Saturday, January 31, 2009

Day 782 -- Jogger's Progress

Time30 days, 22 hrs, 23 min
1 day, 1 hour, 13 mins

What a month! The biggest surprise is that I made my 25 days, after all. I must have missed count when I was counting my days off. I do know it was 25 days this month. I triple checked, because I was so sure that I missed it. I have only made 25 days or more three times in the first 36 months of JogAmericaBlog. Of course, one of those times was January, 2007, and I never hit it again in 2007. I plan to hit it again in 2009.

My mileage was nothing to sneeze at, either. I have only surpassed 150 miles six of those 36 months, and none of them was in the middle of winter.

My goals for February: 21 days and 109 miles, which would be one day and a half mile better than February 2007. (Gosh, I started 2007 on fire, didn't I?) If I can make the days, the mileage should be fairly easy. I averaged only 5.4 miles per day in February of 2007. I averaged 6.2 miles per day last month.

Day 781 -- More and more Clearwater

Here is a site dedicated to photos of signs along the Lolo Motorway. I thought about posting a bunch of them, but I don't have a lot of time this morning. And where is the Lolo Motorway? Somewhere in Clearwater National Forest. That's all I know. Presumably closer to the Lolo Hot Springs end than the Orofino end. And I'm currently closer to the Lolo Hot Springs end than to the Orofino end. So I'm probably standing right on top of it. Unless I'm miles away. And I haven't taken the time to find out, thank you.

I ran at noon yesterday. I didn't find time in the morning, so I went over to the gym at noon. I didn't have a lot of time, since my colleague and I were taking off for a meeting in Madison after his class ended at one. So I decided to go for short and fast. I ran three miles in 25 minutes, which is a good pace for me. I started out even faster, but slowed down with each mile. Oh, well, it was still a good workout.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Days 779 and 780 -- More Clearwater

This nice Smoky the Bear sign is from I got it by googling "clearwater national forest." OK, so it's way the hell back by Orofino. It's still in or near the National Forest, isn't it?

I did run yesterday, but didn't get a chance to blog it. I spent most of the evening trying to get some homework graded. The Discrete Math class meets Tuesday and Thursday, meaning that if I didn't hand that homework back today, I wasn't going to get it back until Tuesday. Since it's their first proof homework, and I want them to re-write some of the proofs, I decided to work hard to get it back.

I ran 5.3 miles both of the last two days. Yesterday was a little faster than today. I felt pretty strong both days.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The best laid plans....

You'd think that I would know better than to announce a running streak before it's over.

I didn't run today. I didn't run in the morning, because I had to drop the oldest and newest Little Jogger off for basketball practice. No problem, I figured. I don't have an afternoon meeting. I'll just run in the late afternoon, and be hungry for supper. Problem. The indoor track isn't open in the late afternoon. It's open noon to one, and then seven to ten pm. And it's way too cold to run outside.

So, I missed a day. As I said yesterday, no big tragedy. I probably needed the rest, anyway.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Day 778 -- More Clearwater

I could have taken today off. Arguably, I should have taken today off. But I didn't.

Some time earlier this month, I hit a sure fire plan to make sure that in 2009, I will run more miles and more days than any of the three previous years of JogAmericaBlog. All I have to do is to make sure that each month, I run more miles and more days than all three of the previous corresponding months. That is, make sure that January, 2009, is my best January, that February, 2009, is my best February, etc. This allows for seasonal variation -- February is just not going to beat August -- and gives me a reasonable goal.

Well, sort of. Somehow, in 2007, I ran 25 days in January. I don't know how I did it. Only six days off in the whole month, in the middle of winter! And I found that this year, I had already taken six days off by Martin Luther King Junior Day. So, to make 25 days, I have to run the last 11 days of January.

I don't know if I can make it. Certainly, it's not a tragedy if I only run 24 or 23 days. It would be far worse to push myself to the point of injury, so I will be careful not to do that. Anyway, that goal was enough to get me out this morning to run 4 miles, gingerly.

Interestingly, I already have the mileage. In 2007, I ran 121.6 miles in January. (In 2008, I ran 121.3, in only 22 days.) But this year, I'm running so much more per day that I'm already over 130.

Well, we'll see if I can get out again tomorrow. And the next day. And the next day. And the next day. And the next day.

[Photo from here.]

