Posted by: cadavidson | September 10, 2014

Jerome 2014

Last year, I had my best race ever in Jerome – first place over. Read about that edition here. I knew it would be very difficult to defend my first place from last year. I’m not fast enough that I can just beat anyone, so me getting first place overall has a good deal to do with who shows up and who doesn’t.


We had a nice group riding up with us early the Sunday morning before Labor Day. My wife, daughters, and both of their boyfriends – I mean, one boyfriend each, not two for each! I’m a stickler on leaving on time, or more precisely I’m a stickler on being one of the first people, or in many cases, the first person to the race parking lot. So, I’m always pretty antsy race morning when I have to wait for multiple groups to arrive in order for us to depart. Especially when the race requires a drive of more than hour. This year one of the parties arrived early (yay for you), the other party was about 20 minutes late (shame on you). Fortunately, I’ve learned to tell people I need to leave 15-30 minutes before I actually do, so I have a built in buffer.

Nevertheless, we arrived at the top of the hill in the old mining town of Jerome at 7:00, race start time was 8:00, so I had the perfect amount of time to visit the porta-jon, get my race bib, and get a short warm-up in all before 8:00.

The race started promptly at 8:00. My daughter’s boyfriend Juan participated this year after spectating last year. The first mile of the race climbs 280 feet. Much of that is within the first .5 mile. I ran 6:54 for this mile. There was a pretty quick starting group this year. I’d guess that during the first mile there were 10 of us all within a few seconds of each other. Once over the initial dirt road climb, the course winds its way through a few of the streets of Jerome before exiting town for good. I saw my older daughter and her boyfriend at about the 1/2 mile mark. They hung out in town during the race. Unfortunately, most of the stores and coffee shops aren’t open at 8:00, so they just hung around on the sidewalks, which isn’t a bad deal! There are far worse sidewalks to be stuck on for a morning!

Mile two climbs another 284 feet and includes two climbs of about 1/4 mile each where the grade approaches 20%. I recall first few forays in the Jerome Hill Climb in 2003, 2004 and that I would sometimes walk this section. It’s really steep, but the top 20 or so participants usually run pretty hard up this section. At the start, I couldn’t help but notice Josh Trevino, who I knew would win. This is what I mean by it depends who shows up. I also saw Shawn Meisner and James Bonnett, both awesome runners. During mile two I ran near Josh and James. I knew Josh would take off, almost literally, once the first 2.5 miles were eclipsed and the course goes from an average of 8% grade down to a grade of about 3%. I was a little surprised to be running so near him at this point, but figured, correctly, that he was saving it for later.  I managed a 7:37 pace for this second mile.

Mile three features about 230 feet of climbing, but fairly gradual.This mile may hurt the most of the entire race. My heart race usually spikes on the very steep climb in mile two, and never really comes down. I managed to put a little bit of a gap on James Bonnett during this mile, which surprised me. I think he was probably having a less than perfect day, because on a good day, he’d drop me fairly easily on the hills. Nevertheless, you race how to how fit you are that day and how fit and recovered everyone else is that day.

Last year, during mile four I kept telling myself “don’t ruin this!” I was in the lead and had a good gap, and just needed to maintain. This year, I didn’t know how James and Sean were doing behind me, so I felt much the same, go as hard as possible without blowing up. I managed to hang on for the last mile and a half and finished in third place. I was thrilled to be able to take home nice piece of pottery crafted by local Jerome Artist Anne Bassett.

In summary, Jerome is a race that suits be really well. Last year, I was very well prepared. I had the Imogene Pass run the following weekend, so I was using Jerome as my final hard workout. I was logging 50-60 running miles per week for nearly 6 months building up to Jerome. This year was far different. I spent 2014 getting back into triathlon. I’ve only been averaging about 20 running miles per week, but I’ve been riding, swimming, and lifting consistently. My running has been consistent, at 20 miles per week, just a very low volume. Despite the lower volume, I did commit to running .5 mile hill repeats just as I did last year. I did 5 sessions total, spread across three weeks. Each session I executed between 3 and 5 of these repeats.   Last year, probably due to running almost exclusively, I came into the race about 5 pounds lighter. I’m very pleased with my time in 2014 as compared to 2013, considering my change in focus this year.

