Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Last-minute Halloween costume idea

Hey hey runners. Are you going to a wild costume party tonight, but don't know what to wear? Well, MDRA is here to help. Here's what you do...

Step 1: Put on running clothes. It's going to be cold tonight, so dress in layers.

Step 2: Write "Why did the chicken cross the road?" on a piece of paper & tape it to you chest.

Step 3: Write "To get to the other side." on another piece of paper & tape it to your back.

When people ask what you're dressed as, tell them you're a Running Joke. Then bask in the glory of your wit and subtle humor.

If that doesn't get a laugh, go as this guy:

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

feed a cold, starve a runner

Man, I hate being sick. Yesterday I felt a little stuffy, not bad enough to take the day off by any stretch, so I ran 8 miles over lunch. I heard somewhere that it's OK to run easy if you have a head cold. As soon as you're coughing or have a sore throat, you're supposed to rest. Makes sense, but I have no idea if it's true.

Well, today I woke up with the worst sore throat ever! The old adage about running with a head cold is a falsehood. Curse you, evil old wives tale!

In other random news, this is now my favorite thing to listen to before a run. Mastodon rocks so hard.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


If I ever drop during a marathon, I hope the ambulance driver doesn't have to stop to ask for directions. Sheesh.

Friday, October 19, 2007

doing a double

It's on this Sunday! I'm on a mission to get as muddy as possible. The fun starts at 9:30 AM, Gale Woods, 5K Cross Country race. After that I'm hauling my arse back across town for the Mill City Cyclocross Classic at noon. Rocking the single speed Surly, baby!

If you haven't seen cross, check it out. It's like doing a steeplechase with a bike. Pain, suffering and mud are par for the course.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Another TCM recap

There was another writeup on the heat at the TCM in the Star Tribune.

The author wonders if marathons have become to inclusive. Hell yeah they are! With a 6 hour time limit, you can walk like a 13:43 per mile pace & finish in time. That's hardly running a marathon. Wasn't the old City of Lakes marathon an event with a 4 hour time limit? If you know, put it in the comments.

Bring back the 4 hour (or at least a 5 hour) time limit, I say. Put the run back in running a marathon.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Mud run

This looks fun as hell, a Marine Corps mud run. Someone please start one of these in Minnesota!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

free to a good home - high jump shoes

Someone out there must know someone that could use these:

That's a men's size 11.5 Nike high jumping shoe. They were used for one season of indoor track in 1998, my sophomore year at Luther. After indoor season, I decided that high jumping wasn't nearly as much fun as drinking beer, mountain biking and uh... "hanging out" with my girlfriend... so I quit the team. I subsequently developed a bike fetish and gained about 25 pounds. 2 years later I figured out I was better suited to distance running and 35 pounds came off, so it all worked out.

Anyhoo, these shoes are in really good shape. I still have the spikes and the wrench, though the insoles have disappeared. If you know a track coach, or some big-footed kid who's short on cash, drop me a line and we'll figure out how to get these shoes in your hands... or on your feet.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

another cool local website

Check out when you get a chance. It's a Minnesota based, all-things-outdoors website full of useful info, blogs, gear reviews and advice. There are a few running features worth a look.

Don't forget, the Paul Mausling XC race is this Sunday at Como Park. Be there! Unless you run for Run-N-Fun, then don't be there. Give the MDRA boys a shot at victory.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

TCM & 10 Pictures Up

MDRA Uber-Photographer Wayne has photos up from the TCM & TC 10 mile race: Check that stuff out.

Polar Bear Run Info

Below is the Polar Bear run info from Kirk. He uses the word "Granfalloon" in there. I don't know what it means either, but it sounds sweet.
MDRA Polar Bear Runs


It is time, once again, for the Polar Bears to come out of hibernation
and begin to run again-that is, after a few well deserved weeks off
after their fall marathons. The Polar Bears will met every Saturday
from October 27th until the beginning of March at various locations
around the metropolitan area, depending on trail conditions and the
random wants and desires of the group.

Okay, okay, I'm sure there are some people asking Polar what and Polar why??? The Polar Bears is a Granfalloon (you'll have to look it up)
of runners of all capabilities. Some of us run 2:45 marathons, some
of us run 5:30 marathons. All of us love running and all of us love
getting out and defeating winter in our own little way. We meet
Saturdays at 8 AM and almost always meet for coffee or breakfast
afterwards in order to warm up and enjoy the company of each other.

