Go, you chicken fat, go away!

2018 Ragnar McDowell Mountain Trail Relay

Previous MonthRecent EntriesHomeJoin Fast Running Blog Community!PredictorHealthy RecipesBurt's RacesFind BlogsMileage BoardTop Ten Excuses for Missing a RunTop Ten Training MistakesDiscussion ForumRace Reports Send A Private MessageWeek View
Graph View
Next Month
15% off for Fast Running Blog members at St. George Running Center!



Member Since:

May 12, 2008



Goal Type:


Running Accomplishments:

I started running again in 2007 after 14 years of not running.

Mile - 4:59 (high school 1992), 5:57 (9/21/2010 ARR Open Mile)

2 mile - 11:10 (high school 1992)

5k - 21:54 (11/18/2010 Tempe Road Runners 5k)

10k - 48:29 (5/9/2009 Race for Hospice)

Unofficial 10k - 47:11 (1/27/2011 Red Mountain Park)

1/2 marathon - 1:49:00 (4/4/2009 Havasu Half)

Marathon - 4:33:09 (11/21/2009 Mesquite Marathon)

Short-Term Running Goals:

Run a half marathon in under two hours.

Run a marathon in close to 4 hours.

Long-Term Running Goals:

Stay healthy long enough to live through the millenium.


I am married and have six kids. 

Blog title explanation

Bloggers I've met in real life: 1MileToGo, Aaron Kennard, Andrea North, Arizona Desert Monsoon, auntieem, Bec, Ben, Benjamin, Bonnie, Camille, Cari, Collin Anderson, David Holt, DooneEight Kid Mom, Erico, Flatlander, Gary, Jake Krong, JamesW, Jose, Josse, Julieesplin, JunKelli, Kerri, KP, Kyle Dion, Lightitup, Little Bad Legs, Lybi, Marthon Dreamer, M, Mary Ann Schauerhamer, Misty, Nan, Peds Endo Doc, Rachelle, RADRhett, Riley Cook, Rossy, runningafterbabies, Sasha, Scott Hughes, Scott (Kelli's husband), Scott Wesemann, Slow Joe, Spencer Simpson, Stephen, Steve Piccolo, Susie, The Rookie, Toby, Tracy, Twinkies, TylerS, Walter

Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 5.16 Month: 26.26 Year: 637.24
Mizuno Wave Inspire 7 Lifetime Miles: 802.53
Asics Gel 3030 Lifetime Miles: 204.85
Saucony Hurricane 13 Lifetime Miles: 149.22
Asics Gel DS Trainer 17 Lifetime Miles: 87.49
Mizuno Wave Inspire 9 Lifetime Miles: 800.59
Brooks Ravenna 4 Lifetime Miles: 88.83
Mizuno X10 Trail Lifetime Miles: 105.76
Mizuno Wave Inspire 10 Lifetime Miles: 800.21
Asics Gel Kayano 21 Lifetime Miles: 3.99
Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 (blue) Lifetime Miles: 229.39
New Balance 1260v5 Lifetime Miles: 9.19
Reebok Floatride Lifetime Miles: 8.23
Total Distance
Mizuno X10 Trail Miles: 15.99Mizuno Wave Inspire 10 Miles: 44.91Reebok Floatride Miles: 1.82
Weight: 0.00
Race: 2018 Ragnar McDowell Mountain Trail Relay (15.99 Miles) 02:55:35, Place overall: 293, Place in age division: 159
Total Distance

Ragnar #28

I haven't run the last three Ragnar trail races that are held here in AZ at McDowell Mountain Park.  Mostly for health reasons.  But I've been training pretty regularly this year and felt pretty good, so I decided to jump on a team at the last minute.  I saw a couple of teams that had posted on the even Facebook page that they were looking for runners, and I messaged them both.  One never responded.  The other responded right away.  Turns out they were one of the many RWB teams that ran this year.  This group was out of Sierra Vista, AZ.  They had three teams.  I kind of knew one of the team members as she was also a Ragnar ambassador.  So, they were all mostly veterans, and I'm a mere civilian.  But I've found that as I've attended various RWB events over the years, they are some of the most genuine and nice people.  They welcomed me with open arms, and I had a good time.

