Whiskey Row Marathon 2014

Whiskey Row Marathon 2014

Thank-you Prescott for hosting another amazing Whiskey Row Marathon for 2014. I want to congratulate everyone who ran in the races. Also, I want to extend a very special thank-you the event organizers, the aid station volunteers, and to the friends and family that supported us.

It was an exciting and challenging race this year. I felt very strong throughout the entire race and I did a great job of managing my hydration. The only major challenge I encountered this year was around mile 19. I was running quickly down a steeper part of Copper Basin road while attempting to navigate a turn. A misplaced foot caused me to slip on loose gravel. I then took a forward flip on to the side of the road into the bushes. The fall knocked the wind out of me and blooded me up a bit. :-)

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After about a 10 min break to regain my breath and work through what happened. I felt strong enough to push myself the to the finish. I got back to 100% on the last 3 miles to finish very strong.

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Lately running has really been testing me. I have recently had more than my share of crappy runs. It has been about 2 1/2 years since I started running and for the most part I have had no real challenges; things have come very easy.

As I reflect on the race and the past several weeks of runs I see that having shitty runs and learning how to work though them is teaching me a lot more about myself then any other previous running experience. It is helping me develop some great physical as well as mental tools for dealing with challenges. Tools I hope will help me on my next major challenge

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Happy Trail Running
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Circle Trail #332

Circle Trail #332

Circle Trail #332 rises and falls over the hilly terrain of Arizona’s central highlands. Exposed slopes of chaparral and pinyon-juniper woodland are interspersed with shady groves of ponderosa pine where a variety of bird calls can be heard ringing out from among the trees. Great views of both Thumb Butte and Granite Mountain. This trail is another segment of the larger Prescott Circle Trail.

This trail is a lot fun to run with a nice set of switchbacks over ridges and around river beds. Since the elevation is fairly consistent throughout the entire trail, you can pretty much run the entire trail with very little hiking required. Some parts of the trail are more technical with the standard Prescott trails boulders and granite rocks on the trail, but overall a nice smooth trail.

Elevation: 5,787’ ft (low) – 6,082’ ft (high)
Length: 7.2 miles (roundtrip)
Skill Level: Intermediate

Directions: Google Map Driving Directions
Circle Trail 332

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Happy Trail Running :-)

Goldwater Lake Trail #396

Goldwater Lake Trail #396

The Goldwater Lake trail #396 is a forested trail shaded by dense stands of ponderosa pine that occasionally give way to alligator juniper and chaparral-type vegetation. The trail has amazing views of Goldwater Lakes and the Bradshaw and Sierra Prieta ranges. Trail #396 climbs hills and ridges through a series of switchbacks over valleys green with Gambel oak.

Most of the trail is fairly smooth soft forest soil, but parts of the trail are more technical with boulders and beautiful white granite. The trail starts with a stead accent before reaching the top of the first ridge then drops down into Bannon Creek. Most of the trail is shaded by the dense ponderosa which provides great relief on hotter days.

Elevation: 5,658’ ft (low) – 6,160’ ft (high)
Length: 8.5 miles (round trip)
Skill Level: Intermediate
Directions: Google Map Driving Directions
Direction to Wolverton Mountain Trail #9415

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Happy Trail Running :-)

Feb 10 – 16

Feb 10 – 16

02/10/2014
Mon-PM: 1:20, Elevation Low: 6449′ High: 7193, Total Gain: 785′ ~ Prescott, AZ
Up and back on Mount Francis with Lisa.

02/12/2014
Wed-PM: 0:30, Elevation Low: 5630′ High: 6286′, Total Gain: 652′ ~ Prescott, AZ
Quick lunch run up front side and down back side of Thumb Butte. Very warm day, felt like summer.

02/13/2014
Thurs-PM: 1:01, Elevation Low: 6319′ High: 6991′ , Total Gain: 672′ ~ Prescott, AZ
Drove to the top of the Sierra Prieta and ran down and back up the Sierra Prieta Trail. Very warm day around 68F. Felt very strong throughout the entire run.

