July 2015 Recap

Friday, July 31, 2015

Runs: 31
Walks: 13
Miles: 65
Races: 1 (Torchlight 5K - 37:13)
Outdoors: 44
Indoors: 0
Longest: 4.4 miles
Average Pace: 13:02

July, oh July. It was hot and humid (no surprise) and I challenged myself to a streaking goal. As a result I went for a lot of runs but they were slow and short. I set a goal to run at least a mile every day in July. Some people have been this for 40+ years. I did it a month and decided it wasn’t good for me. My legs were always tired and my times were terrible. Towards the end of the month, after the Torchlight 5K, I started having calf pain in my left leg. So after my 2 races tomorrow (Aug. 1st), I’m taking some time off. But not too much as I have a race on Saturday, August 8th.

When I look at the overall pace for the month, I get a little upset that I have slowed down so much. But looking back at July 2014, I’m only 7 seconds slower and I ran almost twice as many miles! So I guess I shouldn’t be too upset. July is also my highest total miles for a month but last year I didn’t track walking so it is really an unfair comparison.

Only one race this month, well two if you count Insane Inflatables but I don’t count that.  Torchlight was a disappointment. I ran it a 59 seconds slower than last year. It was over 10 degrees warmer though so that counts for something right?  I’m just really slowing down and it is making me mad. I’m not sure if is the weather or the weight gain. Either way, I’m pissed off.


I’m not going to streak again in the near future; maybe in December and January when I’m less likely to get out for runs. I will probably go for at least a mile walk every day I’m not running so I get the miles in.  I have a goal of 600 miles for 2015. I have 257 miles left to go in 153 days. I need to get my butt moving!

Trophies!

Oh to be Rich...

So last night we went to Twins game and sat in the Dug Out box. It was an amazing view. you could see the sweat pouring off the players' faces. It was amazing. Just for fun I looked to see how much season tickets in this section cost (no I'm not moving here!). They were almost $6,000 for one seat for the entire season. Yikes!  That means each ticket costs over $70. Way to rich for my blood...by comparsion we spend $600 for one seat for 20 games. I really like my section but I'm spoiled now!

Here are some pictures...

 









Eric’s Birthday Week

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Since my work is always busy this time of year, I always feel guilty that we never go anywhere for Eric’s. We always try to escape for my birthday but never for his. So to make up for it, I have declared this the “Week of Eric.” We have been doing something fun every night.

Monday night we went to SandVenture Aquatic Park (the sand bottom pool in Shakopee) for an evening of swimming, water slides and diving. After that we went to Arby’s for dinner and an Orange Dreamsicle Shake.

Tuesday we went to Lion’s Tap for dinner and played around of mini golf at Centennial Lakes, Eric’s favorite mini golf course. The weather was strange, it felt like a storm was coming in but it never really stormed. The temperature and humidity dropped so it was a pleasant evening. We didn’t play well and finished within a few strokes of each other…Eric won. I think?

Yesterday (for his actual birthday) we started out with dinner at Pizza Ranch with Greg Stayer. Eric got a very nice Dalek hooded sweatshirt from the Stayers. After pizza we went bowling. I killed it the first game, bowling a 120. But Eric won the last 2 games to take the series. I was terrible the last game. I didn’t even break 100…or even 90 for that matter. The night was still young and it was very beautiful outside so we headed to Bloomington. We played the mini golf course at Dred Scott Park. It was a busy evening there. We ended up in a tie. We finished the night with a brisk walk/run to complete day 29 of my “Every Day in July Challenge.”

One of Eric birthday gifts from me is a ticket to tonight’s Twins/Mariners Game. We are sitting right behind the Twins dugout. It will be another exciting evening for Eric. Unfortunately tomorrow won’t be as exciting for Eric as I have a concert.  Oh well, I think he is having a good birthday week.


Having fun with YouTube

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

So I was in a sort of creative mood last night (along with being sad) and I created some slideshows for YouTube. Here is London Day 1. I plan on making one for each day of the trip. I think it is cool to see pictures this way.



Part of the reason I was sad was I had to turn old Bisek Polka Band cassette tapes into CD for somebody. I had to listen to them and it made me sad listening to my dad play and talk. He always loved Edelweiss so I made this:

A Festive Weekend

Sunday, July 26, 2015

It really is a busy summer. I guess being trapped in the house for 9 months of the year because of the cold I guess we cram everything in during the summer.

