Saturday, August 30, 2008

Day 684 -- Jogger's Progress

Time26 days, 15 hrs, 6 min
8 days, 1 hrs, 31 mins

Monday, I am running a half marathon in the Dubuque Benefit Classic. So tomorrow is a rare Sunday off for me. Which means that it is time to check Jogger's Progress.

I had previously broken 170 miles in a month three times, but never 180. So this was my longest month ever. I might actually come close to that again in September.

For the fifth month in a row, I ran exactly 21 days. I'm scheduled for 21 in September, too, but the streak will probably end in October.

I also note that some time this month, I passed 4000 miles for the journey, without noting it.

Today's run was a very easy 4.8 miles. It was a beautiful morning for it, cool and dry. I hope that it's this nice on Monday.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Photo Friday -- Soccer

Oh, crap, it's Photo Friday, and I haven't picked up my camera all week. I totally forgot, until I visited Joe's Blog. Well, how about this photo from one of the littlest Little Jogger's soccer games this summer. This little fellow was the best player on the Little Jogger's team, despite being only slightly taller than the ball. His older brother was the best player on the oldest and newest Little Jogger's team. He has three or four more brothers and sisters, who I suspect were all the best players on their respective teams. This family is way big into soccer.

Day 683 -- More Yoncalla

People on Flikr don't tend to post descriptions of their photos. I don't know if it's actually impossible, or if Flikr just makes it hard. Anyway, this is a photo of a Wigwam Burner in Yoncalla, OR, thanks to Stones 55, but I have no idea why we want to see a Wigwam Burner. It seems to be part of a group of "Vanishing Beauty." OK. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I guess.

I ran an easy six and a half this morning. It was a nice morning. Cool and dry. I enjoyed my run. I'm not sure what I'm going to do tomorrow. A friend threatened to take me biking, but he hasn't confirmed that, yet. We'll see.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Day 682 -- Yoncalla

Well, I'm not quite to Yoncalla, yet, but I'm on a stretch of road where there ain't much, so I'm going to have to improvise a bit. Expect two or three days of Yoncalla. The first day, we'll visit the Charles Applegate House, at the end of Old Applegate Road, on the left. I found this house at the web site for Kat and OB's Wedding. It is the home of Kat's parents, and it is where the wedding will take place. Or did take place. The web site doesn't seem to say when the actual date of the wedding is (or was), but I suppose that if you aren't a friend of Kat or OB, you probably aren't going, anyway. It does have registration information, in case you want to buy them a gift.

As predicted, I felt good this morning. There was a steady but not heavy rain. Mostly, it just kept me cool on a seven and a half mile pace run. I'm not strong enough that seven and a half miles is nothing, but I finished strong and recovered fairly quickly, so that's good.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Some Days, You Just Have To Rest

Although it is only Wednesday, this is my contribution to Take It and Run Thursday at Runners' Lounge. This week's theme is Rest and Recovery, and I am chiming in today because, yes, I took an unscheduled day off today.

I know, some people don't need days off. There is an organization for people who run every day, called the United States Running Streak Association. The Grand Masters, nine of them, have run every day for more than 35 years. Dean Karnazes ran 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days, and then, not knowing what to do next, he ran from New York to St. Louis, averaging 30 miles a day. Not virtually. Really. If you are one of those people who never needs a day off, I salute you.

However, most runners are like me. I need days off. I'm totally addicted to running, and couldn't quit if I wanted to, but I can't do it every day. My weekly schedule has two non-running days, one where I cross-train, and one where I just do nothing. And, as I say, I don't always follow the schedule. For the third day in a row, I woke up feeling lifeless, and I decided to give in. I went back to bed, got extra sleep, and now I feel OK. And I predict that tomorrow, I'll feel great on my morning run.

There are other ways to rest besides taking days off. My weekly schedule includes two easy runs. I don't worry about time, and I don't go a particularly long distance. That gives me a kind of moving recovery. I burn the calories, get the endorphins, but don't overtax my body.

