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Friday, October 23, 2009

Obesity in Sherburne County

A few weeks ago I received an email from the Sherburne County Public Health Department requesting my participation in a focus group regarding physical activity, nutrition and obesity in Sherburne County.

I learned that Sherburne County Public Health recently received a $604,000 Statewide Health Improvement Program grant to be used to implement community wellness strategies in regards to physical activity and nutrition.

The email stated that there would be four focus groups within the County. Each of the groups would consist of 10-12 people. Each group was to meet for 90 minutes.

Of course I accepted!

My focus group met last night. There were three other participants who had been contacted as I had been and there was a County Heath employee who was transcribing the meeting. Our forum moderator was a woman retired from the Minnesota Health Department who is now a consultant. Sherburne County contracted her to moderate these meetings. She did a great job leading our meeting and keeping us on task.

Our whole meeting related to obesity in Sherburne County. We were asked questions relating to our workplace, our neighborhoods, and our community. We were asked the percentage of those obese in our neighborhoods, our workplace our community. We were asked about our surroundings and access to activities. Health clubs, biking trails, gyms, lakes, etc. We were asked about healthy food options-how accessible are they? We were asked if coworkers size/diet/health affected their or our work. We spoke of our family habits, our meals, how income affects diet. Most of the time our discussion turned back to income and education. We discussed obesity topics for a full 90 minutes.

I was asked to think about changes that could change a community. I offered using Sherburne County employers as a drop off for CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture). If the workforce didn’t have to drive to pick up their CSA portion (as I drive to Maple Grove and don’t mind it a bit) more people might participate. I also stated that if our local grocery store, Cobornes, would offer a $5 free fruit/vegetable for every $50 spent it might get some residents to actually try fruits and vegetables.

I kept thinking about the changes that have taken place relating to tobacco use. Who would have thought that you wouldn’t be able to smoke in bars/restaurants just a few years ago? We’ve come a long way.

At the end of the meeting I was asked if I would continue to meet and provide input for the Health Department. Of course I again accepted.

After all of the focus group information is compiled the report will go to the Statewide Health Improvement Program Leadership Team and it is their responsibility to implement strategies specific to Sherburne County Health and Wellness.

SHIP will implement four areas of change: School, Health Care, Worksites and Community; mainly through policy change.

What are some ways that you can think of to change a community towards wellness? Small steps lead to big changes. I’m very excited to be a part of this group.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Wild Duluth 50K

Andy and Kim Holak have jumped into the Race Directing business with a fabulous race. If you don't know Andy and Kim I'll make a brief introduction. Andy and Kim live in Duluth and are very experienced, very talented ultra runners. They both nearly always win their races including the Superior races, Ice Age races as well as winning in other portions of the US. Kim has finished Hardrock twice.

The first time I ran Voyager and was past the cut off I was embarrassed as I met Andy for the first time, upon the trail. He was first coming back and I was last going out. He cheered for me and I turned red. After the race I told him how embarrassed I felt still being out upon the course and there he was, heading home for the finish. He set me straight. He was super supportive and told me that the ultra marathon sets an equal playing field. It doesn't matter where we place, we are all out there running and that he looks at the back of the pack runners with amazement. We are out there for nearly double the hours and don't stop. We persevere to the finish. He told me he was proud of me. I couldn't believe it at the time. I do now.

The race began at Chambers Park in Duluth. I haven't run this portion of the Superior Hiking Trail in the past. This is a section that was finished recently..in the last year or two. I had run from the third aid station on, so I was very excited to see this new portion of the trail.

I went into the race as I did Twin Cities Marathon a few weeks ago: tired and using it as a training run. This would again cap off a 100 mile week in preparation for Javelina. I was able to recover from TCM easy enough. I only hoped the outcome would be the same here. I ran a 50K at Afton on Friday with Topaz and here I was again, going to try back to back 50Ks. Topaz and I took it very easy Friday, taking 8 hours to get in the complete course. I didn't feel sore..just tired.

