2012 Rosemount Run for the Gold

Well, another weekend, another work-related race to qualify for reduced health insurance costs…

This weekend I ran the 2012 Rosemount Run for the Gold race. A poor showing, which I have no choice but to blame on the torrential rain throughout the race.

Actually, I’m sure the rain is just an excuse. I just ran poorly is all, at least compared to two weeks ago at the race in Lakeville. Actually, it really might have been the 2 pounds of peanuts I ate the night prior. I thought I was going to vomit.

2012 Rosemount Run for the Gold

Distance: 4 miles
Time: 30:24
Pace: 7:36 / mile

And actually, while I have you here as a captive audience, can I just gripe about this race a little bit? I get that this was a low-budget event and all, but this was over-the-top low-budget. Most of the turns weren’t marked – if I hadn’t seen the guy in front of me making a few of the turns, I would have had no idea where to go. They didn’t even bother making a few posterboards with arrows or anything. Also, half of the route was just on sidewalks – not the adjacent roadways, just the sidewalk. Half the fun of races is that you get a free pass to run down the middle of the street if you feel like it, but not this time. Lame.

Lakeville Pan-O-Prog 4 Mile Race (or Accidental Biathlon)

Greetings, folks. Saturday got off to an interesting start at about 4:30 AM when the alarm went off. Why such an ungodly hour?

Well, I decided to participate in the Lakeville Pan-O-Prog 4 mile run on Saturday morning. It was a work thing. They want us all to be more active, so that we can be more productive and happy people and live healthier, happier lives, but more importantly, so that we can all get 10% off our health insurance premiums during 2013. To do that, we have to participate in one of any several approved “wellness” events, the Lakeville Pan-O-Prog 4-mile run being one of them.

Apparently, riding a bicycle to and from work 8 miles each way every day year-round didn’t make the list of approved “wellness” activities. But signing up for a 4-mile run did (actually, I probably could have easily petitioned the HR department to count the bike riding, but I don’t mind a little encouragement to get out and jog a bit more).

The race started at 7:45 AM, but I needed to register by 7:00, which would mean leaving the house at 6:30 or so to drive there. And I’m such a darling and loving husband and father that I couldn’t stand the thought of waking my dear wife and daughter so early in the morning. So SOLUTION: I’ll ride a bike. It’s only 28 miles so google maps says I need to leave at 4:30 AM.

OK. No problem.

But first off, WTF is “Pan-O-Prog”? Sounds like a skillet of whale lard or something. It’s short for “Panorama of Progress”, which is a mouthful. I understand their desire to abbreviate the name a bit, but I’m not sure “Pan-O-Prog” was the best option. How about just “POP”?

Anyway, mostly it was just an excuse to go for an early-morning solo bike ride, since I don’t get the chance to do that too often anymore.

Part of my route took me on a dirt path through the Minnesota River Valley Wildlife Refuge, which I wanted to capture on camera for you. I got a kick out of this photo, because it looks like something out of a horror movie.

Bad photography? Or fatigue-induced hallucination? I report. You decide.

This is the scene where a I realize that I’ve been pricked in the back of the neck by a poison tipped dart. The world starts swirling, vision blurs. The next thing I know I wake only to discover that I’ve been stripped naked strapped to a wooden stake in the ground while natives dance around the fire they will ultimately use to cook me. Or I find myself strapped to a metal hard-back chair in the middle of an empty warehouse somewhere in siberia while scar-faced russians prepare to beat me with rusty steel pipes.

Or maybe I’m just a lousy photographer and can’t be bothered to stop cycling while I take a photo.

Anyway, the race went fine. Legs were a bit tired, but I don’t think it slowed me down much. Results below:


Distance: 4 miles
Time: 29:03
Pace: 7:16

And since this is the first time I’ve ever run a 4-mile race, this is also a new personal record!


2010 Drumstick Dash 10K

My friend Julie convinced me to run a 10 K this morning. That’s no sweat for her since she’s totally into running these days, but 10K is a little further than I’m used to – specifically, the 50 foot journeys I usually make between the couch and the refrigerator during commercial breaks.  But the good news is that I didn’t vomit the entire time!

But it was like 8 degrees outside! The race route was 2x around Lake Harriet, and it was a completely iced over.  Every step I could feel myself slipping around a little bit.  But it still felt great to be outside breathing the cold air this morning.

Here’s the best part: I bet I burned at least 600 calories, which is approaching one quarter of the calories I intend to eat for Thanksgiving dinner this afternoon.  That means I get to eat 25% more stuffing!  Forget turkey, by the way.  I’m totally into stuffing.

Race: 2010 Drumstick Dash 10K
Distance: 10K (6.21 miles)
Time: 49:22
Pace: 7:56/mile

Anyway, it’s not a personal best time or anything (previous 10K times: 42:41, 42:37, and 42:32, but I’m still proud of myself for getting out and doing it.