My schedule also includes easy weeks, which are recommended by just about every running guru I know. I ran almost 50 miles two weeks ago, and a little over 50 last week, and so it was time to slow down and consolidate my gains. My schedule only has 22 miles this week, and depending on whether or not I make up today's miss, I might even run less than that.

Of course, you have to work out what's best for you. Maybe you're Dean Karnazes, and all the rest you need is the few hours between runs. Maybe you're a new runner, and you run three and rest four each week. One way or another, remember to keep on running, but keep on resting, too.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Day 681 -- More Oakland

Not much past Oakland for another 12 miles or so (and I think I was really a little short of it, yesterday) so how about we drop in for a drink at Tolly's, thanks to Opie Jeanne at Flikr.

It was tough to get going this morning. I was tired. My legs are still sore from the weekend. But I managed to push myself out the door and drag myself a slow 5 miles. It is to be an easy week this week, but sometimes, even the easy weeks are hard.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Seven Hours Closer to Death

Today was the first day of meetings. Normally, I'm pretty passive about these meetings. I have long since given up hope that something will happen that will forever transform my teaching. I'm usually happy if they say something to keep my interest. Well, I don't know whether I just wasn't in the right mood today, or whether this meeting was particularly bad, but I didn't enjoy it much.

The topic was "Internationalizing the Curriculum." In general, I'm in favor. I think it's great when our students get a chance to study abroad, and I'm in favor of initiatives that let them do that. For those who can't study abroad, we should try to give them opportunities to learn about the world outside our little corner of Wisconsin.

The problem is that there really weren't that many practical ideas for how to do that. Basically, the meeting boiled down to, "We are doing some good stuff, and we should try to do more good stuff." For seven hours.

On the exercise front, I couldn't bring myself to do yoga this morning. It wasn't even being physically tired. I went biking with Rob, and we did a hilly twelve miles, and that was cool. I just didn't have the patience for slow, contemplative exercise. I suppose that if I had done it, it might have helped me to achieve the inner peace necessary to survive the meetings.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Day 680 -- Oakland

This shot of downtown Oakland, Oregon, was lifted from the home page of Oakland Antiques. They claim to be "semi retired," so they are open "Saturday or by chance or by appointment." So if you are going to head up there, try to go on Saturday, or make an appointment. Unless you are feeling lucky.

I ran the same route today as I did last Saturday, only slower. It didn't feel slower. I actually thought that I was going faster. But then again, last Saturday came after a day off. Today's run follows a 10 mile run yesterday, and is the culmination of a 50 mile week and a 100 mile fortnight. It was a tough run, but again I was never tempted to drop out. I walked only my scheduled hydration breaks, and I kept them reasonably short.

I'm feeling pretty good about the marathon. I still need to put together fast and long. My "fast" runs (scare quotes because they are dead slow for lots and lots of people) have been up to about 10 miles, and my long runs have been a minute or more per mile off my pace. Hopefully, it will all come together on race day. I have three things going for me, that I can think of:

  • I will be well rested on race day. My last 20 miler is September 28, three weeks out, and I'll taper off from there.
  • I will have the excitement of race day, and the support of the other runners and the crowd. The trick there will be to try to spread it out over the whole race, and not let the excitement drive me to go out too fast at the beginning.
  • It's fairly flat. There are some hills, but they are mostly in the first eight miles. By the end, it's fairly flat and slightly downhill. That certainly could not be said about today's run.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Day 679 -- Myrtle Creek

I believe that right now I'm somewhere on the I-5 part of this loop, somewhere between exits 103 and 108. In any case, I've got a picture, thanks to And, as an added bonus, a postcard of Myrtle Creek in the 50's, thanks to this site, whose origin and purpose I cannot divine.

