Marathon Training – Into the Taper

This last weekend was the longest run of my marathon training. This was my “dress rehearsal,” in which I ran 22.5 miles, mostly at my intended marathon pace of 8-minute miles, with intermittent breaks at a slower pace. I have three weeks until the big day and I am officially in the “taper” portion of my training, which is a gradual lowering of my miles so that my body feels fresh by the time I enter the starting corral. I figured this would be a good time to check in about how my training has been going.

Overall things have been going pretty well, but I definitely had a couple of learning moments. Particularly, I have learned to pay attention to nutrition/hydration on my long runs and have really leaned into the benefits of a slow recovery run.

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Banishing Wallpaper for Good!

In March, when summer was fast approaching, I wanted to finish this year’s indoor projects before the sunshine beckoned me outside. After successfully removing the wallpaper from our downstairs bathroom in what I called a “mini makeover,” I thought it time to remove the last of the wallpaper from our home. Our main bathroom is upstairs and in pretty decent shape. It appears to have been previously remodeled in the early 2000’s featuring a nice vanity with granite countertop and acceptable – if boring – hardware, light fixture, and tile. All things I can live with for sure. It did, however, have floor to ceiling green wallpaper. As far as wallpaper goes, I thought it had a nice neutral pattern and texture, and while the color wasn’t anything I would have chosen, it was not offensive either. Overall, it was just ok. But the color was a little dark for a small room and the paper was beginning to buckle and peel at the seams. Removing the paper and painting a crisp neutral color would prove to be the refresh that this bathroom sorely needed.

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The National Parks Passport Program

This past fall, because all other vacation plans were crushed by the pandemic, Britt and I decided to take a trip to Badlands National Park. I love National Parks but have never planned a full trip around one. As part of our preparations, I recalled that visitors to parks could keep track of their travels with a passport. Visiting more National Parks has long been a goal, so I decided to look further into this.

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Black Hills and Badlands: A South Dakota Mini-Break

Black Hills and Badlands: A South Dakota Mini-Break

With COVID-19 came the cancellation of almost all of our planned adventures in 2020. California? Cancelled. Canada? Cancelled. Walt Disney World? Cancelled. That last one hurt the most. Partly because it was to be my first ever WDW experience, but also because it was planned almost a year in advance for February (right about now). The moment we grudgingly and mournfully pulled the plug on that trip it finally sunk in that we would be in this pandemic for the long haul.

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Securian Winter Run 2021 – Racing During Quarantine

2020 was a rough year for all sorts of in-person events and road racing was no different. After recovering from a surgery and doing last year’s Securian Winter Run 10k, I had a big year planned that was meant to culminate in running my first marathon in October. Alas, in March came the first delays and then the eventual cancellations. Race entries already purchased were converted to virtual races with small discounts for the next year.

2021 is looking more promising but it is a very different landscape. Many popular spring races have been rescheduled for fall. Others are still playing it safe and simply going virtual for another year. Out of the wreckage, some race directors have gotten creative and reimagined what races look like.

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Labor Day Camping: COVID-19 Edition

Labor Day Camping: COVID-19 Edition

I have now been camping three times and am officially a fan! I still maintain the fundamental need for toilets and running water, but as long as I have some version of that, I’m confident I will survive the excursion.

In keeping with what we hope will become an annual tradition, we embarked on another Labor Day weekend camping trip with our dear friends, Ruthann and Dan – and this time, River tagged along as well. This year, we explored Jay Cooke State Park near Duluth, and Cascade River State Park between Lutsen and Grand Marais on the North Shore.

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Love and Healing Vibes to the Twin Cities

Love and Healing Vibes to the Twin Cities

The summer of 2020 will likely be remembered as one of heartbreak and frustration. The effects of COVID-19 will be felt for years to come and our community exists on a tightrope balancing between caution and cabin fever. This should be a time of patience and kindness, love and compassion. Instead, the senseless and inexcusable murder of George Floyd at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers shines an undeniable spotlight on the pervasive undercurrent of bigotry in our society.

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