Sunday, July 31, 2011


This weekend the boys and I went down to the Chicago suburbs for my sister's wedding. We left on Friday and spied this SWEET Aston Martin in Oak Brook. I'd take it.

Then it was off to the Peabody Estate to set up for the wedding. It's a beautiful old home on Mays Lake.

Then ... Giordano's for pizza. Great Chicago-style pizza (cheese, and LOTS of it, on the bottom and sauce on the top).

As the sun was setting, we decided to head down to Main Street in Downers Grove for their weekly car show. Lots and lots of cars, old and new, and lots and lots of people. It was great to see the downtown of my youth so alive with people and fun shops/restaurants.



As you might have noticed, I get a hoot out of looking at cars even though I drive something very "unfancy" and always will. But it's always fun to look. And it doesn't cost anything to look. :-)

Saturday morning I headed over to Waterfall Glen forest preserve to run the 9.6 mile loop through the park. It's a great running surface (tightly packed gravel) and such nice scenery. The place was packed. I'd run there twice before but never before had it been so crowded. Hundreds of vehicles and runners/cyclists.

After one loop, I was just soaked with sweat. My shoes were squishy. My water bottle was empty. And I didn't know if I had much more in me. I don't know what the dew point was, but it was right up there. I went to the car, grabbed two bottles of G2, a granola bar, and decided to go out at least a few miles and then turn back when I thought I'd had enough (or would have enough once I GOT back). Well, I backed off my pace and just kept motoring along. The CARA marathon training group that was out there was nice enough to let me refill one of my G2 bottles, so I drank 3 bottles on the second loop and it would have been nice to have had more. It was so hot, especially in the sun. Once I got past the 4 mile post (my GPS was dead) I figured that I might as well keep going forward rather than turn back. So I did just that. 19.2 miles when I got back to the parking lot. Decided 20+ miles sounded better than 19.2 so I headed out for another mile or so and called it good. I was toast. And what I wanted most of all was an ice cold Diet Coke and piece of leftover pizza and that's what I indulged in. It was worth every calorie.

Later in the day I stopped at Dunkin' Donuts for what I thought was a fluffy kreme-filled donut (Bavarian Kreme). Turns out it was custard-filled. Yuck. So two bites was all I took. Then it was off to JCPenney to use my $15 off a $15 purchase coupon. I found a cute yellow top for $14.99. But you have to spend the whole $15 so I grabbed a $1.49 reusable shopping bag and checked out. Total spent? $1.60. I know how to play the coupon game.

Then went next door to Sports Authority. I had 6 "$5 off any purchase" coupons, so I grabbed 4 GUs. Total spent on 4 GUs? 43 cents. Still playin' the game.

Then, off to the wedding held at the Peabody Estate at Mayslake. It was hot, hot, hot out there.

I was the one cutting the cake.

The cake was delicious (bottom tier chocolate, top two vanilla) but it was so heavy I had to have Eric carry it from the kitchen to the patio. I'm guessing 40 to 50 pounds. I somehow managed to cut it up with several people watching me, standing in the sun, and I didn't get frosting all over that satin dress. Amazing. But I was dripping with sweat. On the way out of town, a bank thermometer said 105. I don't know how my sister didn't faint. Very nice wedding. :-)

On the way home (I was too hot to eat lunch), we stopped at McDonald's north of Madison, WI. I got a Happy Meal. Boy, it's been a long time. But the salty food hit the spot. My "toy" was "Gutsy" Smurf ... a runner. Ha!! It's now my Facebook profile pic.

A very enjoyable weekend spent with family.

Today, a nine-mile run. We (Mike, Kristin, Bri, Jim M) met at Essex Park at 7 AM for a 9-mile loop. At 5 miles I was toast and told Mike and Kristin to go on. I needed some walk breaks. My legs were so tired after the 20 yesterday and I was so hot and sweaty ...

Clothes were all stuck to me and shoes are still soaked
and I didn't want to hold them up. It was just miserable. I had nothing left.

The afternoon was spent finding more bargains (two $10  coupons at JCPenney so I got Eric two shirts and some flip flops for $6.19) and puttering around the house. Not much for outdoor activity after the run. I've just had enough with this humidity.

Well, enough for today. Have a great week. Good night.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Oh What Fun It Is To Ride!!