Apparently the thought of a training run caused me to go into the race unprepared. As I couldn't find Bay Front Park in the dark I ended up at a Starbucks on Superior St. looking for directions. A customer gave me great directions, I was at the Park but couldn't find access to the bus that I could see parked ahead. Crazy. I looped around over and over and eventually jumped a curb and made it to the lot with a minute to spare. As I was juggling through my bag, applying lube, looking for gloves, grabbing gels..I could have used 6 hands, Joann arrived at my window. I tried to talk and get ready at the same time and it wasn't working. Where's my bottle? How can I be so unprepared? Um, because you had the training run syndrome pounding through your head. Oh. Yeah.

Eventually I found one of my four gloves, a hat and some gels and such. I followed Jo to her van to see her pups. She has an old pup that isn't doing so well and a brand new puppy that was with her as well as her hubby. We ran to the bus and Andy asked if I had collected my bag. No. We ran back to Andy's car, collected my bag and number, Andy placed my bag into my car and back to the bus. Whew! Thanks Andy. All set. It was really nice to have a bus to take us to the start so that our vehicles would be at the finish. Ah, the little niceties.

On the bus I saw near Jo and Rick. Rick gave us a tour of the city on the way to the start. He pointed out the pedestrian bridge going over 35 and said we would run upon it into the finish. Cool. He pointed out West Duluth, where he grew up, the aid stations along the way, some of the Voyager course and eventually we were at the start of the race.

Brr. It was 33 degrees, clear. I had on wind pants that are sizes too big, long sleeved top, vest. Fleece hat, one glove..good to hold my bottle with.. I couldn't find any of the other three which I knew I packed and were in the car.., iPod, gels. I didn't have on a watch. I didn't know how far apart the aid stations were, I didn't know how many there were...I guess I was a bit too lacadasial about it all. Training run was all I was thinking.

As we lined up my other hand was cold. I must have mentioned it to Shelly because before we began, Mike came up to me and offered a glove! How sweet. I graciously accepted it, thanks Mike!

As we lined up at the start..me in the way back..Andy gave a course description. He was very descriptive of the course, and before I knew it he was giving a blow by blow of each section. I couldn't remember all of what he was saying. I could hear the love of the trail and the excitement of sharing the race with us in his voice. It was fun to listen to him but I couldn't retain it all.

Andy was going to begin the race by clanking two rocks together but in practice they cracked..or was that a joke..so he said GO!

I saw Wynn blazing ahead of us as we circled the lot before hitting the deer trail. I asked Maria : who is that in the Afton shirt running with Wynn? I couldn't think of who would be running with Wynn that quickly except Andy..who was directing. Well, here it WAS Andy, he was running with Wynn to get him around the lot and direct to the trail.

In a few minutes we were at the deer trail. It went straight up. STRAIGHT. UP. People in front of me were running up this path. I fell in along with them and nearly coughed up a lung. I couldn't breath. The hill went up up up. Maria stated that it looked like an Afton Fat Ass trail. I agreed. But why are we running and more importantly why am I running? Stop this insanity. I had this conversation with myself. Why are you running this hill? Because Maria and everyone else is. Does it matter? Can you breathe? No. I'm gasping and sweating and coughing and I can't breath. STOP IT! Ok. I began to walk. And gasp. And worry about the cold that I still have. Maybe this was too much. Oh my god, it's the first freaking mile. Scary. I walked and sweat and coughed and gagged. I removed myself from the deer trail and walked to catch my breath. Holy crap. Jo and Rick came up behind me. I was trying to catch my breath.

At the top of the hill I rested and took my time going along the ridge which eventually intersected with Mission Creek Trail. I was able to take normal breaths as I was ridiculing myself for running up the damn hill. Peer pressure, how stupid to succumb too.

