Category Archives: Health and Fitness

I Dood It!

My big ride this past weekend was everything I had hoped it would be and more.

I arrived early Saturday morning, unpacked Grace from the vehicle, and trudged through the mud, courtesy of some pretty bad storms the night before, to my team’s tent.

I felt a little out of place among the more experienced riders with all their gear – padded shorts, spiked shoes, etc.  I had on capri running pants and some old tennis shoes.  (Now full of mud.)

We started the ride as a team, but to me, the pace was too slow.  I powered up a hill and continued to ride at my usual speed until the first rest stop.  I waited there until the rest of the team arrived.  I hooked up with a few of them, including my boss, who agreed that if we were going to do the 100 mile trail, we better pick up the pace.

Even still, I felt the pace was too slow.  But since I’ve never ridden more than 30 miles in a day, I figured it was probably best they were pacing me. I had fun pushing the two guys to keep up with me though.  I’d hang with them until a hill, and then I’d race past them to the top.  They’d eventually catch up and then fly past me the down hill.

All the while, they marveled that I was riding without padded shorts, and that I could power up the hills without clips.  (Clips?  What are clips?). I just shrugged my shoulders.  “I don’t know,” I told them.  “I just pedal.”

I did hit a hard stretch about 60 miles into the ride, however.  We turned onto a 15 mile stretch of highway with a slight incline and the high winds (leftover from the storms) directly in our face.  I’d never been more happy to reach a pit stop.

The last 20 miles were filled with more hills, but as we climbed closer, my heart swelled with pride.  Me, a “rookie” as they called me, had ridden my first century ride.

8 1/2  hours after we started, we crossed the finish line, and immediately pedaled to the beer stand.


Jack, Me and The Boss




Close up of my proof

After a quick shower at the gym, we headed out for a much needed dinner.  You burn a lot of calories riding a hundred miles.

Afterwards I didn’t feel like pitching my tent in the mud, so I laid blankets down on the floor of my hubby’s Tribute, and tried to sleep.

I awoke Sunday morning, a little sore, but determined to ride the 75 miles I’d been bragging about the last few months.  Getting back on the bike was a little uncomfortable at first, *ahem* but soon I was feeling good.

So good that when I got to the 100 mile cutoff, I decided to go for it again.

The rest of the team thought I was nuts, and maybe I was, but I love a good challenge.   This time, without anyone to slow me down, it only took me 61/2 hours.



It was a great weekend.  Riding with thousands of people all there to support the same great cause was pretty heartwarming and inspirational.  I immediately signed up to ride again next year, and I’m making my hubby go too.

As for me, I’m quite proud of what I accomplished, especially since I just got my bike a few months ago.

Now on to find my next big challenge……













Posted by on September 15, 2016 in Health and Fitness


To the Top!

Wednesday marked the day of my real reason for making the trip back to Colorado.  That was the day I planned to beat The Incline.

The months leading up to my trip, I worked diligently to strengthen my legs and my stamina, knowing I’d have to overcome the altitude and lack of oxygen.  I was also determined not to slow down Abby, who I know is an Incline expert, and who agreed to make the trek up with me.  Heck, she went just the week before to test it out for us and beat her best time.  So yeah, I was bound and determined to not look like a sloth.


The trail started out relatively flat, but got steep pretty quick.  I was breathin’ heavy right away, but soon fell into a groove.

There wasn’t much talking going on, as I was saving my breath, but I managed to sputter out a few words.  “What kind of time are we lookin’ at?”  And “Ugh, I thought THAT was the top.”

Every once in a while, I picked my head up to look around and admire the view, but mostly, my head was down and I trudged along.

At times, the people in front of me would “pull over” for a drink and a rest.  I just kept on going.  I basked in the glory of passing someone, even though it seemed to take a great deal more effort.  Abby would say good morning to each person we went by.  I barely managed a grunt.  Hopefully she was polite enough for the both of us.

As I took my last step, I turned to face Abby only a few steps behind me.  34:05 she stated with a smile and a high 5.

34:05!  WAY better than the 50 minutes I had set as a reasonable goal for a flat lander.  And only two minutes slower than her best time.  My chest swelled, and not just from trying to suck in the thin air.  I was proud of myself.

imageWe wandered around the top of the incline a while.  Abby pointed out the guys who were lifting a barbell over their heads.  We questioned how they got it up there, but then got our answer when they took it apart, split up the pieces, and ran down the mountain.  We just stood out of the way.  Best to let them go first.  They were making me look bad anyway.

