Friday, February 20, 2015

White Continent Marathon Antarctica

Our flight was finally able to go and we made it into Antarctica last night. It was a rough night sleeping in tents on the very rocky ground. They said they would supply sleeping mats but they were nothing more than a quarter inch piece of insulation foam that had no cushioning whatsoever.  I stuffed my coat and other pieces of clothing under my sleeping bag in an attempt to make things a bit smoother but it wasn't of much help. At least I was never cold.

But I was quite tired in the morning when we got up around 5:30 am to run. It was fairly calm when we started but the wind quickly increased and later we had a full blown snowstorm. The temperature was near freezing so the ground was very muddy.  I was not expecting so many big hills either.  The course was up and down muddy and very rocky hills, with a very strong wind blowing. It was by far the most difficult marathon I have ever run. So I know my time was ridiculously slow. But then again, I am ridiculously slow even on a good course.  We did see occasional penguins and at one point a collection of about 5 of them gathered right next to the trail and watched as we ran by. That was adorable.  I love how they stick their wings out behind them as they waddle along.
Even though it was a tough course, the terrain was interesting with large snowfields around us, and I could see interesting islands out in the water.  There were fascinating rock formations that looked like a combination of granite and volcanic rocks.  I was quite happy to finally reach the finish line. It was a tough week for me running three marathons in about 5 days.  But even though I was slow, I didn´t particularly get sore. I am quite tired though.

More exhausting than the run was the freezing cold wait for many hours for the plane to get in to bring us back to Punta Arenas. There was really no place to stay warm so most of us took turns huddling in the food tent. I was certainly glad to finally get on that plane.

So now I plan to spend the month of March pushing myself to gain some speed on the treadmill in Deadhorse.  I´ve gotten much too slow and if I want to continue to succeed in these marathons it is imperative that I pick up the pace. Only 2 more continents to complete my goal of running marathons on all 7.  Australia in April and Kenya in August.

Running Companion!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

White Continent Punta Arrenas Marathon

Everyone thinks I am insane, but I couldn't resist running the Punta Arenas Marathon again.  The triple 7 folks didn't fly out to Antarctica because of weather so the staff stayed here and put on the White Continent Marathon. It's only been about one day since I ran the other race but I really didn't have anything else to do so gave it a try.  It was the exact same course but today we had extreme winds to help or hinder us on our way.  That made it really tough.  At least this time there were a few people behind me, but I was actually a bit slower than the previous day.  Not breaking any speed records in this part of the world, that's for sure.  But I felt fine the whole time. This  was a first for me, running marathons that close together.  I felt better after this one than after the first one.

Even though the course is the same, the medal is different and the race name is different. So now I have run two in South America and today was race number 42 for me.  If the weather finally improves and we get to Antarctica that will be number 43.  The plan for tomorrow is to go to Torres Del Paine for the day with hopes of Antarctica on Wednesday.  Can't wait for both of those events.
Bad Hair Day - After the race!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Southern Cross Marathon

I decided that since the weather had been so beautiful today, instead of waiting until our White Continent Marathon group was scheduled to run the marathon here in Punta Arenas, I would jump in and run the one they were putting on for the Triple 7 Quest group.  At least that way, if the weather turns horrible, I can be sure to run a marathon in South America.
I was totally slow of course, probably a combination of my general slowness and extensive jet lag from flying in from Alaska last night. We didn't start running until 6 pm and I stumbled across the finish line shortly before 1 am.  But I made it. It did get quite cool when the sun went down but at least it wasn't horribly windy. I finished with Deb and Ila and there was only one person behind us.  Not setting any speed records this trip.

I am just now editing this post.  Yikes, I must have been tired!  So many typos!
Marathon Globetrotters before the race

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Ice Skating Workout

I did today's workout on the ice at Westchester Lagoon in Anchorage.  The first loop around the ice was very slow and wobbly because it was my first time on skates this winter.  But with each lap I got faster and more relaxed.  The ice was perfect but the wind was pretty obnoxious when facing it.  I got a free ride though when it was to my back.  I need to get out on the ice more often. 

The view of the Chugach Mountains was lovely from there.

Chugach Mountains from Westchester Lagoon
In a couple of days I'll be off to Chile to run the White Continent Marathon in Antarctica and the Punta Arenas Marathon in Chile.  Just two more continents for my goal of all 7.  Australia in April and Africa in August. But probably quite a few other places in between those two.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

6.5 Miles at Eklutna Lake

Eklutna Lake
A freezing cold day walking, hiking, and running across the frozen Eklutna Lake to the Yuditnu Cabin and back, with the Walkabouts.

I quickly learned that I needed to get some Kahtoola ice grippers like everyone else had. I had to be helped across the icy overflow spots. I was off to REI to buy a pair when we got back to the cars.

A couple more layers of warm clothing would have been nice too!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Very Short Ski Run

I planned a much longer cross country ski workout but today the snow was terrible.  So many bare spots, plus the snow that is still there is very icy.  I did one somersault on my way down one of the steeper hills.  So after that I decided to call it quits for today once I got back to my car.  If it had not been getting so late I would have returned with my running shoes.  It was a beautiful but chilly day to be outside though.

But sadly I only accomplished one mile today.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Hatcher Pass

What a glorious day for a ski up to Independence Mine in Hatcher Pass.  It was a great workout climbing that long hill.  The trip down was really fun and well worth the effort.

Hatcher Pass
I was able to get a couple of signers to our petition to help eliminate dangerous traps along our most popular Mat-Su Borough trails too. We have a website for Alaska Safe Trails and hope to get some safe and humane regulations to protect hikers, skiers, dogs, and children in our most popular recreation areas.  It will probably take a long time, but it is long overdue.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Anchorage Hillside

I did a 2 mile trip along the Homestead Trail to Campbell Tract with my friend Diane, and her crazy dog, Sombra.  Later we skied with her friend Lizzie and with Sombra once again along those same trails for another 3 miles.  It was a very nice day for hiking skiing and running.

Sombra, Lizzie & Me
Diane had Sombra on her skijoring bungee when a loose dog got into a big fight with Sombra.  Since the other dog was loose, it was impossible to separate them.  The other dog's owner came back and started beating on poor Sombra with his ski pole.  Thank goodness he didn't hurt Sombra.  But then he proceded to cuss out Diane unmercifully saying Sombra was a vicious dog. The dumb guy didn't even see what happened, because it happened behind him.   A man behind us saw the whole incident and loudly advised the guy with the loose dog, that he was clearly in the wrong.  It didn't stop his tirade against Diane though.  He then took his dog back to his car, then came back to cuss out Diane some more.  He kept telling her that he lives next door to her and accusing Sombra of attacking his dog a dozen times.  Diane has never seen him before in her entire life!  Sombra is a whole lot smarter than that stupid guy!!!