Monday, August 31, 2009

Jogger's Progress

Time39 days, 7 hrs, 7 min
9 days, 7 hours, 57 mins

Well, today was a much needed day off, but since it's the end of the month, it's time to check Jogger's Progress. August was a fine month. I didn't get quite as many miles as June or July, but it was still the fourth longest month of my life.

My main goal for September is the marathon on September 20. I'll be tapering until then, so I won't be pushing either my miles or my days.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Day 945 -- The Other Half

I got up this morning and ran another 13 miles, to complete the marathon that I started yesterday. Naturally enough, I was much slower this morning. I didn't have the crowds or the adrenalin to push me along. And, of course, I was that much more tired before I even began. But I ran the whole thing, including running the last four miles straight. In three weeks, we'll see if I can do that without the twenty hour break between the first half and the second half.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Day 944 -- Madison Mini-Marathon

One thing about me: I'm always early to things. Even meetings, that I know darn well that no one else is going to show up for on time, much less early. I usually get to a race a good half an hour before the start, and I've gotten to my marathons at least an hour before the start.

Not today. I just didn't get an early enough start. My alarm went off at 5, and of course I had to get dressed and grab a small breakfast. It's well over an hour drive to Madison. And the race started at 7. So I arrived at the start line just 10 minutes before the start. For me, that's late. I had just enough time to find a restroom. I grabbed a spot around the 2:30 pace, and we were off.

Since I was starting behind my projected pace, and I knew that I wasn't really warmed up, I thought that I had better push a little from the beginning. Of course, I went out too fast. I missed the first mile marker, but I hit the second at about 18 minutes, a good three minutes under my goal pace. Ooops. I did manage to hold myself back over the next 11 miles, and I finished in a decent time, and not too tired.

The course for the Madison Mini-Marathon was terrific. It was very well planned. It started by hooking around three sides of the capitol square. I really wish that I had had a camera when we turned onto Wisconsin Street. You could see the pack of runners going down the hill and up the hill to the capitol building. It was cool. After that, we ran back down to campus, then went up around the zoo and through the arboretum. There were about three miles in the arboretum, and it was beautiful. A couple more miles through town, and we ended up on campus, on the shore of Lake Mendota. We ran out a way towards Eagle Point, then doubled back and ran to the finish line. It was a lovely tour of some of the best parts of Madison.

The weather was great, too. It was just about 60 degrees and overcast. It was just a bit windy, particularly down by the lake, but you can't have everything. It was absolutely a great day for a 13 mile run.

I held up pretty well, all told. I stopped for a short walk at every mile marker. In fact, I stretched a few of those walks, since I was ahead of my pace. About mile 11, I started to feel a bit tired, but I think I was doing much better than a lot of the people that I was passing. I don't know that I could have run another 13.1 today, but I didn't taper like I will for my marathon.

I finished in 2:06:24. Not a bad time, all told. I don't expect to run the marathon in 4:12:48. So I'll need to pace myself even better at the beginning.

All in all, it was a great day for a run, and I'm happy.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Day 943 -- More Whitlock

This site from the South Dakota division of Game, Fish, and Parks actually has pictures of every camp site at West Whitlock Recreation Area. So you can pick out the best one, I guess. I picked site 13, in honor of tomorrow's race.

That's right, tomorrow is the inaugural Madison Mini Marathon, a 13.1 mile race. I'm going to try it as a pace run for my marathon. It should be nice weather for it.

I had to go up today to pick up my race packet. I took the four Little Joggers, as well as the medium Little Jogger's friend Hurricane Andrew. To make it worth their while, we also went to the zoo. I told the first LJ that I could probably have traded the three boys for baboons, and no one would be the wiser. Except that our house would probably smell a little better. In any case, it was a fun trip, except for the adventure of trying to get to campus on a Friday afternoon at 4:30 on the weekend that the students are starting to move in.