Gear, just because I love gear and like writing about it. I wore a visor, primarily for sweat purposes. Used my Garmin Fenix2, which I think is the best multi-sport, yet also awesome running watch, on the planet. The Fenix2 actually has functions that track running cadence and vertical oscillation, aka running efficiencies metrics. For footwear, I used my road shoes. I’m running in Brooks Pure Cadence right now. While the Jerome Hill Climb is actually on dirt roads, the footing is really good, and I think the lighter the shoe the better. I don’t carry water for this event as it’s only 4.5 miles, so I know I’ll be done in roughly 30 minutes. There are also 2 water stops, both of which I managed to botch this year.

Overall, a really nice day with family.

Overall 2014 Jerome results: Here

My Strava page for the 2014 Jerome Hill Climb

Near the finish

Near the finish

Nearer to the finish

Nearer to the finish

My daughter's boyfriend did excellent in his first post high school race!

My daughter’s boyfriend did excellent in his first post high school race!

My daughter is an old pro in the Jerome Hill Climb...

My daughter is an old pro in the Jerome Hill Climb…

A good breakfast, despite the incessant need to swat at flies, in post race in Cottonwood. This was the only picture where one of us wasn't swatting at flies.

A good breakfast, despite the incessant need to swat at flies, in post race in Cottonwood. This was the only picture where one of us wasn’t swatting at flies.

Posted by: cadavidson | July 28, 2014

Back to Triathlon

On April 13 of 2014 I made my return to triathlon. It’s been 9 years since my last triathlon, which was a small spring triathlon immediately after Ironman Arizona in 2005. Since then, as you’ve read in my previous entries in this blog, I’ve involved myself in a slurry of running, primarily trail and ultra running events.

Through involving myself more in the trail running and ultra scene, I’ve seen first hand the difference in culture between the two endurance sports. One analogy I’ve heard is that wine is to triathlon as beer is to ultra runners (most ultra runners would prefer I use “craft” beer as a qualifier, but that would require I allow a qualifier for wine as well, which I won’t). While I was strictly running ultras and trail events, I will say that I did prefer that culture. A more laid back, and accepting culture. I liken it to early morning bike rides in Scottsdale. When I come upon a group of cyclists, either on triathlon or road bikes, typically not a work of greeting is returned, even if I offer first. On the other hand, any time I’m out on the trails and I run in to another runner, no matter what the level, there is a friendly exchange. Ultra folk are also less tech-geeky, although someone should probably let them know that they can really no longer say that they prefer the simplicity of trail running. Increasingly, at races, everyone has a Garmin GPS unit, many have compression gear (the hated look of those “geeky-triathletes”), and more and more are dressing in more matching and fashionable gear (the euros are still far ahead of us westerners, but we’re not far behind). Don’t get me wrong, I think this is great! I think it’s awesome that companies are able to provide more gear for a growing and great sport! Myself, I’m torn. I love the sports of both triathlon and ultra running. I love the simplicity of ultra and trail running, but I must confess – I’m a techie and gear geek. I love all of the gear and pre-race setup associated with triathlons!

Lifetime Fitness Tempe Marquee Triathlon – April 13, 2014

This would be my first race back.  As usual, I arrived one of the first few in transition; a little senseless given bikes were checked the previous day and rack positions already assigned. My swim has always been my weakness, and I figured this race would be no different. After 9 years of little to no swimming, I started swimming again in February of this year. Nothing too structured; just laps, laps, laps from February – April. I started near the back of the pack, I didn’t feel confident in mixing it up just yet. I stayed relaxed for the entire swim. I exited the water knowing I could have swum faster. Normally, I would be disappointed in this feeling, wishing I’d gone harder. In this case, I was fine with this feeling. First race back, successfully navigated the swim – content with a 31:18 swim. Most of the comparable times with others who finished around me were around 28:00. So, some work to be done.

