Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Putting On A Burst Of Speed (Playing Catch-up)

Life has gotten in the way for the past few months. I have been working quite a bit and trying to finish a big home remodeling project and beat this mental block I have been having with my running. All of this is probably just a lame excuse for not following my goals as closely as I would hope to. But the short of it is that I am going to bring my mileage thus far up to date and move forward from this point in a single post to all those in reader-land, if there is anyone out there. I took a trip to Florida a few weeks ago and even managed to get to my goal of Davie, but oddly of everywhere on the entire trip, the one place I did no running was Davie.
I'm saving it for the climax I suppose. I don't want to just jump into Davie now, what would the draw be to continue the trek? So I visited some friends, had a grand time, went to the beach in Fort Lauderdale and then headed for the Gulf Coast and beautiful Naples. I had my feet in the ocean on both coasts of Florida in a 24 hour period.

I pulled my mountain bike out of the shed and got some good miles on it as well as I had a couple evening meetings in midtown and didn't have time for a run those days, but could grab the bike and spend the time traveling to and from the meetings to get some miles on my feet. That combined with my runs a few hikes here in Alaska and Florida have brought me farther down the road.

The racing season has began and I have been able to run in several races that I have not run before including the Do Run Run 10K and the Exit Glacier 10K in Seward. I got in 37.73 miles to wrap up April and 59.16 miles so far in May for a total number of catch up miles: 96.89. Add this to my current total 123.02 and it brings me to 219.91 miles so far traveled and 4745.09 miles to go to be once more on the old time western streets of Davie Florida.

This brings me flying through the towns and road houses of Mendeltna, Tolsona, and Glennallen, turning North off of the Glenn Highway onto the Tok Highway heading past Gulkana and Gakona. Gakona is the location of the HAARP array in Alaska. This is a joint communications project between the Air Force and the Navy to communicate around the globe with submarines using the ionosphere to skip trace communications signals. Currently I way on a long stretch of lonely road between Gakona and Christonchina, AK. The road will widen out soon and then it will be a long wide road until we reach Tok.

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Information Please

I was able to get in four short runs today, making up for lost time I suppose, or perhaps me punishing myself for not being able to find the time to get done what I need to in order to run. Whatever the reason, my runs added up to 4.77 miles. This brings my total to123.02 miles and 4841.98 miles from Davie.

This puts me just past the road/ATV trails that goes up into Belanger Pass in the Eureka area. This was the primary racing area for the Alaska Adventure Racing Club's 2009 24 hour adventure race, Bushwhack This!. This is an incredible area filled with thousands of miles of ATV trails. You can see it all on foot or with a mountain bike, but the ATV will get you back into the area much farther and quicker. This area is also home to more parka squirrels than I have ever seen in one place. I believe this must be what prairie dogs were like for the early settlers of the West. This area is worth visiting and exploring. A person could spend many entire summers in the area wandering around and still not scratch the surface of the glory in the area.

I have just passed the Eureka Lodge,a major roadhouse providing gas, food, and lodging year round for ATV enthusiasts, hunters and snow machiners. This is a great place to stop, stretch the legs, get some pie or a burger and take in the wonder that is Alaska.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Short and Sweet

I'm struggling to find the time, but I got in a 1.24 mile run today, bringing my distance to 118.25 and my total to go to 4846.75. I am getting there on step at a time.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Twice the Fool

Here we are in April and I am falling behind in my running. Work and my remodel have consumed my time and I am working to get back on schedule. I managed to get two runs in today for a combined distance of 6.94 miles.It is adding up, but I really need to get my head in the game and get back on track.

I made a pact with Mr. Furious but mostly with myself that we would not drink any alcohol until after the marathon on June 19. I plan on sticking to this so that I can get my body in shape and who know perhaps I will just keep on going.

This brings my total distance for the year to 117.01 miles and 4847.99 miles to go to reach Davie, Florida. This puts me on a lonely stretch of highway with a spectacular view where I will remain for several more runs.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I'm With Furious

The sun was out bringing heat and the hint of summer and I had the chance to finally hit the trail with my running partner in crime, Mr. Furious (currently on hiatus from roller derby fame to finish his long sought after but ever elusive undergraduate degree). I stopped and picked up a new Garmin Oregon 550t unit on my lunch break today. After much soul searching I settled on the handheld GPS unit over a wrist watch due to the fact that I can monitor my trekking and hiking as well as get turn by turn vehicular directions as well as monitor my running with the handheld and it runs on AA batteries and those batteries last a few days opposed to a few hours in the wrist watch. With the multi-day trips I have planned for the summer a battery life of a few hours will not work and would be as worthless as my iPhone in that regard.

Now that I have a new device that can monitor my distance I put it to the test with our inguaral run as we officially started our marathon training. The Nike+ recorded our journey as a trek of 2.17 miles when the Garmin registered the actual distance of 5.28 miles. This was a great run on the trails of East Anchorage through the University district. I hadn't been on some of these trails since the marathon last year. It was great to get out and run with Mr. Furious again. Our distance seemed so easy and comfortable. It is always better to run with someone, the conversation makes the miles go by rather quickly and the scenery is always a great bonus. We will be on te trails more soon enough. The snow was just starting to get soft and if the warming trend keeps up theer will be muddy spring-like conditions soon.

With 5.28 miles added to the tally that brings the total for the year to 110.07 and 4895.93 miles to Davie. The maiden voyage of the Garmin was a smashing success. I need to get out get familiar with this unit but so far it is a great device.

This puts me just past Sheep Mountain Lodge and Alascom Knob. The Knob is a radio relay tower and provides a bounce for cellular communications in the area among other things and is an access point for one of the largest collection of ATV trails in Alaska. This area was the site for The Alaska Adventure Racing Club's 24 hour race (Bushwhack This!) last fall. The race had teams from Texas, California and Alaska who competed in a multi-sport race involving canoeing, mountain biking and trekking along with orienteering and some bonus events thrown in for fun. The area is breathtaking and the adventure race was a great experience for all.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Walk Around The Block

I have been working on remodeling my home this winter and the fruits of my labor are almost in blossom. In the next couple of weeks I will be able to put the house back together and it will be like living in a new place. I love the feeling of freshness and revival of remodeling. Today I spent much of the day troweling drywall mud onto sheetrock and setting corners. Tomorrow will be the first sanding and then a second coat of mud. This pattern will repeat throughout the week until the handful of trouble spots are made to look immaculate. Then it will be time to texture and paint. After all the time getting to this stage it is hard to believe it will finally be over soon.