I got to run in the rain this morning. I haven't done that much this summer. Earlier in the summer, we had a lot of rain, but it usually came with storms. I won't run in a lightning storm, on the theory that I conduct electricity, a theory that I have no desire to test experimentally. Then July and August have been pretty dry. But in the last few days, we've gotten some spells of steady, drizzly rain, including one that lasted my first few miles today.

I was afraid that the rain would slow down my pace run, so, of course, I went out way too fast. I ran the first four miles in 36 minutes, a pace that I can't possibly sustain. In fact, by the time I got to 6 miles, I had adjusted my goal from 10 minute miles to just somehow finishing the planned 10 miles. I did. My overall pace was 10:10, but that means the last few miles were dead slow. It wasn't pretty, but any run is better than no run at all. Now I have to work on recovering physically and mentally, so I'm ready for another long run tomorrow.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Photo Friday -- The Princess of Cuba City

Joe the Fitness Geek has initiated a new feature, Photo Friday. Since that fits with my own interests, and since I don't normally run on Friday (so would have nothing to post), I'll happily join in.

I met this little girl at the County Fair last week. She was so cute, I couldn't resist taking her picture (with her mom's permission, of course.) As you can see, she knows how to smile for the camera. I asked her if she was a princess, and she said, "Yes." Then, without prompting, she said, "I'm from Cuba City." (Cuba City is a town of about 2000 down in the southern part of the county.) So I decided she must be the Princess of Cuba City. I was very excited to get such a nice close-up shot of Royalty.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

TIaRT -- The Middle Miles

Today's topic on Take It and Run Thursday at The Runners' Lounge is "The Middle Miles." This has a dual meaning. It can refer to miles 8 through 14 of an 18 mile run, or it can refer to weeks 8 through 14 of an 18 week training program. Either way, you're in the same boat. That first rush of energy and enthusiasm is over, but the goal is still pretty far off. You're tired, you're sore, and you just want to pack it in. So what do you do?

It helps to have a bit of a stubborn streak. Distance running in general, and marathon training in particular, are not for those who give up easily.

It also helps to have a support system. I don't run with anyone, since I haven't found a partner who wants to run my pace and distance. But I do have plenty of running friends, who can be counted on to ask how my training is going. When I have to tell them (as I did this spring) that my marathon has become a half marathon, it's a little embarrassing.

And, of course, I've got my on-line support system. If I give up on a long run, or give up on my marathon training, I have to post it here, for all the world to see. It's one of the oddities of life in the 21st century that a whole lot of people whom I have never met know more about my running life than my wife does.

Ultimately, what has kept me going during these hard weeks is the following thought. I'm earning my marathon finish now. If I meet my goals in October, it will because of the miles I ran in August. You can't cram for a marathon. So, keep on running.

Somebody remind me of that about mile 12 on Sunday, will you?

Day 678 -- Riddle

Riddle, Oregon, is a bit west of Interstate 5, which is where I'm running now. But I'm probably fairly close to the exit, anyway. And thanks to Katherine H on Flikr, there's this nice sign for me to stand next to.

Today was a very easy day. As Tom says, it was a day to forget about training and just run. I had five miles scheduled. I had run my regular five mile loop three times already this week -- once on Tuesday and twice yesterday -- so I decided not to run it again. I just headed out the door and followed my feet. My feet seem to be really well trained, because it turned out that I ran five miles right on the nose.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Metapost: What I Have Learned From JogAmericaBlog

Non-Runner Nancy left a comment on my last post, saying "This [JogAmericaBlog] is quite the concept....and I'm guessing quite the extended geography lesson." Which got me thinking....

It certainly isn't quite what I envisioned when I first thought of the idea. My very first post was at the Empire State Building, and that was the sort of thing I was expecting. Big, famous, visible landmarks. But there aren't that many of them. For every Pro Football Hall of Fame or Chimney Rock there have been a half a dozen Our Lady of Grace Grottoes or Davis, California, Amtrak Stations. More than once, I've resorted to posting generic scenic views because I just can't find anything specific to stand in front of.

