Sunday, April 15, 2018

Great Wall of China

Against my better judgment, I traveled to Beijing and ran the Jinshanling Great Wall Marathon today.  I knew I would be marginal at best and actually happy if I survived and totally thrilled if I succeeded in completing the entire course.  I was encouraged to enter the race by a friend who assured me that she would stick with me to the end and get me to the finish.  As I suspected would happen, once she realized that I was significantly slower than she was, she would go on ahead and leave me to my own resources. Really, a person needs to run at their own pace.  This race includes very little actual running but does require an immensity of walking.  There are thousands of rock stairs to negotiate. They are totally uneven and they climb and descend at dizzying rates.  We had 9 hours to complete the race and even though I felt that I was having occasional near death experiences, when I finally reached the downhill part and left the actual wall, I picked up speed and was moving at a very good pace. Unfortunately the race has an unwritten rule that they neglected to tell the runners.  When you reach a certain point where the full marathon runners turn left and the half marathon runners turn right, it can't be later than 3:30 pm.  I reached that point after 3:30 and was told I must turn right and continue to the finish line.  This only gives me credit for the half marathon instead of the full.  I am extremely disappointed but certainly not surprised.  I knew before I registered that this race was clearly beyond my skill and fitness level.  But in spite of not reaching my goal of the full marathon, it was an exciting and rewarding experience.

I learned that I need to spend a lot more time climbing and certainly need to focus on speed training.  If I keep slowing down it will be very difficult to find races that will allow enough time for me to finish.  I'll keep working on it, but I need a little more motivation. I'll see how I feel after I've recovered from my jet lag!

A few photos of the wall and the crowds of runners slowing down slow people like me even more.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Portage Lake

Another fantastic cross country ski workout.  I skied with my friend Diane 5 miles on Portage Lake all the way to where we had a beautiful view of the glacier itself.  We didn't have time to ski all the way to the glacier wall, but we still had a great view of it. It was breezy but in the 40's.  It was nice to only need a light jacket instead of a heavy coat and mittens.  That is a wonderful place to ski.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Eklutna Lake

A gorgeous ski workout at Eklutna Lake with friend Mark.  We skied 4 miles, mostly right on the lake.  The lakeside trail had lots of icy spots so out on the lake it was nice and smooth and flat. It was so warm that I even took off my coat. 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Beautiful Run!

What a beautiful day to run around Colleen Lake.  It was 7 degrees but almost no wind at all.  Beautiful clear skies and sunshine.  I didn't even need my hat or gloves most of the way. I wasn't feeling my best for some reason, but it was so nice to just be outside and not be freezing to death because of wind.  I'm not in the shape I need to be in though.  I'm sure I will pay for that next month on the Great Wall of China Marathon.  There just isn't time for a long run when I work every day during the month.  Also there is a limit to the length of time that is safe to be out there in the subzero windy conditions.  But I was happy to be able to run outdoors so many times this month.  I go home in 2 days then I'll be able to get outdoors again.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Too Windy and Too Cold!

I tried to run outdoors or at least take a little walk along the road to the Sag River.  But the wind was blowing so hard and it was below zero so I couldn't make it more than .3 miles.  It was so cold on my face that I was afraid of frostbite since I didn't bring my face mask.  The little road was so drifted that I couldn't even see it anymore.  The textures of the drifts were really quite beautiful though. 
At least I got a couple of nice photos.  But not much exercise.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Treadmill 5 MIles

I took a couple of days off and now I feel much better.  It's a gorgeous day out there today but the wind is 30 mph and it's zero degrees.  I decided that is cold enough to take advantage of the treadmill.

I'm feeling so out of shape.  I can't wait to get home and be able to run and ski and hike and all those wonderful things I love to do outdoors.  Without the threat of frostbite too!

A beautiful day but a little chilly!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Very Short Run

I stepped outside to start the car planning to drive down the road and run somewhere.  But that wind hit me and I did a quick about face and ran back into the hotel.  Below zero with a 20 mph wind, that was painful. I did go hit the treadmill for a while but for some reason I just wasn't feeling well.  I was getting slower and slower until I finally called it a day after 3 miles.  I'm not sure how much of that was mental and how much was a stomach ache, but at least I tried.  I've gotten spoiled by being able to run outdoors so many times this month.