Don't get me wrong. Arizona is great, and I have had some really good runs. But there are some things that I miss about running in Utah. The main thing is the hills. It was pretty easy to find hills in Springville to run up or down. They make it a little more interesting. Phoenix is pretty darn flat. There are some mountains close enough to drive to, but I can't just run out the door and find a hill.
Springville seemed like one really big community. I could run from my house to the mouth of the canyon and the only main road to cross would be Main Street. Out here, there are main roads every mile in all directions, and most don't have sidewalks to safely run down. The housing developments have tried to make jogging paths through the houses which is really nice, but I feel sort of confined to the square mile block around my house.
The final thing that I miss is the cooler weather. I used to be able to get up in the morning and take my time getting ready to run without the temperature being too high. I have found it necessary to hurry out the door by 6 AM in order to beat the heat. Even then, the humidity right now makes things really uninviting. I miss the big shade trees along the streets in Springville and the cool canyon breezes.
Now there are some things that Arizona provides that I couldn't find in Springville. I have joined a fantastig running group that runs together on the weekends and does races together (see West Valley Runners at right). I have found some canals and other paths to run along that keep me off the road for miles at a time. And, I am really looking forward to training for Boston this winter in Arizona. Comfortable temperatures, no snow. I get excited just thinking about it.
Even though I miss these things about Utah, I as still very glad to be here in Arizona. It feels really nice feeling like this is the place my family and I need to be. We are excited for our new adventures, not just in running, but in our lives as well. We feel like we were led here and are blessed to be here.