Monthly Archives: December 2008

Week in Review

What a busy week! Getting ready for Christmas and traveling for two weeks made for lots of stuff that needed to get done!

Monday was my rest day. I should have taken advantage of the morning and ran knowing that I’d be busy later, but oh well! I still did my push ups getting Week 5 Day 1 done.  I did the first column resulting in 81 total push ups.  I also did my core workout.

Tuesday I did a 4 mile run on the way home from work. This was along the greenway. It was 2 above! I forgot to record the wind chill but it was windy too. We also got a fresh layer of snow that was falling during my run!

Wednesday I did the downtown 3.25 mile loop and enjoyed watching the sunrise hit the downtown buildings despite the -6 wind chill.  I did a total of 100 push ups on Week 5 Day 2.  I also did my core workout.

Thursday I’m not even sure why I didn’t run.  I think I had an early meeting and actually missed breakfast.

Friday I ran 3 miles around Lake Harriet. I dropped my wife off at work and ran the very snow covered trail.  It was 18 and windy so I didn’t force myself to do anything more than one 3 mile loop around the lake! I did my 120 pushups but forgot the core workout!

Saturday was a long day of travel.  We drove through inches of falling snow, freezing rain, and finally just rain before arriving in Indianapolis for the first leg of our “vacation.”

Sunday I almost didn’t run because it sounded like it was freezing rain outside, but in reality it was just the house making weird noises and the sun was shining despite the -12 wind chill. I thought we had left those kind of temps behind so I was a little underdressed while running to Fort Harrison State Park but once I turned out of the wind it wasn’t bad.  I ran just over 6 miles, most in the park on nice trails. It was quiet and pretty empty which made for nice running. I had to hop a fence to get in and shortly after hopping back out I passed a police officer driving by.  There were big NO TRESPASSING signs, despite it being a state park. With no snow on the ground it was a nice run.

Weekly Mileage

Running – 16.5 miles

Last Year

Bike: 9.4 Mi
Swim: 400 Yd
Elliptical: 2.6 Mi
Stair Climber: 5:00

Last year I started my Best of 2007 Series. I started with my Best Personal Race Performance, Best Race Event, and a snowy Foto Friday! This was also the week I officially switched blog sites.

Running Prayers

brush drawing on blue primed paper
Image via Wikipedia

I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying, “There are no atheists in foxholes.” (wikipedia) It is kind of a funny things to say, but the point is that under enemy fire even atheists are praying to a higher power.  Continunig to go through Warren Kay’s Spirituality of Running book, the next chapter is Prayerful Running.

What is prayer?

Wikipedia says prayer is “the act of attempting to communicate with a deity or spirit.” That is a pretty straightforward way to say it. I believe Kay would agree with that defeinition, but to make sure we are all on the same page here is how he describes it (pg 64):

Prayer, is an essential part of spirituality. It is perhaps the most important part, because we are not just thinking about God, we are not just seeing or experiencing God in some abstract or detached sense. In prayer we are in conscious communication – or as some would say, communion – with God. (emphasis original)

Prayer can be done in a plethora of different forms – quietly in your head, prostrate on ground, facing East, standing, kneeling, and on and on. It is safe to say that praying while running is best done with your eyes open! But it can be done quietly or out loud.  You may recall a friend encouraged me to pray at every mile marker during my marathon for one of my African friends.  These prayers (when I did them) were silent in my head.

Why pray?

Just as there are different ways to pray, there are a lot of different reasons to.  Kay mentions a few:

– to establish a connection to things and people that are seperate

– to bring wholeness to the one praying

– to see the world as a whole.

I would add that sometimes prayer provides you a different perspective on the thing you are praying about.

Kay compares prayer to thinking. Thinking isn’t prayer but can be close if it is a thinking “in the presence of God, or informed by our awareness of the Holy.” But it is still thinking. How can thinking be prayer?? By including all of your emotions into your thoughts, not just simply using the analytical thoughts that scramble through. Feeling about more than yourself through compassionate thinking – thinking and feeling about others. Thinking about your responsibility in the situation and being responsible with what God has given you. A final way that thinking approaches prayer is through thankful thinking. Being thankful for what you have.