After my morning of buttering up my walls I decided to get out of the house. I have been contemplating a new device for monitoring my running and hiking. I am planning several multi-day hikes this summer and the iPhone is not up to that challenge as Apple neglected to give the phone any sort of battery life and after six hours it will be dead. I have been looking at the Garmin Forerunner 450CX and think it is a fabulous device, but in looking at it closely this week I discovered that it will not meet my needs at it only has eight hours of battery life. I did discover that the Garmin Oregon 550t can work with the Garmin heart monitor and can track running, while not as running specific as the Forerunner series should do a better job of tracking speed and distance that the Nike+. I will have to look into it farther.

I got in 3.23 miles today on a fast walk to the grocery store giving me a total of 104.79 miles. 4860.21 miles to reach Davie. Turn around and look behind me, that is the cinder cone from the Lion's Head. The Lion's Head is the plug from a long extinct volcano. This is one of those rare geologic spots where a volcano and a glacier collide. An actual merging of fire and ice as this volcano became plugged prior to the Ice Age and the glacial snows packed on top of the volcano and the river has carried the sediment from the volcano out towards Cook Inlet and into the Pacific Ocean as the glacier has melted and receded. The Lion's Head gets it's name from the resemblance of the volcanic cone when viewed from the river. Ir really does look like a lion's head. From the top side view it really more resembles a sphinx.

This is a marvelous place to hike, raft, and explore the vastness that is Alaska. The colors in the hills here come from the sudden supercooling of the volcano as it went extinct.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

From Matanuska to The Moose's Tooth

To celebrate this Saint Patrick's Day I joined my wife and some friends at The Moose's Tooth Pizzeria for dinner. This is a local brew-pub that serves up some good food and beer. It once was the best brewery in Alaska, but its popularity is hurting it as the quality of their product is going downhill. They are still good, but the beer isn't aged out enough to not produce excess carbonation and the flavors are not setup fully. This produces a product that makes a lot of folks ill, to put it bluntly it gives them gas. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy the place but I rarely will go there to eat as waiting for hours for a table in a restaurant that has been open for over ten years is ludicrous when I can get the food to go and enjoy it with friends elsewhere. The Moose's Tooth gets it's name from a mountain in the Alaska range just to the Southeast of Denali. There is another restaurant in the Moose's Tooth family that is a movie theater named the Bear Tooth. Public belief is that it get's it's name from another peak in the same grouping as the Moose's Tooth, but it is either not an official name or is a very small rock peak as it doesn't appear on standard maps of the area. The Bear's Tooth does get referred to by local climbers a lot. It is a peak right next to The Moose's Tooth but must not be officially classified a mountain peak. Another mountain in that chain is called The Broken Tooth. Somehow I don't think this one will be going on any restaurant expansion signs anytime soon. I got in 6 miles today as I ran from my house to midtown for dinner.

This was a good run although I am sure I will pay for it tomorrow as I know I pulled something in my right hip while avoiding getting wet from melt-off puddles and the drivers not watching the road and narrowly managing to not get hit twice. It was great to run outside today and while the weather was great, it is not really Spring just yet. We still have a few snow-falls to get in before Old Man Winter finally lays down his head for a short summer hibernation.

This 6 miles brings me to 101.56 miles for the year. This breaks the 100 mile mark. I am a little ways behind where I would like to be right now. I am going to hit it hard after the middle of next month as all my personal projects should be completed and I will have time to go out and play. It is time to get dedicated to my marathon training. There are 94 days until the marathon. I would like to take off a considerable amount of time this year over the first one I ran last year. I have some projects I need to finish before the first summer guests arrive at home and after that it will be hardcore training for me.

This brings me to 4863.44 miles left to go to reach Davie. Every step brings me closer to the goal. This puts me almost to the water at Caribou Creek (the one by Matanuska glacier, odd how this State has at least a half dozen Caribou Creeks). This is a great place to put in if you are interested in doing some white water rafting and getting to see the Matanuska glacier up close and personal. If you put in on Caribou Creek and float down the 1.2 miles until it reaches the Matanuska River you will be in for a great ride. NOVA Rafting took a group of us rafting through The Lion's Head area last summer. It was a blast. Everyone liked it so much they signed up to go raft Six Mile Creek, the largest guided white water in Alaska. Both trips were truly memorable and well worth doing. I would recommend them and would do them again. In fact in the spring when the water is at its highest there are several of us who are going to take on Six Mile Creek again.

This also puts me just past the Matanuska glacier, the headwaters for the Matanuska River and also the source of the cold silty wind that blows through Palmer insistently. This is a very spectacular place as the road follows the ridge-line above and away from the glacier. This provides a stellar view of the vastness of the glacier.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Running Greek

Today I got home and the early spring sunshine called to me and I had to get out and enjoy it. The weather has been quite warm the past few days and things are rapidly melting. This does not mean it is spring as those of us who are seasoned Sourdoughs know spring never really comes for another month or so. The days in March tend to be some of the best of the winter season though and today was a shining example of a perfect afternoon.

I headed out to the bluff overlooking the tidal flats as it is only 1.7 miles from the house. It was a good run out and back after a pause to admire the tidal flats and the skiers and hikers taking advantage of the frozen mud flats. My Nike+ chip got the distance down to the bluff park spot on for accuracy, but on the return trip it only registered .93 miles. I think this a bit odd as it is almost all downhill to get to the bluff park and uphill for the return, but the device didn't register the increased foot falls as the same distance, but much less instead. I can honestly say that the Nike+ device is a sub-par piece of equipment and I would hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking for a way to monitor their running.

While I was running and avoiding the puddles and the cars splashing mucky water and debris I was hit by a tidal wave from one Animosity Research Special Expert (ARSE) as he motored his jitney intentionally into the puddle to drench me as he was the only vehicle on an otherwise empty street. This was the only downside to my run today. On the run I was considering that once men ran great distances in the nude. Running "commando" isn't the greatest form of entertainment and I could not imagine running au natural, and never in Alaska. I know there are different cultures in the world and the Greeks brought us many of the grand sporting spectacles and many of them where originally done in the nude. If this were the case today it would definitely separate the athlete from the average citizen, as most folks do not want to exercise in their birthday suit.

I saw that this year marks the 2500th anniversary of the Athens Marathon. That is pretty impressive as not too many things can claim that kind of history. I would like to run this one. What a thrill and an honor to run the historic course that gave birth to the running craze. I can't do t this year, but perhaps in the near future I can make my way to Greece to be a part of some of the history. If you want to be part of a historical milestone make your way to Greece on Halloween this year and take part in the race. You don't have to be naked to run this one. Aren't you glad that times change?

With my 3.4 mile run today my total comes to 95.56 miles with 4869.44 in front of me on my journey to Davie. This puts me just short of the entrance to the Matanuska Glacier Park and Rest Area. The glacier is just about in view.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Falling off the Horse

I have been busy recently and not made time for myself. Time for me is important and I need to do it more often. I had resolved to run everyday this year and that has fallen away. I have run multiple times on certain days so I my get 365 runs in this year which would be an accomplishment. Today I got in a run of 1.69 miles. Nothing spectacular, but some distance and got the blood flowing.

