Friday, June 29, 2012

Last Run Around Colleen Lake

Heading home tomorrow so I did my final run around Colleen Lake.  It was a gorgeous day with sunshine and a few clouds and just enough wind to keep those pesky mosquitoes away.  Yesterday I couldn't run at all because, I am embarrassed to say, that ballet workout made my right hip so sore that I could barely walk when I woke up!  But after some quality time with my heating pad and a handful of Advil, it was fine at work last night.  So I had no trouble running today.  I even did the ballet workout again after I ran and it felt awesome.  Love that workout.  I'm going to tell everyone I know about it.  As soon as I wake up tomorrow I will have to complete my packing and get ready for my drive south.  I hope I see some wildlife and some good weather to go along with it.  I love that drive. It's been a really good and productive month up here.  I ran 111 miles and discovered the ballet workout plus made some good headway studying Spanish.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

5 Around The Lake Again

No more beautiful 70 degree days this week.  But it wasn't too bad, in the mid 40's with about a 10 knot wind.  Had to wear the windbreaker and ear band to stay warm and it still was pretty icy for the first couple of miles.  But by the time I got to the north side of Colleen Lake I was wishing for some wind.  It seemed to die out on that north shore which enabled the mosquitoes to band together and swarm around me until I got to the west side where the wind came back.  I got a pretty good workout today.  The cold made me run faster and so did the mosquitoes.  I got a good sleep today too which really helped.  I followed the run with the 60 minute ballet workout that I just received today on DVD.  That is an incredible workout.

I will be heading home in three days where I will have more free time for longer runs.  It is hard here in Deadhorse because I really don't have enough time because I have to work every night.  I am really limited to no more than about 2 hours for running.  But at least I was able to run outdoors almost the entire month.
I can think of better running partners than this guy!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cool Day

I ran around Colleen Lake again today. It was pretty cold today but with my windbreaker it was pretty nice.  48 degrees with a 15 knot wind.  I reached 100 miles this month with that run.

I want to run the Northwest Passage Marathon in Nunavut Canada.  Right now their estimated dates are July 1-5 for 2013. But they said that those dates are subject to change.  That would be too close to my June work schedule.  But if they change I will for sure be there.  I hope to do the North Pole and Antarctica Marathons one day too.  But for now I was just happy to reach my 100 miles for June.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Treadmill Today

So much for summer in Deadhorse.  It's about 40 and blowing and foggy so I didn't dare run outside because the truckers might not see me.  Plus who wants to run in those dreary conditions?  I ran the treadmill but Nike+ was really acting weird.  I ended up running 3 times trying to get the calibration right.  I ran a total of 5.72 miles.  Tomorrow I will probably run outside somewhere away from the trucks.  It's much more enjoyable outdoors and the mileage is more accurate too.  But the treadmill is still a good workout so I am glad I have that option.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Team In Training Site

Oh dear, in my post earlier I said my current Team In Training fundraising page was still up.  No sooner did I write that than I looked and saw that they just closed it.  Well, stand by.  I am looking for a new Team run because I always want to be raising money for that important cause.

Once Around the Lake

I just ran around Colleen Lake for a great 5 mile run.  Now that I am back, I feel like doing it again! I was actually going to take a rest day today, but now I wish I had gone for another 10 miles.  My legs are screaming at me though.  If it is nice like this tomorrow I will go for farther.  It was really cold at first today.  I was fooled by the sunny weather.  It isn't 70 today, it is only 53 and the wind is 15 knots.  No wonder I felt like an ice cube for the first two miles.  But I did warm up.  I also ran faster and stuck with a 12 minute mile instead of slowing down to 13 like the last few days.  I remember when I used to run a 10 minute mile consistently so hope to one day get close to that again.  I'm going to keep pushing every day until I see the progress I am hoping for.  Next marathon is Hatcher Pass.  I'm still looking for a Team In Training event to sign up for.  But you can still donate to my last one because the website is still up.  All of my non-Team In Training marathons are simply long runs in preparation for my next Team In Training run!

