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.
July 18, 2009: Lincoln Mt Bike
Quite a few in the running community did the Mt Bike race today. I was out there getting some video. Please share this with those you know who might be interested!
July 12, 2009: Superior Yellow Trail
For anyone who wants a nice "easy" run after the Voyager 1/2 or just a nice trail run, the yellow trail at Superior has recently been mowed on the hilly side! It's full of ticks...dry as a bone, beautiful and Peaceful with a good amount of shade!
There is a new addition that I am curious about...at the top of the road across from the parking lot to the archery ranges, there is a new really super tall fence/gate that can be closed by the parks. In the past there were only a few cement barricades, I'm wondering if anyone knows what the plan is with the gate?
All those aspiring "barefoot" runners may find the dry , non technical conditions ideal for attempting it!
July 4, 2009: Tofte Trek
Being my first Tofte Trek, I had heard mud, water, mud...fun! Some people thought the course was harder than Bangin' in the Brush....uphill for 3 miles then downhill for 3..still sounded fun...
As I headed up the shore this morning the weather was clear and the temperatures were a bit warmer than they predicted. We began and I chose to start very slowlyl in the back not knowing what to expect.
It seemed to be a nice course of grass with good footing...in the sun...then I noticed it was kinda hard to breathe and I was really thirsty ...then I noticed gee....it is uphill..I had expected a steeper uphill...not a very long gradual uphill...so I stopped a few times to catch my breath...drank my entire water bottle of powerade, then filled up at the station again after drinking about 5 cups of water there.
The uphill did definitely continue for at least 5k of the course! When we hit the SHT portion, it was finally in the shade and my kinda running! I was able to feel good on the single track and pass a bunch of people. I remembered the race director mentioning something about a walkway or wood and hitting in the face so I was a bit uneasy on some of the many walkways on the trail.
When we finally hit the downhill, it was really fun, I felt great and I picked my pace up quite a bit passing more people, which is rare for me! I did have my good shoes on because of my recent heel problems so I tiptoed or went way around any muddy spots which was easy to do despite quite a few of them. My shoes stayed pretty clean and so did I. There was some man running behind me for quite a long time who would giggle everytime we got to the muddy sections...I finally turned around after about 5 of them and asked him if this was his first time running in something like this and he said yes and continued to giggle each time he hit one!
There was also a big group of hs kids who had stopped and had a mudfight with it...they were coated ...looked like they had a blast though!
I had planned a very slow time not knowing what this was like and being without the extra dog power. ...so I was happy with my 1:14 time ...the first 5k was 44 minutes the second was 30 minutes...guess the heat and hill affected me! I thought this was much easier than Bangin' in the Brush because of the footing...the grass at Korki was really uneven and so is the courderoy...making for a good ankle turning race. The only challenge at this one was the long gradual uphill...I've heard the water/mud is normally really bad, but a person can always get around that if needed!
Duluth made an awesome showing in the awards too! Check out the results and pictures to follow!
June 28, 2009: Power Lines Adventure
Today two more unsuspecting Duluthians, Amy and Dave were introduced to the infamous "Power Lines"!
Amy and I planned to go about 4 miles into the hills heading in from Mission Creek, Dave's total planned mileage was 10 and Jonas planned 20 miles total. The men began their journey to the numerous ascents at Zapp's.
Our plan was to meet somewhere in the hills and take a few pictures of the guys power running the steep inclines and then run back. Poor Amy was at my directionally challenged mercy as we began our voyage to the hills. After parking at Mission Creek, we started the short jaunt onto the snowmobile trail towards the Munger trail. The footing was good on that portion of the trail and the ground was bone dry.
Upon reaching the Munger trail we headed right and planned to run until we noticed the arrows pointing into the trail within 1/4 mile or less of our turn. After running for over 10 minutes, and reaching the Buffalo house, we both kinda thought we'd missed the arrows and turned back...thus adding the first extra mileage to our run. Amy had remembered seeing the power lines back aways as I was looking for the arrows so we backtracked until we spied some arrows into the woods. With some hesitancy we began our trek into the forest despite the "No Trespassing" signs because they were the only arrows we saw pointing into the woods. After a few minutes of "bushwhacking" through what appeared to be an extremely overgrown trail we thought maybe we should head back out and see if there were any alternate arrows closer to the actual power lines. Nope, nothing there so back into the densely covered ground foliage of the forest we went trusting Laambeaux to lead the way through. Our adventure included crawling under fallen trees, over branches, and more until we reached....the Power lines!
A right turn onto the power lines and we were on our way to reach the top of some of the hills prior to the arrival of the speedy guys...or so we thought...both of us began to think...how are we going to recognize this small rustic opening into the woods we just came out of to get back to the car??? So....we ran back to the opening, both took out our cameras and took some pictures of it for a sense of security!
On our way yet again, we enjoyed the scenic beauty of the area and the fact that all the trails had been dry thus far. When we got to the first intimidating downhill....I decided that the dog must be free or I may end up as a casualty of the incline. After carefully making our way down the thankfully dry hill, we continued our adventure run until the first gigantic uphill where we ran/walked to the top. Amy did an awesome job for her first really rustic running!!!
