Last weekend I ventured up to Flagstaff to again run Soulstice, which has become my favorite run in Northern Arizona, sorry Jim Thompson Trail in Sedona.
This year I didn’t have as much training as last year primarily due to so much going on with my family including my daughter doing very well in High School cross country and club soccer, my son playing football and my new job that does not offer the flexibility I had in the past-goodbye lunchtime trail runs. However I did feel pretty strong and was confident that I could beat last years time. I also bought the new GoPro hero a week before the race and had all kinds of ideas involving creating Oscar worthy videos.
Race day came and I was surprised by the balmy weather that was present. I almost ran without a long sleeve shirt but went with one and ended up being happy that I did.
The first loop was a challenge as always but I again was feeling strong even when needing to power hike up some of the steeper climbs. The main pack ahead of me faded further and further away until I ended up running with a group of 4-5 runners. My idea of hanging with the main large pack wasn’t happening.
I eventually got ahead of everyone in the pack before the start of loop #2 and I saw a few people up the trail ahead of me but I was only able to pass one of them before cresting the high point of the race.
Coming down the second loop my lungs were feeling the altitude however I swear that the Cordyceps helped out as I was never fully gasping for air. My legs got a good burn in a few spots and when I reached the 2 miles to the finish spot I remembered the beastly ankle turn, sprain, fracture I had going through that area last year. I did slow down a noticeable amount through this section as I didn’t want a repeat but I also was concerned about trying to beat last years time. When I got to the finish I was disappointed to see that I was about 2 minutes slower than last year. However when I got home and downloaded the GPS data then compared the last 2 years I was about 40 seconds faster this year. I don’t know how that happens but I am taking it. My goal for next year is to get a lot of hill running in and a few more trips to altitude before the race and try to take off about 1 minute per mile. That is reasonable if my training and diet is on point. Oh yeah, no raffle winnings this year, but some people were drawn multiple times and made off with some great prizes.
Still reading? I am impressed, thank you. So here are some pictures from this year and below are my cringeworthy videos. Bottom line is I had fun, a good hard run, and enjoyed a few brews once I retuned home to assist in the recovery process.
Click on the picture for a much bigger, better, beautiful picture!
The rental whip I drove up there. did surprisingly well on the rutted fire roads!
And some video:
Yes the Flagstaff Marathon was last weekend and I was in town but no I didn’t get a transfer to run the race. While that disappointed me as it was my own fault, I still got in some nice running in the ones and I did my best to cheer my daughters soccer team onward to the championship. They fell just short loading the championship in shootouts after the other team tired the game late in the second half on an own goal. Ugh, that really hurt. The annoying CDO parents made it worse. Oh well just another life lesson.
Soulstice is in 4 weeks. Flagstaff, I will be back.
In the meantime, pictures!
I have been planning to run the Flagstaff marathon for a few months (actually sine I ran it last year) so when I went to register last Wednesday imagine me disappointment when I saw that the race sold out on Monday afternoon. I know that it is my fault and thats what I get for procrastinating, but I often wait like many others in the event an injury or other factor comes up that prevents me from being able to run the race. On the other hand registering early (like Soulstice) places a concrete date on the calendar for me to plan for and train through the minor injuries and setbacks instead of letting them get the best of me and stopping my progress and training. I tried to see if there was any chance of getting a transfer into the race but there were no takers on the Flagstaff Marathon Facebook page. I am still going to be in Flagstaff for a soccer tournament so I will still get a 13.1 mile run in probably along the FUTS (FUTS click for map) or maybe go out and run the Waterline trail out in the mountains. There is also the pending storms that are to move into northern Arizona later this week, so maybe not paying to run will pay off if the race is a mudfest.
My daughter has started her Cross Country career as a Freshman at Greenway High school. In her first meet held in Prescott she held with the lead pack for 2 1/2 of the 3+ miles before blowing up and finishing 23rd out of 90+ runners. Last week at the Washington High meet (held at Moon Valley) she was the overall winner beating second place by almost a minute. In full disclosure the top 2 runners for Greenway did not run but still. Oh, and their coach had them run from Greenway to Moon Valley before and after the race, 2 1/2 more miles. I am getting jealous of the success my daughter is having as I am nowhere near fast and will never win a race anywhere, so when she tells us that she doesn’t like running and just wants to focus on soccer I don’t know how to handle it. She has so much potential for running but if she has no passion…
Well, anyway as always here are my favorite pictures from the past few weeks.
My daughter on her second lap
Been there. #slowrunner
Getting coached on her way to the win.
Robin Williams, wow. Money, fame, everything you could ever want and quite often that isn’t what is really needed.
and of most people that means that the running starts to ramp up for fall races. I am one of those people. With 3 races on my radar in the next few months and a few others that I may add at any time this is prime running season. I am also trying to wrap my mind around the reality that I am going to have a high school child in a week. Where does the time go. I ask the same question when a race arrives that I haven’t given it my all in training for, this leads me to thinking of joining a training group for some accountability. However I don’t know of any ultra training groups around here, so the next step would be a personal coach. I know that there are several good/really, really good coaches online so I might go that route. Some of them are pretty pricey, but what prices does one place on good coaching and accountability when it isn’t inherent? It looks like another 100+ degree day with higher humidity, lets let it rip on the trails.