Sunday, February 24, 2008

The sun is out ... and it's not freezing cold!

Beautiful day! Your track club board is going to spend the day in a windowless room in the government doing 'strategic planning' for the year. That's the way the cookie crumbles ... :-)

Yesterday. Temps were in the single digits at 7:15 a.m. when we left from the RAC. But without wind, it really wasn't too bad. I understand the air quality wasis very bad ... a reading of 111 ('soot and particulates'), with a reading of over 100 making it dangerous for susceptible groups, which includes athletes. Thank you to Roger Heil and son Jon for being our water stop guys. Really appreciate it! It was one thing to be running yesterday, another to be just standing there for an hour or so. And I've been noticing the birds are coming back as we can hear their songs again. ;-) Run pix below. I've been lamenting my lack of training lately, especially long runs, due to injury. Well, I somehow managed 18 (slow, ugly) miles yesterday. No pain, but lots of fatigue. I would have have tried to eek out a 20 had I not had to get to church to do a wedding. Boston runners putting in the long miles yesterday: Woo and O'Leary (26), Mike Schmitt and Marilee Hardyman (20), Jen Bradt (18), Kit Hawkins (16).

U.S. Indoor T & F today 4-6 on ESPN2 (channel 32 on Charter cable in Roch.)

Thank you to Larry Pederson and crew who will be assembling and mailing the RTC News this week in my absence! If you'd like to help (evening of 2/28), contact Larry.

Welcome to new RTC members: Marie Boyd/Bruce Turlington, Chris Koch/Tabitha Beck, Joy Larson, Priscilla Smith, Johann and Sherry Sonnenberg!

Students running track (and their parents): Do you know that you get 20% off your shoes (trainers and spikes) at Running Room? Just tell them you're a student athlete when you come in to buy your shoes. The staff will get you all set up!

As I posted on the RTC website, RTC News won a national RRCA journalism (small/mediucm club newsletter) award again this year. Kudos and kudos to everyone who submitted articles! The award is presented at the national RRCA convention the first weekend in May, in Cincinnati this year, held in conjunction with the Flying Pig marathon. I'm kind of blowing my travel budget going to FL this week and Boston in April. I'll see if I can swing a trip out there to pick it up. Else, hopefully they'll mail it. Hmmm, then I wouldn't have to give a speech ...

I hadn't read one of John Shonyo's posts (dated 2/8) at Jacksonville Marathon, but it's a very good statement about cancer, heroes, and fundraising. Very well said, John.

From K.C. Reed: The Polar Plunge will be on T.V. today at 4:30 on public access TV (Channel 10 on Charter cable in Rochester). They were freezin' for a reason, to be sure!

Registration is open for the Gary Bjorklund half marathon in June, held in conjunction with Grandma's Marathon, on the second half of the course. Registration is open until 8:00 am CST on March 3. Entry is via lottery. Register at Grandma's website. There are still 1,080 spots open in the full marathon.

Spotted at Wal-Mart, King Arhur Flour white whole wheat flour. Great for baking bread. Doesn't have some of the bitterness that regular (red) whole wheat flour has.

That's it! I'm off to FL in a couple days. I might post, ... and I might not! See 'ya.

Let's meet Daryl and Lynn Saari (pictured in the slideshow above), trail runners extraordinaire: Daryl is first.
Family? Wife Lynn, two children, Trent 18, Kayla 15, Belle the dog, 14, Cleo the cat, 4
Hobbies? Cooking, not as good as Lynn, canoeing, camping and showshoeing
Languages you speak? English
How did you get started in running? ran the mile and 2 mile in high school, have ran since. In the last four years I have gotten more serious.
Miles per week on average? 35-40 when not training, 45-60 when training
Your defacto, comfortable as a broken-in shoe training route? 10.5 mile loop out 19th St NW to 60th Ave NW and in on 2nd St. back on Hwy 22 or to Pine Island on a full moon
How often do you run it? 2-3 times per week
Favorite carbo loading food? Wheat bagel with provolone cheese and turkey
Favorite indulgence food? Chips and guac or Thai curry or shrimp gumbo
Next race? Trail Mix in the citiesRunning goals? Finish Western States, grand slam/mountain slam (4 100's in 4 months)
Running dream? afore mentioned

Now, Lynn:
Family? Spouse Daryl, Belle the Dog and Cleo the Cat
Hobbies? cooking, gardening, snowshoeing
Languages you speak? English, enough Spanish to get me around
How did you get started in running? Can't remember a time I didn't run
Miles per week on average? 20-30 in off time, 40-60 when training
Your defacto, comfortable as a broken-in shoe training route? whatever my spouse tells me...just kidding! Multiple loops west of town toward Byron or to Pine Island and back on full moons
How often do you run it? 4-5 times per week
Favorite carbo loading food? Don't really carb load....
Favorite indulgence food? Daryls Thai curry
Next race? Trail Mix
Running goals? Complete my first 100 this year.
Running dream? No work, run every day! Unlimited trail runs!

Thought for the day: "Take away my capacity for pain and you rob me of the possibility for joy." --Ross W. Marrs

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Baby, it's cold outside!

As much as I like winter and think the snow is beautiful, these bone-chilling temps are starting to get the best of me! Tonight is supposed to be cold as well. (Speaking of tonight, there's going to be a total eclipse of the moon. Starting at 9:00 pm for an hour, the moon will be shrouded.) Then it sounds like we're headed for a warm-up (more like normal temps) for the weekend, which will be nice. The marathon training runs start at the R.A.C. on Saturday at 7:15. I believe the usual mileage for the first week is 10.

Thank you Pete Martin for the Jacksonville, FL (26.2 with Donna Inaugural Breast Cancer Marathon) photos.

Here's what Pete had to say about the event: As marathons go, this one was pretty good in all respects, except one, and that was the day. It was too hot. Even the locals all said it was unusually warm for February. Otherwise, for an inaugural run, the organization and attention to detail was impressive. The Expo was well attended and very emotional at times. I have included pictures of the card that people signed, I saw many weeping openly as they put the names of loved ones and family members or friends on that card. It becomes immediately apparent just how many lives have been touched by this disease. And this was also obvious on the course, the day of the race. A hundred times I had spectators on the course say "thank you for coming here to run for this cause". I also have to say how nice the course support was in other ways. Many homeowners took the time to put garden hoses out and spray down the runners, which I appreciated a lot, considering the day. I have never run a marathon that offered so many water stops and runners gels. Officially I think they setup a stop almost every mile, but there seemed to be hundreds of other personal or individual efforts as well. The beach was awesome, thankfully we had a bit of a breeze coming off the ocean and the sand was packed down hard so not too bad a surface to run on.

