Tag Archives: Midtown Greenway

Twin Cities Marathon Pictoral Preview

The Twin Cities Marathon course has been quite busy this summer, just like every summer (actually year round).  This is because the course takes in some of the coolest recreation spots in the metro – or at least Minneapolis.  Beginning in downtown Minneapolis the 26.2 mile course  makes a big circle before ending up in downtown St Paul.  Leaving the sports capital of Minnesota (the Metrodome) runners take in some amazing views before arriving at the state capital of Minnesota.  What a course.   Here’s last year’s course preview.

Below are 26 pictures from the course itself (though they don’t come from all 26 miles of the course).

A picture of the map…
The Hurbert H Humphrey Metrodome – aka staging area and starting line.
A random wall downtown along Hennepin Ave.  I know some of the symbols are Adrinka symbols of West Africa, but I don’t know their history here.
The Basillica of St Mary is on Hennepin as well. Don’t let the old architecture fool you, they are on Twitter.
This is WAC, the Walker Art Center.  On the right is the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.  I’ve heard tell that some people use it as a quick potty stop. (I don’t recommend it) Watch this hill.  If we ran on the sidewalks we’d actually get to run under the Walker.
TCM isn’t called “The Most Beautiful Urban Marathon in American” for nothing.  This is Lake of the Isles, the first among several lakes we’ll travel around.  We won’t run by the most expensive house in Minneapolis, but it is located on the Isles.
Here’s another shot of the Isles.
Dean Parkway going underneath the Midtown Greenway.
Lake #2 Lake Calhoun.  On the south end there will be a cool view of the downtown skyline with the lake in the foreground.
The third lake is Lake Harriet which has a cool band shell and yacht club.
Running under the Niollet Ave bridge (I think).   A local marching band stands under one of these bridges and plays.
The 7ft bronze rabbit at the intersection of Portland and Minnehaha Parkway.  I can’t figure out where it came from.
We run a long ways on this parkway. Here is wikipedia’s take on who Minnehaha was…
The Grand Rounds is a great way to see the major sites in the city. A road, trail system, and scenic destination itself, much of the marathon is actually run along the Grand Rounds.
West River Parkway has been under construction all summer, but it won’t affect the race.  This is where I started to fall apart during the 2008 marathon.
The Mississippi River is a national park.  This is crossing the Franklin Ave bridge.
A bad shot of the river!
This is now on East River Road getting ready to go under a rail bridge which will one day connect to the Greenway.
University of St Thomas sits atop a nice hill and is around the 21 mile mark!
A nice long look up Summit Ave. A nice long uphill. And is the longest remaining stretch of residential Victorian architecture in the United States.
Bridge crossing Ayd Mill Rd.
A cool church on the corner of Lexington Parkway and Summit Ave.
One of many cool houses. If you aren’t in complete agony, be sure to check them out! They are on both sides.
This is a great sign!! You are atop the hill and getting ready to turn left into the final stretch.  I always felt a little let down that we turn here instead of just going down the hill!
The Cathedral of St Paul. When you see the steeple it is almost over!
The Minnesota State Capital building and the finish line!!!  Congratulations you’ve finished.

[tags] Twin Cities Marathon, TCM, Marathon, Twin Cities [/tags]

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Minneapolis: Best in the World

Yes, I am a little biased, but I do think that Minneapolis is one of the greatest places in the United States.  I would say it ranks pretty high on the world stage too, but there might be some other places I’d rather live.   Nonetheless Travel and Leisure Magazine recently named Minneapolis one of the best biking cities in the world.

Minneapolis actually ranks number 2 in the US falling behind Portland as far as bike commuting goes.  One of the reasons Minneapolis was ranked so high is the

infrastructure that promotes bicycling on many fronts. From bike lockers and designated street lanes to recreational trails and snowplows dedicated to clearing off-street paths, a system exists to make transportation on a bike efficient, safe, and hassle-free.

This same infrastructure makes Minneapolis a great place to run.  Many of my runs use existing bike infrastructure.  The Midtown Greenway is a biking thorough-fare.  Running on downtown’s Riverfront uses part of the Grand Rounds Trail.  Of course all of the lakes have bike and running trails.

Minneapolis has a ton of paved trails, I wish it had more dirt trails within the city that I could easily use from my house.  But I will take the ease of off-road running and the mostly suburb job of plowing that occurs in winter.

HT Mayor’s Blog

[tags] Minneapolis, Biking, Trails, Travel [/tags]

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Week 3: Half Marathon Training

Last Year

Run: 37.9 Miles
Bike: 17.0 Miles

This time last year I was in Week 4 of Half Marathon training, but I wasn’t competing in or for the $2 million half-marathon that was being run in the UAE.  I highlighted my then new running group the MDRA and extolled the benefits of grinding pavement with friends.  Emerald Nuts setup a funny site to promote themselves and their race series, but it seems to be defunct now.  This edition of Foto Friday was a picture of my new wall of fame with all my race numbers.  During the weekend last year a marathoner from Wisconsin died after finishing the Little Rock Marathon.

