Monday, June 27, 2016

Short Short Run

I kind of messed up my run today.  First I tried to drive down the road because the weather was nasty. But I reached a flagger and what looked to be a long wait for a pilot car. So I turned around. I've been a little hesitant to run directly from the hotel, knowing that the bear is still hanging around.  So I decided to drive part way around the lake and just run the north shore.  But it turned out to be colder than I thought and after only 2 miles and a lot of mud building up on my shoes, I called it a day at only 2 miles.  But it was fun.  I saw a couple of swans and lots of birds.  I'll be home in a few days then I won't have to worry about the bear or the cold.  I'll be heading to Portland for the Stars & Stripes Marathon the day after I get home anyway.  I'm looking forward to being able to just run without fear of being eaten by a hungry bear.  Although that bear seemed to be pretty disinterested in me or anyone for that matter.

Now that I have to go to work, the weather ha cleared up and it's beautiful!

Here is a video the DOT guys took of the bear I ran into the other day.  He's very cute!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Mr Bear!

Another spectacular day here on the North Slope.  It was 66 degrees with just a very light breeze.  I had a great 5 mile run around the lake.  It was so nice out that sometimes I just stopped to admire nature. But when I got back to the hotel, just as I came between two trucks, I saw a huge grizzly bear standing right where I needed to go.

Detour time!  So I quickly ducked behind some larger containers and trucks and figured I would simply go around to the front door of the hotel.  When I passed back into the open, I found that the bear had decided to go in the same direction.  So now I faced him at 15 to 20 feet ahead, and heading in my direction.  He seemed a lot more interested in sniffing the ground than in running after me, so I just bolted across his path and ran into the front door of the hotel.  Then he sauntered on across the street over to the airport.  Later I got a call from the Flight Service Station advising that he had just been chased out of their parking lot.  So, since I work there, I decided to drive to work instead of walking like I usually do.  I brought my camera but was not blessed with another sighting of him.  He was a beauty too. I hope I do see him again, and have my camera with me, and am in a safe place!

A couple of pictures taken by DOT right outside of the Flight Service Station building.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Beautiful Day!

Finally it looks like summer up here in Deadhorse.  It was 60 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.  Still a little windy, but I was able to run around the lake with just a T-shirt and windbreaker instead of bundling up in my heavy sweatshirt.  I saw the loon that is often in the north side of the lake.  Today I called to him and he actually swam closer.  Still not close enough for a good phone photo, but at least he didn't fly away.

The road was pretty rough because of the last few days of heavy rain and snow. The grader has been by piling up rocks and mud along the side of the road where I need to run. It's a little challenging t times.  But it sure beats a boring run on the treadmill.

Monday, June 20, 2016

North Slope Fun Run

We had a 5K fun run here today over by the North Slope Borough building.  They always have them twice a day, at 6 am and 6 pm.  This is the only one I will be able to do because the rest of the runs on the schedule are in July and August, months that I don't work. Each time we complete the run we get a T-shirt.  So I ran it twice in the morning and twice in the evening and collected one T-shirt for me and 3 for my friends.  I am always so tired in the morning but was surprised that I actually had a better pace for the morning runs. It did cut into my sleep for close to two hours so maybe I was even more tired when it was time for the later one.  But it is always fun to actually run with other people, and to run in the middle of the road instead of along the edge of the road on loose gravel and big rocks.  Most of the other people are actually just enjoying a nice walk, but there were a few very fast runners who sped by me as if I was standing still.

So I got in about 11 miles today in spite of the icy cold wind, 39 degrees, and dense fog.

Morning Runs

Evening Runs

Friday, June 17, 2016


I woke up late today and procrastinated until it was really late.  But I finally dragged my lazy bones out to go for a run.  There wasn't enough time to run around the lake so I drove down the road to a little side road that goes by a shallow pond, parked the car and just ran loops there for 3 miles.  There were a couple of Arctic loons on the pond but they were too far away to get a good picture.

At the 2 1/2 mile mark I tripped on a rock and went flying.  I managed to scrape my left hand and open up the same place that has years worth of scars from doing exactly the same thing.  Plus added one more scrape to my left knee.  I seem to have the same falling routine every time I trip and fall. My left knee and left hand always get the cuts, scrapes and bruises.  At least I'm consistent.

It was cold, around 40 and the wind was around 20 knots.  So that was the other thing causing me to procrastinate heading out there.  The little road is directly in line with the wind.  So in one direction I was freezing cold, and the other way quite comfortable.  But it was a beautiful sunny day.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Cool and Windy

I guess our 60 degree days are gone for a while.  It was only 37 today when I did my usual 5 mile run around the lake. But I was comfortable with a sweatshirt under my windbreaker.  My calves are still really sore for the first mile or so.  I'm not sure why they are staying so sore.  That has not been typical in the past.  I suspect that maybe my shoes are just so worn out that they are becoming a factor.  They still feel pretty comfortable though.  They are getting close to 700 miles so are well past time for replacement.  I have another quite new pair of Hokas at home and plan to go back to them when I get home.

It was a pretty day with lots of clouds but lots of blue sky and sunshine too.  I saw a lone sand hill crane along the lake shore, and the usual collection of geese flying over.  Gladly, no bears.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Bear In The Area

Today I woke up early and figured that since the weather was gorgeous, I would run around the lake, then drive down the road.  I need to refresh the paint on the Caren Pond sign.

