Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Return to the Desert

My wife, Salome, planned a long weekend trip to Scottsdale, AZ for my young son, Alex's spring break. We stayed at our friends' house near Carefree in the Northeast part of the Phoenix megalopolis. Our friends' son, Mike is our son Alex's best friend who moved out to Arizona last summer. The two were inseparable for the four days we visited.

Saturday morning Salome & I drove down to Tempe, the sight of my Ironman last November, to do a long run in preparation for the Paris Marathon. The Muscular Dystrophy Association was holding a 5K walk around Tempe Lake that morning, so there was some maneuvering around the crowd of walkers at some points. I ran as much of the marathon course around Lake Tempe as I could remember. The course twists and turns through some neighborhoods and crosses over the Lake at the midpoint. A little confusing. In any event, Salome ran 13 miles and I ran 15 miles. The temperatures were cool and the course brought back some memories of my Ironman experience.

On Sunday, we drove up to Flagstaff and went skiing for the day at the Snowbowl Ski Resort. While Snowbowl is a fairly modest ski resort, it was nice to get in a day of skiing. We normally like to ski the moguls, but kept off the bumps due to their steepness and iciness. Neither one of us wanted to risk an injury and blow our Paris trip. It was Spring skiing conditions, so I wore my light AZ Ironman jacket. Both stylish and right for the conditions. Having missed ski season completely last year with the full ironman training schedule, it was nice to get back to the slopes.

Early Monday morning, we ran the roads heading west from Carefree towards Tonto National Forest. Salome turned to make a 5 mile run. I kept going to make it a 10 miler. Running these beautiful desert roads, I decided that, at least during the cool months, there may be no better place to run.

In addition to the runs and skiing, we did several hikes with the kids. I also managed a dinner Monday with my sister and brother. All in all, a fun long weekend. Of course, Tuesday was a total loss with the return flight to Ft. Lauderdale.

This morning, I woke early to mid 50s temperatures. I decided to skip my planned group ride and got in a 12 mile run. Thus, my long runs over the last 2 weeks were: 20, 7, 7, 15, 10 and 12 miles. Not the best marathon prep, but not bad for coming off a stomach virus induced hiatus from training. Hopefully its enough to get me through the Paris Marathon 10 days from now. Buddies Wayne and Bob have been posting lots of pictures on Facebook of their travels through Italy since running the Rome Marathon 10 days ago. It looks like they are living the good life. I can't wait to join them next week in Paris.


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  2. Like a dip, I saw your post and assumed you lived in AZ so I was gushing how I needed to move the family to AZ to take advantage of skiing and summer weather at the same time in the same state.
    Then I remembered you live in the tropics with me...
    Oh well, still a good thought to pack up the family and move to AZ.