Greenway/Cedar Lakes Trail Detour

>> Thursday, May 23, 2019

On Tuesday, Charlie and I successfully navigated the “big” detour at the end of the Greenway to the Cedar Lakes Trail that will be there for the next many months (some areas will be closed up to 2 years) because of SW Light Rail construction. I had noted in this post about “crappy” runs that I tried it last week, but the detour was closed by poor planning on the city of St. Louis Park’s part.

Here’s what we ran:


1.6 miles on the Greenway from the Midtown YWCA, then
the rest of the detour until the far west. Then back.


With some numbers for making notes.


Charlie’s foot hanging out just before getting off the Greenway by #1.

#1: Turning off the trail sucks. There’s a potholy parking lot, and then a short steep hill with broken glass and a speed bump to get up and away from the Greenway. But then the 4 blocks through a quiet neighborhood (from 1-2) is fine.

#2: Around the swampy St. Louis Park Pond is very curvy, and not good for fast cyclists. I can’t plan on doing any “quality” riding through here. However, the construction I ran into last week seemingly patched a lot of poor areas of the trail, so that’s nice.

#3: Crossing the RR tracks next to where the Greenway Trail crosses Belt Line Blvd (just east of the Nordic Ware factory) is HORRIBLY rough. That’s the suckiest spot of this entire detour: those 3 RR tracks over 30 feet. Then it’s part of the same detour as a few years ago over a pedestrian bridge over Hwy 7, but then we curve north along a privacy wall along Hwy 100 (heading north to #4) which is decent.

#4: It’s slow going while crossing through the area of Minnetonka Blvd and Hwy 100. You have to cross 3 stoplights in a busy area. Be ready for some “rest” whether you want it or not. Don’t try to blow through here.

#5: The long stretch along #5 (along Minnetonka Blvd) is quite nice! It’s a bike lane next to the road which feels a bit like biking along Marshall Ave in St. Paul (but it’s free of parked cars): there are stop lights every half mile or so, but generally seem to be in your favor. More rolling hills than Marshall Ave.


Along Minnetonka Blvd. Decently wide, quite smooth, and very clean of debris.
Not bad at all! (I ran it with the stroller because much of the sidewalk sucked.)

Then it spits you out on top of the Cedar Lake Trail tunnel. I got down to the tunnel, headed a little south through that school/park, and then turned around as you can see in the map above:


A few minutes after turning around, ready to turn right and be along Minnetonka Blvd again for a few miles.


This surprised me at first. I think it’s art.
(Along the privacy/noise wall along Hwy 100, near half-mile marker 16 on my run map.)

In total, we ran 11.37 miles (averaging 6:47 pace), with the first 1.6 and last 1.6 being on the “normal” Greenway, and about 0.4 at the turn-around being on the “normal” Cedar Lakes Trail. That means the detour was just under 4 miles one way, and then just under 4 miles back. I’m totally willing to do that on my bike as part of a long ride to connect up with the Cedar Lake Trail. When I do my 5 mile intervals on my bike (which would usually end in the middle of the detour somewhere between map markers #2 and #3), I’ll cut them shorter to stay on the regular trail. Because from #1 through #4 on the map are NOT fast areas. Then the straight east-west stretch (#5) could be considered faster, but there are a number of stoplights in there to deal with.

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A Week of Crappy Runs

>> Tuesday, May 21, 2019

... but still decent mileage! (I'm still happy to be running as much as I am!!)

I'm still keeping my streak of 20+ mile weeks going strong with 22.26 miles last week. But the three runs that made up that week all sucked for different reasons.

TUESDAY'S run was the long stroller run I posted about last week where I pushed Charlie to Eagan to pick up my car. It was just brutal. It never felt good.

THURSDAY'S run was also with Charlie, and it was just an easy run down the Greenway from the Uptown YWCA. But the Greenway was closed before the RR crossing before the Nordic Ware plant, but I figured I'd check out the detour because I'd probably try biking it shortly as well. It took us through a few city blocks, and then down by a small marshy lake. But OOPS that trail was closed after 50 feet to the right because of 2 big skidloaders tearing up the trail. And OOPS it was closed a 1/2 mile to the left as guys were tearing up the trail with concrete saws. Nice planning, St. Louis Park! A major trail is closed, and you decide to do work and close the detour as well. If I had to commute and get farther out, I'd be totally stuck. I had no way to get off that trail.

