Wednesday, May 27, 2009

San Diego Harbor

I just wanted to post some pics from my San Diego Harbor run on Memorial Day. It was nice to be able to sleep in. I didn't get out on to Harbor Bay Drive until 9 AM. By that time temperatures could be high 70s in Scottsdale. I only ran 30 minutes so we wouldn't miss the Sheraton's Breakfast Buffet.

Today was actually day 12 of my running streak and I'm feeling it in my legs. Instead of running at 6 AM this morning, I waited until after work to give my legs a few more hours to recover. We were over 90 degrees today, so I to hit the dreadmill.

To save money, we actually canceled our gym membership. But there's a public gym at McDowell Mountain that cost only $2/visit. Perfect for those days I need a treadmill or want to work on the machines.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

No shoes, No shorts, No problem

My mini running streak has survived the big travel test this weekend. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to find time to run during our road trip to Southern California.

Sunday, Disneyland day, was the big test. I know it's crazy, but we decided last minute to do Disney that morning when we woke up in our Anaheim hotel room. Sure, it was a holiday weekend and the lines would be long, but I had a plan. We would get there early and hit as many major attractions as we could before 3 pm. Brian wanted to get on the road to San Diego so we could catch the sunset at the beach.
No problem!!

We were able to hit the Matterhorn, Pirates of the Carribean, Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, Thunder Mountain Railroad and Star Tours all before 11:30 AM. After lunch, we did Space Mountain, Honey I shrunk the Audience, Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride and Autopia. Eleven rides in 6.5 hours on a holiday weekend!

When we got to Pacific Beach in San Diego it was only 4:30. I sat and watched the kids play in the water. Being the thin-blooded desert dweller, I chose to stay warm on the sand. My husband urged me to run a mile. "There's no excuse! You're on a beach. You can run one mile on the beach." He did mention that it would be pretty lame of me to break my running streak like this on day 9.

My tennis shoes and running shorts were in my suitcase back in the car several blocks away. All I had on were flip-flops, a tank top and jean shorts. Fine! He was right, there was no excuse. I took off my flip flops and ran on the shore; 7 minutes one way and 7 minutes back. Since I didn't have my shoes, I didn't have my Nikeplus running monitor to record the run or my distance. But with my average pace at 11:30 lately, I figured 14 minutes of running would be more than enough to keep the streak going.

Sure, I didn't look like the typical runner since I was wearing jean shorts. Also, the shore was hard on the balls of my feet at times (they are hating me now) and dodging seaweed was a task, but all in all, I'm glad I did it. The running streak is intact. I'm on day 11 now!

Friday, May 22, 2009

My Attempt at Streaking

No, I'm not talking about running around nekkid for kicks and giggles. Sorry, to get your hopes up there. I'm talking about starting a running streak - run at least a mile for as many consecutive days as you can.

I first heard about this through this article "7,000, 9,000, 11,000 days in a row - runners won't quit". It's about a group that has registered their running streaks at, the website for the United States Running Streak Association, USRSA.

Their active running streak list shows one "Legend", the category for greater than a 40 year long streak, Mark Covert, who is also the honorary chairman of the USRSA Advisory Board. There are at least 20 runners whose streak has lasted over 35 years. The "Neophyte" is the category for those whose streak is only less than 5 years old.

When I first read about this I thought to myself, there's no way I could do that! That's crazy talk!! I might try, but I won't last the week! Guess what?! Today is day seven! I did it. I lasted the week. But don't expect me to go signing up for membership to the USRSA anytime soon. I was just using this as inspiration to get myself back into the habit of running. I had injured my back in April and after looking at my sad monthly running graph, I knew I had to get back into it somehow.

So things are looking up. I've gotten back into it. I haven't signed up for any races yet, but at least my May totals are looking good. Let's see how long this streak lasts.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Papago Park Run

My sister had an early flight to NYC this morning, so I took this opportunity to do my run near the airport at Papago Park. After I dropped her off at 5:35 AM I drove and parked at the Phoenix Zoo nearby. The sun had just risen as I took off toward Hole in the Rock. What a beautiful morning.

The route I took was deserted aside from the one city vehicle that drove by. After 1/2 mile through the park, I got on Priest Drive greeted by the striking red rocks against the blue sky, I snapped a pic of this agave flower in bloom.

I was really enjoying the solitude and only after my turn around point did I see two runners and just one biker.

Running the opposite way on Priest Drive gave me a different perspective of Papago Park. I was able to see the Botanical Garden on my left. In the distance a beautiful yellow Chihuly glass sculpture towered over the creosote. The Chihuly exhibit is only going to be at the Desert Botanical Garden until the end of the month, so I vowed to see it before it leaves.

Running my usual route never bores me, but trying out different trails now and then are a special treat. When I do run a new trail, I want to make sure I bring my camera along. Sure, I've driven by Priest Drive a few times before, but running it gives me a new appreciation of the beauty that has in the past just whizzed by me at 40 mph.

Vroom! Vroom!

It's like starting up an old classic car that you haven't driven in a while. There are the running shoes, sitting in the garage collecting dust. Pretty little blue racing stripes shimmer invitingly as you look them over. A comfortable interior is calling your name and a pedometer is just begging to start counting those miles again.

You slip on the pair, like getting into custom leather seats that fit every curve perfectly. You flex and wiggle your toes as you would your fingers onto the steering wheel - finding the right grip. Yes, this feels good.

And then you start the engine. The sound of your stride purrs on the trail. Your heart and your breathing accelerates and the wind rushes past your ears. It's been a long time since you've taken this ride.

Welcome back!