Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June Monthly Weather Summary

The entries in this posting come from the daily blog at Wunderground. Sometimes I make a few changes here, but most of the time, the blog is just captured, edited slightly to have the images fit the blogger format, and the posting is saved. Normally, I post daily at Wunderground and just add this entry at the end of the month represented in this posting title.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009: Sunny and mild day today in NW Montana. The creek flow was increased due to a release of water from upstream. Otherwise, dry conditions continue. The grass in the pastures varies from long and healthy in the two pastures that were flooded over this spring, to short and varied in the upper dry areas.

Long Grass and View to the Old Barn
Long grass in the winter paddock

Monday, June 29, 2009: It was another clear day in NW Montana. The evening sky had an interesting color to it tonight.

Morning Sun on Box Elder
Morning sun and the Box Elder tree

Evening Sky behind West Trees
Glowing evening sky to the west

Sunday, June 28, 2009: Just like it was in Missoula, it was a sunny, warm, dry day again in NW Montana. I returned to the ranch late in the day as the dogs sniffed around the trees.

Dogs in the Evening Sunlight
Taffy and Titan in the evening sunlight

Evening Panorama East Views (merged three images)
Evening views to the east

Saturday, June 27 & Sunday, June 28, 2009: Senior Softball Tournament in Missoula.

Softball Tournament (Slide Show)

Limited Views of Missoula (not a tourist this weekend) (Slide Show)

Friday, June 26, 2009: Today was just like yesterday: Sunny, dry, and nice temperatures. Today, just a few clouds decided to show up in the afternoon.

View East with just a Touch of Clouds
Merged images with a touch of clouds in the east sky

Thursday, June 25, 2009: It was a sunny, warm, and dry day in NW Montana.

Afternoon View to the East
Merged images creating a view to the east

Wednesday, June 24, 2009: Return from Minnesota to Montana. This was a travel day with the flight from Minneapolis to Kalispell. A window seat provided an opportunity to see what the camera could capture from the sky.

Flying from Minnesota to Montana (Slide Show)

Back at the Ranch ... Evening Views (Slide Show)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009: The day began with the same calmness that ended the day before. With the cool night and moisture, a heavy fog hung over the lake for a couple of hours in the morning. Clearing followed, and made for another gorgeous day in the wilderness of northeast Minnesota. This was departing day though, and the trip across the lake completed a wonderful stay in northeast Minnesota.

Fog, to Sun, and another Lake Crossing (Slide Show)

Monday, June 22, 2009: Another wonderful rest day today in Northeast Minnesota. Weather-wise, an overnight shower cooled down the night and made the morning a little wet and humid. There was a chance for another hike of the portage trail. The evening meal (usually a cookout over an open fire) was a great rib-roast that left everyone fat and happy. After the meal, the calm evening made for a great time to view the lake from the dock. The water was still and beautiful.

Scenes of the Day in NE Minnesota (Slide Show)

Sunday, June 21, 2009: This was a great rest day in NE Minnesota. After yesterday's marathon, it is nice way to recover from the 26.2 mile run, and the previous three months (and over 600 miles) of training. Just enjoy the day, hike a little, swim a little, eat a little, drink as necessary. I love it!

Resting and Relaxing in Northeast Minnesota (Slide Show)

Saturday, June 20, 2009: Today was the trip to Duluth to run Grandma's Marathon. This was marathon number 37 for me. A warm day greeted the runners with temperatures in the middle 60's and relative humidity in the 90's at the start of the race. It got warmer through the day. After the marathon, it was a drive up to Burntside Lake in NE Minnesota and a cruise across the lake for rest and relaxation for the next few days.

Grandma's Marathon ... I finish my 24th Grandma's! (Slide Show)

Crossing Burntside Lake and the Guest Quarters (Slide Show)

Friday, June 19, 2009: A day for a trip to Duluth to pick up the race packet. Later, there was time for a visit to the Woods Place and an evening cruise around Sand Lake on the pontoon boat.

