Race One Under My Belt…!

3 Apr

Well…one down and about a billion to go! We have knocked out our first race of the season. And it wasn’t too bad ll things considered.

It was pretty chilly at race start – around 19 degrees if I recall correctly. And by the time it was over, it had warmed up to a balmy 22!!

That being said, I was gunning for a 1:58:00 – which happens to be my PR for a half marathon. I’m embarassed to say that PR was achieved something like eight years ago. How sad…how truly sad.

I ended up with a 2:06:00, so it could have been worse. It was cold, hilly, windy, and I was starving! So again, all things being equal – not too shabby!

Get Lucky Half Marathon – 2013 by ansonee at Garmin Connect – Details.

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My 2013 Dance Card Is Looking Pretty Full…Part Deux

3 Mar

So as if my race docket wasn’t full enough…

Apparently, I need to cram as much into a four month period as I possibly can.  Get outdoors, enjoy nature, right?

I don’t know HOW I found the moxie to add a few more events to my summer/fall race “to-do” list…but I did!! Probably gonna regret this, but what are ya gonna do??

Minnesota Half Marathon and 5K
August 3, 2013

Saint Paul, MN
Duathlon (Inline / Run)
http://www.minnesotahalfmarathon.com/

This will be my third inline half marathon, but my first inline duathlon. So here’s how it breaks down. The first leg is a lovely 13.1 mile inline skate along the Mississippi River  – from Downtown St. Paul to the front steps of Fort Snelling and then back. Once the first leg is wrapped up, participants then embark on a 3.1 mile run along the river.

While ‘m not too concerned about distance, I am little curious as to how it’s going to feel running after blading for 13.1 miles!! I usually have a tricky time just walking – much less running a 5k afterwards.

This should be really interesting…to put it mildly.
North Shore Inline Marathon
September 14, 2013
Duluth, MN
Marathon (Inline)
http://northshoreinline.com/

I’ve done one inline marathon. That was the Metrodome Inline Marathon. That particular event took place on the perfectly smooth concrete floors of the Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis. No traffic, no hills, no potholes…nada. Practilly broke the sound barrier!

This particular inline marathon takes place along the shores of Lake Superior in Two Harbors and Duluth, MN. The scenery is nothing short of spectacular.

NSIM2008-08

That’s a whole lot of bladers…

Why does this remind of "Rollerbll"...?

Why does this remind of “Rollerball”…?


Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon
October 6, 2013
Minneapolis / St. Paul, MN
Marathon
https://www.tcmevents.org/events/medtronic_twin_cities_marathon_weekend/marathon/

This was the first marathon I had ever run. Ironically, it was the 25th anniversary of the Twin Cities Marathon. The tag line “The Most Beautiful Urban Marathon In America” is no joke!! The course winds through the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul and covers some of the most gorgeous and picturesque areas of both cities. The lakes, the river, some of the most beautiful neighborhoods, and a culmination at the State Capitol.

This marathon cannot be beat. Period.

So that’s it kids!! I mean it!! No more!!! 😉

Maybe…

One Stop Shopping for the Athlete

18 Feb

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably run about a billion smaller races (5K, 10K, Half’s) and competed in all kinds of races (inline marathons, duathlons, etc.). Variety is the spice of life, right?!?

If you’re also like me, you probably can’t remember what your times were in all of these races, what your PR may have been, or other little tidbits of information about your races. Or you may not even know all your results period, or even where to find them.

Well fret no more my friends!! Have I got the website for you! There’s a nifty little site that provides you everything you could want or need in a “what the hell was my time for that 10K I ran back in 2007” website. Welcome to Athlinks…

www.athlinks.com

This site quite literally does it all! And it is literally idiot proof…literally. Registration is quick and simple, and once you’re done, you’ll ask yourself why you hadn’t done this a LONG time ago.

The first step is to create your user profile, which literally takes about a minute. Once you’re done, the next step is to go ahead and search for your results. Enter your name and voila!! You’ll be presented with a list of results that match your name. Now obviously, there may be someone else who shares your namesake (don’t worry, you’re still special!), so you’ll have to make sure the age and the location of the race are right. When you find your results, check the box next to them, click the “Claim My Results” button, and you, my friend, are good to go!

When you view your dashboard of results, you’ll see that Athlinks categorizes your results quite nicely. You can view your results by category or by year. And what’s great, is that their database of races is immense!! They had race results for me dating back to 2005 – my very first “race”!

