Monday, May 23, 2011

Whoa, a snake!

I feel a lot better than I look! What a great day for a run. It was perfect outside.

This morning was the first official summer training run of 2011, well, for us, ever. I was excited about today's run, wanted to get up early and hit the trail and be done by 7:30 or so. I was exhausted and slept until 7:30. I got up sore, but still eager to hit the trail. My running partner wasn't like-minded! Her mind matched my physical condition. But, we toughed it out and both of us had a great time. That's the point. Do something, enjoy it, get outside and challenge yourself a bit.

We ran about 3 1/2 miles on an awesome trail, especially considering this is the desert. We saw a lot of wildlife. Two large mule deer (very close), vermilion fly catchers, millions of lizards and a field mouse, and of course, a snake. See if you can spot the snake in the picture.
Now imagine running and being tired and it's stretched out and still and you're NOT looking for it.

It was laying right over the trail. I thought it was a small branch. Since it was right in path where my footfall was to be, I was going to squish it. At the last second I recognized it as a snake and hopped over it. Close call for the snake. Luckily for me it's non-venomous or close call for me!

Today's run was along the De Anza Trail that begins in Tumacacori, Arizona. It's a beautiful trail, well maintained and large parts of it are completely enclosed in trees. Even in the dry summer heat the trees provide protection from the intense ultraviolet radiation that literally burns your skin and wicks moisture from you. Plus, the trees add a touch of humidity to the air which has a cooling effect.

The trail leaves the national park (for the Tumacacori Mission) but is still well maintained and easy to follow. There are a few small wooden bridges, one that spans the narrow (for now) Santa Cruz River. But, monsoon season is soon. And with monsoons can come some incredible floods, the likes of which took these two cars to the banks of the river.

Here's the tired running partner. Once she started looking for "cool" things on the run, she stopped thinking about her sore legs, aching stomach and hot skin. We started going faster and felt more relaxed.


  1. I had a car like that once!

    My first run of the summer training season was a four miler around a portion of Anthem, Az. It was all surface streets. I had planned to get up early, too. I woke up at 5:30, thought about it and went back to bed. I finally woke up and hit the road at 6:30.

    I was pleased at having finished my first in tact four miler. This coming Saturday I plan to do a five miler with shorter intervals and some cross training During the week.

    I am planning on that November event in Tucson.

  2. Here's the snake:

    What's the event in Tucson in November again?