Thursday, November 12, 2009

Running on snow and ice

Ahhh, well I've been running on snow and ice for about a week now. First snowfall on the lower hillside was Saturday and for the rest of Anchorage it was Sunday. Nothing like running on loose snow on top of ice to keep you on your feet. Pun intended. It will do nothing but get worse from here.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fall running in Alaska

Well, our wonderful summer has come to a close. Each day's run is met with falling yellow leaves and a "bite" in the air that reminds you winter is literally nipping at your heels. The mountains are about 40% covered with snow. Every week it will get a little bit lower down the mountains and then we'll be making snow angels for the next 7 months.

This time of the year the forest can smell a little rotten. I guess everything is dying out and the smell can be quite horrible. A wet, rotten dog is the best way to describe it.

Yesterday I went for around on a new trail. The trail isn't done yet, much to my dismay and I ended up running in the forest. Very eerie and spooky running in the woods. Every stump and fallen tree looks like a bear or a moose! The bears and moose can be cranky this time of year, so it's best to be very cautious when running in their backyard (so to speak). I had told myself I wasn't going to run in the forest any more because of the bears, but when the new trail ended it left with me nowhere else to really go. I'll try not to do it again.

Any one of my next blogs could definitely be about the "first" snowfall. Give me a freakin' break!!!

consecutive 100 mile/month streak is still alive and kicking

Let's see (I'm counting on my fingers and toes) I've got 31 months in a row with at least 100 miles in each of those months. After 3 more days of running I'll have month 32.

Monday, July 20, 2009

7.20.09 - King Salmon!

I was running along my normal Ship Creek route last week. Sometimes I look over at the creek, but most of the time I just keep my eye on the trail. Lately I've been taking glimpses into the creek. Last week I took a "looksy" at the creek and noticed giant King Salmon laying in the creek. This time a year the salmon are good and red, so much easier to see. Many of them were at least 24" in length and several were much more than that. It was quite a sight, as it always is! How many places in the world can you run on a paved path through the wilderness and see giant King Salmon swimming up a creek. Quite beautiful and amazing!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Taking a four day break from running. Got my 100 miles in on Saturday 6/27 (29 consecutive months). Couldn't run Monday thru Wednesday because of work. Nice break for the old legs.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

6.27.09 - beautiful day

Today was a beautiful, sunny day. It was about 67 and sunny. Just about perfect running weather. Today's 6 miler make it 100 miles for the month of June and my 29th month in a row with 100 miles.

I ran into the woods today. I've been quite cautious about doing that this year with all of the bear problems the past couple of years. I didn't go to far into the woods, but was quite cautious.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

6.10.09 - Brann, look out!!!

Wow, what an experience I had on Wednesday, 6/10/09. Never been quite so scared in 10 years of running in Alaska. Mind you, this is just two days after my post about not forgetting where I run (in Alaska!). Same moose standing next to the trail. I stop about 20 yards away. He stands up on the trail (length ways), probably to make himself look bigger or something. I wait a little bit and then he walks off the trail. As I watched him I then see another moose that is closer to me. He's just staring at me. Both are yearling bulls. Their mother probably just "kicked" them out to give birth to a calf. I stood around waiting to see what they were going to do. One kept his eye on me and the other just slowly walked along eating. As soon as I thought it was safe I gingerly began running again. Well, about that time the one that was staring at me decided to chase me. Luckily he was behind a fallen tree. As he was side stepping the fallen trees I began high stepping like Barry Sanders or Walter Payton. I was freakin' moving!!!! Then the other moose, that I was now approaching in a race for my life, decides he should chase me too! So now I've got two moose hot on my trail. I'm just running as fast as I can. I quickly peered over my shoulder a couple of times to see how soon I was going to get stomped and most likely die on the running trail. By the time the second moose got about 15 feet from me they both just stopped. Yeah!!!!!!!! A homeless guy on his bike came riding up and he saw pretty much the whole thing. We talked for a few minutes and then I took off. He was standing with his bike patiently waiting for the moose to move off the trail.

A few minutes later a bike rider came up behind me. I asked him if he had any moose problems and he said, "no, but I heard all about yours!". Word travels fast on the trails!

I saw the homeless guy later on down the trail after I turned around to head back and he said the moose finally moved off into Ship Creek (it would be considered a river in most other states).

