Month: March 2015

Ed’s 50k Red Rock Canyon Run 3/19/2015

I had some PTO time to burn up so i took Thursday off to do a 50K long run.  Never mind that I was still recovering from my Marathon a while back and hadn’t run for 2 weeks.

I mapped out a a nice route.  From Red Rock Station (NV159 & I215) to NV160 (NV159 & NV 160) is 15 Miles.  Then to make it a loop instead of an out and back, I went a bit east on 160 until I hit Fort Apache and then took that back to I215 and followed I215 back to my car

Ed’s Red Rock 50k Route


This is a pretty nice part of town and there were a few people out for their morning run or bike.


After a little bit you get into undeveloped desert.  This whole section runs through Red Rock canyon.  Very pretty place to run.  No burros were on the road today though I did see 1 on a hill.  I was excited to see 2 coyotes run across the road.


NV159 has a nice wide shoulder.  There are very few large vehicles on this section so you should feel very safe, even when it gets busy.  As you get closer to NV160 there will be more large vehicles as there are some Gypsum mines/plants.


My last marathon was at the Red Rock Canyon loop.  I ran by the entrance and exit to the loop but that wasn’t part of my route today.  Which was fortunate.  The loop has more elevation change than the route I mapped out.  I believe I started around 2800 feet and peaked out around 3600 feet and bottomed out around 2600.


I finally made it to NV160.  NV160 is a busy road with a lot of large vehicles moving pretty fast.  Fortunately the side of the road is a wide packed dirt shoulder.


Fort Apache @ NV160 probably isn’t the best road to run on.  Very narrow paved shoulder and the gravel shoulder has several obstructions.  At one point, there is a blind curve and no gravel so you have to run on the road.  What makes this more harrowing is the heavy construction and gravel truck traffic.  Maybe the weekend traffic is safer.


By the time I got to Wet and Wild water park the road was fully improved with sidewalks.


Part of the reason I went this direction was because there is an urban trail that follows I-215.  I drive by it all the time and a trail that I haven’t run on always seems to call me.  Plus running a city street with traffic lights stops every mile isn’t the funnest.


One of the signature items on this urban trail is the Town Center pedestrian bridge.  By the time I got to the bridge I had to debate if I really wanted to climb the switch backs or simply walk across the road – I took the bridge.


I was able to complete this run with no acute pains and no nausea! Somewhere around mile 20-25 I ran out of legs so that may be a problem for a 50 miler.  And I don’t think nausea was too far away.  But this run was definitely a win and it really boosts my confidence for longer distances.


Chronic Illness

Every so often there is a ‘human interest’ story on the news.  Some remarkable young child is undergoing medical treatments.  Disease is destroying the child’s body and yet he or she is happy and optimistic.  These are ‘great’ emotional news stories.

But from my experience, it’s not how the story plays out.

Raising kids is crazy hard.

I’m stubborn.  That’s why I enjoy endurance sports, I don’t stop.  To live with me you have to be just as stubborn.  But raising stubborn kids provides its own set of challenges.  You want your kids to get up on time, go to school, learn, study, have good character, have friends, play sports (run?), and eat food.  My stubborn kids push and resist at each of those items.  My job as a parent is to mold them.

That’s hard.

But what do you do when one of your kids is fighting a chronic disease?

When a parent excuses away a bad behavior of a child do you roll your eyes?

I do. It’s just so easy to make a snap judgement without understanding the whole situation.

What do you think if I told you my child can’t wake up on time for school because of exhaustion?  My child looks healthy.

If you told me that your child has this problem I’d tell you to have your kid go to bed earlier. Most kids don’t want to wake up on time and you simply need to be firm with the rules.



Maybe I’m dealing with a stubborn kid or perhaps 12-14 hours of sleep and exhaustion the rest of the day is from something else?  How am I supposed to tell the difference?

I am not particularly nice and friendly when I’m tired.  What type of behavior should I allow from a child who is seemingly perpetually exhausted?

What do you do about medicine?  We go through more than a dozen pills a day, we were doing two dozen at one point.  I hate pills.  I don’t understand why people pop Ibuprofen during a race, don’t you understand the potential consequences?

Have you ever seen a child routinely take a half dozen pills before breakfast and a half dozen pills for bed time?

Every day.


Thank God we aren’t doing 3X a day right now, that was rough.

Google is the worst Doctor in the world.  I’ll ask Google about side effects.

Fatigue – Brain fog – Insomnia

Whatever–  How do you tell what is a side effect in a kid and what is simply a kid growing?  How do you handle education when medical conditions and medicine impact learning?  Did she score poorly because she is a kid slacking off or because of medicine? Do you coddle her or scold her for the performance? I don’t know.

What about the pain?  If a kid is physically hurting you’d normally have them skip school for the day.  But what if you don’t know if the pain is going to last days, weeks, or months?  Do you skip school for a month?

Explain to a 13 year old why she has to take horrible steroids that make her gain a ton of weight.  In a short period of time.  Noticeably fast.

Then turn around after that regiment is done and give her medicine that suppresses appetite and then have to force her to keep on weight.

Explain to a child who doesn’t want to take medicine or go to doctors anymore because it’s not working anyway?

Calico Racing Red Rock Marathon 2015


The 2015 Calico Red Rock marathon is my first race since recovering from my leg injury.  In 2014 I injured my leg during Calico Racing’s Twilight Red Rock run, which is the same course, just in the dark.  I “ran” the 5k option of the race with my kids.  I was training for a 100k so my mileage was higher than normal.  I could ‘feel’ that an injury was coming, but I had to run with my kids!

My legs seem to be recovered and I’m back to my normal mileage – though slower than in the past.  I intend to run a 50 mile race this year and need to be able to run these longer distances without injury – If I can’t complete a Marathon with healthy legs, how can I complete a double marathon?


So I set out to run this race nice and slow with no thought to pace.  The course is a 13 mile out and back, climb for 6 1/2 miles and descend for 6 1/2 miles then run (walk?) back.  The half marathon starts an hour later and does the “return” leg of the marathon.

Since the start is uphill, keeping pace down isn’t too difficult – although it’s still tough to keep pace down when people are passing me.  But the wonderful downhill.   How can you not open your legs up and fly down the mountain?  The half marathon runners are spread out across my downhill.  It’s just so much fun to fly by someone, it just feels like you are showing them how awesome an athlete you are.  Never mind that I was at the back of the pack and nearly every other full marathon runner had already passed them.

This was the second time I ran this race.  I knew I needed to keep my pace down on the downhill.  But I didn’t and I paid for it on the return trip.  Not sure how but my left ankle is now swollen and I have a slight twinge on my right knee.  Over extending?  It’s my normal reoccurring problem.  So my return trip was mostly walking back.

If my goal was to race, this would have disappointed me.  I had the cardio-vascular strength tocontinue running but it was hurting my ankle and knee.  So I just had fun listening to my iPhone and staying fast enough to stop anyone else from passing me.

There isn’t a nicer on-road course in the southwest for either distance.  It’s challenging with the hill climbs, but it’s not a mean climb.  The road is still open to traffic, but it’s one way traffic and the entire 13.1 miles of the course is coned off (That’s a lot of work! 13 miles of setting cones and then 13 miles of picking them up!).


As for my results, I finished in around 5:15.  I had fun but I did have more injury than I wanted in a lead up to a 50 Mile.  Fortunately I have some PTO time to burn this month.  I’ve mapped out a neat 30 mile course to try.  Perhaps getting a few more really longs run in will help my diagnosis some changes before the 50 Mile race I’m eyeing gets too close.