Screwing around

Well, I think I’ve finally beaten the worst of my cold/flu (knock on coffee table). It took me countless packets of Emergen-C, golden seal root, calendula leaves tea and lemon water, but I think (hope, pray) the worst is over.

I started working out at the gym again on Thursday and Friday–how nice to sweat again! I ran for the first time in a week on Saturday, six miles at MP. It felt so, so good to run again, even though I didn’t feel as strong as normal.

Sunday I drilled screws in the bottom of my running shoes, for traction. This was great fun. I followed these instructions, and it was SO easy.

Tiggy Mon holding watch over the drill.

I used 3/8 inche hex screws, which were hard to find. They didn’t have them at Lowe’s, Home Depot or Alaska Industrial Hardware. We finally found them in this odd little store called Fasteners and Fire Equipment, Inc., which was filled with screws and fasteners of every imaginable size. The service was wonderful, too, and we were able to choose the width and length of our screws. Best of all, a box of 100 was about $3.

Here’s how I attached the screws: First I drilled starter holes in the bottom tread. If you have a drill with a magnetic tip, you could skip this step. I placed the screws along the outside and then added a row through the middle. I used 19 on the right shoe and 20 on the left. Probably that was overkill but better too many than not enough.

I hand screwed the screws, which was easy since I had already pre-drilled the holes. The entire process took less than 15 minutes.

Then I put on my running gear and headed out the door with MM for our 14 miler long run. It was about 20 degrees at the start, with a wind coming off that inlet that was brutal and unforgiving.

I didn’t feel strong, since I’m still not fully recovered from the flu, and the wind was so cold on the way back that I was sure my face was going to shatter. But my shoes felt great. The screws gripped the ice, and the only time I slipped was in areas of deeper snow; for that I think I’ll need Yak Traks.

My feet, so happy in their non-slid screwed shoes. See how the snow is lavender tintede? It’s always like that in late afternoon. I love it!

No, I’m not flapping my arms or trying to fly. This is one unflattering running photo, but I had to include it because this is how Alaska looks in the winter around sunset: all blues and lavenders and pinks. Isn’t it beautiful?

We passed this moose around the six mile mark, when we crossed the road by the wastewater plant (and yeah, it doesn’t smell very sweet running past it, either). The moose often stroll along the side of the road and sometimes even down the middle of the road, and they pay no mind to cars or traffic noise. They simply walk along, in that knobby-kneed walk of theirs, and stop whenever they find a tasty tree or bush to nibble. They remind me of teenagers walking around trying to look cool.

And finally, a photo of my poor face, frozen into a permanent blank and agonized expression, hee, hee. I’m wearing the new Nike insulated running skirt I got on Ebay for $20 (regularly $80). I love it! Finally, a way of keeping my behind warm when I run. These things are important! Still, it’s ridiculous how much I wear to run up here. I have on a tank, sleeveless running shirt, insulated half-zip, windbreaker, heavy tights, insulated running skirt, shoes and two pair of mittens. And we haven’t even hit single digits yet!

Don’t I look like one of those kids so bundled up in snowsuits that they can barely move?

Stay warm, everyone.

7 thoughts on “Screwing around

  1. Anne

    I'm glad you're feeling better, that sounds like a terrible flu you had. I can't believe you were out running 14 miles in that weather just as you're starting to feel better!! You're a strong woman 🙂 It really is lovely in Alaska…too bad it's so cold.


  2. ajh

    I never thought of wearing a skirt to keep my bum warm. Mainly my toes and fingers are what get cold. Your pictures are so pretty. I love reading your blog and seeing how different it is from where I live. And it must be drastically different from many people's blogs. The whole putting screws in yourself – have you done that before?


  3. Ah Ah Alaska

    This was the first time I attempted the screws on my shoes. I was surprised by how easy it was! My toes rarely get cold when I run but my hands do, poor things. I love Alaska but think my body wishes I lived somewhere warmer.


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