When Running Tried to Kill Me

Well, I shouldn’t say it only happened in July because I think running has tried to kill me several times. But on July 4th it seemed like running was trying particularly hard to do me in. Not really sure why I keep doing it.

Anyway, I have smartened up to realize that running 1/2 marathons in the summer in Minnesota isn’t really on my list of to do’s any more. It’s just too hot. No matter how cool it is in the summer here it’s still going to be too hot.

On a side note, when I tell people I live in Minnesota they always say “Oh, you must love the cold”. And I always say “Well, I love the cold except when it’s boiling HOT in the summer”. Because for some reason people think it’s cold here all the time. I could only wish that summer would be pleasantly in the 60’s and dry and perfect. That’s not how it is here.

Back to the race. I signed up to do the 1/2 at the Red White and Boom on the 4th of July in Minneapolis. If you recall last year they cancelled this race because it was too hot and the EAS (Event Alert System) warning was black flag. Yep. So maybe I’d learn something from that and apply it to the following years but hope springs eternal and so I signed up.

It was hot. Really, too hot to run. The warning was only yellow flag but funny enough, was red flag about 1 hour and 30 minutes in. I should have known better.

I really wasn’t into this race when I got up at 4ish to drive up. I just knew it was going to be hot and unpleasant and I couldn’t get that out of my head.

So, the start temp was mid 70’s–sounds nice, with a dew point of oppressive at 69. It’s really just not pleasant but I lined up and off I went.

Ignorance is bliss at this point.

I carried water, something I never do in a race because usually they provide enough water but at every 2.5 miles I know it wouldn’t be enough. I really don’t know why, when it’s that hot there isn’t water more frequently.

By mile 4ish I broke. I couldn’t breathe, I had to walk, it was really quite miserable. That lasted for about 3 or so miles. I tried to run more but I could only manage a couple of blocks. Surprisingly I was pretty ok with finishing 1/2 hour or more off my pace. It was hot, the dewpoint was hovering at 70, the pollen count was high and air quality not that great. At mile 8 the ambulance was picking up someone at the side of the road. At least I was still running/walking. And it improved around mile 9–I was breathing well and was able to run a little longer. I managed to take a couple of pictures while I walked, mile 10.5 maybe? The good thing was until about mile 9 it was overcast cause when the sun came out it was REALLY hot.

I finally finished, slowest half ever but I wasn’t last. And I loved my slow people around me. We were a happy bunch all trying not to collapse.

At the end, soaking wet, but still standing

Next up is Chicago next weekend. And, because somewhere my common sense prevailed, it’s a Rock n Roll 10-K. So happy I didn’t do the 1/2 because it’s supposed to be 90ish degrees next weekend. I mean, we run by the lake but I don’t think the lake breeze will cool it off enough for it to not.be.hot. Then I have Western Days, 10K trail, then Scheels Relay-6.5 miles. See a pattern? I think my next half is September then I have a couple more. But I’ve learned my lesson. I don’t want to be that uncomfortable ever again.

I drove home but needed some map assist to get out of the city. I pull up my maps and my concerned phone told me I should be going to work. Come to think of it, my phone often tells me to go to work. Stay in your lane phone, I don’t live at work.

The next exciting thing we did was go and buy furniture. We went to Drury’s in Fountain. They have a LOT of nice furniture. It might not be the least expensive option but it’s home town and service is good. Our goal was new couch. We can’t take ours anymore. We tried out many different models and I have to say Dave really got into the spirit of the thing.

At least he wasn’t snoring

We didn’t get that one, but we almost got this one–

But instead we bought these two-in a lighter color:

I didn’t really want the love seat with console cause I think drink holders look tacky, but it actually fits our space better because we don’t have a lot of side table space. Of course, it doesn’t really hold a mug if you are drinking coffee/tea etc. But that’s ok. The couch doesn’t look that puffy in real life and the upholstery is somewhere between leather and fabric.

