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Another pre-race pasta

Posted Friday, May 22nd, 2015 08:31 pm GMT -5 in Food,Running at 8:31 PM

Wisconsin mac and cheese with grilled chicken, Eagan Noodles and Company

I love my people

Posted Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 03:29 pm GMT -5 in Links,Running at 3:29 PM

Superior Spring Trail Races 2015

Posted Monday, May 18th, 2015 12:27 am GMT -5 in Friends,Running at 12:27 AM

I’d been warned by Jean that this was a hard race. I had joked with the people at the Arrowhead 135 that I was planning to run a “baby ultra” as my first trail race (and first race longer than a marathon). They all laughed at me and said there is nothing “baby” about Superior.

Were they ever right.

The 50K event starts at my old haunt, Lutsen Mountains ski resort. I’ve been there so many times growing up – skiing in the winter, alpine slide and Moguls in the summer. Hell, I even had brochures to buy one of those condos when they were first built. This made everything feel very comfortable before the race. I had stayed at my sister’s apartment in Duluth the night before (with awesome marathon spaghetti from Grandma’s), woke up at 3:30am and pulled into the parking lot around 5:45.

The race organizers, Rock Steady Running, had an efficient check-in center where the gift shop used to be. I got my bib (#105) and waited for Megan and Yaniha. When I signed up for this race, I didn’t know Yaniha had already registered. When Megan found out we were both running, she got one of the last spots in the 50K. This, of course, came with the added benefit of the world-class Menning Support Team. Joan and Tom are just wonderful – hauling bags between aid stations, taking pictures, providing motivation when we want to drop out and offering a seemingly endless supply of Coke.

Minnesota has been in a drought the first part of the year. The week before the race, it rained just about every day. Saturday turned out to be the only sunny day of the week, but the trail was a mess. I’ve never seen so much mud in my life. There is still dirt on my feet now (and I’ve taken multiple showers). I threw away my socks and don’t know if my Mizunos will ever be usable again. The temperature at the start of the race was in the lower 40Fs, but quickly climbed as the day went on. It never seemed too hot, though, and there was a light breeze most of the day.

I went into this race thinking it “just” a marathon plus an extra five miles. The 4200 feet of elevation change that everyone talks about didn’t really register in my mind, but I’ll never forget those six climbs now: Mystery Mountain, Moose Mountain, Oberg Mountain, Levaux Mountain, Britton Peak and Carlton Peak. From a snobby skier standpoint, these aren’t “real” mountains, but as part of a trail race? Oh my. I honestly thought the return back up Moose Mountain was going to kill me – it was hard to even walk it slowly.

The aid stations are spaced nicely – 7.75, 13.3, 17.7 and 23.25 miles. The volunteers were amazing everywhere, but especially at those stops. You could tell a lot of them were trail runners themselves and knew exactly how I was feeling. They gave me salt tablets at the last one when I told them I was getting leg cramps and someone was always there right away to refill my water bottle. The selection of food and beverages was perfect.

I tried to run with Megan and Yaniha at the start, but we ended up getting separated a bit by the crowd of people on the single track course. They never got too far ahead at this point, though, and we reunited at the Oberg aid station. We stayed together from there to Britton and Carlton and back to Britton. The hike up Carlton was really intense, but the view at the top was amazing (along with the greetings from Chuck and his offer of free beer). I started to fall behind between the two aid stations and ended up about 35 minutes behind by the end.

My primary problems during that time were mud, fear of falling and/or twisting an ankle and the leg cramps, which strangely moved from one leg to the other (and back again). I did fall once when my right thigh cramped up, but thankfully it wasn’t into the mud. Tom gave me a great pep talk at the last aid station and asked one of the volunteers if I was clear of the cutoff. Normally, if you don’t finish within eight hours, it’s not official and the finish line closes. With the muddy conditions this year, they announced at the start that we had nine hours. The volunteer said I could walk it in from there and still be fine, which is close to what I ended up doing.

That last 7.75 miles was just brutal. I didn’t see many other people the entire time, climbing Moose was horrible, Mystery Mountain seemed to never end and the all of the downhills that I wanted to run down were incredibly muddy from all the traffic from the 25K runners. The mud was so thick and unpredictable, I didn’t want to risk injury by trying to run through it. It wasn’t all walking, but the run/walk ratio dropped significantly compared to the rest of the day. I was so happy to finally cross the Poplar River again and get back on the chalet road, where I found Tom with more words of encouragement. It was easy to run the rest of the way after that.

