Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bike regulations in the local news

The Grand Rapids police chief in his car and two children on bikes got into a collision in the last few days.  Another recent Grand Rapids bike-car crash resulted in the death of the cyclist.  

However, a lot of community discussion has come out of these incidents, and WZZM 13 news has responded with a well-done 5-and-a-half-minute segment on bicycling traffic laws.  I'm impressed by the well-rounded attention that WZZM gave to the topic.

You can watch the whole segment here.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Nude 5k Report

On a recent weekend, the hubby and I drove to a nude resort to take part in their annual 5k.  Why would we want to do such a thing?  For the adventure of it!  The experience.  It was fun...but I would never have done it without the hubby at my side and a safe environment to do it in.  

The resort was like a big campground with a nice pool, hot tub, tennis, beach, paddle boats, a snack bar, dance floor, mini golf, horse shoes...  Quite a lot of things to do.  And the people were all very nice and relaxed.  One's level of dress varied widely and was completely up to personal comfort.  There was no judgement or pressure one way or the other.  So despite a little nervousness at the beginning, the atmosphere felt safe and chill.

When we arrived at the resort, we registered at the welcome center and got a quick tour of the amenities.  We arrived early enough to comfortably look around and then strip down and liberally apply sun screen to every inch of our bodies.  I've never had to be that thorough before!

It was a hot day - around 90F - and sunny.  The race didn't start until 10:00am, so we were certainly going to run in the heat.  We drank plenty of water and rested in the shade until the 70 runners began to gather at the starting line.

Only about 20% of the field was comprised of women, and looking around, there were only a few women that I thought looked like fast runners.  I thought that I would have a chance of doing well in the women's race.

Finally at 10:00, the hubby and I lined up near the front of the pack and waited for the horn that would signal us to go.  Blast!  The whole group took off together and began to spread out over the main road of the resort.  The lead men shot off in front, and we wondered if they would maintain that pace for the whole 3.1 miles.  Apparently, they did because the fastest runner came in at 19:57.

After about 200 meters, one of the women passed me.  I decided that I would not be able to keep her pace, so I would run the race as well as I could and hope that she fell back.  If any other women caught me, I would decide at that point whether I could stick with them and try to battle it out.  The hubby let me set the pace and was determined to stick with me as long as possible, and if I had to take off to stay with another woman, that was OK.

The third woman was never far behind me.  But I pushed a good pace that I thought I could maintain.  We ran around the camp sites and by the lake.  Then back by the clubhouse where the race started.  That was one lap of two.  It was hot out there, and we were tired, but we kept pushing it.  I could tell that the hubby was hurting, but he stayed on my heals.  I slowed slightly to let him stay with me but not much.

On the second lap of the course, a camper got out his garden hose and offered to cool us off with a spritz.  That was a life saver!  After the refreshing sprinkle, I charged up a hill.  I could hear that 3rd woman close behind me, but she couldn't catch me on the hill.

We crossed the 3 mile mark, and I knew that we could finish strong.  We pushed through the last 10th of a mile and approached the finishing chute.  The hubby encouraged me to sprint and take the place ahead of him.  He's so sweet!

It was a great race.  We pushed hard.  Woman number 3 finished about 20 seconds behind me.  I was very happy with our effort!

I ended up finishing 2nd place among women, 1st in the 30-39 age group and 26th over all with a time of 26:44.

The hubby got 4th in his age group and 27th overall at 26:46.

I am proud of our finish and felt great about myself.  I also felt appreciated due to all of the complements I got on my cute knee highs.  They were a hit!

This is the only picture you're going to get from the race.  Ha ha!

It was quite a nude 5k adventure!  Maybe next year I'll do it again and train to try to beat the winning female (24:42).  I know I can do it!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Plaster Creek Trails

A lot of work has been done lately on the trail system around Plaster Creek near the Ken-O-Sha school.  The paved bike path is always well maintained, and the dirt trails have been improved.  They are easier to follow and flow in a more natural way than they used to.  The hubby and I enjoy riding our bikes and running through this area.

I did a run on my own last week taking the paved path from the school parking lot to its end west of Eastern.  Here, I continued on the dirt paths then turned back.  I could have run up to 28th Street and continued on the path across the street, but I wasn't looking for that kind of distance this week.  On the return trip, I veered off the paved path for a short time back into the woods.  My route did not touch most of the trails that weave through on both sides of the creek, but I was ready to be done.  This is a lovely place to run in the woods in the middle of urban suburbia.  I love parks!

Monday, June 4, 2012

The usual

I wish I had something more exciting to write about, but honestly, it's been pretty usual in the fitness arena lately.  The hubby and I continue to run together.  He's doing short - but increasing - distances.  We always race each other in the last 100 meters or so.  He is so fast in the sprint!  I haven't beat him yet, but I will some day.  I also throw in the occasional longer run on my own, because I really want to keep my endurance up.  I ran a 5.75 mile route yesterday and was quite pleased to have turned out a 8:57 average pace.  I know I can run faster, but for my current low level of training, I'm happy with that.

We're also doing 2 different kickball leagues this year, which fills up the week nights pretty fast.  Even so, we fit in a match of tennis, a round of Frisbee golf, or a bike ride when we can.

This Friday, we'll be welcoming a crew to replace our roof.  It's not an expense that we want to deal with right now, but we have no choice.  The roof has been needing an update, but it's not leaking, so we've been holding off.  Then I changed us to a new auto/homeowners insurance company a few weeks ago in order to save a ton of cash each year.  Unfortunately, the insurance is requiring us to do the roof, so my change won't actually save us any money for about 5 years.  LOL!  Oh well!

So as the summer rolls in and the days are beautiful here in Michigan, I'm loving the time outside. Welcome June!