Tuesday, July 24, 2018

July 4th in Minnesota

I wake up early for a 10k in Excelsior. The weather is awful for running, 80’s with a dew point in the mid 70’s. I adjust my run/walk ratio and my pace from the start but its hell. In spite of the weather its a pretty race and I get a nice tour of Excelsior and the nearby town of Greenwood. Lovely neighborhoods, the cute downtown, views along Lake Minnetonka. Its hilly but I could have managed the hills ok if it wasn’t for the heat.

This is not just a 10k but a 1 mile and a 5k are taking place too. The 1 mile starts first. They have a saxophonist play the national anthem. They let the little kids line up at the front of the pack for the 1 mile. They almost get run over by the serious milers right behind them but its pretty cute. Then the 5k starts, and finally the 10k.

Around mile 4 it suddenly clouds over and we hear thunder. Not too much later it starts to rain and rain hard. The temperature drops and my time for the last mile improves accordingly.

At the end we get a little medal and a popsicle! That popsicle was heaven. 1:15:45 was my worst time ever for a 10k (except for Dopey but that was different), but honestly I did the best I could in that heat. I was somewhat dismayed to discover that I came in last of the 13 women in my age group, 60-69. But if there had been 5 year age groups (as there should be!) there would have been only two women in my group and I would have come in 2nd! I was the 2nd oldest woman in the race. 

I went home, cleaned up and around 1 we went over to Sarah and Erik’s for a 4th of July feast. Erik grilled pork chops, Suzanne made a delicious cole slaw, Kris brought a really good salad and Sarah grilled veggie kabobs. Lee brought beer and I brought a flag cake, of course.

Leo got to sit in a high chair for the very first time. He really liked being up with the big people. They gave him a little bit of avocado to taste, and mainly squish around with his fingers. He really mostly enjoyed chewing on a toy and sitting with us.

That evening I wanted to stay up to see the fireworks over Lake Waconia. Around 10 pm I was getting pretty tired and they still hadn’t started so I went upstairs to get ready for bed. Just then, boom boom boom, so I went into my office and the fireworks were right there. They set them off from Coney Island, right in the middle of the lake so I could see everything except for a little bit that was too low.

Next year this time we’ll be in Excelsior. There are probably fireworks lots of places around Lake Minnetonka so that’s where we’ll be!

The Sunrise in Suburbia is as Pretty as Any Fireworks!

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Duluth June 2018

On Friday in steaming 90 degree weather we hitch up the RV and drive to Duluth. Construction season in Minnesota plus everyone driving there for the marathon means that Google takes us most of the way on state highways. It’s slow but not bad.

We get to Buffalo RV campground, the same place we stayed two years ago, around 3:30 PM. It’s a floating mud pit because they got 4 inches of rain yesterday, so bad there is standing water where Lee has to set up the camper, and no place to walk the dogs. I walk them carefully along the edge of our campsite where it is a little drier; Lee cusses as he sets things up, but we get things done and then head over to Nicole and Tom's house.

Harrison is so cute! A big boy, 10 months old, full of smiles, but tired. He goes to bed soon after we arrive. Baby monitors are amazing things, we can watch him fuss and then fall asleep in his bed upstairs.

Nicole makes spaghetti, very yummy, and Lee makes a strawberry rhubarb crisp for dessert. It’s all very good. We walk the dogs around the block several times so there is no need to walk them when we get back to the camper.

In the morning I drive the dogs up the road to a drier place for their morning walk. We eat cinnamon rolls and then head into town to try to catch Tom at the finish line of the half. It’s perfect running weather, foggy, cloudy, 50 degrees. I’m a little bit jealous, so much better for running than when I ran Grandma’s in 2016.

We park up the hill from the race course and then have trouble figuring out how to get to the finish line. Eventually we find Nicole and Harrison and the correct route, but by the time we arrive Tom has already finished. Oh well! He did good too, 2:11, 10:39 mpm, and he’s primarily a cyclist, not a runner. 

Our timing is such that we decide to wait the 20 minutes until the male winner of the full marathon finishes. 2:10:06, 1 minute off the course record, blows my mind. Then Lee and I get sandwiches at the Northern Smokehaus and we all eat an early lunch at their house. Then it’s nap time.

Around 4:30 we meet Nicole, Tom and Harrison for a short hike at Jim Cooke State Park. We hike along the St. Louis river, cross a swinging bridge, admire the rapids. They have a neat carrier backpack for Harrison to ride in. Afterward we go to  Buffalo House for dinner, sitting outside on the deck in the early evening sunshine. Harrison eats my sunglasses while we eat burgers and bison French dip. Their food is good and I have 2 margaritas. 

I sleep long and hard, really long. Fitbit says I slept almost 9 hours which means I was in bed for over 10. It rained all night so things are really muddy again. Next time we come to Duluth with the RV we’re staying somewhere else, this is ridiculous. Other than the mud we had a great time!


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