Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Day 831 -- Jogger's Progress

Time33 days, 3 hrs, 51 min
3 days, 5 hours, 41 mins

Day 831 was actually yesterday. I should have taken yesterday off, after a long run in the late afternoon on Sunday, but I didn't. So I was pretty beat last night, and didn't even set my alarm for this morning.

Even so, I passed my March goal by one day, and 10 miles. It was the most days I'd ever run in a month, and only 5.7 miles short of the most miles. I'm feeling good. (But if I had gotten up and run only 6 miles today, it would have been a new record for mileage, too!)

My goals for April: 22 days and 175 miles. I ran 21 days in April in both 2008 and 2007. In 2007, I ran 174.1 miles, a whopping 8.3 miles a day. I will be hard pressed to do that again this month. But hey, it's a challenge, right?

I also note that in the first three months of 2009, I'm only 31 miles short of 500. Since I will run longer in the summer, I have a decent shot at hitting 2000 miles in 2009. We'll see....

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Day 830 -- More Gallatin National Forest

This little feller is actually from the web site for West Yellowstone Stores, and I'm a ways short of West Yellowstone, yet. But I don't know where this buffalo is roaming. So maybe he's near where I am, on US 287, somewhere between Cameron and Grayling.

I got in a good 12 miler today. We got a couple of inches of snow overnight, but by mid-afternoon, it had warmed up enough to melt most of the snow, and it was plenty warm enough to run outside. So I did. It was a good run, although I could feel myself getting slower and slower as the run wore on. Nonetheless, I finished in a decent time, and now I'm tired, but not dead. I've actually accomplished my goals for March. I've already run 26 days, and 177 miles. So I could take the next two days off. But I doubt that I'm going to.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Day 829 -- Gallatin National Forest

Gallatin National Forest is a huge, sprawling thing, all over this bit of Montana. I'll probably end up posting several photos of it, since there's not much out here. I decided to start with this little avalanche, which I got from Liam Gallagher, who seems to be a snowboarder. I wouldn't want to ride this puppy.

I slept in this morning, and then popped over to the gym at noon. It's been awhile since I ran indoors. It was nice to be warm and not have any hills, but it got boring pretty quickly. I'm afraid that I'll have to go back tomorrow, as it is snowing right now. The snow isn't expected to stick around, but I don't think tomorrow is going to be good running weather.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I'm going to run for cover!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Days 827 and 828 -- Cameron

Behold, The Lodge at Sun Ranch, eco-living, Montana style. It is about the only eco resort anywhere that allows hunting. Maybe I've spent too much time in Wisconsin and Iowa, but I don't see that as a contradiction. Some of the best stewards of the planet that I know are hunters. They know what the balance of nature is all about, and they know that they need to keep it in balance, so that there are things to hunt. I think there's a good deal of difference between hunting a populous species, like deer or pheasants, and killing the last of the rhinos just for fun.

I did run yesterday, an easy five, but I didn't get a chance to blog it, because I gave an evening exam. I ran again today, almost seven more miles. Both mornings, it was cold, but not too windy, so it wasn't bad. I don't expect to be that lucky this weekend. I promised to be blustery tomorrow morning, and up to four inches of snow overnight on Saturday. Oh well. It won't do much to complain about it, I guess.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Day 826 -- Ennis

From GoNorthwest.com, the Ennis Cafe, 108 Main St. It looks kind of understated, to me.

I took yesterday off. It was only my third day off in March. To make my goal of 26 days of running, I can take two more days off in the next seven, but I hope to take less than that. We'll see.

I did not take today off. I got up and ran a hilly, windy 6.6 miles. It felt pretty good. I was pleased with my pace. It was hardly blistering, but it wasn't bad.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Day 825 -- McAllister

Well, I wasn't sure whether to use this image or not. At least I was sensitive enough not to stick my polka-dotted butt into it.

If you do a Google image search for McAllister, Montana, this is one of the top images. Alas, the reason is because McAllister, Montana, is where this dogs family found a vet to help them put him down. You should read the whole story. It's a lovely but sad story, told partly from the dog's point of view. It's nice to know that Jerry had such a loving family.