Prior to the run, Donna Hicken announced they had collected upwards of $800,000 dollars, with more coming in. I heard later they topped a million. Not too bad for an inaugural run. I believe they expected around 5000, they got closer to 8000, and they are expecting more than double that number next year.

As an aside, if anyone feels compelled to do this one next year, probably a good idea to think ahead and get hotel reservations early. This year, it fell on the same weekend as the Daytona 500 and one or two other conventions, so rooms are booked well in advance.

Thank you , Pete, for the race report!

Some congratulations for the weekend ... my friend Joy Larson ran her first half marathon at the Lace Up With Donna half here in Rochester. There's a photo of her in my 2/17 post. Congrats to Cathy Torgerson on running her first marathon ever in Jacksonville. And congats to Paola Sandroni for taking first place in her age group at Jacksonville. Rochester runners rock!

The March RTC News is off to the printer. Larry Pederson will be coordinating its assembly. It'll be after 2/28, when it will be ready at the printer. If you're interested in helping, please contact Larry.

At Nikewomen you can apply for the needs of female athletes. From their email: Whatever your team needs to unleash your true game, we're here to support you. Nike Let Me Play Fund is giving teams of female athletes the chance to win new uniforms, better playing fields, travel money to and from games, equipment and more. You can make a difference for your team. Anyone can apply: girls or guys, coaches or parents. If you're interested, I'd be happy to forward the email.

From Mike Schmitt: Athlinks It's a link to a site for athletic endeavors, product review, networking, etc. Of interest on the home page ... enter your name in the box and it brings up your race results. It looks like they're only bringing up USATF-certified races, but it's interesting nonetheless. Thanks, Mike, for this resource!

Seen in the Post-Bulletin, RTC member Mike Torchia set a school (U of M) record for the indoor 5K in Seattle: 14:06.64. Scorching.

A RTC member, Madison Couser, age 5, was diagnosed in January with a malignant brain tumor. Her parents have set up a Care Pages site to keep up with Madi's progress in her diagnosis and treatment. Marianne (mom) said 'it would be awesome' if I shared the link on my blog. Click on the link above. The page name is MadisonPaige. For any prayer warriors out there, prayers are appreciated. Thanks. Madi is pictured above with brothers Ethan and Chad at the River City Ramble in Red Wing last summer. ;-)

I saw someone at the Y the other day running on the treadmill. He had a 2007 TCM finishers shirt on. I didn't know him, but I went up and talked to him and congratulated him on finishing the marathon. It was his first marathon. He runs with the Running Room and Wally Arnold was his instructor for his marathon clinic. (Speaking of which, new clinics will be starting up and instructors are needed! You're paid and you get the employee discount at the store. Contact Paula if you're interested in helping other runners accomplish their goals!) Anyway, he doesn't know if he'll do another one. I told him that that was really a tough one for a first marathon. I hope he gives it another try. ;-)

Needed: Volunteers for the Fetzer on April 12. If you're running the 2-mile, you could still help at the finish line for the 20K! If you're running either race, you can help with registration! If you'd like to volunteer, please let me know!

I got some of the extra bananas from the run on Sunday. Here's a great banana bread recipe:

1/2 c. butter or margarine
1 1/4 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 1/2 c. mashed bananas (about 3)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
Up to 1 c. chopped walnuts (optional)
Up to 1 c. mini chocoalte chips (optional)

(I do this all by hand--no mixer)
Cream butter and sugar. Stir in eggs, butter, bananas and vanilla until well combined. Combine dry ingredients. Gently stir into wet ingredients, just until mixed. Stir in nuts or chips if using.

Grease or spray pans. One 9 x 5 x 3 or four 3 x 5 pans. Heat oven to 350.
For 9 x 5 x 3 pan, bake one hour 15 minutes, covering with foil after 1 hour. Cool 15 minutes before removing from the pan. For smaller pans, bake 45 minutes. Cool 10-12 minutes before removing from the pan.

I'm finishing up my baking frenzy. I've made 2 loaves of french bread (not really baguettes--shaped more like an Italian loaf), oatmeal bread and whole wheat in the breadmaker. A chocolate mint cake and I still have to make Nieman Marcus cookies...same ones I made for Sunday. I'll post a photo here when everything is done.

Whew! This is going to be some long post.

Think I'm going to wrap it up and get back in the kitchen.

Stay warm!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The cold and frozen north

A very successful morning here 'up nord'! I've been trying to get finishing times for our buddies running in Jacksonville, but I can only get 5-mile splits. I want to know now how everybody did!!

So. Rochester's satellite half marathon. Everything went very well. The only glitch was totally out of everyone's control. The footing. Fresh fluffy snow on top of the ice. But very pleasant temps. I had 24 on my thermometer which is just fine by me. But then this snow and blowing snow and associated weather advisories blew in about an hour before race time. Running south to 16th St SW was fine. Then we had to turn around and run up to Silver Lake into the blowing snow. It's not so much fun when the little pellets of snow are being blown into your eyes. Lionel from Singapore, experiencing one of his first winter runs being new to Rochester, felt the same. Lots of work and lots of talk afterward about sore calves and hamstrings. According to my GPS 13.74 miles (and Mary Chestolowski had 13.9). No wonder it felt hard! And slow! Just over 2 hours for me. Slowest ever, I believe, for me. I also got a late start waiting for my GPS to catch a satellite. But coming off an injury, I was just so happy to be able to run the distance. Maybe I'll be running Boston after all! Very nice post-race treats--water, Dippin' Stix (apples/caramel and carrots/dip), bananas, bread nuggets, Caribou coffee, carnations and I brought some M&M (pink ribbon of course!) cookies. Goodie bags: pink ribbon Thorlos socks, pink ribbon shoelaces, Caribou Coffee water bottle, and other stuff. And lots of door prizes. I even won a pair of Susan Komen socks--I never win everything! Very well done Lin Gentling, Chris Kujath, Laura Lena, Mike Schmitt and Kristin Zhao!

Today, Sunday, on ESPN from 4-6 pm, Tyson Invite (indoor track meet). Carrie Tollefson from MN participated. I read the results on one of the MDRA blogs, so I know how she did already. But I'm still going to watch. (I'm recording it as I'll probably be making supper. But don't know what that will be yet...don't know what I'm hungry for today. Soup sounds kind of good. But Ted had that for lunch ...)

