Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year!

Hey, all!  It's been a crazy end to the year 2011 in Cyclin' Missy land.  I've been travelling basically since Thanksgiving.  First for work, then on vacation.  Workouts have, therefore, been sporadic.  I did get out for a trail run in Georgia, a bike ride and some weight lifting in Florida, and a run back in Michigan.  Not much, but I'm sooooo ready to have some time at home and get back into a routine come January.

As for 2012, there are TWO Warrior Dashes coming to Michigan this year!  One in Mt. Morris again in July and one in our lovely city of Grand Rapids in September!  The hubby and I are already signed up for the GR race.

We also want to do a Tough Mudder in the summer somewhere.

Other than that, I have no big race plans for 2012 yet.  I'm confident that I'll do another marathon, but not this year.  Still too many new things to try!

What are all of you looking forward to in 2012?  Do you have any big goals or event plans?

Monday, December 5, 2011

We have a winner!

Congratulations to Melanie P!  Our Wayfair rep will be contacting you soon to hook you up with your prize.

Enjoy and have a great holiday season!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Second chance for free stuff

While I had some responses to the Holiday Shopping Season contest, no one actually entered it.  Boy, my traffic must be down! LOL!

Anyway, I'm going to give you guys a second chance to win the $65 item from Wayfair.  Be the first person to email me with the subject line "I want free stuff", and you will be the winner.  If no one claims the prize by Friday, December 9, 2011, I will just have to keep it myself.

Not that I won't accept it, but I'd love to give something away to someone out there.

So email me ASAP!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Holiday Shopping Season Contest - Last Hours...

If you are still planning to enter the contest, there are just a few hours left!  Go here for the complete details.  And good luck to all!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Contest Reminder - Maybe the Last...

Note from Missy: If you are planning to enter the Holiday Shopping Season Contest, don't forget to email me your entry by November 30 (that's Wednesday)!

Full contest details are here.

Update: I need to make one correction to the prize details.  Rather than a gift certificate for $65 to use on the Wayfair site, they will actually send you the item of your choice of up to $65 value.  So it's like you'll order your prize item right from our lovely, lovely Wayfair rep when she contacts you.  If you're the winner, of course.  But you can't win if you don't enter!  So email me those thankful stories!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Contest Reminder

Note from Missy: Just a reminder to enter the Holiday Shopping Season Contest for a chance to win a $65 gift certificate to Wayfair.  Enter by November 30!

Full details are here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Holiday Shopping Season Contest

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

I have to say that it’s been a good 2011 here in Cyclin’ Missy world. I have a job that I enjoy, and the hubby found a great new job this summer after being laid off at the beginning of the year. I got to participate in several muddy running adventures. I got to do some mountain biking. I completed my first marathon. I have great family and friends that share these joyous times with me. And I am lucky enough to be able to go out and buy new running shoes, plan a vacation to Florida, and give a couple Christmas gifts to my hubby.

Since I have so much to be thankful for already, I thought that I’d pass on some of the love to you out there. Wayfair is working with me again this year (you may remember them as CSN Stores) to reward the winner of a contest.

Thus, introducing the Holiday Shopping Season Contest!

The winning contestant may choose an item of up to $65 in value from to get yourself something that you didn’t put on your wish list yet or to get a gift for someone special just in time for the holidays. To give or to receive…it’s up to you how you spend that $65!

Maybe you want to give your cat an automatic feeder for while you’re gone on vacation. Maybe you’re an active new mom or dad, and you want one of those cool jogging strollers. Maybe you need some hot boots like these. Browse the site, pick out your prize, and then enter the contest!

Here’s the deal:

  1. To enter, send me an email telling me about something that you’re thankful for in the year 2011. It can be brief, but give me the story. Be sure to include a basic bio about yourself. Include a photo/drawing to illustrate your story, too, if possible.
  2. The contest is open to US and Canadian residents only. (Sorry overseas readers!)
  3. Entries will be accepted through November 30, 2011 at 11:59pm EST. I will put the name of each entrant in a hat and choose one at random.
  4. I will announce the winner by December 2, 2011. Then, our lovely, lovely Wayfair rep will contact you by email, and she will get your $65 item of choice shipped out to you.

Have fun and good luck!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Post Recovery News: Pseudo Shoe Review

First, I am very excited to report that I have purchased a new pair of running shoes and so far I love them.  Number 1 reason...they don't damage my toes.  Yaaaaaah!  No more runners toe!  I got a half size larger than my last pair in a brand that I don't usually buy and made sure there was lots of room in the toes.

The thing is, so far, these are all around really comfortable running shoes!  When I was trying on pair after pair of shoes at the store, I asked the sales girl about the model - Nike Vomero 6.  I'm told this is the top of the line Nike running shoe.  She was wearing them.  The first thing she said was that these are her very favorite running shoes of all time.  The down side...they are at the high end of price at $130 and they wear out quickly.  She put 3 or 4 months at 20 miles a week on them and the bottoms were already worn half way up the treads.

At this point, I just want a quality shoe that is going to do my feet right.  I'm despirate.  I tried the next model down - the Pegasus - in case I could get nearly the same quality for a lower price, but the Pegasus has the lower model insole and it is not as comfortable as the Vomero.  So, I'm thinking it'll be worth it to wear these more expensive shoes through the winter months and maybe have to buy another pair in the spring.  I don't care.  They feel good.  And no blisters or bruised toenails.

Despiration has overcome Dutchness.

On a totally different topic, the Iceman Cometh Challenge was this past weekend.  I did not ride in the race this year, but I think I did benefit from the event.  I went riding on Saturday at Luton Park and it was half as busy as I expected on a sunny, fall day.  I'm thinking that most of the area mountain bike riders were up in Traverse City for the Iceman.  I have no proof, but that's the story I'm going with.

It was a great ride, and I hope we have several more weekends of dry weather before the snow comes.  I want to get some more riding in now that the marathon is over.  After that, I'm looking forward to some snowshoeing again this year!

Finally, I have to give a shout out to my friends Cat and Melissa who ran the Hot Chocolate Race in Chicago this weekend.  They are just too cute not to share in their chocolate themed costumes.  I will have to do this next year!

