Posted on Mar 03, 2014 under 30Days, Bike, Cross-Training | No Comment
For the past few years I’ve signed up for the 30 Days of Biking Challenge. It is a great way to kick-off spring and there have been some really cool stories through the years of people being inspired to ride and having their lives changed. I missed the inaugural event due to Lyme disease, but have participated every year since.
In 2012, I was doing Project 365 – taking a picture each day – and dedicated April to taking a bike related picture each day!
Registration for this year’s event opened on March 1 and I was rider number 265 to sign up!
Here is my confirmation:
And my “pledge card”!
Of course I’m dedicating my riding and running this year to raising money for clean water projects in the Congo. Your support of any amount is greatly appreciated!
Posted on Mar 01, 2014 under 30Days | No Comment
February didn’t go quite as I had planned. I started out pretty good, but quickly realized that I couldn’t do the 7 minute workout each day without getting injured. So I revised the plan to do either the 7 minute workout or the Lolo Jones workout each day. I did corework on at least 20 of the 28 days in February, I tried to keep accurate records but didn’t always remember t0. I totally forgot once, remembered while laying in bed at least once, and then got sick last weekend… Now I just need to kick myself back into it and continue doing core work!
Overall, February has been a long month. One of the coldest and snowiest years on record for the Twin Cities has meant many cold runs and hard to pull yourself out of bed mornings. And lots of shoveling snow. March is traditionally the snowiest month, so that should be interesting! I think we’ve had 3 days above freezing in 2014 and something like 40 days that have been sub-zero at some point during the day. We’ve also had an unprecedented 6 days with no school. Ugh! We have done our best to embrace winter, Art Shanties, Ice Caves, and snowshoeing, but all the super-cold has meant that it has been hard to get the kids out to enjoy the cold weather!
5 trainer rides – I had hoped for 8.
Ran 33 miles – I had hoped for 50.
Here’s hoping March will be a better month. With changes in our schedule, I was hoping to be able to start biking to work – but it looks like there will be snow and ice on the roads for the foreseeable future. I still have my old steel road bike and I might try to get it ready for winter biking.
March 30 Day Challenge
My 30 Day Challenge for March is:
Unsubscribe, de-friend, unfollow - Time for some spring cleaning. Clean out your inbox or news feed by getting rid of some unwanted/unneeded clutter!
This can be done all at once or each day. I think I’m going to focus on one area each week and get rid of 7 things. So today I’ll unsubscribe from 7 e-mail newsletters, next week 7 Twitter Followers, then 7 Facebook friends, then 7 RSS feeds. Then I’ll just find 3 more things to get rid of! When I did this before I found that once you start it is hard to stop! I think the hardest challenge will be the RSS feeds, but that will potentially have the most time saving focus for me!
- I would like to continue doing core work every other day 16/31 days.
- I would like to hit 50 miles running miles for the month.
- I would like to ride my bike at least 10 times this month (hopefully some outside).
How did you do on your February goals? What do you have planned for March?
Posted on Feb 24, 2014 under 4 Mile, Winter | No Comment
This past weekend we visited the Apostle Island Ice Caves and spend the night on Madeline Island. Yes the Ice Caves are stunning and I’d recommend checking them out if you can sneak away before the ice melts!
Normally there is a ferry that runs between Bayfield, WI and La Pointe, WI which the town on Madeline Island. However during the winter there is an approximately 2 mile road that gets plowed between the two towns. This is a fairly wide road and gets closed due to high wind and snow as the crews work to plow it out. When we left Saturday morning both the Ice Caves and Ice Road were closed, fortunately they were both open and ready for us when we got to them!
I was hoping to run on the Ice Road, but the place we were staying was a little too far and I didn’t have enough time for a longer run. I do recommend that if you are looking for a place to stay on Madeline Island that you check out Paul on AirBnB.com
Every year there is a big race across the Ice Road. The race is a 4.2 mile out and back on the Ice Road. The 20th Annual Run on Water will be held March 2, 2014 and by all appearances looks like a fun event.
From their website:
The 20th annual “Run on Water” is a family fun event open to people of all ages and skill levels. Participants can choose to run, walk, ski, snowshoe, bike, skate or even skijor the 4.2-mile course on the famous “ice road” across frozen Lake Superior from Bayfield to Madeline Island and back. The race will start on the Bayfield side. Participants must go around a stake on the Madeline Island side about 2.1 miles away, then return to the start. Participants can choose their own course to turn the stake – on the ice road, off the ice road, straight or curving. All entrants will be started and timed together. Awards will be given to the top runners in age/gender group categories, and the fastest finishers in non-running modes.
