Category Archives: flagstaff running

10 down 

This morning I weighed myself again I hit 10.2 pound down from where I started 11 days ago. I can’t say how blown away I am by this.  I guess the saying of to lose weight you really need to change your diet then maintain not just the exercise. 

I do think about not having a bunch of tasty craft beers when I spend the first week of July in Flagstaff but maybe if I mix in some exogenous keytones I can have some beers and remain in keytosis. It really has been easier sticking to this diet than I initially thought it would be. Menu planning can be time consuming but make more dinner than usual and there is the next days lunch. 

Being off work the next 2 weeks I look to put the diet to the test of working out. I hope to do a good amount of HIIT style weights and crank up the running mileage. I can say that when working out the last week I didn’t ever feel like I was going to fuel bonk, my cardio and brain want to slow me down first. Now the longest I went was 50 minutes so let’s see how a 2 hour run goes. I am intrigued by the F-Bomb fuel packets made right in good old Flagstaff. Pure fat fuel. I wondered how people run 50, 100 or more miles with no carbs but it works. 

Do I have any more pictures???

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!







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


IMG_2468-0.JPGAnd some video:



August is here

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.


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The heat is on

I know that pst of the Country is covered in freezing weather and snow, but here in the Southwest we are pushing 90 degrees this President’s day weekend.  Next weekend is the Elephant Mountain 35K, I had some ideas of trying the 50K, but in reality my training just wasn’t there. I am still thinking of the Mesquite Canyon 50K in March, but that last 5 miles is beast…from what I hear.  Later in March is the Crown King scramble 50K that I would really love to do because of its history, and challenge but the logistic of getting picked up there in Crown King is just too much.  I know there is a shuttle this year taking you back to Phoenix so I might consider that.

Last Sunday I set a PR in the half marathon, something that had evaded me for at least 3 years.  Funny thing is I wasn’t even trying to run that fast it was just that everything came together for me.  I do give a lot of credit to the UCan Super starch.  I will be using it next Saturday in the 35K.  Another thing is I ran the entire 15.5 miles with no music.  Listening to my body….hmmm.

Things are going to get pretty busy here now as the state soccer season is ramping up for my daughters team as they push towards the state Cup, and my sons tackle football team starts 2 a week practices this week then games on Fridays.  All of these activities make life seem to fly by, but I think they are worth it to give my kids a nice quality of life and activities that most of their friends parents don’t seem to want to be bothered with. Personal preferences I guess.

Pictures?  I got your pictures right here. The first one is to Celebrate the winter Olympics.  Go USA!


US Men’s hockey jerseys BghV4b7IMAA0G5_.jpg-largeHere is how to keep busy when riding the train.









Cool ass sculpture, out there somewhere.








I realized that I had a few stray pictures sitting on my iMac desktop that I had not entered here so here they are…(Ryan Seacrest voice) right after this!

My ankle is still pretty swollen and tender, I am having serious doubts about being able to do the 50K in November, but who knows stranger things have happened.  What is starting to bother me is the swelling has not gone down for a few days and now I am starting to get a soreness in my Achilles.  Hopefully that is a general soreness due to the pull and overuse due to my new gangster lean as I walk. And my ribs, oh man they probably hurt worse than anything.  Bruised, broken?  I wouldn’t know as I dont go to the doctor!  I was able to get a decent 30 minute run completed on my treadmill on Thursday, if I feel ok I might try an hour or so this afternoon.  Ok, pictures…


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Me finishing Soulstice with a gimped up lower leg.

Me finishing Soulstice with a gimped up lower leg.

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Soulstice 2013

Ah yes, what could be more exciting than heading up to Flagstaff to run 11 miles through the mountains with 200 other trail loving, ready to party folks?  Not much.  So thats why again this year I signed up and was selected through the lottery to run Soulstice.  What started as a great time ended up being, not such a great time but not terrible either.

Lyndsey and I went up to Flagstaff friday to have a little vacation day as my in-laws were going to pick my kids up from school then watch them until we returned home.  It had snowed in Flagstaff on Thursday and when we got up there the main areas were clear of snow but some could be seen on the mountain tops.  (View from the race start/finish area).  I saw some on the trails heading up the second loop of single track running.  Oh and yeah…not much cooler then running under a big ass tree that had snapped about 15 feet up its 50 foot trunk.  I wanted to grab a picture but really wanted to finish faster than last year-thus minimal pictures compared to last years race. I actually had my phone out and was ready to go down a snap a photo but forces beyond me pulled me down the trail instead. 20131012_065030

We rented a VW Jetta from Enterprise as they had a $10 a day weekend rate- couldn’t beat that.  The car was decent and had some nice features (leather seats, great sound system, very quick once you get the RPM’s built up) but it lacked a lot as well.   What 2013 car doesn’t have automatic headlights, or has to honk the horn every time you lock the doors-a real annoyance early in the AM or in the woods. And WTF (foreshadowing) is up with the switchblade key/remote?

