The World Vision Virtual 6K For Water March 22

Posted on Mar 15, 2015 under 6k, My Running, World Vision | No Comment

Join me in running a 6k on March 22 and provide clean water for life for a kid in Africa. Simple, easy peasy. Click here to do it!


Thanks for joining World Vision’s first Virtual 6K For Water!

Your registration fee of $50 will provide clean water for one child. The cool part? On March 22, you’ll walk or run with a picture (on your race bib) of the child you’re providing water for.

Next steps?

1. Watch your mailbox! In the next 7-10 business days you’ll be receiving your Virtual 6K Race Kit containing your race shirt, your individualized race bib, and a how-to guide.
2. Log In to your dashboard for access to a Couch-to-6k training plan, announcements, and other resources.
3. Download the the GPS Smartphone app, MAP MY RUN (or visit and choose a start/finish line for your 6K.
4. Invite 5 Friends to run with you. The more friends you invite, the more people in Kenya we can provide with clean water. Share this photo on social media with the message below:
“6K is the avg. distance that kids have to walk for water in Africa. Walk/Run 6K with me on World Water Day to bring water and hope. “

We’ll be in touch with more tips and inspiration as March 22nd gets closer.

Thank you!

Running Across Lake Superior

Posted on Mar 10, 2015 under 4 Mile, My Running, Race Review, Winter | No Comment

It isn’t every day you get the opportunity to run across a Great Lake.  Especially Lake Superior.  My buddy Brad and I did that over the weekend.  Our families went up to Bayfield to check out the Superior Ice Caves and the Bayfield Winter Festival.  A part of the Bayfield Winter Festival each year is a race across the ice road from Bayfield to Madeline Island and back, known as the Run on Water. (this year’s winning time was 24:59).

Smartly for the weather, the race starts at 11am.  Sadly, for us this was too late in the morning for us to be able to check-out on time and not ruin the day for our families.  So we set out to run the same course a little earlier in the morning.

It was a surprisingly warm morning (and weekend) which we were not going to complain about!


Before we set out on the ice we had to make sure our YakTrax were installed.  Brad was wearing the coilly YakTrax Pro and I was wearing the new spikey YakTrax Run.  We both had decent traction given that most of the run was on sheer ice, think running on an ice rink!  This is the view from the Bayfield side of the ice road.  The road gets plowed and maintained by the County! 


The race course was pretty much already setup for us! Pretty low key! 


Here we are on Madeline Island at the half way point! They did have mile markers posted for the race, but no sign indicating the turn-around spot.  So we stepped foot on the island and then turned around! 


This is the view from the turn around, looking back at Bayfield. 


There were a few of these little signs reminding drivers to be careful.  The speed limit on the road is 15mph, so I guess it is to be extra careful! This year’s race also included a longer bike race that went 12 miles instead of the 4 for the runners.  I’m not sure what their course was.  But as we were leaving town we saw some people riding a tandem bike with a race number affixed to the handlebars! And it wasn’t a fat bike. 


Here is a picture I took of the ice.  It was really pretty in places to look down and see 2 feet worth of ice below you! 


We made it to the finish line in one piece! Neither of us fell so that was a great thing! 


Here is the GPS of our run! Straight across the lake and back! Pretty unbelievable! 


Our pace was pretty slow throughout the run.  We were taking shorter strides than normal and we could both feel it in our quads and hip flexors.  Shorter strides meant less chance of falling though!! 


Here is the Strava data from the run:

Welcome to March!!

Posted on Mar 01, 2015 under 30Days | No Comment

Here we go into March! February was a little bit of a rough month.  Extreme cold days and illness.  The two goals for February were to Read a Poem Every Day and to Write 4 Poems.

I read way more than 28 poems! In the process of reading poems I also made some work towards another goal of finishing books that I started.  I finished reading through The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou.  It was hard to read only one of her poems at a time so I’d read 3 or 4 at a go. I purchased the book last year after she passed away so was glad to finally get around to finishing it. Over the last few days I just searched for poems to read to finish out the month.

I did write 4 poems! I might share them at a later date! We shall see… They were all pretty short (one is actually a haiku!) but were a good foray back into the mindset of writing poems like in high school.  Although in high school there was no website to double check my syllable count!

I continue to make progress on other goals as well:

– I’m still way off last year’s running mileage for the month (33 in 2014 and 14 in 2015).  I don’t remember why I didn’t run the first week of the month, was it too cold or too stressed at work? And then I got a sinus infection towards the end of the month.

–  After talking about planning a spring bike race I finally got around to getting the trainer setup and have used it 4 times this month.  My bike computer needed batteries so I didn’t get mileage for the first few rides, but in the mileage count for the month I estimated (on the conservative side) that I rode 44 miles.  Last year I rode 5 times on the trainer. I also hit a spin class at the YMCA which was a pretty good workout.