And, having linked to that post, I find that I don't have much to say to follow it. I ran an easy 5 this morning. See you tomorrow.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Day 824 -- Norris

MontanaPictures.net, the website for people homesick for Montana(tm), seems to be all over this part of the state. This is a picture of the Red Bluff Research Ranch, east of Norris. They even provide a handy link to the Department of Animal and Range Sciences at Montana State University, where they have a description of the ranch:
Red Bluff Ranch is located near Norris in Madison County, Montana, along the west side of the Madison River. The operation comprises 13,750 acres of land, 10,000 deeded and 3,750 leased. Most of this land is rangeland, with limited hay meadows along the valley bottoms. Elevations range from 4,600 feet to 6,200 feet above the Madison River canyon. The ranch occupies most of the once thriving late 19th-early 20th century gold mining community in the Hot Springs Mining District which was second only in gold production to Alder Gulch. At its peak of activity, there may have been a population of approximately 3,000. The ranch nearly surrounds the town of Norris. The founder of Norris, Alexander Norris may have owned much or all of the Red Bluff Ranch at one time. The Red Bluff Research Ranch (previously known as the Rowe Brothers Ranch) was purchased for $164,000 ($16.83 per acre). The total acreage was 9,746. Two U. S. Forest Service Grazing Permits (Muddy Greek, Cache Creek) in the Gallatin National Forest came with the Rowe property. Some small additional land exchanges and purchases have taken place over the last 45 years. The grazing permits were returned to the Forest Service in 1976. A new lambing facility and mixing barn at the ranch was constructed in about 1990. This made lambing much easier. There are currently about 170 head of cattle and 900 head of sheep maintained on a year round basis at the research ranch. These livestock along with the range areas are used for both teaching and research.

I did make it through my long run today. I had run 6.3 miles on Friday, and 7.5 on Saturday. Since I wanted to do about 13 today, I did what any self-respecting mathematician or second grader would do: I added. I ran Friday's route, followed by Saturday's, for a total of 13.8 miles. It wasn't fast, but speed wasn't the point. I felt good at the outset, and really not too bad at the end. I was pleased.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Day 823 -- Harrison

In this picture, you see an ancient, broken down thing, that has clearly had too many miles. And a wagon. (Picture from MontanaPictures.com.)

The amphipod bugged me more today than yesterday. But everything was bugging me, today. My earmuffs bugged me. When I took them off, the wind bugged me. The uphills bugged me. The downhills bugged me. My feet felt weird, and my quads ached. I plodded out 7.5 miles, but I despair for tomorrow. Tomorrow is supposed to be my long run for the week, but if I don't feel stronger and smoother, I'm never going to make it. Oh, well, we'll just have to see how it goes.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Day 822 -- Willow Creek

Flikr user Andy Frazer breaks with tradition and gives us a few notes about this grain elevator, in Willow Creek. So I know that it is the best looking grain tower that he saw in Montana in 2007, and that it is right across the street from a place to get good ribs. Alas, he doesn't mention what's on the menu for vegetarians.

I ran a steady 6.3 miles this morning. It was a little cool, but it was OK. I finally took my Amphipod Belt for a run. I got it as a gift at Christmas, but there isn't a lot of use for it while I'm running indoors. I'm never more than a half a lap from a water fountain. I'm thinking that I will only use it on long runs, but I thought that I'd better try it first on a medium run, so that if I really hate it, I won't have to carry it forever.

I don't really hate it, but it's going to take some getting used to. I quickly got used to the weight, but the sloshing bothered me on and off throughout the run. I sometimes had trouble getting a bottle loose. Mostly, I wasn't sure how often to drink. I'm used to drinking every three to five miles, when I come back around to my stationary bottle. When I can drink whenever I want, I don't know what to do. But I'll get used to it. I would like to take it on my next marathon, so that I can keep properly hydrated. We'll see.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Day 821 -- Lewis and Clark Caverns

Southeast of Caldwell is Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park. I just love caves and caverns. I think the formations -- stalactites, stalagmites, stalaclefts, stalacrights -- are some of the most beautiful things on earth. Pictures seldom do them justice. This picture is fine, but I'm guessing that the formation itself is spectacular.

