Friday, May 23, 2008

First Painting and best trail run.

Well, I finished my first watercolor last night. I think it turned pretty good. I did it from a photo. It was a picture of spiral grass with 2 drops of dew dripping off the bottoms. The picture I have attached at least sort of shows the painting, I think it looks better in person but you get the general idea. I was happy with the way that it turned out and I learned a lot from it. I started my second painting last night at class and so far it is going well too. It is of a trail cairn, which is a fancy name for a pile of stones. I love rocks and Melissa and I have a number of rock piles scattered all over the place. They are very zen like.
Before my class last night I went on what ended up being my best trail run to date. I planned on going 4 miles and racing against the virtual partner again. I set the pace back to 11 minute miles for the racing partner for 4 miles and ended up running 4.37 miles in 45:51 for an average of 10:30 minute miles. I ran the hard way at the horse trail, which makes you go up instead of down the 2 biggest hills so I was VERY happy with my run and my time. I feel better every time I run that trail over there and feel I am getting stronger. This Sunday for my long run I am switching things up, I am going to go over to Terrace Oaks park and run on the hiking trail which is a 3 mile loop. I am planning on at least 4 loops for a total of 12 miles and change, but depending on how everything goes I might bump it up to 5 laps and run my own 25k. Granted Terrace Oaks isn't going as hilly as Afton will be, but it will be a great test. So that is currently my plan. But I am planning on doing at least 10 miles for sure in some form.
Should be a fun weekend, lots of biking and relaxing ahead.
More later.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Well, we had our first $50 gas fill up last night. Melissa filled up her Honda CRV and it cost $50.45... I kind of feel like I should throw a party for such a major mile stone, but I am holding off until we have our first $100 fill up. The whole gas price thing really sucks. For me I would much rather bike to work, but where we live it would just be both really hard and really dangerous to bike. The first 10 miles would be terrible, all on city streets, busy, crappy city streets, but the second half wouldn't be so bad. I don't know what to do. Is it smart to drive half way and then ride? Looks like I am going to have to get the old calculator out and crunch the numbers. MMMMMM number crunching.

In other news we took in another Twins game last night, was a really good game until the 6th when the wheels came off and Texas scored 7 runs. That was pretty much the end. Ugh, we either win big or lose huge.

Tonight, I am doing a 4 mile trail run after work. Then I will be going to my watercolor class. I have a few more things to do on my first painting so I will be starting another one tonight. I guess we have the option to work outside tonight so I will be looking for something to paint. I hope I can find a cool weed or something.

I am really looking forward to the weekend. We have a long weekend, Melissa and I both have Monday off so that will be sweet, we are getting a group together to go and do a bike ride so it could be really a fun day. I am hoping the weather holds so we can get that in.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

And so it goes and goes...

I have had a couple of great training days. The weekend turned out to be kind of a bust weather wise so I skipped running up in Duluth, I know bad trainee, but I did bike 14.9 very hard miles at Lebanon Hills Sunday when I got home, so that counts for something. This week however is starting out much better. I did a 8.25 mile trail run on Monday, which was great. The run was really good and I felt good afterward which is really what I am looking for more then anything. On my GPS thing there is a virtual race partner so I set my GPS for 8 miles with a pace of 13 minute miles. It is a really cool feature because the virtual trainer will help to keep you on pace, it tells you how far ahead or behind you are. I ended up beating him by a good distance so I was very pleased. I averaged 11:23 minute miles for the entire run. My goal for my 25k is 12-15 minute miles, that should keep me from being last and help me finish with a pretty good time. My race is still 45 days away, so I still have a lot of time to prepare but I am just really feeling out how I feel after my longer runs. Trail running is a lot harder then running on pavement. I ran that 10 miles at Lake Nokomis and felt a million times better then I did after my 8.25 mile trail run. I think more then anything it is the hills, so many, so many different sizes, the constant up and down, the un-level footing, sounds like fun doesn’t it? So far I am really enjoying it. I like trail running better then running on pavement, seems more challenging and there is always something cool to look at.

Last night Tuesday, I did a quick lap over at Lebanon on my Surly 1x1, I haven’t ridden my single speeds very much this year since I bought my Yeti so it was fun to get back on that bike. It is a great bike. Check it out here: My Surly is very fast and handles the tight twisty single track very well. It also plows over the obstacles almost as good as my 29’er… I did say almost. While I was riding Melissa did a trail run and then we met in the parking lot and had a sandwich. Tuesday night is trail work night at Lebanon. So we stayed and worked on the trail. Melissa and I both belong to MORC: I / we volunteer as often as we can to help build and maintain the mountain bike trails around the Twin Cities. It is a great organization and we have a lot of fun doing it. We have both met a lot of great people and made some good friends. Make sure to check out the website if you get a chance.

Tonight is my rest day; Melissa and I are headed to the Twins game tonight so that gives me a great excuse to rest my very tired legs. Tomorrow I am planning a short 4 mile run and then I am going to try to run 10-12 miles on the trail sometime this weekend. Also lots of biking this weekend.

More later.