Praying while running can be as easy as consciously letting your mind flow and thinking through the situations and people in your life. This is similar to any other part of your day.  If a sick friend pops into my head, I say a quick prayer for them.

But what if you want to make a concerted effort to pray while running? Kay has some interesting ideas:

  1. T-shirts – when you pass a runner look at their shirt and pray for the charity or cause (if you can tell) that the shirt is from.
  2. Buildings you pass – similar to the first if you pass a non-profit organization, church, hospital, etc. pray for it.
  3. Bumper Stickers – same as the first two!  You get the idea!
  4. Write something on your shirt during a race, when someone cheers for you, say a prayer.
  5. Use something like prayer beads/knots. This could be rosary beads or one of your own making.  Kay suggests having a list of things to pray about, number them and use a string with the same number of knots or beads.  As you run and pray move your hand down the beads saying a prayer each time.
  6. Pace band – especially in the marathon many runners wear a pace band to compare their splits at each mile. Kay suggest making a prayer band with an item to pray for at each mile.  This could be on a separate band or make notations on your pace band.
  7. Talk – this may get some weird looks but Kay suggests talking during your run as if God were running next to you and you were chit chatting about life.

Kay’s research for the book discovered that there are (oddly?) no patron saints for running, despite several references to running in the Bible. Nevertheless, he did find this prayer in Day by Day: The Notre Dame Prayerbook for Students:

Run by my side – live in my heartbeat; give strength to my steps.

As the cold confronts me, as the wind pushes me, I know you surround me.

As the sun warms me, as the rain cleanses me, I know you are touching me, challenging me, loving me.

And so I give you this run; thank you for matching my stride. Amen

[tags] , , , [/tags]

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Stillwater Marathon A Go

The Stillwater Marathon was given approval by the Stillwater City Council yesterday, according to the Star-Tribune. In a previous post I talked about some of the problems the event faced, including 15 other marathon races within a month (either way) in the local area.  Many thanks to the commenters who added and subtracted some races for me.

The article didn’t give many details except that

… the City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to authorize St. Croix Events Inc. to conduct the first Stillwater Marathon on May 24. Organizers there also plan to offer a 20-mile race, a half marathon and a 12K run. The total number of participants would be capped at 5,750 runners.

The Stillwater race is set for the same day as the Med-City Marathon in Rochester.

The Team Ortho and Stillwater marathons will make the metro area home to three such races, joining the annual fall Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, which winds through Minneapolis and St. Paul.

It will be interesting to watch how these races do this spring.  One of the commenters indicated that the perception of the event’s quality will have a huge impact.  On this front, as of writing this post the marathon’s website is still “under construction.”

I want to be clear, I have no ill-feelings toward the marathon, I just know a lot of people where hurt and disappointed after the Indy Classic Marathon debacle of last year.  I wish the event directors much success with this.  I hope that this quote from the Star-Tribune pans out well for all the races:

Despite the idea that Minnesota is now expected to be home to four marathons within a month of each another, race organizers aren’t flinching about the crowded field.

“There are so many runners out there, I don’t think this will matter,” said John Larson, executive director of Team Ortho Foundation, which is organizing the Minneapolis Marathon. “Each race has unique features, whether it’s different pasta parties or the unique flavor of the city.”

[tags] Marathon, Stillwater, Minneapolis [/tags]

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Wednesday Video

Another break for a video.  A while back on a run Kirk and I were realizing there could be some awesome pictures taken during a run.  At the same time a lot of my Twitter friends were creating and using a new video-based running community.  This community is called Runcast.TV and has a growing number of videos and members.

I broke down and found a decent digital video camera that I could take on a run and created my first running video.  I had some difficulty creating it on my slowly aging PC but finally got it to work.  So below is my first “runcast” or snowcast!

[tags] Running, Video, Snow [/tags]

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Twin Cities Running Jackpot

The Twin Cities Marathon organization has been given 13 years worth of USATF Championships.

At the recent USATF Annual Convention the race organization was awarded championships in 6 different events, including a first ever 1 mile championship.