Cat and Melissa at the Chicago Hot Chocolate Race

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Annie and Tibbers

The hubby and I planned, made, and rocked elaborate Halloween costumes this year.  Last night was our adventure in downtown Grand Rapids!

We went as Annie the Dark Child and her demonic teddy bear, Tibbers - characters from the video game League of Legends.

Annie and Tibbers

The costumes took months to put together.  My co-worker and I made my dress from scratch, and I cut and styled a long wig to match Annie's look.  But my costume was easy compared to the hubby's. 

Cutting and Styling the Wig

I built the head and paws of the bear myself over hours and hours of evenings and weekends, and the hubby designed and made the body of the bear.  We were drowning in craftiness...and loose fuzz from the many yards of fur fabric!  The Tibbers costume ended up weighing a ton and was about 120 degrees inside even out in 30 degree weather.

Putting Fur on the Head

Wire and Fur Ears

Aftermath of the Build

Why am I posting about this on a primarily athletic related blog?  Aside from the geeky coolness of these costumes that I just had to show off, the hubby said that I could call this cross training.  With the work he did to walk around town in that costume, he's right!

Everyone loves to hug a teddy bear...even an evil one!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Hey, everyone!  I think I can safely say that I am recovered from the marathon.  The muscle soreness only lasted a couple days.  Blisters and chafing took a little longer to heal.  And my worn out knees took a little longer than that to feel back to normal.

I tried going for a run a couple days after the race, and it felt awful.  My body had nothing in the tank even if my desire to run was there.  So I cut it short and headed home to rest some more.

A few days after that, I rode my bike home after dropping my car off at the shop.  Then, this Sunday afternoon, it was so beautiful out that I had to spend some time outdoors doing something.  So I went for an 18 mile ride on the bike paths going wherever I felt like and however fast or slow.  It was wonderful, and I feel like a normal, functioning person again.  Not like my knees were 75 years old.  That's a good thing!

I'm glad I didn't sign up for another distance race within a week or two of the marathon.  I wouldn't have been ready for it.  But I'm ready to get out there again now.  I just need a new pair of running shoes...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Chicago Marathon 2011

Yesterday, I successfully completed my first 26.2 - the Chicago Marathon!

Finish Time: 5:00:35
Half: 2:30:19

Full breakdown of splits:

Overall Place: 23728
Women's Place: 8833
Age Group Place: 1653

The start of the race was pretty crazy.  40,000 people crammed into a few blocks of the road at Grant Park first by seeded corals then by mile pace.  If you didn't get into the corral in time, they closed it off until the masses moved through!  My friend, Cat, and I got in just in time somewhere around the 12:00 mile mark and moved up to around 11:00 where we couldn't get any farther ahead.  When the race officially started, we slowly moved forward for almost 25 minutes before reaching the start line.

Then we were off!  We passed a lot of people in the first few miles.  I tried to keep a slow, steady pace, but it seems like we did a little surge every few seconds to make our way past a group or through a hole.  It was tiring!  And the crowd of runners never really thinned out.  I was starting to hurt by mile 9 or 10 - way before I expected to!  I thought that I would be feeling good until about 16 miles and then struggle, but the mental fight began much earlier than that.  Somehow, still, I kept on running. 

Our friend, Melissa, met us at multiple points along the route and gave us amazing support and encouragement!  It was always something to look forward to knowing she was going to be popping out of the crowd somewhere in the next couple miles!  Thanks, Melissa!  You rock!

The energy of the race was also amazing.  It was an almost full time distraction to read the funny signs that people made, to listen to music, or get pumped by all the cow bells and horns.  And the runners were just as amusing.  We ran near super woman, Wolverines, Spartans, and cavemen who grunted in character during the entire race.

At around mile 12 or so, we caught up to the 5 hour pace group and decided to try to stick near them as long as possible.  But just before the halfway point, Cat had to stop to use the porta-potties, so we lost a few minutes there, and the group went past us by maybe half a mile.  My legs were starting to get tired, so I was afraid we wouldn't catch up to them again.  But the break waiting for Cat gave me a second wind.

We never did see the 5:00 pace group again, but when we saw Melissa at mile 20, she said that we had picked up our pace.  I was surprised, because a couple miles before, we had adopted the rule to run between aid stations and then walk through them.  I needed the walk breaks, and they must have really helped because despite slowing to walk, we were running faster.  As you can see from the half and finishing times, our pace was remarkably consistent for the first and second halves!  This also gave us the time to really stay hydrated and consume some needed calories.

Cat was a beast.  She hadn't really trained for the race, but she was an inspiring bundle of endless energy for almost the entire run.  When I started to struggle, she jumped right in with advice, encouragement, and concrete plans.  She really got me through the middle of the race when my legs wanted to just stop. 

In the last few miles, Cat finally hit the wall, and then it was my turn to help her along.  I got energy from knowing that we might be able to beat 5 hours, and together we kept moving from one aid station to the next.  One at a time.

With all the energy around us, the miles seemed to go by quickly.  Soon we were in the final mile, the crowds cheering and pushing everyone forward.  We turned a corner with about 600m to go and had to climb the only long hill on the course.  Then we turned another corner and could see the finish line about a 1/4 mile ahead.  All we had to do was keep running.  Just finish this last stretch.  And we did it!  We crossed the line hand-in-hand.  I looked at my watch and we had done it - 5 hours flat!

I had run my first marathon!

The finish corral was long but had everything we could desire - water, Gatorade, snacks, icy beer, foil blankets, cold wet towels, and finally after exiting the far end, shady grass to sit down on.

I'm very satisfied with my first 26.2, and I think that I will do it again some day.  Not today, but some day.  ;)  It was a beautiful, warm, sunny Chicago Marathon, and I had a great time.  I am proud to say I've done it.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Three days till marathon!

Only three days till the 2011 Chicago Marathon!  I run a marathon in three days.  OMG


Monday, October 3, 2011

Happy Birthday, Josh!

Happy Birthday to my awesome, sexy, fun, supportive, amazing hubby!

I love you, baby.

Dirty Dog Dash Pics 2

And we have liftoff! 

Like a gazelle! lol

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dirty Dog Dash Pics

It took me a while to post these, but thanks to my mom for taking pictures at the race.  And a super big thanks for going through all the hastle to email them to me!  Love you, Mom!

Registration as we wait in line behind a team of lumber jacks in cut off denim shorts.  Hot.