Today I decided to ride. The air was again heavy with moisture and a ride sounded better than a run. So I headed out on my northerly loop to Pine Island. I rode into town this time as I wanted to find out the name of the coffee shop just north of Kwik Trip (Better Brew). I'm hoping to organize a Sunday afternoon ride sometime soon and wanted to call it the "PI" ride (Pine Island, and enjoy some pie afterwards). But I think I'll bake pie(s) myself and we can have pie in the park instead of descending on a coffee shop. Stay tuned. Anyway, I went through SC, Byron, PI, Douglas. When in Douglas I heard my name called ... it was Bill, Paige and Patti getting ready to ride the Treaman course (twice!). So I pulled into the parking lot and chatted with them for a while.

They were going up Genoa hill and I love that challenge. I already had 35.something miles in but decided to join them and head home through Byron and back to Roch on County 34/2nd St SW. So we rode up Genoa hill and up and down the rolling hills just to the west. They took a right on 5 and I took a left. By the time I got home I had in 56.72 miles ... and I was STARVING. I had a couple 90-calorie granola bars with me, but that wasn't enough. I really was weak with hunger. I put some oatmeal in the microwave and hopped in the shower and inhaled that oatmeal when I was done.

BTW, SCRRs: Curt has agreed to share the story of the "Lost Boys of Little Birch Lake" in an article in the SCRR newsletter. Can't wait to read it.

Here's a link to Judy's blog. She's started training for Ironman Coeur d'Alene (Idaho). Wendy Nevala is training as well. And Bill is still trying to get me to sign up!!

I'm headed to Chicago for my sister's wedding tomorrow. And the next Saturday I'll be helping Greg with the Douglas Trail runs. One of these days I really hope to get back to the long runs at the RAC on Saturday morning. :-)

Supper was a recipe I found in Bicycling magazine ... Spaghetti with Basil, Pesto, Red Potatoes and Green Beans. Delicious recipe. And filled me up (along with a salad of course!).

All for now. Good night.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

So Tired

Busy, busy, busy ... so tired. But that's the way life is sometimes. Just gotta get through it.

Yesterday while I was out working in the yard I snapped a few photos of some of my flowers.

Monarda (Bee Balm)

Purple Coneflower

Can't remember this one (Coreopsis?)

I just love flowers. So cheerful.

Someone in the running community is looking for input from ... runners!! She's looking for ideas for something useful that Mayo can put in packets for TCM.  The question is, "What's the best thing you've ever received in a runner's packet?" Some of her ideas:

Somewhat disposable gloves (the 1-size cottony kind that used to sell for ~$10/ 10pack at Fleet Farm)
Sample size: Biofreeze; no-chaffing stuff (looks like very small deodorant stick; I can’t remember name)
Ibuprofen or Aleve
1-serving cereal; power bar or other carb product

Some other ideas:
Post-it note pad
Dr. Jack toy (not sure what this is!)
Little size hand sanitizer
Disposable /Tyvec-type material pull-over

So ... if you have some thoughts on this please email me and I will send the responses to the gal at Mayo. THANK YOU!!

My sister is getting married in Chicago on Saturday and asked me to bake some cookies for the reception so in addition to everything else going on I've been baking cookies. 4 batches in the last 24 hours. Here are two ...

Cinnamon chip
The boys and I will take in a Giordano's pizza on Friday night. Yum. Double yum.

Morning workout: 10.08 miles and it was so steamy. And rained occasionally. But I got it done. And I'm glad. When I finished the run I signed up for the Minneapolis Duathlon on August 28, the day after the Rochester Half Marathon. I have to say that my responsibilities for that race were far from my radar. But I got jolted into reality this week when I got an email from someone asking about the med tent. Well, we now have a medical staff and medical tent, Gold Cross rig at the finish line, food and fluids ordered from HyVee, bread nuggets donated by Bread Baker Company (thanks Mark Grimes!) and Culligan donating bottled water for the water stops. Life just never slows down ...

Stopped at the PT office to get a roll of hot pink Kinesio Tape. So now I can wear pink stripes on my left leg for quite a while. :-)

Halloween candy is at HyVee Crossroads already. How wrong is THAT I ask you??

Well, I'm going to read the paper and then finally put myself in a horizontal position. So tired.

Good night all.

Not Much Time for a Lengthy Post

So it'll be "just the facts". Yesterday, run 4.0 lift and swim 1 hour. Legs are tired from being on them all day every day. Today, 10.08 mile run in the humidity and rain. Yesterday picked 6 pints of raspberries at FireFly Berries in record time. The bushes are LOADED. Baking cookies for the weekend. My sister is getting married in the Chicago area on Saturday. Just registered for the Minneapolis Duathlon on 8/28. There you go. Just the facts.