Headed south over Mill Avenue Bridge. Not sure what I'm looking at. Courtesy

Headed south over Mill Avenue Bridge. Not sure what I’m looking at.

I’ve been loving my new VeloVie Veloce100 that VeloVie in Tempe set me up with. I spend most of my training time on it, as opposed to my road bike. After a marginal 1:44 transition, I hopped on my bike and pedaled my way through the two lap course. The bike was largely uneventful, no flat tires, near crashes, etc.I opted to put my cycling shoes on in transition, and clunk / run my bike through transition. It makes for a little slower bike mount, however it’s pretty foolproof. No potential flying leap and crashes. Again, first race back, I wasn’t in the mood to try anything super aggressive or new. I pushed relatively hard, for my current fitness level and managed a 1:21:20 or 20.7 MPH. This was a case where I knew I should have and could have pushed harder. Again though, I was not too disappointed. My 20.7 MPH was more or less in line with those who I finished around. I wanted to have a good time and enjoy my first race back.

Just starting the bike. Heading west on Rio Salado. Courtesy

Just starting the bike. Heading west on Rio Salado.

After a 1:27 transition, I hurried off on to the run. I felt really good still and knew I could pass several people. My first four miles I felt great, and felt like I was holding back a little. I had just passed my 19th person, then, it happened, the dreaded, usual, typical, and on schedule hamstring cramp. This particular cramp was only in one hamstring, but left me hamstrung – I could not even walk. I stood massaging and trying to stretch within site of the 5 mile aid station. The aid station volunteers looked at me like I was in need of medical treatment. One thoughtful volunteer even walked a cup of water to me. I graciously accepted. Another passer by said I needed more water – nope. Sorry, not the case. I think my consistent hamstring troubles are related to inflexibility and maybe some muscle weakness in my lower hamstrings. Both things I’ve since been devoting training time specifically to.  Nonetheless, mile 5 was a slow 8:42. After two and a half minutes of massage and stretching, the cramp did not go away. I tried one last try and flailing my right leg out to the side and began to run. Somehow, this seemed to work. Almost immediately, I was able to open by gate and return t normal 6:30 pace. I wish I had tried this approach earlier in the stretch and massage break!

Avg Pace
Summary 42:13.0 6.27 6:44
1 6:24.8 1.00 6:25
2 6:27.6 1.00 6:28
3 6:26.2 1.00 6:26
4 6:30.0 1.00 6:30
5 8:42.6 1.00 8:43
6 6:10.3 1.00 6:10
7 1:31.5 0.27 5:44

 My last mile and a half I ran at 6:00 flat pace! Maybe a lesson learned, maybe just a freak cramp… I would have gained another 5 spots overall had I maintained my 6:30 pace and been crampless. Part of the game.

 Overall, a successful first triathlon in 9 years! Results here.

Overall: 58th out of 418.

Age group: 7th out of 46.

Posted by: cadavidson | July 7, 2014

Return to Triathlon!

After getting a sweet set-up from Velo Vie bicycles in Tempe, Arizona, I’ve been back in triathlon mode for the first half of 2014!

My first race of the year, on my new Velo Vie Veloce 100 was to be the Desert Classic Duathlon. I previously posted about my history of this race here. But to summarize, this was one of my first, if not my first multi-sport events. It’s sort of where it all started for me. I really remember that day well, and fondly. Unfortunately, almost the entire state experienced one of our only winter of storms of the 2013 / 2014 winter. Phoenix really got socked with rain. I picked up my packet the day before the race in Fountain Hills, only about 5 miles from the race site. The whether still seemed to be holding out, just a bit of rain and some wind. That afternoon and evening were a different story. As I was putting the finishing touches on getting my Velo Vie race ready, I glanced at an e-mail from the race director noting that the race had been cancelled. I was pretty bummed. The race director made absolutely the right decision. The transition area is in a dirt area, and both the pre and post bike runs meander through numerous desert washes. Even if these washes weren’t running full of flood water, which they surely were, the mud and left over standing water would have been for an interesting run. The dirt transition area, which I’m sure was a mud bog, also would have been unserviceable as a transition area. Imagine the bicycle cleats full of mud!