– The aforementioned sinus infection hit me on the week that I could have done Crossfit three times  so I only got it once which really hurt my ability to go.  I’ve been trying to make up some of the missed weight lifting workouts on the weekend at the YMCA,  but it isn’t the same.  5/9 times again in February.

– I did mobility 21 days, which is a high percentage than in January.

– Christy and I disagree on the number of kidless dates that we had.  I think we did 2, but neither of us can remember what the other date was.  We went to the new Surly Tap Room and it was excellent food and excellent beer!

My plan for March is to declutter my spaces.. what can be thrown away, given away, or put away somewhere else. An item a day or 31 items.  A Facebook friend posted that for Lent they are getting rid of a bag of stuff a day! That is a lot of stuff.  Similar to last year and with “decluttering the digital” life this can be hard to stop once you get into the flow of it.  We’ve already given a few bags of stuff to Goodwill this year from our kitchen.

I also hope to get outside and ride the bike some.  That is very dependent on the weather, but hopefully it will start to warm up.  Even though March is the snowiest month of the year it also tends to dry up quickly.  Though this winter no one really knows!

Since March is also the last month of the quarter I need to be working on getting to Inbox and Tab Zero!! Yikes :)

Happy 2nd Birthday Stridebox!

Posted on Feb 22, 2015 under Nutrition, Product Review | No Comment

CAM06258I was only a subscriber to Stridebox for a short time in their inaugural year, but they continue to impress and go the extra mile.  For the 2nd year in a row, I got a Happy Birthday box from them.  No, not my birthday… their birthday!  I wrote about their birthday box last year and one of the boxes I got in their inaugural year.

Stridebox was at the forefront of the monthly subscriber revolution.  At least in my eyes, now there are a lot of them from snack food to men’s clothing.  I originally signed up in early 2013 and enjoyed getting boxes for almost a year.  The boxes contained a variety of sample nutritional products and as time went on more actual products that were just starting out.  And it seems more Stridebox branded products as well.

CAM06256 The Stridebox box is a great size for organizing and having around the house. Every box also comes with nice tissue paper wrapping, although not usually gold! And the handwritten (really?) cards are a nice touch!  This year’s birthday box had less nutrition and more products!

From the top, clockwise:

  • Bandana thing
  • Shoe mileage counter
  • Stride lights that flash when they shake (so with every footstep of your shoe)
  • Nuun Energy tablets
  • Stickers
  • Stridebox training log (nicely done, but who uses paper and pencil?)
  • PR Bar

It is probably safe to say that this box is worth $15.  The question is more about is it $15 worth of stuff I would have bought on a monthly basis?  When I was running consistently and training for longer races I easily used all the nutrition products and some of  the other random ones.  Now that my mileage is way down I don’t go through nutrition products at the same rate.

I would still recommend signing up for Stridebox.  If you haven’t why not?

Bike Race Scheduled – Dickie’s Scramble April 25

Posted on Feb 16, 2015 under Bike | No Comment

I finally have a bike race scheduled for the year, which will hopefully motivate me to get on the bike trainer more! I’m looking forward to hitting some gravel on April 25 at the low-key Dickie’s Scramble event. The 75 mile gravel ride starts and finishes at JJ Tailgators Bar & Grill in Elgin, MN. The event will include:

I have a couple of options that are ready to go and we are looking at 68-80 miles of river valleys, climbs and rocky ‘B’ roads.


Throughout this ride you are responsible for yourself. No one is going to come get you. Ride safely and within your limits. Bring anything you think you will need. Do not assume what will be around the next corner. Cars, trucks, ATVs, cattle, and dogs (and even a pet pig) all share these roads. Follow the law, don’t pee in someone’s yard etc.,

There is a checkpoint at the halfway point. It is potluck style.

and who doesn’t want to finish a 75 mile ride with a sprint?

If you want to finish the course faster than your friend that will be determined by the Elgin town sign sprint.

A lot went into finding a ride for this year. Last year Almanzo was kind of picked for us and a group rode it. But they cancelled the race this year and then the city decided they wanted to keep it going this year. We had all counted it out and the timing doesn’t work for at least one guy, so we kept looking.

I did a decent amount of research, found some cool websites and some fun sounding events! April isn’t necessarily ideal for a ride, the pictures from last year’s event include snow on the road side. But really it makes it harder to get out for long rides on the road during training. So I was surprised at how many there were in MN in April!!

One resource that lists a lot of non-pavement rides around the country is Riding Gravel. MN Bike Trail Navigator has quite a list of events for the year on their blog. It was written in October, so it may be a little out of date, but it has a long list for the whole year and includes all styles of rides.

