Wednesday, October 29, 2008

6 days in the life...

What's been going on over at Wildknits?

Not much and a lot!

Last post was all about mushrooms. Since then the weather took a turn for the cold. Last Thursday was beautiful - sunny, in the upper 40's - low 50's. I was at a conference that day in town and was able to walk there from home, walk to an appointment mid-morning (and back), eat lunch outdoors and walk home at the end of the day (got 7 miles in that way - including a serious hill workout on the way home). Thought about walking/running to the conference the next day...

Woke up to thick fog and the threat of rain on Friday. The day got worse from there. Not a bad day to spend indoors. On a positive note, the conference was good, attended some good sessions, made some good connections and got the cuff of a what will be very large pair of socks knit ;-> The socks are being knit form Plymouth Happy Feet (90% superwash merino, 10% nylon). will try to get a picture up at some point soon. Very pretty and pleasant to knit. Besides, beat falling asleep during sessions (which is what some folks did).

The forecast for the weekend was not good, rain and high winds both days and me with outside chores to accomplish. Got out Saturday morning to turn over a garden bed and prepare it for garlic. This is our first attempt at growing it. Based n the research I did we weren't getting it in too late, but with the forecast I figured I better plant it before it snowed! The day started out wet and cold and stayed that way until after the garlic was planted. I took a break to run some errands (pick up a bale of straw and some dog food, Porter's meds, etc) and by the time I got home the sun was out.

The sun and warming temps made it a lot easier to get the outside chores done. Thirty plus feet of hops removed from the front porch and hauled off. Mower put away (meaning the area under the porch had to be straightened out to accommodate it). "Dog yard" cleaned up (a chore no one likes). Even found time to take Porter for a 3 mile walk on the SHT and putz around with my bike - attempting to install some straps on the pedals.

But Sunday was the big day! NMTC race (Lester Park) and the last soccer game of the fall season. The weather forecast was for rain and winds gusting up to 50 mph. Delightful! I bundled up for the run (I would be arriving early to help set up), packed a few changes of clothes (there was a potluck after the game) and headed out.

The wind was not too bad at Lester (the trail is in the woods) but conditions on the ground were a bit... saturated shall we say. Wettest anyone can remember seeing it. No avoiding wet feet (and it is better for the trails if you don't). Of course, shortly after starting the race it began to pour - and not just rain, felt like a little sleet mixed in. By the top of the first loop I was soaked in the front and glad I went with the windproof vest. Got lapped on the way up the hill in the second loop (earliest that has happened - it was a fast group this year); IT began to hurt (in waves) as I headed down, but decided to tough it out ( ;-> ) and finish up the race.

On to the soccer game where the wind rose dramatically just as we were starting and it began to rain/sleet again. I never did get the feeling back into my hands or feet during the game. Interesting to kick a ball and watch it fly up into the air, then stop moving and drop straight down ;->

Potluck followed, hosted by our teams sponsor Carmody's Pub. Nothing like a Guinness Stout to replenish the carbs after a lot of exercise ;->

But the best was for last: got home to a fired up sauna! First time I was warmed through for weeks. Nothing like it. Good way to loosen up tight muscles.

The work week has been very busy. Can't even remember Monday. Tuesday involved both jobs and a stop by the sheriff's office to get fingerprinted (for a license application). It was pretty fascinating. Last time I was fingerprinted was when I was 17 and needed a security clearance to work for the Social Security Administration. Back then it was black ink. This time it was done digitally. No ink - at least on my fingers.

Today I got my first "winter" run in on the Lakewalk. Last year we met on Wednesday evenings to run 5 miles. This year is a process in the making ;-> Today we ran around 3.6 miles. Just enough to get my knee aching again. Felt good though - and the sunset was pretty nice today.

Tomorrow the forecast is for a high near 60F! Too bad I will spend most of my day indoors ;-P

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Seen last Saturday on the SHT in my own neighborhood. The camera was unable to fully capture their color - a very nice shade of pale purple (lilac?). Any guesses on which mushroom species this is?