It is time I climbed back up onto this tall stallion known as Running and see if I can break it in. This distance puts me at 92.16 miles in and 4872.84 miles ahead of me.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Brawl of the Wild

This is a bit late in coming, but last Saturday the Rage City Roller Girls played host to the FBXRG (Fairbanks Roller Girls) at the AT&T Sports Pavilion in Anchorage for a bit of in-State rivalry. There were elbows and knees flying as well as some hard-felt body checks as these two titanic contenders brought their game faces to the floor and circled the oval hell bent for leather for two hours.It is always a grand event when the two cross-state sister rivals meet to bout for glory on the flat track. This bout was no exception. From the very onset the air was filled with a frenzy as the sold-out crowd cheered on their favorite players. The visiting team while still a young team have grown tremendously over the season and are soon to be a powerhouse in their own right.Rage City has some new blood in it's ranks as some of the fan favorites where missing from the lineup. These girls put in a lot of time and dedication to produce this sport and that time away from "life" can take it's toll both physically and mentally. My hat is off to all of those who participate with roller derby as it truly is a love affair that requires strong dedication and commitment.Both FBXRG and Rage City put on an epic performance and in the end Rage City took home the victory, but the girls from The 'Banks gave them a run for their money and the next time they meet it might have a totally different outcome.
If you have never seen roller derby and are in Anchorage or Fairbanks April 3 (Fairbanks Carlson Center) or April 17 (Anchorage AT&T Sports Pavilion) drop on by and check out the bout. I recommend buying tickets early as they will sell out.Today I was able to grab quick lunch run of 1.56 miles. I only had a short lunch break and dashed out of work and hit the gym for a fast run (I hit 12 mph for the first time, although, as always with a new speed I only held it for 50 paces, but it felt awesome to hit that speed). After a quick run and a shower it was back to work. This now puts me at 90.47 miles in and 4874.53 from my goal. I am just coming up on Tim's place, look close and you can see my waving as I stroll on by. Too bad Tim isn't in right now or I stop in for coffee and a palaver. Tim is a lucky guy, he quite a view. This is just past Victory as well. I have friends who help build it years ago. I have never been there, but the area is magnificent.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Life Gets In The Way

Things have been crazy hectic of late and I have not had the opportunity to run at all. Today I grabbed a quick run at lunch and headed back to the office. Two miles was my distance today bringing my total to 88.91 miles for the year and 4876.09 miles from the shores of Davie.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Walking Past The King

I was able to squeeze in a quick run today. Much going on and I am trying to balance everything in life in a finite amount of time. I got in 3.84 miles today, bringing my total to 86.91 miles. This brings me to 4878.09 miles from Davie. That puts me just past the head of the Puritan Creek Trail, a popular ATV and hunting trail and the Old Road, which got used quite a bit over the past two years as they were widening the road and making a scenic roadway even better.

I am now out of view of the majestic Kings Mountain.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Barbeque & Petrol

Today's run was rubbish. Everything about it was junk. With the first step off the porch I felt a twinge in my shoulder, odd I hadn't felt any pain before stepping through the front door. I was excited to run. I had been looking forward to it all day and while I geared up I was preparing for at least a bit of distance. But alas, I got on the road and realized that the 40+ temperatures outside where too warm for the gear I was wearing today. I should have left my cap and gloves behind today and perhaps the slick ice of the streets would have been alright.

I pushed into the downhill being careful of my footing, wanting to at least break into a pace of some kind, but the melting snow kept me from any break-away. I know all runs can't be good ones and some days the wall just beats you in the face and this sadly was one of those days. I made my way to my uber-short course and as I finished the long straight away and was rounding the curve I was KO'd by raw gasoline. I couldn't figure out where it was coming from as no cars where running and no one was outdoors at any of the houses in the neighborhood. It was fresh and there was a lot of it.

I continued through the trip, mentally willing myself to find inspiration and salvage this run. Turning up the hill I passed a neighbor out running the opposite direction, waved and turned down a road that resembled a luge track. It was all wet, crowned ice. I traversed the road and made it to the intersection and contemplated turning up the hill again to take the long way around when a blunt toking smiling hippie in a plow truck just about made this my end run.

I decided to pack it in and head for home. On the last street before my turn there was a horrid odor of charred chicken in the air. I tried to push up my pace, but felt like I was running with cement buckets on my feet. Eventually I made it to the landing and hit finish on my Nike+ and walked inside, done with my short, slow run. When I plugged in the phone to sync I saw the run wasn't as slow as I thought, with a 9'15"/mile pace. I guess that is not bad, it sure slower than that. Tomorrow will be another day and since this was one of those rare bad runs I will look forward with great anticipation to tomorrow. The good thing about this run is that it put me 1.28 miles closer to Davie.

That makes 83.07 miles so far, which places me at Wiener Lake, another destination fishing hole both summer and winter and a nice view. That is 4881.93 miles from sunny Davie, Florida.

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

352 Gets Frostbite

Today marked the one year anniversary of my first ever race. Last year I entered the Anchorage Fur Rendezvous Frostbite Footrace with a friend of mine in our attempt at starting down the path to run a marathon in June, which we both did successfully. Today was the Frostbite Footrace 2010 as it was the kick-off of Fur Rendezvous 2010 and the 75th Anniversary of Fur Rondy (as it is known to the locals, or just Rondy).

I was entered to run the race, but my friend had to pass on this one. I was a bit apprehensive to run this race as I haven't run any races since the Kenai River Run 1/2 marathon last Fall and have gotten a bit soft (polite way to say fat and lazy). I have been running, but cannot get on the horse like I should and the thought of racing actually put butterflies in my stomach as I drove to the race today. Once I got there and knew not a soul in the early crowd, I thought what am I doing here? But, I have run several races on my own and although I wanted my pal to run this one with me as it was sort of a milestone for me, I decided it didn't matter and I was going to run for me and me alone.

I had picked up my bib and shirt on Thursday, my bib number is 352. Today I checked in and stretched out, after I had stretched out at home for a while, trying to psych myself out I think and came up with the name Jimmy Jak, he is the ultimate loser, the fat kid no one picks on their team for sports, the also-ran, the never-made-it, the underdog, my daily affirmation. Jimmy Jak and I are going to take on the world and see what we can find out there. One day Jimmy Jak may just disappear, and if he does I will know it is because he found something or someone greater out there to inspire and push forward. But until he goes away he will be running with me, my muse, my shadow, myself.

The race went well and despite a frosty start temperature of 15 degrees the race was good, although I think it got colder as the morning progressed. I ended the race a bit slower than previous 5k races with an unofficial 29.56 time. My official time hasn't been released as there was a small technical glitch with the timing system, but it doesn't really matter as it was not a true technical race. It was a lot of fun and after it was over I ran eight blocks over and waited to do the loop again in the Grand Parade, then headed to work. All in all it was a great day.

