Thursday, August 30, 2007

Day 436 -- Jogger's Progress

Time15 days, 17 hrs, 55 min
7 days, 9 hrs, 1 min
1 day, 4 hr, 31 min

Tomorrow being a scheduled day off, it's time to take a look at Jogger's Progress.

In total mileage, I was only 0.8 short of my longest month ever, which was this past April. I was about 3 miles ahead of the estimate that I made at the beginning of the month. I cut a couple of runs short, but I made up on the other days, usually a half a mile to a mile at a time. My plan for the next three weeks is to stick very close to the schedule, to try to maximize my chances of arriving at the starting line of the marathon rested and ready.

I note that some time this last week, I passed 2500 miles for the trip. That's cool. For the year, I'm up over 1100 miles. At this point, I expect to finish the year with 1600 to 1700 miles. We'll see.

Only one goal for September: the Quad Cities Marathon. My mail goal is to finish, whether I have to run, walk, or crawl. Beyond that, I'd like to be in relatively good shape, and I even have a time goal in the back of my head, but I'm not even going to type it. I don't want to finish and then get all disappointed because I missed my time goal. Just finish. That's the main thing.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Days 434 and 435 -- Craig

Today I ran through Craig, Colorado. While I was there, I thought I'd do a little shopping at the Centennial Mall. According to, they have over 25 stores, which "await your arrival to serve you in a relaxed, climate controlled atmosphere."

I ran five miles yesterday, and 8.7 today. No particular reason why I didn't post yesterday, other than I didn't get around to it. It has been hot and humid again, so neither day exactly saw me tearing up the roads. But I finished my runs and didn't die, two important goals. They are now predicting cool, dry weather for a few days. I can only hope.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Back to Work

We don't start classes until after Labor Day here in Wisconsin, but today was the first official day of contract, and the first all-day meetings. Somebody at a different college told me years ago that the real purpose of these opening meetings was to wake up the older faculty, so they'd know that classes were actually on the way.

As these things go, they were fine. I long ago gave up on the hope that any opening-day speaker would totally transform my teaching. At this point, I'll settle for being reasonably interesting and not saying anything patently stupid, which these speakers both managed. Each in their own way, they challenged us to think about who our students are and how well we are serving them in and out of the classroom. That's about the best I can expect.

One funny little quirk. The first speaker wore a lapel microphone, so the first thing that she did was to test it, and then to explain to us that for today's students, you don't want to stand behind a podium. She then stood there for an hour and a half, next to the podium, and gave her talk. Well, I'm sure that if there had been any Millenial Generation students in the audience, they would have appreciated it.

Anyway, I have a couple of short meetings tomorrow on technology, and then a couple of days off, then departmental stuff on Friday. And classes start on Tuesday, September 4. I think it will be a good semester. I'm looking forward to it.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Day 433 -- Yampa River State Park

I'm back! No, the laptop isn't fixed, but I dropped in to the shop yesterday and had them hook it up to an external monitor so I could grab some things off the hard drive. (I was also pleased to verify that it actually works fine, except for the broken screen.) Among the things I grabbed were the USJogger master photo, and the record of where exactly I am. After today's run, I am precisely 87.4 miles up Route 40 from Kremmling. Just a bit north of my current location is Yampa River State Park. As you can see, it's a lovely place.

Today was a good day for running. It has finally cooled a bit, and I felt pretty good after 13.5 miles. I think I could have run 20 today, if I had to. In any case, I'm feeling pretty good right now. Tired, but good.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Days 431 and 432 -- Hayden

I'm somewhere around Hayden today. I hope I'll get my computer back and get this straightened out soon. Besides having the master USJogger photo (which is why I'm not in this shot), it also has my detailed log of exactly where I am, which is now about five days behind. *Sigh!*

I ran six miles yesterday, most of it in a light rain, and then almost eight more today. Today the weather was relatively cool and dry, so it was a great day for a run. I could have gone further, but I'm scheduled for 12 miles tomorrow, and I didn't want to push it.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Day off

Another unscheduled day off. I woke up just enough to turn off the alarm, then went back to sleep. Tomorrow was a scheduled day off, but now I'll run today's distance tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Day 430 -- Still no pictures

OK, one picture. But I'm not in it, because my computer is still broken. The prognosis is that it can be fixed. The screen is broken, and they can be replaced. The next question is whether to do that or not. They are going to find out what it would cost, but the truth is that I have an older laptop that would probably do everything that I need it to do -- it's mostly reading blogs and playing games anyway -- so it may not be worth fixing the broken one. In any case, they promised me that they could hook it up to get my files off the hard drive on the broken computer. But until they do, no pictures.

Actually, this picture is kind of apt. It's from Ski Haus in Steamboat Springs, still not far behind me. And it is someone running (from their "Footwear") page. So it fits. But alas, no USJogger.