The hubby and I at the starting line ready for the race to begin.  Notice that we are clean.  Also notice that our "Team Awesome" and "Team Not So Awesome" shirts are looking less and less white after subsequent mud runs.

On the run in the woods!  That's us back in there coming up on the mud pit.

Into the mud we go!  This was the largest concentration of mud that we saw during the whole race, and it was right at the end.  So sad.  But we did get to hurdle a flaming log.  Nice.

The hubby and I after the race.  Notice that we are wet but still mostly clean.  So sad.  But bonus points for the cool band they had playing at the end of the race and also for the free cup of beer.  Deduction of points for the bad pours they got from the kegs.  Foamy beer in styrofoam cups.  What?!?

Also room for improvement for next year: this was the cleanup facility.  Yes...that's a dribbly hose.  A single, dribbly hose.  But since we didn't get that dirty, no big deal right? ;)

While there was room for improvement at the first ever Dirty Dog Dash: Hell Survivors edition, it was a great trail run and a lot of fun.  Offering the Groupon for half off registration was a brilliant move.  I hope they do that again next year!  *wink hint hint wink*

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Anne Springs Close Greenway

I'm in South Carolina for two weeks for work and making the best of the extended southern summer to keep up with my marathon training.  Today I went to the Anne Springs Close Greenway, which is a large network of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails in Fort Mill just south of Charlotte.

It took me some time to find the trailhead to the section that I wanted to run, but once on the trail, I was in heaven.  So much so that I developed a theory that trail half marathons may be my calling.  I don't know if that's true, but this was a great trail. 

I made it about 2.5 or 3 miles into the Blue Star trail when I missed a marker and went the wrong way for a while.  I didn't care.  I doubled back, found the proper way again, and continued on.  I loved the woods.  I loved the suspended bridges over the creek.  I loved the hawk that took flight right in front of me with a snake in its beak.  I loved the little country landmarks like the old mill and the train trestle.

Because of my little detour, I decided to turn around before reaching the southern most terminus of the Blue Star trail.  But I plan to go back tomorrow and start at the opposite end to run the piece that I missed.  If you love trail running, this is a fantastic system.  With summer rain filtering through the trees and damp leaves brushing past my legs, I ran with a smile on my face and felt amazing.

Here is a link to the trail map.  I started at the top of the map at the Dairy Farm and Greenway Headquarters (letter G on the map) and took the Blue Star trail south to the east.  I turned around near the Webb Grist Mill (letter J).

I may have to find a trail race in Michigan after the Chicago Marathon is done.  So much fun!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Tapering and the Dirty Dog Dash

I'm now officially in the taper period of training for the Chicago Marathon.  The hubby asked me how far I was going to run today.  I said, "10 miles".  He replied, "That's a short run for you now!"  I said to that, "It's a very doable run, but I still wouldn't call it short!"

Yesterday the two of us ran the Dirty Dog Dash - a 3-mile mud run much like the Warrior Dash, complete with a beer for finishing.  I love that!  The course was a hilly run through a wooded paintball play field.  It was a fun run, but there hardly any obstacles, and hardly any mud.  Even the announcer kept teasing the runners that no one was finishing very dirty.

But, it was fun and certainly not bad for the inaugural running.  If they do it again next year, I'm sure it'll improve and grow in size.

I was most impressed by the hubby during the run.  We took turns taking the lead on narrow trail sections.  When I ran ahead, I pushed the pace a little and heard the hubby keeping right up.  He has gotten in great shape this summer, lost some weight, and had a lot of fun.  I'm so proud of him!  (Photos to come...)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Everyone is out for fall rides

The hubby and I got out mountain biking for the first time in over a month last night. We rode the 8 mile trail at Cannonsburg State Game Area. It was a fantastic night! It’s getting cool out – fall seems to be coming early. And everyone else, it seems, thought it was a good night to ride, too. The parking area was full, and 20+ cars spilled over on the sides of the road nearby.

It felt good to do a hard workout that wasn’t running.

Also, it’s funny how I’ve gotten used to workouts that last for hours without stopping. Riding the trail for less than an hour felt so FAST!

I look forward to way more biking after the marathon is over. It’ll be a good fall!

By the way, the hubby and I are running the Dirty Dog Dash in Pinckney this weekend. It’s another mud run like the Warrior Dash. And it’s on my mom’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Mom!

Monday, September 12, 2011

20 Mile Training Run

Well, I did it. I survived the 20 mile run. I ate adequately and drank fluids. I even tried proteins. My energy was good throughout the run, even if my pace was slower than I would have liked. My average mile pace for the run was 11:15. Man! I've gotten slow. I guess that's OK though for such a distance.

I don't care what my time is for this first marathon. Well, OK. I do care...within reason.

Though my expectations keep changing. My goal keeps getting slower. At this point, I’ll be happy to finish under 5 hours. I’m not saying that’s a bad time. It’s 26.2 freakin’ miles after all. It’s just that reality is setting in. I have trained for distance. NOT speed.

Anyway…I digress.

I tried consuming proteins starting right at the beginning of the run to try to avoid the leg pain that developed on my 18-mile run around the 16 mile point. Unfortunately, it didn’t work for me. I felt great right up to 16 miles, and then the pain began to develop in my feet, then my knees and hips…pretty much all over my legs. But mostly in my feet and knees this time. I also lost my appetite, and it got harder and harder to keep my legs moving.

I willed myself to keep going for the last 4 miles, but can I do that for 10 miles? TEN? How slow are those last miles going to be?

I’m concerned about this. I think I will have the will power and energy to keep running through the pain. But what if my legs just shut down? What if the signals from my brain just stop getting through and my muscles go on strike? What can I do to prevent this?

I’m going to try posting to some forums out there to see what running experts have to say. I got some good advice last time I posted about this on Cyclin’ Missy, but I need more. Any advice is welcome.

Even so, I’m excited for race day to get here. Another month seems like a long time to wait. Bring on Chicago!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Penulimate long run day

I'm having some kind of problem with my internet at work that is not letting me compose posts.  Blarg.  But it seems fine at home.  Anyway, that puts a damper on the frequency of posting for me.

