Why am I Running from Cancer?

Why am I Running from Cancer?. . . check out this post for an explanation

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Football Saturday

Badger Football Saturday

Today was the first Badger game of the year against UMass, who were 45 point underdogs. Final score Badgers 45 - UMass - 0. Guess the bookies (odds makers) were right!

We biked to the game, one-way is 9 miles. On our way, there was a section where a cross road had just had new composite material laid on it - that little black sparkly stuff. We both tried hard to swerve as far out of that stuff as possible. We thought we made it through it - but about 1 mile later, we heard a pffffst - pffffst sound coming from Todd's tire - we stopped and sure enough - he had a rear flat tire. We had a heck of a time getting his tire off of the rim.  It seemed to have been melded into the rim. I bet it took us 15 minutes to get his tire off of the rim. In my opinion, changing a bike tire is never easy and yet, if you have ever seen a tire being changed by someone in a bike shop - they make it look so EASY.

Tip of the day - there are a lot of different requirements to purchasing the correct tubes.

  1. Tire size  - my commuter tire takes a 700 x 32 tube. The 700 mm represents the tire diameter and the 32 mm is the tire width. My road bike is 700 X 23 (skinnier tires!). 
  2. Type of Valve - all of our bikes have presta valves, which are often used for tubes / tires that require higher pressure. 
  3. But the thing no one ever talks about is the tube stem length. I know about the stem size because earlier this summer I had a flat tire and while the tube I had with me fit the tire, the tube stem would not push through the rim far enough to attach the bike pump. 
When switching Todd's tube today - he had a tube with a shorter stem - while it did fit through his rim - when I was pumping it up, I bent the presta valve and broke it off. At this point we had a decision to make - walk his bike to the bike shop about 3 blocks away or replace the tube again, using my tube. So we started over and used my tube, with the longer stem! Finally after 40 minutes we had switched the tube twice and were back on our bikes and headed to the Badger football game.

At this point, our plans to stop at Union South before the game for something to eat and a beer for me were shot. As it was, we didn't make it into the stadium for the kickoff. I have never stood in line this long to get into the stadium. I don't know if the person swiping tickets was incompetent or if the hand held scanner was not set up correctly. It took forever to get through the line for our gate.  

The game was as lopsided as the score - but it was a beautiful day for football. We did stop at Machinery Row Bicycle on the return trip and purchased two new tubes - with long stems!  

Enjoy the moments!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Finding beauty locally

(First blog post using Blogsy and Flickr)

My go to blog - Althouse, had an interesting blog post about why we travel. It was very thought provoking - for me, when I see photo's of someone's trip to Paris, my first response is to "want" to go there sometime. Is it the beautiful photo's that attract me? Is it the wonder of something new and different? Is it the pursuit of a gentler, more relaxed environment? What do I really expect to find abroad, or in some distant city or state or region that I can't really find in my own back yard?

Do we take into account the pollution from traveling to distant places, especially when we fly? We might say that our dollars spent on vacation in distant places helps the local economy, but how about spending those dollars locally?

Here is a list of destinations I have traveled to:

  • Florida, winter vacation, flew
  • Bahamas, winter vacation, flew
  • California, winter vacation, flew
  • Montreal, summer vacation, flew
  • New Orleans, Katrina relief work & youth mission trip chaperone, drove
  • Colorado, vacation summer and winter, drove and flew
  • Vancouver, summer vacation, flew
  • S.Dakota, vacation and youth mission trip chaperone, drove
  • New York, work and bike ride, flew and drove
  • Washington DC, spring vacation, drove
  • Mexico, winter vacation, flew
  • British Virgin Islands, winter vacation, flew
  • Michigan, visiting relatives, drove
  • Toronto, youth mission trip chaperone, drove
  • San Diego, work training, flew
  • Kansas City, work training, flew
  • Chicago, all times of year vacation & work, drove
  • Albuquerque, work, drove
  • Keys, winter vacation, flew
  • Canada, summer fishing, drove

I guess the point is that while I have traveled some, I would not consider myself to be well traveled. Obviously, many of us that live in the north travel to warm destinations during the peak of winter weather!

