7 Minute Miles

2008 Team Ortho Monster Races

Posted Tuesday, October 28th, 2008 12:11 am GMT -5 in Running at 12:11 AM

Last Saturday, I participated in the 2008 Team Ortho Monster races in Minneapolis. Distances this year included the half marathon, a new 10 miler, a 5K and a 5K-K9.

I picked the half marathon as a nice follow-up to TCM. The weather was great and the size of the field (1200) made for an uncrowded morning. Until the end, that is. The race starts were staggered, but it seemed like everyone finished at the same time. The line for water and food afterward was dangerously long – glad no one passed out.

I also encountered lines at Marathon Sports on Friday during packet pick-up and the organizers ran out of hats, which they said will be mailed. A friend of mine said there were issues with shirt availability on Thursday too, which seems weird for a group that has been doing this for quite a while.

This was my first time running this 13.1-mile course, which started and finished near the Lake Harriet band shell. The course wrapped around both Harriet and Calhoun, with an out-and-back stretch along Minnehaha Creek thrown in between. Several sections of the TCM course were covered, although often in the opposite direction. Very nice layout overall that helped me set a new half marathon PR with a chip time of 1:51:20 (8:30 pace).

Next up: the Walt Disney World Marathon in Orlando – 6 a.m. on January 11, 2009.

Originally published by DK on October 28, 2008 at 12:11 am

Wild 3-2 Win Over Chicago

Posted Monday, October 27th, 2008 11:34 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 11:34 PM

Finally got to watch my first regular season game in person this year. I didn’t buy the single season ticket next to my relatives seats this year, so unless Bill Robertson comes through for me (or any of the channel 45 connections), I’ll only get to about five games at the X this season.

My bullet points from tonight’s outing:

  • The Wild were extremely fortunate to be where they were after two periods.
  • I don’t buy the consecutive sell-out streak any more and wish they would just announce the true attendance.
  • There are now two wireless networks in the building and both are password protected (MSE_Public and MSE_Media). Really hate that – AT&T is your wireless sponsor, right? Make them pay extra so we can have free wireless in the stands…
  • Speaking of sponsors, the ads are getting to be a little much, in my opinion. I guess I should just get up and walk around more between periods and it wouldn’t seem so bad. I think the Best Buy ads for “all your HD hockey needs” pushed me over the edge, seeing as how there are what, five HD games on this year? And this was one of them…
  • Programs are still $3 this year, with proceeds still going to youth hockey.
  • They played the cool Andrew Brunette video with him and the equipment trainer, then said they were auctioning off the prop “17,615” jersey. Nicely done.
  • Some photographer dude came by our section before the third period taking pictures of people and giving them cards to look up the shots and order prints (just like at amusement parks!). http://www.wild.com/truefans
  • “Mittens” is the worst hockey nickname ever and I refuse to use it.
  • Why does the URL for Russo’s Rants keep changing? Same for the wild.com in-game commentary…

I have a few enhancements planned for this site that I hope to have online very soon – stay tuned!

Originally published by DK on October 27, 2008 at 11:34 pm

Fire Sale on Compact Discs

Posted Sunday, October 19th, 2008 10:17 pm GMT -5 in Music at 10:17 PM

As part of my effort to “de-clutter” my life (and combat current economic forces), I’ve decided to get rid of many of the compact discs we’ve collected over the past 25+ years.

For full albums, I’m looking at this service I read about in Newsweek. Before I contact them, I thought it would be wise to have Cheapo’s give me a quote to see if they are a better deal. I’ll update this post with the results.

UPDATE: Cheapo’s offered me about the same as the iPod place (~$1/CD), so I just decided to take that offer.

As for CD singles, my wife and I have been collecting these from around the world for many years. Some are worth next to nothing, while others may be diamonds in the rough. I used to list on eBay to sell things like this, as that usually provides the best chance to see what an item is really worth. The problem is that it’s a major hassle to take photos and create multiple listings (to say nothing of the costs involved).

So I’m trying something new – today I created a database-backed page on this site that lists the artist, title, catalog number, number of tracks and a brief description of the item. If you see something you like, shoot me an email and I’ll give you more information about it.

It will take me several days to get all of the singles entered, so check back often…

Originally published by DK on October 19, 2008 at 10:17 pm

New Wild Autograph Policy

Posted Friday, October 17th, 2008 01:00 am GMT -5 in Hockey at 1:00 AM


New autograph policy: A total of 150 autograph tickets will be distributed for Andrew Brunette and another 150 for Marian Gaborik. Those tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 2 p.m.

