Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I have been giving a bit of thought to what I want to accomplish in my running for 2011 and it's real simple.

Must haves
Run for at least 12 hours at FANS (finish healthy is a must)
Finish the Afton 50k (enter healthy is a must)
Finish the Superior 50 (enter and finish healthy is a must)

Planning on
Running some marathons
Volunteering at a few events
Another Turtle Trot
Running some 5k's, 8k's and/or 10k's with the family
Running Surf the Murph 50
Gobble Gait 8k

Thinking about
Potawatomi 50
Chippewa 50k
Twin Cities Marathon

Nice to haves
Add a few more states to my 50 state quest

That's it. For now :-)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A great running song

I was listening to the new Running to Disney podcast now renamed and branded "This Running Life" and the opening song caught my attention. I could have sworn it was from Creed or someone like that but it turns out it is from a band named "2 Sided Story" and I had never heard it before, so much for my song memory. If you get a chance check out Gordon's new blog and podcast, his story is pretty amazing, started running a few years ago, turned vegan, lost 90 pounds and just finished a 3:48 marathon taking almost 2 hours off his previous marathon best.

He was also just on the The Runners Roundbable

with the woman who encouraged and coached him and I am pretty sure taught him a lot about the vegan lifestyle. Her name is Megan and she too has a podcast and blog, it is called Run Vegan Run.

Listening to their podcast on the roundtable has me thinking yet again about the vegan lifestyle, here is a link to roundtable blog where you can find that episode - RRT 109: Vegan Running. Also a few weeks back they had an episode on Nutrition with Nancy Clark (she has written many books on nutrition for athletes), give that episode a listen to, it is episode 107.

And here is the song:

Find more artists like 2 Sided Story at Myspace Music

I captured some of the lyrics (I think I got them mostly right),

Breaking free from the chains of disparity
I now see with clarity
Things will change and my life's rearranging and I don't need your empathy
I push back when my back is to the wall
Wise up when I start to fall
Reach out when I want to scream about can somebody help me

I knell down when I have to pray, I keep trying every day
Cuz through it all I tell myself I can go all the way
It is what I have to do, don't matter win or lose
Don't care what the hell they say it's my life anyway

I'll rise above the rest , cuz in the end I gave it all to break this claim
Cuz this is my life, cuz this is my life

Seem's so complicated so frustrating to find the strength
To move on through my life story to the glory and
Chase with each step what I am made for

I push back when my back is to the wall
Wise up when I start to fall
Reach out when I want to scream about can somebody help me

I knell down when I have to pray, I keep trying every day
Cuz through it all I tell myself I can go all the way
It is what I have to do, don't matter win or lose
Don't care what the hell they say it's my life anyway

I'll rise above the rest , cuz in the end I gave it all to break this claim
Cuz this is my life, cuz this is my life

Oh yeah, yeah, I got to find a way
Never gonna back away
I control my fate
I won't be afraid
I will fight to be
A better part of me
It's time I change my life
It is what I have to do, don't matter win or lose
Don't care what the hell they say it's my life anyway

I'll rise above the rest, cuz in the end I gave it all to break this claim
Cuz this is my life, cuz this is my life, this is my life............................

Friday, December 17, 2010

2010 Goals Review

Well, it's that time of year again, time to take that retrospective look back and say what worked and what didn't for this year.I am thinking that I will probably do 2 or 3 posts on this subject and this is the first one and it's on my:
Goals Review
  1. Run 1500 miles
  2. Improve December mileage
  3. Stay Healthy
  4. Complete and TCM
  5. Add 3 states and/or run 3 50 milers
  6. Run a race on the Superior trail
  7. Improved core and fitness
Well, the month is not over but it is safe to say that on every goal I pretty much swung and missed. I am not used to this much failure in achieving my goals, so right now I am more than a little humbled at how poorly I did.