Anyway, today's post is about finding beauty in my back yard (neighborhood)! No further words are necessary!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Minhas Micro Distillery

I had purchased a groupon for a tour of the Minhas Distillery in the spring and we had tried to get there a couple of weeks ago - but cool dreary weather stopped us.  So we decided that Saturday was going to be our ride.

Sophie and I did a short walk - I again enjoyed my fruit and coffee outside - and then we got the bike rake attached and waited for our son and girlfriend to arrive from down the street.  (yup - they live just a few doors away).  Finally Todd walked down the street to see what the hold up was.  The tours were at 11:30 - 1:30 and 3:30 and we wanted to hit the 11:30 tour to make it back to Madison mid afternoon. Girlfriends bike tire was flat - so after changing tube and then loading up the bikes we headed out.  We were running about 1/2 hour behind. Drove to our starting point, near New Glarus, to make a 30 mile round trip ride.

Beautiful day for a ride.  We tried to speed up and make the 11:30 tour - but that just wasn't going to happen.  So we settled in to a comfy speed and decided we would stop downtown for lunch and then hit the 1:30 tour.

We biked around the square in Monroe and then of course decided to stop at Baumgarnters - a favorite Monroe eatery and cheese store.  Food was delish.
Here my fellow riders are after our lunch.

And the Minhas Distillery Tasting room

As part of the tour you bring back a bottle of vodka and two glasses.  I also puchased a couple of bottles of Maya Horchata - all of which had to fit on our bikes.  I brought my saddle bag and my son brought a milk crate on the back of his bike.  Here we are fitting the four gift boxes into the milk crate.

We also had a couple of felled trees on the Badger State trail - up and over.

All in all a great ride.  

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Canon PowerShot has arrived

My Canon PowerShot SX280 arrived yesterday

I am learning the basics

I have already called support -but called too late - they only work until 10 eastern

So I sent an email - I did receive a response - but not an answer until tomorrow - they will respond during normal business hours


I am trying to set up wifi capabilities and having problems logging in

It will need to wait until tomorrow.

Lucky for me - I am on vacation tomorrow!

But I did upload some photo's.

Sunrise over Cherokee Lake 

Another sunrise shot

Resident Sandhill Cranes at the park

Sophie after our morning run

Fresh fruit all washed and drying on the counter.
Enjoy the moments - I am excited that I will now be able to better capture my moments!  But I will still be taking photo's with my phone - I carried the camera with me this morning while we were running - ya - that won't happen all the time - even though it is small - it is a little too big to carry while running!!!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


One of my favorite blogs is Althouse. I first mentioned her blog here. I went "gaga" when I saw her and introduced myself to her on the bike path. She blogs about the law, politics, current events - and posts many times per day and always has extremely interesting posts. She has millions of views!

I first read about the fox on her blog here. She saw a blue fox on the Capital City bike path. The following week Todd and I biked Cap City and we too saw the "blue fox".

A couple of weeks later, while walking with Rachel, of Running in Real Life and Kim of ilaxStudio to the start of the Movin Shoes Full Moon run - I noticed another fox on the Wingra bike path. Next time I biked on the Wingra path I stopped and took this picture - a brown fox.

I then wondered were there other foxes? Who did this? Why a fox? With every bike ride - I kept my eyes open and watched - but never did see any other foxes! I tried googling foxes, graffiti, you vandal, etc, but found nothing. On Monday I biked to a midday meeting and used the Wingra path and sure enough the brown fox was there - But tonight it was gone. It had been painted over with drab grey paint - institutional grey! When I got home, I immediately emailed Althouse and let her know that the brown fox was gone - she responded and mentioned that she had seen the blue fox yesterday.

I assume that the "city" painted over it - graffiti, albeit beautiful, artful graffiti, is still graffiti. I feel a bit sad that the brown fox is gone. I am going to try and bike out to the cap city path tomorrow, maybe at lunch time, to see the blue fox and take my own photo.

