Brian Kraft 5K Burn

>> Monday, May 30, 2016

The "Brian Kraft Memorial 5K" starts in about an hour, and it's a USATF MN race that draws out ALL kinds of speedsters. (The course record is 14:20.) A few days ago, the race posted this on their Facebook page which is OBVIOUSLY a jab at Team Ortho having last-minute course issues which lead to the cancellation of the MPLS Marathon:

Nice. Happy Memorial Day everyone!


Two Follow-Ups: Team Ortho and my Non-Stress Fracture

>> Saturday, May 28, 2016


Last Sunday, I posted a rant about Team Ortho. It brought up some issues from the past year, but it was mainly about issues with an upcoming race: the Minneapolis Marathon.

Well, on Wednesday, the news came out that the race was cancelled. (Because of my initial post about this, I immediately got a Facebook message, a FB comment, 3 tweets, and a text message as soon as it was announced - thanks friends!) This happened just 10 days before it was supposed to take place. Not a big surprise.

As noted in my post last weekend, Team Ortho submitted an application to have the race 30 miles south, but there were issues with that route and it wasn't going to work. What a mess. I feel for those people who had registered and bought plane tickets to come to town and race a late-spring marathon. I'm done ranting now. Check out my first rant about this from last week if you're wondering why I'm so annoyed. (I updated that post a few hours after I originally posted it, so check out the bottom if you missed that before.)


Just like with all the friends contacting me when the Team Ortho race was cancelled, I had many more contact me when I posted that an MRI proved my leg was 100% fine, so the doc thinks I have a herniated disc (or other disc issue). THANKS FRIENDS! I had a lot of good comments on a Facebook post about it, a few tweets, and about 8 longer FB messages with tips. Thanks!

My leg still hurts, but the pain is lower than the initial pain. (It was partially due to the fact that the pain was moving lower that I wanted the MRI.) I still need to make sure I'm not walking TOO much, and I need to make sure I'm sitting properly (as mentioned in Wednesday's post). But overall, I'm happy to know what the cause of this pain is, and that I'm not hurting anything in my leg.

I tried doing some leg exercises at the gym this past week. Light weight 1-legged leg presses and eccentric quad work seem to be OK. And my eccentric heel drops are fine too. Hammy work might hurt it a bit, and (oddly enough) the adductor and abductor machines seemed to hurt it a little too. I've cut out certain core exercises that might strain my lower back a bit too much. In 9 days, I meet with my PT, and I'm working on a huge list of exercises to ask "is this one OK to still be doing?"

Robert, my acupuncturist at Magna liked hearing the news because it's info he can work with. So on Thursday, he really targeted my lower back:

He had more needles in my legs, arms, and head too.

My back felt a lot better for a few hours, but then I kinda abused it by walking a lot with my boys on Friday as we went to the gym, out for pizza, to the Science Museum, and to the library. I've got to try to be more careful about that. And when my PT mentioned moving CAREFULLY and keeping the lower back straight, I didn't realize how hard that would be as the full-time stay-at-home trophy-dad. It's IMPOSSIBLE to be perfect about my movements when getting my boys in and out of their carseats, getting Charlie in and out of his crib, and generally just anytime we're out and I'm trying to wrangle them. Dang. I'll try to be more cognizant of it.

Oh, and here's a random issue: 2 days ago, a pretty big and totally unexplained bruise appeared between the 2 sore areas on my leg (below where it used to hurt, and above where it currently hurts):

Happy long weekend!


Friday Funny 1105: SEXpectations vs Reality

>> Friday, May 27, 2016

More funny stuff all week long on HAPPY WEEKEND!


Friday Funny 1104: Texts from a Cat

You've probably seen "texts from a dog." Well, now here are some "texts from a cat:"

More funny things on


Friday Funny 1103: Exercise Tweets

Lots more funny things posted 10x a day on


Friday Funny 1102: 1-Star Uber Reviews

Here are some "1-Star Uber Reviews" as collected by Funny or Die:

More funny things posted all week long on



>> Wednesday, May 25, 2016

On Friday, I finally got an MRI of my leg. The Doc and physical therapist were both SURE it was a stress reaction or stress fracture, but then the pain started "moving" lower down my leg, so I pushed to have it looked at. The doc figured it could be pain from being in the boot - muscles and/or tendons atrophying or just trying to get back to normal once I started walking without the boot again.