We had a pretty slow team, and we were slotted to start with the very first group that started at 9:30am.  I was runner #5 and it was 1:36pm when I started my first leg.  I had to run the yellow loop, which in my opinion is the hardest loop.  It's listed as 4.7 miles, and it has the steepest climbs.  If you haven't trained on running hills, this loop will get you.  Luckily I had done some hill training last week, and I really feel like it helped me.  However, even though it's November, it was stinkin' hot out!  It must've been in the high 80's.  I knew I would need to take it nice and easy so that I would have some energy left to run my remaining legs.  I was running at a nice relaxed pace, and I was surprised at the number of people I was passing.  That hasn't happened for me in a while.  I mean, I was passing A LOT of people.  I didn't even think to count them.  I got passed a fair amount of times myself, but I passed a lot more than people passing me.  Anyway, the uphills and the downhills were steep.  The first real steep downhill, I heard this weird noise like I had just stepped on a metal plate or something.  I was quick to think, there are no metal plates in the desert.  So I turned back and saw that my water bottle had fallen out of my pocket.  I had to turn around and get it because there was no way I was going to run without water in this heat.  The second time I ran down a steep hill the same thing happened.  After that, I learned to take it out of my pocket and hold it until I reached the bottom.  I was doing all right up until the third mile.  Right around where the water station was.  It took me a while to get going again.  But when I did, I was able to run all the way back in.  The yellow loop merges back with the red loop, and one of the red loop runners ran with me for the last three quarters of a mile.  She asked me if I was camping or "glamping".  I asked her what glamping meant.  She says it's when you pay extra to have Ragnar set up and take down your tents.  Glamour camping, I guess?  I told her I was just camping.  After a while she said I'll see you, and she picked up the pace.  I was running right behind her.  The green loop merges with the yellow and red about a quarter mile from the finish.  Then you run up this hill to the finish line.  Very cruel, Ragnar.  I passed that girl on the uphill.  I wasn't trying to purposely pass her, but I wanted to finish strong.  According to my Strava, I ran 4.89 miles at an 11:27 pace.  For the heat and the hills, I'll take it.

My next loop was the green loop, the easiest one.  The green loop is 4.1 miles.  Even though you actually climb to a higher elevation than the yellow loop, it's just one climb.  So the overall elevation change is less than the yellow loop.  It was 10:35pm when I started.  Well, I was oblivious to the fact that there were runners leaving both ends of the tent to start their runs.  The yellow runners leave one side of the tent, and the green and red runners leave the other side.  Nobody told me, and apparently I'm too dumb to notice, so I ran the wrong way.  I ran down the finishing hill, got to the bottom and asked the volunteer which way I was supposed to go.  He said, "I think you're supposed to go out the other side of the tent."  Whoopsie!  So I ran back up the hill and was thinking, "If I cross the timing pad, I'm going to screw all of our times up."  So I ran on the outside of the chutes and got back on the course.  This added at least another 2 tenths of a mile to my overall distance.  Since it was no longer hot out, I found myself running pretty well.  Really the only thing slowing me down was the dark.  I was once again passing tons of people.  The red and green loop are the same for about the first mile.  Then they finally split.  I was listening to my teammates talk about their experience on each loop, and as I was running, I was really questioning when the hill was going to start.  It was hard to see it in the dark, and it was very gradual.  It did seem that I was running slower in that 2nd mile, so I figured I was running up it at that point.  I knew that once I reached the two mile mark it would also be all downhill.  I could once again feel myself running faster.  I just wished that I could've run this leg in the early morning when I could see and when it wasn't hot.  But anyway, I averaged a 10:13 pace for 4.43 miles. 

