You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2011.

Running has been such a positive energy source in my life, I’ve decided to share that with elementary age girls through Girls On The Run (GOTR).  GOTR is a program created by Molly Brown in 1996.  The program focuses not only on running, but creating positive self-esteem among 3rd-5th grade girls.

Last week I held my first class.  My daughters, Kendrah and Maddie, are helping me out as junior coaches.  We had ten girls turn out for the first class and there was a palpable energy flowing through the gym.  It was so great to see girls with all different strengths, personalities, and abilities working towards their own personal goals.  Sometimes girls feel like they need to look or act a certain way, but the GOTR Program strives to teach every girl to embrace their own uniqueness.

I’m looking forward to a fun season that culminates with a 5K run on May 22nd. I’m sure my 1/2 marathon training will only benefit from this program also.


Training for the 35th Grandma’s Marathon has been going well for me. This is the first time in 33 years that I have trained through the winter following a marathon season. In the past, it was busy-ness that was my excuse as the training miles disappeared during harvest.
This winter went well for me. I had tapered off in November and December, running about 10-15 miles/week. I resumed marathon training miles the last week in December, a week ahead of schedule.
Having kept a decent log of my miles and times last year, I am able to compare and contrast. So far in 2011, I am running a few more miles, but more importantly, my workout times are usually running about 30 seconds/mile faster than last year. So with this in mind, I was looking for a challenge.
I got that challenge with Team Ortho’s Get Lucky Triple 7k (half marathon). This race was held on Shepard Road in St Paul just above the Mississippi River last Saturday. A chilly day, it was 27 degrees at the start, with a slight head wind. My goal was to not get psyched out by the pace I was running, but to run hard and see what I could do.
This was an out and back race, and I was within a mile of the leader at the turn around. Even more impressive, he had about a 2 minute gap on the rest of the field, and there were less than 20 ahead of me. While it was mostly uphill on the way back, I just kept chugging away. I finished with a PR 1:25:56 time, about a 6:34 mile pace, that was good enough for 15th overall, 3rd masters and 1st in my age group. Even more satisfying was looking at my mile split times and seeing the consistency in times, only 16 seconds spread over the race (except first and last miles).
5 days later, I feel mostly recovered. I will try a tempo run tomorrow, and should be back on the training schedule, now that I have used that extra week I had started with. Keep running!

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle

Once a year, three of my roommates from college and I get together. We’ve been doing since we graduated almost 25 years ago. Through job changes, weddings, kids and graduations, we’ve only  missed one year, which was last year. So it was especially good to see everyone this past weekend.

One of the great things about my friends is that we can just come together and pick up where we left off. It’s not about who has the best job, the fanciest car or the brightest bling. It’s not a competition. It’s a group of close friends coming together to share what’s happening in their lives and knowing they have an audience that really cares about what they’re saying.

Through the year’s we’ve stayed in hotels, bed and breakfasts and cabins. We’ve gone antiquing and shopping, even during a blizzard. Recently, with our kid’s schedules controlling our lives, we manage to just get together for lunch. We usually get asked why we’re out and when we tell them we’re college friends getting together, we get a pretty warm response.

I gain my strength from many sources, family, friends and exercise. Even though I only see them once a year, Kristi, Susie and Colleen are a source of strength for me. They are a tie to a special time in my life, my college days. More importantly, they’re the group of friends I’ve “grown-up” with through the years. We’ve shared many experiences and I know that if I ever needed anything, they’d be right there for me.

Brandon and I have spent the past week in Washington, D.C. celebrating Agriculture Week.  We were recognized on National Ag Day as one of the 2010 Outstanding Young Farmers couples, and have enjoyed seeing the sights and sounds of D.C.  This has been my first time in Washington and I have really enjoyed being surrounded by our country’s history.  Following is a list of 7 things from our capitol city that really left an impression on me.   In no particular order, of course.

7.  The architecture.  I loved, loved the attention to detail in every column, tile, door, and painting.

6.  The Archives of the United States.  I got goosebumps as I viewed the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the U.S. Constitution.

5. The Library of Congress.  Thomas Jefferson’s collection of books was amazing.

4.  The Holocaust Museum.  This powerful display is not only seen with the eyes, but heard in the silenced crowd of hundreds, felt with a heaviness in the air, and smelled through wafts of leather, wood, and tears.

3.  Arlington Cemetary.  An amazing tribute to those who have served our country.

2.  The metro.  What an efficient, inexpensive, and easy way to get around the city.

1.  High heels!  I give the women in this city so much credit for spending day after day in heels!  One day and my feet were swollen and blistered.  I can’t wait to see my running shoes again 🙂

 Last week I attended the National Pork Industry Forum in Phoenix. This is the annual meeting of both the NPPC and the National Pork Board. Dale and the kids joined me on the trip since both my parents and Dale’s mom and her husband are wintering (snowbirds) in the Phoenix area.

As you can see by the picture, we got the chance to hike around Superstition Mountain a bit. The kids loved the change of scenery with the desert and cactus. Of course, who wouldn’t love 70-80 degree weather too?

Most of my time was spent in meetings. I enjoy meeting people from around the country and am always impressed with the leadership and commitment these people have to the pork industry. The National Pork Board introduced its new slogan “Be Inspired”. While The Other White Meat has done the pork industry well, it was time for a change. The new slogan may take a while to catch on, but I like the possibilities.

Most everyone is concerned with grain prices and profitability. That doesn’t stop us being the most cost effective producer of high quality pork. The world wants our product and we’ve responded by exporting almost 1 out of 5 pigs produced.

The return to Minnesota brought cooler temperatures and snow but it was still nice to have a break, even for only a few days.

I was walking the other morning with my good friend, exercise buddy, and therapist all rolled into one.  She’s great!  Her name is Lori.  I can talk to Lori about problems I’m having with my job, family, vehicle, pets, anything.  She is always supportive, but more than that she is always honest.  And if I’m out of line, she will let me know it.

Back to the other morning.  I was going on about how I couldn’t decide between running the 1/2 marathon and full marathon.  I’ve talked to her about this countless times this winter, and I think she finally got fed up with it. 

“Why can’t you just make a decision?  Decide on one race and deal with it.  If you make the wrong decision, too bad,” was Lori’s exasperated response.

It was just what I needed.  I did one final weighing of my reasons for doing the race.  Camaraderie was at the top of my list.  I definitely wanted someone to train with and share the experience with, so my decision became simple.  I have a fellow pork producer friend, Teresa, who will be running the 1/2 marathon, so I too will be running the 1/2 marathon.  The time spent training for a 1/2 marathon outweighs the race about 30 to 1 (of course this depends on your particular training schedule).  Anyway, point being, I don’t want to spend all that training time alone.

So, my decision is made.  On with the training.  Everyone needs a friend like Lori to give them a kick in the backside once in a while.  Thanks, Lori!