Furnace update: After a brief foray into heating the home on the 15th (guests over) the furnace was turned back off and stayed off until last night. It was 56 inside the house and outdoor temps were not going to be rising anytime soon. Filter was changed and the heat is on for good (unless there is a freak warm front that comes through). Predicting snow for this weekend. Can't complain too much, it has been snowing in Butte for awhile now (family out there).

Sunday, October 19, 2008

NMTC - Hartley Run

Well, instead of two soccer games in a row I decided to combine a long trail run with a soccer game.

Today was the first sunday run in the NMTC Fall series. Usually they are held on Wednesday evenings, but we are rapidly running out of daylight by 6:00 pm, so it is off to the weekends. Last year I played soccer at 1:00 or 3:00 pm and the runs are at 2:00 pm. Not being particularly speedy, I gave up the runs to play soccer.

This year the games are at 2:00 and 4:00 pm and to make things even better, my last two games of the season are at 4:00 pm. Hmm, takes me about an hour or so to run a 10K, a little commuting time and changing my clothes... I can make this work! Never mind my last long run was months ago, prior to the injury. I had been playing three hours of soccer of late, so running for an hour and then playing for 90 minutes should be doable ;->

Hartley is a beautiful 600+ acre park in the heart of Duluth. I love these trails - even more so in the winter. Fall is tough as the leaves are down and it is hard to see the rocks and roots. It has been very wet in Duluth of late so the trail was especially gooey. Not a bad day to have the winter weight socks on.

There have been a lot of people showing up for the races of late. The start is on an abandoned road, nice a wide, so folks can start to spread out. After that it is single track until the final third of the race when you hit the old road and then the ski trails. Fewer opportunities to pass on single-track. Okay though as I was trying to be conservative and save a little energy for the game this afternoon.

I am pretty familiar with this course and as we hit the "guard rail loop" and came near Howard Gnesen road I waited for the big hill - but it never came! Apparently there have been a few re-routes out there. Next thing I knew we were heading towards the pine plantation and my opportunity to pass was upon me. This is a great place to run - years and years of pine needles, few (if any) rocks or roots, no undergrowth - hard not to speed up in there.

The next leg involved crossing the edge of an old beaver pond. It is always wet here, but this year was another story altogether. The informal bridges that exist were under water in spots, the trail was a mucky mess. No way I was risking my neck running through this. Ran where there was "land", walked the mud-covered wooden planks and bridges, then picked up the pace when relatively solid ground reappeared. Course it was uphill by then and power walking was the order of the day.

Much of this trail is being maintained by COGGs - a local mountain biking group. They are working on some trail rehab and have been moving trail a lot. Got myself "lost" out there one time a year or two ago when I followed a new route and ended up on a road that did not lead anywhere near my car - oh yeah, and it was getting dark. Backtracked and made it back to the car before I lost all daylight.

Anyway - no lost runners today. Followed the trail as it wound in and out of the trees, eventually joined the SHT for a bit, then emptied out onto the abandoned road which led to the ski trails and... uphill. There is a short stretch near the top of the hill where you cross over a lot of sharp, pointy rocks. I think it is near the site of an old quarry. Worth slowing down here and preserving your ankles.

The ski trails are nice running for the most part - though again the leaves made it hard to see what was underneath and the trails do have more than there share of rocks. And this is where I got passed! Young woman made it by me and I did my best to keep her in sight for the rest of the race. It is hilly on this section, but by then I knew we were getting close to the end of the race and the best part was yet to come: another run through a pine plantation. The footing is so nice and it is a downhill finish, so you can get flying around the last few corners. I did my best to catch the woman in front of me at this point and it was a bit of a flying finish - especially for her. She tripped right at the end and kind of slid into the finish. Ouch! Saw her later and she had quite the scrape on her shin. double-ouch!