Now you get to wait in line twice in one day…

Originally published by DK on October 17, 2008 at 1:00 am

You Choose – Election 2008

Posted Friday, October 17th, 2008 12:09 am GMT -5 in Politics at 12:09 AM

As I do for every election, here are the people and issues on my ballot this year (as far as I can tell), along with links to various web sites. I don’t make public endorsements on this site – I just encourage everyone to get informed before election day, then get out there on November 4th and fill out your ballot as an intelligent, knowledgeable voter.


U.S. Senator

U.S. Representative – District 2

State Representative – District 38A

County Commissioner – District 3

Soil and Water Supervisor Supervisor District 2

  • Marian Brown – Incumbent
  • Victoria Dvorak
  • Scott Norstad

Soil and Water Supervisor Supervisor District 4

  • Chris Nielsen – Incumbent
  • Peter Thomas Schaffer

Soil and Water Supervisor Supervisor District 5

  • Michael Carr
  • Joe Meyers – Incumbent

Minnesota Supreme Court – Seat 3

Minnesota Supreme Court – Seat 4

Judge – Minnesota Court of Appeals – Seat 16

Judge – District Court – Seat 32

Eagan City Council – 2 seats

Eagan City Council – 1 seat (to fill vacancy)

State Constitutional Amendment

  • Shall the Minnesota constitution be amended to dedicate funding to protect our drinking water sources; to protect, enhance, and restore our wetlands, prairies, forests, and fish, game, and wildlife habitat; to preserve our arts and cultural heritage; to support our parks and trails; and to protect, enhance, and restore our lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater by increasing the sales and use tax rate beginning July 1, 2009, by three-eighths of one percent on taxable sales until the year 2034?
  • Vote Yes Supporters – Vote Yes Minnesota
  • Vote No Supporters – No Sales Tax Increase

City of Eagan Carriage Hills Referendum

  • Shall the City of Eagan be authorized to issue and sell its general obligation bonds in a principal amount not to exceed $10,250,000 for the purpose of acquiring approximately 120 acres of land formerly known as the Carriage Hills Golf Course for public facilities, recreation, and open space uses?
  • Questions and Answers (City of Eagan)

NOTE: Uncontested races not listed.

Originally published by DK on October 17, 2008 at 12:09 am

The Finnish Mafia

Posted Thursday, October 16th, 2008 09:06 pm GMT -5 in Hockey at 9:06 PM

Screw the Slovak Mafia – Mikko to Antti all season, baby! Maybe we should have half the team be sick every night, eh? Or ask to play Eastern teams all year…

Originally published by DK on October 16, 2008 at 9:06 pm

An Evening with David Byrne in Minneapolis

Posted Wednesday, October 15th, 2008 12:52 am GMT -5 in Concerts,Music at 12:52 AM

There is something sort of sad about going to a concert by yourself, but such are the economic times we live in. Last night I went down to the State Theater in Minneapolis to see one of my favorites, former Talking Heads front man David Byrne. I had read all about the tour on his great web site, so I mostly knew what was coming. Some thoughts:

  • The sound was uncharacteristically bad for the State – the first song sounded like we were in a tin can and it was hard to understand what he was saying in between songs.
  • Nice mix of songs on the set list (I’ll watch for someone to post it) – mostly new songs from the latest Byrne-Eno CD along with Talking Heads classics like Take Me to the River, Once in a Lifetime, Heaven and I Zimbra. Not much in the way of David Byrne solo songs, though (were there any?).
  • Nice size musical ensemble on stage (Byrne, three back-up singers, two percussionists, bass and keyboards). While I would rather see Chris, Tina and Jerry up there, this group played well together. LOVED the dueling drums at the beginning of Burning Down the House.
  • The three dancers were a nice addition to the show – fun to watch, yet not too distracting from the songs. One of the three seemed really happy to be up there and her enthusiasm filled the theater.
  • I’m don’t know much about contemporary dance, but my first thought was “wow, this is very New York art scene.” After a few more songs, though, I started thinking that a lot of these moves could have been in Napoleon Dynamite.
  • My only complaint about the dancers was having them out for songs that already had dance moves associated with them from Stop Making Sense. Same as it ever was…
  • The group seemed honestly happy about the audience response at the end of each set. I think that helped get us one more song tacked on at the end of the second encore (the haunting Everything That Happens).
  • The crowd was decidedly older than average. I realized on the way out that the first Talking Heads album is now 31 years old, so teenagers then are almost fifty now. Damn.

All in all, a very entertaining evening. Come back soon, Mr. Byrne!

