the end is near...

part of team roseville....taken with my old camera that didn't focus too swift..

just got back today from duluth.

had our last realllly long run yesterday.

which thankfully I was able to part take in. I spent friday morning in an MRI machine for a painful 45 minutes. yes, I am a bit claustrophobic, but it was dry, stuffy and after 45 min my back was really sore from just lying there and my arms fell asleep in the funeral hands-crossed-over-one's-heart position. not good.

I saw a sports doctor on Thursday. My left hip has become problematic for the past 5-6 weeks and I've been staving off going to the doctor. But as we have finished long run after long run and I've had consistent pain, I was advised by my coach and my body to just get it checked out.

worst case scenario? stress fracture in my hip/pelvis. if that *had* been the case, and I kept running, I could have really broken something and been on crutches, yada yada for well over a few months. And it would have meant no running immediately for as long as it took to heal. Which means no marathon.

Think of working on a 250 page thesis for a degree and then being told when you turn it in that 'DOH. sorry. that's the wrong requirement. No degree for you'.

Same thing. Not cool. But life goes on and I get that.

Got word on the way up to Duluth on Friday that my MRI scan was clean, no fracture, but swollen and pulled glute and hip muscles were evident. One of the elite runners I met this weekend had a special name for this, which I totally agree with. She said "we call that Hip-a-tight-ass" :) yes. that's what I have.

Doc also advises some PT with folks who specialize in runners, so I'm going to check into that in the next week.

So onward I go in this 16 week dedication to running 26.2 miles.

Saturday the plan was to run 22 miles (all but the last 4) on the actual marathon course.

it went pretty well considering it's over 4 hours of running and one is never quite sure how the body will react to such endeavors, and most runners will tell to follow a few golden and important rules.

*never ever try anything new on race day (this is NOT the day to experiment with what kinds of foods do or don't work in your stomach for 4+ hours. and always wear clothing you've worn on long runs before. otherwise you risk chafing. which is runner code for rubbed raw and bleeding. not pretty.)

*always stick with your plan. what you'll eat, at what mile, when you predict to finish, etc.

*don't go out too fast. HUGELY easier said than done. it's a palpable energy on race morning (shameless plug here. watch spirit of the marathon. it's an amazing documentary on marathoning and even if you could care less about running I think this would give you insight *and* you'd find it enjoyable to learn about why folks like me become 'statistics' in the lore of the 26.2. Check your local library. Most places own it. end of infomercial). keep your pace and finish strong.

Saturday was gorgeous. Very sunny, cool (in the upper 50s) and we saw deer, eagles, sailboats, ore boats, the Mother Lake Superior after mile 7 (the first 7 miles are pretty wooded) and my first flying squirrel (yes really! he floated in front of me and landed in a tree! it was very cool!)

My teammates Cindy, Ruth, Kristen and I staved it out for 22 long miles. We all showed some signs of our bodies saying 'what are you doing to us?' in terms of slightly upset stomachs, and my hip acted up at mile 8 and thankfully the water stop person had advil on her. after that I was okay again. (noted for race day. bring advil.)

Then last night most of the Lifetime Runners went out to whoop it up on the dance floor at a local bar. I just wasn't in the mood for that, plus I knew we'd be up early to get back today so I could work at noon, so Cindy and I took a bottle of wine, some blankets and things to read down to the lake. And we just sat and talked and watched the water and birds. Bliss.

cindy & the big water.

