From the Back of the Pack
I might always be in the back of the running pack, but I'm addicted to it! When I miss more than a day it affects my energy, attitude, and the rest of life in general! I have had a lot of "character" building runs in the deep snow, extreme nose hair freezing cold, ankle high rain, and gale force winds over the past twenty five years and find some of those days to be the most peaceful rewarding outings of all! I'm one of those runners who is slow and steady, but goes forever and ever without ever getting tired.
April 16, 2008: Arizona
This is a live Chuckwalla!
April 8, 2008: Dry trails??
I have found one dry trail to run on and am wondering what others people have found to be dry? Park Point's nature trail has just a couple of slush spots, but no water or mud...any others like that?
How is Hartley? Lester? Chester?
April 3, 2008: Expensive Saucony shoes, but why???
For those of you who are poor like me due to the job you have or being in graduate school, I found a website that resells shoes people were unable to return to the store due to wearing them once or twice. If you have shoes you tried and they just don't fit right or they are not your style, they also take them and sell them for you...not sure how that works.
Well, I purchased a pair of those $164 Saucony paramount shoes this way for considerably less than their retail value. I had them shipped to AZ so I could use them now knowing that I will have awhile to wait before the conditions are dry enough in MN.
I am puzzled as to why the high price!? I've been a Saucony only runner for over 25 years and these shoes certainly do not impress me in any way! In my opinion, there have been many models that were much more comfortable than these! They are not bad shoes, but I fail to see how the price tag can be so high!
If anyone wants information on the website I found, please email me...but if you make a lot of money, please go to the local stores, Jarrow, Athlete's Foot, Duluth Running Company...keep our local stores in business!
April 3, 2008: Please don't Pet the Rattlesnakes
This past week was one of hiking and running up the steep mountain trails of Arizona. If someone enjoys trail running in the heat, with no shade, lost of loose sand, loose rock, with the chance of encountering fatal insects, animals, and reptiles ...this is the perfect place!
I personally love Minnesota, with the cooler temps, above 60' is too hot for me...bugs that mearly annoy, safe slithery things, and animals that are just cute and cuddly unless you mess with their young....but my parents live here, so I am down enjoying the AZ hiking and running.
If you make it down here and would like a VERY challenging hike that is short, but steep, check out Picacho Peak. I love that trail, most of it is not safe to run, but it has cables built into the rocks and goes up quite a bit in elevation, then you basically go straight down, then up again. It's a blast, but you need gloves for the cables and at least two full bottles of water with ice...it's very dry...a "dry heat"...haha..heat is heat! One guy we ran into who was going even faster than we were told us that he tested quite a few different types of shoes and the Salomon were the absolute best for gripping the dirt and stuff.
Another one that is very hard to find, but fun and kinda rustic, so rustic you can move an inch the wrong way and end up with a cactus needle in your rear! Pusch Ridge is off of Linda Vista..it's pretty much straight up, I don't think switchbacks are an AZ kinda thing, but that is ok with me because I love the challenge. This one is a blast to go up, but coming down it's all loose rock! It's interesting how on all of these trails here, just about when you think you need something to grab on to, there is a cactus conveniently located for you to do just that! I wonder how many people have done that exact thing!? Which would be better, to fall, or grab a cactus...hmmmmm? Another thing this trail had was a ton of horse doo doo...why do people pick up dog poop, but horses that use walking trails are allowed to create yet another obstacle for us!?
One of the other trails I do quite frequently is at Catalina State Park...there is a 6 mile round trip trail with glacial runoff at the top, I don't understand where the glaciers are in AZ, but that is what they tell me. Either way, when you reach the top, or as far as I normally go, you are treated to ice cold pools of water with mini waterfalls that you can cool off in. One of the interesting phenomena in AZ is that it's so incredibly dry down here, that as soon as you get out of water or sweat, it dries off!
The first day I did this trail this trip, I just hiked it...there were more people there than I'd ever seen in my years of going there so I thought there was absolutely no danger of anything biting me, stinging me, etc...well, on the way back down, my friend heard the rattle, then I saw the snake...I ran like heck! This rattlesnake was right on the trail! It was oblivious to the heavy traffic! We warned the next few people, two of which had dogs...that was only the second time I've seen one, the first one was off to the side of the road...I hope it is the last too!
We did run into two other interesting creatures which my dad told me would bite and not let go if we got them angry. I don't know if that is true, but we sure did not intend to find out! The first one was a good sized lizard like creature with a black body and an offwhite tail with rings. I'll try to put a picture of it on here. The next day we saw one that was bright orange with black spots and stripes...no picture of that one though...my dad told me they are helimonsters...I probably butchered the spelling...they sure look interesting!
Today I decided to run the same trail at the Catalinas for fun. It was hot and hard breathing going up, I only went about 35 minutes up passing those with walking sticks travelling at a snail's pace, but it's great they are out there! On the way down it was much easier, but I noticed when running in the desert, you really can't afford to get into a "zone"...it would be dangerous! You really have to concentrate on every single foot placement to ensure that it is on a stable rock without sand! You also have to be constantly alert to creatures...chameleons crossed my path quite a bit and normally scared the daylights out of me if they moved in the brush near me! It is not a relaxing type of run, but a rewarding one when it's done, you are in one piece, and have not become dehydrated, stung, or bitten by something!
There is a great running store near Catalina called All About Running...if you happen to be down here, they are really nice and have good stuff!
Just one other comment about the trails down here, there aren't any Cairons...so if you forget which way you are supposed to go...good lucik!
March 20, 2008: Chi Running
This will fill quickly and is limited on space so sign up today if you are interested!
ChiRunning Comes to Duluth
Want to learn how to run more efficiently with less injuries? Join certified ChiRunning instructor Chris Fuller when he brings his ChiRunning workshop to Duluth on Saturday, May 10.
The half-day workshop goes from 10:00 AM to 2:30 PM at Snowflake Nordic Center 4348 Rice Lake Road, in Duluth. It will cover an introduction to the basic ChiRunning focuses of posture and form. The cost will be $110 per person, and will be limited to 15 people.
Here is the schedule for the day:
• The keys to effortless and injury-free running
• The physics of running: run without using your legs
• ChiRunning® versus Power Running
• Introduction to the ChiRunning® form
• Posture, lean, lift
• Personal check-in tricks and tools
• Learning to use your gears
• Core muscle drills and exercises
• Pre-run looseners, post run stretches
• Run various speeds while conserving energy
You'll also receive takeaway materials with tips on how to build your running program with four essential workouts:
• Interval training (for technique)
• Hills (for adaptability)
• Tempo run (for efficiency)
• Long slow distance (for aerobic conditioning)
The workshop ends with a one-on-one run with Chris to allow you to ask specific questions about your technique.
For a printable PDF registration form, use this link: www.TSLevents.com/TSL/Documents/ChiRunning_Stub_Duluth2008.pdf
For a map and directions to the Snowflake Nordic Center, use this link: Snowflake Nordic Center on Google Maps
To contact Chris Fuller directly, send E-mail to: Chris.Fuller@TSLevents.com, or call 651-228-1986.