Thursday, September 30, 2010

Eli the Business Man

make custom gifts at Zazzle

Eli recently stuck his head in a local shop. He stayed awhile. He talked with the owners. He fell in love with the store and the owners, "Lost Treasures." I think they fell in love with him.

The owners asked Eli to make some postcards featuring shots from around town to sell in their shop.

Not being one to pass up an opportunity to make money, and bug the heck out of dad in the process, Eli set about finding a way to make postcards.

The above is his most recent find. Buy some online. Eli gets a 20% profit on each card. Click here to buy online.


come to Stillwater and buy his postcard in a great little store just off Main Street called "Lost Treasures."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Night Running

My most recent run was at night.
My description was mundane. Mostly the facts.

Yet, I really want to be able to describe what I experience in a way that enables another to feel and experience what I experienced. Even better, I always hope that I can write in a way that causes another to go try it (night running, running on a frozen river, running on grass, running barefoot, walking while running, slowing down and taking photographs while on a run...).

Others can write this way. A good friend recently wrote about night running in a way that will put you right out there with her under the moon. Go read her account and enjoy: "at night..."

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sunday Morning Run

I woke at 2:10. Ate. Decided to run in Cascadias and not the new Montrails. If I kept on my slow pace, and left the house at 2:30, I could get to church (within stones throw of the MetroDome) at 9:00. Left the house at 2:46. Arrived at church at 9:16. I know my pace pretty well.

Dark. Starry. Saw two shooting stars. Ran to Gateway Trail. Gateway Trail to State Capitol. I ran mostly without headlamp. I could tell where the tree covered trail was because it was solid black while the surroundings were not solid black. Near Highway 36, a bicyclists with headlamps as bright as a locomotive went by, heading north. We met again near Interstate 35 later in the morning. He was now going south. I was going south both times.

The sun came up as I neared Interstate 35. St. Paul buildings glistened. I ran across the Capitol mall.

Summit Ave gave me renewed vigor. Running the opposite direction of the marathon always does. The bottle of Coke in a Big Gulp cup of ice also renewed me. So did my new Running Playlist, including incredible songs from Lifehouse, Theory of a Deadman, Green Day, Coldplay and Tyrone Wells.

Walk, run. Repeat. All the way down Grand Ave.

Below a 12 min/mile pace until hour 5; then slipped to 12:14. But I just had to stop for that Coke. Spent hour 6 reclaiming the 12 min/mile pace.

Up West River Road, along with every single possible runner in Minneapolis. I was the least fashionable.

West on Franklin. A great avenue, just not a great running avenue. Saw some 8:20 min/mile pace during the last half hour.

Eli handed me a bag of clean clothes at 32.29 miles, 6 1/2 hours after leaving home.
I changed and lingered in the coffee and doughnut area of the church as long as church etiquette allowed. Thank goodness for the Fees, who helped me stretch that a long time.

Then, entered sanctuary and "caught" last 15 minutes of sermon. I actually comprehended most of what I heard. Also able to stand for last song. And go down stairs afterward to get little one from nursery.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Lessons I Need To Learn

I have learned many things in the past five years as I've transitioned, no, jumped in without looking back, to ultra running (I'm not running Twin Cities Marathon this year - no more road races for me?). Most of what I've learned has meshed well with the attitude of grace that we've experienced since attending Bethlehem Baptist Church, almost 5 years ago as well.

However, I have learned and changed more from my wife's mostly gentle proddings than anything or anyone in this world. That's how it should be. There is much about me that needs to change. Most of those things directly impact my wife, and not for the good.

Here's an example. I generally get home pretty early in the day by the standard of most. I do so because the hours between 4 and 6 are awful for Marty. So in this area, I'm doing well.

However, tonight I ran into the office to get a phone number and promised I'd be back in time to help put the toddlers to bed. I wasn't. I forgot. Yes, it was a good, important phone call. And I had lots of other excuses, like I needed to straighten the notes on my desk, and check for messages, blah, blah , blah. I could even say that I was away for the sake of earning a living for our family. But in the end, I said I'd be back to help put the toddlers to bed and I wasn't.

I'm not characterized by unkept promises. But I learned tonight that even one is one too many.

Tomorrow, I'm putting everyone to bed, by myself. Have a great night, Marth.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

One Reason I "Ultra" Run: Fashion

Tonight, I got a run in. 3 miles. That's the longest run I've run in about a month.
It was a glorious run at the end of an incredible day.

But do you want to know what I really liked about tonight's run; and so many of my runs?
I did not have to "dress up" for it. I attribute this to the "ultra mindset."

Well, certainly, because it was dark out, there was no need to look runnery (or runnerish?). Spell check is going crazy on both of those words! Running in the dark is sort of due to ultra running.

But I would have worn a ragged t-shirt, non-matching shoes and socks, and ratty shorts even if it were light out. In fact, I would have intentionally worn grey, wool sock (or black ones) if it were light out.

Running long distances has changed the way I think about what I wear. Instead of, "Does this make me look more muscular, more thin, more tan, more fast, more runnery?" my questions are more like, "Does this smell REALLY bad after 5 hours or just sort of bad?" (or using MST3K dialect, "Does this smell bad bad or just bad?"); "How easy is it to get these short off when nature calls?" "What rubs best against my skin for hours on end?" or "Would this shirt make a predatory animal in the night think I look more like dinner or more like the alpha male?"

If this makes no sense, and you want to see a good contrast between the running attire of an ultra runner and that of, say, a more typical runner, let me suggest this exercise:
buy a Runner's World magazine and an Ultrarunning magazine.

Start by comparing the brightly color-coordinated, airbrushed, photoshopped-into-some-resort-styled-background-running scene, floating-off-the-ground, sparkling model on the cover of Runner's World with the sweaty, dirty, earth-toned clad, laden-with-at-least-a-water-bottle-but-most-likely-a-pack, feet on the ground runner on the cover of Ultrarunning. Then start turning the pages and hang on!!

Do you want to know what my favorite piece of running clothes for this winter is? You'll never see it in Runner's World. A pair of dark wool dress pants that I bought from Goodwill for $3. They look like something straight out of a Dicken's novel. The wool is the tightest and thickest wool I've ever seen. I'll get them hemmed for around $30. If I were to buy wool running pants from Smartwool or Ibex, they would not be as thick and they would cost me over $100. It will need to be at least -20 for me to wear these wool pants cause they'll be so warm.

So, with no shame, because of ultra running, I may not ever appear on the cover of Runner's World. However, you'll recognize me out on the frozen St. Croix River as the sharply dressed English chap.