Friday, January 3, 2014

Just Wait Until Winter

What winter looks like along the Turnagain Arm. Gorgeous, yes?
The rumors are true. I've been neglecting my family to spend a scandalous amount of time with Newman.

Calm down. Newman is just a treadmill. And it isn't really neglect if you feed the kids eventually, right? A few mornings ago, I stumbled my way into running shorts at 6:00 to run 20 miles with Newman. The night before I gave the kids strict instructions: 1) sleep in like you've never slept in before, and 2) get your own breakfast. 

And you know what? It worked. When I came upstairs a bit before 9:00, two puffy-eyed bed-headed children looked up from their cereal bowls and cartoons to say good morning. Well, it wasn't so much good morning as it was, can we watch another show before you make us do responsibilities. Translated: We wish you'd run a bit longer, Mom. 

So anyway, we are all surviving my winter marathon training. The timing isn't my favorite--with mileage peaking at the most wonderful (coldest, busiest) time of the year, while the kids are on break from school and my time to run is limited by our need to sled, ski, skate and have All The Fun. But all this winter training will be worth it, if not merely for the accomplishment of 26.2, then for the fact that I get to attempt a BQ wearing shorts.


I've been doing all my best writing with Newman too. Which is unfortunate, since neither of us can take notes, and my memory is only slightly more advanced than his. (He can calculate pace and calories like a math whiz, but his creative writing skills need some work.) You'd be amazed at the deep thoughts that are dredged up during 160 minutes of running, once I get beyond the usual cursing and self-loathing.


When we first moved to Alaska, many people warned me to "just wait until winter!" in response to my gushing about how much we loved it here.

Well, I waited.

And I still love it.

Where else can you go snow tubing at the break of dawn? Where else can you watch a bowl game before the sun comes up? (I know, I know, the break of dawn isn't until 10 o'clock, but still....).

We celebrated winter solstice by spending every second of daylight outside skiing. You can fill up on just five hours of daylight. You really can.

Last week, I referred to 20 degree temps as "warming up" and took the kids to a sledding hill with more vertical drop than our old Ohio ski slope.
Our sledding "hill"
This week, I glimpsed Denali on the way to the library. 

Last night I cooked the salmon our neighbors gave us for Christmas (the fish they pulled straight from a net in the Kenai).

This morning I laced up my spiked trainers and ran 16 miles on a trail of packed snow.

And this afternoon was spent skating and playing pick-up hockey with friends on an outdoor ice rink at a neighborhood school.
So yes, just wait until winter. Because after just one gorgeous and snowy and cold Alaskan winter, you might never want to leave.


  1. HI!! I was so excited to see the Sabres jerseys!!!!! I'm from Buffalo!!!!

    1. Go Sabres! My husband is from Buffalo, hence the Sabres hockey sweaters! :-)

  2. You're right - winter can be wonderful, it is all what you make of it. We get more daylight here than you but there is still lots of snow and some crazy cold temperatures this year. But I recently did a couple of twilight runs that were simply beautiful. Personally, I think running could get boring if all year was warm and sunny.
    That said... I admit I wouldn't necessarily want to train for a marathon at this time of year!