Injury Update: 1 Short Run in Two Weeks

>> Wednesday, June 16, 2021

It was 16 days ago that I raced the Brian Kraft Memorial 5K where I tweaked my right calf a bit. Leading up to that, most of my weeks have looked like this:

End of April/beginning of May (with nothing
on the 8th because we were up north

But the last 3 weeks (starting with the race day) have looked like this:

The race was on the 31st, then just strength work later that week, followed by 5 days of camping in the Badlands with my boys. Then a few trainer rides and some more lifting since then.

Notice I ran 2 days ago. I was hoping for 4-5 miles, but my achilles got tight (not sore) after about 2 miles, so I stopped at 2.5 miles (I was on the treadmill in case something like that happened). Then it was a bit tight the rest of the day on Monday.

After the race, my right achilles was sore for a few days. By the time we went camping on the 6th, it felt fine. I was hoping another few days off would do the trick. I hope to try running again today (and maybe I'll go a bit farther to test it), and I'll go see my chiro for some ART or Graston tomorrow and see how everything is doing.


Stormed Out While Camping in the Badlands of South Dakota

>> Monday, June 14, 2021

The boys and I spent most of last week camping in the Badlands! Here are a few photos I posted on Instagram:

Caption: "The view from our tent at 5:40 this morning was pretty special."
(Yep, there are 2 bison in there, and no fences.)

The next day I posted these 2:

Caption: "Sunset last night up the bluff from our campsite."

Rustic camping below: no water or electricity. Our tent is in the inside of the loop right-of-center.

BUT... then I posted this on Facebook on Wednesday night:

Last night was our BIGGEST adventure during our South Dakota trip. Buckle up. (And check below for pics.)

Yesterday afternoon was very windy when we were out at Custer State Park after visiting Mount Rushmore, and I was starting to get worried about how our old tent was going to be holding up at our campsite. I had added three extra ropes to help hold down the rain fly two days prior, and I hoped they were helping.

We got back to the campground, and the tent was fine. I noticed some thunderheads starting to roll in, and then some heat lightning. The winds were getting stronger, and the tent was showing signs of strain.

We crawled into the tent around 9:15 as the lightning was slowly getting brighter.

A little after 10 pm, the tent started slapping me in the face and feet a bit. It’s 8’ wide, but it was touching my 5’ 10” body at any given moment.

A bit later, the wall by my head collapsed on me until I pushed it back up. That happened a few times, and I figured I should wake the boys and ride out the storm in the car. As I was trying to do that (Henry was dead to the world), the tent was practically blown over. I had to lift it up and pull Henry out from under it.

I struggled to get the boys half dressed with half the tent laying on us. I’m not claustrophobic, but it was horrible. Then we heard snapping as some poles broke in a gust. We had already been moving fast, but now we really picked it up.

I took them to the car as Charlie was crying. I started grabbing handfuls of stuff from the tent and was chucking them in my car. The boys were so scared, and Charlie was crying the entire time. Henry wanted to come help me so badly, but he was too scared to step foot out of the car which was quaking in the wind. I held Charlie for a minute and told him “I love you and you are safe. I need to just keep working quickly to grab things to get them to the car. I’ll be fine. Take some deep breaths and try to relax. But I have to go to work quickly. Love you!”

With some of the brighter lightning flashes (that would light up the sky like daytime), I could see a huge wall of rain heading our way. I got almost everything loaded before it started pouring. And then hailing.

Everything important was loaded out of the tent with just a few random things left in it. I tried to start taking down the tent, but it was impossible in that wind, so I took a picture of it half collapsed with the tent poles sticking through it and just ran. All of our food tubs, grill, and things on the picnic table were loaded up as well. I left our camp chairs and folding table and jumped in the car soaking wet. Charlie had been crying now for 10+ minutes, and I finally could calm him down. We were going to head to a hotel for the night.

I didn’t know if I should make the shorter drive into Wall and look for a place, or use my wife’s Hilton points farther away in Rapid City. I made the call for Rapid City as I wasn’t keen on driving along the rim of the Badlands in blinding rain on soft clay gravel roads. That seemed like a recipe for disaster.

The other concern (that I did not share with the boys) was I didn’t know if we would be able to climb the gravel roads that come out of the Badlands. It was MORE THAN POURING, and those hills are steep. Rain was sheeting across the gravel. I had to make the call to either stay straight on a gravel road and go a bit farther than usual knowing that I would have a little less gravel and more highway, or turn where I had usually been turning which were roads that I was familiar with but that had a very steep climb near the end.

