Alban to Iola Winter Sports Club, a 10 mile day turns into 13

I walked a little over 13 miles today, 3 more than I planned. Penny is in the back seat of the car as I write this on the way home exhausted because she also walked about 13 miles. This is the farthest she has ever hiked and I don’t think I’ll have her hike that much at once again. She also hiked 7 miles yesterday, so a 20 mile weekend for her (and almost 24 for me)!

Jared and I hiked against each other again today. He dropped Penny and me off in Alban, which is a mile or so east of Rosholt. We headed south with four miles on the road to complete. It was pretty windy on the road, Penny loved walking into it. Penny was interested in a rooster making noise at a house along the way. At one point I checked my map and realized I was off the correct road route. I was about half a mile off course, so I ran/walked back to where we should have been. When I got back to the original route, I remembered that I had checked the map at this intersection and noticed I needed to continue straight. The road I was on curved to the left and another road went straight, so for some reason I stayed on the road I had been on that curved. I was a little annoyed with myself because if I got too far off track, it could cause me to do a more miles than Jared, and then he would get back to Alban before I got there with the car. I continued to do a little bit of running along the road. Soon after getting back on track, Penny stopped and noticed something. I looked ahead thinking I would see an animal or person. I noticed some bags and saw that there was a dead deer in the bags. Penny barked at the bags and wouldn’t move. I pulled her along and she passed it while barking.

We finally arrived at the beginning of the New Hope Segment. I decided to wait to put on my cleats and use my poles until I met Jared. I didn’t want to take any extra time. The trail wasn’t too icy, there were rough spots, but I was able to walk on the edge of the trail or on crunchy snow on the icy spots.

At about 6.7 miles we met Jared. It was a good spot to meet because I was at the bottom of an icy hill and would need my cleats to walk up it. Once Jared got down by us, I put on cleats, got out my poles, and gave Jared Penny’s stuff. He was going to sit down and eat lunch. I decided to continue on to make up some time. I had my lunch in my pockets, so I switched between eating and walking with my poles on the icy parts. I crossed a road, was going to check my map to see how far I had to go until the next road walk and realized I didn’t have the car keys. I called Jared, and luckily we both had cell phone reception. We both turned around to meet back up. I did more run/walking. If the trail didn’t have ice, I was running. I met up with Jared about .85 of a mile back (I was unaware of this distance at that time, I had to do the math). Jared thought he had come back about a 1/2 mile. Good thing he had taken extra time for lunch. Penny was so happy to see me and wanted to go with me, she was not happy to go in the opposite direction of me. I decided to run/walk back to where I turned around. As I was going along I just kept telling myself that if I can do this I can run the 5 miles of Crazylegs at the end of April. I haven’t run since Thanksgiving and I haven’t started training yet for Crazylegs, I guess you could say I started today!

Once I got back on track for the second time, I tried to keep a fast pace. I didn’t take too many pictures and just kept going. I did stop to take a picture of an owl in the tree, but I only had my phone, and couldn’t get close enough to be in focus. The New Hope-Iola Ski Hill Segment is very hilly and was pretty exhausting at times. Yesterday I told Jared that I wanted to get my heart rate up so that I could watch myself go into the different heart rate zones on my new GPS watch. Between the running and the hills I did get into the threshold zone a decent amount and maximum zone a bit. There is a portion of the segment that is on the road. I ran/walked this 1 mile stretch too. The running kept my legs loose, so it really wasn’t too bad. The last bit of trail was through the Iola Winter Sports Club, which has 20k (12.4 miles) of cross country ski trails!! They also do ski jumping. I’m going to have to go there sometime! The trails were really wide and there were some nice hills that would be fun to go down. I ran a little bit on the trail here, I was ready to be done! I was really happy to see the car!

I drove back to Alban and found Penny and Jared about a mile south of Alban. Penny got in for a ride and Jared tossed his pack in the car. Penny was so tired. She shook when she got in the car, and I could hear the dirty flying off of her as it hit the hammock. Penny ate some food and drank water out of travel bowls while lying down.

All throughout today’s hike my knee did not hurt at all. This weekend was a bit of a test to see if it would hurt after awhile from the IT band tendinitis. I have been doing strengthening exercises on a regular basis and I’ve been using KT Tape when I walk or hike a lot. One or both are definitely making a difference!

Today’s total mileage was 13.35 and the weekend total was 23.72.

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