By the time I was at the first aid station I had removed my (borrowed) gloves, hat and my vest was off of my arms and bunched at my waist. My pants pockets both had broken zippers..yeah, they are the first pair of running pants I ever purchased, so I had all of my gels and stuff in my vest pockets. I felt like a bag lady. I had stuff all over the place. In my haste to leave my car I forgot to unattach my keys to the ring so was carrying the whole damn thing with me! Ring, remote starter, keys, fobs to work and the gym. Nice. It was warming up quickly. I should have worn shorts. I had to take off my top and tie it around my waist adding to the bag lady effect. Enough of my unprepared- ness.

The trail was absolutely gorgeous! As I was running along it reminded me so often of the sections further north that I be surprised when I realized I was in the City of Duluth! The whole 50K was within the Duluth city limits! Totally amazing.

Outcrops of rock near aid station 2 were so much like the section of Bean/Bear Lake further north. We climbed forever and a day, then were rewarded with spectacular views of Duluth and Lake Superior. Just amazing. We seemed to climb for a very long time.

There were awesome sections of pine forest. Soft needles to run upon, the smell of pine profuse in the air. Such a treat. I was so happy. So happy to be running within myself, so happy to be enjoying the sun, the trail, the peace and quiet. This trail run was everything I had hoped it would be: a wonderful day on a fabulous foot path.

I kept thinking about how much I love running in the woods. How I enjoy the smells, the feel of the different terrain under my feet. Climbing the rock, taking in all of the views, running upon the soft needles of pine, enjoying the color of the leaves changing.

I kept realizing the stark differences between Twin Cities Marathon and Wild Duluth 50K! TCM was an assault of the senses. The noise, the people, the City. Wild Duluth was sensuous to the senses: the silence, the woods, the lake, soft footfalls. I enjoy trail running so much more than road running. To think I didn't know trail running existed..

At aid station 2 Helen and Val were manning the station. It was fun to see both gals helping us out. I grabbed a few gels, filled my bottle and was on my way. I asked Shelly how far along we were and she estimated 10 miles. What a great way to spend the first few hours of the race.

The next section was every bit as beautiful and I even recognized a few sections from the Voyager 50 mile race. The highlight was climbing Ely’s Peak. I climbed and climbed upon rocks just like the Carlton Peaks section. Wow. Rocky outcrops through an oak and maple forest and then up to Skyline Parkway.

Shelly and I were running along together and both commented that it seemed this whole section was a climb. It was amazing! So beautiful.

Pretty soon we came into aid station 3 where Zac greeted us with his camera! Bonnie and Jim were here too, helping us with food/fluids. I stuck to water during the run with gels. At one point my stomach was grumbling like it was hungry so I grabbed a corner of peanut butter and jelly here. About 15 minutes later I had a raging headache. It may have been due to the jelly/sugar. I’m not sure. I don’t carry Advil along any more so I just sucked it up.

As I left the aid station Bonnie told me to follow the road for a while and take a right into the woods, hitting the trail. I ran along along along, looking for the flags. I spotted them on the left, continued on.. here I saw someone running toward me. At first I thought she must be a 100K runner, but then saw realized it was Dawn. Oh oh. She told me that she had missed the turn as had I. I turned around and followed Dawn, eventually seeing the flags marking the right turn in all of their glory. I don’t know how I missed it, but I sure did. Even after being told by Bonnie that it would be there and there they are, plainly marked. Oh well. I turned into the woods, thankful that I didn’t have a watch on and that I was still happy, enjoy the day.

Pretty soon it was time for aid station 4, the Voyageur 50 Mile turnaround at the zoo. Again, I managed to miss a marker that was plainly marked. I ended up following a river for a long while until a man with a very nice border collie that I spent way too much petting, talking and being kissed by (the dog, not the man), told me I should get going and pointed me in the correct direction.

One of my pet peeves is runners complaining about course markings. Stating that the course is poorly marked, that the course wasn’t marked, etc. I know darned well the course was marked well and that I missed the turns that I did. It was not the marker’s fault or the RD’ fault. It was my fault. Always is. I never complain about markings and wasn’t going to say anything about missing the course. I ran into the aid station and Shelly stated “you must have missed the turn into the woods, I noticed you weren’t in front of my anymore” busted! Yeah, I confirmed that I missed the turn and yet another. Oh well.