I did a tough 6 miles today. Tough because of the heat and humidity, which are really starting to drive me nuts. When will this end?!?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Day 429 -- West of Steamboat Springs...

...but no picture today. My laptop is broken, and it's the computer with the "USJogger" photo to stick in front of whatever. I hope that I will be able to get it fixed, or, if not, at least get things off the hard drive to put them somewhere else.

After being up for almost 20 hours yesterday, I slept in this morning, but I got my run in at noon. Not a good idea. By noon it was warm and humid. It was a tough run. But I finished it, and will try to get to bed early tonight, to get up early tomorrow. We'll see what I'm able to posts for tomorrow's run.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Day 428 -- Steamboat Springs

Stopped short. Again. Third time in a little over two weeks. And worse than two weeks ago. I stopped about four miles short of my goal of 20 miles.

I'm trying to be positive. I did run almost 16 miles. But it's hard not to start worrying about the marathon. It's just under five weeks away, and I seem to be getting weaker. I have only one more really long run before the marathon. I just have to make 20 miles on that one, which will be the first Sunday in September. (The 2nd, I think.)

It wasn't a great day to run. I was up too early. I had to get done in time for Mrs. Jogger to go to work at 8, so I set my alarm for 4:00 am. And then I was not sleeping well, so I actually got up before the alarm, and headed out the door at about 4:00. Into the rain.

If it didn't rain all of the last 24 hours, it certainly did its level best. It was a light rain when I set out, but within the first three miles, I got a little gully-washer, which soaked me to the skin. I started to worry about blisters, particularly since, in the dark, I was stepping in more puddles than I planned.

Anyway, I don't think I got any blisters, but I did stop short, and I feel awfully tired right now. I hope that the overall program is enough to get me ready for the marathon, even with a bad couple of weeks. Otherwise, this could be a very ugly marathon.

The image, by the way, is from Priest Creek Ranch in Steamboat Springs. It's a great shot. I felt guilty putting myself into it. (That's probably why I stuck myself back in the background so far.) There are lots of other great images from Steamboat Springs, and nothing else much around here, so expect to see more Steamboat Springs for the next couple of days.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Day off

I set the alarm this morning, but I woke up to a steady rain. After a hard run yesterday, I didn't feel like a long run in the rain, so I didn't. Now I have to figure out how to get in a 20 miler tomorrow.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Day 427 -- Race

I ran a race today. A town up near Madison hosted Jerry's Race Against Muscular Dystrophy. There was a 10K run, a 5K run, and, new this year, a "Hometown Team Challenge." The idea was that various town around the area would organize teams, and it would be scored as a team event, like a cross country meet. Unfortunately, they didn't get quite as much participation as I think they planned on.

The first place team was a bunch of young guys, late teens or early twenties. I had the impression that they had been on a high school cross country or track team, and had gotten together to show the old guys a thing or two. I believe that they finished first, second, third, fourth, and sixth. The second place team was a bunch of middle aged guys, all in fairly good shape. And the third place team was me.

That's correct, I, by myself, represented my hometown. Well, actually, I represented the University. When I read about this thing in the paper, I thought it would be cool to enter a team from the University. I know plenty of people who run. So I tried to get something organized, but it never really panned out. I had one definite "Yes," and two or three "Maybes," but none of them showed up. Not even the "Yes." So I ran by myself.

I finished last. I pretty much knew I was headed for that, as soon as I saw the field. Actually, I ran with one other fellow (I found out later he was in the age group 10 years above mine), and I think that I could have beaten him at the end, but that seemed like it would have been rude. I just coasted in behind him by a second or two.

I wasn't a bad run, actually. I finished in almost exactly the time I took on July 4. I suppose that I should have been faster, since it was much cooler. It was rainy most of the day, but it cleared off just enough for the race, which was pretty good planning, I think. And it was lots cooler than all last week, so it was a pleasant run.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Day 426 -- Twisty Mountain Road

I'm still on the road between Kremmling and Steamboat Springs, with not many towns around, so I went with a generic mountain road shot which I lifted from this Flikr site. The owner, "Novon", doesn't seem to indicate where it was taken, so no telling if it's anywhere near here. The funny thing was how I found it. I Googled "twisty mountain road," which took me to a page of beginning English conversations, for English language learners. So, if you are interested in learning some basic conversational English, head on over to there.

