High in Colorado

High in Colorado
Photo: Mandy Lea Photo

Monday, November 12, 2012

Week in Review: November 5-11

Monday, November 5th
PM—3 Miles—0:31—1,100’—South Kaibab Trail to Cedar Point
After driving all day from Moab to the Grand Canyon I almost opted to not even run. However, it’s hard to go to the South Kaibab TH and not be inspired. So I decided on a dinky little three mile out-and-back to Cedar Point to shake out my legs after the long drive.

Tuesday, November 6th
AM—28 Miles—5:40—6,400’—South Kaibab Trail to Cottonwood Campground (Bailed R2R2R Attempt)
I knew that my R2R2R attempt would either be Tuesday or Wednesday. When I woke to unusually warm temperatures on the South Rim I knew Tuesday would be the day. So I crammed some Vi’s in my pockets, filled my handhelds, and took off. A prescribed burn on the North Rim led to unbearable smoke. By the time I reached Cottonwood Campground on the North Kaibab I just couldn’t take it any longer. Full account will be posted later.

Wednesday, November 7th
AM—20 Miles—4:32—4,800’—Down South Kaibab and Up Bright Angel
Since I was 14 miles and 5,000 feet of vertical short of my previous day R2R2R goal I still had a little left in the legs. So I decided to head down South Kaibab and back up Bright Angel where I would take the Rim Trail back to El Taco Blanco at the South Kaibab TH. Needless to say, I sure surprised the hell out of people who had seen me at the bottom of the Canyon on Tuesday’s run…

Thursday, November 8th
PM—5 Miles—0:37—300’—Rim Trail
Legs felt destroyed. So I decided on a little run on the flat Rim Trail just to fully assess how destroyed they were. The few rollers on the trail (especially anything downhill) was almost too much to handle. I guess three days in a row of pounding descents on South Kaibab will do that.

Friday, November 9th

Saturday, November 10th        
AM—31 Miles—4:47—2,400’—Pass Mountain 50K in Mesa, AZ
With the threat of cold, nasty, snowy weather rolling into the South Rim I decided to migrate south towards Phoenix. I found the Pass Mountain 50K race and decided that if my legs came around I would run it. The race allowed for race day entries so I had right up to the last minute to make up my mind. My legs didn’t feel good race morning, but they felt good enough. So I ran…I ran slow…But I had fun at the same time and that’s what really counts.

Sunday, November 11th

Time—16hours 9minutes
Elevation Gain—15,000 feet                                                                                                     

This week was a bit strange…Somehow it evolved from intentions of R2R2R in the Grand Canyon to “racing” a 50k in Mesa, AZ on a whim. How the hell did that happen? Just goes to show that you can never really plan anything. When you live in your truck, don’t work, and have no particular place to be on any particular day this rings more true. Admittedly, I love the spontaneous nature of the life I’ve been leading the past few months. “No plan” most definitely IS a plan. 

I was rather pleased with the beating my legs endured this week and the minimal—relatively speaking—fatigue that resulted from multiple pounding descents down the South Rim of the Canyon. Perhaps more pleasing was being able to run an above-average 50k “race” after inflicting this punishment on myself. I put quotation marks around the word race because with the exception of the first five miles or so I was never in a 50k race pace—it was more like a 50 mile race pace. My legs wouldn’t have been able to handle it at all. 

I’ve decided to try to sneak in the McDowell Mountain Frenzy 50 Mile race on December 8th before I head down to South America. This is another race put on by the guys with Aravaipa Running: Jamil and Nick. I don’t know much (well, anything) about race directing, but these guys certainly seem to know what they’re doing. So, I’m pretty excited to get out to the Phoenix area in a month or so and run another one of their races…
Smokey view from the South Kaibab TH parking lot
Usery Mountain Regional Park in Mesa, AZ
Quick start at the Pass Mountain 50K--Photo by Nick Coury
Sunrise in the desert


  1. Below freezing up here near the Republic. You may need to hibernate down in the desert for a while. But that could be considered a plan.

  2. That doesn't sound too appealing for a truck dweller. Maybe I'll "spontaneously" decide to hibernate down here. Then it wouldn't be a plan at all...