Sunday, February 28, 2010

G day minus 121

Again, I'm neglecting my blog. Not because I don't love you guys, but I'm drowning in a sea of research papers. Lets see, I've got one in my Education class on Virtual High Schools, another one in my Sociology class on the relationship between endurance events and quality of life, and yet another one in my Latin American History class that hasn't been assigned yet but should have been. Plus all my other homework that I barely have time for. It makes weekends much less fun, but keeps me out of trouble. So yeah, um, running's been on the up- and- up for sure. In four runs since my last post, only two have been really tough. My run on Tuesday, and my run on Thursday. Makes some sense, because they were both tempos.

Tuesday's run was just weird and I was out of my element. I had promised my High School hockey team I'd go to the last game of their season, so running in the afternoon was out of the picture, and it would be way too cold to run at night. I was in Minneapolis, and I couldn't get back to St. Paul and grab my running stuff and get back to take the bus to Bloomington- which took way too long, by the way. Lucky for me, I had commandeered a locker in the School of Law (which is frowned upon, by the way) that I put some stinky running stuff and an old pair of shoes in that I pressed into service. I ran down to Loring Park which is about a mile away and did my tempo there, which was okay, except I went way too hard because all I had in my locker was tights and a singlet.

Thursday was just bad. I wanted to stay inside and be warm, but I didn't. I just felt sluggish, slow, and sore. Not much else to say, it just sucked, every minute of it. Other than that, running was awesome! its actually getting nice outside (except for Tuesday) which is sweet because early morning runs and late night runs are now becoming an option, giving me more time to do homework and boring stuff like that.

Saturday I ran my long run home from work because I was going to my brother's POPS concert at EHS (it was awesome, shout out to him.) I planned out a course on map my run that morning, wrote the directions on the back and front of both my hands, and was off. I bet I still looked ridiculous, and still got lost a few times, but no big deal. Plus, it was a beautiful day for a run, and the sidewalks were mostly ice free. I was so in the zone for this one, here's my route:

I've also got to send out pleas for donation for Iota Tau's relay for life team that I'm captaining, team Sigs against Cigs. Actually, its 11:20 at night, I've got to wake up at 6 tomorrow morning, I'll do that tomorrow. The donation link is in my last post, in case you have disposable income and want to dispose of it on me. Also, catchy picture eh? In honor of Canada's gold medal victory over the USA. Too bad really, the US had a great run, and Brian Rafalski played amazing.

Monday, February 22, 2010

G- day minus 116

Finally I get a chance to post. I've got like six posts started, but none finished. I've been really really busy lately, like going from 5 in the morning to 11 at night every day. I've got to meet with my dorm manager sometime, as well as have my resume checked, and both only have nine to five hours. I've got no available time at all then, unless I want to skip class, which I'm really not keen on doing. Plus, I've got to attend a bunch of meetings because I'm the captain of team Iota Tau in Relay for Life. Last post was on the 15th? well, what else has gone on in my life? For one, my Marathon plan started. I'm on week two day one, and so far its just a lot of work, not really difficult. Last week I ran 6 miles "Medium effort", then ten the next day. I'm not really sure what's the difference between "Medium Effort," "Lactate Threshold," and "Tempo." Yes, I know what LT and Tempo are, but I just don't see the difference. Looking at my flotrack profile (which I'm going to put up again under links,) I have way more green days then red days, which is awesome. Its getting warmer, which is great. Most of last week it was a singlet- and- shorts run, which is great because I'm tired of the tights and long sleeve getup. The downside is that the snow and ice is melting fast, so there are great lakes sitting on the trail. Of course, my feet are freezing and wet almost always, and the mesh forefoot upper on my GTS 8's are a weird shade of yellow and they smell like I've left them at an ice rink for a couple weeks. The one good part about running in melting snow is that you get the mud splashed up on the back of my legs and shorts. Call me weird, but I like that stuff, its like battle scars or something.

