Monday, December 27, 2010

Very Cold!

It was so cold yesterday that I am half a day late writing this!  It was 40 below zero most of the day, although now it is minus 41, Celsius, or Fahrenheit doesn't much matter, it's the same!  I did run for 3 miles but of course on the treadmill.  I got up early and drove around town a bit with a friend who was up here visiting her boyfriend.  I showed her a real Arctic Alaskan experience. in these cold temperatures.  Did a little shopping at the Prudhoe Bay Store, and drove around the lake.  Took a few photos too.  Got a nice one of the one of the oil rigs.

Now it's -42!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas Run

I just had a nice 5 mile run on the treadmill at the Prudhoe Bay Hotel.  I was listening to Christmas music on my iPhone, and watching the Amelia Earhart movie on the TV.  Double inspiration!  It was a nice thing to do for Christmas since I am up here in Deadhorse away from my family, friends, home, and kitty.  My friend Kym is up here to visit her boyfriend so we got to chat a bit while I was running and I will most likely see them at dinner here in the hotel.

It's now -35 with a wind chill of almost -60.  A lovely Christmas day in Prudhoe Bay!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Plodding Along

I came so close to just staying in bed today.  I seem to have a nasty ear infection. My face hurts!  I feel out of shape so just had to at least run a little.  Only did my short 3 miles, and even that was a supreme effort.  But at least it was something - better than nothing. 

It's a chilly one outside today, -20 degrees and a wind chill colder than 40 below zero.  Thank goodness for the treadmill.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Blowing Snow

Not a day for running outdoors, that's for sure.  The wind is blowing about 40 miles an hour and it is snowing hard.  I did do a short 3 miles on the treadmill though.  I ended up sleeping too late again because of phone calls waking me up. I finally decided that even if my house is on fire, there is absolutely nothing I can do about it from up here in Prudhoe Bay. So, why answer phone calls in the middle of my sleep time?  Once I wake up, I can never get back to sleep and it throws off my whole schedule for a couple of days.  So, I found the OFF button on my iPhone and changed my voice mail message to say that if you are calling between 7 am and 3 pm Alaska time, leave a message because I work nights and am asleep.  I found a couple of voice mail messages when I woke up too, so it was a GREAT idea.  None of it was important enough to destroy any more of my sleep.

On the way to work tonight the snow had been drifting so badly that I got the company care hopelessly stuck in a gigantic drift.  It took me 20 minutes of inching forward and back, but I finally got out and made it to work on time.  This is what the car looked like this morning when I got off work.  Lots of snow for deadhorse.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Finally Ran Another 5 Miles

I have been very tired the last few days.  I ran 3 miles yesterday but was really sluggish.  Today I finally had a good run again.  5 miles on the treadmill.  I'm looking forward to seeing the sun again.  I think the darkness is making me sleep too long every day.  The -25 temperature is not helping me to jump up and get going either.  It sure felt good to have a good workout today though. I think I will search for a marathon that I can run sometime in January or February.  I don't feel motivated enough lately.

Monday, December 13, 2010

5 Miles today on the Treadmill

Not moving very fast but at least I did get in 5 miles today on the treadmill.  Feeling really bored with indoor running lately.  I just can't seem to find the motivation that I need.  Maybe there is something to this negative effect of constant darkness.  I won't see the sun until January 1st when I get back home.  It went down November 23rd and won't come back up again until January 17th around here.  But normally that never seems to bother me.  I can't quite get motivated to go outdoors and run in the snow with the current wind chill of -35, in the dark!  Feeling extremely lazy!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ran a Little

I must have been super tired today because it was almost 4 pm when I finally woke up this afternoon.  I am usually up by 2.  I didn't have enough time to get in a super good workout but at least did my minimal 3 mile treadmill run.  I am really looking forward to getting home where I can ski ski ski and ski.  Maybe do a little skating too.  The treadmill can get a bit boring at times.  But at least I have that here. Not much chance of running around outdoors right now in the Arctic darkness and cold.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

6 Miles on the Treadmill

Had to give myself a few kicks in the pants to get moving, but I made it through my goal of 6 miles today.  I need more ambition!  Maybe the treadmill is a bit boring, but outdoors is not an option here in Deadhorse in December.  I woke up around noon and had a beautiful display of the sun pretending to be either rising or setting.  It was just teasing us though.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Just 3

Did another short 3 mile run on the treadmill today.  I am kind of alternating between 3 miles and somewhat longer runs.  Still dragging from stress and inactivity over the last few months.  But I know that as the next few weeks go by here in Deadhorse, I will gradually get back to my old routine.  Looking out at the darkness isn't too helpful either.  Maybe there is something to the perpetual darkness having a negative influence on our moods.  Sounds like a good excuse anyway!  I'm going to try not to let it do that to me though.  Hoping for more ambition tomorrow.
Gotta perk up!