OK, well let’s just skip to the photos of my mug that I know y’all are craving right now.

This is how I roll:

Face Frost!!!:

My friend Julie and I:

The Truth about Exercising

I used to be a pretty serious runner. I used to go running 12 miles a day, 6 days a week. My legs would start to ache at the end of the day if I didn’t go running. I even ran a marathon once and scored a time I’m pretty proud of.

So I know what people are talking about when they say things like “running just makes me feel so energized.” But those days for me are long gone.

When I go running now, I don’t feel energized. I feel like laying on the couch and doing nothing for the next 3 hours.

I know what people are talking about when they say “running just makes me feel good.”

These days, though, running just makes me feel like vomiting.

So how about you? Are you over the hill yet?

Twin Cities (Half) Marathon


So I announced a while back that I would be participating in the 2009 Twin Cities Marathon. I wrote about how I was motivated more by the fact that I look like an angry muffin when my gut spills out over the top of my jeans than any real desire to run. I confessed that I have been afraid to sign up for a marathon because I knew my fitness has gone downhill since my one and only marathon in 2004, where I was quite pleased with my performance. I didn’t want to run another one if I wasn’t going to beat my 2004 time because then I’d have to admit to myself that I’m officially lazy & out of shape.
I ran (half of) the Twin Cities Marathon today. I have posted a couple times previously about how my training has not gone very well. I went into the race knowing that I would only run half of it. I hadn’t completed anywhere near enough training to run a marathon – and really, where I’m at right now, a half-marathon was a pretty good accomplishment. So I went into the race planning to drop out at Lake Nokomis, which means I didn’t receive either the finishers medal OR the t-shirt! LAME.
I held my own for about the first 2 miles…. then peeps just started passing me like nobody’s business… and continued to pass me for the entire race. I was also extremely overdressed (tell-tale sign of unpreparedness), so I was sweating like it was going out of style.
After Mile #2:
Number of people passed: 0
Number of people who buzzed right past me: several thousand
I finished (half of) the Marathon in 1:40:36 (7:41 per mile). For comparison purposes, one year ago, I ran the Sour Grapes Half Marathon (a much more challenging off-road course) in 1:35:35 (7:18 per mile) & in 2004, I ran the first half of the SLC marathon in 1:28:54 (6:47 per mile). So clearly not a personal record, but a milestone nonetheless.
Race tunes: Secret Lives of the Freemasons, My Chemical Romance, Boys Like Girls
Pre-Race meals: nothing on race-day. Gallon of soda & bucket of popcorn at the movie the night before.
Pre-race weight: 149.2
Post-race weight: 145.0 (after eating an apple and drinking 12 oz. of soda)


Ugh… the wife and I are SICK. Stuffy noses, sore throats… and on a weekend even! I don’t want to feel like this on a weekend, I want to be sick while I’m at work! Oh well, we’re gonna watch Emire Records and have a pity party for ourselves.

In other news, I think my groin muscle is almost healed enough that I can just about start training for my upcoming marathon again… but I gotta get over this cold first, I guess… I just drank about half a bottle of DayQuil. Now I might vomit.

Reuben’s Guide to Marathon Training

A lot of people have been asking me about my training course for the upcoming marathon in October. I’ve been a little hesitant to give out any details because I’m still waiting to hear back from a few publishers I’ve contacted about possibly writing a book about my marathon training tips. I can’t wait any longer, however. I’m just going to lay it all out. Here is Reuben’s Guide to Marathon Training:

1. Sign up for a marathon hoping that it will make you feel financially and socially accountable, which will encourage you to train more.
2. Realize that this doesn’t work.
3. Battle with depression and self-image issues.
4. Overcompensate for lack of regular training by pushing too hard during sporatic exercise sessions.
5. Decide that the old rule “stretch before you exercise” is for sissies.
6. Pull a groin muscle, which will render you unable to train for at least 3 weeks.
7. Continue battle with depression and self-image issues.
8. Give up, go to Old Navy, and buy bigger pants.

10 Mile Run

I took advantage of the day off on Monday and went for a 10 mile along the Midtown Greenway and around Lake Calhoun.  It felt really good to run that far again.  I expect it’s been well over a year since I’ve done anything more than about 6 miles.  It gave me some much-needed confidence for my marathon training.  It wasn’t as fast as I would have liked (didn’t time myself or anything… just guessing..), but I think I’ll get there. In the mean time, enjoy this photo:

Good News, Bad News

Good News: I am beginning to suspect that my self-diagnosed broken foot is actually just a tendon/ligament thing that I plan to ignore.

Bad News: Regardless of the cause, my foot still hurts.  Also, today is day 4 of my new training schedule & diet.  I plan to run zero miles today, and plan to go out to dinner for greasy pizza followed by attending a Pie of the Month Club meeting.  
…and all this while I prepare for my 2 week break from my training/diet while I’m in Europe in 4 days!  ooh i’m gonna do so well in my marathon!