Sunday, September 23, 2012

Saguaros are the New Redwoods?

Hi everyone! Sorry for the abandoning of my blog. I promise, I haven't been holding out on you, this is just the only trail/running experience I've really had since we've moved! Now that the weather is changing (it's going to get down to 95 later this week!!) Hopefully more will be in my future :).

It shouldn't be any surprise that our natural surroundings here have taken a little adjustment.
Okay, make that a lot of adjustment. Ed and I both agree that as long as we're in town, it does feel a bit like we could be almost anywhere. Sure, there are a few more cacti than in California, but there are a surprising amount of trees, too.

But, leave the safe haven of suburbia, and you're reminded exactly where you are.
Which is the Sonoran Desert.


Needless to say, I may have been avoiding trails, mostly because I have what I believe to be a healthy fear of rattlesnakes (substantiated by a recent tv report that I saw last week about how rattlesnake bites are almost double this year, and that this is their most active time of year). But it's also because being on these trails is a little, well, depressing. Mostly because it just isn't the same, and I'm not exactly good with change.

So, when Ed and I decided to finally hit the trails, it was with some level of trepedation. In fact, we'd first planned to go someplace different, and I had second doubts (it was going to be exposed, rocky, and very steep), so we rerouted and headed here instead, to McDowell park, for a somewhat better option.

I have to admit, a couple of tears may have been shed as we started. I told Ed I couldnt' promise more than a 10 minute hike. It was emotionally and physically tiring and I just didn't really want to be there. Plus, it's possible that my soon to hit stomach flu was already making me feel off. Just like our first trail experience back in April, I kept repeating to myself, "this is pretty," trying to make myself believe it.

Ed was a great support, totally willing to do whatever I wanted/needed. He even put up with the mandatory photo ops.

We ended up making it a mile. Something I was really proud of myself for. It helped that there were plenty of other people out there enjoying the day.

As we turned around, and saw the beautiful mountain sillouettes, it really did look pretty.

But being in the desert is almost like being on another planet. Everything is so very different.

Out here, these are our "new redwoods" - the mighty saguaro. These giant plants are pretty impressive, if a little less friendly looking.

Ed's been doing a much better job adapting. He even ran 9 miles on trails this weekend! I'm so proud of him for getting out there and doing awesome. I'm still not totally sure if I'll ever get there.

Our final, prehaps ill-fated, stop, was for breakfast at this place we saw on our way out. There's a chance my flu was in fact food poisoning, a good enough reason to not revisit this place, but it was fun in the moment to be out together for breakfast after our outdoor experience.

The active part is certainly the hardest adjustment and one I'm not totally confident about conquoring. We'll just have to take it one weekend at a time.

In the meantime, I wanted to share something that I'll be posting about soon. I got contacted recently by an runner/author to read and review his book! Now, reading is my favorite pastime, and running books? I love. So, I'm getting going on that and will share about it when I'm done. (Side note: anyone else out there with a book they want me to review? Since I'm not running as much, I'd love to stay involved in the running community this way :) ).

The Longest Race: A Lifelong Runner, an Iconic Ultramarathon, and the Case for Human Endurance

The book is called, The Longest Race, which is by Ed Ayres, and is about his running of the 2001 JFK 50 miler, through which he also recounts the history of endurance running in general. Totally right up my alley, and I can't wait to read it! So excited about this opportunity, because, really, getting a free book and then getting to talk about it is pretty amazing!

So, through books or trails, I'm glad to be posting again :)


Jean said...

Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures, Addy. It brings back fun memories. I might have mentioned this before, but after I graduated from college, I lived in Fountain Hills for a winter and worked at a golf course. I drove by McDowell Park every day. Amazing country!

Adelyn said...

I had no idea! Somehow, I have trouble imagining you in the desert :).