Posts tagged Winter
Prior to moving to Arizona we did a ton of research. One thing we didn’t really research was weather. When we moved we expected to weather to be hot year round. Soon we found that Arizona actually has seasons. Did you know that it snows in Arizona?! If you go just two hours north to Flagstaff you’ll find the temps much lower. As I type this it’s currently 60 degrees in Phoenix, yet it’s 35 degrees in Flagstaff. Believe it or not you will find snow in Flagstaff and skiing is available. That’s absolutely crazy to me. My understanding is it has to due with the drastic difference in elevation between the two area.
So, yes it’s HOT in the summer, but when it started to cool down the weather was absolutely amazing. We were able to enjoy open window living for a couple months. Back in Ohio the weather changes were more drastic and we could go from air conditioned living one day to needing the heat the next. Without needing the air conditioning or heat our energy bills have been much lower than our prior energy expenses, which helps tremendously. It’s a win/win situation.
We are thrilled by the unexpected mild weather, but over the past month the temperatures have ranged from 30s in the morning to 60s midday. We’ve even had nights that have dipped into the 20s. Although D is happy he gets to once again wear his funky hats, this 30 degree difference has wreaked havoc on his body due to his fibromyalgia.
Who knew it got this cold in Phoenix? I will say it’s not only a surprise to us, but some locals too. I have heard, “It’s 30 degrees cooler than usual,” more often than not. I’ve gotta admit that it seems like I’ve lost the ability to know how to dress for colder weather. I’ve run outside in single digit/negative temps, yet the recent cold seems so much colder…but then again, that could be because I’m still trying to wear sandals.
Thankfully my past cold weather training has clicked in for my chilly runs, helping me choose my clothing/gear accordingly. I’m also thankful that the 3-4 week cold snap seems to have passed as of this week and the we’re back to enjoying warmer temperatures. Warm enough for runs in tanks and skirts.
After only 6 months of living in Arizona have I already become a wuss?
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
The first Omniten Reunion was pretty darn fantastic! As usual, I’m having a hard time putting into words the experience. After our Sedona/Havasu trip in June we had hoped to reunite in the future. I’m not unsure if anyone really thought it’d happen. Thankfully we were able to personally come together and make a reunion happen, even though some could not attend. (No worries! I’m sure there will be more.)
Upon my arrival I was greeted at baggage claim by Heather and Katie. We then headed over the neighboring terminal to grab Jon. Gotta love when flight schedules coincide. After a few quick hugs we ventured out into the COLD weather (Holy crap, did I really ever live in this sort of climate?!) to be met by Will, ready to start our short road trip to Park City.
Will was volunteered for the task of organizing this adventure and to say he delivered is an understatement. Our lodging alone spoke for itself. I’ve always hoped to vacation in a lodge such as Timber Wolf Lodge and it finally happened.
Fireplace? Check. Hot tub? Check. Classic wood/cabin furniture? Check. Warm and welcoming? Check. Kick butt entertainment set up? Check. Pots, pans, dishes, and other kitchen utensils? Check. It was all that I had hoped. You better believe I chose to sleep on the couch and fell asleep by the light of the fireplace each night.
Once settled in we made our way to the market to grab all of our food necessities for our time in Park City. We kicked off our first evening with a gourmet meal from Will and called it an early night.
We woke up early the next morning in hopes of hitting the slopes at opening. After Jon and I grabbed our rentals at Park City Sport (High five to them. We almost didn’t acquire rentals for our lack of planning. They were super nice and understanding. Not to mention, they didn’t make me feel like a tool for my lack of knowledge.) we headed to Alta.
That would be the look of fear captured by Katie
I knew this, but wow, ski resorts out west are nothing like Ohio. Those aren’t just hills. Those are mountains. There are no words to describe the beauty.
Photo Courtesy of Heather
After taking a brief moment to take it all (brief, because it was flippin’ cold! I don’t know if I’m meant for cold weather anymore…), it was time to face the challenge I set before myself well over a year ago. That’s when the nerves kicked in. How in the world was I going to survive on these little toothpicks? Alas, I did it. First run of the day + no crashes = success. Woohoo!
Photo courtesy of Katie
Another photo from Heather
After several hours of runs we took a brief lunch and then headed back for a few more runs before calling it a day. The second half of the day was filled with even more beauty as we were surrounded by falling snow. So peaceful.