The finish line sits right next to the old condo pool, which was great. The party was still going when I crossed the line after nearly 8.5 hours. They announced my name and placed the tree stump around my neck. Success! I headed for the hoses to wash off some of the mud, got a Coke and clean shoes from the Mennings, posed for pictures with Megan and Yaniha, then hopped in the car to drive back to Minneapolis for the Kids in the Hall concert at the State (that I thought I’d easily make when I bought the tickets).

My official time was 8:29:06 (16:24 Minute Miles), which was good for 169th out of 186 overall, 128th of 136 men and 53rd out of 56 male masters. As Megan said, the time and rankings aren’t what it’s all about, but my goal time of seven hours was overly optimistic. I’d like to blame the muddy conditions, but most others didn’t seem to have a problem. Hell, the winner ran a 4:08 (8:00 Minute Miles) and was totally flying through the mud when he passed us on the return loop – ten whole miles in front of our pace.

Still, happy to finish at all and check off the first “baby ultra” and trail race. It was an incredible experience in a beautiful part of Minnesota with a bunch of amazing people. When I checked this morning, there was one spot left in the fall 50 miler (which Megan and Yaniha are both running – Megan for the second time). I thought about it briefly, but opted to wait. I’d like to try that distance on a course that isn’t quite that brutal before heading back north. Perhaps next year for that one.

So now I need to decide what comes next. The only race I’m currently registered for is the State Fair Milk Run 5K in August, so it’s probably time to commit to something for the fall. I’m still leaning towards the Des Moines Marathon on October 18th. It’s relatively inexpensive and would help with the 50 States goal. The I-35 Challenge is intriguing too: you run the Kansas City Marathon on Saturday and Des Moines on Sunday. Of course, this would be significantly more expensive and logistically difficult – not to mention running 52.4 miles in two days. Surf the Murph at the end of October would be an “easier” 50 mile course (and one that I’ve already run one loop of with Megan), so maybe Des Moines and that?

Decisions, decisions…


Had a few more thoughts after publishing the original post:

  • My top pain points the next day were 1) sore ankles, 2) sunburned neck and 3) bloody nipples
  • Race organizers switched from shirts to buffs this year, saying everyone has enough shirts, but I’ll always prefer a nice shirt and will never wear the buff
  • I received an inspirational tweet halfway through the race from my boss that reminded me “one step at a time” – thought about this often during the last 8 miles
  • Not sure if this was a good idea, but some kind soul creatively left a bunch of M&Ms on a tree stump near the bottom of Mystery Mountain – picked up half a dozen little miracles that immediately melted in my mouth
  • Yaniha is amazing – she qualified for Boston the week before at the Fargo Marathon, then ran this difficult 50K in under 8 hours
  • Megan is no slouch either, running the Zumbro 50 miler last month, while training for her first full Ironman in August


Today’s goal

Posted Saturday, May 16th, 2015 05:51 am GMT -5 in Running at 5:51 AM

Superior Spring Trail Races

And a new dreadmill

Posted Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 07:38 pm GMT -5 in Running at 7:38 PM

Christmas in May

Ready for Lutsen

Posted Sunday, May 10th, 2015 11:45 am GMT -5 in Running at 11:45 AM

New water bottle (and Gu)

2015 Get in Gear 10K

Posted Thursday, April 30th, 2015 12:00 am GMT -5 in Running at 12:00 AM

Last weekend was the 38th annual Get in Gear 10K – my 14th in a row (15th overall). I had a nice little streak going of sub-50 races (six in a row) that all averaged 7-something minute miles. This year I started with a 7:32 first mile, but felt a really weird pain in my chin that I’ve never experienced before. With my big race coming up next month, I decided to dial it back and ran the rest of race with splits of 8:16, 8:31, 8:44, 8:36 and 8:31 for an official time of 52:23 (8:26 average pace). This was good for 662nd place (out of 2626) and 59th in my age group (out of 136). Slowest time since 2008 – and far from my 44:40 PR two years ago – but I also didn’t get hurt before Superior.

