Recently in Trail Running Category

One of my favorite songs to play on piano as a child: Stormy Weather.

A storm advisory was release last night for this morning. Big wind, possible thunderstorms and rain were predicted for this morning. I woke up two minutes before the alarm went off and got ready, although I forgot my garmin.

On the drive to Sabino Canyon, I was getting excited seeing the dark clouds gathering over the mountains. It looked like something out of a fairy tale. I met my friend John, who I used to run with a lot, in the parking lot. I hadn't seen him in over a year; it was great to get caught up.

There's not much to say about the "run" itself. I'm definitely out of shape, and there wasn't much running occurring for most of the trek. But it felt great to be out in the wind, with a friend, enjoying our desert. I ran into another friend as we started downcanyon, who snapped a photo or two of me, so maybe I'll be able to post one later.

Two hours on the nose, I was cooked. Done! I couldn't run anymore, even though we were going downhill. We still had 2 miles to walk out. I didn't mind though. It was just too cool to be outside this morning.

Stopped by Starbucks on the way home to grab a tall nonfat mocha and reduced-fat turkey bacon, egg and cheese sandwich.

After my 10 mike hike a couple weeks ago, and again today, I took Recover-Ease supplements. I was sent a few packets months ago to sample and review on my blog, and I am only just now doing workouts that I could try these after (sorry Charlie!). I noticed after the 10 mile hike that I was not sore at all and wondered if it was due to the Recover-Ease. I took them again today and am waiting to see if they help again in the same way....I'll report back later this week!

check it out!

Not that I'm doing any trail running this week or last, nooo! But at least the swelling has gone down. I'm left with a few bruises and residual pain. Man, that surgery really knocked me on my ass.

I think I'll try heading out for a hike or two this upcoming weekend; I've got Humphreys at the end of the month that I need to be prepared for! Then it's the Run'n'Roll 8k that I've done for the last four years. And this year, I'd really like to run the corn maze 5k I keep hearing about. We'll see how my training goes as far as Pemberton...I haven't registered yet, because I want to wait and see how my knee does with higher mileage. I got a few weeks of double-digit miles, and then nothing (due to the surgery). I want to see how things go this month (and maybe next) before I register.

So I may have mentioned in the past that I'd like to go back to school (for Geology). Well, due to the rather unconventional life I've led, I never attended college. At all. So I sort of have to start at the beginning. At 30! Yikes! But I figure better to start now than when I'm 40 or 50 or 60. I've held this 12-year dream to attend college for too long; it's time to make it a reality. The local community college has a fast-track two-year degree program, where I attend one class a week, year-round, allowing me to still work full-time and get a two-year degree in, you guessed it, two years! That's great. If I tried to still work full-time and attend school part-time, it would take a lot longer than that traditional classes. So I'm working on getting that started this week. But I have to do assessments before I can register for anything. I'm wondering how well I'll do.... After I get the two-year degree, I can transfer to the University of Arizona and obtain my four-year degree in Geosciences at that point. Also at that point, I can determine if I want to continue as a Graduate student, or enter the workforce (I want to be a park ranger), or well, whatever! But first - I need to tackle the first two years.



My first "long" run since injuring myself in April was this morning; I chose to visit my old friend, Phoneline Trail, for about 4.25 miles. It was slow, hot, humid going. I want to say it was fun, or it was a blast, or it was awesome. But truthfully, it was hard and I could tell I've gained weight. Mostly, though, it was a relief. I was running trails again, running a longer distance than my weekday runs, out early on a Sunday morning like normal. Like usual. Like I've been craving for the last few months. It's the first start of my return to my routine, what gives me safety and comfort and stress relief and hope and possibility. Thank goodness.

Pi (12 weeks old)

Fuzzy (12 weeks old) aka "fuzz"
Fuzzy (aka "Fuzz")

It only took me two and a half months!

What I love about having crazy-ass runner friends: they think nothing of calling you up at 10 am on a summer morning in the desert and asking you to go on a spur-of-the-moment run in monsoon season....and I think nothing of saying, "of course!"

We headed out to Douglas Springs trailhead at the end of Speedway Blvd out near Saguaro National Park East. Mo wanted to head back to Bridal Veil falls and I wanted to experiment with my knee. It was soon apparent that Mo and Daniel were in much better shape than me, so I told them to take off to the falls - I'd turn around whenever they caught back up to me.

