Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Good Life

Wow, I guess time flies when you're having fun. This is certainly the longest I have ever gone without a post on this blog. Certainly not because I haven't had anything to write about, but because my mind has been in other places away from writing.

I've been up in Alaska since the middle of May and it's been a nearly perfect summer up here. After a non-existent summer last year, we have had one of the nicest summer's I've seen here. It's been a little cooler and wetter in July, but in the month of June it pretty much didn't rain here at all.

The nice weather and my improved health has allowed me to get out on some great mountain outings this summer. I still haven't tried to get back to running everyday, but generally I have been able to get out on a couple long mountain outings each week with a shorter run or two mixed in each week. Aside from this I have had two short stretches with a heavy load on my body and it has seemed to respond okay to the increased physical stress. I still feel a long way from what I would call "normal", but I do feel so much better than I have in about a year.

The first short stretch of fairly regular running was back in mid June for the first session of Alaska Mountain Ultrarunning Camp. We had a perfect week of weather that week, a great group of participants, and my body allowed me to take part in about 20 hours of running in 5 days! Not something that I thought would be a possibility a few months ago.

A couple weeks after this Corle and I got married, and during that time I was able to get in some great long runs with many of my best friends in the world who were here for the wedding. The day before the wedding I went out with about 15 or 20 friends and did one of the most satisfying runs I have ever done in my life. It was one of those days when I felt so lucky to have so many great friends and to have the health to be able to get out in the mountains and enjoy such beauty with so many wonderful people.

For a "honeymoon" we took a trip over to Sitka and spent a week living outside. Some car camping, some backpacking, and some sea kayaking. The backpacking trip was a hike across Baranof Island from Sitka to Baranof Warm Springs. I had heard of a few people doing this hike, but went into it with little to no sense of exactly what we were getting into. It turned out to be a fairly epic route that was much more challenging than I expected. It felt more like a light mountaineering trip than a traditional backpacking trip. I was certainly not disappointed by this surprise. This trip was one of many things I have done this summer that remind me of just how much I feel drawn to the land here in Southeast Alaska. It has become, without question, the most appealing landscape in the world to me.

Coming up this week we have another session of Alaska Mountain Ultrarunning Camp, and then a couple more weeks in AK before heading back to Colorado for our last stint in Boulder. When Corle graduates next May we will be returning to Juneau to once again live here year round. The time in Boulder has been great, and I'm looking forward to one more season there, but I feel so lucky to be returning to Alaska to live full time again. It is the place in the world where I feel most at ease and most comfortable with my surroundings. I feel more connected to the land when I am here than I do anywhere else, and I feel like my lifestyle here supports my recovery from whatever it is I'm recovering from better than anywhere else.

Not sure what my next several weeks/months will bring in terms of running. I think I'm still a long ways away from feeling like I want to try to run everyday, and potentially get into shape to try to push my body in any serious way, but I do notice myself starting to feel hints of a desire to do that at some point in the perhaps not so distant future. I guess time will tell.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from my adventures this summer: