Elephant Mountain Race Report (and Phoenix Vacay)

This one is a long time in coming, I’ve been a total slacker blogger lately, and as usual, my “excuse” is running, and family, so no apologies here!  Our family vacation in February was a trip to Phoenix for 10 days.  To say that I was excited to have a week and a half of warm desert running and family time is a bit of an understatement!

The first morning after we arrived I had a long run scheduled, so headed out to explore the area, I was very excited to find an awesome trail only a mile from our house!  I ran that trail many times in the coming week.  I have to say, I really loved desert running, and found the vista’s beautiful.  It’s so different than what I’m used to here in the Alberta mountains, but amazing in it’s own way.

10968554_10153019850500791_8820680124060733437_nIn the middle of our trip my hubby and I were super lucky to get to have a little mini getaway of our own!  We had lots of grandparents around to help, so we took off and drove via Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon!  I had seen the Grand Canyon years ago on a trip to Vegas, but hubby never had.  We had a lot of fun, stopping in Flagstaff for a trail run and some pizza. I had never run at altitude before, so it was a pretty cool experiment to see how my body would react.  It was definitely harder, but, since we just ran an easy, low key run, it didn’t feel crazy hard.  I’m sure it would have been a totally different story had I been trying to do an actual workout or hit specific paces!

11006370_10153027857580791_2239976548433279326_nNext we hit the Grand Canyon!  We explored the rim the first night, and then the next morning we did a quick hike down into it, about 2/3rds of the way down.  We both would have LOVED to have gone all the way down, but we didn’t want to take advantage of the awesome babysitters we had back in Phoenix.

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Once we got back to Phoenix, I had a trail race that I had registered in for the Saturday morning.  I knew that I had a long run that I wanted to get in, and thought that signing up for a race would be a great way to get a long run in, without risking bailing on it due to vacation fun.  It worked perfectly.  The race was a 22 km trail race in the desert.  It was fairly close to where we were staying, so was easy to get to.  As a bonus I got to meet a couple of INKnBURN ambassadors that I “knew” from facebook.

10988919_819532661439616_440953030114900965_nGoing into this race I really didn’t know if I was going to “race” it or just run it as a supported fun long run.  I still wasn’t sure once I got rolling, so I took the first few km’s pretty easy, they were also uphill, so it was pretty easy to keep the pace nice and slow!  Once I got rolling though and into some downhills, my legs just felt like moving, so I went with it.  It was fun running fast on the trails, and they were in good shape, nice packed sand/dirt.

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Once I was about 1/3 of the way through my pace slowed again, and I just cruised along at an easy’ish pace, enjoying the trails and the nice summer weather.  As I was heading towards the turn around, I started counting females ahead of me (because I CANNOT turn off that competitive nature of mine!), and realized that there were only 3-4 women ahead of me.  This got my legs moving again, and I picked up the pace again.  When I was about 2/3rds of the way though my stomach started to bother me a bit.  If I had been in the mountains, I would have ducked behind a tree for a pitstop, but this was the desert and it was so open, no trees for pitstops!  I slowed down a bit and just chugged along.  Once I finished climbing again and started to head downwards I started to feel a bit better, I also heard a woman behind me, which once again got my legs moving!  I pushed it again, and ran the last 3-4 km’s in to the finish at a decent pace.

Super awesome race put on by Aravaipa Runners!
Super awesome race put on by Aravaipa Runners!

I finished at around 2:20, and as the 5th woman, I was SUPER happy with this given the difficult course with lots of climbing along with my indecision on whether I was actually racing or not.

How beautiful is this!!?  I love the desert!
How beautiful is this!!? I love the desert!

I also want to comment on my new INKnBURN cami, I just have to say I LOVE this design, it’s beautiful.  The colors, especially against the subdued desert colors are so bright and fresh, I know I was absolutely the best dressed out there (well maybe apart from Amanda, the other ambassador wearing the same cami).  The other bonus is that I had received the cami in the mail on Friday, and hadn’t even tried it on before Saturday morning.  INKnBURN clothes are so perfect, and amazing, that I knew that there would be zero risk of chafing or other issues wearing it in a race.

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5 thoughts on “Elephant Mountain Race Report (and Phoenix Vacay)

  1. Jesus for so many reasons! Ha ha I need a holiday! Congrats on the 5th place finish! Was it super hot? Did you just carry our bottle? Were there many aid stations? Gosh I would have peed anyway 🙂

    1. It wasn’t too bad, it’s fairly cool in the mornings, so was maybe 10 C at the start and 17-18 at the finish. I had a handheld water bottle, there were 3 aid stations, I only stopped at the middle one, to refill my bottle and grab a handful of M&Ms (another thing I love about trail running!)

      Oh if I just had to pee, I would have just peed myself lol 😳😝

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