What I will say it is so comfy and it reclines AND it has a USB port on both sides. Dang it. We haven’t had a comfortable couch and enough seating downstairs since we moved in 5 years ago this month. Sigh. We are getting rid of both our couches and just have the chairs upstairs which looks much better. So there’s that.

Then, once we got started, we decided to go all out and got a new mattress too. Have mercy. Testing out the mattresses almost got us removed from the store. I think the staff got wise when Dave wanted to dim the lights and please turn down the music. We haven’t had a good mattress in nearly 10 years. When we bought our previous mattress the minute we got it home we knew it would be too hard (Thank you Dave since you wanted that one). We got a Serta firm foam mattress and I am telling you sleep has never been so good. I’m writing a lot about our new comfy furniture but we take our purchases very seriously here. The couch doesn’t come for another 8 weeks or so. Just in time for football.

And that’s all I know about. It’s another day. I have a pedicure later at the Rejuvenate Spa upstairs from the gym. I wouldn’t go ordinarily due to cost BUT I have a coupon. Yay me. AND today I am getting new running shoes. It’s been a year and mine are flat.

So it’s a whole big day planned–my goal in the next couple of weeks is to purge my craft area and clear out some space. I know I can do it. Pretty sure anyway.

In the meantime, Lacey and I went walking on the Douglas trail a couple of weeks ago, and we enjoyed it very much!

Welcome Back Humidity

It’s not been all that warm here. Lower than average really, but thankfully for us the humidity is back. Oh, lovely humidity. It’s my worst enemy.

But let’s back up a bit.

I had some fun catching up with my friend Tiffini. And in catching up we agreed to do the Grand Forks Half in September. I don’t know what I was thinking….although I can be talked into a destination run anytime, and this one is within driving distance, which is easy enough.

I haven’t done a whole lot else really. Besides trying to train for the runs I keep signing up for. Dave and I attended a quilt show last weekend, the 14th of June. There were beautiful quilts on display and lots of vendors. We bought a vibrating pillow and a new lint roller that is reusable. I didn’t buy any quilting supplies but I loved all the quilts. Don’t forget to click on the image to embiggen.

Not to mention the night before I had dinner with my friend Jill, who came down and bought a new long arm, which she’ll have a lot of fun with.

This last weekend was Ragnar Sunset. Because of my ignorance of updating my Ragnar profile, I was listed at 9 or so minute miles. Same with Cathy. And since we were the only two registered they gave us a super late start time thinking we were faster than we actually were. We had 4 hours to beat the sun and we almost made it! The sun set at 9:04 and we finished at about 9:13ish. Ashley, our closer, ran like the wind. I ran like the winded. I was first and started at 4:45. I finished around 5:50ish. 10 minute miles. Dang. (I have since updated my Ragnar profile to reflect my decrease in speed……). But I was aiming for an hour and I was pretty close so I was happy with that.

I didn’t get a picture of Ashley’s finish cause we ran in with her. Actually, we ran in behind her because we couldn’t keep up.

It was really a fun event and we all agreed we would do it again next year, if they do it again next year. Ragnar can sometimes be a little inconsistent on their venues.

Afterwards, we hit the pub, McGarry’s, It was fabulous food after the afternoon and evening runs. We got there at 9:55 which was 5 minutes to closing. We thought we’d have to move on but they made one last dinner for us and stayed open while we ate. 5 Star review on service and food. At least 5 stars.

Dark but you get the picture.

Last but not least Cody graduated from residency. Yes there was a party and no, I wasn’t invited AND learned about it on Instagram. Gawd. Cody said parents didn’t really go to this event and he didn’t think it was worth it for me to get out there for it. However, I would be the judge of that I think.

Either way, they got all dressed up and looked sharp, as required by the Navy.

