Why am I Running from Cancer?

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

Saturday, August 30, 2014

burnt . . .

. . . toast
yup, someone burnt toast on friday morning and I could smell it on my run with Sophie! It occupied much of my thoughts! did they eat it? did they throw it away? do they like burnt toast? what else are they eating with it?

I have officially started training for the Tyranena 1/2 Barrel (1/2 marathon) in November. I am determined to stick with a training program and selected the Hal Higdon's Intermediate Half schedule. Since it is a 12 week program and I started with only 10ish weeks to go, I slightly modified this weeks training to get me up to speed. In effect I ran 2 on Friday, 3 this morning and 5 tomorrow. This should get me on schedule with week 3. I will NOT skip training runs!  (my usual routine, start strong and then fizzle out . . . NOPE not this time)

I slept until 8:30 . . .  ahhhhhh!!!! and woke to Oscar gagging up a hair ball! Talk about a motivation to jump out of bed! Grab the cat off the bed and swiftly toss him into the bathroom. I made it!
Then relax with coffee on the deck, check email, check Facebook, etc and wait for a break in the rain. Well that didn't actually occur until noon. So that is when I headed out for my 3 mile run. Non-eventful, warm and humid, but not bad. The program called for 3 miles at Pace . . . it didn't indicate whose pace . . . seemed like a snails pace! I charged my ailing Garmin and wore it and was happy to find out that I did the first mile in 9:33, the second in 10:16 and then the third in 10:07. Although my "hopeful" pace is closer to 9:30 - with this mornings humidity, I will take it.  I also ran into the Sandhill cranes crossing the street, but I didn't have my camera or phone - so no pic's.

When I got home my Garmin was flashing through all of the screens and right then is when I decided I would go buy a new one later in the day. I hadn't wore it for at least a year and although it still works, it is exremely slow to pick up the satellite signal and randomly flashes through all the screens and won't respond to your selections . . . which ends up frustrating me (more than it should).  It was purchased in 2009 and might even be a 2008 vintage. There is a lot of sweat that has been loaded into the case!

After getting some chili started on the stove, we headed out to REI and I purchased the Garmin Forerunner 15. Not as many features as my last one, but does the basics and that is really what I need.

Headed out at the end of the day for a little bike ride and today's pictures are from that ride.

Enjoy the moments!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Better late . . .

. . . than never.
Today's post is about yesterday with little mention of today. Not that today was not a great day . . . but honestly when you can't bike to work or go for a morning run because of a huge thunderstorm with lightning and rain, you work all day, eat your lunch at your desk, work late so that you can attend a evening board meeting and come home tired, it is hard to find much of anything to post. Seriously boring day.

But yesterday, was fun and enjoyable! We joined some other members of our church and headed to Milwaukee for a RiverWalk Boat tour which included 3 stops at micro breweries all located on the Milwaukee river. The tour lasts 4 hours and visited the Rock Bottom Brewery, The Lakefront Brewery and the Milwaukee Ale House. We rented a bus and headed to Milwaukee right after service in the morning.

Our tour started with lunch at the Rock Bottom Brewery, this was not part of the tour, but it was a great way to start the afternoon tour off. After lunch we proceeded to the basement for our free beer and then a tour of the facility.

After that we hopped aboard the boat and then headed up the river to the Lakefront Brewery for another beer or two and another brewery tour.

The tour cost $30 per person and included 2 drink tickets at each brewery, for a total of 6 beers. Six beers would not be possible for me, but I did have 1 beer at both Rock Bottom and Milwaukee Ale House and 2 beers during the tour at Lakefront for a total of 4 beers and that was enough for me.

Anyway, at Lakefront Brewery the tour guide totally gets into the tour and was quite the ham.

