Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Down The Road

I'm about to head down the Dalton Highway, leaving Prudhoe Bay and the Arctic behind until I return to work the month of December.  The weather looks pretty nice, at least it isn't snowing.  There is a low overcast here but most likely it is fairly clear farther south.  The Brooks Range is visible beneath the low stratus so I can see that there is good weather ahead of me.  No snow in the forecast for the next few days either. 

I have an 800 mile drive from Deadhorse to Palmer, Alaska, and most of the road is snow-covered.  They keep this road open and clear for the truckers, so it should be fine for me in my Subaru.  I have chains with me just in case.

Once I am back home I will be able to continue my running outdoors.  That will be great!  I am running the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco October 18th too. So I guess I can call that my LONG RUN for that day.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

100 Miles

I reached my goal of running at least 100 miles this month.  I decided to take a day or two off to let the sore muscles heal, so today I just watched the snow falling.  It is getting a bit deep out there so I may have to find a treadmill to use.  Both of the ones in the Prudhoe Bay Hotel are broken, which is totally annoying.  There is one at the Flight Service Station so I will probably use it tomorrow.
It's becoming quite a winter wonderland out there now.  Colleen Lake is partially iced up, and most of the small ponds are covered with ice.  The birds are heading south.

I will drive south next week back to my home in Palmer, Alaska.  Then in a couple of weeks, off to San Francisco to run the Nike Women's Marathon.

I guess I will call that a 'long run' in preparation for PF Chang's in January!  GO TEAM!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Running in the SNOW!

It has been snowing hard for several days now. I ran 6 miles in about 4 inches of snow, and it was actually quite pleasant. At least it wasn't windy today. At first my depth perception was really off because the snow was untracked. I ran back and forth on my favorite side road, 1/2 mile from my car and back. Once I made some tracks, I was able to judge where the ground actually was. It was a little slippery so I wore my ice grippers on my running shoes. My feet got a little wet, but it wasn't uncomfortable. I like the feel of the snow falling gently on my face, and looking out over endless tundra as I am running. I stay close enough to my car to scurry back if I see a polar bear or a grizzly bear off in the distance. But so far I have been totally alone out there. I saw a flock of geese flying south. I guess most of the open water is gone now, so it won't be long before all the birds have flown south. I think the quiet Arctic winter has arrived.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

On The Tundra

Wow, today turned out to be a great day to run outside!  At first I certainly didn't think it would be, since it was snowing hard, only 32 degrees, and I could see the wind sock at the airport standing straight out. But I knew I had to get out and give it a try.  I found that if I just pulled my neck gaiter up over my face when running into the wind, it wasn't bad at all.  I was kind of bundled up in rain gear, hat, and gloves - no running shorts today!  But I warmed up quickly, and because it was right at freezing, the snow on the gravel road where I was running, had melted off.  It wasn't even slippery even though it was snowing the whole time.  I have come to the conclusion that it is only in extreme conditions that it is not possible to run outdoors.  I do stay indoors during blizzards though!

I feel great after that nice 5 mile run.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Waiting Out The Storm

Today it was blowing and snowing so hard that it was barely possible to walk, much less run. So I will have to wait another day to run outdoors.

The North Slope Borough police returned my kayak today. They were able to use it to retrieve the body of the unfortunate man who drowned in the Sagavanirktok River the other day. So sad for that family.

Monday, September 21, 2009


I usually try to run outdoors no matter what. But the wind is over 30 knots and snow is blowing sideways past my window, and the fog is so thick I can hardly see across the street. It looked like a forced treadmill day. So, I went to the exercise room in the Prudhoe Bay Hotel and took a chance on the treadmill. Both have signs on them saying that new ones have been ordered, but I have had good luck running on one of them. But today, after 1 1/2 miles it started making a horrible noise, and I could tell something finally broke. So, I guess today was an unexpected rest day. I did use the elliptical machine for a while, but it just isn't the same. I'm hoping for better weather soon.

I woke up with bad leg cramps, so maybe it is just as well that I rest another day. It was a nice invigorating mile and a half run though!

But this is what matters the most.
Running to save lives!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

To the Rescue

Today was a rest day for my marathon training. Of course, rest days are almost as important as training days, so that the runner doesn't get injuries.

