Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day 1055 -- Jogger's Progress

Time43 days, 18 hrs, 43 min

Not a bad month, all told. I'm pleased with my progress. Having started in Minnesota and cut across the corner of Iowa, I've already been in three states. In 2008, I was in four total. Of course, I was out west, and states are bigger out there.

I went to the gym and did seven miles on the indoor track today. It was a good run. Not too swift, but that's OK.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Days 1053 and 1054 -- County Seat

From Flikr, the county courthouse in my county. I haven't been over there, lately, but I don't think the grass is quite this green right now.

I'm a little south of the county seat, just about 12 miles from my house. I expect to be here on Tuesday.

I ran four miles yesterday, and five this morning, both at the fitness center. I pushed the pace a little yesterday, but just took it easy today.

I have been watching TV at the fitness center. Mostly I watch Sports Center, because you don't really need to pay attention. You just kind of let the slam dunks and touchdown dances flow over you. I don't have sound. Sometimes, I turn on the closed captioning, and sometimes I turn it off.

I mention this, because the closed captioning itself can be kind of fun. Sometimes it's funny to see how something comes out. Often, I can figure out what the announcer really said, but some times, it's a mystery. This morning, they had a piece about retiring quarterback Kurt Warner. The special features reporter took four or five minutes to recap his career -- you know, the usual stuff. Then they went back to the studio, and the first thing the studio guy said, according to the closed captioning, was "Chicken skin." I'm still puzzling over that one.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Day 1052 -- Hey, Culligan Man!

I'm still seven or eight miles of the county seat, where this particular Culligan Man lives. But I figure I can squeeze a couple of photos out of the county seat. Then it's just 16 miles down the road to Joggerville.

Back on the treaded dreadmill this morning, for an easy five. Well, the first two or three miles were easy, but the last couple were kind of rough.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Day 1051 -- Wisconsin

This construction firm is putting new roofs all over this part of Wisconsin. I'm running slightly east of this church, and slightly south of the house below.

I have decided that Wednesdays will be a good day to go to the indoor track. It's the only day of the week that I don't have an early class, so I can wait for the gym to open. That means that this was the third day in a row that I avoided the dreadmill. But it's back to it tomorrow.

The schedule said "Easy 4", and that's about all I could do. But I was happy that I managed to hold the pace (albeit a slow one) for the whole four miles. My slowest mile and my fastest were probably within 10 seconds of each other.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Day 1050 -- Wisconsin

This blog is "psuedo-anonymous". Some of my readers know who I am, because they know me in real life. For the rest, it's not hard to find out, because I've dropped enough clues. However, I don't use my real name, and I don't use things like the name of the town where I live, or the name of my university. Mostly, I don't want the blog to show up on a Google search by any of my students, or for that matter, fellow faculty.

For the next couple of weeks, I'm running in the county where I live. So I arbitrarily decided that while I'm in this county, I'm not going to use the name of any towns or recognizable features. Of course, you can figure out the town by following the link. For that matter, in this particular shot, you just need to look closely at the water tower.

Today was my first official day of training for the Madison Marathon. And I almost missed it. I neglected to set my alarm, and didn't wake up until Mrs. Jogger's alarm went off, which was way too late for me to run and still feel comfortable about getting to school before my class. However, I don't have a 1:00 class on Tuesday, so I slipped over to the gym and got in an easy 5 miles, just like the schedule says I should. The indoor track is open again, so that's two days in a row (well, two running days in a row) where I've actually run, rather than flapping my arms on the treaded dreadmill.

If you are interested in pictures of the InStep Icebreaker Half Marathon, head on over to RunningintheUSA. There doesn't seem to be any way to sort them, but I'm kind of hard to miss. Look for the polka dot tights. If you want to see Sylvia, she is number 1368, in a gray top and black tights.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day 1049 -- Welcome to Wisconsin, and Race Report

[Note: I started to post this yesterday, and Blogger completely flaked out on me...]