  • God today was terrible, which made today's run even sweeter. I don't think I've ever talked about my job, but I work for St. Thomas' technology department answering phones and doing that stuff. Today everybody was getting viruses by going to the Star Tribune website. I won't go into detail, but from 7a-9a it was pure hell. Everyone was calling in and yelling, like 30 people. It was miserable. Then I went to work again from 1-5, and had to stay late and play 'senior tech' for an hour and a half. I had to attend to four classroom emergencies, and thank God I knew how to fix all of them. Come on boss, you never trained me for answering phones, now you're not going to give me any training for senior tech?
  • I'm going to the South Suburban Flyers floor hockey game, their last one of the season against Rochester. I'm excited, I haven't been to a game yet, so I'm excited. Plus, I've got to talk to my former coach regarding possible Sigma Chi philanthropy
  • My Green Silence's came today. First impressions are good, although I haven't worn them yet. I'll hold off until the snow melts to wear them, but I think its definitely a shoe to wear sockless. They're also hella light.
  • Lastly, please donate to my relay for life profile. Its much appreciated!

Monday, February 15, 2010

G- day minus 122

Annnd here we go. The lack of postage lately has been because of a really cramped schedule. I'm taking four classes, working 22 hours a week, plus marathon training and homework. I'm not complaining, but lets say waking up at 5:30 four days a week isn't agreeing with me. You know those drums of Folgers? not the 38 oz ones, but the 11 oz ones? yep, I've already gone through two of those and its the third week of the semester. Its been rough, but the running less so.

Running has been berry berry good to me, in the words of Chico Escuela. I won't go into detail about all of my runs because honestly they weren't that exiting, but I'll try to hit exciting parts anyways. Sunday was my long run for last week, did the Stone Arch Bridge loop. I love that loop, its so peaceful running as the sun comes up over the bridge, reflecting off the river. I ran it slow, because the conditions were pretty dicey, only to get worse on Monday. Monday it a blizzard, almost white out conditions. There was like four inches of snow on the ground when I got out of work, and none of the sidewalks were plowed. I saw no one out, and I went slow- almost 10 minute miles, but it was still a ridiculously hard run. The next day on the group run, it was me and two other guys. We decided to not run the normal bridge loop and run to the end of the Ford plant, which is probably for the best. The bridges are always terrible the day after snowing a lot because they plow the roads onto the sidewalks and then eventually clear the sidewalks. The next three workouts were awesome, I felt so locked in for all three of them. I skipped Thursday, but that's no big deal because my marathon training starts on Monday and I probably shouldn't push it.
So the next eightteen weeks of my life started with a five miler. It felt terribly tough, partly because it looked like St. Paul hadn't plowed the river road in about a week, it was really tough to get footing. Where there wasn't copious amounts of snow, there was huge bodies of water. I could hear my feet splashing in my shoes on my way back from the turnaround point, which was just another thing I had to deal with. The run left me thinking 'I have 18 more weeks of this crap?' Yeah, but hopefully that was a fluke and it'll get warmer soon enough. Pretty short week this week anyways, only 39 miles, all though I may have to add one or two to that for the sake of ease.
On the plus side, my Brooks ID uniform came today. It is sick, it looks so good I might have to buy another one when I get the money. I'll take a picture of it when I find someone with a camera. Its like bright fluorescent yellow, no one will miss me when I blow past them (that's a joke because I actually don't.) Also, I got a new Road ID, which was much needed since my current one is falling apart. Of course all of this was FO FREE! Thanks to Brooks Running for sending me the uniform, as well as to Dirt Dawg for sending me the Road ID. Its much appreciated fellas. I also ordered a pair of the Green Silences off the ID site from the money I earned by selling my books last semester and changing to renting them this semester. All told, I saved about $70.
I'm kind of at odds with St. Thomas right now, Campus Life called Sigma Chi out on something we didn't do. It got explained away I believe, but thats the third time in the last couple months that we got an "anonymous" complaint. That, and last night Public Safety came in to our room because the hallway smelled like weed. Our room didn't smell like weed, but they came in and poked around my rooommate's stuff. The reasoning they gave me was "Because he's on the lacrosse team and they have a history of smoking before practice." Are you kidding me St. Thomas? You bill yourself as this progressive, welcoming University, yet you have all these preconceived notions that you aren't willing to change. People change, institutions change, individuals are just that- individual. Just because some Sigma Chi chapters have hazing problems, doesn't mean Iota Tau does. Just because some guys on the lax team smoke weed, doesn't mean everybody does. Come on, there are some legitimately good individuals, why won't you recognize that? I'm seriously sick of St. Thomas' broad stereotyping. Lets just say I'm keeping my options open. If Winona State had a Sigma Chi chapter, I'd be there next week

