Monday, March 31, 2008

Confidential to the student...

...who was in my office at 12:00 saying that this was the hardest material all semester and that you were worried about the upcoming test and then showed up to the class at 2:00 where we talked about the upcoming test and sat in the front row reading a book that was not calculus.

Fuck you.

Jogger's Progress

Time21 days, 4 hrs, 42 min
2 days, 15 hrs, 07 mins

As predicted, I took this morning off. It was only my fifth day off in March. I ran 26 days, beating my previous high of 25. I did not quite hit my high for mileage, which was 174.1 in April, 2007 (in only 21 days!) Nonetheless, it was a good month, and I'm feeling more positive about a spring marathon. If only I can get in my long runs in April, I'll be fine.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Days 578 and 579 -- Sparks

Hungry? This is the N. McCarran Blvd McDonalds in Sparks. I found it at, a site that provides tools "to share and discover unique and interesting locations on the planet." So what's so unique and interesting about a McDonald's? Apparently, "the rustic theme of the Sparks Mercantile is carried through to the exterior of this McDonalds. The outside is clad in weathered looking timber and it has a 'weathered' looking metal roof. Inside it houses a nice play place." Of course, there isn't that much for a vegetarian to eat, but at least I can play in the play place.

I did run both of the last two days. Yesterday, I ran 12, and today I piled on 8 more. With my long run last weekend having come on Monday, that pushes me up over 50 miles for the last seven days. I'm sore, but it's a good sore. Tomorrow would be another good day for a day off.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Day 577 -- Silver Springs

This was one of those days when I just couldn't find a photo that I liked. This is Fort Churchill, near Silver Springs. I'm not terribly near Silver Springs, but this is what I could find.

I went to the gym this morning. I snowed all day yesterday, but not much stuck. The temperature hovered just about freezing all day, and the snow pretty much melted as it fell. There wasn't much left on the ground this morning, and I could have run outside, but I didn't. I ran a brisk five miles, and it felt pretty good.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Day 576 -- Wadsworth

Her's another ghosttown site, one that I haven't visited before. Wadsworth is apparently not a very ghostly ghosttown, seeing as it's not that far off the beaten path. It's only a few miles off of I-80, and maybe 30 miles east of Reno.

I did get out and run this morning. I've run outside two days in a row. Yesterday, it was fairly warm, but a little breezy. Today, it was cooler, but there wasn't much of a wind. In any case, both days promise to be better than tomorrow morning, when they are predicting....snow. Again.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Day 575 -- More Fernley

We've had a lot of snow in Wisconsin, but it looks like Fernley has had its own bad weather. This photo, lifted from a news aggregater, was taken just this January. Apparently a canal levee broke.

I did run this morning. After yesterday's long run, I only ran 3.8 miles this morning, and that at a snail's pace. But I felt good. My legs have been a little sore today. But I'll survive. I'm due for a day off. Perhaps tomorrow.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Day 574 -- Fernley

Fernley, Nevada, is fairly big compared to the towns that I've been in lately (about 8500 people, according to wikipedia) so I have more of a choice of photos. I picked this one, because I think it's a cool project. These students from Fernley are participating in MetLink, an international project where students from around the world share their meteorological observations.

I ran my 15 miles today. It took over two and a half hours. I was really, really tired at the end, but I made it. Actually, I didn't have much doubt I'd make it, even as I was counting down the last 25 laps, one at a time. I felt good. I still have a ways to go to get ready for a marathon, but at least I made my distance today.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Days 572 and 573 -- Pyramid Lake

Somewhat north and a little bit west of where I'm running is the The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribes' Reservation. This is Pyramid Rock, for which the lake is named. I'm not really close enough to have my photo taken in front of this rock. On the other hand, last week I snuck in a photo from SW Wisconsin, so this isn't so bad.

I ran yesterday and today. Both runs were in the late morning. Yesterday, I didn't figure that popping out of bed first thing in the morning was worth it. By late morning, it figured to be warmer and less icy. There were still some patches of ice, but for the most part, it was OK. The temperature was in the mid thirties, with a little bit of wind. Today, I ran after church. We went to the early service, so I was out while quite a few people were still in church, which made for very little traffic.

