Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Get Out of the Smog

You're sick of running on the treadmill everyday. The roads are actually clear of snow and ice. You are itching to break out your tighty, running tights and breath in the brisk cool winter air. And then you look out the window and there it is. The Salt Lake Valley winter smog. You've heard running in it is like smoking a pack of cigarettes. True or not you'd rather not find out.

City Creek Canyon is the answer to your winter smog running blues. The smog is usually brought on by the infamous "inversion". I can't tell you all the scientific reasoning, but during this time, City Creek Canyon stays free and clear of the smog.

I've run there in the winter and it's even been warmer the further up the canyon I went. Except for immediately after a snowstorm, the roads are kept pretty clear even in January and February. There may be a few ice patches where the water runs across the road. Just be smart and slow down to an awkward shuffle.

This is actually one of the most beautiful routes I've run in the winter. Blue skies, snow flocked evergreens, and the sound of City Creek babbling down the canyon.

Job Hunting/Marathon training

I'm doing the whole job hunt thing. I just remembered why I haven't done this for a while. I'm seriously considering a meter reader job. It requires a lot of walking. I'm all over that. I'd really like a job that got me outdoors for part of the day. If there's a jumpsuit that comes with it, I'm so in.

Ogden Marathon II
Since I have all this free time right now, I've decided to train to run another marathon. I really liked the Ogden. It's well organized, the route is beautiful, and I'd really like to go back and beat my time. I ran it in 2007 and finished in 5:09. I really wanted to run a sub 5 hour marathon. I'll never qualify for Boston, but I think I can do better.

Other races I am planning on or have registered for 2009:
Moab Half Marathon
Ogden Marathon
Spudman Triathlon (Olympic distance)(if I don't make the lottery, I may try the Vikingman again)
Peach Day's 10K

I'll probably add a few more races, but I haven't settled on which yet.

Well, got to go run, literally....

Monday, January 5, 2009

Road Trip, Part deux

I've been to Phoenix a couple of times but I've either been passing by or it was July. You don't go outside in July unless its to sit in the pool. Anyhow, it's lovely in the winter. I hiked two different peaks, Squaw and Camelback.

Mr. R took me on the hike up Squaw "mountain". I started shooting off my mouth about how these aren't mountains by Utah standards. Then I ran out of breath so I stopped. The peaks/mountains are not that high there but the trails go straight up instead of nice gradual switchbacks. I mean it was no Timp, but both hikes were pretty strenuous. I highly recommend them.

Second day I was going to go back to where Squaw is and hike around all the lowland trails, but I didn't find it. Strangely I came across another trail head which turned out to be Camelback. I actually thought this trail was a little more lovely a trail. It had some technical parts though.

There was a decorated Christmas tree on top. Fun and festive.

There was this one guy who was "running" it. He went up and down at least 3 times while I was there.

I took off for San Diego after the hike. It's a nice straight shot to CA from Phoenix. Nothing very eventful. There is this dunes area that I thought was pretty cool when you cross the AZ/CA border. The sun was setting so I didn't get any pics.

San Diego. What do I say. Every time I get back for a visit it's like I never left. I love the freeway systems there. So quick and easy to get everywhere.

I did make it to the beach. I didn't get in though. I didn't take my wetsuit with me. It was chilly. The air, the sand, the water. I'm not usually that weak sauce and if someone had been there encouraging me I would have totally plunged, but I admit it, I wimped out. I did wade though. I had a lovely walk along La Jolla Shores though. The tide was low enough that I could go all the way over to where the tide pools are.

I crossed most of my to do list off. I ate a burrito from Los Alamos in Old Town. Beach. Fish tacos. I did not make it to Little Italy for gelato. Also, I did not go to Tijauana to search for a ceramic surf monkey. Apparently there's a lot of Mexican mafia killings in TJ everyday (all the border towns for that matter) and it was highly suggested I not go. I figured the monkey wasn't worth possible death.

The final item on my list was shenanigans with Doctor B. I don't know what I was doing the two years I lived in San Diego, but apparently I missed the giant turd. There is this sculpture that is supposed to be a wave in honor of some ocean god. Well, if I were the sculptor, I would stay away from water, cause if I were the ocean god, I'd drown this guy for insulting me with a giant doo-doo.

Did I mention it was raining? Pretty hard. So Doc B is all, let's climb it. He climbed it just fine. My shoes slid right off the thing. I did take them off. After B jumped like 40 feet through the air, did a flip and a roll or something (that's how I remember it now), he comes over to help me up. With some hefting, prodding and poking of my posterior, I finally get maybe halfway up. But I'm like spread across the back of this thing and my grip is slipping. I do a lot of dumb things with very little encouragement but I got really scared and started squealing and stuff. I wasn't sure how I was going to get down without completely falling. Doc B to the rescue. Somehow I ended up sitting on his shoulders, at which point I think the squealing resumed, then climbed down his back.

I'll have to get into the climbing gym and improve my climbing skills so next time I'm in the area I can take another crack at the giant ocean turd.

I made it back to Utah in time to get up to my parents for Christmas Eve. All and all a great trip.