Nevertheless, I had to get online and post an update today.  Today is the day of my 20 mile training run.  This will be the longest run I do before the marathon on October 9.  I've planned a route that loops back by my house so I can stock up on liquids and calories part way through.  It should be a lovely evening for a run - ranging from 75 down to 65 degrees F and sunny until the sun goes down.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pepper Spray: A Subtle Message to Potential Creeps

Last night I had to work a couple hours late, and then I was starving for dinner, so I didn’t get around to running until after it got dark. Have you noticed, by the way, that it’s getting dark earlier? Waaaah!

Anyway, I decided to take my pepper spray along. I feel completely safe in my neighborhood, but that’s what I have it for right?

My spray canister came with a Velcro strap that wears comfortably around my hand so that the can sits right in my palm. Easy access for a quick defensive shot, but I can still use my fingers to start my stopwatch, grab my water bottle, etc.

So I was running along with pretty much no one around for most of the run. Then, a man approached from behind me on his bike and politely said excuse me. I assumed he was just going to pass me, so I moved over waiting for him to go by. But he got closer and asked me a question. I couldn’t understand him since my ears were facing ahead and his voice was coming from behind, so I stopped and let him catch up.

Apparently, he was just looking for directions, so I helped him out.

After he took off, I realized that I had unconsciously scratched my forehead while thinking about his directions request with the hand that had the pepper spray strapped to it. Kind of like I was subtly saying, “Hey buddy. I’ll help you out, but keep in mind that I will cause you excruciating pain if you mess with me!” He looked anxious talking to me and eager to get on his way. Maybe he was late to meet someone. Or maybe he didn’t want hot pepper juice in his eyes. Hard to say.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

High mileage pain: what to do?

After so many overheated runs in the 95 degree California dry heat last week, it was great to get back to running in Michigan. The weather is still summery here at 80-85 degrees, but it is cooling down significantly in the evenings. It’s lovely outdoor sports weather.

On Sunday, I did my 18 mile training run in the evening. I can’t tell you how much easier it was to run in 70 degree air than it was in the California desert heat! I had so much energy. I was able to run the entire 18 miles without walking. I hydrated adequately and ate enough during the run, so it was a great confidence boost in most respects.

But one thing about the run worries me. I felt great the whole time until the last 3 miles when everything started to hurt. I still had energy, but pain just started to grow in my tired feet, hips, knees, and legs. Toward the end, every step hurt and my legs got heavier and harder to move.

I completed the training run, but what’s going to happen on race day when I still have 8.2 more miles to go at that point? Will one more long training run at 20 miles prepare me to push that pain off as long into the race as possible? Or is this what every marathoner faces at high mileage?

Can I just push through it, or will it get so bad that I just can’t keep running? Should I be eating more or taking walk breaks? Are my electrolytes low?  Should I be doing more base mileage on my shorter days?

Marathoners (or other endurance athletes - thanks Donna!) out there…I need your wisdom!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Completing two marathons in 10 days

When I arrive home tomorrow evening from my 10-day business trip, I will have completed two marathons.  Not the running kind, but the work kind.  Two all-nighters of work + travel with no sleep in between. 

(See how I lured you in there with what sounded like a feat of athletics but was really just a plea for pity?)  ;)

I am not a stay-up-all-night-and-into-the-next-day kind of girl.  When I'm tired, I want to sleep.  Sleeeeeepppp...

Oh...uh...sorry.  I'm awake.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hiking Mt San Borgonio

This is the first time I've travelled to California for work and had a day off to do something fun.  So I decided to do some hiking in the San Bernardino National Forest.  There are dozens of trails in the forest - miles and miles of climbing mountains, crossing creeks, and camping out.  So it took some work to choose the trails that I would spend my day exploring.

My co-worker told me about a quick hike to Big Falls in the Barton Flats/Mill Creek area of the park.  Big Falls is the highest falls in California, so I couldn't resist the 10 minutes it took to see it.

After making a stop at the Mill Creek ranger station to pick up a map and an Adventure Pass, I drove through the adorable mountain side town of Forest Falls to find the Big Falls trail head.  I parked and walked along the creek for a short distance, crossed it, and soon found the falls.  Very cool.

Then, I headed for the fantastic Vivian Creek trail.  I walked a rough path for about half a mile along the south side of the creek until crossing over to the Vivian Creek trail head. 

This trail is a steep hike up Mount San Borgonio - the highest peak in southern California - for the first mile.  It is full of switch backs and the first of the mountain's spactacular views.  It is also home to bears, lizards, and chipmunks among other creatures.  I made a friend.  Just a small, non-bear type friend, fortunately.

After that first steep mile, the trail weaves through the San Borgonio Wilderness, which is gorgeous.  Over 7-8 more miles, the trail leads to two camp sites and ultimately the summit of the mountain at 11,500 feet. 

Unfortunately, hiking the wildnerness area requires a permit that I did not have, so I couldn't explore it very far today.  I loved it so much, though, that I desperately want to come back to hike to the summit and camp out for the night enjoying the sweeping vistas.

After heading back down the mountain - which is hard on the knees, I might add - I checked out the Momyer trail accessed back in the town of Forest Falls.  I parked at a very full parking lot and made my way down to the creek again.  I paused to sit on a rock in the middle of the creek to enjoy the small rapids.  The water was cool and clear. 

Momyer is much less intense than the Vivian Creek trail (at least in the short distance that I walked) but still beautiful.  It would be a great walk with kids.

At this point, I decided that I was hot and tired and ready for more to eat than the snacks that I carried, so I headed back to my car and drove down out of the mountains again.  I didn't touch my gas pedal for about 2 miles.  Awesome.

I love love loved the hike on Vivian Creek.  I hope I can return soon to do the whole trail.  Next time, I'll apply in advance for the Wilderness Permit and plan an overnight all the way to the top!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bike Maintenance & Repair Classes?

The hubby and I are looking for a place that offers bike maintenance and repair classes beyond the old "how to change a flat" stuff.  Does anyone know of a place in the Grand Rapids, MI area?

Other suggestions are also welcome.

Thanks everyone!

@Scott - Yes, all of those things, as well as derailleur/shifter and brake adjustment.  Shoot me an email when you have things set up and we'll think about coming out.  Thanks!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Local woman will attempt to swim Lake Michigan

In the local feats of athletics category, I point you to this inspiring woman from Jenison, MI - Ashley St. Andrew - who plans to swim across Lake Michigan starting in the next few days.  If successful, she will be the first woman to accomplish this swim.