I'm surprised that I haven't run into Jim's Project 50 before. Disdaining state capitols, Jim is trying to get pictures of himself in front of Welcome signs in every state. This sign is actually on the border of Illinois, down by Beloit, rather than over here in Prairie du Chien. Nonetheless, it's a sign. Welcome to Wisconsin.

Saturday, I ran the InStep Icebreaker Indoor Half Marathon at the Pettit National Ice Center. It was a great time, and I'm happy with my effort.

I wasn't sure we were going to make it. It's about a two and a half hour drive over to Milwaukee, and my friend Sylvia and I agreed that we were not going to risk our lives to get there. We had had a mixture of rain and freezing rain for a couple of days, and freezing rain was going to cancel the trip. There was a little bit of mist, but the temperature stayed high enough that it wasn't a problem. There was some fog that slowed us down, but we still made it in time for the gun.

There were actually two half-marathons Saturday morning. The first, which had a two-hour time limit, ran at 7:00, when Sylvia and I were still on this side of Madison. The second, which had a three-hour time limit, was supposed to run at 9:30. However, some runners in the first run took up to about 2:20, so I don't think that we started until about 10:00.

The run itself was a bit weird. After the first few miles, we got spaced out, as usually happens, but because the track is only a quarter mile oval, the faster people started lapping the slower people pretty quickly. And "slower" was certainly a relative term. There were a bunch of people who I kept passing. So at any given time, you might be trying to pass someone who was running much slower than you, while at the same time, someone much faster was coming past you. On a two-lane track. But everyone was cheerful and polite, and it all worked out.

The other nice thing that they had was a group of volunteers at the water table. We all put our bib numbers on our water bottles, and if you wanted a drink, you just gave one of the volunteers a wave, and the next time around, they'd have your water bottle ready. I chose to carry my bottle around for a lap, then hand it back, so that I never actually had to stop. And I didn't. I ran the whole way. I don't know if I've ever had a thirteen mile run that I didn't even stop for a short drink break.

You may have noted that the picture up above has the old photo of me in my Running Funky tights. That's because I wore them yesterday. The temperature in the ice center is in the mid fifties, so tights were definitely in order. They garnered a lot of comments. In fact, after a while, a group of young men at the water station started yelling, "Go, Mr. Jogger!" I thought one of them must be one of my students. Who else would call me "Mr."? So afterwords, I talked to them and no, they just liked my tights and looked up my name in the program. I guess I'm just old enough to look like a "Mr."

I think I actually ran an extra lap. They had a computer screen where every time around, they would flash your name and the number of laps you had completed. Of course, I was also counting on my fingers. So on my 45th lap -- what I thought was my 45th lap -- I never saw my name. And at the end of the next lap, it told me I had just completed 45. Now, maybe I just lost count. I had already run over 10 miles. I'd really like to get a look at my lap splits, and see if that 45th lap was twice as long as any of the others.

Not that it really matters. I had a decent time, and I still felt strong at the end. It was a very nice race, well-organized, and I'm already thinking about going back next year, maybe for the full marathon.

I have to say one more thing about how great the organizers of this race were. Sylvia had pulled a muscle, and she wasn't able to run very long. She ended up walking more than seven miles. So she wasn't finished in the three hours, or anywhere close to it. Meanwhile, the organizers had to get set for one more race, the marathon relay. (The full marathon was Sunday morning.) Sylvia said they would have been perfectly within their rights to kick her off the track. But they didn't. They took her timing chip, so it wouldn't mess with the timing in the next race, but they let her walk it out, staying well to the outside so as not to interfere with the marathon relay runners. They saved her a medal, and cheered her right into the end. That was a a classy move. I know that she really appreciated it.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Days 1047 and 1048 -- McGregor

If you happen to be looking for a property in McGregor, Iowa, I happen to know that the Diamond Joe Trading Buildings are for sale. "Located close to Mississippi River. Old Bank Bldg. & Prime Main St Retail with potential residential 2nd & 3rd floors w/river area views!" Asking price, $425,000.