The best story from this race, though, had to be 8-year-old Faith Quinn from Winona. She was announced before the start as the 7-year-old course record holder from last year, back to race again. I saw her in front of me at the start and she looked all of about four feet tall and fifty pounds soaking wet. I passed her in the first quarter mile or so, but she caught up not much later and I never saw her again. Not sure if she set the 8-year-old course record, but she beat me by four minutes and ran a 7:47 pace. Nicely done, Faith.

The weather the night before was rainy, but that system moved out by race time and the weather overall was very nice for running: light wind, mid-40s, dry and a little sun mixed in during the race. I also saw Shannon out running the boulevard in the opposite direction, cheering people on as she got her own training run in for the day. All the other race logistics were mostly unchanged from prior years – easy packet pick-up on Friday and nice post-race refreshments afterwards (although Pearson apparently didn’t send any salted nut rolls this year).

Congrats to all the finishers and hello spring – so glad to have you back…

Searchable 10K results

Finisher Shirt Friday

Posted Friday, April 24th, 2015 01:25 pm GMT -5 in Fashion,Marathons,Running at 1:25 PM

The governor said so

The Other David Kingsbury

Posted Wednesday, April 8th, 2015 11:58 pm GMT -5 in Personal,Running,Sports at 11:58 PM

A few years ago when you Googled my name, this site would show up on the first page of search results, often battling for position with Dr. David Kingsbury from Johns Hopkins University and with a bankruptcy attorney in Apple Valley, Minnesota. When Hugh Jackman decided to become Wolverine, however, the online David Kingsbury universe changed forever. London-based David Kingsbury (above) is Mr. Jackman’s personal trainer and he developed the Wolverine Workout that has bumped all the other David Kingsburys of the world down the Google results hierarchy.

I’ve owned the domain for a long time, but never really used it (there was a re-direct set to for years). On a lark, I decided to email the UK DK to see if he would be interested in swapping the domain for a customized training program. I believe his initial reply was “that would be brilliant!” So now Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence and I all have something in common…

He sent me a detailed questionnaire to fill out and asked me to send some “before” photos (which I’m too embarrassed to post right now). I told him about my running goals for the year and my current commuting schedule and he produced multiple training and nutrition documents that I still need to study and research. I was initially planning to start the new training routine before my 50K trail race this spring, but priorities shifted and I won’t realistically be able to start until a few other things fall into place.

I’m very excited about starting this new program and finally paying attention to my upper body and core. After years of running and biking, leg strength has never really been a major issue. The past few years have been depressing on the weight front, though, with most of that accumulating in a growing beer belly (even though I don’t drink beer). My arms have never been very strong, so toning those and shedding some inches around the middle would be extremely welcome (not to mention a likely boost for my golf game). I’d also like to improve my flexibility, which was getting bad even before I pulled a muscle in my back last weekend lifting boxes.

My run log so far this year doesn’t look great, but right now I’m less concerned with mileage totals and more interested in cross-training for variety (and to prevent boredom). I’m really looking forward to the Lebanon Hills mountain bike trails to reopen for the season and my first race of the year is coming up soon (Get in Gear 10K on April 25th). I probably won’t be fully prepared for the Superior 50K on May 16th, but it felt great to run last weekend at Lebanon (even if was just 6.8 miles).

If things go the way I want, I’ll complete those races with decent times, start the new training plan and look for a fall marathon to run fast (Des Moines?). Throw in the State Fair Milk Run 5K that MK and I just signed up for and 2015 should be a great fitness recovery year.

Best Men Around

Posted Wednesday, April 8th, 2015 08:17 pm GMT -5 in Links,Marathons,Running at 8:17 PM

The 95-year-old Flash

Posted Monday, March 16th, 2015 06:09 pm GMT -5 in Links,Running at 6:09 PM

Weights, Running and the UK DK

Posted Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 12:31 pm GMT -5 in Links,Running,Sports at 12:31 PM

Not everyone gets the “shared” part

Posted Saturday, February 7th, 2015 01:11 pm GMT -5 in Running at 1:11 PM

Lake Harriet South Beach

Volunteering this year

Posted Wednesday, January 28th, 2015 04:41 pm GMT -5 in Biking,Friends,Running at 4:41 PM