After teasing us for a couple of days, the cool, dry air finally settled in over night last night. I ran 6.4 miles, but I could have run more. I only stopped because I knew that Mrs. Jogger has a meeting this morning. Otherwise, I might still be out there. It's a great morning for running.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Day 425 -- Sunrise

Nothing spectacular about today's run -- five miles, nice and slow -- so I thought that I would throw in a spectacular sunrise. This photo is from Phil Armitage who has many, many beautiful landscape photos at his website. This sunrise is in Rocky Mountain National Park, which is east of my current location. Oh, well. (I have actually inserted myself into this photo, but at the size that it uploaded, it's all but impossible to see me.)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Day 424 -- Search and Rescue

This makes me feel somewhat safer. Grand County, Colorado, has its own Search and Rescue team. They are "A volunteer non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives through search, rescue and mountain safety education." Not something you see around my neck of the woods. We have a volunteer fire department, sure, but not a Search and Rescue team. Not that many people get lost among the cows.

I had a good run this morning. It rained, on and off, which kept me cool. We've had a decent amount of rain in August, but this is the first day in a while that I've run in it. It felt good.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Day 423 -- Train Tracks

Once again, I'm in a stretch of road without a lot of landmarks. But I found this UP 6887 leading a mixed bag of hoppers, according to the Mountain West Rail web site. I don't know what a "UP 6887" is, or what a "mixed bag of hoppers" is. I do know that the web site says this is just north of Toponas, and I'm, well, somewhat north of Toponas. So I'm probably not far from here. Better not stand on the tracks too long.

The heat and humidity, if not exactly broken, were at least decreased a little this morning. Combine that with the fact that I took yesterday off, and the fact that I ran pretty slowly this morning, and it was a good morning.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Day 422 -- Kremmling, Colorado

Michael's Audio & Video, out of Fraser, CO, installed this very nice flat-screen TV, with the equipment concealed in the closet, in the home of Dean and Susan Billington of Kremmling. The video image is simulated, using a publicity shot from the Kremmling Chamber of Commerce. Yes, I am pretty proud of this shot, both the idea and the execution.

Having had a really rough week, it was really important to me to make my full distance today. And I did. It was rough, but I made it. My socks were soaked in sweat when I was done. It was brutal. Now, if only it will cool off and dry off this afternoon, and stay that way for the rest of my life, I'll be fine.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Day 421 -- Heeney, Colorado

The Master Bait and Tackle Shop* in Heeney, Colorado, is for sale, at a bargain price of $350,000. Here I am, standing in front of the liquor store part of it. The website suggests that you can "Be your own boss in Heeney, Colorado." Sounds tempting, but I think I'll pass. You have to add on the expense of changing the name of the store.

I did stop after about four miles today. I could have gone further, but I didn't. I'm scheduled for 13 tomorrow, and I want to make that. Wish me luck.

*I'm sure it sounded funny at the time.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Day 420 -- Green Mountain Reservoir

Here I am on a bridge across Cataract Creek in the Green Mountain Reservoir recreation area, "one of the best kept secrets in Colorado." The area is huge, and very scenic. I'm not sure if I was anywhere near Cataract Creek today, but what the heck!

As you can see, I didn't quit running, although I kind of wished that I had. I'm still sick, and it's just zapping my energy. Plus the heat and humidity continue. I did a slow five miles today, and only finished that because I took a walk break. I've already given myself permission to run four tomorrow instead of the scheduled eight. And if it's too nasty, I might just take another day off.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Sick Wars

Mrs. Jogger and I are having a sick-off. Whoever is sickest doesn't need to do anything around the house.

I have a sore throat, which I caught from the littlest Little Jogger. It's not that bad, but I'm a wimp. I just don't have any energy or patience. This is no doubt part of why this morning's run was so bad. She has some sort of the flu. She hasn't thrown up, but her head is all full of wool. So neither of us has done anything this afternoon but sit around and groan.

The Little Joggers are reverting to pre-civilization. It's like the Lord of the Flies, only not quite so polite.

Anyway, wish us luck. If I win the sick-off, I get lots of valuable prizes.

Day 419 -- In a Fog

I am quitting this sport.

I walked out this morning. It was 73 degrees and foggy. Mist started to form on my glasses. I broke a sweat just standing there. Any sane person would have turned around, gone back inside the air conditioning, and gone back to bed. I ran.

It's too bad I didn't enjoy it, because that was my last time. My new sport will be competitive eating. I intend to gain 400 pounds, and be one of those people who has to have everything delivered, because he can't fit through the front door. If you are driving on Route 9 between Silverthorne and Heeney, and you see what looks like a new Rocky Mountain, that will be me.

(Fog image from Wikipedia.)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Day 418 -- Colorado Route 9

Not much in the way of Googlable landmarks in Colorado Route 9 between Silverthorne and Heeney. So I decided to use a generic Rocky Mountain shot from I'm sure that if I paid proper attention, I would be able to determine that this peak isn't anywhere near Colorado Route 9 between Silverthorne and Heeney. But, hey, it's my blog, and I'll do what I want.

I ran five miles today. I ran them kind of slow, but it still wasn't easy. In spite of more rain last night, the humidity simply refuses to go away. Anyway, I finished. Part of my brain wants to push extra hard, to make up for coming up short on Sunday, but I'm not listening to that part.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The End of the Internet

While exploring Blessed2Bless, I found the end of the Internet. Well, at least now we know where it is.