18 days left.

and after that?

run the big race. with ALL of our teammates present for cheering and running their races (some are doing the full, some are doing the half, some are just supporting the rest. love all of my teammates and it felt a little sad that we were missing half the 'family' of runners up there this weekend...)

and then, on june 23rd, it's time for a new goal.

like learning to swim and finding friends who can teach me paddling.

and sit my rear down for a while...if i can stand it...

the park lives up to its name...

so i was hoping to share photos of our first camping trip in over 7 years, and happy tales of where we traveled, what we saw, etc.

but i have a sad hunch that our camera drowned yesterday so no more photos for a while.

here's how the days went.

after sunday's half marathon in stillwater, i came home, got showered, ate and we hit the road about 1pm to head to center city, mn about 60 minutes from home.

we went to wild river state park, which is about 6000 acres of beauty and did i mention, close to home? love that!

we made two brief stops, and then continued on to the park.

got camp set up (not til 4 since the prior nights campers were still there and had til 4 to leave) and took a hike along the river for a good hour or so. the st croix river runs right along the park. sunday was phenomenal in the weather dept. no winds, sunny skies, about 78. lovely!

hiked back to camp around 7 and got going on dinner...and campfire! smores. just good kick back relaxing time with some vino...

monday woke up to owls calling to each other. not sure what kind, but definitely owls. at 4:30. still cool. went back to sleep for a few hours...

then woke up again to party sunny skies, but some on and off winds. didn't think much of that at the time...

made breakfast, and got clothes out for the day.

decided it would be a great day for a river ride in a canoe at a landing in the park where they rent canoes.

we wore our keen water sandals, wicking tops and shorts. packed a small backpack with the camera, a few snacks, 3 bottles of water, a camp towel and sunscreen.

now here is where of course i'll admit we are novice paddlers. and those who know me well know i am not a swimmer, so of course i always wear my PFD. as does Mark (who can swim, but not sure how well; i've never seen him swim).

get to the place, and the guy tells us for $40 he drives us 10 miles up river, and we float or paddle back down to the landing.

sounds good.

then he says 'yeah the winds yesterday were out of the north, and people were flying down the river...usually takes 3-5 hours, but today the winds are directly out of the south and they're strong.'.

okay HERE is where you *should* tell novice paddlers, 'you know, if you're not experienced, today might not be the best day to try this'.

but no. not such a warning. more like 'okay, that's $40'.

so we and 2 other younger couples who happened to be leaving at the same time as us jumped in the van and headed to the sunrise landing spot.

well within about 30 minutes of being in the canoe, mark and i both realized this was going to be a long hard fight to get downriver. we were battling at least 25-30 mph winds. directly against us. whitecaps. rolling waves. you name it.

i wasn't freaked out though. we just hugged the shoreline (as was recommended by the guy) and made our way down. saw some beautiful bald eagles, and other than a strong arm workout we were fine.

until about 2 hours into it. the gusts were SO strong, that if we didn't get the steering down quite right, we'd end up having to circle around to get control of the canoe and get ourselves pointed in the right direction again.

the river can get to 20ft in some areas, and it's quite wide (or it seemed to be to me) but most of the time we'd get blown and would have to regroup, we'd end up in the middle of the river while doing this. inexperience? probably. i also give the wind a lot of credit at winning.

well, all i remember is trying to circle back around and a huge gust coming and dumping the entire canoe over all the way.

i grabbed for canoe first and then the backpack. looked back at mark, who's head was back above water (we both totally went under) and the first thing he said was 'shore!' so we went with the current over to the muddy shoreline, which thankfully didn't take too long...

the 2nd thing he said was 'i can't believe you still have your hat on!' i was wearing my cowboy hat that does have a string on it, so it stayed on the whole time. i looked in the now flooded upright canoe and saw mark's glasses case (he was not having a contacts day) and grabbed for that and the camera (also sadly totally underwater).

we regrouped at the shoreline and said 'now what?'

well NO one was around. not the other couples. no cabins. nothing.

we had no choice but to dump the canoe (at this point we could touch bottom thank goodness) though it was was the deepest red clay mud i've ever been stuck in. i literally couldn't pull my feet out. (boy did we have on the right footwear though...those keens rocked in this situation).

we got all the water out of the canoe. saw that miraculously we still had both paddles. how i don't know. if we hadn't we really would have been screwed as we never would have made it downriver with none or just one. we'd have had to walk somehow to find help or be rescued somehow :( we didn't have a phone with us, but if we had it only would have ended up being soaked.

