Friday, December 31, 2010

Day 1266 -- Jogger's Progress

Time54 days, 17 hrs, 26 min
11 days, 22 hrs, 26 mins

Just before Christmas, I got sick. I have had horrible congestion in my lungs, which makes it really hard to run. Some illnesses I can run through, but not this one. So I ended up taking a whole week off. I finally got in one last run for the year, yesterday. Naturally, it wasn't an easy run. I still have some congestion, so I had to alternate running and walking.

The result was that December was another off month. For the second month in a row, I ran only 14 days, and this time, I didn't even make 74 miles.

For the year, I wasn't too bad. I had more miles than 2006 and 2007, although fewer total days. In fact, it was the lowest number of days in the history of JogAmericaBlog.

I have signed up for the Pikermi in Eau Claire on May 1. So Monday, I begin a 17 week training program. That should get me back on track.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Days 1264 and 1265 -- Bethlehem

How about that? Just in time for Christmas, I've made it to Bethlehem. No word on whether or not there's any room at the inn. According to, the Colonial Theater, seen here, only offers shows in the summer. So I'm not sure what the hot attraction is in Bethlehem. Maybe I'll see if I can find any occupied mangers.

Happy Christmas to all my friends!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day 1263 -- Littleton

From, we find that Chutters, in Littleton, "features a tour de force of familiar and hard-to-find candies." I guess I'd better keep running, to burn off all those calories.

I got in a fairly long run this morning, on the treaded dreadmill. I woke up early and was at the fitness center by about 5:15. It's pretty lonely that early on a Sunday morning. I think I was running for almost an hour before anyone else showed up.

I've decided I need to start training for something. Not training, I find too many excuses to take a day off. The Eau Claire Marathon is on May 1. By coincidence, I will be in the neighborhood that weekend, because the section meeting of the MAA is in Menomonie. And that's 17 weeks after the first of the year, so that's a good length of training. I haven't committed, yet, but I'm thinking that's the next plan.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Days 1261 and 1262 -- New Hampshire

With the semester finally coming to an end, I'm looking forward to having more time to blog. I may even do more running. I started out December with a vow to keep running on schedule, and then I took four days off this week without even trying. I did run yesterday and today, both on the treaded dreadmill. Yesterday was a pain, but today was OK.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Day 1260 -- More St. Johnsbury

Despite over 8 miles this morning, I'm still in the general area of St. Johnsbury. I tried to search for East St. Johnsbury, an unincorparated town to the (surprise!) east of St. Johnsbury. But apparently it's not even big enough to get any images of its own.

No run on Friday. That was sort of planned. I set the alarm, in case I woke up ready to run, but I didn't. So I didn't. I slept in Saturday, and planned to run at noon, but the weather was freezing rain, and I just didn't feel like fighting it.

So I should have had plenty of energy this morning. I had planned on 12 miles, but I didn't have more than eight in me.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Days 1257, 1258, and 1259 -- St. Johnsbury

From, downtown St. Johnsbury, VT.

Sorry, the end of the semester crunch has crunched me more than usual. Suffice to say I've been running indoors, on the treaded dreadmill.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Day 1256 -- Marshfield

The Marshfield Country Store looks like the type of place trying desperately to seem like an old-fashioned country store. Although it does say "1852" over the door, presumably the year it was founded.

I went over the Snap Fitness this morning for my long run. I made almost nine miles in 90 minutes of running. It was fine, but I don't have as much patience on the dreadmill as I do on the road.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Day 1255 -- Plainfield

Apparently, this is not the aftermath of a tragic tornado in northern Vermont. It was built that way. According to, this is the sort of architectural imagination that is stifled by neighborhood covenants.

Thursday afternoon, I went over to Snap Fitness and signed on for three months. I took Friday morning off, partly because I'd already run three days in a row, and partly because I wanted to get to school early to prepare for class. As poorly as that class went, I might as well have slept in. Anyway, Friday afternoon it because to snow, and by the time I woke up Saturday morning, there was a good eight inches on the ground, and still falling. So it was just as well that I have a membership at the fitness club.

