Friday, January 30, 2009

Off-Season Striders

Off-Season Striders last 'normal' run for the season is tomorrow morning at Dunn Bros. at 7:30. I'll bring cookies!! 2/7 we'll run from my house and come back here for food afterwards. 2/15 LUABC. 2/21 marathon training at the RAC begins. Be there!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Short and Sweet

Just a quick little post this evening. :)

Yup ... take another look at this clock ...

I think it would drive me nuts!

From Grandma's marathon via Paul Christian:

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — Grandma’s Marathon has reversed itself and will allow runners to wear headphones. The Duluth road race decided to allow headphones and other electronic devices on the 26.2-mile course after USA Track and Field lifted a two-year ban. USA Track and Field, the national governing body for road racing, voted in December to amend its rule banning headphones, but left it up to individual races to do the same. The Grandma’s Marathon board of directors voted to lift the ban, beginning with the June 20 event and accompanying Garry Bjorklund Half-Marathon. But executive director Scott Keenan says entrants are still strongly urged not to wear headphones for safety reasons. Keenan says that two Grandma’s Marathon sponsored races — the Fitgers 5K on April 8 and the Park Point Five-Miler on July 17 — will continue to ban headphones because the race course cannot be completely closed

... and ...

Registration for the 33rd running of Grandma’s Marathon opened January 15. The field is nearly 60 percent full as 5,500 runners have registered to date for the 9,500 available slots. Last year, the race reached its field capacity on April 7. For more information on any of Grandma's Marathon’s races or events, visit Grandma's website or call (218) 727-0947.

Thanks, Paul. :)

Registration for the Chicago Marathon opens on Saturday, February 1.

Want a free sample of Quaker Mini Delights? ("bite-sized light crispy multigrain cakes" with a flavored drizzle) Click here .

From Lionel Cheng's blog: "Found this fun web site that allows you to add the 'obama touch' to your own pictures. Some of the contributions uploaded there are quite amusing." [For some reason, the site isn't working for me. When I click on Create I get an HTML/Flash Player but it looks fun! --rks]

I'm hoping to meet up with Jason from Schott Distributors late tomorrow afternoon regarding a donation of fluids for the Fetzer 20K. Here are the choices he's offered (Gatorade is donating the electrolyte beverage once again): "One is called activwater, it is a low calorie type product, kind of like gatorade but a little more healthy with a lot of electrolytes. Then we have an organic/natural water that is called Twist, low calories and all natural. We also have a product called Skinny water, a lot like vita zest, no calories and no sugar." He's going to give me samples to test out. :)

This evening I went to a Culinary Taste Sampling given by Leann Zubay of Culinary Market. The tasting was actually held at 300 1st. Lots of imported cheeses and condiments, a red and a white wine, bread and some delicious salmon with a ginger sauce. I'll upload photos in the next couple of days. Too tired tonight.

Tomorrow after supper I'm taking my niece and nephew (oh, and their parents) to the water park at the Y. Should be a splashing good time! I'll have photos of that, too, I'm sure. I'm never without my camera, you know.

That's it! Toodles. Gotta watch Ace of Cakes and read the paper.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Not much happening today, but I'll tell you what I know.

It's really early, but registration is already open for the 20-Minute Challenge on July 15. All you have to do is walk or run for 20 minutes. Registration is free. And you get a Running Room 25th Anniversay running hat to boot. I just signed up.

Yesterday I met with Scott Safe of the Safe Weightlifting & Athletic Strength Center. His P.R. person is a reader of my blog. I'll write up a little something about his center and the importance of strength training in the next couple of days.

Off-Season Striders will run at 7:30 AM on Saturday from Dunn Bros. on Elton Hills Drive. Here's the proposed 10.75 mile route. It's easily made longer or shorter. Note: We will be running from my house on February 7, the last OSS run before the marathon training class begins running from the Rochester Athletic Club on February 21 (February 15 is the LUABC Half Marathon ). There will be food and beverages provided afterwards. John's email today noted that he has 120 people on his OSS distribution list! Yikes!! What if they all decide to show up on the 7th ... oh my ... :o) Actually, it would be great fun!

This morning I ran 11.11 miles. Spotted near Younge Park, Maureen and Nikki. The run was quite pleasant, actually. I dressed in just the right number of layers so the cold wasn't an issue. I wore my Icebugs so that I didn't have to worry about slipping on the ice. What I was concerned about in the dark (I forgot my light) was rolling an ankle. All the ups and downs in the ice are frozen so solid. It was zero degrees when I left and it felt like it dropped a couple degrees at sunrise, which it usually seems to. Very nice run. Not fast, but nice. Good thinking time ...

My Route

Mile .5 to 1 is a nice long downhill. Mile 1 to 1.5 is an uphill. Mile 10 to 10.75 is a long uphill. Other than that it's fairly flat save for a few rolling hills on the highway 52 frontage road.

Elevation Chart

Mile 10 was a quick stop at Kwik Trip. The little spikes are stops for traffic lights/road crossings most likely.

Well, I guess I'll post a sinfully rich recipe today. Triple Layer Brownies.

Shortbread Layer
1 cup unsalted butter
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

Brownie Layer
1 cup unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups Dutch-process cocoa
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. vanilla
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped walnuts and pecans (optional)
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

2/3 cup (6 1/4 ounces) caramels, melted and mixed with 1 Tbsp. cream or milk
1 cup toasted pecans

Shortbread layer: Preheat oven to 300. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 pan. In a mediumjbowl, cream together the butter, salt, sugar and vanilla then beat in the flour. Press the dough into the prepared pan, smoothing the surface. Prick the dough all over with a fork. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until it's golden brown around the edges. Remove it from the oven, and set it aside to cool.

Brownie layer: In a medium microwave safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter; then add the sugar and stir to combine. Retrn the mixture to the heat (or microwave) briefly, just until it's hot, but not bubbling; it'll become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating this mixture a second time will dissolve more of the sugar, to make a shiny top crust. Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs, stirring until smooth; then add the flour, nuts, and chips, stirring until smooth. Spoon the batter atop the baked shortbread in the 9 x 13 pan. Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 28 to 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Just before the brownies are done, melt the caramel over very low heat on the the stove or in a microwave. When it's soft, stir in the cream or milk. When the brownies feel set in the center, remove them from the oven, and to with the melted caramel, then the nuts.

Note: to toast nuts, heat in a preheated 350 oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until they're golden brown and smell toasty.

Thought for the day: A smile is contagious; be a carrier.


Free Stuff

Reminder: At both Panera locations all day long, get a free cup of their new light and dark roast coffees, samples of three grilled breakfast sandwiches or the strawberry granola parfait. Yum!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Yesterday, I went shopping with the Lenz/Rowekamp's at Sam's Club. We were scouting out cookie baking ingredients for the LUABC Cookie Baking Extravaganza on Saturday. That's Abby Rowekamp pictured with mom Laura Lenz above.

I think Sam and I talked about making cut-out cookies the whole time. He's got some GREAT ideas. And in fact, he sent me some in a wonderful letter, which is hanging on my refrigerator.

Sam thinks this one would work well at Chester Woods, as there are so many trees on that trail run. I couldn't agree more. Another idea, this one for the Broadway Stair Climb:

Complete with a licorice hand rail. So creative! We're going to work on this. We also have some festive cookie ideas brewing for the Fetzer , which is the day before Easter. Stay tuned.

I found some running cookie cutters at National Running Center. A shoe and a running gingerbread man. :o)

The RASC fundraiser on Friday netted more than $8100 for ski trail development and the All-City Nordic Ski Team. This is fantastic! Thank you to anyone who supported the cause in any way ... with your time, talents, or treasure.