Here's the rest of the story.
  1. Run 1500 miles - I was on track for 1800 going into August, the Superior 50 injuries ended any chance of that. Right now, it's only looking like ~1300 miles. My lowest total since 2007 but it still might be my 3rd highest mileage for any year which means I haven't had too many really good years. Here are my monthly mile posts for 2010.
  2. Improve December mileage - I thought this was a no brainer, then the injury from Superior took out September, October and November. As December started I had hopes of ramping up my mileage but two things happened, the ankle wasn't ready at the start of the month and now that it's feeling better (at least I hope it is), how do I say snow lots and lots of snow, most recently 20+ inches of snow have made running problematic. It does work for snowshoe running which can be a lot of fun and a really good workout. Although to be fair to myself, I am actually on track to beat last December's mileage (59) by 10 or 15 miles and I should be above my career average mileage (62.9 miles) for December as well.
  3. Stay Healthy - I sustained a slight injury at McNaughton that almost caused me to drop but I was able to kind of work through it and it had no known long term affect. I was in the medical tent at FANS for 2 hours with hypothermia and a really sore back. The back then caused me to drop at Afton at the 25k mark and then you have the Superior 50. I rolled the ankle a few miles in, ran and hobbled for another 25 miles and ultimately missed the cutoff. During that race I torqued a calf muscle which tore the week after which took my mind off the ankle for a month, then the calf started getting better but then I noticed that the ankle was bugging me, which then continued for another two. So 12+ weeks removed, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can run with almost no pain.
  4. Complete Afton 50k and TCM. See number 3 for Afton where I DNF'd and I didn't complete TCM as it was a DNS. I reluctantly made the decision to not show up as I could barely walk so I guess I should cut myself some slack for that one.
  5. Add 3 states and/or run 3 50 milers - Got a little closer on this one, added Nebraska and Illinois. Signed up for 3 50's only completed McNaughton, 42+ miles at FANs and only 27 miles at Superior.
  6. Run a race on the Superior trail - Hey I did this one, at least I ran part of a race on the trail.
  7. Improved core and fitness - Good concept and after the back issue at FANs, I did work on it for a month or two but all in all, I might have missed this goal the most.
So do you want to guess what my 2011 goals are? It really shouldn't be too hard. Check out my goals tab and see if you got it right.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Back to Back Marathons in 2012?

Well, believe it or not I haven't forgotten my 50 state goal nor my goal of running back to back marathons on consecutive days. Although lately it seems like I have, anyway, I was listening to a podcast the other day and the show was on running back to back marathons and he ran them in states I have not done.

The marathons are the New Hampshire and Maine Marathons, run this year on October 2nd and 3rd respectively. They are only a 100 miles apart so race logistics would real easy to coordinate.

When I looked up these marathons, I started to look for some other ones the weekend before and after and I found that marathonguide.com

has an nice interactive map, it's useful for finding marathons in say a given month, you just zoom in the region you are interested in, get the race name and start connecting the races together.

As an example, using it I discovered another option out on the the east coast would be the Hartford (Connecticut) and Amica (Newport, Rhode Island) Marathons, run next year on October 15th and 16th respectively. I should point out thought that the Hartford event was run on 10/9th this year so I will need to confirm the two in for 2012

And if I don't like that one or the dates don't work in future years, here is yet another option out on the the east coast, Baltimore (MD) and Atlantic City (NJ) , run next year on 10/15th and 10/16th respectively.

So I am marking my calendar for say maybe 2012, when we can take a nice scenic drive or flight over to the east coast to run a few races. I think for now, I will use the map to find a few more options for those back to back weekends and then maybe I will get lucky and logistics will work out for this year but I am not counting on it until the fall of 2012.

I haven't really worked yet on my race calendar for next year but it's safe to say that I will be having a rematch with a few courses who pretty much won this year. I do know that I am already looking forward to another date with the Superior 50.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Contrasting Worlds

Last Saturday, Wayne, Karen and I were the first ones to snowshoe through fresh snow in Lebanon Hills. It was a harder than I expected but heck I am pretty much a slug now anyway after 12 weeks of occasional running. A picture from the trail.

And then on Monday here was a picture from the trail.

And here was my trail

I was in Hollywood, Florida attending a conference for my boss, not a bad place to be sent. Here was the view from the convention center deck.

And here are a few more pictures to think about.

And then on Thursday, I ran with Wayne in Lebanon Hills and the trail looked like this.
Actually it's a picture from last year but then again, can you really tell the difference.