I didn't go down right away, because Mrs. Jogger was making pancakes, and they smelled really good. But I went down after noon and got in a 5K on the treaded dreadmill. It was OK, but I went out a little too fast. I had to stop and take a couple of walk breaks.

If I'm going to get in a long run tomorrow, it's going to be on the dreadmill. We'll see.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Days 1253 and 1254 -- East Montpelier

When I think of fall in New England, this is exactly the picture that is in my mind. Interestingly, it is from this story that asserts that fall colors in New England are getting less intense, because of global climate change. More interestingly, the story is from Fox News. I thought that Fox News didn't believe in global climate change.

I ran both yesterday and today. It felt good, but cold. The temperature plummeted on Tuesday after my run. I had a hard time getting out of bed yesterday. I had to tell myself how rotten I would feel if I didn't run, and that did the trick. This morning, I had no trouble getting up at all. In fact, I had trouble sleeping, because of a migraine. So I was awake at 4, and not going back to sleep. I got up and ran, and that helped my head. But now I'm fading fast, just like the colors in New England.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 1252 -- Jogger's Progress

Time54 days, 4 hrs, 23 min
11 days, 9 hrs, 23 mins

Unsurprisingly, November was a pretty pitiful month. I had two fairly big unplanned breaks, and other missed days. I ran only 14 days, the lowest in the history of JogAmericaBlog. It wasn't quite the lowest mileage, because I still got in three pretty good long runs. Not much I can do about it at this point but plan to make December better.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Days 1249, 1250, and 1251 -- Western Vermont

I've managed to get in over 30 miles since I last posted. I ran ten miles last Sunday. It felt pretty good. I don't know why I didn't get it blogged. I think I just had a busy Sunday. I took a scheduled day off on Monday. Then I took unscheduled days off on Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday. I finally got out and ran on Friday. After three days off, it was kind of tough. I took Saturday off, and got out again this morning. I decided to test the theory that I can run a Pikermi any time I want to. And I made it. It wasn't terribly fast, but I made it. In fact, I ran a little over 14 miles.

I intend to make a concerted effort to blog more, and I hope more interestingly. Stay tuned.

Before I leave Western Vermont, I wanted to visit the Black Bear Inn in Bolton Valley.

A long, long time ago, when my family lived in New York, I went to a private school, Far Brook School, in Short Hills, NJ. The first year, my mother taught there, but the second year, she didn't. This lead to two problems. First of all, when Mom wasn't teaching there, I didn't get free tuition. Second, it was a good hour drive, and of course Mom wasn't making it any more. So Dad got up every morning and drove me out there. My parents thought it was a great school, and much better for me than the New York City public schools. I appreciate the sacrifice that they made so that I could go that second year.

What does all this have to do with Bolton Valley? Well, Far Brook had an annual ski trip to Bolton Valley, and, if I'm not mistaken, we stayed at the Black Bear Inn. That was another sacrifice. A lot of those private school kids could easily afford a ski trip, but it wasn't so easy for my family. But I got to go both years. Those are the only two times in my life that I've been downhill skiing. It didn't help that we moved to Iowa the next year, where we don't have hills.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 1248 -- Burlington

Before I left the greater Burlington area, I thought I'd post a picture of what VTrim Weight Management Systems calls "America's healthiest city". Of course, they are headquartered in Burlington, so they may be a little biased. In any case, it looks like a beautiful day for a run in Burlington.

It wasn't a beautiful day for a run yesterday, which was Day 1248. It was below freezing, and there was a steady wind. But I got out and ran, and I don't seem to have frozen any pieces off. Today was another day off, and I'm planning to go for a long run in the morning.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 1247 -- Welcome to Vermont

In case you are interested, Vermont is my first new state since March 25, when I entered Michigan. I was in Michigan for almost four months, and then I ran into Ontario, which was a whole new country, but not a new state. I was in Ontario for almost three months, and then I ran into New York, which is not a new state, because I started in New York. A month in New York, and then, "Hello, Green Mountain State.

