Kickapoo Camping 2018

>> Wednesday, June 20, 2018

We had a HOT weekend camping in WI with my in-laws. On the way back, we stopped at another MN State Park to explore. Here are 30 photos from the weekend:

Our new hitch-mounted cargo hauler worked like a charm! Hauled WAY more than
our roof pack, and we had LOTS of room left in the backseat. I'm sold on it.

Henry playing in the campground pool with his cousin.

THIS happened a lot.

The younger cousins loved catching tadpoles in the little pond.

Always eating well! (That's our tent in the background.)

Lots of "the gang."

Tired cousins around the fire.

Grandma was on marshmallow duty!

Charlie enjoying his s'more.

We had a HOT night in the tent. We were dripping sweat putting it up, and we had 2 fans on us all night long. I covered up with a sheet around 2 a.m. At 6, the tent looked like this:

Note where his pillow is and where his head SHOULD be.

Cute guy.

Cousins with squirt guns.

Driving to the Kickapoo River. Yes, my chest *is* that pale.

Ready to canoe! But first, a snack.

In the Kickapoo!

This babe.

Fantastic views. And the nature is pretty too.

Finding some mud to play in. That’s me moments after jumping into crotch-deep mud
on the right. Note my wife’s cousin on the far left with mud up to his mid-back.

Bringing the boys across the river to play in the mud.

Us big kids supervising the little kids as they played in the mud.

Heading back across with my nephew and son.

Lots of views like this.

The older cousins and my wife’s aunt.

Charlie sipping on root beer with the ladies.

My wife had glorious views of my back.

Off the river after 5 hours!

Changed into dry clothes and passed out in the car.

Night #2 was HOTTER. It was in the mid-90s during the day, and SUPER humid. On the previous night, at least a front moved through and knocked it down by about 10 degrees just before we went to bed. That didn’t happen on the 2nd night. I hardly slept. I just laid flat on my back without any covers and tried to cool down for 8 hours. I was able to sleep off-and-on from 2-5 a.m.

Breakfast with Grandma Mon!

A Father’s Day photo with Papa Bry as we packed up.

We made a quick stop on the way home to get our 20th MN State Park stamp (since last July) in our “passport” at Great River Bluffs State Park. We went on 3 short hikes:

The “North Overlook” if I’m not mistaken, 500’ above the Mighty Mississippi.

Right on the edge of a cliff overlooking the South Overlook.

One final overlook. Quite the views.

A final selfie before leaving the park!...

… then a 2 hour drive that looked like this.


Week in Review: a Little Speed and Some Camping

>> Monday, June 18, 2018

Here's what my training last week looked like:

I missed my swim on Friday because on Friday through Sunday, we were camping with my in-laws in Wisconsin. Here was a photo I posted last night:

Caption: Annual “jeez-I-wish-I-didn’t-have-to-go-hungry-while-camping-with-the-Linders” photo.

- MON: 200s in the pool.
- TUES: easy 5 mile run.
- WED: first hard tempo loop on the bike I posted about last week.
- THURS: long run of 8+ miles.
- FRI: nothing
- SAT: 2.5 mile tempo run in the middle of 6 total miles.
- SUN: long 32 mile ride just over 20 mph.

My run on Saturday was "interesting." First of all, it was hot as f*ck camping in WI this weekend: highs were in the 90s every day, it was super humid, and Saturday night it didn't cool down that much (so I hardly slept). We're in a part of WI with lots of little short hills. So I ran for 2 miles as a warm up, and then hit the hills as my 2.5 "HARD" miles in the middle. My first half mile of the HARD effort was 3:24 which was a bit slow for that effort. (Usually, in a short hard tempo run like this, my HARD effort is around 6:00 pace.) I felt I was climbing, but I wasn't really paying attention - I was just running hard. My next half mile was something I've never seen in during a tempo run: a half-mile split OVER 4:00! It was 4:01! I turned around there and used that hill pick up the pace. My next half-mile split down the hill that gave my my 4:01 split was 2:56. And then I finished the last mile with 3:04 and 2:49 splits. Simple, solid run.

