Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Blustery Day in the Northwoods

Today's run stats:
 - starting temperature:  -6 F (windchill in the -20's*)
 - 10 miles of single-track in the Piedmont/Brewer Park area. Some sections had been well-traveled, others presented more challenging footing
 - ending temperature: 3 F (windchill in the -teens*)
*windchill is only a factor if you are exposed to the wind; parts of today's run were quite protected and with the sun out it was actually very comfortable. 

The tunnel under Haines Rd. I love that it is labeled for the hiking trail,
though serves a snowmobile and mountain bike trail as well. 

Bridge on Lollygagger, one of the trails comprising the Duluth Traverse.

We flushed a ruffed grouse from it's resting place.

Overlooking Haines Rd and a section of Fox Rocks that we had run earlier. 

Looking over the Piedmont area and out to Lake Superior.
My goal was to run 12-14 miles today or 3 hours, whichever came first. In reality I called it quits at 10 miles and 2:18. Significant portions of the trails we used today had seen little use since our snowfall earlier this week and presented soft footing. Often hiking was as fast as running. 

I did head back out in the afternoon with Mr. Wildknits for a 2 mile snowshoe - our first of this winter season. We spent an hour packing down a section of the Superior Hiking Trail above our house. A few areas were quite drifted due to the strong winds the past few days. 

I wore my new Nathan VaporShadow, not because I needed that much capacity today, but to test out the fit and ride (see the photo that won me the pack here: I did stuff an additional long-sleeve jacket in just in case and carried my usual supplies of wet wipes, gels, and camera. Today, instead of a hydration bladder or water bottle I carried a couple of 5 oz gel flasks filled with water. The pack was quite comfortable and didn't move around at all. It will be good to give it a try with a bit more weight as the weather moderates and my weekend runs get longer.

I have been pretty busy knitting of late, mostly smaller items including socks, mittens, hats and another Wingspan. A sweater I designed is hibernating right now while I contemplate what type of neckline I want (leaning towards shallow v-neck).

Runner's Hat - Wild Duluth 100K Edition

Silk Mittens
In Other News
I have a new employer. It was not an easy decision to leave my former workplace as I had been involved with the organization for 21 years in one capacity or another, but the past couple of years were not good, my health was suffering because of it, and I needed to make a change. I deeply miss many of my co-workers, colleagues and patients.

I started work with my new employer on January 5th and so far things are going well. Learning a new system is always a challenge, but the basics of my job remain the same. After a month I finally feel like I am getting my feet under me and finding my place.

Back to Running
Monday marks 30 weeks until the Superior 100 (Sawtooth) race. Time to start official training! On the way I am planning on participating in the Spring Superior 50K and the Minnesota Voyageur Trail Ultramarathon as well as a couple of shorter road races as part of the USATF-MN Team Circuit for Northwoods Minnesota-Wisconsin.


Olga King said...

Love the knits!

wildknits said...

Thanks Olga! I have been remiss on taking photos of my knitting. Maybe one of these days when the sun is shining and the temps are above 0F I will do a photo shoot. Lots more knitting to show off.

Londell said...

Congrats on making a positive decision. At times it is easy to stay in a job where you are not happy as it is secure and comfortable I know I really need to consider a change!

wildknits said...

I probably overstayed my previous position by about a year (at least that is when I first started brushing up my resume). I was(am) very dedicated to their mission and enjoyed my colleagues which made it hard to leave. But there is a point where you need to do what is right for yourself.

Londell, from some of what you have written sounds like you may be in a similar situation.

Many workers are as we are expected to do more with less and there are (seemingly) no consequences for managers/supervisors that are abusive. Add in the need for economic security and folks get stuck in bad situations.

Olga King said...

Oh, and I quit my job on January 16th - not only a job I had stayed for the last 5 and half years, but the whole field of bio-research I worked in for almost 21. Way to go!

wildknits said...

Olga - I am impressed with your courage to follow your dreams and shift careers!! And glad that you left what sounded like a bad situation.