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Day 777 -- Clearwater National Forest

I've actually been in Clearwater National Forest for a while. I entered it over on the other side of Syringa. However, Lowell is the last town for a while. A very long while. The next town is Lolo Hot Springs, Montana, a good 85 miles past Lowell. So get ready for a lot of Clearwater National Forest photos. It's a big honkin' national forest, so there ought to be plenty of photos.

I ran 13.3 miles today, my longest run of the year. It felt really good. I ran negative splits. That is, the total time for the second 50 laps was shorter than the total time for the first 50 laps, by about 2 minutes. This indicates that I had good discipline at the beginning, and good endurance at the end. I'm really happy with today's run. A little sore, but happy.

On an unrelated note, I just read in the January issue of Runner's World that The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association estimates that (as of 2007) the U.S. had about 16 million frequent runners. Their definition of "frequent runner" is pretty loose, as far as I'm concerned -- only 100 days a year. Two runs a week is not "frequent" to me. Anyway, since I'm well over that, that means that, in terms of days run per year, I am well into the top 5% of the U.S. population. (In terms of speed, I'm somewhat lower, of course.)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Day 776 -- Lowell

The Wilderness Inn, in Lowell, Idaho, thanks to the blog Botanizing. It is blogster Larry Hufford's "favorite place to eat."

I ran six miles today. I decided to pick up the pace, and I managed just under 9 minute miles. It took just over 53 minutes. For perspective, on Thursday, I ran 5.3 miles in just over 53 minutes. [For further perspective, Sammy Wanjiru ran over 11 miles in 53 minutes in Beijing in August, and kept that pace for 15 more miles to win the Olympic marathon.]

Friday, January 23, 2009

Days 774 and 775 -- Syringa

I ran yesterday, but didn't get a chance to blog it. That's OK. I'll make up for it with three different photos for Syringa, Idaho.

First of all, note that the syringa is the Idaho state flower. So if you Google "syringa idaho", the first image you get is this, from State Symbols, USA. As far as I know, this particular flower has never been to the town of Syringa in its life.

Somewhere lower on the list, you get an armed man. But this isn't some lonely gun nut. In fact, this is Terry Jackson (who hails from Syringa), showing off the rifle that he pawned at age 8 in order to buy his grandmother a washing machine. Through a series of coincidences, the rifle recently came back into his possession. You can read the story at the Two Brothers Weblog.

Finally, you have this picture, of a road going into Syringa. I found it at NoiseOff, the coalition against noise pollution. It is on their page about Jake Brakes. For those of you not in the know, "Jake Brake" is slang for an engine compression brake, which slows a diesel engine by changing the compression in the cylinders. The damn things are apparently noisy as hell. You can read the story at The Straight Dope, although this answer isn't by Cecil, but by one of his minions, so it's not that funny. I read this story years ago, and remembered not much about it, other than the fact that "Jake Brake" is really a misnomer. It is named after the Jacobs Manufacturing Company, which does make compression brakes. But they also make other stuff, and other companies make compression brakes. So it is more appropriate for this sign to say, "Compression brakes prohibited by city ordinance." The Jacobs company is fighting to get these signs changed. But the word hasn't gotten to Syringa, or hadn't gotten there when this photo was taken.

[Note that you can also get a good look at my cool new tights in this shot!]

As I mentioned, I did run yesterday, 5.3 miles, and another 5.3 today. I hope to get to the gym tomorrow and run some other distance. 5.2, 5.4. Anything but another 5.3!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Day 773 -- Leaving Nez Perce

I wish I could say that I planned this. That a week ago, I spotted this sign that says "Leaving Nez Perce Indian Reservation," and I saved it until today, the day I ran off the reservation. But no. I just thought, "Well, I'm running off the reservation. Maybe I could find one last photo from the reservation." And I just happened to notice this photo. So, thanks to Duncan McKinnon, here's an apt photo.

I ran a tempo run today. Sort of. My tempo runs are supposed to be four legs -- slow, medium, fast, medium. But today, my legs were slow, fast, fast, slow. I don't know why. I just couldn't find that medium pace on the second leg. And by the time I had run two fast legs, it was all I could do to run the last leg at all, never mind medium fast. Oh, well....

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Day 772 -- Stites

I'm headed east out of Kooskia. The next town is Syringa, but I'm not there, yet. So, for my photo op, I thought I'd drop down a little to Stites. This pretty little coffee shop is from Tony's Picassa Web Album.

