Friday, September 30, 2011


Can you smell it? It's that time of year again - fall! That means two things; 1) cross country season and 2) marathons.

For the second year in a row I'm the Program Director and co-coach the Eastview Athletic Association's 3rd-6th grade program. It's hard to believe our season is almost over. We have our final meet tonight and then we have a final practice on Monday. We run a time trial at our second practice and another one at our final practice, which allows us to see how much the kids (hopefully) improve during the season.

Here's a photo of the troops this year. I decided to stray from the traditional Eastview colors of black, blue and white. I figured neon green and yellow would be more fun. A huge thanks to Adam and his crew at TCRC. As I told Adam, without his support the kids would be wearing cotton t-shirts and getting dum-dum suckers for rewards.

We were at a meet last Saturday for 5th and 6th graders and one of the girls on another team wore her iPod during the 1 mile race. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but I thought it was a little sad that she couldn't "unplug" for 10 minutes.

It's TCM weekend here too. I'll be out there cheering for both the 10-mile and marathon. I'm thinking about heading to the Expo just to check things out - maybe take in the elite press conference. Good luck to all the racers.

A few posts ago I mentioned that Lauren Fleshman is my new favorite runner. Apparantly the folks at Runner's World took note of my post and contacted Lauren because she'll be on the next cover. Lauren's so pumped that she'll even sign your cover if you send it to her.

One of the things I like about Lauren's journal is how she talks about the mental side of the sport and the belief she has in herself. She's even gone so far as to create a Believe I am website with apparel and what looks to be a cool training diary.

Quote of the day;

"My natural tendency is to fill my cup to the point of overflowing. I’ll just keep on pouring it in until I flood the whole damn kitchen. I’ve been that way since high school when I was taking five honors classes alongside cross country and working at In-N-Out Burger. I’d like to blame my parents for this but they are reasonable, laid back people who were always telling me to “chill the F out.” Since becoming a pro runner, I’ve had to learn to be extremely choosy about what to pour in my cup (I no longer waste my efforts on things that I’m not passionate about like I did in high school). I don’t like to be busy for the sake of being busy, but alas, for me to be “fulfilled,” I need to be “full” and “filled”." - Lauren Fleshman

Friday, September 23, 2011


Well, it seems to be all or nothing lately. I basically stopped P90X, cold turkey, and switched back to running. The whole time I was doing P90X, I was singing the praises of the added strength, balance, flexibility, etc. I’d think things like “No matter what, I have to keep these kinds of workouts in my fitness plan.” That being said, I haven’t done a P90X workout in 10 days. However, I’ve watched my weekly mileage go from 0 to 20 to 30 to 40. I didn’t really plan any of this, it just sort of coincided with my favorite running weather.

So far my body is holding together fairly well. My knee is still a little wonky, but all the other aches and pains associated with going from 0 to 40 MPW have taken my mind off my knee.

While I feel stronger, it’s no surprise that a 2 month break from running has hurt my cardio. I don’t care that P90X folks call Kenpo (their kickboxing workout) a cardio workout. It can’t replace a good old fashioned run.

Losing cardio fitness definitely has an impact on group runs. During this morning’s trail run, I was dropped within 2 miles. I took a short cut and ended up running 7 miles in the time everyone else ran 8.

Before my layoff I had thoughts of trying to get back into racing shape, then I shut things down and thought I had no desire to race again. Now I really have no idea what to expect, so I won’t make any more predictions – at least not for awhile.

Off topic, I’m wondering why there are a couple of blogs that I can’t comment on. They are blogspot blogs and everytime I go to comment, it makes me log in. Then it says I’m “anonymous” even though I select my user account. And then when I go to post anonymously, it sends me back to the log in screen and it’s a vicious cycle. Anyone else experience this?

Finally, here’s the QOD from the feel-good story of the week.

Quote of the Day;

"I didn't think about my race, I knew I needed to stop and help him. It was something I would expect my other teammates to do. I'm nothing special; I was just in the right place at the right time." - Josh Ripley

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Ah yes, this is a “running” blog, so what’s new on that front?

My right knee was driving me crazy and I basically shut things down on July 8th. On July 18th I switched my focus to P90X. Typically, that’d mean I’m on week #9 of the program. However, back in August I was busy installing our floor, plus we went to the Brainerd Lakes area for 4 days. So I basically took a whole week off and just jumped back in once we got back. In any case, I’m on like day 52 right now. I wouldn’t say I’ve followed the program to a “T”, but I’ve probably done 90-95% of the workouts.

