Now I can say that I experienced the Soulstice Mountain Run, and I will be back. Not knowing what to expect (8000+ foot elevation, cold, real mountain trails, I dehydrate easily at altitude) I took it very conservatively and am glad that I did as I was able to enjoy the scenery, weather and good vibes that the race puts out.
I almost blew a gasket Friday night when we were eating at Pita Jungle and got a call from my daughter saying that the bag we left at my in-laws with my sons clothes for the weekend really contained our items including some of my running stuff (Race Caps Supreme!). After the beer helped me to relax and my OCD mellowed out I was able to enjoy the rest of the night. The packet pick up at Pay N Take was a nice gathering of folks collecting their bags and shirts (both of which are nice-I really like the bag idea), drinking beer and watching the Diamondbacks loose game 5 in 10 innings. Here is a picture of the shirt and bag.
There was a nice gathering prior to the race where I met a few of the locals and was able to see some of the new footwear and bags from Salomon running, and some of the offerings from Aspen Sports. There were lots of obstacles that being from the desert (1500 feet elevation) were new to me. Obstacles like frozen mud (think black ice), large puddles with a thin ice layer on top, fallen trees over the trail, in other words common trail race stuff.
Here are some of the pictures I took along the way.
North Campus at NAU taken from our room at the Drury Hotel. If you stay here each guest gets a ticket good for 3 free beers or drinks and a happy hour and breakfast buffet. Pretty nice.
Here is a video I took, the title will explain all of it to you.
You have never seen a recovery mojito?
Had a great weekend in Flagstaff. My daughters soccer team took second in the tournament and easily could have won as it went down to penalty kicks and they lost 6-5. I am very proud of their accomplishment and how well my daughter played defense. She also scored a goal when playing midfield for a bit and she hit her penalty kick.
I was also able to go to McGaugh’s to pick up some brews, very nice selection of beer there. I was impressed. I picked up some 600 pound monkey from Left Hand Brewing and some Lagunitas Maximus. Good times.
We saw the NAU women’s soccer team play Air Force, that was enjoyable. I think it was good for my daughter as she saw how the big girls play it.
And running. I was able ot run Saturday morning on a cool and crisp morning. It was a great 45 minute run, until the altitude kicked in about .5 miles in. Crap I forgot how hard it hits when it does get to you. I really wish I would have had time to run Sunday to see how that felt in comparison to Saturday’s run. I cold not run at Buffalo Park due to the cross country meets that were going on. See this link for more information...I would certainly place Flagstaff on the short list of places I would like to move to, except the blasted traffic.
Lastly, I found a new way to work on my foot speed and technique. I just don’t think I would look as good as the girl in the video.
Apparently things are-a -changing up in the mountain hamlet of Flagstaff, Arizona. The town that not too long ago was considered by many to be the mecca of altitude training for runners in the United States, even more so than Boulder or Eugene is becoming more of a hassle than a training tool for the elite runners in town.
According to an article in the Daily Sun newspaper, the tracks that many elites do their tempo and speed work on are being closed to their use. The outdoor track at NAU Lumberjack stadium is being rebuilt, several high schools received new surfaces and limit their use, and the Sky Dome is limiting access without proper insurance. In the past the insurance for the dome would be covered by various local running groups including the now defunct High Altitude Training Center, but now it is up to the runner to carry or find some training program with that kind of funding.
Many are taking the long trek to Sedona to use the track there as the schools running coaches love to be able to ramble off the names of the elites that sue the track as if they had some part of their metamorphosis into who they are now. But that trip can take a good part of the day and is not at the elevation that Flagstaff is at.
I remember being able to cruise on over to the Dome and being able to run at any time, no one ever said a thing to you. Heck, most of the time you could even get into the weight room with no questions.
I found it very interesting to read the comment from Fasil Bizuneh (the article incorrectly spelled his name Facil) saying that Flagstaff is no longer runner friendly and he would caution any runner who is thinking of moving there to consider alternatives.
To read the article jump all the way over….here.
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