I have found out that all be the smallest towns have a web presence, and that some of the things you find are pretty strange. Louisville, Ohio, has a picture of its recycling bins. In Berthould, Colorado, I visited the Auserehlian Rug Cleaning School. In Peoria, Illinois, I found the Hubcap House.

I've also found some really cool web sites. Without JogAmericaBlog, I never would have known about some of the esoterica that people put on the web. Some of my favorites:

Nancy also writes "I need to learn that photoshopping technique." To this I reply, It's really not that hard. I have a version of myself already cut out, so I just need to scale it to fit the photo, and sometimes erase part of me that would be behind something. I will admit that once or twice I've done something a little daring.

Day 677 -- Canyonville

Canyonville, Oregon, home of the Canyonville Christian Academy.
Founded in 1924, the school is fully accredited with the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools and a member of ACSI. CCA has won national and state academic awards. Its prestigious symposiums have been aired by C-SPAN's national television network. It has 13 buildings on a wooded campus divided by a beautiful stream in the mountains of southern Oregon. CCA is an evangelical Christian school which welcomes students from every denomination.

I ran 10 miles at race pace today. It went surprisingly well. I wasn't as sore to start out as I was yesterday. Yes, I did start to flag in the last two or three miles. But I managed to keep my overall pace pretty even. The two laps were within 35 seconds of each other on total time. And I'm not as sore now as I was yesterday afternoon. So I'm feeling pretty good. I now have an easy day and a rest day, heading in to a nice long weekend.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Day 676 -- Azalea

The site Thompsonian*NET seems to be a general blog and travelogue by some people named "The Thompsons," but a cursory inspection didn't turn up an "about us" page. It's probably there, somewhere. In any case, one of the Thompsons wrote in 2003 about a visit to Azalea, where he had lived as a youth. I, personally, couldn't resist a stop at the Heaven on Earth Restaurant, and I figured why not a quick stop in front of the church.

I got up early yesterday and did my "Beyond the Basics" yoga workout, then went for a 10 mile ride with my friend Rob. That was quite an adventure. Needless to say, I was sore all yesterday. In the evening, they had a thing at the pool for Boy and Girl Scouts and their families. I went along and just plopped my aching legs into the pool for an hour or so. It felt great.

This morning, I went on an easy five mile run. Easy was all that I was up to. But it felt OK, really. I started out stiff, but I loosened up after, oh, four and a half miles or so. It was moderately warm and very humid, so I worked up a sweat. Tomorrow will be fun. But tomorrow is another day, and I'll worry about it then.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Day 675 -- Glendale

This is Glendale Junior/Senior High in Glendale, OR, "Home of the Pirates." Never let it be said that these guys lack in school spirit.

I think that I must be insane. After a twenty miler yesterday, I could easily have taken today off. Nope. Or run less than the nine miles that I had had scheduled for Saturday. Nope. Or at least not run it at the 10 minute pace. Nope. OK, I could have at least picked a pretty flat route. Nope. I went out and popped off 9.2 miles in 91 minutes, over a couple of the worst hills in town. It was very, very tough!

I thought a lot about Paula Radcliffe. Paula Radcliffe, a British runner, was one of the favorites for a gold medal in the Women's Olympic Marathon last night. She had led the marathon in Athens in 2004, but dropped out. Some in the press -- undoubtedly people who couldn't run a mile without coughing up a lung -- called her a quitter. So she had something to prove in Beijing. But she lost a lot of training due to a stress fracture, so this just wasn't her day. She hung in there gamely for well over half the 26 miles, but faded back, and just managed to chug home in 23rd place.