Monday, December 6, 2010

DId 5 Miles Today

I am slowly getting back into running.  The two month vacation from training is really showing.  Having trouble drumming up motivation.  I miss running outdoors, but that would be close to impossible at -25 in the dark.  Thank goodness for that treadmill though, or I would turn into a slug! I did get out and look around Deadhorse a little today though during the lightest part of the day.
Watched Alaska Airlines come in for a landing
Got a good look at one of the oil rigs too.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

3 More Miles

Another short run today, mostly short because I got tied up doing other things.  Laziness perhaps.  It was really hot on that treadmill, but not hot enough to go outdoors where it was 10 degrees below zero.  I can tell that I am a bit out of shape because my training was really deficient for the last two months, since the Nike Women's Marathon in October.  Just so much work to do and not enough time for anything.  Here in Deadhorse, I don't have much excuse, so should be able to run every day on the treadmill at least.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Only 3

I had planned to do 6 miles today but things happen that get in the way.  Sadly today I lost a good friend.  So sad.  I worked my way through a ground blizzard, to the Prudhoe Bay General Store to find some sympathy cards for her family.  Life is so short, so fragile.  Makes me appreciate life and the many blessings that I have.  What a blessing, to have the strength and energy in my mid 60s to be able to run marathons.  I'm sure glad we have that treadmill here in the hotel though, because I don't think I am quite tough enough to run around outdoors up here right now.

Interesting cloud formation today at noon, taken from my window at the Prudhoe Bay Hotel.  The sun sets on November 23rd and won't come back up again until January 17th.  But it does get a bit light at midday.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Running Again

The last two months have been extremely busy because I have been busy moving my mother and her entire household from California to Alaska.  I was too busy and too tired to get any time for running.  But now I am back up in Prudhoe Bay working for the month of December.  So, now that I am in a place where the temperatures are well below zero and the sun never comes up, I have time to run again!  Of course, now I am only running on the treadmill inside the Prudhoe Bay Hotel, but at least I have time to run.  Funny how I have more time for things I love to do, when I am working, but no time when I am not working.  Something seems wrong with that picture. 

I have done a little cross country skiing in the last couple of weeks, and ran 3 miles yesterday and 4 miles today on the treadmill.  I am training for my next marathon but have not decided when or where that will be.  I feel so out of shape right now and hope that I can get back to my old self during my month of December working up here in the far north.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Nike Women's Marathon

I ran the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco on October 17. Fabulous Run especially if you like pouring rain. Slow as usual. Oh well, I finished and felt great.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Bib Pickup Today!

Well, I have been so tied up in California that I have not been able to train at all. Too hot for living things too. How does anyone live here?
Nike Women's Marathon in three more days though. I hope I don't melt in the California heat. I picked up my race packet at the expo today. Number 22,045. It looks like I will have lots of company on the course.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

5 Miles Stress Relief

What an insane looney day today was!  I got no sleep, lots of ridiculous phone calls and E-mails.  I was really way too tired to run.  But instead of tossing and turning dealing with all my stress, I just put on my running clothes and hit the treadmill.  Only 5 miles, but very helpful.  It was a pretty good run too.  I am probably going to be totally exhausted beyond words all night at work.  But at least I got a workout.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

On the Treadmill Again

So boring on the treadmill, but so nasty, cold, windy, and snowing outdoors.  Just another 3 mile short run.  Not feeling so good today.  But at least I got moving for about 30 minutes.  I did go for a short drive and found my favorite little red fox out wandering around.  When he saw my car he came running to me.  Of course I tossed a cookie in that direction - totally against all of the rules around here, but don't tell anyone.  I can tell that I am not the first person to do that, because the minute I stopped the car, he started trotting in my direction. 

I will be heading home in 3 more days.  It has snowed a little in Palmer, but will probably still be good for outdoor running, and hiking.  Looking forward to going home.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Snow Snow Snow

I tried to run outdoors today but a nasty mini-blizzard passed through just as I arrived at my favorite running spot.  I stepped out of the car into that wind and stepped right back into the car!  I went back to the treadmill and did a short 3 mile run.  Gotta start getting up earlier because I didn't have time to do a longer run.  That's the problem with working 7 days a week. If you get more than 8 hours of sleep, it is hard to fit in a 2 or 3 hour run.  Call me lazy, I deserve it.  Maybe tomorrow I will do a longer run, but will probably just start with the treadmill instead of dealing with the wind chill of about 0.  It is 25 degrees out there right now and quite windy.

But interesting sky today.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Indoors Today

I drove down the road intending to do an outdoor run.  But when I stepped out of the car and got hit by that icy blast, I quickly changed my mind.  Back to the Prudhoe Bay Hotel, and the treadmill.  This was my first time to use the Nike+ with GPS on the treadmill.  I wondered how in the world it could actually track your distance accurately while on a treadmill.  I found that it didn't do a very good job.  But on the treadmill, I can keep track of my actual distance, then the Nike app asks to calibrate to the actual distance.  So, it was accurate in the end.  I only ran 4 miles, but ran faster than I have been lately.  In some ways, the treadmill pushes me more than I am able to do outdoors.  With the current weather conditions, I may use it a lot for the next couple of weeks until I go back home.

Snowing today - the first day of fall!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I didn't run today but did do a short 3 mile run yesterday down the road about 20 miles to get away from the rain and snow going on in Deadhorse.  Had to take a rest day today though because I had some pretty significant knee pain after the little 3 mile run.  It seems to be better now so I will hit the trail tomorrow.  It's snowing now so tomorrow's trail could be the treadmill. I really need a good long run but don't want to do it with knee pain.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

10 Miles on the Sag River Access Road

Well I enjoyed a two day rest.  I really didn't mean to take a two day rest but was not feeling well yesterday so dragged my one day rest into two.  Having a headache and swollen legs and ankles.  Don't know what caused it but a 10 mile run seemed to cure it, for now anyway.  It was a fantastic day today, 43 degrees and just a light wind, and bright sunshine.  Such a nice day on the North Slope. 

