Saturday, February 28, 2009

Day 804 -- Jogger's Progress

Time31 days, 20 hrs, 33 min
1 day, 22 hour, 23 mins

Not a bad month. I passed my goals by 1 day and 23 miles. I didn't get too many long runs, but I did keep my minimum up, which kept my average up.

March is going to be interesting. In March, 2008, I ran 26 days, the most days I've ever run in one month. So I only get five days off all month. I also ran 172.8 miles, averaging 6.8 miles per day. So far in 2009, I averaged 6.2 miles per day in January, and 6. 0 in February. So I need to run six days a week, and increase my average mileage. Wish me luck.

I didn't get to the gym today until late afternoon. I had done a lot of grading during the day, so I was ready for a good run. Just for the sake of variety, I ran a fixed time, to see how much distance I could get in. I did 6.2 miles in exactly one hour.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Day 803 -- Montana Mule Days

I guess that Drummond has a Montana Mule Days Festival. I didn't find it myself. I found it at Pete and Hank's Photo Album. I'm pretty sure that Pete and Hank are the mules. They look delighted to be here.

I ran this morning. I started out at nine minute miles, a pretty brisk pace. After two miles, I decided that I was getting tired, and I ought to slow down. Just about then, a friend caught me, and I decided to run with him for a while. It turned out that he was going nine minute miles. So I ran the whole five miles in 45 minutes, which wore me out. I actually opted not to run my usual 5.3 miles. I ended at 37.5 laps, five miles on the nose.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Day 802 -- Nearing Drummond

I'm several miles short of Drummond, but I think I can get a couple of days out of it. The first picture that jumped out at me from my Google search was this one. If you like it as much as I do, you can order it from It will come "Digitally Printed on Archival Photographic Paper resulting in vivid, pure color and exceptional detail that is suitable for museum or gallery display." No Jogger, though.

I did take yesterday off. I never really got sick. I felt a little odd all afternoon Tuesday and most of Wednesday, but I'm feeling better now. It's too bad, because yesterday was a gorgeous day for a run. It was so nice when I was coming home at about 5 that I actually thought of going for a run then, but I didn't.

I did run outside this morning, although it was not quite as nice as yesterday. The temperature hovered right about freezing. There was a slight wind, but nothing I couldn't handle. It was a nice run, and I got in almost eight miles. Tomorrow, it will be back to the gym. We're getting rain right now, and it's threatening to drop below freezing, giving us some sort of nasty freezing rain/sleet/snow. We'll see.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Day 801 -- Bearmouth

From, the historical marker at Bearmouth, MT. It's going to be hard to read, particularly with me in the way, so I refer you to the Wikipedia article on Bearmouth. It seems to indicate that Bearmouth is a ghost town. With no more mining in the area, there isn't sufficient trade to keep Bearmouth afloat.

I ran at the gym again this morning, another six miles. It was a little slower than yesterday, but still not bad. It looks like it might be warm enough in the morning to run outside, if I feel up to it. I'm feeling a little punk this evening. My stomach is unsettled and I have a headache. I hope I'm not coming down with something. I'm taking it real easy, trying to be sure that I don't.

In other news, I'm on a podcast. The theme for the podcast at Runner's Lounge this week is Virtual Races, and I was invited because of my involvement in the FFFK. I haven't listened to it, yet, because the connection here at home is so slow. I'll try to listen to it at work tomorrow.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Day 800

Eight hundred is a nice round number. Lots of zeros in it. Sorry, not a lot of good images to use. This one comes from a Oxford University Press on-line picture dictionary. Lesson six, road safety and numbers 100 to 1000. There is also an interesting image on World of Stock, Stock Photos and Prints, but seeing as they are charging $50 for rights to it, I didn't quite feel right just ripping it off. I know, they are talking about people using it for commercial purposes, which I'm not, but still...

I did get to the gym this morning, and got in a good run. For no reason at all, I ran 45 laps, instead of my usual 40. Six miles, instead of 5.3. I suppose I was doing penance for having a light weekend. My pace was good, but not outstanding.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Day 799 -- Clinton

The fishing is sure good here in far western Montana. If you would like a desktop wallpaper of this guy fishing the Rock Creek, near Clinton, go to They have lots and lots of wallpaper for fishing buffs. Personally, I'm a little cold.

