Happy New Year, Seward style

Happy New Year, everyone!

Today I woke up to almost a foot of slush over the roads. The yard is a mushy lake of melting snow, ice and water; I can barely walk to my car without drowning. And it’s so cloudy and misty that the mountains are hidden from view. A very moody and pondering day. So I shall sit here and ponder over important issues and goals for the new year.

I want to start living my life more through the eyes of a child, with wonder and discovery.

I want to wake up each morning excited by possibilities.

I want to break through barriers and confront the unknown with fearless gusto.

I want to be dazzled by life.

I also really, really want to run a sub-1:50 half-marathon.

This past year I finished my novel rewrite (hooray me!), won a few writing contests, had a few poems published and was awarded a writing residency.

I moved to Seward, a very small Alaska town at the end of the road system:

Exceeded my goal and ran 1,167 miles, thanks to Tall Mom’s awesome 1,000 Mile Club and her cunning spreadsheet that kept me on my toes. Thanks, Mel, you are a true bloggy friend, and inspiration!!

I ran my way through three pairs of trail shoes and two pairs of road shoes:

Took over 13 minutes off of my Mount Marathon Race time, managed to finish the race without crying (!!) plus ended up with an awesome gash on my arm (battle scars, baby):

Me, ready to run down 3,062 feet in 22 minutes, before falling twice, blooding my arm and fracturing my finger, and loving EVERY damned minute.

I PRed in a four mile trail race (31:40 and 2nd in my AG) and 10K road race (50:51), mostly because they were my FIRST four mile trail race and 10K road race, hee.

And I ran my first half-marathon ever with my sis, CK, who flew up from Philly just to run the race with me. It was also her first half, and we rocked that Skinny Raven Half-Marathon course, yes we did!

My sis made me promise not to post any pics of her until she loses weight (she’s not fat!), so I shall refrain, sigh, sigh. But she ran a 2:15 and I was so proud to watch her run across the finish line. She blew a guy off at the last minute. You go, CK!

My time was 1:55, which I was happy with, seeing that I had NO clue as to how to pace myself, mile splits, etc. I simply ran, no checking my watch, no worrying about time. It was such a glorious experience that I swear, I wept a bit the first few miles. I thought: I’m doing it, I’m running a half-marathon! The coolest feeling was when I hit the first mile marker and I felt so strong that I knew I could do it, that I had trained enough for it and there was no question in my mind that I would have a good race.

I simply can’t wait to run a marathon this summer. I’m sure I’ll weep through the whole damned race.

And, what the heck, here is me and CK before the race, scared out of our minds because suddenly 13.1 miles seemed so very, very far:

But what I remember most about the year are the many, many trail runs I took around Anchorage and Seward. Racing is great but running in the mountains with all of that stillness, all of that beauty, is what I love best. It feeds my soul.

And I saw a few of these:

And really, really miss these guys:

My running buddy, DS, who ran a 1:46 HM her first try, but I still love her

And these two:

H and T, on our wild trail run to Williwaw Lake and beyond

And I really, really miss my favorite mountain, Bird Ridge, and the glorious misery of running it in the rain:

And thanks to the best, most devoted, good-natured, stubborn and loving running partner in the world, The Beebs, who ran over 800 trail miles with me this year, not bad for a 10.5 year old gal:

And finally, thanks to the running bloggy friends out there: Reading your posts this past year has inspired me, touched me, moved me and comforted me more than I can ever say.

Hugs and happy New Year to everyone,

2 thoughts on “Happy New Year, Seward style

  1. ajh

    How is it seeing bears? I can't imagine it. Aren't they the scary kind around you? Can't wait to read about your adventures in 2011 including the Marathon Mountain Race.


  2. Ah Ah Alaska

    It is scary seeing bears. Luckily, since I wear a bear bell, they're usually aware of me before I come into sight and are already moving off the trail, or at least that's been the case so far. There's always a moment of intense fear, followed by a moment of intense wonder, because I'm basically running through the bears' living room, and that is such a cool thing. Except, of course, the one time a sow charged my dog. That was SCARY!
    Cheers (watch, I'll probably be killed by a bear next summer and it will literally eat my words, lol)


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