Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Merry Christmas everybody. I hope your day was filled with gratitude and joy. The holiday season usually brings together awkward family gatherings with family members who haven't spoken in quite some time, or just simply don't get along. May we go beyond that for a moment. Lets realize the true meaning of Christmas. Compassion, love, the gift of giving...Not in the commercial sense that makes people feel they have to empty their wallet on the newest electronic gadgets or talking stuffed animal. This is the time to give in order to receive. I hope that for just this day, we can all be in peace with ourselves and our family.
Unfortunately I wouldn't be around my family this year. It seems that each year, there is always one family member missing. I missed the morning when my nieces and nephews get an early start to see what Santa has brought them. The Joys of watching little kids open gifts!
My day would be spent in nature. Today would actually be my longest solo unaided run to date. I would head east out of town and connect with the Arizona Trail. My original plans of starting at Parker Canyon Lake and running west into town changed due to the inability to get a ride this morning. I woke early, 6:15, got dressed and was ready to start my adventure. I opened the door and the cool air held me back. I would wait an hour until some of the frost gave way. It is so nice to be able to run in shorts here in late December, but I won't say it doesn't get cold around these parts. So around 8 am I made my way down Harshaw road 3 miles until I reached the trail. I was originally hoping to make it to through the Canelo West Pass and come out to a dirt road which separates the western pass with the eastern pass. From my house it would be 17.5 miles to that point. It was slow goings for the first half of the run. I wanted to stay comfortable and hydrated throughout the run so that I wouldn't hit the wall halfway through my run and create a longer run that is was already going to be. I wound through the single track trails all the while enjoying the warm sun beating upon my face. I felt so in tune with my body. You reach a point where you don't have to think about breathing and reach a state of meditation. Hills come and go and time passes by but nothing seems to matter. Running to me is such a simple sport. A good pair of shoes makes your feet happy and some water can keep you going longer but all you really need to do is put your body in motion.
One of the only downfalls of the southern portion of the AZ trail is the amount of trash I came across. These trails are heavily used by illegal immigrants and the accumulation of garbage along the trail proved that. Plastic bottles and clothing where seen throughout the run. It is amazing to see what some people will go through in order to make it to the US.
There where a few incidences where I would have a run in with free range cattle. Some times you would turn a corner and a thousand pound bull is standing 10 ft away from me. Lucky for me they generally where scared away by my footsteps. So at around 3:30 hrs I would make it about 1-2 miles from the dirt road. I wound up turning back due to the amount of thorny bushes that lined the single track trails. My legs where taking a beating and I could not continue any further. I had a lot more energy on the way back and made it back to Harshaw Road in less than 2.5 hrs!! So about 6 hrs and at least 50k traveled, not bad. I returned home, took a long hot shower and found the comforts of my bed. I have realized the benefits of rest after a long workout, and my body thanked me.
Food Consumed Today
handful dried apricots
close to 1.5 liters of water with lemon
2 20 oz bottles of water blended with celery+banana
Certainly not enough recovery food...
May the New Year, bring you all peace,love, joy, bliss, and more meaningful moments!!