Day 417 -- Silverthorne

I passed through Silverthorne about halfway through today's run. I found this nice moose photo at Blessed2Bless, and I thought I'd join in.

I almost didn't run this morning. We had rain last night, with thunder and lightning, and just as I walked out this morning, I thought I caught a flash of lightning out of the corner of my eye. Lightning is one condition that I won't mess with. So I almost turned around and went back to bed. But I never heard the thunder, and I decided I could get out and run, and if it did turn out to be lightning, I could get home quickly enough. I never saw another flash, so it might just have been my imagination.

I pretty quickly began to wish that I had gone back to bed. I don't know whether it was the humidity (which is still high), or lack of sleep, or too many miles this week, but today's long run was difficult right from the start. By the time I had done six miles, I knew that I was in for a long day. There wasn't anything in particular wrong, I just didn't have much energy. It was one of those days when I just had to keep on for the sake of keeping on.

And I didn't quite make it. I stopped about a mile and a half short of my goal, and walked the rest of the way. I don't feel good about that, but I'm trying to keep it in perspective. This is one day in a long training regimen. I did do a lot of work, and I got stronger. I'm sure that I'll bounce back and finish my next long run.

It happened to me in the spring, too, while I was training for the half marathon. That time, it was the seventeen miler that I couldn't finish. Today, it was the eighteen miler. Both times, I think that I psyched myself out early. I decided early on that it was a bad day, and I just kept dwelling on it, rather than letting myself run. And both times, I was monster thirsty when I stopped. I thought I hydrated pretty well today, but I still drank a lot when I got home.

Anyway, I'm pretty tired now, and going to take tomorrow off. Then on Tuesday, I'll get right back out there.

Oh, one more thing. Today I passed the thousand mile mark for the year. Last year, I didn't pass 1000 miles until September 26. So I'm about seven weeks ahead of last year's pace. Which shouldn't be a surprise. Last year at this time, I was dreaming about a marathon. Now, I'm training for one.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Swimming with the Sharks

The Thrift Shop where Mrs. Jogger works is having a bag sale this morning. Everything you can stuff in one bag for $1 on selected items, mostly summer stuff that they want to clear out. Mrs. J was going to go over and take all the kids. I was lounging on the sofa, thinking seriously of taking a little nap while they were gone.

Suddenly, the phone rang. It's the Thrift Shop. Someone called in sick, and they want Mrs. J to work. Could I take the kids over?


We get there maybe 5 minutes after the store opened. There are approximately a hundred billion little old ladies standing around the sale tables. Scraps of fabric are flying. I tentatively try to wedge into the crowd to see what's actually for sale. No one bites me, but that doesn't mean that no one was tempted. The Little Joggers all flee for the safety of the non-sale part of the store. I'm alone. I don't know anyone's size, and I have only the vaguest idea of what the kids like to wear.

More panic!

Anyway, I made it out alive, but it's not an experience that I want to relive any time soon.

Day 416 -- Keystone

Keystone is a ski resort town, so there are lots of images of it on the web. This one, from Wayland Baptist University, has the advantage of at least having been taken during the summer. And where is Wayland Baptist University? Why, Plainview, Texas, of course.

I did end up taking yesterday off from running, so I was predictably cranky and listless all day. I didn't sleep well last night, but I popped up and ran this morning, and it felt really good. It felt faster than it was. I thought I would beat Wednesday's time (over the same route) but I was two minutes slower. Oh, well.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Day 415 -- Montezuma

Montezuma, Colorado, is a little south of the stretch of I-70 on which I'm currently running. And something tells me that Roger Wendell is not cross country skiing in this area this week. Nonetheless, a photo is a photo. Perhaps I should photoshop in a stocking cap for my head.

Today was one of those days when I could barely drag myself out of bed. I did it, and I'm glad that I did. I think it would have been a much rougher day if I hadn't run. But it was sure hard to get started. I even caught myself this evening being glad that I don't have to run tomorrow. That's not a very normal sentiment for me, these days. Most of the time, I'm looking forward to my next run. But tomorrow will be a good day to take off, before a lot of miles this weekend.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Day 414 -- Silver Plume, Colorado

Thanks to, there are lots of good pictures of Silver Plume, Colorado on the web. I'm not sure why I picked this church and this store. The peak population in Silver Plume was about 2000 people, but now they are down to only about 200, so I'm afraid a lot of these buildings are abandoned. The store still seems to be active, though.

I ran eight miles today, in wicked humidity. I swear that my clothes wouldn't have been wetter if I'd taken a dip in the pool. Nonetheless, I made decent time, and I feel OK, now. I can't wait for the weather to break, but there's no break in the forecast.