Alta is a pretty sweet mountain. The slopes were perfect for my lack of experience and I really fell in love with all it had to offer. Unfortunately those that are looking to snowboard must head to another mountain since it’s only open to skiing. However, the variety of green, blue, black runs provided enjoyment for the varying skill levels in our group.
We finished up the day with a quiet night in the lodge since the next day called for more skiing!
Day 2 of skiing lead us to meeting up with another member of the Omniten, Steve, and took us to Solitude. A bit quieter than most mountains, Solitude lives up to it’s name. With the sun shining and the snow falling consistently throughout the day, it was as though diamonds were falling from the sky. Can’t beat that. Unfortunately for me day 2 didn’t go as well as day 1 (more on that in the future). Even so, it was another beautiful day on the mountain.
That evening we had several Blends (blog +friends) come to our lodge to celebrate New Years and have dinner.
I love meeting blends in real-life. Heck, these are some of my best friends, so it’s always great when the opportunity arises. After dinner we hit downtown Park City to ring in the New Year.
The next day called for sleeping in, eating lots, checking out more of Park City, playing cards, and even some dancing. Before we knew it, nighttime had once again come and it was time to call it a day.
As expected, our final morning together was filled with cleaning, packing, and goodbyes. As always, time flew by faster than we imagined. Could it really be time to head home?
2012 was filled with adventures and experiences that were out of this world for me. 2 life-changing experiences included my Omniten family. In our short times together they’ve seen me at my highest and also at my lowest. They’ve provided inspiration to pursue my adventures and kind words or a shoulder to cry on when I’ve stumbled (both literally and figuratively) through these adventures. I really couldn’t imagine my life without them.
To friends and future adventures!
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
As the fall season quickly approaches so does the decision of what races to run. Racing in the winter? Yep, I now have that option out here in Arizona. It’s crazy to think that I’ll be able to run outside without the worry of having to battle snow and/or sleet. The big question is…what races should I run? The bigger question is…should I even run races?
As you know, in my 5 years of running I don’t have a huge race resume and I definitely don’t think races make an athlete. Do I like running races? Sure do. Who doesn’t like the bling?
But quite frankly, since arriving in Arizona, my runs suck. I’m still battling 3 mile runs at a slower pace than I’m used to. I knew it’d take some adjusting, but I had no idea it would take as long as it has. Would I even be able to train for a half marathon let alone actually run one? The only thing I have going for me is my persistence and everyone saying, “The best weather is yet to come and you’ll love running.”
After having such big race plans for this past spring/summer and not having them pan out due to injury and our move, I must admit I’m a bit gun shy of putting down any money with the unknown future. Unfortunately money is not really on my side right now so this concern is pretty big for me.
With all that being said, here are the races that I’ve been eyeing…..
Of course I would only choose one or two…if that. What are your thoughts? Ever raced any of these races? Would love to hear your feedback!
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
I had absolutely no plans on blogging or doing a video today, but plans change. I went out for my long run of the week today…7 miles. Wait, make that 7 WINDY miles. 24mph winds. Yikes. It was 35 degrees but that wind was wicked. Thankfully I have found some products that not only deliver, but they repeatedly do so. Sometimes I don’t know how I’d do it without them and am truly grateful for them. Also, it’s always fun to try something new and fall in love with it. Just had to share.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
For those that follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed that lately I’ve been determined to run outside. You see, when I first started running back in 2007 the only option I had was to run outside. I didn’t own a treadmill nor did I have access to a gym, and I had also signed up for the 2008 Cleveland Half Marathon. With that being said, I was out pounding pavement (more like snow) throughout that winter. I didn’t care. I just went out and did it.
For some reason, the following year I became a wuss. It was then I had access to the full fitness center at our local school, where my husband worked. I had never attempted treadmill running and I hated it. The treadmills faced cinder block walls. How boring! As time went on I got used to it and I was thankful for the option. Unfortunately I got into the rut of running inside at the drop of any precipitation, bad weather, or snow. What had happened to me? On top of that, within that time I had several medical issues (kidney stone and endometriosis). That called for me taking a hiatus from running races, but I never gave up running. Without races my drive for running was pretty poor. I still did, but didn’t have that zest I had in the past.
