Post Holiday Let Down

I am suffering from the dreaded post holiday let down.  How can you go from tropical beautiful Hawaii back to a still transitioning from winter Alaska with out going through withdrawl?

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Mountain to Ocean view…

I left that, to come home to this…..A grey wasteland

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Time to get to get back to real life.  The semester for me is all done, just a few grades left then the freedom of summer at least for 3 weeks until summer session starts. I am taking this time to focus on my running.

I had a great run last night, it was short, 4 miles, but I was really able to work on my pace.  Prior to my injury I was running sub 10 and in January of this year I was running about 12:35.  Well I have been working hard on my stand alone runs and have been able to consistently run right at 10:45. So I have made progress.  By the end of the season I hope to be able to get back to at least a round 10:00 per mile.  Its going to take a lot of hard work. And the 10 pounds lost so far have been a big help I am sure.

I have one big goal race in October, Beach to Battleship Ironman and one additional goal of getting in an ultra somewhere.  A suggestion from friend, Tasha, has me looking at the Tunnel Hill 100 in October, but dang why does it have to be the weekend after Ironman?  I guess the search goes on to find a good friendly 50, 100 or even another 24 hour race to fill out my schedule.  Do to conflict I will not be able to attend the North Coast 24 hour endurance run again this year.

I am inspired to run. My Girls on the Run ladies are awesome and inspire me every day to keep going.  These young ladies give it their all each practice and that makes my heart happy. I wish so much that I had a program like that when I was that age.  We had a fund raiser for GOTR in conjunction with our 5K Run for Respect and I was amazed at how many came to run our race.  The community here is strong and giving.

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This amazing young volunteer gave high 5’s to everyone!

I have my first Alaska Triathlon this weekend.  I am hoping all my hard work has paid off and I can better my time from last year by 5 minutes. That is my goal. Five minutes, I think thats doable.  I guess we will find out and I will report back 🙂

 

Sonot Kkaazoot !

Sonot Kkaazoot, which is Athabascan for “springtime” and “to slide your feet across the snow” was today, WOOT!

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This is our annual ski marathon.  With multiple distances from 20-50 kilometers it really brings a large gathering from the community. From junior nordics to 80 years old  Its an amazing time.  As part of the race committee I was there all day, from start to finish.

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I decided to dress warm for all the standing around, even though the temps were around 40.  I went with the traditional Sonot Official Orange and my INKnBURN Ryu pullover to complete the orange power look.  It was a perfect combo and I was warm all day long.

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The skiers were off on a very soft course.  And as the signs say, the ice was thin.  I saw two people punch through the thin ice on the Chena River.  Maybe next year we need bigger signs.

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It’s not hard, just read the sign

The 20K skiers are fast and furious on the return!  Then trickle in the 40K and 50K skiers.  In some spots there were at least 6 inches of overflow water on parts of the course.  We had to re-route around those areas as best we could.  All skiers finished and were accounted for.  My sister Susan was the sweeper this year. She has skied each and every Sonot 50K, she is an animal!  Even our 80 year old participant int he 50k finished strong and with a smile.

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I have some amazing photos of finishers, but in order to preserve privacy of our younger participants I will not post them. Look for updates on the Sonot webpage or the Fairbanks Daily News Miner!

It was an amazing day. I got to see lots of friends and lots of people I only see once or twice a year during ski season.

Until next year!  Now its time for winter break up and spring!

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Quick Dinner…

This is my favourite easy and inexpensive quick dinner.  Its also a great way to use up all the left over veggies I often find creeping around the crisper drawer.  Chicken Smoked Sausage and veggies over red beans and rice.

I really like the chicken version of the smoked sausage…we all know the brand that comes in the distinctive u-shaped shaped package.  The chicken version is lower in fat and I think it has a better taste. It also browns nicer with a lot less fat left in the pan. Which I hate, it makes all my veggies slimey.  YUCK.  Turkey version is also good if you can find it.

First off, I chop everything up nice and pretty.  Today I had some of those mini sweet peppers, cremini mushrooms, broccoli, white onion and chopped garlic

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all chopped and ready to go!

I then lightly stir fry all the veggies. I like to use my “half” wok for this. It gives me lots of room and its a lot less bulky than my full on wok.

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sizzle…sizzle

I then remove the veggies and lightly brown the chicken smoked sausage. And then all the kids get back in the pool!

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now season to taste!

I like to then serve this over red beans and rice or just white or brown rice.  Tonight I had red beans and brown rice!  I also like to add some hot sauce at the very end.  I prefer to add a jalapeno in with the bell peppers, but I didn’t have any on hand.  I like Mexican hot sauce, sriracha, or Korean hot pepper paste. Tonight sriracha won.