I don't know what it's like to be Paula Radcliffe. I don't know what it's like to feel the pressure of a whole nation riding on your back. Her "lackluster" finish was so much faster than I'll ever run that it's not even funny. She had to finish her run on world-wide television, and I finished mine in the roaring silence of a quiet Sunday morning in my little town. But we have this much in common. On Sunday morning, August 17, 2008, we both really, really felt like giving up and packing it in, but we both gritted our teeth and girded our loins and just kept on running. In that much, we are kindred spirits. Paula, I salute you! Keep on running!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Day 674 -- Sunny Valley

Just being in a town called "Sunny Valley" makes me happy. And the opportunity to stand in front of this picturesque covered bridge, which I found at, makes me happy. And the fact that I had a good long run this morning makes me happy. So, in case you haven't figured it out, I'm pretty happy.

I did some switching in the schedule, and ran my long run this morning, rather than Sunday. I was scheduled for 19 miles, but I went a little crazy, and ended up running 20.7. It wasn't fast, but that wasn't the goal. The goal was to finish, and I did. It was a great run, and I feel good about it.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Day 673 -- Wilderville

Not much shaking in Wilderville, so I resorted to standing in front of a house for sale. There are houses for sale in pretty much every town that I run through, and they often come up high on the Google Image searches, but I mostly avoid them. This one can be yours for a cool $395,000.

I have contracted a little summer cold. It's not really bad, but it's keeping me from sleeping soundly. I hope it won't hang around too long. I made it through a slow 5 miler this morning. In fact, it was just about the exact same time as I ran on Tuesday, over the same route.

If you are wondering, this week's topic on Take It and Run Thursday is care of your feet, about which I have nothing to say.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Days 671 and 672 -- Selma

Southern Oregon University has recently opened the Deer Creek Center for Field Research and Education in the Illinois Valley near Selma, Oregon.
Situated at the gateway to the Wild and Scenic Illinois River, this 850-acre site showcases an unusual diversity of learning environments: at-risk plant communities, serpentine geology, fire-affected forest and miles of frontage on salmon-bearing streams.
The main campus of SOU seems to be in Ashland, about an hour to the east of Selma. I'm not going that way, so this is my best chance to visit.

Since I didn't get a post in yesterday, I'll give you a bonus today. This is Kristy Lee Cook, a sometime American Idol contestant, who comes from Selma. I'd never heard of her either -- I'm not an Idol watcher -- but when I Googled "Selma, Oregon" she came up big. Of the first 25 images, at least 8 were Kristy, including, of course, one from the Official Kristy Lee Cook Site.

No particular reason why I didn't post yesterday. I just never got around to it. I went down to the office and tossed myself at the stuff I'm working on for the fall semester. I'm excited about my classes, but I'm worried that I'm biting off more than I can chew. I have plans for all three of my classes that are going to involve some intense grading. It could be a long semester.

I ran five miles easy yesterday, and then nine miles at pace today. I felt really good today. My overall pace was 9:36, and it was just about the same for the first loop as for the second. I felt strong, and I think I could have run longer, if I wanted.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Farewell to an Old Cat

A long time ago, when the earth was young (well, younger), Mrs. Jogger and I drove to her family's farm and brought back a kitten. At the time, we lived five or six hours from home, and Keisha, who was only a few months old, meowed the whole time. She never did learn to love the car, although she learned to tolerate it.

That was 1989. Keisha stayed with us when we moved to Madison so I could go to grad school, then moved to several different apartments in Madison. She stayed with us when we moved out to Nebraska for my first tenure-track job, then when we moved into our first house. That job proved to be temporary after all, and Keisha moved with us back to Wisconsin, to the house that we now live in.

Keisha was here for the arrival of each of the Little Joggers. She put up with them, even through their tail-pulling stages. She was the unwitting center of one of the highlights of my life. When the first Little Jogger was about three, and was still the only Little Jogger, we were in her room, playing library. The highlight of playing library was scanning the books, with a satisfying beep. Keisha, then a middle-aged cat, came in and started rubbing against our legs. The Little Jogger, in her sternest little toddler voice, turned to her and said, "Keisha, what are you doing in the library!"

