Mudding Around The Cove Ranch


Today’s One Hour Active (techncialy 45 minutes, I’m working up to it!) was a mountain bike ride across the valley to a spot I’ve hiked/walked around, a private ranch called The Cove Ranch; but around it was forest jeep trails and notches to explore. There is still some snow and a fair bit of mud, so got some practice digging through the muck.

Three a Week

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Got three rides in this week, Monday (12 miles), Thursday (15 miles), and today a (semi) solid 20. Here i am just about to go down a fairly serious drop from Rustic Ridge; I had headed out Deacon Road from Fredericksburg, one of the few places with a dedicated, but intermittent, bicycle lane, and then left/north on Brooke Road.

The rout was lovely, with lots of sections through dark forests. The road is very narrow, and the traffic, was pretty patient, waiting to pass when the view was clear. This was some more hill work than I have done in a while. I’m feeling it.

So my weekly total, is less than half of the one day distance I will need in late August.

As a young lady reminded my in Canada trying to teach me how to ice skate… Baby steps. Baby steps…

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,

Rewind. Again.

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I’m back.

I ran today for the first since, oh, since February.

2010, yes.

I had planned to take a year off from the PF Changs; I was going to get into biking, spend more time hiking, paddling. And KAPUT- I did hardly none. I need to get some regular routine for exercise; my A!C’s are still in the low 7s and I want to knock them under (I just tried the home test, which is useful, registered a 7.3) and I really need to shed 20 pounds.

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Last week at a friend’s house, their Wii board rated me obese. Ouch.

But I wanted to try running silently, with no promise, before signing up for anything, or making a Big Announcement. So I charged up the iPod Nano, found my remote for the Nike+, found the neatly folded running shorts, and headed out for a short loop, expecting to collapse in a sad heap of fatigue.

For a late August Arizona day, it was delightful overcast, windy, and clean mountain air.

Actually it was not bad- pretty much my same slow pace, but I ran 1.49 miles. It’s the first step- you cannot get anywhere without doing that.

So next is to sign up again for Team Diabetes, start perstering people for pledges– and than I cannot make excuses to sit on my arse.

Gotta run. Even if I am not crazy about it.


Got My 12… or 2 Half Dozen… or 1 Short of 1/2 M

cc licensed flickr photo shared by Jeremy Brooks

Today was the Big One, the Long Run, the Big Enchilada… the longest training run for Team Diabetes. I was glad I was down in Phoenix to run this, cause on my own, isolated, I might not have done it. Or maybe it was because I told a few people I was running a dozen miles today, that I did not want to blog a lame excuse.

So I ran my 12 miles today. I’ve fallen down this training season in November on my longer runs, so my previous longest run this season might be 7 or 8. Of course, two years ago, when I was training for the Full Monty, on this day I ran 20…, but believe me, this time around, 12 was enough.

This was at the most regular Team D running spot, Granada Park off of 20th Street and Glendale Ave, although it was my first time running there this year. The route is south and east along the canal, then divert first for a clockwise circuit around the Biltmore Circle loop (past those gargantuan super mansions of the rich and demented), then east still to 32nd Street, turn around and do the same Biltmore circle in the other direction, continue back to the starting point.. but continue north/west on the canal to Northern Ave, and then back to the starting point.

I’m done with relying on my Nike+ for accurate distance- the Nano serves as a clock and a music machine, but until I can get the darn thing calibrated better, its not good (it clocked my at 13.7 miles).

I did this pretty slow (actually that seems to be my only pace), but was happy to feel a few bursts of energy around 6, 8, 11 miles, but now it just seems a fog.

From here, training enters the taper mode, but with 12 done, 13.1 should not be a big deal.

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.

Taking the Cross Train

With one painless slow run in this week, I’m not about to haul off and pound the pavements too hard yet, so this morning I took the bike out for an hour’s ride, taking care of a bank deposit as well. Again, no pain at all, on a lovely morning cruise up the Indian Bend bike trail to just north of Shea Avenue and back.

Ready to run again tomorrow.

Back in Action

After a long, long, LONG, long, long hiatus from almost all activity, propelled by a heavy work travel schedule, something big happened today.

I ran.

And there was zero pain in my shin anywhere. Even later.

Cured? Not a chance. But a bit optimistic? Heck yeah.

So I am again at a starting point, hoping maybe, just maybe to get a few summer 5ks in. And then we’ll see what happens.

I even got cross training today as our truck is in the body shop (a long story about me, a metal pole, and several thousand in body work), I had to ride my back up to the hardware store to get a new kitchen faucet.

What a day!

4 Wheels Needed for Drive Through

Turning to some bike training, I took a spin this afternoon out on the Arizona Canal… I did have something I needed to photograph for work, though that excuse may be a little thin.

I also had a prescription pick-up at the new Walgreens near us (my doc thinks a stronger antibiotic will deal with the long standing dry hacky cough I’ve more or less grown to accept), so seeing no line, I cruised up to to the drive through window; I had done this several times at the Osborn and Scottsdale Rd store when I biked to work in Tempe.

But nooooo- The lady said through the intercom that they could not serve me there due to “threats of lawsuits.” Cannot I just sign a waiver saying I wont sue? Wow, has litigation fear crept another notch. It was not a huge deal, just meant extra time feretting out a bike lock, and waiting in line in the store. Just seemed werid and another tniy example of the energy wasting car culture carrying lots of weight.

The soreness in my left leg continues to have varying pattern-[ sometimes upper shin, others lower, almost around the ankle, other times it is stiffness in the back or side of the calf. I am starting to believe I am a victim of a voodoo doll, “Enough! I yield! Stop poking those pins!”

I am trying a variety of streteching exercises, found a good resource at Shin splints: These exercises will help to strengthen your lower legs, and prevent or repair shin splint problems and Cool Running: Lower Leg Pain.

Without any running really in the last 3 weeks, it pretty much looks like January 14 will be a Half Marathon walk. I will enjoy it and it would enable me to carry my big digital camera and take lots of photos.


The running has ceased. Even with rest, my shins remained the same.

Last week, I was in San Antonio for my organization’s conference, and although I packed running shoes and gear, they never left the suitcase. There was not time, and even walking, I felt the complaints from Mr Left Leg Shin. And it was too bad, as I saw others running in the morning up and down the Riverwalk.

Today, I saw my Doctor who confirms it is likely shin splints and it needs… more rest. I am having an xray just to confirm, but I am resigned to a few more weeks perhaps off the running trails, though biking is still on the menu. I have also accepted that this year the full marathon is not likely to happen, and I will be more than happy to run or even walk if I have to, the half.

My miles on the bike today were necessary (sans car) to get to my Doctor’s office.