We got four or five inches of snow overnight, so no running outdoors for me. I know, some people do it, but not me. The indoor track was closed for a volleyball tournament. And I didn't want to take the day off, because I'm going to a play tomorrow afternoon, so I don't think I'm going to get in a run tomorrow. So, it was the treadmill for me. Ugh.

Once again, I had a hard time finding a pace. I started slowly, and tried to build up speed, but I couldn't maintain the 8 minute miles. I think that when I'm going too fast on the track, I just slow down. But when I'm going too fast on the treadmill, the treadmill just keeps going too fast. So I don't slow down until I consciously hit the brakes, and I end up overextending myself. Anyway, I eventually settled in at about 9 minute miles, and finished 6.2 miles in 60 minutes. Not a bad workout, but not like real running.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Day 798 -- Turah

The caption on this photo in the Husko Family's Picassa web album is, "Look it's Turah, Montana! Weeeeeeee....." They didn't mention the Jogger in the clown pants.

I managed to get in my run today. I didn't get out this morning. I was just moving too slowly. But I went to the gym at noon and got in a quick 5.3 miles. That was enough to get me through a hard day. I'm tired, and my students were listless. The two classes that I had today were the two that had the exam last night, so they weren't really ready to learn new things. Oh, well, we'll all get some rest this weekend, and we'll be ready to go on Monday.

While I was away, the Chic Runner has posted the official results of the FFFK. Thanks, again and again and again, to everyone who participated.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Day 797 -- Economic Hard Times Hit the Jogger Household

Mrs. Jogger has had sort of a checkered history of employment. She has foolishly left good jobs to follow me from grad school to a job to another grad school to another job and then finally here to southwestern Wisconsin. She also put her career on hold while the kids were young. She hasn't worked full time since right before the first Little Jogger was born. In the brief time that we have been married, she's been a librarian, a salesperson in a fabric store (actually, two different fabric stores), a direct mail marketer, an office manager in a travel agency, a librarian again, a librarian a third time, a sorter in a thrift shop, a receptionist in an art gallery, and a field worker. I may have forgotten some.

This last year, she's been a writer for the local shopping news. It's not hard-hitting journalism, but it's fun. She covers new businesses and local activities. She does something new every week, and the hours are flexible, so she can deal with sick kids, after school activities, and household chores.

Yesterday, when she opened her e-mail to file this week's stories, she found an e-mail from the receptionist (not even from her boss!) saying, "By the way, the paper just published its last issue." So Mrs. J again joins the ranks of the unemployed.

Of course, this isn't a major disaster, as is facing many families these days. I remain in a well-paying, secure job. We will still be able to make the payments on the yacht, but we may have to sell one of the polo ponies, if the price of feed gets too high.

Still, it's crummy news, and we're a bit bummed about it.

[For the record (I know many of you are trying to keep track at home) I did run 5.3 miles at the gym this morning. I expect to be home tomorrow evening, and I'll be back to pasting my picture into the Montana landscape.]

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Day 796 -- Today's Newsweek Cover Story

"Stress Could Save Your Life (or at least it's healthier than you think)" I feel better already.

In other news: I didn't run yesterday. I ran today. I'm going out this evening for a "Stop the Hate" program, and giving an evening exam tomorrow. I will try to update the blog some time before the end of the semester.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Day 795 -- More Missoula

The Oxford Saloon Cafe in Missoula, which is the featured restaurant at I'm not sure exactly when I entered Missoula, nor if I'm still in it, but it's certainly big enough to get several posts out of.

I went back to the gym today. My legs were certainly feeling a hard weekend. I gave myself permission to quit early, but I went ahead and ran the usual 5.3 miles. I hope that I'm not going to regret that tomorrow.

More FFFK reports
AKA Alice
Merry Mishaps
Checking in, but not posting about it: Topher, Cousing Jogger (and his dog, Bow)

In non-running news, I have fallen into some wild science-fiction type time warp. The girls registered today for classes at the High School next year. This despite the fact that I only recently graduated from High School myself. Despite the fact that the first Little Jogger was born some time last year. Despite the fact that the oldest and newest Little Jogger was adopted as a bouncy 10-year-old in the middle of last week. At least, that's how it feels.