I feel I’ve almost come full circle this winter. My health seems in check, I’m back racing, and my next half marathon is scheduled for April 2012, The Glass City Marathon. With that being said, I’m back out pounding snow. Yes, I still have access to the gym and although there may come a time when I HAVE to use it, I’m going to try my best to avoid it.
Yesterday was such a day. We’ve had quite a mild winter here in Ohio thus far. Friday was our first true snowfall and yesterday I woke up to snowy conditions, 20 degrees (that according to Accuweather felt like 10 degrees), and 13 mph winds. I thought long and hard, “Gym? Swim? Indoor trainer? Run outside?” It came down to the realization that, as stated in a previous post, I will continue to cross-train, but I really need to focus on running with the half marathon coming. And it’s now or never to bite the bullet and get outside. Out I went.
I figured I’d take advantage of the moment and make it my run for Toni’s 34th Birthday and 1st Blogiversary 3.5 mile Virtual Run (check it out, there’s still time to participate….there’s no cost and you have a chance to win some goodies!!) I won’t say it was the best run pace-wise. Actually, my pace sucked (39:11.92 – 11:01 min/mile), but I was out there. Unfortunately I have the choice of running unplowed side streets that call for me to high step or slippery plowed main streets that call for me to run in the street and deal with traffic. I choose the latter. Either way, my pace suffers (not that I’m fast anyway) and I use muscles I don’t normally use.
With all that being said, it felt good to be out. There’s something about winter running that makes it so different than that of any other season. There’s a peace and quiet, even if there is traffic, and once I get moving and warmed up, nothing can hold me back. Running outside throughout this winter may be a challenge to keep up with, But there’s something I do know…I’ve done it before, I can do it again.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
Well over a month ago I surprisingly won a Twitter contest from Sportswear. Winter has finally arrived and I thought I’d try out my new products! I received a Women’s Lush Plush Jacket, Men’s Hexaholic Down Jackets, and a Women’s Midweight Baselayer top and bottom. Today I’ll review the Baselayer and will do a review on the jackets soon.
Please note: Although I received “free” products, Columbia did not require nor request reviews or feedback from me. I just thought I’d pass along information about my experience with the products.
The Baselayer pieces arrived separately in these plastic tube-like boxes. Although I’m not a huge fan of packaging things in plastic due to the effects it has on the Earth, these boxes are pretty cool. I have no idea what I will do with them, but I foresee them having a second use around my home. I can hope others will have the same idea. With that being said, while checking out my local Dick’s Sporting Goods I saw that their offered Baselayers weren’t in boxes, but hanging up on hangers. I’m unsure what the usual packaging is for this product.
The Baselayers have Omni-Heat Thermal Reflective technology. They claim this helps to regulate your body temperature, by using the metallic dots on the inside of the cloth, to reflect your created heat back to you. It supposedly makes you 20% warmer than a baselayer without the technology. It also has Omni-wick technology that wicks away the moisture to keep you dry during activity. Most all active gear has some sort of this technology and I see it almost as a requirement nowadays. Here’s the inside of the bottoms.
Immediately upon touching the fabric and sliding the tights on I fell in love with the fabric. So soft and smooth…dare I say buttery? It’s kind of hard to explain. I actually had a minor freak out moment, “Is there silk in these??” (Being a vegan I do not wear silk.) But the tag quickly put me at ease: 86% polyester/14% elastane. Whew! I was so comfy I could see myself wearing these at pajamas. The fit was formfitting but not too tight and they didn’t fit me oddly like so many baselayers do (too tight in the calves and huge around the waist.) The top is extra long, which I see as a good thing. Better to cover the bum or remain tucked in, depending on what way you like to wear it. The waist band has kind of a fluffy/plush feel to it, which provides comfort. Lastly, Columbia also uses flat-lock stitching on both pieces. This minimizes friction with the skin = little to no chafing. Win! According to the box each piece costs $60.00. Upon further review I see that they also have solid colors that cost $55.00 or the heavyweight for $65.00
My parents added to my Columbia Omni-Heat collection for Christmas by giving me the Hit The Trail Gloves. I’ve been in search of some running gloves other than my typical stretch knit gloves. The gloves also have the Omni-Heat technology along with Omni-Shield (resists light rain and stains). They are thinner, not bulky at all, and retail for $30.00
So how did these products do in action?? Check out the video to find out!
