Tucson Training Camp

It was a shorter trip then we had originally planned, but we still made the trip down to sunny Arizona for a short training camp aka visit Nick's parents trip. Nick's parents are huge horse riders and January/February is usually a great time to be in Tucson for riding. And since they have friends who live in Tucson now, it's even more convenient. We took a day after the hut trip to clean up, wash clothes and get ready for some sun and dirt. The first stop was Red River for some skiing. Not a bad hill - lots of carharts and camo. I'm still not sure how some of those skiers manage to keep their nice Stetson hats in place while they are flying downhill! The skiing meant for a long last day of driving and we finally pulled into Tucson about midnight Saturday. Ugh. That's the hardest part of going somewhere in the winter - it is such a long drive to anywhere dry!

Sunday was more a recovery day from the driving. I did a long run in Fantasy Island while Nick rode. My opinion on runners and Strava hasn't changed at all. Runners don't like segments! The same trail that had about 10 segments in six miles for Nick? Nothing on foot! We were also lucky that it was the coldest day of the week - only about 60* because we got a rather late start. Not used to even that kind of heat, that's for sure! I was happy I had my little hand held bottle with me - and wishing I'd brought my pack instead. The run ended up being a little slower and a few miles longer then I'd planned, but Nick and I finished at the same time so all worked out well. He'd ridden all but two trails in the park while I was running. And after the run? Nothing! We had nothing that needed to be accomplished. Other then play with the puppies...

Nick playing with his new best friend. Osa is addicted to her balls..

Sunrise on Mount Lemmon from near where we were staying
Monday was another easier but longer day. We got out a little earlier and headed across town to Sweetwater. We've only ridden there once - after the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo a number of years ago. So we really didn't know what we were getting into. Nick remembered one rocky switchback thing that I had to walk back then, and naturally it was his goal to find it again. Well, we rode everything in the park and I think we found the trail he was looking for, but there was nothing even remotely challenging. It was fun riding though the giant cacti and there weren't that many people out and about which made it even better. But it's a long drive from where we were parked. After we got back from the ride, I still needed a short run. This time, I opted to wear my light weight wool long sleeved shirt instead of getting more sun. I love that shirt - best ever for running even in hot weather!
Nick in the distance among the saguaros


Pedaling through one of the smaller chunky sections


Tuesday was Milagrosa - the one ride Nick had been looking forward to since we planned the trip.
For our last day in Tucson, I needed a running workout, so got up early and got out before the sun rose. I was surprised. Given how hot it was supposed to get that day, there was nobody out and about even at 7:00! In COS I always see at least a few other people when I'm out running! But it was nice to get it done and not feel like I was melting in the hot AZ sun.  A quick breakfast and we were back at Fantasy Island for another ride - with the goal of hitting the two trails that Nick had missed on Monday. Why were we in such a hurry to get everything done? Because we always like doing one touristy thing each trip and this time it was a trip to the Pima Air and Space Museum.
Capturing the start of the day with a run

Cactus!!! and Squirrel!!

Old tech!

New tech!

Nick at the museum - bikes were a big part of an airman's life during WWII
I was hoping we would get to do more then just look at the outsides of the planes - it would have been nice to have a few that we could walk inside (or crawl inside given how small some of them were..) but that wasn't the case. The people who worked there were a wealth of information regarding all the planes and it was really cool to see the advances in technology from the fighter planes of WWII to today. I didn't get many photos - the scale was just two big in a lot of cases for things to actually turn out well.
A sunrise to say good bye with
And then it was time to head home. I had the Super Half marathon on Sunday and wanted to be slightly ready for it! Sure, running and riding big days under the desert sun might not be the best way to prepare the week of the race, but it was fun. It's always nice to hang out with Nick's parents and having a few days in the sun was even better. A mini training camp for just a few days - no goals other the riding and running and chilling out. It's something we need to do more frequently!

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