This trip has been amazing. I reveled in the warmth of the sun and the beauty of the desert for 3 full days. I’m really glad we camped because that gave me the absolute most opportunity to enjoy both the warmth and the scenery. The trip was entirely too short but I’m still glad we went. On Tuesday, I ran a mile on the hotel treadmill before pushing on for our 15 hour drive. It was a long day but it was all so my daughter could see one of her friends before she left on a family vacation. They enjoyed catching up so it was worth the ridiculously long day of driving. Her friend’s mom and I were also close so we got to eat breakfast together after the girls had a sleepover. We got to Phoenix so late though that I didn’t want to set up camp. I was exhausted and it was too dark to enjoy the process. For my run on Wednesday, I ran while my kids hung out with friends at a local mall. I ran through a Marriott resort property, which was lovely but just not the open desert running experience I was looking forward to on this trip. I ran 2 miles through the Marriott property, which was much bigger than I had realized. On Thursday, I got to wake up to this when I unzipped my tent.
I went on a jog/hike where I jogged for 3 miles and hiked for 1 more mile. I’m certainly out of shape for climbing elevation, which isn’t surprising considering Illinois. Here is a pic from my first hike/jog:
I loved every minute on those mountains. On Friday, my legs were a little sore but I knew that wouldn’t stop me from going back out. I took the trail a different direction and got this as my reward:
I jogged 3 miles and hiked 1 again but then we had to head back toward home. It was hard to leave. The temps were a little on the warm side at 78 each afternoon but knowing we were going home to snow and single digit temperatures made the heat more tolerable. We did stop by Sedona before leaving AZ for a hike as a family. The drive into Sedona was a total traffic jam so we turned around and hiked on a trail at the eastern edge of the area. It was still beautiful.
I’m going to be extra sore after sitting in a car all day today but the trip was totally worthwhile. I’m already thinking about my next trip to AZ and the kids and I already have a list going of what we want to do next time. Today I will mourn the end of the trip as I run on a hotel treadmill in Albuquerque.
We got home Saturday night around 8:45. I got a few things unloaded, changed into running clothes, and then checked on the garden before heading out for a mile. I really don’t like running in the dark. I realized quickly that I need to replace the batteries in my headlamp. I was thankful I was on familiar streets and the temperature was blessedly cool. I actually ran much faster than I expected because the change in temperature was so great. I was completely exhausted and felt stiff from sitting so much but I was glad to keep the streak alive!
Yesterday, I got to meet Mr. B and his wife at the local lake for a run. It was so great to get to catch up! Neither of us are ready for school to start though. We walked 2 mikes with Mrs. B and then jogged 3. It was lovely. The sun was warm by the time we were done but the air was cool and surprisingly not humid. I did take some time to stretch and listen to a meditation in the afternoon yesterday, which was awesome. I was super tight from beach running and car sitting.
Yesterday was not an ideal day for a run on the beach but I did it anyway. It was our last day on the beach and I just wanted to enjoy it as much as I could. I woke up late so the sun was higher, which meant it was really hot. Also, the tide was coming in so I was chased by water and had to cross a few areas of water running to and from tide pools. Their beauty was worth the moisture in my shoes though.
My husband joined me for the last mile. I ran 3 miles total and walked a little extra just to enjoy the beach. We got to see the tracks to a new sea turtle nest, which I always love seeing. It would be amazing to get to see one of the gigantic turtles lumbering up on the beach to lay her eggs sometime but it seems like the chances of being in the right place at the right time for that would be like the chances of winning the lottery. I wish we had gotten pictures of the sea turtle tracks but I didn’t realize my husband had his phone until later. You will have to settle for these adorable birdie tracks from the end of our driveway as a replacement.
After the run, we were so hot that we took off our shoes and walked out into the water. The waves were huge for the gulf but very refreshing. It was hands down one of my favorite moments of the trip.
We spent some extra time lingering on the beach at sunset last night to enjoy the last few minutes of summer. I go back to work this week and the kids start school next week. I love the time at the beach with my family. I’m already looking forward to next summer.
I intended my first adventure off my Whole30 to be red wine. Then, my mom made her famous brownies. They were absolutely delicious. It didn’t surprise me at all when I had to stop during my run to use the restroom this morning. What did surprise me was the unfortunate series of events that occurred once I got to the restroom. There is a public access point for the beach about a mile from our beach house that has a nice indoor toilet. I was sweating by the time I got to the restroom. I barely made it. I didn’t even take time to lock the door on the single use room. The park is rarely populated, especially that early in the day. As I prepared to hover over the throne, I noticed a used feminine product was sitting in the bottom of the toilet. I quickly hit the flush lever and continued to prep for the emergency evacuation. As I looked down, the water just kept rising. I started fearing overflow and subsequent contact with blood borne pathogens. I ended up plunging to get the water to recede. As I was plunging with my shorts around my ankles, I heard footsteps on the deck outside the restroom. I quickly shuffled to the door and wrestled the lock into place. It was rediculously dramatic. I got the clog moved, finished what I came to do, and thanked the restroom gods for three distinct gifts. 1. The plunger. 2. That the water didn’t overflow. 3. Running water with hand soap. It was one of those experiences that made me wish I had just ducked behind some shrubbery. Luckily, it was toward the end of my workout. I had run to a neighborhood where my aunt and uncle have a condo so I could do my legs and back workout and use the monkey bars there for my pull-ups. I ran about 4.5 miles total. It wasn’t a bad workout overall. Just a bad restroom experience. Even after all of that, I ate another brownie after lunch today. Maybe I’ll just ensure I have some tissues with me on my run tomorrow. Before all the drama, I got this pic of the sun rising over the bay.