Friday, June 22, 2012

10 Miles Today 2 Laps Around Colleen Lake

Oh what a wonderful run, twice around Colleen Lake.  I love that run.  One caribou was very interested and watched me for a few minutes. It was about 70 degrees and pretty windy to start but it seemed to calm down a bit for my second lap.  Lots and lots of migratory birds were flying over.  I carried water on my belt today and one small can of blueberry juice for the halfway point.  That gave me quite an extra spurt of energy.  Great day.  Maybe with luck I will get up early enough to do 3 laps before work before I leave here the end of next week.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

6 Miles

I planned to run 5 miles around Colleen Lake but after I ran the first mile I found that the new updated Nike+ app was not recording!  That annoyed me so I started it again.  When I got to the halfway point I ran back 1/2 mile then retraced and ran until it said I had run my 5 miles.  It was such a lovely day I could have run 20 miles but I have to go to work.  I'm kind of glad I got in that extra mile.  It sure didn't hurt me any!  It's just another beautiful day on the North Slope in 70 degrees.  I wonder how long it will last.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Great Day On The Lake Again

I just love running around Colleen Lake.  It is a paradise for running.  I saw 4 caribou along the way today and passed another runner heading the other way.  It is 70 degrees again but with a 20 knot wind, that kept me from being too hot but added a little challenge to my workout.  5 more miles logged today.

My lonely road

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Around The Lake Again

Another gorgeous day to run around Colleen Lake.  74 degrees with just the right amount of wind.  I had trouble getting to sleep so I woke up way too late, but still had time for the 5 mile run.  I also signed up for the Walt Disney World Marathon in January.  I can visit the folks back east and work my way over to Leadville afterwards to prepare for my Kilimanjaro climb.  Should be good preparation for the climb for sure.

I love when the weather is like this up here.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Colleen Lake 72 Degrees!!!

Today was the best run ever!  I ran my favorite 5 mile run around Colleen Lake here in Deadhorse.  But it was 72 degrees out with just the right amount of breeze to make it feel wonderful.  I ran faster than I have in a long time too.  I passed two guys running in the opposite direction so I am not the only one to discover this North Slope paradise.  I did get a slight hassle from some guy in a BP truck.  Warning me of the dangers of trucks and that there were bears everywhere!  I've been running that road for 5 years and have yet to see a bear.  But I know there are some around but since it is so open, I would hardly come upon one and surprise them.  If I see one I will simply turn around and run the opposite direction.  I stick to the side of the road so the trucks are hardly an issue.  It was a gorgeous day to be outside in the sunshine.  I took this photo with my cell phone along the way.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Indoors Today

That beautiful 60 degree weather we had yesterday is all gone now.  It's raining, in the 30's and windy.  So I just did a short 3 miler on the treadmill.  I don't seem to be getting any faster so I made myself run the last mile at a 10 minute mile pace.  That is what I am shooting for but lately am lucky to do a 12 minute mile.  But I did it for a whole mile.  The treadmill is good for that because you can force yourself to run faster.  I think I will try to use it more often.  I have to find a way to get faster and that seems to be one good way. 

Yesterday looked like this.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Gorgeous Day!

What a fantastic day here on the North Slope of Alaska!  54 degrees and barely a light breeze.  I drove down to my favorite spot by Caren Pond, and did my typical 5 mile run up and down the Dalton Highway.  First time ever that I could actually run with a T-shirt and no coat, no gloves, no hat!  Wow it was amazing.  Not a cloud in the sky either.  It felt so great.  I am not moving any faster though.  I haven't figured out how to really force myself to run faster.  My legs seem to pick a certain speed and rebel if I try to go faster.  But I try to push as hard as I can.

On the way back I saw the musk ox herd.  3 little babies among the big ones too.  I had heard that a grizzly killed at least one baby, but I was happy to see that there are still some left. I ran into some people from Oregon who drove up and were also looking at the musk ox herd.  They were a little far away for great photos but at least I did get one to show that I really did see them.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Short Run Today

Just 3 miles today, in the same old wind.  I didn't have time to drive very far so I ran on the little side road to the river about 5 miles south of Deadhorse.  It was sunny and beautiful, but of course the same 25 knot wind was blowing.  I hate to resort to the treadmill when it is sunny and gorgeous outside. 