Enjoy the moments and foxes!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Summers return

Summer has returned to Wisconsin. 

Last week I wore gloves when I biked to work because the temp was 46 degrees.  This morning it was 64 and humid. As I am typing this at 9:30 it is 77 - last week there were several days the high for the day never reached 77!    

My training called for 3 miles this morning.  I ran 2 with Sophie and then 1 more without her. She got spooked by a garden sprinkler - as we were running by a house the owner turned on the hose and the sputtering sound as air is going through the hose scared her. She bolted! I quickly let go of her leash - because there was no way of keeping up with her. I calmed her down - but as soon as we turned onto our street she was headed home. I had planned to loop around, but she knows that when we turn that corner we always go home - she did not want to loop around a side street and I didn't want to fight or try and persuade her - so we ran home - dropped her off and I finished up the 3 miles.

Resident sandhill cranes at the park.  

Then coffee on the patio! I had finished the run before the sun came up - but tried to capture a shot while enjoying my coffee!  
And off to the kitchen to make my lunch salad.  I also had my standard "go to" breakfast of a sandwich thin, peanut butter on one side, Nutella on the other with 3 sliced dates!  It is so good.  I sometimes substitute sliced strawberries for the dates and that is especially yummy!  

I love the color of the purple carrots that I included in my salad. They came with last weeks CSA delivery - but don't quite understand why someone decided to make purple carrots!  Ey are pretty to look at!  
Another day of work - lots of issues - lots of stress! 
Lovely bike ride home eliminated some of the daily stress.  

As soon as I got home we hoped in the car and tried out a new restaurant on the north side - Habanero's. I had 3 taco's and guacamole and chips. Todd had a burrito.  All was delicious!  We will be back. The restaurant previously had been a local pizza place, Rocky Rococca's - but went out of business last winter. 

Monday, August 19, 2013


Morning started out with my 5:15 alarm - which was quickly snoozed for 15 minutes. 

Up and out for a walk with Sophie and then weight lifting. First morning of my training program - focused on upper body. I figure with my biking and running - my lower body gets plenty of workout time - but not so much for the arms, chest and shoulders!

I really notice that my upper body is weak during Pilates, when holding stretches and poses for very long my arms get really tired.  Some of that is probably attributed to the arm lymphedema as a result of my mastectomy. When they take the breast tissue for a mastectomy, they also take lymph nodes and many times there are not enough left to handle the lymph fluids in you body. As a result, my right arm does not drain the fluids and is larger than my left arm. 

Coffee on the patio - but no breakfast. I was running a little late this morning and planned to bike to work - so I needed to cut something out of the morning routine.  Breakfast - lost.  Making my salad for lunch - won. I did take some cherries to work and munched on those for my breakfast. The two Sandhill cranes are still hanging out at the park.
I wonder when they will head south?

Signs of Autumn - On our walk, I noticed a lone tree across the lake that is yellow. 

Then as we came around the corner, just down the street from my house, I happened upon another tree changing colors. 

As I gaze down the street at the trees lining the road, they all look tired and ready to change color and drop their leaves - as if the leaves are too heavy.  Is the pressure of staying green too hard on them?  

Rest of the day was work - simple work.

Enjoy the moments!

Sunday, August 18, 2013


This morning started with coffee on the patio - then off for a run with Sophie. We did the 2 mile loop around the neighborhood and stopped for pic's of our daily view of the Sandhill cranes. These two are at the park every morning.   
After the loop, Sophie got dropped back off at home and then I headed back out for 3.25 more miles - for a total of 5.25. I am running the Tyranena Half Barrel (13.1 miles) run in November and decided to start a training program to get ready. Today was a "longish" run. I usually don't follow a training program - I just start adding mileage, but figured a structured approach can only help. Even at 57 I find that I am still a semi competitive person. With the race in early November the temperatures shouldn't be a problem and I am hoping to run a personal best - which would be under 2:07. I will take any help I can get. The training will include a little bit of speed work - progressively longer runs and cross training.   