I filled my water bottle and told that I was already at mile 19. Unreal! I was having so much fun I couldn’t believe that 20 miles were about in the bag. I didn’t want this to be over yet!

I ran on, toward the next aid station, enjoying the trail. I ran past the Spirit Mountain Ski Hills, under a few bridges, along 35N. It was a reminder that I was in Duluth and not out miles deep in the forest as I kept on thinking that I was.

Pretty soon I saw Dawn up ahead and my competitive side wanted to take over. Before I knew it I was running faster, thinking about catching her. No. You aren’t racing. Slow and easy. No hard recovery for Javelina. Enjoy. Enjoy. OK. I ran on, through the forest when an outcropping of rock appeared. I climbed the rock and peered over the side-there was the City of Duluth, the big green football field, Lake Superior. Fabulous views.

At the next aid station someone stated “You finally caught me, it only took you 22 miles, Julie, see you at the finish” I don’t know who it was but I don’t recall seeing him at the finish. There are so many people that I don’t recognize at races. I often wonder if the ‘know’ me from my blog or if they know me from real life. I ran with a man from WI, who knew me via my blog and I don’t even know his name! He knows all about me, though. That is the disadvantage of introducing oneself via a blog.

The next section was pretty cool. Entering more city running, the Enger park which had this super huge bell ringer thing. Andy later told me I should have rung it. It was a beautiful park. With a climb of over 1300 feet elevation the views were fantastic.

Running into the final aid station I saw Jim and his son, Jeff. It was so great to see so many familiar faces at the aid stations. Jim filled my bottle and told me I only had a 5K to the finish! I couldn’t believe it. Too short! I wanted more. Really, I was going slow enough that I wasn’t taxing myself at all. I was truly enjoying a great day in the woods. Topaz would have loved it. There were plenty of rivers for him to lay in,I’ll be taking him to run those trails.

As I ran the final segment I couldn’t help but wonder what my time would be. I kept thinking it must be near 8 hours, but then with Shelly not to far in back, I didn’t think she would run that slowly. I took Superior 50K easy in May and finished in 630. I was running about the same pace here but this course seemed a little more difficult. Superior 50K has a few long climbs that you do 2x, but this trail is continuous shorter steep ascents and descents. This course reminded me much of Glacial Trail 50K, too.

The final section was so much fun, mostly running downhill - finally - as I had to finish near the lake at Bay front Festival Park - passing through city neighborhoods, birch woods, rock boulders and downhill with more rock outcroppings and a whole mess of jack pines; the fragrance was wonderful, even with a stuffed head cold.

Down down down rock steps with amazing views of the harbor. Before I know it there is the pedestrian overpass going over 1 35. What a trip! Over the traffic, waving to the drivers underneath me, laughing all the way. Down the concrete ramp and under I 35 now. Cool. Running along the street turning into Bay front Festival Park. What a great day, a fantastic trail and an awesome run. I felt fabulous. As I ran into the finish I saw the clock blink to 6:59.

A beautiful brown Border Collie greeted me at the finish. He wanted to go for a run. Lots of kisses and pets, I had to pull myself away from him.

This race was such a treat. Andy and Kim did a great job planning the start/finish, the aid stations, everything. It was perfect.

The park had a huge warm center where I was able to change, our hosts had various chili's and drink to offer. I lounged around a bit, taking in all of the conversation until it was time to head on home.

Thanks Andy and Kim for putting on a great race! I can’t wait to run upon those trails again!

Metallica!

Oh yes, another fabulous concert last night. I love Metallica. True 'old school' heavy metal. Correctly named thrash metal. I suppose of the metals there is thrash, death and black. Metallica is Thrash.

Last winter they announced they would be hitting the Target Center in Minneapolis as part of their World Magnetic Tour. I asked Tyler if he'd go with me and he said yes without hesitation. He wanted to see Metallica too. He's choice of music has been influenced by his mother..

