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By: Abby Lowell on August 3, 2011 - 10:52am - Add new comment

Fueled by the heat of a solstice sun on my back, I climbed higher into the muskeg. The boardwalk was dry and the moist meadow in full bloom. Bog violets and pink shooting stars stood out polka-dotted against the green of sedges, mosses and low-growing bushes. Closer to the trail, dwarf dogwood (or bunchberry) huddled close to the wooden planks and bog laurel bloomed in bright fuschia every few feet.

I’d parked my car at the top of Blueberry Hill and run up to the Treadwell Trail before taking the turn toward Dan Moller cabin.

By: Abby Lowell on August 3, 2011 - 10:57am - Add new comment

The news wasn’t good. I’d failed the hour glucose test by two points —the upper limit was 139, and my level registered 141.

I took it hard. This meant I was one step closer to 332 finger pricks, 83 days of a restricted diet and a mandatory hospital birth.

It’s times like these that make me want to go for a run.

A trail run is where I do my best thinking. I’m able to clear my head, process thoughts that need processing, sort through feelings that need feeling. I’m always surprised that I think about nearly everything but the actual run.

By: Abby Lowell on August 3, 2011 - 11:00am - Add new comment

When it rains, it pours.

Not all welcome the flood. But for me, the deluge has brought a rich assemblage of great things.

First, I passed my follow-up glucose test, which means I bucked the odds and dodged gestational diabetes in this second pregnancy. This means I will sidestep a multitude of unpleasantries. Perhaps most importantly, it means my baby and I seem to be reaping the rewards of pregnancy exercise.

By: Abby Lowell on August 5, 2011 - 9:57am - Add new comment

As soon as I think I’ve heard it all, I’m proven wrong.

“You’re still running?” many have said.

“You ran how many miles yesterday?” is what I’ve heard from others.

Or, one of my personal favorites, “Did you know running causes premature labor?”

It’s questions like these that play on like a skipping CD through my weekly conversations.

I just smile and nod. Or, to the premature labor inquiry, I laugh outright and rebut with a probe on where they got their information.

By: Abby Lowell on May 9, 2012 - 12:39pm - Add new comment

“Let thy food by thy medicine.” - Hippocrates.

This statement has been my mantra.

In our household its importance is heightened by a multitude of factors; but frankly, it truly is a matter of life or death.

Whoa.

Extreme.

It sounds that way, doesn’t it? But it’s not at all different than the messages nutritionists, doctors and scientists have been touting for years - eat right and thrive.

Sounds simple.

By: Abby Lowell on May 9, 2012 - 12:41pm - Add new comment

After waiting 42 weeks, gaining 30 pounds and embarking on 98 runs into the wilderness, my second baby was born — a girl, weighing 7 pounds, 9 ounces.

She was healthy, beautiful and pink as soon as she entered the world. Her cries quieted as she lay on my chest and in that moment all the waiting and work were more than worth it.

Three months later, I’m back working and trying to find time between motherhood, babyhood and a career to squeeze in moments for me.

“I just don’t know how you do it,” people often say.

By: Abby Lowell on May 11, 2012 - 6:33am - Add new comment

I have a confession to make: I have not been fishing.

I’ve been skiing, I’ve been running, hiking and gardening, but no, I have not been fishing.

My trusty fly rod — “Joan” — sits neatly in the rod holder in a corner of our dusty garage. My waders and boots are coated in last year’s mud and bug repellent; the smell of deet puts my mind at the river’s edge.

But in my mind is as close as I’ve gotten this season to the water and, well, that’s just not acceptable.

It’s time for a change.

By: Abby Lowell on July 18, 2012 - 8:09am - Add new comment

By Abby Lowell
Timber to Tideline

My feet sloshed and squished around in my shoes like they were in a washing machine. The lower half of my legs seemed to disappear into the trail as thick, black mud coated every trace of skin beneath.

Somehow, my son had avoided the wretched mud holes. He bounded along, over logs and carefully snuck past wide leaves of devil’s club.

“The prickly parts,” as he called them, were “not nice.”

By: Abby Lowell on July 27, 2012 - 2:12pm - Add new comment

When the sun comes out in Juneau, there’s reason to celebrate.

Rain boots are replaced with flip-flops. GorTex is swapped for cotton. And skin, which is regularly covered by long sleeves, slacks and scarves, is exposed in all its pasty pale perfection.

(At least, that’s how it is if you’re fair-skinned and Scotch-Irish, like myself.)

It’s not until a day or so later, that the regret sets in.

Pasty pale is replaced by tender pink. And while the rains return, the sun’s heat lingers in the form of a pesky sunburn.

By: Abby Lowell on August 8, 2012 - 10:26am - Add new comment

On Friday, I found myself surrounded by volumes of bound Daily Alaska Empire newspapers from 1929. The old editions of the Empire were tattered, at best. Some were held together by fragile strands of aging duct tape, others were only a shadow of their former selves as newsprint fell from the spine and pages snapped like twigs when I tried to turn them.

It’s hard to say how long it had been since someone had flipped through the volume before me — years certainly, possibly decades, maybe even half a century.

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