i was able to put myself back in the bow, mark used a low tree jutting out into the river to take his place in the stern, and off we went again.

i thought i was fine. until we hit a gust of wind and all i kept flashing back to was going underwater again. not good.

we beached at a sandbar and by this time i was freezing and shaking so bad i couldn't be still. i had no dry clothes (lesson #5 it seems; always bring a wet pack of dry clothes!) and i was beyond freaked at wanting to be on that water again.

we waited about 25 min or so and one of the couples came by and asked if we were okay.

to amy & jay? thank goodness you came by and offered to be our wingmen back to the landing.

we stuck right close by them the rest of the way, and they were my saving grace about wanting to get back in the canoe.

and they too said they almost lost it more than once in tipping over.

but every time we hit a wind, i had to breathe through it and pray (yes really) that we'd make it through without tipping again. we had a solid hour and a half or so after the capsize til we landed for good.

we finally got back to the landing under beautiful blue skies around 4:30.

i have never been so happy to see land in my life.

spent the rest of the day just rejoicing we didn't end up in worse shape than losing some personal belongings, lit the campfire early to dry out, and took a long hot well derserved shower.

ended with more wine, some guitar singing time (in a mostly desolate campground; most folks has left on monday so it seemed we had the whole place to ourselves...pretty awesome) and just being together...

but after that adventure, will i canoe again?


will i canoe alone with just mark (mainly) on a super windy down a big river?

hell no.

yes i need to learn to swim. and yes, i need to bone up on being safe and learning better canoe techniques. but i really do wish the dude running the canoe place (who by the way wasn't even there when we finished. the whole place was just locked up. we could have stolen the canoe for $40 or if we *had* wound up in worse shape than just capsizing who would have even known we were missing?) had warned against novices going out. common sense on *their* part.

so our first crisis in 10 years together. shook us up and we made it. still very scary. and i feel very, belittled i guess. or ashamed that i put myself in a position that depending on where in the river we had gone in could have been a different outcome in those conditions...

i do love camping. i do love the woods. but this weekend wound up being more adventure than we ever saw coming.

now to figure out how to save up for a camera. :( or pray by some miracle this one makes it...

oh yes, and in 23 days? i run a marathon. i have a 6 miler tonight to regroup my thoughts on...i think that will help. today the weather is gray, gloomy and still. somehow i feel just like that.

i just had...

the best half marathon ever!

ran it with my phenom friends....

here's what it looked like...

cindy, ally and i ran the first 12 miles together.

ally then ran on to finish her maiden voyage marathon of 2009...

ABSOLUTELY PERFECT day in Stillwater, MN today.

hot air balloons over the city as we drove in on the shuttle buses...

beautiful sunrise.

NOT HOT. just right.


it must be the spider shoes (my new red/white gel nimbii?) that helped me kick it in this race :)

now off to camp!!! woods, hiking, fires, a little wine and mark is going to attempt to teach me a little 12 string acoustic....nice!


5:00 left work with a headache.

took advil.

came home. waited for dh to get here so he could pace me on his bike.

we never do this, but since he doesn't run, i thought it would be a good compromise to have someone with me while i ran alone tonight and it would help keep me motivated in 97 degree heat. (and it worked pretty well! we even stopped by a great friend's house who lives on the route we took :) thanks for the fresh fill up on cold water, Jeremi!!

yes, to those outside the Cities. it was NINETY SEVEN today.

upper 80s to 90s tomorrow as well.

you know what doesn't work?

running in 90+ weather.

but i had to get something in today. i haven't run since my 20 miles on Saturday (when it was freaking THIRTY EIGHT degrees at 8am!! this is a wacky weather state).

so more advil when i got home and lots of water.