Here is the complete list provided by The Final Sprint:

  • USA Road Mile Championships (Men & Women): 2009 – 2012
  • USA Women’s Marathon Championship: 2009
  • USA Men’s 10 Mile Championship: 2009
  • USA Men’s Marathon Championship: 2010
  • USA Women’s 10 Mile Championship: 2010
  • USA Masters Marathon Championships (Men & Women): 09-15

This is great news both for the organization but also for the Twin Cities in general and our strong running communtiy. This will continue to bring in high quality competitors, sponsorship dollars, and a lot of added fun to the events.

You can read the official press release from Twin Cities Marathon here (pdf)

[tags] Twin Cities, Marathon, USATF, Championships [/tags]

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Week in Review

Where does time go? It seems like time flies by.  It is almost Christmas and almost a new year. 2008 has flown by with lots of great stuff happening.  This week was no exception.  It is a busy time at work as we prepare for “winter break” and the students start getting antsy.

Monday was my requisite day off of running.  I sadly failed part way through my Week 5 Day 1 of the hunderd push-up challenge. I got 82 of 145 done before I couldn’t squeeze out another one and collapsed to the ground. After recovering a little I did my Prehab: Core, Hip, and Elasticity workouts. I also biked to work in the snowy slush.  It was fine except that the bike I planned to use for the winter didn’t workout too well because the suspension system on it made the bike too small for me.

On Tuesday I did 5 miles along the Greenway doing an out and back heading west.  It was pretty uneventful but it is interesting to point out that the Greenway was plowed better than the road next to my house! I did it 38:41. It was about 16 with a wind chill of 0.

Wednesday I took my new video camera along for a 3.5 mile run at Powderhorn Park.  I took some video of the snowy park which helped make the run longer! The snow also made the run a little more difficult because only some of the sidewalks around the park had actually been plowed.  I’m still trying to edit the video to make it right but you can see a rough edit here.  It was about 2 degrees without a significant wind chill. Since I failed on the push ups I went back to Week 4 Day 2 and did the 3rd column (last week I did the 2nd) which is a little harder as a result I did 140 push ups.   I also worked out on the Physioball.

Thursday I did a newer 3 mile loop which goes along the Greenway heading East and then takes the Hiawatha LRT trail north to the 24th St bridge and then head home.  It is a nice change of pace that I did in 24:00. It was about 9 and sunny which felt nice. I did my Prehab Core, Hip and Elasticity.

I had planned to run on Friday but woke up pretty tired and unmotivated. So I decided not to.  I then looked at the weather and realized it was -1 outside (air temp) and was glad of my decision.  So I did my push ups getting most of the way through Day 3 of Week 4. I didn’t finish but I didn’t write down how many I got. I think I was a little frustrated at myself. I was so wrapped up in editing that stupid video that I forgot to post a Foto Friday!

Saturday was a very nice morning. It was sunny and 28 without any major wind.  The Polar Bear group met at Lake Harriet Bandshell and we ran around Lake Calhoun, Cedar Lake, and Lake of the Isles.  It was about 9.4 miles and as usually happens with this group we went out pretty fast.  A small group of us settled into a comfortable pace and let the rest of them go out.  We never got too far behind but just enough that it was impossible to catch back up easily.  It was a gorgeous day to be running and a good workout.

Sunday on the other hand wasn’t too pleasant.  It was 36 with freezing rain when I woke up. I almost didn’t go but decided I couldn’t take another day off this week and the weather was only going to be getting worse. Our group met at Minnehaha Falls and ran to Fort Snelling over the 5 bridge backup the East River Parkway crossing the Ford Bridge.  It was just under 6 miles.  I was wearing shorts and felt fairly comfortable for most of the run.  The rain wasn’t too hard but was noticable throughout the run.

Weekly Mileage:

Running – 26.3 miles

Biking – 3.5 miles


I ran 5 miles, biked 16.5 indoors, swam 400 yards, and did the elliptical, stair climber, and rower! I posted a guest review of the St Jude Marathon and shared about a 12 Days of Christmas give-a-way program which ended up being a huge marketing gimmick. I also posted 9 winter running tips and of course a hilarious Foto Friday.

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