Saturday, October 31, 2009

End of D.S.T.

Just a reminder ... daylight savings time ends sometime between now and tomorrow morning.  Set your clocks back one hour tonight before you go to bed. It's going to feel like a 10:00 AM start for our body clocks at the marathon in the morning. I'm not sure if I like that or not ...

Well, today was an off day (exercise-wise). So I made two batches of cookies and cleaned the downstairs refrigerator.

I have a hard time just sitting still. A REALLY hard time. The fridge looks fab.u.lous.

Congratulations to 8th grader, and RTC member, Ian Torchia for qualifying for the state cross country meet from section 1A. He's only the second 8th grader to qualify for state from the section, the other being Pat Lehman from Plainview. He's in good company.

Peg says the asics 2150s will be in at Running Room on Monday. Whoo hoo! There are lots of new clothing items and new SmartWool socks. Fun stuff.

I think today might be the last day, but if you buy a large specialty pizza at Nick 'n Willy's, you get a free pumpkin (pepperoni) pizza.

The specialty pizza is going to be my marathon finish reward when I get home. A Lil' Nell's Chicken BBQ. My fave.

Well, unless you've been living in a cave, or totally don't care, tomorrow is THE GAME. I think this one might have gotten more hype than even the super bowl. It's the Pack v. the Vikes at Lambeau field, with Favre at the helm for the VIKES. Not.To.Be.Missed.

More, much more, tomorrow. Soon I'm off to Norwalk.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Whoo Hoo, Who Knew?

Sue Palmer emailed me this afternoon saying that it was a nice picture of me in Northern Fitness Magazine. Wha?? Huh?? I had no idea. I asked if she could scan it and email it to me, which she did. I believe it's TC10. And I think Gary Westlund took the photo 'cause I remember smiling and waving at him at about mile 8 or 9.

I am still getting freebies to be given away at the River Runners annual banquet on January 31. Up to 34 now, including entries for Apple Duathlon and the Paynesville Triathlon, Runnin the Ruff 10K trail race, Pacific Wok and House of Pizza gift cards, Rochester Half Marathon, Fetzer 20K :-), Lace-Up Against Breast Cancer, ... and lastly, a batch of cookies from yours truly.

Apparently yesterday's rainfall was another record. It was either 1.2 or 1.7 inches. I heard it on the radio but can't remember. They also said this is the second wettest October on record with 7+ inches of rain. I'd sure hate to be a farmer right now, wanting to get my crops out. Stressful.

Vote for your favorite Rochester restaurants at It's always fun to read about the results in the February issue. You could win a $50 gift card if you vote.

Want to race a 5K or 10K in the morning? Check out the Spirit Run. It's (10K) the final event in the RTC Grand Prix Series. Then next weekend is the Bear Creek 5 Prediction Run You predict how long it will take you to run 5 miles and then the one running closest to their predicted time (without going faster) is the winner. If you're too fast, it's a DQ. No timing devices allowed!! They're both a lot of fun.

BTW: I'm running the marathon on Sunday with no regard to time. Just to enjoy it. :-) I'm looking forward to it. I'm not so nervous about this one. Good luck, have fun John Shonyo who's running the New York City marathon on Sunday! Here's Grete Waitz introducing Paula Radcliffe, who's going for her fourth win on Sunday. I love Grete's Norwegian accent.

And here's Ryan Hall fielding questions from reporters.

Wanna know if you're a "senior". Take this quiz (thank you Jean Murray). I guess I qualify ...

Senior quiz
The answers are below, but don't cheat.

01. After the Lone Ranger saved the day and rode off into the sunset, the grateful citizens would ask, "Who was that Masked man?" Invariably, someone would answer, "I don't know, but he left this behind. "What did he leave behind?_______________________.

02. When the Beatles first came to the US in early 1964, we all watched them on the, ______________________show.

03. Get your kicks, _______________.

04. The story you are about to see is true. The names have been changed ____________________.

05. In the jungle, the mighty jungle,_________________________.

06. After the twist, the mashed potatoes, and the watusi, we "danced" under a stick that was lowered as low
as we could go in a dance called the _________________________.

07. N_E_S_T_L_E_S, Nestle's makes the very best, _______________.

08. Satchmo was America's "ambassador of goodwill." Our parents shared this great jazz trumpet player with us. His name was, ____________________.