Now I need to go for a 15 mile run.  I'm behind where I want to be for a marathon coming up on October 17th. But I will keep pushing. Gotta speed up!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

3 Miles

I must be in a lazy mood today.  I slept for 9 hours then after a couple of important phone calls it was getting kind of late for a good run.  But I did drive down the road to my favorite little trail about 5 miles to the south, and ran back and forth for 3 miles.  It was pretty windy and about 40 degrees.  I was running pretty slowly.  I wasn't able to push myself into running any faster than usual. But I was glad I did get in a short run anyway. I always feel better mentally when I run for at least 30 minutes. I need to get in a good long run by the end of this week though.

Monday, September 13, 2010

GPS Experiment

I answered my question!  I was wondering if the new Nike+ with GPS iPhone app would work if I tried to use it where there was no cell phone service.  To my delight, it works just fine.  I did a short 3 mile run, trying to push myself a little faster, 22 miles down the Dalton Highway by Caren Pond.  That is about 15 miles south of cell phone service, and it recorded my run just like it does in Deadhorse.

It was a nice day to run, but a little windy down there.  I just ran right on the Haul Road.  It's a nicer surface than running around Colleen Lake and is also a wider road.  Not much chance of the truckers complaining about me running out there.  It was a beautiful sunny day.  How nice to have several of them in the last week.

On the way back I saw the little red fox again.  He is very friendly and I was finally able to get a couple of cute photos of him.  I just love the foxes.  They are some of the cutest animals around, kind of like puppy dogs.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Colleen Lake Run

What a perfect day for a run around Colleen Lake.  It was cloudy but the perfect running temperature.  56 degrees, with just a light wind.  Just perfect for running with my light windbreaker.  It was muddy on the north side again, making my shoes gain weight for a while.  But otherwise it was really nice for running.  A couple of times I jumped off the road and ran on the tundra because of heavy equipment along the road.  But the tundra was actually a little firmer than the muddy road in those places.  I was happy that no one bothered me to tell me that I shouldn’t be running there.  It is a public road so no one can legitimately tell me that anyway.  I was also happy to see that my Nike+ with GPS was right on.  The distance was exactly what I found when I drove the route in the car.  I like how it showed a little map of my run.  My mother called in the middle of my run, and when the phone call came in, the program paused my run until I hung up the call, then it automatically resumed the workout.  Very cool technology.  With the more accurate measurement of my pace, I can monitor my progress more efficiently.

Now I just have to pick up the pace!
Satellite image of my run:

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Beautiful Day

What a glorious day!  It felt more like Hawaii than Deadhorse.  I drove around for a while looking for wildlife and any other interesting photo subjects but didn’t fine much.

I am having a hard time picking up my running pace.  So today I just did a 3 mile run and ran as fast as I could push myself.  I was still pretty slow, but did pick up the pace a bit but am still much slower than I want to be.  I am assuming that my Nike+ with GPS is recording my time correctly.  My marathon times have been getting longer and longer when I feel they should be getting shorter and shorter if I am actually progressing.  So pushing myself with sprints will have to be my new focus.  Nice days like today do give me incentive.

I need to get signed up with another Team In Training event.  My next marathon is the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco on October 17th but I am not doing that as a Team In Training run.  I like to always be fundraising.  It is still possible to donate to this important cause through my last event, the Prudhoe Bay to Palmer bike ride and Big Wild Life Marathon at Prudhoe to Palmer.


Friday, September 10, 2010

5 Miles Today

This was my first run with my new Nike+ with GPS.  How awesome!  It not only recorded my time and speed, but even the elevation.  On the Nike+ site it even shows my run on the map.  That is just amazing!
It was a really nice run too, although I was pretty slow.  I definitely need to pick up the pace somehow. 
I forgot to bring my camera, mainly because the weather was awful.  But on my way back to my hotel I saw a cute little red fox.  At least I did have my iPhone so got a picture from afar.  I guess I will always bring my camera from now on!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

10 Miles on my Favorite Trail

It was 62 degrees and sunny today.  What a fabulous day to be outdoors!  For the first time that I can think of, I actually was able to run in only a T-shirt.  I felt pretty sluggish though.  I had hoped to run 15 miles but after 10.4 miles I decided to call it the end of the workout.  I guess I will have to call tomorrow a much needed rest day. 

I'm trying to do a better job of keeping my weight where it belongs.  I stopped eating breakfast when I get off work in the morning.  It seems the same as having dinner at midnight just before you go to bed.  I found I slept just fine on the empty stomach.  It annoys me that some people can manage to lose 200 pounds in a few months yet I can't take off a stupid 5 pounds in many months.  Just what kind of discipline to I have any way!  Food can be pretty tempting up here with an unlimited free supply down in the dining room of the Prudhoe Bay Hotel. 

I need a good long run soon.  I will try for 15 miles again in a day or two.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

5 Miles on the Trail

Another beautiful sunny day on the North Slope.  I drove down the road 20 miles, looking for wildlife but only found a few Canada Geese.  I ran 5 miles back and forth on my favorite little trail that leads from the Haul Road to the Sag River.  I thought I had figured out a way to beat the problem I have been having with my Nike+ I simply used my iPod instead - that will show old Nike+  Well, guess what, it congratulated me on reaching my goal of 5 miles.  But when I synced with iTunes to upload to Nike+ nothing happened.  In fact, if I look in the history, it doesn't even show my run.  How is that for ANNOYING!  I guess I am about to give up totally on Nike+

I did order a new sensor, so when it comes I will try to use both the iPod and the iPhone at the same time and see if one of them will actually register.