I'm always very cautious around moose, but this encounter will keep me a little more honest from now on.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

6.8.09 Don't forget where you run Brann!

On Monday I was quickly reminded where I run everyday! It's easy to become complacent with my running. I run along the same trails on a daily basis listening to my iPod Shuffle when all of a sudden I happen to look up and see a young bull moose about 35 feet away. He's looking at me and I'm stunned and reminded of just where I am. He's got a river on one side and me on the other, so if he gets startled he's running right for me. Luckily he wasn't scared, he just stood there and stared at me!

When I ran back by about 10 minutes later he was standing on the edge of the running path. I can usually tell when a moose is a little jumpy and he looked fine, but I'm still not going to run 3 feet from a moose. I stopped about 15-20 away and watched him for a few minutes until he decided to mosey a few feet away from the trail. He was coming right at me as he was eating. He didn't seem to care that I was there, but he still looked every once in a while just to keep an eye me, as I was doing with him. Finally I ran by and everything was fine. This happens about 3 or 4 times a year.

It was a good reminder to remember that I run in the wilds of Alaska, even when I'm just yards away from the city. Give moose their space or they'll stomp you in the face (just made that up).

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Consecutive 100 mile/month streak still alive!!!!!!

The end of May saw my 28th straight month with at least 100 miles. I've been busting my hump every month to reach that goal. Not sure how long I can keep it going. I've always tried to do 100 miles a month. Sometimes it's a couple in a row, then an 85 or 90 mile month. I started this current streak, my longest ever, in February 2007. My previous streak was around 24 months. I think it was in 2001-03. The goal keeps me going even when I don't want to run, like when it's -10, cold, windy, and just plain nasty outside. The steak makes me get out there and do it anyway. I'm 6 miles into June!!!

Running back in Alaska - 6.2.09

I've been in Arizona for the past two weeks, so today was my first day running in Alaska since May 17th. I've been running in sunny AZ where it was in the 70's and 80's in the early morning. A bit warm, but REALLY nice.

I finally solved my shoe problem. Back to my favs, Salomons. The best shoes I've ever run in. They just make my feel feel goooooooood! Ran about 6 miles today. I could definitely tell a big difference in the humidity level here compared to AZ. It was about 10% in Tucson and roughly 55% here in Anchorage. Yuck! It wasn't all that warm (comparatively speaking), around 60 and mostly sunny. I think I got too used to the warm weather in Tucson. I was freezing my ass off today!!! After about a mile or so I warmed up though.

It's strange running through the desert where there aren't any large trees, just cactus and scrub brush. They have trees, but not like up here in AK. You can see everything in Arizona. Before I left for Arizona the leaves hadn't "popped" on the trees or bushes yet. Of course, now everything is blooming and all the trees have all of their leaves. I felt like I couldn't see anything. Felt like I was running through tunnels. Didn't like the feeling at all. I liked being able to see ahead of me and beside me. No worries of anything jumping out at me, like a freakin' bear!!!!!!! I've been running through Alaska for almost 10 years and I've never felt that way. Eight more years and I won't feel that way any more!

The only exciting thing that happened today was that a seagull almost pooped on me. I think he did it on purpose. When he saw me coming he scooted over to the middle of the trail, he was on a medal bar with a light on it that went across the top of the bridge, and let a big one go! Luckily it was breezy and it blew the opposite direction. HA!! Showed him...... :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Running has been quite rough lately. I've gone through several pairs of new shoes and can't find the right one. Blisters and severe pain in my legs have lead me back to my favorite brand and style shoes, Salomon! Can't wait until tomorrow to run in my new shoes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Check back on Wednesday night/Thursday morning for a new post.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

5.10.09 - Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms reading this blog (probably zero, but you never know)! Not sure what's going on with my body right now, but everything is sore. Quads, feet, calves, and lower back! It's all hurting. Picked up new shoes on Saturday at Skinny Raven. My first pair from there. Had to send back the new Salomons to Road Runner Sports. They were giving me a blister on my left foot. Hopefully things will get back to normal soon. All of the aches and pains are hard to run through at times. Now I've got blisters on both feet!!!!

