This week was a step back week - long run only needed to be 6 miles(ironically a distance I had already run earlier in the week). This has been complicated by a lack of healing of my right heel.
Saturday's plan was to go on a 4 mile hike (SHTA group hike in Knife River - love this section of trail) and then run later in the day. Well, less than half-way through the hike my heel was hurting. Found a nice sunny spot with no snow on the bank of the Knife River above a waterfall to sit down and take a look at my foot. Not good - a little bit of blood and a nice crack across the back of my heel. Got out the bandage and tape and set to work - wishing I had packed some bacitracin to moisten the skin.
Funny thing about river ice - either folks are scared of walking on it or they aren't. I used to fall into the former group but with more time spent outdoors exploring north shore streams am becoming more sure of the ice and willing to walk out onto a river. And it is worth it - especially if you can be out there on a sunny, quiet day. Stop moving and you can hear the water gurgling under your feet. Hang out near a waterfall and you can see things like this:
It was neat watching the water level in the hole ebb and flow.
Other interesting sights during yesterday's hike:
Notice the 'tracks' - we were theorizing nose prints, but from what????
Found along the trail:
As we came along the trail I thought - interesting fungus growth (no contacts or glasses yesterday) than as we got closer I realized what it was - a skull someone had perched on the branch. Skull of what??? Any theories? Button buck?
Can you tell I had fun with the new camera?
Anyway - about that not-so-long long run. By the time I got home yesterday afternoon I was not too fired up about running - my heel hurt and I was a little concerned about doing more damage and not being able to play soccer on Sunday. Decided I would run Sunday in between church and soccer. Then started thinking that maybe I should space the two out a bit more and decided I could run to church. Got on gmaps pedometer to figure out a route that would be 6 miles long (I live about 4 miles from church) and would not involve too much downhill running - or uphills for that matter. My shins have returned to their usual state of 'tender to the touch' that seems to be a result of too much pavement, complicated by the nature of running in Duluth when you live 3/4 of the way up the hill.
I am fortunate to live about 300 feet off of the Superior Hiking Trail and a few blocks below Skyline Boulevard. So, by heading up from my house I could reach the trail which would take me to Skyline and head east from there to church. Throw in an extra loop up towards the colleges and around Chester Park and by the time I hit the church parking lot I was at 6.08 miles. Perfect. The route included quite a few hills: a nice warm-up climb to the SHT; rolling hills along Skyline (I always joke it is uphill both ways on this road); a one mile gradual uphill about half way through; ending with a steep descent to the church.
Heel felt fine the whole way. My secret: Bandaid blister pad. Yes, same thing that took the skin off earlier this week - but just the ticket for keeping the skin moist and protecting the cracked area from rubbing. I plan on leaving this on for the near future and re-evaluating my heel when it comes off. Though that could change after soccer this afternoon.
Training for the past week:
Monday: 0 (3 mile walk)
Tuesday: 5 in 53.09
Wednesday: 6 in 58.14
Saturday: 0 (4.2 mile hike)
Sunday: 6.08 in 56.47 plus 1.5 hrs of soccer (planned)
More days off from running than on, but all of the runs have felt pretty good and no major aches or pains. Goal is to keep it that way. From here on out mileage will be building. Would be nice to hit the trails again and do more running off of pavement, but the recent melt and freeze has made the trails treacherous - with lots of holes where people punched through on the warm days, now frozen and waiting to cause ankle turns (as happened during yesterdays hike leading to me hopping down the trail for a minute or two until the pain subsided).
On to knitting content:
Finished the half mitts in time to wear them on yesterday's hike - at least part of the time. Started a pair of socks which need to be finished within the next few weeks. Should be easy enough to accomplish even though they are a size 11. Why? Well, they are a child's 11. All of seven inches long! It has been many years since I have knit socks this small. They just fly off the needles.
For the birders out there: our feeder mostly attracts chickadees, red-breasted and white-breasted nuthatches and northern juncos. I thought nothing of this till I mentioned it to a local birder who was surprised I had juncos. Admittedly I did think it was odd I was still seeing them as I thought they did not stick around for the winter, but then, robins aren't supposed to stick around either and we see them from time to time. So, I have juncos at my feeder - think I will make it onto the birder hotline? This week we were visited by redpolls again. They are about the size of chickadees but rounder, with a speckled breast and a red spot on their foreheads. Very cute and I love having them visit the feeder. No owls this year (that I know of). We are still battling the squirrels and I am being reminded how destructive red squirrels are and that I shouldn't tolerate it's presence no matter how cute it is. I nod in agreement but probably will not be as vigorous in chasing it off.