Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Travel + Taper = lots of time for knitting

In mid-August I joined Marcus and Sam on the SHT for an overnight run. This provided a last chance to test out my lighting system before Sawtooth.  We started at Tettagouche at about 9:00 pm, a little later than hoped for, and ran/walked 38 miles. It was a night of amphibians, with frequent sightings of toads and tree frogs. We also took time to enjoy the incredible stars revealed as we stood on the ridges with our lights off. Marcus had the good fortune to discover a water bottle and Gerber hatchet laying in the trail between Hwy 1 and Co. Rd 6. He carried these through the night until we reached my car/aid station on Sonju Lake Rd. At that point the extra items were dropped and Marcus and I took some time to warm up and refuel before heading back out to complete our run. Sam then drove the car to Sugarloaf Rd. to meet us at the end of our planned route. 

Lessons learned: I can't see worth s*** at night with my current lighting system; what is quite runnable in the daylight is a trail full of hidden items to trip over in the dark; I get really hungry in the middle of the night; my 70 oz hydration bladder will last at most 24-25 miles in temps averaging upper 50's.  

Results of the lessons: I ordered some new lights to supplement/supplant my current system; will plan to hold a steady walking/hiking pace through the night vs trying to run and repeatedly falling; aid stations and their supplementary food supplies are an ultra runners best friend!
Interesting bridge/boardwalk in section between Co. Rd 6 and Finland. The upper/right hand boardwalk was completely unstable. The lower/left hand section was fine, but a large step down for me. Per the SHTA this probably won't be fixed by race weekend. 
"Old" shoes on the right, new on the left. Notice the difference in width?
Early in the run I caught a stick in the lateral aspect of my right shoe and ripped a substantial hole in the upper. This, in combination with the holes on the medial side of my shoes, made the gaiters I wore rather pointless.  

The uppers on these shoes started to give out by the time I hit 300 miles in wear, much earlier than with previous models. As you can see from the above photo, my shoes were in dire need of replacement after that run. Fortunately I had another pair of the same model on order and they arrived in late August, just enough time to break them in (aka allow for the stretch needed to accommodate my bunions) before Superior 100. I will probably pack the old shoes along just in case I need a wider shoe at some point. But, as of tonights run, the new shoes are feeling much more comfortable.

I just crossed over the 1300 mile mark for 2012. If I had just taken today off I could have crossed that line, as well as 1400 miles in the same event (as was kindly pointed out to me by my pacer after the fact). 

 OKC (Obligatory Knitting Content)

Tapering means I have more time to knit. Combine this with a lot of travel for Mr. Wildknits work recently (one weekend had us down to the Twin Cities one day and up to Crane Lake the next) and the result is the completion of two major projects that I have been working away at all summer:
The second design in my Mathematical Constants Series. See here for first design.
"Arrowhead Mittens" - my design based on input from the recipient and traditional mitten patterns.

And the start of one new project:
Vortex Shawl in Mini Mochi. Like all shawls, looks odd till blocked. 
I also have a skein of sock yarn, with needles tucked into the ball band, waiting for the perfect opportunity to cast on. 

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