And that’s all caught up. Next week is the Fourth of July. Already. Crazy. I am running a half marathon that day, which may or may not be very pleasant. When I sign up for this stuff it seems like such a good idea at the time…………

Have a happy holiday!!

Puddy says Half Marathon? No thanks.


I had some wins the last couple of weeks.

Literally, I won third place in my age division at Med City this year. Yep. Get in the older age groups, and I mean way older, and you end up winning!!

I accepted my award in style

That was a great feeling because this is not a race I ever place in, and I’ve been running it a long time. The course changed (for the better) and the temperature was perfect. I gotta say. Complete with post race bloody AND post race Rowdy Uncle. Nice.

The Memorial Day weekend really was the perfect weather. It’started out Friday with celebration on the deck-

It was kind of a day……
With a nice sunset.

Jack had a pretty good weekend too.

We enjoyed some sushi over the weekend too–I think Sushi is my favorite food ever. EVER. Of course rice and noodle bowls from Wabi Saba are pretty much the bomb also. It think because you can get vegetarian selections that are delicious.

So it was pretty good all round.

This past weekend I made the long drive to Vesseleyville to visit Blane and Melanie and dogs and cats. It was a beautiful weekend. I left Friday after work (actual departure time around 4:20). I got to Blane’s at 11:110ish. I stopped twice-bathroom stop at the rest stop and bathroom/gas stop in Fargo at my favorite gas stop. I don’t know why it seems so much longer to get there than to get back to Rochester but it does. It always seems that Fargo should be super close but it’s still a couple hours away. Dang it. I had some great podcasts to listen to, and still listening to Becoming by Michelle Obama. I can only listen to one CD every now and then because it goes pretty slowly. I’m like–hurry it up Michelle O. Because I admire her so much I will forgive her for narrating so slowly. And the book is quite well written. But it also makes me not able to listen to the CD’s back to back.

Anyway, I woke up early on Saturday, cause that’s how I roll, and we got to work. Well, I didn’t do that much work. I pulled some weeds and got the front ready to plant flowers.

Blane did some mowing…..

He also chased the dog with the mower, but I didn’t capture that. It was a pretty slo mo chase scene

Have I mentioned how fab the weather was???

Took a few snaps of cats.

Blane and Me!

I hated to leave but I had to. So I took off on Monday AM and got home in the afternoon. It was a more leisurely drive back, breaks were longer and I didn’t feel as driven to get there. I listened to almost a whole Agatha Raisin book which is my very favorite books to listen to, next to her Hamish McBeth books. Love them.

I notice today that my front garden is getting so colorful and my perennials are coming back nicely.

I’m hoping that eventually I won’t have to plant any new plants because all of them will be coming back perennial. I’m working on the back gardens too. My MN native plants have mostly returned. I got a new lilac which is getting eaten by rabbits so gotta do something about that.

Anyway, I had a great vacay to No Dak coming off my big win. Next up….Ragnar Sunset in only three weeks!! We will welcome the Solstice sort of.

Kitten lives on-she’s 14 this year……

Spring, You only had ONE job….

So, still waiting for spring. I mean leaves are out, I see bulbs blooming, but the temps? Not so much. Although, I think that this week we may bust into the 70’s. NPR just said our last 80 degree day was Sept 2018. It’s been a long winter.

But a long winter makes one really really REALLY appreciate spring….ok, summer by the time we get spring. I fear a repeat of last year when it was cold, then cool, then still cool, then so hot it was like living on the sun. Yep. That.

So, I missed Ragnar So Cal and last week I missed Unleash the She due to travel which was not a big deal, but makes me feel unprepared, a little, for the upcoming races. Which start next weekend with Women Run the Cities, 10 miles, and the following weekend Med City 1/2 Marathon. Last year it was so hot that for Med City they cancelled the marathon and everyone ran a half. Even the marathon relay was a half marathon relay. Same with Red White and Boom on July 4th. We ran 1/2 of a 1/2 cause of the heat. Oh well.