Read the article here.

Good luck, Ashley!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

How to cool off during a summer run

I did a 16 mile run today.  It was hot out, mostly sunny, and humid.  I felt pretty good until I got to an area with little to no shade and started getting overheated.  I had plenty of fluids to drink, but it was still just humid and the sun was inescapable.  During the last half of the run, I needed to walk every once in a while and started searching for ways to cool down.

First, I looked up ahead on the bike path around mile 10 to see my friend Jair riding his bike toward me.  What luck!  He happened to be out for a ride enjoying the Sunday afternoon, too.  We both stopped and chatted for a minute, then I asked if either of the bottles in his cages had plain water in them.  Score!  Jair let me use some of his water, still cold in an insulated sports bottle, to wet my head.  It felt amazing!  I was reinvigorated...for about a quarter of a mile.

That cool down didn't last long, but I knew that a mile or so down the road was a gas station.  I hoped to go in and top off my own water/sports drink mixture with cold water and grab some ice.  The soda fountain machine did not have a water tap, but I grabbed a handful of ice anyway.  I rubbed a few pieces on my face and neck and dropped the rest down my shirt.  That kept me going for a little while longer.

Then, I knew that if I could make it another mile, I'd enter another bike path that was graciously shaded by trees for an entire mile and a half.  I was able to keep up a slow running pace in the shade without needing to walk any of that section.  Then, it was a matter of just finishing the last mile and half and I could collapse in front of my air conditioner or hop in a cold shower.

On hot days like this, I've found a few strategies that help me beat the heat.  I'm not always smart enough to employ them sufficiently, but some methods are:
  • Run in the morning or evening.  Avoid the hottest hours of the day.
  • Wear sunscreen to avoid burning.
  • Pre-hydrate for several hours before the run and carry sufficient liquids for the run itself.
  • In case you do run out of beverage, know where the sources of liquids and ice are on your route (gas stations, fast food restaurants, drinking fountains) and plan them in if necessary, or stash iced bottles of fluids along the route before you run.  You may want to carry a couple bucks in cash in case you have to buy something.  If all else fails, knock on the door of a friendly looking house and ask to borrow their hose. 
  • Soak your shirt or shorts in cool water before you leave the house.
  • Wear a handkerchief or other clothing that can hold an ice pack near, but not directly on your skin.
  • Have a buddy bike with you to carry extra supplies.
  • Run through a sprinkler.  It's just a fun as when we were kids!
What other methods have you used to avoid overheating on summer runs?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Hiking in So-Cal: Recommendations?

I’m going to be working in the Riverside, CA area over the next couple weeks, and I may have a day or two free one weekend to do something fun. I’m thinking beach and/or hiking. I’m really leaning toward the hiking, if I can’t do both.

I’ve been taking a look at the various parks and trails within an hour drive of my hotel in Moreno Valley. There are some beautiful places to hike. I’m considering either the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park or the San Bernardino National Forest.

Can anyone recommend a good place to hike in this area?

Also, where can one buy pepper spray? Since I’ll most likely be out there alone, I want to have something to protect myself.

Thanks all!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Warrior Dash - Caught on Video

Sadly, there were some injuries at the Warrior Dash this weekend.  There was a girl just ahead of us who landed wrong somehow when jumping over the fire logs and broke her leg.  And there was the Hope College student James Sa who is now paralyzed from the chest down after an injury from diving in the mud pit.  My thoughts and prayers are with these unfortunate athletes.

But while reading the news about James Sa on, my co-worker noticed me and the hubby crawling through the mud pit in the first video below the article.  Look, Ma!  I'm on TV!

Courtesy of video

Watch it here.  We start crawling through at 00:09.

Monday, August 1, 2011

On a Mud Run Kick

The hubby and I are on a mud run kick right now.  Last year we did two and sort of fell in love with them.  Obstacles on a 3-mile trail run?  Mud?  Beer?  Food?  Music?  Even non-runners love these races!

We just completed the Warrior Dash in Flint, MI this weekend.  We are Warriors!  It was a great day out there.  Not as muddy as the Warrior Dash in Joliet, IL last year (which was hilarious and downright epic), but still a fun time.  Our friend Jair ran, too, and he did great!  All the mountain biking he has started doing this year has really helped his fitness.

We are also planning to do the second annual Grand Rapids Mud Run on August 27.  It's just a few miles from our house, which is super convenient.  The course last year was a little bit disappointing since you had to run the loop twice.  But we'll just see how they improve upon their first attempt this time around!

And I'm trying to sign up for the Dirty Dog Dash: Hell Survivors run on September 17 (my mom's birthday!) in Pinckney, MI.  There's a Groupon for half off the entry fee.  What a great registration deal!  If you can do the race, you should jump on that Groupon.

Some day I'd like to grab a partner and do a Muddy Buddy.  These are events for teams of two who alternate mountain biking and running over a 6-mile course.

And finally, the hubby and I are considering doing the Tough Mudder next April.  This is the utimate in mud runs with more challenging obstacles over a 10-12 mile run.  As their website says, this is less of a race and more of a challenge just to complete the entire course.  It sounds wet, cold, hard, and awesome.  I'm so in.

These are great events that appeal to a wide range of runners of all ability levels - especially adults (since most serve alcohol and involve obstacles that could be difficult for small kids).  And if you like dressing up in costume for running events, this is a great place to show off your style.

See you in the mud!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Refuge Freeride Mountain Bike Park - Video

This weekend, the hubby and I and a crew of our friends checked out The Refuge - a freeride park in Fremont, MI.  The trails near the entrance were a bit overgrown with some thorny bushes, but once we got deeper into the woods, it was wild!

The Refuge is an amusement park of well-built bike stunts designed for riders of a high skill level.  We only tried some of the less intimidating obstacles - a pump track, some raised platforms, a teeter-totter, some stepped ramps...for we are not riders of a high skill level.  But many more stunts were break-your-neck scary!  Not for the timid or noob mountain biker!  That said, this park is awesome.