I did run this morning, a very easy three miles, just to stay loose. Tomorrow, 13.1. Expect a race report.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Day 942 -- Whitlock Recreation Center

Somewhere near Gettysburg is the Whitlock Recreation Center. This photo of proud fisherman is available at TJ's Guide Services. In case you can't tell, there are dead fish pegged to the board that these people are standing behind. Very appetizing.

It was raining this morning, so I went to the gym. I don't know why I bothered. By the time I got out of my five mile run indoors, I was so overheated that I welcomed the rain. I actually came back and walked the dog, because the first Little Jogger didn't want to do it, and I didn't mind. Anyway, I had a good run.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Day 941 -- Gettysburg

Welcome to Gettysburg, South Dakota. I will forgo the inevitable "Four score and seven years ago..." gag. Instead, I will point out that the Gettysburg web site invites you to "Come play on the prairie!" Sounds like fun.

I had an unplanned day off yesterday. I turned off my alarm, turned over, and slept another hour and a half. I guess I might as well do that while I can. If I try that next Tuesday, I'll be late to my first class.

Today I got up and went out for a nice run. It was a little warm and humid, but I managed a decent pace.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Adam and Steve

I don't generate much controversy here at JogAmericaBlog. I've been pretty open that my personal politics lean to the left, but I don't blog about political issues much. There are plenty of blogs dedicated to that kind of thing that do it much better than I can.

However, the other day, I chanced to mention that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will be opening its ministry to out gays and lesbians. I have exchanged a couple of e-mails with my friend who thinks that's a bad thing. Eventually, we just threw up our metaphorical hands and decided that we aren't going to change each other's minds. However, some of what I wrote I'm proud enough of that I've decided to share it with a wider audience.

That inoffensive little six sentence paragraph managed to attract its very own troll! (Thanks for stopping, Jason!) If anyone wants to comment on this longer post, feel free. If you'd rather that I stuck to pasting my picture into the American landscape, stick around. There will be plenty more of that.

Jason (my commenter) points out that Martin Luther himself would probably be "stunned and completely disappointed" by this decision. My friend took a similar tack, complaining that the new decision changes the way that the church reads and interprets the Bible. To which I reply:

Well, thank God for that! I think that as we mature, we ought to change how we read and interpret the Bible. It’s certainly true for an individual. I read and understand the Bible differently than I did when I was 35, or 25, or 15, or 5. If my understanding of the Bible grows and matures, shouldn’t the church’s?

Without even half trying, I found a half dozen passages from the Bible that I'm pretty sure the ELCA doesn’t interpret the way that Martin Luther did.

How about Matthew 5:31-32: “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.” The ELCA recognizes divorce. Even the Catholic church, which doesn't, allows its members to get an annulment, declaring that the marriage in question never existed. How exactly this is better escapes me.

Leviticus 25:44-45 “Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.” I imagine that this was a passage that was used to justify slavery 150 years ago. It doesn’t even say that slavery is permissible. It assumes that slavery is permissible, and just makes rules as to whom you can enslave.

1 Timothy 2:12: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.” Whoa! Better tell that to any of the at least six women who are bishops of the ELCA, or to the hundreds of women pastors and other leaders. The first female Lutheran pastor was ordained in my lifetime. I’m sure at the time people complained that the church was reinterpreting the Bible. I’m sure that people left the church over it.

1 Corinthians 11:5-6: “And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is just as though her head were shaved. If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head.” I doubt this particular verse is the basis for many sermons these days.

The fact is, there’s no such thing as a Biblical literalist. It’s simply impossible. Everyone has to interpret the Bible in the light of their own experience, their understanding of God, and their own moral compass. And my moral compass says that we should treat gays and lesbians as full and complete members of society, and as full and complete members of our church.

Yes, there is going to be a lot of backlash to this decision. I truly believe that if those people and congregations that are threatening to leave the ELCA will just stick around, they will find that gay and lesbian pastors are pretty much like everyone else. Some are outstanding preachers, and some kind of boring. Some are compassionate listeners, and some need to work on their people skills. Some will get along well with their church councils, and some will butt heads with them. Some will rise to leadership within the church organization, and some will stick with small-town pastoring. All are pretty firmly dedicated to the church. Why else would they fight to become pastors against such strong opposition? And there’s really nothing different about them that matters in terms of their ability to serve a congregation.