After a short visit with various folks I headed to the car to get out of some of my wet clothes and headed to the soccer field. Got there in plenty of time to change (first scraping the mud off my legs) and get chilled. The problem with my Raynauds is that if I get chilled at all I lose circulation to my fingers and toes. Despite changing into dry stuff on my top I got chilled and for the first 1/3 of the game did not really have circulation to my fingers.

But that was nothing compared to what happened on the field. Last week one of our players suffered a knee injury. This week it was worse. During the first half one player injured her knee and had to be carried off the field (and down the hill and around the fence) to a waiting car that transported her to the ER. By the time that was done it was the second half. Near the end another of our players injured her ankle - badly. Again, carried off the field and eventually to the ER. We ended the game at this point. Not much time was left and we were losing players pretty rapidly (for a league with few serious injuries ever). I spent a lot of my time helping to administer first aid and transport folks down the hill. Hoping everyone is going to be okay and all injuries are - relatively - minor. A good sign is when the injured party can joke by the time they get to the car ;->

All of this makes my IT band seem a minor issue. It is better overall, but a little stiff and sore tonight. Ice, ibuprofen and foam roller for me.

Stay safe this week!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

October 15th - and I wasn't the one that caved!

The heat is on. A long-time friend stopped by, we went out to eat and when I came home I noticed that special smell that only happens the first day the furnace is turned on (burning dust???).

Granted it was 59 degrees indoors, but I was prepared to deal with it. Apparently the other member of the wildknits household thought our guests may want to be a bit warmer.

Thermostat is set to 60 F. Guess I will leave it there and see how often it kicks on. Goodbye under $100 gas/water/sewer bills! See you next May (or June - it is northern Minnesota after all).

(PS: any theories on where the 2 cm bruise on the outside of my right knee came from? Woke up with it this morning. Even my knee cap feels a little funny. No soccer since Sunday. No memory of bumping into anything...)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Wild Duluth 50K

Woke at 5:00 am to thunder and pouring rain. Would anyone show up for the Wild Duluth Fat Ass 50K/100K?

Dressed in several layers, found my rain gear, packed up wool hat and mittens and some food for the day, fed the dog, loaded him in the car and headed for Bayfront Park - meeting place for 50k runners. It had stopped raining but it was too dark to see what the skies had in store for us.

Arrived at Bayfront where one car was waiting - Phillip Gary Smith had driven up from the Cities to participate. We chatted and waited for the Holaks to arrive, then waited and chatted some more to see if anyone else was coming. Had the thunder scared everyone else off?

After a decent interval we loaded up into the two "aid" vehicles and headed to Chambers Grove Park for the start of the run. At the park we met up with one other 50K runner (no 100K this year) and our field was set. Everyone would win top honors in their respective age groups and there looked to be a race for overall men's winner ;-> All the runners were veterans of ultras: Kim Holak; Phillip Gary Smith and Rick Kucinski.

The start was set for 7:00 am but we ended up waiting a few minutes longer for the sun to rise. As the sky lightened we could see that the clouds were breaking up and it looked like it was going to be a beautiful day to run the Superior Hiking Trail through Duluth.

(At this point I realized I had forgotten my camera, so no pictures from the start)

Due to the special firearms season runners were decked out in blaze orange and would remain so until reaching Magney-Snively and being firmly within Duluth City limits for the rest of the run.

The runners headed out and Andy and I took off to set up the first "aid station" along Hwy 210 where the Grand Portage trail crosses the highway and runners would first set foot on the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT). Andy and I cooperated in providing a roaming aid station: one of us would stay until all runners had come through while the other took off to meet runners that had already passed by. This worked pretty well, as long as we kept on eye on the time and ensured one of us headed out in a timely manner.

By now the skies had cleared and it was looking to be a beautiful day. Porter and I enjoyed hanging out along the trail and it was nice to have time to read and knit in daylight.