So anyhow Friday in Flagstaff was fun.  We were able to walk through NAU campus a little, spent some time and money in downtown and I found this great t-shirt (although now that I am home I notice that the screen print on my shirt is pretty weak).20131011_152125

Had a nice dinner at Oreganos, then  back to the Drury for the night.     I woke up around 3:00 AM Saturday and could not fall back to sleep for the life of me, so by 6:00 I was ready to go.  When I got out to the car it had the early morning frost on the windshield that I scraped off with a credit card, and after 5-6 minutes the car was able to heat up enough to defrost the rear and front windows-a real bonus.  A second bonus was the red flashing temperature light that blinked at me all the way to the race start area.  That was a nice touch.  I think when I close my eyes now the image is finally gone.  When the announcement came for the runners to get to the start area I got my first look at costume of the day guy, turkeyman.  20131012_075248 20131012_075246

I had thoughts of wearing my Peyton Manning jersey or my skull face wrap, but I thought that I wold look like a tool.  My loss.

Photo on 10-14-13 at 10.04 AM

Oh, Tool? (go to 34:00)

I felt good for the race knowing that I had been up there a few weeks earlier for the Flagstaff marathon/half marathon and I was 9 1/2 minutes faster for the half marathon that I was last year, and my training had been pretty strong (for me-not a lot for many of you).  A funny thing happened as I was walking back from the staging area with a cup of Pay and Take coffee, I ran into my neighbor Julie who lives across the street from me in Peoria, small world. Thanks to Julie I was able to get my raffle prizes as I was off somewhere else during the announcements (more foreshadowing).

So, the race gun went off…oh wait, never mind.  The race started and off I went.  I was holding what I thought was a nice pace getting the legs and lungs ready for the 7 sisters as they always are waiting for the runners.  Rolling through I was doing ok (hill work really pays off BTW) and after a few of the up and downs I caught up to Julie who told me that she thought that the hills where we live were hard and she had no idea how hard these were going to be.  I was about to tell her that she “hadn’t seen shit yet” when I almost bit my tongue and just smiled.  I remember my first soustice way back when (3 years ago) and if someone would have told me that soon that these were warm up hills I wold have cried.  My silence is probably the only reason she grabbed my raffle prizes!   From there everything went well, and according to Strava I was at least 40 seconds per mile faster than last year through most of the route.  Oh, I forgot to mention.  I missed a turn.  Yep, where the 7 sisters end and you head right  up, up, up the mountain I and several people in front of me kept going straight.  According to the mapping tools I have I went about .25-.3 miles out and back that I didn’t need to. That’s what I get for looking ahead and not around, trail running tip #1, and its free.  Hey nothing like a route adjustment to get you really moving right?  So   from there I kept up a good pace, again according to Strava I was about 40 seconds per mile faster than last year.  Then with about 2.5-3 miles to the finish I had the most curious event happen to me.  I stepped on a rock, or root, or twig, or varmint and turned my left ankle.  I went down pretty hard.  I felt  a little electric jolt as I went down, then I was pretty stiff as I laid there trying to figure out what the hell just happened.  I got up and tried to shake it off, but the left ankle was being an asshole. As was my right forearm, shoulder, and shin.  Hey, I am an equal opportunity runner. I walked for a few minutes trying to get some mobility back as well as some sense of balance.  Eventually it started to come back to where I could hobble/jog for a while but in the area where I thought that I should be able to hammer the trail and make up some real time over last year, I was stuck hopping and hobbling down.  I thought that I was ahead of my previous time but was not sure, and when I crossed the finish and went to hit the stop button on my Suunto Amibt the time did not stop.  WTF (post shadowing)  After a few seconds the time did stop and I realized that EVERYTHING was not against me on this day. I had beat my time from last year, even with the extra distance and my farked up ankle I was about 8 seconds faster than last year.  Yeah, 8 seconds.  Go eat a dick, right? So, yep I did it.  Looking back at Strava, I still don’t know how I wasn’t a lot faster time wise, but whatever.

OK, so I had finished the race, felt pretty good about my effort but not great, then looked down at my ankle.  Eh, not terrible.  Some swelling but not the worst.  It was so decent that I took a picture.

20131012_104709Not so bad right?  I could get a little medical on all 3 of you right now, but I wont.  In case you like that kind of freaky stuff, here you go. runners foot ankle_PMR clinics

A little swelling but ok.  Well then I took a little walk to my car to get the race gear off and change then while heading back to check out the raffle and post race activities I was cruising past the Salomon truck when all of a sudden out of no where my ankle turned again and down I went.  At this time I really wished that I was at some kind of gymnastics event because I know that I pulled off the greatest summersault ever performed in a dirt parking area.  Unfortunately it was only witnessed by he 2 dudes hanging out at the Salomon truck.  One of the 2 dudes said that he could see my ankle completely roll under and they helped me get up and over to the medics who assessed my level of trauma (my wording, not theirs), who gave me an ice pack and siad to talk when I could.  I hung out for a while, picked up a Soulstice 2013 poster

Photo on 10-14-13 at 9.43 AMand then headed back to the hotel as we had to meet the check out time.  When I got there my wife took a little look at my foot and said that something appeared to be a little off.  I took off my shoe and sock, then noticed that indeed something was a little amiss. This is what I saw.