Lots of geese out there today.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Very Short Run!

I was going to take a rest day because I woke up really late and it was so beautiful and sunny outside.  I wanted to just cruise down the road looking for photo subjects.  I didn't find many but it was a nice drive.  I did see a couple of caribou across the Sag River, but other than that, just a few geese here and there.  I decided to run 3 miles along the little trail off the Haul Road where I like to run.  My Nike+ quit after 2.20 miles which really annoyed me.  So it was short but not quite as short as Nike+ seemed to think.  Oh well, using the iPod next time.  I give up on the iPhone if it is going to keep quitting on me, mid-run.

It was so nice and warm and not even very windy.  A little piece of summer!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Ran 6 Miles

I ran from the hotel to the lake and around it again today.  Not sure exactly how far it is, but according to my Nike+ it is about 6 along the route I take.  I stopped and took a few photos along the way.  It was really nice today with just light winds, though of course there was still lots of mud along the north shore.  I get my little extra workout when my running shoes gather a few inches of concrete-like mud, making them a whole lot heavier.

Then there was the grumpy trucker from Ch2MHill who found it necessary to chew me out for running on that road.  Someone needs to tell him that it is a public road and not HIS personal road.  I wasn't even close to in his way at all.  I love running that road because it seems kind of wild with birds and caribou tracks and the sound of the water lapping on the shore.  I even saw a bit of a rainbow there later today.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Around the Lake Again

Amazing, I finally saw the sun today.  A nice change from perpetual fog and overcast. But it is now overcast again.  I had planned to do a long run but decided to take advantage of the nice weather and drive down the Dalton Highway a bit to see if I could find any interesting wildlife.  Didn't see a single animal.  But it was a nice drive.  When I got back, I did my run from the hotel around Colleen Lake and back, around 6 miles.  My Nike+ is still working, which I really like!  The sun was out but that didn't make the wind stop blowing.  Not quite as strong as yesterday but still a challenge. Plus the water truck had been by on the road, followed by the grader, thus leaving a muddy mess for me to run in.  It just gave me a better workout because so much mud was clinging to my running shoes that it was like running with lead weights on my feet.  I have to have a positive attitude about things like that.  I do love running around the lake.  It sure beats running back and forth on a 1/4 mile stretch of the road like I so often have done in the past.  It gives me a continually changing scene, and a lovely one at that.

There was a bit of early autumn color showing out on the tundra so I did take a few photos.  This was my favorite for today.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Windy 6 Miles

Another very windy day.  Officially at Flight Service it was about 26 knots but around the lake it was clearly a lot stronger, probably more like 35 knots.  I ran around the lake and back to the hotel.  Running into the wind was incredibly difficult, I felt like I was barely moving.  But downwind I felt like I was flying!  There were big white caps on the lake, and waves were breaking on the west shore.  But it was a great workout.  I'm learning that I can probably run in most conditions unless the road is too muddy or of course, if it is stage 3 blizzard conditions with zero visibility.  But that is not likely to happen in September - I HOPE!

My Nike+ finally started working after resetting my iPhone and resetting my sensor a dozen times.  I hope that is the last time I have that ridiculous problem.  I really like to keep track of my runs on the Nike website.

I wonder what my next Team In Training event will be.  For now my Prudhoe to Palmer site is still functioning, and it is still a wonderful cause.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Colleen Lake x 2

My Nike+ seems to be down for good, at least with my iPhone.  The brand new sensor never did link to the phone. But I decided to just use Colleen Lake here as my 5 mile measure for running.  Yesterday I ran around the lake once for 5 miles.  Today I ran around it twice for a 10 mile run.  The weather was less than ideal with winds gusting to 25 knots.  It wasn't terribly cold though, about 44 degrees, so it was tolerable even with the wind.  On the north side of the lake it was raining sideways and my left arm and leg were wet, but my right side was dry.  I ran out of the rain then everything dried out.  Since I am running along the road wearing a black jacket, I asked a friend to mail me up my bright yellow/green bicycle jacket so I would be more visible to the truckers as they drive by.  Today was quite foggy so it is even more important to be visible since it is usually foggy up here in Deadhorse.

The lake actually had white caps on it!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Prudhoe Bay

I'm back up in Deadhorse working for the month of September.  Funny how I am more able to work out when I am working than when I am at home.  Today I ran from the Prudhoe Bay Hotel around Colleen Lake and back.  It is about 5.5 miles, but my Nike+ sensor quit transmitting at the 3.28 mark.  So that is the 2nd sensor to die mid-workout on me lately.  I have a brand new unopened one that I will use tomorrow. I hope it was just the sensor and not my iPhone that is messing up like that.  I really like being able to track my runs on the Nike website. 