Kim was in the lead and remained so throughout the day, looking strong every time I saw her. The guys stuck together for much of the race and I was wondering if there would be a sprint to the finish!

Made a mad dash home to grab my camera before meeting Kim at an aid station. Photos!

Kim coming into the "aid station" at 24th Ave W.

Heading towards Enger Park

Kim, leaving Enger Park, heading towards Bayfront

Kim coming into the finish.

Rick leaving 24th Ave. W.

Phillip coming into 24th Ave W.

Ultra runner glimpsed through the trees (I was on my way home via the SHT - benefit of living just off the race course).

At this point I had been "released from duty" and Porter and I enjoyed a walk along the trail taking in the fall colors and last of the flowers.

Autumn crocus

Friday, October 10, 2008

Is your heat on?

So, how long until we turn on the heat at the wildknits home?

In past years the heat did not get turned on until at least October 1st. This year I said - "No heat until the house can't be maintained at 60F during the day". Well, if you check the comments on my previous post, it was below 59 indoors when I got home today (no sunshine to help warm the house).

Any guesses on how long we can last before I cave in (and it will be me that will need the heat - Raynauds does not allow me much flexibility where temperatures are concerned)?

Just to give you an idea of our hardiness:

We spent one winter living in a larger home, heated via an ancient oil furnace (back-up) and a wood stove. The wood stove was installed late in the year and the bulk of our wood ( a logger's truck worth) was green that winter. We would cut it, split it and bring it indoors to dry a bit near the stove (or on top of it) before loading it in. The girls were three, and under one, years old at the time. The three year old was a great help in hauling in the wood. The baby.... she contributed to an elaborate gating system for the stove (she has never taken "no" well, persistence is a wonderful trait in an adult, in an infant???). This was the year that Duluth got three feet of snow on Halloween. We lived in Ashland at the time, but it was a harsh winter.

If the house got to 60F we thought we were living in the tropics! We spent a lot of our time hanging out in the living room near the stove, avoiding the upstairs and back of the house where temps were much colder. Nothing like attempting to nurse an infant through three layers of sweaters - and at the time we were also potty-training said infant. Good times!

There is a theory that you can reset your internal thermostat so you feel comfortable at colder temperatures. I am testing out that theory to some degree. Unfortunately going to work messes with things a bit as the clinic I work at is kept warmer than my house (though my office is on an outside wall and the previous occupant needed a space heater to stay warm).

So, what do you do at your home? Is the heat on? Off? What are your plans for the winter? What is the high temp in your home? What about the low?

The wildknits advantage? Warm wooly items to layer up with (and the down booties I got last winter).

Thursday, October 09, 2008

NMTC - Hawk Ridge

Keeping up my grand exercise plan: run one race a week and play soccer on Sundays. Seems to be working okay:-> IT band is behaving - somewhat - and my running times aren't too far off from previous years.

Last night was the Hawk Ridge run. The race starts at the "top" of Seven Bridges Road in east Duluth, and climbs from there, going past the Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve (sight of a large birding festival in September), turning onto one trail and then another as we head back to the start on the Amity Creek trail. The first mile or so has some pretty significant grades. There are a few crests along the way where you can catch your breath before the next uphill. Once you reach the observation area at the nature reserve you have hit the high point of the race and it is downhill for a bit before the turn onto the trail, a slight uphill and then it is downhill to the finish. Hard to tell you are running downhill on the Amity Creek Trail - but you are.

Fall colors are at their peak in Duluth right now and it was a beautiful run. Temps in the upper 50's to low 60's - even with the sun going down. I think I even got bitten by mosquitoes while helping out at the end!

I felt like I ran pretty well overall and tried to push it a bit near the end. The Amity Creek Trail is a bit of an ankle twister in spots and with the leaves down it was tough to see the rocks at times. All the recent rain led to a few mud puddles and I hear the finish of the race was a bit slick for some folks. This was the last Wednesday night run - from here on out they switch to Sundays. And last night you could see why - as we hiked back up to where the car was parked it was growing dark.

