From the Back of the Pack
I might always be in the back of the running pack, but I'm addicted to it! When I miss more than a day it affects my energy, attitude, and the rest of life in general! I have had a lot of "character" building runs in the deep snow, extreme nose hair freezing cold, ankle high rain, and gale force winds over the past twenty five years and find some of those days to be the most peaceful rewarding outings of all! I'm one of those runners who is slow and steady, but goes forever and ever without ever getting tired.
April 26, 2009: XOOD
The very knowledgeable creators of XOOD, the new energy drink have sent me samples to share with the Minnesota runners. I plan to have them at the Millenium trail on Wednesday for you to try!
The product is unique and created by experts who are athletes and in the field of medicine!
April 11, 2009: Awesome AZ Trail Race, neat group, and great new energy drink!
Have you ever gone somewhere and just wanted to see what a race in their city might be like? I go to Oro Valley, AZ yearly to visit my parents and always check to see if there is a race...this year I hit the jackpot...it wasn't just a race...it was a race where I normally run/hike and it was a trail run...the only problem was that it was at 7:30 am and my flight left from Phoenix at 11:30 am...a 2 hour drive or so with construction.
I contacted the race director and he said I could register at 6 am and run it early, then leave...so I did that and stayed just until the regular race started.
This race was VERY well organized and I highly recommend it for anyone who may travel to warmer climates for spring break! The Catalina State park 5.5 mile and 10.75 mile trail run details are on the following website:
This event was not big by many standards, yet it had all the bells and whistles of a big event! The trail was very well marked, they had an inflatable start/finish thing like Grandma's does, there was an incredible sound system and great announcer, the shirts were technical ones in both women's and men's cut, they had Mexican food and smoothies at the finish...I did not get any, that was ok though, the local hospital had chapstick, blinky lights, sunscreen and bottled water for everyone, there were plenty of water stops, the course was great, the volunteers I encountered were very helpful, they had medical support, and the list goes on and on!
During my short time there, I found two really neat things I would like to share. The first one I discovered when I asked a woman with a ton of balloons what the black stretch limo was doing next to registration...she told me about this incredible program that I'd love to have up in Duluth! The program is called Better than Ever and basically it has the philosophy that women should get off the couch and walk or run...they have shirts, and are also a fundraiser for cancer research. Check out the website...it sounds like quite a neat program!
The last thing I discovered was what I think may be the next new best endurance beverage! Ultima...often called "barfima" by many has such a horrid taste, aftertaste, does really bad things to so many people's systems...that maybe just maybe this could be the new drink of choice for Grandma's some day!
Two Cardiologists developed this, one is a runner/ironman person, the other a biker. I tried some today and got samples...the pomegranate one was really good! It's all natural and sounds like a winner to me! They just started and are only in Tuscon so far. I plan to help them bring it up here. We will have it in our race packets in November for the Dr. Nancy English run/walk and maybe they can get it to others before that. The website for this is:
I hope you will check it out! It is unique, new, and sounds really great!
March 30, 2009: The Geese are Confused!!!!
Laambeaux and I headed out to the beautiful Western Waterfront Trail after tennis practice today and had a very nice run! The desolate trail is mostly clear and the few spots that are not are pretty much slushy so it's pretty easy to run on. The trail was not too mushy either just a bit wet in a few spots...compared to most of what we run on it was nice! Obviously, after tomorrow, this report won't matter!
Laambeaux really enjoyed that trail today and pulled me so hard I thought she must have had me going at a 7 minute pace! If only she would do that up hills during the trail races instead of stopping to sniff everything or piddle! At one point she saw a deer and almost pulled me over!
During our entire run, the geese were complaining. They seemed to be saying...which way do we go? Which way do we go? South, North? South? North? Very confused geese!
March 12, 2009: Free stuff
For anyone who likes to ski and likes free stuff, Rossignal has a neat deal! Just check out this website to find out more! No catches!
February 22, 2009: Da Birkie
When I first started on this thing, Kris said I could blog about anything...so, here's an abbreviated Birkie blog...
Temps were initially and up to the night before predicted to be in the low single digits at the start, which means cold snow, cold toes, slow skiis, cold fingers...it's different than running...toes and fingers don't warm up the same way...snow is stinking slow to ski in when it is below 15'.
So everyone waxed for single digits...at first the low was like 3' then it went up to 7 and we were all excited...sad to be excited for a 4' increase!
Race morning...the temp was 17'!!!!! It never cooled down overnight like it was supposed to. Much better for breathing and would have been for glide had we all been waxed for it...new snow and warmer temps...!
Getting there was quick this year...I left the house at 7:30...sat in a line of cars to the parking lot for about 10-15 minutes, parked, quickly got on one of the five busses they were simultaneously loading up, and left!
We had a long walk to the start area and this is the first time in my many years of skiing it that I actually made it in time to see the elite waves go off at 8:20!
First stop the bathroom line...we think someone died in one of the bathrooms or there was a secret backdoor...I think you know what I mean!
After that line, to the tent ...since it was so balmy outside, the tent, which normally has barely enough room to bend over, had lots of room and I even found a chair to sit in to put my boots on! I got to talk to a man who has MS and was again skiing the full Birkie...he got to work with Bjorn Dahlie the day before, who was there helping to raise money for MS...I was impressed by the fact that he continues to ski the entire event yearly! He's the kind of person who inspires me and hopefully will inspire lots of others who have excuse after excuse for not getting moving!
My race went off at 9:15...it was fast for the first 7k...TONS of people in the way...I decided to start at the back of the wave so I could "warm up" for the first few k...for those of you who are unfamiliar with the birkie, there are 10 waves, well really 20 now because they alternate classic and skate every 5 minutes and they go off between 8:20 and 10:05 or so...hundreds in each wave!
This year, I should have started up further because people were in the way for quite a bit of it. I snowplow down the hills and tend to catch people on the uphills...however with that many people in the way, it's hard to pass on an uphill...ok, not hard, impossible...
When the Birkie skiers split off from us at 9k, the snow got significantly slower again...that portion of the trail is not as well used and still had some fresh snow on it...making it more work.
I was still having fun and then at about 20k or so, I started having something I've never had before in a ski race...my quads just cramped up on the uphills...it was weird...I did everything the same as I have every year so all I can attribute it to is the new drug I have to take for my reynauds...there must be something in it that affects one of the many factors that can lead to cramping...
I stopped a few times, pounded on my legs and then continued...I found if no one was in my way and I could ski faster up the hills, It hurt less...at one point I had to completely stop on a downhill because my snowplow made it cramp! I eyed up any of the ski patrols I passed trying to decide if I wanted to ask one for a quick massage...
I finished under 2 hours which is fine...not my best ever...considering the cramps it was ok...I was fine when I was done, not sore and the rest of the day was a blast!
I am pretty positive the cramping thing was from the new drug because I did not hurt when I stopped, I'm fine today...no residual...so it wasn't a real muscle hurt or strain...this was a "new" thing...
If you haven't tried the Birkie...do it...I just do the Kortie which is not too hard...it's a totally different world from running...exciting, fun, and world wide at each one!