I ran an easy three this morning. I didn't really feel like running, but I didn't want to get back into the pattern I was in late last week. I kept going to bed with a plan to run, and waking up thinking, "Hey, this bed is nice and warm. Maybe I'll just stay in." This morning, I didn't stay in. It wasn't a great run, but it was a run.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 1246 -- Lake Champlain

I ran six miles this morning, all of it on Lake Champlain, so I figured I'd better find a picture where I can run on water. Hey, if Justin can stand on it, I can run on it. What do you mean it's only four inches deep? It's a lake!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 1245 -- Burlington-Ft Kent Ferry

I've been looking forward to this part of the trip. Mapquest has me taking the Burlington-Fort Kent Ferry across Lake Champlain. So what am I supposed to do about the miles? If I were really there, I couldn't run the nine miles across the lake. And if I were driving, I'd get on the ferry, and take it across, not putting any mileage on my car. Yet, somehow, I feel vaguely that it would be cheating to just disappear on the west side of the lake and appear on the other. So I'm counting the miles. Today, I ran 1 mile out into the lake. I must have been going pretty fast.

This photo of the view from the ferry is from Squidoo.

Normally, when you don't hear from me for four days, I come back and say, "I've been running, but not blogging." But for the last four days, I haven't been running. There's no special reason for that. I haven't been hurt. I just haven't felt like getting up and running. It felt pretty good this morning when I went out and ran five. I'm going to try to get back into a routine.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 1244 -- Peru

I couldn't resist this one. Apparently, runner #1316, leading this pack, is from Peru, NY, where I just ran through. I'm sure that if I'd actually been at this meet, I'd be keeping up with him. Unfortunately, I can't link to the site, because it isn't responding. The picture itself I got from the Google cache.

I was in a bit of a hurry this morning, so I only ran 3.5 miles. We have one more day of good weather scheduled, and then blah. So I'm going to try to get out to run again tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Day 1243 -- Valcour

The Bluff Point Lighthouse is a fairly popular image when you search for Valcour, NY. This photo is from

I had a good five mile run this morning. The weather has warmed up a little bit. I took a hilly route, and still managed a decent pace. I'm pleased.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Day 1242 -- Plattsburgh

From the Clinton County Photo Gallery, a photo of the Samuel de Champlain Monument in Plattsburgh. Looks like nice weather.

It wasn't too bad this morning. Upper thirties, no wind to speak of. I knew in the first few miles that I wasn't going to be swift or strong, so I settled for stubborn. I plodded out a little over 10 miles without a stop. It felt pretty good.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Day 1241 -- West Chazy

Stoneview - a cordwood masonry guesthouse at Earthwood Building School in West Chazy, New York features a living roof. Is that cool, or what? It was built by Sustainabylt.

Day 1241 was yesterday. I did five and a half in the morning. Then in the evening, we went to see a group called "Mad Agnes" down at the college. I'd never heard of them, but they were quite good. They are very hard to pin down, musically. Sometimes they were Celtic, sometimes bluegrass, sometimes country, sometimes R&B, but always great sound. It was a lot of fun.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Days 1239 and 1240 -- Altona

From the National Trust for Historic Preservation, we find that the McGregor Powerhouse in Altona is going to be restored.
Located on the Great Chazy River in upstate New York, the powerhouse has been closed since the early 1960s. It is one of three remaining features of a hydroelectric power system built by William H. Miner and the Pittsburgh-Des Moines Steel Company in the early 1920s. Miner, a millionaire businessman and developer, used the hydroelectric system to power the village of Chazy, N.Y., and Heart's Delight Farm, a family homestead which grew to 12,000 acres in 1918. The powerhouse is currently vacant and partly used for storage by Altona, the plant's current owners.
So day 1239 was Tuesday, when I did a fairly nice five miles. Day 1240 was yesterday, when I did a brisk four. This morning, I slept in.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Day 1238 -- Jogger's Progress

Time53 days, 12 hrs, 10 min
10 days, 17 hrs, 9 mins

As seems to be the usual, except for the marathon, it was a pretty easy month. Even easier than usual, I guess, since the last couple of weeks have been so pathetic. Still, any month in which one ran a marathon can't be considered a total loss.

It wasn't as bad as it might have been, either. I drug myself out of bed this morning, put on my polka-dot tights and my Team Pikermi t-shirt for inspiration, and ran 13 miles. I'd made slightly less than that on my three runs earlier this week. It felt OK, although I've been sore all day. It felt like maybe I'm going to get back into the swing of things.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Days 1235, 1236, and 1237 -- We now return you to your regularly scheduled Jogger

Where have I been? Running a little, but blogging not. My motivation is lacking.