One of these years we’ll go up for the Bayfield Winter Festival and I’ll get a run across the Ice Road. The festival looks to be a lot of winter crazy fun. Have you ever been to the Festival or run across the Ice Road? Or any ice races?
Posted on Feb 17, 2014 under Equipment, Information, Product Review | No Comment
Stridebox is celebrating their 1st birthday!
From their Facebook page:
I first signed up for Stridebox after seeing a post on Running is Funny. Who wouldn’t want a box of running related stuff sent to them each month?
It was a great deal and I got lots of good sample products in the mail. But late last year I needed to cancel my subscriber as we were trying to cut costs. So imagine my surprise/confusion a few weeks ago when I got a box in the mail with Stridebox on the side.
As a birthday present to themselves they sent anyone who had been a subscriber a free box!!
For their birthday they sent me Clean Bottle’s The Runner, About Time Whey Protein Isolate – Birthday Cake flavored, a reflective snap bracelet, and a nice birthday card!
You should check out Stridebox!!
Posted on Feb 01, 2014 under 30Days | No Comment
7 (Photo credit: mag3737)
I exceeded my January Challenge of “Get rid of something every day”!
During the last few days of Christmas (winter) break I was able to do some cleaning in the basement. When Caleb was born we basically took all the stuff from his room into the basement! I threw away some broken baby equipment, broken electronics, and some other junk. I also created several boxes of garage sale stuff that will go to my school’s annual garage sale. I added some books and clothes to round up the variety of other stuff!
I lost track of how much stuff I actually got rid of but it was definitely over 31 items. Did you participate? What did you get rid of?
I also took on the January Challenge of running 50 miles laid out by Minneapolis Running. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite make it. I ran 39 miles total. I was on track and then one Sunday I hurt my back getting Caleb out of the Rav4. I took almost a week off and then did an easy run. Looking at the calendar of my workouts they are all over the place! The biggest challenge to consistency has been my wife’s work schedule and then the ridiculous weather we’ve been having. Though some of my runs were actually on days when school was cancelled and day care was open!!
I also did 1 bike workout a week with the longest being 1:15. And a couple of snowshoes!
Looking into February my challenge is to do the 7 minute workout each day! If you haven’t heard about the 7 minute work out the New York Times has a nice article about it. It is basically doing 12 exercises for 30 seconds each. The exception in the app I’m using is that side planks are held for 20 seconds on each side. The American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal has an article about programs similar to the 7 minute workout and has this to say about it:
The following is an example of a 12-station HICT program. All exercises can be done with body weight and implements easily acquired in almost any setting (e.g., home, office, hotel room, etc.). The exercise order allows for a total body exercise to significantly increase the heart rate while the lower, upper, and core exercises function to maintain the increased heart rate while developing strength.
Exercises are performed for 30 seconds, with 10 seconds of transition time between bouts. Total time for the entire circuit workout is approximately 7 minutes. The circuit can be repeated 2 to 3 times.
1. Jumping jacks Total body
2. Wall sit Lower body
3. Push-up Upper body
4. Abdominal crunch Core
5. Step-up onto chair Total body
6. Squat Lower body
7. Triceps dip on chair Upper body
8. Plank Core
9. High knees/running in place Total body
10. Lunge Lower body
11. Push-up and rotation Upper body
12. Side plank Core
The article doesn’t actually highlight the strength building aspects of the workout but does seem to indicate that overall health markers such as insulin and VO2Max can improve with a High Intensity Circuit Training workout. There are also clear fat-loss benefits.
Right now we have the “Seven” app on our iPad to do the 7-minute workout. Right now that is working pretty well. It has a tracker but you have to do the workouts within at least 48 hours of each other or it will delete the record. Which app do you use for the 7 minute workout?
Incidentally, Minneapolis Running also decided to do a strength (core) challenge for February. They offer 5 great core workouts to try. Their challenge is every other day. I’ve done the Lolo Jones workout that they highlight and it is a good one!
For February my running goals will be to hit 50 miles this month and to average 2 bike workouts a week!
How did you do on your January goals? What do you have in store for February?
Posted on Jan 27, 2014 under Equipment, Information, Training | No Comment
This winter I started using Instagram as a way to log my workouts. You have to be a little bit creative in using pictures to showcase your runs. It definitely helps if you have scenic or photo-worthy places to go! It is actually super-easy to do, especially now that most runners always have their cell phone with them.
All you need is your cell phone and a few apps. You could do it without your phone but the beauty of it is taking pictures while running and its simplicity. I have a LG Optimus G which has a 13 MP camera which takes some great shots!!