I'm planning to be very serious about my running and working out this month because I was really falling behind in August.  I would really like to do much better on October 17th when I run the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco.  Hoping to get signed up for another Team In Training event soon also.  But the fundraising site is still active for my Prudhoe to Palmer event.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Big Wild Life Marathon

Well, I was slow but I made it to the finish.  Maybe my personal worst but considering the 830 mile bike ride and two weeks of illness and hardly any training, I was glad to make it to the finish line even if it did take me 6 hours and 12 minutes!!  I am making a promise to myself to train a whole lot harder for my next event which will be the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco on October 18th.  I was 4th in my age group, but ha ha ha, there were only 4 in my age group!  I still feel good because I suppose the rest of those in my age group were home watching TV.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Biked Eklutna Lake

Got back on the bike yesterday, rode 10 miles to the Eklutna Lake airstrip and back for about 20 miles round trip.  No soreness this morning so I guess my biking muscles are still in shape.  It's pouring rain again today.  This summer has been nothing but a series of rainstorms.  Have barely seen the sun since I left California. I hope it won't be a torrential downpour on Sunday for the Big Wild Life Marathon.
There was a bit of sun at the lake yesterday but it was mostly cloudy and very windy.  Saw a big black bear while riding along the airstrip.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Back on Track

Well, I think I am now finally back on track with my training.  I am still feeling a bit weak from my illness, and maybe even a little from the long bike ride.  But I did have a nice 6 mile run today.  I will probably be keeping my runs fairly short for the next week because I am running the Big Wild Life Marathon in Anchorage on August 15th, just a bit more than one week away.  I don't expect an outstanding time on that marathon, but I do believe I will have no problem finishing it. 

This one is a very important one for me.  It will be marathon 11 for me, and it is also a Team In Training event.  This run is part of my Prudhoe to Palmer Team In Training event.  There is still time for last minute donations.  I have not even reached the halfway point of my fundraising goal.  So please, make a donation to this very important cause.  I rode my bike the 830 miles and will now run another 26.2 miles to complete this event.  Help make my efforts bring in more to the cause of ending blood cancer.

Please make a donation to my Prudhoe to Palmer Website!


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Way Behind - Sorry

Well talk about after the fact!  I finished the bike ride, arriving in Palmer on July 19th at 8:30 pm.  Very exhausted after doing a full 90 miles the last day, all the way from Trapper Creek to my house in Palmer.  I was quite ill after that and after one week of feeling near death, found out that Giardia was the culprit.  Whoops, the filter broke and I had to depend on my iodine and well, guess they don't work quite as well. 

I finally started running again on August 1st and ran two 5 mile runs the 1st and 2nd, down in California.  As soon as I was done with the bike ride I had to fly down to California to help out my mother.  So, training and running sort of had to take a back seat.

But I am back now and trying to get back into the swing of things.  I will be posting the bike ride story one day soon.  I kept an extensive journal so will be writing it up soon.

Here is the final arrival in Palmer picture.  I was so excited!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Just a quick update. I left Prudhoe Bay at 4:30 pm on June 30, on my mountain bike and after 12 days of hot and cold and wind and rain and mud and mosquitoes and HILLS, oh those HILLS! I finally rolled into Fairbanks, Alaska at 2:00 pm yesterday, July 12. I am taking a much needed rest day before I resume the 330 mile ride on to Palmer. It has been a fantastic adventure so far!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Today is the Day

Well, I will be heading south on my bike this afternoon when the Alaska Airlines jet arrives.  I hope it looks a little better then than it does now.  It is 35 degrees with solid fog.  I wonder if I will even be seen on my bike as I head out.  I hope I can find the road!  But I am still at work and the conditions can be a lot better in another 12 hours.  Right now, this is what I see looking south!

Leaving Tomorrow

I'm all ready to go.  Everything is packed, stuff that needs to be mailed back home is on the way.  Things staying in my room in Deadhorse are all in my duffle.  My bike packs are packed and ready to be attached to my bike as soon as I haul it down the stairs tomorrow.  As soon as Alaska Airlines arrives on the afternoon flight with Dan, my relief, I will start down the road.  I have dreamed of doing this trip for many years, but it was the prospect of doing it to help bring about a cure for blood cancers, that really got me excited enough to actually do it.  Something that might seem overwhelming seems a lot less so when compared to the daily challenges that sufferers of devastating blood cancers have to face every day.  The bike ride is a challenge that I can win, but so many cancer victims lose their battle in the end.  But through the help of much needed research funded through worthy charities like the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society one day these diseases will be a thing of the past.  That is my dream - to live long enough to see that day.

I will be thinking of all those who suffer from cancer as I start my long trip down the highway through the wilds of Alaska.  When the going gets tough, I will remember that it is not as tough as chemo.  Maybe I didn't raise a huge amount of money for this cause, but I am so grateful for everyone who helped.  I'm hoping to speak with many people along the way, and bring awareness of the need to work towards a cancer free world.

It's quite foggy here in Deadhorse tonight, but I know as I ride south, I will be heading towards better weather, and likewise towards a better world, one without the threat of blood cancers.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Just Packing Today

I didn't workout today and will take another rest day tomorrow.  I have lots to do, making sure I have everything that I need for the long bike trip.  I have all of my work stuff already packed up to leave in my quarters here in Deadhorse.  I also mailed off one box and will mail another tomorrow, of things I brought up to use in June, but that I won't be taking along on the bike.  My computer will stay here to be picked up by friends passing through Deadhorse next week.  I won't have much Internet along the way, but when I do, my iPhone will have to do.  At least I can keep up my blog and check my E-mail once I get to Fairbanks.  That first 500 miles will be pretty desolate with no Internet or cell service.  I might like that - total peace and quiet, away from the everyday cares and worries of life for a few days anyway.  I can just worry about bears, rain, wind, rocks flying from trucks, and flat tires.  But those are more simple worries.