Nice to see Mr. Berglund again at the Arrowhead 135 finish line

2015 Arrowhead 135 Results

Posted Monday, January 26th, 2015 12:09 pm GMT -5 in Biking,Links,Running,Skiing at 12:09 PM

Committed to a Baby Ultra

Posted Friday, January 16th, 2015 01:45 am GMT -5 in Running at 1:45 AM

OK, so I may regret this decision based on Jean’s review from two years ago, when he said it was “by far, the hardest race I have done.” All fear aside, I managed to get past their overheated web server on Thursday morning and signed up for the Superior Spring Trail Race 50K in Lutsen. The 2015 edition will be held on Saturday, May 16th, with a start time of 7AM.

If all goes well and I like trail running on that difficult part of the Superior Hiking Trail, I may try to register for the 50 mile fall version, which will be held on Saturday, September 12th. Registration for that race opens on March 15th, so hopefully it doesn’t fill before I get a chance to try the 50K and see if I’m really up for 19 more miles. The race organizers added registration qualifiers for the 50 and 100 mile races, so I have to finish the 50K before I can attempt the others.

So now my race calendar has two registered races, this one and my usual Get in Gear 10K on April 25th. I may register for the TC 1 Mile on May 14th, but that might not be wise to risk injury so close to the 50K. We’ll see, though – defending the mile title against Megan may demand participation. The fall schedule will totally depend on how the 50K goes – if I like it, I’ll try the 50 mile (if available), otherwise I’ll probably do either Twin Cities (October 4th) or Des Moines (October 18th).

Next week I hope to announce my other big health initiative for 2015 – stay tuned, it’s pretty fun…

Angie’s 14 in 2014

Posted Sunday, January 4th, 2015 01:31 pm GMT -5 in Friends,Links,Running at 1:31 PM

Gets dark early now

Posted Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 06:32 pm GMT -5 in Running at 6:32 PM

Lakes run in the dark

The new running shirt

Posted Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 02:11 pm GMT -5 in Running at 2:11 PM

Break the Stigma

Moderately better than a treadmill

Posted Sunday, November 16th, 2014 12:55 pm GMT -5 in Running at 12:55 PM

Eagan Community Center track (11 laps/mile)

Guess I need adidas Adizeros

Posted Monday, November 10th, 2014 02:11 pm GMT -5 in Links,Marathons,Running at 2:11 PM

Slowest Time Since 1995

Posted Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 04:12 pm GMT -5 in Links,Marathons,Running at 4:12 PM

2014 New York City Marathon

Posted Monday, November 3rd, 2014 11:30 pm GMT -5 in Marathons,Running,Travel at 11:30 PM

After the last time I tried to run New York went sideways, I wasn’t sure what would happen this time. Weather did end up playing a role again this year, but overall I just feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to experience the race and the city.

The trip needed to happen on the cheap and I’m very thankful to my friends John and Dillon, who helped me with airfare and lodging. Dillon’s dad Tom also gave me a subway pass for the weekend and my mom snuck some extra spending money in my pocket when I left town on Friday night. I also feel extremely grateful to my immediate family – we don’t get to take many vacations these days and this chance for me to complete a major running goal is a true gift.

Heading into this week, I felt pretty good about my running readiness (even with the two week illness break in September). My yearly mileage is currently the second highest since I started keeping track and I really felt a PR might be possible. That was my A goal for this race, with a B goal of sub-4 and a C goal of finishing without getting hurt.

Option C would be the winning bet, I’m afraid.

When I read the National Weather Service had issued a wind advisory for marathon day, I knew it would be tougher than normal. When I heard the wheelers would start in Brooklyn instead of Staten Island for fear of being blown over on the Verrazano-Narrows bridge, I got really nervous. Turns out that part of the race was terrifying – the wind literally tossed me back and forth and nearly ripped my securely pinned bib off my chest (not to mention my hat). I read later that the reason there was no marker at mile one was because it blew off the bridge and into the water.

The weather Saturday was terrible – nearly the same wind and a constant, cold rain all day. Thankfully, the precipitation cleared out by Sunday morning, but the cold stuck around and the wind picked up. I left the Astoria Boulevard station at 5:30am, taking the N and 4 trains down to Bowling Green and the short walk to the Staten Island Ferry dock for my 6:30am assigned boarding time (made it with five minutes to spare). The waves were big and the wind was howling the whole way across. It’s really amazing how many people can fit on those boats – the police escort was nice too.