Yesterday I ran 3 easy miles although they didn’t feel very easy. My legs were tired, my mind was tired, and it was hot. The scenery was still incredible but I didn’t enjoy the run overall. Today I decided to take a “rest” day and just jog an easy mile. My youngest asked if he could join me. He has jogged with me several times before and I know he can run a mile so I agreed. I was out of floss so I was going to make it a destination run to the little trading post down the road to get floss. We got about 20 feet from the neighborhood and he said, “I need to walk.” I was thinking that he would recover quickly and we would be back to jogging in no time. The second jogging stretch lasted about as long. By the third one, he was flailing his arms and stumbling around dramatically. It was fun. *sarcasm font* We made it to the trading post and I was relieved to be in air conditioning with out him complaining for 5 minutes. It turns out that he wanted to buy everything in the trading post. He didn’t find it significant that I had only brought $5 to buy floss for $3.88. That was also fun. *sarcasm font again* I didn’t even push him to run on the way home. I just wanted to get him back to the beach house without swearing under my breath again because he is very quick to remind me that I’m not supposed to say those words, which adds to the fun. *sarcasm font part 3* After I dropped him off in front of a show at the beach house, I finished my run about an hour after I had intended to start my run. It was really hot. It was a bummer of a run. When I got back, I did get to stretch on the porch and chat with my family though so there was a bit of a silver lining to my whole rest day attempt. In other news, yesterday was the end of my most recent round of Whole30. I don’t plan on taking measurements because I don’t have my original measurements but I do plan on doing another round when we get back. I will try to be more intentional about my saving my measurements in 2 locations for that round. I know I’m not quite where I want to be yet with my weight so that is why I want to do another round. Also, the start of school is stressful for me so I think having a plan for my food consumption will help keep me on track. I’m a stress eater for sure. However, my first order of business between now and the start of my next round will be sharing a bottle of red wine with my sisters!
We got home just after sunset last night. I’m so tired from traveling. I find it ironic that sitting still in a vehicle can be so physically exhausting. I drank some black tea yesterday afternoon so I could stay alert while taking a shift of driving and it must have been too much for my normally caffeine free system. I couldn’t fall asleep until after 2am. It was horrible. I was so tired but just not sleeping. I finally fired up a meditation but it was auto-playing the next meditation so that woke me up each time. I finally shut it off completely but I don’t even know what time it was at that point. Yesterday, I did get to run at a hotel in Oklahoma City before we got back on the road. It was actually one of the best hotel exercise rooms I’ve been in recently. Usually there is some sort of issue with the treadmills or the temperature is off the charts but this one was fully functioning and maintained at a reasonable temperature. I ran 2 miles before we set out on the road again. This morning I was super, super tired when I woke up around 7am. I walked a half mile to wake up and then jogged my beloved route through the cemetery and also jogged home. I logged 1.5 miles of jogging total and it really wasn’t as bad as I expected. It was unusually cool for Illinois in August so that definitely helped.
I really do love the Phoenix area. The weather, the wildlife, the plant life, the scenery- it all seems magical to me. The only thing missing from the valley for me is my family. For now, I will treasure the time I have there and return to the Midwest and enjoy the time I have with my family. On Saturday, my husband wanted the opportunity to go on a trail run at a park near where we used to live. Since he had watched our youngest every morning while I ran or hiked, I knew I needed to give him that time. However, I really didn’t enjoy the mile and a half on the treadmill before sunrise. I took one for the team. Today, I really wanted to do a long run to enjoy the scenery fully on our last morning in Phoenix. I was out late picking up my older boys from a friend’s house last night so I worried that I would be too tired to get up and run before it was time to pack up and leave. My early morning wake-up ritual didn’t fail me. I was up around 5:30am. I quickly got ready and hit the trail outside the hotel. I started by running to the park to do a set of pull-ups and then did both loops on the map provided by the hotel. I added an extra 0.4 miles to get a full 7 miles and found out that the trail actually continues in both directions in the city so maybe I’ll be able to explore further next time we are in the area. Luckily, it was overcast, which kept the temps in the 80’s even though it added to the humidity. I had forgotten my handheld water bottle at home so I just ran with my glass Lifefactory water bottle because I didn’t want to risk dehydration. The scenery didn’t disappoint. The McDowells were visible to my left.
And Camelback was visible to my right.
I enjoyed every minute of the run even though I was completely soaked with sweat by the time I got back to the hotel. I did stop at the park on the way back for a second set of pull-ups. My husband was a rockstar getting the kids up, taking them down to breakfast, and packing the van so I could do my long run. It was a great way to prepare for a long day of driving although I’ve been way too hungry. Speaking of food, I did stick to the Whole30 for the majority of the trip. I was really proud of myself! I did make a conscious choice to eat a flourless chocolate cake my son had gotten at a coffeehouse but didn’t eat. It was absolutely amazing. I told myself that I would take a bite and be done if it wasn’t absolutely amazing. But it was so I ate it and enjoyed every single bite. Then I got right back on track. I feel like I get more balanced with my eating every round I complete. Overall, I would call this trip a fantastic success! Until next time, Phoenix!