Monday, June 30, 2008

Family Quotes & Motos

Favorite Quote
God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him.  - Piper

Family Mottos
God is Sovereign. God is Supreme. God is Sufficient.

Let nothing dazzle you except Christ.

Frantic Update

Ran the 25K loop at Afton with Matt, runnerbrewer.  I wanted to run fast and with as little walking as possible, especially after doing a 50 miler on Monday.  Matt is a very friendly and strong runner.  I walked twice the entire course: coming up the hill through the tall pines before campground and then again halfway up the final large hill.  
This was a fast run for me coming in at 2:36:20.

Church.  Incredible sermon about taking Christ to the Nations.
Agnews over for small group.

Hours of studying for the BAR.
Brines in Stillwater for $1.50 hamburgers.
MN Orchestra Concert in the park in Hudson, WI.  Got to see Matt from church play french horn.  Saw Jenny and kids as well.

Looking ahead this week:
Hours of studying
Marine on St Croix 4th of July 2 miler or 4 miler (we'll see which one the kids want to do)
Afton 50K on Saturday!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Zoo Fun

Tuesday, mom got a little break from 

.... requests for drinks, spills, cries, discipline, cries, screams, requests for food, requests for something to do....

I went to the zoo. 

The kids came along, so mom also got a reprieve from them as well.

Our favorite exhibit was the butterfly house. Absolutely incredible.
If you go to the MN Zoo, spend your time here.  
The Russian Grizzly Bear exhibit is very disappointing:  an endless  10 minute walk  on hot cement paths, exposed in the sun, to see two small, mangy, pointed-nosed bears lying in the shade where you wish you could be.

All of us taking a soda break before seeing the two small, mangy, pointed-nose grizzly bears:





Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Monday Marathon sans Pictures

Several weeks ago, I attempted to hang our digital camera out on the clothes line to dry. Because...that's what you do with stuff you place in the washing machine.

After some groveling and several missed family photo gems (the type that would win an award), Marty agreed that it was time to get a new one. Digital cameras now have twice as much stuff on them and cost half as much as when we bought our sun-dried camera. Maybe these new ones will even survive a good washing.

The camera arrived several days ago. Needless to say, I'm not running with it YET. I've reminded Marty that it was not the "running with" that was the problem but the post running failure-to-remove-now-dead-camera-from-running-apparel that was the direct cause. Marty prefers either the 1) "but for" test of causation from Salinetro in which the "injury" would not have happened "but for" the fact that I took the camera running, OR 2) the foreseeability test from the famous Palsgraf case in which Cardoza stated that I'm screwed because it was reasonably foreseeable that I would arrive home in a state of exhaustion and forget to remove the camera from my Camelbak and throw the entire stinky mass of clothing and supplies in the washing machine.

Causation is usually decided by the jury. Maybe you could leave a note to Marty on my behalf...

That said, there is no photo from yesterday's marathon. Pete and I ran 26.4 out at Afton; all in the park. We ran the 25k loop, took a break at the car, and then ran the course backward to the gravel road hill where we did two of those. It was a warm morning. Strangely, I was stronger at mile 20 than I was at mile 10. During the final miles, I was able to run up the gravel road hill and several other less significant ones. Coming down the trail before Meat Grinder (about mile 21), I was running a 6:40 mile pace. I can't explain it.

I hope to do the 25k loop on Saturday morning, early. Then nothing until the big Afton Race. Well, nothing except studying and taking non-running photos with our new camera!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Blue Grass Button-style

On Friday, the Button children played their debut concert at Shane's on Main. Look for more great productions from this up-and-coming band.

Below is (from left to right) Eli, Grace, and Emma. Levi and Zeke will be joining them soon. It will only be a matter of time until the Buttons are touring places like Branson in a 15 passenger band!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Monday 50 Miles

A Pirate Ship along the Course

50.21 miles; 11:34:00.  We started at 6am and finished around 5:30 in the evening.