My Velo Vie Veloce100 ready rock... but had to wait for another race day.

My Velo Vie Veloce100 ready rock… but had to wait for another race day.


Next on my race calendar was Aravaipa Racing’s Elephant Mountain. I elected to run the 50k this yearon February 22nd. February 7th, I scheduled a training run where I would run from Spur Cross Conservation Area in Cave Creek, AZ into Cave Creek Regional Park, and back. Basically, this was running the entire 50k race course, with the exception of running the Go Jon Trail loop a second time. Here’s a link to the Strava Details of that training run. I felt like that was a successful training run, and felt prepared. I ran 23 miles at a really steady pace over some tough, rocky terrain. I’d done the Elephant Mountain 35k last year, here are is a link to that race write-up, so I knew pretty much what to expect.

50k start. Courtesy of Aravaipa Running.

50k start. Courtesy of Aravaipa Running.

Race day arrived, and I was the first person in the parking lot. The race started on schedule as all Aravaipa Running events tend to, they do a phenomenal job, seriously! I ran the first 10 miles or so with Brett Sarnquist, the eventual winner. Brett is such a strong runner. He is so consistent in his pacing, he seems to be able to go faster all the way through an event, regardless of distance.

Early on

Early, easy miles.

I felt really good early on. This was my first 50k, I have run further distances, just oddly had never found my way into a 50k. So, I wanted to start conservative, but also not lose time on the parts of the course that I knew were very runnable. My first 10 miles were right around 8:00 minute pace. As I mentioned earlier, I ran with Brett Sarnquist for most of the first ten miles, then he moved along. When I arrived at the turn around at Spur Cross Conservation Area, approximately mile 12, I knew things were not going to be easy the rest of the way. Still, I plugged along at between 8:00 and 8:30 pace through mile 20. That’s when the wheels starting coming off, or more accurately, when my hamstrings started to seize…. again.

Read my lips - "Whew!"  Courtesy of Aravaipa Running.

Finish line. Read my lips – “Whew!” Courtesy of Aravaipa Running.

To summarize things – I went from running with Brett at mile 10 finishing 54 minutes behind him. The simple math says I lost two and half minutes per mile for the next 22 miles. Talk about Mr. Consistent and finishing strong and steady – I mean Brett of course. As for me, I finished 8th overall in my first 50k. I was not overly disappointed, but I’ve got to figure out this hamstring cramp issue. More and more, I am pinning it on inflexibility, of the extreme nature. Some say I could correct it with Yoga, and I’ve been intending to start with an hour each week. But, when it comes down to an hour of swim, bike, run, lifting, or Yoga, I cannot seem to choose Yoga.

As for nutrition, I consumed 27 Salt Sticks tablets during the race and filled my hand with peanut butter filled pretzels and drank Gatorade at each aid station. That’s why I’m thinking the hamstring issues are not nutrition related. Although lately, I have been reading more on Magnesium deficiencies, and I think this could be an avenue worth exploring.

For Gear, because I love gear, I wore my Hoka Stinson Trail shoes and Smart Wick socks – my feet worked well throughout the entire race. No blisters. I wore a sleeveless shirt, which I do not regret, I never felt like I was being baked all that much. I did only opt for a head band, which I think was a poor choice. I should have work a hat. The temperatures were in the 70s for the last hour of racing. I only used one hand-bottle, which was enough. I was never out of water, but I recall being a little concerned a few times. I carried my Salt Sticks in my hand bottle’s pocket and the 6 gels I consumed around my waist.


I will follow up with another post to detail my first two triathlons since 2005! Oh, and if any of my ultra friends have any recommendations on fending off hamstring cramps, I’m all ears!!

