Running at the Alaska Dome

Last night was my first time running at the Alaska Dome. At the start of this year, I joined the Anchorage Running Club, who rents time there every Wednesday night January through March, which is then free for running club members. It was only $20 to join the club for the whole year, and a one-time pass to the Alaska Dome is $10, so it was pretty much a no-brainer to join, if only for that benefit alone (although there’s some other really great benefits, like getting into some of the club-sponsored races for free).

The Alaska Dome is actually a pretty impressive facility. It’s a big dome with a multi-sport setup inside. There’s a full size running track all the way around the outer edge, and the inner part is all covered with astroturf, and can be configured for soccer, football, baseball, etc. When I was there, it even looked like they were doing some sort of fitness/yoga class on one end.

This was a perfect environment for running this time of year. It’s indoors, so you’re not having to deal with the cold and snow. But it’s running on a track, which is 1000 times better than running on a treadmill. Being Alaska, getting inside and out of the elements is one of the major selling points on their website 🙂

As I said, this was my first time here, since I’ve mostly been laying low on running lately due to my ITBS injury. But this run was exactly what I needed, both physically and mentaly. Even though my knee was feeling awesome, I told myself before I started that I was going to alternate walking one lap, then running two. I also stopped every 2-3 laps to do some stretching. I stuck with that plan the whole time, but I was feeling so good, it took a lot of willpower to stop at 4 miles.

To be honest, I was a little nervous about going, knowing that I’d be doing a run/walk combo, and even when I was running, I knew it would be at a much slower pace that what I do normally. I guess it’s just me being self-concious, but I didn’t want to be the “slow one”. And since this was my first event with the running club, I really had no idea what to expect. I didn’t know if this was a group of serious hard-core runners, or more of a social bunch. Well, I was very pleasantly surprised. There were runners – and walkers – of all ages, sizes and speeds there. There were high schoolers, probably keeping in shape for cross country season. There were families walking with their kids. I saw one woman walking by herself while reading a book. There was even an old couple, probably in their 80’s, slowly running around the track together. It was a very diverse group, and nobody gave me the stink eye for walking or running slowly.

I think this run is exactly what my knee needed too. The day after, it feels better than it has in weeks. I guess getting out there, moving around, and getting my muscles working was just what the doctor ordered. This definitely has me looking up and feeling very optimistic about my recovery. And now you know where you can find me next Wednesday! 🙂

14 thoughts on “Running at the Alaska Dome

  1. Very cool looking place to run. Congrats on the run – keep that mileage low, but don’t be afraid to pick up the intensity. It’s less time on the leg and it’ll be more of a natural run anyway. Sometimes I think the slow runs contributed to my problems. As I’ve recovered, the faster runs have felt better.

  2. Good to keep in mind, thanks for the advice as always!

  3. That looks like a pretty sweet deal. And hey, with it being indoors, you probably don’t have to deal with moose or polar bear attacks, right? 🙂

  4. Actually, that’s the one drawback in my mind 🙂

  5. I’m so excited to have found this blog! I’ve been considering joining the running club as well, but right now my schedule doesn’t really fit with the times they meet. But I’m definitely going to be there for all the main events!

  6. I hate being the slow one, too. Except that I am actually slow. 😉 What is your running recovery plan? Just once a week for now?

  7. I’m planning on doing 2-3 short runs per week for now, and see how that goes. I’ve got a “running date” tomorrow with a guy I met on dailymile, so I’m really looking forward to that. It’s SO much nicer to have someone to run with! I’m really jealous of you having Tara and Val there with you 🙂

  8. Even the name is cool. The ALASKA DOME. Looks like we’re at about the same point in recovery. I got 4 mi. in yesterday and it felt good. The Doc’s even told me to start running a bit longer as long as it doesn’t hurt. I ice if there’s soreness, but that hasn’t been an issue. Like you, I have that feeling of optimism. Awesome feeling, isn’t it?

  9. It is an awesome feeling to be running again, if even on a somewhat limited basis. Even though I was feeling great after this run, I still went home and stretched and iced my knee, just to be on the safe side 🙂

    Going forward, stretching is definitely going to play a much bigger role in my running!

  10. Way to push, but not too hard! Looks like a good place to run!

  11. I would kill for an indoor track right now… Literally. I think the snow is making me crazy.

  12. Read up on your ITBS post from back in January, curious are you still fighting ITBS? Have the small runs helped any? I’ve been going to a massage therapist, doing stretches, and put my face up to window wondering if I should attempt to run again. I’m finally getting to the point where it might be worth a short run. Curious to hear your results.

    And yes, any dome would be better than a treadmill.

  13. It’s getting better, but it’s definitely slow going. It’s a stubborn injury, and it’s really taken a lot of patience. Just hang in there, and don’t push it too soon. I’ve been doing a lot of walking this week, and just did a short 2.5 mile run. My knee feels better than it has in 6 weeks, but I’m still very weary…

  14. Thanks for the feedback. In the very same situation. Walked the dogs today; knee was sore, but not as sore as it has been in the past.

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