November 29, 2015

The Thanksgiving Event

Most years we spend Thanksgiving with my Dad's side of the family at my aunt and uncle's house in Connecticut. We call this weekend "The EVENT" because its the only time of the year we all get together... and to bust on my aunt for all of her crazy planning :-)

Every year the bar gets raised a bit. Last year it was the new hot tub. We used it  A LOT again this year. On Thanksgiving morning our family won the team award at the Newtown Turkey Trot! Andrea won the women's race and I was second in the men's race (beaten by the same guy who beat me when I ran this 5K in 2012... by almost the exact same amount). Another new event at the event was a surprise engagement party for Andrea and I on Friday night. It was a ton of fun and great excuse to open dozens more bottles of excellent wine!

The weather was great in CT this year - afternoons in the 60s. I even jumped into and won an open cross country race on Saturday morning before we headed back down to JFK for our flight home. The nice thing about getting home on Saturday evening is that you get a ski day on Sunday!

The last three photos are from Utah on Sunday... last weekend we were skiing up Great Western with no shirts... a week later it was frigid and feeling like winter:

November 23, 2015

Opening Weekend

Andrea and I are huge fans of spring (and summer, when possible) skiing. So we typically aren't too antsy to get out in the early fall when there is only two inches of snow over the grass and rocks. We figured that even if you wait until mid-December to get started, you'll still be skiing for 7 months. That being said, I decided that I couldn't wait any longer and thanks to a push from our friend Amiee, we kicked off the ski season over the weekend at Brighton. We did the usual "skin up to the top of Great Western" laps on Saturday and Sunday - in warm, sunny conditions. It felt good to be back on the snow and make some turns. 

Now our fingers are crossed for El Nino to deliver the goods!!!

Don't Call it a Comeback

It's been roughly 7 months since there has been a running-specific post on Wasatch and Beyond. Time for a brief update...

After withdrawing from London (Jan-Mar training recap) it took me a LONG time to feel like my "old self" again. Much, much longer than I expected. I posted detailed account with plenty of thoughts and introspection on my running log back on August 4th. Long story short, something was wrong all summer - a combination of factors known and unknown. I needed a good break. 

In mid to late August things started to turn around and I've been slowly regaining my fitness and feeling the spark again. The injuries and illness cleared up. I feel normal feel normal again. My legs got their pop back. I have kept things sensible and have been running for fun... no "training" yet, or plans to on the horizon. Over the summer I felt like I was 31 years old going on 40... now I feel like I'm 31 years old going on 20... or maybe 25, again!

Andrea has been slowly building up her running since March, finally coming around after a 2.5 year, 2 surgery, injury layoff. By mid-October we were both itching to jump into a couple local races on weekends where we weren't traveling or doing other fun stuff. We've been running some 5Ks (road and XC) and are planning to do a couple more (Turkey Trot!) to test our fitness before ski season begins in earnest. 

Its fun to be back out on the roads, competing together, for the first time in a long time. We both love simply running for the sake of running, but its fun to put on the racing flats once in a while too.

November 4, 2015

Bryce Canyon Fantasyland

One of our all-time favorite runs... Andrea on the Bryce Canyon Rim Trail

After a couple days at Zion National Park, we scooted over to Bryce Canyon National Park to give Jenna her first look at the hoodoo fantasyland. The weather was unseasonable warm and we had a great time running, hiking, and taking in the spectacular views. This time of year is "off season" at Bryce so we essentially had the place to ourselves.


More photobombing of poor Andrea.
Her choice to marry into this family!!!

Breaking up the drive home at the famous Beaver Valley Chevron

Zion (still no "s"!)

My sister (Jenna) and Andrea's parents were both out in Utah for a long weekend over Halloween. Somehow Andrea and I haven't been to Zion/Bryce in 3 years, Jenna has never been there, and its been ~15 years for the Norths. So we headed to Springdale for a couple days to soak in some sunshine down in Zion National Park.

What's the quickest way to know whether someone is from Utah or not? For some reason that I can't figure out, Utahns incorrectly add a "S" to the end of "Zion". This has become my biggest pet peeve. And yes, I realize I have a really great life if the incorrect pronunciation of Zion National Park is among my "problems." But still, that would be like referring to the Grand Canyon as "Grands" for short. It doesn't make sense... ahhhhh!!! :-)

In any case, I love showing people to immense Utah landscapes for the first time. Angel's Landing, no matter how many times you go up there, is stunning. We saw over a dozen bighorn sheet near the tunnel on the east side of the park, which was also really cool.


Photobombing Andrea

Mt Carmel Junction doesn't have much, but it has this!

From here we headed over to the Bryce Canyon Fantasyland.