Thursday, June 27, 2013

North to the future...back from Alaska!

Lately I have been ignoring the simple fact that stress is negatively affecting my running.  Where I used to be a solid 7:45-7:51 minute per mile runner, for the past month or so I am thrilled just to hold 8:30s or so.  I'd love to blame the arid triple digits but I know that the stress of the boards and the trepidation in waiting for score reports just about knocked me over.  We planned a week trip in Alaska immediately after my test day to enjoy some stress-free (oh my gosh, what a joke, waiting for scores was actual test stress x ONE MILLION) time off together and with friends.

I lost a lot of sleep while waiting for scores but I finally found out last Thursday (while standing at a mosquito-laden river landing at 0500) that I passed the boards and the best part was that I was in Alaska with my "family," the mentor who started it all and gave me the courage to keep pushing forward with my studies and army career.  I have been friends with UJ and his wife CB for 7 years and I would not be myself without them.  They have also adopted Dan into their family and we love their 3 beautiful and spirited children as our own. 

We found time to eat way too much good food with our great friends

This is about oh, 9 at night
 And celebrate UJ's change of command

i would never be so lucky to have UJ as my boss one day
Fish for king salmon on the Deshka River (we took pictures of all the fish we caught as you can clearly see)

True.  There are no fish in any of our pictures.
Ride horses up the butte in Palmer 

up a butte...it IS funny
 Cruise around Portage Glacier 


Run a half marathon

photo of a photo...only the best for you
 We enjoyed the midnight sun and we successfully shopped for real estate.

The biggest victory of our trip north was finally convincing California Dan that we should retire to Alaska.  Our last visit (his first) was in winter and not surprisingly, skiing through blustery -9F did not win him over.  The summer sun and beautiful landscape and opportunity for so much coffee (seriously, I've never seen such dense per capita coffee shops) and he was hooked (unlike our fish, sigh).  Maybe he just drank in too much clean air.  Or coffee.

Either way, we now have 2.3 acres of an empty wooded lot with some nice views of the Kenai Peninsula...and we have a few more years to decide (argue) what to do with it!

For now the running is not going too well.   The halfsie was a beautiful course but I just held a nice pace and didn't push myself.  I couldn't.  I changed shoes, training plans, hydration, everything, and still I can't trim the fat off my pace but I am content to work with this slower pace for now and then ease back into it.

It's nice to be back home.  The chickens did fine without us and their abandoned heap of 12 eggs demonstrated yet again that they'd be terrible mothers.  Nugget enjoyed her time at sleep-away camp.  Back to running, back to hoping I can clean up my pace!

Any suggestions to overcome my training troubles?