Monthly Archives: September 2008

Spirit of the Marathon at Twin Cities Marathon

If you are traveling to the Twin Cities for this fall’s Twin Cities Marathon you must go see Spirit of the Marathon while you are here.

“But I’ve already seen it?” you say.  Did you see it at a 1950’s style movie theater?

I didn’t think so.  Spirit of the Marathon is being played at the Riverview Theater in South Minneapolis.

Riverview Theater

Riverview Theater

We saw the movie when it first came out this winter and I enjoyed it.  My wife liked it too, but not as much as me!

To refresh your memory a bit, here is an excerpt from the website about the movie

[A] first ever non-fiction feature film to capture the drama and essence of the famed 26.2 mile running event. Filmed on four continents, the production brings together a diverse cast of amateur athletes and marathon luminaries. As six unique stories unfold, each runner prepares for and ultimately faces the challenge of the Chicago Marathon. More than a sports program, Spirit of the Marathon is an inspirational journey of perseverance and personal triumph; a spectacle that will be embraced by runners and non-runners alike.

Along with citizen athletes, the movie features Deanna Kastor and Daniel Njenga.

DVD Release

A DVD with the movie and other goodies will be available after October 7.  If you order now you can get an autographed copy of the DVD.  Visit the store to find out more information.  While there you can also purchase a variety of other paraphenila.

[tags] Spirit of the Marathon, Marathon, Twin Cities Marathon [/tags]

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Marathon Training: Week 17

Img from flickr.

This was the first full week of taper.  I haven’t felt too much taper madeness, yet. This could be because life has been so busy.  I had to work late 2x’s and went to a community fair on Saturday. Yuck!! But I can’t really complain at all.  The morning temps were all great and I got rained on the one afternoon run – perfect!

Monday: 4-6 easy miles. I ran 5 miles this morning on a humid an overcast Monday.  I extended my downtown 4 mile loop to get closer to 5 and finished 5.1 miles in 38:47.  The run was pretty unexciting overall.  A good start to the week.

Tuesday: 5-7 miles at Marathon Pace. I had to miss the training class this evening because the PTA wanted me to talk about one of the programs I run at the school.  I had just enough time in between school and the meeting to sneak in a run, go home, shower, grab some food, and be at the meeting.  The sky looked pretty ominous as I left the school and headed to the river to run.  I made a big circle using the Ford Parkway bridge and Lake Street.  As I crossed the bridge about 2 miles in it started sprinkling. It wasn’t too much longer until I was completely soaked from the rain and it only got worse! The lightening started coming and I was one of few crazy people out there running/biking around.  I didn’t really like the prospect of running over an exposed bridge for 1/4 of a mile, but didn’t have much of a choice.  I got pelted hard on the bridge, having to keep one eye closed and just waiting to  get back to the West side. I made it back to the school safely and finished the 6.3 mile run in 45:40 (7:14) so pretty much right on for a marathon pace workout! As I was walking to my car, lightening hit the school and I later learned blew out our phone system.  I felt the electricity in the air and the subsequent BANG made me jump.  I didn’t waste anytime and jumped in my car. I really enjoyed this run in the rain and through muddle puddles – it was quite fun!

Wednesday: 4-6 miles easy. I felt pretty good for this easy 4 miler around Powderhorn Park. I finished right at 32 minutes so I stayed just under 8 minute pace! It was a very cool morning and felt great.

Thursday: Rest day. I enjoyed another great rest day!

Friday: Four miles. Another run downtown, this time I used my old 3 mile loop and extended it into 4 finishing in 31:12. It was another cool yet humid start to the day.

Saturday: 8-10 miles. I was able to make it to the group run today.  We met at Parade stadium to run some of the early miles of the marathon course around the lakes. A pretty perfect morning, except for some headwinds.  We finished a 9.45 mile loop in 1:13:04.  I think we all enjoyed the slower, no pressure run and had lots of conversation.  Our group got separated on the southwest end of Calhoun as a few of us stayed on the bike trail while the rest went on the running trail.  The bike trail makes a much wider arc and we got behind the others.  Someone decided we needed to pick up the pace and catch-up to the other group.  When we caught them I looked at my watch and we were at 6:22 pace.  That mile was the fastest of the day at 7:04 and it felt pretty controlled and almost comfortable for that short interval.  It was probably in the low-60’s and on the ride home I was riding through misty almost drizzle.  A great day for a run.

Sunday:Cross-training or off. I’m taking the day off!

Mileage Total

Running – 29 miles

Biking – 29.5 miles

Hal’s Tip of the Week: As you get into the final weeks of your marathon preparation, the most important thing you can do is rest, rest and rest. The hard work is over. You need to do some training, but not too much. My approach has always been to cut mileage, but maintain intensity. Continue to run somewhat fast on the “hard” days, but not so far. For inspiration, rent a video of the classic English movie, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner.

Week 17

[tags] Hal Higdon, Marathon Training [/tags]

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Spell Check Doesn’t Always Work

I subscribe to a lot of different blogs including some about triathlons.  Recently trifuel.com posted an article on training recovery so I decided to check it out.

It started out well, talking about stretching.  Then the author said that “Message” was the second big thing.  Ok, maybe he’s talking about sending positive messages to yourself.  Then he went on and it became clear, that it wasn’t a message we should get, but a massage!