Day 1047 was Wednesday, and Day 1048 was yesterday. I could have blogged Wednesday night, but I didn't feel like it. Then yesterday, I was out in the evening with a candidate for the open position in the math department. I got home latish, and didn't even turn on my computer.

And I took today off.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day 1046 -- Effigy Mounds

Somewhere to the east of here, along the Mississippi River, is Effigy Mounds National Monument. There are over two hundred Native American Effigy Mounds, which depict images like birds, bear, deer, bison, lynx, turtle, panther or water spirit. It's not really very far from my home in SW Wisconsin, but I've never been. I should rectify that.

Five easy miles on the dreadmill this morning.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 1045 -- More Rossville

John Romeo Alpha was apparently dissatisfied with my attempt to pass off Rossville, Georgia, as Rossville, Iowa, so he directed me to this photo, from the Allamakee County web site. Thanks, John, I owe you one. If you ever need me to find you a picture of a zumzwang, just let me know.

I ran out too fast this morning, and ended up taking a couple of walk breaks on my way to a slowish overall 5.8 miles. But I did finish out the full 60 minutes, which didn't seem at all certain long about 30 minutes in.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Day 1044 -- Rossville

If you google "Rossville Iowa", many of the images on the front page are of this monument. Alas, it is a monument erected to memorialize fallen soldiers from Iowa, and it stands in Rossville, Georgia. So, I'm a thousand or so miles off track right now.

Which is odd, because I only ran 5K this morning. After yesterday's hard workout, I decided to run an easy one today.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Day 1043 -- Waukon

From RoadTripAmerica, Paula the Cow, in Waukon, Iowa. Paula seems to be an e-Cow. From their web site:
eCow Products was founded in 2005 as a marriage between technological advances in nutrition and simple, practical solutions to some of the problems that face animal agriculture today. Put simply we have an eye on the future while at the same time we know where we’ve come from. Our technology and products have a long history but our company name is relatively new in the marketplace. We invite you to look at our site to learn more about us, our products and what we do.

I've read that twice, and I don't know what it's saying, other than "we're a new company with a lot of experienced people."

I ran seven miles this morning. I managed a hot pace for the first half, but I had to slow down for the last half. It was a good run, overall.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day 1042 -- Frankville

Here's an interesting web site. is exactly what it sounds like. They locate barns that need to come down, and try to connect them with people who will move them and preserve them. This particular barn, in Frankville, Iowa, didn't make it, but at least the Barn Savers found someone who can use the lumber.

I did a fast six miles today. This marks six days in a row, so tomorrow should be a day off.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Days 1040 and 1041 -- Decorah

Decorah, Iowa, is home to Luther College. I always try to stop at colleges and universities, and I confess I have a soft spot in my heart for Luther. Some of my high school friends went here, and I visited several times. This is apparently the math building. At any rate, it's the photo on the Math Department's home page. I can't say that I know anyone currently on the faculty at Luther.

Yesterday, I got in a good, hard workout in the morning, but never got a chance to blog it, because we went out for dinner to celebrate the 25th wedding anniversary of two of our friends. It was a good time. Today, I slept in, but got in an easy five at lunch time.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Day 1039 -- Burr Oak

From the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum (which is, itself, in West Branch, a considerable way down the pike from here) I find that Laura Engels Wilder lived in Burr Oak, and that her family helped to operate the Masters Hotel, seen here. I'm not sure if one of those two young ladies is Laura herself. The web site also says that "Laura did not include her year's stay in Burr Oak in the Little House books," so perhaps not.

An easy 5K on the dreadmill this morning. I'll work harder tomorrow. I promise.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Day 1038 -- Welcome to Iowa

This is my second venture into Iowa. Back in 2006, I ran up from the south, ran as far as Grandma Jogger's home town, then cut back south into Missouri. This time, I'll be cutting through the northeast corner.