20131012_120820Funky fresh in the flesh right?  Holy crap this one is going to hurt for a while and take some time to heal.  Right now I am worried about my ability to run the 50K’s I had planned for November and December as well as the 50 miler in March. Overall I am happy with my performance, I mean I was faster than I have ever done this race despite going long and busting up my bones and ligaments. As a cool side note, I believe that I read that this race raised over $5000 for the Flagstaff area Big Brothers/Big Sisters program.  That is awesome!

Initially I was thinking that I would probably not run this race again as it is a celebration of the Salomon Flagstaff Mountain Trail Championship series and I am not a local and rarely get up to run any of the summer series races, who knows what the future will hold, maybe next year I will get up there and blow away this years time.  Or not.  But I do miss living in Flagstaff and every time we go up there my wife says how she could see us living there with our kids.  So who knows what the future holds.  I know that this afternoon holds a session with the Vitalwrap, and a KT tape session. 20131014_095554

Anyone have a 15 pound bag of ice?

I wrote this a few weeks ago…

But I have not found the time to post it. Am I really that busy? No, but I have been really trying to make family and other important commitments a priority and getting everything else done around what is truly important. So a little late but here it is.

So here I am, the week of the Flagstaff marathon and I am feeling pretty good about how my training has gone so far. I am signed up for the half, but my 19 mile run 2 weeks ago felt so good (although slow) and the 15.5 I ran yesterday felt hard but was at the same pace as the 19 miler a week prior. What does that mean in terms of the race coming up? I don’t know, but what I do know is that if my legs rebound well this week and I am able to keep my nutrition, hydration, sleep and training (easy) where they should be I might ask to move up to the full marathon at packet pick up. I know running at 8000+ feet with all of that climbing will be hard enough for the half but I just may feel sporty and go for the full. My daughter has a soccer tournament game Saturday morning, and I will miss that but her next game isn’t until 5:20 so I will be there even if I walk the marathon.
I love Flagstaff and often think that I made a mistake moving back down to the Phoenix area, but I know that everything happens for a reason and if it is meant for my family and I to move to Flagstaff it will happen.
I got a new pair of running shoes, Asics Gel Nimbus super high visibility version (or whatever they are really called).


I have only 1 real long run in them so far and I really like them but the ends of my longer toes were feeling a bit numb when I finished. I am hoping that is due to the socks or something else.
I think that I am going to pack Wednesday to give me an extra day to remember what I have forgotten as I forget something every time I go run. It just dawned on me, I haven’t written up about my exploits running in Tucson have I? I better get on that one.
My daughter and her soccer team played their first league game last Saturday and there were a lot of emotions for players and parents. The team they played picked up 4 players that were on my daughter’s team last year and their coach was a trainer/assistant coach for my daughter’s team last year. The defectors left thinking that the team was not going to be any good this year so they left to go to Sereno Elite 00. My daughter’s team won 2-0 but the score does not indicate how badly Sereno was dominated. I know it’s my daughter’s team but Sereno had zero shots first half and 2 what I guess you could call shots in the second half-neither was on goal. It was very satisfying to look across the field at the other coach after he said that my daughter would at best be a substitute on his team-she played over 80% of the minutes and shut down all attempted attacks down the right side of the field and had a little attitude to boot. I found out afterwards from a few sources that their coach yelled at his players that he wanted to see who was going to “be big enough to take out” my daughter. We aren’t scheduled to play them again and they will get demoted to the lower division at mid-season but we may see them on the fields and I will let him know that I don’t appreciate that.

Update.  Ok, so how was Flagstaff?  I finished the half marathon 9 minutes and 30 seconds faster than I did last year even with the last 4 or so miles kicking my ass.  That shows me that my training is paying off and if I would have been a little more ready for the race who knows how much faster I could have finished.  My daughters soccer team took the under 14 championship by beating the Flagstaff team 5-1.  For the tournament they outscored their opposition 19-3 (Proud defender dad).  I was able to go and drop a little money at Run Flagstaff, I really like that store.  Friendly and not pushy staff and a pretty decent selection of merchandise, especially nutrition.  I was surprised by how many products they had that I just had to stock up on.

Now I have Soulstice Mountain run on my radar, and after that 50K’s in both November and December.  Hopefully I can keep up the decent training then hit a 50 mile run in March or April.   I was selected to get a free training program from the fellas who wrote Run the Edge.  It is their Level up Training program.  I will be using it as part of my training once I get past the 50K, it looks like a great program with a lot to offer.  Check it out if you get a second.  It is worth your time.

I am really sad that Breaking Bad is over.  I have slowly been watching the last 3 episodes, I am now down to just the last one but I cant bring myself to watch it although I think I know where the story is headed and I am not sure I like that.  I have always recorded the episodes and watched 3-4 at a time like a movie but I cant pul the trigger on this last one.

Hey, what would a post be without pictures.  Here are some pictures from Flagstaff and other places.  Enjoy.



How am I supposed to finish the race then?












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