Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Resistance Training - Duluth Style

Took a couple days off from running, but did get a nice four mile hike in yesterday before the temperature dropped into the 40's. Lots of wildflowers blooming along the trails in the Piedmont area, the highlight being wild oats (bellwort sp) and violets - of all shades.

There are a few nice rock outcroppings on this section with views of Lake Superior and the harbor. Not yesterday. Instead the view was of a bank of fog. There was an interesting weather phenomenon going on though: the fog was moving inland (breeze off of the Lake?) and the higher clouds were moving in the opposite direction. Very cool looking.

Today I did not need to be into work until 11:30 am. Tuesdays are one of my days to get errands done that have to occur during "business hours". First stop of the day was the veterinarian. Porter loves going to the vet's office, until he sees the doctor, then he is not so sure. He has figured out where the "treat' drawer is, so will check that out and finangle a few biscuits out of the vet tech as soon as possible. Porter got a "clean bill of health" for the year, got his rabies vaccine (I have 2 more vaccines to administer in the coming month or so) and heartworm meds and made his escape. I was pretty happy to see that his weight was 95 lbs - even with his winter coat still in. He is exercising less now that he is not running and I was afraid he would be over 100 lbs. Not good for his joints and expensive related to heartworm medication.

Next stop was Sky Harbor Airport. Porter spends his days as the airport dog, hanging out with Jon and mooching off of the guys. No matter how many times I say "Don't feed the dog", people do (explains my surprise about his weight). Knowing I had to drop the dog off I decided to run on the Point. The road ends at Sky Harbor and it is sand dunes and trails from there until the Superior Entry two miles away [Minnesota Point (Park Point)... at 7 miles in length and neighboring Wisconsin Point at 3 miles form the longest freshwater sand bar in the world. The natural entry to St. Louis Bay divides the bar on the Wisconsin side and is known as the Superior Entry. The Park Point Ship Canal is the man made access to the bay on the Minnesota side.]

Much of the run is done on fairly well-packed trails through the pine forest (a State Scientific and Natural Area) and dunes, but there is about a half mile to mile of trail that is through soft sand. Uugh! Tough running. Good for the quads, but not my favorite. I keep reminding myself it is good strength training. Feels pretty good when you hit packed trail though. If you really like running in sand there is 7 miles of beaches to run. I am not a fan of this as the beach has quite the slant to it and is really hard on my legs. Nothing good comes to me from running across slopes like that. Aggravates all the biomechanical issues I have.

Lots of stuff blooming on the point. Strawberries were everywhere. False Soloman's Seal were just opening up their flowers. And - just to make things more exciting - poison ivy was emerging from the sand.

Park Point has a few wild edibles growing along the dunes - the aforementioned strawberries; blueberries; and cherries to name a few. The hardest thing about this is that they often grow interspersed with the poison ivy. Picker beware!!

I am fairly resistant to poison ivy it would seem as I have only had a mild case once or twice and have spent the past 20+ years out on the point. Now that I have said that I will probably have the worst case ever this summer ;->

By the time I was done with the run it was time to head into work. You never know how long it will really take to get off of the Point because of the Lift Bridge. I lucked out and no lakers or salties were inbound or outbound and I didn't get bridged. I had packed my knitting just in case. Depending on the size of the ship - and how many there are - you can spend up to an hour waiting for the bridge to drop. Usual wait is more like 20 minutes - nerve-wracking if you need to be somewhere!

So, it was a productive day errand wise but not knitting wise.

Tomorrow is "race day" in our household. NMTC Chester Bowl run for me, sailing regetta for Jon. Lots of hills at Chester Park which is a little ski hill located in the center of Duluth (for those of you from the Twin Cities think Buck Hill but smaller and woodsier - with bears). In addition to having downhill runs, Chester has the only ski jumps in town (Clouqet is the only other town nearby with ski jumps). And yes, I have really seen bears on this trail. Good thing they are black bears and fairly willing to head the other way as quick as I am.

I am planning on riding my bike to work and will need to decide about riding home and then driving to the run or biking/bussing to the run and then making my way home afterwards. My car will be in use for a road test tomorrow morning (Good Luck Sarah!!! Hope the 90 degree back goes well!) so I am forced to make alternative transportation plans. I work at the bottom of the hill, live close to the top and Chester is further east and higher still. Could be quite the cross-training day ;->

1 comment:

Chris said...

Hope the run goes well today! Glad to hear Porter got a clean bill of health, too. :)