Finally the sun has come out in northern Minnesota! Temperatures reached the low (very low) 40's at the Wildknit's homestead. A benefit of being perched on the hillside with a southeast facing slope (offsets having to haul all the groceries, etc up 36 steps).
It has been quite grey and somewhat snowy around here. Tuesday I wussed out - just could not face running in heavy wet snow and high winds. I know - managed all winter, but... well, I just couldn't face it. Wednesday I was out for a 6 mile run with the usual group - and as always - with a wicked headwind on the way back.
I run with folks who are faster than me, much faster. They are kind enough to keep things at my pace, which over the winter has improved greatly. I owe them all, especially one person who even runs with me on long runs, for my increased speed this year. Wednesday they took off and I finished the run on my own (which is okay with me, sometimes I just need the folks at the start to get me going, then am happy to putter along on my own). As I said the headwind was strong and I am not much for running into the wind. I set myself the goal of keeping them within "a block", then it became "two blocks" and then... well, I was happy to be able to see them around corners ;-> The run ended up being the fastest of the year for me - with even splits. I don't often push myself really hard, but I decided to see if I could hang on to the pace for the whole run.
Thursday (which is for running to work, you know) I decided to try and take it easy. The road conditions made that a good idea. Just enough melting and freezing occurred over night to make some sections of road a skating rink. Of course, this was all on the steep sections and the ice covered the whole width of the road - which was slanted towards the creek and a ravine ;-> Wish I would think to bring my camera (really, it is more about getting going sooner so I would have time to stop and take photos) as the first mile of my route takes me along Miller Creek which runs through Lincoln Park and some pretty fantastic canyons. The ice formations and high water are pretty cool right now. Made a point of checking my heart rate frequently during the run, aiming to keep it below 160. Did pretty well (avg 152, peak 167). For what is essentially a downhill run, there are some pretty significant uphills on my route, which explains the peak HR.
Saturday I joined friends for the 5 miler. This time I had agreed to run a nice easy 5 with a friend. Felt easy to me, but apparently it was nice as easy as it was supposed to be. Saturday was also the first day we had blue skies and sun in far too long. It was nice to just stand there and soak up the rays after the run. Spent the rest of the day puttering around, running a few errands (new sock yarn found it's way home with me, not sure how THAT happened!) and paying a visit to a friend in the hospital.
Sunday has turned into my long run day for the past couple of weeks. Today the wind was gusting up to 13+ out of the north. After having my running plans change mid-morning I ended up plotting a route that had me dropped off up the shore a bit and running into town and then down Park Point to Sky Harbor Airport. Essentially I ran part of the Grandma's route, then onto the Lakewalk and across the Lift Bridge onto the point (thankfully no ships were going out so I did not have to wait for the bridge). Why end at an airport? Well... Mr. Wildknits had some work to do down there so I could get a ride home (and miss out on a wicked last mile if I was to run home - from about 650' to 1200' or so). Bonus - it was nice and sunny still and the hangers blocked the wind off the lake so I could sit and stretch in the sun, out of the wind. Took advantage of another opportunity to expose some more skin and generate some Vitamin D.
Got in a nice 3 mile walk afterwards. Resurrecting a tradition from last year. Find it helps with post-long run stiffness. Still battling blisters on my left foot so it was hard to put shoes back on. Will be nice when I can switch to sandals after a long run (maybe by Trail Mix?).
Again, my goal today was to run nice and easy, keeping the heart rate below 160. Did pretty well overall with an average of 159 and a peak of 180 (decided to sprint the last .10 of a mile). This was a very flat route - by Duluth standards. Not my favorite kind of run, but a nice change from the usual and hopefully easier to keep the pace - and heart rate - under control.
OKC: lace scarf is progressing nicely and a new pair of socks have been cast on (needed something simple for when lace is too complicated).