Mayor’s Half Marathon

Maybe it looks hard. Maybe it was. Maybe it was hillier than we thought it would be. Whatever. Totally counts as hike 5/52 also!

Amanda: 1:50:33 7/146 AG 179/1583 OA

Rory: 1:47:11 13/82 AG 125/1583

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Hike 4/52 Campbell Creek Trail

In barely preparing for the Mayor’s Half Marathon we run a little more than we normally do. This trail follows the creek and is absolutely beautiful. We saw a mother and baby moose that was tiny and looked like it had just came into this world. They had the priority so that slowed us down a little bit. We found this awesome bridge.Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 2.37.30 PM.pngThere were people barbecuing in the park. The smell slowed us down a little bit. Running has become less about the overall speed and more about enjoying the new sights. Now I know that I am getting old!

Hike 2/52

I am counting my runs as hikes. They meet most of my made up criteria. A few friends, Amanda, and I went running at Campbell Tract. There are over 730 acres to play in. It is across the street from work. We ski the trails in the winter and run there in the summer. It is outstanding. Bears, moose, birds, and all of the other Alaskan wildlife can be seen here.Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 12.47.10 AM.png

In fact, there is a part that is closed when the salmon are in the creek because of the high bear activity. We ran 8 miles and had a great time. We did not see any large mammals, but that is always okay with us. They probably see us and we get to see them when we are least expecting it.

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Turnagain Arm.

We live pretty close to Turnagain Arm. The arm is a 40 mile long waterway that has some amazing views. Any time we are headed south, we hug the water and drive carefully as we look for beluga whales to the right and mountain goats to the left. Turnagain Arm has steep mountains on either side that are usually covered in snow.


Across the street from our house is Potter Marsh. In the winter it freezes completely and people go out ice skating on the marsh. When the water is moving, we see muskrats, lots of birds, and even salmon swimming. It is an incredible place to have so close to our house. Recently, the weather was in the single digits and the marsh froze. The place was packed with ice skating families. Then it snowed. That made it more difficult for ice skating, but we still were able to take the dogs out to run around.

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 5.59.23 PMI am blown away by how gorgeous this place is. Every damn day. Just beautiful. It also feels relatively empty. We go running on one of the more popular hiking trails and hardly ever see anyone during the week. Sometimes we go a little further down the road (maybe 5 miles) to hike in a new spot.

Here, we started from McHugh Creek trail. The views across Turnagain Arm were worth the stop in the snow. Obi flushed a Ruffed Grouse on this hike. That was the first one that we had seen here. There is always something new here. It is incredible.Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 6.00.00 PM.png

Eventually the snow melted, which we didn’t expect so late in the year, and we got to run in shorts again. It was Black Friday and everyone seemed to live the REI #OptOutside idea. I am all for it. We drove to the trailhead so we could spend more time running through the forest. It was the busiest we had ever seen it. There were about a dozen people out there.

Once again, we had to stop and take a picture. Sure, our run times slow down with snow, ice, mud, and picture taking, but it is definitely worth it!Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 6.00.24 PM

November 26th – Running.

I love it and I hate it. I am thankful that I can run. I did a marathon once, but that was almost a decade ago. I think my last race was a 5k sponsored by a doughnut company.

One of my favorite running memories is from 2008:

In Argentina, I ran La Carrera de Miguel. After the race, I saw a kid that looked to be about 16 years old. His shoes had giant holes in them.

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So I gave him my shoes. He needed them more than I did. I wouldn’t be running until I get to Boulder where I can buy another pair. Turns out this kid was pretty fast. He won his age group and gave me his medal. It was a great experience. Mothers of some of the people that were killed by the regime showed up to talk to the runners.

The new goal is to run at least one mile every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

November 13th – Travelling Friends.

You meet some interesting people while travelling. Couchsurfing is always a good way to meet people. A hostel is another way. Sometimes people come into your life for a night, a weekend, or the rest of your life.

He is an Israeli cheering me on during a 10k in Argentina.

Screen shot 2013-11-15 at 9.10.16 PMMy friend Shannon has been a bigger inspiration in my life than he knows. His “don’t be afraid of anything” attitude really empowered my travelling. He is also a bit of the secret reason I am going to nursing school. He is an amazing family who has a family that I am happy to see on too rare occasions.

Here is Shannon with some of our other friends in Vietnam.Screen shot 2013-11-15 at 9.05.33 PM

Top Pot Donuts 5k

Green Lake is the nearest fishing hole/green space/park/people watching area/escape to our house. There was a 5k race around it last weekend. It was sponsored by a doughnut shop. I was running out of excuses (punny huh?) of why we shouldn’t do it. I had no idea how I would do since I haven’t raced since…. wow. I don’t really remember my last running race. I guess it would be Bolder Boulder 2010. I have done a couple of cyclocross races, but it sure has been a while.

Bolder Boulder results from a couple of years ago.

So, I had no idea what to expect. We lined up according to our pace. I figured that I would be in the 7-8 minutes per mile. Standing there, I was between the mom with a stroller and the guy in jeans with a headband on. I casually moved up. At the 7 minute pace there were a couple of kids that looked to be about 12 years old. The 65 years old trio was chit chatting beside them. Two of them thought that their buddy was going to be really fast today. They asked what his finish time would be and he said that he had no idea. He seemed surprised that people would have any sort of estimate of how long it would take them to run three miles. I snuck in front of them as well. That put me beside the group of guys wearing matching running singlets and very small shorts. I knew that they were serious runner. Feeling cocky, I hung with them for what felt like all morning, but was probably closer to a quarter mile. Maybe a half mile because I felt like a hero. I paid for that. We were probably running a 5:30 pace. After mile 1 I tried not fall over, puke, cry, or give up. I felt like doing most of those things. A pack of 4 girls passed me before the sign for mile 2, but they gave me the demotivation to keep up a brisk pace. I finished with a time of 19:41. I was stoked. i didn’t think that I would be able to run a sub 20 minute 5k.

2012 Top Pot 5k result.

What is interesting is that the level of running is amazing here. I was 14th in my age group of the Bolder Boulder, but 19th here! The saddest part of the story is that I have been so sore al week that I might try running again next week.

Go Team!

Thanks to Super Jock N Jill, and Top Pot!