02/16/2014
Sun-PM: 2:30, Elevation Low: 5510′ High: 7230′ , Total Gain: 1720′ ~ Prescott, AZ
Up and back on Granite Mountain. The cloudy warm day made for a perfect run.

Hours: 5h21m
Vert: 3,829′

Great week of some good vertical climbs. Felt 100% back in strength from being sick, but felt a little heavier. I think I got a bit out shape over the past few weeks from the reduced training volume. Going to kick up the training schedule and tighten up the diet with more of a Paleo focus for the next few weeks to get back in running weight :-)

Feb 3 – 9

Feb 3 – 9

02/03/2014
Mon-PM: 1:10, Elevation Low: 6449′ High: 7193, Total Gain: 785′ ~ Prescott, AZ
Up and back on Mount Francis. Still recovering from being sick. Felt kind of slow and it was very cold.

02/04/2014
Tue-PM: 1:07, Elevation Low: 6449′ High: 7193, Total Gain: 785′ ~ Prescott, AZ
Another run up Mount Francis. Feeling a little stronger, but was another cold afternoon.

02/05/2014
Wed-PM: 0:58, Elevation Low: 6449′ High: 7193, Total Gain: 785′ ~ Prescott, AZ
Decided I would just run Mount Francis this week. Felt strong and fast.

02/06/2014
Thurs-PM: 1:02, Elevation Low: 6449′ High: 7193, Total Gain: 785′ ~ Prescott, AZ
Last run of the week. Might have pushed it to hard, because I started to feel crappy after the run. I am still not 100% back after getting sick, still have some upper respiratory congestion.

Hours: 4h17
Vert: 3140
Felt stronger mid-week, but started to get a bit of a relapse of sinus and nasal issues at the end of the week. I hope to be fully back next week.

Jan 27 – Feb 2

Jan 27 – Feb 2

01/27/2014
Mon-PM: 1:00, Elevation Low: 6449′ High: 7193, Total Gain: 785′ ~ Prescott, AZ
Afternoon run up Mount Francis. Very warm afternoon, felt like summer. Was very strong and fast, shaved 8 min off my last roundtrip time.

01/28/2014 – 01/31/2014
No running, fought a tough chest cold. Really bad timing with the Sedona Marathon over the weekend.

02/01/14
Sat-AM: 2:36, Elevation Low: 4,375′ High: 4,612′, Total Gain: 961′
Sedona Marathon, still had a slight fever on Saturday morning so I made last minute decision to not run the full marathon, but instead run the half and support my wife by pacing her to shave 2 min off her last year time.

Hours: 3h36
Vert: 1746
Getting sick really destroyed my week and Sedona marathon prep, but the plus was I got to run an entire race pacing my wife, it was so much fun running together :-)

Jan 20 – 26

Jan 20 – 26

After moving up to the mountains last July I pretty much gave up road running in favor the more exciting mountain trail running. This change made me realize that using my GPS to track my pace and mileage really did not provide a lot of value. When running the mountains I really only care about the amount of time running and the elevation gain. For example, over the last 6 months I have spent 77 hours in the mountains with a total vertical gain 38,485 feet.

With this new mindset I decided to throw out my Garmin forerunner and switch to using the Highgear Alti-XTss watch/altimeter. It has a barometric altimeter which calculates altitude based on barometric pressure, not GPS, which is a more accurate type of tool for tracking vertical gain.

So my plan now is to just post a weekly log of my elevation low, high, and total gain.

01/21/2014
Tue-PM: 0:40, Elevation Low: 377′ High: 400′, Total Gain: 23′ ~ Irving, TX
Short out and back near hotel. Not a very hospitable place to run, but found a short grass path along the canal under all the freeway over passes.

01/22/2014
Wed-AM: 1:05, Elevation Low: 427′ High: 451, Total Gain: 24′ ~ Arlington, TX
Fun morning run with co-workers from Portland and Madison at River Legacy Park.

01/26/2014
Sun-AM: 1:08, Elevation Low: 6308′ High: 7102, Total Gain: 794′ ~ Prescott, AZ
Back from Texas and loving being back in the mountains. Broke away from Sunday birthday activities for a mid morning run up Mount Francis. Very warm morning, felt tired at start, but gained my strength around 35min into climb.