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eat me!

This is quick and easy and can take a little as 15 minutes to prepare.  The longest part is waiting for the rice to cook. For emergencies I often have a bag or two of the frozen steamer bags, which take about 3 minutes to heat. Or you can forgo the rice and just eat as is or wrapped in a low carb tortilla.  It has a good mix of protein and fiber and is really filling. One sausage easily will last me two big meals or one big meal and two lunches. This is my go to dinner for nights I have running club. I come home cold, tired, and starving.  This warm savory dish is perfect to recharging the batteries.

 

Spring Break!!!!

As my friend T. would say, Sweet Baby Cthulhu, its Spring Break Week. Heading into the tail end of the week we got a day off, WOOT.  So not only as a student did I get a break from class but as a Uni employee I got Friday off!  So instead of sleeping in and drinking my weight in coffee, I hauled my tail to my office anyway. Time to catch up on all of the homework that I have been avoiding for weeks.  Deadlines ticking in the background, I had to put my nose down and actually do the work.

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relax….it will be okay

Whew, this class is harder than I thought it would be.  Advanced International Macro Economics.  I have a great professor thankfully who is super organized and expectations and due dates are clearly outlined.  If not for this and the fact she is in tune with the progress of the class I am not sure I would be able to make it through. I spent all day reviewing the lectures, which I took weeks ago, and finished my questions.  Whew. I do think that I understand it better now.

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WOOT, I am done baby!

To celebrate my completion of the long over due homework I took a stroll around campus.  It warmed up nicely from the -17 in the am to a brisk 24 (above) by 3 pm.  I so love the view from the West Ridge of Campus.  I totally love our campus. Its small but amazing in a lot of ways. When the sky is clear you can see the Alaska Range behind me and there are amazing ski trails right behind my office. What more could you want. As I walk around our campus I can only think about our future.

As a student and employee of the University of Alaska I feel very protective of our institution, from Juneau-Anchorage-Fairbanks-Rural sites.  Right now we are at a crucial time.  The State of Alaska is cutting our funding putting world class education at jeopardy. World class instruction and training are more important than ever in our geographically isolated state.  Not to mention the impact it has on jobs, the community, and beyond.  It is time to speak up to our representative and let them know how important our University system is to the state, not just in our 3 main locations but all of the rural sites that we serve!  We all want to do our part to balance to State budget, but we can’t destroy the systems that we have.  Alaska is isolated enough as it is, cutting off our main avenue of Higher Education and Occupational training is crazy. As the oil field go idle with this low oil prices, occupational re-training is going to be essential to the continued economic growth of our beautiful state. (These are my opinions, not the University of Alaska)

I urge you to visit The Alaska State Legislature to find your local representative or make a general testimony and voice your opinion on the value of the University of Alaska and higher education and training.

 

 

Beware the Ides of March.

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Today may not have been a great day for the mighty Caesar but around here its a pretty good day.  I may even have a Caesar Salad and I promise to not stab the dressing in the back in frustration when I can’t get the darn safety seal off!  Not only the Ides of March but St. Patricks day is also coming up. This week is coming up green.

Another bright spot is that it snowed!  Well….okay maybe it was just a skiff but it gives me hope that we just maybe will get one more good snow before it all melts away.

St. Patty’s run is this weekend but its going to be way to cold for me to wear my new awesome INKnBurn Lucky Charms 2 skirt. I might just wear it anyways over a pair of fleece tights because its so awesome.  I will just have to dig out a green pullover to finish off the look and a hat, some kind of awesome hat.

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So Green and awesome!

It is also an amazing week here at work.  Arctic Science Summit Week 2016 is being hosted here at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  Hundreds of amazing Arctic Researchers, NGO’s, Industry, Government, and academia, from all over the globe are here along with the Arctic Council Senior Officials meeting.  The whole campus is abuzz with excitement! Even our former fearless leader came from Vienna to participate in this incredible collaborative summit.

It is ramping up to be extremely busy and I am trying to get ahead of everything in the  next three weeks before I leave for Kona!  I cannot wait to enjoy the sun and tropical island.  Midterms are next week and the Sonot Ski Marathon is the weekend after that. Whew a lot is going on and time management is killing  me right now.

Ive been good about keeping the workouts in other than swimming.  The pool schedule here is too crazy over spring break for me to manage. And indoor cycling gets harder and harder.  Being in San Diego last month really made to long for being out on the open road with my trusty Wendy (my Cervelo P2).

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one hour feels like ten

 

Thankfully I have Friday off to catch up on school and midterm work….And I hope to get in at least one long run this week!