Saturday, June 30, 2007

A bit off topic but

I picked up an Apple iPhone yesterday and it is very slick.  Of course nothing is perfect but as a first phone, Apple did a stupendous job and made the other hand held companies look like complete jackasses.  iPhone reviews are plentiful.  Our friend John Gruber at Daring Fireball and The Macalope are but a few of the thousands of reviews you can read.
The interesting part happened in the line.  I waited outside an AT&T store in Eden Prairie and got to stand next to Mark Madsen of the Minnesota Timberwolves.  It was very cool.  And for you doubters, here's proof.

He's a very cool guy.  Very down-to-earth.  Oh, and he only had that ring because he finished up a basketball camp and the kids wanted to see it.

Just wanted to share the love.  More training begins this evening:  a few laps in the pool and maybe a few miles on the road.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Tour de Tonka 30 mile loop

For those of you who may be getting huffy because everything that's been posted is about running, I have a few biking routes to put up here.

For the first time, I'll be participating in bike rides and races this year.  It's all part of the master plan to get ready for my first triathlon and eventually participate in an Ironman competition.  But like all good things in life, first things first.

This is [almost] the entire 33 mile loop of the Tour de Tonka around Lake Minnetonka.  I say almost because I missed one turn and therefore missed about 3 miles of the actual route.  And since the part of the race I missed was close to the end, what you see is essentially the whole thing.

This training run was my attempt to actually lay out the course for myself so I know where I'm going when it comes time to ride day.  The people who put the ride on don't actually have a map layout of the course.  They only provide a turn by turn explanation of the ride.  So I took the liberty of plotting out the course.  I hope this is useful for some of you.

Run Charleviox 26.2

In terms of course beauty and diversity this race earns a solid F.  It was an out-and-back marathon TWICE.  There's nothing like watching the elite athletes blow by you two separate times.

I can't be too harsh because this was the first running of the marathon and while improvements can (and should) be made, the administration was handled very well.

This races was more of a focus on heart rate training.  I've been neglecting my heart rate which is exactly the wrong thing to do.  So now I'm stuck running marathons much slower than I can so I can strengthen my heart.  It's really tough to hold myself back but in the long run it will pay off big.


This is a nice run that literally goes through my back yard.  It's actually quite challenging.  The race starts in Hopkins and makes two small loops after which we make two larger loops.  On each of the larger loops is a huge hill that really challenges a runner to a very good workout.

Living in the area I run this hill frequently and knew exactly what to expect.

Apparently an olympic athlete from Minnesota used to train on this exact same course.  After completing it I can see why he was an olympian.

2nd Annual Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge

Since my parents and brother have moved down to Florida, my sister lives in Ohio, and I live in Minneapolis, it's tough to get the family together for any occasion.  Money is often tight between all of us so I came up with a great idea:  at the beginning of January let's get together at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Immediately this may sound like a completely contradictory idea.  If money is tight, why go to one of the most expensive places on Earth?  A few reasons why this isn't meant to be as much of a penny pincher's nightmare include
  1. We all know it is going to happen so we can save for the event for a whole year.
  2. We don't buy each other presents or make other types of purchases during the year.  This lets us save a little more green.
  3. Disney's Marathon weekend just happens to be at the same time that we meet at the resort each year.
Being the oldest child with a family spread out all across the country and a mother whose soul is tormented by not being able to see her kids, I tried to think of the most convenient way we could all get together during this time.  As any responsible kid, I also realize that while I love my parents to death and wouldn't trade them for anything, too much family time is a very realistic problem and one that must be addressed.

The very real problem here involves balancing 3 different finances, 3 different schedules, the avoidance of too much family time, and getting everyone together without bankrupting everyone during the Christmas season.

In my search for an answer I discovered the Walt Disney World marathon weekend.  The answer literally fell in my lap.  The marathon weekend is typically the first weekend of January.  This answers the problem of getting everyone together for Christmas.

The only people paying for plane tickets would be me and my sister.  We can easily afford those.  Hotel costs are a necessary evil but I'm more than happy with staying at the low cost, budget Disney accommodations.  Plus, my parents can afford that and I can even help them pay for it.  So finances are taken care of.

Everyone knows about this weekend event a year in advance so time is not an issue.

Finally, too much family time is easily taken care of because I have to run the half and full marathons so there's  lots of prep time and lots of recovery time.

So, in January 2007, I ran Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge.  That involves running the half marathon on Saturday followed by the marathon on Sunday.  It was a lot of fun.  Here are the maps if you're interested in seeing.

What a lot of fun that was.  Pictures will follow but I wanted to get this up there for you all to see.

25th Annual Twin Cities Marathon

For my first post, I thought it would be most fitting to start with my first marathon.  At the beginning of each October, the Twin Cities Marathon is run through the beautiful urban areas of Minneapolis & St. Paul.  The race begins at the Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis and ends at the state capitol in St. Paul.  Along the way we run around some gorgeous lakes, neighborhoods, and other natural attractions.  Check out the course:

Ironically, this is the best marathon I've run to date and it was also the most painful.  Hopefully with some heart rate training I'll be able to run much more solid races.  But until then I'll have to keep a tight leash on myself and keep that heart rate down.