Friday, June 27, 2014


Well, it was raining and too foggy to be safe around here, not to mention really windy and only 35 degrees.  So I crawled down to the treadmill and forced myself to enjoy it.  And I did enjoy it!  I only had time for 4 miles.  I noticed my calves were really hurting today, which seemed kind of odd.  I think I will take my calf compression sleeves with me to Nunavut next week.  They never used to bother me like that, but this month I have been noticing it.  I think maybe I just need more stretching in general.

I have to laugh at myself considering that the weather was not good enough to run outdoors.  Next week I am running the Northwest Passage Marathon which is considerably farther north and most likely just as cold, windy and maybe even rainy or snowy.  But there is a difference.  Up there, I won't have to worry about being hit by a big truck in the fog.  I have decided on the 50K ultramarathon too since they tell me they don't enforce a time limit.  It may be my best chance to actually run an ultra.  There are only 9 of us actually running in the marathon.  I'm sure I will be proudly bringing up the rear, hopefully not with a polar bear running after me!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

More Sunshine!

Another beautiful day! I got up too late for a long run. But I did drive down the road a bit and ran 3 miles.  It was a beautiful day and I should have been running a 20 miler!  But it was only due to a phone call that I even woke up at all.  I must have been really tired because I normally like to be up by 2pm but that phone call came at 5pm.  I guess it's time to start setting an alarm clock so I don't sleep away all the good weather.

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Monday, June 23, 2014

A Sunny Day!

Finally, the sun came out and we had a gorgeous day here in Deadhorse.  The clouds parted around 1am giving me this lovely view.

Midnight Sun
I ran around Colleen Lake in the sunshine.  It was really nice, even with the 25 knot wind.  Since it was 63 degrees I think all the wind did was serve to keep me from getting too hot. I didn't sleep very well though so really didn't feel good at all while I was running.  I stopped a few times and took pictures mostly because I wasn't feeling very well.  But I figure even a bad workout is better than no workout at all.  I just loved being out there in the sun for a change. 
Colleen Lake 5 Mile Run

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Ice Services 5K Fun Run

It was really a horrible looking day when I got off work this morning.  34 degrees with a 30 knot wind and sort of misting out there making it quite dark and dank with low fog.  But I decided to go ahead and run the morning fun run.  It's something to do anyway and it does force me to exercise.  In this weather sometimes I need a little prodding.

It was pretty cold but mainly only bad in one direction.  I just ran it once and got my T-shirt. But vowed to come back in the evening and do the evening one. So, just about 3 miles on this one.
The T-Shirt Logo
After a good sleep and a bite to eat, I went back out there and did the second run at 6pm.  The weather was about the same only a few degrees warmer and a few mph stronger wind.  Two friends wanted T-shirts but couldn't do the run so I got ambitious and ran it twice.  The last lap back to the building was blowing so hard I could barely stand up let alone run.  But I made it and got my two T-shirts.  At least I got in a really nice run of about 9 miles total today.  I really should force myself to get out there even when it is awful weather.  It was tolerable.
There Really is Ice Out There!
On the drive back to the hotel I saw a lone caribou by Colleen Lake and stopped to take a few pictures.
Lone Caribou
The weather continues to be dismal though.  This is the midnight sun at midnight 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle on summer solstice.  Not too impressive!
Midnight June 21, 2014

Friday, June 20, 2014


I drove down the Dalton hoping to get out of the howling icy cold wind and corresponding fog.  20 miles to the south I stepped out of the car and was nearly blown over by the wind.  Suddenly I simply lost interest.  It was also getting pretty late so I just decided to forget it for today.

On my way back to Deadhorse I saw something moving off to the right side of the road.  On closer inspection, I found that there were a couple of full grown grizzly bears busy digging poor unfortunate little creatures out of the tundra.  It was cute to watch them because they seemed to work together.  One would start digging and the other one would quickly run over and join in.  I stayed safely in the car but did get a few cute pictures of them.

