Sunday, October 31, 2010

My New Second Favorite Holiday!

This has been a great weekend.  I have never really been a big fan of Halloween ever since I was a little tyke...until now!  I'm still not sure how this whole trick-or-treating thing works here in the big city, but when I was growing up in small-town Crookston, 99% of houses had their lights on and gave out candy.  the 1% of houses that didn't were definitely the "mean" houses.  And they weren't just mean on lasted all year long.  So needless to say, I have been determined this year not to be "that guy".  Too many little kids are in need of candy tonight.

So this afternoon I made a trip to the Home Depot and bought a new doorbell, since my old one never worked.  I stopped by Target and bought WAY too much candy...good thing since I've eaten as much as I've given out.  Then got two pumpkins to put on the steps.  And after a lot of anxious waiting with a really huge foam Texas hat on, these cute little kids in costumes have finally arrived!  Loving it. 

In other news, it's been fun getting back into some pretty good weeks of running the last few weeks.  Spent the day out at Surf the Murph yesterday watching a bunch of friends run the 50 miler.  It was great hanging around the race, and ended up with 22 or so miles of wandering around out there with the guys.  I was real excited for Jorge, Joe, and Dylan since I get to train with those guys a lot...was awesome seeing a bunch of other friends and familiar faces out there too.

Tomorrow is Day 1 of marathon training.  Still not sure which one, but will be something in February down south.  It'll be good to break up the Minnesota winter and change up the old routine a bit.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Volunteering and Cheering at TCM

Four years ago this past weekend was my first ever marathon.  Ever since then, Twin Cities Marathon weekend has never failed to bring some awesome memories and fun times.  Part of me was really jealous of all the runners on a perfect day, but I think a bigger part of me had a whole lot of fun watching and cheering them all on this year.

Volunteering on Saturday:
For the third year in a row now for me, the TCM excitement started the day before the Marathon at the TC Saturday Events.  My good friend and co-worker Irene and I are co-volunteer coordinators for the TC 5K, TC 10K, and TC Saturday Events at the Capitol.  If you've never been out to the Saturday Events, next year you definitely have to come over to St. Paul to experience the fun.  There is literally something for everyone here.  The day starts with the TC 10K and then the 5K.  After that comes the kids and family 1 mile, then the half mile.  Then everything finishes with the Mascot race, Toddler Trot, and Diaper Dash.  If none of that works for you, I will recruit you to volunteer!  It's a fun day and glad it could be so nice with the sun warming things up for the kids events.
Kids lining up on John Ireland Blvd for the 1 mile and 1/2 mile!
We had more volunteers than ever this year - about 200!  That's in large part thanks to about 100 college students from all across the Midwest from Students Today Leaders Forever (STLF) - the organization Irene and I both work for.  It's funny how our STLF Fall Conference this year just happened to be the same weekend that Irene and I needed to recruit a ton of helps to have a say in the scheduling.  We had a great group of high school students from our friends at Genesys Works out there again this year as well!  Overall things went really well...we seem to get a little better organized each year but always have ideas for the future.

Cheering on Sunday:
I met up with Joe and his mom at mile 2.5 at about 8:00, and we didn't have long to wait before the first wheelers and lead runners came by...and since it was so early on everyone else followed real quickly.  We had about a dozen friends running who we were looking out for, but was hard to see them all in the crowds of runners early on.  The next stop was the Team Ortho party at mile 19.5 where they were much more spread out.  It was so awesome seeing friends looking good going through here en route to great races - PRs for Nick, Dylan, and Jeff, a great first Boston Qualifier for Matt, and everyone else running steady and having fun.  There's something special about being with someone on so many training runs and knowing what the race means to them, then seeing them go out and get their goal.  Whether you're a runner or not, I couldn't imagine watching a marathon and not being many great stories.

And the Recovery Continues...Still:
As for life after Sawtooth, it has been a very good lesson in patience.  All year I've been used to bouncing back from ultras and being able to run 80-100 miles the next week, but I have now learned 102.6 miles of the Superior Trail can really take a toll on a guy.  I think I've run about 75 or 80 miles in the three and a half weeks since the race and taken about 10 days off total.  I've been mostly working on getting the right knee to come around and the IT Band loosened up before running too much again.  It is gradually getting better so hope to get some good fall trail running in the next several weeks if all goes well.  In the meantime I will be cheering on the Twins!