Both runs were just maintenance runs, 5 miles yesterday and 3.4 today. I'm planning my long run for tomorrow morning. I have one more day of spring break left. Classes don't start until Tuesday. However, the Little Joggers go back to school tomorrow. So tomorrow will be a good day to just go out and run half the morning.

The schedule says 15 miles tomorrow, but I don't know. I haven't felt particularly strong these last few days. I've absolutely decided that if I can't make my scheduled long runs every weekend from now through April, then I'm going to drop from the marathon to the half marathon in May. So there's a lot raiding on tomorrow's run. We'll see how it goes.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Day 571 -- A Long Stretch of Nothing Special

Another one from Gary at Strides4Autism. He says that it is basically his side view for fifty miles. Since I'm running the same stretch of road, this will be my side view for the next little while.

We've had decent weather this last week. The lows have been in the 30's, and the highs in the 40's. Yesterday, it got close to 50. And, of course, yesterday was the vernal equinox. So last night, just to warn us not to let down our guards, Mother Nature dumped another four or five inches of heavy, wet snow on us. So, it was back indoors for my run this morning. I made eight miles, which felt rough at the time, but which now feels pretty good.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Day 570 -- Toulon

On June 9, 2007, Gary at Strides4Autism started walking from western Nevada, headed for Washington, D.C. He wanted to raise money and awareness for autism research. For some reason, he didn't get very far. I've skimmed the site, but I haven't found out exactly when or where or why he stopped. But before he did, he took this lovely picture in Toulon.

I ran 6.5 miles this morning. The last couple of miles were a little tough, but I made it. I'm still foolishly holding out hope that I can run the full marathon in Green Bay in May. So I'm trying to get in lots of quality miles. We'll see.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Day 569 -- Eagle Pitcher Mine

You can put this down as another one of those days when I posted a picture from nowhere near where I'm supposed to be, because finding it struck me as funny. West of Lovelock is a town called Eagle Pitcher Mine. I can find it on the web, but I can't find any photos of the area. Actually, the number one hit on a Google Photo search for Eagle Pitcher Mine is from the Badger Mine and Museum, in Shullsburg, Wisconsin. This is just a stone's throw from my hometown. I could jump in the car tomorrow, run down there, and take an actual photo of me standing in front of this model. It would be just marginally slower than Photoshop. Why there should be two Eagle Pitcher Mines in the world, I do not know.

The only reason that I ran this morning was a failure of imagination. I lay in bed after the alarm went off, trying to think of an excuse to skip today's run. Unable to come up with one, I ran. It wasn't a great run, but it did get my heart started, which is a good thing.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Day 568 -- More Lovelock

I must make a correction. The web site from whence I stole Sunday's photo wasn't a general Lovelock web site. Rather, it is a site specifically dedicated to the "Lover's Lock" event on Valentine's Day, 2008. Apparently, you were supposed to show up at 11 am to dedicate (or rededicate) your love. These two look tremendously happy about the prospect. Of course, when I downloaded this photo, it was named "istockphoto_something", so these people have probably never heard of Lovelock, Nevada. But I have, and I just want to say to Mrs. Jogger: "Love you!"

I ran an easy five this morning.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Day Off

After yesterday's long run (my seventh run in seven days (the second such stretch this month!)) I'm taking today off. Updates as events warrant.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Day 567 -- Lovelock

From the Lovelock, Nevada web site:
Lovelock, Nevada is located on Interstate 80, 93 miles east of Reno in Pershing County. Lovelock lies in a meadow valley with the Humboldt Range to the east and the Trinity and Seven Troughs ranges to the north and west. This valley was known to settlers as Big Meadows because of the abundance of grass and water. It was favored as a resting place before continuing on to California and Oregon.

I ran a half marathon today. Actually, 13.2 miles. It felt good. My legs aren't too tired, at all. I'm still not convinced that I'm going to be running a full marathon in nine weeks. But at this point, I'm resigned to running a half in Green Bay. And, clearly, I can do it.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Days 565 and 566 -- Happy Pi Day!

OK, yesterday was Pi Day. March 14 (3/14) is unofficially Pi Day, in celebration of the first three decimal digits of that famous constant. But I didn't get to blog about it, because I went, believe it or not, to a Pi Day party.