While I was driving around looking for photography subjects, I got a phone call from the North Slope Borough police. It seems some unfortunate hunter drowned in the Sagavanirktok River and they wanted to borrow my kayak so they could retrieve him. How sad for his family. My prayers go out to them. That river is icy cold and fast and has no mercy.

I guess my bright red car with the bright orange kayak is pretty easy to see around here. I'm glad they were able to track me down, so that I could help them out by loaning it to them.

I hope to do a long run tomorrow.
Please pass on my fundraising page to anyone who would like to support me in the very important cause of fighting blood cancers.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Running and Snowing

I ran 5 miles today with light snow falling. Those tiny little snowflakes felt like little needles hitting my face when I was running into the wind! The snowfall was too light to make the road slippery, but it is starting to feel a lot like winter. It was about 30 degrees, but not windy enough to be intolerable.

I had a hard time getting motivated when I saw the snow falling, but I'm glad I got out there and ran. You just can't let a little snow stop you when you are 300 miles NORTH of the Arctic Circle!

I think the birds are getting ready to head south though.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Running on the Tundra

It is feeling a whole lot like winter out here on the North Slope of Alaska. It was snowing slightly when I first started running, but was kind, and cleared up a bit for me. It was only 34 degrees but at least the wind was fairly light. I ran 4 miles on the gravel road. The Dalton Highway was an unblievable muddy mess, and so are all the roads in Deadhorse. It rained all night last night and because the ground is all permafrost, the water has nowhere to go. So, it just sits on top of the ground and turns the land into a mass of mud puddles.
I found a few friends out there on the tundra today. A few caribou and some tundra swans.
I did see some snow on the ground here and there, so winter is just around the corner.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fog, Wind, 7 Miles

It's getting colder everyday! I did my 7 mile run on the side road to avoid any truck traffic because the fog was pretty thick. The first mile or so felt pretty cold because it was only 35 degrees with a 10 knot wind. But after that, I warmed up as usual. I thought about using the hotel treadmill, but it just isn't the same as running outdoors where you are really moving from one spot to another. It is much more like the the reality of running a marathon. So until things completely ice up or the rain and snow become intolerable, I will probably stick to braving whatever conditions Mother Nature throws at me.

After all, even if I am uncomfortable, I keep reminding myself - It's not as bad a chemo.

Prayers to all who suffer from blood cancers!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bike Ridin'

Today was another one of those rare days up here in Deadhorse. Not a whisper of wind, and 47 degrees. So I decided that it would be a good day to finally get out on my bicycle and ride all over town. I rode all the way around Colleen Lake and over to the store. It was only about 7 miles of riding, but it was fun, and felt great. A little cross training!

At the store I had the pleasant surprise of finding that 3 more of my photos have sold. So, I have some more to donate to my Team In Training fund. I'm so glad I brought the photos up here. That is turning out to be a great fundraiser. I'm pretty happy that folks around here seem to like my photography too!


Monday, September 14, 2009

5 Miles Today

Cool, 36 degrees with a 15 knot wind, running my usual spot along the Dalton Highway. I am really getting used to the idea of running in cool weather. At least I don't get overheated. I think exercise must be good for the brain because I am finding that I do my best thinking, and come up with my best ideas while I am running. I have new ideas for the book I want to write, and new fundraising ideas, that all came to me while on the run.

I found out today that my planned REI Adventures trip to Argentina finally has enough people for the trip to go. Trekking in Patagonia for 13 days will be the ultimate cross training experience, one week after I do the Nike Women's Marathon on October 18th in San Francisco.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Cross Training

Today was a rest day from running, but not from activity. It was not very windy so I took advantage of reasonable conditions and finally put my kayak in Colleen Lake. On the road it is 5 miles around the lake, and today I paddled my kayak around the entire shoreline. It took about 2 hours, and was really pleasant. On the downwind side, there were fairly significant swells but the wind was never more than 10 knots, so it was not difficult even paddling upwind. One trucker took my picture with his cell phone as I went by. I was probably a most unusual sight, since I have never seen a boat out on that lake. My arms got a great workout.

Nice view of the beautiful skyline of Deadhorse too!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Peaceful & Calm

It was a perfect running day today. Low stratus, 41 degrees, practically no wind at all. I ran my 4 miles along the side road from the Dalton Highway to the Sagavanirktok River and back. Only an occasional flock of geese flying over to keep me company. A perfect day for reflection as I ran. And a perfect day for reflection on Colleen Lake.