Eric, my 22-year old son, just called from my dad's place near Sarasota, FL. It was 75 when he got off the plane this afternoon. Nice. Very nice. Practically perfect. Here's a link to his European photos. The most recent ones are from Iceland, Denmark and (mostly) Germany. He spent his J-term there. While in Germany, he had a one-night stay with a family. The husband in the family had his own business ... making custom accessories for Harley Davidson motorcycles. Eric said he got to see the factory. He said the guy drove a really nice SUV, and that SUVs were very uncommon in Europe. The Harley custom accessory business must be good.

Spotted last night at the Rochester Amateur Sports Club awards dinner was the Mayerle family (Joe, Emily and Tonia). Emily is a huge Jennie Finch fan. Jennie, an Olympic gold medal softball pitcher, was the guest speaker. As part of the event, there was various sports memorabelia to bid on in a silent auction. Amongst the items up for bid:

An autographed photo of the Minnesota Vikings Purple People Eaters. Guess you have to be at least my vintage to remember these guys (Jim Marshall, Alan Page, Gary Larsen, Carl Eller). Pictured above #88 is Alan Page, who plays the tuba at mile 3 of the Twin Cities Marathon each year. Of a much more recent vintage:

An autographed Joe Mauer print.

On sale at Running Room: most models of Adidas shoes. Shop early for the best selection! And don't forget about the eMagazine with the 20% off coupon inside, which is good all month. On March 14, consider running the Running Room's Lucky Green 5K to be held at Soldier's Field.

Well, I guess I'll close for today. I'm planning to run in the morning, which I look forward to.

Quote for the day: "No man ever said on his deathbed I wish I had spent more time in the office."

Make the most of all the minutes in your days. Spend time with those you love.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Full Day

Oh, I'm glad January is almost over. Even if temps don't warm up significantly in February, it just seems that we're that much closer to spring if the calendar doesn't say January any more. I'm getting so tired of the cold.

Here are Tom Woo's Securian Half Half Marathon photos. Those pictured include: Tom Williamson, Peter Maves, Trevor Distad, Suzanne LaPalm, Cathy Torgerson, Sonja Kranz, Kirsten Kranz. Thanks for the photos Tom!

Securian 2009

Check out these 2 80+ year-old runners at the Securian yesterday. Good for them.

Tomorrow evening I'll be attending the Rochester Area Sport Banquet at the Mayo Civic Center. The RTC was nominated and named as a finalist as Amateur Sports Organization of the Year. Guest speaker is Jennie Finch, Olympic gold medalist in softball.

There will be another new run/walk event in the Rochester area this spring. May 9, a 5-mile trail run/walk at Chester woods called Run for the Horses to benefit the Rochester Regional Equestrian Center.

I'm not sure how I got on this email distribution list as I've not attended this event (but it does sound fun!), but Thursday, March 26 is the annual Girl Scouts Cookie Creations event. From their website: "Cookie Creations is an adults-only fundraising event. Chefs create unique dishes—appetizers, entre├ęs, desserts, and drinks—using Girl Scout cookies in the recipe."

A full day to say the least. I was responsible for a meal for 100+ people today at church (noon meal). I did all the cooking myself, but had help serving. It went off without a hitch. I forgot to count plates first (the ladies at church ALWAYS count plates before serving so they know how many they served ... and I forgot ...) but I'm guessing a few more than 100. We received $1506 in free will offerings. I was stunned. The goulash turned out good, but not THAT good. Anyway, the way I see it I brought in just under $500/hour on this dinner. I think I've found a new career. Goulash Queen. :o)

On the home front, tonight for supper I made Pasta with Butternut Squash and Sage from Cook's Illustrated (first recipe listed under Recipes under the photo of the pork chop). Divine. Really, really good. Created LOTS of dirty dishes, however.

Also made the asparagus recipe I posted a few weeks ago. Basically, roasted asparagus with a little butter, s/p, soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. Yum.

I am sooooo full right now.

My oldest son gets back to Decorah, IA this evening after spending the last 3 weeks in Europe (Germany, Denmark, Iceland), after having spend the 3 months prior to that in Europe (Spain and multiple long-weekend sojourns). Tuesday, he's going to Florida for a week. Life is rough for that 22-year old. I tell ya ... It will be nice to have him around for 24 hours, though.

Yesterday afternoon I went to the RCTC basketball game and met my cousin Cindy and her husband Scott (and my brother and family) at the game. Their son plays for Ridgewater in Willmar.

Quote for the day: "Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.--Dr. Seuss

Go. Be. You.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Not This Year

Yesterday afternoon I decided to not participate in the Securian 1/2 1/2 marathon this morning (that's not a typo--the half marathon was shortened to a half half marathon of 6.55 miles). It was forecast to be well below zero with -35 windchill. Not ideal running, or especially racing, weather. As I hadn't registered yet, I decided I didn't want to pay $35 for essentially a slightly long 10K. I would have enjoyed the little roadtrip with running buddies, though. That's my only regret. Hope the rest of them (also opting out was Sharon Mulvagh) had fun!!

Taking place yesterday evening was the Rochester Active Sports Club fundraiser for ski trail development and the ACNST (All-City Nordic Ski Team).. They had a great turnout. I donated some baked goods which are pictured in the slideshow above. On the menu: Caesar and tossed salad, Victoria's delicious rolls and baked mostaccioli and chicken alfredo. It was delicious! I saw the following people there: Henry and Sandy Hocraffer, Craig and Jodi Weckwerth (said they're doing Ragnar again), Henry Walker with decidedly towheaded little boys Bjorn and Arne (boy are those Scandinavian names!), Joey Keillor (miler extraordinaire), Pagenkopfs, Ken and Dottie Willkomm (ate with them). I hope they made LOTS of money.

So ... that brings us to this morning. Temp: -15. Wind chill: I don't want to know. It was what it was. But it was cccooooollllllddddd. Depending on the body part, I had one to four layers on (only single layer was my face). I got to Panera at 6:50 and did about 4 miles on my own before heading back to meet the others. I was OK except for my toes. Even with two pairs of socks on, my toes were cold. I asked the kind folks at Panera if they had any sandwich-sized baggies. They did, bless their hearts. I slipped them over my toes (inside my shoes!) for the rest of the run. Helped a LOT. (When we used to go sledding or ice skating when I was a kid, we'd put bread bags over our feet to help keep them warm. :o) We (only four of us--Laura, Dan, Duane and I) ran up around the lake and that was plenty for me. My mileage was 11.26. (BTW: Check out Dan Strain's fabulous eyelashes. Girls would die for those Dan!)

On Wednesday at both Panera locations all day long, get a free cup of their new light and dark roast coffees, samples of three grilled breakfast sandwiches or the strawberry granola parfait. Yum!

Next Saturday afternoon it's the cookie baking extravaganza (10 of us) at Laura Lenz's house followed by the promised martinis. Todd says we can do fruity martinis :o) I've actually never had a martini. I have to remember to send Laura the promised cookie recipes ... and decide whether we're going to ice or frost the cut-outs. Hmmm. They'll be pink ribbons (for breast cancer) in any case. Still plenty of time to sign up for the 5K or half marathon. Hint, hint. They still need volunteers. I'll be helping with set-up/tear-down in addition to running. If you'd like to volunteer, please contact Sarah Shonyo .

Speaking of cookies in the Lenz/Rowekamp household ...