This thing shows every sign of blowing up into a full-fledged schism. I think that's too bad, because I think we find too many reasons not to worship with each other. But people will do what they feel they have to do. For my part, I have no fear that on Judgment Day, God will say to me, "I'm sorry, but you were just too accepting in your lifetime. There's no room for that kind of tolerance in heaven."

Day 940 -- Beautiful South Dakota

Well, there's really not much out here on this lonely stretch of US-83. So, just to change things up, I googled "beautiful South Dakota," and I got this lovely prairie from the Asniya web site. And what the heck is "Asniya", you ask? Allow me to allow them to explain:
Asniya, meaning "to heal" or "to cure" in the language of the Dakota Sioux, is an outreach program, established through Harvard Medical School in 1995, whereby medical students and other allied health care students are recruited from participating institutions to serve as Asniya interns. Interns receive course credit and are sent to Indian reservations to introduce Native American youth to fields in health care. In addition, clinical experiences are arranged for the interns at local reservation health care facilities, providing insight to the complex Native American health issues that exist.
So I also get to plug a good cause. How cool is that?

I ran an extremely slow five miles this morning. It was hard to get started, but the weather was gorgeous.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dat 939 -- Agar

This sign from Agar, SD (Pop. 92) is uploaded from yuorme's Flikr stream. It's very artistic, but that makes it a little hard to put myself into. Thanks a lot, yuourme.

Today was a gorgeous day for a run. It didn't get quite as cool as they predicted. At 5:30, the bank sign said 58 degrees. But the humidity was down, and it was a great day for running. I made 21 miles, and could have run more. Since I stopped, everything has seized up, so I'm doing a lot of hobbling about the house. But it's a good hobble.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Day 938 -- Onida

Not quite to Onida, yet, but I have a 20 miler on the schedule for tomorrow, so I will shoot right past it. So this is as good a time as any to visit Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Onida.

Speaking of Lutherans, did you hear the news? The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America will be opening its ministry to out gays and lesbians. This is good news to me, although I heard about it from a Lutheran friend who "shed tears" at the announcement. I'm not currently active in the ELCA -- my family and I have been attending a United Methodist Church lately -- but I'm proud that the church has made this decision. And I have no doubt it's going to lead to some division, and possibly even a formal schism. Still, in my mind, it's the right thing to do.

[Just so nobody calls me on this, I note that Holy Cross is not a church of the ELCA. They belong to the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church, which hasn't even opened its ministry to women. So it was a bit of a forced segue.]

Day 938 was actually yesterday. I failed to set an alarm, so I woke up late. But I thought, what the heck, it's not like I had somewhere to be. So I got out and ran an easy 5 miles. Then I took today off, out of respect for tomorrow's 20 miler.

Have I mentioned that I have a 20 miler scheduled for tomorrow? It has loomed large on my schedule all week. It will be the last 20 miler before the marathon, which is September 20. It should be a nice cool morning. They are predicting a low near 50 tonight. Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day 937 -- Okobojo

The town of Okobojo, listed as a ghost town on, is a ways behind me, but I couldn't resist the name. It just rolls off the tongue: OH-KOH-BOH-JOH.

It was raining when I got up this morning, so I wimped out and went to the gym. With no hills to deal with, I ran 10 miles at a medium pace. It felt good, although it was a good deal hotter indoors than it would have been outdoors. And by the time I was done, the rain had let up. Oh, well.

School is still 10 days away. Here in Wisconsin, we don't start until September 1. I'm mostly ready, so just kind of puttering around, waiting for things to get going.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Day 936 -- Fort Pierre National Grassland

South of Pierre is the Fort Pierre National Grassland. This photo of the sign comes from Gun Dog Magazine. Up until a few weeks ago, I had no interest in guns or dogs, so I wasn't likely to visit this web site. I still have no interest in guns, so I suppose I'm still unlikely to visit. Well, thanks for the sign, anyway.