I've been planning my next trips.  Back to Mt. Kilimanjaro on February 3rd of 2013 then in April back to Spain.  I plan to fly first to Paris, run the Paris Marathon, then take the train to St Jean Pied du Pont and do the pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago.  I joined the American Pilgrims on the Camino today. I also got my Camino de Santiago guidebook in the mail today.  I'm hoping to find a Team In Training event that I can incorporate into those trips and fundraise along the way for both of them.  I want to keep the quest for a cure for cancer at the forefront of all of my activities no matter where I wander in the world.

A beautiful day here in Deadhorse today:

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

10 Miles on the Dalton Highway

Another extremely windy workout.  It is 34 degrees with a 20 knot wind that is probably gusting to higher levels.  I think it took me twice as long to do the upwind parts as the downwind legs, but I think it was a good 10 mile workout.  Definitely slower than on a non-windy day.  But maybe the effort to run against the wind is more beneficial than running in calm conditions.  I keep telling myself that anyway.  I think running on the road feels much more natural than on the treadmill so when I can, I try to go outside.  I need to find the time to do a much longer run though.  It's hard to get enough sleep and get in a 3 or 4 hour run, and still have time to eat, shower, and get to work on time.  But 10 miles is a lot better than 3 or 5.  So I was happy I got a chance to do it today.

Monday, June 11, 2012


I decided to brave the wind again but today it was stronger.  I gave up after struggling for 3 miles.  It was great heading south but heading north I felt like I was hardly moving! But actually it was a pretty good workout, especially heading north.  I really wish the wind would quit though because I don't feel like struggling that much to do a long run.  There were grizzly bears seen this morning by the hotel so I decided against taking off from the hotel and running around the lake.  I drove down by "Caren Pond" and ran there again.  I still have not seen any of these bears that everyone else keeps seeing, but I prefer not to see them when I am out there running.  I would like to get a picture though.

I see that the Paris Marathon is April 7th next year.  So as soon as registration is available, I plan to sign up.  Then I will take the train to St Jean Pied de Port or perhaps even Lourdes, France and begin my trip along the Camino de Santiago. Lots of interesting ideas for next spring.

I'm hoping to find a Team In Training run to incorporate into my plans.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

40 Knots and 40 Degrees

Finally, a sunny day here in Deadhorse.  It was all the way up to 40 degrees too.  But the wind was also up to 40 knots so I wondered if I would really run outdoors.  But I had to at least go for a drive in the sunshine. I decided to brave the wind and did run 5 miles down at mile 22 of the pipeline.  It wasn't bad at all.  As long as I have something to cover part of my face, a good hat and my sun glasses to protect my eyes, it was a pretty good run.  So I may just keep on running outdoors even if the wind is blowing.  It still beats the treadmill.  I saw the musk ox herd about 15 miles to the south too. They were not very close but at least I got to see a few of them.

Friday, June 8, 2012


Stuck on the treadmill today.  It is still really blowing hard out there with a wind chill of only 25 F degrees. I also must be having a lazy time because I didn't even wake up until 4 pm.  I am usually awake by 2 (working nights of course).  Not much time but I did manage to squeeze in 3 miles on the treadmill.  I felt a bit like a sloth today.  I think I only woke up at all because the Alaska Airlines jet woke me up.  It is my alarm clock on my lazy days.  It's hard to stay asleep with those jet engines roaring outside my window!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

National Running Day

Today is National Running Day so of course I had to run!  I was going to just run on the treadmill because of the nasty windy icy cold weather.  But I went for a drive to see if I could find the bears that people have been seeing around here. (One more reason to run indoors)  But I never did see any.  I decided to drive down the road a bit, all the way to the little pond we named Caren Pond.  I parked there and bundled up against the wind and ran 3 miles initially.  But when I reached the goal of 3 miles I decided to keep on going until I reached 5 miles.  I like to run at least 5 miles every day.  I really need to get in a long run of at least 10 miles, but the weather is so obnoxious, I keep putting it off.  Perhaps tomorrow.  I may have to do it on the treadmill.  I am kind of alternating between the treadmill and the outdoors.  I can push myself more on the treadmill by raising the speed.  Out on the road I find it difficult to judge if I am pushing harder or not.  Both forms of running are very beneficial.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Indoors Today