We made our way down the 3 mile trail, occasionally having to get out of the way of runners.  I could barely keep from skidding while walking.  No way was I gonna run.  Besides, I remember how painful it is to run down a steep hill.   And I t was nice chattin’ with Abby.  I didn’t want to ruin it by panting through it all.

By the time we got down, I was starving.   We went to a place known for their big portions, and they didn’t disappoint.  I’m ashamed to admit I couldn’t finish it all, but I gave it a great effort.


We went our separate ways for a little while to shower and rest up for our next set of stairs at Seven Falls.


Here’s where I was proud of Abby.  She’s afraid of heights, and I know from watching my Hubby, that fear can be paralyzing.  But she pushed her fears aside and climbed up the steep “ladder” where we were awarded with beautiful views.












I went first on the way back down, hoping to block her view.  It’s really is a steep drop, and this is only from halfway up….


It was a great day.  Everything I dreamed it would be and more.  Abby, thanks for sharing the day with me.  And get ready!  I’ll be back for bigger and better things…..




Posted by on August 20, 2016 in Friendship, Health and Fitness, Vacation


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Let the Summer Begin!

It’s been a weird summer.  Seems that June and August have switched places.  June was extremely hot and dry.  The grass died, the weeds died, we even had a tree die.  When the rains came, though, they really came.  So these past few weeks when we’d normally be seeing things die off, they’re thriving!  Even our little tree is sprouting again.  Makes me feel like we’re starting summer over.  Which is fine by me.

See, the first part of summer was all work no play, but our girls’ trip to Indiana changed that, and got the ball rolling for future fun.  Last night, Hubby and I played tourist while Mario and her friend attended a concert in downtown St. Louis.  We toured the Old Courthouse, watched the sun set on the Arch grounds and walked the city with a waffle cone full of ice cream.  (I haven’t given it up completely.)




Not my pic of The Old Courthouse, but if you look to the right, the dark brick building is my old hotel, where we happened to stay the night of the concert.








Again, not my pic, but this is what the Arch grounds are looking like these days.  They’ve been redoing the interstates and ramps to make the pedestrian commute much easier, safer, and nicer.  The dark brick building to the right is my old hotel.  In fact, you can see the room we stayed in last night.  Fantastic view.




Tomorrow is the first of 9 working days in a row, which will likely suck, but there’s a pot of gold waiting for me at the end.  Amp, Chip and I will leave next Sunday for an adventure of a lifetime.  Ok, maybe not.  But I get all giddy inside whenever I think about it.

I get to climb The Incline in Colorado.  Something I’ve been dying to do ever since I learned about it from Abby.  I love having a physical challenge to look forward to, and have been gearing up for it for months now.  I can’t stand the excitement!

The boys are NOT ready for a physical challenge, but are excited about visiting Colorado.  If the prospect of moving there can get them through one more year of school, then I’m all for it. And heck, I could visit them all. the. time.

After Colorado, the physical challenges ain’t over yet.  In September I’ll be biking 175 miles in two days.  My new bike is up for the challenge.  I just hope I am.  I’ve had some good training rides though, and have never felt better, so I’m feeling pretty good about it.

Fingers are crossed for some good weather for both.  These days, you just can’t be sure what Mother Nature is going to do.


Posted by on August 3, 2016 in Health and Fitness, Vacation


I’ll do anything to get out of cleaning

Remember last week?  I had Saturday off?  And Hubby and I were going to spend the day packing and cleaning?  And we only made it til noon before spending the rest of the day on the deck with some wine and a fire?  And I mentioned next time I would work the WHOLE day?

Well a big truck, a sharp turn, loose rocks and a bicycle ruined that idea.

Hubby and I were all excited about having another day off together.  We had planned to spend it the same way.  Lotsa work followed by an afternoon of play.  I, as usual, wanted to start my day off with some exercise.  Today, seemed a good day for a bike ride.  I bundled up for the unusually chilly morning, and set off to enjoy the sunrise.  It all came to an abrupt end five miles into it.

My upcoming left hand turn was blocked by a truck.  I tried to wave him through, but there he sat.  When I realized I was riding too fast for the sharp turn he was forcing me to make, it was too late.  I hit the only brakes I have, the front ones, and proceeded to skid in the loose rocks.  As I flew to the ground, the handle bar sucker punched me in the gut, and I knew then I was in trouble.

Now, normally when I fall, I get right back up and keep going, waiting until I get home to assess the damages.  But this time, there was no getting up.  I lay on the ground and tried to insist to the big burly guys in the truck that I was okay.