When I arrived at the St. George Ferry Terminal, I made a beeline for the waiting buses. They were nice and warm and it was great to beat the crowd and not have to wait outside any longer than necessary. The short ride over to Fort Wadsworth was quick and easy, with the driver dropping us off right in front of the security contingent. The police presence was both reassuring and frightening – you don’t see cops with automatic weapons and full riot gear at TCM.

The starting area zones had lots of great pre-race items (coffee, water, bagels, energy drinks), but it was crowded and cold and everyone basically had to wait around for two plus hours before being called to the corrals. Everything was running behind schedule too, but wave two was finally allowed in around 9:25am. It was very nice that they had extra bathrooms in the actual corrals and there were tons of Goodwill bins to discard the extra layers I purchased just for that purpose.

The canon went off for my wave and I officially made it up the bridge ramp and over the starting line at 10:15:19am. That first hill is supposed to be the biggest on the course, but I didn’t think it was too bad (other than fearing for my life each time a 50mph+ gust hit). My Garmin wasn’t very accurate all race and outright stopped measuring distance at one point, so I quit looking at it when I knew the A & B goals were shot. I held sub-nines for the first seven miles and hoped to at least stay in the nines for the rest of the race, but it was not meant to be.

I knew there were a lot of miles in Brooklyn and it seemed to never end. There were several points on this course that have very long straightaways, so you see waves of people for what seems like forever. I don’t really like that much – all my mind can think is how far I need to run to catch up. The stretches in Manhattan up First Avenue and down Fifth Avenue were similar. Brooklyn did finally turn into Queens, home of my least favorite part of the entire course. The Queensboro Bridge is just Evil. I was slowing down a few miles before that damn bridge, but it put an end to any thoughts of a decent time.

The crowds in Manhattan really were everything people say – the whole course has great support, in fact. It was also fun hearing the bands and DJs (I especially liked the Run-D.M.C. sample in Queens). The brief jaunt through the Bronx tossed a few more wonderful bridges in the mix and I was really surprised by the amount of elevation at the end of the race – it doesn’t look like much on the chart, but Fifth Avenue and Central Park hit you with gradual climbs when you least want them. And don’t get me started on the “little” bump between mile 26 and the finish. More Evil.

I’d been mentally playing a strong finish in my mind the past few weeks of training, but all I felt running past Columbus Circle and into the home stretch was pain and disappointment in my slow time (officially 4:24:14 and a 10:05 pace). I know the wind impacted every runner, but it was still a letdown to not be closer to at least my B goal. Oh well – still grateful for the experience (and to be walking around now without any major pain).

The finish line experience was interesting – I liked the recovery bag idea (everything pre-loaded) and the no bag check poncho was really nice (and an excellent way to warm back up on a cold day). The long march north was a pain, as I basically had to walk an extra three miles or so to get back to the right train station. That walk was made much more enjoyable, though, by all of the people who congratulated me on finishing the race.

Here are the splits reported by the timing mats:

  • 3M 25:11 – 8:24 pace
  • 5K 26:04 – 8:18
  • 4M 33:48 – 8:39
  • 5M 42:24 – 8:37
  • 6M 51:02 – 8:39
  • 10K 52:54 – 8:43
  • 7M 59:45 – 8:44
  • 8M 1:08:55 – 9:10
  • 9M 1:18:15 – 9:20
  • 15K 1:21:14 – 9:17
  • 10M 1:27:28 – 9:12
  • 11M 1:37:11 – 9:43
  • 12M 1:46:46 – 9:35
  • 20K 1:51:02 – 10:00
  • 13M 1:56:43 – 9:57
  • Half 1:57:52 – 10:27
  • 14M 2:06:49 – 10:04
  • 15M 2:17:40 – 10:51
  • 25K 2:23:47 – 11:28
  • 16M 2:28:29 – 10:05
  • 17M 2:39:15 – 10:46
  • 18M 2:50:11 – 10:56
  • 30K 2:57:35 – 11:33
  • 19M 3:01:57 – 12:10
  • 20M 3:13:42 – 11:46
  • 21M 3:25:43 – 12:02
  • 35K 3:34:24 – 11:37
  • 22M 3:37:04 – 10:33
  • 23M 3:48:29 – 11:25
  • 24M 4:00:04 – 11:36
  • 40K 4:09:25 – 10:57
  • 25M 4:11:03 – 11:14
  • 26M 4:22:09 – 11:07
  • Finish 4:24:14 – 9:32 (2:39:32pm)

