Circles in the Woods

I’ve been doing a very slow ramp up to running, doing some 20 minute runs with my new Nike+ setup (which I love, and strapping an iPod Nano to the arm is lightweight). But oh, am I out of running shape! I’m lucky if I can go 1.5 miles without starting some walk breaks.

I’m also doing some bike riding to toss in the mix, part of a challenge for tracking miles some friends are doing at DailyMile. There certainly are more exercise tracking sites than the last time I was in training, and I am using the Daily Mile widget to be my overall training tracker (left side) in addition to the Nike+ widget too (juts running).

Another new tool I am really liking is RunKeeper for the iPhone which uses its GPS to track activity on a map, record lap speeds (every mile) and even generate a topography profile. I used it for a bike excursion today from the RimTop trail Head (30 miles east of Payson just as you crest the Rim, first pull off on the Rim Road). What a wacky loop I did today:

First of all I took the narrow track on the Rim’s edge, which was really rocky and called for more walking, but I did get some great view off the Rim of Thunderstorms rolling in the distance. A whole group of kids and adults in a group kept warning me of the hard trail ahead… and they were right, so I doubled back to the main road, and went out to the Miitary Sinkhole viewpoint. From here, I decided to follow the trail signs north and pick up the General Gook Trail back towards my start point. I was following trail blazes, and kept criss crossing a gravel road/path, and at one point, it felt like I was going way off to the north, so I started back the opposite way, and darned if I did not recognize that I had already come out the road, and I was going way back to where I had already been!

I decided to bush whack towards the pave RIm Road using my internal compass, which I might have been doubting) but I could hear the traffic on the road. So I ended up crusing back on the paved road.

And what a laugh I got when I saw my tracked run! I was literally 1/4 mile from my start point when I turned away and went in the opposite direction!

Oh well, got a good 90 minutes of heart pumping going. And the forest was lovely on the back roads.