Here's a killer cookie recipe. Not the one I made for today, but these are loaded. And delicious. I might have posted the recipe already, but that's the way it goes when your memory is as bad, and old, as mine is...

Oatmeal Super-Chocolate-Chunk Cookies (from the King Arthur Flour catalog)
1 c. unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 c. brown sugar, lightly packed
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1 Tbsp. vanilla (not 1 tsp!)
3/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour (I usually add about 1/3 cup more and flatten them before baking)
2 c. dry oatmeal, ground
1 c. pecan meal or 1 c. finely ground pecans
2 c. chocolate chunks
1 c. chocolate chips
1 1/2 c. chopped, toasted pecans, optional but also very good!

In a large mixing bowl, mix by hand (about 30 strokes) the melted butter, sugar, eggs, syrup, vanilla and salt; the mixture should lighten in color slightly. Stir in the baking soda, flour, ground oatmeal and pecan meal, then the chips/chunks and bit and nuts.

To make big, palm-sized (3 1/2 to 4-inch) cookies, apportion dough with a muffin scoop or 1/4-cup measure. For smaller cookies, use a tablespoon cookie scoop, or a tablespoon generously heaped with. Deposit the cookie dough on ungreased or parchment-lined cookie sheets. (I flatten them here.)

Bake the cookies in a preheated 350 oven until they've puffed, about 12 to 14 minutes. They'll appear almost underdone, but will firm up once they come out of the oven. Remove the cookies from the oven, allow them to rest on the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Yield: about 24 large or 48 smaller cookies. (I usually get about 36 out of this recipe with a large cookie scoop.)

YUM!! Unfortunately this recipe doesn't fit into my current self-imposed dietary plan. Celery does ...

I've only got 3 of the following in reserve. Let's hope I get some more replies soon from my last mass-email... Today we're meeting Steve Strange, who winters in Tucson, AZ.

Family? An amazing wife - Cathey, three grown kids all in the Twin Cities or suburbs, and a couple of grandchildren who get plenty of grandparenting attention.

Hobbies? Wow - where to start? I enjoy baking bread, a hobby I picked up when I would wake up at 4 a.m. worrying about how to make projects work better at my job at IBM. Rather than lie there staring at the ceiling, I figured I could put the time to good use. Since retiring, I've found that I still wake up at 4 a.m., and now don't have anything to worry about, so I still get up and mix up some bread, then go out for my morning run. I also play the saxophone, (less since retiring since there's so much less time), golf, and serve on a couple of volunteer Boards of Directors - the most enjoyable of which builds schools for kids in rural Cambodia. Oh - one other thing - I collect pottery that is created by artists in Mata Ortiz, Mexico. Beautiful stuff made by some really neat people.

Languages you speak? I'm working on my Spanish, and probably wouldn't starve to death if I was lost in Mexico. I also speak Engineer.

How did you get started in running? When I was 57 (four years ago), after not running for 40 years, my oldest daughter needed a partner to run 5k's with. How could I say no to that?

Miles per week on average? 30 - but I'm ramping up. It could be 31 by the time you read this.

Your defacto, comfortable as a broken-in shoe training route? In Rochester, it would be to start at Soldiers Field, then loop out to Pinewood Road and back, to Mayowood and back, to Silver Lake and back, and finally around the golf course.

How often do you run it? In the summer, about every 2nd week.

Favorite carbo loading food? Spaghetti with red sauce.

Favorite indulgence food? Chocolate chip cookies

Next race? Aiming for the Med City in May, with a couple of incidental 5k's along the way.

Running goals? Enjoy life on the run. Celebrate success with my kids. Keep the body working as long as the mind keeps working.

Running dream? I want to qualify for and run in the Boston Marathon, preferably with my son, Rob. Target date - April 18, 2011.

A fellow bread baker. I'm baking bread for our Lenten supper at church Wednesday. A couple loaves of French, and a couple of whole grain. And for some reason I also signed up to bring a cake (but that was before I was asked to bake bread). You can guess where I'm spending my Wednesday ... yes, in the kitchen. Mine, then the church's. I also volunteered to serve. :-) I'm sure I'll stay to wash dishes too ...

Thought for the day: "Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person's physical, emotional, and mental states." --Carol Welch

Enjoy the beauty of the day.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Oh, what a beautiful morning!

I went out to Quarry Hill for a ski this morning. It was beautiful. Sunny. 10 degrees. Perfect for cross county skiing. I decided to bring my camera along today and share Quarry Hill and its wintertime beauty with all of you. When I got there just before 8:00, there was no one else there, but it wasn't long before there were several other skiers. I pretty much had the classical track to myself, which was nice. A different kind of beautiful day than those in Jacksonville are enjoying, I'm sure, but beautiful nevertheless. I love winter. And xc skiing is a great workout, excellent cross-training.

In the little survey to the right, note that you can choose more than one publication as your 'favorite'. I hope someone other than myself likes RTC News!

New at Running Room: Moving Comfort sports bras. Also, new RPL wear.

These tops were previously available in black and powder blue. Very stylish neckline. Also, shorts, tops, (men's and women's) and sports bras from last summer are now 20% off. And some Nike, Saucony, Asics and Mizuno shoes have been added to the sale table. So stop by and check it out!
And thank you to another contributor to the March RTC News that I forgot to mention in another post. Greg Hagen. He wrote an article and submitted photos for the Living History Farms cross country race last fall, which he and Jason Sinnwell participated in.

I neglected to mention some other awards presented at the banquet--the (multiple of) 3-year race director awards. 3 yrs--Mark Wernstrom (Bear Creek). 12 yrs--K.C. Reed (Rochester Half Marathon and 5K). 18 yrs--Steve DeBoer (Mayo CC 5K). 24 yrs--Jeanne Block (Women's Race). Thank you all so very much for your significant contributions to the RTC!!

There are 1315 spots left in Grandma's Marathon as of this writing. It doesn't seem to be filling as fast as in previous years, as it's been open for a month already. Maybe it's that relentless June heat that seems to have plagued Grandma's in recent years ... I haven't decided about a fall marathon yet. I've pretty much decided to give TCM a rest, but never say never as they say!

From TCM: Get ready to register for the 4th running of the midwest's premier road mile on March 13th. The Medtronic TC 1 Mile takes place Thursday, May 8, with a $25,000 prize purse. Guaranteed entries into the Medtronic TC 10 Mile will be given to the first 600 to register and 400 randomly drawn finishers. Online only registration opens March 13th. Click here for more details.