This Year

3 m run + strength
7 x hill
3 m run + strength
30 min tempo
Rest or easy run
5-K Race

Monday was a nice easy 3 mile recovery run along the LRT and Midtown Greenway. It was about 3 above with no wind. I ran the loop in 24:55 and felt pretty good.  I did push-ups, back work, hip thingys, and used my ab-roller before the run.  Everything feels ok at the beginning of a step-back week.

Tuesday I ran a hill workout again.  This time I went closer to downtown and ran the hill on the path near Mill City from the river up to street level.  It was about a 32% grade and the first 4 were a tenth of a mile and then I extended them to about .13 tenths of a mile (230 yards).  I ran them in 0:46, :48, :45, :44, :38, :49, and :52. It was 19 with a 9 wind chill and the path was pretty much free from any ice.  Overall it was a good day.

Wednesday my heal had been hurting a little bit off and on but today it was pretty bad and I’ve struggled in the past with dreaded plantar fasciitis  is what it felt like to me, so Tuesday night I iced and popped some pills and didn’t run today.  It felt a little better by the end of the day.  It comes and goes so we’ll see if this helps.

Thursday I decided to keep my scheduled day off and take advantage of the step-back week to see if my heel would feel any better.

Friday I  actually thought about running but not before a 7:30 breakfast meeting or the 12 lunch meeting.  The sunny afternoon was begging me to run but I had a lot of random stuff that needed to get done that kept me from getting out.

Saturday morning we took Cross Country Ski lessons at Elm Creek Park Preserve and did about 5k of classical skiing.  It was a lot of fun to learn to ski and we will probably try to do it more often next year.  It was both of our first time and we caught on fairly quickly, I think.  It might take some time to perfect and get comfortable though since only spent three hours total for the day (including instruction time).  We finished the day up by going camping at Afton – yes winter camping! Saturday’s part including snow shoeing to the campsite went pretty well.  It was the cold part of the night that really hurt.  Even with having 0 degree bags both of our feet got really cold.  Waking up Sunday was pretty painful though once we started moving again it wasn’t quite so bad.  We only snow shoed about 3 miles.  It took almost 20 minutes in the car before my feet thawed out!

Weekly Mileage –

Running – 8.6 miles

Skiing – 5k

Snow Shoeing – 3 miles

February Totals

Running -117.7 miles

Biking – 22 miles

2009 Totals

Running – 225.1 miles

Biking – 30 miles

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Week in Review

Image from stock.xchng.

This is week 3 of both my 100 Push up Challenge and also the Core Performance
book.  I am starting to feel some of the benefits, at least a little! This was a nice short week at work and a wonderful day of giving thanks. It has been a great week!

Monday was my requisite rest day.  I did my push ups completing the required 72 pushups.  After last week’s exhaustion test I’m in the middle column for now.  In regards to the Core workouts, I’ve decided to drop the Movement Prep.  My knee and heel were starting to hurt and I felt like some of the exercises in MP were aggravating those areas, I might try to slowly work them back in later. I did do the Prehab: Core-Hip-Shoulder, and used my Stick instead of a Foam Roller.

Tuesday I was feeling lazy and never made it out the door! No real reason, just lazy.  I did manage to do my core workout though.  Today was a physioball and rope  workout.

Wednesday I did make it outside.  I ran my Metrodome 3 mile loop in 23:36. It was about 19 degrees but the wind was really strong on the one leg and made my hands really cold! I did my required 82 push ups and Prehab:Core and used The Stick.

Thursday Happy Thanksgiving!! Nathan and I did a 1.5 mile warm-up before we ran the Giving Thanks 5k.  I finished in 20:01.  It was a pretty nice morning for a Thanksgiving race! Look forward to a more in-depth review.  I came home and did my core work – physioball and Prehab:Hip.  I’ve stopped doing the Prehab:Shoulder because I think it duplicates some of the push up workout and exhausts my shoulders.

Friday I went out for an easy 3 mile run in my new Mizuno Wave Inspire 4 shoes. My old Mizuno’s have 381 miles on them. This was a pretty uneventful run. I decided to run along the Midtown Greenway, but instead of running on the “Greenway” I ran on the dirt trail that runs alongside the paved one. The two trails are seperated by a fence and the lower is more like a service road type thing.  It was different.  Weather was mid-20’s with some wind making for a decent 23 minute workout.  I did my 88 required push ups and Prehab:Core

Saturday means Polar Bear Run.  This run was fairly close to home and my wife was working again so I didn’t feel like calling anybody for a ride. Instead I biked to the Light Rail station – took the LRT – and biked to the start of the run, this was approximately 2.5 miles on a frigid morning.  Awake and ready to run we ran from Historic Fort Snelling down into Fort Snelling State Park getting in 8.5 miles on mostly soft trails.  The run featured a lot of deer, at least 15.  At least one of which had 10 points.  It was a neat mix of bucks, does, and fawns running around.  Some let us get pretty close, staring us down before leaping away to safety.  I am always amazed that animals kind of know when hunting season is and when they are generally safe.  This was another great run on a sunny day with a thin layer of frost covering everything.

