Running Scared

Some months ago, my older brother Greg called up and said “Hey Matt, I’m running this half-marathon up in Middleton, Wisconsin called the Haunted Hustle.  I think it would be something you and Steph would like.  We could run it together.”

I was intrigued.  First off, I’m a runner and being that this was a Halloween themed course (complete with costume contest), it looked a lot of fun.  Steph thought it would be a good chance to set a new PR in the half-marathon.  She’s set a 5K and Marathon PR this year, why not collect the whole set?  Plus, while I have run literally hundreds of races with my twin brother, in over 25+ years of running, I’ve never run an actual race with my older brother.  Yes, we’ve run in the same race but never together.  So this was a chance to correct that grievous error.

On top of that, Greg suggested making it a family weekend – Steph and I could come up and run the race.  Mom and Dad could come up, spend a weekend with the kids and grand kids.  We’d all have a grand time, or so the premise went.  So we signed up and started training.

Pre-Race @ 35 degrees (give or take)

The course was fun – a mix of city streets, bike paths, and off road trails plus some really slick bridges and foot paths.  Greg and I stuck together all 13.1 miles.  Whereas some running partners might boost each others spirits with motivational chants or encouragement, it appears the Hughes boys use sarcasm.  For instance, when Greg was starting to feel the pace, I helpfully reminded him that this entire thing was his idea and he’s no longer allowed to pick family vacations.  But hey, it worked so who am I to complain?

Greg and I came in at 1:42:06, impressive considering neither of us had a goal in mind.  Steph was just behind at 1:49:31, a new Personal Record and topping her goal of breaking 1:50.

We all picked up some nice shiny medals and a great long sleeve tech shirt.  Afterwards, we got to spend some quality time with the parents and my niece and nephew.  A pretty good weekend, I have to say.

 

Matt & Greg

 

Steph

 

Shiny

Sibling Rivalry

A slightly paraphrased IM convo I had with my brother following a 5K race he ran this past weekend:

Jon: I shoulda stayed at the race todayI took 3rd in my age group
Matt: Nice. Do they ship you a medal?
Jon: The office is right next to mine :B
Matt: Have to stop by and get it
Jon: sweet, I was 29th out of…439
Matt: Not bad.
Jon: It either means A) Everyone else sucks cause I’ve been injured and not training well, or B) I AM A GOD.
Matt: Good to see this isn’t going to your head.
Jon: BOW BEFORE THE THIRD PLACE MEDAL!
Matt: *looks at his wall, spots the 1st place in age group medal* Oh wait, that’s medalS.
Jon: Jerk

In the end, however, Jon got ahead for it was not a medal they gave him but rather a plaque.  And as all runners know, Plaques trump Medals.  *shakes fist feebly*

I Have Been Humbled

Velkommen Your Majesties

Our little corner of Northeast Iowa had some special visitors today – the King and Queen of Norway.

King Harald V and Queen Sonja

As part of the college’s 150th Anniversary, King Harald and Queen Sonja came by to help us celebrate.

For those who don’t know, Luther College was established by Norwegian immigrants back in 1861, making it the first in the United States and oldest in the world outside of Norway.  Plus, it’s probably the only place in the United States where their Majesties can hear the audience can perform a near perfect rendition of the Norwegian National Anthem.

So yes, it was a pretty cool day.

A streaming version of the ceremony is available here (click On Demand and select Royal Convocation – the actual ceremony starts about 13 minutes in).

iBummed

Steve Jobs, 1955 – 2011

It might seem odd to be memorializing the CEO of Apple Computers, a man whom I’ve never met, but not a day goes by where my life isn’t impacted by Steve Job’s vision.

I arrived at Luther when OS X was first released.  Prior to that, Macs were the realm of the hardcore fan-boys.  OS 9 (Classic) was a pain in the ass but overnight, that changed.  It didn’t just become user friendly, it worked.  Then came the iPod.  It trickled in at first, then those white earbuds were everywhere.  It was much lamented with the iPhone came out and AT&T wouldn’t sell it locally.   When I got my iPad 2 (the first on campus, I believe), I literally had professors  knocking on my door to see what it could do and how they could use it in class.

Like him or not, you cannot deny that Jobs has had an impact on how technology is used.  I’d like to think it was for the better.  I really wish I could have seen what else hewas dreaming up.

Still Here

Yes, I’m still here.

Life’s been busy on all fronts – work (Homecoming, a King & Queen visit, & the 150th Anniversary celebrations), running (1/2 marathon on Halloween), and gardening (crop harvested, cider pressed).  Thankfully, most of that will ease off at the end of the month.

That aside, there just hasn’t been anything worthwhile to blog about lately.  Of course, some might argue that I rarely say anything worthwhile.  To that, I respond: “How the hell did the cat get ahold of a keyboard?”