I've sent out ?s to RTC members for posting here through last name 'S'. Please consider replying! The response rate has been quite low. We have about 330 members! I'm not sure what I'll do when I get through the alphabet. Give it up? New questions?

For those who remember Steve and Kelly Graepel, they now have a 7-month old daughter, Chloe. ;-)

I was 'surfing the web' a little bit yesterday and came across Medal Memories, acrylic holders for medals.

I finished Running with Scissors sometime last week. Can't say as I'd recommend it. Kind of offensive and disturbing. I'm now reading another one of my Buck-A-Books from the Y--Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks. Chick lit (ala chick flick) to be sure. But it's a quick little read that I don't have to concentrate on. You need one of those once in a while. I got Water for Elephants for an upcoming book club discussion.

Well, Valentine's Day turned out to be not a very good day for me. I was at the dentist getting my teeth cleaned and when I got back to the reception area they asked me if that was my Honda out there (it was--I was the only patient there and the staff cars were off in the corner). Well, the next patient to come in had brushed my bumper as they said. Great. I've had this car 4 months. The parking lot is empty. Why did this person have to choose to try to park right next to me and on the sidewalk ramp at that? And then slide in the slush and hit my car??? The lot is virutally empty!!! Oh, well, things could be worse. It's just the bumper, not the fender. It's just such a hassle.

Then I get home and after calling the insurance co. (hers is covering it, and will give me a free rental which is nice), I hear about the NIU shooting. My sister went to NIU (and many of my high school classmates went to 'Northern' as we called it). Ted and I have good friends whose daughter and son-in-law teach at NIU. SO TRAGIC. Friday morning at the Y when I was on the Arc Trainer, they had clips of students on TV. One young man had his head bowed with his hands together pressed against his forehead. I just got all choked up. This is so close to home. I have two kids in college. But for the grace of God, this could have affected my family. The tragedy is that that it has affected 6 families and countless other friends, staff. Forever.

Let's end this post on an upbeat. Let's meet ... Dave Phillips!

Family? My wife, Pam, daughter Lisa, 26, who lives in Adams, son Greg, 22, who is attending school in Mankato and our dog, Ginger, 17, who lives at home. Also, two grandchildren - Justin, 6, and Morgan, almost 2.

Hobbies? Reading, photography, hiking and several other sports besides running.

Languages you speak? English, although not always well, and I recall a very little Spanish and German from my school years.

How did you get started in running? I've run off and on throughout my life, although more off than on. The last time I started was to get in better shape for basketball. Last year, my regular basketball playing days ended, but I'm still running, more than ever now that I found long distance running.

Miles per week on average? 30, although that is declining slightly with a different type of training I'm trying that emphasizes quality more than quantity plus cross training.

Your defacto, comfortable as a broken-in shoe training route? I call it my "around the block." I live on the north edge of Spring Valley and it takes me out on country roads (without crossing any) for 5+ miles. It's not my favorite, but it is convenient.

How often do you run it? Once or twice per week during daylight savings time. I mostly run in the dark in the winter and it isn't a safe route due to the narrow shoulders.

Favorite carbo loading food? I love most carbs, but my favorites would probably be bananas, cereal and Great Harvest bread/muffins.

Favorite indulgence food? Ice cream, which I indulge in too much.

Next race? Securian half at the Winter Carnival in St. Paul and then the marathon in Jacksonville in February.

Running goals? To qualify for Boston, which means I have to shave seven minutes off my time or run my within three minutes of my current PR in the fall when my qualifying time goes up. (Running must be a great sport: When else do you look forward to aging.)

Running dream? I'm hoping my Boston goal isn't merely a dream. Lately, I've been combining short vacations with marathons, so maybe it would be to become a 50-stater since that means I will get in a lot of traveling, which I enjoy, and will still feel the joy of running until I am very old (and a time when I probably won't be looking forward to aging any more).

I realized that the top photo doesn't really let you get a good look at who Dave is! He comes up from Spring Valley quite often to run on the weekends, so I have lots of photos of him. This is one from Bear Creek 5. To the left is Roger Heil.

Thought for the day: " Optimism is choosing to be happy anyway."

Well, I discovered I have a package of pink Susan Komen/Breast Cancer M&Ms so I think I'll make some cookies for tomorrow. See 'ya! Good luck to all running Jacksonville!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy heart day! Do your heart a favor ... go for a run ... go for a walk. How am I spending my day? After my workout at the Y this morning, I got my stitches out, I'm getting my teeth cleaned this afternoon and then working on the March edition of RTC News! Ted offered to go out to eat but it's always so crowded so I'd rather wait.

I happened to look through my recent posts and saw that there were 3 comments on one from the other day. Fun! One was from a Rochester newbie--hope he comes out to run with one of the many groups that run together throughout the week so as to meet some fellow runners. Another comment was from sgraepel, who I believe is Steve Graepel. He and Kelly moved out west a few years ago. Great runner. It would be fun to connect with him again. Glad he found this blog!

I found this article on the New York Times about muscle cramping which I'm always interested in hearing about. Nothing much new, but I might try the self-massage described in the article. I've tried everything else ...

Don't forget! Sunday is the Lace Up Against Breast Cancer 5K or Half Marathon (or any other distance you want to run!). 100% of the entry fees to go the Donna Hicken Foundation/Mayo Clinic breast cancer research. 8:30 or 9:30, beginning and ending at the Y. You can sign up that morning. I'm planning to do the half. At this point, it sounds like the weather will be cooperating, though won't be quite as nice as what they'll have in Jacksonville, FL. ;-)

A very big thank you to all the sponsors for the Fetzer this year:

If you register for the 20K or 2-mile by March 28, your race number will have your name on it! So sign up early! If you're an RTC member, you also save a couple bucks by registering early. Also new this year, chip timing so that the equalizer portion of the race can be easily scored.

From Oklahoma Runner: Top 10 Reasons To Start Running!

10 - So you have the privilege of getting out of bed at 6 AM before work, when it is 20 degrees outside and all you want to do is sleep another hour (but you know that if you do, you'll hate yourself the rest of the day). Grrr! <20>
9 - So your toes can get so ugly to the point that you're ashamed to wear sandals by this spring.
8 - So that by the time two o'clock rolls around at work, you feel like curling up under your desk and taking a two hour nap.
7 - So that the checkout lady at the grocery store gives you a funny look when you're standing in line with three jars of vaseline.
6 - So you can tell someone your weekly mileage and get the response, "50 miles?! I don't even drive that far!" And you can smile and fake a laugh like you haven't heard THAT before.
5 - So you can triple your shower and grocery bills.
4 - So you can do laundry three times a week in your "free time".
3 - So that your muddy, dirty shoes can start piling up outside your door because they're too smelly to bring inside.
2 - So you can eat a monstrous dinner and an hour later feel hungry again. You betcha!
1 - The unlimited health benefits, the comaraderie of other runners, the sense of accomplishment, etc.

