Archive for April, 2008

First triathlon, first BBQ, 10th foot of snow

Posted in Alaska, Sport on April 28, 2008 by ilikemountains

We had our first race of the season and first outdoor celebration. The night before, Anchorage got two feet of ill-received snow, and we got six inches. Not cool. After a week of sunshine and melting, spirits were damp. It was the end of April, after all.

But we raced in the slush, dug out a hang-out area in front of the barbeque and fireplace, dug out a path from the garage and line it with beer, and generally managed to have a good time. Beer helped.

Beer pathGiving uncle a kiss

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The backyard situation

Posted in Alaska on April 22, 2008 by ilikemountains

Epic BBQ is in four days. I’m waiting two more days to help Mama Nature with the thaw, but I’ve been getting things started. I located the woodstove/firepit this morning, and marked it with a tree branch:

X marks the spot

The top!

Then I cleared around the top and sides. In a day or two we’ll dig it out and light a fire, which will (hopefully) melt a nice ring around it.

The creek is making a small appearance as well:

Creek

The guesthouse is free and clear, though we still need to dig out the door to the greenhouse.

Guesthouse

Cowhouse/Greenhouse

Two more days before I give up and totally shovel the yard. Cross your fingies that I won’t have to.

The ugliest trail runners in America?

Posted in Sport with tags on April 22, 2008 by ilikemountains

Shield your eyes

Quite possibly.

Despite my repeated efforts to subdue their color by thrashing them around outside, they remain perky and clean. Just wait until all that snow melts, Day-Glo runners. It’s a muddy world out there and I fully plan on giving you a serious mud-bath treatment.

They feel really nice, though. In fact, I’ve raved so much about how great they feel that my friend Stacy drove to Anchorage and bought a pair. We make quite a duo on the trails, since these are the type of shoes that you can’t help but notice.

I hope they make me really fast and really uninjured.

Another angle

Mt. Marathon — oh shit

Posted in Alaska on April 15, 2008 by ilikemountains

View of Seward from the top

I took this photo from Julie at Alaskab4udie. I think it captures the vertical-ness quite well.

I found out this weekend that I got in to Mt. Marathon. The odds were not in my favor — I believe there were around 25 open spots out of 350. But I entered my name in the lottery, and now I’m in. I can’t give up my spot for 10 years – 10 years! – but once I’ve raced 10 consecutive years I’m allowed some time off and can still enter the race when I want.

There she is.

So now I have to get serious about training. My expectations for the race aren’t high, but I’d like to run down 4th avenue looking somewhat strong. I also don’t want to get injured. Even though Mt. Marathon literally rises out of my backyard (I’m looking at one wall of it right now) I’ve still never been to the top, and I’ve never been up the racer’s trail.

The race, held on July 4th every year since 1908, gains some 3000 feet of elevation in a mile and a half. After they reach the summit, racers plunge back down into town, where spectators line the streets. Last year the governor was here — it’s that big.

I found these photos on Flickr, since I haven’t taken any of the mountain. Right now it’s covered in snow and I likely won’t get up there for another month. Here’s another one:


The race trail is actually a faint scratch that branches off the left of the main one. Yowza! I better be bikini-bottom ready after that one.

Thanks to dphershman for the photos.