Hopefully my Mom (who thinks New York is my home) and my girlfriend (who thinks Colorado is my home) don't read this, but I'm heading to what I consider home later today for a 5 day visit to Juneau. My bags are packed and I'm ready to go. There even looks to be some decent weather forecasted for the next several days up there, something which could easily be considered a miracle for Juneau in October.
Juneau has what I consider to be the best mountain/trail running of anywhere I have ever been. I'm jittery with excitement to get back in those mountains for the first time in almost 3 months. Word is that everything up above tree line is snowed in, but I am craving the alpine above Juneau so much that I suspect I'll be pushing through as much snow as I need to be up there.
Also, I have 6 friends up there who are planning on running either the 50 mile or the 50k at the North Face San Francisco race in December. Juneau might be more represented at that event than any city outside of California. My hope is to run with all of them in the next 5 days.
I also am looking at this trip as an opportunity to gauge if my general weakened physical state in the past 6 weeks is because of the altitude here in Colorado. I'll be in Juneau for 5 days and Oregon for 3 days after that. 8 days at much lower altitude should give me a decent idea of how my body is feeling as compared to how it has been feeling here and how it feels when I return here. I've been coming around and feeling better and better the past few weeks here so I feel confident that in time I will feel as strong as ever here, but this next week will be a good test of whether the altitude has been the cause of what I've been feeling or if instead I have a nagging illness or something similar to that going on.
And beyond all of this running stuff, some of my best friends in the world live in Juneau. I'm looking forward to lots of time with them... making food; sipping coffee; being outdoors; drinking a few beers; and talking a lot about life.