I had planned to get up on Sunday for a long run, but I didn't. Monday has been a day off, and I took it. I did manage to get out of bed and run in the rain on Tuesday. It was a good run, really, if a bit miserable. I also ran Wednesday, but it was no fun. I didn't feel like a guy who could run a marathon. I felt like a guy who had never run before. Thursday threatened snow, so I planned a day off and took it. Then Friday, I again planned to run, but didn't. This morning, I managed to get out again, but only by promising myself no more than three miles.

Part of my motivation problem is the various hassles in my life. The oldest and newest Little Jogger is acting out a little. It's the same thing this time every year. The school year started off OK, but she's starting to lose energy, and the work is getting a bit harder, and her grades are slipping. So we take away some privileges, and she gets mad, and it's just a blow-up. We also have hassle at work, with a small group of people sniping and arguing, and making the atmosphere uncomfortable in the whole department. Also, after a couple of years of politics at church, as ugly as only church politics can be, our pastors are leaving for greener pastures. So, hassles at home, hassles at work, hassles at doesn't leave me many places to relax.

I'll try to get back into the habit of running, and also into the habit of blogging. Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Day 1234 -- Muddy Monster

Today was the Muddy Monster Cross Country run in Cedar Rapids. Cedar Rapids is a long way to go for a 5k run. Basically, we drove four hours and I ran 30 minutes. But I went because I had company. I went with my friend Mandy, her two daughters, and her mother-in-law. One of the daughters ran/walked it, and Mandy walked the whole thing. So I was the top finisher from Joggerville!

It was fun. It had rained overnight, so we got some good mud for the Muddy Monster, but there was no rain for the race. The race was well organized. There were lots of volunteers, and the race announcer was fun.

There was a costume contest, with a lot of original costumes. The winner was a giant Lego man. My polka-dot tights barely got any notice at all.

My time was OK. I ran just under 30 minutes. Considering that it was a muddy and uneven path, that's not bad. I definitely had a kick at the end. I finished 7th in my age group. Out of 7. I got smoked by a 70-year-old man. Did I mention that I beat an 11-year-old kid and a walker to take the the title of First Joggerville finisher?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Day 1233 -- Westville Center

Day 1233 was yesterday. I ran an easy 5 miles. It felt pretty good. That was my third day in a row, the first such streak know. So I took today off.

This photo of the Babbling Brook RV Park, in Westville Center, comes courtesy of Passport America. They open the second weekend in May, and close....Sepetember 30. Damn. They're closed. I better get out of here, before they arrest me for trespassing.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Days 1231 and 1232 -- Bombay.

I'm afraid that you'll just have to imagine me running down the road in front of this property in Bombay, NY. Blogger has temporarily disabled image uploads, because of some maintenance.

Five miles yesterday, and three today. Two beautiful days for running. And I'm planning to run again tomorrow.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day 1230 -- Helena

I can't recommend doing a Google Image search for Helena, New York. Most of the photos are of people named Helena who are from (or in) New York. Helena Christensen seems to be very popular. Fortunately, snuck in a photo of this Canadian National Railway train.

Looks like it's still cold in upstate New York.

I ran ten miles this morning. This was my longest run since the marathon. It felt really good, although I did slow down in the second five. We continue to have terrific weather for running. Today is the Des Moines marathon. I hope that they are having great weather like this down there.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Day 1229 -- Rooseveltown

I'd better watch my step. Looks like a slippery day in Rooseveltown. Of course, this wasn't today. It was March 3 of this year when Ronna stopped into the Rooseveltown General Store.

As you can guess, I didn't make three days in a row. I slept in yesterday, and then again today. But today is our one-day fall break, so this morning I still got in a quick 5K before starting my day. It's proving to be hard to get back into a routine. We'll see what happens tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Day 1228 -- More Massena

No photo today. I'm at work. I'm giving an evening exam. Out of 50 students, 15 are still taking it at 7:15 in the evening. They started at various times. I think the last one didn't start until about ten minutes ago, so I'll be here a while, yet.

