10 Mile Race Course Preview!

>> Wednesday, September 30, 2020

As I mentioned 2 weeks ago, some friends, teammates, and I hope to do an unofficial 10 mile race on the same morning (and at the same moment, actually) that the TC 10 Mile was supposed to take place. I went out for a bike ride on the course last week to make a few notes. Here's the map along with some letters I added to reference below:

The start is just south of Lake Street on River Road. We're meeting on River Road near the Danish American Center (3030 W River Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55406). We'll be starting right around where the trail gets narrow:

Start line, ready to head under Lake in the distance.

Ideally, we'll spread out front-to-back at the start in the name of social distancing in the order of anticipated finish just so we don't all huddle up at the start. And there's no official finish line, so it's just "run until your Garmin says you've done 10 miles," so again, there's no need to crowd at the start.

The first 1.5 miles are easy as we head north to Franklin. Then we cross River Road before Franklin to get up onto the bridge:

"A" on the map: heading up to Franklin.

"B" on the map: crossing the Franklin Bridge.

"C" on the map: around mile 3, running back south (nice and flat here).

It's "runner's choice:" do you want to take more "direct" routes on some bike trails? Or follow the true "running" trails? As we cross under the rail bridge, you can choose to go straighter on the bike path, or veer right and stay on the running path:

Coming up to the rail bridge.

Just after the rail bridge: "D" on the map. You can stay on the
left path, or go right. You'll end up at the same spot.

Heading under the Lake/Marshall Bridge.

"E" on the map: making the sharp turn to head up the "worst" hill on the course.

This is just before mile 4, and it's the same little climb that is just after mile 5 on the regular TC 10 Mile course. It's not BAD, but it's still a slap in the face:

Hills can't be photographed well. This is a little climb.

If you're used to the "regular" TC 10 Mile, we diverge from that here. We don't take Cretin to Summit Ave. Instead, we just follow that hairpin turn around mile 4 of our race to stay along the river. Just always stay along the river!

Here's lots of the straight-ish sections south of Summit:

Around "F" on the map: lots of these areas have dirt trails to the
left if you prefer them. Or take the paved trail to the right. Whateves.

"G" on the map: heading under the Ford Bridge to start the little out-and-back section.

Under Ford headed out is around mile 6. (That's about my most depressing spot in a 10 mile.) From here to the turn-around, I plan on staying more in the "bike" paths. Some of the "running" paths go around a little parking lot for the dam overlook, and later a big curve around another "overlook" parking lot, and I don't want to do those little turns. Then after about a half mile, you come to a turn just after that overlook parking lot:

"H" on the map: you cross the lot driveways, turn to the left,
and turn around over half way between that left turn
and where it starts to turn right in the distance.

I will have the turn around marked well with chalk! And I'm planning on marking the BIKE TRAIL in this area so we don't have to awkwardly loop around the parking lot. The turn around SHOULD be around mile 6.75. Here I am standing at the turn-around, looking forward to where the trail turns to the right:

Turning around to head back. Notice we just have to run past the "tree that splits."

Once you get back to the Ford Bridge, run UNDER Ford and then loop up to the bridge:

Just ran under Ford (which is directly behind me), and now looping to the right to get up onto it.

A close-up version of what happens at Ford. Go STRAIGHT under it at mile 6,
and come back and go under it to then loop up to the top at mile 7.5ish.

On Ford. Climbing DONE!

"I" on the map: on Ford while seeing the Lake Bridge in the distance.

"J" on the map: turning off the Ford Bridge
IMMEDIATELY after crossing (following this cyclist in neon).

"J" on the map: there's a small winding trail...

... and then a downhill through the trees...

... and then a right turn to get back on River Road.
Headed towards the finish! (Still with 2 miles left.)

The final stretch again has bike paths and running paths that sometimes split. You choose the path that's right for you. Personally, from when I first cross under the Ford Bridge at mile 6, I'll be staying on the bike paths until the finish. I know I won't feel like darting around on the running paths that go around parking lots and such. I'll stay on the running paths where they are combined, but I won't "duck into the trees" when the running path takes lots of sharp/quick turns.

Around "K" on the map: lots of easy trails here!

Heading down that nice hill with about a half mile left!
(I will stay on the bike trail most likely as opposed to ducking
back into the running path that is more in the trees here.)

STANDING AT THE FINISH!! Notice the Lake Street Bridge in the distance.

Same photo as above, just noting where we started about 1 block in the distance.

I do NOT want to make you run past the starting line, because then you have to run down under Lake, and then UP the other side (if I were off by a little), and I'd HATE to end a race uphill like that. So the plan is that you should finish about a block before where we started. But again, there is no finish line: you just finish when your Garmin says you've done 10 miles.

Sunday, Oct 4th
Just south of Lake Street on River Road
(The Danish American Center is right there: 3030 W River Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55406)

Gather at 6:45 a.m.
"Race" start at 7:00 a.m.
B.Y.O.G. (Bring your own Garmin) - there's no "official" start or finish line

Come race with us!


Hit by a Car While Biking

>> Monday, September 28, 2020

Yep, it happened. And yes, I think I'm OK.

