Sunday, February 28, 2016

Ice Skating

My last day here at home. I went to Anchorage and met with my friend Diane.  We had a look at the snow conditions at Kincaid Park but quickly decided that it looked pretty grim.  I had brought my ice skates with me so we headed over to Westchester Lagoon and ice skated on excellent conditions for about 3 miles.  It took me a couple of loops around before I really got my ice skating legs back.  But once I did I was able to really move again.  It was a perfect day for skating.  The next time I am home it will be time to go hiking, and once again running outdoors.  Tomorrow I'm off to Deadhorse to work for March.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Eklutna Lake Trail

I decided that if the snow was great at Hatcher Pass it must also be great up at Eklutna Lake.  Boy was I wrong about that!  I brought my skis but also my kinking boots and my heavy duty grippers.  I sure needed those because the entire Lakeside Trail was glare ice.  I did a combination of running and walking and went all the way to the Bold Creek Bridge.  It was really peaceful and I rarely saw anyone else.  The lake is frozen and it would be possible to ice skate out there.  It was almost possible to ice skate on most of the trail.  Interesting though that there was no snow at all off the trail.

It was great to get in a 10 mile workout and enjoy the balmy temperatures and beautiful views.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Run in Town

I really wanted to run from my house but by the time I got to the end of my driveway I had to give up.  It was so icy that I could hardly walk!  So I made my way back to the car and drove down to the end of the road and went for a nice run on the bike trail.  I ran into a bad icy spot on the bike trail too and ended up running out on the Old Glenn Highway for a short distance.  It's still marginal to run outdoors because of the ice, but at least it was perfect temperature for running outside.

It was a gorgeous day out there today though.  I love the new snow on Matanuska Peak even though there is no snow down in town.  It's been a very strange winter!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Archangel Again

I just can't stay away from this beautiful place!
Yesterday I met a nice woman named Tara and we agreed to meet up here today along with another woman she also met yesterday, Terry. The three of us had a great conversation and a beautiful ski trip for almost 7 miles along the Archangel Valley Road.  The snow was getting kind of sticky at times but we were able to keep the skis moving. It actually got quite fast on the return, making it a little scary on the steeper downhill parts.

I'm so glad to get in a few nice days of skiing before I have to head up to work, where doing anything outdoors is out of the question. I really enjoyed meeting my new friends too.  I look forward to hiking with them this summer.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Archangel Valley Again

Yesterday was so wonderful that I had to go back and ski again.  Today was better because the visibility was much better.  I was able to go about 5 miles.  At that point the conditions were not as good because it was no longer groomed.  But it was a beautiful day and a great workout.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Cross Country Skiing

There is no snow here in town so I went up to Hatcher Pass to explore for some decent skiing. I found excellent conditions at Archangel Valley and enjoyed a nice 3 mile ski workout.  It was snowing and the visibility got so bad that I wasn't able to go as far as planned because I finally got to a point where I was losing track of the road.

Thursday, February 18, 2016


I'm now signed up for Team In Training event number 17, the Chicago Marathon in October.  At the moment I'm actually fundraising for two events, but since I've met my minimum for the New Jersey Marathon I'm moving on the the Chicago event.

Between now and then I have quite a list of upcoming marathons.  First off to the Rome Marathon in April, then the New Jersey Marathon with Team In Training on May 1st.  Since I will be in the east for that, I'm doing the Mainly Marathons Independence Series of  5 marathons in 5 states in 5 days then a week later the Mainly Marathons New England Series of 7 marathons in 7 states in 7 days.  To finish off the month of May, as I turn 70, I'm flying up to Ottawa, Canada to do the Ottawa Marathon on May 29th.  I'm still working on plans for July but am running the Da Nang Marathon in Viet Nam in August.  Later in November will be the Havana, Cuba Marathon.

That's all on my agenda for now!

Don't forget to help me fight cancer by making a donation to my latest Team In Training event fundraising page.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Los Angeles Marathon

What a fantastic race!  It was not nearly as hot as forecast, and there was a nice breeze most of the way.  I just loved this course and everything about this race.  I couldn't believe that they actually closed all of the most important main roads through Los Angeles.  We ran from Dodger Stadium all the way to the beach in Santa Monica.  We ran down Hollywood Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard, and Santa Monica Boulevard.  It brought back so many memories of all of those places where I spent my high school and college years.  I'm glad I no longer live in such an overwhelmingly crowded city, but I still enjoyed the entire event.  I was still pretty slow, and had problems with a nasty blister on my toe, and some abdominal cramps.  But I finished in a decent time.

I had a really nice weekend, went on quite the shopping spree in Santa Monica while visiting the Athleta Store. I bought 3 new running skirts and another running outfit too.  I never shop for myself but I adore that store.  I even wore my new white skirt on the race.  I'm sure it made me run faster!  I saw one of my friends, Sharon who is coming up on her 500th marathon.  Yet another person who greatly inspires me.

After the race I treated my sore feet to a dip in the icy cold Pacific Ocean.

I loved the race, the place and the medal.