One of my all-time favorite Arlo and Janis cartoons has Arlo staring into a bathroom mirror, thinking, "One moring, it's summer--The sun is bright, and I'm eight years old. All I have to do is play baseball. The next morning, it's winter, cold and gray--I'm 35 years old, and I have to go to work....One more night like that is going to kill me." I've been feeling like that a lot, lately.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Day 794 -- Missoula

We got out of church around noon today. It was 25 degrees, but the sun was shining, and there wasn't much wind. So I pulled on my ugly tights, threw on a sweatshirt, laced up my Reeboks, and hit the pavement. By the time I was done, I had run a little over 8 miles in a little over 80 minutes. That's a pretty good pace over that distance in those conditions. I felt pretty good, but now I've been sitting on the sofa grading all afternoon, and my legs have totally tightened up.

More people have finished the FFFK. Some links:
Also reporting, but I can't find their blogs or their reports: Ms. V, Vanilla, Nat

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Day 793 -- More Lolo

I decided that I could spend a little more time in Lolo. I'm not sure if I'm past it, or not, and there's not much out here. But Lolo has the St. Ignatius Mission, which is quite pretty.

The interior, seen here in a photo from Sallad Rialb's Flikr stream, is even nicer. None of these web sites seem to say what denomination this mission supports. It looks Orthodox to me. Do they have Orthodox churches in Montana?

This last photo isn't as good, but it's from a blog called, which I couldn't resist.

Oh, and while I'm at it, I can post the barn that I couldn't post the other day!

As you have surmised, I did get to run today. We had a couple inches of snow last night, and the indoor track was closed for a meet, so I did the dreaded treadmill. It was OK, but I'm glad I don't have to do it all winter long.

In FFFK news, Grandma Jogger reports that the recumbent stepper is 2000 steps to the mile. So her group's 15000 steps were about 7.8 miles, which is another 12.8 km. Total, they did 31.7 km, or more than six 5Ks in honor of Non-Runner Nancy.

The Chic Runner has promised to collect everyone's performance and post a summary some time next week. For now, I am just going to be content with haphazardly pointing to the ones that I know about. If I miss you, please forgive me!

MCM Mama

Friday, February 13, 2009

Day 792 -- FFFK

I decided to go ahead and run the FFFK today. I'm just not sure if I'm going to get to run tomorrow or not. So I decided to get it in a day early. My time for the 5K was 28:34. That was outdoors, in fairly cold weather. At least there was little wind. But it surely would have been faster on the track. I hope that I didn't let you down, Nancy.

As you can see from the above logo, I have abandoned all pretense that the FFFK is anything other than a pathetic plea for attention. Objectively, though, I think I have to admit that Non-Runner Nancy is cuter than I am. Maybe it's the rose.

Grandma Jogger also joined in the fun, along with her cardiac rehab group. She writes:

Today, February 13, 2009, five heart patients and two friends/spouses who were exercising along with us dedicated their stepping, walking, bicycling and elliptical exercise to Non-runner Nancy for your Freakishly Flexible 5K “Race”. Results are in this table, but I leave it to you to translate steps and miles into kilometers. Please let me know the translation so I can report it back at rehab next week. I think we all had fun thinking about her, and will keep her in our thoughts and prayers in future days.

PersonRecumbent stepper (steps)Stationary bike
Elliptical (miles)
Alan (bypasses)3069---
Lee (stents)2102-1.134-
Jerry (bypasses )-1.258--
Charlie (bypasses)171-.626-
Mike (stents)4.9.753--
Barb (friend)10293---
Dorothy (spouse)---3.2

OK, the Bike, Treadmill, and Elliptical total 11.9 miles, which is just over 19 km. I have no idea how to translate the steps into km.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Day 791 -- Lolo

Well, it doesn't look like I'm going to be able to upload a photo today. Blogger keeps giving me an "internal error." So, you'll just have to click over to Pink Pepper's Flikr stream, and imagine me in front of the scenic barn.

I ran a nice, ordinary 5.3 on the track this morning. It was probably warm enough to run outside, and I should have done it. It's not going to be warm enough again for a while. They are predicting two inches of fresh snow tomorrow night.