Sam Rowekamp (left in the photo above) sent me the following email: "Hi Renee, it's Sam.I wanted to know if I could mail you ideas for cookies, and you could try to make them and then give them out at running events. I think it would be fun to invent cookies that people could actually eat. E-mail me back if you're interested." First off, what a nice email! And you bet I'm interested. So look for some Rowekamp/Saxman cookie creations at running events this year. Thanks Sam for sharing your cookie baking interest with me!

[ Totally useless info: I've got Natasha Bedingfield's Pocketful of Sunshine streaming through my head right now ... Just put it on my iPod.]

And speaking of cookies ...

Sara Holmes (pictured above at All-Comers) is selling Girl Scout cookies. Available are:

Thin Mints: Thin mint-flavored chocolate wafers dipped in a chocolate coating.
Do-si-dos (Peanut Butter Sandwiches): Peanut butter filling sandwiched between crunchy oatmeal cookies.
Tagalongs (Chocolate covered Peanut Butter Sandwiches): Crispy vanilla cookies layered with peanut butter and covered with a chocolate coating.
Trefoils (Shortbread): A traditional shortbread cookie made in the shape of the Girl Scout trefoil logo.
Samoas (Caramel deLites): Vanilla cookies coated in caramel, sprinkled with toasted coconut and laced with chocolate strips.
Lemon Chalet Cremes: Cinnamon sandwich cookies with lemon creme filling.
Sugar Free Chocolate Chips Introduced in 2008, they are small sugar free cookies.
Dulce De Leche Introduced in 2009, these are Latin caramel cookies.

Cookies are $3.50/box. If you'd like to order, contact Sara at or 287-8143. (Leah, Sara's mom, said I could post this.)

February 7 (note change of date), we'll run from my house as I mentioned the other day. I'll make cinnamon rolls, coffee & juice, and now I'm thinking of trying a Cooking Light baked oatmeal recipe with dried fruit (raisins or my preference, dried cherries) and nuts. Possibly egg bake as well.

News on the Winterfest Trifecta : Larry has secured two prizes. 1) A one night stay at the Broadway Residence & Suites (but no, it's not the penthouse) or 2) A one night stay at Soldier's Field Ramada. He's still working on meals. So far, 10 are registered for the Trifecta according to Laura. The prize winner is chosen by drawing.

Well, I guess that's it. I'm heading for the RCTC Yellowjacket's b-ball game @ 3:00. My cousin Cindy is coming to watch her son Beau play. He plays for Ridgewater College in Willmar.

Thought for the day:
"Do more than exist ... live.
Touch ... feel.
Look ... listen.
Read ... absorb.
Hear ... listen."

Have a good one. Stay warm.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

January Thaw

What a nice day it was today. Temps around the freezing mark, sunshine, no wind ... lovely for mid-January. Of course, tomorrow that's all supposed to change. Just in time for the weekend.

The Rochester Half Marathon planning committee met this evening. Pictured below: Paula Patterson, Wally Arnold, Lin Gentling, Larry Pederson, Dave Morrill, K.C. Reed, Jean Murray.

Jean Murray and Kevin Torgerson.

We will still need lots of volunteers. Should you care to help out, please contact any one of us. Here are our areas of responsibility: Registration (me), Course Safety (Kevin), Water Stops (Lin), Course Operations (Dave), Finish Line (Wally/K.C.), Amenities--medals, shirts, numbers, etc. (Paula), Food (Renee/Sonja?), P.R./Communications (?), Volunteers (Jean/Lin), Executive Coordinators (Wally/K.C.).

I need newsletter stories for the March issue of RTC News! At this point, I don't have any stories, though Chris Koch is going to write about the Tecumsah Trail Marathon that they ran in December. If you have anything you'd like to contribute, please do!! I'd like the stories by February 1 if possible. Please let me know if you're going to be submitting something.

The first RTC eNews appeared in my inbox today. It's going to be published the 4th Thursday of each month. It's filled with lots of 'this and that' ... upcoming events, help wanted ads, tips, kudos, etc. Become a member so you too can be 'in the scoop'!!

I've volunteered to try something new for the Saturday, January 31 morning run. We'll run from my house (at the top of a 1/2 mile long hill ... so we get to finish the run with a nice long climb!) and then when we're done, come on inside for coffee, juice, homemade cinnamon rolls and maybe egg bake. Put it on your calendar and please join us!! More info (directions, etc.) will be forthcoming.

I now have a massage sponsor for the Fetzer. Minnesota School of Business massage therapy students. Yes ... they do much more than 'business' classes at the school. The personal trainers at the Y got their training there. Thank you Kirk Thomas for the contact info.

One more carpooler for the Securian Half on Saturday ... Cathy Torgerson. :)

From Mike Schmitt: Boston Marathon filled ... and ... Registration to Open February 1 for the 2009 Bank of America Chicago Marathon Registration for the 2009 Bank of America Chicago Marathon will open at midnight (CDT) on Sunday, February 1. The 32nd edition of the world-class Chicago Marathon will take place on Sunday, October 11, in Chicago's Grant Park. Registration will be available online at and will remain open until the event reaches its 45,000 participant capacity.

Get In Gear has added a half marathon to their events on April 25. Registration is open and they'll take 1000 runners. But if you're only going to do one distance race, please run locally and support our local club (the RTC ) and run the Fetzer 20K . I'd be much obliged. Thanks.

The following is in the Jan/Feb issue of RunMinnesota: Minnesota Woman has Longest Streak in the Nation JULIE MAXWELL began her running streak July 5, 1978. She currently lives in Byron, Minnesota. She hasn't done many races, which is why she was somewhat unheard of before. DeBoer encouraged her to join the U.S. Running Streak Association and submit her streak after reading an article about her in the Rochester Track Club newsletter. She is the only active woman streaker in the state that DeBoer is aware of, and her streak is the longest in the country for a woman. The previous record holder, Margaret Blackstock, began her streak in 1979.

From John Shonyo: The Lace Up Against Breast Cancer Half-marathon and 5K Fun Run/Walk will be February 15th and we need a couple of types of folks--runners/walkers and volunteers. To register to run/walk please go to: (Please note you can also pledge to LUABC on, scroll to the bottom of the event screen to find out how). If you would like to volunteer (we need both inside and outside folks), please contact Sarah Shonyo (my daughter) or Laura Lenz (who is not my daughter, but could be based on age). There are volunteer spots open for those who want to run and volunteer (you will get two tickets to heaven for doing that). By-the-way, we have some extra nice appreciation gifts for our volunteers this year.

I received an email from a blog reader this week who does P.R., about writing something about strength training for runners, particularly young runners. I'm meeting them at their facility Safe Weightlifting & Athletic Strength Center (SWSC) on Tuesday afternoon. Stay tuned.

I baked a big batch of cookies this afternoon for the bake sale at the pasta feed tomorrow (see previous posts this week for the complete scoop). I think I'll make a batch of my friend Jeanne's cinnamon twists in the morning before delivering the goods. Then I'm going to be spending part of the day prepping for a meal for 100 (goulash) at church on Sunday. It's a fundraiser. I've done it before 2 or 3 times and it's not that much work. The recipe multiplies quite easily. Here's the recipe, from my step-mom:


Cook 2 1/2 to 3 c. elbow macaroni.
Brown one pound hamburger with onion and a green or red pepper.
After browning, add 8 oz. cream cheese. Stir until melted.
Stir in 2 cans tomato soup.
Stir in chili powder and pepper to taste.
Mix all together and bake at 350 until warmed through (30-45 minutes).
Top with cheddar cheese when nearly done baking, if desired.

Thought for the day: "Happiness is inward and not outward; and so it does not depend on what we have, but on what we are."