You may have noticed a slight change in my photo. You can see my new running tights, which I got from Zombie Runner, my favorite on-line running store. They had a clearance. There is some controversy in the Jogger household about whether this is the sort of apparel that anybody should be caught dead in. Words like "hideous" and "appalling" have been bandied about. I like them.

I ran 5.3 miles today, indoors, at the gym. I'm glad I did. It definitely gave me a boost for my first day of class. Class itself went well, I think. The students seemed interested, and they contributed to the discussion. I've already had a couple in to ask about the homework that is due Thursday. Which means that they got right to work on it, which is good.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Day Before

Classes begin tomorrow. I hate the day before classes. Everything is prepared, and I'm too preoccupied to work ahead. I'm nervous, but there's really nothing that I can do to calm my nerves. I just putter around, doing small jobs and playing computer games.

It doesn't help that I didn't run today. It was a planned day off, but still... I always get a bit antsy when I don't run. I will try very hard to get out in the morning and run before class.

My left knee has been a little sore these last two days. It's probably just as well that I got a couple of days off. We'll see if it gives me trouble on the track tomorrow.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Day 771 -- Kooskia

The South Fork River Ranch has a Kooskia address. I'm not sure where it is, relative to Kooskia. In fact, I am still several miles north of Kooskia. So maybe I'm near the ranch, maybe not. In any case, it looks like a fine place to stay the night, particularly if you like horses. Their mission is
Good horsemanship and healthy, happy horses. Participation in all levels and areas of activities which will demonstrate the versatility, willingness and forgiving attitude of the gaited horse breeds.

I had to do the treadmill today. The indoor track was closed for a track meet. I could have taken the day off, but the track is closed again tomorrow (and I want to watch football), and the whole gym is closed on Monday, in honor of the King holiday. So, today, the treadmill.

It's been a long time since I ran on a treadmill. I figured that it's not as hard as real running, so I started out at a fast pace, that I couldn't keep up. But overall, I did "4.6 miles" in just over 45 minutes, which would have been a pretty good run, especially after twelve miles yesterday.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Day 770 -- Kamiah

This is the "Heart of the Monster." According to the National Park Service, it is a "rock formation said to represent the heart of a monster in an ancient Nez Perce legend is located in East Kamiah." I actually stole the picture from Phil Konstantin's 2003 vacation.

I ran 12 miles today, my longest run of the year. I wasn't sure how long I was going to go. I wanted to go longer than 10. I thought 12 would be good. Then, I got off to a good start, and I thought I could do 13.3, which is 100 laps. But as I ran, I got slower, and slower, and slower... and at 12 miles (90 laps), I thought, "Enough is enough." I feel good. Tired, but good.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Day 769 -- Baby, It's Cold Outside

Most of the area schools -- including the ones here in town -- had a "cold day" today. There wasn't any snowfall. It just got down to 20 below (about 30 below, Celsius), with windchills close to 40 below (about 40 below, Celsius). So they canceled school. It's been a long day at home, but we have survived.

I was going to go out to the gym first thing this morning, but Mrs. Jogger talked me out of it. So I slept in, along with the rest of the crew, and went to the gym this afternoon. It was really crowded. The students are definitely starting to come back.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Day 768 -- More Orofino

This photo was the voted the favorite local photo to appear on the front page of the City of Orofino web site. I was not at all surprised. It's gorgeous! Or it was, before I stuck my ugly mug into it. Of course, I found it somewhat less impressive when I clicked through, and found that it was the only local photo that had been uploaded to vote on. So it's also the least favorite local photo. And the median.

I ran another 5.3 today. I got kind of a late start, because I had to run the oldest and newest Little Jogger over to school for basketball practice. But, since school hasn't started yet, I had the time. The track is closed for three days this weekend, so I don't want to miss a day this week, if I can help it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Day 767 -- Orofino

Daniel Mark Faller's web site describes him thus: "Think of Bob Dylan with the pitch of Waylon Jennings and the jazzy phrasing of Willie Nelson and you have Daniel Mark Faller's voice." OK, then.

Anyway, he's a northern Idaho musician, who has played Orofino many times. This is the Idaho Community Concert Association at Orofino High School in March, 2008. He says the average age was 65. It was scary at first, but the concert is reported as a huge success.

