Last Week's Training

>> Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Here’s what last week looked like:

• MON: broken 400s and 200s swim, and core. Decent times, good swim.
• TUES: nothing.
• WED: easy 7 mile run on packed snow, and some legs at the gym.
• THURS: 3x500 in the pool, and some core. Averaged 7:33/500, which was fine.
• FRI: easy run with Charlie, and some light leg work. (This was before camping with the boys.)
• SAT: 80 mins on trainer, and some legs. Late afternoon after getting back from camping.
• SUN: long run with both boys, and some upper body at the gym.

When I ran with both boys on Sunday, it was early (before 8) and it was chilly. The boys were fine bundled up under the “weather shield” in the stroller, but my water bottle slowly froze. Here it is open post-run, and you can see the ice formed inside at the bottom (err... the top) that totally clogged it up:

Also, a post-run tweet.

That run on Sunday was great because we had some melting on Friday and Saturday so the trails were pretty clear. Two days before on Friday, Charlie and I had a bit more of a sluggish run on some packed snow:

It was nice though - note the sweatshirt off and sitting on the stroller as I ran.


Camping at Wild River with the Boys

>> Monday, January 29, 2018

My wife had to work this past weekend, so much like a few weeks ago when she had to work, the boys and I headed to another State Park. Henry had a half-day of school on Friday, so I picked him up, we came home to finish getting packed up, and hit the road around 1 pm. We drove an hour north to Wild River along the St. Croix River (separating Minnesota from the cheeseheads to our east).

Our traditional start to these trips.

Our home for the next 20 hours: Cabin #3. (I think this was our 5th "camper cabin" stay.)

I spun a 180 from the last photo to get this one: we were overlooking a 70' bluff.

Same photo as above, but with the frozen St. Croix River highlighted in the distance.

Goofing off inside.

After a super cold camping trip last month, this weekend
it was 46 degrees and we were outside in our t-shirts!

Running off to the bathrooms. L-to-R: vault toilets, cabin #1, and cabin #2.
Our cabin (#3) was right next to me as I took this photo.

AWESOMELY GROSS SIDENOTE: In frozen vault toilets, the "hot" poop lands down below and then freezes. Repeat that a few hundred times, and a "poop stalagmite" starts to form. I'm respectful enough to NOT just post a photo of that here without warning. But if you want to see what that looks like (and, come on... you DO), then click here to see it.

We unloaded everything but didn't really settle in, and then we hopped back in the car to drive 20 minutes into Taylors Falls because the boys wanted to explore the potholes there in winter. The park wasn't officially open, but we could park in town and hike into the park and explore. (This sounds shady, but it's fine - I checked with the park office at Wild River.)

Under the bridge in Taylors Falls (in MN looking at WI).

Charlie wanted to run out on that big ice chunk. Because he would.

Hiking into Interstate State Park (totally frozen river to the left of Henry).

On a big boulder next to the Interstate parking lot.

Frozen potholes!

FLASHBACK: nearly the same photo as the one above from our first time here last year.

Pretty views.


Two goofs on the rocks. That's WI in the background.

Under an archway into a mini valley carved out by rocks and swirling water ages ago.
Fun history at Interstate. If you haven't been here, check it out in summer.

More hiking.

Some attempts at rock climbing.

Henry wanted to re-create a shot from last summer...

... so here's the version from July (seen in this post).

A little covered bridge out of the park on the other side of Hwy 8.

The other end of Interstate: we EASILY WALKED THROUGH this tunnel in July!...

... SEE?!? It had 3' of frozen ice in it this weekend! The boys thought that was cool.

An Instagrammed pic of our adventures so far.

We drove over the bridge and into WI to eat supper (Dairy Queen). Then it was back to Wild River in the dark. We started a fire for marshmallows before doing a little nighttime hike:

Our homemade fire starters in action that we first tried out last month. It's an "individual"
egg carton section stuffed with shredded paper and then filled with leftover
candle wax. Burns with a big flame PLENTY long to start a nice fire.

Henry was ready for marshmallows.

Our cabin in the dark.

After a hike down to the river's edge just lit by a half-moon and our headlamps.
(Charlie's wearing his like Ironman.)

Hiking back up the 70' bluff and (approx) 170 steps.

The underside of the bunk above me had a pretty picture. :)

Found in the visitor's log for cabin #3. I like Liam and his Dad. Sounds like a great trip.

Storytime selfie. Shoot, I still have a shirt on.

My ONLY complaint for the cabin was the baseboard heaters. It got up to 76 degrees while we were out at Interstate a few hours before. It was not cooling down, so I set it to "LO" for the night. I woke up at 3 a.m. and it was a bit chilly (OK for me, but I worried about the boys). I got up and checked, and the temp was down to 60 degrees. We set out house to 61 every night, but the bedrooms upstairs don't get as chilly as the main floor where the thermostat is. Afraid the temp was going to just keep dropping, I gave it ONE click up from "LO" and went back to bed. When we all woke up at 7 a.m., I took this photo of it being 76 degrees again:

So my 1 minor complaint is that it'd be nice if there was SOME setting
between "60 or colder" and 76 degrees. Otherwise, it was a great night!

7 a.m. potty stop. Running back to cabins 2, 3, and 4.
(Cabin #2 was the only empty one of the 6 for the night we were there - popular place!)

Cabin games.

The sun JUST starting to peak over the hills in the distance.

Henry warming by the fire.

Fire-kissed ham steak!

Breakfast was ham steak, oatmeal, and fruit. I had eggs and my pan along, but decided I didn't want
to deal with that. This is the first out of our last 6 or so trips that I did NOT break out the pan.

Breakfast stories. Charlie's telling us something entertaining here.

The park had 2 main "views:" this...

... and this. Either wooded or prairie.

Ready for a hike to the historic Nevers Dam site.

Running downhill (again, that 70' bluff, but here in a different part of the park).

Straight at the bottom headed out to the river.

Keep up boys! :)

We heard quite the commotion when we got close to to the river: there were 5 groups of
8-15 trumpeter swans really chatting it up! I've never heard anything like that.

The boys wanted to "relax" by the river. This might be nicer to do in 6 months.

They suckered me into pulling them back along the flat section.

Snuck a photo of the quiet walk back.

A rosy-cheeked selfie back in the car.

... "now a funny one" says Henry.

Goodbye cabin #3!

The boys saw these in the park office when we checked out. They wanted to try them...

... Henry thought they were surprisingly OK...

... but Charlie said "dis is disgusting!"

A quiet hour's drive back home: Looney Tunes for Henry, and "Where's Waldo" for Charlie.
(And notice my car is NOT packed full. We've gotten quick and efficient at packing for these trips.)

Another Instagrammed pic of the morning on day #2.

Below are a few video clips from our stay. It has more of the boys and more of the inside of the camper cabin than I've shown in videos in the past. (And a lot of sledding down the trail to and from the Nevers Dam site, which was the boys' favorite part of the trip.)


Here are some video highlights: at 2:02 you get to experience the inside of a camper cabin (as the boys discuss who's stronger), and 2:42 you see Henry NEARLY crash into a tree, at 3:07 you get to hear the trumpeter swans, and then the last 3 clips (starting at 3:30) are the boys sledding and crashing. You can tell I have a *relieved* laugh at 3:35 after Charlie crashes and then laughs to show he's OK. Whew. My favorite clip is the very last one of Charlie crashing and Henry running down the hill.

Back with a training update soon!



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