Hours: 2h53
Vert: 851
Had to travel this week to DFW for work so did not get in much running. Will be spending the next few days getting in some longer runs then plan to tapper off Thursday to rest up for the Sedona Marathon on Feb 1st.

Granite Mountain Trail #261

Granite Mountain Trail #261

Granite Mountain Trail #261 is part of a network of trails serving the Granite Mountain Wilderness. This area is sanctuary for a diversity of wildlife, such as javelina, deer, foxes, as well as snakes, lizards, and a variety of Southwestern birds. The trail travels upward through open chaparral and boulders before climbing steeply into pinyon-juniper and ponderosa pine forest. There are a number of remarkable vistas that offer breathtaking views of the city of Prescott, Thumb Butte, Mount Francis, Sierra Prieta, and Watson Lake. This trail goes past peregrine falcon nesting sites on the south flank of Granite Mountain.

The first 2 miles of the trail allow for a fairly quick paced run as you travel westward from the trailhead into the Granite Mountain Wilderness area. Once you reach Blair Pass the very steep rocky series of switchbacks slows your run to a slow trot or fast paced hike as you climb to the summit of Granite Mountain. The westside of Granite Mountain is showing some signs of recovery from the destructive Doce Fire last June, but it will take several more seasons for the full beauty of the granite forest to be restored.

Elevation: 5,596’ (low) – 7,220′ (high)
Length: 8 miles (round trip)
Skill Level: Advanced

Directions: Google Maps Driving Directions
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Happy Trail Running :-)

Mount Francis

Mount Francis

Mount Francis is a 7,110 feet (2,167 m) mountain which is part of the Sierra Prieta mountain range. The Sierra Prieta’s are a 14-mi (23 km), long mountain range in central-northwest Arizona. Mount Francis is the highest peak in the south which borders the Bradshaw Mountains.

To run to the summit of Mount Francis start at the Aspen creek Trail #48. After 2.7 miles turn right on to the East Copper Trail #260. Follow trail 260 until reaching the Mount Francis access road which will lead to the radio towers at the top.

The accent to the summit covers 4 miles of very steep technical trail. In the winter large portions of the shade cover sections of Aspen Creek trail are covered in snow. The trail climbs up over several smaller ridges as you move from the northern trail head around the eastern side to access the service road on the southwest side of Mount Francis.

Mount Francis provides amazing panoramic views of Bradshaw Mountains, Prescott, Granite Dells, San Francisco Peaks, Granite Mountain, and Skull Valley.

Elevation: 6,409’ (low) – 7,110′ (high)
Length: 8 miles (round trip)
Skill Level: Advanced

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Happy Trail Running :-)

Cold Springs Trail #393

Cold Springs Trail #393

Cold Springs Trail #393 in the Prescott National Forest climbs steeply from its trailhead on Copper Basin Road to a ridge toward Thumb Butte and the Sierra Prieta Overlook. On this run the trail still had a large amount of snow, but the warm high altitude sun of the day has started to melt most of the snow. The melting snow made the trail much more technical due to the ice and mud, but a lot of fun!

Elevation: 6,223’ (low) – 6,507′ (high)
Length: 3 miles (round trip)
Skill Level: Moderate

Directions: Google Map Driving Directions
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Happy Trail Running :-)

Season of the trail

Season of the trail

One of amazing things of living in a small mountain community filled with endless trails is with the change of each season a new trail is born. Now that winter is here the rocky very technical trails of the summer are reborn into amazingly fast trails that feel more like skiing than trail running. One such trail is the Centennial Trail.

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Happy Trail Running :-)

Aspen Creek Trail

Aspen Creek Trail

Now that I have ran the majority of the Mile High Trail System trails I have been having fun combining the trails to make more interesting runs. One of my frequent trail runs combines Aspen Creek Trail and Butte Creek Trail.

Aspen Creek Trail is a very technical one mile trail that follows a portion of Aspen Creek while paralleling the Hassayampa golf course. Like the Butte Creek Trail this trail is a very technical trail run with large boulders and sharp rocks to navigate as you make your accent up toward Hassayampa Village Ln. Once you reach the road you make a short decent toward Stricklin Park to connect to the Butte Creek Trail.