Miles 0-23: felt great for the first 17 miles.  We ran the Afton course backward for about 8 miles, then hoped on pavement and ran into Afton.  The pavement section was about 7 miles. Back in the park, we retraced our steps to the car.  The last three miles were rough because we had planned to be back at the car a little sooner.  Bonking at mile 18 of a 50 miler?!

At the Car: Coke, trail mix, new socks, new water and more Infinit.

Miles 23-39: We ran the Afton 25k loop but...dropped the campground section and added an extra down and up the mile long gravel road hill.  I needed to take salt tablets about every 30 minutes.  We maintained an 11:30 min/mile pace.

At the Car: Coke, trail mix, new water and more Infinit.

Miles 39-50: Painful. Longer than 11 miles. Slow. False summits around every corner. Salt tablets every 20 minutes.

I learned two important lessons on this run.
1. Put your head down, don't look up, and keep moving.  This will come in handy on Sugarloaf and Hope Pass at Leadville.  Last year, I kept looking up hoping to see the top.
2. Switch to a flat foot running form occasionally, especially when running up hills.  I've been a die-hard heel-to-toe striker all my running life.  This form has done me well, and enabled me to run relaxed and avoid a lot of injury.  But Anton runs flat-footed.  

Now, I don't accept the idea that this is the ideal way to run because our prehistoric ancestors ran this way.  This seems too difficult to substantiate.  I think it's sufficient to say it works because it simply works for some people.  I've been experimenting with it the last few runs.  A lot on this run.  It takes some strain off the calves, seems very efficient and uses some different muscles.  My only problem was that I stubbed a few roots because the foot doesn't lift very high.

Check out the real thing:

Monday's Run Report...

Yes, it's Thursday.  We ran on Monday.  That was 3 days ago.  It would be generous to say that I blog regularly.  More accurately, I blog sporadically (occurring at irregular intervals).

Since Monday, I've been in the basement, at my desk, studying for the bar.  It's a lot of fun.  Actually, it is becoming more and more despressingly apparent that one does not need to attend law school in order to pass the bar exam.  Of course, one does not learn this until one has gone through law school and then begun the bar preparation studies.  Let me paint the picture.

About 10 days after graduating from law school, 98% of law students enroll in a very expensive exam preparation course called Barbri. (I don't know what it means.) This course could also be called post-law-school school because classes run from 9-12:30 or 6-9:30 every day except Sunday and a few Saturdays.

A professor lectures on a law topic.  This week was Contracts and Sales.  So, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday resulted in 9 hours of Contracts & Sales lectures.  There are no questions, no discussions.  Only break-neck speed lectures.  The professors, who have studied all previous MN bar exams during the past 400 yrs, simply lecture on main points of law, and topics that the bar examines.  What results is a mind-numbing 3 day trek through materials that took 6 months in law school to digest.  

Ah, but you might think, Button missed Monday's lecture because of his Monday run (which he has failed to write about yet).  An attorney recommended getting the lectures on iPod and listening to them at home.  That's why I'm sitting in the basement so much.  By not driving into the cities to listen to the lectures, I save gas and about 1.5 hours a day on travel.  So far, I'm 1/2 day ahead of the actual lectures.  Monday night, because of the run, I was a full day behind.  Another reason I've been in  the basement a lot this week. 

So, now I can mention Monday's Run

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

Home made cards.  A new deck fire pit.  House full of very nice little girls here for Gracie's birthday.

Emma's card included phrases and words that she claims I use quite often:


Oh my land!

That boy needs a haircut.

... she is crazy!

My car - I mean, our car.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Bethlehem Bloggers

When we moved back to the St. Croix Valley in 2005, Marty and I decided that wherever we lived, we would attend Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis.  Pastor John Piper's sermons and books have greatly impacted our lives.  Visiting the church prior to 2005 was one of the favorite parts of our vacations to Minnesota. 

