Thursday, October 23, 2008

Yes, those were trail shoes on the Brooklyn Bridge

Yes, I'm going to do it. I'm making a plug for my favorite running shoe ever.
The Brooks Cascadia 3.

Reasons I love this shoe:
1. It is lightweight,
2. well-cushioned in the fore and aft,
3. does not ride too high,
4. is breathable, drains water well and dries quickly,
5. has a forefoot rock-plate,
6. is more durable than the Brooks Cascadia 2 (the outsides of which blow out after about 70 miles of trail running),
7. comes in great colors (demon red, grey, and green. Yellow for ladies)
8. I rarely get blisters in this shoe. No blisters during recent 76 mile run, small blister from 50 miles at Leadville.
9. Smells good even after many uses.
10. Works well on pavement. I ran 26 of the 76 miles on pavement with no problems and adequate cushioning.
11. Works great on the trails: good traction on grass, trails, in mud, in water, on snow.
12. It is reasonably priced at about $90.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Some NYC Suggestions

Marty and I had a great time in NYC. Much of this was the result of the apartment where we stayed. We also did a number of free things. Here are some ideas that might help if you decide to go to NYC.

Apartment: Top floor of a 7 story building in the South Street area of Lower Manhatten.

View of Brooklyn Bridge (above 2) and looking back at Lower Manhattan, both from the apartment

• we had an outdoor terrace that looked directly onto the Brooklyn Bridge and Pier 17.
• The view of the East River gave us the feeling that we weren't in NYC. We've stayed in other places where our view was of the Brownstones on the other side of the street.
• restaurants, bars, and shops of the Water Street/South Seaport area are literally 2 minutes from the building's front door
• very inexpensive for NYC.
• 15 minute walk from: Wall Street, Battery Park, St. Paul's Cathedral, Ground Zero
• Great places to run: 50 minute run over Manhattan & Brooklyn Bridges with very few traffic stops.

Running across the Brooklyn Bridge

• The apartment was a great size and very clean

Free things

• Staten Island Ferry. It's a free 25 minute ride past the Statute of Liberty. Jump on at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal next to Battery Park (15 minute walk from the apartment)

Marty on the Ferry

• Tent and Trails outdoor store. Lots of great deals. Emphasis on climbing.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New York City Weekend

Photos up now. Details to come.

NYC photos.

Ultra Weekend Details (more photos than details)

For a great description of the Saturday, read Pete's blog of Saturday's 50 miler.

For lots of photos, see my photo album.

During Saturday's 50 miles on the Ice Age Trail, I stuggled from mile 18 to 35 with a sour stomach and weak legs. Since Leadville, I'd run about a total of 10 miles. During this time, Mitch, with years of experience, did something brilliant. He would fall back and have me lead the train. As he put it, my pride made me run faster and stronger.

We all were impressed with Erik. He's a 17 year old young man, brother of my daughter's friend from church. He had hiked nearly 150 miles of the Superior Trail in September, most of those miles were solo. When I asked him to join us, it seemed like he might be able to keep up, especially if we walked a lot. Erik not only kept up, but was always either right behind Mitch or Molly. I don't think Erik was too fond of the walking. I think he could have run the entire distance.

As we sat ieating protein n a bar in Luck, WI, I settled on the advice of those around the table that I should get a little sleep before heading out again. I was tired, sore and a little more beat up than I had hoped to be at 50 miles.

Mitch drove Eli and me home; I tried to sleep. Once home, I simply went into list-check-off mode for an hour, assembling and sorting supplies for the next section. I need to carry supplies for the night run as well as supplies for the marathon. To bed at midnight. Awake in bed until 1am. Some sleep from 1-2:30. Up. Dress. Eat Life cereal. Out the door. Park the car. Start running at 3:30.

I began with a headlamp, but the trail was smooth and I figured that if someone were to attempt to "jump" me, I'd be more difficult to find without a headlamp on. It was beautiful to run with no lighting. Under Highway 36, under 694, into North Saint Paul.

The lights from houses and buildings were a comfort. Especially as I neared the Lake Phalen area where several runners have recently been attacked.

2 minutes of running, 2 of walking - for 3 hours. This gave me 6 miles every hour. A great strategy as I worried about reaching the early morning shuttle bus to the marathon start.

The bridge crossing Highway 35E was glorious as the downtown buildings were lit up and cars passed underneath. It also meant that the state capitol was only 2 miles away. Past the capitol, and crews setting up the marathon finish area.

A fast, prideful, finish run to the Kelley Inn. 13.8 miles. The total mileage by 6:15am was now 63 miles. Hot water from the bathroom tap to mix with my dehydrated chicken noodle soup mix. Stand in line for the bus. 30 minute bus ride to the metrodome. Chicken soup mix tasted terrible.

At the metrodome, I was met by Helen Lavin and friend Val. Helen had prepared peanut butter sandwiches and a Coke for me. Val brought along a bog of food that could have fed an army. It was so nice to meet them and talk with them both. I think the friendly conversation did me more good than all the food.

I started the marathon in corral 1 but the folks in corral 2 (having started 90 seconds later) passed me before I had even reached the first mile. I stuck to my 2 minute on/off strategy for the first hour. Then, it started to rain and get cold. I was not moving very fast so I got very cold.

At mile 8, I borrowed a spectator's phone, called Marth and asked her to come pick me up. While she had her phone on her, she had set it to flight mode and she didn't get any of my subsequent 6 calls until after church. It was probably best this way. I kept going. Some people gave me a slice of pizza and a large cup of coffee. I'd never run a marathon with a cup of coffee in hand.

At mile 9, the sag wagon caught me and a nice lady from Texas. She was tapering for the Marine Marathon the next weekend. Either get on the bus and drop out or stay ahead of it. I played cat and mouse with the bus until mile 13.1. Having run 76 miles by 11am, I stopped. 76 miles in 19 hours.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

100 Mile (76 Mile) Run

Here are photos of Saturday and Sunday's runs. I'll try to fill in the photos with details real soon.
100 Mile Attempt (76 Mile Actual)

Passing the Bar

Much has transpired this weekend.

• By late Sunday morning, I finished a 100 mile running attempt at mile 76. (I stopped at mile 13 of the Twin Cities Marathon: no official marathon finish but one of the best runs ever). Look for details soon.
• Eli ran/walked with me for the last 10 miles of Saturday's 50 miles on the Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin. 3 hours with my son, pursuing a goal together, decked out in Camelbaks and headlamps.
• The bar results were posted this morning, and I passed. We invited four dear friends to join us for brunch and the long-awaited web-posting check. We wanted these friends around because 1) if the results were positive, they would share in our joy because they have been involved with our family from the start of law school; praying for us, asking about how we're doing, bringing us fruits and vegetables from their garden, incorporating our family into theirs, and 2) if the results were negative, they would with non-cliched, experience-laden words remind us that God is sovereign and uses all things to bring Himself glory and us joy.

Here we are after learning the results.
Left to right: Larry and Alice Agnew.
David Michael is holding a sign with 708 on it, my bar exam I.D. His wife Sally is on the far right.
Eli, Grace, Emma, Levi, and my wife Marty holding Zeke.