This is the time of year when it is tempting to play hooky. As I was driving across the bridge from Superior to Duluth yesterday (work meeting at our other site) I had to fight the urge to call in sick for the rest of the day and go play in the woods. Looking at the hillside ablaze in color.... it was a miracle I made it back indoors. Makes me miss the years of being home with the kids and able to drop everything and go out in to the woods when days like this presented themselves.

Enjoy what beautiful days we have left - rumor has it we may have snow soon.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Superior Hiking Trail: Crosby-Manitou to Caribou River Wayside

Warning - this is another post full of pictures! Enjoy a tour along the SHT (and boy do I have respect for the runners who did this during the night!):

Bridge over Manitou River

View upriver

Manitou River

Horseshoe Ridge

Porter, SHT blue blaze and fall colors

Coral fungi - sp(ecies) unknown

Amanita sp.

View into fault line valley - Horseshoe Ridge area

Climbing out of fault line valley

Unidentified mushrooms

Looking back towards Finland (MN)

The Miller (my best guess at species)

more 'shrooms - near Horseshoe Ridge campsite

Cup fungus sp.

Even more mushrooms!

Caribou River falls

Caribou River falls - upriver view

Lake Superior from viewing platform above the Caribou River

Porter enjoying the Caribou River

Still with me? ;->

It was a beautiful day. Temps in the upper 50's. Sunny, a little breeze to cool you off after a steep climb. Lots of perfect lunch spots - sunny outcrops of rock with good views.

As you may have noticed - this hike was all about mushrooms. I brought a field guide to mushrooms with, but it stayed in my pack all day (why do I bother?). What I really needed was my "Geology on Display: Geology and Scenery of Minnesota's North Shore Parks" by John Green. Lots of questions about the geology of the area, and even though I am "retired" from naturalist work, a lot of the hikers recognized me from previous hikes and wanted to ask questions.

So, to quote Professor Green:

"The upper valley, and most of the park's area, is underlain by rocks of the Beaver Bay Complex. These rocks were intruded as several separate bodies of magma into the slightly older volcanic rocks. All of the bedrock was formed during the development of the Midcontinent Rift system about 1.1 billion years ago. The volcanic rocks in the lower section of the park are dominated by two rock types: basalt flows, most of which have ophitic texture; and rhyolite..." "...the large ridges just uphill from Highway 61 are made of ophitic and amygdaloidal basalt." "Also in this section is a layer of distinctive, reddish breccia which contains pieces of various types of basalt (mostly) and other rocks, in a finer-grained matrix. This same deposit can be seen at the Caribou River Wayside... where it forms outcrops in the river bed near the trail, and bluffs just below the dramatic Caribou Falls. This particular breccia was probably deposited as a large mudflow. Caribou Falls itself is localized by a large, northeast-trending fault, the same one that crosses the Manitou River near the highway but is less accessible. Several basalt flows can be seen in the rock face down which the river tumbles at Caribou Falls" (pg 41)

Tomorrow is another NMTC run - Hawk Ridge. One plus mile uphill at the start(steep at times), then rolling and one plus mile of gently trending downhill for the finish. This weekend is the Wild Duluth Fat Ass 100k/50k. Will I see any of my readers there?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Update on Porter

Today did not go as well.

Porter and I walked this morning for 45 minutes, managing to catch the sunrise over Lake Superior. He was quite excited about the walk this morning, but a little more apprehensive about entering through the back door went we got home. He knew what was up. Despite all that, I managed to get him back outside for breakfast with minimal fuss. So far, so good.

Then I made my mistake. I left through the back door! Porter, who was happily distracted with breakfast, saw me and by the time I was down by the car I could hear him fussing.