Elevation: 5500’ (low) – 5600’ (high)
Length: 2 miles (round trip)
Skill Level: Advanced

I live in west Prescott (1 mile from Aspen Creek Trail) so overall from my home these two trails are a nice 7 mile round trip run.

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Happy Trail Running :)

Wolverton Mountain Trail #9415

Wolverton Mountain Trail #9415

The Wolverton Mountain Trail #9415 is part of the Prescott Circle Trail and connects the Goldwater Lake Trail (#396) with the Aspen Creek Trail (#48). It is a mostly single track through pine forest and low scrub which gradually climbs by White Spar and Wolverton Mountain.

Running the single track part of the trail is mostly smooth switchbacks with a few rocks, but once you reach the service road up White Spar and Wolverton mountain it gets very technical with large sharp granite rocks over a very steep climb.

Elevation: 5,643’ ft (low) – 6,670’ ft (high)
Length: 11 mi (round trip)
Skill Level: Advanced
Directions: Google Map Driving Directions
Direction to Wolverton Mountain Trail #9415

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Happy Trail Running :)

Granite Gardens Trails

Granite Gardens Trails

Granite Gardens Trails is a network of trails with steep ups and downs. It mixes trail running, hiking, and bouldering with amazing views of the Granite Dells.

Elevation: 5,046’ ft (low) – 5,175’ ft (high)
Length: 1.5 mi
Skill Level: Advanced
Directions: Google Map Driving Directions
Directions

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Happy Trail Running / Bouldering :)

Iron King Trail

Iron King Trail

The Iron King starts in Prescott Valley and follows an old railroad bed from Glassford Hill Road into Granite Dells. The trail is 4 miles (one way) which connects with the Peavine Trail of Prescott.

The Iron King trail is a wide smooth trail that makes a slow accent from Prescott Valley to Prescott. During the heavy monsoon season the lower elevation parts of the trail can be muddy or washed out as the water collects toward the river bead near Glassford Hill Road. As you start the run you will be greeted by grazing antelope and cows as the trail cuts though open grasslands.

Elevation: 4997’ (low) – 5202’ (high)
Length: 8 miles round trip
Skill Level: Intermediate
Directions: Google Map Driving Directions
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Iron King

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Happy Trail Running :)

Jan Alfano to Willow Lake Trails

Jan Alfano to Willow Lake Trails

The Jan Alfano Trail is a part of a network of trails in northwest Prescott. The Jan Alfano Trail is a short switchback single track trail that connects to part of the larger Prescott Circle Trail. This trail is a large double track that runs along a narrow mesa. The Prescott Circle Trail connects to the Embry Riddle Trail which is another switchback track trail that drops down off the mesa under Willow Lake Road to connect to the Willow Lake Trails.

The network of trails provide amazing views of Granite Mountain, Thumb Butte, Granite Dells, and Willow Lake.

Elevation: 5120’ (low) – 5260’ (high)
Length: 4.5 miles round trip
Skill Level: Intermediate
Directions: Google Map Driving Directions

Directions

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Happy Trail Running :)

Vista Park Trails

Vista Park Trails

The Vista Park Trails System is a network of trails in the Prescott Lakes Community of northern Prescott. The trails are comprised of the Vista Trail, Panorama Trail, and Petroglyph Trail. The trails are very technical to run with sharp rocks and large boulders as you navigate to the top of the mesa.

The Vista Trail is a 6 ft wide trail which connects to the Panorama Trail. Once you reach the Panorama Trail it is a single track trail that climbs steadily up towards a mesa. The trail then intersects Solstice Dr, which is a short steep road climb that connects to the Petroglyph Trail. The Petroglyph Trail climbs the remainder of the way to the mesa top, where you can find unprecedented views of northern Prescott and a petroglyph site.

Elevation: 5200’ (low) – 5470’ (high)
Length: 2.5 miles round trip
Skill Level: Advanced
Directions: Downtown Prescott to Vista Park
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Happy Trail Running :)

Mountain Weather

Mountain Weather

One of the amazing things about living in the mountains is how quickly the weather can change. I decided to run from my house to and up Thumb Butte. It can be reached by running up Thumb Butte Road which is a paved road that quickly climbs in elevation as it runs west toward Thumb Butte Recreation area in the Prescott National Forest.