The wind was up to 15 knots and still only 34 degrees.  I decided the treadmill doesn't look so bad after all. So I ran 5 miles on it. It sure was hot in that exercise room though.  If the wind would just quit I would run outdoors everyday no matter how cold it is.  Bears have been seen around here the last few days though, so that is another thing I need to consider.  I prefer parking down the road a bit and staying within a 1/4 mile of my car and in an open area so I can see if a big grizzly wanders into my view.  Then I can make a getaway before he gets too close.  Around the lake, one could surprise me from behind a building.

I feel kind of lost without a Team In Training event in my near future.  There seems to be nothing that fits in with my schedule.  But as soon as I find one, I will sign up again.  I feel more like running when I run for the cause.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Colleen Lake

I decided to brave the cold and the wind and run around Colleen Lake here in Deadhorse. 33 degrees out there and quite windy. My face is flaming red from windburn, but it was a great run.  The surface of the road is a little rough and very rocky.  But that might be good practice for the Yukon Trail Marathon.  I feels more like a trail than a road sometimes.  Lots of migratory birds flying by.  I love running out there.  It beats the treadmill most days.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Treadmill Day

So windy and cold out there that I decided I would run more efficiently indoors on the treadmill.  I pushed myself a lot and did a nice 5 miles.  On the treadmill I can push myself by increasing the speed.  But outdoors I have no good way to gage how fast I am running.  So maybe alternating between the two workouts has its benefits.  It's still freezing temperatures with a 15-20 knot wind outside here in Deadhorse.  That can feel pretty miserable, especially when running directly into the wind.

I hope I can increase my marathon speed this month.

Friday, June 1, 2012


I had a fantastic trip through Spain and Portugal, amazing 8 day bicycle ride from Lisbon to Granada, two separate weeks of driving with rental cars and scaring myself half to death negotiating the roundabouts.  I walked miles and miles every day during my drives, and rode about 40 miles a day on the bike ride.  So every day during the trip was a workout of some sort. When I got home I dove head first into getting my yard back in order before heading back to Deadhorse for June.  I took a 3 day trip with Mark up to Delta to visit our friend Eric, but after that, I was scrambling to finish the small section of boardwalk I had to build, cleaning my garden pond, and getting a start on the weeding.  I was satisfied with my progress when I finally had to get in my car and head north.

I drove to Deadhorse this time and it was fantastic.  Beautiful weather the whole way.  I spent my first night at the motel in Fairbanks, and made it to Deadhorse the next night. 

Atigun Pass

I am back at work now and did my first training run since Madrid.  I only ran 3 miles because I am still pretty tired from the trip, the drive, and the transition back into working the night shift.  It was 34 degrees with an icy wind blowing, but at least it was nice and sunny running along the Dalton Highway across from Caren Pond.  I touched up the blue paint on that Caren Pond sign while I was down there.  I was running really slowly.  I will spend some time on the treadmill where I can push myself to a faster pace.  With the cold wind and temperatures, it will probably be good to do some indoor training too.  I must get faster.  Too many of the marathons are starting to impose time limits.  I at least need to stay under 6 hours.  Yukon River Trail Marathon has a 6 hour limit, so I need to speed up by August.  My next event is Hatcher Pass Marathon and that will be a slow one since it is all uphill.  I'm signed up for Yellowknife and Anchorage Big Wild Life also in August.  That will be three weekends in a row.  Our team got selected for Nike in San Francisco in October too.  So I have a lot of marathons on my upcoming agenda. 

I want to sign up for another Team In Training event but haven't found one that works with my schedule.  I will likely do a January or February event with them.  But I also want to do the Kilimanjaro climb again in February.

I'm hoping to train more effeciently while I am up here in Deadhorse this month.  I'm hoping to run every day.