Sunday, May 19, 2013


"What's that jargle? Scripture? You quotin' Scripture?" -Coach Z

No, I didn't suddenly have religious epiphany.  Is it the ideal ratio for mixing a fine scotch and water?  No, that would be 2:1, thank you very much.  How long I can hold my breath?  Nope... errr... maybe, but that's not the point.  So, what is that number?  Well, there in lies my story...

It seems spring is finally drawing near.  The snow has begun to melt on the mountainsides, and if you look closely you might notice a small fringe of green beginning to poke though around the edges of the tundra.

Yesterday the sky was clear and blue.  I decided to forgo the sprint intervals I had planned for the day, and just go for a good run.  Since my Jeep is in the shop my options were a bit limited.  I decided to just head out and see where I ended up. 

I first headed to Bunker Hill, my regular training hill.  At around 400 vertical feet it is no mountain, but it is a fairly steep mile long climb up the back, and the views from the top are worth every step.  Still energized I decided to run almost strait down the other side.  My heart was pounding.  I felt free.

Instead of heading home I turned towords the bridge.  I began to wonder how far I could go.  As it turns out... quite a ways.

Over the bridge, up the hill, back down through the town, along the shore, past the dump, along the cliffs around the point, by the lake and over one last hill to Humpy Cove (almost the end of the road system).  At which point I refused to go any further.  I was getting tired and knew I had to run back just as far as I had come.

By the time I shuffled back across the bridge, my legs were beginning to ache.  I was getting quite thirsty and a bit hungry.  The last couple miles dragged on and the small hill to my house has never felt like such torture, but I made.

As I climbed the steps to my house, I looked down at my watch: 3:16.  I haven't been so exhausted from a run in a very long time.  In fact, that is the longest I have ever run nonstop.  I admit my pace wasn't impressive, and at around 18 miles it wasn't even a marathon.  I am proud none the less.

I hadn't planned it or prepared in the least.  I didn't even take any water.  Unwilling to stop I just kept thinking, "Well, maybe just a bit further," and then... there I was.

Sun, dirt, wind, pain and freedom.  The best three hours I've spent in some time.  Maybe it's about time to get out and run (but not today... my legs hurt).

Monday, March 11, 2013

Finally back to running!

It has been almost a year since I left Alaska. There have been a bunch of ups (new job, house, etc) and very little downs. All those can be found on my solo site EverydayLivingPNW. I do have to say though, I have been missing the time I spent in Alaska running. The trails have been calling me and I have yet to answer in Seattle. Actually, I regret to report that I haven't really ran since early fall. But, there is promise on the horizon.

Late last week I was able to get out on a run. It was a beautiful day and I did not want to miss the opportunity to get outside in it (sounds familiar huh, just like when I was in Alaska). The air was crisp, yet fresh and the sky was blue. What more did I have to ask for? Okay, well I would of enjoyed less cars and more trail, but beggars can't be choosers. In fact, here is what the view from my run looked like:

The scenery was not as pleasant as I have been accustomed too, but the weather was just so nice. I ended up putting in about a half hour and working up a sweat. I do long for those days that I use to spend an hour out on the trail, running up mountains and taking in the view. Will that come back? Time will tell, but for now I will keep it small and keep checking in. Who knows what the summer will bring?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Going Long

As I look out my window, across the barren, wind-swept snow fields of the Priblof Islands and the frozen Bering Sea beyond, my thoughts turn to the summer ahead.  This seems like the perfect time to begin planning for the warmer weather to come.

Last year I began gearing up for fastpacking (and I still am) but laziness got the better of me.

However, that ultralight mindset, has lead me to consider another road this year: the Appalachian and Pacific Crest trails. 

Now, I don't have the time (or the experience) for a full thru-hike, but perhaps it is time that I set a goal to do some real backpacking.

I may instead consider the Ozark trail as it is close to where my family lives, but for now the AT and PCT weight heavily on my mind.  It is time to start doing some research.

Has any of you ever considered hiking the AT or PCT?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Perhaps, it was for the best.

Quick note:  This post was written a couple years ago.  I just never got around to posting it.  I may pull out several more of these old posts as I get myself back to writing again.

Several weeks ago, when Ed had finally returned from sea. I decided to go for a run after work on a beautiful evening. Ed had other plans that night. Perhaps it was for the best. While Ed went to a party I set out for an evening run. The sun had come out in the afternoon. I had not yet found and excuse to make my way outside. My Jeep had been in the shop for nearly two months (it is hard to get parts on the island) and I have been going stir crazy. That is not even to mention a rather stressfull couple of weeks. My usual stress relief is to drive out to the end of the road and hike around by the shore or up into the hills. Even just the drive relaxes me. This last week however was rather rainy and I hadn't even gotten out on many runs.
However this Saturday (the end of my weekend) turned out with fair weather. While Ed urged me to come out with him, still feeling rather restless, I declined. Instead I grabbed my running clothes and set out. The sun was already beginning to set as I stepped out the door into the cool air. I didn't know where I was going but knew I need to go.
I choose one of the few roads on our small area of the island I had not yet run: the road around the mountain. The road had always seemed mysterious and daunting. It was perfect. I needed an escape from the usual.
I ran up the old water-rutted gravel road leading around the base of the mountain behind the airport and climbed the foot of the mountain.  The chill in my limbs disappeared as I continued past the old bunkers, past the signs warning of explosives (nothing strange about that), and beyond the balls of the mountain (Two giant balls....) and came to the far side, looking north and west.
The road ended and a small path continued to the edge of the cliffs. I sat and watched the waves breaking below at the base of the mountain coming unhindered from the north and the wide sea beyond. The sun was below the mountains to the west, but the twilight was still bright and the sky pastel in blues oranges and purples. The land was turning grey as a thin haze settled around in the gentle breeze. I sat for a while listening to the waves crashing below mixed with the sound of my breath.
As I turned and headed back up the path and down the road around the mountain I felt calm at last. Peaceful for the first time in many days. The mountain had not yet tired me out so I decided to run the road along the shore. I had not ran that way in quite a while though a couple of years ago it had been our near daily route. We had gotten tired of it. It was old news. In the evening twilight it was new again. The sky slowly began to darken and the waxing moon appeared a pale sliver from behind the clouds upon the mountains in the slowly fading blue of the sky. The water glistened in the failing light.
By the time I returned home it was mostly dark (and I was carrying a muddy rain jacket I found abandoned alongside the road.) I was tired, but felt better than I had for some time. There is just something about evening solitude. Sometimes you just have to run alone....

Has anyone else done a moon light run lately?