Visit to Duluth to Pickup Race Packets (Slide Show>

Woods Place Visit and Pontoon Cruise (Slide Show)

Wednesday, June 17 and Thursday, June 18, 2009: Travel days and visiting with family in Minnesota.

Travel and Family (Slide Show)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009: The day was sunny and mild. This was the first day of my trip to Minnesota and the last morning line-up of the horses for a week.

Horses before Morning Release to Grazing Paddocks
Patti at gate just before morning horse release for grazing greener paddocks

Tuesday, June 16, 2009: Partly cloudy start to what became a mostly sunny day. The cumulus again popped up with even a quick light afternoon shower.

Afternoon Clouds at the Ranch
Clouds in the afternoon

Monday, June 15, 2009: Sunrise under hanging clouds this morning. The day was a mix of high to mid clouds and some sessions of sunny and partly sunny times. By evening, it again was mostly cloudy with some light late evening sprinkles (right after the softball games), but, not enough to spoil the party day.

Sunrise on Just another Day in NW Montana
Sunrise and perched bird

Sunday, June 14, 2009: Some clouds remained overnight as a remnant of yesterday's evening showers. During the early morning, these clouds began to burn away. The forecast if for the chance of new cloud development later in the day today.

Morning View East with Lingering Cloud Cover
Clouds remain this morning after the evening rain from yesterday

Saturday, June 13, 2009: It was a mostly sunny weather day at the ranch today. Just those billowing cumulus again. However, today, they managed to group together a bit more during the early evening. Rain and strong winds were around the area for about a half an hour or so. Just a bit of rainfall was accumulated. It was enough to settle the dust for the evening.

Clouds East of the Ranch this Afternoon
Clouds over the Box Elder tree

Friday, June 12, 2009: It is one of those peaceful feeling days of late spring. Not quite summer yet, but the blue sky and floating clouds drifting through the day.

Clouds Over Lake Cabin
Floating cloud over lake cabin

Thursday, June 11, 2009: Not so cold overnight with some drifting clouds hanging about to keep the frost away for a change. The day way sunny and had just a scattering of clouds.

Sunny Day and Evening
Evening view southeast

Wednesday, June 10, 2009: A year ago on this day we had 3" of snow here in NW Montana. Today, no snow! Although, it was cool enough for a light frost this morning, the combination of the frost and fog quickly burned away and resulted in a wonderful "blue sky with just the right amount of clouds" pre-summer day. The temperature stayed fairly cool, and quite pleasant!

The Morning Sun Burns Away the Fog
Sun burning away the early day fog

Tuesday, June 9, 2009: It was cool overnight with frost on the deck this morning. The outdoor plants (some tomatoes and the marigolds) have been challenged a couple of times since being allowed out on their own! Sunny sky was present during the morning. Just a bit of development of clouds after some of the early morning ground fog and low clouds dissolved.

Mix of Clouds, Sun, and Fog this Morning
Mix of morning sun, clouds, and valley ground fog

Monday, June 8, 2009: The clouds that arrived late yesterday continued to be present overnight. By early morning (like 4:00 AM or so, according to the recording rain gauge) rain began to fall. It was heavy at times and resulted in over 0.40" by the time it ended in mid-morning. The early afternoon was a mix of low clouds and still some light showers. I went out for a run and noticed the hills west of the ranch had a fresh coating of snow near the tops (the morning rain was quite cold, no wonder!). The clouds began to break during the afternoon. By early evening, a nice mix of clouds, blue sky, and sunshine had returned to the area.

Evening Clouds to the Southeast along with Blue Sky
Blue sky and clouds over the lilacs

Sunday, June 7, 2009: A clear, cool, and much calmer start to the day today. Cumulus developed around the edges during the morning and mid day, but no showers developed. With the lighter wind, it was a much more pleasant day today than it was yesterday. Late in the day, the clouds became thicker, and it was mostly cloudy at the last animal check just before dark.

