The Chester Creek Trail was smothered in soft powder that had been stomped up by walkers, but the strenuous 5 mph grind suited me just fine. I didn't see many people out on this cold morning except for a Ukrainian woman who my friend Dan told me walks this trail all the time. He also told me she doesn't like bikers. Sure enough, she waved me down to yell at me for "wrecking" the trail. It was laugh-out-loud humorous, actually, given I was pressing nice, smooth track over the snow as she made shin-deep craters. That's one thing about Anchorage I've noticed ... anti-bike sentiment seems to permeate rational thought, whether it involves commuting or trail use. But it was too beautiful of a morning to get worked up over it:
Maybe it's the heat. I have been struggling this week to plod back into a routine. But on a positive note, I landed some part-time work while I was in Alaska. When I visited Homer last month, a former boss of mine, Carey, offered me an opportunity to pick up some contract work with her current employer, Report Alaska. The small media company produces weekly newspapers for rural Alaska villages, and Carey needed someone to help lay out and copy edit the Bristol Bay Times (Dillingham) and Arctic Sounder (Barrow.) It seemed like an ideal fit for me — something I can do from my home in California, but stay connected to Alaska journalism.
Work started this week at the bottom of the learning curve, without a lifeline. On Tuesday morning, I made a grave error with the file sharing that resulted in *all* files being deleted from the server. That alone should have gotten me fired on the spot, but luckily they had ready backups in place as I was not the first person to make this mistake ("you're actually the third or fourth," Carey told me.) After that I was chained to my laptop for the better part of fourteen hours, re-teaching myself skills I haven't used in three years, for newspapers I'd never even read before this week. Once I get around the learning curve, my workflow should move faster, and it will be fun to spend two days a week working with people in a "newsroom" of sorts once again (never mind we're spread out from California to Texas to Homer to Anchorage to Kotzebue.) And I have to laugh at the concept of doing virtually the same thing with the same editor I worked for seven years and a veritable lifetime of experiences ago. Life can be cyclical like that.
|An image I just found from last month's Homer Epic 100K. There was *some* running involved. Photo by Don Pitcher.|
So I run. I finally broke the 8-mile barrier today and found that I started to feel much better and move faster in the final miles. Maybe I'm just in ultra-long-distance-endurance shape right now, that level of slow-burn fitness where it takes me an hour just to warm up. If that's the case, I guess it's not a bad place to be.