From the i-am-stronger tumbler via Pinterest
It happens when you least expect it. On the days you set out just to go out and be healthy and clear you mind after a long day at work with no real expectations. Somewhere along the trail you find your stride, your head clears and those hills feel like nothing. The perfect run.
It happened to me on Tuesday after work. It had been raining all day and then at about 3:30 pm the clouds parted and a bright blue sky decided to grace Anchorage with its presence for the afternoon and evening. It was a lovely 60 degrees and perfect for an after work run. I decided to skip out on the treadmill mile repeats I had planned and try out a new loop from work. I didn’t even know exactly how far it would be but I wanted to run the end of the Twilight 12K race route starting and finishing at work. Turns out, this is exactly 3 miles and the endless hill that is the last half mile of the 12K, well it isn’t that bad when it is in the middle of a three mile run. My legs felt surprisingly strong and even though I set out without a pace in mind I held a decent midrange pace about a minute per mile faster then what I did in the 5 miler on Saturday.
When I finished my run, looked at my splits and remembered how easy even the dreaded hill had felt today I couldn’t help but smile. I felt completely redeemed from my slow time at the Mayor’s Marathon 5 miler and I even felt past the hatred I had for the dreaded hill. It was just what I needed. The perfect run.
I mentioned on Monday that I ran the Mayor’s Marathon 5 miler last weekend. The first word that comes to mind for this race is HOT. Now, those of you not from Alaska are going to either laugh or roll your eyes as you read this, but it felt sweltering to me. The run started at 9 am at a local high school. When I arrived at 8:30 am at the start of the race the announcers happily stated that it was clear blue skies and already 68 degrees. I know, let the laughing begin, but you should probably keep in mind that last summer Anchorage only saw 7 days over 70 degrees so this was pretty warm for me. My runs this year have ranged from 18 degrees to about 65 degrees and the first three miles for this course had no shade.
I started the race with a good friend who was running the half marathon. She is also faster than me but I kept up with her until the split off of the 5 miler at mile 3. Mile 3 is also where I thankfully hit some shade. It was so refreshing I can’t even tell you. I also have to give a big shout out to the many kind people starting at mile 4 who had their sprinklers going in the street instead of their yard for the runners. I have no doubt that the half marathoners and marathoners were even more pleased at the site of the cool water then I was. Also worth noting, this race is actually 5.6 miles and ends with a giant hill which always seems so cruel to me. None the less, I finished it even though it was with a slow time and then hurried home to get on with the rest of my day. I had friends to meet at Saturday market, a baby shower to attend, and last minute packing to finish before officially moving on Sunday. This weekend was so busy I felt like I needed a weekend to recover from it.
My favorite part of the run (besides the sprinklers) was a few costumes I saw along the way. This race is not big on dressing up, but I did see a young boy running with a Superman cape, a women pushing a jogging stroller in bright pink tutu and a half marathoner wearing a shirt that said “follow me to Koots,” the most well known bar in Anchorage.
When I looked back at my results on Monday I was pleasantly surprised, not so much with my time but the fact that I got out there and ran and that I finished right in the middle of all of the participants and my age group. I must not have been the only one who wanted to just stop and stand in the sprinklers instead of finishing the race. Here’s to getting out there and lapping everyone on the couch.
From Plus Athletic via Pinterest
We have been having some amazing weather the last few days in Anchorage. A much needed break after record-breaking snowfall this winter and a rather rainy spring. It has been sunny and around 70 since Saturday and believe you me I have been taking advantage. Saturday I traded my run for a 9 mile hike in Hatcher Pass. It was beautiful but still snowy as we climbed higher. Monday I enjoyed my lunchtime yoga class with beautiful light flooding in all the windows followed by a three mile after work run. I ran again yesterday after work on the Coastal Trail and just had to stop and take a few pictures for you because the views were so amazing.
Coastal Trail, Anchorage, AK
Westcgester Lagoon, Anchorage, AK
I hope the weather keeps up all week! I’m headed to a concert at Moose’s Tooth tonight and have a soccer game on Thursday. Wow, my week is starting to sound pretty busy especially when you add in the Mayor’s 5 Miler I plan to run on Saturday but I can think of no better way to enjoy the sunny weather we have been having.
How are you taking advantage of summer this year?