Mid morning we restained the deck. Lucky for us, it is a small deck. It was warm in the sun. the color in the after photo looks blue - but is grey. We only did the decking - so the early evening light is altering the color.

We then headed to Milwaukee for a "celebration of life" for an Aunt of Todd's. His Aunt Darlene died of brain cancer. She was diagnosed in early March and died 4 months later.  She was 82 years old and had been in great shape. The family put on a wonderful celebration - she would have been proud. Her husband George is extremely sad, missing the women he had been married to for 61 years. His children are concerned about him. He and Darlene had made a home in Florida and returned to WI during the summer months to visit family. He still wants to head back to Florida in the fall - but has no basic skills because his wife did everything. Seems hard to believe that in all these years he didn't do laundry, cook, clean, schedule appointments or pay bills. All the basics for life. Are they part of the last generation where the women did all the household chores? These seem like such simple things - and we all know they are not difficult tasks to master - but obviously difficult for an 85 yr old. My prayers are heading his way.

My goals for the week - 
  1. eat fruit every morning and enjoy eating it ourside along with my cup of coffee
  2. Order Canon PowerShot SX280 HS 
  3. bike to work 4 days this week
  4. take the boat out after work 
  5. Complete week 1 of training which includes the following. 
    1Stretch & strengthen3 m run5 x 400 5-K pace3 m run + strengthRest3 m run5 m run

Ending this post with a couple of zinnias from my garden. 

Enjoy the moments!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Such a simple day

Morning has started the same all week - and that is a good thing!

Coffee and fruit outside. Out of berries - but added to the dates and cherries was fresh cantaloupe from our Thursday delivered CSA!   
What's that dark slice sitting on top of the melon? Dark chocolate fudge that we purchased in New Glarus yesterday! It goes so incredibly well with coffee. Just like biking and beer - a perfect combination! Some things were meant to enjoy together and fudge and coffee is one of those!
A nice walk with Sophie.  We ventured down by the water - but the grass was so tall and restrictive I don't think she knew the water was so close!
At the house - tasks to do! 
Deck to clean and ready for new stain.  
Flowers to water. 
Tomato plants to trim leaves from.
Lunch to make.
Beer to drink.
Lawn to mow.
Movie to watch - Godfather.
Windows to clean.
Dinner salad to make and eat.
 My goals for this past week - 
  1. eat fruit every morning and enjoy eating it outside along with my cup of coffee - yup
  2. research a couple of different cameras and then check them out in a store - yup
  3. bike to work 3 days this week - yup
  4. take the boat out after work - nope
  5. start a training program for my 1/2 marathon scheduled at the beginning of November - nope
My camera choice  - Canon PowerShot SX280 HS. 
The sun is setting and the movie is near the end.

Enjoy the moments!

Friday, August 16, 2013

A perfect combination

Day off of work for both hub's and me means a bike ride to New Glarus! He knew I was disappointed that our previous Sunday bike ride to Monroe to visit Minhas Distillery was cancelled because off the weather. I wrote about that here. He decided to take today off so that we could bike.

After enjoying my coffee outside with the last of the strawberries, cherries, walnuts and dates  - we headed out to our starting point in Fitchburg.  

We biked on the Badger State trail (rails to trails). It was a picture perfect day for a ride.  Not many people on the trail (although it never seems like you run into too many other riders). Stopped for water in Belleville just past the bridge. This is a great old bridge - in the past I have seen a wedding party posing for pic's on the bridge.  
Then back on our bikes - through town and into the tunnel between New Glarus and Belleville.  No pictures of the tunnel - I have taken many of them over the years - but a couple of the bright colored moss.  

The moss is on the New Glarus side of the tunnel. Only thing in the tunnel were a couple of pigeons.
Any time we are out and about we comment about the corn and how tall it is.  Same thing today.  I asked hub's 
"how tall do you think that corn is?"
          His response - "pretty tall"
"I'm going to stop and see"
          And we did - 
Based on my height - some of the corn is twice as tall as I am - and looks to be 11-12 ft tall! Our house ceilings are 8ft.  