I made the call to stay on the “known” roads, and we spun in the slick clay-filled gravel for the last part up the hill. (It’s VERY different than southern MN gravel that I grew up on!) We made it, but had we stopped, we would’ve been stuck in that valley all night. No joke.

I got all four wheels on the edge of the highway with still 40 miles to go to Rapid City, and I finally relaxed a little. That gravel section had taken me less than 20 minutes every other time I drove it, but took over 30 minutes this time, and it felt like an hour.

We checked in to our hotel in Rapid City, and the receptionist made a comment like “oh, THAT’S why I’m getting all of these reservations” when I told her why we were there. As soon as I walked out to my car, I came across three 20-something women who had been boondock camping and had suffered a similar fate. They first went into Wall, and it was booked solid. So I’m glad I didn’t start there! They used the same Hilton app that I did to find that this was the only Hilton in town (out of 5-6?) with rooms still available.

We got to bed around 1:00 a.m., but I couldn’t sleep.

After things dried out today (I knew the roads would need a little time), we went back to check on our tent. It had completely collapsed. It was soaked and got covered in clay as I was trying to take it apart. One of the tent poles is still embedded in it, so I just loaded it up in its Rubbermaid tub and will deal with it at home. It’s obviously completely shot.

I talked to the diabetic Vietnam vet who was camping next to us, and he said only two people at the campground actually stayed the night (he was one of the two). He lives in Wisconsin and has heard all sorts of strong midwestern storms, but he told me between the combination of the lightning and the winds, he had never heard anything like that before. So the boys felt a little bad ass for at least trying to weather the worst storm that this old man had ever heard. (And then he gave Charlie a piece of bison vertebrae that he found on a hike earlier today.) He said the forecast for tonight looks similar, but he’s going to pack up and book it out of there if those dark clouds appear again. He’s no dummy.

So we are cutting our trip one day short, but I am also about to enjoy my first shower since Saturday, so that’s exciting! The boys are obviously done being scared, and now they are thrilled to have such an entertaining story. Looking back, I honestly don’t think I would do anything different: I didn’t want to just run at the sign of some dark clouds, but we also got out of there right when we needed to.

Oh, and as we left during the storm last night after Charlie had calmed down, he said “I can’t wait until school starts in the fall so I can tell all of my friends about this!” πŸ˜‚

tl;dr: Our tent came down on us in a horribly windy thunderstorm in the Badlands last night (it’s totally ruined now), we barely made it off the steep wet gravel roads, but we all made it out safely and have an adventurous story to tell.

Pics below.

Here were the pics I added in the comments of that post, along with their captions:

Thunderheads starting to head our way.

Our tent was already straining a little in the wind.

Our half collapsed tent with poles sticking through it as the boys were in the car and I said “screw it” and left it and ran. Henry’s and my head were right at the bottom of this photo where the tent is laying on top of itself:

Our hastily loaded car once we finally pulled onto the pavement
at 11:30 pm! (We made it through the soft muddy roads!)

I had to take off my shoes that were packed with heavy wet clay
and slip on my crappy camping slippers to go inside the Hilton.

No room for the boys. Time to wake them up crawl into an actual bed.
(After checking in, and just after I had talked to the other 3 campers.)

This is how I discovered our tent today. It was still half standing when we left it.

My wife and I commented on that last pic a few times. I said "This beauty was a month short of her 18th birthday. What a shame. 😒" And my wife tagged the family members who got that for us for our wedding: "I think you guys and L. got this for us for our wedding? It lived a long and happy life and died a very tragic death!" To which I added "It didn’t give up without a fight! Thanks! ❤️πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ˜„"

Our first shower or bath in many days! Our apologies, Hilton Garden Inn! πŸŽ‰πŸ˜„

Then I also apoligized to my wife with this photo: "Sorry I spent your points! (But the boys aren’t.) ❤️❤️"

I'll have lots more photos in the upcoming weeks (not days, as I took a LOT of photos), so check back for more! I'll have a training update shortly.


Friday Funny 1937: Parenting Funnies

>> Friday, June 11, 2021

More funnies on HAPPY WEEKEND!


Friday Funny 1936: Nostalgia

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