Alli Harvey

This summer may kill us with kindness.

The anxiety started in May. The sun stayed out later and later. So did I. As I filled up my calendar with indoor work meetings and tasks, I wished I could create a daily block of 9 a.m.-5 p.m. dreariness followed by sudden and endless sunshine. I know that sun and warm weather is a precious resource in Alaska, and it’s wrong to squander it on a work day.

When sunshine hits and I am available, I take it. I don’t ask questions. I don’t think about whether I’m tired, sore, or fed. I just go and do stuff outside as long as the sunshine lasts...

Alli Harvey

When I was in third grade our teacher led an exercise to help non-asthmatics understand what an asthma attack feels like. She handed out tiny, red coffee stirrer straws and asked us to breathe through two of them. At the time, asthma was the only topic I considered myself an expert in and I remember raising my hand and saying, "No, this isn't what it's like at all -- it's like these straws, only in your lungs, and after a while it hurts."

With the smoky air and high temperatures we’ve experienced in Southcentral Alaska recently, I’m thinking daily about how to endure poor air quality as an outdoorsy person and asthmatic...

Alli Harvey

I remember my first hike as a teenager.

No, it wasn’t an enlightening experience, except perhaps for the adult chaperone, who may have realized his mistake in allowing me to participate. It was grueling. By the end of the first hill, my heart was beating out of my chest and my eyes were blinking away the salt water dripping off my forehead, as if I’d gone swimming in the ocean. Everyone around me seemed unfazed, already bouncing ahead to the next hill. I looked ahead and wondered which I would die from -- exertion or embarrassment in front of my pimply-faced peers. I felt ashamed at my lack of strength, and alone in what I felt was a very visible struggle to do something that seemed natural for everyone else...

Alli Harvey

I have this MacBook from 2008. Considering the relative fragility of something like a computer, it’s amazing I haven’t accidentally destroyed it (yet). Considering the age of some of the other things I own -- I recently declared to my horrified husband that I’ve had the same pair of shorts for 13 years -- the computer is almost new...

Alli Harvey

After months of seeing only browns and grays, the return of bright green trees stretching across the Anchorage bowl is deeply comforting and kind of unbelievable. Green looks like a new color. It’s even more vivid when I’m running through it, and the fact that I’m now running dirt trails is equally surprising...

Alli Harvey

With the weather as nice as it’s been, I've been daydreaming about ways to be outside as much as possible. Like a child, I want to pitch a tent in my backyard (i.e. the Chugach Mountains) and then spend the day running around or reading. However, as an adult, I crack the window in my bedroom when I go to sleep and then I get up and take a deep breath of fresh air on my way to the office in the morning. Sometimes I don't leave the office until the end of the day, and that gulp needs to last until 5 p.m.

I discovered recently that even when I have too many things to juggle that prevent me from enjoying spring fever, a quaint outdoorsy shot in the arm is ye olde-fashioned picnic. Even, or maybe especially, on a weeknight this is a fun and easy way to be outdoors...

Alli Harvey

When I was young, impressionable and first visiting Alaska, my cousin told me about her life in Juneau. She said that in the summer she would often throw on a backpack after work, walk Juneau roads until she hit the trail head, and start hiking. Often she wouldn’t stop until she hit ice or midnight, whichever came first. This feeling of accessible remoteness, the fresh smell of woods and water, and all the time and daylight I needed to explore is part of what drew me to Alaska...

Alli Harvey

Spring is the time of year many of us rise off the couch, squint into the distance, and muse out loud to a loved one or the dull roar of canned applause on TV: “I think I would like to sign up for a run this summer. Maybe something ambitious. Something like a half marathon, or a marathon, that I will need to train for.”

However, selecting a plan that works is a daunting task. And if you don’t have one you’re sunk -- right back into the couch. There are many plans available online, but no two are the same, so it can be difficult to choose...

Alli Harvey

Comedian Mitch Hedberg once joked: “They say that the recipe for Sprite is lemon and lime, but I tried to make it at home, and there’s more to it than that.”

I thought of Sprite and other things that should probably not be attempted at home last Sunday as I stood over my kitchen sink stirring a jar of warm, congealed chia seed mass in a bowl full of ice. Congeal faster! I thought. I need my homemade energy gel to be done so I can run!...

Alli Harvey

I think I’ve developed new muscles in my forearms. I’ve been dragging around this massive suitcase for three weeks, from baggage claim to taxi, up and down flights of stairs, from a hotel to the trunk of a friend’s car. If only I were satisfied with this amount of exercise while traveling then I’d relax. I’m not -- and I’m glad!

Traveling, whether for work or play, throws my normal sleep, eating and exercise schedule for a loop. On the one hand, it’s healthy because variety is important. However, I have also found myself seriously off track while on the road, returning home sick, to a typical running route that is suddenly exhausting.

Along with my forearms, I’ve been strengthening my travel skills. Here are some ways to stay active while you’re on the road:...

Alli Harvey

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