The KnitPicks Gloss won. I gave in. But, really I had to, it wasn't my fault! The only knitting I have available requires charts and concentration. Lots of both. What tipped me over the edge was a bus ride home on Thursday. Idle hands and all that. Plus I seem to have lost one of my silky-wool mittens (favorites for running) and need a replacement. The washer, dryer or someones clothing "ate" one of the mittens (oh yeah, if I have not mentioned this before, Elsbeth Lavold silky-wool does just fine in the laundry).
So, the Gloss got wound into a center pull ball Thursday night (Thanks Jon for holding the yarn!) and a pair of mittens was cast on. This stuff is NICE!!! Soft, soft, soft. It is almost a shame to think of what use it will end up being put to (mittens double as kleenex on the run, which is why soft mittens are especially nice).
I promise not to forget the Bird Mittens entirely. I have cast on and started the cuff of the second one, really I have. They just aren't very portable and I needed a portable project.
I have been using the KnitPicks wooden double-points while working on the mittens. Size 0's for the Bird Mittens and Size 1(2.25mm) for the Gloss. Very nice. So far I haven't snapped one. Interesting flavor. Knitting needles have flavor!? These do. I'll call it "Taste of India". Not sure what I am tasting: the wood; the stuff used to laminate it, or the oil used to finish the needles. Kindof spicy though. The reason I know is that needles occasionally end up in my mouth when I need to set one aside for a second (my hair is not long enough to stash a needle in). The colors of the needles are a nice too: natural, purple and green in my set.
On the running front:
Temps are much warmer now, started a run in the mid-20's, ended it near 40 degrees F. Strong wind blowing from the south-east to south. Big improvement over many of my runs this winter. Today my schedule said to run 14 miles.
Normally on Saturdays I meet a group in Proctor and run 5 miles, then get breakfast. With my long runs needing to happen on Saturdays I have been either arriving early and doing some extra miles or - my favorite - getting dropped off in Proctor, running the loop with my friends and then running home, tacking on additional miles as needed.
I had mapped out a route home that would be 9 miles long, ending above my house with a nice cool-down walk to the house on the Superior Hiking Trail (www.shta.org). Then I found out my trusty driver would be unavailable. Hmmm. I didn't want to leave my car in Proctor all day, so I started looking at my options.
I am not a huge fan of multiple loop courses (easily bored), but that was what I resigned myself to doing. I sat down with gmaps-pedometer and figured out how to cut the five mile loop into four miles. Sounds easy, but Proctor is fairly rural and the "blocks" can be a mile long. Three loops would end up giving me a 14.2 mile run. Nice and hilly too! Exactly what I need for the upcoming race.
To break things up I ran the second loop in reverse. Interesting perspective. You never really notice the gradual descents until you run them in reverse ;-> It was nice to have company the first five miles, the second five were taken up with the novelty of seeing all the hills in reverse, and the third loop... well, lets just say I concentrated on form a lot.
Remember the wind? I ended my run with over a mile into the wind. Uphill. Lets just say the split for the third loop, not so impressive. I had run the second loop in the exact same time as the first, so was optimistic about finishing in around 2:10. I finished in 2:15. Not bad really for a long training run. Last week I ran 12.5 in 2:00. I did take a break between the second and third loops to drink some juice and water. It was a nice change to run without a lumbar pack - one huge benefit of multiple loop courses.
I have reached the point in my long runs where I need to get fuel into me while running. I have not figured out what I should try yet, hence the juice. I need to find out what the race will be serving as far as electrolyte replacement and give it a try on my long runs to be sure I can tolerate it, otherwise I will need to bring my own. Generally I have done all of my longer runs without eating (and it may be showing). I have a little over a month to experiment with food and drink before the race. I am expecting to be out on the course for around 4 hours. Depending on who you read/talk to, that is long enough to require some fuel intake.
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