Na Pali Heights

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I’m here for a week’s vacation in Kauai– just me, myself, and my old body. I’ve got myself to entertain, and my plan is to enjoy some luxury of a trip paid for 2 years ago, to dispel some old un-needed memory baggage, and to get some hiking miles in.

On my first day, I explored the beach trail right outside the Westin Princeville- its a steep little drop o a hidden gem of a beach. And for the afternoon, it was out to the end of the highway. to the start of the long trail from Ke’e beach. I had done this hike in 1996, my first visit to hawaii. I dont seem to recall ti well, but am fairly sure I did thw full hike to the big Hanakapi’ai waterfall – today, I aimed just for the beach, 2 miles in, 2 out. Wow, did it ever feel like it was longer! It;s a fair bit of climb and drop, at least 800 feet or so of change, and some slippery spots on a trail gushing with water.

It was, though a glorious day, and the movement really felt good, something my body has not done in a while.

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Only 4 miles added to the click, but some good up and down in some moist heat.

Back in the Saddle

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I’ve actually been getting back into riding for a couple of weeks, getting used to the riding conditions (el crappo) in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area. Well, there are lovely country roads, but apparently the idea of bike lanes or even using some extra tar for shoulders is akin to heresy.

But I am now on a commitment, having signed to ride the 142km GrandFond Banff ride on August 25, 2012. The scenery there is more than enough, but its also a chance to ride with my friend D’Arcy Norman, a biker nut if there ever was one.

We rode a portion of this route when I visited last August

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and celebrated the day properly

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So now I have to start a regular routine and build up.

I am riding,

Walking the ‘thon

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Another year, another medal. I feel good about finishing yesterday’s PF Changs Marathon, and not for anything related to time, but to just sticking to it.

I decided to walk the full marathon, in final proof of this blog’s title. I stuck to my walking, and finished in 6:49 at a 15:32 minute/mile pace- I had a few splits at a 14:44 pace. I was at the half-way point around 3;23. Kind of funny as people have to run a full marathon in 3:20 to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

But no, I am not obsessed about time. I was busy looking around

For this year’s totals, we have (weak drum roll…)

  • $1355 raised for the American Diabetes Association (YAY for my sponsors).
  • 182 miles training (including the last 26.2)
  • 44.1 hours spent training (44.1 hours not snapping or face planted in front of the computer).
  • 7 pounds lost (hopefully not coming back)

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My Main Street Takes You To A Canyon

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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.

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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.

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It’s very peaceful by the creek, and a better trip might be driving down and hiking the creek.

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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.

Retired Shoes

2010/365/326 Retired Shoes
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I replaced the Nike’s I ran last year’s half marathon in with a new pair of Saucony shoes. These ones will become my new slip on and work in the yard shoes

My running shoes were definitely on the worn side, and this is good timing (I hope) to break in the new pair before January 19. I’m not too fussy about shoes- I’ve had Ascis, Saucony, and last year Nikes- none really hurt my feet and all felt good when they were new.

The bib from the Phoenix 10k I ran 2 weeks ago had a 20% coupon on Saucony shoes from Runner’s Den in Phoenix, and on Saturday I “ran” over there (I drove) and got some great help picking them out. My 20% savings went back to the store in getting some new socks and runner’s goo.

I’ve not been regularly blogging the runs here, though I do update in DailyMile (shows up on the sidebar), my Google Spreadsheet that automatically updates my totals, and since I am using RunKeeper on the iPhone, it posts an update to my Facebook page.

On Saturday, I repeated the week before’s adventure of a 2+ mile neighborhood loop and then taking the 3 mile downhill from Strawberry to Pine to meet friends for our regular breakfast at the Randall House. My sweetheart was here and drove the car down, afterward we had to drive to the Phoenix airport to send her on her way home.

I hung around Phoenix on the weekend with friends, and made excuses not to run Sunday or this morning. I was at the airport by 11 to pick up my Mom who is here for her annual Thanksgiving visit.

The weather here in Strawberry is dipping into the colder temps again, will be trying to pry time to do mid-day runs when is at least sunny and in the 50s or low 60s. Bring on the snow!

In the Groove

Cue the music….

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Today was an unexpected day on many fronts. On Monday, I drove down to Phoenix to take my Mom to the airport. We got out in time, as it was only raining (alot, clouds hanging low around the base of Mt Ord); much later there was a big dump of snow. Unfortunately, Mom’s flight out of Phoenix was later, which would mean she’s miss the one connection to Ft Myers, so they rebooked her flight for today, and I checked us in to the Hilton near the Phoenix airport.

For Mom, the hotel amenities were almost the top highlight of the trip (besides winning $120 at the casino near Payson). Last night there were major power outages; our hotel was pitch black for several hours, but the morning looked clear and bright, so I went for a run in the industrial/business park area around the Hilton, looping up past Avnet (some computer electronics firm that was hot in the late 1990s) and then south of University on 48th, circling down to near the AZ 143 / I-10 cloverleaf, and waving hello to the headquarters of the University of Phoenix.

It felt a steady pace, but was actually even better than I thought. It almost felt…. no I wont go as far as to say, “good”– I am not about to change the name of this blog!

Everything is Ready

Marathon Gear

Marathon Gear

Originally uploaded by cogdogblog.

It’s time to try and get some restful sleep before that alarm is chirping at 4:30 am. All my marathon gear is ready, fresh songs on the mp3 player. I am hoping to set out in just the singlet, mid morning today was pretty toasty warm.

The gloves I’ll toss in the gear bacg; I have some old tube socks if I need some cheap gloves.

Okay, what am I forgetting?

Oh well…. Next blog entry should be the big recap of hopefully a completed 26.2 day on the streets

At the R&R Expo
Got Gear?

Coach Dave and Julie from ADA

Geeez, such a tall Coach! Thanks Dave