Tag Archives: Iowa

Yours truly talks ultras on RunIowa podcast

3 Jul

RunIowa snippedI could talk your leg off about running, but I try not to bore my friends by talking solely about the hobby that I love. I realize that not everyone is as interested in intervals and vertical and fartleks and long runs and the like.

So it was a pleasure to get to share without restraint my thoughts on ultras and running on the most recent episode of the RunIowa podcast.

Most of my training time is spent listening to podcasts, which are pre-recorded shows that you can listen to on your computer or download to your phone or MP3 player. I listen to a lot of running podcasts, a lot from NPR and a lot from ESPN. This link details some of my favorites.

As the name implies, the RunIowa podcast focuses on things around our state. The show is hosted by Rob Lindquist and David Kaeding, a pair of teachers from Council Bluffs. They’ll talk about gadgets, training, races and more. I stumbled across the very first episode that was released in late 2014, and it’s been at the top of my playlist ever since. I was honored to appear in the episode released yesterday (July 2, 2015). And I certainly enjoyed sharing my adventures in ultrarunning with fellow running enthusiasts.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking on the photo at the top of the post or here’s a link to the podcast on iTunes. RunIowa can also be found on Twitter at @RunIowa or here on Facebook.

Let me know what you think of the podcast by commenting below, and I’m sure Rob and Dave would love to have you as subscribers to the podcast.

 

Rainbow over the Mississippi

27 Mar
A rainbow stretches across the Mississippi River on a misty, windy day near Keokuk, Iowa. A strong east wind was stirring whitecaps on the river and keeping the pelicans grounded. The pending storm nearly kept me from my nightly run, but I'm glad I went ahead as planned. I would have regretted missing this scene.

A rainbow stretches across the Mississippi River on a misty, windy day near Keokuk, Iowa. A strong east wind was stirring whitecaps on the river and keeping the pelicans grounded. The pending storm nearly kept me from my nightly run, but I’m glad I went ahead as planned. I would have regretted missing this scene.

Interested in seeing scenes like this for yourself? Here’s a link to a map of my community, Keokuk, Iowa, located on the Mighty Mississippi.

Here’s a link to a page on my newspaper’s website, dailygate.com, where you can find many valuable local resources.

Here’s a link to the local chamber of commerce and to the local convention and tourism bureau. Come visit us!

Happy Turkey Day!

28 Nov

I added a little variety to my Thanksgiving run in Keokuk, Iowa, by creating a GPS drawing of a turkey. I used the Endomondo running app to track the run.

I added a little variety to my Thanksgiving run in Keokuk, Iowa, by creating a GPS drawing of a turkey. I used the Endomondo running app to track the run. You can click on the GPS drawing to go to the Endomondo site.

The turkey itself is not quite 4 miles around. All together, my run was 7 miles.

What did you do for your Thanksgiving run?

Image

Winter comes to Keokuk

23 Nov

20131123-124349.jpgMississippi River at Keokuk, Iowa

We had avoided winter’s extremes up until this week, but Saturday’s short run was a cold one: 23 degrees, 15 mph NNW winds. When these conditions hit, the Mississippi River turns dark and foreboding, and the white caps eat at the shore.

Varying my nutrition plan for ultra success

3 Mar

 

Click on any photo to launch the gallery.

Let’s put a Burger King at the 20-mile mark of every run!

With just over 4 weeks to my 50-mile ultra, this was a weekend for learning little lessons about the long run and pushing my limit a bit further out.

Saturday was a 10-miler and Sunday was a 25-miler — run from Keokuk, Iowa, to Fort Madison, Iowa, and back about 5 miles. The first run was simply designed to put some stress on the body before heading into the longer run on the following day.

One thing that has me nervous about my pending ultra is how I will handle the nutrition during the run. I’ve been OD’ing on Honey Stingers and the like on my shorter training runs, and I think I need to branch out if I’m going to make it through the ultra. I’m prepared to stay on the trail for 12 hours or so, and I don’t think I can subsist on sweet gummy chews for the whole time.

25 mile runSo Sunday I decided to branch out with two different fueling snacks.