But when I saw Bear in the Area signs plastered all over the hotel, I had some second thoughts.  I came up with a perfect plan.  First I drove around the lake to see if I could find the bear.  At least I would like to get some pictures.  But I never found a bear.  But I did want to go for a run so I drove down the road to my second favorite place to run, a little side road. As soon as I parked, along came a security vehicle. That was my signal to quickly leave.  I couldn't drive down to the pond sign until after 6 because they are running a pilot car for 7 miles that includes that area.  So I found a little pullout and parked the car.  Still not sure if the bear might be nearby, I just ran short out and back loops along the road until I had reached 5 miles.  My calves were hurting a lot and I was feeling unusually tired, but managed to complete the 5 miles.  I guess that means tomorrow needs to be a rest day.

After I ran, I continued on down the road and reached a flagger. It was almost 6 so figured I wouldn't have much of a wait.  The pilot car arrived and after only about 1/4 mile he flagged me on by.  But then I got to mile 20 of the pipeline and came to a second flagger. This was the same one who told me they quit at 6 pm.  By now it was 6:15 so I figured they were just finishing up.  But then the pilot car came along.  I asked the flagger if they were quitting for the night and she said they were working late tonight.  So of course, I didn't have enough time to wait for flaggers and pilot cars for some undetermined amount of time.  I turned around and drove back to Deadhorse.  I guess the sign will have to wait for another day when they don't need to work overtime.  I was disappointed that after driving all the way down there I didn't see any wildlife.  But it was still nice to get out of the hotel and enjoy the 60 degree temperature and sunshine.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Beautiful Day!

It got all the way up to 60 degrees today.  First I started to run around the lake but for a change of scene I turned right at the Dalton Highway and planned to run my usual 5 miles, then return to the hotel.  But on the way back I was enjoying the warm weather so much that I decided to continue on around the lake when I got back to the intersection.

It was quite muddy along the south side of the lake but once I turned to the north it was dry.  There were lots of birds also enjoying the warm day.  My favorite was a loon that sounded as if he was saying hello to me.  I captured a video of him with my phone.

I ended up running over 8 miles after I got back to the hotel.  It was nice to get in a longer run even though I barely had time to eat dinner.  It is such a pleasure to be able to run outdoors in beautiful sunny weather around the lake and down the "Alaska Scenic Byway!"

Friday, June 10, 2016

Beautiful Run

It was snowing most of the night and today didn't look too promising.  But when I woke up it was a beautiful sunny day with big puffy clouds and not too much wind.  So I got myself out and ran the 5 miles around Colleen Lake. The south side of the lake was really muddy so I had to run about a foot farther out into the road than usual.  When a car was coming towards me, I moved back into the mud until they passed by.  But once I got past that main section of road, it was much better.  It was a pleasant surprise after so much rain and snow the last couple of days.

I was pretty slow though and the top of my left foot kept getting an annoying sharp pain.  But it went away as strange pains like that usually do.  It was so nice out that I really didn't want to go back to the hotel. I was thinking how nice it be to just keep right on running all the way to my house in Palmer!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Interesting Run

I was looking out the window watching a little bit of snow falling and thinking, nope, not today.  But then I just couldn't face the thought of the treadmill and I really felt the need to go for a run.  So I bundled up and hit the road.  It was pretty chilly, right around freezing white a fairly strong wind.  Plus the side of the road on the first stretch around the lake was really muddy.  It was building up on the bottom of my shoes so that I felt like I was running with lead weights on the bottom of my feet.  But it was drier on the second mile so I was glad I decided to go.

The sky was really black ahead and I wondered whether it would be rain or snow when I got to the far end of the lake.  It was quite the snowstorm when I reached it and the little snow pellets were stinging as the wind blew them directly into my face. A few trucks drove by and I'm sure the drivers thought I was insane.  But by mile 3 the snow had stopped and the sun was breaking through.  It was beautiful lighting and geese were flying overhead. But then along came one angry seagull who definitely didn't think I belonged there.  He kept dive bombing me, but never really dangerously close.  There must have been a next nearby.  I got some videos of him and of the storms off in the distance.  I think this was one of the most interesting 5 mile runs around Colleen Lake that I have ever done.  So glad I decided to give it a try.

I took this funny video that shows Ms Seagull trying to chase me away.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

5 Around The Lake

Another gorgeous day for a run around Colleen Lake. It's kind of rough running there because the edge of the road is quite rutted with big rocks and loose gravel from the road grader.  But it's really good practice for trail runs and uneven courses like the Rome Marathon was. It was pretty warm, about 50 degrees but the strong north wind off the Arctic Ocean was a little chilly.  I saw lots of birds flying over and a beautiful pair of Tundra Swans on a spot of open water.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Colleen Lake

I took a couple of days off to catch up on my sleep, adjust to the combination of jet lag, night shift, and stiffness from the 14 marathons I did in May.  But today I got out there and did my favorite Deadhorse run, all the way around Colleen Lake for my 5 miles.  I was still kind of tired though. But I feel amazing now that I'm back.  I loved hearing and seeing the geese flying over.  The lake is still pretty much frozen, and oddly there was very little traffic.  Usually at this time of day there are lots of trucks.  So it was quite peaceful.  I was expecting to find a lot of mud but since it was right at freezing, the surface was still firm. It felt so good just to be out of this building and into the fresh Arctic air.

I want to try to stay motivated this month because I should be able to avoid runs on the treadmill. It's just so much better to be able to run outdoors. I don't have as much free time as I would like during my months up here at work, but I'm going to try to get as much good training in as possible so I'll be ready for the next marathons on my agenda.  It's easy to get lazy up here. The 24 hours of daylight really helps with motivation though.