Monday, February 22, 2010


My girlfriend was gone away on a meditation retreat for the weekend so I decided to indulge in a bit of a retreat of my own. This wasn't nearly as sinful as it sounds. We have had one of the nicest weeks of weather I ever remember here in the winter. Nothing but sun for 6 days and there was a bit of an inversion so the higher up you went the warmer it got. From the time when I got out of work on Friday at noon until sunset last night I was out in the mountains for almost every daylight hour. All told in three days I put in 17 hours of mountain snowshoe running with somewhere around 25,000 feet of climbing over about 45 or 50 miles. To cap it off I went out after work today for a 100 minute run in which I climbed well over 3,000 ft. I don't know if I've ever had so much fun running for this many consecutive days. It's supposed to rain tomorrow. I think I'm ready for the break.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I've been feeding my running soul lately with some nice destination runs: runs that are a result and an expression of that which I have done in my training and my life to be at that point. For most of the past 6 weeks I have been doing runs which have been building me up and moving me toward destinations but now I see and feel an arrival beginning to take place. That is to say that I'm beginning to feel myself once again running for the sake and enjoyment of the run rather than to get myself to a physical place of being able to run for as long as I want to. There is a big difference between the two. You can't have the one without the other, but it sure feels good once you get yourself to a point where you can do destination runs several times a week.

Many days I still head out on the trail simply for the sake of getting my body into better and better physical shape, but these aren't really the runs that keep me hungry and motivated. Rather it's the long slow journeys into the mountains which sometimes last for a couple hours and sometimes last for a couple days. Last weekend I got out for an 8 hour run that took me to areas around Juneau that I've never seen before. When we finally dropped back down to the coast we were treated to an evening run, at low tide, along 7 or 8 miles of beach. A perfect way to end an incredible day out in the forest and on ridge lines. Then on Monday I "discovered" a new (to me) trail that accesses one of the most incredible alpine areas that I have ever seen anywhere in my life, and it was only 2o minutes from the trailhead to be above tree line. In 45 minutes I was up in majestic snow covered alpine that felt like it should have taken days to access. I found this area so appealing that I went back there today for my third destination run in 7 days. And now I have another one planned tomorrow which will take me to some more places I've never travelled before.

I didn't expect to be getting this much time up in the mountains again until late spring but we have had such little snow fall this winter that the ridge running is about as nice right now as ever. I'm almost bummed that I'll be leaving here in just over two weeks to drive down south for my next two races. A 5 week vacation to the lower 48 should be pretty sweet though. More about that trip soon.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Blah, Blah, Blah

Been away from this blog for a bit. Just been running. Getting back into the right space in my mind to feel stoked about my runs each day. For the most part the running's been good. I was sick for over a week so that set me back a bit but I'm feeling healthy now and typically feeling pretty strong. We've had much less snow this year than any of the past winters I've spent in Juneau so I'm pretty excited about the hope that I might be able to start running up on mountain ridges most everyday as soon as sometime in April. Even now I've been getting up into the mountains (on snowshoes) at least once a week.

I was supposed to be heading up to Anchorage to run a 50k this weekend but that's not going to happen now. Mostly I was interested in going because my friend Dan was going to go run his first Ultra. I thought it would be fun to go up and share that experience with him, especially since this race (Little Su) was also my first ultra ever when I ran it 4 years ago. It would have been a nice feeling to come full circle back to that race. As it played out though Dan has a bit of an injury and with the sickness I had last week it just started to seem really silly to spend $500 on airfare to go run a 50k which I wasn't viewing as much more than an ambitious training run.

So that leaves my next race just over 4 weeks away: Way Too Cool 50k. It'll be interesting to see if I can run such a fast, short race effectively. Right now I have no speed. When I go on runs lately it takes me about 90 minutes to feel warmed up. That's not going to work so well in a race that will only take a little more than twice as long as that.

After Way Too Cool I'll be running American River 50 in April and hopefully after that I'll be able to get onto all the trails here in Juneau and really dial up my training for Western States and beyond. I've also got a few local running pursuits that I'm really interested in this summer: scouting a route for a future 100 mile race and guiding tourists on trail runs. And hopefully in the next several weeks I might get a little more interested in posting something of potential value here on this blog. I tend to be more interested in this blog when I'm more interested in my running and over the past week I've become a lot more interested in my running so maybe sometime soon I'll actually write something about it. Or maybe not.