Until another day.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A First for Me

Well, for the first time in my life, I'm older than the president of the United States. He's 47. I'm 48. I remember when I was becoming older than most pro sports players, but that was a gradual process. Oh well, it is what it is!

Just received an email about a new documentary film called The Distance of Truth about a runner's journey through Death Valley during the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon.

We have a couple of additions to the carpool to Securian half marathon: Sharon Mulvagh and Peter Maves. In addition, we have Tom Williamson, Tom Woo, Trevor Distad, Matt Schrader, Sonja and Kirsten Kranz. We still have a little bit of room if there's someone out there that would like to join us. Lemme know!

Even though I've corrected yesterday's post, just want to mention that the All-City Nordic Ski Team pasta feed fundraiser on Friday is at Resurrection Catholic Church on 16th St SE and 11th Ave SE. It begins at 5:00 PM.

Well, today I registered for Grandma's Marathon . I've not run this one before, so I'm kind of excited to run a new one! I've not decided on a fall marathon yet, but I'm thking maybe Whistlestop and some year, I'd like to try Walker North Country but I've heard it is a challenging one.

Off-Season striders will run 10 miles on Saturday beginning (and ending!) at Panera at Crossroads at 7:30 AM.

Salad recipe today:

Mixed Greens and Apples with Cranberry Vinaigrette

1 cup cranberry juice cocktail
3/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries (Craisins)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon hazelnut oil (or just use olive oil if you don't have this)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
About 8 cups mixed greens
1/4 cup (1 ounce) Stilton cheese, crumbled (or substitute another cheese--bleu, gorgonzola, etc.)
2 Fuji apples, thinly sliced (about 1 pound)

For vinaigrette, combine juice and cranberries in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes or until most of liquid evaporates. Remove from heat; stir in vinegar, shallots, and garlic. Drizzle oil into pan, stirring with a whisk until blended. Stir in salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cool vinaigrette to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine walnuts and next 5 ingredients (through 1/8 teaspoon pepper); toss well. Spread on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 5 minutes or until toasted.

Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add vinaigrette and walnuts; toss well. (Don't skip the spiced nuts--they really make the salad. RKS)

Quote for the day (thank you AF): "For those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness." --Edward Stanley

Carry on.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

An Historic Day

The excitement in the air was palpable. TVs and websites all over town were tuned in, even in the workplace. A big news day on the political front to be sure, but not so much happening on the running trails today. I'll see what I can dig up ...

Here's a link to all kinds of running facts and figures, curiosities, records, ... you name it! Thanks, AF for the link!!

2 running mags in the mailbox today ... Running Times and RunMinnesota. Some enjoyable reading material for the Stairmaster.

Sounds like it's going to be COLD for the Securian half marathon on Saturday. Below zero for the overnight low and 1 above for the high. Not the best racing weather.

I neglected to comment on the Yak Traks after Saturday's run. They work very well on snow, but on ice ... not so much. On ice, the Ice Bugs are best. In a perfect world, there would be a shoe that was perfect on all surfaces ... but alas, it's not a perfect world. :-)

There is a bake sale associated with the All-City Nordic Ski Team pasta feed/raffle/fundraiser on Friday at Resurrection Catholic church from 5:00 on. I'm donating baked goods of some kind. Haven't decided what yet: There are soooooo many choices ... chocolate chip cookies? Peanut butter cookies? Snickerdoodles? Bars? Cherry pie? Cinnamon rolls? How does one decide ... ?? Tickets available at the door. All you can eat pasta from Victoria's for $10!!

Upcoming events: Frozen Goose 5K and 10K on February 7; Cabin Fever Stair Climb on Saturday, February 14; Polar Plunge on Saturday, February 14; Lace-Up Against Breast Cancer 5K and Half Marathon on Sunday, February 15; and there's always my little race, the Fetzer 20K and 2-mile on Saturday, April 11. ;-) I can use both runners and volunteers.

Whoo hoo! I got a mention by name (and a link!) in Lionel's blog last Thursday.

I never get tired of posting recipes. Here's my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe.

If you want to 'gild the lily' as they say, dip them in Ghirardelli chocolate and then throw some sprinkles on top.

Peanut Butter Cookies

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound butter (2 sticks), salted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup extra-crunchy peanut butter, preferably Jif
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup roasted salted peanuts , ground in food processor to resemble bread crumbs, about 14 pulses (about 1 cup, packed)

1. Adjust oven rack to low center position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl.

2. In bowl of electric mixer or by hand, beat butter until creamy. Add sugars; beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes with electric mixer, stopping to scrape down bowl as necessary. Beat in peanut butter until fully incorporated, then eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. Gently stir dry ingredients into peanut butter mixture. Add ground peanuts; stir gently until just incorporated.

3. Working with 2 tablespoons dough at a time, roll into large balls, placing them 2 inches apart on a parchment-covered cookie sheet. (I use a cookie scoop.) Press each dough ball with back of dinner fork dipped in cold water to make crisscross design. (I don't do this.) Bake until cookies are puffed and slightly brown along edges, but not top, 10 to 12 minutes (they will not look fully baked). Cool cookies on cookie sheet until set, about 4 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Thought for the day: "We are not at our best when we are perched at the summit; we are at our best climbing--even when the way is steep."

Have a good one.

Monday, January 19, 2009


"I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." --Martin Luther King Junior He would have celebrated his 80th birthday today had he lived, but instead we are honoring his memory and all he did for civil rights with a holiday today. Let's be proud of how far we've come in the civil/equal rights movement, and continue make even more progress wherever possible. Each and every one of us. How fitting that tomorrow we inaugurate our first black president. No matter what your political leanings, you have to be proud of our country for taking race/skin color out of the vote.

Thursday from 5:30 to 7:00 PM, the planning committee will meet to begin work on planning for the Rochester Half Marathon and 5K (August 22). So far, those attending include: Jean Murray (facilitator), K.C. Reed (past race director), Kevin Torgerson, Wally Arnold, Judy Weller, Dave Morrill, Lin Gentling, Sonja Kranz and myself. We're meeting on the food court level of the Shops at University Square (formerly the Galleria--shopping center downtown). Please feel free to join us. "The more, the merrier", "Many hands make light work", etc. Also, I'll be bringing cookies. :)

Also joining our carpool up to the Securian Half Marathon will be Matt Schrader. So we have: Tom Williamson, Trevor Distad, Tom Woo, Sonja and Kirsten Kranz, myself, Matt. Joining us in the cities will be Suzanne LaPalm. She's suggested Bulldog's as a possible spot for lunch (and a huge selection of beer) afterwards. :)

The RTC website made the top 3 for the RRCA Large Club (250+ members) website award. The top award went to the Dallas club. The award will be presented in San Francisco later this spring. Complete info on the RRCA website . We (journalism award judges) had to do a re-vote on the club writer awards today as it was a virtual 3-way tie. Those awards will be forthcoming. My choices for the top newsletters (small/med club, large, and eNewsletter) were selected as the winners, so at least I wasn't totally in left field in my inaugural year as a judge. Other judges were Steve Shepard (Houston Striders), Kristin Armstrong (Runners' World writer/blogger) and Amby Burfoot (Runners' World editor).

Mike Schmitt is presently working on the first issue of the RTC eNews (not to replace the printed version), so look for that in your inboxes in the near future!

I'm currently exploring my clothing options for swim portion of the Rochesterfest Triathlon on June 28. From Bill's website: REGISTER NOW Before January 31st, 2009 and receive a one of kind Rochesterfest Triathlon Quarter Zip Microfiber Pullover!

I stopped by to see my niece and nephew (oh, and my brother and sister-in-law!) yesterday evening. I just have to post their photos. They're soooooooooo cute ...

