As we arrived at the final weekend in 2014, and with the holidays over, I was given the opportunity to step away from my normal running routine and treat my legs to some running in the mountains. From time-to-time, my family goes away for a long-weekend up in the hills (best way to describe it). It’s a 3-hour drive north from where we are and it’s essentially in the middle of nowhere which always gives us some quality family time… and of course, beautiful running scenery.

I took advantage of a break from my typical running route and set off on an 8-mile run down, and then up a mountain. It’s a 4-mile out-and-back route that presents a turnaround spot at a mini-stream-like-waterfall (again, best way to describe it). With the recent rain, it was flowing pretty strong and some of the grass around the area had frosted over.

The route starts out at around 2700+ ft. and is gentle rolling hills up to 2800+ ft. for the first 2.5 miles. It’s then a 800 foot decline for the next 1.5 miles to work on the quads. At that point you reach the waterfall and take in the sights:


Views from the turnaround spot.

Views from the turnaround spot.

Mika taking in the sights as well.

Mika taking in the sights as well.

The start of the climb back up.

The start of the climb back up.



Then it’s a trip back up the mountain. It’s some pretty steep climbing for half-mile sections and that was how I approached it. Climb for .5 miles, then take a little walk break for a few and get back after it. Once you hit the 2800 ft. elevation again you know it’s just a couple miles back home. I did this on back-to-back days over the weekend and thought about going out for a third day, but timing didn’t work out. Either way, I think it was exactly what I needed to reign back in the focus that started to drift over some rainy-gloomy days in the Bay Area.

Last Run of 2014

On Tuesday, I set out on my last run for 2014. It was another 4-mile out and back route back in the Bay Area and I wanted to keep a 7-7:30 pace for the majority of it. It was a windy day, which didn’t help, but I was able to stay pretty close to the 7:30 pace with a couple 7:10 miles mixed in. Overall, I came in with an avg. pace of 7:27 which was within my window, but I would have loved to have been closer to 7:15.

It was a great way to end the 2014 running season and a perfect reminder that I have to put in some serious work over the next 60 days if I’m looking to be successful at the Phoenix Marathon. I’m looking forward to the last part of this training cycle. It’s been a journey and I’m anxious to see how I perform on race day.

Phoenix Marathon almost SOLD OUT

If you are thinking about running with US at the end of Februrary, REGISTER NOW. The full marathon is expected to sell out quickly and with a price increase scheduled for 1/15, now is the time to lock it in.

PAVEY10 = 10% off

There is also a half marathon option which will also sell out after the full. Check out the LIST here of the social peeps that will be running it. Hope to see you there. #ItsGoingDownAtPHX

The Run Local Social Club

I know you have a New Year’s resolution and what better way then to start it off by running with a group! This Saturday, January 3, The Run Local Social Club is making it’s debut in the Bay Area. It’s a social event that will take place the first Saturday of every month hosted by Represent Running, a local race management company. Every month will be a new social event… could be a run, a yoga session, an outdoor fitness class, anything that gets the running community to gather around the Bay Area.

We’re kicking off 2015 in San Francisco with a 3-mile run, join us:

  • January 3, 2015, 8 a.m.
  • Pier 14 (next to the Ferry Building), San Francisco

I’ll be helping to host the run with fellow Ambassadors and will be leading the 3-mile run on Saturday. I’m hoping you’ll join us. It will be a comfortable pace, we’ll chat, take pics, and get in a few miles to start off 2015. Afterwards some of us will stick around for coffee at the Ferry Building and everyone is welcome to join in.

Cheers and wishing you all a Happy New Year.