Oh yea, back to running. After 7 weeks off, I ended up going for a 4 mile run while in Brainerd – mainly because I just felt like it. I wouldn’t say the knee hurt, but it felt “funny”. I took another week off. Then without really thinking about it, I ended up with 21 miles last week. Obviously, relatively speaking, that’s not much at all. But maybe I’m heading in the right direction. P90X will continue towards the end of October. Perhaps I can continue mixing in 30 MPW of running. Once P90X is complete, I can switch to roller skiing and get ready for the snow. The knee still isn’t 100%, but I’ll let it ride and see what happens. If it’s not “fixed” after 8 weeks off, there’s a bigger problem.

Quote of the Day;

“We are lined up and led single file through various tunnels and small passageways through the belly of the stadium to a ladder that will pop us up 100 meters from the 5k start. Music and cheering gets louder as we approach the ladder until the sounds from up there make us forget we were chit chatting with the woman next to us, and the vibration of the arena seduces the performer in most of us and paralyzes a few with fear. A Japanese girl next to me starts shaking, pulling her hands to her face and groaning quietly, and I am distracted for a moment with empathy for her. I’ve been there and it’s awful. But in this moment, I look up towards the source of the vibration with wanting.”- Lauren Fleshman – talking about being led to the start of the World Championship 5,000m final

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Here are the much anticipated "before and after" photos from our recent home remodeling project. What was originally conceived as a new kitched turned into bascially a new whole lower level. The only things we didn't touch were our computer room and the mud room.

View upon entrying the front of our house - family room with vaulted ceiling and built-in shelving. The wall to my right will be removed.

New view from our entryway.

Looking back towards our front door.

Old living room.

Now it's a dining room.

Look into the kitchen - note the wall off to the right and the 2 peninsulas.

The wall is gone and we extended this penisula to make it a breakfast bar. And added pendant lights.

Looking through the old kitchen and into the dining room. Note the dome light.

Laminate counter top is now granite, second penisula is gone and new cherry cabinets.

Looking through the kitchen the other way and into the living room. Notice the floor.

New floor, penisula taken out, and new antique hutch.

Messy desk and refrigerator.

Cleaner looking area without the desk.

Old dining room.

New sitting room.

Recessed lighting. Also, since we lost some cabinet space when we removed the wall in the kitchen and the penisula, we decided to extend our new cabinets up to the ceiling. In the end, I think we ended up with more cabinet space. Of course, some of it requires the use of a step-stool.

My wife and I painted the new dining room, kitchen and sitting room and I installed the floor - otherwise we can't take any credit. Overall, it seemed to take longer than we initially thought, so it's nice to finally be done.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011


Maybe it’s just mine, but it sure feels like blogs are dying. When I first started this thing 6 ½ years ago they seemed pretty new. Now I think everyone that had a blog back then has stopped updating it. I haven’t decided to stop, but obviously, updating it has become sporadic. I feel like I finally have some stuff to share, so here it goes;

It’s not every day I get to interview a member of the U.S. Track and Field team competing at the world meet. While my latest interview is not of a runner, it’s still worth checking out.

Speaking of interviews, years ago I interviewed Kara and Laurie. At the time they were going around sharing their secrets to balancing exercise and motherhood at various expos. Well, those secrets have evolved into a book; Hot (Sweaty) Mamas. I happened to find a copy at our library and decided to check it out. I was pleasantly surprised and ended up writing the following review;

Guys like Hot Sweaty Mamas too!

"This book is not just for women. I found it informative, funny, entertaining and insightful. I love the Mom2Mom quotes as well as Kara and Laurie's personal examples. The appendix is loaded with great lists and resources, along with a fitness challenge, priority inventory, and a great "sweat decision tree" which lets you know when it's okay to miss a workout or when you'd better suck it up and sweat.

As a running dad of 2 girls I tend to exercise early in the morning before they're awake. This book has made me realize it's okay for them to see me exercise and it's okay for me to involve them with my exercise routine."
If you want to check out more of their writing, you can check them out at Laurie’s blog and Kara’s blog. Then go pick up the book.

Finally, I hope you made it down this far because I want to share with you my new favorite runner, or perhaps new favorite writer. As a fan of this sport, I have lots of favorite runners. Over the weekend I added Lauren Fleshman to that list. I’ve been aware of Lauren for years, but I happened to come across her journal entry which described her day leading up to the finals in the 5,000m at the world meet. As someone who’s biggest events were a couple of conference meets, it’s interesting to read about life at the elite level. I enjoyed that post so much that I’ve been going back and reading all her post for the last 2 years or so. I’m guessing you’ll hear more about her writing here soon.

So maybe blogs aren’t dead.

Quote of the Day;

“I am barely surviving, reaching into the corners of the toothpaste tube to squeeze out just a little bit more, and I catch one more woman right before the finish line. I didn’t know who won, who got medals, who I pipped at the line, what time I ran, or what place I finished. Complete immersion into maximum effort drowned out all my senses.” - Lauren Fleshman