It was hot and muggy (noon in the desert in summer), and I'd forgotten sunscreen. The clouds danced with the sun, threatening rain (please, please! I begged), and giving wonderful cool breezes and shade at times. I was doing okay by myself, hiking mostly (up, up, up!), when I heard something big in the bushes nearby. I stopped. It stopped. I walked again. It walked again.

Mountain lion country, is all I could think.

I froze. It froze. I didn't move a muscle for five minutes. Neither did it. I slowly reached down and grabbed a rock, then lifted both arms in the air and started backing slowly down the trail. (Make yourself as big as possible, so you don't look like an easy target; walk slowly, don't run.)

Down the trail a bit I felt better, but I still didn't let go of the rock! I jogged bit once I got back down on the flats, but mostly took it easy. I hung out at the trailhead waiting for Mo and Daniel, who arrived shortly thereafter.

My knee? Felt great!

I did a little over 3 miles, and I'm guessing 500-700 feet of climbing. (I forgot my Garmin.) We followed it up with subway, a swim and rock band. All in all, a great Sunday afternoon :)



Western States is cancelled.

My heart and thoughts go out to those who trained for such a huge race. Not only is it 100 miles, it's THE 100-mile event for ultrarunners. There are a lot of questions left in the wake of the cancellation; it will be interesting to see what happens.

iRunFar has a post on making lemonade out of the news; I'm curious to see what people will have to say about what they'll do instead or how they'll use this.

On other news, I have not really been running; however, I've been going to the gym about 3 times a week and am working on strengthening my body. I've also managed to create a habit of eating 5 fruit/veggie servings a day! That's awesome. What's not so awesome is that I've also been eating some higher fat stuff in the last two weeks. So, next up: cutting the (bad) fats out.

I'm still planning on training for Pemberton 50k in February. I'm so slow - I feel like, what's the point of running short races? I'll just come in close to last, and I know I can run shorter distances. At least with longer distances, I feel like I've accomplished something. I may be slow, but I can go far! (Provided I take care of my body, which is what this summer is about.)

Ash has been on vacation with his dad. I can't wait till I get him on Saturday morning :)

Angie's shoes

How I turned 30


Angie, Barb & Daniel at the start of Angie's 30th Birthday Run!

It starts Thursday, when I learn I have 16 cavities and $5000 worth of work that needs to be done on my teeth. That’s what 12 years of no dental appointments will do to a girl. No cavities at all growing up, and then BAM! I learn I also need a root canal. I am depressed and panicked and in need of a dental plan, stat! And that root canal – can I get it done before Zane Grey? I am in so much pain! I research dental plans and come up with some possibilities to mull over the weekend. I am bummed to start my birthday this way, but I know I will find a way to pay less than the original quote and I will take care of myself from now on.

The celebration starts Friday afternoon, at work. An American Idol happy hour kicks off the festivities at 4 pm in the conference room: bread, fruit, cheese, beer, wine and a karaoke machine. The conference room door is adorned with the American Idol logo along with photos of me: Halloween as leftovers, Halloween as an ice dancer, Christmas portrait looking coyly over a shoulder, a random candid photo of my head thrown back and my mouth frozen, open with laughter. We laugh and giggle and dance and sing YMCA, Dancing Queen, Friends in Low Places.

I leave the laughter and song behind to join Chris and his nieces at his soccer game, where I spend joyful quality time with a friend's infant in a little bear outfit, holding him, snuggling him, walking him, quieting him, helping him fall asleep while both his parents run to their hearts content during the game. My friends Barb, Daniel and Mary stop by to check out the game and meet the team; Mary is contemplating joining. I return Little Bear to his parents, and head to Trader Joe's with Barb, Daniel and Mary to pick up wine, frozen pizza, cheese and crackers. At Mary and Daniel's house, we dissect the beauty queens on display at the Miss USA pageant and decide that Miss New Jersey should have won, but not just because Jersey is Barb’s “homeland,” although that is part of it. Chris joins us after the team’s post-soccer dinner and we play Cranium, try to find "Cops" on TV for Barb and try our hand at Wii before finally, at 1:30 am, heading home.

