Hometown Heart

HOMETOWN HEART Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon Deadwood, South Dakota June 1, 2014 The alarm went off at 4:15 a.m. on the 24th day of May. This was the beginning of the biggest marathon trip thus far. All my kids, their wives, my mother, my brother and our granddaughter, Amelia, would be at the finish line in Deadwood, South Dakota. This plus the fact that South Dakota is my home state set the table for a memorable trip and a memorable marathon. We had the suburban loaded to the gills with luggage, food and “stuff”. There was a hard covered carrier …

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On A Leg and A Half

On A Leg and A Half NU Hartford Marathon Hartford, CT October 11, 2014 In late June 2014, I was running great and feeling even better. I was focused on running my second “double” – two marathons in one weekend. I felt like my 2014 body could crush my times from Missouri and Iowa in 2007. So, without hesitation, I signed up for a race in Connecticut on October 11 and Rhode Island on October 12. On July 1, I ran an all time 4-mile personal record (PR) on the treadmill when I clocked a 29:35. Outside on the pavement, …

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Out of the Vortex

Lost Dutchman Marathon Apache Junction, Arizona February 16, 2014 According to Wikipedia, a polar vortex is a persistent, large-scale cyclone located near either of a planet’s geographical poles. The 2014 polar vortex created a North American cold wave and an unusually cold Michigan winter that had actually started in November of 2013. This was my 11th winter in Michigan. In the past, I had often commented on how January was “balmy” as it averaged 22 degrees with little wind. Snow and lots of it was common but wind and cold were not. Sometime in January, we eclipsed our previous year’s …

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Memories Missed

Green Mountain Marathon South Hero Island, Vermont October 13, 2013 On Wednesday, October 12, 2013, Mary and I were once again at the Manchester, New Hampshire airport. It was 3 days after the Smuttynose Rockfest Marathon with only 4 days to go before the Green Mountain Marathon in Vermont. I had just finished a couple days of work meetings in the D.C. area and we were anxious to get back on our marathon “bookend” vacation. We drove north into New Hampshire. It wasn’t the most direct route to Vermont but a friend had encouraged us to take in the Kancamagus …

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Focused

October 6, 2013 Smuttynose Rockfest Marathon Hampton Beach, NH I took some time off from my running schedule after El Paso and before the start of the second half of my 50 state quest. During this time in my life, “time off” means I averaged just under 100 miles per month in March, April and May of 2013. It may seem like a lot of miles to some but trust me going “down” to 100 from 150 or 200 is a big deal (for me at least!). After mentally struggling for various reasons during my last 3 marathons, my goal …

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Checking Boxes – El Paso Marathon – February 24, 2013

I was in New Orleans for the 2013 annual meeting of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Mary flew in to join me on February 19th. We enjoyed a great Vince Gill concert followed by dinner and a walk down Burbon Street. The next day, the meeting ended at noon and we got in a rental car just a few blocks from our hotel. We followed the interstate for a couple hours then decided to try and find a “mom and pop” place to eat off the beaten path. There were signs for towns but as we drove on the …

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Goofy Challenge – Disney Marathon

I had not had an injury that prevented me from running since September 11, 2011. We received heavy, wet snow on December 21, 2012. Like I had done many times over the past several years, I simply grabbed a shovel and went to work. With strong winds out of the north, our driveway was packed high and tight. It required digging a path to get our walk behind snow blower through. I reached forward and lifted. I felt something give in my back. I cursed a little but simply readjusted my attack on the drift and kept working. The next …

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Marathon Month

Mount Desert Island Marathon, Bar Harbor, Maine Marine Corp Marathon, Washington, DC October has to be the biggest month for marathon events. There is literally at least one somewhere each Saturday and Sunday every year. October 2012 would become my marathon month gradually over a period of several months. First, I registered for the Bar Harbor Marathon (10-14-12) in October of 2011 when it was suggested as a destination by one of my running friends. Then, a National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) committee meeting was rescheduled in June of 2012. The new date landed on the Friday before the …

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Turning Corners – Fargo, North Dakota

I signed up for the Fargo marathon in mid-December. Shortly thereafter, I received an email telling me about a You Tube video that detailed the entire course in less than 10 minutes. Well, I checked it out and just about got sick. There were so many left and right turns that when they were played at high speed, it made my stomach churn (tea cup rides make my stomach churn!). As I got up from my computer, I thought about what a metaphor turning all these corners could be. I would be turning one of those big birthday “corners” just …

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Running With My People – Tulsa, Oklahoma

Lying on the couch, I looked squarely at my “prize” from the Delaware marathon, a right ankle that was black and blue and swollen to twice its normal size. I had strict orders from the doctor to not do any running until October 1st. It was September 12, 2011. I had a 62 mile relay scheduled for October 15th and the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa, Oklahoma on November 20th. I could not even get my right foot into a shoe BUT, the doc did give me a glimmer of hope. He didn’t order a boot or crutches, just a …

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