Two Fridays ago, hubby and I went north to Prescott, AZ. Our plan was to camp and then run on the Prescott Circle Trail Saturday morning. After my Whiskey Basin 57K on the same trail, I was eager to share it with Kenny. Beating the heat, enjoying good company, and getting into the woods were our main goals for the trip.
Unfortunately, my day got off to a rocky start. Fight with a friend, difficult staff problems, and last minute stressful packing all conspired to ruin our trip. But Kenny was supportive and great about getting the car packed, leaving me to fume. Then he listened to my woes as I unleashed all my frustration. What a man!! After letting off some steam, I was able to settle down and focus on the excitement of our adventure.We got to Prescott later than we hoped and were left finding a dispersed camping site in the dark. Never having camped in this location, we were at a bit of a loss as we bumped down the dirt road, keeping our eyes peeled for a sites. Once we found one, we set up camp in no time.
We were packing light since we only needed to sleep and then rise for a run the next morning. No fancy camping. We pitched the tent, unrolled sleeping bags and ate our dinner by the light of our headlamps before settling down for the evening. The evening was peaceful and relaxing, setting us up for a good run the next morning. At 11:30 pm a car parked in a nearby site and start blasting the worst music ever. Worried this was a bad omen for the next day, I desperately covered my ears.
But at last, quiet settled in and we drifted off.
Dawn broke and we rose, the Prescott Circle Trail calling our name. We got off to a great start, beginning at the Thumb Butte Recreation Area. The trail was beautiful. Pine forest providing blessed shade, a cool breeze in the air. I was setting out for a 5 hour round trip – 2.5 out and then back. Hubby was planning to start with me and then continue on ahead for the same amount of time, but at a faster pace. Yet as we started running together, it was so enjoyable that we ended up staying together for the whole time.
The first 2.5 hours were wonderful. I felt great. Ran within my heart rate for the most part, fast-packing as necessary to keep it down. We hit our turnaround time at 10 miles and I was happy with the pace. I felt strong, happy and overall really pleased. We kept marveling at the beauty around us. It brought back memories of Oregon and got us excited for our upcoming trip to run the McKenzie River Trail Run in Sept.
As we turned around we faced a 2 mile climb back up hill. It wasn’t horribly steep, only about 750 feet over the 2 miles, but it was completely exposed as we were out of the pine cover. The heat started to get to me.
Once we hit the top, with a little less than 8 miles to go, we started picking up the pace. I ignored my heart rate and opened up. As I cruised down the hill, I felt amazing….until I didn’t.
At a higher heart rate, the body has a harder time absorbing nutrients and fluids. Dehydration set in, my stomach getting nauseous and a light throbbing behind my temples. My run took a steep down for the south pole. So what to do when a good run (or race for that matter) heads south? How do you pull it back together?
Here are some strategies that work for me and helped me pull this run out of the gutter allowing me to end happy:
Next time you find a run heading south, try some of these tricks to find what works for you.
Do you have any other tricks that you have find useful? Please leave in the comments below for us all to try!!