I did run this morning. I did an easy 5. That was actually the first time this month that I've run on back-to-back days. There's no particular reason for that. Of course, I didn't run close to the marathon, and since the marathon, I've been taking it pretty easy. But today I felt fine. Depending on when I get to bed, I may even run for a third day in a row tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Day 1227 -- Massena

Not much time tonight. Just enough to upload this picture of Main Street Massena from, to confess that I did run this morning, and to wish you all a good night.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day 1226 -- Louisville

It was a fine morning for a run. Mid fifties, clear and quiet. I ran an easy 7.5 miles. I really felt good. I could easily have done more. Possibly not a full marathon, but more than I did.

This water tower, in Louisville, was constructed by Danko Construction.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Day 1225 -- Waddington

Interested in hunting and fishing in northern New York? May I recommend The St. Lawrence Experience in Waddington? Hunting and fishing is their passion.

Day 1225 was actually yesterday. I got up and ran 5.3. I started out feeling really good. Just like any run. After about 3 miles, my legs began to remind me that they had already had a long week. I slowed down a bit, but still finished the run. I then stayed out late, seeing a dramatic reading of "The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later" at the University. So I slept in this morning.

Thursday, October 07, 2010


Action Sports International has posted the Lakefront Marathon photos, and I went ahead and bought some.

This is a pretty good shot, showing my race number, and also my American Cancer Society short. Notice my left hand. I'm counting comments about my tights. The hand shows eight. I kept track of the tens digit in my head, so that could be 8 or 28 or 98. Judging by how much I'm smiling, I'm guessing it's still early in the race.

Here's a better shot of my tights. Apparently, I saw this photographer. I don't know why the "thumbs up" was my gesture of choice for this race, but it was. I understand that's obscene in some South American countries. If you're from there, sorry about that.

At the end of the race, without really planning it, I jumped on the finish line. I kind of like the way this photo came out. Notice I'm still counting. My left hand shows 3. The total was 123.

So what's next? I had planned to run Madison in the spring, to finish what I started last May. But now I'm not so sure. I had a great run last Sunday. Perhaps it is time to take a break.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Day 1224 -- Back in the U.S.

Actually, I ran back into the U.S. on Sunday, about halfway through the marathon. But I didn't post any journey pic on Sunday, so here it is. The photo is from New York State: Back Roads and Byways, a New York State Travel Page by Stephen-KarenConn. No idea whether the sign is anywhere near where I just crossed into the state.

I ran a very gentle 5K this morning. It felt OK. I loosened up a little after a mile or so, but never really got loose. But it was nice to get back out on the road. With no particular pressure to train for anything at this point, I might take tomorrow off again.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Day 1223 -- Race Report: Lakefront Marathon

The Lakefront Marathon is a point-to-point marathon. They take us 26 miles up the lake shore, to the town of Grafton, and we have to run to downtown Milwaukee. This is my first ever true point-to-point. The Fox Cities Marathon has a short distance between the start and the finish, but the shuttle bus ride is only a few minutes. There's nothing quite like taking a half-hour bus ride and realizing that you have to run back to the start.

I got to Grafton just before 7:00, and the race started at 8:00. They opened up Grafton High School for us to wait in, so I did the obvious. I pulled off my sweatshirt, folded it up for a pillow, and lay down for a half an hour. The alternative was to pace, and with 26 miles on the schedule, I thought I'd better stay off my feet.

For the last half hour before the start, I milled around a little, waited in line for the porta-potty, and chatted with a few other runners. At just about 8:00 exactly, the gun sounded, and we were off.

It was pretty good weather. Cool the whole way, and mostly sunny, although there were a few very brief misty showers. I wore my Running Funky tights, which was a good thing. Not for the warmth, in particular, but for the attention. It occurred to me early on to count the number of people who commented on them, which gave me something to do besides fret about the miles yet to go. I counted 123 comments, an average of almost five a mile.

I started out too fast, of course. I made myself a deal. I had planned to walk through the aid stations, and for a while, I made myself walk until the 4:45 pace group caught up with me. I figure that would mean that I got plenty of walking early, and I did. But at each aid station, the wait for them to catch up was shorter, until somewhere between mile 14 and mile 15, when they passed me on the run. I waved them goodbye, and never saw them again.