Let's meet Paula Patterson, manager at Running Room :

Family? married with 4 beautiful daughters

Hobbies? cross country skiing, camping, reading and watching the girls sports events!

Languages you speak? only English

How did you get started in running? the Running Room came to town and I was hooked!

Miles per week on average? 20

Your defacto, comfortable as a broken-in shoe training route? my house, to Bear Creek path, through the woods behind Mayo

How often do you run it? now, not much, kind of snowy!

Favorite carbo loading food? spaghetti with garlic breadFavorite indulgence food? brownies

Next race? Med City 1/2, with I am sure some 5k's in between

Running goals? continue to help new runners enjoy running

Running dream? run til I'm 100!!

Thought for the day: "Love may not make the world go round, but I must admit that it makes the ride worthwhile." -- Sean Connery

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

We're going to get hit AGAIN ...

Photos of our noon run today at the Y. I decided to add the fun hearts since it's so close to Valentine's Day. The guys (Jim Postier, Jim Martinson, Gary Malat, K.C. Reed) got cookies. As did the staff at the Y. :-)

A snow advisory has been posted for our area. Again. Three to five inches of snow are expected. This is REALLY getting old, and it's getting hard to throw the snow so high next to the driveway. To those going to Jacksonville this weekend ... enjoy! I'm going down to Sarasota, FL two weeks from today. I'm looking forward to a week of R & R. ;-)

Well, most of you should have received your mousepads in the mail today. I had fun putting it together. Hope you enjoy it and get some use out of it. Thanks to everyone who allowed their photos to be used ... Yvonne Hubmayr / Dan Edwards, John Shonyo, Judy Weller / K.C. Reed / Caroling on the Run at Running Room.

The Tyson Invite (Indoor T&F) is on ESPN on Sunday, February 17 and marks the return to racing for MN native Carrie Tollefson.

I can't remember if I've posted it before, but some of the old newsletters are in the members area on the RTC website. I'll work on getting the rest to Dave so he can create PDFs of them. The rest of them are on my old hard drive which is on one of the old computers in the basement. So I might retrieve them from Minuteman Press instead. Stay tuned.

Peg Arnold opens the new tropical (southernmost) Running Room store March 12 in Des Moines, IA. She's a busy bee these days. So if you're in the area or know runners who area, send them to the new store!

Here's a link to an article about fatigue in exercise passed along by K.C. Reed via Jim Martinson: New York Times article. And actually this was passed along by Hugues Sicotte via John Shonyo as well! Thank you everyone. I like to get material from others for my posts.

I spent most of the day yesterday designing the Fetzer 20K and 2-Mile applications for 2008. I really enjoy desktop publishing. A huge thank you to Dave at Minuteman Press for donating the printing for them. He actually approached ME for the sponsorship. I'm (and the RTC is) very grateful. I think they'll look greatin full glossy color.

Let's meet RTC member Leah Polzine-Campbell:

Family? My husband, Lance and my daughter, Norah
Hobbies? reading, photography, spending time with friends and family, running, watching and participating in sports
Languages you speak? Pretty much only English
How did you get started in running? My dad is a life-long runner and as soon as I was old enough I would go running with him. I would bike along beside him until we got to a certain spot, and then drop my bike and run to the end of the road with him. He would normally be running about one step in front of me, with his hand out-stretched to get me to keep going. I ran my first race at age 4. My dad and I have logged "millions" of miles together!
Miles per week on average? Lately it has been about 15 miles or less. After I had my daughter in August I have had a really hard time getting back into the swing of things. We also moved to another town and I have to find some new routes and possibly a running partner.
Your defacto, comfortable as a broken-in shoe training route? Growing up it was a route along the country roads near my home; in college it was Birchmont Drive, and in the last couple years the Root River Bike Trail near Lanesboro, MN.
How often do you run it? Pretty much every time I went for a run.
Favorite carbo loading food? Spaghetti and ice cream
Favorite indulgence food? I just like food.... Steak, french fries, and ice cream are always favorites.
Next race? I have not signed up for one yet, but probably the Fool's Five in Lewiston. I would like to participate in several of the spring runs coming up in April and May.
Running goals? To get back to running almost every day. To feel confident that I can push myself in races again. To have fun while doing something that has been such a huge part of my life. To get my daughter going as soon as she is able so we can have the relationship that my dad and I had!
Running dream? I would like to participate in some half marathons and marathons in other countries.

Thought for the day: Life is like a game of tennis; the player who serves well seldom loses.

Make it a good one.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Looks can be deceiving ...

Sitting here in our home office on the south side of the house, the trees sheltered from the strong north winds, it looks like a beautiful day indeed. The sun is shining. There is a fresh, even coat of snow. But ... if I look and listen closely, it's not quite what it appears. I can still hear the wind whipping around outside and I can hear the scratch, scratch of bare tree branches against the siding. The coating of snow is smooth and even because of those very winds. And with a step outside one is immediately assured that it is indeed still winter in the north country and spring probably isn't just around the corner. Such is February in Minnesota...

Yesterday was the last organized long run for the Off-Season Strides aka Jaxmarathon training group. I posted my photos in yesterday's entry. Their snazzy, bright yellow shirts should make them easy to spot! A big thank you to John Shonyo for devising and posting routes and printing maps all season. This isn't easy when surfaces haven't been ideal for running, so many of the bike paths that we so freely use during the rest of the year haven't been an option. But John has successfully 'mixed it up' and provided different courses for each Saturday morning run and arranged for water stops along the way. A big round of applause for John!

I found this lyrics scroller and some appropriate lyrics (Marathon, by Rush) as we wish 20 or so Rochester area runners a fun, fast marathon down in Jacksonville next weekend. I hope there are some PR and BQ stories to be shared upon their return. ;-)

Rush Lyrics

I ran 10.00 miles yesterday and though I could 'feel it' when I was done, I came home and stretched very well and kept stretching throughout the day and today I really feel very well, am not walking funny, and were the temp/wind chill about 60 degrees higher, would have considered going outside for a couple miles. But I've taken Sundays off from exercise all winter and will do the same today. But I'm very encouraged that maybe this 'leg thing' isn't sciatia or another herniated disc. Perhaps I will still be able to run Boston after all, though not very well trained. Here's hoping ...