With all the timing planned out in advance, we figured we had a few minutes to kill before the men showed up so we dropped a few things at the top of the massive hill and continued on for awhile. Stinky virtually impassible mud appeared in a few places on the trail past the massive hill, luckily all on the flats rather than the hills so we could somewhat preserve our shoes.
As we headed back towards the monster of a hill, we smiled when we saw two sweaty, out of breath males emerge from the crest of the natural challenge. Both appeared to have run the entire incline...!! Because we had missed their initial climb, they were good sports and went part way back down to "reenact" the run for the photo opportunity. We asked them if they liked crawling under the two downed trees on the trail to the power lines and neither remembered doing that and just figured they were concentrating so hard on the trail that they didn't notice them.
After our brief encounter, the guys headed further onto the power lines so Dave was able to be properly introduced to them, and Amy and I headed back towards the car.
As we traversed the crunchy uneven mud, we initially passed our intended opening in the woods to the trail, luckily catching our error prior to venturing further onto the trail.
Cautiously running back through the "bush whacking" trail again, we went under the two trees, got off the "trail" once, then the pooch safely lead us back to the Munger.
Picking up the pace a bit on the Munger, we were almost to the left turn to the car when Amy noticed some arrows on the trail leading into a very nice dirt trail....hmmmmm...we figured out why the men didn't crawl under any trees!! Sorry to whoever's property we trespassed on!!!
Into the car and off to 131st we went to reunite Amy and Dave. We had parted ways at 3:00 on the big hill and expected Dave to appear sometime between 4:00 and 4:15...as we waited, walked, waited, picked over 100 ticks off the pooch, walked...we began to worry...we got our phones out just in case something had happened and there were no bars! Upon walking out towards the road in the hopes of getting some cell service, we came upon a 4 wheeler and asked the man if he was going up the trail very far explaining we were concerned about a possible lost runner. As he was telling us his plan was just a short jaunt, a tall skinny runner in red was sprinting down the trail towards us!
Dave had taken the SHT back and had gotten lost for at least two miles after asking different people how to get back to 131st! His run ended up at 12 miles or so instead of 10, ours was at least a couple of miles long if not more...and Jonas...his was 20...he knows his way around the woods!
It was a blast, nice weather, fun trails, great company...I can't wait to do it again!!!
|The entry back into the bush whacking trail|
|Jonas initiating Dave into the power lines|
June 21, 2009: 1/2 and FULL MARATHON VIDEO 2009
Most people know I like to be busy and helping with races in some fashion or another....soooo as my first year in like 14 years of not running the 1/2, I thought maybe others would like a chance to see those first finishers, friends running, and uniquely dressed runners that are only visible to the spectators!
With camera in hand, my first stop was Lake and Superior to catch the first 1/2 marathon runners. From there, we headed down towards the finish area to do more filming. (I apologize if I forgot some names of people who are in the video and for those I missed! My camera skills can use some work and I turned the sound off for portions where comments were being made by outside parties who preferred their voices not be on the tape.)
Back up to Lake and Superior to watch those first marathon finishers and I must say it was quite impressive to watch the clock and all the "escorts" the winner had with him! Having an American win and a Minnesotan was incredibly wonderful!!
Because I had a bike and was mobile, I moved down to the bridge just over the road into Endion Station and caught a former running mate Anne Seward from the Twin cities as she finished up ...what is impressive about Anne is that she is an amputee and also an awesome dedicated runner!
Moving on to the area across from the Aquarium was a great place to shoot video with no one in the way...unfortunately I encountered a very crabby control freakish security guy who made me move despite the fact that I was no where near the runners...There was a problem created by the construction ...spectators were walking right into the path of runners because there was no sidewalk and the runners were hugging the curve as they ran the tangent..so a few of us spoke with the other guy, the "nice" security man...who agreed I was not in the way and we got him to have people cross further up instead of walking into people...that solved the problem of people going one direction but not the other...so when crabby security guard approached us again, we asked him if he could do something about those people crossing in front of runners...all he had been doing was standing and talking to the other security guy not a dang thing besides that...his response was "worry about moving yourself, not the others" ...we tried to get him to do something about the others...he said we were the only problem and threatened to call someone in to have us removed...he never did help the other problem...I guess when you hire 300 pound guys to do security they don't understand how runners work...we were all very offended and forced to let the crowd continue yelling at people to stay off the course because he felt it was more important to just chat with his other guy instead of keeping runners safe ...I heard for TCM the security has to sign something stating they will be polite and respectful to people...wonder if Grandma's does that? The lady at Lake and Superior who had many more people to deal with did an outstanding job of being polite, respectful and getting her job done!
I'm proud yet not one bit envious of everyone who finished yesterday in that horrible heat, humidity, and headwind (humidity and headwind I believe were worse for the 1/2)! I guess training on a treadmill in a hot room or training with a snowmobile suit is just going to have to be the regimine for Grandma's!
The link to the video is below! Please share it with others and let me know if you have any trouble viewing it!