Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Inaugural Monday Marathon

The Marathon Picture Tradition Continues: Pete and me (reversed order) at mile 26.5

Last week, following the Trail Mix 50K, my running partner announced a brilliant plan for the future of our summer training. Pete and I run together on Monday mornings. We usually get in between 15 and 20 miles. Now, without consulting me, pete decided that we would start running 26 miles every Monday, thus was born
Marathon Mondays.

Yesterday, we ran our first Monday Marathon. Wow. It was tough. I've got two really good excuses for why it was so difficult. First, we are still recovering from the 50K last week. Second, we normally walk up all hills or inclines. When we run at Afton, that means we get to walk often. But out at Wild River, the trails are less hilly. That means we run more.

Despite the pain and S-Cap-resistant cramps, we had a great time. Read Pete's
account. It's really good.

Interpretive Center at Wild River State park. 
The Start and Finish line.

The "trail" along the St. Croix. 

We had to cut through the forest to avoid the lakes created by a flooded river.  We still had to scramble across several streams and ponds.

 St. Croix River

April Snow Showers bring May Frozen Flowers

The morning of my final trial in Law School

Looking onto the front yard

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Bike Runs

Our six year old has just begun to ride a bike ... without training wheels.  So, while I had hoped to NOT run this week, recovering from Trail Mix, I have found myself sprinting behind a wobbling, helmeted, knee-scraped bundle of non-stop effort named Levi.

Today, as the distance between him and me increased, I noticed that I felt pretty good.  
It actually felt great to run again; to stride out, lift the knees, pump the arms.  However, by the time I reached the neighbor's mailbox, I was done.  My little "Floyd Landis" was not.
Sometimes, as my previous blog mentions, I run for myself.  Sometimes, I run for others.  I think the later will be remembered and appreciated more.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Itchy Runs

I'm not going to do it; 
too tired, want to just lie in bed, watch mindless tv.

But, on the drive home tonight, which began at 6:40pm, I seriously considered going out for a run tonight.

Not to log miles; 
not to stretch sore muscles; 
not to see how my recovery is after the 50K on Saturday.

No, I wanted to run because I was itchy.  I still am.  

It's that itchiness that comes on slowly and then just about causes you to tear your own skin off.  It's that itchiness that results from being forced to sit in a boring meeting (that goes long), listen to a long-winded speaker, or drive behind someone going 45 in a 55 zone.

I really shouldn't say on a public blog what or who actually made/makes me itchy tonight.  Let's just say, however, that when people ask me what I'm going to do once I get my law degree, there is one very good, and oft confirmed reason why I say, "I'm going into solo practice."

Maybe that's why I enjoy running.... trail running ..... ultra trail running so much.  
It's not so much that I like being with myself.  I'm not that great of a person, and if I were to focus much more on myself (look inside myself), I'd be miserable.
It's just that with ultra trail running, I don't have to listen to someone else talk about all the reasons why they aren't prepared, why their life is so strained, and try to follow the "logic" of their prattle.

When I'm running, I'm not trapped.
Speed up, slow down, a muddy hill, a restroom break: secret escape routes.

I'm usually patient, long-suffering with others.  In fact, I don't believe that my life is my own, to be used for my own purposes, my own ends.  Being captive is not a bad thing if the Captor is supreme and good.

But tonight, I needed a run just to clear my head, be alone, and not feel trapped by another person.  Usually, those runs get the itchiness out of me.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Early in the race, Pete (on right) and I ran with Brent (in blue).  Brent had a great pace, attitude and strength.  I met Brent last week at Chippewa.  

Also early in the race, we caught a glimpse of my wife Marty (on right) and friend Leah.  They were running the 25K and were running so fast that they were really only a blur.

This is a rare moment when I was in front of running partner Pete.  

During the third lap, Rick and Angel (I hope these are your correct names because I was a little out of it) took my picture.  Thanks!

Self-portrait at the Marathon Mark.  This is becoming a tradition.

Understated, self-deprecating, and dry humor make this the funniest ultra-runner I know.  And, he won the men's 50K.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Trail Mix 50K "Mud Run"

This describes the day, all 30 miles of it.
I'll post more details and pictures when I have a little more time.
Great race, great volunteers.
This is also the first trail run 
that my wife also ran - she did the 25K and loved it!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Addis Alem Web Page

There is now a Caring Bridge website for Addis Alem.
This site will have up-to-date information on Addis' situation.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cancer and Wolde

Addis Alem, age 17.

I've never had to deal with cancer.  One of my grandmothers died of cancer while I was in college.  I was distant.  