Since I have an Android phone I’m going to talk about Android apps and give links to the Google Play store. I’m sure all you Apple lovers can find the same apps in iTunes too!
Obviously you need the Instagram app. I just use my phone’s standard camera app, but you could install a different one if you wanted. I use Strava Cycling to record my run. To record the weather for the run, I use the Weather Channel app. Last but not least, I use Photogrid-Collage Maker to the make the collages of pictures. I think most phones now have built in screen capturing (shot) but if yours doesn’t you will need one.
Now that you have all the apps installed you are ready to run!! Here’s what I do:
- Screenshot of the weather (usually before I leave, I might afterwards if it is more dramatic!).
- Start Strava and run.
- Take a few pictures along the way.
- Take a selfie picture either at the end or at a special spot along the way.
- Finish run and take a screenshot of the Strava Results page (includes map, time, distance).
- Make a collage of the best pictures and screenshots in Photogrid, saving the collage.
- Use Instagram to enhance the image, writing a brief statement about the run, making sure to include #runlog and #running hashtags. You can add others too. And if appropriate make sure to include the proper location. Then I post to the social media sites that I want, usually Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.
- Log my run in RunningAhead.
What creative ways have you found to log your runs?
Posted on Jan 20, 2014 under Random Thoughts | No Comment
Its probably cliche to write about MLK today, but he and his legacy are on my mind.
This is a quote that was used as the basis for the message yesterday church:
What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.
I find it interesting that when you look back at what King said and fought for, he wasn’t just fighting for the rights of African-Americans. His words are ultimately appropriate for every type of injustice. The civil rights movement is for more than freedom and equality of black people, but freedom and equality for all people.
We are all truly equal no matter who we are. The Bible says we are all created equal and in God’s image. If we were all created equal then we should all be able to live as equals in a free society. Sadly this doesn’t occur. There are still currently significant gaps in every indicator across racial lines. And there are still people and states trying to take away the rights of equality (same-sex marriage).
King also says:
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
For a long time this quote was the signature on my e-mail:
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
I have been given great privilege in my life, by being born into a middle-class white family. Sure my parents were divorced and we struggled to make ends meet, but my existence and future was never threatened in the same way of my neighbors and friends now. It is easy to sit on the couch, listen to the news, and to shake our heads about those poor people. But have you thought about the ways you are contributing to their “poorness?”
If you aren’t actively pursuing righteousness or justice then who are you serving? The oppressor?
We need to continue the fight that has not ended. It is amazing that we have a Black president. There are millions of successful African-American men and women. But there are still millions more African-American, Latino, Asian, African-born men, women, and children who are stuck in an oppressive system with no clear path out.
Part of the way out is for you and me to realize our role and our family’s role as oppressors. I had relatives who owned slaves. I had relatives who fought on both sides of the Civil War. I had and have relatives who aren’t necessarily racist in the “evil” sense of the word, but who haven’t thought and fought through the stereotypes they have. This quote from King sums that up:
Many of the ugly pages of American history have been obscured and forgotten. A society is always eager to cover misdeeds with a cloak of forgetfulness, but no society can fully repress an ugly past when the ravages persist into the present. America owes a debt of justice which it has only begun to pay. If it loses the will to finish or slackens in its determination, history will recall its crimes and the country that would be great will lack the most element of greatness — justice.
In many places King’s dream has come true. Our daughter enjoys playing with children from all walks of life at church, on the playground, and at our English class. We hope and pray that she’ll continue to build these relationships and to not let color, economic background, or fear to get in her way of friendship and love.
At the bear minimum we need to find love. Love for the kid who has a messed up family life and can’t help the fact that he’s too tired to learn at school. Love for the woman who doesn’t know anything but abuse and so abuses her kids. Love for the man who never had any one show him how to be a man without exerting his strength on a weaker person. Love for people who don’t have conflict resolution skills outside of fists and weapons.
Love drives out fear and we need to replace hate and fear with love:
“Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.”
Along with hate and fear comes the unknown. But I think deep down we all know when something is right or wrong. I do believe that we are all born in the image of God. With that comes the innate sense of right and wrong. How many little kids do you know that have a clear sense of fairness or justice? It becomes warped through time as they get older and see the corruptness around them. But I do think that even as it has been corrupted we still have it inside of us and can fight for what is right.
Cowardice asks the question, “Is it safe?” Expediency asks the question, “Is it politic?” And Vanity comes along and asks the question, “Is it popular?” But Conscience asks the question “Is it right?” And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right.
Will you stand today on the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and fight for what is right today?