I'm running for a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood cancers. I could sure use some more donations to meet my goal.
Please help if you can. Thanks so much for your support!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sold Some Photos!

I stopped by the Prudhoe Bay store today and found that two more of my photos had sold. That is very exciting, because that is another $60 for my Team In Training fundraising fund. I have 16 more there for sale. I hope more of them sell. I donate the entire price of $30 each directly to the fund. Here are a couple of my Arctic Fox photos.

I wondered if I would have the ambition to do a short run today after that 18 miler yesterday. But I did a short 4 mile run along the haul road and it felt great. I wasn't even sore. So, I'm really glad I got out there and ran. Sometimes I get lazy, but today I decided to ignore that urge.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

18 Mile Long Run

The fog lifted and the wind stopped blowing and it was beautiful today. So I did my 18 mile run without suffering from the wrath of Mother Nature. It was as if she was helping me out by giving me such a nice day. In the morning the fog was so thick I could hardly find my way back to the Prudhoe Bay Hotel. But when I woke up, it was clear except for some low stratus on the north horizon over the Arctic Ocean. It was a really unusual day up here with no wind at all. I almost never see such nice reflections on Colleen Lake.

As I finished my last 1/4 mile, the fog rolled back in. I'm a little sore, but feeling pretty good after that run.

Another 18 miles in my fight against blood cancers.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Howling Bone-Chilling Wind

Whew, 4 miles completed. 37 degrees and a 30 knot wind blowing. Check out that windsock! Funny how I seemed to run so fast in one direction, yet could barely move in the other. I had hoped to run a little longer but

I'm not having much luck with the fundraising. I guess that is always the hardest part. But with 4 more months to go, I hope I can get enough through donations, fundraisers, and my own bank account. Seems most of it usually ends up coming from there. But I'm just glad I have a good enough job to be able to do that if need be. I wish I was a billionaire so I could donate millions to this cause and all the other good causes out there.
Remember, every little bit helps:

Monday, September 7, 2009

Another 5 Miles Toward a Cure

It was cold and windy and nasty out there today, but I ran a nice brisk 5 miles. I did take the day off yesterday because my legs were hurting too much. I don't want to do damage! I want to make progress in my training. But today I felt great and was glad I got back out there. With each mile, I feel closer to a cure, if only because it will help me be in good enough shape to continue running these events for Team In Training. I don't want to be crawling across the finish line! But if that's what it takes, that's what I will do.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

5 More Miles

What a beautiful day today up on the North Slope of Alaska. Not a cloud in the sky. Of course, the wind was still blowing but it was 63 degrees! That is like a warm summer day around here. I did a 5 mile run up and down the Dalton Highway. Waved to a few passing trucks, and saw a few Tundra Swans and Caribou.
This Swan has a very limber neck!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Nice Day - Short Run

Another lovely day on the North Slope. I had a really invigorating 3 mile short run and it felt great. Saw the musk ox herd while I was out there too.

I found another runner, this soaking wet musk ox who just swam across the Sag River.

Help me fight cancer:

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Wind Wind Wind!

Pretty tough running today because the wind was 25 knots. But I managed to complete 15 miles. It was about 50 degrees, so downwind it was the perfect temperature, but upwind, I felt like I was running at a snail's pace. But it was still a whole lot easier than Chemo!

Each step is one step closer to a cure.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Rest Day!

Today was a much needed rest day from running, because tomorrow is supposed to be a long run day. The weather here on the North Slope of Alaska was gorgeous so I took my kayak out and paddled around my favorite little pond for a while. I rode my bike to work too, but that is only a 5 minute ride!

So, I'm all rested up for at least 15 miles tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

8 Miles Today

I had a great 8 mile run today along one of the side roads off the Haul Road. I am using the advanced marathon training program though Nike+ and today was my 8 miler. Tomorrow is a rest day so I hope to go out and play with my kayak on one of the ponds if the weather permits. It was raining a little today but 55 degrees. Quite balmy and perfect for running.

I sold two photos at the Prudhoe Bay General store for my Team In Training fundraiser, so slowly but surely I am increasing my funds.

I need all the help I can get though, so any donations would be greatly appreciated!