Sunday, October 30, 2011

Answer to the 'Cliff Hanger' question

Old Train Depot Control Board

All week long I battled, not a decision to run (or not to run) the 50k, but rather a more personal physical battle against allergies and hay fever. I had some of the more amazing sneezing fits, stuffy noses, and post nasal drip (which migrated into my lungs) than I have ever experienced. Life was miserable. Any hope of recovering enough to do the 50 was put to rest on a 9 mi run on Tuesday and a 5 mile run on Thursday, both on the river trails, and both of which found me struggling to find the energy to keep pace with my running partners.

So after the Thursday run, I took a friend up on his offer to hang out at his place in Tucson for the weekend. I arrived early on Saturday, and immediately noticed my allergies ebbing a bit in the dry Arizona climate. My friend, Manish owns the storied Maya Tea Company - His company also runs a bunch of farmers markets in the Tucson area. As a major fan of farmers markets, it didn't take a lot of arm-twisting to get me to go to the first one yesterday at the old Tuscon train station. In addition to the new farmers market there, the station houses an Amtrak facility, an excellent restaurant/gourmet store, and a fantastic art gallery called Obsidian.

In the evening I was invited to attend a Tucson Local Favorites event at a hotel in the mountains. A slew of excellent restaurants, food companies, and wineries (who knew just how many stunning wineries there are in AZ?) served their fare to an eager crowd of hundred of people in the hotel's ballroom.

Being a relatively new vegan, and a relatively long-term vegetarian, there wasn't a lot that I could sink my teeth into. However, the event was fun. It was good to see people coming out to learn more and support their local eateries.

This morning I'm heading off to Tucson's biggest farmers market. In the afternoon (lungs permitting) I plan to take a 6-10 mile run on a path that -follows along dried-up river bed.

I will try to get some pictures posted. The scenery here is spectacular. Saguaro cactus are everywhere. The desert-scape has some of the heartiest, and at the same time most delicate flora and fauna to be found. As a former transplanted Arizonan (I actually did attend kindergarten in Tucson 40 years ago), there is something about this place that gets down in your blood and makes you long for solitude as you find yourself drawn into the vast expanses of earth and sky.

Below: The little leave on this tree are about the width of a paperclip wire

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