18 miles, Yasso 800s and hot temps

Yes, we’re still holding out in the 70s here in Anchorage. It’s been an amazing couple of weeks, especially after our long and obstinate winter. I love running in the sunshine, love feeling the sweat over my shoulders, love the luxury of wearing less clothing.

Sunday I did my first 18 miler of marathon training (Big Wildlife, though I haven’t registered yet). It was 82 degrees when I began, and so I filled my water bottles with cold water and also carried my Nathan handheld.

I LOVE this handheld! The pouch is large enough for my protein bars, gels, etc., plus there’s a separate pocket for a key. It’s so light and comfortable that I don’t even notice I’m carrying it.

The run went amazingly well. I ran the Coastal Trail out to Kincaid Park and refilled my water bottles at the chalet. I also crossed my favorite bridge, which is the turnaround point in the marathon.

Two more months and I will see you again. Well, probably before then but I will be so thankful to see you in two months.

I felt strong until about 16 miles, when I began burping my Builders Bar. It was a chocolate mint flavor, and I didn’t like it much the first time. I liked it even less by the end of the run. I need to do something about my nutrition. The Builders Bars are the best thing for my low blood sugar problems but taste dreadful and don’t digest well. I can’t handle gels or my beloved Shot Bloks on long runs; too much “fast” sugar causes me to crash, fast. When I eat the Builders I don’t crash and always finish strong, no matter the distance. Except that I also finish with a queasy stomach. Suggestions, anyone?

But oh, this weather! I feel positively infatuated. Monday I hiked Flattop with The Beebs. It was 76 degrees when we set out at 11 p.m. Beebs is part husky and because of her thick undercoat, doesn’t do well in the heat and so we took it slow. I love hiking in the evening twilight, love how still the air feels, and how hushed. Mostly I love the silver/lavender/grey shadows.

I bought a new camera, a Nikon Coolpix S4200, and either I’m using it incorrectly or it takes lousy pictures. The colors are off and distant shots are blurry. I’m returning it this weekend.

I took this around 12:30 a.m. See how light it still is? Would you be able to sleep or would you be out hiking, even though you have to work in the morning? (No wonder I’m so damned tired all summer.)

Tuesday I did Yasso 800s (the track was actually 880). What I love about Alaska is that there are always people out, no matter the time. It’s nice having others on the track, it feels so companionable, especially when you pass. I hit consistent paces: 3:46, 3:48, 3:44, 3:46, 3:47, 3:44, 3:46 (I miscounted and only ran seven instead of eight).

But Bart lies. According to his theory, I should be able to run a 3:50ish marathon. Yeah, right. I’d be thrilled with a 4:10.

Solstice is almost here, the longest day of the year. MM returns home tomorrow so probably we will head up in the mountains with the Beebs. We’ll take it slow, and linger. I’m so grateful for Beebs because she forces me to slow down, to hike and walk instead of running, to just be without having to worry about times or paces or goals. Dogs just are. They live entirely in the moment. I want to be more like that.

You are the best, Beebs!

Happy solstice, everyone.

3 thoughts on “18 miles, Yasso 800s and hot temps

  1. Mary

    yuck. builders bars. maybe there is real food you could eat? Part of a boiled potato or some kind of carb? I feel like builders almost have too much protein all at once. I ate them a lot hiking last year. read the package, there are some scary warnings about…..leakage of an unfortunate kind. Or maybe that is a different but similar bar. at any rate, wouldn't carbs work better?


  2. ajh

    Have you read….big brother….by lionel shriver? If you have you'll know why I'm asking. If not I think you might like it. I'm about a third of the way through. I heard her inteviewed on NPR but also had read another book by her I liked.


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