Sunday, February 3, 2013

Racing, hiking, racing and hiking = winter in AZ

Winter in AZ is pretty good :-) BUT I MISS SNOW
Jr is in Germany for work for 8 weeks while I am in Arizona. But this time it is not bad at all, because my brother is here for 5 weeks and then my other brother and his family are coming for the leftover time :-) YAY.

So what to do in this 70 degree winter weather: TRAINING, RACING, HIKING
First was my first 21 mile run EVER in my life...and in the middle of my long run was the PF Changs 13.1 Rock n Roll. I had to do it :-) It is in town, lots of familiar faces, and the best part was that I could race for free (sub 1:22 last year qualified me for a free entry in Rock n Roll events). But 21 miles is a long day and the legs didn't feel as fresh as I expected as I had done my first ever over 100 km I ended up running a 1:27...then just kept going until I hit 21 miles. And then I felt like this:
 But luckily 2 hrs later I felt great again and Sven, Jack and me went hiking on trail 100. What a great day:

 The next day we went mountain biking in the McDowell Mnt preserve and my legs were just a little tired :-)
 The plan for last weekend was to hike Flat Iron but Phoenix got 4 days of rain and we didn't want to end up like the 40 hikers in Tucson who had to be rescued...when it rains in the valley, everything turns into this:
 Therefore I went swimming, I mean running. 19 miles in the biggest rainfall since 1984 (according to the news). Sven biked with me and we had a blast. We were soaked from head to toe but the run felt fantastic, average pace: 6:54 for 19 miles including puddles, small rivers that appeared in the city and sand that made your shoe disappear :-)

Then we went hiking the next day: Piestewa Peak:
What a great in-the-city-hike!!!

This weekend was supposed to be a double race weekend: ARR half marathon Saturday followed by the Xterra run Sunday. I ended up switching things around because I had to take a first aid class Saturday. Instead I raced the DOUBLE DOWN at the Runner's Den classic. A 5 k at 8 am, a 10 k at 9:15!!! Sven raced his first ever 5 k and he did fantastic - racing in the US is fun :-)

 He is hooked and we are already looking for races for next week :-)
 Checking out the competition at the start:
 Post race with Brandon and Justin:
 The 5 k goal was to even split and the first 2 miles were right at 5:45...for some reason I ended up with a 18:36, but later I found out that people's gamins recorded 3.19 miles. I ll take it. I haven't done anything super speedy in a while. I took 2nd and kept cooling down which was also the warm up for the 10 k: negative splitting, and I ended up winning with a 39:07. Happy - I took the Double Down win and got a great workout in.

But that wasn't the beginning of a lazy day for Sven and me. We were off to Flat Iron for some hiking (yep, my number was still pinned onto me when we started the drive). We met Mindy and Kris and started this beautiful and challenging hike. I thought the hike would be the cool down from the race but it was the other way around.

Flat iron:
 The view from the top:
 Up up up...

 Climb climb climb...
 What a view!!!

 360 degree view from the secret spot that Mindy and Kris showed us!!!
 Saguaro with face, nose and arms :-)
 We were up there!!!
That is it from our corner of the world :-)