Wednesday, October 29, 2008

don't forget to win stuff

Just wanted to remind everyone about our latest MDRA contest. I'm extending the deadline to next Friday (11-7) since we've received only 2 submissions thus far. Write a TCM limerick. Win stuff. Brag.

I've seen some crazy things while running - like Jesse Ventura on a trampoline, a dog in a wagon, jerks, etc. But on Monday I saw somehing that topped them all.

I saw a man jogging & using a cane. Jogging. With a cane. Honestly.

It was what, 38 degrees Monday afternoon? This cat was wearing shorts & a sleeveless shirt. Brave man. He looked about 25-30 years old & was actually using the cane while jogging. I guess it was more of a power walk/jog combo. He was definitely putting weight on the cane each time his right foot hit the ground.

On behalf of MDRA and sane runners everywhere, please take time off from running if you need a cane. Try some aqua jogging or biking or something. I'm begging you. Your doctor is begging you. Your orthopedic surgeon is on the fence. If you screw up your recovery, he'll get paid again to fix you up.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

polar bear runs resume

If it's cold and a Saturday, there's probably an MDRA Polar Bear run going on somewhere. The first Polar Bear run will be this Saturday (November 1st) starting at 8:00 at Minnehaha Falls.

Keep apprised of Polar Bear runs on the group page. Add yourself to the email list to receive run locations & start times in a weekly communique.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

rhyme time

Was I asking too much when I asked for limericks? We've only received one entry thus far for our latest contest! You've got until the end of October to submit a TCM race recap in limerick format.

In running news, the team cross country circuit is already half over. Only the Challenge at Gale Woods, Rocky's Run & the State Championship remain. If you haven't run xc yet, get out there & give it a shot. Rumor has it the final race will be a 10K this year. Ouch.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Medals 4 Mettle

Here's a dandy of an organization; Medals4Mettle. There was a piece on them in the latest Runner's World, but it's worth repeating here. (Thanks to Kevin B. for the heads-up)

According to their website, Medals4Mettle's "mission is to celebrate and reward the individual and collective courage of all human beings by facilitating the gifting of marathon finisher’s medals from marathoners to people who have demonstrated similar mettle, or courage. The recipients can be any age and might have exhibited such mettle by dealing with disease, handicaps or any similar challenge. Marathon runners around the world, and others who have won medals, give their medals to Medals4Mettle. Then our nationwide network of physicians and others award these medals to those who might not be able to run a marathon, but are in their own marathon to continue to live their life."

If you're like me (if you are, congratulations! You rule!) you have a drawer or two strewn with finisher medals from lots of races. I have 6 marathon finisher medals, and I don't know where a single one is. I know where my Ironman medal is, but only because I stumbled across it while looking for a paper clip.

Rather than letting those medals collect dust in some drawer, why not donate them to a non-profit who will do something cool with them. They accept any and all earned marathon, half marathon & triathlon finisher medals. Go forth. Donate.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

marathon mania

Has everyone warmed up after running a soggy & cold Twin Cities Marathon? Me neither. Congrats to all the finishers & condolences to those who found the course or conditions too much to overcome. I dropped out at mile 14.5 after not having a thing to drink since mile 9. My hands were so cold I couldn't grab or hold on to cups. Running the last 17 miles with no fluids did not seem like the wisest course of action.

As always, Down the Backstretch has top notch TCM coverage. Check it out.

On behalf of the MDRA board, thank you to everyone who stopped by the MDRA booth at the TCM expo. We love talking shop with other runners. We gave away approximately a zillion bumper stickers. Our sticker contest winner "I can run faster than your honor student" was easily the crowd favorite.

With the marathon behind us, it's time for another contest. Last time we asked for haikus. This time we're looking for your race recap/summary in limerick format. Here's the classic example:

The limerick packs laughs anatomical
In space that is quite economical,
But the good ones I've seen
So seldom are clean,
And the clean ones so seldom are comical.

There you have it. Email us your answer ( by October 31 & we'll pick a winner at the November MDRA meeting. The winner will receive a hat, singlet & bumper sticker prize pack.

Even though I'm not eligible to win, here's my contribution:

I felt fine when we queued at the Dome
At mile 5 I was way in the zone
But after the lakes
My cold hands got the shakes
So I jogged my frozen butt home

Friday, October 3, 2008

i don't know whether the weather will change

If you're anything like me, you've been checking the Sunday forecast every 30 minutes for the last 4 days. Right now it looks like the 10 milers and sub 3:00 marathoners will stay dry. The rest of us might get a little soggy. I'm sure this will change by tonight, so I'm not going to worry. Yet.

