We once again began the day with a run. We went back over to Sabino Canyon, but this time to run the Seven Falls trail. It was a cool morning - perfect for running. The sun here is strong and as soon as it pops up over the mountains, you can feel the warmth. It would later heat up towards 80 degrees by the afternoon.
The Seven Falls trail is an out and back trail that heads right up the middle of a canyon, leapfrogging a flowing river. It's a bit rocky, and mostly uphill on the way out, and your feet will get wet at some point, but it's absolutely stunning. Because of the terrain, you aren't running at a fast pace although your heart rate is elevated the whole time. We put in 90 minutes, and finished near a flowing river gorge. When I fell on Sunday, I did a number on my right ankle. I didn't sprain it or twist it, but I banged it hard against a rock and cut it open. The wound doesn't hurt but there is a lot of swelling. I have the cankle working on my lower right leg. So at the end of this run, I took off my shoe and soaked my foot and ankle in the ice cold water. It felt great, and as I sat there waiting for the other campers to roll in, I couldn't help but think about how fortunate I am to have the opportunities to explore and see some of the places I've seen. I thought about how many run the same routes all the time, not venturing out or trying some different things, and about how they are truly missing out on a lot.
I picked up a pair of the new Zoot running shoes and I absolutely love them. I ran today with no socks for the 90 minute runs and had no blister issues whatsoever. They are responsive like the Newtons, but offer a bit more cushioning. Plus the drain holes really work, as I tested this out by putting my wet foot back into the shoe after soaking it and ran the last mile back to the car. They are better than the Newtons, in my view.
After some breakfast, we made the drive out to Kitt Peak. The road out is a straight shot right through the desert for 45 miles. There's nothing out there. Kitt Peak is a 12 mile climb up to around 7000 feet where there is an observatory. It's a great climb with an average grade somewhere between 8 and 9%. The weather was perfect - sunny and in the 70's! everyone did great, keeping a steady effort the whole way. After 5 miles, I suggested to stay seated for 3 min then get out of the saddle for 1 min and repeat this the rest of the way up. The great weather conditions made it perfect for bombing the descent, and after that, we rode back to Tucson and through the city. We arrived back just before dinner time making it a nice long day in the saddle.
At dinner, that fourth day of camp haze was prevalent. Campers get more quiet, yet they seem relaxed. There's a tiredness there that endurance athletes actually enjoy feeling - It's evidence that they have been working hard.
Tomorrow is Mt. Lemmon. We'll be sporting the myathlete devices again if anyone wants to check out how we're doing. Sign on to:
MY ATHLETE Tracking www.myathlete.biz/track ironman ironman123