Another great thing about Athlinks is it pulls in international result as well! And in the event a certain race you’re looking for doesn’t appear, you can submit a request to Athlinks for them to retrieve those results for you. There were at least three races I participated in that didn’t appear in my results. I submitted a request to Athlinks and BAMM!!! Two weeks later, there they were.

It will also track your PR’s for you which is pretty slick. Here’s a peek at the racer dashboard:

Athlinks dashboard...pretty slick, huh??

Athlinks dashboard…pretty slick, huh??

Not only does Athlinks provide one stop shopping for all your race results needs, it also serves as a great location to find local athletes with the same interests as you. You can also find friends of yours who just may be members of Athlinks as well. You can even CREATE your own running club!!

Looking for a club? Here's where you'll find it..

Looking for a club? Here’s where you’ll find it..

I highly recommend that ANYONE who’s an endurance athlete, or is even looking to get started, Athlinks is a great destination.

Go check it out! You won’t be disappointed!

Image

Meow…!!

9 Feb
I don't care how old this is or how many times I see it...this just cracks me up.

I don’t care how old this is or how many times I see it…this just cracks me up.

My 2013 Dance Card Is Looking Pretty Full…

9 Feb

So…here we are yet again. Another year and another race season is upon us. Already. It seems like only yesterday, the better half and I finished running the Frankfurt Marathon. So much for taking it easy for a while. Although, I really shouldn’t bitch. She ran two marathons in three weeks. I was lucky to finish one.

2013 promises to be quite the year. We’ve got all kinds of fun and fantastic things planned! Hopefully, I’ll somehow survive them all. It really is going to be quite the season. We’re pretty much doing everything under the sun: marathons, triathlons, half marathons, inline. I really don’t know what my problem is. I swear: I’m not one of those overachiever types. I hate those people.

But I figure if it keeps my Two Gingers consumption down to a minimum (fat chance), it can’t be all that bad…right?!?

So, let’s break down just what we’ve gotten ourselves into:

Team Ortho Get Lucky – March 16, 2013
Minneapolis, MN
Half Marathon
http://www.getluckytc.org/

This will be my third Get Lucky half, and I gotta say, barring the first time when I was literally the LAST person out the gate because I showed up late, and the second year when I had that nine minute bathroom pit stop three minutes in, it’s a pretty decent race. It runs along the river in St. Paul starting from the old Ford plant and ending up near the Science Museum. The one “downer” of the course is a little stretch I like to call “The Widow Maker”. It’s quite a long windy steep hill about two miles from the finish. It. Blows. But hey…what doesn’t kill you only makes you that much weaker!


Rock the Parkway – April 13, 2013
Kansas City, MO
Half Marathon
http://www.rocktheparkway.com/

In my quest to run a race in all 50 states, this one will go down as number two. So obviously, this is gonna take for fucking ever.

My better half turned me onto this one, which she’s run a few times. The field is pretty average – around 5,000 runners – and the course is fairly flat. There should be no reason why I can’t knock this out in two hours. But then again, I always say that…


Great Wall of China – May 18, 2013
Beijing, China
Marathon
http://great-wall-marathon.com/

That’s right. China. Great Wall. Bamm!! That’s how we roll…

This is destined to be one of those once in a lifetime events – for obvious reasons. This also promises to be the hardest, craziest, most insane marathons I’ve ever run. But it will bring me one step closer to knocking out all seven continents. I still don’t know about that Antarctica thing. That’s just messed up. But I digress…we were talking about China.

So contrary to what you may think, the entire race isn’t run on the wall. The beginning and end are wall bound, the rest of the marathon winds its way through the surrounding villages and cities. And when I say villages, I mean villages. The “Wall” portion is comprised of around 5,000+ stairs, plus the uphill climb just to get onto the wall. It’s going to be hot, dusty, and who knows what else.

The little lady and I will be a part of a tour group led by my good man Steve Hibbs with Marathon Adventures based right here in Minneapolis. I’ve run the 2500th anniversary of the first marathon in Athens with his adventure marathon company. A great guy and a great organization! I highly recommend him for all of your adventure marathoning needs.

So just how hard will this actually be?? Well…here’s the race elevation profile:

This Is Messed Up

And a map of the course…

Area-map

But I think these next few pictures say it all…

What have I gotten myself into

What have I gotten myself into

That's just weird...

That’s just weird…

He does NOT look happy

He does NOT look happy

Not a Porta Potty in sight...

Not a Porta Potty in sight…

Okay...this is just cute

Okay…this is just cute

Ummmm...wow.

Ummmm…wow.

This is seriously f*ed up.

This is seriously f*ed up.

