Today was Long Training Day. I was not feeling up to waking at 4:30am to join the Team D training, so I was only my own to pick a 20 mile route. One option was to repeat the loop I did two weeks ago around Strawberry Mountain, but double back to repeat the loop (done that one, not too inspired). Another plan was to start in Pine and follow Highway 87 almost all the way to Payson. Walking on a narrow shoulder on a well traveled highway was not sounding thrilling at all.
Plan C was to follow the main street in Strawberry, Fossil Creek Road, all the way out of town (I had down a 4 mile outward trip last month)- 10 miles would take me all the way down the steep switchbacks to the bottom of Fossil Creek Canyon. I was a bit wary of being far out of range should I need help, but thought it was not much different than taking the hiking trail down and back up, something I’ve done quite a few times.
It ended up being 19 miles in total, but I figure I traded that one last mile for doing an 1800 foot descent into the Canyon and the same ascent outward. Here’s the map from RunKeeper:
I’m glad I opted for the warmer top layer as it was pretty cold in the shadows going down, and the sun was reluctant to show until after mid-day.
I only saw one car on the road all the way down; there were a few parked at the first parking area where you can access the river. I forgot how far down it looked when you started- coming around that forst curve at the top of the Canyon, you cannot even see the river at the bottom. I measured it as 4 miles from that first view, but really its about a 5 1/2 mile down hill from the top elevation past the last houses in town.
But I made it to the river, and took a short rest and snack.
It’s very peaceful by the creek, and a better trip might be driving down and hiking the creek.
But I had a mission and had to get myself home, so I put the legs in low gear and trekked upward. Actually the pace felt good climbing out, and maybe I got lost in thought or music, but the trip out seemed shorter.
I’m glad I clocked the long walk in- and oh are my legs tight now, but I feel pretty good.
With the longer time planned on route for the big walk and the trainings, I’ve made a few gear adjustments. To have my iPhone bater last, I am using it solely for tracking the route with the RunKeeper app. Before leaving, I turn off wireless, 3G data, notifications, and quit all apps in memory. I figure I get about 3 hours to a charge. But I have added an Splash O2 Lite battery case, which adds an extra full charge. It’s similar in function to the Mophie I had for my iPhone 3G- the Splash specs seem like a bit more juice. The downside is that it means I have to stretch the rubber case on my Tuneband carrier to get the thing on my arm strap. For music, I am using my IPod Nano 3G, which has batter life galore. So my arm band is geeked out.
I was somewhere 10% battery left when I got back after 5 1/2 hours, so I dont know what to do for the Marathon day. I will either charge of my Solio charger so I can charge the phone or consider getting s Second Splash unit.
I am carrying my pocket Canon for doing photos- I really want to use the iPhone only for running the GPS tracking.
It’s all downhill now in the training taper.