At the time Metallica hadn't announced who would be opening with them. We sure were excited when we heard later that it would be Lamb of God. We've seen LOG three different times now, twice as openers and once as a headliner. Playing with Metallica will make them much more out in the public ear. LOG is more of a death metal band. Love it.

I ordered tickets right away, they ended selling out the first day tickets went on sale. I was able to get tickets on the floor. Holy shit.

The first time that I saw Metallica was with Steve in 1988! Wow, I was a different person then. 24 years old, no children, heavy drinker, drugs..yuck. I guess about the only things I haven't changed in the past years is my choice of music and my husband! In 1988 Metallica was a part of the Monster or Rock Tour. They played all day long with Van Halen, Scorpions, Dokken and Kingdom Come. I don't recall a whole lot as I was chemically altered, but I do remember the great loud music and the hot sunny July day. I couldn't have imagined at the time that I would be back in 21 years to listen to Metallic 1) sober and 2) with my 17 year old son! Incredible.

The second time I saw Metallica wasn't so hot. They played in the Dome .. 2003 I believe and the sound was horrible. The Metrodome makes the music sound 'tinny' somehow. It was a big let down. St. Anger was a horrible album (in my opinion).

Last night was amazing. The first band (I don't even recall their name) was on for about 30 minutes, then Lamb of God took over. Most of the 20000 rockers were there for Metallica and didn't get into LOG at all. The few on the floor with us that were into LOG enjoyed them immensely. They put on a great show. We were so close to the stage, right on the bar, first row. Incredible.

LOG is a death metal band. By far most popular type of 'extreme metals' in the US. Death metal is characterized by fast tempos, distorted guitars, guttural vocals, morbid lyrics, and complex song structures with musical nuisances hidden under the noise.

I was able to take iPhone photos. I never take concert photos! I'm always too far away, even a few rows is too far away.

When Metallica came onto stage it was mayhem. The crowd was frantic, ready to thrash. As they stepped onto stage padomonion broke. I was pushed and shoved farther forward until I was leaning over the bar separating me from the stage. I couldn't believe it. Tyler is strong, 6'3", lean, 185 pounds. I asked if I could hold onto his waist so as not to be thrown over. He said it was fine. I held on for dear life.

The stage was in a massive round shape, it had coffin shaped 'things' above holding all of the lighting. Huge flames shot out of the stage, I thought I was going to be scorched. Hot indeed.

That Was Just Your Life, The End of the Line, Ride the Lightning and Holier than Thou, from their new album, Death Magnetic opened the show. This album is so much better than the last. It's what we expect from Metallica. In your face heavy metal thrashing goodness. They played on and on and on. You know how long their songs are..the concert was amazingly long. Cyanide and All Nightmare Long had us in a frothing frenzy. Hot, sweaty, thrashing the way we know how. I tried not to think of all of the H1N1 floating through the crowd. Santitarium and everyone knew the words, the crowd sang along word for word for the rest of the concert. When Nothing Else Matters and Sad But True were played the crowd became still and actually crooned along with the James. It was amazing. Oh man, then Master of Puppets. Pure craziness, and to be right up there, front and center, I couldn't get enough. The Encore? Die Die Die my Darling, Motorbreath and then Kirk yelled out that we only had to sing out three words, then I knew the song: Seek and Destroy! We followed his directions and sang out the lyrics, just as we had been all night long.

After the concert they asked for the house lights. It was bright as day. We squinted up at stage, they pointed us out, handed Tyler a handful of guitar picks and a drumstick. WTF? It was close, intimate all of a sudden. They chatted with us, let a ton of huge Metallica black balloons fall upon us. They continued chatting, telling us the show was finished, thanking us for coming out to support us. It was crazy. They asked for a show of hands from those who this was there first Metallica concert. They kind of laughed, and thanked them profusely for showing. I looked at the guy next to me and said 'geeze, this is my third, I guess I'm part of the older crowd'. He didn't think so, apparently. We all chatted amongst ourselves after being thrashed for over 5 hours..it was crazy. I've never had a concert experience such as this. Totally amazing.