The run started with a clear sky and warm day. Once I reached the mountain, clouds started rolling in and I was in the middle of heavy monsoon rain. The trail quickly turned to mud and the temperature dropped fast. It was so much fun running up the mountain in the rain, but was hard to see as my sun glasses were blurry with all the water.

Once I started to hear the thunder and see lighting flashes I knew it was time to head back down the mountain.

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Happy Running :)

Peavine Trail

Peavine Trail

The Peavine trail was formerly a railway path built by the Santa Fe Railway in 1893 that was converted to the Prescott Peavine National Recreation Trail. The trail has amazing views of Watson Lake and Granite Dells, as well as, wildlife viewing along the entire trail.

The trail is flat with smooth soft dirt with very few large rocks. A great trail for doing longer faster training runs.

Elevation: 5160’ (low) – 5220’ (high)
Length: 12 miles round trip
Skill Level: Beginner to Advanced (running round trip)

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Happy Trail Running :)

Rancho Vista Trail

Rancho Vista Trail

The Rancho Vista Trail is a beautiful technically challenging trail to run in southwest Prescott. The trail starts at around 5600 feet and makes a very steep accent to over 6000 feet in just under .5 miles. The Rancho Vista Trail climbs over a series of switchback trails that take you above the tree line to reveal beautiful majestic views of all of Prescott and Bradshaw mountain range.

I ran about 1.5 miles up which took me into the Prescott National forest trails, which go on for miles. The trail is so steep in parts that you are doing a slow trot or fast hike, but running back down was amazingly fast and fun, you feel like an alpine skier jumping and sliding down the mountain.

Elevation: 5680’ (low) – 6052’ (high)
Length: .6 miles (one way) + Prescott National forest trails
Skill Level: Advanced
Directions: Google Maps: Rancho Vista Trail

Rancho Vista Trail

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Happy Trail Running :)

Watson Lake Loop Trail

Watson Lake Loop Trail

The Watson Lake Loop Trail circles Watson lake through a network of connecting trail segments. The Northshore trail covers rocky steep terrain, the Over the Hill trail covers rocky and slightly more moderate terrain, and the Peavine and Lower Granite Creek Trail are flatter softer trails.

The Watson Lake Loop Trail is an amazing and challenging trail run. I started the loop at the southern part of the lake on the Lakeshore segment of the trail which is a beautiful wooded section of the trail. The trail then moves though the network of trails that traverse the large granite boulders of the Dells. This is where the trail becomes very challenging as you climb and jump across rocks as you make your accent around the northern part of Watson Lake.

Elevation: 5075’ (low) – 5237’ (high)
Length: 4.79 miles
Skill Level: Advanced

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Happy Trail Running :)

Willow Lake Loop Trail

Willow Lake Loop Trail

The Willow Lake Loop Trail consists of great sweeping views, technical rock hopping, steep steps, and prolific bird watching. Most of the trail is above the high water mark, but the East Bay Trail segment is not accessible at high water.

Most of the Willow Lake Trail is flat single track until you reach the Red Bridge Loops segment; which has very technical rock hopping and steep steps. Due to the recent monsoon rains the East Bay Trail segment was beautiful with large overgrown grass and amazing wild sunflowers.

Elevation: 5073’ (low) – 5225’ (high)
Length: 5.7 miles
Skill Level: Intermediate – Advanced

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Happy Trail Running :)

Pioneer Park Trails

Pioneer Park Trails

The Pioneer Park Trails are a series of color-coded trails ranging in length form 1.68 miles to 6.08 that provide amazing views of Granite Mountain and the Granite Dells. The network of trails are mostly flat that traverse over large grass covered hills. The Pioneer Park Trails have great accessibility which make them very popular trails for hikers, runners, and mountain bikers.

Elevation: 5220’ (low) – 5480’ (high)
Length: 9 miles
Skill Level: Intermediate

Pioneer Park Trails

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Happy Trail Running :)