Sunday, February 7, 2010

G- day minus 131/ Inspire Daily at its finest

Hey guys, just got back from an 11 and a half miler. Legs felt good, apart from my left calf feeling a little tight. Thank God all that slush I ran through Friday night hasn't frozen yet- that would be bad news when it does. Oh, Friday. Friday was another run from work run. I was going to get up at 6:15 to do 10 or so since I didn't have to work that morning, but that didn't happen. I sat down to wait for my coffee to brew before my run and fell asleep in my chair. I got out of class late for work, and about to miss the bus to Minneapolis, so tore out of class and up to my dorm, grabbed my running stuff, forgetting my room key, gel, and gloves in the process. However, I did end up bringing wool socks, my headlamp, and a hat I didn't need. I figured I could wear my wool socks on my hands if it ever got cold enough to need them, and hope and pray that my roommate didn't lock the door. I tucked my socks in my shorts, as well as my hat, and headed out. Turns out I didn't need socks on my hands, but I sure needed them on my feet. It was sleeting when I headed out, and had been for a while, so there was slush everywhere- the really heavy kind- as well as gigantic puddles of icewater. I was looking for stretches of bare pavement, but I often found that the stretches of black, which usually indicated bare pavement, was more often huge puddles of water. So, I came back with large bodies of water in my shoes, not very fun, but somehow I managed not to get any blisters.

The coolest thing happened to me that night though. I was waiting at a stoplight about a mile from Minneapolis campus, and some guy, I'd say in his late 50's started talking to me. Here's how the conversation went:
Guy: How far are you going?
Me: St. Paul
Guy: woah man, how far is that?
Me: Seven and a bit
Guy: I have the diabetes, do you think running like you would help me?
Me: Absolutely man, running works wonders if you keep it in moderation
Guy: I'm going to start then, can I run with you?
Me: For sure, as long as you want.
So, the guy ran with me for about a block, two the next stoplight. There was this guy, not exactly the "athletic" type, running his heart out in a full three piece suit, briefcase in hand. It was definitely a powerful moment, and I'll remember it for a while. Will this man keep with it? who knows, but I hope he does, I really think the trial of miles could help him improve his quality of life. Diabetes is a life threatening condition. Did I just save a life out on the road? who's to say, but knowing that I may have really made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. This is why I run.

Yesterday, I planned a Sigma Chi philanthropy event at the Cystic Fibrosis Climb For a Cure event at the IDS tower in Minneapolis. Their website is over at What a great event man, I felt really proud to be a part of it. My day started at 5:00, and we went to the IDS center at 6:00 to help set up. We went up to the 50th floor after getting there, and set up food and water tables, a post race party type of thing. Then I played security guard for the rest of the event, from like 7-noon. Basically, I sat at the security desk with two radios (one to the race management, another to the police) and looked menacing. Now, I don't know how a 130 pound distance runner can look menacing, but I kept everything in order. My fraternity brothers loved it, although I wish I got a coat or a uniform or something to look more official. The only real question I had was when a guy in a "so- and- so law firm" polo came up to me and asked me to get him in to the post office so he could get his mail. I laughed to myself and asked him if he really did study law. Of course, he said yes. I then asked him if he was aware that the post office was a federal institution and breaking him in would be breaking a federal law. lol lawyer jokes.