Running Around
Anyways, yesterday morning I went for a 3.76 mile run in the heat and humidity. Why such an odd number? Well I wanted to get to 55 miles for the month. I like round numbers so I ran to get a round number. I should have gone for a much longer run but that was all I could muster. The first 2 miles I did straight running and I was slow. The last 1.76 miles I did the run-walk method (Galloway) and I was actually faster. There may be something to this method. I would like to do straight running but for longer races I might have to switch to this method.

After the run and shower we met my Mom and brother in Bloomington to see my brother’s friend’s daughter play in the National Fast Pitch Softball Tourney. We got there just in time to see last inning and the extra inning. Her team won. It was exciting! After that we come home and relax for a bit before heading to Costco for shopping and lunch at Pei Wei. Mike went back to Bloomington for the next game, Mom, Eric and I stayed home and relax some more. DJ and Abbie came over and eventually they went to the Twins/Yankees game. Mom and I went to Julifest.

Julifest
Mom and I went solo this year because of the baseball game. Greg and Celeste joined us for the Polka Mass on the church lawn. It was a hot day and evening. The Polka Mass was great as usual. We walked down to the tents for food , bingo, music and games. I had a hamburger and I was disappointed that it was way under cooked. And there was a piece of wire brush in the burger. I felt this poking pain in my cheek and I was choking on something I eventually got it out and thank GOD I didn’t swallow it. My mouth hurt the rest of the night and of course I was terrified that I swallowed one and it is tearing me up inside. I’m so irrational sometimes! Mom enjoyed her German potato salad. We played Bingo for an hour. Mom won $17.50 and a free hot dog. That was nice that she won. I, of course, didn’t win. We played some of the other adult games in the tent and listened to the music. Before we left we had a piece of pie. We got home around 9pm, just in time for Mollie B’s Polka Party. Haha!  The rest of the family got home just before 10pm and ordered Pizza Hut.

Ribfest
Mike and Mom went to another softball game this morning. They won by a lot. Abbie and DJ left this morning after breakfast; Abbie had to work. Around 10:30 we went to the Mystic Lake Casino for some gambling. Of course I didn’t win. We walked over the Ribfest (it was at the casino). Mike had ribs from two different places. Eric and I split a pulled pork sandwich from Texas Outlaw. Eric didn’t like it. I didn’t really like it either but I ate it. Eric liked the ribs from the Ausom Aussie place.  We had some cheese curds (gross!) and some mac n’ cheese (also gross!). Needless to say the places we tried didn’t win our hearts. Eric said the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream was good. Ha! Before we left we stopped in the tent and played some free Black Jack. After a few hands we each got $5 chips. Eric got two $5 chips because he is better than us. We went over the Little Six Casino on our way home to use the chips. We ended up with $35 in 3 hands! Not bad for something we got for free. Shortly after that Mom and Mike went home.

Julifest Again, Relaxing and Visitors
Eric and I went to Julifest this afternoon to register Abbie for the car they are giving away. We also had to use the free hot dog coupon. It wasn’t really a hot dog. It was more like an Italian. I liked it, Eric did not. We listened to the polka music for a bit and played some more adult games. After about an hour we came back home…it was just too hot. After unintentional nap, Byron and Paula visited to return our chairs we left at their house a few weeks ago. They had their dog Rio along. Swirl didn’t really like Rio. They stared at each other for a while. But they really didn’t have any interaction.


I finished the weekend off with another hot run. So far I have ran at least a mile every day in July! I can’t wait for August 2nd so I can get a day off. :)

Pictures from the Twins Games

Abbie <3 Torii

Torchlight Run 5K

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A disappointing race.

The Start
Like last year, we all gathered around the Basilica, there were noticeable less people running this year. It was also 10 degrees warmer than last year too. They started us in waves. We thought about getting into the 10-10:59 wave but based on my running pace as of late I figured that was a bad idea. So we stuck to the 11 minute wave. The start was very fast, I think too fast for me. My first mile was 11:18 which is really fast for me considering it was hot and I’m not running that fast currently. I definitely paid for it later. This year I didn’t have to stop for the Light Rail Train or traffic so that was a bonus. They had water and some other bitter stuff at the first mile. Since it was so hot I grab what I thought was water…turns out it was something else. I don’t know what but it was bitter and nasty. I finally got some water. First mile was done in 11:19. Yay!