I've had my Lace Up Against Breast Cancer entry form filled out for literally weeks, hoping to be able to run the half, but willing to do the 5K instead. So I'm hopeful I'll be running the 1/2 next weekend, if not something in between. Laura Lenz had a sample of the cinch bag at a meeting on Friday evening and they turned out very nice. Black with white accents, and of course, the pink ribbon. Kristin Zhao did a great job of designing the logo. There's even a zippered pocket on the front. I understand Chris Kujath went above and beyond getting sponsorships so there are lots of nice door prizes to be given away. Hope to see lots of you there!

I treated myself to some downtime yesterday evening by watching Running Into the Sun, a DVD loaned to me by Judy Weller. Wow. It's about the Badwater Ultramarathon a 135-mile race from Death Valley (elevation -282 ft.) to the Mt. Whitney Portal, several thousand feet above sea level. That's running 6+ marathons through the desert, in a row. One runner had had his toenails removed to prevent black toenails. One trained on a treadmill in a rainsuit with the dryer hose pointed at him. Very interesting. RTC's Jim Benike participated in this event a few years ago.

Paula (at Running Room) told me recently that Garmin is coming out with a 405 this spring so I googled it yesterday. It's got a touch-screen interface, wirelessly uploads your run info to your computer when you walk in the room, and can also be used indoors with an optional foot pod. The watch is also very compact. Snazzy.

I'm working on the March newsletter, which I hope to get to the printer a week from tomorrow. Not too many stories this issue. But there's still time to submit one! If you want to write something, please let me know that I should expect it. Thanks much to Judy Weller, Lin Gentling, Tom Williamson, Paul Thomford, Rosemary Harnly, CIndy Blendermann and Pat Brown for their articles. Much appreciated one and all.

I'm going to be posting here exclusively for a while. As I understand it, everything posted at between the time the site came back up and the time that we move it to a new server will be lost. I posted 50+ banquet photos there and don't know that I'll re-post them over there, so look at them before they're gone! The slide shows on this site will remain.

Let's meet another RTC member. Jim Postier.

Family? My wife Beth is a kindergarten teacher at K-M elementary. I’ve got a 9th grade boy, 6th grade girl and a 9 year old boy in the new “ZED Connections” autism school in Byron.
Hobbies? Guitar, with our family band the Salem Creek Riders. I also enjoy outdoor landscape painting.
Languages you speak? Enough French to get into trouble in Quebec.
How did you get started in running? In 11th grade I was beginning to race off-road motorcycles in 50 and 100 mile events and learned that professional racers lifted weights and “ran.” Those first two miles I ran one evening were the hardest I ever remember. It got much better after that and became addictive!Miles per week on average? About 20 in the spring, summer and fall, but I tend to be a stationary biker and hibernate a great deal during the winter. I also bike outside when weather permits.
Your defacto, comfortable as a broken-in shoe training route? “Guinea Hen Run” which loops from my house on a gravel road to the western end of County Road 25. Guinea hens run wild here, on the western edge of Olmsted County. The distance is 4 miles but I sometimes turn it into a 10 mile run by running down into a beautiful, quiet valley road.
How often do you run it? 4 times a week in less frigid seasons.
Favorite carbo loading food? Spaghetti with parmesan cheese on top.
Favorite indulgence food? Mint chocolate chip ice cream. I’m out of it and need to get more. Thanks for reminding me…
Next race? Fools Five in Lewiston.
Running goals? To make the noon-Y running guys say “uncle” this spring.
Running dream? Probably really a “hike” into a rugged western area with camping and watercolor painting supplies.
Running regrets? Taking Steve Graepel running back in 1996 because he later became faster than me, also taking that left turn in road back in 1983 that led me past the evil German Shepard with teeth.

Stay warm.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Happy Friday!

Beautiful hoar frost yesterday morning. The photo above doesn't do it justice.

Well, the RTC website is finally back up. David Sletten will be posting something explaining what happened. Basically, the server went down and the back-up was bad. :-( I uploaded most of the banquet photos that were in the slide show on this page to a new album on the RTC site.

Congrats to the top 3 runners in the Frozen Goose 10K last Saturday--Tom Woo, Gary Dutton and Tom O'Leary. Way to go, RTC! Complete results here.

Tomorrow is the last long run for the folks running Jacksonville. Remember, you too can support the cause by participating in either the 5K or half marathon on Sunday, February 17! More info on the RTC website.

The Human Race takes place up in the cities on Sunday, March 16. John Shonyo is interested in organizing a carpool for the event. If you're interested in joining in, you can email John. Here's the lowdown:

St. Thomas U., St. Paul
5K Run/Walk 11:40 AM
¼ Mile Youth Run 12:40 PM
½ Mile Youth Run 12:45 PM
8K Run 1:20 PM

Here is the website: Human Race Events

So ... you could participate in the Stair Climb on Saturday, then go up to the cities on Sunday! Nice little warm-up. ;-) I'm providing cookies to the winners. There might be enough left over to feed the participants as well. It's a bargain at $5.

Half and full marathon training class begins on February 19. More info here. Long runs begin February 23 at the RAC. 7:15 I believe ...

RTC member Chris O'Brien appears in the Mayo Clinic Wellness Solutions DVD. From Chris: They are the Arthritis and Weight loss DVD's. This was the interview I did last April 2007 for the Mayo Clinic on how diet and running help me through my knee replacement and with weight loss.. They even showed the segments on the Today Show... Way to go, Chris!

RTC members celebrating birthdays in February: Jeff Anderson, Tom Byrne, Jenny Daniels, John Dinusson, Mary Jo Habermann, Therese Hagen, Michele Hanson, Vernon Lippert, Angie Macken, Dave Nagorney, Fred Regennitter, Todd Robertson, James Rosane, Richard Schindler, Katie Schneider, Mark Wernstrom, Tom Woo

Happy Birthday, one and all! A couple of you celebrated this past week.

A funny story from Jim Benike: Are there (ultramarathon) cutoff times in heaven?

Four couples who ran ultra races together for 30 years were celebrating a recent run over dinner. One of the guys, John, suddenly asked them all if they believed there were races in heaven without cutoff times. After much amuzing discussion, John said "tell ya what, the first one of us to get to heaven should make every attempt to contact the rest of us and let us know if there are races in heaven without cutoff times". They all agreed that it should be so.