No calls from the neighbor all day, so he must not have been too out of control when I left....

Got home to this scene:

Porter peeking around the corner of the house to see me walk up the front steps (indicating he was not too wrapped up around the pole at that point). I went in the house through the front door (no excessive greetings on my part) and looked out the kitchen window to see this: dog house askew, blankets pulled out onto the lawn, and the dog wrapped around the clothes line pole.

Went out to him and found that he had taken apart about half of an old chopping block log (2 feet in diameter and rotted) and dumped over both his food and water. He wasn't over the top in greeting me, but was hanging onto his kong pretty tight and whining - different than yesterday.

I let him off the line and set about cleaning up some of the mess. Compared to pre-medication it wasn't too bad, but clearly he needs an increased dose of the clomipramine - at least for now. I had just gotten off the phone with the vet where we had decided that if he was okay today we didn't need to titrate up the dose. Sigh! She feels this is a pretty safe medication and, considering his size, 50 mg BID is going to be okay.

On a postive note his kong was empty today, indicating that he had been chewing on it during the day. I had stuffed it with his favorites - dog treats, carrots, and pepperoni sticks. Yesterday he had not touched his kong or the bone while I was gone.

Signs of separation anxiety - distress vocalization (howling, barking, whining); inappropriate elimination; destructive behavior (chewing, digging); anorexia/"depression" or inactivity; psychomatic/medical consequences (excessive licking of haircoat, pacing, circling); hyperattachement (excessive greeting behaviour, constant pestering of owner); hypersalivation.

Porter consistently displays 5 out of the 7 behaviours to one degree or another. Thank god not the inappropriate elimination of hypersalivation!

Once I was present he finished off the spilled food and polished off most of a large bowl of water. Good thing it has been cool outside, I am much less worried about his tipping over the water in cool weather. And before anyone worries - he has free access to water when in the house and we feed him "dog food soup" (dry kibble in a few cups of warm water) at every meal - a trick I learned when working in sled dog kennels to ensure adequate hydration.

Tonight the dose went up. One more day to go. The good news: I can bring him with me to my second job so his time alone will be almost half of what it has been the last two days. Though to be honest, most of the distress probably happens within half an hour of my departure.

Saturday we are off to hike the SHT from Crosby-Manitou State Park to Caribou River Wayside. Eight miles of some very hilly trail.

There has been a trend in a few running blogs to list running goals for 2009 so thought I would put myself out there and add my plans (assuming all goes well and injuries heal):

- Superior 25K in May (I was talked down from the 50K by my husband who thinks maybe I should ease my way into the longer distance)

- Half Voyageur Trail Marathon (it is a non - Jarrow's Beach year; can I defend my top ten place ? )

- One of the fall Superior Trail races (definitely not the 100!) and/or

- Wild Duluth 50K

Ambitious? Maybe. But then I am the woman who decided I would knit lace curtain panels out of linen for my front door and completed most of one before being distracted by nursing school, while still homeschooling one child and serving on a couple of nonprofit boards ;->

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Better Living Through Chemicals

Looks like a mellow guy doesn't he? Yeah, except when he needs to be left home alone! Porter has had issues with separation anxiety for a long time. It ebbs and flows and we had gone through at least one major deconditioning episode a few years back after a particularly bad summer (road construction/blasting a block away and very hot weather). He had been doing okay, though we tried to minimize how often and long he would be left alone, until this summer. It got bad again! We had to move his dog house as, in his efforts to free himself, he got into the neighbors basement window and slipped his collar (thereby not strangling). After the move, we left him one day and came back to no sauna door.

Seperation anxiety is akin to a panic attack. The destruction is out of the animals control, usually happens shortly after being left, and punishing him will only make the anxiety worse. Since I knew there were times we would need to leave him home alone and I was limited in the amount of time I had to work on the deconditioning it was time to call the vet for medications.