09. What takes a licking and keeps on ticking?__________________.

10. Red Skeletons hobo character was ________________________. and he always ended his television show by saying, "Good night, and_____________________________."

11. Some Americans who protested the Vietnam war did so by burning their_________________.

12. The cute little car with the engine in the back and the
trunk in the front, was called the VW. What other names did it go by?__________________________&_______________________.

13. In 1971, singer Don MacLean sang a song about, "the day the music died." This was a tribute to__________________________.

14. We can remember the first satellite placed into Orbit. The Russians did it; it was called _____________________.

15. One of the big fads of the late 50's and 60's was a large plastic ring that we twirled around our waist; it was called The ___________.

Scroll down for the answers ...

Answers: (don't peek):

01. The Lone Ranger left behind a silver bullet.
02. The Ed Sullivan show..
03. Route 66
04. to protect the innocent.
05. The Lion sleeps tonight.
06. The limbo
07. Chocolate.
08. Louis Armstrong
09. The Timex watch.
10. Freddie the freeloader, and "Good night, and may God Bless."
11. draft cards (the bra was also burned)
12. Beetle or Bug
13. Buddy Holly
14. sputnik
15. hoola-hoop

Quote for the day: "The better part of one's life consists of his friendships." -- Abraham Lincoln

Until next time ...

Thursday, October 29, 2009


This afternoon it was sections for cross country teams. For many years I've helped out with the 1A meet and that's where I was again today. And it was a total mudfest. (This is a fareway on a golf course. Before the meet started.)

It had rained all day and John told us to come dressed appropriately. So I wore my garden clogs ...

The rain had subsided a bit before the meet started, so I decided not to wear a rain poncho. But I did have my RTC jacket, my SCRR cap and a golf umbrella. Just in case. I checked in in the clubhouse to find out that I had my usual spot, tear tags at the finish line. High stress for about 3 minutes (about 16-19 minute finish times) but I haven't been fired yet. :-)

It wasn't long before about 150 guys were ready to make their muddy way around the golf course on their 5K course.

It wasn't too bad during the boys' race. But the course must have been a mess because the boys were covered from toes to shoulders in mud. I've never seen anything like it.

This was the first finisher in the boys race. After that I had to put my camera away as they come in pretty fast and I don't even have time to look up. But I did notice the mud. On the bibs/tear tags. On their clothes. On their skin. It was everywhere. By the time the girls ran, it was raining heavier again and the wind had picked up.

I'm sure everyone was glad when it was over. And I don't think I want to hear what the golf course groundskeeper thought about what it looked like when all was said and done. John Resman does such a good job of putting on the meet. Everything is supremely organized. Every year. Despite the weather. :-)

I hadn't planned on going home after the meet before going to Glynner's pub, but my jeans were a muddy mess so I had to. There were 9 of us there this evening.

It was a TriRochester get-together but being it's marathon season, talk centered mostly around that event. A good time, as always.

I made Cindy Lewandowski's Pumpkin Craisin cookies and brought them to both events today. They were unaninously well-liked. With good reason--they're delicious. And they're all gone. Just what I hoped would happen.

Here's the recipe:

Pumpkin Craisin Cookies

Mix together:
1 1/2 cups butter
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla

Alternate adding the remaining ingredients, mixing well after each addition:

4 cups flour
2 cups oatmeal
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 cups pumpkin (one can)
1 cup Craisins
12 oz. white chips

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes

I finished making my gaiters today. I used some leftover fabric that I bought several years ago to make some (wild!) running tights.

Now I'm all set for a sandy, stony, leafy trail run. :-)

I made a couple of hooded towels today for my niece and nephew. All you need are a washcloth and towel. Easy peasy.

Knitting gone bad: A month or two ago, I knitted myself a couple of dishrags. I was so proud of them. Today I was running the garbage disposal and it didn't sound right. Well, I'm sure you can guess where this story is going.

Right in the trash can. :-(

I'm still furiously cleaning and  (mostly) decluttering the basement. I opened a couple boxes of clothes that the boys wore when they were little. Here's a pair of corduroys that I made, probably 23 years ago:

They grow up so fast ...
I decided to empty my box of old running shoes and take them to Running Room to be sent to Haiti where they will have a second life. (Just tie the laces together first.) Everything from 2080s to 2130s. Asics of course.

