Thursday, October 18, 2007

Josh Ritter... king of cool!

A few of us went to see Josh perform at the Cedar Cultural Center last night. WOW - it was my first time seeing him live having been a fan for a number of years now (thanks to my big sis Marie!) - and he was just phenomenal!!

So full of energy, very funny - with his quirky stories - and he just looked so totally chuffed to be on stage! He performed a good mix of old and new - about 5 songs from his new album which I am still getting used to... I know I will be hooked before long but some of the more country-ish songs take a while to grow on me.

He's back in ireland in late November/early December - which unfortunately is a week later than I am hoping to be home!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Glacial Trail 50K

A quick recap/brag...

Tanya & I ran this on Sunday last. Great event - excellent organization and a beautiful trail. It was a bit of a drive to get there on Saturday but well worth it. The trail was fairly technical but nowhere near as hilly as my previous two 50k races. I was meant to just use it as a training run for the 50 miler in November... BUT...

I was doing pretty well and feeling great at halfway so I kept up the pace - and won! And I thought I'd finished about 12th overall but just checked the results online and see that I was no.8!! Top ten - now that is a first... and it's my first ever win on a trail (my one other win was the Champlin 10M back in June 2005). So what started out as a training run ended up as a very memorable day!

Place Name State Sex/Age Time
1 Chris Toepfer IL M 44 3:53:00
2 Matt Zak MN M 34 3:56:29
3 Joel Lammers WI M 45 4:19:47
4 Rob Yamry WI M 26 4:21:45
5 Mark Dziedzic WI M 31 4:39:59
6 Ron Bero WI M 46 4:45:06
7 Joseph Sackett IL M 41 4:45:50
8 Helen Lavin MN F 30 4:45:53
9 Joel Dziedzic WI M 29 4:46:55
10 Jason Krezinski WI M 34 4:52:44

Sunday, October 7, 2007


Twin Cities Marathon

Boy was I glad I opted for the 10 miler back in May when registration opened! It should of course be fabulous running conditions this time of year - October in Minnesota - fall colours and cool temps right? Wrong...

It was 95% humidity when we started the 10 miler at 7:10am and even though the dew point dropped, the temperatures rose streadily reaching 80F by the time the marathoners were hitting Summit Ave at mile 21. The average high is 62F!

My race went ok. I was feeling a little tired from the trail run yesterday but my legs felt strong. I probably went out a little too fast and I had to slow down for mile 5-6-7. But I was able pick it up a little towards the end - I think the hills definitely helped me, they just make me want to run stronger - and I finished in 1:14:21. My PR is 1:14 but I am pretty sure that course was short as I ran it back in 2004 when I wasn't anywhere near as trained as I am today. Though to clear it up I really just need to set a new PR under 74 minutes!!

Not anytime soon... it's all about the trails now and building endurance... really looking forward to the Glacial Trail 50k next weekend. Sounds kind of crazy but that distance just suits me so much better than a 10 miler!

Unfortunately Pam didn't have a good day - she was trying for sub-3:30 which she is definitely able for but today just wasn't her day. I expect the heat played a big part in it but she was cramping quite early so it could just have gone that way anyway. Fair play to her she was dealing with it really well and ran a great final 2 miles. I had met her around mile 22 and just after Tanya caught up to us. She was just enjoying being out there! The girls crossed the finish line together while I headed back out to find Karen and Susan. Pretty much the same kind of race for everyone today - just too damn hot and humid. No chance to relax at all and settle into your stride.

I was missing the summer heat but now I think I want the cool autumn air back again. I even got sunburnt on my shoulders today!!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Loving the Trails...

Just back from an awesome run out in Afton. I LOVE that place. It's a state park about 40 minutes east of the Twin Cities, along the St. Criox River. It probably has 30 miles of trails - both hiking & horse trails. The bike trails are outside of the park in the ski area (will def. need to check them out soon - I haven't gotten on any more bike trails since the day I bought my mountain bike!). It was raining this morning so Kami opted for yoga instead but Tanya was still game for heading out there. And we were so glad we did - it was very humid when we started out but no rain, and the skies cleared as we were running so we had a nice breeze up on the prairie section. Saw a few other runners out there and a group of cross-country high school girls. We decided to do our usual loop - but ran it in the opposite direction - which seemed harder :)

The skies are nice and bright back in the cities now so I'll have to spend some time outdoors today. However, I also need to get packing... I have empty boxes all over my apartment. I got to see my new house again this week as I had a few contractors I wanted to come look at it - I am getting the floorboards re-sanded & varnished and also a few rooms painted. Really looking forward to it now!!

TC10 miler tomorrow morning - yeah, running 11 miles on the trails this morning is not exactly in the taper manual but I figure I need the trail miles more than the 10 miles tomorrow with the 50k next weekend and ultimately the 50m only a month away!! So there won't be a PR tomorrow but it should be fun anyway. And I am looking forward to finding Pam around mile 22. I am sure she will do so brilliant. I will run with her if she wants me to for a mile or two and then I also want to find Susan. It will be great to see everyone out on the course.

OK. Time to start doing some housework...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Devil Came on Horseback

This is a movie I need to go see. It is showing Oct 12-17.

I know what’s happening in Darfur. Just as I knew what was happening in Rwanda in 1994. And yet, for the most part, I choose to ignore it. My excuse in '94 was that I was finishing school that year and heading off to college and I didn't pay much attention to news. It's no excuse at all of course and I have since read a lot about what happened there and it makes me sick. And yet, 13 years later, albeit for different reasons, as the same terrible atrocities are happening again in a forgotten corner of Africa, I find myself reacting much the same way. A cursory read of the newspaper, a brief mention among friends and co-workers. This time I added a subscription to Doctors Without Borders.

But the truth is I don't really need to care about it. It doesn't impact my day-to-day life in any way and it's unlikely to affect anyone I care about. But I have a 4 year old niece and I might one day have kids of my own - and I sometimes wonder about the day they come home from school after a history lesson and ask “where were you during the genocide in Darfur?”

Going to see the movie won't change what I am doing - essentially nothing - it won’t make me give up my job and go work for an NGO. But maybe, just maybe, it will cause me to pause for a moment and appreciate all that I have. Maybe it will remind me of how fragile human life is and that no matter how strong and in control of my life I feel right now, it doesn't take much for it all to disappear. And maybe it will cause me to care just a little bit more about the people around me. And by doing so, spread a little bit of humanity...

I read something the other day that went like this... "Christianity sounds like a great religion. We should try it sometime".