Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Night Ramblings

Sitting here after finishing a meal of home-made pizza (store-bought crust, brushed with olive oil and piled with sliced fennel bulb, garlic and mozzarella), sipping on a pint of homebrew
while I digest my meal and work on a pair of socks before heading out to the sauna for a good "bake".

Reflecting on my fortunes - small as they may seem by some folks' standards, pretty big by others.

2010 is off to a good start and I am slowly planning out the year. Contemplating vacations to Isle Royale, mapping out the races I would like to get to, carving out time to spend with family and friends, thinking about ways to improve my knowledge related to work (the 2 year clock is ticking on CME's) and mulling over potential knitting projects and who to gift them to.

I have been doing a better job than ever maintaining my running mileage - though this weekend's predicted weather may put that to the test! I am way ahead of where I have been in past years at this time with a long run in the 13 mile range. Last weekend I attended the start of the Northwoods Snowshoe Marathon then ran from Lester Park uphill to Skyline Boulevard and home. It was a great test of fitness as the first three miles involved a 450+ foot climb and the mix of snowmobile trail and roads gave me no real excuses to walk. The only breaks I took were at stoplights and I was thrilled with the amount of time it took to get home. Of course, I had a bit of a deadline hanging over my head so it motivated me to push a bit harder than I would have otherwise.

Soccer has also started so I am following my Saturday long runs with anywhere from 45 - 90 minutes of sprinting about a gym floor on Sunday evenings. Soccer is a contact sport (I have heard some argue it is a blood sport) and I had stopped playing in the summer and fall due to fear of injury (in the past I have taken a nasty blow to a flexed quad = inability to straighten my leg for some time). The indoor league is a fast game and I enjoy the opportunity to get in a "speed workout" in a game environment. Besides, the flying elbows and legs kind of remind me of some race starts ;->

This past week I finally ventured out on my cross-country skis even though it involved the use of some pretty sticky kick wax. It was a fun slip and slide around the local trail even though I spent way too much time falling on the first loop. Luckily my body seemed to remember what it was doing for the second loop and I stayed atop my skis - for the most part.

Yesterday - being Thursday - I ran to work. This time I took a slightly longer route via Skyline Boulevard (it stretches the length of Duluth) and was rewarded for the climb by an incredible sunrise over Lake Superior which lit up the trees on the hillside. The majority of my commute took place surrounded by woods so I was bathed in the golden glow and protected from the wind. By the time I hit the .86 mile descent to the neighborhood I work in I was grinning like a fool - a sight to see for the commuters trapped in their cars headed up the hill. I think I even caught one or two of them smiling back.

Not sure if I have stated my race plans for 2010 yet, but since I can't readily lay my hands on a post that spells them out here they are:

April - Trail Mix 25K
May - Superior 50K
June - Knife River Solstice 5K
July - Voyageur 50 mile (yes, I am making the leap into the abyss)
August - Marquette Trail 50K (possibly, still trying to decide)
October - Wild Duluth 50K

Would love to go back to Surf the Murph but I keep hearing rumors it may be moving earlier into October and Wild Duluth is the hometown race (and my first ever 50K) so will win out.

Of course mixed in there will be the NMTC Spring (late April to early June) and Fall (September to November) Series as well as one to two backpacking trips to Isle Royale.

Hopefully I am not being overly ambitious with my schedule.

And with that it is time to sauna....

Addendum: Sauna was 190+ degrees F. I lasted only two rounds and that was with copious applications of water to self (and some to the stove). Hot enough to melt the glue in magazines. But, not much can beat sitting in a chair in a snowbank, listening to the wind in the trees, gazing off into the distance with not a whole lot on the mind. The gift of sauna!


Kel said...

Does Voyageur have an RD for 2010 yet?

wildknits said...

Kel - I have not heard that anyone has taken it on as of yet. Guess I am being a bit optimistic aren't I?

Londell said...

There is always the Superior 50? Or Moose Mountain as a solid training for Wild Duluth.

wildknits said...

Londell, good point. I am usually leaving for Isle Royale (or there already) at the time of the Fall Superior Races, so do not even have them on my radar.

Chris said...

Is it as crazy slippery up there as it is here?! Yikes...

wildknits said...

Chris - I hear it is. I have refused to go outside today ;-> Instead I have puttered about the house, doing a few chores, finishing up a pair of socks, sorting through the yarn stash in the living room (discovering the silky wool so I can fix my mittens) and upstairs to find some yarn that I think will make an acceptably manly version of the "runners hat". Now on to winding off some yarn from cones to work up that hat 9and do some math to upsize it a bit).

Jean said...

Lisa, good luck with your race goals for this year! Sounds like your year is off to a good start with your training. Now, if we can just get it to stop raining... :)

The homebrew looks that a stout? Yum.

wildknits said...

Jean - not a stout, it is an ale (so says the brewer - and I am now being educated on the differences in yeast and brewing styles and... well, you get the picture. I am just the assistant). It is made with orange peel, ginger, honey and cinnamon, in addition to the hops and two types of malt. It is quite tasty and a wildknits holiday tradition (one year we had a Christmas Eve explosion - haven't used pellatized hops since ;->).

I believe this batch includes hops grown on our front porch.

I am all for the rain stopping! Ridiculous for this time of year.

Jenny said...

I still haven't had the opportunity to try out the home brew. Looks outstanding!! That is a hobby I could totally support in a husband. Maybe when Ryan's knees finally blow out he will take up brewing and baking like Jon. ;) Sad no Surph The Murph this year!

wildknits said...

Jenny, that particular batch is gone! But a second is n its way. A visit is in order to sample I say. I am hoping to hear that Surf the Murph stays on the same weekend, making it possible to add back in to the schedule.