Longeing Harmony at Rebecca Farm
Rebecca Farm Dressage day two with Glacier Park peak in the background

Saturday, June 6, 2009: Strong north winds overnight brought with them a break in the dry days of this month by giving some overnight rain. The breezes continued to be quite strong through the morning and for most of the day. That didn't stop my wife from doing a dressage ride in a local horse show (and doing quite well, in-spite of the wind! Cool conditions were the rule of the day and kept the light snow visible on higher hills around for most of the day.

Patti on Wanita after Dressage Test
Patti on Wanita after dressage ride

Friday, June 5, 2009: Today started clear, and mostly calm. By early afternoon some Cu can be seen popping up to the south and east. The forecast is calling for a chance of rain and even a thunder shower. June has been completely dry so far and is historically the wet period before the full dry-out typical for July through late August.

Hazy Afternoon Sky with some Clouds Developing
Some light cumulus to the east - Not much here

Thursday, June 4, 2009: Mostly sunny and continued very dry today. (See Life, One Day at a Time for more daily activities).

Dusty Morning Air over the Horses
Dusty air as the horses graze in the morning light

Wednesday, June 3, 2009: Cool overnight. Sunny, nice day around the ranch.

Morning Sunshine on the Old Barn
The old barn and fence line in the morning sunlight

Tuesday, June 2, 2009: More sunshine than clouds today. The wind was lighter today and still a bit cool.

Morning Walk along the Upper Fence Line
Walking the dogs early in the day today

Monday, June 1, 2009: Today was variably cloudy and cooler. The wind shifted to the north overnight and the temperature did not get as warm as it has been for the last several days. No precipitation fell during the weather change event. Overnight wind, and the wind during the day today was quite strong.

Morning Sunrise Sky
Sun though light clouds this morning

Night Animal Check
Lights on for the last animal check of the day

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Marathon Over ... Now, just One Day at a Time

The training period for the marathon is probably the most intense time period during the year. Even when I run a second marathon, the training for the first marathon of the year totally exceeds whatever is done for the second event. After the marathon, I normally do not run at all for at least a week. Sometimes a couple or three. Since I seem to have a lingering injury from the training period this year, it will probably be a couple of weeks without running. I still have an on-going pain in the upper left leg (possibly just some over used tendons or muscles, hopefully nothing more extreme, like a stress fracture or some other hip joint problem). The next couple of weeks should give a better sense as I rest a bit.

Normally, the trip to run the marathon is my only away from the ranch travel of the year. This year, as a quick follow-up, I have journeyed to Missoula for a Senior Men's Softball Tournament at the Fort Missoula Sports Area. The softball event is a good switch from ranch projects that will soon follow (baling, and all other projects related to getting ready for the change of seasons that takes place way too fast).

This is a good life!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Marathon Day - Day 112

Saturday, June 20, 2009: Marathon Day in Duluth, Minnesota. The day was clear and warm. A half-marathon started one hour before the marathon. At that time, the temperature was in the middle 60's with the humidity showing 99%. It was at least as warm at the beginning of the marathon at 7:30 AM. I decided to go into the starting area bin and stand with the group near the expected 5:30 time pacer. Sweat was running like in a sauna, even before the group began moving. One of the race sponsors, Cliff Bars, has a pre-race sign-up where individuals that expect to run a particular pace, get a race singlet, and carry a placard and balloons indicating the pace time (3:30, 4:00, 4:30, 5:00, etc.) This allows those who want to run with a pacer to easily see where to run within the crowd (6,300+ runners were in the starting bin today). Due to my slower running lately, I decided to pace out with this group. It took over six minutes to cross over the starting chip reading pads after the race began. The pace was a slow walk for most of that. After crossing the starting pad, the race pace was fine and within my training pace. I actually decided to increase my pace and passed the 5-hour pace group before the six mile mark. The conditions were still quite warm but a good head-wind breeze took place between the six and nine mile section of the course. Even with the warm conditions, I did not take any water until the ten mile water tables.