Monday, July 25, 2011

So Much To Do ...

Spent the entire day working on this house and I am exhausted. The little (and big) jobs seem to spontaneously generate. Everywhere I look there is still something to do it seems. I am making progress though. This will be a short post, though, as I need to relax for a few minutes. Last night was another night with far too little sleep.

Today's workout: 10.08 mile run. No pain. Yesterday's workout: a 50.50 mile bike ride in the direction of Hayfield. I got to within two miles north but kept riding west and then north so never got into town. It was quite foggy.

During the afternoon I made black raspberry jam using berries found along the bike paths. They have such wonderful flavor. There were lots of people out picking yesterday. I went for a 7.46 mile walk during the evening and there were pickers galore.

Then I made a cherry pie, using fresh tart cherries. It's delicious.

My friend Lisa sent me a couple of Warrior Dash photos of her and a friend. Lisa is the blonde. Looks like they had a blast!!

Lori ... is that you on the right?

The Olmsted County Fair is this week. I'm not entering any cookies this year. Don't want to waste even three cookies. The judges just do not like my cookies and that's the way it is. Humph.

So tired. Good night.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Fun, Run and More Fun!

It's ALWAYS fun to be a River Runner. And this weekend didn't disappoint. Yesterday I made my way up to Rick's cabin, encountering the usual traffic standstill from the cities to Rogers. The whole trip took  hours. I stopped at the Clearwater truck stop/Nelson Bros. for a delicious turkey sandwich.

That's HALF a sandwich. I brought the other half home and ate it for supper. Delish. Then I made my way to Little Birch Lake and Rick's absolutely beautiful "cabin". This is no rustic cabin. It's got all the comforts of home and then some.

Nine of us stayed the night on Friday and enjoyed a beautiful sunset ride around the lake on the pontoon.

Soon enough it was time to find a spot to lay our heads (thank you Val and Joel for the comfy cot) so that we'd be well-rested for the run around the lake. Morning brought a large rain/thunderstorm cell moving through the area. A few brave souls (soles), namely Rick, Jay and Brad, weren't afraid of a little rain, wind, thunder and lightning and lifted off at 5:30 AM. The rest of us waited until closer to 8:00 for the bulk of the storm to pass, and the traditional Pat Ross Breakfast Run Photo.

It was still raining but several of us started out around the lake despite the weather. It's actually worse standing there thinking about running in the rain than actually doing it. We headed out around Little Birch Lake counterclockwise. I remember the course from running out there a couple of years ago. It's just beautiful.

Taken as I was leaving this afternoon
It wasn't long before the rain was joined by wind and eventually lightning. Mark K. and Curt K. were up ahead and Bob K. joined me at my pace. We're both recovering from injury but managed a very comfortable 9:00'ish pace despite the weather and very hilly course. It was nice having Bob to run with as I haven't spent that much time chatting with him. And most importantly, we stayed on course. That subject proved to be fodder for LOTS of laughter later in the day. At about 11 miles I was starting to tighten up (calves), cramp, and get tired. This was my longest run in a couple of months, and my third run in the last 3 1/2 weeks. I have some catching up to do. Anyway, we successfully traversed the 12.40 miles and got totally soaked in the process. But ... I enjoyed the run. I was so happy to be able to run that distance with no pain. Upon our return it was time to reload with lots of delicious carbs (steel cut oats, egg bake, fruit, sweets) and await the others that were still out running. Surprisingly, Bob and I were the first to return of the crew running around the whole lake. Linda came in a while later, and then a while later, Tim, but after about 3 hours we were still awaiting the speediest runners, Mark and Curt. Somewhere along the way, Rick got a call from a woman that lived on a farm about 3 miles from St. Rosa that she had two "lost runners" that belonged to us. They'd gotten some water, some "directions" and were sent on their way down a long flight of steps and into some woods. I don't remember the whole story, but they'd missed a turn and ended up somewhere near Big Birch Lake over toward St. Rosa. We had so many laughs ribbing them and hearing them recount their story. They were eventually rescued in the DNF Wagon by Pat and Donnie who'd initially driven by them and thrown some maps out the window telling them to find their way home. :-) You had to be there.

Jay, Kathy, Bob, Denny

But all's well that ends well and we all had fun. After some lunch I started for home, making much better time on the way home than the way up.

Thank you Rick for your wonderful hospitality and River Runners, it was great to catch up with some of you. I've got to try to get up there more often. They're a super group of friends. Luv u all!!

I'm pretty sleepy so it's off to slumberland .... Good night all.