But looking back the end of April was busy because it was Yarnover and Yarnover means a visit from my sister Martha and a trip to the cities.

This year we met up in Mpls and stayed the night over at the Doubletree in St. Louis Park. I highly recommend for the hotel AND the shopping just down the street. I found a black dress for the following weekend memorial service (more about that later) and did some browsing which was just fine. We ate at The Local which was quite delish. We had the obligatory Prosecco to commence the knitting festivities.

Irish themed and the best mashed potatoes ever tasted.

We got up and hit Yarnover early. It’s always a nice market but I just wasn’t overwhelmed this year. We saw a few things we certainly loved–

But we didn’t buy too much there. We did do some networking and during one of our convos we learned of a yarn/fabric store I had never been too-Knit and Bolt. Highly recommend. They have a good selection of local yarns AND the cutest fabrics ever. I will be returning soon.

We also made our usual stop at 3 Kittens. It has expanded into the clothing boutique which was next door but has now moved across the way. It’s huge and now has separate rooms for needle point and knitting. It’s fab. I’d love to get into needlepoint but I just can’t do one.more.thing.

Sunday we headed to Northfield to my favorite yarn store, which has also expanded, Northfield Yarns. I always recommend a visit there AND I found a sweet present for my friend Julie, who’s March birthday always warrants a Yarnover weekend present. So I can’t say what cool things I saw until next time cause I am sending Julie her gift today and I don’t want to spoil if she happens across my blog.

But I do love that shop, and Northfield in general because it’s such a cute place with lots of little shops to browse in. We spend all afternoon there! As you can see, the water is still very high on the Cannon River.

Monday we stopped in Zumbrota at All in Stitches. It didn’t disappoint. There are also some cute boutiques and a high end shoe store. I’m not sure who shops there but they have a great selection of unique shoes.

We also stopped at Nordstrom to look around and ate in the Nord cafe before Martha had to head back to the airport. It was a busy but a fun weekend.

The following week I left of Friday and flew to AZ to stay with my sister Debbie and attend a memorial service for my nephew Matthew who passed away in March.

MSP-You are a fickle mistress
Thanks for letting me fly this day

I met up with Cody at the airport and we had a brief stop and the local Hacienda before getting to Debbie’s.

The dip was fantastic

Debbie’s house was lovely, the memorial service was very touching and also lovely at the botanical gardens. Except for a melancholy around the fact Debbie and Jay’s son passed away unexpectedly, and at a very young age, it was so nice seeing family and visiting with Cody and Katie and Alex.

Debbie’s house is out in the desert country. I went running on Saturday (I got there Friday and left on Sunday….quick turn around). The views were spectacular

The desert was in bloom–I didn’t know how Saguaro cacti bloomed but apparently they get all sorts of flower buds on the tips. Who knew?

Seriously, it was so beautiful, and Debbie’s house doesn’t disappoint either.

Melanie and Blane sent this lovely centerpiece. It smelled good too.

The memorial service and lunch were in the botanical gardens, and afterward we were able to wander around. It was most excellent.

Sadly, Sunday came really really fast. I took Cody to the airport at around 4ish and I spent the rest of the day lounging in the sun room after taking a short walk. Around 11:30ish I was off to the airport to fly back.

See ya someday Arizona

I got back and drove home. No weather issues, no delays. Just a flight on Delta. I watched Beautiful Boy to Arizona and Vice back to MN. Both movies were difficult to watch, but for different reasons. I’m planning another trip for Rock n Roll in January, and then a Rock n Roll in March to go see Cody’s new digs. I’m in.

Last weekend I ran 11.56 miles which I thought was 12 miles so in actuality I ran a LOT slower than I thought. But maybe that’s because I stopped to take pictures to prove that spring might actually be close at hand…

Maybe there’s hope. In the meantime, I’ll always have Arizona……………

My view from the back yard……
And my view from the top

Ragnar SoCal-I Lost the Race

Well, as you recall last post I said something might happen about this race? Yep, I missed it. I missed the whole effing thing. I never got out of Minnesota. Ever.