It was actually sort of a relief. From about mile 10, I'd been pushing myself to keep ahead of them, and after they passed, I let go of my Ultimate Goal of a marathon PR, and held on to my Challenge Goal of walking only at aid stations. I'd say that I made it. It's true that for the last four of five aid stations, I stretched that walk out quite a bit, to maybe as much as a quarter mile. I thought maybe I could skip the last two aid stations, at 24.2 and 25.2 miles. I skipped the penultimate one, but that came back to bite me, so I actually started my walk a little in advance of the last one.

But really, I didn't have any long stretches of hopeless walking, and I actually ran in the last mile. I'm happy with my performance. Although it was the slowest of my four complete marathons, I would judge it to be my strongest finish.

My overall time was 5:03:44. I was 1691st, out of about 1903 finishers. I was 1018th male, out of 1105. In my age group, I was 148th. Out of 152. Pity those four old guys who couldn't even beat me. I had told Grandma earlier that I was probably the oldest guy in my age group, thinking that it was 41 to 45. But in fact, it was 45 to 49, so a lot of those 147 guys who beat me were even older than I am.

Anyway, I'm happy. I will now proceed to take a few days off, and then do some running just for the sake of running. I'm still serious about running Madison again next year, to prove I can do it. But I don't need to worry about that for a little while. I'm going to enjoy some time where I'm not training for a blessed thing.

Wish me luck

Well, here we go.

I slept OK last night, in spite of some ruckus in the hallway. At about 3:00, some kids got loud enough to get me all the way to consciousness. I lay there for a little while trying out various strategies. I had just decided to go out and ask them for their room numbers, so that I could make noise outside their doors in a few hours, when I was awake and they were trying to sleep. At that point, I drifted off.

It's still almost three hours to the gun. I need to drive to the finish line, which will take about five minutes, and get a shuttle to the start, which will probably take a half an hour. And the rest, I'll just be fretting. Maybe I'll knock on some random doors.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Tomorrow's the Day

The weather looks great. I'm rested. I'm ready. This is it.

I got to Milwaukee about 3:30. I checked into the hotel, then found the expo. It was just about what I'm used to. I couldn't find the American Cancer Society booth, and then when I found it, there was a note saying they had already gone to the pasta dinner. I met them there, eventually. Oddly, the volunteers didn't seem to know where to find the pasta dinner, but eventually I found it. They recognized the DetermiNation runners, which was nice. It is not too late to donate, if you want.

I'm going to try to do some grading, and go to bed. I'll check in again in the morning.

Friday, October 01, 2010

No run today

Well, it looks like the the first run of October will be the marathon. The schedule has an easy four, and I was going to run it, but I just couldn't get up. And of course, I'm not going to make it up tomorrow.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day 1222 -- Jogger's Progress

Time52 days, 16 hrs, 3 min
9 days, 21 hrs, 2 mins

Interesting fact of the month: I ran 27 hours and 55 minutes, exactly the same (to the nearest minute) as in August. However, I ran two miles more, so my average pace was up this month. On the other hand, I had two extra running days, so my average time per outing was down. Is there nothing a geek can't overanalyze?

I realized that when I grab this forecast from, I'm actually looking at the low for Sunday night, not Saturday night. Saturday night is the one that's going to effect me. And it's going to be even colder! OK, 38, instead of 39, as of today's forecast.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Day 1221 -- Maitland

A very nice ivy covered tower in Maitland, Ontario, uploaded by "americatramp" to Panoramio.

I ran a really easy five this morning. My main goals this week are to stay loose, but not hurt myself.

They have reduced the chance of rain for Sunday, but also reduced the temperatures. 36 degrees? Really? That's barely above freezing!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Weather Update

It's foolish, of course, to watch the forecast this closely. It's going to change, slightly, every day. Today, they've changed it to partly cloudy, with a 20% chance of rain. Tomorrow, who knows? As long as it doesn't heat up, I'll be happy.