It's a good thing we were smart enough to stick to the stunts that we did judging by the bruises and scrapes that we came away with.  I've got a couple nice purple streaks up the back of my leg from falling off a 4-foot high platform after stalling out on the way up the ramp.  At least I wasn't on the 10-foot high rollers or the jump that dropped into a valley below.  Wow.

I may not have ridden too many obstacles myself, but I did take some video of my friends attempting them.  Below is my first try at editing a video with the FlipShare software.  Definitely room for improvement, but a fun video to watch.  (By the way, the guy in red is the hubby!)

I hope you enjoy the crashes. ;)

Music: "Right Now" by SR71

Losing a Toenail from Running

Years ago, when I was training for a half marathon at the end of my senior year of college, I had a pair of running shoes that did not quite fit me right. As a result, I developed blisters on the ends/tops of both of my second toes (the ones next to the big toes). Eventually the nail on both toes turned purple and came off revealing new nails underneath. This was not particularly painful, but it was a mildly disturbing experience nonetheless.

Apparently, this is very common among runners. Losing a toenail is generally caused by damage to the nail due to impact from one’s running shoes. This often happens when the runner’s second toe is longer than the big toe, as is the case with me.

I bring this up, because it’s happening again – though only on one foot this time. I just bought a new pair of running shoes a few weeks ago, and I haven’t been completely happy with them. After trying several different models on, I wasn’t super excited about how any of them felt, but my old shoes were badly worn out, so I settled on this year’s version of the shoe I had last year. It should be the same shoe as far as fit goes, but it is not.

The best way to prevent toenails from falling off is to wear running shoes that are a half size larger than you would normally wear. This increases the space in the toe box decreasing the amount of impact of the toes on the ends of the shoes. I thought I had selected a shoe with lots of room in the toe box, but my purple nail now tells me that it wasn’t enough.

The problem is that your feet swell when you run. This is not a big surprise, but it means that if you try a pair of shoes on after you’ve been sitting at your desk at work all morning (yah…that was me), they are not going to fit the same as when you run in them. Perhaps the lesson here is to go for a run before trying to buy my next pair of running shoes.

But now that I am stuck with the shoes I have (at least temporarily), I have been looking for ways to prevent further damage to my toes and to possibly allow this purple nail to heal up without falling off. I’ve tried different socks, petroleum jelly, and Band-Aids. Yesterday, I bought a gel toe protector that slides over the toe like a glove finger and provides some cushion. I did a short run with it, but I haven’t decided whether I like it yet or not. Does it take up too much of the precious space in my shoe, or does it protect my nail more? Is it too tight or is some compression normal? Only further trials will tell.

Have you ever lost (or almost lost) a toenail from running? What did you do to prevent it from happening again? Has anyone run with a gel or silicone toe protector before? Share your toenail treatment secrets!

Monday, July 25, 2011

My Mom's Kidney Walk 2011

I try not to use this blog to solicit for charities.  There are so many meaningful causes out there deserving of our hard earned dollars.  But for one organization, I make an exception.

Each year, I post a link to my mom's fundraising page for the National Kidney Foundation's Kidney Walk in Ann Arbor, MI.  My mom received a kidney transplant 6 years ago, and has been healthy and blessed ever since.  I am so thankful for that.  So, you can see why this particular charity holds personal meaning for me.

Me and My Mom

That's why I post this link every year.

My mom is one of the lucky ones to receive a good organ match while she was on dialysis.  But there are many people still suffering from kidney disease that are awaiting a transplant.  The National Kidney Foundation offers information, and support to kidney disease sufferers and their families in this challenging time.  It is a wonderful organization.  My mom herself has served as a mentor to other patients awaiting transplants.  It means so much to them to connect with someone who has been through their experience and can share with them what to expect in such a scary time.

So if you would, please consider donating to my mom's fundraising page.  And thanks for taking the time to read this.

Saturday, July 23, 2011
Run 4 miles, Bike 3.6 miles
Race for the Rock in downtown Grand Rapids followed by riding at The Refuge in Fremont, MI.  This was a crazy freeride park far above my skill level, but it was awesome to check out!  I've got some spectacular bruises to prove it.

Sunday, July 24, 2011
Run 14 miles
Did my long run this week with my friend Cat.  We walked a little bit due to Cat's calves cramping up, but I didn't care.  It was great to spend the time catching up and enjoying the summer evening!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Antsy to move

How is it that I can run 12 miles on the weekend like it’s nothing, and then a few days later a 3 mile run feels so hard?

Also, I have read that when people train hard for an event and start their taper in the weeks before the race, they feel antsy like they are not doing enough physical activity. I’m not in a taper yet, but I’ve been training for the marathon for about 3 months now running or mountain biking most days of the week. Now on the days that I don’t exercise, I have the urge to go run. My body has gotten used to being consistently active. It doesn’t feel right when I’m not.

I was talking about this with the hubby last night, and he is experiencing the same feeling right now. I’m stoked for him. He’s gotten into the habit of exercise, and he’s in the best shape he’s been in in years. I really hope I can help him keep up the pace. His doctor’s going to love it. And I love having a partner who is into the things I do.

The hubby actually proposed doing the Tough Mudder together in the spring. This race looks intense! It’s a lot like a Warrior Dash (coming up on the 30th in Flint, MI by the way!) with more challenging obstacles…and it’s 10-12 miles long! That’s right…the hubby proposed doing a run together that is 10-12 miles long. Oh. My. Gosh. Yes. The race looks cold, wet, scary, and hard. But I’m so in.

It’s a strange experience having that antsy desire to be active every day and also have the days that feel like you’re dragging your lead weight of a body down the road when you finally get out there. I’m excited now to have the Tough Mudder in mind for the spring. It will motivate the hubby and I to maintain our fitness during the winter, which can be so hard to do in the long, cold, grey season of death here in Michigan. I may have to drag my body out into the snow, but it’ll be so worth it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Running with Headphones

I know that some people swear by running with headphones. Some almost can’t handle running without them.

I however am generally a no-headphone kind of runner. I like feeling in touch with my body while I run. I like hearing what’s going on around me – when I run outside in particular. I want to hear vehicle traffic and bicycles coming up behind me.

I also feel like the music that I listen to affects the pace that I run, which feels strange to me when the tempo changes from song to song.

