Fall came… for a week

Fall was here in Anchorage… for a little bit!

I guess technically it is still here, as there is no snow on the ground and winter technically begins December 21st, but it is getting quite cold here and I have started parking my car in the garage again to prevent having to use the ice scrapper in the mornings. (Poor Matt. His truck doesn’t fit in the garage, so he will forever have icy cold fingers.)

I keep seeing on Instagram and Facebook all of our friends back South at Clemson tailgates and pumpkin patches, and enjoying warm fall weather. I’m a little jealous, but then I remember how much I hate being sweaty and it makes the jealousy subside. So here’s what we’ve been doing this week to enjoy the beautiful fall season.

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Late Night Ramblings

Good Morning! For once, I will have a post for you East Coaster’s to wake up to.

"Food time already?"

“Food time already?”

Currently it’s 1:30 in the morning, and I can’t sleep. After all the traveling I’ve done over the past 4 years for jobs, I still have such a hard time getting myself to fall asleep at a decent hour when I swap time zones.

Oh also, I’m in Seattle.

I figured that I would put my insomnia to good use and provide you all with an update on what’s been going on with the Stewarts in Alaska.

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The totally productive, makes me feel like a real adult weekend

Hello! How are you? Don’t mind me, I’m just acting like an actual adult and doing real life things.

Matt & I had what I consider an incredibly productive weekend. I am super impressed with us, and want to take a few minutes of your time to brag about it. *pats self on back* Continue reading

Race Recap: 2014 Anchorage Running Club Octoberfest Run for Beans 5k

IMG_9177 At the last minute this week (literally – we signed up an hour before online registration closed) my friend Rebecca and I decided to run the Anchorage Running Clubs Fall kick-off race: the Octoberfest Run for Beans, which is a 5k or 10k race downtown on the coastal train. One great thing about this race is that it helps raise funds and awareness for Bean’s Cafe, a shelter and a place that provides meals for those in need. It’s pretty cool.

We’ve been talking about trying to get more involved with the Anchorage Running Club events outside of Big Wild Life Runs, so this was my first effort.

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It was a chilly morning – Winter is definitely on it’s way in Alaska. It was 36 degrees when we started the race, and 40 when I crossed the finish line.  But, as usual in Alaska, it was beautiful.IMG_9178

It was a nice, small race that was mainly community members. It was a really flat course along the coastal trail, so the whole race had views of the water. The mountains are starting to get snow in the background which means I will have to put on my snow tires soon (ahhh!)

Because it was a small race, it wasn’t crowded on the course, so I was able to get into a groove and found running partners throughout the event. I’m one of those who likes to chat with other runners while I’m on the course, and I found other people happy to engage in conversation.

Overall, I didn’t do bad! It was my first run since the Tri the Kenai a few weeks ago, and I felt much better during this run. I’m planning on doing some speed work on the track in the net few weeks so that I can hopefully PR at the Turkey Trot again this year.

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We ran into a lot of other people from the Big Wild Life Runs committee team, and our friend Anna even won the 10k!

Anna won the 10K

Anna won the 10K!

It was an excellent race, one I definitely want to run again next year!

Did you do anything cool this weekend?

 

Tri The Kenai | I’m Officially a Triathlete!

Sunday, September 7th 2014 I TRIed (get the pun?) a new athletic activity: a Sprint Triathlon.

The girls after finishing!

The girls after finishing!

A Sprint Triathlon is a 500 meter swim, a 10 mile bike ride, and a 5k run, all in a row.  Continue reading

weekend: Labor Day edition!

Howdy! I hope you had a relaxing Labor Day weekend filled with your last chance to wear white pants until next Memorial Day! (Don’t worry – I never follow the no white after labor day rule either)

Up here, we had an exciting holiday break!

I started off the weekend by finishing up my Alaska Real Estate Pre-Licensing Class (yay!)

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Bike Wrecks and Road Safety

I finally had my first bike wreck.

I’ll start off by letting you know that I am not injured, aside from a scraped knee and sore shoulder.
Yesterday afternoon, I was on a training ride for my triathlon coming up in September, and decided to ride the bike routes in the neighborhoods near my house instead of the paved trails I usually use. The bike portion of my triathlon is on road, so I figured I needed to practice on actual roads so I could get used to being aware of everything around me.

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1 Year

Today is my one-year anniversary in pharmaceutical sales.

I have learned patience.
I have learned the roads of Alaska.
I have learned where the good restaurants are in the major cities and who does the best lunch catering.
I have learned how to properly estimate the food needed for groups of 4-50.
I have also developed a sense of paranoia that everyone I know and love will get diabetes (put down the candy bars people! Artificial sugar is the enemy!)

It’s been a great opportunity to explore the state I love and now call home, and a chance to feel like I make a difference in providers helping their patients.

I just wanted to recognize today. I can’t believe we’ve been in Alaska for this long, it has really flown by. Another winter is approaching (as the chilly and rainy today reminds me) and soon we will be swapping our bikes and shorts for skis and snow pants. I can’t wait!

The Stew’s Go To China: Climbing the Great Wall

Back in April, Matt and I went on a 10 day trip to China to celebrate our two year wedding anniversary. I’ve been a bit behind with posts, but I finally freed my photos from our desktop computer that Matt has commandeered for one of his projects! This means you guys can get excited about hearing about our Eastern adventure (yay!)

On day 4 of our journey, we finally got to experience the thing China is probably most famous for: The Great Wall!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Great Wall of China is so massive, it can actually be seen from space. It’s chinese name is Chang Cheng. There are several different passes that you can go to to climb the wall – we went to the Juyong Pass.

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At the Juyong Pass, there are several towers to climb to. It’s said that if you make it to the 13th tower, you are considered a hero. Wouldn’t you know it, Matt and I are now heroes!

Matt even bought me a medal and we got a personalized sign (so touristy, I knowww) boasting it as well.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There were two things that really blew me away about the Great Wall: first, the amount of tourist stores. There was even one halfway up the Great Wall – talk about a terrible commute!

My medal that Matt bought me from the shop HALFWAY UP THE GREAT WALL!

Secondly, the Chinese people are all about littering. There were trashcans strategically placed all along the wall, and then at the top of the 13th tower I saw a guy throw an empty coke bottle off the side into the ground. It really blew me away by how much litter was on and around the wall – so sad for something that is so historic and special.

Matt and I completed the hike to the 13th tower and back in less than 90 minutes. It was a really hot day and a really steep hike: my calves were killing me afterwards!

As I’ve mentioned before, Matt and I had a weird kind of celebrity status when we were in China. A lot of the Chinese countrymen have never seen white people before, so when they take their trips into the big cities, they got really excited and would take photos of us and with us. So of course, it wouldn’t have been a complete trip if I wasn’t asked to take photos at the top of the 13th tower when I’m sweaty and disgusting.

legions of fans

legions of fans

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The Great Wall was definitely one of the key highlights of our trip: we were so excited to see it and enjoyed every minute of it. I wish we had more time at the wall to explore other parts of it, but I think we saw everything good from where we were.

Below are some of my choice photos from the hike: enjoy!

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look at how steep these steps were!

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Our tour group members who made it to the top of the 13th tower!

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A ticket to climb