Sunday, December 30, 2007

Day 514 -- Jogger's Progress

Time18 days, 13 hrs, 35 min
10 days, 4 hrs, 41 min

The gym will be closed tomorrow, and it's still nowhere near nice enough to run outside, so today is my last day of the year. I couldn't decide whether to run six or eight, so I ran seven. I could easily have run more. I still had energy left at the end.

So, it was a good year, even if December was a light month. I did 175 more miles than in 2006. Interestingly, I ran the exact same number of days -- 257 in 2006 and 257 in 2007. I ran all the way from Civil Bend, Missouri, to somewhere west of West Wendover, Nevada. Of course, I ran my first marathon.

I did miss a couple of goals. I didn't lose any weight, even with all those miles. And as I wrote a couple of days ago, I didn't quite make my goal of never missing more than two days of running.

And what's up for next year? Well, I let my friends on one of my message boards talk me into setting a goal of 2008 miles in 2008. That's going to be a stretch. It's a full 25% more than this year. But what the heck? It wouldn't be a goal if it were easy.

I'm planning to train for three marathons. I'm already registered for the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon in May. Then I'll immediately start training for the Community First Fox Cities Marathon, which runs through Appleton, Kimberly, Combined Locks, Darboy, Menasha, and Neenah, up in East-Central Wisconsin. Then I'll immediately start training for the Zoom Yah! Yah! Indoor Marathon in Northfield, Minnesota, in January 2009. That last one is a maybe. The field is limited to 40 runners, because, well, it's an indoor marathon. So I might not get in.

I'll also make my initial goal for JogAmericaBlog: San Francisco. I'm maybe 600 miles out, now, so I should be there this spring. And then what? I'm thinking of running up the west coast to Oregon. Every good runner should make it to Eugene, Oregon, one of the hotbeds of running in the 60's and 70's.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Day 513 -- West Wendover, NV

Apparently, the best thing that West Wendover, Nevada, has going for it is that it is the closest town in Nevada to Salt Lake City. So, if you live in Salt Lake City, and you have to urge to go to the casino, this is where you have to go. This is the Peppermill Hotel and Casino in West Wendover.

I ran a quick four miles at noon today. I hope to get back tomorrow, and then that will be it for the year.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Day 512 -- At Long Last, Nevada

Five whole days off from running. That's my longest break in the last two years! We're back in my hometown, so I went to the gym this morning and ran for almost an hour. It felt really, really good.

I've also, as you can see, crossed over the border into Nevada. This isn't the right Welcome to Nevada sign. The one on Interstate 80, where I am now, probably looks exactly the same, but the terrain is different. I'm more up in the mountains than this photo suggests.

Illness continues to haunt the Jogger household. Mrs. Jogger has a bad sore throat, and, on top of that, got sick to her stomach on Wednesday night. The medium Little Jogger continues to wake up at night with a stuffy nose. The first Little Jogger also has a sore throat, although that seems to be on the mend. I have a stuffy nose, myself, but I'm not complaining, because I'm not as bad off as some.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Almost, but not quite

At the end of last year, I set a goal to go all of 2007 without taking more than two days off from running. And I made it up I even made it after the marathon. I ran again on Wednesday, after the Sunday marathon. But the cold weather got me. I could have run on Sunday, since the gym was open, but I didn't. Yesterday, we packed up and drove down to Grandma Joggers, and it's just too cold, and there's too much snow on the ground, to run outside. And there's no gym open around here. So, I came up a week short on that goal.

As you can see, I did get some exercise today, on Grandma's Nordic Track. It was OK, but boring. I don't know why running for 35 minutes is less boring than Nordic Tracking for 35 minutes, but it is.

We've had a good Christmas, overall. Lots of great presents, lots of great food, and not too much fighting. Mrs. Jogger has a cold which is stuffing up her sinuses, so she hasn't been really happy. But we've tried to keep the kids occupied, and I think that she's feeling a little better now.

I probably won't run tomorrow, but we'll be going home on Thursday, and I'll try to get to the gym, then. In the meantime, I'm just trying to decompress a little.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas, or whatever you happen to be celebrating this year!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Day 511 -- Wendover, Utah

This should be my last stop in Utah, so my last chance to visit Lynn's Utah, City-by-City page. This is the Wendover City Building, which also seems to house some of the Toelle County government. The County Seat of Toelle County is Toelle, which is clear across the county (and it's a huge one.) So they apparently have some government functions at this end of the county.