I had a good run this morning. I jogged over to the high school, then ran a couple of miles on the high school track at a decent pace, then jogged home. It was good to stretch my legs a little.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Day 935 -- More Pierre

This nice looking bridge in Pierre was photographed by John Weeks and posted on his web site. Please note the copyright, which I have probably violated. Weeks seems to have a passion for bridge photography.

I was still sore this morning, even after taking another day off. After taking just one day off in the first nine days of August, I then took four more between the 10th and the 17th. Oh, well, I need to keep in mind my August goal, which is to stay healthy enough to hit the start line for the Fox Cities Marathon.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Day 934 -- Pierre

Still a little shy of Pierre, but I can squeeze a couple of posts out of the state capitol. And since it is the state capitol, my first visit will be with Frank. Frank, of course, has visited all the state capitols, so every time I get near one, I know where to look. Lookin' good, Frank.

I admit, I approached today's long run with some trepidation. My last long run didn't go well. Then I didn't get in any long run at all for two weeks, while I was off on vacation. And my last two regular runs didn't go well. And it was raining. So all signs pointed to a hard run.

But I made it. I ran the whole 23 miles that I had planned. The first half was mostly in steady rain. It let up for a while, but then in the last two miles, it started to rain again. Not real comfortable.

I admit, I'm tired. I was completely exhausted at the end of the run. I did not have another 5K left in me, which is what I would have needed to run a marathon. But still, I'm satisfied. One more long run, then a taper, and I ought to be ready to go. The marathon is 5 weeks away.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Day 933 -- Cheyenne River Indian Reservation

Lying to the north of US-14 (the highway on which I'm currently running) is the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation. It's a big old thing, no doubt because the land wasn't good enough to steal. This photo of a statue of Sitting Bull was taken by Dusty, and uploaded to his blog back in 2004.

Yesterday and today were two very hard days for running. I haven't experienced any particular injury, I just seem to lack energy. The humidity certainly doesn't help. I made my goal today, 5 miles, but I think I'd better take tomorrow off. That will be my third day off this week, which doesn't make me happy. But I'm planning my longest training run of the summer on Sunday, and I want to be rested for it.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Day 932 -- Near Hayes

I couldn't resist this lonely road photo, taken "near Hayes, SD", and uploaded to by Aigin. I have a feeling that if I were really where I claim to be, it would look an awful lot like this. For days on end.

After taking yesterday off, I felt like I should have been able to leap out of bed and do 10 miles this morning. Except that I hit a humidity. By the end of 7 miles, I was soaked outside and parched inside. Remembering my goal to survive August in order to run the marathon in September, I cut my run short. I don't feel great about that, but on the other hand, 7 miles is nothing to sneeze at.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Day 931 -- Midland

I found this photo of a classic fire truck from Midland, SD, on If you're into that sort of thing, there are lots of them, from all over the country.

Let's see...I owe you a summary of our vacation.

Friday, July 31: First day of traveling. I didn't run in the morning. We drove about eight hours, almost to Indianapolis. The kids were really quite good. In Indiana, we hooked up with a family that moved away from our home town a couple of years ago. They seem to be thriving. She split up with her husband, in a very unpleasant way, and it's pretty clear that she's much better off without him. The kids had a good visit, and we slept the night in a nice hotel.

Saturday, August 1: I ran about four and a half hours around the town near the hotel. We spent the morning at the Indianapolis Zoo, which is a nice little zoo. Just about one morning's worth, I think. They had a cool tank for petting sharks, and we also went to a nice dolphin show. It was fun, and it wore the kids out a little for the five more hours that we had to drive. In the late afternoon, we checked in to Salt Fork State Park, a little tired, but game.

Sunday, August 2: I discovered that Salt Fork State Park is mostly hills. In fact, all of east-central Ohio is mostly hills. Very picturesque, unless you happen to want to run on them. I ran another four and a half miles, and it felt like about six.

