High in Colorado

High in Colorado
Photo: Mandy Lea Photo

Monday, November 19, 2012

Week in Review: November 12-18

Monday, November 12th
PM—10 Miles—1:51—2,000’—McDowell Sonoran Preserve near Phoenix, AZ
Loop run on Gateway, Windgate, and Bell trails. Legs felt unbelievably horrendous on this “run” around the Preserve. Much like the Pass Mountain 50K a few days prior my legs only felt somewhat decent on the climbs. The descents were downright painful. Pretty scenery almost made up for the obscene amount of rude hikers on the trail. Almost…

Tuesday, November 13th
AM—11 Miles—2:00—2,000’—McDowell Sonoran Preserve
Loop run on the Desert Park, Windgate, Bell, and Gateway trails. This was another easy run without ever pushing beyond the most relaxed conversational pace imaginable. My legs are still a little sore, but they seem to be getting better now.

Wednesday, November 14th  
PM—16 Miles—2:50—2,200’—Creepy Balloon Animal Guy Loop in Sedona, AZ
Pretty awesome lollipop run on Brins Mesa, FR152, Secret Canyon, David Miller, Bear Sign, FR152, and Brins Mesa trails. This run was suggested by the fine people at the Sedona Running Company. These people are great at recommending trail runs for just about any distance and will even print you a map! This was a pretty mellow run, which was fine with me since my legs still feel pretty crappy (although significantly better than yesterday). I was pretty surprised at the range of running surfaces experienced in such a short run—everything from typical desert slickrock and washes to heavily forested areas with trees covered in rocks, roots, and tree leaves. Pretty fun run. This was another run where I basically just took it easy and enjoyed the views.

Thursday, November 15th  
AM—8 Miles—1:04—700’—Chuck Wagon/Long Canyon/Deadman’s Pass/Mescal Loop
I asked Adam at Sedona Running Company for a nice little 5-10 miler for my morning shakeout run and this is what he suggested. The run was pretty mellow with a few gradual climbs that were more or less over before they started. My hamstrings started out fairly tight so I took the first 2 miles super easy. Eventually I warmed up and started to run a little quicker than planned on the super-runnable trails. The few semi-technical rocky sections always hit at the right places in the run—some nice little downhills that let me practice my footwork. The Mescal Trail was pretty awesome running. Although it was flat-as-can-be it offered some spectacular views and fun running along some of the most enjoyable slickrock trail I’ve ever ran.

Friday, November 16th  
AM—22 Miles—6:08—2,600’—Hot Loop/Jacks Canyon Loop in Sedona, AZ
Horrible run recommendation. At all times the trails were either super technical, horrendously sandy, overgrown with plants that draw blood, nearly non-existent, poorly marked, covered in cow crap, had seemingly endless offshoots/social trails, or some combination of these. Not very pleasant at all. About an hour in I gave up all hope of actually running and decided to hike the rest of the route. 

Saturday, November 17th         
PM—11 Miles—2:19—1,700’—Elephant Hill/Chesler Park/Joint Trail in Canyonlands National Park
This run was recommended to me by JV. I did part of the run about a month or so ago, but my legs felt too crappy to do the full thing. Even on this run I still didn’t do the full recommendation from JV as I cut out the four mile out-and-back to Druid Arch. I ran into Tom Masterson about 20 minutes or so in and talked a little longer than I had planned (worth it, though). So a little later in the run I noticed that the sun would be behind the rock formations before too long and things might get a little frigid without a shirt on. Overall gorgeous run which words can’t describe. So the photos below will hopefully do some justice…I forgot to stop my watch during photographs, etc. so the pace comes out a little slow.

Sunday, November 18th  
PM—5 Miles—1:11—2,400’—Green Mountain
Started the morning out in Indian Creek, Utah and ended up in Boulder, CO about 8 hours later. First stop was the Gregory Canyon TH to wake the legs up. As soon as I approached the trail to begin the outing I noticed JV pulling into the parking lot. So we made our way up the front side of Green and down the back side. I felt like shit and was out of breath pretty much the entire way up. He was not trying. The descent was pretty fun; enough ambient light to see where you’re going, but not enough to put 100% confidence in each step. It’s always great to get out and run with Jeff. He’s definitely one of the best runners in town so it’s a privilege to have him slow down his pace enough to let you kind of keep up.

Time—17hours 25minutes
Elevation Gain—13,600 feet 

Not really anything insightful to say about this week. This was not a particularly good week of running. My legs felt like crap for most of the week so I just took slow, casual approaches to all of the runs and avoided my usual long run of ~30ish miles or so. Thursday’s run stands out as the best performance of the week. All of the runs except for Friday’s stand out in terms of scenery (Green Mountain in Boulder never gets old). 

I'm hoping to get in a few solid runs during my days in Boulder prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. We'll see how it all plays out...
How I felt on my runs in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve with all of the snooty trophy wives
Blowing out the upper on my 110's running in Sedona, AZ

Elephant Hill in Canyonlands National Park

Chesler Park Loop in Canyonlands

Chesler Park Loop

Chesler Park Loop

Looking up from the bottom of a slot canyon on the Joint Trail in Canyonlands NP

Meandering through a slot canyon on the Joint Trail

These slot canyons get a little narrow in some places. Sunglasses and shaved legs just for Rob Timko.

View after emerging from the slot canyons on the Joint Trail


  1. It seems like everyone I know with the 110s blows out the upper.

  2. I only have problems with the upper on super techy terrain. Most of the time if I blow out an upper it's after 400+ miles on the pair. Only once have I done it with around 100 miles or so on the pair. It's a risk I'm willing to take for how great the shoe fits and feels :)