However, once in a while I feel like having something to think about other than running. For example, last night I did my long run – 12 miles – the longest yet in my marathon training, and I wanted some distraction. I almost had the hubby come along with me on his bike, but he was busy with other things that I didn’t want to take him away from. So I wore my MP3 player.

Right now, my player is loaded with up-tempo songs that are great to work out to – some rock, some techno, some club, some R&B. I think the music really motivated me, and the pacing seemed to be relatively consistent.

I was really cruising along at a 9:38 mile pace, which is good for how my long runs have been going lately. Not my fastest for the same distance, but very acceptable and maintainable. Since I’ve been running 10+ minute miles on my long runs this summer (especially on really hot days), I was happy.

I don’t know if it was the cooler weather of the evening that helped or the tempo of the music, but I it was a good run. I enjoyed listening to the peppy songs. Too bad MP3 players aren’t allowed at the Chicago marathon. I’ll have to depend on all the craziness going on around me to keep me distracted from the pain. That is one of the reasons that I chose Chicago over a marathon close to home – all of the bands, shows, crowds and hullabaloo that the Chicago race has to offer its participants along the route.

Update: I just read that the ban on headphones has been lifted for the race (except for those competing for money).  Sweet!

I ran happy and energetically last night rocking out to my tunes. That is until the MP3 player died at mile 8.5. I was crushed by the loss! But I recovered and finished the last 3.5 miles strong.

The hubby even decided to ride my route backwards to meet me and make sure I was OK. I ran so fast, that I met him in the last quarter mile turning into our subdivision.

How do you feel about running with headphones? Pros? Cons? Have you done a marathon without music?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Taking the in-laws mountain biking

My in-laws are very active people.  They both run and bike several times a week.  So it was kind of cool when they asked to go mountain biking with us this weekend.  They don't do much trail riding, so we chose to take them to Luton Park, since it is a great trail for beginner mountain bikers.  Fun, but not too hilly and not too scary.

My mother-in-law, Helen, had a really bad crash on her road bike last year when her rear tire blew on a fast decent and threw her over the bike onto the pavement.  She's still recovering from that scare psychologically, and I can't blame her!  It took me a while to regain my confidence after getting hit by the car a couple summers ago.  I even have a day here and there where I'm just not feeling brave.  So Helen took her time and just rode at her pace, which was great.  She was out there doing it.  Go her.

My father-in-law, Eric, is a pretty good athlete.  He does several running races and a triathlon every year.  His goal pace is about 7 minutes per mile running on the road, which is a pretty good run for a guy in his fifties.  So at Luton yesterday, Eric was right on top of things.  I'm sure he could have ridden faster than me, but he chose to follow me to see what lines I chose on the trail.  Whatever I did, he did - no matter the obstacle.  It was great for me, because I felt flattered by his confidence in me, and it pushed me to ride a little more aggressively than usual.  I actually slid out a couple of times and when down, but I got dusty - nothing more.

After a while, we lost Helen on one of the trails and assumed that she had made her way back to the parking lot, which she had.  Next time we all go riding, we'll have to bring some walky-talkies so we can communicate.

It was fun having the parents go for a ride with us!

After mountain biking, he hubby and I rode motorcycles with our friend, Jair, to the Muskegon Bike Week festival.  I've never been to a motorcycle rally before.  It was cool to see it!  It was also great riding passenger with Jair on his sport bike.  What a blast!  I love the motorcycle that I have, but there is still a part of me that just feels right on a true crotch rocket.  Maybe I'll upgrade someday.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Short run - 3.1 miles
Fast run at about 8:20 mile pace

Thursday, July 14, 2011
Fartleks with the hubby - 3.5 miles
A short warmup plus 30 minutes of Fartleks with the hubby.  Three minutes fast plus two minutes slow for a total of about 33 minutes. was freakin' hot out!

Saturday, July 16, 2011
Mountain Biking - 9.5 miles
Riding at Luton with the in-laws, the hubby, and Jair

Thursday, July 14, 2011

C9 by Champion Women's Ventilated Running Skort Review

I admit it. After reading this month’s issue of Runner’s World, I was drawn in by the fun, feminine, yet practical style of running skorts. I have wanted to try one out for quite a while, but I never searched very hard to find one that fit me well. Until now.

Inspired by Runner’s World, I investigated several brands online. Most running skorts are priced around $45 or more from the brands that specialize in stylish women’s athletic clothing. In the end, I decided to go the inexpensive route for my first try with a running skort, so I picked up a C9 by Champion Ventilated Running Skort for under $20 at Target.

Image Courtesy of

This skort is short (but not too short) and cute. The cut looks really nice on my body complementing my hips and long legs. The shorts underneath the skirt fit much like bike shorts and make me feel confident that I’m maintaining my modesty even in such a short skirt. As a nice little touch, the inside back of the skort has a small pocket that would easily hold a key or some cash. I don’t think it would not be large enough to hold a driver’s license or credit card.

Image Courtesy of

I love the look of the skort and have generally been comfortable and happy wearing it for running and playing tennis. I think it would be good for biking, as well, if you do not care to have padding in your shorts.

Image Courtesy of

However, there are two things that I have not been impressed by. First, even though the underneath shorts hug my thighs, they do not stay in place. They creap up my legs and bunch up at the top. This is not a huge deal, since they are not too uncomfortable this way, but I find myself wanting to tug the legs down all the time.

Second, I’ve worn the skort on some really hot and humid days, and it does not breath well. I feel no air flow to keep me cool, and I get all sweaty in the entire shorts area. This was a definite surprise to me, since I thought that a skirt would be more breezy. On days with a more moderate temperature, this will not be a problem.

So to summarize – the C9 by Champion Ventilated Running Skort from Target is cute, fits well, is comfortable for days that are not swelteringly hot, and comes at an unbeatable price. However, the legs of the undershorts do not stay in place, and the material does not breath.

Considering what I got for the price, I would recommend this skort as a decent inexpensive option.

When I decide to upgrade, I think I will try my favorite option from my online research – the Ultra Swift Skirt from runningskirts. It is priced at about $48 right now on their website.

Image Courtesy of

This skirt looks cute, soft, and comfy and has the adorable runningskirts log on it. The cut looks flattering, and the Ultra Swift has a brief style liner instead of a shorts style liner. There’s no way a brief can bunch up, so I think this skirt will be more comfortable and offer more air flow than the C9. This skirt also has two velcro pockets on the hips and a velcro pocket in the back. This should allow for more carrying capacity for running essentials like an ID and maybe a gel. I also like that this skirt has reverse seams to prevent chafing.

