Thursday, July 19, 2012

22? Nope: 18.25 & 4 weeks 'til Ragnar

Due to continued high heat, dew points and humidity, to the treadmill I did flee! Which explains the lack of action here. However, having joined my husband for his annual national conference, I opted to take advantage of Phoenix, Arizona's "dry heat" and tackle today's 22 18.25 miles in 3 parts . . . kind of like a mini Ragnar squished into 13 hours.  I ran 12 this morning and an easy 3 in the early afternoon. Unfortunately my planned "7@7" (in homage to my Bix@6ers back home) got halved due to nagging knee pain turning SPIKY! Here's hoping whatever's happened heals in time for Ragnar . . .

While I'd hoped to be on the road by 5:30, 6:20 came 
soon enough. It was a gorgeous, quiet morning 
amid the desert pretties . . .

A view of the Faldo golf course at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge. Beyond are the
mountains of the McDowell Mountain Regional Park. 

High Street in a little development called North City that sits south of 
E. Deer Valley Drive. When the conference was here 6 years ago, 
the Marriott was surrounded by desert.

Referring back the 2006 visit, an attendee kept cracking me up calling
this particular cacti "Toenail Cactus" because it reminded him of his 
father-in-law's feet. Gross, but the way he told it? Damn funny!

Sweet, pretty, teeny tiny blooms along Deer Valley.

Getting out early made running along the normally active thoroughfare of
Deer Valley quite peaceful and enjoyable with beautiful vegetation 
bordering the sidewalks and filling the medians.

After heading east along E. Deer Valley Drive, I turned left and went south along 
N. Tatum Blvd. I love these trees! The bark was smooth like sage-colored skin.

All that development? Well, not in all parts. 
Got me in touch with some Shel Silverstein action!

After roughing it along that undeveloped section of Tatum, I ended up on 
E. Mayo Blvd. Weird. I was at the original Mayo around this time last summer
with my dad. Last Sunday marked 6 months since he died.

Eventually I left Mayo and headed back north along Tatum where I spotted 
these small pods hanging around. They reminded me of our catalpa tree back
home. The kids love using its rather large bean pods as mini swords. 

More cacti.

I liked seeing the bird nests in trees rather than the holes
pecked in cacti. I kept fearing something was going to 
crawl out of them and jump on me!

I thought this little guy was cute. I'm thinking partridge?

Not sure whether these are blooms or fruit, but I found
them quiet interesting.

From N. Tatum Blvd., I headed east on Ranger Drive. As the miles 
ticked by, the sun climbed and I began to crave shade.

A marker along Ranger Drive.

I run with headphones, but low enough so I can hear traffic and people . . .
and the rattle of a snake's tail. Yup! Of course I had to take a bunch of pictures.
When I stopped a person to ask if there were rattlesnakes in the area, he said, 
"Not around here. I've lived here 12 years and only seen one." Soooo,
I whipped out my camera and he totally gaped! BOO YA! My lucky day!!!

Another view of the McDowell Mountain Regional Park beyond the links.

Where Ranger Drive ended, undeveloped and gorgeous wild desert
stretched toward the park and its mountains.

Turning around, I headed back along Ranger and noticed movement.
Teeny, tiny little lizards. You can barely see this little guy hiding under a
yucca-like plant. I chased him for awhile but he simply was not having it!

But guess who was?!!!! My bad boy/girl sexy beast hadn't moved much,
but didn't appear nearly so pissy as when I previously passed.

My favorite part about Ranger Driver (aside from continually thinking it was
Ragnar Drive) was the lack of traffic and QUIET!

Fortunately when I got back onto N. Tatum Blvd. and started making 
my slow return, much of the earlier traffic had decreased.

I loved the pink peeking over the privacy wall.

I could never have done this morning's run without my 70oz.
Camelbak, but even that much fluid isn't enough in this arid
climate. As I passed Station 52, all was quiet. The one firefighter I
did find was cleaning and he graciously let me refill. While there, 
couldn't resist this shot of boots and pants at the ready. 
I hope they stayed that way and it was an accident/fire-free day!

Yay! My draw was finally quick enough to snap a usable shot 
of one of these cute lil' guys! (I had a ton of blurries. They're FAST!)

During tonight's foiled run along Tatum, I spotted this Jim Henson
Muppet-like hand. I shall call it "Muppet Cacti" because clearly it's having
an identity crisis. Shhh! If you listen hard enough, I think it's singing, 
"Am I a Muppet? Or am I cac...ti?"
"If I'm a Muppet, then I'm a Muppet of a cac...ti."
"If I'm a Cactiiiiiii, then I'm a Cacti of a Muppet!"

With all the singing going on, it's a wonder I spotted this egg nestled deep in 
the center of this conflicted plant. Due to darkness falling much earlier down
here, this was my final shot before the pain hit . . . ugh.

July 7th's 20.6 miles in 2 parts

The heat and humidity here in Ioway has been leaving me wrecked! Been cracking under the pressure and spending much more time on the treadmill then I care to admit, but hey! it's miles logged in preparation for August's Ragnar Relay! But TM photos are pretty boring so I apologize for the lack of posting!

This was a two-part long run, the first 17.3 on the treadmill as I worked with the machine's belt, off and on throughout. The last 3.3 was done as the sun sunk fast along the Deep Creek Dash route . . .

The Starting Line of the upcoming Aug. 25th Deep Creek Dash 5k, 
facing east near the bus stop on Center Street in Charlotte. 


I love the little hanger oners!

Park Avenue T's with 330th Ave. onto which the course takes
brief left before heading back west along Hwy. 136. I loves 
me some old timey telephone poles! I imagine ghostly
linemen climbing those steps upwards . . . 

Nice and flat . . .

. . . for a bit.

The route passes the Deep Creek Campground before climbing up
Hwy. 136 before going off-road . . . 

A little jaunt north on the back gravel path toward Mill Creek trail.

Another view . . .

With the sun falling fast and daylight expiring, it grew more
difficult to photograph the route. At the end of this path is the 
Mill Creek Bridge that runners will cross before turning
right on Case Street. Heading east until it T's with Broadway,
the route will take runners left/north through Charlotte and past
Assumption Catholic Church and beyond up the first
big hill of Co. Hwy Z2E.

Turning around, runners will enjoy a nice drop as they cruise
back into town and past Assumption toward the finish line 
at the corner of Broadway and Charles Street.
See you August 24th!!!!