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Archive for September, 2010|Monthly archive page

Grandma’s marathon

In running on September 30, 2010 at 2:16 am

Grandma’s marathon — it’s the famous Minnesota marathon held in June. I’m running it in October instead.

It’s sad to write, but this week my grandma passed away at 92, the last of my living grandparents. I remember all the good times I had with her… the piles and piles of chocolate chip cookies she made me. The fun secrets we kept. The time we spent just telling stories about the old days.

Life wasn’t easy for her and I know she hit the wall more than once in her lifetime. So when I hit the wall on Summit Avenue, somewhere around mile 20 of the Twin Cities Marathon this Sunday, I know she’ll be watching and cheering me on like she always did, “go Jimmy go”… and I’ll work through the bumps just like she did for 92 years.

This marathon is for you grandma. I miss you.

wobegon effect

In running on September 26, 2010 at 1:48 am

Lake Wobegon is a fictional town in Minnesota, and if you’ve listened to the Prairie Home Companion, it’s the boyhood home of host Garrison Keillor. On the show Keillor says the town’s name comes from a fictional old Indian word meaning “the place where we waited all day in the rain [for you].”

The last couple days it’s been raining almost continuously, resulting in massive flooding. Here’s a recent video of what it looked like nearby… the fish swimming in the grass (min 1:25) is really a crazy image.

So the last couple days of running/biking have been through puddles and detours. We have a few more Lake Wobegons, too.

This morning I crossed 3 people on the trail. I’ve seen them before and we have never exchanged words. Today was different. Each one had something to say — about the weather, of course.

As the rain was again coming down, I asked a lady if the rest of the trail was passable. She smiled and said, “oh, sure… nothing you haven’t probably mucked through before.” So I proceeded through one of the muckiest routes I’ve ever run.

I was glad to see the dam and bridge still up and the pond looking fine for the moment, but it made me think about the ‘wobegon effect’ – the characterization of Keillor’s fictional location, where “all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.”

This was my last long run before next weekend’s Twin Cities Marathon. I feel strong, have a 20 miler in and spent hours and hours on the trail, but am I overestimating my capabilities… will I be able to bring it home on Summit avenue all the way to the capitol building in St. Paul like I estimate?

dips and perspective

In #bikeschool, cycling on September 21, 2010 at 1:07 am

Some remarkable stuff on the internets last week. Amazing posts from amazing people:

I haven’t been on my bike as much lately because of the time commitment that comes with marathon training — the inspiration behind my last post on cycling’s social impact.

@morebikes calls it “the most perfect blog post. Ever. Period.” I always always appreciate comments like this, but I think this description best fits @dorthybitestoto’s first post back on March 10, 2010 which is completely awe-inspiring –> Letter to My Daughters

Learning the way along the way… much thanks to the #bikeschool cohort.

cycling’s social impact (simplified)

In cycling, sketches on September 16, 2010 at 4:20 pm

bucket bully

In cycling, running on September 14, 2010 at 11:53 pm

I’ve been plugging along on my running mileage, actually ahead of the game when it comes to the 1,000 mile challenge. Last Saturday (9/11) I was able to get in a 20 mile run. It was the  perfect day to run, remember all that has happened this day and reflect on things I’m grateful for.

I sat down a couple times to type out some thoughts, but the words never seemed to fit until my son (the 1st grader) shared a lesson tonight. Here’s the lesson:

Everybody has an imaginary bucket. Your bucket fills up if you take care of others. It empties if you are a bucket bully.


flickr credit: Hugger Industries

holsteins, zappos, etc.

In cycling, good business, running, seth school on September 8, 2010 at 11:19 am

[estimated read time: 45 seconds]

Some miscellany to report…

I’ve been riding my singlespeed 29er more lately. There are some fun cow paths nearby to explore and I’ve been taking advantage of the bulls being out of the pasture. I took this picture of a local Holstein cow — curious creatures.

Zappos. I ordered some new shoes and am completely amazed by their customer service. Have you seen their core values? Really something I tell you… even fun and weird. Go here –> Zappos Family Core Values

Values. Something about the change of season that makes you think about values, philosophy, strategy, etc. Seems a good time for re-engineering, re-imagining, re-something.

Running. I’ve been doing alot of it lately. September and October are perfect for this – love the crunchy leaves under feet.

Push-ups. I’m  starting to do some and my pecs hurt.

table scraps. thoughts of a young cyclist.

In cycling on September 1, 2010 at 12:53 am

My son will officially be a first grader this week. He grew so big over the Summer.

It seems crazy that just a few months ago we were able to take off his training wheels for the first time.

The other day we had one of those priceless dinner table conversations, a moment absolutely requiring archival here (the short version)…

me: Yum, what’s in this?
son: It’s stuff from the future, dad.
mom: I think someone’s been playing too much Wii.
son: Dad, it’s all stuff from the future. Good, isn’t it?
mom: I’ll bet you and dad unlocked some new worlds today on Wii Star Wars.
son: Yeah, I was daddy’s master, but he died alot. Can I be excused please so dad and I can go biking?

This Summer has gone so fast. I hate to see it go, and see him off to meet the teacher. I’ll never forget the confidence he gained from taking off his training wheels this Spring.

So many great biking adventures we took from then on… to the tree fort, the swings at the local park, Hy-Vee for a candy bar, and so forth. It’s been a wonderful Summer biking with him, my favorite cycling partner.