With the race and a few warm-up I added 4.34 miles to my tally today. I tried to add the distance of the parade as well and found out the Nike+ does not like walking at all, as it registered a 1.6 mile trip as .08 miles. I deleted the parade route from my runs and will have to look into the Garmin watch I think for tracking walks and runs as well as remote treks.

Although it is still winter this should be the starting or turning point for the next 113 days (Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon is coming up and is sooner than it seems). I am going to work on getting on top of that running mustang and see if I can get it tamed a bit and get me running in the right direction.

My total distance this year is 81.79 miles with a distance of 4883.21 yet to come in the quest for Davie. This puts me at Long Lake, a popular fishing lake along the Highway, both in summer and ice fishing in the winter.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Step Forward

I finally managed to get a run in today. Work has had me pretty busy of late and I finally took a break and grabbed a lunch hour and headed to the treadmill. I clocked a fair spread and managed to get an interval workout in with a total distance 3.54 miles. This brings my total thus far to 77.45, with a distance to Davie of 4887.55 miles.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Heavy Lifting

I was walking out the door to go to the gym for lunch today when I got a call that a shipment of 2 tons of batteries had arrived a week early. So I dropped my gym bag and coat and dove back into the heavy lifting for the rest of the day. I got home and cleared all the icicles from my roof as I have a great Southern exposure side that with the freeze and thaw this winter has built up a wall of ice. I wish I had taken pictures before I smashed it all down as it was very cool with the sun setting through the ice and fracturing into golden sun-rays through the melting ice.

I had to get in a quick run as I wasn't getting anything I started done. So I grabbed my gear and headed down the street to some friends to drop off some stuff to them. It gave me an excuse to get out and grab a quick run. They live a bit over 1/2 mile away and so it was a very fast run both ways in the dark with my blinking headlamp on. It was cold tonight and dark. A blinking headlamp does not produce much light to navigate by and I stepped on some bare ice a few times. All in all it was a good run. A total distance of 1.13 miles, adding the total this year to 73.91 miles. I am still in sight of Kings Mountain. In fact I am right at one of the best pull-outs on the road for an easy spectacular scenic shot.

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I am 4891.09 miles from Davie, FL and making my way through the King's court.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

In the Court of The King

Today I almost didn't get a run in. I had got wrapped up at work and was going bag my run and grab a quick outdoor run after work, but the fellow I was working with disappeared on me so I seized the opportunity and headed to lunch. At the gym I did some hurried abdominal work and then hit the treadmill, knowing I only had 30 minutes to run. I got in three runs. The first to warm up at a decent pace, between 6.3 and 7.4 mph. The second run was a combination race walk and run, 5.5 mph to 6.7 mph. The third run was the culmination, a bit of race walk and a steady run with a strong finish. Today it the first time I attempted to see if I could kick on a treadmill. It is not at all the same as on the street, but the last .21 miles of my final run were at a pace of 11 mph. This is the fastest I have attempted to run on a treadmill.

I was satisfied with my workout and showered and headed back to work. The outside temperature had risen and it was a balmy 34 outside, which felt almost tropical after the run I had just had. I got a total distance of 3.29 miles in today, bringing my yearly travel to 72.78 miles, 4892.22 miles from the beaches of Florida.

This brings me just past the headquarters for NOVA Raft Adventures in Chickaloon, AK as well as the Chickaloon Cultural Center and Mercantile (the bar and petrol station) and approaching the Chickaloon River bridge. The Kings Mountain Campground is a few hundred yards from the gas station and is one of the nicest State owned campgrounds, at least it once was. It was closed for several years and sort of let go to seed, but it has been taken over in the past two years and the new caretakers are attempting to bring it back to it's glory years. It is situated along the banks of the Matanuska river in the shadow of the regal and impressive Kings Mountain. The Kings River Campground often gets overlooked as a destination location, but this area is one of the most magnificent areas in all of Alaska and is well worth the stop. You may never want to leave.

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I have never climbed Kings Mountain, but it is on my bucket list and as most things on my bucket list tend to only stay on that list for a short time it may be checked off before I know it. I have hike a few of the trails in the area including the Castle Mountain Trail twice. Castle Mountain is an incredible hiking journey and I will do it again. Near the top of the mountain above the 4000' mark is a picnic table. It is the strangest thing, but twice I have gone with friends up to have lunch at the Castle Table. Both trips where fresh and breath taking. It is a trail that is quite difficult to find and the first portion of it definitely feels like trespassing on the lands of "Deliverance". If I can find the hiking notes I will include the trail in these pages as it is a journey well worth the effort.

NOVA Raft Adventures took several of us on two white water raft adventures last summer and will be taking us on at least one this coming summer. A group of about 20 went for a trip Into The Lion's Head on an adventure around the Lion's Head and down the mighty Matanuska River as well as a smaller group of about 10 took a trip down Six Mile Creek in Hope, AK. Six Mile Creek is the only guided Class V white water in Alaska. Next summer we are going to do it again, this time when the water level is higher in the early spring so we can get the true intensity of the big class water. Both trips are tons of fun and the guide service is top notch.

The Chickaloon Cultural Center is under new management and recently reopened on Halloween 2009 after the old owners retired and closed for the summer. They boast one of the most unique one room motels I have ever seen. The motel is no longer open, but it still sports the sign and got a fresh coat of a paint a few years back. The food in the roadhouse used to be one of the finest on all of the Alcan and was even drive out dinner destination for my wife and I from Anchorage. Under new ownership I hope they can bring back all the greatness that was once the staging area for one of the long gone endurance snow machine races of the Great White North.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Breaking the Cold

We had a little blizzard this past weekend, over 11" of snow fell in town and more in surrounding areas. The snow removal was actually done in a timely manner this time and the streets and the bike trails have been plowed. This made the call to take a run outside even harder to resist, so why not give in to it. I have been down with a head cold for the past eight days and running was not in the cards until today. I got out and had a good run, Lance Armstrong even congratulated me for setting my personal best mile, a feature of the Nike+.

I only went 1.92 miles but my lungs were not back to 100% and it felt good enough for today. It was great to be running outdoors again, the treadmill just doesn't cut it for me. The fresh snow covered a lot of hidden ice, but the beauty of the new fallen arctic blanket made up for any of the soft sand-like trudge through some of the driveway drifts as I ran 1/2 of my standard route. I plan on hitting the gym again this week, but will try to get back outside and get in a few runs as I can.