Well, that's probably way more detail than you wanted out of my day. More tomorrow. Let's hope the rain stops soon.
Good night.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy

That's what today was. I didn't even eat my morning oatmeal until 11:30 AM. (I'm on "vacation" while the attorney I work for is on a REAL "vacation" in Hawaii). I first put in some time on the Stairmaster but it took f-o-r-e-v-e-r to even get that done. I kept getting off and dinking around with something or other in the basement. Mostly decluttering/cleaning. I'm really on a "get rid of it" bent today. I figure if I haven't worn it in 5 years, the odds are I won't wear it in the next 5 years either. I took a load of stuff to the thrift shop our church operates on behalf of Bethesda Lutheran Home. I'm hoping to get another load together tomorrow. When I got off the Stairmaster, I went out to bring in the garbage can and noticed all the leaves that had fallen since yesterday. So I raked 8 more bags of leaves, still in my  workout clothes (sleeveless top/shorts). But I was making an aerobic activity out of it, so all was OK. (My neighbor walked by with his dog and did make some kind of comment about me being more acclimated to the weather than he was ...)

This afternoon I took the Accord in for an oil change, went to JoAnn Fabrics (didn't find what I was looking for), Sam's Club (for Diet Coke and animal crackers :-), Home Depot for leafguards for the gutters and an extension for one of the downspouts that I noticed was missing, stopped in the law office to check on the mail and phone messages, Great Harvest for some bread, and Jean Murray's house to drop off some track club stuff. Then I cleaned/organized the east half of the garage (I am happy when the garage is organized), cleaned my beets and Brussels sprouts from the garden and started back in on the basement. I just love getting all this stuff done.

Congratulations to the Mayo H.S. girls cross country team (and coach Brett Carroll) for their first ever conference win last week. Tomorrow it's sections. It would be great if they could go to state as a team. Brett was interviewed on the radio at halftime during the football game last night. He's a great coach and a really nice guy.

Here's a video of Abebe Bikila winning the Tokyo Olympic marathon 45 years ago. Notice how some of the elite runners are struggling ... looks kind of like me in the later stages of a marathon. Also, the numbers they're wearing are HUGE!! (Thanks Dick Daymont for passing it along.)

I'm going to organize the fourth (?) annual Carol on the Run again this year. It will be Wednesday, December 16 beginning at Running Room at 6:00 PM. We will again run to a few local nursing homes and possibly Ronald McDonald House again, sing a couple of carols at each one and then return to Running Room for some cookies. All are welcome to join in the fun (and it really is fun). Wear your Santa hats and jingle bells!

The forecast for Sunday in Nowalk, WI where Rails to Trails is taking place is now marathon perfect. 47 and partly cloudy. Fabulous.

Finally found some pants/tights to order. It is nigh on impossible to find anything in a store that's long enough. Found these online:

Even got 25% off. I wish, wish, wish I could find tall sizes in the stores in something except for jeans.

This evening I had two choices: Book Club (book was The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti) or Yak 'n Snak (crafting). Well, I hadn't even contemplated reading the book (I barely get the newspaper read these days) so I went to crafts at Andrea's house. Pictured are Mona, Nancy, Mary, Cindy. (Missing, Gretchen, Andrea and me. :-)

I finally finished up the embroidery on the left (it's an April Showers pattern). I'll probably make it into a pillow. The cross stitch on the left will either be framed or also made into a pillow.

Up next on Half Off Fridays, Prescotts. $50 gift certificates for $25. 10:00 AM Friday.

I'm going to bring this to an abrupt end. Time for bed. Good night!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Terrific Tuesday

Finally it was a nice day outside. And what did I do?? Spent a good part of it exactly where I'm sitting right now. In front of a computer monitor! Doing mostly 3 things: 1) writing a newsletter story (for both RTC News and the St. Cloud River Runners' newsletter), 2) making updates to the Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon website and 3) handling emails from St. Cloud folks, mostly race directors. I'd suggested to their club president, Arvid, that I'd be willing to contact race directors to see whether they might be interested in donating free entries to their events (or gift cards for their businesses) to be given away (via drawing) at the River Runners banquet in January. The response has been overwhelming. I now have a list of 30 freebies to be given away--mostly comp entries for running races, but a few gift cards and even a few triathlon/duathlon entries. It's been great! I'm excited--can 'ya tell??

