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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Friday, January 1, 2010

Taking the First Step

Stepping off the porch into the arctic night air sent a rush of realization through me as I had now taken the first step on a journey that until this moment had been a crazy concept in the back of my head. The colored lights of the fireworks dancing across the sky as the community of Big Lake Alaska brought in the New Year in truly spectacular fashion provided a great backdrop for the first steps in what should become a most excellent adventure.

The outside temperature held the thermometer at -7 and the libations my friends were sharing were freezing solid before they could empty their cups of holiday cheer. Fire pits gathered in the field with everyone gathered around them enjoying each others company and the light display we were putting on along with everyone else in town. Shortly after the ring in of midnight and the beginning of the New Year I decided there was no better time than the present to embark on my journey. I donned my running jacket and cellular phone (this has a mileage tracking application that syncs with a chip on my shoes to give me a distance and speed measurement for running) and dropped my parka off in the house and headed into the night.

These would be the first steps on a journey that should take me to new places and give me something to occupy my time for a while. I decided to take a trip across the United States, although I will be doing it virtually. I am going to take a trip on foot from Anchorage, Alaska to Davie, Florida. The distance from Anchorage to Davie is 4965 miles. I am going to run or trek that distance, which is an average of 13.6 miles per day if I were to do it in a one year period. I am going to track my progress with my Nike+ once it gets calibrated and is working again. My old device threw in the towel yesterday and I had to purchase a new one and it did not work to register my first run.

My run last night was 1.3 miles and the device only registered .05 miles. I will have to calibrate it and get it functioning properly. 4963.7 miles still to go, which is a long way from the beach in Hollywood, Florida. Ironically I ran down Hollywood Street in Big Lake last night.

Over the next year or so I will be tracking my progress as I make my way across the North American continent on my way to Davie, Florida. I will only be tracking my distance and time spent running and hiking, but mostly running. I will not be able to track my hiking time with my Nike+ as some of the hikes planned for next summer are multi day trips with limited or no cellular service or facilities in which to keep a phone charged.

You may ask “why Davie?” We have friends in Davie that my wife and I visited a few years ago and had a great time with. This seems like a good reason to go back. Who knows, perhaps sometime in the not too distant future we will be standing in Davie once again.

For now, the road ahead beckons; let’s see where it will take me.