Mamo Wolde was an Ethiopian olympian. He was imprisoned by his own country. He died of liver cancer and complications of that imprisonment. Miraculously, we were able to get his children and his wife to America about 5 years ago. Addis Alem and Tabor ended up living with us for several years.

Yesterday, Addis was admitted to the hospital. Today, surgery to remove and inspect a tumor above and attached to an ovary. The tumor is malignant and larger than hoped; 8 lymph glands were removed; an ovary removed and possibly the second.

Last night, she told me that she had recently gotten in trouble.  
Her mother had given her the keys to their van to clean out the inside.  
Addis had repeatedly asked if she could drive alone to the store.  
Mom repeatedly said, "No."  
Addis drove to Walgreens.  
Her brother Tabor called her and said, "You're in trouble."  
"Did your mom chase you around with the broom like she does with Tabor?" I asked.
No, Addis got the silent treatment all night.

Check out the link "Ethiopians" to the right --->

Monday, April 14, 2008

More Chippewa

Looking back during the first few miles

The Half Point Aid Station. Lynn was great. She put food in my "to go" bag and told me what to eat when I wanted to eat but couldn't imagine eating anything.

Bridges everywhere.

A quick shot at the 26.2 mile point.
Do you see the grimace.  
I must had held that grimace the entire race because two days later my jaw still hurts!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Chippewa Moraine Ice Age 50K

I ran 50 kilometers on the Ice Age Trail today in the inaugural run of the Chippewa Moraine Ice Age 50K
Without exaggeration, it was brutal. The photos over the next few days will help explain.

From Start...
(that's Wynn Davis, the Race Director)

To Finish.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Quick Gratitude

I've had the opportunity tonight to look at a few blogs.  I'm honored that others have a link to my blog from their blog.  What a privilege.  I am thankful for this gesture of support.

On a separate note of gratitude: if the weather holds, Pete and I will be driving into Wisconsin early Saturday morning to run the Chippewa Moraine 50K.  I can't wait!  I signed up for it almost a year ago when it was first announced.  See, Pete lives on the Ice Age Trail in western WI.  We ran a 40 miler on the Ice Age Trail in the fall of 2006.  Three of us ran it.  We ran a 50 miler last fall.  Only Pete and I ran.  Both years were brutal.  The trail is tough.

There is an official Ice Age Trail run way over on the east side of Wisconsin that I've dreamed of running.  It's so far away. Then, Chippewa Moraine was announced, and it's only 2 hours away.
I can't wait to run on another section of the Ice Age Trail, and I look forward to meeting some folks that I've come to know through blogging.

Can You Give Me an Idea

My evening was filled with opening statements. We have a mock tort trial at the end of the month and tonight was a dry rehearsal of our opening statements. Fourteen students X 6 minutes each + critique = ONE LONG NIGHT. Then, a dash back home in record time to watch "The Office."

The final two law courses in my law school life are just sucking my blogging energy dry. All I want to do tonight is pour a small glass of Grand Marnier, watch a little t.v. and continue reading about Ceausescu in "Red Horizons."

But no, who should turn to me and respond to my simple, non-technical concerned question about her computer,
"I can't update the software on my computer tonight. It will shut everything down, and I won't be able to get anything done."
"Get anything done? Like what?"
"I'm going to work on my blog. I'm feeling sarcastic tonight."

Since then, she's been typing and giggling nonstop.   I've since poured a glass and am waiting to hear what she'll write.  I asked her for a suggestion to get my ideas going tonight, but I don't think she noticed.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Trials or Trails

I've been mispelling and mixing these two words since January.  Both have been on my mind a lot.  Both have dictated a lot of my life lately.  

One of my last classes in law school is Legal Practicum.  It involves working on multiple cases, most of which involve some form of litigation.  Litigations involve trials.  Thus, I end up writing the word "trial" quite often.

This year, Pete and I have our eyes on running a few more trail races than last year.  We've been able to run almost every Monday on the trails at Wild River.  Thus, I end up thinking about trails quite often.

A trail run can be something of a trial, in the non-legal sense.  I'm not certain how a trial is like a trail, except that, at the end of this month I have a 5 hour trial and that seems about as long as some trail runs.  (but not as enjoyable)

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Sweetness of Growing Slow

Today, Marty and I went on a run together.  In a different time and different life, we rarely ran together.  My pride came along as person number three  and Marty was usually the crowd.  
Now, one of my goals is to run more slowly, and I usually succeed.  In a great twist of fate, Marty now waits up for me and grows tired of all my walking!

We had lots of time to talk today. I got caught up on a few of her concerns about the kids.

Much of this run was on the road. I miss the trails.