Off to the Twin Cities this weekend to run the Trail Mix 25K. Will leave after work and a meeting tomorrow, stay at my sisters and head over to Hyland Park to see what kind of shape I am really in.
In the past week this is what I have been up to:
Removing straw (a bales worth) off of my garlic bed.
My garlic growing mentor stated it was safe to take the straw off last weekend. It was a two day process. A bale is a lot of straw and that handrail is between waist and shoulder height on me. So, every forkful of straw (which was pretty wet= heavy) had to be lifted over the railing. Then the cart had to be hauled either up - or down - our steep hill to dispose of the straw. After a barely averted disaster in the woods below my house (even steeper slope than my yard) I opted to haul the straw up to the backyard and dump it next to the compost bin. Slightly shorter journey, but meant I had to fork the straw out of the cart too. Took about 5 cartloads to clear the bed completely.
I know you can't see the garlic sprouts, but there were at least 35 garlic plants with pale shoots showing, some as tall as 5 inches once they unfolded. A week later, they are turning an interesting color - mix of yellow tips, reddish coloration and a bit of green showing at the bottom. Even more sprouts are showing up too. I am excited to see how much garlic we get! Some will get saved for replanting (biggest bulbs).
During my breaks from hauling straw I wandered around the yard checking on the other perennials. No sign of the hops yet, but once they start growing they seem to shoot up a foot a day. Rhubarb is poking it's head out of the soil and I am contemplating putting more in. We never have enough for freezing despite the three or four clumps we have (over-harvesting?). Daffodils are coming up as are the autumn crocuses (no flowers until September)and the star of bethlehem. Chives are up (they share space with the hops). Looks like it could be a good plum year - tree seems to be full of buds - lets hope for flowers and not just leaves. Last year was an off year, so hoping that we have a bumper crop this year. I have 100 strawberry plants on order with the intent to plant at least half of them. Rest will go to friends. Our strawberry bed had pretty much died off so it was time to replant. This time will try to plant in rows to make harvesting a bit easier, though we will not reap the benefits until next year (need to pinch the flowers the first year). May need to expand the strawberry bed. We also have a lot of seedlings coming our way and will need to expand the garden plots to accommodate the plants.
Thursday's are run to work days. I have adjusted my route a bit to include a run down Lincoln Parkway. This includes passing under the 10th St. Bridge. This has been the sight of some serious ice as the sun does not reach under the bridge very well. I took this photo last Sunday:
The ice was still there today - though less extensive. Fortunately it was covered with some sand so the footing was better than last week. I tried to remember that today's run was to be "easy". Think I did okay with it. Started out with temperatures in the low 40's, sun shining and no wind to speak of. Immediately stuffed my hat and mittens into my pack - too warm before I had left the house! Found myself grinning as I ran because it was such a beautiful day!
Tuesday I also ran to work taking a slightly longer route. From my house I climbed up to Skyline and headed west, descending on a steep and windy road with minimal shoulders. Fun times as I headed down past work trucks with trailers grinding their way up the hill. Only got scary near the bottom where the road got quite steep and was covered with gravel and then taconite pellets from the trains that pass across the road. Opted to run on the very slanted soft shoulder vs risking a fall on the gravel and into traffic. Should be ready for the ski hill Saturday!
This week has been a taper (after the aborted long run last Saturday). My original plan was to run the Trail Mix as a "supported" training run, not as a race. Now I am leaning more towards seeing what I can do at this distance on this course ;->
I have not been back to this part of the Twin Cities since I was about 15 or 16 years old and lived very near this park. I am sure it has changed a lot in the past 25+ years.
OKC: Working on the lace scarf again. Set aside the socks as I need to knit the heel now which takes as much concentration as lace. Not sure which project will be packed for this weekend, though the scarf does have a deadline...
Next post: race report
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