A couple of years later, as fate would have it, John suddenly passed away. A couple of weeks after the funeral, one of the gang, George, was in his kitchen by himself. Suddenly, an apperition started to materialize in front of him! George instantly recognized it to be John!! Excitedly, George said "You came back!! You must have news about races and cutoff times in heaven!!"

John said "well, I have some some good news and some bad news, which would you like first?" "Give me the good news first" George said. "Well, the good news is that there are races in heaven and there indeed are NO cutoffs!" says John. George is beside himself saying "That is just great! We can race as much as we want and never worry about being DQd, or DNFing! Uh, what's the bad news?" John looked at his feet and said "Well, you are running sweep in our next 50K this weekend".

I've not been running much, hoping to let whatever is bothering my leg/hip heal. Not exactly what I should be doing to get ready for Boston ... tapering down to 10 miles/week. But 'ya gotta do whatcha gotta do ... for the long run. I'm hoping to get out for the last run with the 'jaxmarathon' group tomorrow morning. Here's a photo from last Saturday's 8-miler with from left Jim Martinson, Steve DeBoer, K.C. Reed and Don Gabrielson:

We ran the 20th St SW Hills. Love 'em.
This is what we saw on the side of K.C.'s barn:

Should be a might bit nippy tomorrow, but Kevin will definitely be Freezin' for a Reason. You can still plunge or plege. See the link at right. A bunch of tough Minnesotans, for sure ... I'm glad I pledged, so I don't have to plunge. ;-)

Let's meet Nick Payne:

Family? Married with 2 daughters Alexis and Cora ( 3 yr old and 8 week old)
Hobbies? Running, hunting, basketball.
Languages you speak? English, but quickly learning Spanish as my 3yr old knows more then I. I never know what she calling me.
How did you get started in running? Wanted to improve my fitness/Health.
Miles per week on average? In season 80-90/ Off season 40-60.
Your defacto, comfortable as a broken-in shoe training route? Don't have one.
How often do you run it? see above
Favorite carbo loading food? Pasta
Favorite indulgence food? Pizza
Next race? Not sure at this time as I'm recovering from an injury. I would love to return to TC, I have some unfinished business to take care of.
Running goals? I will run a 2:35 marathon!
Running dream? I'm stride for stride with Ryan Hall at mile 24...............................................

Thought for the day: Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. --Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

This 'n That

For those regular visitors to the RTC website we apologize for the site still being down. There are issues with the server and as it was supposed to be up this afternoon, I don't know what to say for an anticipated up time. Believe me, the emails are flying.

As I'm working on the March RTC news, just want to put in another plug for artcles. If I could get them by the weekend, that would be great. Thanks much. I believe David is working on creating .pdfs of past newsletters and is/will be posting them on the website as well.

I put a bunch more photos in the album that contains old newsletter photos. Visit it when the site comes back up. ;-)

I taped the Milrose games and have watched some of them. The races that stick out in my mind were the women's Wanamaker mile (Kara Goucher pulling inside Sara Hall on the final turn to eek out the win) and the men's Wanamaker mile (Bernard Lagat winning a sixth straight, if I remember right, beating Craig Mottram). Excellent races. About as exciting as the last 3 minutes of the Super Bowl on Sunday. ;-)

For those wanting to know what Pilates (pronounced /pɪˈlɑ:ti:z/ ("Pih - LAH - Teez")), is, here's something Wikipedia: "The program focuses on the core postural muscles which help keep the body balanced and which are essential to providing support for the spine. In particular, Pilates exercises teach awareness of breath and alignment of the spine, and aim to strengthen the deep torso muscles." So if you're interested in a sneak peek with some running friends, please reply to the post on the website when it comes back up. If there's enough interest, we'll set it up.

Paula Patterson tried my whole wheat pancake recipe from the Running Room eMagazine this morning after her ski at Soldier's Field and liked them! Thanks, Paula. ;-)

RTC member Don Gabrielson was found to be interacting with fellow RTC member, and P-B columnist Greg Sellnow in his Losin' It column regarding dressing for the (cold) weather. Check it out

RTC board member and marathon runner Lin Gentling was voted into the Rochester Quarterback's Club Hall of Fame. Don't worry ... it's as a runner not a football player. ;-) Story and photo here.

This passed along by Mike Schmitt, a great source of blogging info for me. Thanks again, Mike. The Twin Cities Marathon, Inc. High School Scholarship program awards a one-time $5,000 scholarship to one female and one male high school senior who participate in cross-country or track. Applicants must reside within the 11-county metro area: Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne, Washington, and Wright counties. MTCM Scholarship Application .pdf So if you, or someone you know, lives in one of those counties, take advantage of the opportunity. You can't win if you don't try ...

I have to pass along another Pete Gilman tidbit. Pete was on the cover of RunMinnesota and in the Jan/Feb issue, there was a letter to the editor from him thanking them for putting him on the cover. Classy.

Miss the Super Bowl but want to check out the commercials? Try Super Bowl ads on MySpace.

My favorites from our Cooking Light menu last night? First, Barb's chocolate peppermint ice cream cake. Delightful. The pork with raisin chutney and roasted root vegetables were also very good. We ate well. We always do.

OK. Let's meet Kelly O'Hara.

The photo is from the Chisago Lakes Triathlon in Chisago City, MN on July 29, 2007.
Family? My daughters in 3rd and 6th grade enjoy dancing and soccer. They have both participated in the open track meets at Soldier's Field. I hope to get them interested in running cross county some day.
Hobbies? Last year I got the crazy idea that I could do triathlons again, after a 20 year break. I completed 3 short triathlons and loved it. This year I am thinking big and moving up to Olympic distance triathlons: 1.5 K swim, 40 K bike and 10 K run. I plan to compete in the Hy-Vee triathlon in Des Moines in June, which is an Olympic qualifier event. I don't think I will be going on to Beijing, but it will be inspiring to sweat it out with world class athletes.
Languages you speak? I speak English and un petit peu du Francais.
How did you get started in running? When I was in grade school, I read Kenneth Cooper's book on aerobics. I started running around the block. I ran the two mile in high school (very slowly), and threw up after my first race. I ran a lot of 10 K races in my twenties, and did a few triathlons. Then I got lazy for a couple of decades, and decided to get back into running and triathlons at the ripe young age of 49.
Miles per week on average? Fifteen to twenty miles would be a good week for me.
Your defacto, comfortable as a broken-in shoe training route? I like to run on the Douglas Trail from IBM up to North Park.
How often do you run it? I run about 3 times a week.
Favorite carbo loading food? Huge fruit smoothies with everything in there, such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, grapes, cantaloupe, watermelon, orange, apple, pear, kiwi, lime, mango and banana.
Favorite indulgence food? Chocolate covered raisins.
Next race? Get Your Rear in Gear 5K in Rochester, March 29, 2008.
Running goals? I plan to work on my 5k speed early this season, and 10K speed later. I would like to run a half marathon this fall, and maybe a marathon next year.
Running dream? I would like to still be running when I am 70 years old. I figure I have at least two decades of competition left in me. I'll see you out there!