I’ll write another post later this week about the rest of the visit (food, shopping, theater, etc) – stay tuned…

Links to NYC Results

Posted Monday, November 3rd, 2014 04:45 pm GMT -5 in Links,Marathons,Running at 4:45 PM

Another one for the rack

Posted Sunday, November 2nd, 2014 05:52 pm GMT -5 in Marathons,Running,Travel at 5:52 PM

2014 New York City medal

Found my corral

Posted Sunday, November 2nd, 2014 07:58 am GMT -5 in Marathons,Running,Travel at 7:58 AM

See you on the other side

To the Five Boroughs

Posted Saturday, November 1st, 2014 09:30 pm GMT -5 in Marathons,Running,Travel at 9:30 PM

Ready to roll

Up on stage

Posted Saturday, November 1st, 2014 11:02 am GMT -5 in Friends,Marathons,Running,Travel at 11:02 AM

Deb and I at the expo


Posted Saturday, November 1st, 2014 09:50 am GMT -5 in History,Marathons,Running,Travel at 9:50 AM

Kathrine Switzer

Back at Javits

Posted Saturday, November 1st, 2014 07:35 am GMT -5 in Marathons,Running,Travel at 7:35 AM

The expo entrance

Her Third Fifty

Posted Saturday, October 25th, 2014 07:52 pm GMT -5 in Friends,Running at 7:52 PM

Shannon and Megan at the 50 Mile Surf the Murph

Surf the Murph

Posted Saturday, October 25th, 2014 12:31 pm GMT -5 in Friends,Running at 12:31 PM

Megan’s goal

The Running Crew

Posted Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 12:17 pm GMT -5 in Running,Technology at 12:17 PM

2014 JNUC 5K

Don’t ever change, Minneapolis

Posted Sunday, October 19th, 2014 12:51 pm GMT -5 in Nature,Running,Weather at 12:51 PM

Running along Minnehaha Creek

The latest Wave Riders

Posted Friday, October 17th, 2014 05:17 pm GMT -5 in Running,Shopping at 5:17 PM

The 18 edition

New York State of Mind

Posted Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 12:54 pm GMT -5 in Links,Marathons,Running at 12:54 PM

Respect my authoritay

Posted Sunday, October 5th, 2014 03:22 pm GMT -5 in Marathons,Running at 3:22 PM

Volunteer finish line security for the 2014 TCM

A new PR for Megan!

Posted Sunday, October 5th, 2014 12:23 pm GMT -5 in Friends,Marathons,Running at 12:23 PM

4:06:21 at the 2014 TCM

There’s your winner

Posted Sunday, October 5th, 2014 10:16 am GMT -5 in Marathons,Running at 10:16 AM

2014 TCM Champion Tyler Pennel in 2:13:33

Eyes on the Prize

Posted Sunday, October 5th, 2014 05:52 am GMT -5 in Marathons,Running at 5:52 AM

Marathon morning

Seriously, this lake

Posted Monday, September 29th, 2014 07:40 pm GMT -5 in Nature,Running at 7:40 PM

Sunset over Vermilion from Echo Point

Milk Run 2014

Posted Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 09:13 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food,Running at 9:13 PM

It’s funny, I just read my 2013 Milk Run post and this year was similar in a lot of ways: it was very hot for the race (making a PR unlikely), it got a lot hotter as the day went on, I got my free shake at the Dairy Building and I tried a bunch of new foods afterwards. MK joined me for her fourth year in a row, while SK said she was sick and stayed home (breaking her streak of seven years). Former Olympian Carrie Tollefson was also there, chatting with us afterwards and posing for a group photo.