Some friends of ours, apparently having taken total leave of their senses, invited a whole bunch of families to come over and eat pie. It ended up being seven adults and 11 kids, ranging in age from babe in arms to bratty teen. We had a whale of a time. The middle-aged kids ran and wrestled and shouted and pretended to be knights and dragons. If you heard a dull roar in the direction of southwest Wisconsin, that was probably us. The babe in arms fell asleep while being held by one of the bratty teens, effectively keeping them both out of trouble. The other bratty teen sat and listened to my friend tell tales of his seventh grade math contests. The adults ate pie until we were stuffed. A good time was had by all.

I ran seven miles yesterday, in the afternoon. I just couldn't drag myself out of bed in the morning. I didn't even really go back to sleep. I just lay there until it was too late to run. But I made it up in the afternoon, which was good. Then this morning, I was going to take the day off, but I woke up with a little headache, so I went out and did a therapeutic three miles. So it's been a good 24 hours.

And the best part is, today is the first day of Spring Break. So for once, I don't have to grade the whole weekend away. I do have grading, but it can wait. It's nice to relax a little. Of course, the kids are a bit whiny, coming down off the sugar high, and having slept too little last night. But overall, things are good.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Day 564 -- Unionville

While I'm in the area, I thought that I'd stop at The Old Pioneer Garden Bed and Breakfast in Unionville. I'm not sure exactly why you'd want to stay in a B&B that smelled like goats, but what the heck!

A fine (if a bit short) outdoor run this morning. It felt good. The weather is supposed to turn a little cold again this weekend, so I'll have to enjoy the outdoors while I can.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Days 562 and 563 -- Oreana, Nevada

How about a nice train? From some random MySpace page, here is a UP Z with UP 1988 leading, as it zooms through Oreana.

I did run yesterday, but I had so little free time in the evening that I never got around to blogging it. Yesterday was a drag. I felt every step of 5.3 miles. The miles shot past like miles.

Today was OK, though. I ran outside. It was my first early morning outside run of the spring. My previous outside runs lately have been Sunday afternoons, trying to get in long runs when the gym is closed. They have ended in disappointment, because I haven't made the distance that I wanted. But today, I didn't have a distance in mind. I just ran for the joy of it, which was great. It reminded me of why I like to run.

I haven't decided yet whether to run a full marathon or a half marathon in Green Bay in May, but I know what the decision will be when I make it. I'd rather wimp out and run the half than wimp out in the middle of trying to run the full. And the liberating thing about that is that all of a sudden, I'm not behind on my training. I've been kicking myself every time I go out, because I'm not as far as I should be. But if I'm running a half, I'm just where I should be.

That does mean, if I run the DesMoines Marathon this fall, that it will be over a full year between my first marathon and my second. But so what? It's not like I'm going to set a world record for the most marathons or anything.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Day 561 -- Imlay

From the same page at that had the picture (below) of the Burns Brothers Travel Stop in Mill City, here's a statue of a Native American in Imlay. The statue was created by Rolling Mountain Thunder, a WWII vet who moved to the area in 1968. Mrs. Jogger says it looks like he's taking a dump.

I completely lost the weekend. Are you sure that it was only one hour shorter than usual? Because it seemed about 10 hours shorter than usual. The gym was open all afternoon yesterday, but I just didn't get over there. I ran nine miles this morning (which was a mile or two more than I really had time for), but it was short of what I should be doing at this point. It's looking more and more like I'll be running the half marathon in Green Bay.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Happy Birthday, Little Jogger!

Man, it's hard to believe that the first Little Jogger is 13 today! Where did those 13 years disappear to?

She's turning out to be a marvelous young lady. This last week is pretty typical. On Saturday, she had a solo drum performance at a regional music contest. On Tuesday, she and the Swing Singers went and performed at some festival about 40 miles away. On Wednesday, she went to the math contest. Yesterday, her sports physical for the upcoming track season. Tomorrow, it's all day at the University, at a Science and Technology workshop for middle and high school girls. Sunday night, auditions for a part in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, to be performed at the summer arts festival in town. I don't know how she does it.

She is also a sweet and responsible young lady. We know that we can trust her to get her work done, and to recognize her limits (if she has any, which I doubt.) To think that all that grew out of a tiny little baby in only 13 years!

Happy Birthday, sweetie!