Originally published by DK on October 15, 2008 at 12:52 am

Changes at Meadowbrook

Posted Monday, October 13th, 2008 01:00 am GMT -5 in Golf at 1:00 AM

This weekend we visited Meadowbrook Golf Course and found a number of changes–both finished and in progress.

Square appears to be in at Meadowbrook – new square bunkers on #15 (see above) and squared-off tee boxes throughout. The back tee box on #16 was being rebuilt (and apparently extended) and the brush behind the eleventh green has been cleared out to give a much improved view of Meadowbrook Lake.

The greens were faster than normal, but overall, course conditions were spotty for this time of year. Fall special walking rate of $23 was fair, though.

Originally published by DK on October 13, 2008 at 1:00 am

Got the Bug – Future Marathons

Posted Monday, October 13th, 2008 12:44 am GMT -5 in Running at 12:44 AM

Aside from Boston, here are a few races I think would be fun to try sometime:

OK, the Everest one might not be fun, so to speak, but wow…

Originally published by DK on October 13, 2008 at 12:44 am

2008 Twin Cities Marathon

Posted Sunday, October 12th, 2008 08:04 pm GMT -5 in Marathons,Running at 8:04 PM

The 2008 Twin Cities Marathon was much cooler than last year, but was also accompanied by way too much rain. I managed a new PR and couldn’t believe how many people still came out to cheer in the unpleasant weather.

Finisher totals for 2008: 7,970 (4788 male, 3182 female)
Average Time: 4:22:20

Here are the top three finishers for each of the events:

Twin Cities Marathon – Male

  • 1, Fernando Cabada, Gray, TN, 2:16:31
  • 2, Matt Gabrielson, Minneapolis, MN, 2:17:38
  • 3, Edwardo Torres, Boston, MA, 2:17:54

Twin Cities Marathon – Female

  • 1, Olga Glok, Tampa, FL, 2:32:27
  • 2, Silvia Skvortsova, New York, NY, 2:32:38
  • 3, Elza Kireeva, Miami, FL, 2:39:47

TC 10 Mile – Male

  • 1, Josh Glaab, Superior, CO, 50:27
  • 2, Chris Erichsen, Bloomington, MN, 51:14
  • 3, Justin Grunewald, Merrifield, MN, 51:18

TC 10 Mile – Female

  • 1, Kara Goucher, Portland, OR, 53:16
  • 2, Katie McGregor, St. Louis Park, MN, 55:04
  • 3, Kelly Liljeblad, Niwot, CO, 57:06

TC 5K – Male

  • 1, Dan Fadgen, Rogers, MN, 14:48
  • 2, Mike Hanlon, St. Louis Park, MN, 14:54
  • 3, Travis Burckstrand, St. Paul, MN, 15:20

TC 5K – Female

  • 1, Annemarie Iddins, St. Paul, MN, 19:35
  • 2, Julia Anderson, St. Louis Park, MN, 19:49
  • 3, Nancy Schmelzle, St. Louis Park, MN, 20:21

The 2009 Twin Cities Marathon (the 28th) will be held Sunday, October 4, 2009.

Originally published by DK on October 12, 2008 at 8:04 pm

Twin Cities Marathon Weekend Events

Posted Sunday, October 12th, 2008 12:52 am GMT -5 in Running at 12:52 AM

I’m a little behind on posting about last weekend, but Twin Cities Marathon weekend was a blast. TCM continues to be one of the best run events in the country – now all they need to do is get USATF to modify their headphones policy and it will be perfect (as Portland Marathon race director Les Smith said in a Pioneer Press story – “what a bunch of dorks”).

My kids participated in the family events on Saturday for the fourth or fifth year in a row: the older one in the 5K and the younger one in the one mile. Two things surprised me in the 5K – the winning time of 14:49 was pretty amazing and 11-year-old John O’Hagan of Denver beat the entire women’s field, with a time of 19:18.

The expo at RiverCentre was great – quick and easy number pick-up and lots of good vendors and freebies.

More on the big race coming soon…

Originally published by DK on October 12, 2008 at 12:52 am

Chaska Town Course Update

Posted Sunday, October 12th, 2008 12:28 am GMT -5 in Golf at 12:28 AM

Taking advantage of the late season good weather, we visited the Chaska Town Course on Friday to play 18 holes. The fall special walking rate is $40, which includes a cart after 2pm.

Similar to The Wilds, housing has sprung up around this course the past few years. It takes some of the character away, in my opinion, but none of it gets too close to the action to really impact play.