Late in the afternoon I decided I need to get outside and enjoy some sunshine as it's VERY likely to disappear soon, the way this month has gone. So I raked up 10 more bags of leaves. And I know that's probably not the end of it. Then I went to Hancock Fabrics to get some hook & eyes so that I can make some gaiters tomorrow. Then I went to Leann Zubay's wonderful new establishment: ZZest, across from Apache Mall on 16th St SW in the space formerly occupied by Avocadoes. It's a foodie's dream store! Open Tues-Sat, 10-8. So much fun stuff. Sometime in November they will be offering soup & sandwiches. You've got to stop by!

I picked up a couple of things: A DRY rhubarb soda, some Cranberry Butter with Port, and some butter made with the milk used to make Parmegiano Reggiano cheese. Leann said the butter is very good--ultra creamy. I'll have to make some bread and try it out.

I found out today that my sister Alison will be joining me on my little trip to NY in November. I'm excited! She lives in the Chicago area where we grew up.

After dinner I made 2 batches of Pepper Jelly (10 1/2 jars).

It's made with both sweet and hot peppers. I've still got quite a colorful collection from the garden.

This morning I ran down to the Y and swam and lifted. Leg feels fine, but I think I'm about done running before the marathon this weekend. I'll probably swim again on Thursday and then call it quits ...
Off-Season Striders will be running from Dunn Bros. on Elton Hills Dr. NW on Saturday at 7:30 AM. Here's a link to the map of the route:
Well, it's 10:45 and I've had a full day. I'll wrap this one up and call it a day.
Quote for the day: "Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today." --Abraham Lincoln 
Good night.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday Miscellany

A little this, a little that. Here goes ...

Lynn Saari loaned me her gaiters for the trail race on Saturday. I opted not to use them as I thought the wet soil would leave everything fairly compacted (it did), but I did see several people there wearing them. I'm going to make myself a pair. They're just lyrca with a piece of grossgrain ribbon and a big hook on one end, and a piece of velcro on the heel. Easy peasy!! I'll post a photo of mine when I'm done. These are Lynn's (on my leg :-):

Very fun fabric.

I stopped by ZZest late this afternoon (expansion of Leann Zubay's Culinary Market in the space previously occupied by Avocado's) but it's closed on Monday's. I'll try to get back later in the week and report on my findings. If it's half as fun as her old shop, it'll be great!!

I made another batch of Renee's Egg Bake tonight. I had some stuff I wanted to use up (some bread getting stale, some 2% milk, some scallions, peppers from the garden, ...), and they needed a photo for the November Running Room eMagazine. Vegeterian version with lots of mushrooms and peppers.

Tomorrow I'm going to make pepper jelly.

Happy belated birthday to Brian Erwin. He gets his birthday cookies tomorrow morning at the Y. What did he get on his real birthday? H1N1. :-(

The new website for the Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon (trail, yes, but it's paved) is now live. Check it out.  I still need to decide how to present the photos, but the rest is ready for public viewing. It's a simple site, but I think it serves the purpose. I now know how to: design and create a website,  register a url and obtain web hosting services (with and upload the files ... It was a fun little project.

Thursday is the Section 1A Cross Country meet at Northern Hills golf course. John Resman is the meet director and I'm sure he can still use help. Race directors never turn away good help. If you'd like to volunteer, contact him. You're needed from about 3:30 to 5:30.

Thursday is the also monthly TriRochester social get-together at Glynner's Pub at 6 pm. You don't have to be a member of the club to socialize, eat, whatever. Join us!! Come following the CC meet!!

I read in Saturday's paper that the Tootsie Roll is the preferred Halloween candy (at least on That's hard to swallow! (ha!) I can't believe those waxy things beat out Snickers, M&Ms, Nestle's Crunch, etc.

Also from Saturday's paper, another (ugly!) weather record was broken last week. The 92-year old snowfall record for Oct. 23. 4.1+ inches fell. The previous record was 1 inch, set in 1917. Sounds like it was really ugly around here: 7,400 RPU customers without power, broken tree branches (half my neighbors birch tree broke off), 20 to 30 accidents/hour. Quoting from the story, "October has been a cold, wet, ugly mess, and it's expected to continue ... On all but two days this month, the temperature has been below average, and on all but seven days, it has rained or snowed." Lovely.