I organize the Polar Bears through a Google Group that can be found at the following address I've limited viewers to members to help guard against any unsavory sorts-- so if you aren't already a member, please ask at the website to become one and I'll send you an invitation. Once a week, you'll receive an email from me telling you that the schedule has been
updated and you'll simply have to visit the Google Group Website to see where we are meeting that week.



Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Polar Bear runs starting soon

Fall finally arrived...a week late. Stupid season. Today there's a winter storm warning for Bagley, MN (Bemidji area) so the cold stuff is on it's way.

As such, MDRA Polar Bear Runs will be starting Saturday, October 27. These low-key training runs of 60-90 minutes will be organized by MDRA board member Kirk Walztoni this year. We'll (hopefully) be on trails until the snow flies. Google Group info will be arriving shortly.

Also up for discussion - an MDRA Boston Marathon training group. This wouldn't be an actual MDRA class per-se, more like loose-knit training collective. If you're running Boston, give it a think. Come to a Polar Bear run & talk to Kirk.

Monday, October 8, 2007


One word can describe the TCM - brutal. Congrats to everyone who was brave enough to toe the line. Fantastic race coverage can be found at Down the Backstretch.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

the official unofficial TCM spectator guide

We here at the MDRA love gabbing about running. We don't talk about spectating too much, so here's something for the friends & family of all you runners out there. The Official Unofficial TCM Spectator/Snack Guide.

First few miles.
The start of the marathon is nuts. The field will start to get strung out by the sculpture garden, so that's a good place to cheer. Grab a cup of coffee at the Loring Park Dunn Bros, check out the Sculpture Garden, yell at runners.

Lakes Area
The uptown lakes are beautiful & busy. There's a Caribou Coffee near mile 4.5 in Calhoun Commons, the Uptown Diner isn't too far for those needing breakfast, and The Uptown is close for those craving a bloody mary.

Parkway Miles
Runners love miles 8-11. It's downhill, shaded and absolutely beautiful on the parkway. It's also really tricky for spectators to get to because of all the road closings. A good spot to go is Lake Nokomis. There's always a crowd at mile 11 where the race turns South on Cedar Ave. After cheering your runner at mile 11, walk a half mile over to mile 13.5 & cheer again as they leave Lake Nokomis & rejoin the parkway. If you need a caffeine fix, Isabel's (my local shop) is 4 blocks up Cedar. Also 4 blocks up is the Colossal Cafe - in my opinion, the best breakfast spot in town. Call ahead & order a breakfast sandwich to go.

If you're traveling on the South side of the marathon route, anywhere along the shore of Lake Nokomis is a good spot to cheer. Stop by Nokomis Beach Coffee if you need a treat.

Middle-ish Miles
Make an effort to cheer at mile 14, you'll be right by the best, mind-blowingly awesome donuts in town at MelloGlaze bakery (28th ave & the parkway). Get a Bismark. Thank me later. If the kids are in tow, head to mile 15 at Minnehaha Falls. There's a park, some scenery, and Hiawatha Joe is pretty close.

Miles 16-19 Are Hard
Mile 16-19 aren't hard for spectators to get to, but it's hard for runners. The field is really strung out so there aren't many people to talk to. Runners are starting to hurt, and there aren't many spectators per mile. If you venture to this stretch, yell loud & bring a cowbell or a sign something.

Near mile 18, by the bridge, is the Longfellow Grill - one of the best breakfast/lunch spots in town. Totally amazing.

Nearing the End
Mile 21 is a totally sweet place to cheer. It's midway up that brutal hill on East River Road, just before an aid station. It's fairly easy to get to from Lake Street. I'm not sure about snack spots in that area, I don't make it over to St. Paul often. Sorry.

Summit is always a madhouse, which is exactly what runners need. The course pitches uphill from mile 20 to mile 25.7 or so. Relentless!! Whatever you do, DO NOT SAY "You're almost done!" Mile 23 in a marathon is not "almost done". It's pretty friggin far from done. "Almost done" should be reserved for mile 26 to the finish.

The Finish
Determine a meeting spot before you get there. It can get pretty crazy. I'm a fan of meeting on the capital steps. It's away from the pandemonium, and it gives me a reason to walk after the race & keep my legs moving. Oh, parking will suck. Be careful you don't get a ticket.

Good luck!

Monday, October 1, 2007

another MN runner qualifies for marathon trials

Minnesotan Melissa Gacek ran 2:45:06 at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon, finishing in 8th place yesterday. Way to rock it, Melissa!

Also noteworthy, Kara Goucher (raised in Minnesota) won the Great North Run (her debut half marathon) in 1:06:57. Paula Radcliffe finished second, 56 seconds back.