This Arthur Hills design has always had unique features, including the drivable par-4 third hole and the picturesque par-5 eighteenth hole. The greens Friday were much faster than I ever remember and the fall colors were spectacular.

I always have trouble scoring on this course, but I think I just need to play it more often. The City of Chaska should be very proud of their baby – it’s a gem.

Originally published by DK on October 12, 2008 at 12:28 am

The Return of Real Wild Hockey

Posted Sunday, October 12th, 2008 12:11 am GMT -5 in Hockey at 12:11 AM

It just seems so right to have Bruno back in a Wild jersey, no?

Fun season opener tonight. Didn’t get to see it in person, but watched the beginning at Joe Senser’s in Eagan before heading home to see the end.

By the way, how long before all games are in HD? There should be a law…

Originally published by DK on October 12, 2008 at 12:11 am

New PR at the 2008 Twin Cities Marathon

Posted Sunday, October 5th, 2008 06:44 pm GMT -5 in Running at 6:44 PM

My trend of getting faster as I get older continues. I set a new half-marathon PR in June and today I broke my marathon PR by almost 30 minutes – 4:13.19.

The weather at the 27th Annual Twin Cities Marathon wasn’t ideal – heavy rain, wind and temps in the 50s. I actually didn’t mind it that much at first, but as the rain got heavier, it caused bleeding in spots that I’ve never bled from before. Pretty embarrassing when you are wearing a white shirt…

The rest of me feels pretty good after an afternoon of rest. Thanks to everyone who came out to cheer me on in the rain: Alan Page (and his tuba), Mark Nistler, Colleen and the kids (in four different spots), Jean Kane and the Pozarskis and my parents (who brought beef jerky from Greg’s Meats that pulled me through the last two miles).

Thanks also to my training partner Gina, who helped keep me on track over the summer. I guess running almost 400 miles before a marathon really does lead to faster times…

Next up is the Monster Half on Saturday, October 25 in Minneapolis, followed by the 2009 Walt Disney World Marathon on January 11 in Orlando. I’m also thinking about the Madison Marathon (5/24/09) and using my automatic entry into the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon (6/20/09) in Duluth.

Originally published by DK on October 5, 2008 at 6:44 pm

Pre-Season Wild Hockey

Posted Thursday, October 2nd, 2008 12:19 am GMT -5 in Hockey at 12:19 AM

Nice to finally be back! After a laptop issue that took a long time to resolve, too much stuff going on at work and my general disdain for pre-season professional sports, it’s been hard for me to get excited about hockey this year. That changed after back-to-back games this week at the X, though.

I took one kid each night and got more and more excited as each period passed. Thoughts from the past two days:

  • Price increases all around it seems: tickets and most concessions – waiting to see if regular season game programs go to $4 too
  • Buffalo Wild Wings appears to be MIA on the first floor (chicken strips with sauces now)
  • Bergeron really, really needs to stop fighting (or attend Boogie’s fight camp)
  • As if we needed a new reason to hate Skoula – watch that stick, buddy!
  • Will Sheppard join Koivu this year as a face-off master? Initial signs are good…
  • Took a bunch of pre-game pictures that I’ll get uploaded later this week

One final thought tonight. A lot of season ticket holders for pro hockey and football hate the pre-season because they are not “real” games, yet cost full-price. I think the NFL is considering a shortened pre-season, but I like what baseball does: cheap games in unique locations that people actually plan trips around. How about NHL scrimmages at college rinks for $5 or $10 a head? The teams make too much money under the current setup to change, but wouldn’t it be cool to have the local rink rats get to see their heroes in their own backyard?

Originally published by DK on October 2, 2008 at 12:19 am

Pay the Temp Returns to The Wilds

Posted Wednesday, October 1st, 2008 11:43 pm GMT -5 in Golf at 11:43 PM

According to an email from the course, The Wilds Golf Club in Prior Lake began their popular “Pay the Temp” promotion today:

Green Fees based on outside temperature 1/2 Hour prior to tee time ($1 per degree). The Best Golf Special In Town! Cart Fee only $10 per person (includes range balls)!

To book a tee time, call (952) 445-3500, Ext. 4 or online at www.golfthewilds.com

I think they used to include the cart and range balls, but it’s still a good deal for a great Weiskopf-Morrish layout.

Originally published by DK on October 1, 2008 at 11:43 pm

Personal Records & Mileage

  • Mile - 6:10
  • 5K - 21:42
  • 10K - 44:40
  • Half - 1:38:40
  • Full - 3:43:32
  • 50K - 7:37:00
  • 2019 Run Mileage: 51.4
  • 2019 Bike Mileage: 1074.2

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