My final leg was the red loop, the longest distance.  It's listed as 6.6 miles.  My Strava got 6.67, so pretty close.  I was scheduled to start around 6am.  Unfortunately, my team was way behind schedule, and I started at 8:11am.  It was already starting to warm up.  It wasn't terrible, and there was a breeze at first, but by the end I was feeling it.  This time I decided to count how many people I passed.  I don't like to call them 'kills' because sometimes people actually die.  Anyway, my mind goes in a million different directions while I'm running so it's hard for me to remember what number I'm on.  But I think the total was 20.  I'm sure I passed a lot more than that on my first two runs.  I was slowing down, because after three loops, I'm pretty tired.  But I never stopped except just briefly at the water station to fill up my water bottle.  The red loop had the highest climb.  Immediately after the green and red loops split, you start the steepest part of the ascent.  I was still feeling good, and had no problem going up.  I also knew that once I reached the top there were some more ups and downs.  This discouraged a lot of the runners, but that's why you've got to look at the map before you run.  After 2.75 miles it starts going downhill.  It's a nice trail, and you can pick up some speed, but this is where I started feeling fatigued.  I wanted to walk at times, but I knew that I didn't need to, and if I just maintained the pace I was running, I wouldn't have to.  There were a few more steep short hills that were heartbreakers, but I prided myself in being able to run up all of them.  I finally got to the last hill before the finish and was able to sprint up it.  I'm glad I decided to do the race.

On a side note, I used to be able to see a lot of people that I know at these types of races.  But I think that there are just so many people that don't want to run Ragnars anymore, and so many new people that do.  I saw two former teammates of mine, Elizabeth and Brian.  I also saw Kelli and Scott.  They were volunteering.  Kelli used to be a prominent blogger, but she has since disabled her blog.  Our team finished around 1:30pm.  We took our picture and my wife picked me up at 2pm.  I had her stop at Wendy's on the way home for a Frosty.

Mizuno X10 Trail Miles: 15.99
Weight: 0.00
Total Distance

I was going to take Monday off just because.  Then while I was feeding the pig, my back tightened up on me.  So I spent the next few days trying to loosen it up and stretch.  I finally felt like I could run today.  I just took it nice and easy.  Other than some tremendous soreness in my right shin, it felt good.

Weight: 0.00
Add Comment
Total Distance

Another early morning Saturday run with Mike.  Glen did not want to come today.  20 minutes is not enough time for me to get ready in the morning.  I can get dressed in that time.  But I can't poop.  I packed some TP with me because I had a feeling, oh boy did I have a feeling.  Right before we were about to take off, my bowels loosened up.  I wandered off in the woods and found the same place I did the deed last time.  Mike was kind enough to wait for me.  After I was done I walked back to the parking lot, took one last stretch and started to run.  I had a slight lead on Mike and he didn't catch me until about 1.6 miles.  When he did, he was breathing real hard.  It sounded like he was snoring.  I almost asked him if he was okay, but it would make for a better tale if he would collapse and then I start chest compressions on him to save his life.  But alas, that didn't happen.  I stayed right behind him.  Around mile 2.6 he completely stopped and hunched over.  Was this my chance to perform life saving maneuvers?  Nope.  He started running right before I got to him.  I kept him in my sights for the rest of the run.  He runs so much faster than I do on the downhill.  I wanted to break the 10 min. pace this morning.  I would occasionally check my Strava to see if I had a chance.  I could tell it would be close, and I tried picking up the pace.  I would have to run it under 1 hour and 14 minutes to do it, (or very close to that.)  Right before I turned to enter the parking lot, I looked and I was a few seconds over.  I wondered if I'd make it.  But the final pace as recorded by Strava was 10:00.  I was kind of bummed, but Mike encouraged me that it's still progress.  He's right.  It was a good run.  Not a single cyclist this morning.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 10 Miles: 7.43
Weight: 0.00
Total Distance