I heard from my friend Kelly, who's on assignment in NY, and whom I'm going to visit in a couple weeks. Some suggested activities:
Typical tourist sites (Status of Liberty, Ground Zero, Times Square, etc.)
Culinary Institute of America
A Broadway play
A winery
Chelsea Market

There's just not enough time to see it all! But it's going to be a blast! I can't wait ...

Time to put this post, and me, to bed. Good night!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Thought I'd do a little follow-up on the race (North Face Endurance Challenge) yesterday. First off, here's the elevation chart for my half marathon (you can click on it for a better look):

As you can see, we spent precious little time running on flat ground. I have to say, the hills at miles 1 and 11 were killers. My calf was really hurting at 11 and the extra strain caused by such a sharp uphill resulted in me having to walk that hill. And the downhills weren't really that much easier. You couldn't fly down them. With wet leaves covering all those stones, you had to be very cautious. At least I did. I am not a trail running veteran and I'm a bit skittish.

Some comments on the event: 1) No fluids on the course until 6.6 miles. I could have used something before that. Then another stop at 11.1 miles. That was it. Guess I should have carried my own bottle. Lesson learned. 2) One award in 10-year age groups. This was a 600-person event. I think they should have been more generous. (I was fourth in my age group and am not looking for one. But I think 3-deep was warranted, especially with a $65 entry fee.) 3) There was only ONE trash can in the finish line area. And it was on the opposite side from all the food. 4) Most of the food was gone by the time the 50Kers were finishing. Just some stale 1/4 bagels and peanut butter/jelly. OK, now the good. 1) The course is absolutely beautiful. The scenery rivals the best I've ever seen on a trail. Absolutely spectacular. 2) Nice technical shirts and socks. 3) Friendly volunteers out on the course, putting in a very long day in cold weather. 4) The course conditions were not as bad as I'd feared with all the rain and snow on Friday. I'd really been worried about slippery trails, rocks and roots being a huge hazard. But it wasn't too bad. Mostly just the hills. Some stretches of very slippery mud, but I made it through (actually, around) all but one without incident.

I saw a number of people running in these yesterday:

Vibram Fivefingers I was shocked when this guy went by me at about 11 miles wearing them. I'd rolled my ankles twice on the course (with no apparent damage) and I had trail shoes on. I'm sure I would have gotten injured had I been wearing these things. But maybe not. Who knows. Maybe you can just grip all those rocks with your toes or something ...

Cindy also had a great tip for us gals. Carrying gel packs (Gu, etc) in your sports bra. I tucked one in yesterday and it worked great. She said she can carry up to three. She said to make sure you use lots of Body Glide, though. Great tip!!

Now for today: I was able to run 4 miles (down to the Y to lift and swim). The first 3 were fine, but the fourth mile made my calf hurt again, so I think I'll back w-a-a-a-a-y off in preparation for the Rails to Trails marathon next weekend. I think with a week's rest it will be just fine. I'll just do some swimming. Maybe take a bike ride if the weather cooperates for one day!!

Went to another concert in Winona today. Matt is a member of the Winona Symphony Orchestra (it's about half students, half community members/faculty). This was his first concert with that organization. It was VERY good. Really enjoyed it. Totally useless information: there were 7 cellists. Of the 7, 4 had red hair. :-) In the next few weeks he's also got the following concerts: choir, band, select band, chamber orchestra, Winona Oratorio, football games (pep band), and a Messiah Sing-In. He's very involved and busy! Gee ... I guess he comes by that trait honestly, anyway. He's also a member of a 9-person acapella group called Hear This!. They've got a beat-boxer (someone who does percussive sounds with their "vocal instrument" :-)  I really want to hear them sometime. Afterwards we went to Bub's for a sandwich. I had a teriyaki chicken sandwich. Nothing to write home about, but serviceable.

I stopped at Running Room today and got some compression socks. I'm willing to try (just about!) anything to alleviate leg cramps. I've tried all the supplements, electrolytes, hydration strageties, stretches, The Stick, that anyone has suggested to me. But hadn't tried compression socks. John Shonyo suggested it and I'm certainly willing to give them a try. Who knows? Maybe they'll make me as fast as Paula Radcliffe!! I saw Sonja Anderson Decker at the 50-miler yesterday and she wore them. Hers were white too but they didn't look muddy at all. I have no idea how she came out of those woods without being muddy. I sure didn't.