The forecast, by the way, is from

Monday, September 27, 2010

Day 1220 -- Brockville

A rare Monday run, for two reasons. First of all, I didn't work too hard yesterday, so I had energy this morning. More importantly, the Packers are on Monday Night Football, so I expect to stay up late tonight and sleep in tomorrow. Right now, they are beating the Bears 10-0 in the second quarter. Both teams are 2-0, so it's a pretty important game for this early in the season. And, of course, it's the Bears.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Day 1219 -- Front of Yonge

Another little township with a strange name: Front of Yonge. I see from their web site that they are home to Canada's smallest national park, the St. Lawrence Islands National Park. I don't immediately see where they got the strange name, but it's probably there, somewhere. The photo of the fire van comes from Fire Buff's page of Ontario Fire Departments.

Only ten miles this morning. I had to do something to make it a challenge, so I ran it nonstop. It was cool enough that I could carry two hours worth of water, so I could do that. It felt pretty good, all told. Now I just take it easy this week, and kill myself next Sunday. Piece of cake.

I read somewhere that you should set three goals for a race: a basic goal, a challenge goal, and an ultimate goal. Your basic goal is what you expect to make if you don't disaster. If you make your basic goal, you've had a good day. Your challenge goal is a step up. If you make your challenge goal, you've had a real good day. Your ultimate goal is what you might make if everything goes exactly right. If you make your ultimate goal, you kicked ass.

So, here goes.

Basic goal: finish the race. Walk, limp, crawl, I don't care. Finish under my own power, under the 6.5 hour time limit. That would put me ahead of the Madison Marathon, after all.

Challenge goal: Walk only through the aid stations. There are 14 aid stations, just under one every two miles, which should be about right. If the weather isn't hot, and if I don't go out too fast, I can do this. It's only a couple miles further than I ran two weeks ago, and I didn't do any unscheduled walking that day.

Ultimate goal: A marathon PR of 4:50:29 or better. This would be quite a feat. I would need to hit the perfect pace. Too fast, and I'll burn out and finish walking. Too slow, and I won't make the time. Frankly, I doubt that I can do it in the shape I'm currently in. But that's what makes it the ultimate goal.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Day 1218 -- Leeds and the Thousand Islands

Leeds and the Thousand Islands is apparently a single community. It contains (they contain?) this plaque, commemorating the site of the Landsdowne Iron Works. The photo of the plaque can be found at, which is a cool idea for a site.

As promised, I ran six miles yesterday, and none today. I wanted to sleep in, but didn't have much luck.

In weather news, October 3 has made it into the 10-day forecast, and right now, it looks great. I suppose I would prefer overcast to sunny, but if the temperature doesn't go above 57, I'll be really, really happy.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Three Sons

Well, this is interesting. Some time in the spring, we adopted three new kittens: Aslan, a boy; Merlin, a boy; and Rhia, a girl. Yesterday, we took them in to get neutered and spayed, respectively. Only the vet took a better look at Rhia and decided he had better be neutered, too. It was the same vet who originally confirmed he was a girl. So now we have three boy kittens, one of which has a strangish name. We're still deciding whether to rename him. Hell, we're still getting used to thinking of her as "him".

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Days 1216 and 1217

I don't know whether this semester is actually busier earlier than previous semesters, or whether old age is just catching up to me. But I'm feeling seriously run down, and I have a long way to go, yet.

I ran four miles yesterday, and six more today, so add 10 miles to Joyceville, and that's where I am. No picture, because I'm away from my home computer. Tonight is the first exam in calculus. About 40 of my 50 students have come and gone, and no one's head exploded, so I guess it wasn't too hard. Now I'll have to grade the damned thing.

The marathon is 10.5 days away. Not quite close enough to show up in the 10-day weather forecast. It's looking good at this point. There is about a week of cool, dry weather leading into the marathon. Unless they're wrong, of course.

Look for no post tomorrow, because I don't plan to run. Then no post on Friday, because I have to go up to Madison for a meeting in the afternoon, and I will be home late. But I'll get caught up on Saturday.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Day 1215 -- Joyceville

This is a little sad. Gary and Ray Ellis have a whole page of Canadian trucking companies that have folded or gotten bought out. Network trucking, seen here, was based in Mississauga, but the photo was taken in Joyceville, and so labeled.

