Did It

October 5, 2014 § 2 Comments

It was a chilly race, but I had a great time and loved the experience of running the Twin Cities 10 Mile this morning. It’s been a race I’ve wanted to do for years, and it finally became a reality.

I had a smile plastered on my face for the last mile. The runners, volunteers, race organizers and friends and family who came out to watch got me through it. I couldn’t have done it without them.

My time was perfect for me. A 9:27 pace, which was at least 30 seconds faster than I was able to do three months ago and a minute faster than last winter/spring. Legs are a little sore tonight, but hoping that a good rest these next several weeks helps.

A few photos from the day — from the start, the finish, and the marathon. It really is one of the most beautiful races in the country. So glad I had the chance to experience my city in this new (to me) way.

Tomorrow at This Time I’ll be Napping

October 4, 2014 § 8 Comments

This has been a crazy week and weekend with a demanding work project that at one point required a 36-hour straight (no sleep) commitment.

On top of that, I’m fretting about running the Twin Cities 10-Mile tomorrow, a race I’ve wanted to do for several years, and it’s the longest distance I’ve run in a race since a marathon in 1995. As 7 a.m. Sunday ticks closer, my emotions careen from excited and proud to nervous and doubtful. I’ve been plagued with off-and-on injuries for years, but blessed with good running experiences in the spaces between. A couple of weeks ago, a nagging Achilles injury returned, and I’m worried about running tomorrow. Worried it will slow me down or that I’ll have to stop midway or that I’ll do okay but injure myself irreparably.

An article I read recently about anxiety before a big race said nerves and doubts are normal. The writer suggested looking at the day as a series of outcomes — all good and worthy of celebration. And I’ve made my list and will be ecstatic with any of the following:

  • Goal 1: Finish. That would be good.
  • Goal 2: Finish with a 10:15 pace. Unless my Achilles snaps, I think this is realistic (and probably a little slow, but if there’s wind in my face most of the way, this may be a dream pace).
  • Goal 3: Finish with a 10:00 pace. Possible.
  • Goal 4: Finish with a 9:45 pace. Doable, but doubtful.
  • Goal 5: Finish with a 9:30 pace and negative splits. Unlikely, but miracles happen every day.

Maybe Goal 1 should be to “not end up in the medical tent,” but I think that’s just me being snarky and not thinking like a winner. Because I am. Goal 6 is to win it (not my division, not my gender — the whole lovin’ spoonful) and take home a trophy and a pile of cash.

* * *

The marathon-related 10k was held today on the last miles of the marathon course. One guy was juggling 4-5 balls while running, and he kept a pretty good pace. The picture isn’t great — it’s with my cell phone — but just had to share it.

I would likely trip on a pebble trying to do this and dislocate my jaw

I would likely trip on a pebble and dislocate my jaw

Finally, a couple more photos from the race site. It may be cold tomorrow, but the course will be beautiful with all the fall colors:

Road barriers

Road barriers



Police tape

Police tape

Packet Pickup

October 3, 2014 § 1 Comment

Runner’s Expo.

Thirty-seven hours and counting until the start of the TC 10 Mile and Twin Cities Marathon.

Packet Pickup

Cedar Lake Trail

September 19, 2014 § 2 Comments

The Cedar Lake Trail has some of the prettiest biking, running, and walking paths in the Twin Cities, and it offers prime real estate for exploring wildlife among the tall grasses and railroad ties.

This summer, the trail quickly became a favorite of mine, and it’s even more spectacular as the latest (and I’d argue the most beautiful) change in seasons settles into a groove.

Night Run

September 17, 2014 § 2 Comments

Track workout, followed by a run over the creaky pedestrian bridge:

Pedestrian bridge


Run, Beer, Beer

September 6, 2014 § 3 Comments

Training for the Twin Cities 10 Mile ramped up this morning with an 11 mile+ run. I slept poorly last night and dreamt of starting late, falling behind, and having to run 20 rather than 11 miles. Even after waking, I couldn’t shake my nerves until I hit the turnaround point in Hopkins and then did negative splits (i.e., ran faster) the whole way back like a good soldier.

It’s the best running day I’ve had in such a long time. One of those “I can’t stop smiling, I feel like I can run forever” days.

This year has been hard, coming back from an injury, and while I’m trying not to worry about my time, I still find myself obsessing about my pace, which faltered this last year. But I’ve been in a great training program with a fantastic, supportive coach and exceptional, happy runners, and the cool weather this morning made a difference for all of us. Now if I can just replicate everything come October 5.

* * *

After rushing home to take a nap, I awoke and ventured over to the University and Raymond Avenue area, where I came upon two breweries — Urban Growler (try the rhubarb beer) and Bang Brewing (try them all) tucked between the railroad tracks and industrial warehouses that populate the area.

I meant to stop for 10 minutes and take a picture or two, but ended up staying all afternoon, chatting up patrons at both, drinking beer, eavesdropping on the Studebaker Club’s presidents’ meeting, eating food truck falafels, petting dogs, listening to exceptional music, and inquiring about Bang’s grain-bin architecture. I’d heard the owners talk about it last winter and have been meaning to stop by to support their growing business and inquire more about the structure. I chatted with them briefly and made friends with the parents of one of the musicians who introduced me around. Fun, fun, fun. It always pays to just plop yourself down somewhere — you never know who you’re going to meet or what will unfold.

Now I’m off to Eat Street to eat Asian in an authentic dive restaurant. Just the way Saturdays like today are meant to end.

Hope your day has been as fruitful and heartwarming as mine. I have no complaints.

The Comfort of Mundane Routine

August 20, 2014 § 2 Comments

I settled into my post-vacation routine with ease today. It included:

  • Walking several miles through the neighborhood, checking out what has changed in the last week. Other than the loss of someone’s red plane, i’d have to say I see, smell, hear, and sense nothing different from the day I left. But if you do see a red plane that meets the dimensions described below, please return it to the adirondack chairs on the front porch.
Lost plane = sadness and despair; it could also lead to loitering and general malfeasance

Lost plane = sadness and despair; it could also lead to loitering and general malfeasance

  • Capturing and releasing the biggest centipede I’ve seen in ages. The operation required a large glass vase, shoes for protection in case the little guy fell on the floor and scampered over my feet, and a dinner plate to cover the only (but nonetheless large) escape route. A successful transition to the outdoors was followed by relief for the captured and the capturer.
  • Eating normal food — I had to scrounge, but was able to rustle up some carrots, cereal, a cheese sandwich, some Triscuits, water, and a diet ginger ale. Yum.
  • Not racing through stop-and-go rush-hour traffic to meet my running group and learning our coach expected us to run seven miles in the heat and humidity and faster on the way back (negative splits in running lingo). I did run a tad faster on the way back, but did not shave his anticipated 20 seconds off my pace. I’m still coming out of my dreamy vacation haze and demand patience.
  • Looking at the heap of laundry I really need to tackle and deciding it can wait until tomorrow.

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