Races Trail Running Training

2019 in Review – November

2019 Ragnar Trail AZ

More races!

The first one was Ragnar Trail AZ, which—if you’ve read much of this blog (haha, nobody has)—you know is an event with a lot of history for me, and I love it. I fell out of love with paying the registration fees for it, though. For the last couple of years, I’ve told my Ragnar-running friends that I’m on their permanent reserve list. Happy to come out and help if someone on their teams isn’t able to make it and they need a substitute. I didn’t get that call until pretty late this year, and I thought it was going to be my first year missing it since 2014.

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.

Trail Running Training

2019 in Review – September

Mt. Ord

We started off September with a Labor Day hike up Mount Ord. Kris had never seen this place I was going to run at all the time during the summer, and she wanted to get a look at it.

Trail Running Training

2019 in Review – July


In July, I officially started my training block for this year’s big running project (as well as next year), the Southern Arizona Triple 50. As everyone who lives here knows, there is no better time of the year to start a big training block than the middle of summer.

Backpacking Races Trail Running Training

2019 in Review – March

Monument Valley 50k

The Monument Valley 50k was the race I was training for. Kris and I made a weekend trip of it, going to stay at The View Hotel in Monument Valley itself, and it was amazing. Just staggeringly beautiful. 

One of the awesome things about the race is that runners get to go through some areas that normally either require a guide to access, or they are completely off-limits to non-tribe members altogether.

Road Running Trail Running Training

2019 in Review – February

HOM 100

February was when I figured I should get around to training for the 50k I had coming up in March. My first bigger mileage run was out at the annual Hom 100, a fantastic fundraising and awareness event for ALS that my friend Trevor puts on every year. It takes place on a 2-mile loop set up around his neighborhood, and you show up and run as many laps as you want. I did 21 miles (my longest run since Stagecoach) and had a lot of fun hanging out with all the running buddies there.

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.

Trail Running Training

Surviving Javelina Jundred: Tips from a Local Who Has Done the Race

In 2016, I ran the Javelina Jundred 100k. I’ve sent my race tips to friends getting ready to do the race several times since then, and I figured I should just go ahead and make this a formal blog post that I can link to, and maybe others searching the internet for race information might find it as well.

The Basics

Javelina Jundred is a 100k and 100 mile race that takes place at McDowell Mountain Park every October, the closest Saturday before Halloween. It is traditionally a hot and sunny race, as this tends to be a time of year when we don’t get much rain. While the nights have started their seasonal cooldown, the daytime is still pretty warm and tends to peak around 90º, give or take.

The race takes place mostly on the Pemberton Loop of the park, with detours on the west side along Shallmo Wash and Cinch Trail on the east that take runners down to “Jeadquarters” at the Four Peaks Staging Area. This forms a loop of approximately 19 miles that the 100k runners will do three times, and the 100 mile runners will do five (there is a variation in the first loop that adds a few miles to round out the total mileage for each distance). The loops are done “washing machine” style, which means that each loop you run is done the opposite direction of your previous loop.

When I trained for the race, I deliberately ran in the heat of the day to build up my heat acclimation and to figure out what my systems would need to be to survive the race. The things I did worked for me, and I took away some ideas for improvements I would make if I did the race again.

Here’s what I did, and what I learned.

Races Trail Running

2018 Flagstaff to Grand Canyon Stagecoach Line 100


It was 2014. Early that year, I ran my first half-marathon. Then, for the first time, I trained consistently with long runs through the summer. I started trail running. At group runs and races, I rubbed elbows with marathoners and… ultramarathoners? 

I had known of marathons for a long time, but ultramarathons were new to me. I had never even heard of people running 50 or 100 miles, and there I was, all of a sudden, meeting some of them. I was surprised at how normal they seemed. 

I finished my first Ragnar Trail, running my 15-mile share of the overall distance, and thought to myself, “I think I could probably do twice that, as part of an ultra team.”

And somewhere around that time, as I was stirring this soup of thoughts and ideas around in my brain, I stumbled across the movie “Finding Traction,” a documentary of Nikki Kimball’s attempt to set a new fastest known time traversing a 273-mile trail in the northeastern US. 

I was riveted. I had never seen anything like it. 

Over the course of her attempt, as I watched the miles and the days take their toll on her, something happened inside me that I have been utterly unable to explain to anyone who has asked why I do this. All I can say is that it happened. I watched her struggle through pain and fatigue and exhaustion, and her suffering called to me. I wanted to face something like that, to see how I would measure up against it.

That was how and when my dream to run a 100 mile race was born.

Races Trail Running

2018 Zane Grey 50: Analyzing My First DNF

This might read like a list of excuses, but that’s not what it’s meant to be. It also might read like some sort of extended self-flagellation, but that’s not what it’s meant to be, either. I made a lot of mistakes leading up to and during the race (only one of which was really out of my power to affect), so this is my post-race analysis of those mistakes, written with the intent of helping me to remember them so I don’t repeat them in the future.

For the record, I make mistakes in and around most of my races, but up until now I’ve managed to keep them from snowballing into a mess that takes me out. I just didn’t do that this time.