Posted by: cadavidson | September 15, 2013

Jerome, Finally!

No single race means more to me than the Jerome Hill Climb, and I’ve said this for many years, even before and after some ho-hum performances. I typically log specific workouts built just for this race.  This year, I spent a good amount of time, since I’d established a good base of mileage, running .5 mile hill repeats. I ended up tallying 5 such sessions. The goal was simply to run them faster than race pace. I also put an emphasis on running the down hill back to the start at sub-6:00 minute pace to help in preparing for the down hill into Telluride in the Imogene Pass Run taking place the weekend after Jerome.

The Jerome Hill Climb, put on the Arizona Road Racers, starts in the old mining town of Jerome, Arizona. Jerome, not the booming mining town it used to be, nor the ghost town it most recently was, is now a quaint refuge for artisans (you can’t argue this because I sat on a 5 hour flight from Philadelphia to Phoenix next to an artist who contemplated moving to Jerome due to the number of artists in town), is situated on the side of a hill at 5000 feet above sea level.

This race is so important, that I’ve dedicated a notepad file, that’s right a notepad file(!) to my times. I’ve made the drive to Jerome 8 out of the last 11 years. I’ve been doing this race for a long time. Here are those times.

Year Time Pace
2012: 33:47    7:31
2011: 34:21    7:38
2010: 33:40    7:40
2006: 39:31    8:36
2005: 38:48    7:29
2004: 40:04    7:42
2003: 44:56    8:40

This year, I was joined on the 90 minute drive from Phoenix to Jerome by my daughter and her boyfriend. We departed on time at 5:00 sharp, made excellent time and were at the starting area around 6:45. I avoided a near race-blowing error when I realized, after jogging a few years towards the start line a mile away, that I’d forgotten to pin my number on my shorts. Jason, a good running mate and neighbor, met us at the parking area, this would be his Jerome Hill Climb. Jason and I jogged the 1 mile, which serves a nice start to a warm-up, down to the starting area.

The race started on time at 8:00. The Jerome Hill Climb is a low-key event. No timing chips, no D-Tag, no timing mats, not even a starting gun this year. Just a “ready” and “go.” I like it!  The first mile went as expected, I wanted to go out hard. The tough hills are within the first 2.5 miles. There’s no point in pacing this section. It’s a short enough race that I knew I would have to and could go at a high effort throughout. I took the lead from the start line. When no one challenged, I contemplated slowing it down, waiting for the next runner to come up, and just run with them and try to make a move towards the end, but I didn’t think this would be good form on my favorite course. Not really what I’m about. I wanted to put in a good effort. The first mile, which climbs through town mostly,  and its 300 feet of climbing were completed in 6:48. By the end of this mile, I could no longer hear footsteps behind me. I just told myself, “don’t blow this.”

Solo out in front for a change!

Solo out in front for a change!

I felt like I was putting out a good effort here, but was well within my limits. The second mile, and 280 feet of climbing were completed in 7:20. The first 2.5 miles of this race gain nearly 1000 feet to a 6000 foot elevation.  Still out in front, I was concerned there would be a high school speedster, which the Jerome Hill Climb is famous for, with a polar opposite race plan than mine – go out easy, and hammer the last two miles. I continued with a solid effort through the end of mile three with another 7:20 split. In 2012, I ran 7:50 for this section, so I knew I was at a minimum, stronger than last year.

Miles 2.5 – 4 are still uphill in the Jerome Hill Climb, but the grade is much less steep; between 2 and 5%. At the start of mile 4 I started doing the inevitable math. If I run 30 seconds per mile slower, and “he” runs 30 seconds per mile faster, I could still lose 60 seconds in mile 4 and there’s still another half mile to finish. Better keep the pedal down!

The math continued through the end of mile four, which checked off at a 6:37 split for its 114 feet of climbing on rough dirt road. The final half mile I finally realized I’d cross the line first, provided I didn’t really blow it – i.e.. fall, shred a hamstring, twist an ankle, etc. I ran at a 6:34 pace for the final half mile.