Tyler and I both enjoyed it, fully. I wasn't too exhausted when my alarm woke me for the AM run three hours after I retired. I'm sure I'll sleep well tonight-if my ears quit ringing!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Frosty Fun Run

This morning when I looked at the digital thermometer I saw the coldest temperature of the season thus far. 17F. Brrr. I dug through my winter clothes finding a pair of light tights, long sleeved top, gloves and turtle fur. I pulled out my winter running jacket and heavy smart wool socks. No gortex or booties yet!

As I pulled out of the garage I was suprised to see an inch of fluff on the ground. Looked like Topaz and would be making tracks upon the trail for the first time.

The sun began to rise within the hour; I was able to see all of the frost covered spiderwebs and all of the animal tracks upon the snow. Deer, wolf, fox and rabbit. The sun rise gave the snow a purple pink cast. Beautiful.

Topaz and I froliked upon the soft covered trail for 10 miles, never seeing a soul, enjoying the splendid silence of the beautiful woods.

I've enjoyed running reduced mileage this week. I've felt a cold coming on all week long and it has taken a bit of energy away from me. Each weekday morning this week Topaz and I ran 3 miles and then another 5 after work. I lifted legs and biceps each once, 1 hour of stair stepping. With 10 this morning and 10 tomorrow I'll have a total of 60 this week. Next week I'll increase mileage again, the long run will be at the Duluth Wild Races 50K/100K. I'm running the 50K. I figure that will be a good last long run before Javelina 100 two weeks later.

I wonder how much snow the guys are out hunting in today, up north? Probably more than fell here.

Tomorrow I'll cap off the weekend with a meal at my new favorite eatery, Ecopolitan.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Dome Sweet Home


The Marathon begins at the Metrodome; home of the Minnesota Twins AND the Minnesota Vikings. Yesterday the Twins played, today they will change the grounds to the Vikings, tomorrow back to the Twins. The last Twins game in the Dome? Maybe not..

Twin Cities Marathon 2009

On Saturday evening I wasn't so sure that I was going to be lining up at the start for this year's version of the 2009 Twin Cities Marathon.

Saturday morning, as planned, I headed to Powder Ridge to run the ski hills. All went well physically but mentally I felt a bit crabby. I'm not sure why. It may have had to do with the fact that at the end of the day on Saturday I would already have 81 miles in for the week. I suppose I was tired.

Later in the morning a working dog club came out to Powder Ridge, hiking the trails around the perimeter of the course. I saw Border Collies (Yay), Australian Shepherds Bernese Mountain Dogs and Great Pyrenes Mountain Dog, the dog that was a close second when purchasing Topaz. I visited with the dogs and their owners for quite some time. The dogs were much more interesting than the owners..

I packed up my things at PR and headed for home. With nobody home I decided to take Topaz out for a quick 5 miles. He smelled the pups on me and made me feel even more guilty for not yet taking him running. Off we went, in the rain, to the trail.

Running along I noticed many downed trees over the trail. We've had a few really windy days and the DNR hasn't yet cleaned up all of the debris. Topaz was catupulting himself over the trees and I eventually did the same. I leaped over and then landed in a hole. I twisted my ankle, landing on the outer side of my foot. You know that feeling..that sharp stab of pain from the ankle that goes directly to the head and all you can see is blackness..yeah, that one. I must have let out a shriek because before I knew it my eyes were open and Topaz was barreling toward me as fast as he could. I was standing, on one foot, when his paws were up on my thighs and I was down upon my back..with Topaz on top of me licking my face for all he was worth. I just laid there and laughed! It was hilarious. I peeled Topaz from me, picked myself up and walked off the pain for about 25 feet. The pain went away and I finished running, never thinking about it again during the day.

