Thursday, April 03, 2008

Breakuping is hard to do

Date: April 3
Mileage: 30.1
April mileage: 60.1
Temperature: 41

I wasted a fair amount of time this morning moping around the house, gazing at my Karate Monkey and randomly making little adjustments on the bike. I felt like a kid who just received a brand new snowboard for her birthday ... in July. A coveted new toy and nowhere to ride it.

Every spring, every community in Alaska must endure the awkward transition known as "Breakup." Breakup is like the period between Christmastime Academy Award contenders and summer blockbusters when every movie you see feels like a barely-constitutional alternative to waterboarding. Or like the horrible year in junior high when even the cutest kids get braces and pimples and walk around looking like they've been slapped with a fugly stick. Basically, Breakup is when all the ice begins to melt and everything gets really sloppy. Winter activities become unappealing because the snowpack turns to messy slush, and summer activities are still impossible because everything is covered in messy slush. Nobody in Alaska really likes spring much. I don't really mind it, most of the time. I appreciate the longer daylight, and 41 and raining beats 31 and snaining any day ... and I think, if we Southeast Alaskans are really honest with ourselves, it's basically Breakup here year-round. But even I have days when I feel the walls closing in; this is the time of year I impulse-buy stuff. This is the time of year I mope.

I dragged myself out the door, finally, with a resolve to go for a hike. I stupidly picked the East Glacier Trail loop, which has a ton of stairs, reasoning that I could take the stairs up and the switchbacks down. But with all the newly-thawed waterfalls gushing over the trail, there was more steep, wet ice than I could deal with. I took a hard fall right on my back before I decided the trail was too treacherous to climb any higher. Then I had to inch my way down endless flights of ice-slicked stairs.

I tried to salvage the afternoon by going for a bike ride. But I had spent so much time cleaning my new bike after yesterday's ride ... I couldn't bear taking her out in the slop again. So I grabbed my creaky old Roadie, which I don't really bother to clean anymore, and rode grumpily along the glass-strewn gravel still coating the North Douglas Highway. I hit the headwind on the way home and tried to crank out some intervals, but my heart wasn't in it. I need something to train for.

Thursday nights are basically my "Saturday night," but Geoff is now only weeks away from his trip south, and is pinching pennies with surprising zeal. So we can't really go out any more unless I'm buying. He made this lasagna by mixing a can of tomato soup and tomato paste, then pouring it over flat noodles with a thin layer of peppers and a little Parmesan cheese. It was tasty ... but a little hobo dinner-esque (and totally my fault ... I was supposed to go shopping.) We watched this horrible quasi-musical movie on DVD (amazing the dregs of filmmaking that can be dredged up on Netflix.) The whole thing was funny, actually ... just an off day.

How many more months until winter?