Just one more night of work and I will be heading south on my quest to make a difference in the fight against cancer.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Nice Ride Today

What a beautiful day it was here in Deadhorse today.  About 43 degrees with very little wind.  I had trouble sleeping today so woke up quite late.  But I did have time for a lovely 10 mile bike ride down the Dalton Highway.  I didn't have time to get in a run, but at least it was a nice day for a ride.  I saw 4 caribou along the way and a few geese and a couple of tundra swans too.  It is starting to look a little bit like summer here.  I hope this weather holds until Wednesday when I leave on my 830 mile ride home.

A couple of caribou grazing on the tundra.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Only 3 Days Left!

Wow, only three full days left before I take off on the big bike ride.  I didn't do a workout today, other than my usual bike ride over to the Flight Service Station to go to work tonight.  But I spent a bit of time gathering all of my bike gear together and making sure it was packed efficiently for my ride.  I am going as light as possible but feel that I have everything covered.  I'm ready for any weather conditions that Alaska may throw my way.  Heavy rain gear, the down parka, lots of waterproof bags.  Bear spray, mosquito spray, and of course the most important things - my camera and my journal.

I'm still hoping for more donations.  That part of my plan has not gone so well.  But at least I did bring in something for this important cause.  I will be talking to everyone I meet along the way, hoping more donations will come in.  As exciting as this 830 mile bike ride will be, it is nothing compared to the excitement of dreaming of a world that is free of cancer one day.  That's my real goal.

Please help me reach that goal - Prudhoe to Palmer

Friday, June 25, 2010

5 & 10

Today was a great day to be outdoors up here in Deadhorse.  The fog was rolling in but the temperature was 40 degrees and the wind was only 10 knots.  I rode my bike to my favorite spot again, 5 miles to the south.  Then did a nice 5 mile run back and forth on my favorite road.  Then rode the bike the 5 miles back to my hotel.  It was getting kind of cold on the way back, but not too bad. By the time I got to work tonight though, the temperature was down to 33 and the visibilty down to 1/4 mile in very dense fog.  It will be nice to ride out of here on Wednesday, knowing that warmer weather is up ahead.

I am still far below my fundraising goal so any donations large or small will really be appreciated.  Go to my Team In Training website.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bikin' and Runnin'

Finally, a day with good enough weather to get on my bike and actually go somewhere.  Too bad I woke up so late because I didn't have as much time as I would have liked.  I rode 5 miles down the Dalton Highway to my favorite little side road then did a short 3 mile run, then rode the bike back to the Prudhoe Bay Hotel.  It was a really nice day, 40 degrees with only a 10 knot wind out of the north.  With my hat under my helmet, it was warm enough when riding into the wind.  I've been terribly stressed lately, dealing with my mom down in California who needs assisted living.  So difficult trying to get her to understand.  Exercise helps me to retain my sanity through it all. 

I propped my camera up with a rock and took a photo of me with my bike, there on my little favorite road.

Please Help Support Me!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ran 10 Miles

Whoops, it's after midnight so this post is really for yesterday, June 22. 
It was another extremely windy, cold, nasty day up here.  A typical summer day in Deadhorse, or at least it has been that way almost all of June.  Too windy to do anything reasonable outdoors so I ran 10 miles on the treadmill at the Prudhoe Bay Hotel.  It was a really good workout, although it is never as enjoyable as running outside.  But sometimes you have to do what you have to do to get the workout in. 

If it is windy like this on June 30th when I leave on my bicycle, at least the wind will be at my back.  It is so consistantly from the northeast, that I'm sure it will be helping to push me towards my goal of Palmer to the south, but most of all my real goal - a cure for blood cancers.

Please help me with a donation!

Monday, June 21, 2010

5 Windy Miles!

The first day of summer started out at 29 degrees with 1/2 mile visibility in freezing fog with a 200 foot ceiling, and of course still some wind.  But by afternoon when I woke up it was up to 43 degrees and the wind was up to 20 miles an hour.  But at least it was really sunny and beautiful. It was a bit too windy for a reasonable bike workout but I did drive down to my favorite spot and did a 5 mile run.  It felt great! 

The view was lovely and wild.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Feeling Better

Yesterday any kind of workout was out of the question.  I was terribly sick.  But I am feeling much better today so managed to get in a short 3 mile run on the treadmill this afternoon.  I'm hoping to be back to normal tomorrow and finally get in a good long run and hopefully even a bike ride.  The wind is calming down and maybe tomorrow will bring reasonable bike riding weather.  I don't get a very good workout when trying to ride against a 40 mile an hour wind, in sub freezing temperatures!

I did take a nice drive down the road yesterday and took a few photos of the area.  It is still beautiful in a wild barren sort of way.

I hope to get outside tomorrow and ride my bike and run!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Another Windy Day

One more day of avoiding the Arctic blast, and running on the treadmill instead.  I'm still pretty sick with this cold and sore throat, so just did my 3 mile short run.  I could tell I was dragging a bit but at least I did get in a short workout.  I hope this weather picks up a little in the next weeks so I can get a little bike riding in.  Of course, even if I don't, I will be getting about 830 miles of bike riding in whatever obnoxious weather Alaska throws at me, starting around 4 pm on June 30.  