Here is the exact quote:

2) Message.

They feel good and help to keep your muscles nice and relaxed. They are a great way to keep the blood flow going in your legs which in turn may help you recover quicker.

In addition it is a great way to break up adhesions in the muscle and loosen tight spots via trigger points.

Top professional athletes in many types of sports get messages daily.

The rest of the article is pretty good.  His other tips are recovery rides and swims, getting lots of sleep, elevating your legs, taking ice baths, and wearing compression socks.

I had never heard of wearing compression socks before but he says that it can help reduce swelling and he’s felt a difference while traveling.

Now, I know I’m not perfect – but I thought this was a good example of why it is important to review your writing several times and not just relying on spell check.  My generation is especially bad about this part!

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First Impressions and Reactions in Ghana

Homemade Cargo Bike

Homemade Cargo Bike

Below is a journal entry from my first day in the rural village in Ghana where I spent my eight-week Master’s internship. A quick background on what I was doing – my internship was working with a Multi-purpose Community Telecentre (basically a community center with a technology focus).  I was mostly helping them with program evaluation and did some teaching. A lot of my time ended up being about experiencing the culture and learning about village life.

The below excerpt was my first day in the village but also a major event for the Telecentre.  One of their projects is teaching bicylce repair and selling new and used bicycles.  I’ll try to insert relevant links if I can find them if I can.  Johnny is running the bike program, Osei was my supervisor, Samson was a news reporter from Ghana TV and John represented ITDP.

June 4, 2003

Today is a big day for the center. I didn’t realize how big until later. Today was the big bike show, the chance for the center to showcase the converted bikes as well as the new bikes being sold. A whole bunch of us began by putting together 20 of the new bikes so that they could be ridden. Johnny had done a great job training his students and they made the process go very quickly if not haphazardly because of the lack of tools. Many people were arriving and they bike ride began.

Homemade Tall Bike

Homemade Tall Bike

I rode, it was funny because almost everyone took off like a bullet! I took it slower and began passing people, especially up the hills! Ghana Information Services (a Land Rover with a microphone) proceeded us down the road so many people were near the road! Many started cheering Obruni [Twi for White Man] when they saw me so I would wave and say hello. Also some of the groups would cheer m on to pass someone while others would cheer for the guy I was passing.  We rode to Konongo which is about 8 miles round trip with some good hills.

I did take my time, letting people pass me until they would look back and smile! When we got back I was very hot and very sweaty! The show began with a prayer in Twi. John, Johnny, and Osei all spoke. Osei was very powerful and inspiring. Also the Deputy Minister of Roads and Transport spoke as well as some other officials from the national government. All praised the program as innovative and an example to the rest of the country. The program was recorded for a segment on Ghana TV next week.

Also during the program a group of girls did some traditional dances which were interesting, they were poetic. Also the chief and his elders were present wearing full traditional garb. A single piece of cloth wrapped toga like around the body and was held together by the left hand. Each was unique but the chief’s was very intricate looking and it had some gold pieces and very colorful. Also there was an umbrella that was held over him.  I learned later that the size of it represented his power. Chiefs have authority over the land and are to be respected in the community. It runs parallel to the state government. Samson wants me to write about about the psyche of development to understand the people working in development and also to understand what development does to the people being affected. After the program

ITDPs Bike by Trek

ITDP's Bike by Trek

I did a little dance with some of the girls who laughed hysterically!

I met one of Osei’s students who lives in Konongo. He will be working at the centre as well so that will be a great learning experience. Unfortunately, I forgot his name. I also met Effa, one of Johnny’s good friends who offered to show me around the area and also to help understand the culture better. I am a little concerned that he is more financially motivated than truly wanting to getting know me and show me his culture. Samson and I continue to have great talks. He is very interested in using his TV skills to help his country develop. I gave him some ideas of things to look into such as micro-credit lending and also Mister Rodger’s Neighborhood to interact with the kids. We had a brief talk about the transforming power of Christ and how we can be joyful despite suffering.  Later John, Johnny, and I did some welding. We just messed around with some of the steel tubing but it was an interesting way to spend part of an evening. I’m beginning to feel tired of being the only one not drinking, while I know I can I feel it is a conviction I must hold on to.

Pa ni (sp?) = respected elder

Nsu = water

I also realized that while water inside a satchel [plastic bag like container] is filtered, there are probably plenty of germs on the satchel itself as you squeeze the water into your mouth. There are lots of little lizards running around. Also there were a lot of crows this morning. All black with a little white stripe just behind the neck. Also something I never thought about before today’s bike ride was having to watch out for wandering goats on the road!

Galatians 2:10: Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Thank you for taking the time to read some of my rambling thoughts on one of my first days in Ghana. This is also a good insight into some of the great things that are happening across Africa.

Team World Vision

Team World Vision is a fund raising arm of the organization which uses ordinary people like me, to get ordinary people like you involved in ending poverty and injustice across the world. I have decided to commit the 26.2 miles of my first marathon to the memory of and in honor of the children I have met during my international travels. I can’t remember all of their names, but I have many pictures and stories.

On the right side of my blog there is a widget that will allow you to support me during this race or you can visit this secure page. I have set a goal of raising $2,000 which will help children have a chance at living to become adults across Africa.

[tags]  World Vision, Team World Vision, Ghana, Telecentre [/tags]

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