Waiting for my turn with this big fella.

I was the last appt on Fri night before the weekend (and they were
running 40-50 mins behind), so the new U of M clinic was DEAD when I left.

The doc called back earlier this week with the results:

"Steve, the MRI showed no stress reaction, no stress fracture, and no sign of there ever being a problem with your leg."

Uhh, is this good news or bad news?

The Doc thinks that this all stems back from my August 2013 injury (diagnosed as a lower back / sacrum issue) where I had pain in my right quad/groin that kept me from running for a good number of months. (That's the year I started the Square Lake Half Iron race as a relay, but we didn't finish because I dropped out in pain after 4 miles.) At the time, I was told this might be something I live with the rest of my life, so I've just dealt with this lower back / sacrum / hip pain. For nearly 3 years. But this could be a disc issue. The doc thinks it may be a herniated disc that's radiating pain down my leg. (That's basically what happened in 2013, but it radiated the pain only down through my groin/quad, and this pain is much lower along my tibia and just above my ankle.) And when I pay attention to my lower back, there's quite a bit of pain on the right side. That's been the pain I've been trying to ignore for the last few years thinking "that's just the way things are going to be."

Hearing this, I was first really annoyed because I DIDN'T NEED TO BE IN THAT BOOT FOR 5 WEEKS! (Not to mention that I wouldn't have needed to PURCHASE that boot in the first place.) And I haven't ran since MARCH and haven't looked more into the pain I was having because everyone was so sure it was a stress fracture. I may have just spent 2 months in pointless pain treating the wrong issues.

Not to mention that being in that boot was probably just making any lower back issue WORSE because I couldn't walk normally. Gosh darn it [says the good Catholic boy who would like to use more severe language but is also aware of the 3rd Commandment].

So here's the plan of attack: for now, we can assume it's a lower back / disc issue. Even if that's not 100% right, it's a less dangerous assumption than the stress fracture assumption. If things don't get better, I can get an MRI of my back, but then the question is "what do we do with those results?" Would it change any treatment? I'm not sure. That'd be another question for the doc if I start thinking we need to look at my back.

I scheduled a P.T. appointment for Monday, June 6th. The doc thinks I just need to work with P.T. for now and see what she thinks of the situation. I emailed her and told her it's (most likely) a disc issue, and she seemed happy to hear that, so I guess that's good news! She can work with that info. I asked her LOTS of questions in my email to her, and she was kind enough to answer them all and tell me what to do / not do for the next 2 weeks until we meet. The short version of her points: (1) watch my posture; (2) don't bend at the lower back (when doing yard work, playing with the boys, etc); (3) non-weight bearing exercises are great, and weight bearing ones are fine if they don't aggravate anything and I make sure to be bending from the hips and not the back; (4) obviously no running, and no biking either because that could aggravate it; and (5) use a rolled up towel for lumbar support to mimic this anytime I'm sitting for a while:

Some of this makes sense. With a disc issue, I need to make sure not to sit for long periods of time. When driving lately, my lower leg would start to hurt on longer rides, and I'd think "damn, my leg is still so sore that moving my foot on the pedals makes it hurt." When really, it could have been just the act of sitting for so long makes the disc hurt more and that sends more pain down my leg. I'm not 100% convinced (I never am), but that DOES make sense.

With this new news of "it's not your leg," I took the boys to the park last night as seen on Instagram:

"Chasing this guy through the park."

For the last 2 months, I've been resting my leg, and my wife has been great about taking the boys for walks after work so I can put my legs up. I still need to rest and make sure I don't become SUPER active, but now that I know it's not a stress fracture, I know that I can walk on it more without hurting it.

Anyone have any advice/thoughts on this being a disc issue? I'll keep you all updated. For now, it's back to the gym to work on some boring exercises. And we'll see if Robert at Magna can work with this info and help me out - I go back to see him tomorrow. Wish me luck!