The Middle
The second mile was tough. I didn’t walk but I slowed way down. That first mile was too fast for me and I knew it. I was back to my slow pace again. It really was a struggle to get through that mile. I thought about walking but I resisted. I also was dealing with a lot of sweat into my eyes. I seriously need to figure out how to stop this. I rub my eyes and that isn’t a good thing when you wear contacts. I think I need to get some buffs. I got a free buff for the Valleyfair 10K and I used it recently as a head band but when the sweat in my eyes got so bad I took it off and used it as a rag. I need to get more of those I think! Just after mile 2 was another water stop. This time I made sure I got water! Second mile was done in 12:09.

The Finish
During the water stop I poured some of the water over my head. I was overheating big time, especially my face. I always overheat in my face. The rest of me is fine but my head feels like it is about to explode. Anyways that cooled me off but it made the sweat flow more freely into my eyes and this is where I had the contact problem. Thankfully I didn’t lose it but it was close. My other problem with the last mile is the Stone Arch Bridge. I don’t know what this stupid bridge has against me. It doesn’t matter if it is the start of the race or end of the race, I just can’t run fast over it. I love walking the bridge but for some reason I can’t run it. I walked about just before mile 3 and tried to sprint to the finish. Third mile time was 12:13 but my .14 mile time was on a 10:56 pace…my current sprinting pace…how pathetic!  Total time was 37:13, an 11:51 pace, and a minute slower than last year. :(

The Walk
After the race we got some water and pretzels. They were also handing out popsicles and yogurt, neither of which I like. No bananas. I’m not sure what this race has against bananas! We got our stuff and started walking back to the car. This year they had shuttles to the start area but Eric wanted to walk. So we slowly made our way across the Mississippi to Hennepin Ave. and eventually our car. From the finish to our car was about 1.5 mile walk. When we got to Hennepin Ave. we watch part of the Torchlight Parade. By 9:30 we were ready to head for home. We made a quick stop at Mc Donald’s for a burger…we were both starving by this point and finally got home around 10:15. It was a long evening.

Splits and Maps





Hopkins Raspberry Festival Concert

Monday, July 20, 2015


Hopkins Raspberry Festival
July 18, 2015 
Alamo
Avengers
Tritsch-Tratsch Polka
Swing’ the Thing
Norwegian Folk Song Medley
Clouds That Sail Into Heaven
John Williams: Evening @ Pops
Water is Wide
Instant Concert

A Concert, a Baptism and Valleyfair

Sunday, July 19, 2015

We had another busy weekend with family and friends. Just a typical summer weekend.

Festival of Bands
Yesterday morning, after a steamy 4 mile run, I had a concert at the Hopkins Raspberry Festival. This is an annual tradition. I missed it last year because of my sister's wedding. We played really well. I was very happy. I was also glad that my mom and her friend Anna were able to come. The band shell and seating area was in the shade so it wasn’t too hot (yet).  I’ll post a video of the concert later. We didn’t have time to find the elusive raspberries as we had to hurry home to change for the baptism.

Baptism
We met DJ, Beth, Abbie and Danielle at our house and made our way to Chanhassen for the baptism of Carmen Helen Stayer. We were asked to be Godparents (if you have lost count that is a “six-pack” for us (Eric has one additional)). It was at St. Hubert’s. The last time I was in the church was for my band friend’s funeral in February. Thankfully this time it was a happy occasion! The baptism was not during Mass so it was short and sweet. Nothing too exciting happened besides Evelyn playing in the Holy Water. Ha! We had some pictures afterwards and then went to their house for a party.

They rented a gigantic inflatable obstacle course for their back yard. Oh no inflatables and I don’t get along. I ran through the course three times. The last time was during a race and of course I hurt myself…I’m done with inflatables!

For food they had Famous Dave’s catered in. We made the mistake of having KFC for lunch so I was chickened out but that ok I still had some chicken and beans and the awesome corn muffin (or two). Mike also came to the party. We had some more fun in the inflatable and gifts were open and it was time to leave for 7pm church. 

