The extended spell of 20 below temps finally broke in Bethel last week, putting a few runners out on the "road". We're still running on ice much of the way, and more slush and mud as this western Alaskan town starts to thaw out after six months of snow, ice and sub-zero temps. Bethel is land-locked (we have roads, but they don't connect us to any outside locations), with a main horseshoe road that's about half paved and half dirt and gravel, maybe 6 miles point to point. It used to be a loop, but a land dispute took the top off the loop (leaving the horseshoe). During the winter, however, a small lake at the top freezes over and, once the ice is a couple feet thick, the city grades it and we have a 6.5 mile loop until the road melts. That will be in another week or two.
In the meantime, during the brief spell when the temps rise into running range (above freezing for me) and before the road is once again aquatic, the loop is in play.
This week I ventured out Monday on the paved part of the loop for an out and back 4.1 miler (35 minutes), following up a pretty good previous week: LA Marathon on Sunday, runs of 5, 7 and 10 miles through Saturday after returning to 60 degrees north Bethel. Yesterday I ran the loop in an hour flat. My goal has been to keep my fitness at a high level post-marathon, unlike last summer, when my miles dropped to nothing after the Mayor's Marathon held during summer solstice in Anchorage. So far so good, but the right achilles tendon that has been sore for the last two months is going to need both rest and treatment at some point if I'm going to get to where I can keep the miles up without soreness.
Next race on the schedule is a variable: I'm signed for the Chicago Marathon in October, but need something between now and then (and travel & lodging for Chicago--not yet locked-in). Considering Lost Lake trail run or a half or full marathon within a reasonable flight distance (makes it tough, not being able to drive to any races). Suggestions for a June race welcome!