Contrary to my plan to run twice yesterday, I didn't even run once. The medium Little Jogger was up in the night, so I turned off my alarm and slept in. Then Mrs. Jogger and I went out for lunch, to celebrate our last day of freedom. But, I did manage to run five miles at noon today.

Today is the first day of vacation for the kids, and they are already fighting. Not that they don't fight during the school week, either. Anyway, I still have grading to do, so I'm not on vacation, yet.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Day 510 -- Bonneville Salt Flats


I had a brilliant idea today. I slept in, then went running at noon. After all, I didn't have any time commitments, and I figured that would give me energy for the afternoon. And it worked. For the afternoon. I was dragging all morning. Tomorrow, I may have to run twice.


After yesterday's "Confidential" post, I arrived at work this morning to find an e-mail from this student, apologizing for his earlier e-mail. So, either (a) this student is one of the three people who read my blog yesterday, or (b) he talked to one of the three people who read my blog yesterday, or (c) it's just coincidence. If it's (a) or (b), don't worry about it, student. I was just venting. It looks like you did well on the final, but I haven't tallied final grades, yet.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Confidential to the student who is repeating the course for a better grade, and who is pretty bright, but hasn't worked that hard all semester:

Don't e-mail me after the final to tell me what grade you "need". It only pisses me off.

Day 509 -- Even More Salt Flats

Bonneville Salt Flats, in case you didn't know, is really popular with the speed record crowds, because it's basically a big old patch of flat. Here's the JCB DieselMax on the Salt Flats, waiting to attempt a land-speed record.

And here's the crew celebrating that record, 350 mph. I ran with them for a while, but then they pulled away from me.

I ran 4.6 miles this morning. I went out to do four, but I was pretty sore, so I ran extra. If that makes sense to you, you must be a runner.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Day 508 -- More Salt Flats

Not much out here between the Knolls and West Wendover, Nevada. So, more Salt Flat photos. After screwing up the shadows, yesterday, I took the opportunity to mess with the reflection today. It's not perfect, but it makes a decent first impression.

I ran 10 miles today. I didn't run all weekend, and tomorrow I have an early exam, so I tried to go ahead and get a good run in today. It felt good. Ten miles on our little indoor track is 75 laps, which does kind of drag on you.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Snow Day!

OK, it can't really be a snow day, because it's Saturday. But I did take two of the Little Joggers sledding this morning. The medium Little Jogger has been sick, so no sledding for him, and the littlest Little Jogger just decided not to go. So that left me, the two girls, and the next door neighbor. It was fun, but cold.

(This sledding hill is actually in Holland, Michigan, but it looks a lot like our snow hill.)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Day 507 -- Salt Flats

I'm not quite to the Salt Flats, yet, but there ain't much out here to pose in front of. And I found this cool photo of some sign out here. (I know, I know, the Jogger needs a shadow, but I didn't have the patience.)

I ran another five miles this morning. I wanted to go longer, but I had to get home to take the first Little Jogger to Swing Choir. I need to start planning my long runs for days when she doesn't have any reason to go in early. If there are any.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Day 506 -- More Knolls

From Utah Outdoor Activities, this is a photo of the "endless riding possibilities, with the mud flats in the background" at the Knolls. I figure if it's that big, it will take me a day or two to run past it. I did a 5.3 mile tempo run this morning. It felt pretty good (after taking yesterday off.)

It's that little lull at the end of the semester. Tomorrow is the last day of the semester, and finals start on Monday. My finals are actually on Tuesday and Wednesday. I'm collecting papers tomorrow in the History of Math course, so, fortunately, I won't go through the weekend with nothing to grade.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Quote of the week

For this week, and half of next.
Now the President is walking around telling everyone he was provided with faulty intelligence. Yeah, well, DNA is a bitch.

From Will Durst

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mrs. J

I shouldn't let the occasion go by without noting the natal anniversary of my darling wife. As always, I take the occasion to reflect on just how lucky I am to have met her, and to have her in my life. We've been married for 20 years now, and she doesn't show any sign of being tired of me. Which is awfully good news, because I love her more every day. Happy Birthday, kiddo! Love Never Faileth!

Days 503, 504, and 505

I have never before posted three days worth of mileage at once. I've been busy.

How busy? Let me walk you through the last four days. Saturday morning, I slept in just a little, then got up and started grading. Mid-morning, I went to the office to write the Calculus exam and work on my notes for the History class on Monday. Early afternoon, more grading. Most of the second half of the afternoon was taken up with one of the first Little Jogger's Girl Scout activities, which was fun, but too long. I spent Saturday evening proof-reading the exam and working out the answers.