Andrew (A.J.)


Well, when I run out of things to talk about ... I can always talk about food. Tonight for supper: pork (boneless loin chops, which are very lean, but you can use boneless country style ribs), cooked covered for several hours in the oven in apple juice along with onions, potatoes, carrots, cabbage. It's quite tasty. :)

"The time is always right to do what’s right." --Martin Luther King Junior

Go. Be. Do what's right.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Stress Relief

That's what my 15.4 mile run was about today. It's just been that kind of week and I needed a hard run, which I got. Dave Morrill even commented on the 'blistering' pace. Wearing my Yak Traks helped.

We had a nice group today. 16 or so. We went around the lake, up Viola Road to Kwik Trip, then through the neighborhood to Rocky Creek Drive NE, up to 37th St NW to West River Road and back to Dunn Bros. I wasn't anticipating the strong NW winds. says 20-30 mph with 40 mph gusts for today. Sure felt like that on 37th St NW. I'd been running with Dan Strain since Kwik Trip, so I ducked in behind him for a bit of relief from the wind. My eyeballs were stinging. :) Tomorrow sounds better. We'll be rid of the wind.

A bunch of us are planning on going up to the Securian Half Marathon in St. Paul next weekend. Carpooling so far: myself, Sonja and Kirsten Kranz, Tom Williamson, Tom Woo, Trevor Distad. I think Mike Schmitt, Matt Schrader might be interested as well. If anyone would like to join our merry little band of runners, just let me know. We plan to go to lunch after the race and then return to Rochester by mid-afternoon.

This would be a good time to plug the All-City Nordic Ski Team's pasta feed, to be held the evening before the Securian Half Marathon:

We will be holding a pasta dinner and raffle as a fundraiser for the Rochester Nordic Ski Team and for the development of the Essex Park trail. This is a great opportunity to meet friends and help support both the middle / high school ski program and the development of the new ski trails in Essex Park.

When: The event will be on Friday, January 23rd, 2009 with dinner served between 5:00 pm and 6:30 pm.

Where: The event will be in Resurrection Catholic Church at 1600 11th Avenue SE.

Pasta Meal: Adult meal $10, Child's meal (12 and under) $5. All you can eat ! (Chicken Alfredo or Vegetarian Spaghetti with Marinara, Rolls, Caesar / Mediterranean Salad and Beverage, catered by Victoria's Restaurant).

Grand Prize Raffle: There will be a raffle with 4 major prizes to be won - a complete ski package (donated by Tyrol Ski and Sport), a golf outing in Somerby Golf Club (donated by Somerby), and 2 bikes (donated by Quality Bike Products), along with a number of smaller prizes. Tickets for the raffle are $5 each or $20 for 5 and are on sale at Tyrol Ski & Sport, Rochester Cycling and Fitness, Shoot and Save Sport or from Rochester Nordic Ski Team Members.

Ran into (not literally of course!) P.K., Julie and Peggy on today's run. Julie has been named honorary vice chair of the U.S. Running Streak Association to replace an outgoing member. Julie currently hold the longest running streak for females (more than 30.5 years)!

The RTC Youth Grand Prix awards pizza supper was held last night. Congratulations to all who participated (this is a participation series, not a results series)!!

Gold Medal Winners

Silver Medal Winners

Bronze Medal Winners

I was in Rochester Cycling and Fitness yesterday scoping out the wetsuits (the ultimate in sticker shock) for my possible (dare I say probable?) entry into the Rochesterfest Triathlon and noticed that they carry some Skirt Sports clothing for gals. Skirts, s/s tops, sports bras, a running dress, and skirts with capris attached. They salesperson said that they're currently 20 ot 25% off (can't remember which one for sure).

Looks like I may be accompanying Judy Weller to the Little Rock Marathon on 3/15 to run the half. A road trip with Judy is always fun. :)

Being it's a blustery day, I thought soup might be in order for supper today. So it's Potato Leek Soup, a favorite of mine, with some bread from Prescotts.

Thought for the day: "Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment." --Benjamin Franklin

Stay warm.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Well, apparently we're coming out of the deep freeze. I have 5 degrees on the thermometer ... on the plus side of zero!! Whoo hoo!

Registration for Grandma's Marathon on June 20 is now open.

From Fred Woolman, who teaches Yoga and Pilates, a link to a video about ab exercises for runners.

From Mike Schmitt: It's a goal. A mission. A need. A want. Whatever you call it thousands of moms are out there pounding the pavement with their favorite running shoes and Baby Jogger. They're running. Taking those giant strides to work off the baby fat on the outside ­ but what they may, or may not know is they're also seriously toning their spirit on the inside. On January 15th, will capture that audience and create a community of women with the same passions, struggles, all while balancing family life. Our goal at is to nurture the inner athlete in moms everywhere. We have created a place for moms to come together, get inspired, and be challenged to get out and run your first 5k ­ or marathon. You can also talk shop: whether it's discussing the best gear or the best way to potty train your toddler. will be a resource for you, your wife, sister or your own mom. is the brainchild of Dani Kassner and Amy Leger, two moms from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area of Minnesota, who have a passion for both parenting and running. Co-founder Dani Kassner says, "I kept seeing other women and moms out on the trail and I thought to myself, 'I bet there's a lot we could learn from each other'." And was born.

Just a reminder that the Off-Season Striders will be running from Dunn Bros. on Elton Hills Drive Saturday morning at 7:30. Hope to see you there!

I was talking to Mike Holmes at the Y this morning. His girls did a fun thing yesterday during the snow day ... they went out and blew bubbles. He said they freeze, fall, then blow along the snow. Sounds fun to me!

Since there's not much news today, here's another of my cookie recipes:

Butter Toffee Cookies
3/4 c. butter, softened
1 1/4 c. lightly packed brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 egg
2 1/4 c. flour
1 c. toffee--flavored bits (Heath bits)
1 c. chocolate chips
1 c. chopped pecans

Cream butter, brown sugar, vanilla, salt and baking soda. Add the egg and beat until fluffy. Add the flour and stir until well-blended. Stir in bits and chips and nuts.

Drop by generous tablespoonsful on ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake in a 375 oven for 10 to 12 minutes (10 for chewy, 12 for crisp). Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets before transferring them to racks to cool completely.

Thought for the day: "It isn't the load that weighs us down--it's the way we carry it."

Have a good one.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


That's an understatement. Be careful if you're running outdoors. Myself, I finally caved in and ran on a treadmill at the Y this morning, much as I don't like to do so as I find it incredibly boring. I hadn't tried any of the new treadmills, so got on a Freemotion treadmill (has an incline of -3% to 30%) for some speedwork. Getting to Boston 2010 isn't just going to happen ... I'm going to have to make it happen. Lisa ran next to me for the first 3 miles or so while I was warming up. Then I did: at 1% incline, 5 x [.5 mile at 6:40 pace, .1 mile at 4:00 pace (walk & drink), .4 miles at 8:00 pace] followed by 3 miles at 7:30 pace. I was tired at the end, but not trashed, so it was a good workout and I liked the new treadmill. The speed changed quickly and the belt was decent. So I'll be back, for speedwork anyway. :)

Bill Nevala just called and invited me to participate in the Rochesterfest Triathlon on June 29 ... as a V.I.P.!! Ha!! Bill is the race director. That would mean ... a swim. I swim, but don't do so for exercise as a rule. But it's definitely gotten me thinking ... I am always up for a challenge. I'll have to talk to Judy Weller. She'll talk me into it for sure. I'd have to get a wetsuit ... Stay tuned!!