Jason also went on to finish a solid day with a 38:37. Good enough for 16th overall!

I’ve had my eye on the beautiful award or pottery, made by local Jerome artist Anne Bassett for the top finisher for many years, and I finally get to take one home!

Click here for results

IMG_1576 IMG_1571

Posted by: cadavidson | August 11, 2013

Week ending 8/10/2013

Monday 8/5/2013

AM: Shaw Butte Summit Loop. 800 feet, 6.2 miles, 55 minutes.

PM: Double Shaw Butte up & down. 6.24 miles, 1400 feet. Felt pretty good on this Shaw Butte up & down. Went with Jason and Travis.

Tuesday 8/6

AM: Shaw Butte Loop. 800 feet, 5.8 miles with Jason.


4 x (Row 750M, 15 pushups)
3 x( back row x 15, trunk twist x 150\)
3 x (dip x 5, pullup x 5)

Wednesday 8/7

AM: Run the streets to Lookout Mountain. Summit Lookout, where I got the Strava CR. Not that I care a whole lot about Strava course records, but I went for the CR and got it. 900 feet elevation, 10 miles, 1:31.

PM: Road bike ride. 20 miles. Lookout Mountain loop. I felt very tired on this ride. Legs were dead.

Thursday 8/7

AM: Trail 100 out and back. 7:54 pace. 7 miles.

PM:  Hill reps. 4 x .5 mile up with .5 mile downhill recovery. Splits as follow:

Up splits, 3:06, 3:03, 2:58, 2:56. It was very hot, about 106 degrees. I was able to run these at a really good pace. Felt good and was able to go pretty hard. I plan to do more of these sessions in the next 2 weeks to prepare for the Jerome Hill Climb and Imogene Pass Run,

PM: 8th Avenue hill repeats. 10 x on the 2 minute. The repeat is about .15 miles and is a good steep section. This session is very specific towards the Jerome Hill Climb.

Friday 8/8

PM: Shaw Butte Loop with JH. 750 feet climbing, 5.1 miles with Jason. Legs felt very, very  sluggish.

Saturday 8/9

AM: Road bike through Nortera. 1:43. 32 miles. Felt much better on this ride than the ride earlier in the week.

PM: North Mountain and Shaw Butte. Ascended North Mountain, descended via the rougher and more technical southern trail, crossed the valley then up Shaw Butte via the southern route and down the main Shaw Butte trail on the north side. 1650 feet of vertical, 7.2 miles, 1:20.
Sunday 8/10

PM:  9/9 miles on trail 100. Felt pretty good considering the end of a pretty big week.


Posted by: cadavidson | August 6, 2013

Week ending 7/21/2013

Monday 7/29/2013

Off day. Thiswas my first off day in a couple months. I don’t think I really needed it, but took it anyhow.

Tuesday 7/30

PM: Trail 100 to CaveCreek onb – 7 miles

Wednesday 7/31

PM: 13.2 miles on trail 100 to Dreamy Draw Park and back. This was one of the worst runs I’ve experienced in a while. I departed home at about 4:00PM and it was a hot day – about 108. I reached the water fountain aka turnaround at Dreamy Draw Park in decent time, but really suffered and slogged home. Jason happened to be heading out for a run around 5:30 and I bumped into him about 1.5 miles from home. He ran me in. I ended up losing about 8 pounds on this run. I think I need to go back to consuming more calories on my hot weather runs. I’ve been trying to go more minimal on these runs, but I think this was to blame on this run.

Thursday 8/1

AM: Shaw Butte Summit Loop. 900 feet of climbing in the first 2 miles, then down the backside and along trail 100 between Shaw Butte and North Mountain. Total run is 6.2 miles.

PM: 8th Avenue hill repeats. 10 x on the 2 minute. The repeat is about .15 miles and is a good steep section. This session is very specific towards the Jerome Hill Climb.