2 hours later? i still have a headache :(

might be time for advil PM to get some sleep.

here's to a painfree wednesday. i hope.

a girl loves new shoes.

pair #2 of gel nimbus 10's are on the way. (the 11s are out brand new, but my color and size apparently are no where to be i'll stick with the pair i know already loves my feet..)

i found a pair from some little running store in Pennsylvania (my local store couldn't get them any longer :( sad.)

my pair were new in January prior to my Maui trip.

they? have worn out. I meant to keep super strict track of miles put on, but didn't. Looking through my workout log though, they're at about 350 miles in 6 months. so, like tires on the car, it's time for a new set :)

also? the body tends to tell the runner when the shoes are kaput. my left hip has been nagging me lately, and yes, i'm running and running and adding miles, but the shoes are super tell tale sign when some aches start that a new pair of Nimbus are needed!

hopefully they arrive before our retreat in 2 weeks. we'll run from the actual start line for Grandma's Marathon to the hotel we're staying at that weekend. 22 miles down the road. the *last* big long run before race day.

somehow, next weekend is Memorial Day weekend. My how time flies! I'm running an inaugural half marathon in Stillwater, then jumping in the car and heading to camp for 2 nights :) can't wait! running, crackling campfire, peace of the woods, hiking, time with mark, coffee from the fire in the morning? sweet goodness! more pictures then...

oh, and the 20 miler? did feel quiet compare to normal LSDs (long slow distance runs)...but we made it, we had a great day (a bit cool and super windy, but hot and humid is always worse!) and we got to see horses on the trail and bald eagles soaring and calling to each other above us. spot on.

so here's to another week done...

there's a new blogger in da house...

and it goes something like this...

i've told mark for a while now i think he'd be a great blogger about local joints we love or hate.

we're not snooty food folks.

honestly we aren't.

i realize some people don't believe me on this.

but we like quality food, (no, that doesn't mean expensive), often organic, local, all that good stuff....

we avoid chains if at all possible, as they use so much schmutz in their kitchens (frozen foods, microwaves, blech!)

the Cities is so awesomely blessed to have amazing nooks all over the place with both american and international cuisine, that i felt that if mark blogged about our experiences and finds online, it wouldn't reach a huge audience or anything, but it would be at least one more voice out there advocating for the little guys...

the only downside?

that if folks really do read it, it might mean a longer wait to get into our favorite places :)

feeling helpless...and going on...

38 days til grandma's.

training continues.

work life continues. (though it's still insanely quiet business wise compared to what we were used to. yes, we've only been open 2 weeks now, so i do think it'll pick up...still weird...)

stress about balancing these wacky schedules (2 jobs, training & a marriage) is still high.

i am ready for the race to be done, so life can return to whatever 'normal' is.

training is good. but it IS time sucking. no doubt. but no one can expect to run for 5 hours straight and NOT put time into getting ready for that.

i eat like a horse. i burn a lot of calories. and i try to buy clothes that don't fall off me. (and i am by no means bragging. it is seriously hard to find small/tall clothes. i have become a huge oxymoron. try not to run with that one too much please ;)

looking ahead...

mark and i have at least 2 if not 3 camping trips planned for the summer.

REI had a sale the past 2 weeks and we stocked up on some new gear (sleeping pads, sleeping bags, camp cookware..) and borrowed other supplies from generous friends...I am ready for the campfires, the coffee hot in the morning, steaming in the cup with the sounds of birds singing and nothing else (well maybe the sounds of other campers waking up since we'll be in parks) but that's about all...

that's good news of late.

the bad news is i know of yet another friend who's marriage is totally crumbling, through absolutely NO fault of her own. and she has 3 young children who are also suffering...

i have this insatiable need to try and help those that are close to me. those who i trust, those i call a good friend. and when they are hurting, and have a life literally combusting apart at the seams, i feel so helpless. but i do what i can to help, and just try to be there. what more can i do?

so that's thrown me and my runner girls. it's one of our own who's totally hurting.