I saw the Running Room Resolution Run jacket while I was in there. It's very nice! It's not "windbreaker" type material this year. It's more of a heavier, thermal-type fabric. And it's got an extension on the sleeve with a thumb hole. And it'll be very visible against the snow. Really nice jacket. Also, there were lots and lots of new clothes in for the winter season. I need a new pair of tight tights (lyrca-type). The pair I have just won't stay up any more. I've replaced the elastic once, but it's shot again and I was constantly pulling them up at Whistlestop. But the ones I tried on were all too short. :-(

Our Vikings are no longer undefeated. I knew it was bound to happen sooner or later. There's always next week (I hope).

Well, time for bed. I've been sleepy today.

Quote for the day: "“Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.” -- John Wooden

Take care.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

My First Ultra

No, I didn't run one. But I experienced one today. As a spectator. [I did participate (but not excel) in the half marathon race as part of the North Face Endurance Challenge.]

Cindy Lewandowski and Brian Woods from St. Cloud were there to run their first 50-milers. And they did. And they did so well!! Unofficially they finished in 8:51 and 9:01 respectively. Let's start at the beginning ...

Cindy drove down to Rochester to pick me up (so very kind of her!) Friday noon. We left Rochester with snow coming down in huge, wet flakes. (When I got home I learned we got 4" of snow yesterday! There is still a little on the ground here and there.) Packet pick-up ...

was at Laacke & Joys, an outdoors goods store. We arrived before the panel of guest speakers began and got good seats. The featured speaker was about 45 minutes late. He left San Francisco and arrived in Milwaukee about 7:00 PM after a couple of canceled or delayed flights. (Probably that darn snow!) Who was it you might ask?

Noted ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes. He's not as big in person as he seems on the screen. Or in my imagination. But it was fun to see him in person. One of the other speakers was a gal who lost a leg as a result of a motorcycle accident when she was 21.

I saw her finish the 50-miler today (smiling). Awesome runner. She finished very strong. I can't imagine running on that course with a prosthetic leg. Incredible. It was about 8:15 I think when we left to get something to eat. We went to Potbelly's for a turkey sandwich.

It was good. A lot like Quizno's. Toasted. Then it was back to our room to go through our goodie bags.

Nice technical shirts and socks. And a hand-held water bottle for the 50K'ers and 50-milers. We both deliberated about what to wear. Always such a dilema when the weather is questionable and precipitation and wind are forecasted. We both decided on shorts and a long-sleeved top and gloves. (A lot of people had a lot more clothes on than that. Lots in tights and some in tights and shorts and a shirt and a jacket.) Then, time for some shut-eye after checking the forecast one last time. Multiple alarms (phones, actually) were set for 4:30 AM with a 6:00 AM lift-off for the 50-milers.

Morning arrived quickly. We had a bit to eat then it was down to Kettle Moraine State Forest where the race took place. Brian and Cindy were ready to get started. It was cold standing around waiting!

Soon they were off, with their mandatory headlamps (for the first hour).

I caught up with Cindy at the first aid station (6.5 miles).

She was doing awesome!!

Then it was back to the hotel to eat my breakfast and check out and get back to the starting line for my 10:00 AM race. My race. OK, but not great. 1:46:04 (or :05--can't remember the official time). 4/60 in my age group. 11/247 for females. I did alright for about 8 miles or so (despite some wicked hills--trail running is a lot more challenging that the road. You have to pay attention to where you put your foot down EVERY SINGLE TIME). I was feeling twinges of cramps, my hamstrings were hurting. I got a sharp pain in my left calf about mile 11. I was afraid I'd pulled it. I backed way off, mostly out of necessity. And being afraid of trashing my marathon next Sunday. Certainly the most challenging half marathon I'd ever run.

The lowdown:
My splits: 7:26 7:51 8:06 8:09 7:44 7:29 7:47 8:09 8:18 8:46 8:17 9:22 7:31 (it felt very good to get back on pavement that last mile).
4th of 65 in my age group
11th of 247 for women

I was very cold at the finish as it was so windy so I quickly put on dry clothes and went for a sandwich at the LaGrange store on the recommendation of Lynn Saari.

It's a deli/soda fountain/ice cream parlor ...

and bike shop.

Fun place in an UNINCORPORATED town in the middle of Nnowhere, WI. :-)

Then it was back to try to find Cindy on the course. I stopped at aid station 7 but she was running faster than predicted so I'd missed her by 20 minutes. I couldn't get to the next aid station accoding to their directions, so it was back to the finish line for me. Soon enough, there came Cindy. Looking so strong after 50 miles.

