Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My Lungs are on Fire

I've been out here a month, hard to believe. Running on flats is now doable but doing workouts, running uphill, or into the wind causes a severe burning in my lungs as opposed to my legs. The workout tonight really made my lungs scream as I felt like I was running uphill or into the wind the whole time. Luckily the sunsets that occur during workouts serve as a distraction as they are orange, purple, and red making for a great show. What's still a bit annoying is if I go up a flight of steps too fast I am out of breath for at least a minute afterward.

I hope to put something up about the Soulstice race I did 2 weekends ago but first I'll talk about a non running event I did last Sunday. Leaf peeping on Waterline. Waterline is a gravel trail that goes up a mountain for 8 miles and puts you into the inner basin. The path is lined with aspen trees which at this time of the year are changing colors, so very beautiful. Then the inner basin is a kind of meadow in the mountain with amazing views of trees and the peaks. While the scenery was great so was the journey. If you could imagine something like hubs of fury on mountain bikes on a gravel trail you may get an idea. There was a total of 19 of us, and 2 bikes had trailers with coolers to tote up plenty of beer, wine, whiskey, and the picnic that was devoured on top. Every mile or so people stopped to take shots of whiskey and put new beers in their water bottle cages. We even did the equivalent of whiskey water stops for people passing us as we took shots by running next to them and handing the bottle of whiskey off to them for a gulp. At the top an amazing assortment of foods was layed out cheese & crackers, prosciutto, brownie bites, vegetables, apples & caramel, and tons of other things. At the top the first bottle of whiskey was finished, 1 but possibly 2 bottles of wine and tons of beer. Then the fun part going back down 8 miles on a gravel road. All in all a great time and a reminder that drinking and bike riding are a great combo. I'm still trying to get ahold of all the pictures that were taken of this event, once I do I'll be sure to post a few.

Well this weekend I'm back in Baltimore for my cousins wedding, I'm interested to see how I feel running back at sea level. Well this is it for now as I get more settled I hope to post more regularly but for now it'll be when the mood strikes. Hope to see and run with a few of you this weekend.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I'm not in Baltimore any more

I know I'm not in Baltimore because:
  • Instead of seeing rats while walking to the bars I saw 2 skunks and had to very quickly run away from the one that was coming at me as it raised it's tail (apparently skunks and foxes are normal to see in the downtown area)
  • The first night I walked out the door I was amazed by all the stars I could see
  • There are bike lanes all over town and it's actually easy to ride from one part of town to another
  • People obey traffic signs and speed limits
  • everyone is very active
  • it is common for people to not have tv, rather if they have them they are for dvd playing only
  • you can apparently get a permit to just live in the woods in the summer
  • people are very friendly, I'm not used to this yet
  • At ladies 80's everyone seemed to be dancing whether they were good or bad and people really made an effort to dress 80's (and this is apparently a weekly occurence) prob helps that the drinks are .25
  • There is no Natty Boh (nobody's heard of it) or Yuengling
People know I'm new to town
  • I prefer riding on the shoulder of 66 to taking the back roads or some dedicated bike lane, which I have yet to figure out how to use
  • I don't have a mountain bike
  • I'm already commenting on how cold it is here
  • I don't know the staple locations as I say and where is that and am usually given a it's close to and I then have to ask where that is
  • It's a small town and I'm a new face
  • Also when my car arrives it's not a Subaru and it does not have all wheel drive

Settling In

I've been in Flag for a little over a week and I am finally starting to get a bit settled in. The first weekend was a bit rough because all I had was what I brought in my suitcases and I really only knew 2 people in town and had no tv and no internet. I managed to do the flagstaff half marathon which proved to be my slowest half marathon ever but it was a good taste of what running would be like up here, hard.
I attempted a track workout on Tuesday but it ended up with running ast for a min and then jogging for a min which I was fine with. Wednesday was Ladies '80s followd by some weird heaven and hell event in a bar where people can dance on the bar. Ladies '80s was good as I met some people and dance and sing to '80s music.
Friday brought around a usual happy hour type event and my friends slideshow where he had a new batch of home brewed beer that was pretty tasty.
Saturday I managed to make it to the highest point in Arizona, Humphreys (12,633), in looking at the trail stats its 9 miles round trip and a gain of 3333ft. I hiked up with one other person and the views from the top were amazing, you could see for miles around in each direction and see where the trees were changing colors. We didn't stay up there long as it was very cold and the winds were gusting to a point where I thought I could get blown off the mountain. Once we got back to tree line we shed our layers and ran down. I have a feeling a lot of my longer days will be like this with hike/running up and then running back down. The total time round trip was about 4 hours with probably 2:20 up, 15 min of stop time andthe rest for the way back down.
Today there was an event called War Dog which is a trail run where you gain 3000ft it used to be a race but now it's more or less an annual event. The trail takes you through aspen groves which were beautiful today as they are starting to change colors. The skies were very overcast and there was some rain showers so I only did about 1.6 miles and turned around with the people I got a ride with. They were saying there could be snow at the top which would be exciting.
Now I'm back to unpacking my things and buying bike parts online because none of the bike shops in town have 650 tires or tubes.