Seriously he must be a theater major, because he was so dramatic telling the story of how the original Klisch brothers bought the current building from the city of Milwuakee for $1. Added to the $1 was paying past taxes and such, but the $1 is a great story. At one point in the tour, he asked for some volunteer and I was selected or elected, depending on your view point. He had previously mentioned that he would kiss you if you added some money to his hat. Well, my husband must have paid him because he called me up front to kiss me on the cheek!
If I hadn't been drinking I would have been embarassed. What am I saying, I love to be the center of attention! To add to the fun, I had the camera, so he had to re-kiss me after I gave the camera to my husband who rarely takes pictures. But as you see it turned out!
After Lakefront we headed down the river, past our starting brewery, Rock Bottom and on to our third tour and round of beers at Milwaukee Ale House.
OK, at this point, after 3 beers I needed a couple of pretzels to settle my stomach. I love beer, but honestly I can't remember the last time I have drank more than 2 beers. Since I ordered the pretzels, I waited for those at the bar and skipped this tour. Afterall, water, barley, yeast and hops are the 4 ingrediants and we had already heard that 2 other times - and I needed food.

At the end of the tour time, we hopped back onto the boat with a whole different group of people. Not really different, but obviously loosen up after a couple of beers. The boat driver and assistant had us singing Sweet Caroline and Its Raining Men and we were up dancing and singing . . . oh what a difference a couple of beers make.

Let me just say, that I have been a Madison snob for quite sometime. I travel to Milwaukee for Brewers games, Summerfest and for work and that is about it. I would have to say that I never really enjoyed the city and certainly didn't know that the RiverWalk area even existed.
Oh my gosh! It is beautiful area and it looks like there is so much to do between the other boat tours, art galleries and resturants along the way. What a fun place to visit.The River Walk Boat tours offer tours every day of the week including, Margarita Mondays, Tiki Tuesdays, Wine Wednesdays, Thirsty Thursdays, Funky Fridays, Saturday Pub, Bloody Mary Sunday and the 3 Brewery Tour on Sundays that there is a river tour for everyone! I would definitely like to go back.
Here is a link to the site:
Enjoy the moments!

Posted with BlogsyPosted with Blogsy

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Not crazy . . .

. . . afterall!

As I previously mentioned the path that I bike to work includes exiting the bike path and driving through a parking lot. There are rocks / boulders blocking the connection point so that vehicles can't accidentally get out on the bike path. I had noticed that the boulders were moved, allowing for a small access point sometimes, while other times there were boulders in the way. I decided to start paying more attention and taking pictures when I noticed something different. Well what do you know, the boulders were in a slightly different configuration on Wed and again this morning, confirming that someone is moving them!

Here is a shot from a couple of weeks ago, notice the space on either side of the two large center boulders.

On Tuesday the space on the right was filled in with a boulder.

Yet on Thursday morning the view clearly shows that someone moved the rock and shifted its location so that the opening on the right of the center two large boulders was accessible once again.

Who does this? Why? I get a kick out of these type of random things that show up.

On other news or updates,

Todd's brother and wife were here over the weekend.

The family reunion was good.

I ran on Monday,Wednesday and Saturday mornings

I biked to work 4 days.

I attended 2 Pilates classes.

Summer has finally arrived - hot - humid - sultry weather has settled in and we turned our air conditioning on Thursday.

Enjoy the final summer moments!



Friday, August 15, 2014

Plans change . . .

. . . and then change again.

I decided to take this afternoon off. There was grocery shopping to do and pulled chicken to get started. Todd's family is having a family
reunion in Milwaukee on Saturday and his brother from Michigan will be staying with us on Friday and Saturday evenings. While we will be in Milwaukee during the day tomorrow, I still need to make sure that there is food in the house for breakfast and dinner tonight.

Last evening I asked Todd -
what time are they expecting to get here? 'early evening' .
What about food? 'Well we can probably just order something!'

No, we can't do that. I will make something, how about pulled chicken in the crock pot? 'Sounds great! '

I wanted to say, of course that sounds great! It always sounds great when someone else does the work!