I am now sitting at 69.49 miles for the year and 4895.51 miles to go to reach Davie. Kings Mountain is raising it's majestic head to the South of the highway, surveying the landscape and the river around it.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Lunchtime Stroll

Stepping out at lunch for a quick trip to the gym for a short run on the treadmill. I changed work schedules today as the new month rolled around and wanted to stay on my gym schedule. So at lunch I headed to the gym for a bit of exercise. I got in a 2.05 mile run, then it was shower and back to work. I will have to start taking my lunch at the gym as this was a great way to put a boost into the day.

This puts me at 67.57 miles with 4897.43 miles to go. Kings Mountain is just starting to come into view.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Stop The Madness

The month is rounding the corner toward the close and now one twelfth of this new year is behind us. Time is such a fleeting thing, it is here for a while and we live in the moment, then with speed of exhaling breath it has passed and we find ourselves in the future. Capturing the most of every minute is a great goal for a living pattern. If we can manage to hold onto each instant as if it where the last thing we would ever do life would have so much substance and fulfillment.

Sadly, we would still have to do those things we don't really want to do or enjoy, but we would have a greater appreciation for the little things in life. Those moments of just hanging out with those we love, sitting and watching a bird flutter above a tree in a waning sunset, or driving a car down the road, even in rush hour traffic. It is all a perspective thing and if we live life to the fullest, we should be able to take those things that cause frustration and turn them inside out and create something new out of them. Life is too short to be spent frustrated on trivial matters. And if we can master turning the mundane into uplifting meditative moments, then we have time and potentially renewed energy for using our spare time to explore the wonders of the world around us. For this is a great place and no amount of lifetimes would allow you to see and do everything there is to do and see, but if we don't give it a try we miss out on so much.

With that I will stop rambling. The month has closed and I was able to reach several of my personal running goals this month. I have found a renewed energy through the sport of running and even if you cannot run per say, getting out and getting the blood flowing through your body will do the same thing for you. Just moving about on the planet should bring a better sense of health and vitality. Eventually you will come to need the time of running/walking/strolling about the green marble that is the earth. I do it for the exercise and the peace of mind that it brings. I have to say thank you to my friend and coach Ole as he is the evil man who planted this whole running seed in my head. When I met him I laughed at running as a "pleasurable" activity. To run for fun was akin to smashing your hand with a hammer just to experience the pain of it, twisted and sick.

Step forward almost a year (as I have only been running for a bit less than a year now) and I find myself completely hooked on this crazy running thing and even stranger, the distances are the most intriguing part of it. A long run just has something about it that can't be explained and the results can't be attained any other way. So I call myself crazy and keep on keeping on. I don't think I will ever attempt an ultra marathon, but I do think I will keep at the 26.2 run for a while. A half marathon is actually a really good distance, it is not too difficult and doesn't cause the mental and physical pain of the full 26.2 mile run. I am working up to this summer's Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon, which I ran for the first time last year and had thought prior to it that 26.2 miles is a completely unreachable distance. My goal is a cut an hour from the time I had last year. Seeing as I have only run that distance once in my life there is a good chance I could beat the time, but an hour shorter is a lofty goal. So here's to training and what the future has in store.

I played an hour of racquetball today and then went to run as I needed to get one more fast run in before the close of January. With the Nike+ you can set online goals and challenges with your friends and others in the world who have the Nike+ through the Nike+ web site. I had goals of burning 4000 calories last month (easily attained early in the month), running 50 miles, and having 5 runs with an average pace of less than 10 minutes per mile. I got my fast run in and then went on to do a cool down run and Nike+ widget decided to turn itself off in the middle of my run. I ran a total of 4.02 miles today but my tracking counter only gave me credit for 2.14 miles. For some reason it turned off almost 30 minutes before I was finished.

My 4.02 miles brings me to a total 65.52 miles for the month of January. This puts me just past the offices of Matanuska Madwater, a white water rafting adventure guide service out of Chickaloon, AK. They run three rafting trips daily down the Chickaloon and Matanuska rivers. The raft trip in front of the Lion's Head on the Matanuska river is a great trip with lots of fun Class III/IV water features to make your way through. The Matanuska river has it's headwaters at the Matanuska glacier, which is located in roughly the same place as the Lion's Head. The convergence of the rivers with the glacier and the Lion's Head is a unique geological phenomenon as the Lion's Head is actually a plug in an extinct volcano. This area is really the meeting of fire and ice. I will be running by this incredible natural occurrence sometime soon and will go into further detail then.

I am currently 4899.48 miles from Davie, FL. I broke 4900 mile mark and am on my way, one step closer all the time.

Friday, January 29, 2010

When I Haver, I Walk The Line

I set out today with a goal to put in 6.78 miles and wrap up at 58 miles for my distance on the year. This would put me on the top of the hill at 58 Mile Road. Two things of significance are at 58 Mile, from AK Highway 1 on the North side of the road is one thirteen prisons in Alaska, Palmer Correctional Center and on the South side of the road is an incredible view of the Matanuska River and the valley beyond toward the glacier and the headwaters. I have never taken the time to go down 58 Mile Road to the prison and oddly enough, even though the prison campus is vast, you cannot see it from the road.

Well, I hit the 6.78 mark and still felt quite good. I had found my stride for the first time in quite a while. It always amazes me that I don't "get on step" with a run until almost the third mile. I have never found "the runner's high" when running, but I have found an enjoyment from running that I never thought possible.

I was on the tread mill today and trying to find the drive to put in the distance that I told myself I would do. I had two miles under me and kept pushing myself as I didn't feel up to even completely three miles, let alone going for almost seven. I pushed the power button on the little soundless television anchored to the bicycle and it flickered to life with The History Channel's big yellow H. Then who should appear on the screen but R. Lee Ermey. He apparently has a show on television now, Lock N' Load. Well it caught my interest and before I knew it I was well into a second episode and even without sound the show lends itself to explaining the history of weaponry and allows a viewer to follow along. The episode was about the history of rifles and started with muskets and came up through modern machine guns. It was fascinating and highly entertaining. Before I new it I had passed the 6.78 mark and well on my way to eight miles.

By then I was engrossed in the show and wanted to see the finally where they were going to obliterate a 15' cinder block wall with a vehicle mounted machine gun. I have to say I couldn't watch this show all the time, but the history lesson was nice and it never hurts to watch things blow up. I have never figured out the human fascination with destruction, but there is a certain intrigue in watching something metamorphosize in a fraction of a second.

I finished my run with a total distance of 10.28 miles. I felt great. This was my first real distance of the year and surprisingly I wasn't hurting. I did start to feel it in my calves around the 9.1 mile mark, but wanted to finish a ten mile trip. I may be sore tomorrow, but for today, it was a good day.