Friday, May 16, 2008


This has been a very lazy week for me training wise. Well maybe I should not say lazy, I have had a bunch of stuff going on and just really haven't felt like making the time before them to run or bike. So yeah I guess it is lazy. I have managed to run about 7 miles so far this week and I am going to try to do a long run of 10 miles one day this weekend, so running wise the week will not be a total scratch. The thing that will be really sad is I will probably not log one lousy mile on my bike this week. UGH. Oh well, I guess I am looking at this week as my recovery week. My body was pretty tired after last week and I think taking it a little easier was a pretty good idea. At least I don't think it will end up hurting anything. As far as training goes this weekend I think my run will be my last long run on pavement. I think then I will be switching to running almost entirely on off road trail. I need to log more miles on off road, to prepare for the old race. I have a 5k coming up in a couple weeks that I am looking forward to. Hopefully I will have a few more 7-10 mile runs in before then so that 3 miler will seem like nothing. Next week I am planning on hitting the training a little harder, I have some bike rides planned and I am going to up my miles again and stay completely off road for running.

Melissa and I are out of town this weekend, we are heading up to Duluth for a long weekend. We both are really looking forward to getting away, relaxing and just being together. We really don't have much planned so that will be good. I like just seeing what comes along. I am hoping that I get a chance to paint while I am up there. I really want to try to do some watercolor stuff. So I hope the weather holds for that.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Busy Weekend

Another weekend is gone. It turned out to be a great weekend. Got lots of training in and Melissa and I had some fun and worked around the house as well.

Friday night after work I did my long run; I had to push it back because it rained last Tuesday night when I was going to do it, so I did it Friday instead. Turned out to be a great run, I ended up going 9.76 miles we will just call it 10 for argument sake, which is 4 laps around Lake Nokomis, I took me 1:53:21 which I was really happy with. I felt good during the entire run so it gave me confidence for my 25k. Crap maybe I will be able to do it. My pace was 11:35 miles and that is right where I want to be for my 25k. That will put me toward the end but I will not be last which my goal is. I am enjoying running, my god I never thought I would say that. It is pretty fun, I really enjoy running off road on the trails so I really think I am going to enjoy the trail run. After the run Melissa and I grabbed some dinner and then went home and hung out and relaxed. It was a fun night.

Saturday was our work around the house day. It rained outside for most of the day so it was a perfect day to do chores around the house. We ended up running some errands right away in the morning and then our project was to clean out the garage and put up some shelves. It took us about 3 hours to do the garage project but it turned out great and it really looks nice in there. I was glad that we got it out of the way on a crappy weather day, made it a lot easier to be doing that and not wanting to be outside playing.

Sunday turned out to be a perfect day weather wise. It was sunny with a little cool breeze, nice and warm in sun. Melissa and I had planned on meeting some friends and doing a nice long road bike ride. Which we ended up doing, it ended up being four of us on the ride and it was a good one. We all met at the Lake Harriet band shell and rode from Harriet, to Lake Calhoun, down the Minneapolis Greenway to the River Boulevard, then back to the Minnehaha Creek trail, and finally following that back to Lake Harriet, it was a great loop, all bike trail and turned out to be 18.33 miles. I know some of you hard core riders will say after 18 miles you are just starting to warm up, but it was a great ride for us and we had a lot of fun. It was Melissa, her friend Angela and my friend Bill and I. Our other friends Berry and Gus could not make it. Maybe next time we will get the whole crew together and ride that loop, it is really a fun ride. After the ride Melissa and I stopped and had a quick lunch and then went grocery shopping. We got home from grocery and I decided to go for a trail run, so I ended up going over to Lebanon Hills and running my loop on the horse trail. It turned out to be a great run. I went 5.76 miles which went by fairly quick. I felt good during the entire run so everything is currently looking up for the race.

This is going to be a really busy week; I am not sure unfortunately how much training I am going to be able to do for the first few days. Tonight Melissa and I are going to the Twins game, pretty much right after work, it is an early game because it is on ESPN. Tuesday night I have some plans, I might be able to get a short run in, Wednesday we have another Twins games, Thursday I have my painting class and then Friday we are headed out of town for the weekend. Which we are both looking forward to. Maybe it might be OK to rest a little this week. I plan on scattering some short runs in this week whenever I can, but I don't think I am going to get much biking in.

My tally for last week: 19.3 miles running and 30.5 miles biking.

I am toying with idea of a short course triathlon in September. Yikes, more information on that later.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Lesson Learned

So, I have learned a fairly valuable lesson; do not do a longer run on a full stomach. Yesterday I was planning on doing my long run right after work. When I left work it was raining like hell and I did not bring my rain jacket. So I decided to hold off, go home and maybe get a shorter run in at home if the rain let up. Waited for a bit and the rain did not let up, so we decided to make so dinner. Dinner by the way was really good, grilled some chops on the back up BBQ in the garage. It is always a fun time grilling in the garage. Anyway, about 20 minutes after I got done eating and done with dishes the rain had stopped, so I decide to head out, my plan was 3.75 miles which is 3 laps around the block where we live. I made the 3.75 miles in 39:11, but let’s just say they were not very fun miles. And of course it started raining fairly hard on the last lap. Ugh, remind me not to do that again. I was bummed that I had forgotten my rain jacket because I was very motivated to run 7.5 miles after work yesterday. But I am not that hardcore to run in the rain without a rain slicker. Anyway the training continues.