I don't know about you, but if someone is coming to your house, you don't

order pizza, maybe when you are younger, but at my age, you should be able to come up with home made food! Only problem with my plan, is that I didn't have any chicken thighs in the freezer, so I decided I could take half a day of vacation, run to Costco on the way home, pick up chicken and a few other items and get the chicken going in the crock pot by early afternoon and it would be done in time.

But wait at 10:00 I have a message on my phone from Todd, now his niece, her husband and kids have decided to stay near Madison instead of Milwaukee and would like to get together for dinner at a brew pup in Madison. His question is where should we go? I suggest either Great Dane or Ale Asylum. I suggest that Todd try for reservations at either place.

He later calls me, as I was driving home and now his niece and family will not be staying near Madison, because they didn't leave Michigan on time, so I head to Costco and the original plans!

Dinner was good, although a little latter than I had wanted. The chicken was great, recipe compliments of Jenna's blog, Eat, Live, Run, Crock pot root beer pulled chicken, here. Served on a bun or sweet potato.

I made a batch of margarita's and everyone was happy. No pic's of the evening!

Enjoy the moments!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Another . . .

. . . beautiful day, although still not the summer weather we deserve at this time of year.

The morning started as most of my work mornings start, let Sophie out,
clean the litter box, make a cup of coffee, pick up the back yard and then
take Sophie out for a run/walk . . . but for some reason I ran out of time
for taking Sophie out for the run/walk and I have no reason why that
happened. Does that happen to you? You have a routine, you follow it and
yet somehow, something grabs some time. I don't recall what happened this
morning, but there wasn't time left. So off to work on my bike.

So far in 2014 I have biked over 1,400 miles. Here is a graph of miles per month. Honestly it feels like so much more.

My friend Tricia and I got a pretty early jump on the bike season and started biking in March, while there was still snow on the ground.

While I did bike to work a couple of days in April, it wasn't until May that the weather started more consistently cooperating or I got into the commuting habit. Honestly, this is more dependant on me getting in the habit of biking to work than the weather cooperating! Like any new task or process, biking to work takes some time to develop the habit. For me, just packing my bag takes some getting use to, making sure that I have everything that I need.

At this point in the season, the entire process goes pretty smoothly, but early in the year, everything takes longer. I am extremely lucky because we have showers and a small locker room at work. I have the necessary shower supplies in my locker and this year I also leave a basic amount of make-up at work.

A couple of lessons I have learned -

  • keep an extra pair of underwear at work,
  • if you wonder whether it is too warm to bike to work in work clothes, it probably is . . . don't chance it and wear biking clothes,
  • in case you absolutely FAIL and forget an important article of clothes I have a dress and sweater hanging behind my door in my office
  • leave a light weight jacket at work, although it is generally warmer when you bike home, that isn't always the case, I have had several times when my commute to work in the morning was beautiful while my bike ride home was cold and windy.
From May through August I have biked to work 65% of the work days including every day of August! ;-)

Work, well it is work. . . .

After work I headed to a stretch class called 'Refine your Spine' - a super
relaxing and much needed stretch class primarily on the roller.

So absolutely relaxing.

Speaking of relaxing, what do you suppose this guy is thinking relaxing over the ledge watching cars, bikes and people go by? It is some sort of artistic creation looking out over the third floor of a building near my Pilates Studio.

Back on my bike and not only did I get stopped at one railroad crossing, I got stopped at two railroad crossings!

Enjoy the moments!






Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Missing . . .

. . . summer.

I will return when the temp's warm up. Seriously, there is no denying these cool temp's are lovely. It is great to run without feeling like you are dripping wet, bike without being extremely sweaty and feel cool breezes through the house BUT it is Mid-August and we should have hot, muggy days and sultry evenings.

I want summer back . . .

Enjoy the moments, even if they are cool.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Must be . . .

. . . crazy. Seriously the boulders/rocks blocking the bike path from cars have not moved in a week. I know I didn't imagine that they were in different locations . . . or did I? Maybe it was a dream?