So suffice it to say, we have our work cut out for us on this one. I am so very much afraid. So very afraid.

Minneapolis Half Marathon – June 2, 2013
Minneapolis, MN
Half Marathon
http://www.minneapolismarathon.com/

Why I decided it would be a good idea to run a half marathon after running a marathon on the Great Wall of China I have no freaking clue, but whatever…

I’ve run this particular race the last three years. The course runs along West River Parkway, so it’s a pretty scenic course. The only thing that truly blows, however, is that very deceptive hill at the finish right before the Guthrie. It winds and winds and goes on forever. Nothing like a long slow climb to finish out a race. Jerks.

Red, White, and Boom! – July 4, 2013
Minneapolis, MN
Half Marathon
https://www.tcmevents.org/events/red_white__boom_tc_half_marathon/

So last year, this race was shortened from a half marathon to a five miler – due to the “heat”. Needless to say, there were quite a few pissed off runners. Their Facebook page was lit up with some very dissatisfied folks. There’s a big difference between five miles and thirteen miles. And sure as hell didn’t pay $65 to run eight miles. But luckily, another runner took it upon himself to arrange a pre-race run to make up for the eight miles that were shaved from the original race.

The ironic thing about the pre-race was that it was hotter at 4:30 in the morning than it was during the start of the real race. Go figure.

This race winds its way through North Minneapolis and is pretty flat. Plus…free ice cream and hot dogs after the race!
Lifetime Fitness Triathlon – July 13, 2013
Minneapolis, MN
Sprint Triathlon
http://mplstri.com/

I was originally supposed to run this in 2011, but an unfortunate injury sidelined me for that one. So I deferred my entry to last year. And well, frankly, I was just plain old scared shitless of the thought of actually doing it. So, once again, I deferred. Here we are in 2013…third time’s a charm hopefully!
The one thing that truly strikes fear into my heart is the thought of being stampeded by dozens of swimmers. I’ve heard the horror stories of being literally run over during the swim. Not looking forward to it. Nope. But at least this gives me an excuse to buy a new bike.


Maple Grove Triathlon – August 24, 2013
Maple Grove, MN
Sprint Triathlon
http://www.maplegrovetriathlon.com/

So unlike the Lifetime Minneapolis triathlon, I actually did participate in this bad boy in 2011. Being my first triathlon, yes, I was scared shitless. Literally. I didn’t poop for three days before the race. With that being said, it was a great introduction to triathlons.

The field of competitors was pretty small, the wave start for the swim portion was just the perfect size, the swim distance was perfect, and there was ample support during the swim. If anyone ran into trouble during the swim – looking at you Anthony – there was someone right there.

Actually looking forward to this one. Go figure…not to mention it’s one my birthday. Happy birthday to me.

Minneapolis Duathlon – August 25, 2013
Minneapolis,
MN
Duathlon
http://www.minneapolisdu.org/

Yes. You read that right. I’m doing a triathlon on Saturday and a duathlon on Sunday. And yes…it is on my birthday weekend. I’ve actually done this before if you can believe that sh*t.

The “du” consists of a 5K run, an 18 mile bike, and another 5K run. It essentially follows the same route as the Minneapolis Half Marathon. This race is a nice little change from the run run run thing. Plus they always have free beer afterwards. Score!

So that, kids, is my spring/summer in a nutshell. Really don’t know what possessed me to subject myself to this torture. I’ve considered having a psych evaluation done, but not sure if that’s covered under my insurance. That would be cool if it was.

Does anyone know where I can take the MMPI for free?

Love Me Some Tuna!!!

17 Feb

So, another Valentine’s Day has come and gone!! As opposed to schlepping out and enduring the endless throngs of amateur restaurant goers one is bound to have to deal with on “the Day of Love”, the better half and I decided what better way to celebrate us than with just us!! My beloved was responsible for dessert, I was on the hook for everything else.

Once again, in the spirit of trying to not stuff either of us full of crap, I chose to go the fish route.  In this case, Ahi Tuna. Magnifique!!! The menu, you ask? Well, here ya go:

  • Grilled Asian Ahi Tuna Steaks
  • Garlic \ Wasabi Mashed Potatoes
  • Ginger \ Sri Racha Sauteed Vegetables

For your viewing pleasure, the finished product:

Grilled Ahi Tuna, Sauteed Vegetables, GarlicWasabi Mashed Potatoes

And of course, I would be completely remiss if I didn’t provide you with the recipes for all this lovely food!!

Enjoy!!