In FFFK news, the first finisher has arrived. Christie at ChristieRuns is FIRST (at least as far as I know.) Official results will be available at the Chic Runner's pad.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

No Run Today

Mrs. Jogger has a Wednesday noon deadline, so, when she doesn't have everything done, she sometimes gets up early on Wednesday to work on her stories. Which she did this morning. In fact, it surprised me how early she got up, because I lay there for quite a while, listening to her type and snoozing while waiting for my alarm to go off. Those of you with functioning brains (unlike mine, early this morning) have already figured out that I forgot to set my alarm. So I didn't roll out of bed until way too late to go for a run. And I don't have any time this afternoon, so no run today.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Day 790 -- Lolo Hot Springs

From Steve Plattner's pbase gallery, here's a photo of the little town of Lolo Hot Springs, Montana. It seems to be kind of a touristy spot. Which is weird, since it's way out here in the middle of nowhere. But I imagine it's a little touristy spot, rather than a big touristy spot. Or, maybe I just hit the touristy photos.

I ran outside again today. It felt great, and I managed 10 minute miles, which is good for an outdoor run. This may be my last chance for a while. They are predicting more cold and snow this week, starting tomorrow.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Day 789 -- Montana

Near the end of Saturday's run, or some time today, I ran into Montana. That's already my second new state of 2009. However, the next new state will be a long time coming. I'm headed down to Yellowstone, but Wyoming isn't a new state; I ran through the southeast corner of Wyoming on my way west. So the next new state is one of the Dakotas, which are clear across Montana. And I'm not running directly, either.

Note that I am still in Clearwater National Forest. The damn thing is huge!

I went back to the gym this morning. It was right near freezing this morning, which meant icy patches for certain. So it was back to circles around the indoor track. That's OK. I was a little sore after my long run Saturday, but a day off really helped.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

FFFK Update

Here are the official rules for the Freakishly Flexible 5K, which I have taken to calling the FFFK.

Date: Feb. 14, 2009 (or some time this week, or early next)
Distance: 5K (or 10K or 5 miles or 10 miles or 13.1 miles or 26.2 miles or 1K or 100 meters or pretty much whatever you want)
Divisions: Runner, walker, biker, swimmer, stair-stepper, etc.
[You thought "Freakishly Flexible" referred to Non-Runner Nancy's hips, but it actually refers to the rules.]

Early registration ends Wednesday. Or Thursday. Or maybe a week from Thursday. Late registrants will not be guaranteed a t-shirt. Early registrants won't, either. There will be virtual medals for all finishers.

The Chic Runner has volunteered to be the official time keeper. Results will be posted over there. You can e-mail her at danicakoo |at| gmail |dot| com. Or you can post your results here, and I will pass them on.

Here are the registrants, so far:

  1. Abby
  2. AKA Alice
  3. Alexandra
  4. Anna
  5. Beth
  6. Betsy
  7. Chic Runner
  8. Christie
  9. Cousin Jogger
  10. Erik
  11. Grandma Jogger
  12. Jennifer Burgett
  13. Jilligan (and her kids, and her sisters)
  14. JoJaJogger
  15. Kristina
  16. Lisa Slow-n-Steady (of the Boston Slow-n-Steadys)
  17. Matt Keeling
  18. MCM Mama
  19. Melanie
  20. Michelle
  21. MilebyMile
  22. Ms. V
  23. Nat
  24. Pat
  25. RazzDoodle
  26. Reid
  27. Run for Life
  28. RunToFinish
  29. SmellyShelly
  30. Spartan7
  31. SuperDave
  32. The Running Knitter
  33. Tom
  34. Topher
  35. USJogger
  36. Vanilla
  37. Vava
  38. Xenia

Day 788 -- Think Spring

I ran outside today! OK, it didn't exactly look like this field of flowers. It looked like piles of dirty melting snow. But at least it was melting snow, and not falling snow.

I'm not fooling myself. Winter is not done with south west Wisconsin. We'll have more cold, and more snow. But today, it was great to get out and breath fresh air and not run around in little circles.

I ran 13.6 miles, which was wicked. Between the occasional icy patches, the hills, and the wind, 13.6 miles outdoors is at least as hard as 15 or 16 miles on the track. But I did plug my way through it, and finished running. I am tired, but I feel great!

