Category Archives: My Running

07212019 – Run & Canoe

The Caribou Rock Hiking trail starts just outside of the campground where we were staying. It was so close in fact that Hungry Jack Lodge & Campground put a little trail from the campground to the trailhead! I figured I wouldn’t make the full almost 3.5 miles to where the trail connects to the Border Route Trail, but I figured I would get closer than I did! I also had a time limit that ended my run earlier than I would have liked. On the off chance I made it to the Border Route trail I was hoping to do the short extension to see Rose Falls, which we would later come back to via canoe. Leaving the trailhead the trail is pretty easy to follow as it climbs to an overlook of West Bearskin Lake.

There is a nice overlook to see West Bearskin Lake, it would be a nice hike. The trail continues following between some lakes and pops out with this nice view of Moss Lake before turning inland. The trail has some steep drops and at one point I was running downhill through a bunch of brush and couldn’t really see the tread of the trail. Some parts were rocky, not quite Superior Hiking Trail rocky, but pretty close. And a few times you needed to hold on to climb down and back up! I crossed a stream on rocks and eventually ran through the portage between West Bearskin Lake and Duncan Lake.

I didn’t see any wildlife on the trail unfortunately. Shortly after crossing the portage and after climbing up a hill I got to an intersection without any signs. I was already past my turn around point time so I knew I shouldn’t really do any more. I went a short bit towards the left (which would have been towards the falls) and realized that I wasn’t actually going to make it. So I turned around – this was just over 2 miles in but definitely over 45 minutes.

The run back felt faster, I didn’t stop as much for pictures which helped. But I think knowing the landmarks helped too. Running 20 minute pace isn’t ideal, but it was a fun run!

4 miles in 1:17:58 with 1,200 feet elevation gain!

Moss Lake

Here are a few pictures of the trail!

After breakfast we got ready to go for our canoe ride. We were planning to go to Rose Falls and to see Canada! The 5 of us loaded up into the canoe and made our way out on Hungry Jack Lake. It was super easy to find the first portage and it was relatively short so we didn’t have any problems getting into West Bearskin Lake.

I should have taken a picture of the map as we had trouble finding the portage into Duncan Lake. We were actually really close at one point, but I thought we had missed it. We paddled along the shore and found a campsite and then ran into some people who were staying at Hungry Jack that we had met and they helped us get to the portage and gave us some pointers for the rest of our trip. The portage into Duncan Lake actually brought us officially into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. This was a little longer portage. Once we got into Duncan Lake it was easy to find the spot for Stairway Portage/Rose Falls.

I thought it might be fun to portage the canoe and paddle into Canada, but I’m glad we didn’t. It would have been a long portage with a ton of steps! It was a good little hike though and we had lunch next to the falls. After lunch we climbed the stairs down to Rose Lake and played along the edge and gazed at the far shore which was Canada. Rose Falls was pretty too. After playing around for awhile we climbed back up and over and headed home. The kids wanted to help paddle and they did all the way back.

We didn’t have any trouble finding the portages on the way back and had a nice calm paddle. It was a fun day on the water! I estimated we paddled about 8 miles for the day.

Entering the BWCA!

Top of Rose Falls

Rose Falls

Rose Lake looking at Canada

07132019 – Run

As a family we backpacked into Afton State Park for an overnight trip. We are hoping to do some more backpacking and Afton is a great place to practice! We had loaded up everything we needed into our packs and hiked the mile-ish into our campsite. We actually stayed at a canoe site which was a little more secluded than the 27 site backpack campground! We were hiking back out to check out a mobile art gallery and the nature center’s astronomy talk and some people with suitcases, wagons, huge coolers, etc. Some people have different ideas of backpacking I guess!

But since I’ve never run at Afton, I was excited for the chance to do so! I left right from our sight and knew that pretty much whatever I did was going to be hilly. The topo map at the visitor’s center seemed to show the trail next to our site was in a gully for awhile before climbing out, but pretty much it was a slight uphill before a big uphill! It felt like everything was uphill! There were some downhills and those felt great! Even if some of them were with steps. The park had maps at every major intersection so there was no chance of me getting lost. I had started running around 6:30am and didn’t see any people for quite awhile but towards the end of the run there were a lot of trail runners out and about. While running around the Deer Trout loop I saw 2 runners coming and 1 was wearing a Team World Vision jersey. As I was deciding whether to say anything more than hello, they both greeted me by name and it was Brent and Brad. Fancy running into them out there. We stopped for a minute to chat and then both went on our ways. We ended up running the same route, just in opposite directions! I saw a bunch of deer too, including a few fawns. And one turkey and baby turkey too. At some point I decided I wanted at least a 10k so I kept extending the loop and ended up with about 7 miles and 1,000 ft of elevation gain! When I got back to the campsite, I grabbed a water bottle (should have brought one to run with) and sat in the St. Croix River for a few minutes cooling off! It felt great!! It was cool, but humid.