Speaking of night, which is when most dreams occur, there was a horrible screeching sound that woke me up last night around 4AM. Some animal was clearly in distress. Sophie was upset and started barking - it wasn't a pretty sound. I couldn't get back to sleep and should have gotten up, but instead I laid there trying to convince myself to go back to sleep - but failed!

Back to morning and my bike ride. The weather report predicted rain in the late afternoon, but I figured I would chance it. Meteorologists, some times they're correct and some times they're wrong, and I have been married to one for 37 years so I think I have an interesting perspective. Whenever you see 50% chance of rain, why think it will rain? There is a 50% chance it won't. Go for the positive!

Anyway, somewhere around 3:30 - 4:00 that 50% became 100%! It suddenly started to rain, make that pour. But upon checking radar, it looked short lived and after another couple of short bursts of rain and thunder showers it looked like I would be fine to bike to Pilates. So at 5 I hopped on my bike and headed to class. The sky was dark and it was windy, but no rain.

The Pilates studio I attend classes is on Atwood Ave, a rather funky neighborhood in town. This is a sign I pass, turning to the Pilates studio.

I checked the weather again after Pilates to see what the radar looked like and all was clear. Granted it was a windy ride home and the wind was coming directly out of the north, which is the direction I was headed, but I didn't get hit by a single drop of rain!

On the menu for this evening was a Cuban pulled pork sandwiches and boy was it good. I made mine when I got home from Pilates. Pulled pork and ham warmed up. Add the warm meat to a nice chewy bun with mustard, pickle spears and Swiss cheese and heat on top of the stove.

This is not a Jenna inspired meal but speaking of Jenna, I need to get back to cooking recipes from her blog! I have been slacking off!

As I lamented yesterday, summer is quickly fading. It seems we are busy every weekend until mid September. Why are we so busy you ask? Well, my oldest son is getting married in September and between family reunions, bridal showers and volunteer commitments we have no free weekends. Add to that my Peoplesoft upgrade project at work and I am feeling a tad bit stressed. I require a lot of down time and just don't feel like I am getting enough right now.

Speaking of downtime, it is past my bedtime. I am hoping there are no animal distress sounds tonight.

Enjoy the quiet moments!





Lake Mendota . . .

. . . on a boat is a great way to spend a summer day. And that is what we did today. My biking friend Tricia and her friend Mike joined us on the boat.

I have to say that it was a bit tinged with the sad feeling that summer is coming to an end. Hard for me to believe it is August 10th. It seems like when we hit August I just want to enjoy each and every flower, blade of grass, blue sky, fire fly, trip on the lake, bike trip, run, driving with car windows down and having all the windows in the house open. Oh how I love this season we call summer. But it seems like it is quickly passing and I want to squeeze hold tight and not let it go, but of course we can't stop the change of seasons. But it does seems like we have been cheated out of true summer this year. I think we might have hit the 90 degree mark one time. I love hot humid temp's but that has not been the norm this summer.

We cruised around the lake and ended up at Nautigal for lunch, but they weren't serving lunch because they were still serving a brunch buffet. I don't know about you, but I don't do buffets. I don't go out to eat enough to share food prep with others. If I am paying for food, I want it made specifically for me. Maybe that is a crazy way to think, but I can't help it.

Here is a great shot of my fried Trix holding up the bridge! If anyone could actually hold it up, she could!

Great time, great friends, great summer day.

Enjoy the moments!



Saturday, August 9, 2014

Saturday bike . . .

. . . ride to New Glarus.

Alarm was set this morning to make sure that we got going relatively early. It is big time beer events around Madison this weekend. The annual Great Taste of the Midwest, a gathering of craft brews and breweries bring 1,000 different beers to a lakeside park. The event is limited to 6,000 people and sells out quickly. Anyway, because of this emphasis on craft beers in the area, the New Glarus brewery is busier than normal and they had a limited release of sour Peach ale. While we got to the brewery at 10:45, there were lines of people already there at 7. We weren't there specifically for the limited release, although it would have been fun to participate. When we pulled into the parking lot people staff said that they had 1,500 people at the brewery just before we arrived. Even though we missed the limited release, we got to enjoy the wood fired pizza of LaFortuna pizza and enjoyed a couple of beers, including Staghorn and MoonMan, two of my favorites.