This brings me to 61.5 miles. This takes me to the big bend in the road just before the Chickaloon/Kings River Trail. This is a very popular ATV/snowmachine recreation destination. The trails run into the wilderness for several miles and will eventually connect back up to the road system at the junction with the Chickaloon River. I have never been on the trails with an ATV or snowmachine, but have been on the Northern parts on foot. The Kings Mountain area is one of the most majestic parts of Alaska and is often overlooked as a destination place as people are in a hurry to go farther down the road for hunting or fishing. Where I to buy land and build a cabin, this would be the area of my choosing. The ruggedness of the mountain terrain and the river rushing past has all the elements of heaven on earth.

I stepped on the scale today and was surprised by the needle stopping on 279. I guess I will need to make more time for more distance runs as they seem to do the trick. My distance to go thus far is 4903.5. Davie is getting closer.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Brokedown Place

This has been a bad week for running. I am working the morning shift currently and that should give me plenty of time to run, but I want to get a few things done on the house while I am still able to work during the daylight hours during the week. This is a great plan except my truck blew a head gasket on Monday morning and has put a serious limit on my activity as I need my truck to pick up some material for the house that won't fit in my borrowed car.

I was able to get in one run so far of 2.25 miles. This brings my total distance to 51.22. I have hit the 50 mile mark! This rounds my total to 4913.78 miles. This puts me across the Matanuska River from Wolverine Lake. I once went sheep hunting in that area. We didn't get any sheep, but we had our truck stolen while we were gone. The thieves were kind enough to leave us our ATV trailer, but they took my friends truck. Let me tell you, when you come out of the hills after five days and your truck is gone and you are still relatively in the middle of nowhere, it doesn't make for much happiness.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Talk Derby To Me

The crackle of energetic anticipation filled the air of the AT&T Sports Pavilion on Saturday night as The Don Ho's and The Hula Girls took to the flat track for fast paced battle of strength, wits, and skill as they embraced in battle over who would emerge victorious from the bout. There would be pushing, shoving, tripping, elbows thrown, full body checks, and cartwheels by the end of the night. Some would spend time in the penalty box and others would rocket their way onto the scoreboard. It was a match-up of two teams of tough ladies coming together to skate circles around each other in hopes of coming away the victor. This is Woman's Flat Track Roller Derby, this is Anchorage, AK, this is Rage City!

The two teams put on a great show as they drove each other around and outside of the oval track. For two hours they relentlessly drove harder and faster around the oval, wearing each other down physically and mentally. Always on the hunt for the opening where their jammer could break through the pack and get out and score.

Both these teams are made up of members of other teams in the Rage City Roller Girls league and they put on a Hawaiian themed bout on Saturday as a way to bring some warmth in the frozen month of January. While the girls hit hard and push each other to the edge of the track, they are friends and colleagues on the track. With many rookie girls on the league this year this bout was a great way to get some of the Fresh Meat teams sort playing time. With a sold out house they did that and more.

I wanted to try an experiment while I was working the derby bout and see if my Nike+ would track my distance as I cruised the arena shooting photos. So I turned it on at the start of the night and ultimately it failed. Ikept turning off due to inactivity or interruptions from phone calls. In the end it tracked me for .14 miles, but only covered a small portion of the bout. I learned that it isn't a good way to track stop and start movement.

With this very short distance increase I move my overall distance for the year to 48.97 miles, a few hundred feet farther down the road than I was before

Friday, January 22, 2010

Giant Steps, There is No Such Place As Far Away

I discovered today that 500 paces is a mile for me, although I was running at various paces so the steps were not exactly symmetrical. This came as a surprise to me as I had never taken the time to actually count paces, but found it to be relaxing and it allowed me actually think while running, which is one of the things I quite detest about the treadmill running. The gym has all these bells and whistles and flashing lights in your face to distract you from what you are doing when the actual running is great therapy and a way to let your mind wander, but with all the in-your-face distractions it is difficult to get into a mindset that comes so easily when running outdoors. I found that I can pick a place on the wall near where the drywall intersects the metal beam bracket and and the glue-lam stare into it, much the same way I watch the horizon outside and event though I am not really focusing on the beam or the bracket, my mind can wander and not think about running on a treadmill or the pace I am at or the distance I have gone, but can lazily drift into thoughts of other things.

I know that when I run outdoors I like to focus on what is far away and later in a run when I start to fatigue I use far away marks as goals to get to and then once attained I find other places to set my sights on and push through. On the treadmill everything is made so that you will focus your attention directly in front of you and that causes mental fatigue if you ask me. I spend all day staring at a computer screen for work and the last thing I want to do in my off hours is stare into a 8" x 8" flashing box blasting doom and despair or some super market dirt rag gossip about people who have no significance or meaning to mine or really the lives of anyone else other than what the Hollywood media has marketed to the masses that they should care about glitz and glamour and what someone they saw in a moving picture wore once or whomever they might or might not be bedding with.

In this way I have discovered a far off distant horizon inside the confines of the small equipment filled chamber of the gym. This in itself gives me more motivation to run indoors, but I am pining for the days when the weather is not so chilled outside and once more I will be free to roam about the country.

I found a way to make far away come indoors and along with the new-found realization that 500 steps is a mile meant today was a great day to run. I even hit 10 mph as a pace for a bit under .25 miles. This is the first time I have pushed up the pace and it was not as bad as I had expected it to be. I could not currently hold that pace for very long and surely not in a long distance run. It was stimulating and refreshing to put in that pace though. I worked quite a bit on intervals with taking may pace up and down and I think it will do wonders for helping develop my lungs and my endurance. We shall see what comes with time. I did hit a pound lost on the scale as I weighed in at 287 today. I started this journey at 294 pounds, not the smallest guy in the gym by any means. Soon though that guy will be a part of history as the lighter I get the faster I can move and the farther I can go.

My total distance for today was 5.01 miles. This brings my total distance to 48.83 miles (4916.17 still in front of me). This puts me about a quarter mile past the Buffalo Mine Road a popular location for ATV recreation and hunting.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Passing Thru Palmer, AK

After a day of feeling too tired to run I hit the gym again today and put in a short run. I got 3.69 miles in which is enough to rocket me through the town of Palmer, AK (43.82 miles) and start the grind up the big hill overlooking the Matanuska river delta. Every step counts in the journey toward the end, or the next goal, whatever that might be. I am currently 4921.18 miles away from Davie, FL. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Quick Start to the Week

Today was a quick trip to the gym and little bit of weights and a run. 2.35 miles for the day. This puts me at 40.13 miles in 2010, 4924.87 miles from my goal. I am slowly approaching the Alaska State Fairgrounds.

Race Day

Today I got up at 6:00am so I could work volunteer support for The Endurance, an Adventure Race here in Anchorage. I got to Prospect Heights and we got the race set up and then the teams started to arrive and soon enough the race was on.

I went to the first transition area after the racers had been gone for almost 2 hours. While I was waiting I got in a run, almost a mile of basically short distant sprints as I didn't want to leave sight of the TA so I could watch the racers come in.