One ride that looks super awesome is the Mammoth Gravel Classic. It was so awesome looking, that I can’t actually ride it, well no one without a mountain bike can ride it. See:

The course will not be marked, so we suggest using GPS navigation. There are hungry bears in this area, and we will not have a course sweep – so you must take care of yourself out there. This multi-surface course will be roughly 50% gravel roads, 25% double track firelane, and less than 25% pavement. We absolutely recommend only riding a bike with mountain bike width tires on this course due to many very soft sand pits. DO NOT bring your Cyclo-Cross bike or any other skinny tired bike. The narrowest tire recommended is 40mm.

It does sound like a lot of fun. I would love to take my cyclocross bike over there are try some of of the firelane! But that is also probably where the sand pits are… maybe I could rent or borrow a bike. And the Gandy Dancer Bike Trail sounds like a nice place to ride as well. Maybe this summer!

Do you have any early season rides planned?

January 2015 Report

Posted on Feb 08, 2015 under 30Days | No Comment

Yea, a week late, but whose keeping track?

I was 50/50 on the two main goals for the month:

I decluttered my digital life by more than 30 unfollow, unfriend tasks.  Once you get started it is easy to just keep unsubscribing! Most days it felt good, some days it was more of a stretch to find something to get ride of.  A few times I did just change my subscription preferences to reduce the clutter.  Most of my e-mail is filtered around into various labels (thanks Gmail) so my Inbox stays relatively clutter-free but the time and mental energy taken to process the others is still wasted if I don’t need it anymore.  So it felt good!

I struggled with the 30 Day/5 Minute Plank Challenge.  I did a great job of doing them until I needed to hold the plank for 75 seconds.  I just couldn’t get past a minute.  My body would start shaking 10 seconds in and just shake the whole time.  By about 50 seconds my back would start to hurt and bam, I couldn’t do it. I took a few days off and then ended up just doing a bunch of 1 minute planks.  I ended up doing or attempting the workout on 24/31 days.  Some of those 24 were also scheduled off days!  I plan to revisit this in November, so hopefully that will work better!

I did make progress on other goals!

– We went out on two kidless dates!!

– I read all 31 days of the Bible Reading Plan

– I did Crossfit 5/9 planned times, I was sick at the beginning of the month.

– I only ran 10.4 miles, which puts me behind the “schedule” and is way off the 40 I did last January.  It was cold, I was sick, and the schedule has some kinks! The weird snow-less weather has meant that I haven’t been able to do any snowshoeing either.

– I did get to ride my bike outside which was fantastic! On an almost 50 degree random day I snuck out and did the Cedar Lake loop for 11.5 miles.  I biked more last January too, but didn’t get outside at all!  This also puts me behind the curve, but that’s to be expected!

– I’ve been doing mobility.  Some days I squeeze it in right before bed, others I plan on squeezing it in and then forget. And some days its just a quick roll with the foam roller. I did it 21/31 days.  I need to work on some of the quality of it…

February is short and sweet!

– Read a poem a day,

– Write some poems!

(sneak peak –  so far I’m on track and I’m also knocking off another goal of finishing books I’ve already started)

Getting to a 5 Minute Plank

Posted on Jan 04, 2015 under 30Days, Cross-Training | 1 Comment

One of January’s Challenges is to hold a 5 minute plank.  Minneapolis Running retweeted a link from a local blogger who initiated the challenge.  The Right Fits blogs about running and fitness in the Twin Cities and beyond.  She laid down the challenge in her first post of the year and a Facebook Event. She kindly offered a “training” plan to get there in 1 month.

I must admit, it seems a little daunting to think about holding a plank for 5 minutes… I know people who can run a mile that fast!! Or do 100 burpees… but holding one position.  That’s a challenge.  I’m actually 3 days in and I was pretty shaking at the end of today’s 30 seconds.  And I feel like I’m in decent shape! We must find our weaknesses, expose them, and fix them!

Here is the plan:


30 Day Fitness Challenges has pretty much the same formula and an app to go with it! A quick search for 5 minute plank apps produced a couple that do a 5 minute workout moving through different plank positions, but only 1 that I saw that might actually work for this challenge.  Check it out here, I downloaded it on my phone. It has additional plank exercises that I don’t see a way to actually skip or remove but it has a timer on it and it is a pretty straight-forward no frills app.

In a text format the workout goes:

  1. 20 seconds
  2. 20
  3. 30
  4. 30
  5. 40
  6. Rest
  7. 45
  8. 45
  9. 60
  10. 60
  11. 60
  12. 90
  13. Rest
  14. 90
  15. 90
  16. 120 (2 minutes)
  17. 120
  18. 150 (2:30)
  19. Rest
  20. 150
  21. 150
  22. 180 (3 minutes)
  23. 180
  24. 210 (3:30)
  25. 210
  26. Rest
  27. 240 (4 minutes)
  28. 240
  29. 270
  30. Rest
  31. 300 (5 minutes)
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