We appreciate many things about Bethlehem; strong, concise reformed theology saturated with grace; incredible worship; preaching that filters down to people; an emphasis on inter-racial adoption and ministry to the poorest of poor; and biblical and practical perspectives.  For example, this Sunday, Piper said, "Our banner here is sorrowful yet always rejoicing."  At other times, he has said that he is preparing us to suffer, so that when it comes, Christ will be our "adequacy," the strong rock underneath our feet.  There is no happy-go-lucky or health-wealth Christian message here.

I've become increasingly aware that many at Bethlehem blog.  In the right column, I hope to collect links to these blogs.  It almost goes without saying but my legal training, however, trumps.  So... 
Neither I nor Bethlehem are responsible for the content of such blogs.  

If you know of others, please let me know and I'll add them to my list.

Monday Marathon sans Pete

At 6:15 Pete called to say he was sick.  Decision time;  1) drive to Afton; run the trails alone, 2) do a short run around the neighborhood, or 3) climb back in bed?  Argggg....

I'd already eaten a bowl of Life, sipped some espresso.  The gear was packed as was my body with the spaghetti from last night.  But what really got me out the door was the hard reality that I would probably not do a long run later in the week if I didn't do it now.

So, I headed north to Pine Point Park, and south down the Gateway Trail to North Saint Paul.  I figured I'd make it up as I went.  This was a nostalgic run.  The very first ultra I did was a 50 mile, 12 hour run from midnight to noon several years ago.  A fellow runner, Brian and I ran the first 26 miles following this course and running back home.  The challenge today was that the entire Gateway is paved.  The gravel trail that runs parallel is not consistent and often dug up by horses.  

At mile 13, the prospect of returning the way I'd come was not appealing.  I returned to Stillwater via highway 12.  Once downtown, at mile 23, I splurged on a cup of Coke on ice.
Slow pace; 6 miles an hour to mile 24.  Then, 15 min/miles to the end.

Total: 27.6.  All on the road.  All in trail shoes and gaiters.  No blisters.  Gotta love the Brooks Cascadia 2.

Oh yes, no photos.  The digital camera dried out but did not revive!

Saturday, June 7, 2008


We got in the truck to go someplace tonight.  Eli came equipped with 3-ring notebook, pen and an eagle-eye.  One if his sisters had encouraged him to see how many of each of his favorite cars he could spot while we were out.  Her motive may have been suspect;  Eli was busy the entire time and bothered not one of his siblings.
Here's what he found (yes, they are all actual cars.  I placed a link to the ones I didn't know were cars):

Ferrari      0
Mercedes 16
Porsche  2
Dodge Viper  0
Bugatti  0   (I told Eli that I'd give him $5 if we saw one of these!!)
Saleen  0   (sister just informed me that Eli hates this car)
Ford Gt  0
Dodge Charger 1
Corvette  3
Lamborghini 0
BMW 17
Aston Martin 0
Jaguar  5
Rolls Royce  0
Bentley  0
McClaren  0
Panoz  0
Spyker  0
Saab 16

Monday, June 2, 2008

"Monday sans Marathon" OR "Afton-1; Pete & Joel-zero"

Pete & I ran at Afton State Park this morning because it has more difficult hills.  We need more muscles!

The morning started well.  We were running fast and running most of the hills.  We left the park on the north end and ran toward Afton, adding 5 miles to the park trails.  On the return to the park, we realized that we were not going to be able to run 26.2 today.  Instead...

20 miles; 3:44.00; 10.50 pace.  On the bright side, it was one of the faster runs that we've done recently.

On a side note:  I carry our FAMILY's digital camera in a Tinbuktu velcro carrying case attached to my Camelbak on a front strap.  It's very handy.  See something neat or photo-worthy (like a full-size pirate ship in a front yard waiting to be restored) and... reach up, open the velcro, slide out the camera and bingo - a wonderful photo to chronicle an unusual sighting during a run.

Today, when I arrived home, I loaded all my icky clothes and running items in the washing machine as I regularly do.  When they were done, Marty pointed out the pile of wet items so I could hang them as I regularly do.  As I hung the Camelbak on the line, I thought it strange that I should be drying the camera case...and yes, the camera inside it!

So, no photos on this blog for awhile.