She is an amazingly strong runner. She can crank out the (fast!) marathons like nobody's business. (She's in my 5-year age group and ran a 3:20 and then the next weekend a 3:24--just two weeks ago!). What an awesome accomplishment. I am SO PROUD of her. Then just a few minutes later, Brian finished, also very strong. Here they are looking none the worse for wear.

You guys rock!! Cindy says "never again". Brian says he wants to do a 100-miler next. :-)

That's my story. And theirs. And I'm sticking to it.

Good night!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Freezin' Friday

Looks like winter out there. Huge, wet snowflakes starting to blanket the ground. Not what we want for these trail races but there's not much to be done about it. Just dress appropriately and be careful I guess.

Minnesota in the news: I'm sure you've heard. The airliner that overshot MSP by 150 miles due to a discussion of air traffic rules or something. Then the guy who was drunk and went out and drove his lawnmower engine powered La-Z-Boy CHAIR into some vehicle or something. Wild.

Cindy is here. Off to Wisconsin! I don't think I'll race it. Just run it.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

October 22

A couple of things stand out about this day. 20 years ago today, Jacob Wetterling was abducted on his way home from a convenience store in St. Joe, MN. I think any of us living in Minnesota remember when that happened. And as the mom of 2 boys, it shook me up. It still does when I think about it. I don't know how a parent could go on having to deal with the unknown--is he alive? God forbid, is he dead? What happened? And 37 years ago today, my mom died in a car accident. Forever changed my life. And me, the oldest of 3 children. I can remember it like it was yesterday.

Today, I finally got Deb Thomford's cookies baked. She earned them by winning the "Who Is It?" contest in the September issue of RTC News. She requested Oatmeal Craisin cookies. I used a recipe given to me by her husband, Paul. It's very good. They're soft, puffy, and don't spread.

2-1/2 cups quick or old fashioned oatmeal
1-1/2 cups flour
2 egg whites
1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter ( softened )
1-1/2 cup dried cranberries

Place oats , flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in bowl. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy about 3 minutes. Beat in egg whites, vanilla extract , gradually. Add flour and oats mixture. Stir with wooden spoon until blended. Fold in cranberries. We use a small ice cream scoop to form medium size balls, flatten here, then bake 8 - 9 minutes at 350 degrees on parchment paper. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes, then move to a rack.

I also tried a new bread recipe. It's a batter bread.

Four-Grain Batter Bread
(from Betty Crocker's New Cookbook)

4 1/2 to 4 3/4 c. all-purpose or bread flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 pkgs. (4 1/2 tsp.) regular or quick active dry yeast
2 c. milk
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. wheat germ
1/2 c. quick-cooking oats

1. Grease bottom and sides of 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches, with shortening; sprinkle with cornmeal.
2. Mix 3 1/2 cups bread flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and yeast in a large bowl. Heat milk and water in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until very warm (120 to 130 degrees). Add milk mixture to flour mixture. Beat with electric mixer on low speed until moistened. Beat on medium speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.
3. Stir in whole wheat flour, wheat germ, oats and enough remaining bread flour to make a stiff batter. Divide bater evenly between pans. Round tops of loaves by patting with floured hands. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Cover and let rise in warm place about 30 minutes or until batter is about 1 inch below tops of pans.

4. Heat oven to 400.
5. Bake about 25 minutes or until tops of loaves are light brown. Remove from pans to wire rack; cool.
(Whole wheat batter bread: Increase whole wheat flour to 2 cups. Omit wheat germ and oats. Stir in 1 cup raisins with second addition of bread flour.)

I heard on the radio yesterday that some weather records are being broken: 1) The most rainfall ever on October 21 (1.57 inches at the airport). 2) It's been the coldest October on record. ugh.

Leann Zubay's new store, ZZest, is opening tomorrow morning. It's an enlargement and expansion of her previous business,  Culinary Market. There's also a Facebook page for the new market. It looks to be very fun!!

All for today. Tomorrow, off to WI for the North Face Endurance Challenge series. GO CINDY!!

Quote for the day: "Do good to your friends to keep them, to your enemies to win them." --Benjamin Franklin

Go. Be. Do.