Monday, July 8, 2013

Holiday in the High Country

Chuckwagon Trail
Coconino National Forest
Sedona, Arizona
Mileage - 9.5
Time - 1:20
AEG - 702ft

I spent the better part of the holiday weekend in Northern Arizona; basically as a mini running vacation in some of the most scenic areas of the state. First making a stop in Sedona on Saturday morning for a 10-mile trail run (Chuckwagon Trail - Right) followed by a refreshing swim in Oak Creek.  It was a bit warm in red rock country so I drove up 89A towards Flagstaff.  I could see the clouds coming off of Mt Humphreys in the distance and knew what was in store. From roughly 2:00 to 5:00pm, a major thunderstorm soaked the region and dropped the temperature into the 60's.  Ahh, how nice! After a relaxing afternoon downtown drinking coffee at Higher Grounds Coffee Shop then getting a bite to eat, I set up my campsite and called it a night. 

Sunday I woke up early to meet my good friend Todd at Fort Tuthill for a 20 mile run.  I'm not sure who was more excited for the next 3 hours of running at 7,000ft, but we were both eager to get started!  Beginning at the fort, we ran North on the urban trail to the Sinclair for a total of 5.6 miles (same as last week) until reaching a dirt road that connected to the Arizona trail near Fisher Point.  It was this stretch that reminded me just how much I love the trails in Arizona (pictured left)!  We exchanged trail for road at the Canyon Vista Campground and ran 5 miles on pavement.  I recall telling Todd this was going to be the toughest part of our run and sure enough it kicked both of our butts.  Running hills at 7,000ft requires a bit of effort to say the least, especially in the final miles of a long run.  All in all, this was a fantastic run and great training for my August marathon. 

Todd running along Sandy's Canyon Trail

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