out the next 4 weeks before I taper! Maybe a repeat trip in June to get some real heat, it could be 110 by then.


Chris Harrison said...

You are a total stud- Roni and I really enjoyed meeting you Sunday night for dinner. Thanks for making the time to help inspire us. Let me know when you are planning to come back in June; I would love to run a few miles with you or at least help crew your AZ training runs.
Chris Harrison

Alene Gone Bad said...

It was great to meet you (again) and Roni the other night, and to realize that we had talked before at Pemberton. Please send me an e-mail and I will let you know when I'll be in AZ in June. Please tell Roni that those brownies were awesome too.

Mike said...

120 miles and your feet still look good. Looks like you're on track for Badwater. Nice desert photos!

Alene Gone Bad said...

Mike, thanks, training is going well. My feet did not look quite so good after driving 14 hours back to Colorado, they got swollen. But they are better now.

SWK said...

WOW! That was a lot of running.....and in AZ. I've been living here for more than 10 years and I still can't get used to this heat. :S