Last night I went to the Wild- Flyers game. I was wearing my Flyers jersey, and caught some flak for it on the bus to the X, but no big deal. There were actually more Flyers fans than I thought there would be, I saw about 50 in the concourse going to my seat. I won't go into detail about the game because this post is already getting long and boring and I'd probably get depressed because it was so poorly played. Anyways, my 9th grade Adapted Gym teacher was sitting in the row behind me, which was kind of cool. We talked a little bit and he gave me a little more flak about Leighton's puckhandleing skills, but it was just good to see him again, that was a welcome surprise.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

G- day minus 134

I havent been able to post lately because when I try to access from my apple laptop, it gives me the error message "Bad Request." Anyone know why this is happening? I cleared my cookies, cache, and pinnged and it responded, so I don't know what the deal is. But I can access blogger fine on the school PC's, so whatever, I haaven't really had time to poke around my computer, so I'll try some more ways to fix it over the weekend. Whatever though, you don't care about that.

So second semester started up this week, and it'll be tough to squeeze runs in, I can tell already. Most of my runs will be at night, which is kind of a drag because its cold at night, that or early morning, I'm talking real early morning. Here's what a normal day for me looks like this semester:

5:30a- wake up call
6:40a- bus to the minniapple
7a- 10a- work in Minneapolis
10a-11:40a- class in Minneapolis
12:15- 1:20p- class in St. Paul
1:00p- 5:00p- work in the minneapple
11:00p- bed, hopefully

It varies a bit from day to day, but that's basically my schedule every day. My plan is to run up to my dorm after my 1:20 class ends, drop my backpack and pick up my running stuff, so I can run home to the St. Paul campus after my shift is over. I end up leaving all my clothes at my workplace at the end of the day, which was a little awkward the first few times I did it, but as long as no one hangs my underpants from a flagpole, I'm fine with it. Thursday I don't have an afternoon shift at work, so I can go longer that day, Friday I don't have a morning shift, so I haven't decided if I'm going to run in the morning, or sleep in until 8:00 that day.

Then Monday was a run home from work day, which was tough going. I forgot running socks, so I went sockless, into a blizzard, and I was running into the wind. They hadn't plowed the sidewalks, which made my run a little slower, but not much. Tuesday was my group run, which was made interesting because some drunk rolled up to us about 4 miles in and asked us if he was in Indianapolis. When I said no, he asked how to get there. My reply was "s---- dude, I have no idea, get on I-94. Go left." Wednesday was a weird one as well. It wasn't an easy run, but it wasnt a tempo either. It was more of a suicide pace, and today is a good day to die. I believe my overall pace was 8:01, but I had two, maybe three miles at 8 minute pace, the rest were closer to seven, or closer to nine.

Today's run was brutal. It was pretty warm, probably high 20's, but it was snowing, which melted once it hit the asphalt path. Apparently, it had been doing that for a while because it was all slushy and nasty. Hence, my run was no fun. I was planning on doing 10, but I was pretty stiff, so I turned off and ran the Tuesday night loop. I hate that loop for some reason. So, I was miserable, wet, cold, and to make matters worse I had a blood blister that burst, so the big toe portion of my shoe is all bloody. Pretty much a terrible run, but it was bound to happen after so many good ones.

In other news, I decided to sign on as a volunteer track coach at the Courage Center, which is a nonprofit that serves physically disabled populations. I actually ran for Courage Center until 11th grade or there abouts, so I guess its just poetic justice that I be the coach. Now, I'll be honest, I really don't know the first thing about track, other than what I know about speedwork. So, I better do some research if I want to get my runners into Junior National competition. I don't know what my runners' abilities will be, but if they're able, I'd love to take them out on a road run, to build endurance. One thing I noticed in my competitions is that I'd get smoked in the 100- 200 meter distances, but kill everybody in the 400- 800. I don't know where the practices will be held, but if they are at the St. Louis Park HS track like they were last year, I figure I can just run there and back, its like 5 miles each way.