Sunday, I got up and graded until time to get ready for church. After church, more grading, while watching the Packers game. By 4:00, I was going nutso, so I went to the gym for a six mile run. That got me to supper time. After supper, more grading.

Monday morning, I got up and did another four miles at the gym. I went to the office and spent most of the morning helping panicked Calc students. Class at 11, then lunch, then class from 1 - 3. A slight break at 3 (update the exam and run off copies) and a meeting at 4. After supper, I gave the calculus exam. It didn't go on quite as long as the last one, so I got home by 9:30, and dropped into bed.

This morning, another four miles, then off to school to give make-up exams to the Calc students who couldn't make it last night, while beginning to grade the exams I had. Class from 1-3, another short break, and another meeting. I've spent the early part of this evening grading.

So, sorry I didn't get anything posted.

This motorcycle is soaring over The Knolls. You can buy a copy (presumably without the Jogger) at

Friday, December 07, 2007

Day 502 -- Scenic Utah

Western Utah, much like western Colorado, has towns that are few and far between. It's twenty miles to the next town west of Low. So I Googled "Scenic Utah," and this is what I got. Nowhere near where I am, I expect. But beggars can't be choosers.

I ran 5.3 miles this morning. I wanted to run longer, but the first Little Jogger had to go in early for Swing Singers, and with Mrs. J not feeling well, I had to do the delivery. I don't know if I'll get to run this weekend. Oh, well.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Day 501 -- Low, Utah

Over the almost two years that I've been doing this, I've noticed that a certain kind of town name is problematic. Names like Dale, Indiana, or Miller, Missouri, where the name of the town is a reasonably common word or name, tend to be hard to Google. You get people named Miller who lived in Missouri or visited Missouri or saw "Missouri Breaks". You get web pages that show a dale somewhere in Indiana, or people named Dale who worked on a Harrison Ford movie. But you don't get images of Dale, Indiana, or Miller, Missouri.

And so I find myself in Low, Utah. Knowing that I was in for such a problem, I decided to embrace it. Here is a picture that someone posted on Picasa Web Albums, of low octane gas in Utah. God knows why they posted such a picture. But here it is.

Illness continues to haunt the Jogger household. The littlest Little Jogger was up in the night, and he's never up in the night. Normally, he's sound asleep from the minute his head hits the pillow until up to 30 minutes after he gets out of bed the next morning. The medium Little Jogger is the one who has trouble sleeping, and so, not to be outdone, he was up in the night, too. The medium Little Jogger made it to school today, but the littlest Little Jogger didn't. And, worst of all, Mrs. Jogger is starting to feel it. If Mrs. Jogger gets sick, look out. She's the only thing that keeps the household from total anarchy.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Day 500!

Mike Hudson, at, uploaded this cool 500 graphic. If you can't see the 500, try taking a step back from your computer screen. (If you can't see the Jogger, try taking a step forward.) I don't really get what "seriocomic" means, but he's got lots of cool images. Check him out.

Day 500 was actually yesterday, but I didn't get on-line at all yesterday. I seem to have caught a little of the bug that the Little Joggers had. I came home at 3:00 with a headache that would fell a rhino, and a stomach that wasn't quite sure what it was going to do. I dropped into bed and basically stayed there all night. Today I am much better. My stomach is even almost back to normal.

I did skip my run this morning, scuttling my goal of running every morning this week. But I consider deathly illness a legitimate excuse. If I feel OK, I'll run tomorrow morning.

Monday, December 03, 2007

A link to a laugh

From StyleyGeek, because this is the World Wide Web, dammit, so sometimes you just have to link to something.

Day 499 -- Delle, Utah

From Dave Winer's 2003 cross-country trip.

As predicted, no running this weekend. We got hit with a winter storm on Saturday. It started with heavy snow, then warmed up to sleet and freezing rain. Not running weather. Sunday was clear, but the roads were still icy, and I didn't get to the gym. I did run four miles at the gym this morning, and I've set a goal to get to the gym five days this week.

The Little Joggers have been sick. The newest and oldest Little Jogger has a sore throat and a nasty cough. She almost never gets sick, which we attribute to her hearty Ukrainian blood lines. But she missed school last Thursday, and still doesn't sound good. The littlest Little Jogger threw up on Saturday, the medium Little Jogger threw up on Sunday, and the first Little Jogger threw up today (at school). So it hasn't really been a fun weekend, to tell the truth. But the first two are pretty much back to normal (as normal as they get, anyway), so we're hoping that everyone will be fine by tomorrow. Unless it hits Mrs. J or me.