The weather has been a little bit of an issue these days in Alaska and I guess now in the lower 48. Stuck in Gambell due to a storm blowing in the region I took this picture of a village dog taking a break from the wind before the storm became much worse.

Prior to this village trip we were in Arizona and 70 degrees over the New Year. It was really strange putting on only one layer of clothes and go outside for a run unconcerned about what the weather will do while I'm out. I admit I was not all that excited about leaving Nome to fly to Arizona, the flights with a 1 year old were daunting, but the nice welcome from the in laws and the warm weather were a real treat and made the 14-hour-multi-leg-crammed-in-the-middle-seat-overnight flights worthwhile. Thank God for mommy.

In some ways Arizona felt like spring training since I was able to spend a nice portion of time each day for my workout. The focus of my training has been core strength without stresses on the joints hence my revisit to the swimming demons of years past. It's not simply for the invitational in 2 months but also for the Yukon 1000, which is actually still up in the air as I've had no serious takers for a partner (solo not allowed). The pool in Scottsdale was an awesome outdoor Olympic size 50 meter. I ended up cranking out 5km high octane interval workouts by the time I left and swam 40km in a little over a week. For some reason it was addicting(-ingly) fun..... which is a strange feeling since I was a serious college burnout from competitive swimming. I suppose 13 years was just enough time to get reacquainted.

Lately, I question whether my knees are up to the task of this bike race coming up in March. It's interesting how we tend to disillusion ourselves into forgetting much of the pain of an event. Already I have to think hard or read my past excerpts on last winters bike race to remember, "oh yeah I really was in pain." This led me some deep moments of reflective clarity and it is amazing what the mind forgets, no.. rephrase... what the mind wants to forget. I think it's safe to say the ITB knee injury and hypoanatremia were the only time injury prevented me from continuing but that's not even true as I had a shoulder injury that was re injured from kayaking during a Nome - Unalakleet attempt. I ended up in Elim barely able to lift my left arm. I finished a few weeks later but then re injured it in the middle of a 10 mile crossing during a frightful squall. This was followed by a sudden memory of lying in a tent on the shores up to Barrow when my arms were paralyzed hours on end from swollen deltoids, lats, etc... yeah time to stop reflecting.