Monday, April 30, 2012

Ouch (and, oh wow!)

I survived Sunday/Monday back-to-back 19 milers.

I'd love to tell you about it but alas, I am too damned tired. Plus the hot tub is calling my name.

Will post tomorrow, along with a few pics.

And, congrats to Emily, who rocked the Eugene Marathon with a 3:08! (Hey, that's just a few minutes slower than my 19-milers!!)

Friday, April 27, 2012

19-miler, almost

I'm so excited. This Saturday is my first 19-miler of the year. Yippeee! I cannot wait.

And best of all, I get to do it all over again Sunday.

That's right: Two 19 mile runs in a row.

That's because I'm foolishly training for the Resurrection Pass Ultra 50 Mile Trail Race.

The first 38 miles offers NO aid stations or contact. You're basically on your own. And there's no turning back, either, for there's no way or place to turn back. Also, only about 25 or so run so you're basically alone a good part of the time.

But think of it! Running through all of that wilderness. Running alone with your thoughts and moods and doubts and dreamy and beautiful thoughts.

It's intoxicating to think of, though I know the actual race will be brutal. Still, I want to do it. I must do it. I am somehow, in some impossible way, going to do it.

On other thoughts: Had another awesome 10-miler yesterday.

The sun is still shining up here and yesterday it hit 60 degrees (60!!!).

And my sister is in Portugal for work and eating chocolate covered cheese. Yep. Guess that's popular over there. I say, anything covered in chocolate? Bring it on.

Have a great run, everyone.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

More awesome runs

Well heck, I don't know what's up but I hope it sticks around because I have been having the most awesome runs of my life. Or at least the most awesome runs in a long, long time.

Last week I had a great, and fast, 9-miler on the bike path close to my house, and then I looped around the road up to the Campbell Creek Science Center.

We still have snow, unfortunately, since we broke the record this year with the highest snowfall: 133.6 inches, baby. And it takes a long time to melt.

But my streak continued, and the weekend was filled with two (two!) incredible back-to-back 15-milers.

Is anything better than a long run in the spring twilight? I swear, this place is pretty special once the light returns and the pavement clears. (Still waiting for the mountain and wooded trails to clear, but you can't have everything, eh?)

Saturday MM and I ran 15 miles around Lake Hood and out past the airport, and midway through we were hit with windgusts so strong they knocked me off the road a couple of times. It was wild. We had on shorts (such a thrill to run in shorts again!) and our legs were bright red. I couldn't stop laughing. By the time we finished my chest and stomach felt beat-up from the stress of fighting the wind.

We ate, collapsed on the couch and watched "Out of Africa" but fell asleep before the halfway point and left Meryl Streep fighting syphilis back in Denmark, poor dear. Didn't even get a chance to see Robert Redford fly his nifty little plane. We are such an exciting pair.

Sunday we walked the dog around Taku Lake and then went to Target--gotta love those big, red balls out front (what's up with that, I wonder). Target has only been here a couple of years and is still quite a thrill.

This is Taku Lake in the summer, which is a much prettier picture than in the slushy spring.

Then we ran another 15-miler (at least I did: MM only ran 10, hee, hee), and it was another incredible run. We followed the Coastal Trail downtown and then along Ship Creek, a newish section of trail that highlights some of the grittier aspects of Anchorage: Shipyards and storage facilities and not-so-scenic railroad areas. But it was in the open and we had sunshine the whole way. And I felt as if I were in a big city as I ran over the cool bridges, as if I were back in Philly running with my sister again (miss you, honey).

Cool bridge.

This was SO exciting because we don't have many bridges like this on running trails here in Anchorage.

Most of the bridges are just, well, bridges.

Just a bridge.

Note my cool pink compression socks. My sister got this for me and they ROCK!

This is MM. I take horrible pictures, hee, hee.

And what was The Beebs doing during all these runs? She was cozied up on MM's futon writing her memoir on his laptop.

Another writing in the family, can  you stand it?

Weekly total: 39 miles
Reading: Golden Days, by Carolyn See

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

17-miler from heaven

I had one of those runs yesterday, you know the kind, where your body feels effortless and your arms and legs fly and you get inside "the zone" and you feel invincible and optimistic and the snow-covered mountains border the horizon and the air is cool and damp and you realize that yes, you are exactly where you are meant to be in life.

Photo caption: I have no idea, hee, hee.

It was that kind of run, and except for the first and last couple of miles, I felt like that the whole way. Flying down the hill from Kincaid Park felt almost religious, almost holy; it was that perfect.

This morning wasn't perfect, though. I've been doubling up long runs on weekends in anticipation of maybe, maybe running an ultra (an ultra!) later this summer. Since the trails are covered in ankle-deep slush, I've been running over 40 miles per week on the roads.

Ouch! Pavement hurts when you're used to soft and snowy trails. Or maybe, just maybe, I'm getting old and my joints are sore.

Nah, I blame the pavement.

Still, what is it about long runs that are so awesome, so addicting? It's as if they strip you to the core, strip you past ego and leave you shivering and naked and unadorned and totally and truly yourself.

Running: 48 miles for last week (wheee!)
Reading: Fat Girl, by Judith Moore and Pack of Two, by Caroline Knapp (two very favorite writers of mine and both are dead, sigh, sigh

Monday, April 2, 2012

Older runners rock

This article in the New York Times about master's runner Kathy Martin made my day. She's 60 and looks 30 when she runs. How does she do it? Whatever the case, she is my new hero, especially after my miserable 16-miler Sunday, hee, hee.

Check it out here

New York Times photo credit