That evening, we had a big, big, big old family get together, with piles of people who I hadn't seen in a long time, and not a few people who claimed to be related to me, but I'm not sure exactly how. The youngest was a nine-month old baby, and the oldest was Grandma Jogger. We celebrated her 75th birthday (in May) and my sister's 50th (in December). It was a great time.

Monday, August 3: More hills. 8.4 miles worth. My legs were really starting to feel it. We went to the beach either that day or Tuesday and went on a hike or two. (More hills!) That evening, a few family members who hadn't escaped town came over to the cabins for a smaller get-together. Cousin Robert made a fantastic paella, and we had a fire and made s'mores.

Tuesday, August 4: I got smart and drove down to the beach. There is a half mile or so of flat road there, and I ran up and down it three times, for a total of a little over three miles. Even a slow three miles hurt, so I took Wednesday off from running. We bummed around the park some more. The weather was threatening, but it never really got that bad.

Wednesday, August 5: No run. I think this was the day we went in to Cambridge to the Hopalong Cassidy Museum. This is a sight not to be missed. Basically, it's a big old antique shop, crowded with junk, and in the back, they have one room dedicated to Hoppy souvenirs. The admission charge is $1, although they just have a little Plexiglas container sitting out, so I doubt that everyone pays. (For the record, we did.) We also went to the National Museum of Cambridge Glass. This was a much bigger deal, and they had a lot of very beautiful glass pieces. The woman there didn't actually talk our ears off, but she seemed to be trying.

Thursday, August 6: Back to the beach. More flat, but at least I picked up the pace a little. We went to the Wilds, a 10,000 acre conservation center built on top of an old strip mine. They have rhinos and giraffes and lots of different endangered animals. It's a big open park, which they drive you around, so you don't always get to see the animals. However, this morning, lots of the animals were hanging out near the roads, so we had a great tour.

Friday, August 7: I decided to tackle the hills again, and tackle them I did, to the tune of almost 11 miles. It was a great run. Later in the day, we went canoeing and also swimming, so I think I got my exercise. We had one last campfire, this time with just the family who was there: me, Mrs. Jogger, the four Little Joggers, Grandma Jogger, the Photographer, my sister, her husband, and their two kids.

Saturday, August 8: My last crack at the hills, but I was too tired to crack them very hard. I ran a pitiful three and a half. We loaded up the van and drove back as far as Champaign-Urbana. We had a terrific Mexican meal at a place called Dos Reales. If you're ever in town, look them up.

Sunday, August 9: I did 5 miles on the treadmill in the hotel. We got an early start and were actually home in time for a late lunch. Grandma and the Photographer decided to drive on home. They had to weather a few storms, but they made it.

I took yesterday off from running, so that brings me to today. I was happy to be back on my home turf. I did a good 6.1 miles. I picked out a hilly route, but really it wasn't hard. I think our hills here are as steep as, if not steeper than, Ohio hills, but they aren't as long. And there are actual breaks in between them. In Ohio, at least at Salt Fork, it's up one hill and down the next.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Jogger's Progress

Time37 days, 23 hrs, 3 min
7 days, 23 hours, 53 mins

I never got in my progress report at the end of July, so here it is. The most notable number is the distance for July. That's the longest month of my life, and only 0.3 miles short of 200! In fact, I really wanted to get up and run on July 31 (a planned day off) just to push it over 200, but I didn't. So that will have to wait for some other month.

Perhaps August, 2009? I'm not betting on it. My longest run while on break was 10.8 miles. I am planning a couple more 20 milers, then I need to start tapering for the marathon. It should be a long month, but I doubt it will be 200 miles. In any case, my main goal for the next six weeks will be to stay healthy.

Sunday, August 09, 2009


I'm back. It was a fun vacation. We're all tired, but it's a good tired. I'll post some more as I get caught up (143 messages in my personal e-mail, 46 in my work e-mail...) I did run eight of the nine days that we were gone. And I made it the whole vacation without touching a computer, although there were a few temptations.