My pace continued to be within my training level through the half-marathon mark. For some unknown reason, about that time, my left ear plugged much like happens when going through an elevation change. I ran with it for a little longer, but within the next mile or so I decided to alternate walking and running to see if the ear plug would clear. But it did not. I continued the alternating walk 1/2 mile, run 1/2 mile until about the 20 mile marker. At that time, the 5:30 pace group was around me and I decided to pace with them for a while again. I did this through the section of the course when the run is going up Lemon Drop Hill. The group pacer switched to a walk at that time, but since most of my training is up and down hills, I kept on running. I ran most of the rest of the race through downtown Duluth just doing the walk during the water stops to sip a bit of water and to pour water over my head to cool down. Some of the water was quite warm at this time so I actually took separate cups of ice and poured water into the ice to cool it a bit. This was the first marathon that I have actually poured water over my head as a cool down procedure. As the race entered the last mile, I even implemented my tradition (from early marathons and races) that I did not want to let anyone pass me during the last mile of the run. It was mostly the case with just a short section when I slowed down a bit and a couple of runners did pass me. But, it was a good finish and I felt fine going through the medal line and while getting my finisher shirt and pre-race bag. So, I completed another marathon. This was Grandma's Marathon number 24 for me and marathon number 37 in total. I will probably run another!

Marathon results : Entrants: 8,377; Starters: 6,366; Finishers: 5,983 ... My summary: 5:34:47 (gun time), 5:28:33 (chip time); 5,024 out of 5,983 finishers; 3,244 out of 3,710 men finishers; 70 out of 104 in my age group : 26.2 miles completed!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Marathon Training - Day 108

Tuesday, June 16, 2009: This is the last scheduled day of marathon training for the upcoming event. It was a pretty disappointing day, running training wise, since I had originally showed a 20 mile run today to end the training. Instead, I was only able to do a walk-run combination for a total of five miles. (But, it gave me a chance to stop and talk to the road-side horses one last time). Something continues to not be right in the muscles/tendons/core of my left leg, so it limited me to stretching walks and short jogs. I didn't think 20 miles of this combination would be of any benefit, so, it was the 5-miler to finish the training program. I was close to the total goals for the period beginning March 1st with my running miles showing a total of 606.6 miles versus the planned total of 617 miles. Not bad over the course of the 108 day training period! Also, I did a bit better with some cross-training biking this year, although, I still did far less biking than I could have. Hopefully, the marathon day will be a good day, both weather-wise and running-wise. I am running as number 177 again this year when Grandma's marathon takes place on Saturday, June 20th. Marathon Log for today: Walk/run 5.3 miles. Training totals: 606.6 miles VS 617 in the training plan!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Marathon Training - Day 107

Monday, June 15, 2009: Just about done with the marathon training for this event. 'One More Day!'. Wednesday is a travel day to Minnesota. Thursday is another travel day from Minneapolis to Sand Lake (near Moose Lake). Friday is packet pickup day in Duluth. And Saturday is the Grandma's marathon event. So, today could have been the last "long run day" (or, maybe tomorrow). But, instead, still favoring some kind of soreness in my upper left leg, I just jogged out for a five-miler. Going slower allowed me to notice and photograph some road-side roses. Also, since I had two softball games tonight, I didn't want to overdo the running training. It was a good day for a run with partly to mostly cloudy sky when I did the run, and temperatures in the 60's. Also, in keeping with that, it was also a day to increase my move into the 60's, with today being my 61st birthday. (Happy birthday to me, (do, dah, do, dah)). Marathon log information: Run: 5.2 miles; Cross-traing (if softball playing counts): 2 games; Indoor cycle: 10:05 minutes/3.0 miles.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Marathon Training - Day 106

Sunday, June 14, 2009: I just kicked back for a rest day today. No run, just a walk with the dogs in the morning and a short spin on the indoor cycle late in the afternoon. Marathon log for the day: Run: 0; Cross-training indoor cycle: 2.65 miles.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Marathon Training - Day 105

