Monday, July 21, 2014

A little better?

It has been over two weeks since I looked at Facebook.  I have only looking at personal e-mails two or three times.  I have discovered that the world has not changed.  I am not sure when, or if, I will look at Facebook again or clean out the e-mail box, but there is no hurry.

I did get about 140 miles biking last week.   A few rides to work and then Tour the Saints 50 mile with Shelley Sunday.  It was very difficult with 15+ mile per hour winds that seemed to change based on the direction we traveled.  Shelley still did a PR of 3:20 for the 50 miles.

I did replace several bike parts before the ride.  Replaced the rear sprocket, replaced broken spokes, new rear sprocket, removed the 28 rear / 25 front mm tires used on the Denver to Minneapolis trip back to the 25 rear / 23 front mm.  The 28 mm tire was hard to get off the bike.  I also replaced a shifter cable and adjusted the front derailleur, which was having issues.  I am glad I took the bike mechanics course so I could do the work myself.  I estimate I save $300 doing the work myself.

I have not been taking pictures lately as I have been busy at work and I had to send my D600 in for repaired.  There was a recall for sensor spots, which I started to notice the last time I used the camera.  I had shipped it out on July 5 and it was returned today (June 21).  I will test it out this weekend.

One thing I struggle with is the emotional letdown after the bike ride and finishing my 30th consecutive Grandma’s marathon.  I think I need a goal, and objective, something to strive for or I get lost.  I am concerned my body will not allow this as I have aged.  It is not as easy to recover.  I find work stress at an all time high is taking its toll as well.  We are short staffed and I have worked no less than a 55 hour week for quite some time and have logged as much as 70 hours.  I usually get to work by 6 AM and leave about 6 PM while eating through lunch.  I think I need to get perspective.

On a positive note, I actually enjoyed a few 2-mile runs.  That was a huge surprise as for the past years; I found no enjoyment in a run.  I will try this again a few times and have high hopes for a turn-around.  Either way, I need to keep going, head on, and that is all I know I can do.

How I feel when I run..  At least this is what I envision the view from others would be...

Monday, July 14, 2014

A blog is better than Facebook?

Today I was asked if I ran a 5 K race over the weekend.  I informed the person I have only run 4-5 times a year for the past few years, and one of those is Grandma’s Marathon.  As I said that, it was clear they thought I was kidding.  I think this is the direct result of something called Facebook.  Facebook seems to decide what they will post and when, unlike the blog which has details in a user defined order as opposed to snip-its.

I have become less enthused with Facebook recently.  Mostly because of how people view the definition of Social Media.  I view it as a place to express oneself.  If I am happy, frustrated or confused, I can express my thoughts.  Recently, I was the subject of ridicule over my posting about a retail firm not keeping their promise.  I had requested they reset my password and they said I would be notified in 30 minutes.  After two days, I expressed my frustration on Face book only to be attacked for expressing my thoughts.  I also have another high level mail order company who double charged me for a Christmas gift and I am still trying to sort that out.  I expressed my feeling on Facebook in January and again was attacked. 

So I have not used Facebook for a few weeks and WOW, life still goes on without the daily use.  Who would have thought?

My physical recovery from the bicycle ride from Denver followed by Grandma’s Marathon is still slow.  Over 6 weeks and I still have limited feeling in my little fingers.  My left ankle is in extreme pain most days.  I have accomplished another 150 miles of biking, but things just are not correct.  I accomplished only one commute to work since May 1.  I am thinking I should try Yoga just to get the body in some sort of balance.

Either way, my son is now working full time and seeing the difficult schedule of the post Grad School life.  Very proud of how he is approaching the challenge.  As a parent, you can’t help but be concerted, as the corporate world he is in is really a dog-eat-dog battle.

At work we are preparing for yet another legal battle.  So many issues and people to just persist on creating a legal quandary instead of just admitting the issue and moving on.  Make the job so difficult to enjoy.

Either way I will try to ride bike to work more in the coming weeks.  This whole year has been hard with rain every week and flood waters higher than I ever witnessed in July.  Also, the weather is cold, in a July.  In the morning we have 50 degrees and a high of 66, in July?

Well, we take the good and the bad and keep pushing on.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

What is next?

It has been six weeks since the 11-day Denver to Minneapolis bicycle ride and two weeks since Grandma’s Marathon.  I think that was all a little too much, but well worth the effort.  Many pains still exist.  I still do not have full feeling in the outer parts of the hands, I feel fatigued, slight right knee twinge and my painful left ankle is almost twice the size of the right ankle.  The best idea is to give it time, although I want to ride bike to work.  Not for the sake of riding, but to save miles on the car.

I will be getting up early tomorrow.  My son starts his new job.  He departs MSP airport at 6:30 AM on his way to Atlanta.  It is easier to give hi a ride, even though parking is reimbursed.  It just adds 15 or more minutes to park and then get the ride to the airport.  He returns on Thursday, late.  This same routine will continue through the next few months.  This is exciting while I am sure a little daunting.  I am so proud of him!

On another front, I shipped my Nikon D600 back to the factory.  While I was hopeful I avoided the oil spots on the sensor issue, I was not so lucky.  Fortunately Nikon does a full repair for free, including the shipping.  I am just out the camera for the next few weeks, I assume.  Before I sent the camera off for repairs, I did get some good fireworks pictures.