I wasn't nearly as strong this morning as I expected to be after a day off. So I listened to my body and ran an easy 4.5 miles. I hope that I'll be up to a good run tomorrow. I have a lot more days to run in March, yet, if I'm going to make it to 26 days!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Miles for Monika

Kelsey at kelseytoney.com has set up a collection site for her friend Monika, who is having major surgery. What is Kelsey collecting? Why, miles, of course. Monika can cash them in for health points, or something. Anyway, I'm contributing, and if you want to contribute as well, just go to Kelsey's site.

Monika gets all the miles donated between March 16 and March 29. So far, that's only 11.6 miles for me, but we've got a ways to go.

Sorry, Monika, I took today off.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Day 820 -- Goodnight, Chet

Today's Trivia Fact: Chet Huntley, of the Huntley-Brinkley Report, was born in Cardwell, Montana, on December 10, 1911. I got this photo from NNDB, which bills itself as "Tracking the Entire World". Oh, is that all. I don't know, though. I searched for my name, and I'm not in there. Not under my real name, and not under USJogger. (It did give me Mick Jagger and hockey player Jaromir Jagr.) It does say it's the beta version. I'm sure that the final release will give me the prominence I deserve.

I slept in this morning. Then, since I am on break, I went an ran right before lunch. I ran the same route I ran yesterday, but a little faster. It felt really good. I'm tired, though, so I'd better take a day off one of these next couple of days.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Day 819 -- Cardwell

Fancy a bit of pottery? Next time you're in Cardwell, Montana, stop in at Clays in Calico Pottery. I don't know much about it. This photo is from Webshots Travel, uploaded by user islandglo.

I got up early and ran an easy 5.8 miles. The weather was really nice. It was just cool enough for a pleasant run. And I got a nice complement. Another runner (a cute young lady) said, "I like your legs" as she ran past me. Yes, I was wearing my funky tights, but she said, "I like your legs", not, "I like you tights." I'm sure that it was a complement.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Day 818 -- Whitehall

I stumbled across an interesting web site, which I'm a little surprised I haven't run into before. MontanaPictures.net is "The website for people homesick for Montana(tm)". They have four pictures of Whitehall, of which I have stolen two. Above, the Star Theater. Below, Dandy Don's Famous Mint Bar.

I did my long run today. I went ahead and slept in this morning, and went for the run at noon, after church. It was gorgeous weather. It's much nicer down here in the south than way up north in Wisconsin. I managed almost 12.5 miles, at a reasonable pace. I'm pleasantly tired, now.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Days 816 and 817 -- Thompson Park

South of Butte, there's a big old park called Thompson Park. One place to see pictures of it is at the web site of the Montana Film Office. So, if you are looking to make a film, and there are no scenic parks in your area, give Butte a try.

I ran a quick three yesterday. I managed not to set an alarm, so I didn't get to run in the morning. At noon, I popped over to the gym, but I didn't want to take too much time. I cut out of the office in the afternoon, on the theory that I wasn't going to have a whole parade of students on the day before Spring Break. I went home and Mrs. Jogger and I moved furniture into the kitchen and out of the living room.

This morning, I got up and did seven miles outside. It was my first outdoor run in more than a week. It was a little cold, but there was almost no wind, so it was OK.

This afternoon, the Little Joggers and I drove down to Grandma Jogger's house. Mrs. J is staying behind to work on the floors. The trip was OK. We'll see how the medium Little Jogger settles in. He has been kind of delicate lately, and he never really takes well to disruptions in his routine. But maybe this disruption will knock him back into a good space. We'll see.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

TIaRT -- Only in Running

It turns out that we can't move that much furniture tonight, because the seam glue needs to dry for 24 hours. So we continue to have our kitchen furniture in our living room.

This gives me a chance to participate in this week's Take It and Run Thursday at the Runners' Lounge. I haven't done the TIaRT lately, because I've been busy, but this one was easy:

Only in Running....would I wear these pants.

Days 814 and 815 -- Butte

The Metals Bank Building in Butte, Montana, thanks to the Western Mining History web site.

You may notice that there's no Jogger in the picture. I am posting from work, because I spent all evening yesterday moving stuff out of the kitchen, and I expect to spend all evening today moving stuff back in. We are getting new tiles. It should look great. The old linoleum is getting kind of worn down, so it's time for a change. We will also be replacing the carpet in the living room and the main hallway with hardwood. Just doing our part to stimulate the economy.