Grilled Asian Ahi Tuna

  • 2 8oz Ahi Tuna Steaks
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 ginger, grated
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 tsps sugar
  • 2 tsps sesame oil
  1. Whisk all ingredients together
  2. Pour ingredients into medium size plastic bag (large enough that both steakes can fit and be mostly covered).
  3. Refrigerate at least 6 hours. For maximum flavor, marinate overnight.
  4. Grill on hot BBQ or indoor grill 6 minutes on each side.

Sauteed Asian Vegetables

  • One bunch asparagus – stalkls removed
  • One each red \ yellow \ orange bell pepper – sliced
  • Two pablano peppers – seeded and cubed
  • One medium white onion (optional) – sliced
  • Two tbsp olive oil
  • Two tbsp sesame oil
  • Two tbsp kosher salt
  • Two tbsp Chinese Five Spice
  • Two tbsp sweet chili garlic sauce
  • Three tbsp Sri Racha
  1.  Combine all the vegetables in large glass mixing bowl.
  2. Add the olive oil, kosher salt, Five Spice, and chili garlic sauce.
  3. Toss well to cover vegetables.
  4. Using a large wok, heat the sesame oil over high heat. Add the vegetables.
  5. Cook for 5-7 minutes, tossing every minute or so.
  6. When about a minute left, add Sri Racha. Toss to coat.

Garlic \ Wasabi Mashed Potatoes

  • 3 lbs potatoes (red or yukon gold) cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup cream (Greek yogurt can also be used)
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • kosher salt
  • 4 tbsp wasabi powder (or 2 tbsp wasabi paste)
  1. In a large pot, bring the kosher salt and potatoes to a boil.
  2. Boil potatoes until tender (15-20 minutes).
  3. Drain well. Mash potatoes with potato masher or ricer. Set aside.
  4. In saucepan, bring butter, cream, and wasabi powder (paste) to a simmer.
  5. In small skillet, heat the sesame oil. When hot, add the green onion and garlic. Saute for five minutes.
  6. Add the cream mixture and onions\garlic to the potatoes. Mix well.

It Has Begun…

26 Jan

Well…it seemed like just only last year, but the race season will soon be here!! With that comes training – obviously. This year is shaping up to be a fairly busy year for yours truly. Not only are we – for the first time mind you – taking on TWO marathons, we’re also gonna try to bite off a couple of triathlons – maybe three!

For your viewing pleasure/amusement, here’s Anthony’s itinerary for 2012 – with links to the official sites. Enjoy!!

March 17, 2012
Get Lucky Half Marathon
Saint, Paul, MN
Get Lucky Half Marathon
 
June 3, 2012
Minneapolis Half Marathon
Minneapolis, MN
Minneapolis Half Marathon
 
July 4, 2012
Red, White, and Boom Half Marathon
Minneapolis, MN
Red, White, and Boom Half Marathon
 
July 14, 2012
Lifetime Fitness Triathlon
Minneapolis, MN – Lake Nokomis
Lifetime Fitness Triathlon
 
August 4, 2012
Minnesota Half Marathon (Inline)
Saint Paul, MN
Minnesota Half Marathon
 
August 25, 2012
Maple Grove Triathlon – Weaver Lake
Maple Grove, MN
Maple Grove Triathlon
 
August 26, 2012
Minneapolis Duathlon
Minneapolis, MN
Minneapolis Duathlon
 
October 7, 2012
Twin Cities 10 Miler
Minneapolis / St. Paul, MN
Twin Cities 10 Miler
 
October 28, 2012
BMW Frankfurt Marathon
Frankfurt, Germany
BMW Frankfurt Marathon
 

 Suffice it to say, I got my work cut out for me!!!

Stay tuned…who knows, I just may add a race or two…

 
 

Fermez le bouche, Monsieur Gingrich…

15 Jan

So, apparently, our little toad friend Newt Gingrich has taken to blasting Mitt Romney for doing of all things, speaking a foreign language. While on the surface, this isn’t all that bad, but it’s which language he speaks that is so ghastly. Mitt Romney speaks – wait for it – French!!! Mon dieu!!!

Take a peek at this painfully sad/hilarious spot Newt is now running in South Carolina:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyFaWhygzjQ&feature=player_embedded

So is it just me, or has the GOP become the party of dullards and dimwits?!? I guess if you possess anything beyond a high school diploma or can manage to tell the difference between a similie and a metaphor, you’re an elitist, socialist, cake eating malcontent who’s bent on forcing your proper grammar and diction onto the “Average Joe” of this great country. Why is being intelligent so frowned on by the GOP? Why is anything grouned in academia or science essentially taboo if you sit on the right side of the aisle? And God forbid you speak the languge of those damned “frogs”.