It's all to help stop blood cancers.

My Team In Training bike! I've had it for years and it just happens to proudly wear the Team colors of purple and green!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

5 Miles Today

Bummer!  Another day of miserable obnoxious wind.  I so wanted to ride my bike and run outdoors.  I could have but the problem is that I don't get a good workout when all of my efforts are spent fighting the wind.  So I did my 5 miles on the treadmill at the Prudhoe Bay Hotel.  I woke up with a bad sore throat so wondered if I should just rest.  But I decided that it was still best to get in a good run, even though a little shorter than I had hoped to do.

Look at this windsock, the view out my hotel room window. It tells the story, of 37 degrees and 30+ knots of wind.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Short Run Day

I was feeling pretty sluggish today and only ran 3 miles on the treadmill.  Maybe it was the nasty windy weather or just stress from my life in general.  I had hoped to run a little longer but decided to stick with my plan of alternating a short run with a longer one.  Hoping for a longer one tomorrow.  The way the wind is blowing it will probably also be on the treadmill just like today.  It just isn't the same as running outdoors, but at least I do feel like I got a good workout.  

It's in the low 30's and blowing about 40 miles an hour out there.  I think I will leave the bike here in my hotel room tonight too.  Tomorrow will be two weeks from the day that I start my bike ride to Palmer.  I hope I start out with a tailwind!  

Monday, June 14, 2010

Windy Windy Windy!

Gotta laugh at myself today.  I was so ambitious.  I saw the wind sock sticking straight out, but decided to ride the 5 miles down to my favorite running spot and then run, then ride back.  It was in the 30's and blowing some horrendous amount, so by the time I had made it 1/4 mile I turned the bike around and parked it.  That was obnoxious!  Then I drove down to my spot and managed to run for 5 miles.  I had hoped to run longer, but it was beating me down.  I did get a great workout though.  Freezing in one direction and thawing out in the other direction. 

A good run sure lifts the spirits no matter how weird the weather might be.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

5 Miles on the Haul Road

It was in the 30s today and windy as usual.  I drove down the road 22 miles and ran along the Haul Road by the pond with the sign that says Caren Pond.  My little pond!  It was sunny down there, even though probably just as cold, and certainly just as windy.  But I had a nice 5 mile run up and down the side of the road. It was a bit too nasty for biking so I will just ride back and forth to work tonight.  Maybe tomorrow the fog and cold and wind will be gone and I can do a nice long bike ride.  It is starting to dry out so the road is better for riding than the last couple of weeks. The Haul Road was in excellent condition.  I can't wait to do my bike ride home to Palmer.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Wind Dust Mud - Grit in my Teeth!

Yesterday and today have been just terrible for getting any kind of workout.  I work all night and sleep from 7 am to 2 pm.  But both days I got no sleep at all.  They weren't emergency phone calls but were important enough that I am glad I answered them.  I have been awake over 48 hours now and still have to go to work tonight!  I keep wanting to turn my phone off but with my mom just moving to assisted care, I know I need to be there if she needs me.  So I am learning to live on no sleep!

I tried to ride yesterday but they had just graded the road and the water truck had just gone by.  My poor bike nearly sank into the mud.  Today was a bit better although still tough riding.  But I did ride about 5 miles to and from the Prudhoe Bay General Store.  I needed to pick up some bear spray and some heavy duty rain gear in case on my long ride south I encounter one of the torrential downpours that like to come rolling through.  I don't want to get completely soaked, and I find that my Gortex stuff tends to fall down if it rains too hard.

It was pretty windy riding the bike today and as the trucks went by, they spattered me with a combination of dust and mud.  I have lots of grit in my teeth now!  I suppose that is good training for riding the Dalton Highway in a couple of weeks.  The conditions on that rough gravel road will likely be more challenging than the distance and hills that I will encounter.

The sun is up 24 hours these days, the clouds this morning brought a little color, even though it really was neither sunrise or sunset at 3 am.  Caught this shot with my iPhone from the window of the Flight Service Station where I work.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Great Workout

Today is what I want to do every day until my big ride from here to Palmer.  I rode my bike about 5 miles to the south to my favorite running trail.  Then I ran for 5 miles, then rode the bike back.  I got some of both running and riding into the same workout.  It was nice that the weather was good and not too windy.  There was some wind, making the ride back a little more challenging than the ride down.  But still great practice.  I love running out there on the tundra.  No cars, no trucks, no dust, and luckily - no bears either.  I have a 20 mile view in all directions there and I maintain a scan of the horizon with the same vigilance that I use scanning the sky for other traffic when I am flying my plane.  If I see a bear, I can quickly return to my bike and get out of there.  It was 51 degrees with only 11 knots of wind.  Really nice for the Arctic.

Here is a shot of my bike with the frozen lake, note the handlebar streamers blowing in the wind!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Great Ride - Great Run

Today was fantastic!  51 degrees only a 10 knot wind and bright sunny skies.  It doesn't get any better than that!  Up here on the Arctic Slope anyway.  I rode my bike about 2 hours, and stopped at the Prudhoe Bay General store for some sun block.  I bet that doesn't happen up here very often.  Then I rode around the lake and up some of the muddy side roads.  It was a great workout and I didn't even have to half freeze to death riding into the wind.

