Saying goodbye to Alaska

This morning I did my last run in Alaska before V and I go to Chile tomorrow. The amazing trails here have inspired me and opened up a completely new world of running. I'm grateful for the amazing people I met here and the beautiful places I've been able to run.

Thank you, Alaska!

Powerline Pass

As the snow is slowly melting away to reveal the trails I remember from last summer, I long to get out to the mountains. The Chugach front range lies across the horizon that I can see from my office window. The sun is streaming in the window like a beautiful summer day where the sunlight settles in the valley of Powerline Pass:

This week on the trails...

This week I'm starting with a photo of myself running in the sun, because we've had amazing weather in Anchorage and I'm slowly starting to take some clothes off to go running! The fringe months are brilliant for running in Alaska. Almost everyday it feels like I'm running on a new trail as the snow melts and more of the old tracks are revealed. It's still very brown, but with all the water out there and the long days we're having it will be green in no time at all.

Beautiful sunny day and I'm not even wearing a beanie!

My running program continued the focus on consistency and I'm very pleased that I got another good week done.  I'm always happy to get out and although I'm running the same trail I'm not feeling any monotony yet!

Here are some more photos from a weekend run showing the changes in the trail conditions:

Cycling path into Campbell Creek slowly melting away with a clear strip of road on the right.
This is where I depart the snow cycling path and head into the trees. Around the bases of the trees the snow is mostly gone and there are pools of water lying in the trail.

A low lying area where the water sits below a thin layer of ice with awkward footing on either side of the ice and water.

Yes, my feet are getting soaked almost every morning! It's a surprise every time I break through the ice and feel the almost frozen water soak through my shoes.

This week on the trails...

This was my first week back in training after racing the Susitna 100 and then being drawn into a month of work commitments and travel. I ran everyday, hopefully starting the consistency that I need to prepare for a multi-day race. The plan for April is to build a solid habit of getting out the door each morning and to develop my aerobic engine using Mark Allen's heart rate training principles. I ran the same route each day slowly getting a little further each run and feeling stronger as the week went on.

Very happy to out on the trails again and wearing my sunglasses for the first time this year.

Alaska at this time of year is truly amazing. The trail conditions are changing every day and the amount of daylight we get increases by five minutes a day! I started the week in cold crunchy snow running in the dark and by the end of the week it was mostly mushy-thawing snow and it was almost full daylight. In between, there were two days it was snowing, a day of rain and a day with a perfect crisp clear sky. I love this time of year because it's warm enough to run with less gear and running the same trail every day can feel like a new adventure each time I go out.

Dog mushing trail through the forest

The trail comes out into an area of thinner tree cover. The trail was littered with broken branches after some windy nights.

Thawing trails. I kept post-holing through the snow and ended up with a foot in 2 inches of freezing water.