Friday 8/2

AM: Moon Valley 5 mile street loop.

PM: Gym session. 2000 meter row with 12 pushups and 25 walking weighted lunges every 500M. Also did some weights: clean & jerk, pull-ups, and toes to bar.

PM: Bike 18 mile Lookout Mountain road bike loop.

Saturday 8/3

PM: Shaw Butte Summit Loop and Trail 60 loop. 800 feet of climbing in the first few miles. Total 7.5 miles.

Saturday 7/20

AM: Shaw Butte Summit Loop 7.5 miles in 67 minutes

Sunday 8/4


In summary a very light week. Not intentionally, but it just turned out that way. 41 running miles and 20 on the bike with very little gym time and 7.5 hours in training total.

Posted by: cadavidson | July 30, 2013

Week ending 7/28/2013

Monday 7/22/2013

Took the day off from running. First day away from running in a couple of weeks. Hit the rower at the gym and integrated some push-ups in between each 500M of rowing. Makes for a nice blend up push and pull.

Tuesday 7/23

AM: Trail 100 around Stone Mountain and back. Nice 9 mile route in 1:16. Not much climbing though at only 450 feet – rolling though the entire time.

PM: North Mountain and Shaw Butte in Phoenix Mountain Preserve. Tackled the 600 vertical foot ascent of North Mountain first, took Trail 100 back to Shaw Butte and ascended the 800 vertical feet of Shaw Butte from the north side. Did this run with Jason. 1500 feet of climbing total in 1:21.

Wednesday 7/24

AM: Lookout Mountain Rood Loop. 8 miles.

PM: Road bike ride through Nortera and back with Dan. 35 miles.

Thursday 7/25

AM: Some strength work at the gym. Row 3000M then mixed in some squats, cleans, and bodyweight dips.

PM: Shaw Butte Summit loop with Trail 60 loop. 780 feet of climbing over the 7.5 mile loop in 1:07.

Friday 7/26

PM: One of the worst feeling runs in a long time. Bagged it and turned around after 3.5 miles to get in a total of 7 rough miles on the trail.

Saturday 7/27

PM: Drove up to Flag this morning. Started at 7:00AM and tagged the summit in 1:25 for the over 4000 vertical ascent. In going for my second summit, lightening above treeline turned me around. I did still reach the saddle. The day ended up being 5 hours on my feet, 18 miles, and 5800 feet of climbing. While the trip to Flag took me only 2 hours, the return trip took me almost 5! I got sick (again). Spent a few minutes at various exits just south of Flagstaff puking. Finally made it nearly half way home to Camp Verde and decided to try to sleep it off in the car. After an hour or so of being knocked out – I felt better and was ok to drive. Scary to know that this is how I am going to feel after Imogene in September…

Sunday 7/28

AM: Strength stuff at the gym mixed in with rowing.

PM: Shaw Butte Summit Loop & Trail 60 loop. 880 feet of climbing, 7.5 miles, 1:12.

Started getting rainy and muddy on the second summit attempt.

Started getting rainy and muddy on the second summit attempt.

Posted by: cadavidson | July 22, 2013

Week ending 7/21/2013

Monday 7/15/2013

Road run to Lookout Mtn trail system. Made a loose attempt at the CR to the Lookout Mtn Summit, which is only about a half mile scramble. Made a small wrong turn that cost me a few seconds, which cost me the CR. This CR should be attainable (not that I’m really all that concerned with Strava CRs anyhow though). 10 miles total.

Tuesday 7/16

AM: Shaw Butte Summit Loop 7.5 miles in 67 minutes

PM: Row and pushups at the gym

PM: Easy Shaw Butte in some nice cloudy, yet very humid conditions. Rare for Phoenix to have high humidity, so in my opinion, it’s nice.


Wednesday 7/17

Trail 100 to Cavecreek & back. Legs felt particularly dead today. Nothing special, just miles today.


Thursday 7/18

Road bike to to Carefree Highway via Nortera. Good to give the running legs a little break, which not sacrificing a full day off.