Praying for Success at the Casino
We rushed home to change and headed right out the door to St. Mary’s the Purification for 7pm Mass. I really like this church and we didn’t have time to go today so 7pm it was. All of us, except for Beth (she had to go home) went to church to pray for success at the casino. We had Father Eric…normally he is long winded but he was short and to the point and even had some humor. So that was nice for a change. The best part of this church is it is so small that you are almost always out in 45 minutes. 44 minutes to be exact this time. :)

We took the back roads over to the casino…this is why I love where I live. We went from a country church that reminds me of the one in North Creek (near my family farm) and we took the country roads past farms to the casino. I have the best of both worlds; the big city just over the river and the small family farms just so south of town. Anyways, our praying didn’t help…I don’t think any of us won, except for maybe Mike.

Valleyfair

Today we went to Valleyfair with Mike, Danielle, DJ and Abbie. It was Mike’s first trip to Valleyfair since his weight loss and surgery.  We were going to test out that new hip and body. He successfully went on 4 rollercoasters and he went twice on Excalibur. We did Thunder Canyon and Monster and the Balloons. We went on quite a few rides in the 4 hours we were there. It was fun and I think Mike had fun too. His hip is still in place and he could walk out of the park so he did well! We met Anna and Mom at Culvers (they tried their luck at the casino again…and the casino wasn’t very nice to them). After a quick stop at our house, they all left. I was a bit tired so it was nice to have a few hours of quiet time. I actually took a nap. Eric had a soccer game at 6:30 so I was home alone for a couple hours. I caught up on some shows (instead of folding clothes) and eventually went for my run. So far I am 19 for 19 this month!  I only went a mile since this is my recovery day. Tomorrow I’ll try and do 3 again. We have the Torchlight 5K race on Wednesday.

Pictures
  




A Race, the Minions and Mini Golf

Monday, July 13, 2015

The title pretty much sums up the weekend. Friday after work we picked up DJ and drove down to Byron and Paula’s house in Sioux Falls for the weekend. We got in a little late Friday so we just watched part of the Despicable Me 2 movie.

Insane Inflatable Run
You would think after last year’s experience with this race I would have known better but being the sport I am, I said I’d do this race again. I think I will now retire from these stupid races. I’m not doing a separate race report for this one because I’m still a little upset and in pain. Last year I got my hand and wrist stepped on by a big guy. I seriously thought my wrist was broken. Well this year I one upped myself. On the hardest obstacle I bounced over a “bar” thinking there was going to be something on the other side (I couldn’t see and the bar was pretty high so I had no choice but to bounce. Well I was wrong. My head (specifically) my face/forehead met the gravel after a 5 foot fall. Yes, I said 5 foot. And I didn’t have my hands to break my fall as I was trying to staying on the damn inflatable bar. I crashed down into gravel. I curled up into a ball and screamed. It hurt so bad…I just laid there for what felt like an eternity. I finally composed myself and removed the larger pieces of gravel out of my shoulder and elbow. And picked myself up and finished the obstacle and told Eric (well actually screamed at him), “I’m never doing this $%&ing race again!” I was very dizzy the rest of the race and basically had to walk the rest of the way. I have nice bruise on my shoulder from the experience. Thankfully my face doesn’t look bad. I had a red mark but no bruising. It wasn’t a pleasant experience…I did not have fun. The other guy in the picture is “Fish.” A friend of Byron and Paula…and a State Representative in the 19th District…Byron likes to tell people that.



    


Minions Movie
After we got home and quick shower where I felt the stinging of all the places the gravel had embedded into my skin, I napped on the couch. Around 3pm we met Paula’s parents and sister, Lindsay, for the Minions Movie. I thought it was pretty good. I have seen the first Despicable Me movie and parts of the second one so I knew who they were but not that familiar. It was funny and the fact it was set in London made it that much more enjoyable for me.

Mini Golf
We went to the District for dinner…it was expensive and the food wasn’t great but it was ok. I should have chosen something different to eat…my bad. The service was a bit slow. Next we went to play a round of mini golf. It was so much fun…but I won…by a lot…so of course I had fun! Maybe the fall to the head has made me a mini golf pro? The only bad holes I had were the three after Eric said that I was going to run away with the game. Never compliment me in the middle of a game…it gets in my head and I imploded. But I managed to get my game together to win by 4 or 5 strokes ahead of the Eric who managed to finished 2nd after a horrible front 9 holes. It was a great night…after a horrible morning.