I invited a couple that had participated in this years Tour de Brew, which I organize over Memorial Day weekend. I know they like to bike and thought they would enjoy this ride. They had never been to the New Glarus Brewery and I think and hope they had a great time.

Here are a couple of pictures from the road and of course in front of the tunnel entrance.

After we got home, I was basically a couch potato. Well actually a porch hammock potato. I am embarrassed to say I did nothing. Usually a 30 mile ride doesn't tire me as much as today's, but I was tired and didn't want to do anything! Oh well, I know that these days are few and far between. No problem or reason to feel bad. Sometimes you just need to hang!

Tomorrow will be a busy Sunday with church and then we are going out on the boat, but that is tomorrow and next on the agenda is a wonderful night of sleep!

Enjoy the moments and enjoy good beer!





A day off . . .

. . . of work. (I must not have pressed publish last night! Opps)

Oh how I love a Friday off from work, especially with no plans. No reason to set the alarm. Wake up when I want. Isn't that wonderful.

Nothing much on the agenda for today. Enjoyed my coffee outside, deadheaded some day lilies (there are only a few flowers left), watered and fertilized the flower beds, picked up some checks to be deposited for my church, grocery shopped and did laundry.

I road my bike to the bank, which was my 8th consecutive day of biking. Yea!

Didn't take my bike to the grocery store! As I was checking out at the store, the clerk asked a strange question? She wanted to know if I wanted my beverage left out? I wondered what she was referring too since I had bought milk, wine and tequila? It was my 32oz container of Kefir. 'Thanks but no!' I like Kefir, but havnver been tempted to crack it open for a swig!

It appears to have been a good exercising week based on my gear that gets hung to dry.

7 tech shirts, 6 bottoms - that is a good week of work - biking and running gear!

Does anyone else living in a raised ranch use the railing to dry their clothes? If not, you should try it because it works great. My husband always comments, but the clothes are only there for the time it takes to dry. It's not like I leave them there for long!

Enjoy the moments!


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Broken . . .

. . . streak. I have posted 10 consecutive posts . . . but not yesterday . .

Yesterday, Wednesday August 6th was a day just like every other day, except that I ran the Movin' Shoes Full Moon run which had a start time of 9PM. Afterwards I met up with a couple of friends for some late dinner at Alchemy and didn't get to sleep until nearly midnight, excuses, excuses.

This was my 4th year of running this race and I really enjoy it. It is a small race with a 500 limit on participants. There were 431 finishers, which means that some people signed up and then were not able to run.

Sad to say that instead of getting faster I am getting slower. In 2011 - 29:34, 2012 - 29:39, 2013 - 30:57, and this year - 31:53. I guess that should be motivation for me to work on some speed work or at least get out there for more miles. And you know what, it was also a GREAT reminder that I LOVE to run. I really enjoy biking, especially commuting to and from work . . . I like biking on the road . . . and I like biking on trails . . . but at the end of the day, even though I am not speedy, I LOVE the way I feel from running. I will get more miles under my belt!

Every time I thought about running the race, I was conflicted. I haven't gotten much running in lately, especially because of all of the biking I have been doing, so I just wasn't feeling it. But I knew that three friends Rachel here, Kim here, and Corinne were going to be there and I am never unhappy after I run. And although I was not as speedy as I would have liked, I still had a great time and it provided me with the motivation to get out there for more runs.

Here is a picture of the 4 of us and just Corinne and I with the Capitol building in the background.

Fast forward to this morning - those dang rocks (that block vehicle entrance to the bike path) did not move. I am sure they are regularly moved . . . but not this week. Both on this mornings commute and this afternoons commute, they were still in the same place. One of these days I will get to prove that they move.