Friday 7/19

JH was headed to Flagstaff to get in a double summit of Mt. Elden. I was reluctant, but joined. Had a blast. Got the Strava CR and managed 4600 feet of vertical. We left Phoenix at 11:30 and were back by 7:00. 10.8 miles – 3:07:00.


Saturday 7/20

AM: Shaw Butte Summit Loop 7.5 miles in 67 minutes


Sunday 7/21

AM: Road ride to Carefree Highway via Pima – 53 miles

PM: Shaw Butte Summit Loop – 6.6 miles.


Posted by: cadavidson | June 30, 2013


Posted by: cadavidson | June 25, 2013

Beat The Heat Scottsdale

My wife, overestimating my running abilities, or at least my running speed, found about the 11.22k Scottsdale Beat The Heat race and thought I should enter to win some of the prize money which was won by the top 10 finishers.

In most races if this nature, I can pull off a top 10 and sometimes even a little better, like a top 5. But, when big money is offered, big names show up! I’d seen that David Goggins and Perry Edinger were the designated special guests, I figured correctly that I’d be faster than both of them, granted as I heard after the race, Goggins had already run 20 miles earlier the same day.

The race started nicely and on time. I started immediately behind the elite and VIO corral. The elite corral had some good runners from mcmilllan’s elite flagstaff team, who I knew would run sub 5 minute pace, which I can’t touch. Not even momentarily. More interestingly some of the Phoenix ultra runners were in the elite corral as well; Nick Coury and James Bonnett. Both are superb runners. Nick has been gearing up for Hardrock and James recently won Zane Grey 50.

I stood alongside Dave Metzler just behind the 25 or so elites in the first corral. I wandered if I was doomed to finish behind all of the elites…

My old triathlon mentor Dan Cadriel sang the National Anthem and we were off. The start temperature was nowhere near the race’s namesake 122 (11.22k) degrees, which was recorded at 2:47 on June 22, 1990.

I started fast, but I intended to. I knew my body temperature was going to elevate, and I knew everyone’s body temperature would elevate. I figured a fast opening mile would only shave some time, not cause any additional heat issues later in the race. This approach wouldn’t work in a longer race. But you can take a few more risks and err in the side if speed in such a short race.

My opening mile was 5:49. This was a very controlled 5:49, never felt like I was pushing too hard. In fact, I think I started too slow, which I will get to. I got a little dry mouthed before the first if the 10 water stations. At each water station I hurriedly grabbed two cups, one to drink and one to toss into my head. This worked well.

The 5k runners started at the same time as the 11.22k runners. Their turn was just before the 2 mile market. As I approached the 2 mile marker I was interested to see how many places I would move up as the 5k runners veered off to head towards the finish line. Before the 2 mile marker I was in 25th place or so. After the 5k turn, I was in the same position. Not one of the fast starters was doing the 5k! Bummer, I should have run the 5k, I thought to myself.

Miles 2 and 3 were slightly over 6 minute pace. Mile 4 was tough. My pace slowed to 6:30, however I continued to pass a people here and there. My Garmin file shows that mile 4 was indeed uphill. I examined a few other runner’s data in strava and found the same trend, about a 30 second slowdown in mile 4.

Miles 5 – 7 were rolling, but generally down hill. I was able to lower my pace back down to sub 6:10. The entire race, I was not passed. I don’t think this is such a good thing. In my opinion, it means I started too slow. It means I was never running with the group that I should be running with. Or, maybe it just means I’m a better finisher due to the many long aravaipa trail races I’ve done recently.

Around mile 6 I heard one of the 5k walkers say as I passed, “that’s number 11 right?” I thought, there’s no way I’m 11th. But, it would really be bad to finish one place out of the prize money. I caught the potential 10th place runner relatively easily.

I crossed the finish line in 43:06. Good enough for 16th place. Not the 10th, I’d been promised by the 5k walkers (in the back of my mind I knew this was the case)!

All in all, happy with my race.

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