Interested in helping out at the Rochester Half Marathon? We'll be meeting on Thursday, January 22 at 5:30. Location TBD. Contact Jean Murray if you can help out.

Kim Maxwell, our Minnesota RRCA rep, contacted me yesterday. She's submitting the Fetzer 20K as a regional championship race for 2009. It's already a state championship event. I don't know whether it will qualify, but it was nice of her to give it a try!! Again, stay tuned.

Off-Season Striders will run at Dunn Bros. on Elton Hills Drive (think blue cornmeal pancakes!) at 7:30 on Saturday morning. Mileage and route: TBD. But we hope you show up just because it's so much fun to run with friends. :) You just never know when you'll make a new one ...

From Mike Holmes: a very unique treadmill workout. I don't think I'm coordinated enough to pull this one off.

From Kelly Lyndgaard, who now calls the Somers, NY area home: I looked up the results of the local 10K race in my little town - out of 41 runners for the 10K, only one was a woman!!! Sadness! The good news is, I might win ;) ... You go, girl!!

In tonight's Post-Bulletin, a story from Paul Christian about the competition that now exists for the Med-City marathon. I've not read it yet, but have heard about the marathon in Stillwater and the Team Ortho marathon in Minneapolis.

Time for another recipe. I can't remember if I've posted this one before, but it's yummy. From the Rochester Quilters' Sew-ciety cookbook.

Autumn Butternut Casserole

3 c. mashed, cooked butternut (or buttercup) squash
4 Tbsp. butter (optional, or you can use less. I omit this)
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
Dash pepper
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. butter
6 c. sliced, unpared Jonathan apples (about 2 lbs. --you can use another type of apple)
1/4 c. white sugar
1 1/2 c. corn flakes, coarsely crushed
2 Tbsp. melted butter

Season squash with optional butter and 1 Tbsp. brown sugar, salt and pepper. Heat 1 1/2 Tbsp. butter in a skillet; add sliced apples; sprinkle with 1/4 cup sugar; cover and simmer over low heat until barely tender (about 5 minutes). Spread in a 3-quart casserole (9 x 13); spoon mashed squash evenly over apples. Mix corn flakes with pecans, 1/2 cup brown sugar and melted butter. Sprinkle over squash. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Makes 8 servings.

Well, I don't have any recent photos to post, so I'll post one from Florida last year, just to remind us that this (weather) too shall pass. :)

Quote for the day: "The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one often comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't." --H.W. Beecher


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

When will it end?

The cold ... the snow ... the wind. We're slated to get another 2-5" overnight. Enough already! And we could have another couple months of this weather-related fun ...

I had 119 hits here on Sunday. I believe that might be a record for a Sunday. Thanks for stopping by. ;-)

A meeting for the planning committee for the Rochester Half Marathon is going to be held sometime mid-week next week. If you're interested in helping out in any way, no matter how small, please contact Jean Murray.

Your 2009 RTC Board of Directors are (drum roll, please): John Shonyo (President), Jean Murray (Treasurer), Lin Gentling (President-Elect), David Sletten (Past President), Wally Arnold, Ron Giles, Greg Hagen, Kit Hawkins, Mike Schmitt, Chris O'Brien, Kevin Torgerson.

From Sarah Shonyo, volunteer coordinator for Lace-Up Against Breast Cancer: We need several people to help with registration on Saturday the 14th from 3-5:00. Also, of course, we'll need people the morning of the event. Please let me know if you are available to volunteer and if so, what time. Unless you have a preference of location (registration, silent auction, water stops, course marshals, finish line, food, set up / tear down) I'll assign positions based on need. Volunteers will receive a black cinch bag, pink and white running socks, lots of great food.. and gratitude from yours truly. Please email me if you are able to volunteer.

There is a Team in Training informational meeting on Thursday at Assisi Heights at 6:00 PM. Train with a coach and team to run or walk a full or half marathon or participate in a triathlon, century (100-mile) bike ride, or hike. Complete your journey at Grand Canyon National Park, San Diego, Lake Tahoe, Seattle, Minneapolis, or Sunriver, Oregon. Participants raise funds to fight blood cancer.

Want to run an inaugural indoor marathon this weekend (Saturday)? Here's your chance. Spots are still available. It will be held on the running track around the Olympic Ice Oval in Milwaukee.
Last night's Cooking Light meal was a real winner. There was nothing that I wouldn't make again.

As I look at the slideshow again, I realize I didn't get a photo of the soup or the shortbread. I can't pick just one favorite, but they would have to be the Roast Butternut Squash Soup with Apples and Garam Masala, Parmesan and Root Vegetable Lasagna or Pear Pie with Streusel Topping and Caramel Sauce. Recipes should be available at Cooking Light.

I made Kelly Lyndgaard's asparagus recipe for supper tonight.

1 lb. asparagus spears, ends trimmed
Cooking spray
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400. Arrange asparagus in a single layer on baking sheet; coat with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 400 for 12 minutes or until tender. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat; cook until lightly bronwed, shaking pan occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in soy sauce and vinegar. Drizzle over asparagus, tossing well to coat. Serve immediately.

Simple, quick, and quite delish!!

Mark Wernstrom mentioned 'cookies' at the Y on Monday. All of a sudden I realized that the cookie monsters hadn't gotten their January cookies. My bad!! So this afternoon, cookies it was.

This year's recipients include: Jim Benike, Don Gabrielson, Ross Hamernik, Jim Martinson, Jean Murray, K.C. Reed, Mark Wernstrom, and Shaun Palmer (he gets half of them!!) Happy eating, one and all!

K.C. Reed just stopped by and we chatted for a bit. Just off the Polar Plunge wire: February 7 there will be a Polar Bear Plunge Warm-Up at Whistle Binkies south including a tug-of-war on ice, silent auction (I told him I'd donate a basket of cookies), ice fishing contest, rubber chicken bowling contest, and probably much more. Sounds like a fun time! Also, at the Rochester Polar Plunge on February 14, 3 couples will be renewing their vows and then taking the plunge! (More couples are being sought.) The hole in the ice will be what else ... heart-shaped.

Thought for the day: " Every battle is not meant to be fought and every point is not meant to be proven. Some things in life are just meant to be."

Stay warm.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

How I Long for Dry, Bare Pavement

I went for a run today late morning (15.75 miles). Once in a very great while, there were patches of dry pavement. Very small patches. But what a treat!! Yesterday, I ran with Trevor Distad, Tom Woo, Todd Rowekamp and Dan Strain. Tom Woo asked me what my running goal was for 2009. It is to qualify for Boston, and run it in 2010. I'm going to do everything in my power to get there!!

The banquet went very well last night. Congratulations to the following who received service awards: Larry Pederson (Dwight Pierson award), Laura Lenz and Kristi Quade-Wiedrich (Outstanding Service Awards), David Sletten (President's Award). Congratulations to Judy Weller who was selected as the 2008 RTC Runner of the Year! Very well deserved.

Quote for the evening: "You know you've been to a good party when you come home with someone else's shirt." --Tom O'Leary

Some exciting news that I heard at the banquet: Darlene Duncan (pictured below at the 2007 Spring Run) was whisked off to Austria by her boyfriend Caleb. She didn't know where they were going--Caleb made all the arrangements. As Darlene is an M.D., this was no trivial task! Caleb proposed to Darlene at the top of a mountain ... and she said yes! What a story! (Darlene gave permission for this to be posted.)

