Meet Matthias, Maren's new bunny. He was rescued out of a live trap after the trap's owner failed to check it. Maren rescued him the first time and now again. He escaped out of his hutch and had a 24-hour adventure. Maren lured him back with lettuce and netted him right up. She is so happy he is back.
Sadie started school at the Raven Kindergarten today. It was a"sunny but chilly" morning and the kids picked carrots and raspberries and took care of the rabbits. She said her first day was "super good" and she asked if she could stay for lunch. She really likes her teacher Franny and we had a lovely reunion after her being away at school for 4 hours. She even asked me how my day was.
While picking high bush cranberries with a bunch of kids Sunday, I noticed Sadie of on her own, crouch low in the bushes. She kept looking around to see if anyone was noticing her, very sneakily. She finally approached me to share what she was up to. She made me promise not to tell the other kids...
"Doubly happy, however, is the man to whom lofty mountain tops are within reach." ~John Muir
I climbed 16,000 feet today, covering the North Face Trail at Alyeska EIGHT times. It kicked my ass. Endurance is one thing, but throw a TON of climbing into the 8.5 hours of movement and you have a very different beast. The trail is only 2.2 miles long and one climbs 2,000 feet over that seemingly short distance.
After a runnable section of dirt road, the trail becomes single track and steep. It wasn't until the 5th lap that I realized how steep it really was.
It "flattens" out a bit, for a short time and the trail winds through a meadowy, boggy, wet section. As the laps went on it, I looked at the 2.2 miles in sections and this section was always runnable for me, but after 6 laps, it actually became a challenge to lift my leg onto the plank.
Here began the torture chamber of the trail. Just steep, punishing climbing. Up and up and up, step after step. It was head down, don't look up. Breathing hard, panting, pain.
The views were rewarding. It was a gorgeous autumn day.
"Catch the tram, catch the tram!" Being a climbathon, your way down was by tram. The first few laps of the race had me racing for the tram. It wasn't long before I welcomed the time in between laps (10-15 minutes) for rest. Funny how the trail became longer and the tram ride shorter.
The switchbacks at the top were the best. I was so damn happy to reach them every time. It meant the grade of the trail was less and the top was within reach.
This is where I was headed, my destination to a free ride down. It became a bit of a love/ hate relationship. I was happy to get there, but soon realized that it only took me down to the bottom to start all over again.
This is the check in table where the recorded your laps on a huge poster. I was able to run the steps up to this lady every time, so happy to see her for another tally mark next to my name.
This is what happy looks like, 8 climbs done. I have a new respect for climbing. Chimera has 22,000 feet of climbing. I covered 16,000 feet today in almost 17 miles. I felt GREAT satisfaction in that accomplishment. I'm working toward 22,000 in 100 miles- the ultimate union of endurance and climbing.
I gave an old route a new name this week. I tour of Arctic Valley is now known as the "Arctic Lollipop." I popped straight up from the parking lot and headed for the peak above- Gordon Lyon.
I ran down and across this saddle, heading up to...
Rendezvous Peak. This was the morning of the big storm and so the winds were beginning to pick up. The rain stayed away but running into the wind slowed me down a bit.
Coming down from Rendezvous, I headed out the ridge above the South Fork Eagle River Valley and the Ship Creek Valley. This was the lollipop stick portion of the route- an out and back.
Once back at the base of the lollipop or Rendezvous, I headed down the long descent from the ski area ridge. A challenging route: 3 climbs up to the military road, up Gordon Lyon and up Rendezvous; 3 downhills and a lengthy rolling ridgeline. I likey.
It's been a good first week back to running after a month long rest post -Res Pass. I ran a couple of hour + runs last weekend and then began the week with my first Arctic Valley Road run. I completed the Arctic Lollipop on Tuesday. Thursday I did a morning Crossfit workout with the ladies and ended the day with a fabulous 2.5 hour Epic run to Rusty Point. Tomorrow I head into the Climbathon: a 10 hour race to climb 2,000 ft of the North Face Trail as many times as I can. I feel rested, excited to run and my feet are pretty happy. Climb on!