Enjoy the moments!



Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Moving . . .

. . . boulders!

On my bike commute to work, I bike on a variety of surfaces. I start out on
residential streets in my neighborhood, then bike on a road with a
designated bike lane, then hook up with the bike path, either biking
through Tenney Park or taking a short connecter path and then back onto a
street that is designated as a Bike Boulevard which is a local street with
low speed, low (motor vehicle) traffic volume and used primarily by
bicyclists. Motor vehicles are welcome on bicycle boulevards, but bikes can
use the entire lane.
I have a couple of different routes to get to work, but they all end up
using a portion of the bike path to hook up with the Bike Boulevard. This
involves biking through a large parking lot that is NOT heavily used. To
get into the paved area, there is a slight turn off of the bike path and
blocking this are large boulders. These large boulders keep cars that might
attempt to pull out of the parking lot onto the bike path. If they did do
this, there wouldn't really be anywhere for them to go, they wouldn't fit
through the tunnels that are on either side of the path at this point, but
I am sure that if the boulders were not there someone would attempt to
drive the bike path. What would really happen to them is that they would
likely drive right into the Yahara River which runs along the bike path!
Anyway I swear someone keeps on moving the boulders. One day it is easy to weave through them and the next . . . not so much. Since I have to weave
through them, especially because I am usually coming from an awkward angle, I notice that they are not in the same location. I biked to work with my
neighbor and mentioned this to her and she said that she had seen someone
with a bike trailer behind their bike stop and sound quite confused, since
he had easily made it through the opening the day before and yet this
particular morning the opening was not large enough? So my mission for the
next couple of weeks is to take pictures so that I know I am not going
This morning I did a combination of running and walking my neighborhood 2
mile loop with Sophie. Since my legs were still tired from last weekends
bike ride I just didn't feel like running. My legs would probably appreciate
taking a day off from commuting to work via bike, but I didn't want to lose
the momentum that I had created by biking Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Just around the corner from my house was none other than one of the foxes.
My guess is this was one of the younger ones, he/she was pretty skinny.
Sophie and I were running and he jumped out of the tall grass scaring
Sophie who lunged at him. We all stopped and looked at each other . . .
then he moved on. No camera or phone with me.

Mid afternoon I took a break and walked to my nearby coffee shop, Ground
Zero for an iced coffee and peanut butter cookie.

Life is good. Enjoy the moments!


Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday . . .

Monday, so good to me.

Or not.

I didn't set my alarm this morning. Instead I decided to sleep until I woke and ended up waking around 7:30. I decided to bike to work. I know that might sound crazy, especially after biking 147 miles on Saturday and Sunday, but it was a beautiful morning.

Besides the beautiful day (morning), I set a goal to bike everyday of August. It might not be many miles, but I would like to get on my bike everyday. I have been tracking my mileage and am participating in the National Bike Challenge. The challenge is made up of individuals, work groups or teams that track and report miles biked and earn points for every day biked, in addition to the mileage covered. Just a little added motivation to get on my bike.

Well the beautiful morning changed to rain and thunder this afternoon. I bailed and called Todd for a lift. I still biked, just half as many miles as my normal commuter route.

Short and sweet.

Enjoy the day, enjoy the moments!


Sunday, August 3, 2014

MS 150 . . .

. . . day 2.

Ahhhhh! It feels so good to be done.

In total we biked 9 hrs and 36 minutes for a total of 147 miles. While day 1 is relatively flat with hills only popping up in the last 20 miles, the second day has hills, hills and more hills. It feels like every time you turn a corner there is another hill. Besides the hilly route, you are tired after Saturdays ride and sleeping in a dorm room.

On the way back into Madison we stopped at Christy's a great bar on Lake Waubesa to celebrate. At that point we had less than 5 miles to bike. We hung out there waiting for others from our team. I enjoyed a few vodka lemonades -

This was my 5th year of participating in the MS 150 bike ride and very likely my last. But we will see once next year comes around!

Enjoy the moments!