 I really wasn't too interested in running with them!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Looking For Sunshine

It's been so cold, windy, and foggy around here that in order to run outdoors and be safe I had to drive down the road for a while.  When I do that, it limits the amount of time I have to run but at least I get to run. I just did another little 3 mile run today.  I know I've done ridiculously poorly this month and I'm not sure why.  Seems like a combination of miserable weather, boredom, laziness, and general tiredness.  I need some motivation and can't seem to find it.

I did find some sunshine down the road though.
I also reached an interesting milestone on my Nike+ iPhone app.  I reached 4000 miles.
But I'm not sure that will kick me into high gear.  I hope something will!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Pigging Wallow 5K

We had our first Prudhoe Bay Fun Run of the season.  Funny name, the Pigging Wallow, out on the oil fields.  There were a lot of people there.  It seems most people walk but still a few of us ran.  It's such a good thing to see people out there getting some exercise.  It doesn't matter at all whether they run or walk.  It's just great that they get out there.

It was a tough day to be out there though.  It was about 30 degrees with a very strong wind blowing.  Even with hat and gloves and 3 layers, it took a while before I actually warmed up.  But I really enjoyed it and got a nice 3 mile workout.  Of course I also got another Prudhoe Bay Fun Run T shirt to add to my collection, and a hot dog for dinner. 

It was foggy and cold, but a great time was had by all!

Pigging Wallow Runners
Pipeline View
Me and some really BIG WHEELS!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Along the Dalton

It was another beautiful day but I ended up wasting too much of it by enjoying my sleep time too much.  I usually wake up by 2 pm but this morning I had a hard time turning off my brain so didn't fall asleep until quite late in the morning.  So I didn't wake up until 4 pm. I like to wait an hour or so before running, so by the time I was ready for a run, it was after 6 pm.  The wind came up and the fog rolled in quickly changing the 50 degree sunny weather into something in the high 30's with almost zero visibility.  But I still wanted to get outside.  I grabbed my camera and drove down the road until I was finally out of the fog.  That was about 20 miles down by Caren Pond.  I parked there and ran for a chilly but invigorating 3 miles.  I probably would have stayed longer but I had to get back to go to work.  I even missed out on dinner, but let a bowl of granola take its place. 

The fog seems to be getting thicker and the temperature staying below freezing again.  I hope that doesn't signal the end of summer!

From my Nike+ App

Friday, June 13, 2014

Colleen Lake

Finally!  An absolutely splendid day for a nice 5 mile run outdoors around Colleen Lake here in Deadhorse.  It was 52 degrees with a light wind blowing.  There is still plenty of ice on the lake but lots of open water too.
Colleen Lake
It must have seemed to be an unusual sight to a couple of men in a company pickup truck. They stopped in the middle of the road while I was running and the passenger held out his cell phone, obviously taking my picture or maybe even a video.  I waved as I ran by. 

On the east side of the lake I must have also been an unusual sight to a loon out on the lake.  He yelled at me until I was completely out of sight!  I saw a few tiny phalaropes spinning around on the water and flying quickly by me as I passed along the road.  It was a wonderful day to absorb some sun and enjoy a fix of the great outdoors.

The road was nice and dry finally. Although there is some pretty deep standing water along the driveways as I left the Prudhoe Bay Hotel.  It may be a while before that disappears.
Along the west side of the lakeside road
I was so happy to finally really get to stretch my legs on real ground instead of the treadmill.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


It finally was nice enough to venture outdoors today for a run.  But I wasn't exactly thinking when I walked out the door.  Even someone who doesn't report the weather for a living, would have taken one look at the sky and realized that - well it just might rain!

And rain it did.  As soon as I had gone a little over a mile, it started to pour.  The rain itself and getting wet were not really a big problem.  But I run with my cell phone and of course didn't bring my rain jacket or at least a plastic bag for my phone.  So I knew it wouldn't be too long before me and my phone would be soaked.  So I stopped the run.  But I did drive around and check out the road conditions.  They are starting to look really good for running.  Tomorrow the forecast is for sunshine, so I am going to try for a run around the lake.  I'm bringing a plastic bag for my phone and maybe even a raincoat just in case. 