Keisha welcomed (well, sort of) six younger cats into our household over the years. Two of those are dead, and another has recently moved on to live with Grandma Jogger and her housemate. She witnessed the arrival of frogs, hermit crabs, several rounds of fish, a turtle, and some snails. She always knew that she was number one, and she didn't particularly have to prove it.

These last few years, she's been a creaky old cat. This spring, she went all but blind. She wandered from her bed to her bowl to the litter pan (not a far toddle at all). If she accidentally got out of her zone, she'd meow helplessly, not sure how to even find her way back.

This morning, Keisha took her last car ride. She was up in the night, confused and scared, and Mrs. Jogger and I decided it was time to let her rest. We took her to the vet's office, and he quietly let her slip away. It was a very hard thing for us to do. I cried like a baby, and I'm tearing up now just thinking about it.

Good bye, old friend. You will be missed.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Day 670 -- Cave Junction

These are the Paradise Stairs at Oregon Caves National Monument, near Cave Junction. I confess I have a thing for caves. I've been to Carlsbad Caverns, but not since I was a kid. There are a couple of little caves near where we live in Wisconsin.

Today was a tough run. I didn't sleep really well, and after yesterday, I was of course pretty sore. It wasn't too hot, but it was sure humid. So I knew from the beginning that I was going to have a chance to practice my mental toughness. Just put one foot in front of the other and keep on running. Which I did. I was happy with my effort.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Day 669 -- O'Brien, OR

Today I ran through O'Brien, Oregon. For some reason, vj_pdx has uploaded a photo of the O'Brien post office to Flikr.

Non-Runner Nancy (who really needs to change her handle) has declared a virtual race, and today's run is my race entry. Officially, we were supposed to run 8 miles on 8/8/08, but that didn't fit my running schedule. I figure 9 miles on 8/9/08 is OK. A day late, but a mile extra.

The run itself was interesting. I did a 4.5 mile out-and-back. I didn't realize until the middle of the run that most of the last 3 miles of the out were downhill. Which meant that most of the first three miles of the back were uphill. Into a gentle but steady wind. So it was quite a challenge. Like Wednesday, I took about a minute more on the second half of the run than I did on the first, but at least today I had an excuse. (Wednesday's run was two loops of the same 4.5 mile course.)

It was not a bad day for a run. Temps in the low 60's and moderate humidity. I was pretty sweaty by the end, but I plugged along. My time was 1:26:36. In fact, I declare myself to be the winner of the virtual race in my distance and class*.

*My class, for those who are interested, is as follows: Gender: male; Age: 43 years, 10 months to 43 years, 11 months; Weight: 215 pounds to 225 pounds; Handedness: Left; Vision: Myopic. Anyone in that class wants a piece of me, you know where to find me.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Day 668 -- Welcome to Oregon

Oregon at last. I've been in California since early April, a little over three months. Of course, I didn't run straight across it. I ran the width for a month, then turned and ran half the length.

Sometimes, I've been able to find the correct "Welcome to..." sign for the highway that I am on, but not today. This sign is actually clean across the state, coming south from Washington. I found it at

I slightly rearranged the schedule these last two days. We got up early yesterday to drive to the Iowa State Fair. It was a nice day, but approximately everyone in Iowa was there, too, so it was pretty crowded. Anyway, I took my day off yesterday, and ran an easy 4 (more like 4.5) today. The weather is cooler and dryer, so it was a nice day for an easy run.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

TIaRT -- Six Words

This week's theme for Take It and Run Thursday at Runners' Lounge is "Your Six Word Running Memoir". Amy and Tom have both cheated, by submitting multiple six-word memoirs, but I'm a purist, so I've done just one. (Plus I didn't think of it.)

Old, slow, fat -- but running anyway.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Day 667 -- Last Stop In California

If I am not mistaken, I'm out of Smith River NRA, and not quite to Oregon. From the Del Norte County Chamber of Commerce, here's a shot of a campground somewhere in the county. No idea if it's particularly close to where I am.

