Sunday, May 19, 2013


"What's that jargle? Scripture? You quotin' Scripture?" -Coach Z

No, I didn't suddenly have religious epiphany.  Is it the ideal ratio for mixing a fine scotch and water?  No, that would be 2:1, thank you very much.  How long I can hold my breath?  Nope... errr... maybe, but that's not the point.  So, what is that number?  Well, there in lies my story...

It seems spring is finally drawing near.  The snow has begun to melt on the mountainsides, and if you look closely you might notice a small fringe of green beginning to poke though around the edges of the tundra.

Yesterday the sky was clear and blue.  I decided to forgo the sprint intervals I had planned for the day, and just go for a good run.  Since my Jeep is in the shop my options were a bit limited.  I decided to just head out and see where I ended up. 

I first headed to Bunker Hill, my regular training hill.  At around 400 vertical feet it is no mountain, but it is a fairly steep mile long climb up the back, and the views from the top are worth every step.  Still energized I decided to run almost strait down the other side.  My heart was pounding.  I felt free.

Instead of heading home I turned towords the bridge.  I began to wonder how far I could go.  As it turns out... quite a ways.

Over the bridge, up the hill, back down through the town, along the shore, past the dump, along the cliffs around the point, by the lake and over one last hill to Humpy Cove (almost the end of the road system).  At which point I refused to go any further.  I was getting tired and knew I had to run back just as far as I had come.

By the time I shuffled back across the bridge, my legs were beginning to ache.  I was getting quite thirsty and a bit hungry.  The last couple miles dragged on and the small hill to my house has never felt like such torture, but I made.

As I climbed the steps to my house, I looked down at my watch: 3:16.  I haven't been so exhausted from a run in a very long time.  In fact, that is the longest I have ever run nonstop.  I admit my pace wasn't impressive, and at around 18 miles it wasn't even a marathon.  I am proud none the less.

I hadn't planned it or prepared in the least.  I didn't even take any water.  Unwilling to stop I just kept thinking, "Well, maybe just a bit further," and then... there I was.

Sun, dirt, wind, pain and freedom.  The best three hours I've spent in some time.  Maybe it's about time to get out and run (but not today... my legs hurt).

Monday, March 11, 2013

Finally back to running!

It has been almost a year since I left Alaska. There have been a bunch of ups (new job, house, etc) and very little downs. All those can be found on my solo site EverydayLivingPNW. I do have to say though, I have been missing the time I spent in Alaska running. The trails have been calling me and I have yet to answer in Seattle. Actually, I regret to report that I haven't really ran since early fall. But, there is promise on the horizon.

Late last week I was able to get out on a run. It was a beautiful day and I did not want to miss the opportunity to get outside in it (sounds familiar huh, just like when I was in Alaska). The air was crisp, yet fresh and the sky was blue. What more did I have to ask for? Okay, well I would of enjoyed less cars and more trail, but beggars can't be choosers. In fact, here is what the view from my run looked like:

The scenery was not as pleasant as I have been accustomed too, but the weather was just so nice. I ended up putting in about a half hour and working up a sweat. I do long for those days that I use to spend an hour out on the trail, running up mountains and taking in the view. Will that come back? Time will tell, but for now I will keep it small and keep checking in. Who knows what the summer will bring?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Going Long

As I look out my window, across the barren, wind-swept snow fields of the Priblof Islands and the frozen Bering Sea beyond, my thoughts turn to the summer ahead.  This seems like the perfect time to begin planning for the warmer weather to come.

Last year I began gearing up for fastpacking (and I still am) but laziness got the better of me.

However, that ultralight mindset, has lead me to consider another road this year: the Appalachian and Pacific Crest trails. 

Now, I don't have the time (or the experience) for a full thru-hike, but perhaps it is time that I set a goal to do some real backpacking.

I may instead consider the Ozark trail as it is close to where my family lives, but for now the AT and PCT weight heavily on my mind.  It is time to start doing some research.

Has any of you ever considered hiking the AT or PCT?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Perhaps, it was for the best.

Quick note:  This post was written a couple years ago.  I just never got around to posting it.  I may pull out several more of these old posts as I get myself back to writing again.