Saturday, June 13, 2009: This was a great repeat of my running of the last few days. This morning was clear, mild, and dry and I decided to do my run during the usual mid-day time-frame. This was another fairly slow run, but I was able to do the full run again. During the run I noticed the young trees that have been growing in the stumps of what once were large trees along the road. As my running training for this marathon is winding up I thought about the importance of the old life that supports the new growth in my days. There was a time when I ran much faster. But now, with my running training and my life at a bit of a slower pace, I continue to see how the balance of the old and the new help to keep life growing. Today, after the marathon training run, I also did a cross-training bike ride into town and back. Log for the day -- Run 8.2 miles; Cross-training Bike Ride: 13.4 miles.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Marathon Training - Day 104

Friday, June 12, 2009: Out and a about for a mid-morning run today. The blue sky was supporting building cumulus above all of the ranches on the way up the hill. My run today was again to the Lupine Meadows gate. I didn't notice any of the usual animals along the running route today. The horses that have been up the road were seen earlier just above the ranch. With the warmer temperature, the cattle were probably higher up the hill in the woods, too.
It was a good run with just slight stops for picturing the scenes. The weather was mild with the temperature already climbing into the low 70 range. Running log for today -- Run: 8.2 miles. Cross training was just hitting the softball around a little while Taffy fetched the ball for me.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Marathon Training - Day 103

Thursday, June 11, 2009: I was going to get a long run done today, but some in town appointments made me change my plan. As a result, I repeated the training runs I have been doing lately and headed up the Ashley Lake to Sherman to the Lupine Meadows gate route. Some lingering stiffness in my hip kept me from running for the first mile. In fact, I thought about just walking back and giving the run plan a rest. But, as I got to the gravel road I decided to jog slowly. Everything felt fine, so I continued up the hill to the gate. I managed to slowly jog the full route (with the exception of the first mile of walking). Light clouds and sunshine dominated the day and made for a good run, after-all. Marathon log: Run 8.2 miles.

Marathon Training - Day 102

Wednesday, June 10, 2009: A cool start today kept the temperature comfortable even for a late morning run. I am keeping up the eight mile runs but still holding off on the last long run. (Still some soreness in my left leg, and I decided to keep the mileage down a bit). During the run today, the cattle were resting along the side of the road. We've had some rain over the last couple of days and it has keep the meadows and grassy areas green with the new growth. Mileage log for today: 8.2 miles.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Marathon Training - Day 101

Tuesday, June 9, 2009: Another of the eight mile runs up to the Lupine Meadows gate. It was a return to a great running day with cool temperatures and partly cloudy to cloudy conditions (no sun-stroke, today). Events of the run included a chat with one of the neighbors up that way and just observing the animals along the way (today, a pig joined the list of the animals noticed while running). In addition, there were horses here and there, again, and, the dog named Oreo was out in a pasture watching for gophers to pop-up. While running down the road from the top turn-around, I noticed almost all of the new snow was gone. Just the ski runs at Blacktail Mountain still showed some of the accumulation from overnight Sunday. Marathon log -- Run: 8.2 miles. (Cross training will be a softball game, later today).

Monday, June 8, 2009

Marathon Training - Day 100

Monday, June 8, 2009: I was almost going to play my "weather rest day" card today. It was raining (and fairly cool (high 30's and low 40's)). However, around mid-day, the clouds weren't dropping much rain, so, out I went for a run. It was a good thing, too, since this is Day 100 in my training program, it would have been a real shame to not have a running session to log. As I started my run, it was more apparent why the morning temperatures were so cool. There was new snow visible on the west hills. If I had decided to do the Ashley Lake pass run, I probably would have run through the snow level. Instead, I decided to again do the Sherman Road route. No bears this time, just a passing dog, a turkey or two, some horses, and the visible snow to the west. I ran the full route (except when photographing animals and snow scenes) and it was a nice running day after-all. The marathon log today: 8.2 miles. Training log for 100 days: 555 miles (553 in the training plan ... so I'm still doing pretty good).

