Monday, March 7, 2011

Moose kickin' day

Swamped with work but saw this and I HAD to share. A woman up in Anchorage tried to pet a moose (pet a moose, for Christ sake) and was kicked.

What was she thinking?

Read about it here.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

More slumpy, slippery joy

I was supposed to support my team at the Iditarow this afternoon but the sun was shining and I didn't want to be stuck inside a stuffy gym behind a rowing machine. So I pulled on my tights and running shoes, called for The Beebs and hit the Iditarod Trail to Bear Lake. The sun was shining and it was 43 degrees, practically a heat wave.

Oh, the glory of running in the sun!

We saw a youngish musher fly by with his sled team about a half mile from the trailhead, wish I could have gotten a picture but I think it was this guy:

Travis Beals, who came in second in the Junior Iditarod two years ago. It's his dream to run the regular Iditarod race (I did a story on him and he's a really cool kid). Didn't have a chance to yell hello because he was mushing his dogs toward the river and I was trying to hold back Beebs, who wanted to run with those sled dogs more than anything, bless her poor, old 11-year-old heart.

After Beebs calmed down, we continued running toward Bear Lake, an 8 mile RT run. What a gorgeous day.

It was a slumpy and slippery run, with mushy snow up to my ankles in places while sunny areas were packed and slick. I slid and tripped and ran like heck, slid, tripped and ran like heck.

The way back was faster, why is that? Why is the return run always easier and faster?

As I ran I thought of the charactes in my new novel, I thought about problems I'm having at work, I thought about how wonderful it is to have 8 miles of nothing in my head but my own thoughts: No iPod or computer or email or Facebook or phone calls or text messages, nothing but the dog and the silence and the mountains and the trees and the luxury of my own selfish mind.

After I got back to the house and changed my clothes, I had to drive to the gym and do this:

Yep, I had to row for 30 minutes so that I wouldn't embarrass my team by slacking off on the first day of the Iditarow (We're the Rowbuts, get it? We're sponsored by a fishing company--Halibut, Rowbuts?).

The Beebs is collapsed on the floor, dreaming doggy dreams after a nice supper of brown rice and tuna. And me, I'm gonna curl up with a book and read for a few hours before buckling down and getting some much-needed work done.

Running: Saturday: 5.5 miles; Sunday, 8 miles

Reading: "The Girl Who Could Fly" by Victoria Forester. I'm kinda stuck in a young adult novel mode.

Writing: First chapter of my second novel rough-draft finished (yipppeee!!)

Friday, March 4, 2011


My Internet connection went out today so I packed up my laptop and headed to the Sea Bean Cafe, only to find that their Internet was also down.

I took this as a sign to take the day off from work and hit the trails.

And what a day: The sun was shining, the winds were gone, and it was warm enough for just a long tech shirt. I loaded up my faithful dog, The Beebs, and headed to the historic Iditarod trail (not the race trail but the "real" trail).

The conditions were awesome. Hard packed snow that was fast, fast, fast. I planned on six slow miles, to recover from last night's tempo run, but killed the first mile in just over 8 minutes, and the second one not much slower. I finally had to force (force!) myself to slow down.

It was an awesome run, a magical run through douglas fur forest, so much silence, and flashes of sunlight through the trees. In the clearing the mountains were visible, rising up snow-covered and fierce. I love that the mountains appear so impersonal, that they don't give a damn about us, that they offer beauty and silence but no promises. They are like God: They're just there. They just are.

On the way back, I picked up the pace again and oh, the joy of running hard and fast in the cold air, the sun warm on my head, my sleeves pushed up so that my arms chapped red from the cold. Running behind the dog, no one else around but birds and squirrels. Such joy!

I finished 6.5 miles in just over 56 minutes, way too fast for a recovery run. I'm going to have to run super slow tomorrow to make up for it.

Now I'm going to make my guility pleasure food: Amy's organic mac and cheese, with lots of garlic, veggies and hot sauce.

Running: Thursday, 6 miles: One mile warm-up, four miles tempo, one mile warm-down; Friday, 6 fastish and glorious trail miles.

Reading: "Lucy the Giant," by Sherri L. Smith. I met Sherri at Hedgebrook, and she writes awesome YA novels (You go, Sherri!)

Writing: Yes, yes, and oh yes!