Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Stock Market is up.

Stock Market is up. All our stocks are actually up for the 1st time in a year.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

took son and friend

took son and friend out to the Dock Cafe tonight. He's trying to be older.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Faces of Upper Midwest Ultra-ing

When I run, I carry a camera. Sometimes the pictures are priceless and reflect aspects of the blessings of ultra running. Sometimes, the endless pictures of trees, grass, lakes and more trees just waste digital space.

As I milled around before Saturday's Chippewa Moraine 50K race, it suddenly dawned on me that I had never intentionally photographed one of the invaluable benefits of ultrarunning; the ultra runners.

So, before I post a review of Saturday's run, here are some of the invaluable folks associated with ultra running in the upper Midwest. I certainly don't have everyone. Each of these people has impacted my running in some manner. If I missed you, I apologize. The most obvious missing person is Peter Grimes, my running partner for the past two years.

Wynn Davis - race director

John Storkamp - overall men's winner

Steve Quick

Pierre Ostor

Larry Pederson and Nancy

Tom Burr

Eve Rembleski

Molly Cochran

Matt Patten

Maria Barton

Kevin Martin

Helen Lavin - overall women's winner

Darryl and Lynn

Bruce Smith
Allan Holtz

Henry Lewis, friend from church; first ultra.

Friday, April 24, 2009

OK. are

OK. are you going to show up on the blog like
Hello Blog site:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It works. THese post

It works. THese posts are going to twitter and facebook; all sent from My laziness is rewarded.

OK. Trying hellotxt.

OK. Trying

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Trail Mix 50K

The average width of the trail.
From the top of the ski hill.

Getting to the top of the ski hill.

Snow on the course.

Getting to the top of the ski hill II.

Marty on the course. (on the left)

Joel, Marty and Eric Swanson before the races. Eric is a budding ultra runner.

Started out too fast. Ran every step of the first loop. 8:40 miles.
2nd, 3rd and 4th laps were not as exciting. Actually, a lot less exciting and more grueling.

This Saturday...Chippewa Moraine 50K. Yeah! Single track, forested, fences, bridges, not 4 loops.

Friday, April 10, 2009

This Morning's Run

Yes, the pavement and I are still good friends. Why am I still running on the road? I'm not sure. Maybe I'm inexplicably drawn to run a loop through Jackson Meadow. I've never seen the movie "The Village." So, maybe my subconscience compels me to areas of creepiness. Maybe in a twisted way, I like white-washed, post-Elizabethan Norwegian architecture (in an empty field in MN).

No one. Not a soul. No lights. No movement. No window shades (that's creepy), so I know there was no one in the houses. No color (remember, white is the absence of color). One loop. That's all I can handle.

Great run. Started before sunrise, but no headlamp. Cold: gloves with hand warmers, hat, long-sleeve shirt. Wind from the north! Wow.

No albino squirrels this week. A loon flew over making so much noise that I could still hear her even when she was only a spot in the sky.

Then, my two most favoritist roads in Washington County.

Run Details:
19.25 miles
3:28:00 elapsed time
10:18 min/mile - this pace includes walking and two bathroom breaks.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Tomorrow's Run. I usually don't post a run until I've done it. However, it's been a while since my last post, and I'm not feeling very creative tonight.

I'm backing the mileage down a little tomorrow in light of next week's race. Plus, there was a midweek 8 miler on Tuesday that will help this week's mileage.

What I'm looking forward to, besides the panorama of Nason Hill road, the sunrise, running in warmer weather, seeing some turkeys, and just being out, is running in trail shoes.

The Brooks Cascadias are incredible trail shoes. They are better than almost any road shoe I've ever run in. I've put in a plug for them in the past, but must do so again. Here's a picture:
No blisters, no lost toe nails, no hot spots, no bruised pads, dries quickly, stays cool, keeps feet warm in winter and cooks breakfast.

Now, I need to find a good excuse to get the Cascadia 4:

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Star Power Dance Contest

I have been to the brink of hell, stood on the edge, peered in, and made it back alive and relatively unscathed!

Let me explain. My daughter, Emma, had an assignment from one of her home school coop classes: pick a career field, find someone in it, and shadow them. Emma chose "events coordinator." She called many of the events sites in the metro area: Excel Center, Minneapolis Convention Center, and Target Center.

Desmond from the Minneapolis Convention Center called back. Emma could shadow him Saturday morning. The Star Power Dance Competition was hosting its national competition that day. Emma said yes. Star Power conjures images of famous people, actors, singers, maybe even a rock star.

This morning, Emma and I left for Minneapolis at 6:10am. We arrived and noticed a lot of little, lip-sticked, lavish, supercilious (from one of my favorite Emily Dickins poems) girls in various uniforms. I dropped Emma off, went to a nearby coffee shop, read the WJS and a finance book, and returned a little early to see what Star Power was all about.

Do you have a mental image of those little girls who parade as future Miss Americas with bonzai mothers, most with Texan accents, feverishly poking, prodding and basically living out their failed attempts at stardom? If you don't, thank the Lord. I do. And what I witnessed was equally disturbing.

On one stage, groups of these little girls stumbled around the stage through choreographed motions set to VERY loud music. Imagine, my brother and I, as little kids, aiding two cats by moving their little paws in sync with each other to create little dance performances. NOW, you've got a mental image!! I kept being distracted by the pasty, tubby tummies between two, way-too-small pieces of uniform.

In another room, one girl at a time pranced through basically the same scenario as described above.

Parents plied their wares of suitcases full of make-up, racks of costumes, pop-up changing rooms, fake eye-lashes, high energy snacks, hairspray, bobby pins, curling irons, fake hair extensions, older non-talented siblings doing the hair and make-up, and enough anxiety to fuel several small hybrid automobiles.

My eyes witnessed all of this during a 6 minute walk. Imagine if I were there all day today. If you ever meet Desmond, pat him on the back and say, "Well done." He's standing on the brink of hell all day. I hope he returns.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Running on The Road - 24 miles

This morning, in order to maximum running time, I opted once again to run on the road rather the trail. Since leaving the marathon scene and entering the ultra scene, I would have to say that I no longer have bad runs. Nevertheless, today was tough.

I went to bed early last night, not feeling good. I had planned to wake at 5 and start running at 5:30. Just before falling asleep, I set everything back 15 minutes. When I woke, I did not feel like running. Now, that is normal for me. But behind that hesitation is the sure knowledge that once I get out, I'll feel great. This morning, I did not have that sure knowledge.

So, I methodically plodded through my pre-run checklist and got out the door at 5:39.
This morning, I ran north-west, attempting to run along Big Marine Park and into Marine from the north. I found one of the most pretty roads in Washington County: May Ave; gravel, tree-lined, ponds and lakes on both sides.

Of course, all good things must come to an end: a beautiful meadow filled with metal art:

At the top of May Ave, I headed east toward Marine.

A quick detour to the north allowed me to come into Marine on one of my favorite roads up there: Old Marine Road with the train tunnel.

Then, the long haul down Highway 95, prompted along by U2: "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" and "Line on the Horizon." I'm starting to really enjoy this new album.

4:30:00 (4 hours, 30 minutes, and no seconds)
24.3 miles
11.06 minute/mile average
236 salt pills!!!

Photos from Last Week's Run

An early morning sunrise (are there any other types?)

One of my favorite views near Marine on St. Croix. This is approaching Nason Hill Road from the the south

This is one of the more creepier places in Marine: Jackson Meadows. I do know one normal person who lives in there. She would agree that she's normal!

Align CenterThe Marine wooden bridge.