and who ran her first marathon, a bit spur of the moment in fargo, nd last weekend (where 10 of us ran the half marathon on a chilly cloudy october-feeling saturday morning...) and this woman? this mom of 3? totally ROCKED.IT. she finished in 4:19, and for those who are totally not runners, that is a very STRONG, pretty fast first marathon. amazing. but she had a lot of energy and emotions to run through, and she did nothing less than what we'd think she can do.

but here? things are pretty well overall. i am wondering just what goal i should have after this 16 weeks of working towards running 26 miles is over.

i have a few ideas.

but for now? like i have to do so often...i take it a day at a time, and i realize that some things are just not in my control. and i have to just keep going and understand/accept that. and try not to think so much...

if anyone had told me 5 years ago that i'd be running 100+ miles per month and training for a marathon, of course i'd say they were freaking out of their gourd.

and so, here i am. doing things i never even had ever considered...

so no fancy pictures.

no funny quips.

just a ruminating kind of post...
peace, ~jd

be careful what you wish for...

okay i hope i don't get busted for taking that graphic.

but it really feels like how work is lately.

so first....the good news?

lots of patrons love the space.

the board president stopped in today and loved the space.

but the bad news?

the staff can't rattle off in milliseconds where things are any more.

i mean i've been able to say for 7 years that readers were in aisle 13.

now they're in aisle F? I think??

and a friendly coworker said today that they felt kinda lost while working at the kids desk.

answers to patrons 'where are these?' take a little bit longer to fire off from the brain to the tongue these days...

and after being closed a month, and only checking in items that long, there is still a *lot* on the shelves to go out, and there is very little coming back in. so far.

so for all of that time that we were barely able to breathe and were crazy busy for *years*?

this *temporary* quiet lull is just plain weird. and we're just biding our time til 'normal' returns..

have a great rest of the week.

tomorrow? i have to face a very very long day....before leaving early Friday morning! yeehaw to leaving town :)

sometimes you feel like a nut...

sometimes you don't.

i wish i was talking choclate.

i'm talkin' about somehow i managed to run 18 miles on saturday. (some would call that crazy nutty)


i s-l-o-g-g-e-d my way through 7.3. (no nuts, no nothin' involved...)

dead legs. felt like i was running through jello or underwater.

my girls who have done marathons said 'jd. your body just did 18 two days ago. this is normal. you broke down a lot of something-or-other (micro muscles? energy? i forget what they said. that's how much i want to block this out) so give yourself a break.'

well. somehow i gotta keep chuggin' along and take it workout by workout. but MAN tonight was hard.

tomorrow? no running. lots of librarianing. and storytime is back on my new turf. bring on my toddlers :)



i ran.

18 miles.

in 3 hours, 40 minutes.

for perspective.

if you drive from my house to just about grand marais, minnesota on the north shore without stopping?

or if you drive from my house to 30 minutes past the wisconsin dells.

it takes the same amount of time.

or you could watch three john hughes' movies in that time.

here's a handy 'jd's show and tell' for where myself and 5 other friends/runners went. if you press 'hybrid' it shows the lakes, and player cracked me up to see the animation...

not quite over the river, but through many many woods and lake areas. actually very scenic for just being around home...

it was hard work. it was long. but with phenomenal friends and others doing the same thing i was (3 of us are marathon training virgins, so this was our inaugural 18 miler), it made each mile much more bearable.

at one point cindy turned to me and said 'i really want to stop. but what am i going to do? i'm in the middle of shoreview!' :) so true. you just have to keep going. i know that race day on june 20th will feel just like that. i know there will be times i want to stop. but i'll just keep going..

after i got home we set up the tent. (part of some campin' stuff a friend lent us for our first outing in years at the end of the month..)

then i promptly got out my new sleeping bag, and fell asleep. i earned a nap.

today is ending much better than yesterday. yesterday consisted of a trying waitress job and tears shed on the way home. i am so very tired of working 2 jobs. and i'm having regrets about leaving the wrong place...i'll just go with it was an off night.

have a great rest of your weekend! mark just asked if i wanted to go to REI to get some more stuff since they're having a sale-palooza. outstanding!

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