Medium long run this morning, almost 16 miles. I reflected that if the weather is like this in Milwaukee in two weeks, it's going to be a very pleasant marathon. It was cool and overcast, with just a hint of rain for a few minutes. I felt strong for ten miles, and then struggled a little with the last six. But I'm happy with what I did.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

An Open Letter to Academic Administrators Everywhere

A college faculty is hard to lead. They are all highly intelligent, and used to an awful lot of freedom in their everyday decisions. Many of them are stubborn as hell. If you pushed a typical college faculty off a cliff, 10% of them would fall up, just to establish the principle of academic freedom. So the number one rule leading a college faculty has got to be: Don't pick a fight with the faculty over trivial stuff. You can't possibly win. You'll get a small handful who will grudgingly cooperate, a larger group that will be outright defiant, and a very large group that will simply ignore you. And a lot of people from all three groups will take it as further evidence that you are a clueless pencil-pusher who has no idea what goes on in a college classroom.

I can think of situations in which you should tackle the faculty.

  1. When you have a legal obligation or a mandate from further up the administrative food chain. "I know you don't like it, folks, but we have to do it."
  2. When you have some actual power to enforce. "If we don't get cooperation with the new policy, we won't be able to fund Project X. Take your pick."
  3. When you have strong support from vocal and respected campus leaders. "On the recommendation of the Faculty Senate, I am instituting the following policy."
  4. When your position is so morally compelling that you couldn't do anything else. "I cannot in good conscience support the current policy."

It helps if you have more than one of the above.

Note, oh administrator, than I'm not claiming that this is the way things should be. It's the way things are. And if you don't recognize it, you're going to have a very hard time.

Days 1213 and 1214 -- Kingston

I found this photo of the Old Courthouse in Kingston, Ontario, at a rather unexpected place: the School of Science and Engineering at the University of Edinburgh. It's from the personal page of some guy who traveled to Canada back in 2005. It's a nice shot, though.

And where have I been? Thursday, I slept in. That's two Thursdays in a row. I don't know why. Wednesday isn't any harder than any other day. I got up Friday and had a nice medium-long run. It was just what I needed to get me through the day. There was thunder and lightning early this morning, so I turned off the alarm and slept in again. But I was cranky in the morning, so I ran a quick three before lunch, which again got me through the day. But barely. Just barely.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Days 1211 and 1212 -- Loyalist

Welcome to Loyalist, ON, "a growing community of 15,000+ people situated on the north shore of Lake Ontario between the Town of Greater Napanee and the City of Kingston." Seems as nice a place as any, I guess.

I ran a nice 10K yesterday, with a little speed through the middle part, then an easy 4 miles today. The weather continues to be great for running. I don't know how long it can keep it up.

In non-running news, I'm keeping busy at school. A lot of meetings. A lot of grading. So I've been home in the evenings, but haven't had a lot of energy for blogging.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Day 1210 -- Napanee

Well, it's been a busy couple of days.

Yesterday started, of course, with a long run. 23.7 miles, to be accurate. I left the house at about 4:30, and didn't get back until 9:45. I can surely make the marathon distance. It's only a couple miles further than I ran yesterday. But, as I said two weeks ago, it's not clear that I will be as fast as I'd like to be. This will likely be my slowest marathon ever, and I'm OK with that. I ran--well, shuffled--the last three miles yesterday without stopping. If I can do that again at the marathon in three weeks, I think it will be a victory, no matter how slow my overall time is.

Anyway, shortly after I got home and changed, Mrs. Jogger and I hopped into the car and drove up to Spring Green for an American Players Theatre production of All's Well that Ends Well. As always with APT, it was excellent. But unfamiliar. My records say that Mrs J and I saw this play in Stratford, ON, in the late '80's, but you couldn't prove it by me. I'll be damned if I remember anything about that production, or anything about the plot of AWTEW at all. It seemed brand new to me.

When we got home, I sat down to watch the end of the Packers game (They won!) and grade. And grade. And grade. So I didn't get a chance to blog last night. But, since I didn't run this morning, I haven't fallen behind. Not really.

Above, a mural "Archways to Napanee", from