And then today, well I think the best way to describe today is that it's a great day to cross train. Right now they are saying we going are to get between 12 and 18 inches of snow, with wind gusts of 40 mph and if that doesn't pique your interest, here is our 5 forecast.

Kind of makes you want to consider moving to Minnesota, you betcha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5-Day Forecast
Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday
20° F | -8° F
Partly Cloudy
4° F | -13° F
Partly Cloudy
0° F | -13° F
Partly Cloudy
7° F | -1° F
Chance of Snow
18° F | 11° F
100% chance of precipitation
Partly Cloudy Partly Cloudy Partly Cloudy Chance of Snow
30% chance of precipitation

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving & Pederson Run?

I debated posting this one but I decided that although it is more personal than I am normally comfortable posting, it would be ok to do so.

Thanksgiving Day featured a family run, my wife, my daughters, a boyfriend and I all went over to Hastings and participated in the Gobbler Gait. It was the first time in probably 13+ years that all of my family had participated in a run (I should probably note that 13+ years ago we probably didn't give the girls a choice which is why they did it :-) and it was the first time we had done the Hastings event. My youngest daughter ran the 8k course the fastest, my wife and I ran together and my oldest daughter and her boyfriend walked the course. Although the weather was quite cold (~5 to 10F), we had a blast and it is a nice course, with easy logistics and an overall fun event. We plan to make it a new Thanksgiving tradition.

After the race we got together with friends, we have done this for the last 23 years, and yes, it has been a great tradition. We originally started doing it when we all decided to stay in MN for Thanksgiving versus driving 4 to 12 hours to visit family. It has led to a very nice calm, pleasant and stress free Thanksgiving day. I know my wife and family consider ourselves lucky and blessed to have such a nice tradition.

After Thanksgiving, I was planning on getting some things done and then heading to Afton on Saturday for the Pederson Benefit run. I registered on Friday but let Alicia know that I was iffy as my ankle didn't really do well during or after the 8k. So I had pretty much decided to not meet Wayne and Karen to run a loop but instead was debating heading up later to take in the auction and visit with them and others. I know that I am not a social person by nature and as an injured runner I am even more non-social. For whatever reason though I didn't feel like I should go and I wasn't sure why as I like all the ultra/trail runners I have met and had really planned on going.

As it turns out, it was a good choice, my wife received a call from our youngest daughter that she was having chest pains, for the record she is 17. Not a call a parent expects. We drove over to pick her up from work and to figure out what was up. When we got there, she said she had chest pains and then had kind of passed out, gotten light headed or something when she went to talk to her boss. So we drove her to urgent care but decided maybe the emergency room would be a better choice. They quickly hooked her up to an EKG machine and got preliminary readings that all seemed normal. With the triage complete, we waited for a while (a long while) before they called us back for additional testing. They again hooked her up to an EKG, the Doctor came in, and asked my daughter about the pain and then he asked my wife a few more questions on family history.

One of the questions caused him to be a bit more concerned as my wife told him that she has antiphospholipid-syndrome, it is a blood clotting issue that we (along with our Dr's) believe caused us to have a still birth during our second pregnancy (at 25 weeks) and then made for a pretty complex pregnancy for our youngest. For that pregnancy my wife had to inject herself with heparin 3 times a day, she was tested weekly to make sure her blood was at the right clotting level, we went from the right level to unexpected nose bleeds (not enough clotting) to the wrong level (to much clotting), repeat cycle again and again, she had a fairly large hematoma from an injection, a whole lot of stress and a lot of Doctors, suffice it to say when our youngest was born, we called her our miracle baby for a reason.

Back to the hospital, when he heard that, he paused and asked had she been tested? We said no and he said, he would do a chest x-ray and then he left, then he came right back in and said he wanted to do a cat scan instead to make sure that there wasn't a blood clot. So we went through the test and all turned out clear. He then said he was comfortable that she had pleurisy and that she would be fine in a few more days. So our 5 hour adventure came to a happy conclusion.

I know I was sure happy that I hadn't gone out to the Pederson running event and although it was a long afternoon at the hospital everything we experienced sure helped me appreciate the right things (faith, family and friends) to be thankful for. I hope everyone had a great thanksgiving.


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