I stopped at a Casey’s convenience store about 11 miles into the run to pick up a chocolate milk and replenish my water. The chocolate milk went down well, except for the foam that it developed as I sloshed down the road for 2-3 miles.

My second snack was a bit more substantial, but now I think every run/race should have a Burger King at the 20-mile mark! I ordered a Whopper Jr. and a small Coke, and I made use of the restroom (another much-appreciated luxury when doing a long run). I’d say in the future I would only eat half or three-quarters of the burger, but it sure tasted good.

It took about 15 minutes to get my burger and Coke and get back on the road, but I felt a surge when I hit the road again. The last 5 miles went pretty well.

In addition to the two snacks, I also ate a couple packages of Honey Stinger gels, two Keebler cookies (their rip-off of the Girl Scouts’ Caramel Delites) and three waters.

I don’t know if my nutrition plan is good or not. There’s probably a lot of protein in the two snacks I ate today, but it seemed to work for me so far.

Next week, I’ll extend the Sunday run to 30 miles while keeping Saturday’s at 10. And from there, it will be a taper until the Saturday, April 6, race — the Potawatomi Trail 50 in Pekin, Ill.

ADVICE WANTED: Do you have any great ideas for fuel during ultras? I’d love to hear them.

Culinary excellence in NOLA

26 Feb

It should be no surprise that New Orleans does well when it comes to recognizing culinary excellence. If there are two things they do right in the Crescent City, it’s eat and drink.

A few days back, the James Beard Foundation announced the semifinalists for its 2013 awards. According to this story at Nola.com, 11 New Orleans restaurants, bars and chefs have made this cut.

Here is the complete list of 2013 James Beard Award semifinalists.

We visited two award nominees in our most recent trip to the Crescent City: Brigtsen’s, nominated for Outstanding Service; and Donald Link, nominated as Outstanding Chef at Herbsaint but also the man behind Cochon and Cochon Butcher.

One New Orleans restaurant was named a semifinalist for Best New Restaurant: Borgne. I’ll have to add this to my bucket list.

And Emeril Lagasse will receive this year’s humanitarian of the year award. We visited Emeril’s NOLA restaurant this trip (Tip: order the fried chicken! Sorry, mom, Emeril’s version just edges out your’s. ) And we’ve eaten at the eponymous Emeril’s in the past.

Interesting side notes:

  • San Francisco had 24 make the semifinalist cut. I knew I liked that town!
  • New York City had, by my count, 36 semifinalists. The best chef semifinalists are nominated by region, but NYC is a region of its own. Twenty NYC chefs made this category alone.
  • George Formaro, the man behind Centro, Django, South Union Bread and others in Des Moines, made the cut for Outstanding Restaurateur. Centro is our tried and true lunch-time stop after the Des Moines marathon every October.

Bon appetit!

Logging miles on the Wabash Trace Nature Trail

12 Feb
The Wabash Trace Nature Trail crosses the East Nishnabotna River just outside of Shenandoah, Iowa.

The Wabash Trace Nature Trail crosses the East Nishnabotna River just outside of Shenandoah, Iowa. I just missed capturing a bald eagle in this picture.

Ran a 20-miler on Saturday and an 8-miler on Sunday. It’s 8 weeks until my ultramarathon. Twenty miles seemed long on Saturday, so I’m not sure what to think about 50 miles in April.

Here’s a link to Saturday’s run, which was run on the Wabash Trace Nature Trail in my hometown of Shenandoah, Iowa. Shenandoah is in extreme southwest Iowa, about 60 miles southeast of Omaha, Neb.

The Wabash Trace is Iowa’s longest trail, running from Council Bluffs to Blanchard. It’s great for hiking, biking or running. 

The trail is mostly crushed limestone. It was a bit spongy on Saturday, but it firmed up for Sunday’s 8-mile run.

The trail is maintained by a group of dedicated volunteers. In September 2012, the group held its first half-marathon and marathon on the Trace — as it’s called locally — and they did a great job. I would recommend the race for anyone looking for a small, fun trail race in the area.  

More information on the 2012 race can be found here; I would suggest checking back for updates on future races.

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