Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Little Snowmen

A few weeks ago we went up to one of our favorite places - Big Springs in Southfork Canyon - and we met up with our favorite friends - the Wilson Family - for some fun in the snow. Scott took amazing pictures of us with their new camera and I wanted to share them with you.

Noah and Max think everything is better when Eric and Rubie are around. And it really is! We are so grateful for such great friends.

Max the Snowman

It's perfect for sledding. Some gradual hills ...

... and some pretty steep ones. I was being pretty cautious but still able to catch a little bit of air.

Karl was much braver ...

... and caught a lot of air.

Luckily he still managed to stop before crashing into the cars. Barely.

After much persuasion Noah decided to take a turn with Papa on the steep hill.

He loved it. If I remember right. How could he not?

Spring is here now! Or supposed to be at least. We are sad to be packing away the snow clothes. We did not get to use them nearly as much as we had hoped. But we are ready to move on to shorts and T-shirts.

However, a quick look at the weather forecast makes me want to cry.

This is what it looks like for the whole next week:

I guess that's spring in Utah. Dinosaur Museum, here we come!

Monday, March 29, 2010

We're gonna be ...

... Lumberjacks!

We will be living in Flagstaff!

We can't wait to be Lumberjacks (NAU). They are not as exciting as Cougars (BYU) but definitely better than Vandals (UI). No offense, but who wants to be a Vandal?

We have been doing some very important research about Flagstaff. You know, crucial things that will determine whether or not we will be happy there. For example:
  • contacting their Masters Swim Team to see if I can join
  • looking at their race calendar to see what's going on
  • checking to see if NAU has a triathlon club
  • getting excited about the Mt. Taylor Quadrathlon
  • visiting the Northern Arizona Trail Running Association website extensively
  • talking to employees in running and biking stores
Now that that is all taken care of, we can move on to minor details such as
  • housing
  • cost of living
  • insurance
  • schools, etc.
I'd better get started ...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Playtime's not over yet...

You did not think I was done, did you? Saturday definitely was not over yet.

I love Sand Hollow. It reminds me of Lake Powell.

After our run we decided it was time for a little experiment. We drove out to Sand Hollow Reservoir to see what the water would be like. Both of us love open water swimming and, as you can see, it is absolutely beautiful. When we heard that the water was a lovely 50 degrees, we knew we needed to be prepared. This is the result of our 20-minute neoprene party:

I know. We are the biggest nerds.

Not much showing except hands, feet*, and face. Well, our experiment turned into a full body ice bath and lasted a whooping 10 minutes! We barely made it to the first buoy. We were about to give up when we discovered that we could keep our face from completely freezing by throwing in some backstroke. Having our face warmed up by the sun for a few seconds, allowed us to put it back in the water for a few more strokes.

I think we managed to swim about 100 yards. Pathetic. But fun. I can honestly say that I have never felt this invigorated coming out of the water. That feeling, however, only lasted a few seconds and then heavy shivering set in. Thank you, Subaru, for your lovely seat heaters.

After a nice afternoon break we swung our tired bodies back on the bike for some more fun. There was no way we were going to miss out on biking in Snow Canyon. This is why:

I can't believe I've never taken my kids here!

How could you not want to bike through this beauty? We did one loop together and then Leslie headed back for a massage.

I love my training partner

I felt tired but since there was still plenty of daylight, I did not need to make dinner, and no one was desperate for me to come home, I could not get myself to stop and did another loop. So glad I did!

I could go on and on. But I won't. For your sake.

* Actually, I was wearing neoprene booties as well but, in case anyone cares, I do not recommend them. I could not keep the water out, which resulted in a lot of drag and still freezing feet.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It's Play Time

I love and believe what it says on my mountain bike:

All Work and No Play is No Fun at All

In college I was known for working hard AND playing hard and not much has changed. Ok, I'll face it. Everything as changed. But I still like to play. Hard.

I got to spend last weekend in one my favorite playgrounds - St. George - and had so much fun! If you know me, you know how much it means to me to get away for a few days and have a little smashfest. I loved sharing the joy and pain with my friend, Leslie. Here's the game plan and how it unfolded:


Lovely 4 hour drive. We talk, talk, talk, and talk some more. And then continue talking all weekend. Triathlon girl talk and triathlon mom talk for hours. Leslie has been in the sport for about as long as I have - 10+ years - is married and has 3 kids. As you can imagine, there is lots to talk about. Loved it.

We arrived just in time to hit the Chuckawalla trails in the fading sunlight. I was (almost) wishing I had come to rock climb there but the trails are super fun as well.

We had a great view and then ... we got lost. Very lost. My fault. I claimed to know the trails but did not pay attention due to all the talking. Oops. Still made it back before dark and in reasonable time. We sped up quite a bit on the last 2 miles after realizing that we (and by 'we' I mean 'I') forgot to lock up our bikes. Two brand new triathlon bikes. Oops again. Maybe I should stop talking and start thinking.

We stayed with Leslie's wonderful friend Sylvia and her family in their beautiful home. So much easier and more comfortable than camping.