After the racers made the transition to sleds I hit the trail and spent the next few hours running and slogging through the snow. I discovered that the Nike+ doesn't play well with snow and ice as it eventually just stopped working. Based on my GPS I was able to track my distance as the Nike+ had given in to the elements for the day and I removed the chip from my boots and put it in my coat to warm up. The Nike+ registered 1.94 miles, add that to the 4.73 miles measured from the GPS and I got in 6.67 miles for the day.

That brings me to 37.78 miles for the year (4927.22 to Davie) which puts me just short of Kepler Bradley State Park on the Glenn Highway.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Endurance - An Adventure Race

Wanted for hazardous journey.
Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness.
Safe return doubtful.
Honor and recognition in event of success.

This was Ernest Shackleton's solicitation to travelers for a South Pole expedition in 1912. It generated over 5000 responses from people willing to embark on an Antarctic exploration. It was also the solicitation for Alaska Adventure Racing Club's inaugural winter adventure race on Saturday. At 9:30am four teams converged on the Prospect Heights parking area in Anchorage and were given 30 minutes to look at maps of the route and plot their course before a 10:00am start of the race. The course was set up like an orienteering "score-O" where there are multiple checkpoints on a given course and each checkpoint has a point value. There were some mandatory checkpoints and several optional checkpoints as well as some optional "bonus" events thrown in throughout the course. The checkpoints were all themed after part of Ernest Shackleton's ill-fated South Pole expedition where he and his crew spent 497 days stranded on the ice.

The basic course began with a ski leg from Prospect Heights up the Middlefork Trail and then an optional checkpoint located on the bridge at the fork in the Powerline and Hidden Lake trails. From there the racers would converge on the first Transition Area (TA) in the race at the Upper O'Malley parking area where they would drop their skis in favor of sleds and helmets and make the return trip to Prospect Heights on sleds. Before they left on their sleds there was an optional "bonus" event where they were able to take an avalanche beacon and perform a search and rescue mission by locating one of two hidden beacons in the snow. One beacon was actually hidden in view in a tree and all but one team located this one after a few minutes searching the ground for the other beacon.

At the Prospect Heights TA they would switch from the sleds to mountain bikes for a trek across the hillside to the North Bivouac trail where a five checkpoint 2.5 mile optional orienteering course was set up. After that the race took them to Campbell Creek park off Lake Otis and Tudor for a brief assessment of their first aid skills and a check of their mandatory equipment. Then on to The Peanut Farm for the finish of the race. The race had a hard finish time of 5:00pm with a time penalty of 10 points per minute that a team was late. With a total possible 500 points that could quickly erase a teams chance of a good finish.

Four teams made the journey and it was the first winter adventure race for all of them although some had adventure racing experience it was an even playing field. There were two teams of 2 and two teams of 3, one being an all female team, the "Trail Tramps" as they dubbed themselves. "The Trail Tramps" took the victory on the day by over 40 minutes over the second place team. They are a force to be reckoned with and have a great future in adventure racing. Perhaps we will see them again in this Spring's Women Rock! Adventure Challenge on April 24, or the Adventure Friday races every other Friday this summer in Anchorage beginning May 21.

Congratulations to everyone who came out. This was a perfect day for racing and a great group of contestants.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Running For A Cure

Today marks the one year anniversary of my mother being cancer free. I think this is an incredible milestone and something to be celebrated. I am blessed to still have a mother walking this world and probably do not tell her often enough how much I love her and most likely should. She has had a rough go of it the past few years and the breast cancer was just the icing on the proverbial cake after a string on bumps in life's road including a heart aneurysm that resulted in open heart surgery. Now she goes to work everyday and pushes the clock of life as if nothing ever happened, her strong will and vigor for life are things to be envied. Most people today tend to give up and surrender to even the smallest setback in life. I think my drive for life must have come from her.

We are going to celebrate with her tonight and I can't think of a better reason to celebrate than the victory over such a horrific disease. I have had a few people close to me suffer with various cancers. Some having heroic victories and some losing the fight, but losing it after they were able to pour out the best of them into their friends and family. My sister-in-law is another survivor and she was diagnosed and treated while she was in medical school. Now she has lived through one of the hardest things imaginable and has gained incredible insight into her chosen profession. What an amazing journey to be able truly understand things from a patients perspective and interact with such compassion and understanding with those she is treating.

I will be running several races thins summer and hadn't planned on rasing money for the charities hosting the races, but I think I will. The closer to a cure we come the more incredible life stories will come from the miracles of modern medicine. If you are interested in supporting a worthy cause let me know and I will let you know how you can sponsor me on any or all of the races I run this summer.

Runs I will be doing for certain this year:
Frostbite Footrace, Fur Rondy 2010
The Heart Run
The MS Walk

Twilight 12K
Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon
Eklutna Lake Challenge

There are several other runs I plan on doing, The Kenai River Run is a great way to end the season and as I did it last year is a great fast run.

Today's run was a short one as I had not intended to run, but after shoveling snow in the driveway I was inspired and decided to go for a run in the sunny afternoon. We had almost 7" of snow come down yesterday and the streets have been cleared but the paths and sidewalks have not. So I opted to run in the neighborhood on the streets and I set a personal best for my fastest mile thing year. I ran 1.34 miles today, with a time of 8'30" for the first mile. I am now 31.11 miles into my journey (4933.89 to go). This puts me in the middle of the Knik River Bridge on AK-1.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Few Steps

Today was a quick day at the gym, a couple of short runs and a few sets on various weight machines and out the door into the falling snow. Big plans to get home and get some work done on the house. But the best laid plans fell by the wayside and sleep overcame. Tomorrow I will get my painting finished just in time for the adventure race on Saturday. I got in 2.3 miles today bringing the total to 29.77 miles ran and 4935.23 yet to go. This puts me just past the crossing of the Eklutna River.

Until then...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Moving Pictures

Today was filled with thoughts and wonder. I went to the gym to get in a workout and a run and got both. Not as far as I wanted but I had to cut my time short so I could get home and see if I could get my Internet connection back online. I ended up running 4.19 miles.

While I was on the treadmill I turned on the little television mounted on the top and surfed through channels while running. This I thought was totally absurd. Here I am running, running on a revolving rubber wheel with a little box with flashing pictures on it and no sound and this is supposed to do what? Entertain me? How bizarre to be running and watching mind numbing drivel. The commercials were the worse part. If I actually was to focus on the show in front of me and lose myself in a pace to the show, then when the commercials came on I would be so disinterested that I would lose my pace and end up starring at the wall or another picture box mounted to another wall.

In the end I found a movie that was playing on one television almost not visible from where I was and found I could tune into it and follow the story and carry on with my run. Running outdoors has so many advantages over treadmill running. Almost everything, other than the fact that it is just downright cold outside right now is better outdoors. It has been between 2 and 20 degrees, but it feels much colder and the wind has seen to it that the outdoors is only for short runs at the moment.