Speaking of tonight (beautiful segue, no?) various MDRA board members will be staffing the MDRA booth at the marathon expo tonight & tomorrow. We're in one of the middle-ish aisles toward the back of the hall. Swing by & say hi. We like meeting other members.

Tomorrow (saturday) from 10:00 to noon MDRA President Kevin & MDRA blogger me will be at the booth taking pictures & signing autographs!

Of course, no one will be asking for autographs - we just like working on our penmanship.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

conversational running

Last year I wrote a post for TCM spectators about good cheering & snack spots. This year its the runners' turn.

I know I can't do as good of a course write-up as Kirk did in the latest issue of Run Minnesota, so I'm going a different route. Incidentally, we'll be giving away copies of Run Minnesota as well as bumper stickers, calendars and other good schwag at the MDRA booth at the marathon expo. Stop by & say 'hey'.

Without further ado, here are some tips to hopefully make your marathon more enjoyable/interesting/less of a suffer fest.

1. One block after making the first turn on to Hennepin Ave, look to your right as you cross 7th street. You'll see the music venue First Ave - made famous by Prince in the movie Purple Rain.

2. As you approach mile 2, you'll pass by the totally awesome Walker Art Museum & outdoor sculpture garden.

3. The guy playing the tuba on Douglas Ave is Alan Page. In 1979 he became the first active NFL athlete to finish a marathon.

4. Just after mile 3 you'll run by the famed "Mary Tyler Moore House."

5. The second lake you run by (Lake Calhoun) is 90 feet deep and is home to some really big muskies. It used to be called Loon Lake. That's all the Lake Calhoun trivia I've got.

6. At mile 10, you'll run by a big bronze bunny. It will be on your right, and children will likely be playing on it.

7. At mile 11, just before the turn on to Cedar, you'll run by my cheering Grandparents-in-law. If you stop & say hello, you'll almost certainly be offered lefse & coffee.

8. You'll be running around Lake Nokomis from mile 11.5-13.5. This is where the famed Lifetime Fitness Triathlon & Pond Hockey National Championship take place. Hallowed ground - or water, I guess.

9. Miles 15-19 can get a little lonely, as the spectators can be thin. However, the views of the Mississippi River are great so be sure to look to your right occasionally. This would be a good place to strike up a conversation with another runner. Here are some topics to get you started:
  • What's your favorite running shoe of all time?
  • What's your favorite citrus soda? (I gotta go with Fresca)
  • Who is the best non-British rock band of all time? (this is a tough one. take away the Beatles, Stones, Zeppelin and what's left?)
  • What's the best surface to run on?
  • Can I get your phone number? (assuming the other runner is cute & likely to be single.)
  • What's the best song to get stuck in your head during a run? (When I ran my marathon PR I had Weezer's "El Scorcho" lodged in my brain the entire time.
  • What is the best flavor of energy goo?
  • Who would win in a fight? (then you name two people, like Larry King vs. Dakota Fanning. I once had a serious training run conversation about who would win in a fight between the Mickey's Malt Liquor bee and the Honey Stinger bee. Stop by the MDRA booth Saturday between 10:00-noon & I'll give you the details. Short answer is the Honey Stinger bee wins if the fight goes beyond round 1.)
10. Just before mile 21 - as you near the middle of the climb up river road - you'll pass a lite radio truck blasting all of your favorite lite hits. If Michael Bolton isn't motivating you to move your legs, try getting a Led Zeppelin song stuck in your head. Even better, go with Mastodon.

11. There are a few colleges on Summit Ave between miles 22-24. That means there are lots of hot college girls & guys out cheering. Enjoy the scenery.

12. Like, 3 or 4 blocks after the mile 25 marker, on the corner of Nina & Summit is the mansion where my wife & I got married. More importantly, it's just a couple of blocks from the point where you can see the finish line.

13. Get a space blanket at the finish, even if you don't think you need one. You'll need it in 15 minutes. Trust me.

If you have any other need to know TCM info, leave it in the comments below.

pros & weather

There's a nice article in the Strib today about Team USN-MN runner Matt Gabrielson.

In other marathon-related news, KARE 11 running meteorologist Jonathan Yuhas has a constantly updated TCM race day forecast online. That's all I'm going to say about that as anything more will jinx the forecast - and I don't want to ruin it for everyone.