Image Courtesy of

Image Courtesy of

I think the Ultra Swift will be comfortable, cool, and cute. I am willing to give it a try for the higher price hoping that the quality will be much higher than that of the C9. Now I just have to wait until they have my size in stock…

I might have to go with the very similar Running Skirt, which is currently carried in my size. The only differences between the Ultra Swift and the Running Skirt styles, it seems, are the lack of the rear pocket and regular seams on the Running Skirt.  Otherwise the cut is the same.

Has anyone else found a running skort or skirt that you love?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A bent wheel and customer service

My friend, Jeff, who recently bought a brand new Trek 29-er mountain bike took it out for his first ride at Luton Park last week and experienced a bent wheel just over a mile into the ride. Not cool. He took it back to Kentwood Cycle and Fitness, where the first thing they asked was, “What did you hit?” Nothing that should have bent a wheel, that’s for sure. So, they trued up the wheel for him, and sent us on our way.

Throughout this week, Jeff has been riding the bike, putting it through the bumps and surges that should be well within its tolerance. Then yesterday, we headed back out to Luton to try to boldly finish the trail. Unbelievably, Jeff’s wheel bent again after just a couple miles.

The loops of the Luton Park trail are ranked Easy, Intermediate, and Advanced by the MMBA website. We were on an intermediate trail when the wheel failed. However, I would not consider any of the loops at Luton particularly intense. There are no big drops, no big climbs, no big rocks. There are no logs to bunny hop over. There are some small roots and lots of twists and swoops and narrow passes between trees. In fact, I would consider Luton to be the easiest biking trail in the West Michigan area – technically speaking. Don’t get me wrong… It’s interesting to ride, but it doesn’t present anything that should cause damage to a mountain bike.

With the wheel bent a second time, we left Luton without completing our ride AGAIN, and returned to Kentwood Cycle. When Jeff walked in the door, the sales guy again asked, “What did you hit?” I’m not impressed. You sell a bike for mountain biking (not the bottom of the line either, just to be clear). You know the area trails and what obstacles they offer. And you question whether the bike you sold can handle it? Not cool.

But they redeemed themselves when they turned around and offered to replace the wheels with a better model (through the Trek warranty, of course). That was the thing to do to make this right by Jeff. I’m eager to see how the new wheels hold up when he gets the bike back in a few days.

If Kentwood hadn’t upped their customer service, I was ready to take Jeff straight to my preferred bike shop – Village Bike Shop. Charlie and the guys at VBS have treated me extremely well over the past few years, and I swear by them.  But I’ll give Kentwood Cycle a chance to see how these new wheels perform. If they fail, VBS is getting Jeff’s business from now on. If not, I’ll speak well of Kentwood’s customer service.

The quality of the stock wheels on this bike model is still questionable, however. :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Mountain Bike turned Road Bike - 17.1 miles
Started out mountain biking at Luton Park and had to cut the ride short due to Jeff's mechanical issue.  We then returned home and went on a road bike ride to get some more exercise.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

"I'm not alone in my craziness"

I went out for my long run today on another hot day this summer.  It was about 89 degrees F out, humid, and sunny.  I wore a good coat of sunscreen and carried my water and sports drink.

It was a recovery week, so my long run distance was decreased this week.  Since it was a recovery workout, I didn't feel bad taking walk breaks and running a nice easy pace.  I took full advantage of any shade I could find along my route and endulged in a couple sprinklers along the way.  Is there anything better than a sprinkler on a hot summer day?

As I ran down the street near my house, a slim, somewhat pale man with no shirt on approached running in the opposite direction.  As we passed, he said in a thick, possibly German accent, "I'm not alone in my craziness!"  That's right!  I'm crazy about running.  So crazy, that I'll do an 8 mile run on an 89 degree day.  Oh yah!  I was in good company out there today.

Friday, July 8, 2011
Short run - 3.5 miles
Trail running at Plaster Creek.  I think I picked up some poison ivy while mountain biking earlier this week...or it could have been while running.  The hubby and our friend Jair got it, too.  Washing my sheets as I write.  LOL!

Saturday, July 9, 2011
Tennis with the hubby

Sunday, July 10, 2011
Long run - 8.1 miles
Hot, humid, sunny!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Bike Shorts

The hubby has finally tried and fallen in love with padded bike shorts.

Victory!!!  :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011


I was going to take yesterday as an off day and get a couple more runs in at the end of this week before my long run.  But fate intervened (a friend called) and we all ended up going on a 20 mile bike ride instead.  Oh well.  Just more "cross training", I guess!  ;)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Biking on paved trails
20 miles

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

New Recruits

A second friend, Jeff, has now joined the ranks of mountain bikers.  More new recruits!  He bought his new bike yesterday.

The hubby, Jair, Jeff, and I headed out to Luton Park for Jeff's first ride on his new 29-er.  After the first loop, I caught up to Jeff just before a bridge and he said that his wheel was wabbling.  Sure enough, it was bent.  I don't know if it was due to some loose spokes or a bent rim, but he decided to cut the ride short and take the bike back to the shop for repairs.  After less than 2 miles of riding!

The hubby and I continued on for another loop, but we were forced to stop short as well, because his rear tube kept loosing air.  We also hit the road for the bike shop to pick up a new tube, because I had already used my spare a few days before.

Once all of the bike repairs were taken care of, we headed home and set out on bikes to ride the paved and dirt trails near home.  We rode about 17 miles in all, salvaging the remainder of the daylight.

Funny how mechanicals come in swarms!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Mountain biking
17.25 miles

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I did my long run yesterday - 11 miles.  I ran during the hottest part of the day, so I wore sunscreen.  Nevertheless, I still managed to get a slight hint of sunburn.  I guess I perspired the sunscreen right off.  Go summer.

But as my post title reveals, my main purpose in writing right now is to say that I JUST GOT TICKETS TO SEE STONE TEMPLE PILOTS!  They're playing at the Rock the Rapids festival on August 9.  I am excited.

Monday, July 4, 2011
Long Run
11 miles