My foot never hurt again until about 5 PM. All of a sudden my foot became hot, swollen and painful. Painful just sitting there, with no weight upon it. I couldn't believe it and it took me a while to realize it hurt from the earlier fall upon the trail. I tried to stand up and could not put any weight on the foot at all. I had to drive home, stopping to fill up with gas. Oh my gosh, I could not put any weight on it at all while pumping gas. It hurt just to drive. Crazy.

I arrived home and had to drag the foot behind me into the house. I searched on my iPhone and much to my horror thought it may be a stress fracture of the fifth metatursal. Holy crap. The more I read about it the more I thought this could be the case.

Now, I have a very high tolerance for pain and I don't jump to injury conclusions. Actually I would probably deny it before admitting to an injury but this had me worried. I read that I should RICE, so did so, and hobbled off to bed, setting my alarm for the race but really thinking that I would not be running since I could not put an ounce of weight upon my foot.

The alarm went off in the morning and I moved my ankle around while still under the covers. Hmmm..no pain. I rubbed the fifth metatursal upon the mattress..hmmm..no pain. I rolled out of bed and gingerly placed my foot upon the floor, placing weight on it. NO PAIN. WHF? How can that be? I walked into my bathroom..no pain. Wow. I'm going to run Twin Cities Marathon after all. I was talking aloud to myself "well, it doesn't hurt, so I should try it. If it hurts during the race, I'll stop..it's only a training run anyway..no pressure. Yeah but you read that stress fracture pain comes and goes. Maybe it is in go mode now but will be back. Yeah but what do I do..sit here and not run the marathon because the pain might come back. No. I'll run and see what happens.

So I did. Nothing happened!

I ran the full 26.2 miles and felt absolutely no pain in my foot whatsoever. I thought I'd feel pain in the evening, as I did on Saturday but no..no pain at all. How odd is that?

As planned I ran the marathon as a long supported training run. With a strenuous week of high mileage and a hill day prior I just wanted to get in the mileage. It was great being able to run without a pack or hand held.

I forgot to send in my Boston Qualifier time result so that I could start in Wave 1. Small details. I lined up in Wave 2. Man, the crowds. I forget each year how crowed the marathons are. After running trail all year long it is certainly an eye opener!

It was a cool morning, about 45F with a high of 50F forecast. A skirt and long sleeved shirt was fine. My hands were cold the whole race, however. They never did warm up. Maybe because I was holding a few gels.

The course is so beautiful. Lot of hills, lakes, river, parkways and many many spectators. I am just amazed at all of the spectators that come out each year!

At mile 2 I found I was running with the 345 pace team, I knew I wasn't rested enough to run a 345 so after a while I slowed down. It was difficult, mentally, as I though about last year hanging with them and running a PR and BQ. I stayed with my plan.

The parkway around Isles, Calhoun and near Harriet were so crowded with runners and spectators that it was difficult to get through. The views were wonderful, I took it all in and just enjoyed myself. I was so thankful to be running the race after really thinking that I wouldn't be able to with my mysterious foot pain.

At around mile 13 I looked at the clock and saw I was at 201. That was just right, it was a pace I knew I could keep up for the remainder of the race; a nice long, supported run.

At mile 20 the 415 pace crew came upon me. I ran just in back of them the remainder of the race, finishing in 414. What a great day, I am so thankful that I was able to run it pain free! Thankfully the Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness from the hill workout didn't hit me until this morning or I would have really struggled during the race. Today I have black compression socks on under my dress and high boots. They feel SO much better!

I was able to see John T two times upon the course, the first time he was eating his breakfast! What were you eating, there, John? I saw Bonnie and Maynard on the Franklin Avenue Bridge and Debbie at the finish line.

I've posted race reports for TCM here 5 different times, I really don't have too much to add! This year the Twins were playing at 110 so it was a mad dash from the finish to the bus so that I could it back to the Dome. I quickly changed out of my wet shirt into my finishers shirt on the bus and was at the Dome by 1220. Plenty of time!

Twins win! Amazing. Another game on Tuesday..let there be more!

Congratulations to all that ran the Twin Cities Marathon yesterday, way to go! My spell check isn't working again. I apologize.