Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day Lakewalk Run

They were predicting a blizzard and we certainly got the high winds today. The snow didn't start until early this morning, and travel wasn't too difficult at first. Conditions deteriorated, the local bus service went to their emergency winter schedule, and our clinic shut down early. All went well on my commute up the hill until I was near my neighborhood. The main roads had been plowed, but all the side streets were blocked by snow piles over a foot high. I drive a sub-compact car, this was going to be fun!!

I made it across the first drift and into the neighborhood and was within a block of home (and across the last hilly portion of the road and another foot plus high drift) when I had to slow for a pedestrian. Sigh. With all momentum lost I started to slide towards the side of the road and was stuck. Fortunately Mr. Wildknits was at home and was able to come out to help. It took a small amount of shoveling, a slight push and I was back on my way home. Got the car home and settled in to it's alternate parking spot (we don't have off street parking or a garage) where it will stay for at least the next 36 hours.

Normally on Wednesday's a group of us meet at the Lakewalk to run. I wasn't going to be able to drive there, and emails were flying about whether or not others would make it as well. After a bit of time it became clear that Sam and I were eager to get out and both wanted to run to the Lakewalk. After all, the winds were gusting to 50+ mph at the lake shore, why not head there?

We agreed on a meeting place about a mile downhill from my house and I proceeded to get ready. Temperatures were in the low 30's, but the wind.... how to account for that? At the last minute I decided to apply a layer of Warm Skin to my face - and was glad I did later in the run.

The first mile of my run was downhill, on unplowed roads. The snow reached up to mid-calf at times and made for a fun run through the park. Once I met up with Sam we headed east on the streets, zigzagging our way down the hill until we neared downtown. By now we were getting a sense of how strong the wind was, and at times were not making much forward progress. We crossed the freeway on the "M&H bridge" and headed around the back of the DECC. Due to the high winds, there were large waves in the bay and water was sloshing over the break wall and onto the road and sidewalks in this area. This was our first, but not last, chance to get soaked feet.

We made our way to the Lakewalk and I pulled the camera out in anticipation of capturing a few photos of what Mother Nature had on offer.
Underneath those chunks of ice is the Lakewalk (paved and wooden pathways)

Underneath the chunks of ice is water from the Lake. In spots it was ankle deep. Brrrrrrrr!!!!!!!

Waves and rocks (The Lake is doing a bit of remodeling).

"Lake Superior facial". The spray off the Lake is bracing!

Sam heading back home along West Superior St.

Monday, February 20, 2012

First pedal of 2012

Took advantage of my day off, the warm temperatures and the recent dusting of snow to get out on the mountain bike for a little spin down the Bay with Mr. Wildknits. There was a brisk wind from the southeast so we turned left off the Sky Harbor Airport ramp and headed down the point toward the Superior entry first.

It was pleasant riding and I quickly warmed up and started to unzip my layers. We stopped at the old Boathouse as there was open water nearby. No point risking wet feet. On the return trip I stopped to snap a few photos:

Pressure ridge on the Bay

GFM leaning on a pressure ridge with Sky Harbor Airport in the background

The elusive Mr. Wildknits in his native habitat....

After the break we headed "up" the point, towards town. We again turned around at a boathouse - this time the one belonging to the Duluth Rowing Club. On the way back I suddenly found myself down, with my head bouncing off the ice. WTH?!?! My back tire had slipped out from under me. Even though I was wearing a helmet my head hurt for the rest of the pedal back to the airport (I can only imagine the damage that would have been done without it). I also seemed to have picked up a bruised area on my right shin (bike landing on my leg?).

All in all it was a fun ride and I would do it again.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Little of This, A Little of That

A peek at what I have been up to for the past month:

KnitaJourney Knitting Retreat: low-impact aerobics

Cedars over a stream - Jay Cooke State Park (after a rare snowfall)

Wolf tracks... Jay Cooke State Park

15 mile run at Jay Cooke State Park, this time on a warmer day , mix of snow, ice and mud.

February 5 run on the SHT - Split Rock River Loop

A skein of silk gifted to me at the KnitaJourney Retreat was turned into this lace scarf, which was then gifted to a departing colleague.

Broken Rib scarf - a knitting experiment

More lace - this time a shawl in Mini Mochi (80%merino/20% nylon).

Righteous Real Ale

Training has begun for the 2012 season, with the first race less than a month away (Human Race 8K - a USATF/Northwoods team event). After that my focus will be back on ultras with a few shorter races (NMTC series mostly) to spice things up.