I realise it’s been far too long since my last post, I have been caught up in the enthusiasm and infectious nature that 24 hours of near constant sunlight brings and all the activities and possibilities that come along with it! Suddenly there are very few limits on what you can achieve in a day because a day lasts almost as long as you’d like it to. After dinner if you want to go for a 3-hour hike, you can! There is no darkness to contend with. Since my last blog so much has happened and it might take a bit to recap it all! So keep that in mind because this is a rather picture filled blog!
Spring started really well and the training was really successful, I got in a lot of good quality sessions and was really feeling strong. I rejoined training with APU and fell in step with their training regime. Early on the bulk of the training is distance work and more specifically, running in the mountains.
In June my family came over to visit for a few weeks which was awesome but a little bit of a juggling act. Trying to do all these awesome trips with them and train was a little challenging at times but worth it. They really got to see a lot of Alaska. We did a 4-day kayak trip on Prince William Sound, one of the most pristine wilderness areas on the Alaskan coast. Kayaking past glaciers and seeing bears, otters, seals and whales made for a picturesque trip. We also went on multiple camping trips, a few fishing trips, plus a whole lot of hiking.
I think they had a pretty great time and hopefully they’ll be back soon!
After they left it did take me a little while to find the training groove again. I just wasn’t quite used to the routine again and I was definitely a little tired.
Alaska however really turned it on this summer. It was so hot and sunny, it’s one of Alaska hottest summers ever recorded and there have been some bad fires close to town. Realistically, it’s not great for the climate, but on the plus side it has made training very easy and enjoyable to get out into the beautiful weather, and I got my best tan in quite a few years. #bronzed. Sadly, further north there is so little sea ice that there are some really sad reports of polar bears starving to death because they have lost all their hunting grounds.
I have jumped in a few mountain races this summer and suffered hugely in both. I guess I’m not quite made out for the continual uphill grind for an hour just yet. The rolling trail races seem to be much more my style. Still it’s been a lot of fun and a great workout each time.
This year I’ll admit running in the mountains has been a little tougher on me than usual. I have had a bruised foot on and off for months and I perhaps am not quite as light as I have been in the past. This year I have put a lot of focus on improving my double polling and I think I have put on a little weight, which just doesn’t help when you are trying to chase mountain goats up a peak and you feel like a hippo. It’s not something I’m too worried about though. I think as winter approaches I will be really able to sharpen up a lot more and get leaner.
One of the best parts about the Alaskan summer is the endless sunshine but the danger is in doing too much. I have definitely over done it a few times and gone out fishing thinking I wouldn’t be out for too long and then end up walking back to my tent or getting home at 1:00am or even later. Still, the late nights have been worth it and I have a lot of fun fishing and having adventures in the Alaskan wilderness. I really have enjoyed being able to mentally unwind and forget everything apart from how I’m going to catch a fish. There is something extremely peaceful about just standing in a river fishing.
A number of people have asked if I will return to Australia for any of this winter or at all this year. At this stage I hope not to. I plan on being in the US for most of the year until heading to Europe to compete this season.
I am approaching the end of a very long training block and this next week will be my first recovery week in a quite some time. Everyone is pretty tired and blown out from some big training workloads. I think I will take the first few days really easy in the week and then you might find me with my fly rod searching for the elusive Alaskan Salmon out on the river somewhere.
Train hard, rest easy, live for the moment.