A big plus for the day was that I think I have got my Nike+ working properly now. It was spot on with the treadmill. This run brings me to 27.47 miles for the year and 4937.53 miles from the end of the line, where it is currently 52.9 degrees.

I am currently just approaching the historical Eklutna Roadhouse along the picturesque Glenn Highway. Unfortunately is has been closed and left to rot over the years as the owners could not find a buyer for it. Once when I was quite young I spent many hours there with my family while we waited for darkness to fall so our portaging permit would become effective. We were towing a wingless airplane behind our truck which my father had purchased, from Glennallen to Soldotna. We had a permit to tow it through Anchorage, but it was only good after night fall. Today mostly an old skeletal building remains.

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Eklutna once was a thriving small community but today is home to around fifty and Eklutna Lake is the primary source of drinking water for Anchorage.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Bad Run

Today was the first bad run I have had. I left the house expecting to do just a short run, perhaps a mile and return to get on with the day. I left the house and headed into what seemed a dreadfully fridged morning. No matter what I did I could not get warm. I pushed my pace thinking I could outrun the chill but only pushed my breath farther from my lungs. I ended up taking a bit longer run than I anticipated as I swung into one of my favorite parks and ran an old stand-by course for when I only want to run a short distance and ran to the pole and back.

Only today it seemed to be an eternity from home, I made it to the pole after an brief encounter with a moose and ran the bell and started the return trip only to find the road stretching farther and farther out in front of me and the desire to stop or walk rearing its ugly head vehemently.

I refused to give in to the urge to quit, but it took all I had and the temperature just seemed to falling farther and farther. I got home and the thermometer read eight degrees, so I am not sure why it seemed so cold.

I have decided to just except the distance the Nike+ gives me as it will take too much work to keep verifying the actual distance I run. Today I ran 2.10 miles, of sheer torture. Tomorrow will be better I am sure, it will be in the gym, I need to bring my running shoes though as my court shoes tear up my feet after two miles.

My total so far is 23.28 miles for the year, which puts me 4941.72 miles from Davie, FL. and just short of the North Peters Creek exit on AK-1 North.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Long Run to the Sun, Dog

I finally got in my first long run yesterday. I had taken the day off from work as we had gone to see Rusted Root the night before at the Bear Tooth Theater and the show wasn't scheduled to be over until midnight. That would have only left me about two hours of sleep before work on Friday and that wouldn't have made for a good day at all.The show was stellar. It had been almost fifteen years since I had seen them before at La Luna in Portland, OR.They still have it, it was nice to see they finally made it to Alaska.

So I got up and had a cup of coffee and then headed out the door with my only goal to stop at the Post Office on my return from wherever I went. I set out into a sun-filled sky and headed directly into the sun. It was nice to need sunglasses as it has been a while since I have been outside when the sun was up. I ran down to where the highway leaves town and stopped to take some pictures and turned around. There was a magnificent sun-dog in the sky, but it was too large to fit into the cameras frame. I settled for some sun-blinded shots of the Inlet and Potter's Marsh and The Chapel By The Sea.

I made my way back toward the house taking ever "long-cut" on the way. It was nice to get a distance under my belt this week. The Nike+ didn't register the first .56 miles of my run, but did record the 6.36 miles I did after I got it working. I think I figured out one of the issues. I use a lace clip for the sensor for my Nike+ and I have been swapping shoes for indoor and outdoor running. I had the sensor in the clip so that it was upside-down when it was on my shoe. When I noticed it was only recording time and not my pace and distance i stopped in the snow and adjusted my shoes and sensor. I flipped the clip around so that the sensor was flat side up and started again and this time it registered the distance very well. I will need to make sure the sensor is always right side up.

With 6.96 miles for the run I bring my total so far to 21.18 miles and 4943.82 miles until I reach Davie. I am just approaching the North Birchwood exit on Alaska Highway 1 North.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Almost a Victory

I have lagged behind on posting here for a few days. I got some mileage in and even got the Nike+ to work although it is not really accurate. It is a nice gauge for showing distance and since it tends to be short on distance is a great coach in that you will actually run farther in order to get to your distance goals if you strictly follow the Nike+. I put in a run of three (3) miles on my measured course, but the Nike+ didn't start working when I started it. It was tracking time, but not pace and distance, so I missed the first .96 miles of that run. Three miles that day even though the gauge read 2.04 in the end.

I got a membership to the gym for Christmas and made my premier appearance there after work on Tuesday. I got in some weight training and then a calibration run. I only ran 1.36 miles there. It was the first time I have run on a treadmill. It is a bit odd to be running on a treadmill. I definitely enjoy running outdoors better even in the rain.

My marathon training program had me scheduled to run 8 miles yesterday and I had preparred myself for an eight mile outdoor trek down to the marsh and back. Then it had to go and dump snow and freezing rain on us. I don't have spiked shoes and wasn't up to doing an eight mile run in my mountaineering boots and running crampons so I got to work extra on the house and stay indoors.

miles to Davie.Today I got a three mile run in at the gym. The Nike+ only registered it as 2.8 miles. 4950.74With 14.26 miles behind me so far I have just come down the Eagle River hill and crossed Eagle River on AK-1 North. I'm still within the Municipality of Anchorage, but and making my way North.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

First Recorded Run

I took a quick run to Lowe's for supplies for the remodel project this morning. I needed some spackle and popcorn texture and needed to get in a run as well so I grabbed my gear and headed out the door into the 0 degree morning just after a great moonset and sunrise. The Nike+ worked sort of in that it recorded my run this time (there is a first time for everything I guess). It didn't record the distance properly though as it said I ran 1.91 miles when the actual distance was 2.8 miles. I will have to get the device to give accurate readings or find a better way to track my mileage.

As I have said before, my old device worked great and this new one is rather finicky. 4957.9 miles from Davie, FL. In the grand scheme of things I am just now leaving Anchorage headed toward Eagle River, AK on AK-1 North. I have just passed Centennial Campground which is the only campground inside the city of Anchorage.

Bon voyage Anchorage I am headed for warmer climates.

Technical Difficulties

I got up this morning and greeted the New Year with coffee and breakfast then took a drive to check distance for a run and after measuring off a 3 mile course I returned to the house to grab my running gear and head into the cold overcast day. I ran the 3 mile course in 33'31" but when I went to stop my Nike+ and see if it calibrated all it gave me was the time on the run and it recorded no distance at all. I checked online for assistance with the new iPhone application and the new Nike site is not helpful that way at all. Tomorrow will hopefully bring a successful time with my tracking device. 4960.7 miles to go. In looking at the maps on Google, The Teriayki Box is apparently the heart of Anchorage. It is a tasty spot to eat. I think they should take advantage of this phenomenon and market themselves as the heart of town.

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