Friday, February 06, 2009

The Freakishly Flexible 5K

[Bumped up to keep it at the top; new post below.]

OK, BRFs, listen up! Non-Runner Nancy has gotten a crummy diagnosis, that threatens to turn her permanently into a real Non-Runner. We're all elated that she's not dying and not permanently crippled, but we're seriously bummed that she just may never be able to run seriously again.

In her honor, I am hereby declaring a Virtual Race. On (or around) Valentine's Day, 2009, we will run the "Freakishly Flexible 5K". Run 5K (or longer, or shorter) and dedicate the run to Nancy. Write a post about it, and tell her how much we love her. Send a link to me at bvccollins atsign hotmail dot com, and I will post the collected love here on my blog.

Nancy's friends: please help me spread the word. I have about five readers, but some of them have more readers, and some of them have more readers, etc. Let's make this a big, big, big ol' Valentine present for Nancy. Feel free to steal the logo above.

Get well, soon, Nancy!

Day 787 -- Sandpoint

OK, I'm nowhere near Sandpoint, which is way further up the panhandle. But I didn't want to leave Idaho* without giving a shout out to my favorite outdoor humor writer, Patrick F. McManus. If you haven't read McManus, pick up one of his collections of columns from Outdoor Life magazine. I think it's good stuff.

As it happens, the guy who turned me on to McManus is also the guy who got me started running seriously. So I owe him (at least) two things.

I ran 5.3 miles at the gym today, at noon. That was the highlight of my day. Other than that, it basically sucked. Oh, well, tomorrow is another day, and only a major pile of grading stands between me and a relaxing weekend.

*I am going to leave Idaho some day. Right? Right?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Day 786 -- Smokejumpers

This is Randy Fenn, one of the Grangeville Smokejumpers. They cover Nez Perce and Clearwater National Forests. As you can see, I am calm and collected as I plummet ahead of Randy without a chute. Wait a second! Without a chute? What am I doing? I want out of this photo!

Welcome to everyone who has come over to join the FFFK. I'm happy that the word is spreading. As you have probably guessed, it wasn't about Nancy at all. It was a desperate plea for attention. After all, she's safe and snug in her Iowa home, and I'm falling out of an airplane over northern Idaho without a chute. I need all the friends I can get.

I only managed three miles again today. Dad's Taxi Service had another early delivery, this time both girls, one to basketball practice and one to band practice. I promise to get in a good long run over the weekend. I hope to actually get out of Clearwater National Forest some day.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Day 785 -- The First Lady and the Mayor

From left to right: Jogger, Former First Lady of Idaho Vicki Risch, Mayor Greg Gerot of Pierce. Mrs. Risch is presenting a "Take Pride in Idaho" award to Mr. Gerot for the historical kiosk in Pierce. Pierce is back over my left shoulder, north and east of my present position. But it came up when I googled "Clearwater National Forest," and I'm getting desperate.

I ran 5.3 miles this morning, at a moderate pace. The gym was packed. I couldn't believe how many people were there. There weren't that many strangers. It was just that almost all the regulars came.

One of my friends predicted that we'll be able to run outside on the weekend. We'll see.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Day 784 -- Really running short of Clearwater National Forest photos

This is the video game "Sammy Deer Hunting USA". According to Video Game Kingdom, when you play this game, you have your choice of where you want to hunt, and one of your choices is Clearwater National Forest. Note, though, that their screen shot is the high scores for Oneida County, Wisconsin, which is way up north from where I sit as I type, and well east of where I virtually stand. Oh, well...

I ran a quick three today. Dad's Taxi Service had an early call, but I didn't want to skip the run entirely. If I don't get my morning exercise, I'm grumpy all day. Also, of course, I have a goal for February, and skipping two of the first three days is probably not a good start.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Day 783 -- More and more and more Clearwater

From the Montana Kids web site, we have a camp out in Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. They say
The Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, covering 1.3 million acres, is part of the Bitterroot National Forest, Clearwater National Forest, Lolo National Forest, and the Nez Perce National Forest, lying on both sides of the Bitterroot Range. Its boundaries are between Montana and Idaho. It includes large parts of the Lochsa and Selway river drainages.

I did 5.3 miles today, on the indoor track. It felt smooth. It wasn't remarkably fast, but it just felt like a good, strong run.