This is his partner, Marty Luckinbill, with his famous '72 Strat, at a July 4 concert in the Orofino City Park.

Daniel played a show for the Idaho State Board of Health and Welfare at the High Country Inn our of Orofino, Idaho on September 11, 2008.

I did a tempo run today. It wasn't as slow as last week, but it wasn't my fastest, either.

Monday, January 12, 2009


From merry mishaps, I find out that today is Delurking Day. If you are reading my blog, and have never posted a comment, you are hereby instructed to post one now.

Day 766 -- Ahsahka

From, this nice photo of free things to do near Ahsahka. I'm not sure exactly how free this is. I mean, I imagine that the view is free, but the horses aren't. You gotta bring your own horse, or rent one. In any case, the view is downright breathtaking.

I ran 5.3 miles today, at a medium pace. I felt fine, physically, but had trouble getting my head into the run. I'm going to need to get back into the habit of getting up early. Classes start a week from tomorrow.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Day 765 -- Nez Perce Indian Reservation

Today, I ran onto the Nez Perce Indian Reservation. I'll be on it for a while. At about 1200 square miles, it's bigger than Rhode Island. (I took the sign photo from here.)

I ran six miles today, at an easy but steady pace. The gym isn't open early on the weekends, so I ran at noon. This was my sixth running day in a row, so I think I'll take tomorrow off.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Day 764 -- More Kendrick

This photo from Kai Eiselein's Flikr stream gives me a chance to fool with my special effects. Wait a minute....the player is from Kendrick, but the tournament is back in Lewiston. Guess I can't use it, then.

I ran a quick three today. I would like to move in the direction of running at least five miles every time I go out, but I didn't accomplish that, today. It wasn't so much lack of energy as lack of time. I didn't get to the gym this morning (for no good reason.) The indoor track didn't open up this afternoon until 3:00, and I had to pick up the first Little Jogger at school at 4:30. Five miles would have taken me almost an hour, then I would have had to cool off and shower, and that would have been pushing it. A fast paced three took me just less than a half hour, and that gave me plenty of time.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Day 763 -- Kendrick

From Wikimedia Commons, Bethany Memorial Chapel near Kendrick, Idaho. Apparently, the Chapel was built in 1908. I don't know who Bethany was, or why we are memorializing her.

I overslept this morning. I neglected to set my alarm, so I didn't get up until Mrs. Jogger's alarm went off, about a half hour later than usual. But I didn't have any appointments this morning, so I still went to the gym. In fact, I ran a solid 10.7 miles, which took me quite some time. It was hard, but it was a good hard. I felt good all day.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Day 762 -- Sidetrip to Lewiston

Did you know that Lewiston, Idaho, is right across the border from Clarkston, Washington? I suppose people familiar with the northwest all knew that, but this is way out of my home territory. This is the office of a design firm called USKH. I searched their web site for a good 20 or 30 seconds, and didn't find what USKH stands for.

No, I'm not really near Lewiston. It's well south and east of my virtual position. But I thought it was worth a visit.

I ran an easy five this morning. Still pretty sore, to tell you the truth. I want to do a long run tomorrow, but I don't know how long it will really be. We'll have to see how I feel.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Looks like I'm in for another long semester

My schedule is going to change. I had been scheduled for two sections of Discrete Math, and two sections of Math for Educators II. The Math Ed II is a new course for me, but Discrete Math isn't, and since one meets on MWF and the other on TTh, it looked like a decent schedule. However....

One section of Math for Educators I got canceled for low enrollment. So my colleague who only teaches the Math Ed courses had to pick up a course, and I'm the only one she could steal from. So I will have one section of Math Ed and one of Elementary Stats, plus the Discrete Math. Almost identical to last semesters schedule (which longtime readers may recognize stressed me out considerably) except for the new prep.

There are trade offs, of course. With one section, I'll have less grading with the Math Ed, and I can try to stagger big assignments so that they don't all come in at once. Even when I have grading for all three classes, there's at least some variety. But the extra work involved in preparing three lectures and writing three sets of quizzes and all that is just a pain.

Not that there was a lot of choice. I think the chair did what she had to do. So I'll bitch a bit about it now, and occasionally throughout the semester. But I'll survive. And she'll owe me one.

[Stress picture from Glow Forever.]

Shark Car!