We went on a lovely 92 mile bike ride! That is 150 km, in case you were wondering.And I can honestly say that I enjoyed every (hard) mile of it. We got a bit of a late start because ... well ... just because. No reason to get up at 5 and squeeze in a work out before the kids wake up. We had all day to play.

It was beautiful outside but the howling of the wind all night had us a little worried. And as soon as we left the garage it hit us hard and never let up. For 6 long hours. So instead of cruising along down on our aero bars, we had to hammer away even on most of the downhills. Fun times.

Somewhere between Ivins and Veyo

Although this was only my 2nd ride outside since November and I had not ridden more than 2 hours on my trainer, I felt great! I was just so happy to be on my bike, feel the wind in my face and the sun in my back that I could not get enough!

Until I jumped off my bike and into my running shoes. Running definitely did not feel so good, but it was only 1o minutes. I can do anything for 10 minutes :-) Especially knowing that recovery is right around the corner. Usually there is no time for recovery, so this was a treat: recovery drink, elevate legs, warm shower, ice bath, compression socks, and good food. I felt better than I do after a day of chasing kids around.

My first ice bath. Loved it. Highly recommend it.


Leslie, who is doing Ironman St. George in May, needed to run 20 miles on the IM course. Knowing that my legs don't like asphalt for very long, I joined her for the last 13 miles. I can't say that I enjoyed it as much as the bike ride but it was still good times. It is always fun to see what your body can handle.

Well, as it turns out, Karl is set on deciding tonight what our life in the next 4 years is going to look like. So this post will have to be continued later this week ...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Graduate School Update

Before I bore you with the details of my weekend in St. George,
I wanted to let you all know that Karl has been
accepted to and received grants for

Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff
University of Idaho in Moscow.

He was also accepted to University of Queensland
in Brisbane, Australia,
but was unable to get the International Scholarship
he needed for us to live there.
So Australia is out. A dream shattered.
Sad but true. Time to move on.

By the end of this week we will have to decide where to move to:
Moscow or Flagstaff?
It is not as easy as it might seem.
So stay tuned...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy Green Day!

I told Noah this morning that it was Green Day today
and we needed to wear green clothes or people could pinch us.
So he put on the same clothes as yesterday
which are his favorites and happen to be (somewhat) green.

I don't know much about St. Patrick's Day
and honestly don't care much either.
But when Jen said something about a treasure hunt
to find gold under a rainbow, I thought it sounded too much fun to pass up.
And today is the perfect day for a treasure hunt in the park.
It is gorgeous outside.

We hid the clues and treasure while the boys were busy digging.

And off they went to find their clues...

under the slide...

by the rocks...

under a bench...

and, at last, the treasure up in a tree.

They were excited to find a treat
but definitely liked the hunting more than the treasure.

Then the boys (and Rubie) went off to play for about an hour
while Jen, Jessica, and I sat in the sun and talked.
It was a beautiful morning!

PS: I am sad to report that my jeans in the above photo are going in the trash tonight. They have been my favorite and only pair of jeans for the last 6 years. I might not ever replace them since neither REI nor SLRC carry jeans. And I am not about to go to the mall...

PPS: Thank you so much for the fun pictures, Jen!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Leaves of Fun

We had so much fun last fall playing in the leaves. One day I actually took some pictures and I think they turned out really good. Enjoy Noah, Max, Eric, and Rubie in action!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Super Saturday

In order to qualify as Super a Saturday has to include the following:
  • 2+ hours of training
  • some kind of adventure
  • quality family time
  • good food
Last saturday was one of them. Sweet!

I jumped on the trainer for some nice riding while Karl got to run around outside. I thought I got a pretty good work out until I saw this nice little chart. I guess I might have as well worked in my garden. If only they knew...

Then we were off to Rock Canyon Park for some nice family sledding. Noah was having a great time as usual. And we have not given up on Max just yet!

This turned out to be a good move because he was actually enjoying himself.

[Sigh. We might keep him in our family after all.]

True to form, he likes to go down the hill all by himself.

And then pull the sled back up the hill by himself. Go, Max! The warm weather and sunshine definitely made it more pleasant.

Then it was time for some winter cross-training which I love. My great friends Heather and Carlee joined me in exploring the beauty of Big Springs on snowshoes. Big Springs is one of my favorite places in every season for all of my favorite sports (except swimming).

I got home just in time. Nap time was over. So off we went on our bikes to BYU campus. Of course, we had to do the usual: eat a bagel and share a Jamba Juice.

But then we did something very unusual: we bought ourselves a new MacBook Pro. Made possible by our tax return. It is so nice to have a computer that is less than 8 years old. Yeah!

We then continued the tax-return-party at:

Our friends Andy and Simy Gartz are co-owners of SlabPizza and they did not disappoint. We had a slab of Thai chicken, a slab of NM Green Chile and a slab of Hawaiian. Scrumptious! I definitely recommend it.

On a Super Saturday night I am so tired, I could pass out at 9 pm. And that is what I did.

Life is Good.