Nike cross nationals southwest

My daughter and her team ran I last weekends NCNSW race down in Casa Grande. They all did well and my daughter set a PR by about 15 seconds. Not bad considering the low volume she has been running since the High School season ended. I told her that she was tapering. Here are some pictures from the event.

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Fall is here

And along with it are the “cooler” temperatures for the desert. Right now we are going about 3-4 degrees over normal highs but our nighttime lows are about 10 degrees higher than normal so the mornings are not as brisk and long sleeve/jacket weather as I would like. It does make for some nice running, but you warm up quickly once the sun starts its daily ascent.
Not sure what is on my running plans right now. There is a nighttime half-marathon on a JW Marriott golf course that looks like fun. A few shorter distance races that would be enjoyable , and if I go with my daughter to California for the Nike Cross championships there is a Lexus half-marathon in Irvine that I ma try to run. My family is singed up to run the Thanksgiving race in Peoria, the real runner in the family (Rylee) and I are signed up for the 10 miler (her longest race ever) and Lyndsey and Bryan are doing the 5K. As always when the milage cranks up my SI joint starts to hurt and I am in the beginning stages of that now so looking at 50K’s is a thought but nothing more until I get the pain in my hip to go away so I can train at longer distances.

I had a fun run through the desert on Tuesday, Veterans Day, and discovered some cool new area that I haven’t gone through yet.  I almost made it to the house that has a cemetery in the back yard, but I knew that I didn’t have it in my legs to make it there and back on that day.  Next time I head out into that nothingness of the desert.

Here is another  of my cheesy GoPro videos I made at the Arizona AIA Cross Country division 2 championships last weekend.  Very happy with how Rylee ran, she finished 48th and right behind the top runner at Greenway.  Much improved over the beginning of the year.

As always here are a few of my favorite pictures from the past few weeks.

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Soulstice 2014

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!

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The rental whip I drove up there. did surprisingly well on the rutted fire roads!

 

IMG_2468-0.JPGAnd some video:

 

 


Post from the past

I was going through the pictures on my phone when it dawned on me that I didn’t put anything up here from my trip to California a few months ago for a soccer tournament for my daughter. They did very well winning the tournament playing up an older age group and the top bracket of that age. Very proud. The team also spent an afternoon at Point Loma Nazarene University meeting the soccer coach and a few of the players while getting a tour of the beautiful campus.
I was able to get some running done in some of my favorite parts of San Diego, Sunset Cliffs and Point Lona such a funky vibe going on in that part of the world. I would love to live there. And no, the fact that I caught a whiff of burning marijuana no less than 5 times during my run through the Cliffs and Point Loma has nothing to do with it. I was not staying near Subset Cliffs so I relied on the awesome app, Localeikki to find me some great places to run. If you haven’t tried it you are missing out. What was also very cool and unplanned was the Northern Arizona University football team was staying at the same hotel for their game against San Diego state. I wore my NAU shirts around the hotel with pride. Again unplanned. These pictures are overdue, and yes I saw the Jack In The Box innovation center. Where cheesy curly bbq fries are thought up.

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Flagstaff running weekend

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!

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Missed opportunities

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

My daughter on her second lap

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Been there. #slowrunner

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Getting coached on her way to the win.

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My favorite comedy.

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