Our first attempt was valium. Dogs can take a huge dose! One that would be near lethal to a human. We tried it one day when he would be home alone a very short time. We ended up with essentially a drunk dog with the munchies - he ate everything in sight, food or non-food. Not good.

Our second attempt was clomipramine. Now, that takes time to build up in the system (as do most tricyclic antidepressants) and we did not have a lot of time as Porter would need to be home alone for three days while I was at work. This despite efforts to find a dogsitter to stay with him - it is really hard to find someone who is available during the day!

We started the meds last week and today he was home alone for 8 hours. We had been working on some deconditioning stuff all along (all good things happen out in the backyard/near his doghouse - food for example; enter/exit through the back door; leaving him out on his line - on the front porch - most of the day while we were home; reinforcing obedience training skills) and he seemed to be doing well with it, but I was still not sure what I would come home to.

I came home to a dog laying in his doghouse, who greeted me appropriately (not excessively) and no destruction out back. Report from the neighbor was that he did his usual whining for a bit, chewed on a log, then hung out. He did wait until I was back to pick up his treat-stuffed kong and seemed to have skipped eating most of his morning meal - though was happy to finish that up once I was there. Yeah!!! Now to get through the next two days.

I am continuing to work on the deconditioning, but it is easier with the help of a pharmaceutical.

Tonight he came with to the Wednesday night run. I had thought I had someone lined up to watch him while I ran, but that fell through at the last minute so I asked around at the race and eventually met up with a friends 14 yr old nephew who was willing to hang out with Porter. Thanks Ian! [Why not run with Porter you ask? Well, I did that on Sunday and despite all the fun he had during that run (tail up and wagging, stayed ahead of me) the next day it became apparent his running days are over - he could hardly walk his back end was so stiff and sore. He still is having trouble shaking without falling over. It is a sad day in the wildknits household].

I got to run and it didn't hurt! This is only the second run I have done since Bown's Point and only my second race in the Fall Series. My IT band has been a problem. Sunday I ran three miles, slow but hilly, and was hurting by the end. Then I went on to play not one, but two, 90 minute soccer games. I was really hurting by the end of the second game and needed assistance descending the hill from the soccer field. Today felt pretty good despite the hilly course. I had taken 600 mg of ibuprofen before the run ;-> but only felt a little soreness and tightness below my knee on the lateral side of my lower leg, not where I usually feel the pain.

I am feeling a lot more hopeful about being able to run more regularly. BTW - soccer had not been bugging my leg in the previous two games and I only think it was bad last Sunday because: 1) I ran earlier that day and 2) I played for three hours. I wonder if faster running (soccer is a lot of sprinting, direction changes, and running backwards) might not be as hard on my ITB. Hmmm. Interesting theory at least.

The foam roller came in the mail yesterday. Six inches is really wide!! I think I could have gotten away with four, and am really glad I only ordered an 18" vs 3' roller. Tried it out last night briefly. Hard to balance on it and especially hard to keep using it in areas that hurt (which is the whole point after all). But I will persist as there are races to be run this fall and races to plan and train for in the coming year.

Knitting???? Started another ribbed hat, this time in a yarn called - of all things - Tuna (yes Chris I still have some of it). Not sure of its country of origin - can't read the label, do know it is 100% wool and moth-proof though.

Am holding the bird mittens' thumbs hostage until I get a foot tracing from my daughter. It is hard to finish a project if you have nothing in the line-up. I have yarn for a pair of socks I would like to knit as a gift, but need the tracing from someone with a sz 13- 14 foot (male). She happens to know someone like that and it won't spoil the surprise like asking the actual recipient would ;->

Temps are cool up north and the colors are really starting to pop out. Looking forward to the weekend and time on the Superior Hiking Trail even farther north. Will take Porter ( of course) and a camera, so may have some pictures to post by early next week.

If anyone is interested check out:

I will be helping out with the roving aid station. The course photos brought back a lot of fond memories of training runs this summer.