Saturday, March 07, 2009

Commuting via running

This has been a good week for running. Got in all of my planned runs and managed to leave my car at home (really in my daughters' hands) for two of them.

Monday: 0 miles (day off - recover from soccer)
Tuesday: 3.7 miles from job #1 to job #2, may make this a weekly ritual
Wednesday: 6 miles
Thursday: 2.7 miles (usual run to work - this time on a gorgeous sunny morning with no ice on the roads)
Friday: 0
Saturday: 11.2 (commute to a board development/nominations committee meeting)
Sunday: plan is soccer as usual

All of my commuting is done with a pack on my back with the bare minimum for the day. What's the bare minimum? Tuesday it was a winter coat (liner actually), datebook, phone, wallet, empty water bottle, change of undergarments (wore my running clothes to job #1, keep scrubs a work). Thursday the pack contains pretty much the same thing for the same reason. Today was a bit different. Left the date book home, added a change of clothes to the winter coat, filled the water bottle and tossed in some chopped up cliff bar for during the run, and a luna bar and a handful of fig newtons for afterwards, plus the paperwork I needed for the meeting.

When commuting I am using my REI Half Dome pack (size small). It is bright red, so hopefully I am more visible to the vehicles out there. Can carry a water reservoir if needed though that would have been overkill today. Would be overkill for long runs in general, except when you need a change of clothes. Cinches down pretty tight overall to minimize bouncy and is actually pretty comfortable to wear. Today's run is the longest I have ever done with it. Must be some overall benefit to running long with a pack, right?

Early in the run I was passed by two male runners also out for a long run. Quick hello and comment that I must be running long (yeah, with a meeting afterwards so need a change of clothes). I kept seeing them for almost half of my run - always a block or two ahead. Had to watch myself so that I didn't speed up in some vain attempt to catch up (never would have happened). Eventually they disappeared in the Woodland neighborhood.

The run was amazingly flat for Duluth. Hike and run up to Skyline from the house was one of the biggest hills, then gentle rollers throughout until I got out east where after a climb I headed downhill for the next mile or so. Transitioning from that to flat roads was a bit tough late in the run. then out to the expressway and a loop back onto London Rd and the site of my meeting.

Lake Superior was beautiful this morning. Sun glinting off of shards of ice and open water not too far off shore.

The wind was interesting today. Weather service claims it is out of the north over the hill and calm by the Lake. And I would have agreed with that through out most of the run, but heading back into town on London Rd meant running into a head wind the whole way - what the heck?! Figured when I turned back into town the wind would have been at my back and or quartering, not in my face. Oh well, resistance training.

At once point I glanced at my watch and thought - "shoot, I am late for the meeting!" then recalculated and realized that my watch was keeping track in hours, then minutes, not minutes and I had plenty of time (like I could have gone much faster at that point).

All in all a good run followed by a productive meeting.

OKC: working on a lace scarf for the Superior Hiking Trail Silent Auction. Need to cast on for a hat for my nephew who turns two in a week.

Speaking of the Superior Hiking Trail: I volunteered to offer a trail running workshop at this years annual meeting. Any tips??? I have an hour. Other than: "pick up your feet" - what else could I say??? I am thinking:"Let's go for a run". The meeting is held at Wolf Ridge ELC and there are plenty of trails there to run on (though will avoid the one with the nesting goshawk this year).


Chris said...

As a cyclist, I can tell you that it doesn't matter what direction the wind is allegedly from - it's always against you. :)

wildknits said...

So true. Glad I ran yesterday as today is grey and very windy! Makes yesterday look calm.

SteveQ said...

My advice? "Don't look at your feet and you'll snag a tree root. Look at your feet and you'll snag a tree branch."