I ran at the gym the last two days, 5.3 miles each. Yesterday, I ran medium fast, and today, I ran pretty fast (by my standards, anyway.) It felt good after taking Tuesday off.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I knew I was a runner when....

This week in the Runners' Lounge, they are having a Free Stuff Giveaway. They have had a bunch of these, and I usually don't participate. But this week's theme looks pretty cool, and I really want some free running socks. So here goes.

I knew I was a runner when....

  • Well, it might have been when I spent a couple of hundred dollars (between race fee, hotel, meals, and gas) to run 26 miles in the sun with a bunch of strangers. But I think it was probably before that.
  • It might have been when I first started thinking seriously about running a marathon, like it was something that I could do.
  • It might have been when I started blogging about running and reading about running and talking about running and basically spending more time thinking about running than I actually spent running.
  • Maybe it was when they tore up the indoor track and I had to go six weeks without running, and I hated it!
  • Maybe it was when I got my first running related injury.
  • Maybe it was when I got my first race shirt.
  • Maybe it was the first time I ran in the rain because I had planned to run, and hey, I was going to sweat anyway.
  • I really think it was when I began to realize that I'm grumpier when I don't run than when I do.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Day 813 -- Ramsay

Psst! You wanna buy some land in Ramsay, Montana? I got 41+ acres in the Wilderness Foothills right here for ya. It's a steal at $225,000. Tell 'em Jogger sent ya.

I went to the gym to run my 5.3 miles this morning, but pretty much right away I determined that that wasn't going to happen. Before one mile was over, I cut my goal down to 4 miles. I made that, but barely. I'm not as sore as I was in the early part of last week, I just don't have any pep. So I ran the four real slow, and called it a recovery run. Perhaps tomorrow my pep will be back. Or perhaps I'll take a long overdue day off. Time will tell.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Day 812 -- Opportunity, Montana

I'm past the exit for Opportunity, but it's such a cool name for a town, I couldn't resist it. This photo, which I stole from Stephen K. Little's pbase gallery, shows Opportunity and the Anaconda Stack. Anaconda is the next town up the road. I think that he's done some sort of special effect, but he doesn't say what.

It is still ugly weather here. It has continued to precipitate all day, but in the afternoon, the temperature dipped, so it turned from rain to freezing rain, sleet, and then snow. At least the indoor track was open. I got in 10 miles.

It took a good four miles to get over being mad at my stats class, whose papers I had been grading right before I went over. It's one thing when a class doesn't get something, but it's something else entirely when you stand in front of the class and say, "This question will be on the homework, and here's the answer," and they still don't get it. This class, as a group, just is not working very hard. Of course, some are doing fine, but a whole lot of them just aren't making the slightest effort. One otherwise good student missed class on Wednesday, so when he got to the questions on the homework that we covered on Wednesday, he just tried to B.S. his way through. No sign that he cracked the book, got anyone's notes, or anything. OK, I'm getting worked up again just writing about it. I'll stop.

In all the excitement of grading all day yesterday, I neglected to publicly wish Happy Birthday to the first Little Jogger. She turned 14 yesterday. Not that we saw much of her. She left at 5:30 am for the small group music ensemble. Her drum piece was in the afternoon, so she mostly sat around and watched other kids sing and toot and bang. She didn't get home until around 6 at night. We wished her all kinds of happy, but we didn't really celebrate.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Day 811 -- Galen

The Re-Integrating Youthful Offenders (RYO) Correctional Facility in Galen, Montana. Sorry, not much to get from Galen on Google, because it's a person's name. I got a ton of people named Galen who have been to Montana (and at least one dog), but not much from the actual town. Anyway, I just visited the Prison Museum, so why not visit an actual prison?

It rained steadily today, and I didn't feel like running in the rain, so I went to the gym. The indoor track was closed, so I had to do the treadmill. I took it real easy, because I'm planning to go for a long run tomorrow. I could have taken the day off, but it was basically my only break from grading all day.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Day 810 -- More Deer Lodge

Not only am I sticking with Deer Lodge, I'm sticking with Brendan Alexander's Perplexing Times. Brendan seems to have the area pretty well covered. He calls Cottonwood City "a frontier town complete with a handful of fun little buildings, some replica, some authentic, set up to entertain and educate any visitor willing to take the minutes to get themselves acquainted." I'm pretty sure that this is one of the kids we saw dancing the prison blues away yesterday.