Traveling on the Sugar River trail there is a farm with cows (OK - there are a lot of farms with cows - this is Wisconsin - the Dairy state - but these cows are close to the trail and they always look nice).  The cow standing was mooing a lot - clearly she had something to say - maybe things are not as pleasant on the farm as I like to think!  
We stopped at Maple Leaf Cheese and Chocolate shop for Fudge and then biked to Subway for sandwiches to take to the brewery.
The brewery location is called "hilltop" for a reason!  Every time we bike there - the last little hill gets me - even though I know it is there! The brewery is undergoing a huge expansion project - considering it is only sold in Wisconsin - we really like our beer!  
We enjoyed, "totally naked", "spotted cow", "moon man" and " two women".  I had the pint glass of "totally naked" 
 and hub's had the sampler, and started with spotted cow - since he isn't mich of a beer drinker - I got to have his 2nd and 3rd sampler glass and enjoyed moon man and two women.  :-)
Very relaxed feel at the beer garden and tasting room on a friday.  I of course had my New Glarus Brewery bike jersey on, which is a good conversation starter!  A gentleman walked over "nice jersey" and then asked where we biked from. He is the construction coordinator and told us about a lot of the new construction and still to be completed work at the brewery. We also talked to Deb Carey, founder and president of the brewer. She was walking her two dogs in the beer garden - she saw my shirt - "nice jersey"!  We then talked to her about the expansion and of course told her that we loved the brewery and the beer! Dumb thing to say - dah - of course we love the beer!  
We walked around the beer garden area, it has been expanded and has a lovely walking path down the side of the hill. We also headed into the brewery, hoping to see them bottling - but no such luck. Sounds like Monday or Tuesday are good days to catch the bottling operation.  

Time to head back to Madison. Instead of biking back through town, we take a back exit out of the brewery -it is the truck delivery route and see MORE expansion there and head out on the highway for about 1/2 mile and some back roads which ends up cutting off a couple of miles and as I mentioned - the brewery is on a hill - so the biking is "downhill" - at least for a little bit!  
Then back on the Badger Trail - back through the tunnel - back through Belleville and again stop at the bridge for a water break and then back into Madison.  

It was a great day and biking and beer is a perfect combination!
Enjoy the moments!  

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Making the most of a day

My day started after a great nights sleep. I felt so rested. A lot of that was probably because I was asleep before 10. When the alarm goes off at 5:15 - I really appreciate the early to bed evenings. Clearly I am needing more sleep as I age!

I am trying to take my camera / phone with me when I run so that I can take pictures of everyday events of beauty. After all, pictures are what memories are made of!  
But this morning as Sophie and I came around the corner to a majestic sunrise - no phone - no camera - no photo.  Major fail.  :-(

Did a quick 2 mile run - back home to pick up the yard and enjoy my coffee outside. This morning the temp's were much warmer than the last few mornings, when temps were in the high 40's.  This mornings temps had to be upper 50's.  
I did stop for a picture of one of my dalhlia's.  

Then hopped on my bike and headed to work. I am really trying to assume that I will be biking to work and hope to consider driving the exception. It was a beautiful ride. 

I am still working on a plan to take vacation days. I realize this is a problem most everyone would like to have! I started my year with 42 days of vacation. I have used 4 days of vacation. My plan was to take 1/2 a day of vacation this afternoon and all day tomorrow. Does leaving at 2:00 count for 1/2 day? Sure does in my book. 

The bike ride home was especially enjoyable - leaving at 2 is wonderful. Since I was planning on taking vacation - I didn't eat lunch - so was famished when I got home. I enjoyed a sandwich thin with mustard, avocado, turkey and Gouda cheese, a few pita chips and New Glarus Totally Naked! Great lunch. 

Relaxing rest of the day. Laundry - weeding - watering.  
Hubbie picked up the CSA - dinner was fresh corn on the cob!  

We are taking tomorrow off and are planning a bike ride to New Glarus Brewery for a beer and Maple Leaf Cheese and Chocolate for some fudge.  I am looking forward to he 40 mile ride!