Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The list

It's really no secret that I hate Chicago.

I've felt this way for about 10 years now. It's loud, the people are inconsiderate douchebags, the weather sucks, and anything resembling nature is at least a 45 minute drive away (and your definition of "nature" had better be pretty broad for this apply). Luckily, the wife shares my contempt for this place, and we have rather unscientifically come up with the following possible destinations for our ultimate escape from the frigid Midwest. When this escape will be pulled off is anyone's guess at this point - I had a dream the other night that our condo was appraised at $15,000, which may not be far from reality. But, it's still nice to dream of leaving this all behind, especially when you're walking to work in single-digit temps. So, here's the list of frontrunners so far, in no particular order:

1. Bend, Oregon - sits pretty much smack-dab in the middle of Oregon, not far from Mt. Bachelor and the Cascade Lakes. I love the fact that it sits in the high-desert, and has less than 60,000 full-time residents. It's also the home of the Dechutes Brewery, and closer - but not too close - to my folks. Perfect.

2. Boise, Idaho - is the state capital and the largest city in Idaho, which isn't saying much - the tallest building is only 20 stories, and there's around 200,000 residents. Outside magazine recently rated it the number one place to live in the western US. Sounds good to me.

3. Santa Fe, New Mexico - another capital city, Santa Fe sits at 7,000 feet above sea level and has just over 73,000 residents. I love desert climates because there's no humidity, and Santa Fe's temps are just my speed - not too hot, and not too cold. And 300+ days of sunshine each year. I could get used to that.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011


So, Drew and I signed up for the Galena triathlon, set to take place on May 21, 2011, in scenic Galena, Illinois. I've actually signed up for this race three times, but have finished only once - my very first triathlon, back in 2003. Since then, the race was cancelled because of thunderstorms, and I DNF'ed in 2009 (Cath had a tire melt-down, and I stopped to try and help, but the damage was too severe and we bailed).

But, despite the fact that I've only crossed the finish line once, it's a beautiful race - the scenery in that part of the state is lovely, and the course is very challenging. Rolling hills everywhere, on both the bike and run. And Galena, itself, is a cute little town, very popular as an antique-lovers destination and summer B&B getaway. Drew and I also like it, because it presents a nice early-season training weekend - the race is on Saturday, so, if you choose to spend an added night, you have half the day on Sunday to ride and run some more. I'm very much looking forward to it, and strongly recommend the race as a great way to kick off the tri season.

Unfortunately, May still seems like a million miles away, especially as Chicago got hammered with an epic blizzard last night, and more snow is falling today. I think they're expecting two feet of snow on the ground by the time it's over, so I guess the bike can keep sleeping in the closet. It'll be awhile before those two tires will be hitting the road. But, snow or no snow, the IM training plan starts on April 11. Can't wait!