I sleep in Saturday morning, and enjoy the luxurious space of time to myself for the entire day: I read, I paint, I clean, I cook, I read some more, I shop. I can’t remember the last time I had such a long time period of me and only me to think about. I am relaxed.

At night, we join Chris's nieces, mom and dad at a posh restaurant to celebrate his dad's birthday. Us girls make sure to dress up. After dinner, we wander through the nearby outdoor upscale mall, Chris’s younger niece pretending to stalk us, his dad running the wrong way down the escalator and trying to convince me and Chris's older niece to do the same, salivating over Tiffany & Co. and BCBG Max Azria.
Sunday morning dawns windy. I am thirty, for real. All the lead up, all the anticipation, comes to bear. This is it. I am no longer in my twenties. I open my eyes to Chris singing me happy birthday softly. I am excited and ready for this new decade.

I’m also excited and ready for my birthday run. Barb and Daniel pick me and we head to Sabino Canyon. The road up Sabino - part of my favorite, Phoneline Loop - is closed till June, so we travel over to Bear Canyon and Seven Falls. The four miles out are warm and fun and full of laughter and joy.

Daniel poses at the Falls

Angie at 7Falls - it's cold!

I chase Daniel down to the base of Seven Falls, yelling that I’m going to get him! Unlike previous training runs to the Falls, I decide to take my time at the turnaround. I strip my shoes and socks off to wade in the water. Barb gingerly makes her way down to the base of the falls, choosing her way carefully, making sure to avoid tripping, falling, hurting herself on the trail. We'll make a trail runner of her yet!

Barb approaches

She joins in me in the water, then starts wandering down the slick rock. I open my mouth to warn her about just how slippery the rock gets when mixed with water when she walks into a pool and her legs slide out from under her. She splashes down, landing on her left wrist and her bum.

Barb ices her just-broken wrist

It takes us awhile to realize just how badly she is hurt. I tell her to keep the wrist in the snowmelt-fed water, to "ice" it and keep the swelling down. After a few moments, she pulls it out of the water, and a huge bump has formed. A fellow hiker at the falls introduces herself as a pediatrician; she pronounces the wrist broken. The doctor finds a stick, wraps it in medical tape and tapes the splint to Barb's broken wrist. The doctor also provides ibuprofen. After a few nervous moments of a gray-faced Barb whispering that she is going to throw up (she doesn’t), Daniel and I tie her shoes back on her feet, pack up our stuff and slowly start making our way out.

Barb's splint

Once on the move, Barb feels much better. We walk about a mile before she declares herself ready to run. We take it easy and slowly speed up as we make our way down-canyon. She keeps the broken wrist protected, held close to her heart.

One tough chick

Three hours after our start, we arrive back at the car. Barb insists on our coffee ritual after the run, and the woman behind the counter at Ike’s is shocked to hear that we are stopping there with an injured runner and have not taken her to the ER yet. She is also shocked to hear that I am thirty. You don’t look thirty, she says with a furrow in her forehead. Why, thank you!

Barb drops me off at Chris's before heading to get donuts at Mary and Daniel's. She takes her time showering before heading to the ER with Mary.

After making me blueberry pancakes, Chris takes me to see "Juno,” which I love. Ash comes back that afternoon from his weekend field trip, and the three of us head to Fuddrucker's for my birthday dinner, where Barb, Daniel and Mary join us after Barb gets out of the ER, bringing me donuts from the morning. After dinner, Ash and I take Chris home before heading to our place. Ash crashes, he is exhausted, and I finalize the dental plan I need. If I’m understanding the plan correctly, I will end up paying only $1500-$2000 for what is needed. I am relieved.

It was definitely an awesome weekend, even with the broken bone and dental woes, and I am happy to be where I am in my life.

I'm 30!


30th birthday cake, complete with pink fuzzies!

And I celebrated by taking my friends Barb and Daniel on a trail run to Seven Falls, where Barb broke her wrist. Fun times! :)

More details tomorrow.

(PS other than the wrist-breaking incident, it's been an absolutely fantastic birthday weekend. And Barb did such a great job on the four miles back to the trailhead - she even ran a good three miles on the way out! She's one tough chick :) )


angie's explored by trail running (and mixed-media art)


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