I picked up this welcome sign from the Keepin up with the Melfis blog. They drove through from Illinois in October, 2008, so this is definitely not on Highway 52 from Minnesota. But it will do. I feel welcome.

I did nine miles on the dreadmill this afternoon. It was an okay run. I'm pleasantly tired.

On the other hand, I'm unpleasantly distressed by the Packers performance in the playoffs. At the end of the first quarter, they are down 17-0. I hope they can settle down and make a game of it.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Day 1037 -- Canton

Debora Dower's Flikr stream actually has three photos from Canton, MN. The others might be a bit easier to stick myself into, but this was the first one that came up in my Google search.

I took yesterday off. This morning, I woke up early. Real early. I was up about 3:30, with a weird headache. It happened that I had to get up in another hour or so, to deliver the first Little Jogger to school for a First Robotics trip. So I stayed up, delivered the girl, then went to the fitness center for sixty minutes on the dreadmill. Then I came home, ate breakfast, and had a nap. Not my typical routine. Right now, I'm feeling pretty good. We'll see how early I konk out this evening. There's football to watch. Only 11 more games in the season, and I don't want to miss any more than I have to.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Days 1035 and 1036 -- Harmony

I feel welcome to Harmony, Minnesota. How about you?

I did run yesterday, a relatively easy 4 miler in the morning. I didn't get a chance to blog about it because the littlest Little Jogger, the oldest and newest Little Jogger, and I went to a basketball game at the University with the Cub Scouts. It was a fun time, and the home team won.

Today, I slept in a little, and went for a run at noon. I pushed my pace a little, and it felt gooooooood! It was the best I've felt running in a week or so.

And tomorrow, I will rest. I will be up late watching the national championship football game, so I'll want to sleep in again. I suppose I could go out at noon again, but I think I won't.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Day 1034 -- Preston

Folks, we may have a controversy on our hands. I googled "Preston, MN", and found this fish statue on Naturally, I wondered if it was on The World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things, but it's not. In fact, they list the World's Largest Trout as being in Kalkaska, Michigan. That's a photo of it, below, from Anthony and Leslie's Traveling Puppy Page. I don't know about you, but it looks to me like the Preston Trout is clearly bigger than the Kalkaska Trout. I can't find dimensions for either. (Not that I have looked hard.) In any case, I think TWLCotWLVotWLT had better get to the bottom of this!

I did run this morning. After a day off yesterday, I expected today's run to be, if not easy, then at least not hard. But it still took a lot out of me. I'm not sure why.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Day 1033 -- Fountain

Back in 2003, Tim, Laura, Annamarie and Matt took a driving trip to Laura's house, and it went somewhere near Fountain, where Tim snapped this photo. I'm sure if you care to dig around, you can figure out who those people are, and where they were coming from, and where Laura lives.

A cold snap has snapped down over the upper Midwest. This afternoon, it has gotten all the way up to about 10 degrees Fahrenheit, and that's the warmest it's been in several days. I imagine the frigid temps cover Fountain, as well. Old Man Winter has even reared his ugly head in Becky Hirta's home.

Today, I didn't feel much like running. A good, brisk nap was more my speed. But a runner runs, and that's what I did. Thirteen miles, which will be my last run of that length before the Instep Icebreaker Indoor Half Marathon at the end of the month.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Day 1032 -- Chatfield

According to their web site, Chatfield, MN, is known as "'The Chosen Valley' or 'Bandtown, USA.'" OK, if you say so. This photo of main street is actually from the web site for Historic Bluff Country in southeastern Minnesota. The Chatfield site has more information specifically about Chatfield, but the Bluff Country web site has better pictures, in general.

Today I had my first run of 2010. It was fine. A nice, easy six miler on the treaded dreadmill. Tomorrow, I'll try to get in a long run. We'll see.