I decided to do a little digging and found some pretty interesting tidbits. Newsflash, Newt: Presidents have been multilingual since the birth of this country. Here’s a short list:

  • John Adams, the second Presidint of the United States, spoke and wrote Latin fluently. He also dabbled in French. Hmmmm…
  • Thomas Jefferson wrote and spoke six languages: Greek, Latin, French, Italian, Spanish, and English. Upn his death, it was discovered he studied additional languages, including Arabic, Gaelic, and Welsh. Arabic?!?!?  I could only imagine if someone on the Beltway was studying Arabic.
  • James Madison also studied LAtin. In addition, he counted Hebrew as another language he spoke and wrote.
  • John Quincy Adams was fluent in German, French, Dutch, Italian, and Greek.
  • Martin Van Buren didn’t even speak English as his first language. He spoke Dutch. Dutch!!
  • Theodore Roosevelt was fluent in French – both conversational and formal.
  • Herbert Hoover spoke Mandarin Chinese fluently. So Newt, would you call Herb a Communist to his face? Doubt it…

So a word to all you educated GOP’ers out there; if you speak any language other than English, keep it to yourself, lest you be branded one of those elitist types.

Intervals Schmintervals

10 Jan

So…spring marathon training season is in gear, and I need to get my ass into gear. It’s always a little “rough” getting back into the swing of things after a little hiatus from hitting the hardtop. It’s especially tricky to get motivated when you have to train in the occasionally inclement / arctic weather of Minnesota. I’m hearty, but even I have my limts!

This year, I’m considering two marathons: a spring and a fall. Not sure what’s gotten into me, but let’s hope it’s not terminal.

Although this time around, I really do intend on training for real!!!

As proof positive of this new found motivation, I’ve actually decided to add speed intervals to my repertoire. This is a first. I know that every single training plan out there has some kind of interval work, I’ve never actually done them. That all changes now.

This is a nice little interval workout that I’ve become quite fond of. It’s easily adaptable to fit your needs and doesn’t take long. It’s designed for a treadmill, but can be easily modified for outdoor training.

  • 1/4 mile at 6.7 mph
  • 1/4 mile at 7 mph
  • 1/4 mile at 6.7 mph
  • 1/4 mile at 7.5 mph
  • 1/4 mile at 6.7 mph
  • 1/4 mile at 8.0 mph
  • 1/4 mile at 6.7 mph
  • 1/4 mile at 8.5 mph
  • 1/4 mile at 6.7 mph
  • 1/4 mile at 9 mph
  • 1/4 mile at 6.7 mph
  • 1/4 mile at 9.5 mph
  • 1/4 mile at 6.7 mph
  • 1/4 mile at 10 mph
  • 1/4 mile at 6.7 mph
  • 1/4 mile at 8 mph
  • 1/4 mile at 6.7 mph
  • 1/4 mile at 7.5 mph
  • 1/4 mile at 6.7 mph

Follow this with a ten minute cool down at 3.7 mph with an incline of between 10 and 15.

As your training progresses, feel free to up the intervals to .3 miles. It may not seem like much, but you will definitely feel the difference! Or you can set a specific amount of time and repaet intervals until the time elapses.

Happy running!!

Asian Salmon…mmm…mmm…good!

8 Jan

So, in keeping with my New Year’s Promise To Myself That I Will Eat Out No More Than Once A Week (NOT a resolution), I whipped up a little dish last night that was so absolutely painfully easy to make, but was so incredibly delicious! For fans of salmon, get ready!

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Sri Racha
  • 1/4 sweet geinger chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp minced red onions
  • 2 pounds salmon filets (2 nice size filets)

In a bowl, whisk together all the ingredients well. Place the filets into a glass baking dish, skin side up. Pour half the marinade into the baking dish. Set the remainder of the marinade aside for later use. Cover the salmon and place in the refrigerator. Let salmon marinade for at LEAST an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the salmon for 20 minutes on the center rack.

While the salmon is baking, take the sauce thaat was set aside and place into a saucepan. Cook the sauce under a very low simmer for about 5 minutes to reduce the sauce.

After 20 minutes, turn on the broiler. Place the salmon  under the broiler until there is a nice char on the skin (approximately 5-10 minutes depending on your taste).

Serve with brown or jasmine rice. Top the salmon with the reduced sauce and voila!

I served mine with some jasmine rice with a little saffron and cilantro tossed in.

Enjoy!!