Day 560 -- More Mill City

Via our old friend,, the exit sign for Mill City. Not as interesting as yesterday's photo, but what can you do.

I didn't want to get moving this morning. I woke up before the alarm, and I was tempted to turn it off. But I won't run tomorrow, because the gym will be closed, and it will be too cold to run outdoors. So I made myself go down and do four miles, which was good.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Day 559 -- Mill City

Eight miles today brings me close to Mill City. Someone at doesn't seem to be fond of Mill City, unless perhaps "a frowsy exhibit of residential disrepair, its commercial center dominated by the boarded-up grocery store" is meant in an affectionate way. They go on to describe this picture:
Down Main Street (now officially Frontage Road) another mile or so east the Burns Brothers Truck Stop is a bright nexus of man-made energy, drawing traffic off the freeway to rest, replenish and refuel. There is a restaurant, a motel, gas pumps, a store--a modern mini-city, all straight lines, square corners and designer color schemes--busy with the mundane tasks of the material world.

I think they picked this grainy black-and-white photo just to add to the grim feeling.

Meanwhile, did you notice what I said? Eight miles today. It felt really, really good. I think the biggest challenge was mental, particularly once I got past that five mile mark that had been my limit the previous three days. But I stuck it out, and I've felt good all day.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Day 558 -- Sulphur

OK, this is cool. This guy Ian Kluft is doing research on the Black Rock Desert in this area of Nevada. He thinks that this ridge is the remains of an impact crater that is about a 40x30 mile ellipse. Here's where the ridge is.

I haven't read the web site closely enough to try to judge whether he's a total crackpot. He does admit "This is just a page on a personal web site, a preliminary finding by amateurs." In any case, it's a cool idea.

I ran another 5 miles today. I'm feeling good, but I haven't really tried any distance, yet. I might go for 7 or 8 tomorrow.

In Little Jogger news, the first Little Jogger had a 7th and 8th grade math contest. She got a 1, the best score. Which is just as well, or I would have had to cut her out of my will. I took the littlest Little Jogger bowling with about 1000 Cub Scouts today. He bowled very economically. He did not create a lot of wear and tear on the pins.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Day 557 -- I want a T-shirt from...

The Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area. It probably takes two or three t-shirts to get all that in.

Another five miles today. That's four days in a row, a total of 22 miles. I'm feeling OK. My foot isn't bothering me. My legs are sore, but it's a good sore. A productive sore. A sore that means I'm getting stronger.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Day 556 -- This is still what Nevada looks like.

I was kidding yesterday when I said I would just post this image every day for a while. However, I'm not getting near my home computer today, so I can post this one again from work. Don't tell the state legislature.

I ran 5.3 miles today. My foot is fine. My legs are tired, but I persisted. I'm just going to see what I can do this week. I'm hoping to run all five days, and take Saturday off.

And why am I not going to get near my home computer? Tonight is a calculus exam. As usual, some students will start at 5, and some will go as late as around 9. But the problems in this section are really time consuming, so there's no way I could give a reasonable in-class exam.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Day 555 -- More Winnemucca

In summer, 2005, two guys named James and Grant rode their bikes across America to raise money for the Make A Wish Foundation. Somewhere around Winnemucca, they took this picture, and posted it with the caption "This is what Nevada looks like." So, now I guess I don't need to look for any more pictures while I'm in Nevada. I can just post this one every day.

I ran outside today. The good news is, my foot feels fine. The bad news is, I'm out of shape. I ran 7.8 miles in 1 hour and 20 minutes. Well, I covered 7.8 miles in 1 hour and 20 minutes. I walked some of that. I knew from the first that it was going to be bad. My legs were already hurting in the first mile. Almost eight miles later, they were dead.

I'm wondering if I can make it into shape for a marathon in the next 76.5 days. I'm seriously considering dropping back to the half marathon. But I can wait to make that decision. I'm going to see how March goes, and then go from there.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Special Treat for COUSIN JOGGER

Day 554 -- Winnemucca

Got March off to a good start, with a four mile run at a brisk pace. I kind of wanted to go more, but as I predicted, it was a busy day, and that's about all the time I could carve out. We'll see if I can get in a long run tomorrow.

Someone named "Stein" has posted this picture of a road near Winnemucca on a Picasa Web album. No idea why, but it works for me.