I ran 9 miles today, at a very brisk pace. The first 4.5 was 42 minutes, which is pretty darn quick for me. I slowed down considerably on the second lap, but still finished under 9:30 per mile. It was a little cooler, but I still managed to work up a sweat.

I passed 1000 miles for the year today. Last year, I passed 1000 miles on August 5, so I'm just right on the same pace. OK, technically, I'm a day behind, but I don't think that a day one way or the other really makes any difference.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Day 666 -- If only I were near Devil's Lake....

Via, a section of U.S. 199 through Smith River National Recreation Area. You'd think I'd be able to get better pictures of a National Recreation Area, but I didn't find anything good today. I'll be in SRNRA for another few days, so maybe I'll be able to find something.

I didn't get my bike ride in yesterday. It was rumbling thunder when I woke up, so my friend and I decided not to risk it. It turned out that the storm never actually hit, but what could we do? In any case, that meant that the Little Joggers and I got an early start on the road down to Grandma Jogger's house, where we will stay for a week or so. I could have borrowed a bike from Grandma, and ridden yesterday afternoon, but it was beastly hot, so I didn't.

I did run this morning. It was still pretty hot and very humid, but at least it was early morning, instead of mid-afternoon. There were more rumbles of thunder, so I stayed close to Grandma's neighborhood, so that I could quit if it got closer, but it didn't.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Day 665 -- Gasquet

The thing that I love the most about the web site where I found this photo of Patrick Creek Stream in Gasquet, California is its name: Nice and specific. Not much doubt as to what that web site is all about, huh?

I ran 17.8 miles this morning, and boy, are my legs tired. Overall, it wasn't bad, for such a long run. It was a little humid, but like last Sunday, it was overcast, so the heat didn't get too bad. I was definitely feeling it for the last 5 or 6 miles, but I wasn't tempted to quit, and in fact I managed to maintain a decent pace. I'm happy, if a bit sore.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Math Fest

So, what have I been up to? This weekend has been Math Fest, the summer meeting of the Mathematical Association of America. They move it around, and this year, it's in Madison. That's great, because it's so close. When it's in San Jose or Pittsburgh, at most one or two people from our department can go. This year, about a dozen of us went. That means more opportunity to go to talks, network, attend panel discussions, and just generally do the stuff one does at a national meeting.

The bad news is, it's an hour and a half drive to Madison, and we didn't have the money to stay up in hotels. So we drove it, both ways, each of the last three days. We've had to leave fairly early, and gotten back fairly late. So I'm pretty tired.

The conference went well, for the most part. There seemed to be a lot more logistical glitches than there usually are at these things. Two different sessions booked in the same room, that sort of thing. Some of the rooms were very crowded, and others were 3/4 empty.

The program itself was really good, as usual. I went to some very good talks. I learned a few things that I might be able to use in classes. And I went to one series of talks that I doubt I'll ever use in any way, but it was damn good.

This morning, there was the first annual Math Fest 5K Fun Run/Walk. When I found out about that, I signed up for it of course. However, I started to wonder if this was a good idea. It's been so hot and humid the last few days, I thought I might be pretty ripe for the rest of the day. A lot of the runners had hotel rooms to go back to in order to shower, but that wasn't really an option for me. And, one of my friends thought she wanted to walk the 5K, and I thought that I would keep her company. So I got a nice walk, a free T-shirt, and a personal worst time for the 5K, by a factor of about two.

Overall, it was a good conference. I'm glad that I got to go. I'm ready for a rest, though.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Day 664 -- Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

So I'm strolling along here in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, and I run across this totally normal sized tree stump, with a tiny little man pushing on it. How about that.

I'm too tired to post today, other than to say that I ran 4.3 miles at pace this morning. Tomorrow (or possibly Sunday) I'll explain why I'm so busy this weekend.