The quest for a state fair age group ribbon continues. My watch time of 24:10 showed splits of 7:10, 8:35 and 7:30, which barely kept me in the seven minute range (7:47 pace). That was good enough for 85th out of 549 male finishers, though, and 8th in my age group (which had 44 finishers this year). The top four guys in my category finished with times of 17:47, 20:34, 20:41 and 23:16, so it’s still in the realm of possibility. My middle mile was slow this year primarily because I stopped to get water in order to prevent premature death. I also decided easing up was a smarter plan than getting injured before New York.

Changes this year included a slightly altered course that started and ended outside the new West End Market and very different early morning access to that entire part of the fairgrounds (the gate near the start is now closed to pedestrians and cars). I’ll write more about my West End opinions in another post – I was opposed to the removal of Heritage Square, but it’s turned out different than I expected. The new course is probably a little faster than before, with a bigger downhill in the last mile.

MK walked most of the course this year, finishing in 45:36 (a bit slower than her 43:55 PR last year). SK’s name was actually announced during the awards ceremony as winning third place in the under 20 age group, but that was obviously a technical glitch. Carrie Tollefson won the women’s race in 18:27 (5:56 pace), which must be just like winning the NCAA 5000m championship, no?

My three new foods were the chicken in a waffle cone from the Blue Barn, walleye mac and cheese from Giggles and the pizza tots from Green Mill. All three were OK, but nothing I’d add to the regular rota. Foods in that category that I did eat on Sunday included Sweet Martha’s cookies, a Pronto Pup, a frozen cider pop from Minnesota Apples and a small order of Fresh French Fries.

We return again on Saturday for Minnesota Music on a Stick and on Monday for the Journey/Joan Jett concert. I’m sure there will be more food involved somewhere in there too…

Tradition #1

Posted Sunday, August 24th, 2014 10:44 am GMT -5 in Family,Food,Running at 10:44 AM

MK after the Milk Run, Sweet Martha’s chocolate chip cookies

The Flash

Posted Sunday, August 24th, 2014 09:00 am GMT -5 in Family,Running at 9:00 AM

MK near the finish line

Guess which one was fastest

Posted Sunday, August 24th, 2014 08:58 am GMT -5 in Family,Running at 8:58 AM

MK, Olympian Carrie Tollefson and I after the Milk Run

The new (old) arch

Posted Sunday, August 24th, 2014 07:22 am GMT -5 in Family,Running at 7:22 AM

MK before the Milk Run

Pretty great intersection

Posted Friday, August 22nd, 2014 11:04 pm GMT -5 in Friends,Running at 11:04 PM

Parked nearby for the long run with Megan and Yaniha

A Random Brain Dump

Posted Friday, August 22nd, 2014 12:43 am GMT -5 in Personal,Running at 12:43 AM

Some of the stuff floating around my head during last night’s run:

  • It was truly an honor to meet Gordy on his birthday – 87 years young and still working every day
  • Biology is against me, but I firmly believe that my fastest races are still ahead of me
  • I had completely blocked out the fact I got a “C” in high school calculus until today
  • Selected school celebrity crushes: Molly Ringwald, Rebecca De Mornay, Belinda Carlisle and Olivia Newton-John
  • The death of Robin Williams, like Kurt Cobain before him, hit me in ways I can’t really describe in words
  • There are so many old friendships that I miss today – need more happy hour reunions
  • Only applied to four colleges: Harvard, RPI, Air Force Academy and Naval Academy
  • Original career dreams: aeronautical engineer, pilot, cartographer and ski bum
  • Current dream jobs: runDisney manager, Mystic Lake VP, JAMF crew, ski bum
  • Test at work said I manage stress well – that’s a lie
  • My top four methods to manage stress: exercise, get enough sleep, make todo lists and declutter
  • I don’t fully understand how rural economies are sustainable (even with broadband)
  • Right now, metro > outstate for me and I want to be with my daughters full-time before Christmas
  • Like many golfers, I don’t play as much now as I used to. Reason #1: it’s not as consistently fun as my other sporting options
  • A friend recently told me he doesn’t view slot machines as entertainment. That is a major problem for the casino industry
  • Auditoriums full of rude people are probably the biggest cause of Hollywood’s box office decline this summer. That and the big screen TV next to my couch with Blu-ray, AppleTV and cheap snacks in the kitchen
  • I give it a new shot every week, but I find Windows 8 to be just awful
  • My five-year-old MacBook Pro is still cruising along, but it’s age is starting to hinder some of my workflows
  • Apple should hire me to show them just how frustrating using the Finder and typing on iOS can be
  • When Candy Crush refuses to sync my progress with Facebook, I feel incomplete
  • Can’t wait to go to the Minnesota State Fair for my 45th year in a row – hello chicken in a waffle cone
  • Things I need less of in my life: secondhand smoke, gambling, debt, politics, pounds on the scale and inches around my waist
  • I’ve never purchased more than a few articles of clothing at one time – an entire wardrobe is crazy talk
  • Part of me misses owning a house, but I’d never buy another one like I had before
  • The Simpsons is really an amazing body of work
  • Where are all the bunnies? What will I tweet when I get home?
  • Eating Timbits and a bag of chips after a run really defeats the whole purpose, doesn’t it?