For some reason, I really wanted to run under the freeway today.  I didn't even know it was a thing until about a month ago when I saw one of the guys I follow on Strava had done it.  The route is the same as my normal Canal run, but I've never gone past the gate at the Main Pumping Plant.  I knew that it's a 7.3 mile route to the gate and back, so I figured I might end up running 10 miles.  But I felt up to it, and being that it's Veteran's Day, and I don't have to get any kids ready for school, I decided to go for it.  I got to the gate no problem, and then I was in uncharted territory.  Although I have actually been there before, just not running.  I ran out to Val Vista and got on the other side of the Canal.  From the pictures my friend took, I knew there was a tunnel that went under the freeway.  I just wanted to run under it and maybe a little beyond.  After I ran under the freeway I looked at my mileage and I was at 4.4 miles.  I felt like I could do more so I kept going.  I wanted to at least go to the bend in the Canal and see what there was to see.  Turns out there wasn't much more to see.  I stopped at a canal gate and took a couple of pictures.  I tried to see if there was a way to get back on the other side of the canal without getting my feet wet, but there wasn't.  So I decided it was as good of place as any to turn around.  I just kept a nice easy pace and talked myself home.  It was kinda cool out this morning.  I might have to start wearing more layers soon.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 10 Miles: 9.38
Weight: 0.00
Total Distance

I took yesterday off and opted to do a nice, easy 3 loops today.  The City of Mesa, like other cities, has started this thing where you can rent a yellow bicycle for an hour or a day or whatever.  This morning I saw what I assumed to be a vagrant, trying to push a shopping cart filled with all of his worldly possessions and straddling one of these bicycles.  He seemed to be struggling and was stopped to adjust things in his cart.  Just as he started again, one of his jugs fell out.  I ran over and picked it up for him.  He seemed grateful.  I don't know what was in it.  Maybe drinking water?

Mizuno Wave Inspire 10 Miles: 3.75
Weight: 0.00
Total Distance

Just one loop today.  I felt good and ran fast for me.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 10 Miles: 1.43
Weight: 0.00
Add Comment
Total Distance

I planned on running with Mike like I do ever Saturday morning.  I went to bed at 8pm.  But I couldn't sleep.  And I couldn't sleep.  And I couldn't sleep.  At 1am I texted Mike to tell him not to come by.  I finally fell asleep around 2:15am.  I think I was stressed out over a project I'm working on.  Anyway, I got up around quarter to 8 and my wife was already home from her walk.  But she went back to bed and fell asleep.  I wanted her to take me up to the top of Usery Pass.  But she just wouldn't wake up.  So I wore my running clothes all day.  I finally decided to run at 5:51pm.  I wanted some good miles but wasn't sure where to run.  I figured it was too late to do Usery.  I thought I would just run up the Canal to the Main Pumping Plant.  As I was running I decided to instead run up to McDowell Road, turn east and run to Higley, then turn back south and run home.  I wasn't sure how many miles it would be, but I figured it would be at least the distance of a normal Saturday run.  I brought my headlamp with me because it was dark.  I didn't put it on until about a mile and a quarter into it.  Running along the Canal in between McKellips and McDowell, I saw some creepy guys walking down the path without any lighting.  Could they be any creepier?  I stepped on a rock somewhere along the path and now my foot is sore.  Turning east, you start to head uphill, but I flet decent.  I knew from riding my bike along Higley that the first half mile south was also uphill.  But it's not steep, so I just kept plugging along.  When I got to a mile and a half to go I got a call from my wife.  She was worried about me.  I told her I was fine.  The last half mile was kind of a drag, but I made it.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 10 Miles: 7.51
Weight: 0.00
Add Comment
Total Distance

