Half Marathons · Running in Anchorage · Training

Running Scavenger Hunt: It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Hi everyone!  I’ve got lots to talk about today.  First of all, I’m still incredibly thankful for everyone who participated in my Solstice Sprint Virtual 5k on Sunday!  There were 15 runners that recorded their times and I think it’s awesome that so many of you joined me in my quest to get outside on the shortest day of the year!  I wish everyone could win a Black Diamond headlamp but unfortunately only one can win.  And the winner is…

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Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama!  Yay!  I’m sending you an email and I’ll have your prize shipped out to you soon…but probably not until after Christmas since I’m not going anywhere near a post office this week!

IMG_3692I’m pretty jealous of this prize…seriously hoping that Santa brings me one of these!

In other news, I started my Zion Half Marathon training on Monday!  Woohoo!  More info on this later, but there are two things I’m going to do this time that I haven’t done with any other half marathon: 1. I’m using the training plan that is being sent to me by the race and the workouts are in minutes instead of miles!  Which is honestly pretty strange but hey, I’ll try it!  2. I’m going to be writing a weekly training recap each week on Mondays!  I think it will be a great way for me to stay accountable and follow my plan because I do not want to write that I skipped every run.  And after my last two half marathons I really need to make it to this race feeling strong and able to finish strong!

And since half marathon training is pretty tough, I’ve decided to do something to keep me focused on the fun things during my holiday training runs!  You may have noticed that over the summer Amy from Let’s Go Running posted a few running scavenger hunts.  I was always bummed I couldn’t participate in them because Seward has literally nothing on a normal scavenger hunt (Traffic lights?  Yeah right!) so I created my own Alaskan running scavenger hunt!  And then Amy actually went ahead and tried it herself (and did awesome!  I was dying over those pictures!).  So for the holiday season, we decided to team up and host a holiday-themed running scavenger hunt named “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas”!  We have until New Year’s Eve to find all of the holiday-themed items on our runs:

ChristmasHuntListThanks Amy for making this beautiful list!

Surprisingly, I’ve found a bunch of these in last two days!  And since we’ve been planning this all weekend, I’m going to go ahead and count this stuff!

1. Snow (it’s in all my running pictures now) and 2. A Christmas Tree in the same picture!

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And 3. Santa and 4. A Snowman on the same house.

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I saw lots of #5 along the trail – nothing crazy, but I do appreciate some lights!

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And I felt like a super stalker doing this one but when I saw #6 running by me I had to stop and take a pic of her green shirt (on the right)!

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As for #7 and #8, I doubt I will find those in Alaska – people barely decorate for holidays so I won’t see any out of season decorations, and if I see someone in shorts I will drop dead from shock.  I know people are hardcore here, but most people are not dumb enough to wear shorts in 25 degree weather on a windy coastal trail.  Although I do have until New Years to see if I can spot any crazies out there!

Want to hear the best part?  We want everyone to join us!  If you see any of these things on your runs between now and New Year’s Eve, we’d love you to tell us all about it!  Feel free to write your own post and link back to us so that we can check out your pictures.  Have fun!

Have you ever trained with a time-based plan instead of mileage-based?  Do you see any of these holiday-themed things on your daily runs?

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27 thoughts on “Running Scavenger Hunt: It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

  1. I’ll give it a shot though I rarely run with my phone to take pics. Sounds fun! As far as a training plan based on minutes, my first few training plans for halfs were based on minutes. I think it was helpful because I learned to run at a pace I could keep for that length of time vs wearing myself out to get to a certain mileage. The plan I had would say run for 45 min or 4-5 miles. I’d always follow the time because I couldn’t get to 5 miles in 45 min.

    1. Okay that is a really good point about minutes vs. milage. I definitely take longer than the average person to get to 6 miles, but if they tell me to run for an hour instead I’ll just get 5 point something done and have run for the same amount of time as everyone else. I’m hoping this will help me get a better handle on my pacing while running!

    1. Haha what is wrong with people? No need to have exposed legs when it’s below freezing! I’m now wondering if I’ll be able to find some too – my friend from Alaska texted me that he runs in shorts so I guess I really might have a picture soon!

  2. ever since your Alaskan scavenger hunt I’ve been seeing moose all over the place – not REAL moose in PA, but fake ones… in people’s yards. Anyways, there is this one that is HUGE – probably the size of a real moose and just recently the people covered it with white lights and gave it a red nose! It is cracking me up everyday. I’ve really been wanting to get a picture but it’s in a difficult spot on my ride home.

    1. Haha what!? That’s awesome! People here don’t have fake moose in their yards because it would probably cause a traffic jam (they really are in people’s yards sometimes!). I’m so glad they decorated him for the holidays!

  3. I’m going to keep my eyes peeled for your list! You’re running a race in Utah! Zion is such a beautiful place. So pretty! And Angel’s landing is the hike to do – if your legs cooperate after the race.

    1. Yes I am!!!! I’ve been wanting to ask you about Utah and how Zion will be in March. We’re thinking about going over to Bryce Canyon too – we’ll be in southern Utah for a week if you have any must-do suggestions! And believe it or not, the Zion Half has a special challenge for half marathon runners: if they hike Angel’s Landing within the 48 hours after the race and take a picture with their bib/race medal at the top and share it with the organizers they get 50% registration for next year! I doubt I’ll go back next year but I really want to see if I can do it! Although I know it sounds pretty rough 🙂

  4. I used a time-based plan when I was training for my half marathon back in the fall… or at least I broke up my long runs by time instead of mileage. It seemed to work pretty well for me… knowing I only had to run for x more minutes seemed way more doable than knowing I had to run for x more miles before a break 🙂

    1. Oh that is so true! I do this thing in my head now where when I have a mile left I’m like “only 10 more minutes, you can do it” and then I remember that my pace is over 10 minutes per mile. It definitely affects me mentally when I need a final push! So I’m hoping this will make it easier for me to keep going until the end. Glad it worked well for you! It felt weird to stop .25 miles from a round mile number but I also liked that I could tell exactly how long my run was going to be!

  5. I saw someone ice skating in shorts yesterday – wish I’d already been working on the scavenger hunt! My must-see recommendation for Southern Utah is Goblin Valley. We went on a week-long road-trip through Southern Utah this past summer and that was everyone’s favorite stop.

  6. That’s cool that the Zion race sends you a training program! I’ve heard of some coaches training based off of minutes rather than miles, so I’m interested to hear how it works out for you & looking forward to your weekly recaps 🙂
    Merry Christmas!

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