Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Running, running, more running, and some snow

It is now the middle of May and my 50 miler training is in full swing.  I was reminded of this over the weekend when I embarked on a 24 mile training run, which was still on roads but I will get to that later, and then followed that up with a 12 mile run the next day.  That capped off a 60 mile week.  From here on out, my weeks will not drop below 50 and will top out at 70.  I have discovered, at least for me, that more miles means strong legs and faster times.  That may not be true for everyone, but after running consistently for several years that is one of the many items I have discovered.

It is now spring in Alaska and that has me excited.  Most of the snow in town has melted (note the use of the word "most") and temps have been steadily increasing and are up to the lower 60's this week.  With that said, I realized the other day that I just ran through a record winter, we had over 135 inches of snow here in town, and I was actually running during the exact time that we broke the record.  While I was gladly cheering to break the record once we got close, the problem with this is the mountains are still buried under several feet of snow, which is why I have been having to getting creative on my runs and running more on roads than I had hoped to be at this point in the year.  All in all however, the snow melted much faster than I thought it so the trails are only a few weeks behind where the would be on a normal snow year.

We just got back from a vacation in Maui a few weeks back where I managed to check out a few trails, so I will post on that and a few other of my runs later on, but for now, here are some pictures about winter and spring running here in Anchorage.

The section of single track by my house on December 24th, looking west. 

Same section of trail on the 24th as well, looking east. 

That same section trail but this was taken on May 6th, looking west. 

Same section of trail also on May 6th, looking east. 

A trail marker near Kincaid park, March 17th.

That same marker, March 31st. 

And finally, that same trail marker on May 6th.

Park benches, taken March 31st. 

Those same benches on May 6th. 
The melting snow resulting in a swamp that looks like something out of Lord of The Rings rather than a forested section in the middle of Anchorage. 

Hard to see perception, but about 2 feet of snow pack.  Like many trails in Anchorage it is groomed during the winter for skiing.  This confirms my estimates that I was running on 2-3 feet of snow pack all winter, perhaps more in some areas. 

Found this gem buried in my phone, taken on February 11th.  Looking southwest from the Coastal Trail.  This was actually taken exactly 1 week before the Little Su 50k.