So, on the Monday before the race they started talking about this weather event that was going to impact the area. In usual Minnesota weather reporting fashion no one was really sure how much, or when or exactly where. By Tuesday I was a little nervous, enough nervous to get a hotel on Wednesday so I’d be sure to be at the airport at 5 AM Thursday.

Well, the snow started around noonish on Wednesday.

I left around 2:30 for the two hour trip to Egan (it’s about an hour and 23 on a good day). Lots of cars in the ditch and people being stupid but I made it. I set up my shuttle for the next AM and hoped for the best.

The next day I got up early, got ready, got to the airport, got to the gate, got on the plane….and then it all fell apart.

It started with getting stuck leaving the gate. But still ok. We just needed to get the sanders out and get unstuck. And they were going to de-ice where we sat so we’d save time. Only they didn’t do that so after 30 minutes of sitting and watching the Delta flight next to us get de-iced and leave, we had to lumber over to the de-ice station and we got de-iced. OK, we are now an hour back but I can still make it. If I can just get to Seattle…..

After a few minutes the pilot said they had to plow the runway again but we had three hours on the de-ice so we’d still be okay. THEN he said the final words-the runway was too slippery and now the winds were too strong to de-ice again and they had no idea how long the runways would be down-but if it was over two hours we’d need to de-ice again and who knows when that would happen. It was still snowing and blowing and I was heart broken.

I got off the plane and I immediately called Alaska who said-‘Um, you were on what flight cause I see that flight has departed.’ OK, please refresh your screen customer service. And once she did she could see that MSP was shut down. They told us that no more planes were coming in to get us to Seattle today. Customer service told me I couldn’t get to LA tomorrow on AK. Delta could get me there for about 700-1000 round trip. By booking Alaska I had created a house of cards that collapsed under the weight of the blizzard. I love Alaska, don’t get me wrong, but they have limited flights out of MSP and if they shut down I’m done. I could have scrambled and tried to get stand by on something or other, but in my heart I knew I was done. All the planning and the looking forward to it and the thought of sunny weather and meeting my niece and her girlfriend–all gone. My volunteering and my van fam and all of it. I was in shock. It’s just so typical, although I’ve never had this hard of a stop before. Ever.

Excessive hardly describes it.

So I packed it in, got the shuttle, and came back home. But not before realizing I left my Kindle on board. I mean, how could it go any worse? And seriously? I didn’t even go anywhere and I left something on board. I drove home through the semi truck graveyard that was Hiway 52. How the news never reported the 10 semi’s and the closure of northbound lanes is beyond me. I made it home and they found my Kindle.

But I missed it all. And it looked so good. And I had it all planned and I was so looking forward to it. I’m near tears again just thinking about it so I have to find something to look forward too. (When I drove up on Friday to get my Kindle I cried most of the way up) It didn’t help that it was supposed to warm up and rain here, not continue to snow and certainly not be only in the 30’s through out the rest of the week AND today. (I’m lying, it’s going to be 46 today–although it will likely feel like the 30’s).

Katie sent updates from the race that she and Jillian ran

My team minus me.

And me? I did this….

We went out to dinner on Friday night to take the sting out of it.

It didn’t take the sting out of it but it was pretty.

Now the back yard, which had the one little circle of snow……

So close

Is now looking like this….

And now it’s Monday. I have to go into work for a while this afternoon. I guess that will be ok. It’s a busy week with meetings and things I honestly don’t care about right now.

I am supposed to go to Tucson in two weeks. That’s not a fun vacation but at least I’ll get out of town for a bit. Yarnover is the week before that, Martha will be here. Maybe that will cheer me up.

Either way–next time I have the back up plan, I leave a day earlier, and I save up for a possible same day airline ticket.