About 2 years ago, I hit another cyclist while I was biking as he ran a stop sign, turned left at a "no left turn," and was biking on the wrong side of the road.

Two days ago, I had a run-in with a car while finishing a 30 mile ride. Here's what I said on social media after (along with the 4 photos I initally posted):

Got my first stitches today. (Well, not counting the ones I had in my eyeball when I was 14, but that’s another story.) Got cut-off by a car (on the Grand Ave detour because Summit is closed over Ayd Mill) who didn’t signal while biking today. Ended up on top of his trunk, and then laying in the middle of the street still clipped into my bike. The driver is a cyclist and admitted fault right away. I don’t know if my chin hit his car or my handlebars, but it split open. The back of my hand is the sorest right now (look at THE LUMP in the last pic 3 hours post-crash) as it took the brunt of the impact of the car. Strained/pulled my left calf. Jaw is sore from the chin impact. Bike is ok (I think) except for a front derailleur issue that keeps me from using my large chain ring. Could have been worse. Also could have not happened at all if only Audi (and BMW) drivers learned to signal.

Wiped off selfie at home to see if I needed stitches (note some gnats in my stubble).

3 hand x-rays looked fine.

Big ole' hump in my hand (I usually don't have a shadow on my hand like that).

But let's back up a bit. I wiped my chin with the back of my hand twice while on the 2.5 mile ride home, and it was bloody when I got home:

A BIG lump forming on the back of my hand.
(This hand was squeezing the brakes when it hit the trunk.)

A text to my wife waiting at urgent care. The small masks didn't go too low and rub.

I was being wiped whenever anyone needed to look at it. This was the 3rd wipe/cleaning.

More texts. The fridge and "tools" in the "procedure" room felt a bit like a vet's office.

I made sliders for supper to forgot about the crash. My wife made
wheat buns to go along with them. (Note how tiny they are on the plate!)

My 2 stitches (still iodine stained) about 8 hours post-crash.

Again, 8 hours post-crash: this doesn't look dramatic at first, but then note how
"veiny" my right hand is, and how SMOOTH my left hand is because it's swollen.

Some follow-up comments and responses:

My future mother-in-law took out those stitches years ago!

Calf made me limp when going to urgent care, but felt better yesterday!

He was turning IN instead of OUT, but the same idea.

Yep, I need to really consciously time my rides. No more mid-day busy weekend rides!

Like I mentioned, my calf was REALLY tight right after it happened. I foam rolled it before going to urgent care. And walking into urgent care, it hurt like a MOTHER and I had to limp. Doc said I strained or pulled it. But it felt pretty normal the next morning (which was yesterday), so it must not be pulled. I didn't stretch or roll it at all, and it felt great all day yesterday. So I think I'll try a run today, but just back off on what would have been my last semi-long run before next weekend's 10 mile race. (I'll report back how that goes...)

My jaw hurt when I first tried to chew, and it's still a little achy. And my teeth feel like they hurt a little. I'm hoping I didn't do any damage there and that I'm just a little beat up from the impact.

I'm kind of wishing I had filed a police report and gotten his license. Because I didn't. He said he was a cyclist and noted living in my area (when I mentioned how far/which direction was home), and he wanted me to text him when I got home later. But I never heard back from him, and I'm starting to think he was a smarmy say-anything-to-make-this-guy-leave sort of saleman in his nice shiny Audi who's above us common peasants so he feels no need to signal. UPDATE: it took him 36 hours, but he wrote back saying he'd be willing to pay to get my derailleur fixed, so I'll take that to a bike shop today. Hoping nothing else is wrong with me or my bike!


The Rest of our Carrots in a Beef Roast

>> Saturday, September 26, 2020

A few days ago, I picked all of the remaining carrots from our small urban garden. They were "ready" weeks ago, but the boys have enjoyed pulling them up and immediately eating them, so we've left them in the garden for just that reason: a positive veggie experience for our boys (and an easy uptick in their veggie consumption). But I came in with a handful of the 60 remaining carrots on Wednesday:

Extra small once you see them with the tops removed.
1 lb 1 oz for 60 carrots! (Hand for scale.)

Found this little guy who snuck in on the tops.

Just 5/8s of an inch!

Our tiny onions went into the roast as well. (Hand for scale.)

The roast called for 1 onion. So I cut up an onion from my Mom's garden (which was on the small side), and then I added these as well. Our onions were tiny because we had a tomato overtake them and hog their sun, and I'd much rather have more tomotoes, so I just let everything be. I figured all of that totaled about "1 onion." And I only had to cut 3 of the carrots in half - the rest were plenty small on their own. I added the carrots, onions, and some small potatoes to the roast.

After a few hours of cooking, we were ready to eat. I laughed when I pulled the veggies out and one of the onions looked a lot like the small potatoes:

An onion among potatoes.

The roast was good, but it was MUCH better once everything got drizzled with what was left in the crockpot (juices from the roast, a red wine reduction, some beef stock, and lots of herbs):

Beef roasts (and chili and soups/stews) mark the start of fall around here!...



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