Monday, May 25, 2009

Band Name Contest

Our family has a little blue grass band.
We've been struggling to think of a name. Tonight, as we walked around the block, we brainstormed such names as:

Three Tries
Second Chance
Emma's Awesome
Stonebridge Trail
Copper Stream (parading Nickel Creek)
Three Moons
Cascadia Trails (named after dad's favorite running shoe)

We're still stumped. We need help. Thus, a "Name the Band" Contest.

Give us your ideas. Winner gets a prize.

Check out Emma's blog for full details.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


It's high time I step up.

I've been calling myself an ultra runner ever since I finished the first chapter of Dean Karnazes' book. No, I hadn't actually run further than 26.2; I just felt like I could. By chapter 10, I had a plan to run 50 miles in 12 hours: start at midnight on a paved trail, run some trails in the woods, have time to run beyond 50 miles, and finish gloriously running the last mile around our block with the kids, in full stride, with "chariots of fire" music coming from somewhere.

We did start at midnight, we ran on a paved trail, we ran on wooded trails. But we we rested longer than we should have, we covered distances slower than expected and ended up running/walking for our lives to get 50 miles in just minutes before the clock struck 12.
An ultra runner in reality!

Then, all my running focused on trails. I was not an ultra runner, but an ultra trail runner. Because of this, I dismissed the ubiquitous ultra event called FANS 24 in our own backyard. It seemed like everyone I met who was someone in this new ultra world had done FANS. I dismissed it publicly because it is run not on trails. Privately, I wondered how anyone, let alone myself, could run around a 2.4 mile circle for 24 hours. So, for the past 3 years, I have not even downloaded the FANS application.

I've learned a few things since becoming an ultra runner; and they're not all related to intake and .... "outtake" of food. I'll spend some time in a future blog figuring out what those things might be. But I do know that it's time to do FANS. Kind of like when the boys learned how to ride their bikes. For several days they fell, wobbled, and cried. And then one day, as if they had thought about it all night and decided that they would conquer that bike today because it was high time they did, they got on and rode around the block. This year, for some reason, it is high time I sign up for and attempt FANS.

I'd like to get 100 miles in. I think it would be easier to get 100 on a more "less flat" course. However, I think I will set my sights on 80 miles and be very happy with anything over that.

Friday, May 22, 2009

21 MIle Through Marine

Great miles at first. I was keeping a 9:50 min/mile until mile 10. Then a bathroom break dropped the average to 10:30. Yes, it was a long bathroom break. When one is out in the woods, one must choose one's stall carefully and tip the towel guy generously.

The whole affair took just at 4 hours (the run, not the bathroom break). I did run the Nassan Road hill, which is about 3/4 mile of pure up. Running down was much more fun.

Didn't see anything spectacular this morning. However, the there's-a-dead-animal-somewhere-near smell was in full bloom.

Marine Bridge

Running into Marine

Chest hair on the course

Signage in the country

Friday, May 15, 2009

Kris Fever

There is a sickness that has dominated our house lately. Most of the Buttons have caught it. It's debilitating. I wouldn't say we're suffering but most of us are sick...sick with anticipation.

What do those with the sickness say?

"Kris is hot, wife or not."

Kris is married.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sunday Morning's 32 Miler to Church

I decided to run to church, again. This time, I started from the house.

FANS 24 Hours is in less than 3 weeks, so I need to do several things: get used to running on the road a long time, practice running through the night, practice running while fatigued, and improve on eating while running. Thus, Sunday morning's run.

It was an awful run. I over-estimated my abilities, under-estimated the distance.... basically the run from hell.

It took me 6:45 to traverse 32.5 miles. I was late for church. Levi waited for me in the lobby with a car key. Quick change in the back of the van. Back inside in time for the sermon; one of Piper's best as he explained sovereign election in a way I'd never heard before.

Here are photos.

Entering North St. Paul.
I just found it ironic that I was standing and stretching while holding onto this sign.

Through an industrial area on the Gateway Trail.

This is what the Gateway looks like for about 15 miles...

Someplace in St. Paul. I think it's historical.

A stone arch bridge in St. Paul. I've seen it many times in the dark, never in the light.

A tunnel somewhere

The Gateway Bridge crossing Interstate 35E

Looking at St. Paul from the 35E Bridge

This section of the trail is less than 100 feet from 35E and yet it looks and feels as if running through a dense forest. Do you know where this is?

The capital...


St. Paul. I was really hurting at this point in the run

On the way to Mass...

The Cathedral

Yes, I did go inside. There was Mass going on. I stunk, was sweaty and got lots of looks.

F. Scott Fitzgerald's apartment on Summit Ave.

Me at the Marathon distance. Notice the beady little eyes.

The Summit Ave Parkway

No, Mr. President.

I did run this weekend.

32 miles, early Sunday morning, from the house to church. Tough run. I'll blog and post photos soon.

However, this video came across my path last night.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Preparing for Run

I usually don't blog about a run before I run.

I've been looking forward to tonight's run a lot ever since I Google "moon calendar" and found out that tonight is a full moon. Running under a full moon is incredible. Sometimes, the darkness is so light that it isn't really night running. Several nights ago, the almost full moon and cloudless night reminded us of an October evening, except that the wind was warm and the smell in the air was cut grass and not dry leaves.

Why a night run? I'm hoping to run FANS 24 in June. 24 hours around Lake Nokomis. That particular night includes a full moon. I also need more practice running on the road. FANS is lacking in single track trails. Actually, there is a single track trail around most of the metro lakes, but the concrete is right next to it.

But today has been cold. And tonight...39 degrees. I had to unpack my gloves and hat.

Running from home to church in downtown Minneapolis. Marty and the kids will meet me at church with clothes, food, and cologne!