Thanks Girls, for doing my volunteer and running my legs–I owe you.

It’s Spring!

Not really.

Today’s weather event brought to you by me and my travel plans.

So, I am leaving tomorrow at oh seven hundred for LA. But we are in the midst of a weather issue so I get to drive up to the cities tonight and spend the night so I can make sure to get there. It is seriously annoying. As Cathy said the other day “You have to make peace with the weather”. Well, I’m not budging on this one–this is all the weather’s fault.

Last weekend I ran a race that was really quite nice. Goldy’s Run, a 10 miler. It was a nice day for a slow run.

It was quite pleasant, rather hilly but pleasant.

Afterwards, we had a nice brunch at the St. Paul Grill, complete with the post race bloody.

A Race Day Tradition
There were a lot of choices though……

We then traveled over to the Science Museum, and after that saw the musical Spamalot at the Ordway. It was great and we had good seats. I have some pics of the venue but my camera is currently buried in my bag so next post. I promise.

We babysat some dogs for Blane and Melanie at the end of March. We picked up the dogs in the cities and made a pit stop at Insight.

This wasn’t Splendid Moose-#truthinadvertising

Besides that it’s been pretty quiet.

I finished my sock monkey–His eyes are JEWELS!

OK-He’s not quite done in this picture but I guarantee, he is DONE.

I am on the way to SoCal later today. Actually I was supposed to leave early tomorrow and drive up to the airport but because we are having a blizzard I am going this afternoon. I’m running Ragnar SoCal from LA to San Diego-minus the huge part of Camp Pendleton. Funny how the military doesn’t want thousands of runners and hundreds of vans crossing over their base. I guess there’s a security issue? What?

So wish me luck. If it goes as it usually does it will be either unseasonably hot or cold, and I’ll get stuck somewhere due to weather. But maybe not……………

Puddy, hanging in the sun…in the sink.

Everybody’s Irish

Happy Late St. Patrick’s Day. I find it interesting that in Ireland, well, not so much. St Patrick was born in Roman Britain and then brought to Ireland as a slave. He escaped that and then ran away from the monastery and converted to Christianity. This was very long ago, in the 400’s or so. He then, supposedly, confronted the Druids and “abolished their pagan rites making Christianity more widespread”. Oh, and his name was Maewyn. You can read it all here. He did become the patron Saint of Ireland and he died on March 17th, 461.

It was when the Irish came to America that St. Patrick’s day became the thing that it is. We needed something to cheer us up, because back in the day the Irish in America weren’t so popular. Everyone needs to go back to those days and see how that felt, then come back to now and have a whole new outlook on people who are escaping oppression, starvation, and fear for their lives. But we can’t so just know the Irish struggled….a lot.

So, that’s what happened there. But on March 17th everybody’s Irish, right? On March 16th Cathy and I ran a race called Everybody’s Irish. Should have been called “Run like the wind on an icy covered road while trying not to fall down” but that’s too long a title for a race. I think it’s more accurate though.

It was supposed to be warmer…..

My weather curse stayed alive as it was supposed to be in the 30’s but was actually in the low 20’s. Of course it was. Thankfully there was no wind so really, the race wasn’t too unpleasant that way. It was just very slippery. It was a “you could break a hip” slippery.

But we survived and I was actually second in my age group. Yay for being faster than all the other people crawling on the ice.

The real fun started after the race. We did our favorite thing called the “Post Race Bloody”. With Medals. And a delicious brunch. The Urban Eatery.

And the rest is green beer history….

Everybody’s Irish

After recovering, this weekend is nice and sunny and warm. I’ve seen people walking around in shorts, although it’s not that warm. It’s Minnesota warm I guess.

We got out with the dog but did not wear shorts

The Sniffing Dog Under Blue Skies

Soon it’ll summer and hot and we’ll be in many less layers than this. For now, though, I think I’ll just enjoy spring.