My Hotel View

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Philipsburg Waterfront Marathon, Sint Maarten

I don't know which was a greater factor today, the overwhelming heat, the long 6 mile steep uphill that began the race, or just the desire to jump in that beautiful cooling Caribbean Sea. The first 6 miles nearly killed me.  We ran along the roads up a fairly steep mountain because the local race directors wanted to show us the beautiful view.  But after so many days of running, it was just too much for me.  I felt like I was crawling up that hill!  Once back down on the back and forth loop along the beach I felt fine though.  But the heat was unbearable with no breeze at all.  When I reached the half marathon point, I started to stagger.  Maybe if I could have just taken a short break I might have been able to go on, but that's where the mental attitude kicked in.  I could hardly walk, let alone run, and I kept looking over at that water and wishing I could just enjoy that beautiful beach.  I don't know if it would have been possible to struggle through to the end, but I simply decided that I'd had enough.  I stopped and settled once again for a half marathon finish.  Then I plopped down beneath a palm tree in the shade for a while.  Once I had a little strength back, I took off my belt, watch, shoes, and phone and jumped into the water in my running clothes.  Honestly, I think that wonderful swim was really the highlight of the trip.  That water was perfect.  While the others who chose to run the full marathon continued to suffer in the heat, I just kept jumping back in the water.  I had a very good swim.  Am I a little disappointed that I didn't finish the marathon, well yes, I suppose I am.  But I would hate to have missed my time finally enjoying the Caribbean Sea.  That was wonderful.

So instead of completing 6 full marathons in 7 days, I have to be satisfied with only 3 official full marathon finishes, and 3 more official countries under my belt.  Plus two half marathons and a great experience with some awesome friends and very inspiring marathon runners for company.  Will I do another marathon cruise, oh probably of course I will.  But I know I need to work on my speed work and really increase my performance.  I know I can do it, but I need to devote my spare time to doing proper training.

Me and my cabin mate Jane in our swimming clothes!
All of the medals!

Friday, February 5, 2016

St. Kitts Waterfall Marathon, St. Kitts & Nevis

We were really pressed for time on this marathon.  I was pretty slow because of the heat as usual.  I would have been able to finish but simply ran out of time.  I only made it 20 miles before it was simply time to go back to the boat.  But I finished the race on the boat.  So it counts for my own personal goals of completing the marathon but doesn't count as a country completed with Marathon Globetrotters and probably doesn't count with Marathon Maniacs.  So I am not including it in those statistics.  But I did finish the last 6 miles after dark on the boat.  That was really rather pleasant.  I had the track to myself and really enjoyed running in the cooler temperatures.

St Kitts Beach

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Pitons Peak Marathon, St Lucia

I finally met my match.  Once again it was overwhelmingly hot, for me at least.  I was getting close to the dropping point when I finally reached the half marathon point.  I felt like I could barely move, and may have attempted to continue, but today had a little shorter amount of time.  So the combination of being at the near passing out point plus knowing I would not have time to finish, I had to settle for stopping at the half marathon point.  I guess you can only do what you can do.

As with the others, I do wish I could have some time to explore this beautiful island.

St Lucia

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Carlisle Bay Marathon, Barbados

I'm so glad that I chose to take it easy yesterday while we were simply cruising.  I did my best run today at the Carlisle Bay Marathon in Barbados.  Of course I was anything but fast, but at least I did finish.  It was really hot again of course.  I feel like I am in a perpetual state of heat exhaustion.  It really takes the energy away.  I was carrying little packets of salt and ate them periodically.  I will be sure to carry salt on all of the rest of the races.

This was a crazy course.  First we ran along the main road on the sidewalks, dodging pedestrians, but at least it was shady.  But then we turned and ran along a very busy and very dangerous highway.  It was kind of horrifying actually.  We were all quite discouraged.  We did pass a gorgeous beach and I chose that lovely place to scatter my little packet of my mother's ashes.  I know she would have loved that beach.  When we got back to the starting point of that loop, Ziyad told us that he had changed the course to a simple loop along the breezy coast.  To everyone's relief, we didn't need to repeat that route along that highway.  The ocean breeze really helped keep us a little cooler.  I finished feeling fairly well. But of course didn't break any speed records!

Beach at Barbados

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Cruise Run

Several of the die hard marathoners ran another marathon on the ship today.  I had planned to do that but considering how exhausted I have been after the first two land marathons, I chose to stick with the shortest race distance.  In fact, even though we could get a medal for any distance, I didn't plan on running at all.  But once I went up to the ship track and saw the others running, I decided to kick off my shoes and do just a simple 5k in my bare feet.  It was fun but I'm glad I didn't wear myself out and lower my chances of finishing the marathon the next day in Barbados.

I wish I had been able to run the full marathon though.  I am running these races with some of the most accomplished and amazing runners in the marathon world.  I feel in awe of simply being in their presence!

Monday, February 1, 2016

St Thomas Cove Marathon. US Virgin Islands

Day 2 of the Z Adventures Cruise Marathon trip. St Thomas Cove Marathon, US Virgin Islands Marathon finished! I made it through another one.  Very hot and I took a very long time.  All but our speediest members took a little longer today but we all made it.  There are some who are only doing the half marathons.  But I'm going to try my best to make it through all 6.  I can tell the heat is close to more than I can take.  But as long as we have enough time, I know I can struggle through it.  Again I wish I could have some extra time to explore this lovely tropical island.  I guess one day I will have to come back and explore these places without a marathon included!  But I get to add another country notch to my 'marathon belt.'

I thought the morning rainbow was a good sign.  It didn't bring us any cooling rain though!