Cooking Light is at my house tomorrow. Laura Lenz will be our guest for the evening. On the menu:

Caramelized Sweet Onion Dip -- Barb
Roast Butternut Squash Soup with Apples and Garam Masala -- Kathryn
One of the beer breads -- Barbara
Parmesan and Root Vegetable Lasagna -- Renee
Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese, Bacon, and Balsamic Fig Dressing -- Margo
Green Beans with Toasted Walnuts and Breadcrumbs -- Mary
Brown Sugar Shortbread -- Pam
Pear Pie with Streusel Topping and Caramel Sauce -- Laura

Quote for the day: "Happiness is inward and not outward; and so it does not depend on what we have, but on what we are." --Henry Van Dyke

Until next time.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Stairway to Heaven

Well, we did it! I was very pleased with all the people that showed up for the trial run of the Broadway Residence & Suites Stair Climb. Let's see how many I can remember. I talked Dan Strain, Trevor Distad, Todd Rowekamp and even Tom Woo(!) into it. John Shonyo, Tom and Karen Williamson, Julie Stanton, Lana Lappi (8 mos. pregnant), Cathy Torgerson, Kristin Zhao, Karla Behringer (they both did it twice!), Dean Ferber, Larry Pederson, Ron Sundsmo, Fred Woolman, Roger Heil. I'm sure I've missed someone. Sorry. 26 stories to the top x 18 steps for each flight. I started doing two steps at a time. Don't remember how many flights I continued that. Then I went to a combo of one and two and finally just one. But I never got down to a walk like I did last year. I cut a minute off last year's practice time and about 35 second off my race time for a 3:29. I was happy with that.

Then we went back out into the cold for a couple of loops around the lake, back toward Panera and down to 16th St SW to get in 10 or so. 10.14 on my GPS. That was enough for today. My legs and my brain were tired.

The RTC banquet is this evening at Willow Creek club house. 6:00 social time, 6:30 dinner then our guest speaker Dr. Edward Creagan and then the awards. See you there.

I seem to be on a Dr. Seuss quote kick. Here's one from Oh the Places You'll Go, which is actually a good book. It makes a good graduation gift. "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose." --Dr. Seuss

Friday, January 9, 2009


Hi, all. Some interesting news in this post. A new marathon coming to Rochester. Maybe. This fall, even. Here's a link: Transplant House Marathon September 13, to benefit Gift of Life Transplant House. The race director lives out of town at this time. Course has not been designed yet. Stay tuned, for sure.

Reminder: You can practice stair climbing tomorrow (1/10) at 7:45 AM for the Cabin Fever Stair Climb. Meet at the Broadway Residence and Suites on Broadway and 1st St South. I'll be there. Heck of a workout. Then I think I'll go run until I can't run any more ... Off-Season Striders will be at Panera South at 7:30 for 10-12 miles, stopping by the stair climb for those that want to participate.

Some marathon registration info from Mike Schmitt:
January 9, 2009 from press release (Boston, MA) The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) announced today that entries for the 113th Boston Marathon, to be held on Monday, April 20, 2009, are pacing 20% ahead of the same time last year. As of January 9, 2008, there were 14,333 participants registered for the 2008 Boston Marathon. The number of entrants currently registered for the 2009 Boston Marathon is 17,772

GREEN BAY - Cellcom Green Bay Marathon organizers are limiting participation in this year's race. Marathon officials said Wednesday they would cap participation at 10,000 runners for the May 17 event. Over the last five years, participation has doubled to more than 8,000 entries. The day includes a marathon, half marathon, relay, 5K and kids run.

From Michael O'Connor (2 days ago):
Nordic Ski - Trail conditions Both Quarry Hill and Essex Park are in excellent condition. So don't let the icy patches in your local area fool you into thinking that the skiing is no good. The groomers have worked magic on both trail systems and they are in great condition.

Wenzel Coaching Joshua Barton is a Rochester area cycling coach working for an international coaching company called "Wenzel Coaching". Although he mainly coaches cycling, his company employs a broad array of coaches covering a endurance sports like cross country skiing, running, triathlons, etc. The company is offering a 5% discount for RASC members or 10% if a group of 5 or more sign up. RASC members can work with any Wenzel Coach if they need help with some sport other than biking. If anyone is interested in exploring individualized coaching, you can contact Joshua Barton. For more information please see their website: Wenzel Coaching

The January issue of Running Room eMagazine is now available. As always, there's a 20% off coupon good all month long and lots of interesting and informative articles. From me: a recipe for Chicken Wild Rice Soup as well as a little recap of the Polar Bear run, with a photo from Chris O'Brien.

Yesterday evening we had a (small) RTC board meeting. We just had a quorum, although I don't believe we had to vote on anything as I remember it. I sat next to Kevin Torgerson and we kept chatting. Shame on us ... (Kevin on the Great Wall of China in 2007 with his RTC jacket on, Special Olympics Torch Run)

Anyway, he ran with his Yak Trax yesterday morning and he said they worked fabulously. He wishes he'd used them sooner. No slipping whatsoever on the streets of Stewartville. They're available at Running Room in Rochester.

Lace-Up Against Breast Cancer is going to have a full meal following the events on February 15: soup and/or chili from Culver's, bread from Great Harvest, fruit, homemade cookies. I think that's worth the price of admission alone! They've gotten enough donations that the entry fees will all go directly to research. Great job, race organizers. As with all our events, volunteers are needed. If you can assist in any way, please contact John Shonyo.

Another quote from Dr. Seuss to finish off this post: "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." --Dr. Seuss


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Things are hopping around here!

Each time I post, especially at this time of year, I think "there won't be enough for a post tomorrow" and most days, that's proven to be incorrect. Especially today. Wow! There's lots going on in the Rochester area running world even though temps outside are barely in the double digits and the wind chill is below zero. So ... let's get started!

There's a very nice story and photo about incoming RTC president John Shonyo in the Post-Bulletin this evening. Thank you Paul Christian for the publicity.

From Brian Purrington: Century High School is looking for assistant coaches for both boys and girls track this spring. Full and part-time possibilies exist, primarily in the jumps and hurdles. If you are interested, please contact me as soon as possible as we want to get the positions filled soon. Each year, we also have a number of individuals volunteer with the program. If you interested and have at least 2 days a week that you can spare, contact Brian at

From Mike Schmitt: Registration for the 33rd annual Grandma's Marathon will begin at 12:01 a.m. (CST) on Thursday, January 15, 2009. The race is limited to 9,500 participants and registrants will be taken on a first come, first serve basis. Registration will be done online only at Grandma's Marathon - no paper entries will be available.

Laura Lenz is having a cookie baking extravaganza at her home on 1/31. We'll be baking M&M and cut-out cookies for the Lace-Up 5K and Half Marathon. From Laura's email: " We will be joined and directed by special guest star, Renee Saxman, famous in Rochester and the running community for her cookies." Oh my ... the pressure is on!! :-) Also from Laura: "It will be a fun afternoon and you can eat all the cookies you want. And, if you stay late enough, you will also be entitled to wine, beer or a martini." I'm in!! I also told Laura I'd donate a cookie basket and 2 dozen homemade cinnamon rolls for the auction. Bid high, bid often! The $ raised go toward breast cancer research at Mayo Clinic.

From John Shonyo: A special treat for this Saturday's OSS run: stairs! There will be a group doing a stair climb at the Broadway Plaza Suites (1st Street SW & South Broadway) and they have graciously invited the OSS runners to join them! There are only 26 flights that go up to the penthouse (you can take the elevator down). This will be a preview to the Cabin Fever Stair Climb on February 14th (more info at RTC website). If you're not too excited about doing that, we will also have a more standard flat route of 10 to 12 miles for your running pleasure. I did the stairs last year, both the practice and the real thing, and I'll probably do it again on Saturday. I'm always up for a challenge. :-)

RTC Banquet: I was thinking I would be off the hook as far as public-speaking at the RTC banquet on Saturday after hosting it for the past three years. Wrong-O!! But I'm actually happy to be doing it. You'll have to attend to find out what I'll be ramblin' about. ;-) This evening, I created a CD of photos from 2008 RTC races for Jim Martinson to turn into a slideshow for the banquet. I asked Tom Woo, photographer extraordinaire, to contribute as well. He graciously agreed.