Sunday was a snow covered run along the Minnesota River.  Maybe an inch of snow covered the ground as we headed out along the trail.  We cross the footbridge on Cedar Ave and then headed north to Lyndale Ave all on trails next to the river.  It is a great place to run and the fresh snow covering made for some beautiful sights.  There was plenty of animal tracks – mostly coyote and rabbit. I did see what looked like deer tracks and we saw a bunch of wild turkeys on the drive to the parking spots.  This was about a 9 mile run in 1:18:09.  A few of us had a little sprint finish across the footbridge!

Weekly Mileage:

Running – 28.3 miles

Biking – 23.6 miles

Last Year:

Running – 0 miles

Biking – 20 minutes

Swimming – 1 session

Last year I was analyzing my training cycles. My second cycle was for a 10k.  I ran a 4 mile Drumstick Dash in Indianapolis and posted a guest review for the Harpeth Hills Flying Monkeys Marathon. Also during this week last year Dr Cade, Gatorade Inventor, died at 80.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Marathon Training: Week 16

Img from stock.xchn

Another week in the bag and only a few more to go.  This was a pretty good week, the weather really warmed up which was a little surprising after last week but it still wasn’t really hot.

Monday: 5 easy miles. 3 miles on a modified Powderhorn Loop.  I had some intestinal problems if you know what I mean that severely interrupted the run.  My legs felt pretty good though.  It was a cool and gorgeous morning too.

Tuesday: Yasso 800’s (8-10 miles). Happy Anniversary! Today marked our 2nd Anniversary so I opted not to run with the training class.  Instead I did the 800’s on my own. I did them right after work so that we were able to go out and enjoy our evening.  It was about 80 degrees when I ran these on the track at the University of St Thomas.  I had to dodge the football team and women’s cross-country team who were both taking up large portions of the track.  I did just over a mile warm-up before completing 6×800.  The plan was to do 8-10×800 but my times were dropping and I was hot, tired, and wanted to get on with the evening.  My Garmin says that I was actually running 0.54 which is probably accurate since I had to run in lane 8, swerve around a cart into lane 6 and then back to the outside around the circle of xc runners.  I hoped to make up the difference by cutting each of the intervals short, but guess I didn’t accomplish that! My splits were: 2:55, 3:11, 3:20, 3:23, 3:21, and 3:16.  So I started out a little too fast! I did approximately a 400 very slow in between each interval to about the 3:00 minute mark and finished the workout with 1.5 miles back to my car.  The run was 7.7 miles long and took 1:00:22 to finish.

Wednesday: 5 easy miles. I was a little tired and sore from the track workout and opted for an evening run again.  I ran along the Midtown Greenway and kept trying to slow myself down but I ran the 5 miles in 38:23 which is 7:34 pace.  It felt pretty good despite the temps being up at 80 again.  The Greenway gets pretty busy at this time of day (evening rush hour) and I passed a guy who was playing his trumpet while riding his bike!

Thursday: Rest Day. I successfuly rested today and actually got a massage. It had been awhile and this was my last pre-race massage.  It felt good and my body seems to be holding up pretty well.

Friday: 4 miles at marathon pace. Friday and Saturday’s workouts are pretty much interchangeable as scheduling goes and since we were going out of town it seemed like a good idea to get the longer run done.  So I ran 12 miles along a modified downtown loop.  With the 35W bridge and related roadways opening up yesterday it meant that some of the running trails re-opened and so I was one of the first runners to run underneath the East side of the bridge.  It is a pretty nice bridge with some green stone for decoration/memorial(?) underneath.  It was a very uneventful with temps in the mid-60’s. It felt really good until the sun started coming up and then it seemed to feel pretty hot. I ran 12 miles in 1:38:13, not the best showing of the season but a pretty nice easy run!

Saturday: 12 miles. Obviously I did the 4 miles at marathon pace today! We were celebrating our anniversary in Lanseboro, MN which is the heart of Bluff Country. I did a mile warm-up before starting the marathon pace. I ran along the Root River State Trail, which was quite empty at the 7:00am hour.  The temperature was probably in the mid-60’s and it was just me and the cows – chewing their cud. I ran the 4 miles in 29:34 which was 7:24 a little off marathon pace. The Garmin was acting up a bit during my warm-up saying I was running 14-min pace – I don’t think so! The overall run was 5.5 miles in 42:04.

Sunday: Cross-training. We rode our bikes along the trail and ended up doing just under 24 miles of easy cruising. We had a grand time, the leaves are just starting to change and everything – perfect!

Weekly Mileage:

Running – 33.3 miles

Biking – 48 miles

Hal’s Tip of the Week: Research suggests that runners often catch a cold or the flu the final week before the marathon, or the week after the marathon. That’s because in building to a mileage peak, they often overdo it and temporarily suppress their immune systems. Marathoners thus are more vulnerable to any viruses they might encounter. To avoid colds, try to avoid people who have them. And get plenty of rest.

Week 16

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

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]