Did you know it's hot in Arizona in June. No, really it is. REALLY.REALLY.HOT.
9 years ago, (OMG - it's been NINE years) I packed up my life, my $700 and Citibank credit card and moved to Arizona (along with a few friends) on June 12. It was 112 degrees. Not my smartest choice, for sure.
The first several years of summer did not bother me. I could bask out in the sun all day (sun cancer gods, please forgive me). But, year by year the heat has picked at me more and more, and while 100degrees is fine, add in humidity and 5 more degrees and put a flipping fork in me.
I've trained in the summer. I've done 2 fall marathons, which means 20mile runs in record breaking heat. My peak ironman long rides were in 100+ heat. And my Ironman was June. I have absolutely no idea how anyone trains for a August/September Ironman in Arizona. The heat literally eats me up, spits me out, the smothers me into the sizzling asphalt.
Put me out on a long run in November, 50degrees and I'll knock almost a minute a mile of my aerobic pace. Put me out on a long run last Friday where the low temperature was 85degrees with about 40% humidity - I'm playing chase Shane & the dogs, tongue hanging out of my mouth, HR hovering around 160-165. Not so much fun.
What can I say? I'm from Washington where yes, we have summer - but never will you wake up at 5:30am with those kind of temperatures. I always thought my body would eventually acclimate, but after almost 10 years, I just don't see it happening. So, our ultimate goal? Never have to spend another summer in AZ again! The other 9 months of the year, fantastic. Mid June - Mid September, get us outta here!
The last two years of training for Ironman before the "real" heat sunk in might have been the kicker. We would leave AZ, heading to cooler temps in Idaho, only to return to the dreadful start of monsoon season. With 100-110 degree temps, plus humidity, we just longed to return to the cool weather.
Last year, Shane & I were having dinner on our last night in Idaho. We sat on the patio of the restaurant, overlooking the lake (CDA). It was absolutely stunning. The lake has so many memories for me. Summers days spent floating and playing in the water. The green trees all around. It felt like home. While I don't think you could ever find me back in the Pacific Northwest for good, nothing beats the summer there. Nothing.
While it hasn't been the best financial year for any of us, Shane & I did what we could to make this summer happen. I searched and searched for a house that we could possibly rent for 6-8 weeks. We would love to stay on the lake, however, our two requirements; internet to work and must allow dogs. We can't exactly run away from all responsibilities for so long, as much as we would like to.
After several emails, and phone calls I think I found our home. A sweet woman, also from Arizona offered a great discount on her rental home, and the dogs were welcome. While it wasn't cheap, and we didn't actually start telling anyone it was definite until the entire balance was paid, in our heads we knew we were going back for the summer.
Last Friday, mile 5/10, my cloths soaked from head to toe, face beat red - I told Shane, "Best $XX EVER spent."
In 4 days we will be on our way. A 20+hr drive total, broken up in 2 days of driving, but first a week spent with our friends in Utah. They have graciously offered their homes to us, and our 'kids' (not sure they know what they have gotten themselves into!)
I spent yesterday packing. If you know anything about me, I'm not a stress-er, I'm a pretty well balanced laid back person - but send me on a trip & all I can think about is the packing. I have NO idea why it's so hard for me, but it just is. But, I think I've even surprised myself. Yesterday I felt so organized and got 90% of the packing done.
Now, the only trick, fitting it in my car....
More to come - it's going to be an adventure!