It was hard for me to get going this morning. I woke up before the alarm, and started to get ready to run, and I just didn't feel like it. It's been a long week, and a lot of days of running in a row. So I went back to bed. But then I couldn't sleep. I tossed and turned for a while, and when I got up, it was still only 5:30, early enough for me to get out and run a fantastically slow five miles. It was one of those rare days when even running couldn't cheer me up.

It turned into a beautiful day, which didn't help. My students were greatly distracted. It was kind of hard to get their attention. And I didn't have as much energy as I could have. I'm going to take the evening off, get to bed early, and try to get caught up on my sleep.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Day 809 -- Prison Museum

According to this post at Brendan Alexander's Perplexing Times, Deer Lodge, Montana, "Has Prison Museum Genre Locked Down" I don't know about that. In February, 2006, I visited the Prison Museum in Mount Holly, New Jersey. I don't know how many Prison Museums there might be in the U.S. I wouldn't have guessed even one, but there seem to be at least two. I don't want to venture an opinion on which one is the best. I hate to take sides.

Yesterday's recovery run really worked. I felt great this morning. I ran faster and further than yesterday, and still felt good at the end. I have to remember that. I'm trying to raise the number of days that I run, but I can't run all-out every day. Some days, I just need to run easy, to get my exercise, but also allow myself to recover.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Day 808 -- Evening Exam

I'm giving an exam this evening, so no new photos. I'm posting from the computer in the exam room.

I ran a very slow 4.5 miles this morning. I knew that I needed to take it easy, because I'm getting worn down. By rights, I should take a day off, but (a) I want to run every week day in March, and (b) I knew that I wasn't ready to face 12+ hours at work without a morning run. Indeed, my morning run was very refreshing, but it's wearing off, now. Fortunately, I don't really have to do anything but watch them sweat.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Day 807 -- State Capitol

I'm not terribly near Helena. It's a good 40 or 45 miles east of Garrison. But this is about as close as I'm going to get, and I didn't want to pass up the chance to visit with my old buddy Frank. Long time readers know that Frank, apparently computer illiterate, actually visited all 50 state capitols, in person. I, of course, am taking the easy way to see the country.

I felt stronger this morning, and definitely ran faster. I'm still a little sore, and worried about my goal to run the next three days before taking a break. But for now, I'll just worry about tomorrow.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Day 806 -- Garrison

Fire danger is high in Garrison today. Or, I guess it was high on the day this picture, which I got from Waymarking.com, was taken. I don't see anything that tells me when that is. This Smoky is from the Garrison Initial Attack Station. I was puzzled about that at first, but it turns out that it is a DNRC Field Office, and that the thing that they initially attack is fires.

As predicted, this morning's run was rough. I was very sore and very slow. At times, there are as few as three runners at the gym in the morning, but this morning it was extra crowded. There must have been 10 or 12 runners, all but one going faster than me. I comforted myself in the thought that most of them ran less than 17.7 miles over the last 24 hours.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Day 805 -- Goldcreek, or possibly Gold Creek

Mapquest lists the town that I'm running near as "Goldcreek". One word. However, the community page from whence I stole this photo lists it as "Gold Creek." Two words. It's possible that there are two towns with almost the same name -- I've seen weirder on my sojourn -- but the Wikipedia article for Gold Creek describes it as "in southwestern Montana, U.S., on I-90 between Butte and Missoula." In other words, right here. In any case, here I am, standing in front of a church that may or may not be where I am. If you know what I mean.

I decided to start March off with a bang. I ran 12.4 miles. I ran it outdoors, in spite of the fact that the temperature was hovering in the low 20's, with a brisk wind. I decided I would take cold freedom over warm boredom. It was a good run, if not fast. Of course, I'm committed to running every day this week, so pushing myself to the brink of exhaustion may not have been the best idea. But I did, and I'll just have to make it through the rest of the week as best I can.