Hi everyone! I’m so excited about this post because it’s about a pretty awesome event. Remember your first run ever? Your first race of each distance? Or your first run in your current city? I do, and I think as a runner it’s so important to remember those crazy moments in your running history. And I’m very excited to report that on Tuesday I went out for my first run in Anchorage! Yes, technically I ran here in July during the Her Tern Half Marathon, but that was the kind of run that involved no thinking about a course and some protection from moose/bears due to the amount of people running. On Tuesday, it was my chance to finally discover what a typical run will be like here in Anchorage!
After trying to pick a running route out of the crazy amount of trails here in Anchorage, I decided to go with the Chester Creek Trail starting at the Valley of the Moon Park. It’s a 45 second drive away from our apartment which means it will definitely be walking distance as long as the weather is good! It was 43 degrees and the sun was setting (we’re losing 6 minutes of sunlight a day!), so I chose to wear long, thin leggings and a fleece-lined shirt with gloves and an ear warmer. It was the perfect outfit because I didn’t feel too hot or cold. There were a lot of other people on the trail, and they were all wearing different things – some wore t-shirts but most wore long sleeves or even coats!
It was hard getting myself out the door for this run – not only had I not run in a week, but I was pretty scared to run alone for the first time in bear and moose country. My supervisor wears bells on her shoes when she runs alone, but I don’t have anything like that! But I sucked it up and got myself out the door anyways. I thought it was perfect running weather and my body really loved not feeling overheated after weeks in the Lower 48. The first mile was along a busy section of the trail and there were a lot of other runners/cyclists, so I felt pretty comfortable about the wildlife situation. There were tons of turn offs on the trail, and I’m sure I could spend months exploring where each one goes! But for now I stuck to the main trail. Mile 2 was spent running along a more secluded section of the trail and it was seriously the best feeling ever to be running through the woods alone, with a perfect view of the snow-covered mountains and falling leaves. It was the first time in a long time where I felt myself totally enjoying my run without any worries about training, pacing, weather, etc. It was the best feeling ever! And it finally hit me that this is where I live and I’m so excited that I get to run here whenever I want!
I finished my 3 mile run with one of my fastest mile times in a while and a lot of excitement about running in Anchorage! Yeah, I’m going to run into some bears and moose while running. But I didn’t do it on Tuesday, so I’m just going to keep running with wildlife awareness (although bears should be asleep soon!) and hope that they stay far away from the Chester Creek Trail! I think this will be one of my go-to running routes for a while, and I’m so excited to see how beautiful this trail will be in the winter.
Bonus picture: on the way home the sun was setting and we had some serious alpenglow on the mountains! It’s when the pink colors of the sunset show up in the snow on the mountains and it looks beautiful. I didn’t have the chance to get a picture of it until we got back to our apartment, and this doesn’t do it justice. But since I’m sure you’ll see much better pictures in the future, I’ll leave you with this:
Can you remember the first run you did in your current city? What things do you love/hate about running there? Anyone else have to worry about moose all winter long?