My calves are tight. Gotta work on keeping them loose this week.


Two Yearly “Firsts:” Tempo Ride and Running Intervals

>> Saturday, June 16, 2018

The last 2 weeks held 2 “firsts” for 2018.

First, I did 2x2 mile running intervals about 10 days ago. I’ve been talking about working on getting some speed back, and this workout is a good “gentle ease into intervals.” I did them at my normal spot along the river. I truly had no time goals, as I just wanted to run fast for a few miles.

Here are half-mile splits:

- 2:56, 3:05, 3:04, 2:58 = 12:04.85
- 3:00, 3:08, 3:07, 2:59 = 12:14.67

Last Spring, I (wasn’t trying and still) set a PR for this workout with a 11:38 and 11:24. WAY off that. Something to work towards. (For what it’s worth, that PR workout was on totally flat trail on the Greenway, and this most recent workout had a few hills along River Road: Lake/Marshall Bridge down past Shriners Hospital and back up for each 2 miles.)

Second, I did my “go to” 15.x mile hilly tempo ride through St. Paul a few days ago. It’s a loop I do that is River Road which curves and turns into Shepard Road which goes into downtown, then up Ramsey Hill, down Summit Ave, and back home. It was the first time I did this ride this year, which is SUPER late - last year by this time, I’d done it 4 times already. Here’s a post where I list previous PRs for this ride: I broke 20.0 mph in Sept of 2014, I broke 21.0 mph in April of 2017, and my lifetime PR is 21.9 in June of 2017 (which was the 4th time I broke 21.0 mph in those few months).

Really, my only thought going into this hard ride was “Try to break 20 mph? Maybe?” I had 22.2 mph at downtown before turning off the trail and heading up Ramsey Hill, but I hadn’t looked back at my “usual” splits to know if that was good or not by that point. I was happy to see I still had a 21.1 mph average once I climbed Ramsey, so I felt pretty good about myself! I dropped to 21.0, but then climbed up to a 21.2 mph average before home.

So comparing to last year, that puts me in mid-April 2017 shape in the middle of June 2018 (I rode 21.0 in early April 2017, and 21.3 later in April 2017). That’s actually not as bad as I had hoped. Last year, I was in great shape right away because of a “mild” winter, and this past winter SUCKED so I KNOW my bike fitness has suffered. (I didn’t train well on the trainer. Despite its name.)

Sidenote: as of a few days ago, we now have a 7-year-old in our house:


Friday Funny 1453: Ridiculous Running Stock Photos

>> Friday, June 15, 2018

Here are 24 bad stock photos of runners as collected by

Who taught you to run, an alien?

This cow is insanely happy to be running. I wish that were how I felt on every run.

I'm pretty sure that's not how fueling works.

In fact, we highly discourage drinking gas.

Is this supposed to scare or motivate us? Either way, it's strange.

It's really unfortunate that all four of these women's ponytail holders broke
seconds before they started their run. It's a miracle they're still smiling.

"Mommy, look."
"It's rude to point, Susie."

We're not even sure what to say about this one.

Isn't it amazing how they can run without breaking a sweat or smudging their perfect makeup?

There's probably a hidden wind machine at play here.

At least he color-coordinated.

There was no shortage of nerdy runner options, but is he running or jumping on a trampoline?

You're gonna regret that white T-shirt, dude.

At least he's comfortable enough with his masculinity to wear pink.

Does this remind anyone else of George Costanza?

It's nearly impossible to walk in ski boots, let alone run.

So that's how Santa stays fit in the off-season.

First rule of running shoes: Don't ever smell them.

We have so many questions: Why is a skeleton running? Why is he in the desert?
Why is he on a computer? Does the touchpad work if you don't have skin?

Actually, this one might not be that ridiculous. Some days,
it takes superhero powers just to get out the door.

She's catching some serious wind-resistance.

You're supposed to eat your fruits and veggies, not wear them.

Or maybe her running partner has some rank B.O.

Just a girl. On a treadmill. Outside.

Lots more funny things posted all week long on HAPPY WEEKEND!!



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