HIking · Living in Alaska · Running · Weekend

The Perfect Holiday Weekend

Hi everyone!  I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend!  Mine was pretty epic, starting with the biggest holiday of the whole year: my birthday!  It was on Thursday and I managed to flex my hours last week so that I only had to work half the day.  I spent the extra time in the morning going for my usual birthday run.  I was so worried that my injury would keep me from getting to run this year, so I was really happy that I was pain free on my birthday!

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Each year I try to run my birthday year (2.9 miles for 29 years) and this year I knew I couldn’t run the whole 2.9 miles.  So I walked most of the beginning, did 4/1 intervals in the middle, and walked more at the end.  I chose to do it all on the Coastal Trail (aka my favorite running trail on earth) and I had a blast out there!  Then I followed it with coffee and cookies with my coworker, and a birthday pizza for dinner with my friends.  The restaurant actually put candles in my pizza for me!

I took Friday off, and spent the day sleeping in, eating day-late birthday pancakes, and relaxing.  We also took Ridley for his first “hike” ever.  It was probably half a mile and totally flat, but so adorable!

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Saturday was a huge day for us:  we went on our first major hike in almost a year!  Our friends wanted to do Reed Lakes, which is approximately 9 miles in Hatcher Pass.  We knew it would be an all day affair, but we didn’t know what to do with Ridley for that long. So we came up with a solution: put him in our backpack!  And it worked!  Ridley walked a bit of the flat portions, but he rode in the backpack for most of it.  I think he liked seeing and smelling so many new things from up in the air.

The trail was absolutely gorgeous but also really tough for me because I haven’t hiked a trial like that in so long.  About a mile of the trail was entirely made up of bouldering.  Bouldering is fun for me in very small amounts, but I was so tired and kept slipping and falling during this portion of the hike so I hated it.  It was worth all the work though, because Lower Reed Lake was so beautiful!

 

And check out Archangel Valley.  I love this place!  You might remember me skiing through here last winter, but I think it’s just as pretty in the summer!

Sunday was spent recovering, but on the 4th of July I actually went out for another hike!  Every year, I watch the Mt. Marathon race in Seward, AK on TV and get way too inspired by the super fast mountain runners running the craziest trail in Alaska (and probably the US).  There was a new course record this year, and I was just totally amazed by how fast the racers are on such a treacherous mountain (remember when I hiked it a few years ago?).  So my response was to go hike up a mountain with my friend!  We did Little O’Malley, which is a relatively “small” mountain about 20 minutes from my house.  It was short but steep (just like Mt. Marathon!) and even though I had to take a ton of breaks up the mountain I had a blast hiking up to the top!  The peak was up in the clouds and the views were awesome.  Plus, someone wrote “USA” in the snow at the top which just added to the fun holiday vibe of the hike.

The trail only took us 3 hours to do, and we actually didn’t feel sore or too tired afterwards.  We’re now thinking we need to start hiking this mountain after work once a week so we can get really good at climbing fast and descending even faster.  I’m afraid of falling on the downhill on trails this steep, but I’m planning on getting just as comfortable with it as the runners of Mt. Marathon!

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What did you do this holiday weekend?  What silly thing do you do to celebrate your birthday?

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17 thoughts on “The Perfect Holiday Weekend

  1. Belated happy birthday!
    I don’t want to sound daft, but what holiday weekend? Did the summer term already start in the USA?
    Here summer holidays start at the end of July and ends early September.
    As for birthdays, I didn’t do anything but being lazy at home!
    I use to go for a early Christmas run ever year, as I like the peaceful streets. Unfortunately last year I couldn’t, as the weather was horrible!

  2. Oh wow, that looks like the most amazing weekend! So jealous that Ridley would stay in a backpack! None of mine would ever put up with that! I had this hammock type thing I used to carry Chester around in towards the end, and he was good in that, although he made it clear that he wanted to walk some, too.

    Congrats on a pain free birthday run, too! I usually pamper myself on my birthday. It’s hurt or miss whether i run, it all just depends on my current training schedule. And how much snow we have, as my birthday is in the worst month of the winter (february, if you were wondering).

    1. Well to be fair, he whined half the time. But he whines half the time when he’s at home too, so I called it a win. He only struggled to get out like 10 times in 6 hours which was good, and we gave him quite a few times where he could run around off leash on the tundra and he had a blast. There are no bears up in that part of the mountains so we really wanted to let him have fun!

      1. 🙂 I’m not sure I’d trust even Lola off leash — definitely not Bandit yet!

        Lola whined something awful when we first got her; seriously, I wanted to slap her. She doesn’t do it much anymore. So far Bandit doesn’t.

        Pretty much the only time Chester ever whined was when we got wherever we were going to in a car — didn’t matter where it was — vet, park, my parents — he always whined when we got there. I tried to get video of it but he always stopped when I whipped out the ipod!

    1. I’m totally with you! I usually do the flat hikes near both of the ones I did this weekend, but sometimes it’s really fun to get up on a ridge line and walk in the clouds. Scree scares me a lot but I’m trying to conquer that fear because it’s on every mountain!

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