Tom Woo's photos from the banquet

RTC Banq 2008

Monday, February 4, 2008

Yet another 'Winter Wonderland'

Well, it's a winter wonderland out there again today. And sounds like more is on the way for tonight and tomorrow. This winter is probably pretty close to average, but given the mild winters we've experienced the last few years, it seems a bit much. I'm sure the cross country skiers are happy, though. ;-D

Thank you to Peg Arnold and Judy Weller for teaching the running portion of the multi-sport class for me at the RAC on Saturday. Much appreciated and I've heard that it went well and that there lots of questions.

Here's a link to the February Running Room eMagazine: Running Room eMagazine Inside, my whole wheat pancake recipe. The photo isn't the one I submitted, just so you know. It looks like those cakes were made with primarily white flour and they have some kind of syrup/nuts on them. They do look good, however. Also, there's a 20% off coupon inside. Also a good article on pronation (rolling in of your foot during a stride, which is normal by the way--over-pronation is what we try to correct with shoes/orthotics).

March 15 is the St. Patrick's Day 5K/10K at Running Room. The entry fee is only $5 and you get this very nice embroidered fleece hat. What a deal! If I'm able, I'm going to do the Stair Climb at 8:00 (also just $5) and then dash down to Running Room for the 9:00 race. Join me!

Welcome to new RTC member Duane Finn!

From Mike Schmitt: CafePress marathon stuff like Will Run for Chocolate and Run Like a Mother. Fun. Shirts, hats, stickers, etc.

Tonight, it's Cooking Light. Woo hoo! Our menu:
Creamy Mushroom Phyllo Triangles (Mary)
Golden Winter Soup (Pam)
Endive Salad with Apples and Walnuts (yours truly)
Barbecue-rubbed Pork Loin with Raisin-Mustard Chutney (Margo)
Honey-Roasted Root Vegetables (Barbara)
Buttermilk Corn Bread (Kathryn)
Peppermint Ice Cream Cake (Barb)
Wine (Kelly)
Sounds fabulous. Can't wait. I'll report on my favorites next post.

Well, I've got to get ready to go and eat! No time for a thought for the day or 13 questions from a member. More on another day.

Thanks for your patience with the website. We're still trying to work through some issues.


A Day of Celebrations

First off: The RTC website is down and was down all weekend. I got several queries about it. No, it's not moving anywhere. Apparently the server is down. Hopefully it wil be up Tuesday, but there are no guarantees.

The banquet was a big success. Thank you to our speakers Pete Gilman and Francis Whalen, M.D. Pete enlightened us about what it was like to participate in the marathon Olympic Trials. For just about all of us, we're going to have to live vicariously through his experience as we're just never going to get there. I don't think that Pete likes attention drawn to himself, so I am so thankful that he was willing to share with us. Judging from the number of questions asked of him, it was of great interest to the rest of you as well. Francis spoke about his experience participating in the Bataan Death March marathon in White Sands, NM. What did/does that entail? Propelling oneself on foot 26.2 miles through the desert with 35 or 50# on your back wearing boots to keep your ankles from giving out. Winning time? I believe he said it was about 4:30. What an effort. Francis will be participating in the event this year and hopes to be able to complete it in 6:30.

Here are some photos. I'm going to intersperse text between them as having three albums flashing pictures all in a row is rather distracting.

Contratulations to Pete Martin who was named RTC Runner of the Year for 2007! Pete achieved his long-standing goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon, which he will run in April. He is also a fixture at the training runs spring and fall during the training classes, encouraging all runners, those speedy and those less speedy. He is the ultimate 'you can do this' cheerleader when it comes to helping others achieve their running goals. Congratulations Peter! Judging from the standing 'O', this award was very well received. :-D

Lin Gentling, though not able to be there, was/will be presented with a certificate from RRCA for 2000+ hours of volunteer service to the running community. Thank you, Lin, for all you have done for the Rochester running community. You have led many, many people to complete their first marathons, myself included!

Service award winners announced on Saturday were:
Dwight Pierson Award--Jean Murray (RTC board member, treasurer, co-director of Spring Classic, director of Gravy Train, and long-time volunteer at many running-related activities)
Outstanding Service Award--Darald Bothun and Steve Myhro (Co-directors of Conoco Kids/Med-City Kids Marathon for the last 10 years)
Outstanding Service Award--Julie Murray (Volunteers at many, many events, designs/draws awards for Gravy Train and Fetzer 20K, the ultimate runners' cheerleader!)

Myself, I got a bit emotional. It's been a great 3 years leading this club. I just can't say enough about our board members, present and past. Wonderful people, wonderful friends. They presented me with a very nice tribute which made me teary-eyed, cookies (HA!), and a gift certificate for Healing Touch massage. Very nice, indeed. I have always had a terrible fear of public speaking but have overcome that fear somewhat during these three years. Hosting the banquet in front of people that I'm comfortable with for 3 years has made public speaking so much easier for me. Speaking at the national RRCA convention was still quite a bit nerve-wracking, but thank you for helping me grow as a person. :-D

The reason I was a bit emotional? The celebration of a life, a life cut too short. I'd gone to a funeral for a 20-year old girl who died of colon cancer at noon that day. Talk about sad. Her parents still were understandably numb, even though they knew this day was coming since her diagnosis in July 2006. It was the largest funeral I've even been to. I go around thinking 'woe is me' for having trouble with my right leg/hip, hoping it's not another herniated disc, hoping I'll be able to continue running. Or 'woe is me' for this or that other little thing. Woe is NOT me. Woe is for the families dealing with death and disease. I am truly blessed.

Well, I think I'll close off this post and start another post with other miscellaneous information. What a beautiful snowfall, especially now that the streets have been plowed. ;-)

Ramblin' Renee

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Blog rating

More later. I'm going to take a nap while all my annual banquet photos upload to PhotoBucket Then I'll try to figure out how to create and post a slide show. Stay tuned. :-D