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Marathon Training - Day 99

Sunday, June 7, 2009: I took the day off from marathon training today. Just some ranch chores, horsing around work, and hitting the softball across the pastures for some swinging practice. Marathon training log: 0 miles ... no recordable cross training, either.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Marathon Training - Day 98

Saturday, June 6, 2009: A change in the weather today with strong north winds and cool temperatures. There was even some fresh snow visible at some of the higher elevations. I got out for my run a just about noon and decided to duplicate the eight mile run up to Lupine gate. It seemed a rather normal run, with the exception of the bear I saw while on the downhill run (about 1/2 mile from the turnaround gate). Unfortunately, I was slow in my remembering to get my camera out, but, I did take a picture of the woods area where the bear went up the hill. Interestingly, close viewing of the image did not show a bear, but rather a deer hidden in the woods. The bear might have been there somewhere too, however; I could not see it in the image. It was a bit of a surprise to see the hidden deer, what with a bear just going up that way, but maybe it was a doe hiding with its' fawn. The remainder of the run was finished uneventfully. Mileage log for today -- Run: 8.3 miles.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Marathon Training - Day 97

Friday, June 5, 2009: We're starting to push the limit for clear and dry running days in a row, however, I got another one today. It was sunny, with just a little breeze, and some cooling shadows remaining, as I did the eight-miler up to Lupine Meadows gate and back. I ran the full distance and felt pretty good. No cross training has been done as I write this, but I may still do a bike ride and some softball hitting, before the weather changes on me! Marathon Training Log: Run 8.329 miles.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Marathon Training - Day 96

Thursday, June 4, 2009: Another of a string of sunny and dry days. Perfect again for a training run (if I would only start earlier in the day when the temperature is cooler). Instead, I began my training run shortly before noon.

Since I did the long run yesterday, I decided to make today just a short four-miler. It was an out and back on the black-top and then just a mile up Sherman Road. I was able to do a full time run for this training outing (although still not very fast). Let the training log show: 4.1 miles; Cross Training bike ride later in the afternoon: 13.4 miles.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Marathon Training - Day 95

Wednesday, June 3, 2009: A cool sunny day meant deciding to do the long run, finally! I filled a couple of water bottles, one to drop at the one mile mark (that also became the the nine mile mark, and the 15 mile mark). I carried the other up the pass toward Ashley Lake. It was a sunny and pleasant mid morning when I started the run. This was a day when I thought I would give the bruised leg a try for the distance of anywhere from 10 to 16 miles. The run up the hill was pretty good with some walking during the steepest sections, but, mostly jogging and slogging along. I did the turn-around at about 5.2 miles. Doing the trip back downhill felt pretty good. So, at the water bottle drop I decided to head up the gravel road to the Lupine Meadows gate. I did do a walk/run mix up the road to the gate. Again, the downhill was a bit easier, so I was able to mostly run. For the final mile section on the black-top, I did walk a bit during the return to the ranch. Overall, it was good distance effort, even though it was not a speed record. Mileage log -- Run (walk, too): 16.43 miles.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Marathon Training - Day 94

Tuesday, June 2, 2009: I've had to make some adjustments to my planned training schedule for the last week or so. A bouncing ball that short-hopped into my left shin last Wednesday has resulted in a bit of a bruise and some modified running abilities. Today (yesterday, and even the day before) should have been one of my long runs of 20 miles or so. Instead, I just did the quick two-miler yesterday and today managed only a six miler. I did my run today during the late morning and just ran the Batavia black-top to the Sherman Road gravel route for another out and back. Horses along the Batavia section managed to pose for a few photos. Later in the day, I also did a cross-training bike ride into Kalispell. Log for the day -- Run: 6.231 miles; Bike: 13.53 miles.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Marathon Training - Day 93

Monday, June 1, 2009: It was a late afternoon quick run today. I used the run as a warm-up for my softball game tonight. I did just a quick two-miler run out to the Sherman Road cutoff and back. No special other cross training, just the evening softball game. Marathon training log: 2.112 miles.