I did see a very peaceful Long Tailed Jaeger resting comfortable on the road.  He was kind enough to pose for me long enough to get a picture. Maybe spring is finally here on the North Slope, now that summer is almost here according to the calendar.

Long Tailed Jaeger

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

3 Miles

Just a short 3 mile run on the treadmill today.  Still having trouble finding energy and motivation.  Maybe a day of good weather and the chance to run outdoors will help.  I know it's mostly a mental issue holding me back. The forecast is for much warmer tomorrow so I'm hoping that sends me outdoors.

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Little Push

Actually I probably need a big push, like a full grown Bengal Tiger chasing after me.  But I did force myself, against all the lazy voices inside of me, to get down to the treadmill and do something.  I ran 3 miles yesterday so pushed it up to 4 today.  I practiced doing sprints and was happy to see that I am capable of running much faster, at least for 1 or 2 minute bursts.  I know that is the recommended method for increasing speed, so I'm going to try to keep that in mind as I try to ignore the lazy voices inside my head.  It's really still a little too disgusting outdoors to do any kind of useful running. So I will stick with the treadmill for a while longer.  At least with it I can force myself to run faster. I may not ever get up to the speed I would like, but at least I would like to get back to the speed I was able to run the last few years.  I've been letting too many other things interfere with my workouts and it is really starting to show.  Gotta MOVE!!!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Slow Slow Slow

Oh my, I was really poking along on the treadmill today.  I felt tired but honestly, I think I was just bored.  I am dying to go outside and run.  But so far the conditions just are not good enough out there.  The mud is so thick.  I may try to find a place to run outdoors tomorrow even if it isn't a good place. I am getting worried about my ability to train, not because I'm not physically capable, but because my mind doesn't seem to be capable right now.  Not sure what I need, but a little fresh air and sunshine would probably not hurt.

I guess I will at least walk to work tonight.  Hoping the fog lifts.  It's not terribly inviting out there.  I miss the flowers, trees and mountains of Japan.
Along the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage Trail
Actually, I miss the flowers, trees and mountains of Alaska too. There is quite the absence of such things here in Deadhorse right now!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

A Sluggish 3 Miles

It took me three days to finally drag myself back down to the treadmill.  I'm just getting over a cold and probably still tired from my long Japan trip with its two marathons.  But I think mostly, I was just going through a lazy spell.  Even though it took a lot to make me drag myself down to the exercise room, I actually had a pretty good run.  So hopefully it is a trend and I will get back into the swing of things again.

Good grief, it is snowing hard here right now.  Excuse me, this is June!

Monday, June 2, 2014

5 More on the Treadmill

Oh so boring really, running on the treadmill and dreaming of the great outdoors.  But outside of this building it is currently the mud capital of the world.  It fluctuates between snowing and slightly above freezing and the permafrost keeps any snowmelt from sinking into the ground.  We have 24 hours of daylight but the clouds never go away long enough to see the sun.  I'm hoping that soon things will dry out and warm up enough that I can go back to running around Colleen Lake, my favorite run around here. 

I booked my flight to Rio de Janeiro last night so I can run the Maratona do Rio on July 27th. It has a 6 hour time limit which spurs me on to make sure I am in good enough shape that I don't have to crawl to the finish line or be picked up by the sweep vehicle and not get to finish.  At least one saving grace of the treadmill is that I can force myself to run faster by cranking up the speed.  But it sure isn't as much fun as running outside!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Back in Prudhoe Bay

I'm back to work in Deadhorse now. The weather is so terrible and it is so muddy, not to mention snowing, freezing rain, and high winds, that I had to resort to the treadmill today for my workout.  I am still feeling pretty tired from the combination of two marathons and the Shikoku Pilgrimage in between plus the plane trip completely around the world.  So I just went for a simple 3 miles on the treadmill today to see how I felt.  I bought new running shoes that I hope to use on the Northwest Passage Marathon, so I wore them today.  The run went great, no pain, shoes were great.  So maybe I can be productive this month in my training so that it doesn't take me all day to run my next marathon.  It's great just to finish, but I don't like the stress of wondering if I will be too slow for an official time.