May Totals

May 31, 2010 § Leave a comment

I wrapped up May with 55.5 miles at an average pace of 8:20 per mile. I had run only 79ish miles in the first 4 months so I was able to pick it up a little. My goal pace was 8:15.

Long run was 8 miles on 5/30 at 8:19. Other notables were a 4-miler at 7:48 on 5/22 and a 3-miler with Key on 5/12. We got her a bigger bike and now she can keep up with me so I’m hoping to make her my regular training partner.

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Running uphill, both ways.

May 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

Like the yarn old-timers will tell you–my run today, an out-and-back, was uphill both ways.

At least it seemed that way from a visual point-of-view. I was running along the SW Bike Trail and on the way out, while looking ahead it looked like a slow, gradual incline so I figured I was putting some money in the altitude bank for a fast return trip.

But on the way home, a funny thing happened. After turning around, I noticed it still looked like a slow, gradual climb.

Obviously, my eyes were playing tricks on me but for some reason I’ve never noticed this before or at least this pronounced. Not sure what the deal was. I think I actually was climbing on the way out but I’ve got such a slow Internet connection I may not get a chance to verify for a while. Either way, it wasn’t a huge elevation change.

Chris Solinsky, 10K, 26:59.6

May 22, 2010 § Leave a comment

I’m expressively NOT a running FAN.  I respect the heck out of world-class athletes–anyone performing at that level is obviously busting their butts as well as very gifted.  However, Chris Solinsky (a Badger), recently set that American Record (also the non-African born AND the over 6 foot record) for the 10k by an astonishing 14+ seconds (old record, Meb Keflezighi in 27:13.98).  If you haven’t seen the video, check it out here.

Running with the Buffaloes

May 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

I picked Chris Lear’s book about the 1998 Colorado Buffaloes Cross Country season at a used book sale at the Chanhassen Library.  A book I’ve been meaning to read for awhile.  If I remember correctly, a couple years later, the team had a horrific automobile accident in which multiple team members were killed.

One of the reasons I have wanted to read this book is that one of my regrets in life is not going out for Cross Country while at UW-Eau Claire.  I made the mistake of letting someone (UW-Superior’s CC coach) tell me I couldn’t do something–his actual words, and I remember them well, were “if you can run a 30 minute 5 miler, we can work with you”.  My best 5-miler up to that point probably was 32ish.  I took his words to heart and decided if I wasn’t capable at running at lowly UW-Superior then any thought of running CC is college was out.

I can not help but wonder what would have been different had I had the courage to try CC.  I think it would have been a confidence boost.  I actually went back for a fifth year of college, largely to run CC (and also because I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life) but ended up injuring myself in the first week of practice.  I was a fool who doubled my mileage over the summer months–going from 100ish in May to over 200 in June, July, and August.

Perhaps the high-light of that summer was running a 29:58 at the Park Point 5-miler in Duluth.

Anyhow, I’m hoping to get a sense of the camaraderie that I have missed since my own high school CC days.

Morning Run

May 14, 2010 § Leave a comment

I always enjoy getting my run in right away in the morning.  Don’t have to worry that it will get bumped by something not as important.  With all the juggling I’ve been forced to do the last couple years, my runs have been consistently bumped by things like driving, work, and sleeping because my i haven’t had much scheduling flexibility.  Errrrrr!!!!

A fellow dead, PJV, recently shared a definition of a runner that she heard.

A runner is “someone whose day’s activities are controlled by his run rather than whose run is controlled by his day’s activities.”

Might be the best definition I’ve heard.

Finding my bearings

May 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

In a move that has been in the works for about two years and not yet complete, I have relocated 100+ miles from the area I have called home for the last 22 years.  While I have lived here part-time for the last two of those years, it was very transient in nature–a couple of days a week, living out of a duffel bag, working where-ever I could find Wi-Fi, and late-night/early-morning commutes back home.

My wife (a teacher) and children–girls, 5 and 9–are wrapping up their second school year in Chaska, Minnesota.

Within the last month, we sold our home in the Eau Claire, Wisconsin area, I quit my job of almost 9 years with a great employer who has allowed me to tele-commute,  accepted a job with the University of Minnesota, and been trying to buy a home about 30 minutes west of the western-most suburb (Minnetonka) of the Twin Cities.

So while I have spent the last two years knowing a change was coming and dealing with living two lives–the one I knew and the one required by the transition–I have lost my sense of place.  Somewhat ironic since I make maps for a living.

I am often finding coming out of A Target not just wondering where I parked the car but which city, and at time which state, I am in.  Grocery shopping has become a nightmare since I frequent about a half-dozen grocery stores depending on where I am that day.

Some people may thrive on that constant variety but with only a couple of 2-month exceptions–once when my girlfriend (now wife) and I went back-packing through Europe and the other a training session in Redlands, California–I have lived in basically the same small-town area since leaving home after high school.

Not to say it is all bad–I do look forward to exploring new areas, finding new things but now, so much is new I do not yet have many landmarks that I can count on as I try to fit into my new life.

Running is both exposing my lack of familiarity but also helping overcome it.

Having lived and ran in one place for so long, I knew the ins & outs of where to run.  Want a long, hilly route?  Run II south of town.  A fast tempo run that I don’t want to worry about cars?  Take the Chippewa River Bike Trail for an out & back.  A mud run? A track workout? Some trails? Just some miles?  I knew where to go depending on my needs.

Now, I don’t know what is available.  I’ve got a couple routes that I’ve run repeatedly and know them and what they have to offer but my repository of known routes is rather small.  I can jump into any number of indistinguishable suburban routes through rows of houses and past the Walgreens and SuperAmericas that fail to satisfy any specific need other than the basic requirement of providing miles.

But actually running is helping.  I am more adventurous while running.  I search for out-of-the-way places to see what it has to offer.   I’m hoping to race in two days and that may lead to a sense of community and of belonging here.  I intend, once actually settled into a new home (mid-June is our expected closing date) and my new job (I start in four days) to find a group to run with.

Today, I found some mini-trails, including some MUD in the Lake Ann Park in Chanhassen–even saw a turkey.  So I now have a convenient, mid-town short trail run that I know of.  Adding that to the Minnesota River Bike Trail  and the Luce Line Trail by the apartment, I’ve now increased my bag of runs by a good 50%.  Not much but it is a start.

Where Am I?

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