We left Mesa for my sister's house in Enoch, UT around 6pm Tuesday.  I am the lucky one that gets to drive the RV the entire way.  We arrived around 4am Wednesday.  I slept for about 5 hours, but didn't feel like running.  I had mapped out a course earlier that I wanted to do, and I decided Thanksgiving morning would be ideal.  I left at 8:49am.  It was cold for me, but I still wore just shorts and a T.  I had no trouble finding my way.  The map was in my brain.  However, I didn't realize that part of it was on a dirt road.  My feet haven't completely healed from all the bruising they took at the Ragnar trail relay.  So, when I step on a rock, it hurts.  And there were plenty to step on.  I saw some sheep and some cows so I stopped to take pictures.  I kept going down the dirt road until finally I came to the end and there was a gate with a lock on it.  So I had to climb over it.  Then I made my way out to the main road.  I assume it was a highway.  The speed limit was 55mph.  I had to run on the shoulder and there wasn't much room, but most people would move over to the middle lane when they were coming by me.  Then I saw a racoon.  It was dead.  You don't see a lot of those in AZ.  I made it to the frontage road of the I-15 freeway.  I knew I was about 3 miles from my sister's.  By this time my hands were completely frozen.  But I was no longer running in to a head wind, and that was nice.  I knew that my sister's road was right next to a couple of huge water tanks.  I could see them from 2 miles away, but they didn't seem to be getting any closer.  I was headed back uphill again, but I just kept plodding along.  The elevation is around 6600, and I'm used to running at about 1300.  But running slow seemed to work.  As I approached the crest of the hill, I started feeling good.  I knew once I turned on my sister's street it would be only about a half mile to her house, and it's all downhill.  But my legs were shot.  So I just kept running at the same effort I was for the entire run.  It's  now around 2pm.  My legs are still sore, but I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner with my family.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Mizuno Wave Inspire 10 Miles: 9.31
Weight: 0.00
Total Distance

After stumbling around all day Thursday with heavy legs, they seemed to have healed up yesterday.  But I wanted one more recovery day.  So I went out this morning.  I brought three running outfits with me, but I only ran twice.  And that's ok. 

On Thursday's run I saw this tunnel that went under the freeway.  I didn't want to run as much as I did Thursday, and I knew that the tunnel was about 3 miles away from my sister's.  So I thought I'd run under the freeway, and maybe a little more to explore.  Immediately my legs felt super heavy.  I thought, "This is going to be another slog fest."  But the important thing is that I'm getting miles in, so I slogged away. 

The first half mile is uphill.  I was running the opposite direction as Thursday's run.  After a half mile I reach the frontage road.  Then it's downhill for a mile.  I was running on the shoulder again.  For the first mile there were no cars coming my way.  But then a few started to come, so I decided to count them.  I lost count after 3 or 4.  It was all uphill to the tunnel, but not as much elevation gain as the loss in that first mile of the frontage road.  So I had that to look forward to on the way back.  But I did it Thursday and survived.

As I approached the tunnel, I could see a hill on the other side of the freeway.  I decided that it would be nice to run up to the top of it and maybe take some pictures.  I ran through the tunnel and got to the other side.  But I saw a sign that said - Private property - no hunting, no fishing, no trespassing, etc., etc., etc.  I could've crawled under the fence, but after thinking about if for a minute, I decided to just turn around and run back.  This time I ran on the other side of the road where there is a dirt track next to the road for quite some way.  I ran on it because it's safer, but I had to avoid the rocks. 

There is one part of the road that is real steep.  I charged up it and my breathing was really labored.  But the rest wasn't bad because of all the hill training I've been doing.  My pace was about 30 seconds faster than Thanksgiving's run.  So I'll be heading back to Mesa tomorrow.  So long, Utah.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 10 Miles: 6.10
Weight: 0.00
Total Distance

I must've pulled or strained my right hamstring in Utah.  I had to go to pack meeting tonight, but my wife wasn't able to go.  Right before I needed to leave I got a text from one of the boy's mother asking me if I could give her son a ride to the meeting.  Since there's no one on one ineraction allowed my wife said she would drive us, but that I would need to get a ride home.  I figured I could just run home. 

Pack meeting was fun.  All four of our boys advanced; three of them got their Wolf and one got his Bobcat.  I threw my running clothes on and my scout clothes in a drawstring pouch/backpack.  I didn't stretch like I usually do because I figured it was less than two miles and I would take it easy.  But immediately I could feel the strain.  I kept running because what else was I going to do?  I made it home fine, but I'm really worried about my race the Saturday.

Reebok Floatride Miles: 1.82
Weight: 0.00
Add Comment
Total Distance
Mizuno X10 Trail Miles: 15.99Mizuno Wave Inspire 10 Miles: 44.91Reebok Floatride Miles: 1.82
Weight: 0.00
Debt Reduction Calculator

Featured Announcements
Web fastrunningblog.com
New Kids on the Blog
(need a welcome):
Lone Faithfuls
(need a comment):