The littlest Little Jogger announced that this year, he wanted a Shark Car for the Pinewood Derby. So I did the Google, and found a couple of nice designs of various complexity. We took them out to our friend the woodworker, and he helped the Little Jogger put together this bad boy. I must say, it's a cool, cool car.

Today was the Pinewood Derby. It was, as usual, total chaos. But fun chaos. The Little Jogger was third in his den, which is great, because the top two go to the regional competition. And I don't want to have to drive to the regional competition. So third is great. And all agreed that he had a cool car.

Day 761 -- More Troy

Not much out here, so I can stand another picture from Troy. This one is from Walter M. Steed and Associates, who managed the Main Street renovation in Troy in 1999. They have an impressive list of public works projects that they have administered. I can honestly say that, if you are looking for someone to administer a public works project in the northern Idaho area, I know of no one better.

I got a lesson today in relativity. I set out to do a tempo run, and I ran just as hard as I usually do for a tempo run, but somehow, the clock didn't see it that way. I honestly thought for the first ten laps that I must have missed a lap and run 11. I was that slow. But if so, I missed one for the next ten laps, and one for the ten after that. Either that, or I was just too dog tired to get up to speed. Which, if you consider that yesterday's run was afternoon, and this morning's run was 14 hours later, shouldn't surprise.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Day 760 -- Troy

I'm actually not running through Troy. I could have run Idaho highway 8 up to Troy, and hopped on Idaho highway 99 there, but there's a short cut. When you are on foot, short cuts are good. So I'm running south of Troy, now. But I could still drop in for a visit at the Troy Library.

We had freezing rain on Saturday night, and then below freezing temperatures all day Sunday. So this morning, everything was still coated with ice. I didn't even try to get out to the gym. But I went over in the afternoon and ran a very easy five miles.

Public schools opened two hours late this morning. One of my friends asked what exactly the point was. Since it had been icy for a day and a half, how was two more hours going to help. But apparently it did, because by 10:00, they were ready to go.

I spent the whole day catching up with stuff I have neglected for the week. My office was a mess, and I cleaned about half of it. I had some files to read and forms to fill out and various other little jobs. Classes don't start for two weeks, but I'm afraid that that will go very quickly.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Day 759 -- Moscow

Eight miles today carried me into Idaho, and through downtown Moscow, so we get two photos. First, the obligatory "Welcome to Idaho" sign, this one from Chris's Picassa Web Album.

Also, a photo of downtown Moscow, from Wikimedia Commons.

At least I resisted the urge to Photoshop myself into a picture of Red Square.

Today's run was great. I had a lot of energy, and I went out and ran eight miles relatively hard. I was really pleased. Now I'll take a day off, and I plan to run all five mornings next week. We'll see if that can happen.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Day 758 -- More Pullman

Have you ever heard of Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa? It is "a practice of meditation and exercises with teachings based on the universal principle of 'Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.'" It originated in China, although it was outlawed there in 1999. The Inland Northwest Falun Dafa also make a mean float. Here you can see their lotus flower float, which won the Best Theme trophy at the Pullman Lentil Festival parade in 2006. I know that if I were looking for inner peace, I'd like to be associated with an organization that makes good parade floats.

My first run of 2009 was not bad. An easy 5.3 miles. This carried me out of Pullman, almost to the Idaho border, but not quite. Meanwhile, over on the other coast, it carried me from Calais, Maine, halfway to Bucksport. The Virtual Run Across America is giving 10 miles for every actual mile run. So my 5.3 actual miles was good for 53 virtual miles. The plan is to allow people to cover more territory, but I, personally, think it's cheating. But NikeMom put it together, so we're playing by her rules.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year...and one last look back

Happy 2009, everyone. We had our usual quiet New Year's Eve. We stayed up watching a movie, then played Catch Phrase until midnight, and went to bed at approximately 12:02. Actually, the medium Little Jogger went to bed at 11:45. He just couldn't make it any longer. We slept in a little this morning, and right now I'm just waiting for the football to start.

This week's theme at the Runners' Lounge is "Your favorite post of 2008." While I was digging around for the year-end meme, I found several that I liked. I thought about making a whole bunch of links -- my favorite race reports, my favorite virtual locations, my favorite birthday cakes -- but I settled on just one post. It was the only post that moved me as much to read it as it did to write it. So, if you weren't around JogAmericaBlog in August, read my Farewell to an Old Cat. I suppose that if that's the worst news of 2008, it wasn't a bad year, after all.