Henry Running His 2nd TC CC Run

>> Monday, May 23, 2016

Saturday was Henry's 2nd "TC Kids Cross Country Fun Run." He did it last year with his cousin Evie. This year, it was just him and Mama:

Last year's photo (from this post) with the same cheesy smile.

We heard that they had 999 pre-registered runners, and because it was such a beautiful day, they had to have topped 1,000. Charlie and I ran off to find a good spot to cheer:

Flexing for Mama before the start.

The lead kid faded and ended up 2nd. They went out HARD in the pre-school wave!

We spotted Mama and Henry!

Hi guys!

A faint line of runners on the other side of Como Park.

Mama ran ahead of Henry and grabbed a photo about 2/3s of the way through the race.

I put Charlie on my shoulders, and we ran back to watch them finish:

Fingers pointed for aerodynamic speed!

I immediately flipped my phone to the front-facing camera to take photos of Charlie
crying. He saw Mama run past and was super sad when she didn't stop to play!
(I bonded with another Dad who's daughter did the same thing next to us.)

"Wait, is Mama coming back?..."

"NO! No she's not! She's NEVER coming back!"

Last year, Henry finished around 9:00 for the half mile run. This year, he finished with a "gun time" of around 6:27, and Mama had his "chip time" being around 6:04. And he only walked once! Oh, and afterwards, Charlie was THRILLED to sit with Mama:

Having a PB&J, banana, chips, and cookie in the grass thanks to TC in Motion.

Chips and a water in the shade with the other families.

After that, we loaded into the car and drove a few hours to go visit Henry and Charlie's new cousin, baby Will. But when we first got to Mike and Brianna's house, they had to chase the chickens:

... and play on Mike's big "tractor."

Charlie LOVED baby Will!

I Instagrammed this with the caption "Charlie held baby Will for a LONG time.
If I had ovaries, they'd be weeping with joy."

Mike was a brave man letting Henry drive him around!
(Yes, Henry can't reach the pedals, but at idle, the cart goes about 2 mph.)

Wild ride video! (Direct link:

The day ended like this.

Here's photos from last year's TC Kids CC Run if you missed it.


Done with Team Ortho

>> Sunday, May 22, 2016

First, Team Ortho was in the news last summer for postponing a duathlon at the last minute. By "postponing," they actually meant "not having it this year, but you can race it next year."

Next, they were in the news for being a "charity" that only gives 1.5 cents on the dollar to their charitable cause while sending their employees on 3-day sight-seeing trips to China to pick up race t-shirts.

Now, Team Ortho's in the news again for not responding to permit issues soon enough which led to the potential last-minute move (or possible cancelation) of a marathon.

To sum up the last issue, Team Ortho's permit for the Minneapolis Marathon race course was rejected by the Minneapolis Park Board LAST AUGUST. The board explicitly asked Team Ortho for a new proposal because that one wouldn't work due to road construction projects. When this story first broke 3 days ago, Team Ortho hadn't tried a new proposal with the city, even though they had no route and were still marketing it and promoting it as the "Minneapolis Marathon." There was no word of this issue on their website or any social media pages. The race is in 2 weeks, mind you!

After KSTP posted a story about it on the 19th, something finally happened. On the 20th, Team Ortho submitted an application to have the race held in Rosemount (30 miles away). This is not for sure - this is just an application for a new race course 2 weeks from the race date. Dakota County has not yet approved the race permit at this time.

Within the last 48 hours, Team Otho finally released a statement (after feeling media pressure I'm sure) that starts with "Due to circumstances beyond our control, we will not be able to stage the Minneapolis Marathon on the original course. The original course has become unusable due to bridge construction and the inability to secure permits for a modified urban course." DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND OUR CONTROL?!? You mean like being told 9 months ago that it WASN'T going to work? That was "out of your control" Team Ortho? If the Park Board told them that last week, then they could say it was "beyond their control." But being Team Ortho seemingly sat on their thumbs for 9 months, I reject the language of that opening line. Not to mention that they stated they were unable to "secure permits for a modified urban course." What "modified" course? They didn't resubmit ANY permit application for a modified course.

