Thursday, February 18, 2016

Valentine's Day Chocolate Run recap

This is the second year I have run Skinny Raven's Chocolate Run on Valentine's Day. It's only a 5k, so in the summer there's no way I would sign up, but in the winter, its a good excuse to get a run in no matter the weather. I'm much more likely to go out and run in the cold if I've paid to do it, LOL.

Last year, 4 of us went, but this year, only Brooke went with me. And Daisy, of course. Our group last year were the poster children for this year's run:

So of course, Brooke and I had to go, and we had to dress up again. I had to borrow Dawn's tutu though, because Daisy ate mine, probably because of the candy hearts that were glued to it, We wore the same thing as last year, because neither of us were feeling very creative, or wanted to spend any money on it.

At the start line

The weather was pretty good, in the low 30's, but there was still ice on the streets and path the race route used, so it's a good thing I brought my icebugs. The race is in the Ship Creek area, and starts under the C street bridge. Brooke is feeling a little sensitive to smells right now, so she had a hard time with the first leg of the race, which went right past several seafood shops. The race route essentially made a big rectangle:

On the return side, we left the street, and ran on a path along Ship Creek. The creek had open water, even though the path next to it was icy and snow covered. I wish I had taken the time to stop for pictures, but I didn't. The path went over a road, under a road, and across a couple bridges, making it interesting and fun to run. Where the path went under a road, they had decorated the tunnel, transforming it into the Tunnel of Love:

(pic is Skinny Raven's)

We finished in about 35 minutes, and there was chocolate waiting for us at the finish line. Each finisher got a little box with two pieces of fancy chocolate in it, and there was really delicious hot cocoa. Plus, they did some giveaways, throwing swag into the crowd. I got a workout towel with the Alaska Club logo on it.

All in all, it was a fun run. Neither Brooke or I were trying to run fast, although Daisy pulled me along pretty good whenever she saw another dog on the course. She likes to be in front. It didn't seem like there were as many people there this year as last year.

finish line

The only complaint I have with this run was about the shirts. They gave out scarves instead of shirts for this run, but for $20 you could purchase a shirt. I usually like to have the shirt, even if I have to pay extra, but I'm glad I decided not to shell out the extra this time. They were plain red T-shirts with lettering with the name of the race in beige on the front. Very plain. Seems like for Valentine's Day, they could have made really cute shirts, but they didn't.

And yes, we will probably do it again next year :)

Friday, February 5, 2016

the icebugs saved the day

I was in Palmer for work, so once again had the opportunity to climb the Butte on my lunch break. I never get tired of it, or the view. I got to the trailhead, laced up my icebugs, and off I went. I was super glad I wore my Icebugs today!!! It was SO ICY!!!

The entire trail wasn't icy, but the places where the trail was the steepest also were the iciest, somehow. Luckily, there was a thin layer of frost on top of the ice so that it wasn't glare ice, which would have been impossible for me to navigate even in my Icebugs.  I didn't have any trouble at all on the uphill trip.

Once I got to the portion with the stairs, it was much better, with just a few slick spots on the flat area between a few of the groups of stairs. I was able to cruise right up and down them.

The view was amazing, as usual. I never get tired of it.

On the trip down, I was afraid to run the steep, icy portions of the trail. I had to keep telling my self to go slow, but keep going. I knew if I stopped, I would have to force myself to move my feet again, LOL. And I kept reminding myself to push my feet into the ground to give the studs on my Icebugs extra pressure to dig into the ice with.

It worked, and I made it down the slick areas without falling.  The rest of the trail was very runnable and it felt good to be running. It was a great 2.4 mile, 900 foot elevation gain/loss break in the middle of my day.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

For the foreseeable future

This semi-stealth project is going to be my main knitting project for the next few months. I'm not saying at this point what it is or who it's for. The recipient knows I'm knitting her something,  but she doesn't know what. All I'm going to say is that I'm working under a deadline, about 8 months from now...
And if that isn't a big hint, I don't know what is :)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Happy Run

Every Monday night, my local running store, Active Soles, puts on a free run, that they call the Happy Run. My friend, Brooke, and I go almost every Monday night. Tonight, however, Brooke was tied up at work, and couldn't go. Work kept me pretty busy today too, so I didn't have time to go home and get Daisy like I usually do. So tonight I ran it by myself.

I love running with friends, and I've said before that Brooke is pretty much the perfect running partner for me, because we run at about the same pace. Except when we are sprinting.  That girl has a fast sprint.

But I'm ok running by myself too. I wasn't really by myself, because there were probably 50 other people running tonight, but I didn't know any of them. I just plug in my headphones and run.

I was worried my legs would be too sore since I ran 3.5 miles on Saturday, and another 9.3 yesterday (I'll tell you about those runs in the next couple days, but they were awesome). My legs held up just fine, reminding me that while I may not run fast, I can run for a long time.

There are two different routes that Active Soles use for the Happy Run, and the route alternates every week. For each route, there is a long and a short version. I pretty much always do the long run, unless I am having problems that day.

Tonight the route took me through a neighborhood in downtown Palmer, and down an empty stretch of road with a field on one side and the little municipal airport on the other. At the end of the route, you turn left for the shorter version, to head back into downtown. For the longer version, you turn right, run down a long, gentle hill, under a road, and across a bridge over the Matanuska River. I LOVE LOVE LOVE running across that bridge even in the dark.

At the far end of the bridge, you turn around and head back to downtown. All told, it's just over 4 miles. The official distance is 3.9, but I think that's just to the bridge, not across it.

The paths were pretty icy tonight, and the wind was blowing like crazy, so I ran pretty slow. But once I turned towards downtown and the wind was at my back, I was at about mile 3, and everything felt right, so I kicked it into high gear and ran fast the rest of the way. It was a great run, and I felt awesome!!