Several weeks ago, when Ed had finally returned from sea. I decided to go for a run after work on a beautiful evening. Ed had other plans that night. Perhaps it was for the best. While Ed went to a party I set out for an evening run. The sun had come out in the afternoon. I had not yet found and excuse to make my way outside. My Jeep had been in the shop for nearly two months (it is hard to get parts on the island) and I have been going stir crazy. That is not even to mention a rather stressfull couple of weeks. My usual stress relief is to drive out to the end of the road and hike around by the shore or up into the hills. Even just the drive relaxes me. This last week however was rather rainy and I hadn't even gotten out on many runs.
However this Saturday (the end of my weekend) turned out with fair weather. While Ed urged me to come out with him, still feeling rather restless, I declined. Instead I grabbed my running clothes and set out. The sun was already beginning to set as I stepped out the door into the cool air. I didn't know where I was going but knew I need to go.
I choose one of the few roads on our small area of the island I had not yet run: the road around the mountain. The road had always seemed mysterious and daunting. It was perfect. I needed an escape from the usual.
I ran up the old water-rutted gravel road leading around the base of the mountain behind the airport and climbed the foot of the mountain.  The chill in my limbs disappeared as I continued past the old bunkers, past the signs warning of explosives (nothing strange about that), and beyond the balls of the mountain (Two giant balls....) and came to the far side, looking north and west.
The road ended and a small path continued to the edge of the cliffs. I sat and watched the waves breaking below at the base of the mountain coming unhindered from the north and the wide sea beyond. The sun was below the mountains to the west, but the twilight was still bright and the sky pastel in blues oranges and purples. The land was turning grey as a thin haze settled around in the gentle breeze. I sat for a while listening to the waves crashing below mixed with the sound of my breath.
As I turned and headed back up the path and down the road around the mountain I felt calm at last. Peaceful for the first time in many days. The mountain had not yet tired me out so I decided to run the road along the shore. I had not ran that way in quite a while though a couple of years ago it had been our near daily route. We had gotten tired of it. It was old news. In the evening twilight it was new again. The sky slowly began to darken and the waxing moon appeared a pale sliver from behind the clouds upon the mountains in the slowly fading blue of the sky. The water glistened in the failing light.
By the time I returned home it was mostly dark (and I was carrying a muddy rain jacket I found abandoned alongside the road.) I was tired, but felt better than I had for some time. There is just something about evening solitude. Sometimes you just have to run alone....

Has anyone else done a moon light run lately?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Larabar Review and Giveaway on EverydayLivingPNW!

I just thought I would mention here on Tundra Runners that I have a giveaway happening on my other blog, Everyday Living in the Pacific Northwest! Go over there and check it out, who knows you may even win the prize of a 16 Larabar Sampler Case!

It has been a little bit since i have posted on Tundra Runners, the main reason why is the lack of running or activity, period. Life will hopefully settle down and bring about moments to dedicate towards can only hope!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Jumping Back in with Both Feet

Where to begin...

First a quick update as to my whereabouts for the last few months.

I had quite a summer.  I went on a road trip to the Grand Canyon and finished my pilot training.  However, I put off my fastpacking plans.  I did a lot of running (mostly short hour-long runs,) but never got to the point I felt like I could run for multiple hours in heat over 100 degrees.

The summer was over far to quickly.  After a short visit with Ed in Seattle (which was awesome,) I made my way back to the island, and have been busy ever since.

I was briefly delayed when my flight was canceled due to weather, and spent an extra night in Anchorage.  I put the time in Anchorage to good use at the Glacier Brewhouse (where I was sad to learn the barleywine is not yet ready for the season.)  I woke up at 0430 the next morning, went to the airport and sat around on standby most of the day.  After another cancelled flight and more delays (and two fuel stops) I made home without too much trouble.

Since then I have been easing my way back into cool weather running.  I did a run up Strawberry Hill, and dozen or so up Bunker Hill.  Actually, now that I think about it that sounds rather excessive for someone with an injured foot.  The plantar fascia in my left foot started bothering me this summer.  I should be taking it easy, but I really wanted to run up Ballyhoo Mountain (more on this later,) and Bunker Hill is my training ground.

Speaking of injured feet, something else happened the other day.  I nailed it.  That is to say I stepped on a board with a rusty nail sticking straight up.  It went straight though my shoe and up into the arch of my right foot (yeah that makes two injured feet.)  It hasn't really slowed me down though.  I went for a run a couple hours afterwards.

Then there was Ballyhoo....

(To be continued next time... if I can figure out what to do with the videos....)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Ed's New Blog

That is right! I have taken the plunge and started my own personal blog. It is called "Everyday Living in the Pacific Northwest" and will be about just that, living in Seattle and all my day to day activities. This doesn't mean I am abandoning Tundra Runners. I will keep on posting here with all my fitness related stories and videos. I was just thinking that Eric wouldn't want me to monopolize this site for my own personal blogging, so I thought I would try something different.

So different that I even made the switch to Wordpress. Not sure how I feel about it yet. There is a learning curve that is for sure, and I am slowly getting a hang of it. I wanted to take a little more time before I went live with the site, but I thought ah what the hell I will develop it as I go. I hope you will take some time to check it out and stay tuned for more fun posts on Tundra Runners! (Hopefully some more gear reviews from Eric in Alaska, I know he has a bunch of awesome gear up there and I want to know about it!)