Hiking Races Trail Running Training

2019 in Review – October

San Tan 50k

October was a lot of fun. I did a long, hot, grindy 50k training run out at San Tan and then it was special events of some kind or other for the rest of the month.

Backpacking Hiking Training

2019 in Review – August

Backpacking the Coconino Rim

August’s big event was a backpacking trip up the Arizona Trail along the Stagecoach course out to the Coconino Rim. During the race, I had gone through a lot of this area in the dark, and when sunrise came toward the end of it, it was so beautiful to me that I wanted to come back out to see a sunrise there again. 

So I got some friends together for the trip, and they came along to check it out with me.

Backpacking Hiking

2019 in Review – June

Prescott Circle Trail

In June, I went back to the Prescott Circle Trail with the intent of doing a through hike of it over three days and two nights. I have fallen in love with both backpacking and the Arizona Trail, and one of my long term goals is to eventually hike the whole distance via section hikes, in whatever way I can make that work. The Prescott Circle Trail seemed like a good place for me to give both me and Kris a little sample of what that would be like.

Hiking Miscellany

2019 in Review – April

Picketpost Mountain

April was mostly coasting. Mostly. 

With no big races coming up soon, a lot of the month was just taking it easy, but Kris and I went out one Saturday and did something at the other end of the spectrum from “easy,” and hiked/climbed Picketpost Mountain. 

It’s one of those things that is cool to say that you have done once it’s over, but that you don’t particularly enjoy while you’re doing it. Classic Type Two Fun. 

Hiking Miscellany Races Trail Running

2019 in Review – January

For a lot of reasons, I haven’t been blogging much lately. Over the next few days, I’m going to do a bunch of mini-posts to catch up on some of the notable things I did in 2019. Enjoy!

San Tan Scramble Volunteering

I started the year by volunteering at the San Tan Scramble with my running club, the San Tan Trail Runners. It was my first time volunteering for a full shift at a race, and it was a lot of fun.

Hiking Training

My Worst Great Adventure: 24 Hours of the Prescott Circle Trail

When I ran Javelina Jundred 100k in 2016, the biggest surprise I had in graduating to that distance from 50k was what the last four, five, six hours felt like. I knew it wasn’t going to be fun, but I wasn’t ready for how not-fun it was going to be. And then when I ran Black Canyon 100k in 2018, I was again surprised—but this time it was by how much easier the back half of the race was, and I think it had a lot to do with knowing what to expect. 

So when I started planning the final training block for my first 100 mile race, I wanted to ensure as few unpleasant surprises as possible, and the biggest one I had my eye on was the final hours of the night. It’s a time that is well known for being the worst part of the race, and it makes runners drop. 

In my 100Ks, I had passed the 2 AM mark during the race and knew that I could manage that much okay. So it was really the stretch from 2 AM to sunrise that was my area of greatest concern. I didn’t know how it would hit me when it came, and I didn’t want the race to be when I found out for the first time.

Thus was born the idea for my last big training push for Stagecoach. I would go on a 24 hour hike. I chose hiking rather than running, because the point was “time on feet” rather than distance, and hiking would be less wear and tear on me. Running for 24 hours seemed to me like it would be the classic mistake of “running the race before the race.”

After I came up with this plan, I had to decide where to do it. I didn’t want to just repeat loops out at the local parks over and over, so I started looking around for ideas that sounded a little more interesting. I did a rough estimate of what the distance would be if I did 24 hours at a fairly comfortable pace (I was estimating between two and three miles per hour) and came up with a little over 50 miles. That gave me an idea to go do a thing I’d been wanting to do for a while: complete a circuit of the Prescott Circle Trail.