August Race Recaps – Round 1!

One might think that three running events in one month would start to take the excitement out of racing.

Not a chance.

The Machine Solution Run and Walk for Kids 10K took place on a beautiful Flagstaff morning. The air had a slight chill to it, the sun was peeking out from behind the clouds, and the monsoon rains had dampened the course just enough that we weren’t kicking up too much dust…

I drove down to Fort Tuthill that morning and had some time to myself. I would choose to have family there to cheer me on at a race over being there alone ~ but I didn’t mind it quite as much as I thought I would. There are so many familiar faces at Flagstaff races for me now and I feel at home and supported even when I’m on my own.

As always, FREE downloadable photos of the race…

MachineSolutions10K

Fast forward (however slightly) to this Saturday for the Dave McKay Memorial Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff Half Marathon… this race pulled out all the stops! Packet pick-up on Thursday afternoon at our awesome running store, Run Flagstaff, went off without a hitch. On Friday night runners could pick up their packets at the free spaghetti (‘carbo load’) dinner down at Thorpe Park. I didn’t attend the dinner, but I probably will next year!

The Half Marathon walkers started at 6:00 AM ~ I was able to see a pic of their happy faces on Facebook when I was getting ready at home ~ and the runners started at 7:30…

BBBSHM_2014_StartingLine

At 7:29:50 AM the race director began a “10! 9! 8!…” countdown and at 7:30 AM we were off!

As you can see, we went nothing but up-Up-UP for the first 7.5 miles!

BBBSHM_2014Elevation

The course was well-marked with cheerfully-manned aid stations throughout. Volunteers were handing out water, Gatorade, and encouragement. Others were there to mark down racers’ numbers to be sure we made it safely through the course.This picture doesn’t quite capture the beauty of the view we enjoyed when we got to the Observatory Mesa… but I’m not sure any picture could…

Photo from NATRA on FB

Photo from NATRA on FB

Glenn caught me coming off of the trails and heading to the finish line…

BBBSHM_2014_Glenn2Still happy after 13.1 tough miles?

Of course!

Photo courtesy of NATRA! You guys and gals ROCK!

Photo courtesy of NATRA! You guys and gals ROCK!

Personal Results… 16th out of 35 in my age group with a time of 2:09:06. I am thrilled with that time (2nd fastest ever for me) and pace for my first half marathon in Flagstaff at elevation and my first half marathon on a trail (with 785 feet of elevation gain!).

More to come about my thoughts before, during and after the race…

Did you race this weekend?

How do you recover from longer races? Do you run the day after? Do you take a few days off?

What’s your favorite night-before-the-big-race meal?

 

 

Running News ~ Going for it!

How is your running/exercising/activity level going? For many this is a tough time of the year because of the heat and humidity. If I get out early it’s good because the temperature hasn’t risen (nor has the sun risen too high in the sky quite yet). Sometimes my schedule demands an afternoon run and I have to hope that the monsoon rains haven’t started yet because they can be unpredictably fierce.

On Friday I did my long run out on Lake Mary Road. I had Glenn take my picture because I was wearing my “I Run 4 Jenna” shirt and I’m rooting for Tim Boyle to be on the cover of Runners World Magazine. I know that whoever wins is going to make for a GREAT story… but my heart is with Tim on this one!

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There were some runs before Friday’s… I ran again yesterday, too. Monday’s run, however, was really wonderful. I headed up a dirt road near my house and ran near the Observatory Mesa. I enjoyed beautiful, peaceful surroundings, a gorgeous view, and quite a climb! I had one of those moments when I was heading back down the hill, looking at the San Francisco Peaks where I just put my arms out like they were wings and felt like I could fly…

Tuesday it was time to head to the track for our TRF speed workout. Tuesday’s workout was 3 fartlek intervals of 3 min – 2 min – 1 min with 2 minutes of recovery (recovery, slower-paced running) throughout. I was greeted with a beautiful sky…

 

Today, since I took the day off of running, I thought I’d do three things:

#1 – Try not to panic that I have THREE races this month! All of them are trail races. One of them is a Half Marathon that my email says is “considered one of the most scenic and challenging Half Marathons in the Southwest!” One of them is called “Gaspin’ in the Aspen” and in a mountain town at 7,000 feet that can only mean one thing!

#2 – Sign up for my one and only marathon for 2014. Tucson Marathon here I come!

#3 – Sign up for my VERY FIRST Ultra! The Pemberton Trail 50K is on Valentine’s Day 2015. Do I panic now? No way (well maybe a little)! I am SO INCREDIBLY excited to start this journey! Running all of the trails around Flagstaff will be a must ~ and I can’t wait to share all of my training here. So much to learn…

Now I leave you with a funny I saw online on Facebook or Instagram (@nowirun)! Props to Runners World for getting this one right…

photoIs there anything you’re planning on doing that you never thought you’d EVER do? When I was in college playing basketball we had to run 4 miles in 35 minutes (and repeat the run if we didn’t make the time cutoff) during preseason. It took me two tries and I barely made it on my second try. There is no way on God’s Green Earth that I ever imagined running more than 30!

What’s your go-to fuel on a long run?

Random Question of the Day: What’s your favorite summer fruit?

 

 

 

Trying Trails

I’m seriously considering giving as many new trails a try as possible before the end of the summer and documenting them on the blog. Ian Torrence wrote an article for Running Times Magazine about trail etiquette that you can read HERE if you’re interested in hearing from a pro!

Aspen Corner

On Friday Glenn and I went to Aspen Corner – a trail you can find off of Snowbowl Road in Flagstaff. The views were gorgeous…

IMG_7124 IMG_7136 IMG_7137

Isn’t it amazing what kind of pictures you can get with an iPhone?

I don’t think we followed the trail properly so I can’t wait to get back out there and explore again. There is at least one place that you can head off of that trail and onto part of the Arizona Trail for a couple of miles. Once I get acclimated to that area and the turnoffs I think it’ll make a great place to head when I want a mid-length, sometimes-really-tough trail run.

Soldiers Trail

This is technically not the first time I’ve been on Soldiers Trail. Two of the NATRA summer races (both part of the Run Flagstaff Summer Series) are run on that trail. It is, however, the first time I’ve ventured out on my own. The trail was easy to follow and provided some fantastic single-track rolling hills.

Fort Tuthill is the location of Soldiers Trail and the Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course (among other things) that Glenn and Andrew were enjoying while I ran…

IMG_7140So there you have it! Two new trails that I will take you on when you visit me in Flagstaff!

The Snowbowl Hill Climb

Let me give you the skinny on this awesome event! The 5th Annual TRF Snowbowl Hill Climb is a race up Snowbowl Road.

Distance: 7 miles

Elevation Gain: 2,200 feet

This race was so much fun! There were individual runners, 3-person relays (aid station #2 where I volunteered was one of the relay exchange zones), middle of the pack awards, the Mama Burger Challenge (eat a Mama Burger at aid station #3 and finish the race), age group awards, fastest first mile, Rob Krar starting the race (I am so embarrassed that I didn’t congratulate him when I was standing right next to him at check in!)… you name it! You can head over to Team Run Flagstaff’s Facebook page to see all of the fun pics HERE