After rinsing off and relaxing, I headed back to the site and had my recovery food which was a Stroopwafel with Maple Almond RX Butter on it! A tasty little treat!

07092019 – Run & Swim

After dropping the kids off I started out on my run. After stopping to stretch, two friends popped up the stair near me, it was fun to see them! We used to work together and have had some fun runs together. They didn’t want to do my interval workout so we chatted for a few minutes and then parted ways. Of course we grabbed a selfie to add to the collection! We’ve run on some super cold and hot days together!

The workout was a 400, 200, 100 with 1:1 rest for 6 rounds! This was my first workout with my new Garmin Vivoactive 3 and it was so nice to be able to just enter the workout into Garmin Connect and have it on my watch. No trying to keep track of multiple distances and making mistakes! My watch was able to handle the workout like a champ!

I was running south and went down the dam hill and back up to Wabun. The 400m intervals seemed like forever and the 100 were so short! Sometimes the intervals would hit in the middle of a hill and sometimes the rest would! Try to “rest” up a big hill isn’t ideal though! I crossed Ford Parkway and ran River Road all the way to Lake Street, crossed and came back south. With a little overlap to sneak in the last 100. I ran along the river down in the gorge and it was a little muddy and the path was missing at a few spots. It had been awhile since I’d been in the gorge too, so that might have been why I couldn’t find it. At least one interval included me stopping, looking for the trail, and then walking across some tricky rocks! The river is still so high too.

Here are my splits

400 – 1:43; 1:49; 1:47; 2:08; 1:51; 1:48; 2:41

200 – 1:02; :50; :53; 1:01; :56; :58;

100 – :25; :26; :23; :25; :29; :27

The total run was 6.46 in 1:15:35.

Today was the first day of swim lessons for the kids so I was planning to lap swim while they were taking lessons. When we got to Webber Pool there were a lot of Sherrif’s, suits, and TV cameras. That made me a little nervous! The staff weren’t really sure what was going on except some type of press conference. I went ahead and swam and the kids had lessons. Afterwards a reporter from the StarTribune asked my daughter’s name and said she had some pictures of her. They didn’t end up running her pictures, but she was in pictures and video on several TV stations and the news blast from the park board. The park board and sheriff’s office were launching $5 swim lessons to help reduce the number of drownings. So that was cool. You can see WCCO’s story here. If you look closely you can see me swimming in the background in a few shots and of course the opener!

But back to swimming… I ended up just accumulating distance and working on bilateral breathing and did a few 50’s and a couple of 100’s getting up to 875 yards. The bilateral breathing is getting better! I was the only on in the pool, but I’m sure the news conference scared some people off!

07072019 – Run

Sunday morning run with the pollen looking like snow! Seriously the trails were covered in it! The workout today was 2x4k and I decided to take it on the Loppet trails. But first I dropped off some books at a Little Free Library down the street. Ours was full and I wanted to get rid of some kid books.

I ran up to Golden Valley road and then to the trails hitting 45 North, Conundrum and Area 36. It has been awhile since I ran on those trails so it was nice to be on them again. Only a handful of mountain bikers were out and no runners! There were a few people attending some type of class towards the end who were using a staircase to warmup.

4K is 2.25 miles and the two intervals were 23:57 and 28:13. The second one had a lot more elevation gain in it! The first 5 minute recovery period included a bathroom break.

Overall the run was 6.7 miles in 1:18:07.

06302019 – Run

This was supposed to be an easy run with nasal only breathing. But it is hard to nasal breathing when you are stuffy! I think it is primarily allergy related as there is still so much pollen in the air and I’ve not really been feeling sick otherwise. It was also 77 and humid at the start of the run with a storm brewing in the background!

I did 4.32 miles in 44:46.