SATURDAY'S run was going to be a hard one: 3 hard miles in the middle of 6 or 7 miles. But I got out at 6 a.m. and was caught in a downpour and lightning storm at 6:15. I checked the radar before I left, and it told me I had until about 7:30, so I thought I was going to be fine. I had to cut the run short as I was a little fearful of getting struck by lightning. I only did 2 hard miles, and then I didn't cool down too much when those were done because I was afraid my super heavy/soaked shoes could injure me. But the 2 hard miles were FAST because I felt I was "running for my life:" my half mile splits were 2:53, 2:50, 2:51, and 2:44 for 11:19.93 for 2 miles (5:39.97/mile).

Hoping for a good long run later today with Charlie!

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CC Race and First Communion!

>> Monday, May 20, 2019

It was a fun, full weekend.

First, Henry had his last First Communion meeting at school and church, and my wife took him. That left Charlie and I together, so he did the Twin Cities in Motion cross country "Kids Race" at Como Park:


And he's off!! It was nearly canceled because it was so cold and rainy!


Finishing his 1/2 mile loop in 3 shirts, a windbreaker, a hat, and mittens.


Love this shot.


Post-race with his medal. He finished a half mile in around 6:01.

Then the next day was Henry's first communion! Here are a few pics of family that was there with us:




Cute family pic!


Lots of 2nd graders.


My in-laws with all their grandkids!


Henry with my wife's Grandparents.


Some great-grandkids!


With my Grandma.


And with my folks!


Both boys with my parents.


A bonus photo from before mass from the St. Thomas More Catholic School Facebook page.

We had over 20 people stop over to our place afterwards for a party. Everyone left late afternoon, and we really didn't have too much house work to do. I had projects every day this past week to get the house clean (and MORE than clean in many cases - we used this party as an excuse to deep clean a lot of parts of the house), and the house just needed 15 minutes of tidying up. So I hopped on my bike (on the trainer because it was 40 degrees and raining) and my wife helped Henry finish a little homework.

Back with a training update tomorrow.

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The Tale of 2.5 Weeks

>> Saturday, May 18, 2019

The last 2.5 weeks of training seem to have 3 major elements to them:


Pic of my training from yesterday, with colors added by me.

The GREEN was a solid week of running (23+ miles). That 11.3 miler on Tuesday the 30th was an AMAZING run with Charlie in the stroller. Everything just felt great. Wednesday was just a short spin, and Sunday was a better spin workout after getting back from my nephew's birthday.

The BLUE was easing back a bit. I had the TC 1 Mile in the middle of that, and my strength work disappeared: 7 hours and 39 minutes the week before, and only 1 hour and 29 minutes for this whole 2nd week.

Finally, the RED was some exhaustion. I went on a nice ride last weekend (just "rode" for 33 miles - my longest time in the saddle since last summer), and then skipped my swim on Monday. (Partly because I had finals, but I *could* have fit it in if I had wanted too - I brought my swim stuff but didn't do anything with it.) Tuesday's run with Charlie in the stroller was SO MUCH MORE BRUTAL than the one 2 weeks before. Some effort on the bike on Wednesday felt rough.

Yesterday, my swim felt OK. I think I'm over it. Time to get back at it!

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Friday Funny 1602: College Life

>> Friday, May 17, 2019

This past Monday was FINALS for me!! I still need to finalize my grading, but I'm SO CLOSE to summer break. In the honor of that, here are some "college funnies:"













































Lots more funny stuff posted 10x every day on SportsAndLaughs.tumblr.com. HAPPY WEEKEND!!

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Friday Funny 1601: A Robotic Running Partner

So there's this thing called "Rufus." It's basically a robot that you program to run in front of you.





So the benefit I can see here is that you can program it to go a specific speed, and then you can put forth the right amount of effort to keep up. But that's about the only benefit. (And one you can get from a treadmill.) It goes straight on it's own, but you have to steer it around. You have to worry about other people, pets, and curbs. It's basically a GPS guided missile leading you out on the running trails.

Here's an odd video about it:

Hey, you know what else works to roll in front of you? A jogging stroller. Try that one, people. My last 16+ miles have been with Charlie in a non-hands-free version of this lovely Rufus. And it has TWO water bottle holders, not just one. And a cute 5-year-old as well.

More funny stuff posted all week long on SportsAndLaughs.tumblr.com.

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Friday Funny 1600: More Relatable Memes

Here's a follow up to last month's "relatable memes" with more goodness:







































Again, more "relatable memes" in this post.

And more funny things posted all day long on SportsAndLaughs.tumblr.com.

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