My first year of running back in 2007 I pounded the pavement no matter what the conditions. Ice, rain, snow, you name it I was out in it. After that first year I became a wimp. What happened? I didn’t want to go outside in the elements. At the same time we didn’t have the finances to afford a treadmill. Needless to say my second winter running season didn’t go too well. The following year David was hired by the local school district, which allowed us to use the school’s newer fitness center with weights, treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, etc. Since then we have free use of the fitness center whenever we like. It’s like belonging to a gym, but not. With the exception of weekdays after school and early mornings on Saturday chances are we have the gym to ourselves. It’s actually pretty nice. Although I am not a fan of using a treadmill, it’s still nice to have the option. This winter season I’d like to work on getting back out running in the elements again. Even though it’s tougher I actually enjoy it more. It’s great to have access to the school’s fitness facilities, unfortunately even though the school has a pool we do not have free access to using it. Bummer.
When I signed up for my first triathlon last winter for the summer of 2011 I didn’t have access to a pool. I patiently waited for Lake Erie to warm up, ordered a wetsuit, and then used Lake Erie as my “swimming pool”. Say what? Yes, I did all of my triathlon training swims as open water swims. No following a black line for me. I’ll admit this was an undertaking for me. I had some anxiety to get over. The meshing of water and sand, the cold water, and the history of having anxiety the last time I swam 8+ years ago. I’m grateful to say that the anxiety passed and I looked forward to my training swims in the lake. Even as winter approaches I still find myself checking out the lake conditions and saying, “Today would be a good day to swim.” That’s when reality sets in and I realize I would probably suffer from hypothermia if I attempted a open water swim in Lake Erie at it’s present temperature.
So what am I to do now that I can’t swim in the lake?? This is my first winter after catching the “triathlon bug”. With that, it’s obvious that I need to make some changes to my winter training schedule. For the past several months I came to the realization that I need to join a gym of some sort that had a pool. Locally we do not have much to choose from. It’s either the YMCA or….the YMCA. Yep, that’s it. Thankfully it’s affordable. I have no reason that I’ve put off joining other than just not getting off of my butt. That all changed this morning.
I woke up knowing that today was a “run day” on my schedule. I just didn’t feel like running. I thought, “Well I could always making it a bike trainer day.” But honestly, I didn’t feel like doing that either. That’s when I figured it was time to join the Y. I needed a change in my routine and I needed to gain access to a pool sooner than later. That’s when my anxiety set in. I’ve never gone through the process of joining a gym/pool. What do I do? Will they judge me? It’s been 3 months since I swam. I haven’t swum in a pool in years. Needless to say I felt like Bella Cullen on her wedding night (sorry for the Twilight reference, but those of you who are fans will understand). I did a quick shave, including my bikini line (which I’m sure I’ll be regretting later….). I took several long stares into the bathroom mirror. I finally packed my bag and jumped in my car. I made it a block away before I realized I forgot my cap and goggles. What was wrong with me?? I’m Heidi. I’m adventurous. Situations don’t intimidate me.
I gave myself a quick pep talk and it was all good. I walked into the Y, filled out paperwork, asked questions in confidence, paid my fees, and made my way to the locker room and then out to the pool. Thankfully a lane was open and the water temperature was decent. I secured my cap and goggles and off I went. My anxiety? Gone. I once again had the peace I experienced in Lake Erie this past summer. It’s no wonder I was like a fish when I was a kid. I love to swim.
So where did all of my anxiety come from? Number 1, although I’m adventurous, certain situations where I feel I may be judged cause me issue. Number 2 the anxiety issue I had while swimming laps 8+ years ago. My guess is I was out of shape, overdid it, and freaked out. This one time experience set me off. I think it’s safe to say any swimming anxiety I had is now gone.
I did 200m x 15 with 15-second breaks in between. Although I know there’s room for improvement (when is there not?), I was content with where I stand, especially considering the circumstances.
What made it even better? When I got out of the pool I looked over to see a fellow swimmer wearing a Rev3 cap. Rock on! I couldn’t help but smile and have a little hop in my step. I am so excited to be back swimming again and look forward to the progress I’ll make this winter.