Wednesday, December 16, 2009

1900 Kilometers....+200km....

After my last post, Richard and I snapped, we had enough of the -20 something weather and packed up the car and headed south. We drove and drove, lil' Blue (my car) had developed a shutter, a cold weather wobble....we even had to stop an hour out of Calgary to spray it down in hopes that the chunks of ice on the axles and in the wheel wells would melt....the wobble persisted for about 1000km, very annoying.

Our destination was St. George Utah & my parents place down there. Our heads were filled of visions of palm trees, clear roads, tons of biking & running outdoors and maybe even walking outside without a jacket & gloves. So south we drove, the snow persisted...we made it to Idaho Falls the first was still -20...this poor Llama was outside all night, we checked to make sure it was still alive in the morning...guess Llama wool is pretty thick, poor guy!
We pushed on in search of warmer weather....we willed the snow away, we wished for the St. George to be BELOW the snow line....about 10' outside of St G we finally dropped below the snow line, just barely, but the next morning we woke to this:
The locals blamed a "Canadian cold front" that brought the abnormal snow, we called it "a cruel joke". After a couple cups of coffee, a swim at the local pool, thoughts of jumping on my trainer (yuck), and a couple clicks on expedia, we made the decision to drive a further 200km south in search of some heat--we weren't expecting the tropics people, temps above the melting point were all we wanted! So Vegas it was! I'd never been, so we thought is might be fun. Since gamblin' & drinkin' aren't really our thing, we opted for hours of people watching, hitting bike shops (I'm looking for a new mountain bike) and running down 'the strip' instead. Oh the sites you see when you run down Las Vegas Boulevard at 8am....and YES it started to warm up in Vegas and finally in St George! I also heard a rumour that there might be an ITU World Cup/Champ race in Vegas!

Us at the Bellagio fountains:
Richard petting what I dubbed 'the ode to global warming' in the Venetian. A polar bear and cub growing flowers instead of fur, floating on a lone piece ice....
After the quick Vegas stop, it was back up to St G. The drive back into Utah is beautiful, even more so once we saw all the snow was gone!
The last few days have been filled with swimming and exploring the local area by bike and foot. Richard and I rode a loop of next year's Ironman St George...if you are planning on racing this one, just let me know and I can give you my scouting notes! All I can say is you better start riding hills!!

I did a fantastic training ride up in Snow Canyon Park....don't worry, no snow here, in fact I was down to just shirt and shorts after my first hill repeat! The road through the park is almost exactly 20' of uphill riding (only 10' down!), precisely what coach wanted me to do: 2x20' at low rpm, perfect! What made the ride even better was the rocks! I could spend all day on that road going up and down and looking at the Geology. Here are some pictures from today's ride. The petrified dunes:
With signs & lookout stops like this along the way, it made descending dangerous and I was rarely looking at the pavement in front of me!
Apparently these guys like the rocks too...I only saw a couple small furry things dart across the road:
Ahhh....Igneous rocks (basalt lava rocks) capping the Navajo sandstone....does it get better than this??
That's all to report for now. Up next a run on the red rocks.....


M said...

Wow...that looks likes an awesome trip...I am JEALOUS!

Mike Chewy

Sarah said...

Gorgeous scenery! Thanks for posting the pictures :)
Have fun!

CathyZ said...

Hi Lisa
You should have headed 300 more miles south to Rancho Santa Fe for a few days of warmth. Still running in capri length tights and swimming in the outdoor pool(without a wetsuit that is). Come on down!!! Hugs, Cathy

Anonymous said...

Finally an update! I've been worried sick up here! Glad you're having a good time and some decent weather. Today's run included snow to my knees.....not fun!

Mark said...

Yeah, up here in western NY we are immersed in a little something we call the "snow belt." Cute, right? A belt? Sure, it is colder many places on the planet, but even if I wanted to go running outside today—which I had initially—I would have been lucky to make it home without at least one broken bone to to the icy conditions. Thank you for allowing me to live vicariously through you this week/month.

Happy Training!


BikingBakke said...

memories of cycling St. George and Vegas - looks like you had fun!