Sunday

We slept in a bit Sunday morning…and by slept in I mean 7:30. I really wish I could sleep more! Paula made us strawberry waffles and bacon and we just sat around until we had to leave at noon. It was such a hot and humid day that really there was nothing anybody wanted to do.  We wish could have stayed longer but Eric had a soccer game at 6:30 so we had to leave. We dropped off DJ and helped her get her AC in the window. Like I said it was a miserable day. We got home in time for Eric to relax a bit before his game. I went for a run…it was so hot and humid. I managed to get a mile in of actually running and walked the other 2 miles. So far I’m doing well on my everyday challenge (run at least 1 mile every day).  I’m 12 for 12. Well actually 13 for 13 because I ran on June 30th.

Fun in the Sun for the 4th of July

Monday, July 6, 2015

We had a great 3 day holiday weekend.

Buck Night at Canterbury
Thursday night we went to Canterbury for Buck Night. We got in for $1 and ate our $2 hot dog (they aren’t a buck this year!), $1 pop and $1 nachos. We bet and watched some races. We were too late to bet on the first race. Eric won the first 2 or 3 races we bet on. I didn’t win. :( In the 4th race there was a bit of history made before our eyes. Horse #7-Congegration was 79-1 odds. There were only 234 bets on the horse to win. It was a very long race the odds on favorite had a solid lead but out of nowhere came #7 and at the last minute beat #1! It was amazing. It was exciting. It was the largest payout in Canterbury Park/Down’s history. A $2 “win” bet won $161. Yep. Amazing!  If you picked the horse to just show it was $15 payout on a $2 bet. Thankfully my horse, Banjo Cat, came in 3rd (I’m not sure how that happened he was in the back the whole race). I won $5. Yay me! I ran home from Canterbury…it is just over a mile.

Valleyfair, a Band Concert and Fireworks
Friday was our “holiday” so we slept in a bit. I went for a 4 mile run. It was a nice morning…and not too humid. We did some shopping in the morning. DJ, Beth and Ethan came up and we went to Valleyfair for a few hours. We didn’t get on many rides as the lines were ridiculously long. We waited 45 minutes for the Thunder Canyon. It was a very busy place. After Valleyfair, we rushed home and I quickly changed for my annual band concert in Eden Prairie. Normally we play on the 4th of July but EP wanted to expand the festival to two days so we got bumped for somebody more famous…I’m not even sure how. So we played on the 3rd instead. That was ok, we still had a nice crowd but there were not many food vendors or really anything else going on. The concert went well, we played a little long and the director made an audible. You know like in football where the quarterback changes the play on the line of scrimmage. Well the director told the crowd we were playing a song that was not on our list. It was fine but it is the one song I was excited to not be playing but we played it anyways. Argh! After the concert we stopped for a late dinner at Arby’s and relaxed at home until it was time for fireworks. Canterbury always has their fireworks on July 3rd. They put on quite an amazing display. Last year we parked by the hotels in back of Canterbury but it was a nightmare to get out. This year we found a new place on a hill. It was a good spot and easy to get out of…we have our new spot.

Swimming and Camping
After a quick 1 mile run, I biked to the donut shop for breakfast and eventually we made our way to Danielle and Bradley’s new house in New Ulm. We also got to meet Oreo…the cat I named. :) They have a nice house with a big yard. I’m happy for them. Ashley was visiting and we all went to Flandrau State Park (only 1.5 miles from Danielle’s house) to swim. It was a nice day but the pool was surprising cold! We met DJ and Beth who snagged a secluded table by the river. We didn’t waste any time in jumping in the pool. I love their pool! We swam for 45 minutes (they take a 15 minute break every hour).  Eric decided we need more water toys so he left for Target. The Stayers got there and we had more fun in the pool with Evelyn. We didn’t plan well because we were starving but didn’t have much for food. I couldn’t do Cheddarwursts again. So off to Hy-Vee for hamburgers and potatoes…they were delicious. I’ve never done baked potatoes in the fire before but I definitely have to do that again! After DJ, Beth, Danielle, Bradley and Ashley went home we put up the tent and had a fire by Greg and Celeste’s site. It was a perfect night for camping (except for the screeching owl at 4am).

Waterpark at Valleyfair
I went for a short run on the trails by the river near our campsite. We picked up our site and went to Perkins for breakfast. We made a quick stop at Danielle’s to say goodbye and have some Special K bars. We got home by 1pm and decided it was a hot enough day for the waterpark at Valleyfair. It was surprisingly quiet on Sunday, nothing like Friday. We spent a couple hours on the tubes, slides and wave pool and came home to relax for the evening. It was a great long weekend.