Nope, definitely not in New Hampshire anymore. Now you can probably see why I enjoyed it so much. Not long after my return from California, I had some visitors in the form of my mother and my aunt Tricia who were very happy to be escaping the brutal winter back home. So for that week it was pretty much, wake up, train, shower, and go play tour guide. They were staying at a nearby hotel and I was the one with the car so I couldn't just strand them there! Although they did take the car on their own during my long ride, as waiting until sometime in the late afternoon might have been a bit much and I surely didn't need it.
We went to Sabino Canyon and they went to Tubac to see some art galleries and we just liked of drove around and saw some random stuff, nothing too exciting. It was nice to have some visitors and to go to a few restaurants and have some decent meals that weren't eaten while sitting alone in front of the TV. One night in particular we went to a really nice restaurant in the Foothills that had a piano player, who, for some reason, actually started playing the song from "On Golden Pond" which was Dad's favorite and the standard soundtrack to evening boat cruises on a near-nightly basis. So we had a little moment there (do you know how much it sucks to have something happen in your life that can now make you near tears at the drop of a hat?) and Mom said he was with us, but then inserted her typical humor by saying, "Maybe he'll pick up the check."
And last Saturday I had myself the most Kona-like wind experience I've ever had on the main land. Of course it hit for the long ride. At one point I thought I was driving into a rain storm or something because it looked so dark up ahead, but it was simply blowing dust. I felt at one point as though I was tilted at a 45 degree angle during a crosswind just to stay upright. Then there were times of effortless 35mph pedaling on the flats with the wind at my back. You can only imagine what it was like when I had to turn around. At times I felt dirt blowing into my ear canal and likely being embedded into my brain. But, well, I survived and made it back in time to shower and rest a bit before hitting the town again.
They had some decent weather and lucked out with warmer mornings than we've usually had around here, and they flew off just in time for Tucson to get its first measurable rainfall for 2011. I was on the couch and suddenly heard this noise outside, looked out the window and yep, pouring rain. It didn't last that long, but it was definitely the first real rain I've seen, aside from a few drops here and there.
I enjoyed their visit but I was also ready to be back on my own again. It's funny, but when the training volume gets really high and suddenly your afternoon naps get wiped off the schedule, you can get pretty exhausted! Actually, to the point where I think it was Tuesday night that I literally went to bed at 7:45 and slept ten hours. I felt a lot better after that, but definitely after all of the training this week there have been some naps involved.
Oh, I also got some long-overdue new running shoes. I went down to Fleet Feet and it was great. I haven't loved a pair of shoes in a while and I keep trying different things, unsuccessfully. But they fitted me in a pair of Pearl Izumis that I must say I am loving so far. It's been years since I loved a shoe from the first run, so that's promising.
Yesterday was the first legitimately cloudy day we've had here, where the sun was pretty much completely absent. And of course, another windy long ride for Saturday. It wasn't as bad as last week, but it seemed to be in my face a lot more and start a lot earlier in the ride. It caused me to ride seven minutes longer than scheduled and let me tell you, on a day like that, that seven minutes can feel like an eternity. It was also chilly the entire time because of that cloudiness, but at least I was dressed for it.
Ok, that brings us to today. This morning I woke up at 3am due to the sound of unbelievable wind and what I thought sounded like rain at the time. All I could think was, I hope it doesn't stay like that, and then I went back to sleep. Well, it didn't stay like that. Somewhere in there the wind died, and then things turned into this:
That is my little patio, all covered in snow. I had seen the snow in the forecast and figured it couldn't possibly get to me. Well, it did. Later on, I went and got this shot:
Yeah, I was not thrilled to see any of this. I will say though that it did show me how sensitive the snow is to the elevation here, because while I'm at about 2300' at my condo, this was about 2700' and there was quite a bit more snow there. It made me feel better when I got back. Of course, all of these mountains were just pure white first thing this morning and I think by noon they already looked just like they did yesterday. So, while I was not happy to see snow, the very thing I came here to avoid, I was at least able to look at it and think it was pretty, only because I knew it would be gone almost instantly. And because it's going to be close to 80 degrees for most of the rest of the week. Sure did mess with the big golf tournament going on here right now, though!
So, now it is time for a rest week! I have to admit, while the last one I had I didn't really feel was all that necessary, I am dying for this one. But it made me realize how little time I have left in Tucson. I have five weeks, but two are rest weeks which means I have only three real weeks of training left here. Of course then I will begin my California/Florida adventure, so in that sense, still lots of time left. For now, I'm just hoping that the snow stays where it belongs!