Tonight, I am meeting a friend of mine; he is going to help me do some adjustments on my new bike. I have ridden my Yeti a couple times and it is great, a nice smooth buttery ride, but it needs some adjustments to the gears and to the shocks and I just do not know how to do that properly, and since he owns 8 bikes he is going to show me how to do those adjustments. I am looking forward that, he is an odd fellow but a genius with mountain bikes so it will be good.

Melissa and I booked a long weekend out of town for next week. We are really looking forward to getting away. We are headed up to Duluth. I am really hoping the weather will be good so we can get outside and check stuff out. We are staying at the new Sheraton, we have a lake view room, should be really nice. The hotel is walking distance from Canal Park so that will be really nice and we should have a great view of the harbor area.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Another Weekend

It was a big training weekend. I sort of slacked on Saturday and just hung out and relaxed with Melissa, it was a nice day to just do nothing which is pretty much what we did all day. It was good because I was tired and it was nice to rest my legs for an extra day. Sunday I went for a 4 mile trail run over on the Lebanon Hills Park horse trail. I found a nice 2 mile loop so I just did a couple of laps there. I think it will be a good place to do my training runs for the Afton race; there are some big hills, both up and down so it is good practice for the race. I did the 4 miles in 44 minutes for an average of 11 minute miles which is where I want to be. My goal for the 25k is 11 to 15 minute miles, to finish and not be last, good goals huh?. After the trail run I rested for about 2 hours and then rode 14.5 miles at the Lebanon Mountain bike trails. These trails are really fun, nice singletrack with lots of obstacles, log piles, rock gardens and climbing, lots and lots of climbing, I think pretty much the first 3 miles are all up hill, which is a wonderful way to start a ride. Check out more information on this trail here: this is a great trail and always a lot of fun to ride.

Other wise it was a pretty quiet weekend. The weather looks like it is going to be nice for the next few days so I am hoping to get out riding and running my usual schedule this week.

I did have my best training week last week, so that was exciting, I ran 15.1 miles and biked 40.2 miles.

It is painful sitting here today, the sun is out and it is really nice outside today. I really would rather be doing something outside. Tonight though should be good. Melissa and I are planning a 20 mile road ride tonight. Then tomorrow is my long run day. Should be a good week for training.

Friday, May 2, 2008


Just a short entry today.

Had a great run last night went 3.75 miles, and finally had a sub – 10 minute mile average for the duration of the run. Did the whole run in 36:07 for an average of 9:38 per mile. I was very excited; I am getting a little stronger and faster each time out. I am also getting to the point were I am not sore at all on the day after the run, so everything right now is very positive. My training for the big race is going well. I do wish however that it would stop raining so I could get some miles in on the trail. Tonight is going to be my day off from exercise. So it will be nice to rest a bit.

Also my watercolor class was fun last night. I finished my first painting. It didn’t turn out very good because we ran out of time the first night and I wasn’t done with a part of it so it doesn’t look very good, but it was fun to do anyway. I started my second painting which I am hoping will be better.

Tonight I am going to the Twins game with my buddy Travis, we worked together at NACR. I am looking forward to hanging out with him tonight; we always have a lot of laughs.

More later.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Last night Melissa and I did a 12.5 mile bike ride, we rode from Lake Nokomis to Lake Harriet did a lap of Harriet and then rode back. It was a great ride, all bike trail and just had to make a couple of street crossings. So it was a nice ride. I think I have a really nice loop mapped out that will take us on the same beginning path over to Lake Calhoun, but from there it will take us to the famed Minneapolis Greenway Bike Path and back to the river parkway, we then take that down to Minnehaha Blvd. and then back to Lake Nokomis, should be about a 20 mile or so loop with lots of good places to stop for lunch or a snack. I think we are going to try to do that loop this weekend if the weather holds. So the training continues. I am also trying to plan on a day to ride my bike to work, May 14th is ride your bike to work day so I am hoping to do it then, I finally have a great route planned. I want to ride it first but I think it will be doable and fairly simple.

Tonight I am going to run after work, planning on 3.75 miles, tomorrow Friday is going to be my day off. Then I think Saturday I am going to try to do that longer bike ride and maybe a short trail run, Sunday I am thinking of a 4.5 mile run and a short bike ride I think. I am sure that will all change between now and then but currently that is the plan.

I also have my watercolor painting class tonight. I am not sure if I mentioned that or not but I am taking a 6 week watercolor class through community education at a place over in Eagan. Tonight will be my second class and I like it so far. I am the only male in the class, so I feel kind of stupid from that stand point but it is good. So far I am really enjoying it and I think it will be really fun once we get past the basics, and can do a little more on our own. It is just me and another person that are the “beginners” the other 6 people have gone through at least one other class so they just come to paint, socialize, and get some tips from the instructor. Not a bad plan.

My friend Coleen apparently bought a comfyfeast bed, and we will not hear from her any more since she will not be leaving it anytime soon. Sleep well Coleen..