After I cooled down, I drove 4 miles down the Dalton Highway to my favorite running spot, a little side road that goes down to the Sagavanirktok River.  I ran there for just 30 minutes, about 3 miles.  I could see that it was not just MY favorite spot, but perhaps the favorite spot of someone else.  Mr. Bear.

I found these tracks by my car, but the fellow who made them was long gone.

I hope the weather stays like this so I can continue to get good workouts in the great outdoors instead of the boring old treadmill.

Help me fight cancer:

Monday, June 7, 2010

Biked Around the Lake

Finally, a day nice enough to get in some bike riding.  I rode around Colleen Lake, a nice 5 mile ride.  It was kind of perfect bike riding weather, 41 degrees, 15 knots of wind, and bright gorgeous sunshine.  For a minute there I didn't know I was still in Deadhorse.  Colleen Lake is still mostly iced over, but there are areas of open water now.  A few geese flew by as I was riding.  The road is very similar to the Dalton Highway, so it is a really good place to practice.  Lots of loose rocks and areas of soft gravel and lots of mud.  I got back covered with mud, so I knew it was just like the Dalton Highway.  I expect to be totally covered with mud by the time I get to Fairbanks in July.  I'm hoping I will be able to ride around Deadhorse a lot during the next mongh so I will be in good bike riding shape for my Prudhoe to Palmer cancer ride.

I had hoped to get in some running but unfortunately, I spent most of my awake time today making multiple phone calls to AT&T tech support because my iPhone was not receiving any of my phone calls.  I think they have finally got that fixed.  I hope to do both a run and a ride each day from now on.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Still too windy for a reasonable outdoor run.  35 knots last time I checked.  I rode my bike home from work this morning and wow, that was tough.  The strong wind made it really unstable.  It was snowing pretty hard too.  I hope summer comes to the Arctic by July 1st when I start my bike ride south.

I ran 3 miles today on the treadmill, keeping with my idea of short run followed by long runs.  Seems to be working.  I am looking forward to the day when the wind dies down enough to make it practical to ride around town for a few hours.

Friday, June 4, 2010

10 K

Did a 10 k training run on the treadmill.  It's still blowing over 30 knots outside and still only 32 degrees.  I know I will get a better workout if I keep it indoors until that wind gets a little better.

I met one of the two who are getting their bicycles ready to head south tomorrow - biking from Deadhorse to Argentina.  I am so jealous.  I wonder how long it will take them.  I think that would be the ultimate bicycle trip, but probably one I wouldn't want to do all alone.  I did feel a bit more inspired after talking to him.

I had a good run today.  I was watching some comedy movie on the TV about some goofy guy running a marathon. He crossed the finish line after 12 hours with serious injuries, just as I finished my run.  I thought that was pretty interesting timing.  It was a cute movie but I have no idea what it was called.

I saw this cute little fox today, running into the wind.  He could hardly keep his eyes open in all that wind.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Treadmill Again

Well, now the wind is up to 45 knots.  Still only 33 degrees out there.  The snow is melting and the mud is increasing.  So, I ran my short 3 mile run on the treadmill again today.  I wonder when it will improve enough to get an efficient workout outdoors.  I rode my bicycle home from work this morning and that was impressively miserable.  Right into the wind, needing to be in low gear the whole way to even move.  But it was an interesting challenge to ride against that wind.

I'm going to be a little more conservative with my workouts this month.  I probably pushed a bit too hard in the past, resulting in shin splints and all kinds of aches and pains.  I plan to do just 3 miles, like today, every other day, and increase my time on the alternate days, and see how that works.  As soon as things get at all reasonable outdoors I will be doing daily bike rides as well.  I don't want my 830 mile bike ride in July to be all the bicycle training I do!

The migratory birds are fabulous right now.  Saw the snow geese take off yesterday.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

5 Miles today on the Treadmill

I really wanted to run outdoors today so I drove about 10 miles down the haul road looking for a good place to run.  But I made the mistake of not bringing my hat and gloves.  Big mistake.  When I got out of the car, I decided to go back to the treadmill for another day.  So I had a good 5 mile run on the treadmill instead.  I'm riding my bike the short distance to work, mud or no mud.

I love running with my new iPhone.  It's great, phone, iPod, and Nike+ all wrapped into one. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


I have gotten far behind on my training.  So much going on.  Mother in the hospital, needing to make multiple trips from Alaska to California to get her situated in the nicest assisted living place I could find.  My running and biking have been totally neglected.  But now I am back at work in Prudhoe Bay so I can't go running off to California.  I will have to work extra hard for the next month to get myself back into both marathon and biking shape.

Today I just ran a short 3 miles on the treadmill to see how I felt.  I was still a bit tired from the long drive up here, so it wasn't one of my best runs.  But it certainly felt wonderful.  I rode my bike to work, although it is only a 5 minute ride.  The mud is terrible right now, snow is melting fast and there are puddles the size of lakes everywhere.  Even in my 5 minutes, I managed to get covered with mud.  A bear has been seen wandering around on the taxiway yesterday so I kept my eyes wide open for him as I was riding.  But I didn't see him. 

The migratory birds are coming back in huge flocks.  Such a lovely sight to see.  All out there seeking out the open water as it becomes available.  It's only 32 degrees but it poured rain last night.  That melted a lot of the snow.

Please help me in my fight against cancer. 
Visit my Prudhoe to Palmer website and help me with a donation, large or small.
All are greatly appreciated.