I also purchase the pictures from Grandma’s.  Some were pretty good.  The finish picture was the tail of two runners.  I was spend an my son looked like it was a walk…

Right now, I really need to find something to enjoy.  The letdown on the bicycle ride ending and the 30-year run at Grandma’s complete was greater than expexted.  What is next?  I am not sure, but life is les fun right now!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

30 down, not sure there will be 31

It was 30 years ago, well over half my life that I made a goal of running Grandma's Marathon and Twin Cities Marathons each for 25 consecutive years.  The postal service goofed up my Twin Cities Marathon streak at 12 when the mail sorting machine chewed up my entry and it was returned after the race.  So I have Grandma's where I am a Lifetime Entrant (I never pay a entry fee as I paid $100 in 1990)...

When I reached the 25th year, I was prepared to be satisfied reaching that goal.  Then the 2009 Grandmas's entry information date came and my son encouraged me to run with him for a 26th race. After a few minutes at the start, I think he was gone!  Then for the 27th, I decided I would run 5.24 miles and quit.  That would mean I ran 26.2 consecutive Grandma's Marathons.  My son decided to run the whole race with me so I could not quit at 5.24 miles, as this was a once in a lifetime opportunity.  But he stayed with me the whole way and I cherished that time with him.  So finishing 27 means only one thing!  The goal was now 30 consecutive finishes...  

The 30th Consecutive finish at Grandma’s marathon is complete.  I went into the week of the race thinking the two 2 mile runs, a 4 mile run and a 5-mile training run in the 2 weeks before the race was inadequate to finish.  For the past three years I think I logged less than 15 miles running between each Grandma's.  I do bike and walk, running has lost all its allure and I generally hate even a mile run.  Walking is now even that enjoyable.

This year, Jordan was going to run the race with me.  We left for Duluth on Friday at about 2:00 PM.  It was just us as Shelley had plans with her parents in Lincoln, Nebraska and my sister has not been able to make the race in years.  We arrived to heavy fog and 48 degrees at 5:15 PM (traffic was horrible) and quickly picked up our packets.  We walked around Canal Park freezing!  Jordan had won Spaghetti tickets so we ate a below average meal and headed to the car to sleep.  By 10:30 PM we were sleeping.


I woke at 4:00 AM and the forecast for the race was dismal.  Cold, rain and winds.  The only thing that could have made the weather look worse was snow.  Thank GOD that did not happen!  

Jordan woke at 5:00 AM and we were headed to the train by 5:25 AM.  We made it to the start with about 45 minutes to prepare.  All went well as we were contemplating what to wear.  I went with a really this shirt with arm warmers and Jordan went for the double layer short sleeve.  We even each had made it through the Biffy lines and lined up a 10 minutes before the start.

When we started, I felt like I imagine the tin man from Wizard of Oz as far as needing oil.  Just was not feeling smooth.  First mile was 11:29 and every mile was slower until mile 9 and 10 we gained about 30 seconds a mile.  Then we basically were in a run/walk and 16 minute miles to the finish.  At Mile 23, I was very nervous about finishing.  Cramps started and I used all the mental capacity I had to vary the strides and paces to hold them off.  I was concerned I would get a charlie horse which would eliminate the chance to finish.  Wisely we chose to take it easy.

As a side note, between Mile 11 and 16, there were several times I was going to quit.  I was hurting all over and very cold.  Mentally, I am not as strong as I once was and this made the race hard.  Jordan was just hanging with me for support, although at times he would unknowingly cause me to have issues as he would continually ask how I was doing.  To answer, I could not longer block out the pain.  My left ankle was in heavy pain and I felt cramp like twinges in various muscles from mile 12.

In the end, 6:36:48 where last year I was 6:33:59.  So I guess I was consistent.   

I really like the medal this year!
The only issue I have now is what is left.  This is a time where it is easy to get depressed as I am running out of goals to keep me going. I need goal to live.  Someone asked me why I do this or why I rode my bicycle from Denver to Minneapolis, I tell them, it reminds me I am still alive.  This is the only reason 31 is in my mind, but I am realizing that less than 15 miles of training is not going to cut it and I despise running, so not sure which one will win out?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

I am on my way

I am on my way out of the State of Minnesota heading to Colorado.  As the sign on my office wall says, "I am biking to work...  FROM DENVER, COLORADO and I hope to see you June 2, 2014."

Hard to believe the ride is here.  The plan is to leave on Saturday morning.  I drove the route back last Saturday and had to make many changes.  Based on topography, prevailing winds and other factors, my plan is as follows:

From Golden
96 Miles
60 Miles
89 Miles
86 Miles
64 Miles
66 Miles
73 Miles
45 Miles
45 Miles
83 Miles
80 Miles
75 Miles
71 Miles

934 Miles

71.9 Miles

I have a Blog set up for the trip.  It is   I have excitement, fear, concern, confidence and doubt.  Much like the 100 mile ultra marathon attempts.  One thing for sure, when I finish, it will be a great accomplishment.  Another thing is after months of 60-70 hour work weeks, this will be a welcomed and much needed break.