From an out-of-town runner friend: a link to Runner Art. Very nice prints of runners outdoors. Both color and black/white.

I got an email today from the mother of a local runner looking for local race history for a scrapbook for this person. Someone is going to get a very nice gift from the sounds of it! I even have some of my own photos of him/her that I think I will send along. :-) Somehow, I just seem to get myself involved in so much stuff ... but it's all good.

So, now we're down to the dregs of this post. My day. It started with a 10.40 mile run at about 6:15 AM. It was snowing and I was a bit concerned about the fresh snow covering up the ice and me slipping and falling. Not to worry. Didn't happen. But the wind was already whipping around from the W/NW. I did my usual run down Fox Valley Dr SW to the west, up county 22 hill (for the first time!), west on 2nd St SW, south on the 52 frontage road, but then decided to go south on Bamber Valley Road and then west on Mayowood Rd all the way around to Salem Road and then up county 22 hill (again!) and back home through Foxcroft. All in all a good run, but on the slow side as I was afraid of slipping.

For supper tonight ... a new recipe. Baked Potato Soup from Cooking Light. Fabulous. Here's a link to the recipe. The salad recipe I posted a while back ... Autumn Apple, Cheddar, Pecan Salad or something like that. Also from Cooking Light. The whole grain baguette is from Panera.

Quote for the day: "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." --Dr. Seuss

Go. Be. Do.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Loss, To Be Sure

When I got home today, I found out that a friend from the Y, Orrin Knutson, passed away yesterday. I was, and am, so very sad. The last time I saw him was at the Y on Thursday, I believe it was, and he went about his normal routine. I noticed I hadn't seem him yet this week and was wondering what was up. For the last several years, we've shared a fun, teasing relationship at the gym. He grew up speaking some Norwegian at home, so we'd practice our Norwegian on each other and get some strange looks from others while doing so! And we bantered back and forth each and every day. Lately, he's been concerned about my weight and would ask me, "You haven't lost more weight have you?" He gave me yellow roses on my birthday last year and the pink roses in the photo above (son Eric in the photo in the background) this year. It still hasn't really sunk it that he's gone. I will really, really miss him.

Speaking of the Y ... pictured in an ad for the Y in an insert in the Post-Bulletin this evening is my friend and yours, the ultimate fun-loving, artist extraordinaire Julie Murray!

As of yesterday, Chris Kujath is now Grandma Kujath! Destiny Rose is her name. Very pretty baby. And a very proud grandma.

We have another birthday to add to the RTC January birthday list, that of Sue Christian who was spotted on the run on 20th St SE on New Year's day. And welcome to new RTC members Betsy Baartman and Brett Carroll (Mayo H.S. cross country and track coach). Welcome!

From Larry Pederson: I talked to John Beltz at Broadway Suites today and he says come on over and do the stairs on Saturday. So lets plan on it, start at Silver Lake at 7:30 and hit the stairs at about 7:45. (I did the trial run, or climb I guess!, last year and the actual climb as well. It's an aerobic challenge to be sure. Give it a try!)

Well, I just finished ranking all 20 or so club writers for the RRCA journalism awards. My eyes and my brain are tired, and I'm glad to be done, though I'm going to go back and re-look at the eNewsletters again tomorrow. Anyway, in reading the articles this evening, who should be mentioned but our own Judy Weller! By a writer from Pensacola Florida who ran the Rocky Raccoon 50-miler with Judy. Also mentioned was Linda the owner of Marathon Charms who Judy introduced me to at the Route 66 marathon in Tulsa in 2007. Small world, isn't it?

My thought for the day is Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under the sun.
A time to be born and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill and a time to heal ...a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance ...a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to lose and a time to seek;
a time to rend and a time to sew;
a time to keep silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Monday Musings

Happy Monday! I'm sure it's back to work for many of you after an extended holiday.

I thought I'd share the cover photo on Rochester Women of Judy Weller, who won an Extraordinary Woman award. She's on the top with the brown jacket and pink blouse. Her daughter wrote such a wonderful recommendation letter. I hope you can pick up a free copy somewhere in town and read the article.

Running Room started a Learn to Run class this evening. But they will let you join for the next couple weeks if I remember right. Just stop by the store and ask about it if you're interested. It's a wonderful lifetime sport and a great way to meet some pretty amazing people.

My son Eric left for Europe AGAIN this morning. This time it's for a J-Term class called "Green Germany". They will spend most of the 3 weeks in Germany, but will also be seeing some of Denmark and Iceland.

One other RTC birthday this month ... Mike Schmitt!

This month's Consumer Reports has reviews of lots of home exercise equipment: treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes. I can't list them all here, but they may be online or the library probably has the magazine as well.

Being it's the season for dieting, weight loss, etc. I thought I'd pass along a tip from Chris O'Brien. Krusteaz makes an Alpine Spiced Cider mix that's sugar free and only 15 calories/cup. I tried it. It's good!

I've not made any progress on judging those RRCA writing awards. I must get to that tomorrow as they're due on Friday. After I order the cake for the RTC banquet on Saturday, that is. I made a photo collage and that's going to be airbrushed (or however they do it) onto the cake. There is still time to RSVP to David Sletten but he's got to have the final numbers to the banquet facility by Thursday, so you'd best RSVP by Wednesday.

I tried a new soup recipe for supper tonight, and really liked it. The cookbook was a gift from a dear friend. It's not asparagus season yet, but it is available fresh in the stores.

It's supposed to be completely pureed, but I left some chunks of peppers and asparagus. I also didn't have tarragon and didn't feel like running to the store, but I think it would have been a nice addition. I sprinkled a little extra balsamic vinegar in my bowl before eating.

Red Pepper Asparagus Soup

3 Tbsp. butter
1 1/2 pounds (about 5 cups) asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 medium red potatoes, peeled, coarsely chopped
1 leek, rinsed, thinly sliced (or substitute 3/4 c. thinly sliced onion)
1 medium red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 tsp. finely chopped garlic
2 (14-ounce) cans vegetable broth (I used chicken)
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar or soy sauce
1 Tbsp finely choped fresh tarragon leaves (or 1 tsp. crushed dried tarragon)
2 cups fat free half & half or milk
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 c. sour cream (I left this out)
1/2 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon leaves (or 1/8 tsp. crushed dried tarragon, I left this out)

Melt butter in 6-quart saucepan over medium-high heat until sizzling; add asparagus, potatoes, leek, bell pepper and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until asparagus is crisply tender (10 to 12 minutes).

Stir in broth, balsamic vinegar and tarragon. Continue cooking until asparagus is tender (10 to 12 minutes). Remove from heat; cool 10 minutes. Stir in half & half, salt and pepper.

Place 2 cups soup in 5-cup blender container. Cover; blend until smooth. Repeat with remaining soup, 2 cups at a time. (I just used an immersion blender.) Place soup in 4-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat until soup is heated through (8 to 10 minutes). Combine sour cream and 1/2 tsp. tarragon leaves in small bowl. Top each serving with 1 Tbsp. sour cream mixture.

Yum! A nice crusty baquette would have been divine.

Quote for the day: "The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person's determination." -Tommy Lasorda

Until we meet again.

Ramblin' Renee