I heard Kenzi’s alarm three times before I turned it off for good. I could see the sun was fully up through the dark curtains, but no one was moving. I was not looking forward to starting the day as I knew Kenzi would be frustrated that she did not already get a run in. There was one more triathlon on this trip and this week of training would be taken very seriously. Forget that we are climbing up and down sand dunes two and three miles at a time. Forget that we were climbing rock faces, 1000ft elevation, and miles of walking at altitude as apparently that does not count. Maybe not do them, but the ache in my stiff neck from carrying the three water bottles, binoculars, Nikon, sunscreen and iPhone definitely disagreed. This week would require a “Tri schedule” and if we were not on schedule or they do not feel we have structured an appropriate work out, Scott and I will hear about it and it becomes a little tense. Bring on the final week.
Surprisingly though, I am not as sore as I thought I would be from yesterday, but I am wiped out. I truly have enjoyed this experience with my husband and kids, but really missing my dog, and just some solid sleep. I know I will miss this terribly as the views have been extraordinary and will make my house and life seem rather mundane when I return, but I do long for a clean car, sleeping in the same place for more than a night and not always trying to find a pool or route for the kids to do. All the extra details on top of the actual experience, have made me one tired mom.
Today’s pool was exceptional though at least from past experience. Not finding any pools or facilities that would accommodate us at first, I reached out on Facebook to a local club for some recommendations. I knew they did not really want to swim in another warm rec pool unless it was there only option. Fortunately, I had received a response sometime after falling asleep last night which directed be to Southern Utah University and lap swimming all day long. Score! Finally a collegiate pool, so hopefully the water would be cold enough for the kids to enjoy. But let’s not get too excited as Kenzi had not yet run yet the temperature was quickly rising. As expected, the questions and comments came like firing bullets. How far should we run? When should we run? How fast should we run? That is not long enough? That will not work. Ugggh, here we go. Just run and we will meet you back here or there or whatever. Regarding pace…don’t hurt yourself, but get a good work out in. Internals, tempo, fsat slow. Why is this so difficult?
Scott and I repacked up the car with vof clean We met very happy children outside the athletic center, as apparently the route was longer than expected. Yeah!!! We all have our challenges as parents as all kids behave and act differently and I am no different. My kids are so driven, competitive and disciplined in their exercise routines and it is hard sometimes to keep up. We try and provide the healthiest food, the best options for training and mentally try and help them along their journey, but are sometimes that they are just at a level I cannot relate. I love to work out and stay healthy with an appropriate amount of exercise, but I do not have the same drive that motivates them. They were eager to swim in the collegiate pool as they had already checked out the facility and were raring to go.
As the kids swam, Scott went to get an oil change and hopefully the window fixed as I was not going to be able to handle the loud slapping of vinyl fireworks sound in my ear for an extended period of time. Also, I really did not want to get wet. Apparently ever day in July in Arizona starts off sunny with temperatures quickly rising until the early afternoon when then like clockwork the desert experiences some type of thunderstorm/shower, and today was no different. That would have been good to know yesterday but hopefully we can prevent any more mishaps.
We ate lunch at Centro, a wood fired pizzeria in downtown Cedar City while waiting for Scott. The kids were hungry and there were not many options close to the university except for fast food, which the kids really don’t eat and especially not now since we were a week out from the race. We ordered three different pizzas of various toppings like arugula and porcini, hoping to hit everyone’s taste buds. What happened to the days when kids ate pepperoni and cheese? Some may say the kids are spoiled and in some respects, we all are, but they do appreciate good food and the hands that made it. They finish their plates, with the exception of Viv from time to time, and have hopefully experienced a variety of foods and developed a lifetime of healthy eating habits, a battle many athletes and kids have alike.
Scott picked us up, and can you imagine my disappointment to see the window not fixed. Apparently, a as a motor needs to be replaced which we will attempt to do while in Denver midweek and pray for mild weather until then. If it had to happen, I am so thankful now and not when we were in Glacier and Death Valley. I am committed to not letting anything sour this experience and my energy resources are already tapped so I am not going to let this detail become all consuming.
We left Cedar City just as the lightning and rain came dancing across the sky. It was far away and I hoped it stayed that way but odds were not in our favor. By the time the rain met us about ten minutes later it continued to dance but not the slow beautiful waltz as before. Heavy loud drops pranced, sambaed and jived their way in and around and through our line of vision and at one point we felt we might have to pull over, even more grateful for the temporary vinyl fix. It was not ideal but most helpful as the rain almost drowned out the slapping vinyl against the wet car.
The weather eventually cleared to reveal a most exquisite remainder of our drive as we made our way to Moab passing numerous Indian reservations selling their wares and passing through lands that looked reminiscent of the Badlands and Death Valley. The rain might have revealed a bright blue sky but also brought back the heat nearing hundred degree temps. Wasn’t the purpose of rainstorms to cool everything down? At one stop to stretch our legs and survey the land, Kenzi and Zach became shrewd negotiators on a horse hair vase that had caught my eye and they scored me a beautiful Indian vase.
The temperatures fluctuated as quickly as the terrain going from 101 to 83 back up to 104 during the long drive as we viewed several long trains and more scenic plateaus. One particular area that caught our attention was called the Mexican Mountain Wilderness Area, though Scott and I were surprised it was not a National Park or Forest as it exuded so much beauty. Along our route, we decided to go “glamping” outside of Moab, much to my chagrin. Moab is known for some of the best star gazing due to its pitch black skies but it was going to be 95 and hot. That’s not fun camping even if your floor was oriental, your sleeping bag converted to sheets and a down pillow, and you’re a diamond ceiling, it’s still hot, which was probably why we got a steal on the room. Outvoted, we decided to experience the upscale camping, heat and all.
We drove into town. Moab was so cute and “I wish we would have chosen that option.” Oops, did I say that out loud? We went to the market and purchased several bags of ice and French bread and fruit to compliment once again our dinner of ramen. We added ice cream which we hoped would not melt by the time we were able to eat, but thought that would be a nice treat under the stars.
The kids took showers in the portable bathroom units which were clean and well lit and the “laundry tent” had fresh clean towels. While I set up for dinner, unbeknownst to me, Scott went down the road to the local gas station, much closer than the town and purchased beer which was really thoughtful. I had bought ice cream for the kids but really thought it might be nice to have a glass of wine under the starlit sky, and he must have had the same idea. Beer was a fantastic runner up as the gas station did not carry any wine.
The evening was not a total bust but definitely not ideal. There were quite a few stars but the bright half-moon really wanted to stake its claim in the dark sky, highlighting some magnificently shaped clouds but muting many of the hidden diamonds we came to see. A gentle breeze blew cross the arid land cooling the desert to the low 80s, so it was not quite as bad as I had planned. The recently installed mister system sprayed cool droplets into the tent also helping to alleviate the high heat. But wool carpets and water don’t mix, something they will have to reevaluate, especially when you add a pet and not ours. Falling asleep to a strong smell of dog urine, I went to bed too tired to complain but would have Scott address in the morning.