It's that season.
Lots of races to train for, wildflowers are blooming so all I want to do is get into the woods, and it's the end of the school year, so we have been receiving lots of invitations to open houses.
Oh yeah, and we have one of our own to host this weekend!
Sarah is graduating on Saturday and, due to scheduling issues, we are having her open house the same day. This means lots of cooking (Jon) and very little cleaning ;-> We are having the open house at church. Our house is tiny (under 800 sq ft) and with the vagaries of weather in the northland it is best not to have large numbers of people over and hope they can hang out outside. The forecast for this weekend involves rain.
Yesterday and today I don't think it has gotten above 50 degrees and there is a wind from the east. Even indoors the temps are below 60. I normally would never turn the heat on once it is May, much less June, but it is hard to stick by that resolve when it is 59 degrees in your living room! But hey, no tornadoes up here.
Today was the last race in the NMTC Spring Series. It was held at the Magney-Snively ski trails. These trails are hilly, very, very hilly. So hilly that I have never skied them. In the "off season" they are used by all kinds of people: hikers, runners, horseback riders....
In addition to being hilly trails, these are wet trails. Horses and wet soils are not a good combination. There were holes made by horse hooves that were 6 inches deep and hard to see because the grass is getting kind of long. The city doesn't mow the ski trails when they are too wet because the equipment damages the trails. See the problem? Granted, a bunch of runners didn't help conditions, though we may have filled in a few holes!
The soils were so wet that it was hard to get any push off. Your feet just kind of sank. And then there were the puddles. Going around them just widens the puddle and the trail - not good. But going through them can lead to loss of a shoe - or going in past your knees. What to do? Over the years I have learned to go through puddles - most of the time. A few of the ones on this trail are scary deep looking and I am short. I did manage to splash mud all the way up to my face and was covered in mud most of the way up my calves. Needed to walk a fair amount of hills, but was able to run fairly fast on the downhills despite the footing issues.
I was tired today. It has been a busy week so far. Donated blood last Friday. Ran/walked 12 miles on Sunday in 77+ temps (part of the Voyageur course from Beck's Road to the Zoo and back = lots of hills), hiked 6 miles with Harbor City International School students yesterday on the SHT from Highland and Getchell to the base of Spirit Mountain, then ran back to my car. This part of the trail has a section with 130+ steps on it. I could feel it today, especially on the uphills and when trying to pull my legs out of the mud. I think I have earned a day or two off.
The plan this weekend is to run 18 - 20 miles. When? Probably Sunday sometime. I am trying to run at the hottest part of the day to get used to running in the heat. The Half Voyageur is notorious for being hot. Heat training is tough up here. We tend to jump 20+ degrees suddenly and with the Lake, can lose 20+ degrees suddenly too.
Funny, a few months ago I was struggling to run 14 miles and now a 12 miler seems pretty easy and even that 17 miler a couple weekends ago went by pretty quick. Interesting how the body adapts ;-> Next thing you know I'll be signing up to run an ultra!
No pictures but here is a list of what I have seen blooming in the last couple of days:
mertensia (virginia bluebells)
wild lily-of-the-valley(canada mayflower)
I got a report today that the yellow ladyslippers are blooming in Jay Cooke. I have not been out to check on the patch on the SHT, but they are probably also in bloom. Guess I know where I need to run on Sunday!
Oh yeah, I finished #2 in the female standings for the spring series! Consistency does pay off!