I'm officially on BEAR watch now. All runs are subject to bear activity, so I have to be extra cautious and really pay attention. My daughter went to the zoo on Friday and saw bears and then saw wild bears trying to break into trash cans right before they got back to the school. It was a black bear sow and two cubs. It's the place I run through when I go running from the house on the weekends, so it's definitely time to keep an eye out for the bruins.

Monday, May 4, 2009

5.4.09 - What a difference a day makes!!

It was 72 degrees and very warm on Sunday. My run was interrupted by a painful blister. Going to have to return my new running shoes. :( Today it was much cooler and windy. When I went running at lunch today the temp was in the upper 40's and it was windy. The sun was shining, but yikes did it feel cold. It felt like it did about 3 weeks ago. Ran with old shoes and the blister was fine. Hoping Tuesday is a little warmer! Cheers!


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Awesome weekend in Alaska!!!

It was 72 degrees and sunny yesterday (Saturday May 2nd)! I didn't run either. It was too nice. I know that sounds strange, but it was nice just to hang out and enjoy the sun on the deck with the family. I'm definitely going to run today......


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

4.29.09 -- Beautiful day, but not so enjoyable of a run

Well, today was another stellar day. Sunny and in the 60's. Ran early today, so it was in the low to mid 40's. My run wasn't the best today b/c of a nagging blister on the bottom of my foot. That made the run uncomfortable. Plus, I had a meeting to get to so I was running fast to get my 100 miles in and make it to the meeting.

Taking the day off on Thursday, April 30th. Got my miles in and will now rest the blister. Will pick it up again on Friday, May 1st.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

4.28.09 -- What a beautiful day!

Well, today was a BEAUTIFUL spring day in Alaska. I almost put on a pair of shorts and I wish I would have! Low 50's and nothing but sunshine. I think the low 50's to 60 are some of the best temps to run in. I've run in temps from -22F to about 110F.

My "lunch" runs are done in the Ship Creek area of downtown Anchorage. This area of town has the highest number of homeless folks in Anchorage. I say that because I encounter many of these people on the trail. I run along the Ship Creek Trail. Of course, it runs along Ship Creek. During the summer months I can see huge King Salmon in the creek. What a sight to see as I run along the trail, watching the Kings splash and make their way up the creek (it's more like a river, but oh well). I'll write all about it this summer. There are also lots of bears around the creek, but fortunately I have yet to run into any! By August running along the creek is pretty disgusting. The rotting fish make for a horrific smell. It makes you gag! Okay, I got off track a little there. Much of the time the homeless folks I encounter at noon are highly inebriated. Today a man and woman were sitting on a bench along the trail. The lady says to me, "Hey jogger! Jog on man!" They're usually very friend. I've never had any problems, though I'm cautious b/c it is somewhat isolated from the road at times. With the business I'm in (Corrections) I know to keep my guard up. When I came back around they were "drunk necking" pretty good (I can't get the image out of my head! Yuck!!). She then asks me for a smoke! Sadly, I had to say no because I'm RUNNING you freakin' weirdo!

That's about it for today's excitement. Later.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Alaska running

I run at least 100 miles a month in the great state of Alaska. My goal is 100 miles/month and 1200 miles/year. I've been running for almost 10 years now and I love it. I use my lunch hour to run between 5 and 6 miles daily. I also run on the weekends when I have to, but prefer my "lunch" runs. Some runs are exciting, scary, and some are just plain boring. I will tell those stories on here. Some stories include running into moose, being chased by moose, and me chasing moose! You've never experienced the fear and excitement of running from a 1200 pound bull moose with an enormous rack of antlers (at least most of you haven't)! There's also the feeling that you're being watched by a bear! I live in Anchorage, near the Campbell Creek Science Center on the lower hillside. This area has a high concentration of bears. Last year there were two attacks. In fact, there was a highly publicized attack on a young girl; the exact area that I ran through less than 24 hours earlier. That was eerie....

I run outside all the time, no matter the weather. My bottom temperature is -20F. I've found that running in temps colder than that is just way too cold on the body. I grow a very full beard in the winter and during the cold runs it's usually covered with heavy layers of ice and frost. I know I have a picture someplace. I'll look for it to post.

Check back each day and I'll recount the day's run or tell of a story in the past 10 years Running through Alaska!