Over this past winter break I did a fair bit of traveling. My family decided it would be nice to spend a week in a slightly warmer climate, so we planned to go to Phoenix, and then return home (to Pemberton, a small town just north of Whistler, BC) for the remainder of the holidays. Thus, as soon as my last exam was done on December 21st, and after a final interval session in the park on the 22nd, Zoe and I boarded a plane to head home to Vancouver that evening at 9pm. After a very eventful flight, we arrived in Vancouver at midnight (3am Ontario time) and finally got to bed two hours later. Luckily for Zoe, she was at home where she would stay for the rest of the holidays (except for a brief visit to Pemberton!) however, I was being picked up bright and early the next morning to drive down to Seattle so we could fly out to Phoenix later that afternoon. After a delayed flight, we finally arrived in Phoenix at midnight and I was able to get some much needed sleep.
The next day I was thoroughly excited to see the sun and comfortable temperatures of 66º F (about 17 ºC). That afternoon, I decided to go for an easy run, remembering John’s words of wisdom: to take it easy, no intervals, just low volume zone 1, and to wear lots of sunscreen! I followed every word, except for the sunscreen part, after all, I was there to get a fabulous tan, and it wasn’t really that hot anyways! So in the early afternoon I set off on an easy run wearing my heart rate monitor to keep tabs on everything. From our place I could see some brown, desert-y hills in the distance which I decided would be nice to run up to the top of to check out the city of Phoenix. I estimated about an hour and a half return trip including running up to the top. Within the first 10 minutes, I realized the temperature was actually quite warm and I was very dehydrated, most likely from the amount of previous flying and dryness of the desert! However, 20 minutes later I reached the bottom of the hills (they were actually called the Phoenix Mountain Preserve) and then another 5 minutes later I was at the top of them (and I even ski walked up to the top to stay in zone 1). Slightly disappointed that I had already reached my destination so quickly, I proceeded to run up and around both peaks before heading home for a total of 1 hour and 15 minutes. This proceeded to be my preferred method of training for the next five days and I ended up exploring a few different areas of Phoenix - there is a long canal that extends for miles throughout the city (Phoenix is incredibly spread out) and there are many “mountain” ranges scattered throughout the city as well. On my last run, I brought my camera along and documented it with pictures, check them out below!
Some lessons learned this holiday:
1. No matter how excited and eager you are to go for a run because all you’ve been doing is skiing for the past 2 months, take it easy, you WILL be sore after!
2. Flying, and traveling in general, is very exhausting whether you realize it or not (I got sick two days after getting home from Arizona).
3. Drink lots of water on planes!
4. Sleep, a lot!
Happy New Year!
Brown hills of the hoenix Mountain Preserve
Not a traditional Christmas tree.
Prickly and tall, but still not the same as the real thing.