That was a lot of stuff for a relatively short run…

Daisy Bay Run

Posted Friday, August 8th, 2014 12:45 pm GMT -5 in Running at 12:45 PM

Scenes from the latest ten miler around Vermilion

Summer Running Update

Posted Saturday, July 26th, 2014 05:18 pm GMT -5 in Marathons,Running at 5:18 PM

Yesterday was the 100 day warning for the 2014 New York City Marathon. Last week was also the start of the 16 week training programs for that race, which starts at 9:40 a.m. on November 2 (wave 1). As I found out earlier this year, I was picked again during the lottery (which worked out so well in 2012). I should be getting super excited and motivated to go back and try again, but it’s been a rough go so far.

First off, I really want to take the whole family, but airfare and hotel costs are ruling that out. In fact, I don’t know if I can afford for me to go solo. I’m working a few angles, though – there are a couple friends that offered up couches and I’m about 2,000 Delta SkyMiles away from a free ticket (anybody have any extra they’d like to gift?).

Second, the Minnesota weather hasn’t exactly been cooperating. Spring took forever to arrive, then lasted about four days. Summer has consisted of trail-flooding rains, high dew points and way too many flying bugs. That has translated into lots of summer treadmill time, which also unfortunately means a reduction in miles. I’ve kept up the 100-mile per month goal so far, but a few of those were cutting it close.

Lastly, I’ve just haven’t been motivated to run the past few months. I think part of that is due to general aches and pains that I’m assuming are due to aging (since I’ve been training continuously). It’s tough going out when every time feels like I’m starting over from scratch. I’ve been reading a little bit on hip flexors and wonder if the new pain I’m feeling there is caused by that. My running partner also moved across town, which makes it harder to get off the couch (especially with less-than-prefect weather).

There are a couple of things in play that could help change course on motivation. First, I need to get my weight back in check. It’s been inching up for months and really needs to drop at least ten pounds. Distance running isn’t generally a weight loss tool for most, but it has been for me as I build mileage and cross-train.

Second, I’d really like to get that BQ before I jump to the next age group in four years. That means a 3:25:00 (7:49 pace) if I want a mid-April trip to Boston (April 20, 2015; April 18, 2016; April 17, 2017 or April 16, 2018). This would be an aggressive goal – I need to cut about 18 minutes from my marathon PR – but it might be exactly what I need this year. Plus, how cool would it be to BQ at NY?

My next confirmed race is the Minnesota State Fair Milk Run 5K (7:45 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 24). It would do wonders for my confidence if I can PR at that race and get an age group ribbon (need to beat 21:42 to be in contention).

Thinking ahead to 2015, I’d love to do the spring 50K Superior Trail Race in Lutsen and then run the 50 mile in the fall (I need the former to qualify for the latter). The spring race is May 16th and the fall date is TBD (September). I had that dream about running a BQ at Grandma’s, so I feel like I just *have* to run that in 2015 (7:45 a.m. on Saturday, June 20). I also still want to run the Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon (June) and Des Moines (October), but those will probably have to wait at least another year.

Now I just need my body to cooperate and hold on for a few more years…


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Husband, dad and casino IT director

Personal Records & Mileage

  • Mile - 6:10
  • 5K - 21:42
  • 10K - 44:40
  • Half - 1:38:40
  • Marathon - 3:43:32
  • 2015 Mileage: 277.9

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