They're offering race refunds already, and I'd do that if I were registered. And they'd never see a dollar from me again. If I paid and trained along the river in Minneapolis and St. Paul, I'd be unhappy with a switch to an outer-ring suburb that will have different terrain and will (most likely) be less scenic. If I planned on biking 4 miles to the race start (or taking the lightrail/bus), I'd be quite unhappy to have it moved 30 miles away. My wife did this race recently, and Henry and I just jogged 1 mile down the road from our house to cheer her on and to see her run past. We wouldn't have gone to see it if it was a 30 mile ride 1-way. If my wife were racing it this year, she'd be pissed.

Sure, I don't know all the details. (I'd know more if Team Ortho actually attempted to answer questions from the media - recently, they didn't want to discuss the 9 months of non-action regarding the rejected course proposal, and last November, they didn't want to discuss the lavish trips they sent their employees on using the "charities" money.) If they get some people off the couch and trying to workout, that's a good thing. They have great race medals and great race swag. But as an organization, they seem incompetent. Their races tend to be overpriced, over-crowded, and poorly planned. (We had family waiting 60-90 minutes for a bus in the cold rain at the finish of the Monster Dash 10 mile without a tent or mylar blanket, and all the post-race food and water had ran out.) Team Ortho is actually receiving an "F" rating from the BBB. After these major issues in the news over the last year, I can't help but wonder if this latest issue is a sign that they don't care because they're beginning to dissolve their organization. I mean, I really don't think that's the case, but after not caring about this marathon for 9 months, it makes me wonder.

So I urge you to take your race registration elsewhere. Team Ortho doesn't seem to care.

UPDATE: (5/22/16, 5:05 pm) Tim L, a running buddy, pointed out that there's a specific Facebook page for the race (not just the main "Team Ortho" page). I went to check that out, and I went from annoyed with Team Ortho to being downright pissed off. Just SIX days ago they shared a link to an article on their main page with travel and lodging info. (The link is still on their FB page, but now it's a dead link.) If they know race is NOT going to be held where it's listed and are still promoting places to stay for the race, something is seriously f*cked up. How unethical is it to be promoting a place to stay that ONCE was a half mile from the race but NOW it's 30 miles from the race? Their Facebook event page has had 7 posts in the last 9 days, with only the last one (from yesterday) noting the possible race venue change to Dakota County. And people commenting on a post on their FB page from 4 days ago note that online registration was down, but Team Ortho was commenting "registration will be open at the expo and on race day." Of course registration is down because they knew they had a "9-month-in-the-works f*ck-up" on their hands.

If you're flying in from out of town, I'd like to apologize. On behalf of the Twin Cities AWESOME group of endurance athletes, we're not all screw-ups like Team Ortho. Come back and race another race in our great community. We have a free futon upstairs if you don't mind young boys waking you up early, so you can spend the night here before a (non-Team Ortho) race. Don't let this deter you from running or biking in our fine City!


Friday Funny 1101: College Expectations (and funny links)

>> Friday, May 20, 2016

We just had finals a few days ago. MY GRADES ARE SUBMITTED, SO LET SUMMER BREAK BEGIN! In honor of the end of the school year, here are some college expectations that didn't quite pan out:

Since it's been over a month since I've done this, here are some of my favorite posts from my tumblr page:

Athletic-Related Funnies:
This is the kind of cycling I'm doing right now.
Flow chart for when you should ride your bike.
[GIF] A volleyball player scores with her face. (No, not Scott Sterling.)
Running shoes and alcohol.
My new diet plan.
What a run can do for you.
TRYING to be healthy.
A bike rack FAIL.
Exercise leads to tacos.
Eating right.
The treadmill is a metaphor for life.
"Runner's High."

Non-Athletic Funnies:
Me, cooking.
If male superheroes dressed like female superheroes. (Also, muscles.)
A good reason for speeding.
The summer heat.
My personal motto.
A nerdy / sexy innuendo.
I've never thought about Scooby Doo this way before.
Inspiration for the new Instagram logo.
Pooh's favorite day.
Big weekend plans.

And as always, stop by for funnies all week long. Happy weekend!!



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