But I wasn’t okay.  They offered to take me home, and I let them convince me. I somehow stumbled into the house, barely upright, and laid myself down on the couch.

Between the pain and the lightheadedness I managed to tell my hubby what happened.  I didn’t know whether I wanted to sit, or lay, or curl up.  My whole right side was killing me.

At one point I was afraid of going into shock.  Even with my heater blowing directly on me I was shivering and shaking, causing me even more pain.  Hubby bundled me with blankets, unsure of what to do.

Soon I settled down and tried to rest.  A few hours later, I wondered if I should try to move my leg to keep my belly and my muscles from stiffening up.  Bad idea.

I asked for a handful of Motrin and rested some more.  As the day progressed, I was able to stand up, take baby steps and even shower.

This evening, my lower belly is still quite swollen, and although I can move a little easier, thoughts of internal damage flutter through my mind.  It’s something I’ll be paying close attention to in the next couple of days.

As I watched Hubby and the kids doing all the work, I thought, I’m finally a Princess!  Anytime someone came close, I barked out an order.  Bring me water.  Make me lunch.  Help me to the bathroom.

But I’d give up all thoughts of being a princess to start this day over again.  I’d head down to the elliptical where I’m less likely to fall off, and we could have enjoyed this day as much as we enjoyed the last one.

Hopefully there’ll be another Next Time.


Posted by on August 13, 2014 in Blunders, Family, Health and Fitness


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Right of passage

goodbye winter

I welcomed my first day of spring with every “first” I’ve been anxious to experience all winter long.

I say it’s MY first day, since it’s the first spring-like day that’s occurred on my day off.  And I took full advantage of it.

After hitting the snooze button 6 times, (that in itself was glorious), I dressed in ONE layer of clothes for the first time since last year, and ran for 7 sunrise-filled miles.

I drug my hose out of hibernation and thoroughly washed my car.  No sponge bath today!

With it all shiny and clean, I rolled the top down and happily ran my errands.  And the celebration of spring didn’t stop there….

Immediately after unpacking the car, I fired up the lawn mower and gave our lush green grass the first cut of the season.  This lead to receiving my first sunburn of the year too!  Woot!

Hubby met me outside as I was finishing up and mentioned the possibility of a motorcycle ride.


I replaced my lawn mowing shoes with my motorcycle boots and off we went.  My Shadow purred along, seemingly as happy as I was to be hittin’ the road again.

We passed a sign along the way that read “We have to have winter to appreciate spring.” I’m pretty sure I don’t need winter to help me enjoy days like today.

flip flops

Only three more years, and I can test the theory for myself.



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Will the fun never end

Spring finally sprung. And I missed it.

I was stuck inside the hotel happily working, encouraging guests to get out and enjoy it now, because Wednesday was coming fast.

Wednesday, MY day off, brought storms and a few flurries, and a temperature drop of 50 degrees.


Luckily Thursday proved to be a little nicer. Clocked 9 miles on my new shoes, so I’m feeling pretty good about my upcoming 10 mile race. And when the temps got above freezing, I washed the last bit of salt off the Mustang. At least I hope it will be the last of the salt.

I also brought Mario to the doctor because of a mean looking rash on her lower back.

But before I get into that, let me just share a little wisdom. It is NOT a good idea to try and self-diagnose a rash by looking at pictures on the internet. I was worried sick.

So when I found out she had shingles, I was actually relieved. For a brief second. And then I was shocked. She’s only 15! Shingles are for old people. (And it turns out, for 5% of the teen population.) I guess she’s just lucky that way.

In a way, she really IS lucky. She should be able to fight it better since she’s young. The ones on her back are starting to scab over already, but now she’s got a new set up front. We’re all hoping there won’t be more. She complains of them hurting and pinching and itching. And she gets headaches and feels tired and weak, but she’s being a trooper. They’re not contagious (unless you’ve not had chicken pox), so she’s still going to school. Ibuprofen and hydrocortisone are her meds of choice.

The doc said it could have been triggered by stress. Great. I’ll probably have them next. I’ve got a stretch of 8 days of work coming up, with a trainee and a full hotel. A recipe for stress.

But at the end of that, I will have the weekend off. I’ll have 10 miles of running to relieve the built up stress, and then some time together with my hubby, who, if he manages to stick with me this week, will have stuck with me for 23 years.

I think we’ll make it….



Posted by on March 14, 2014 in Family, Health and Fitness, Running


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The dangling carrot

Only one thing got me through my run today.

These oatmeal, cottage cheese, banana pancakes.

oatmeal pancake

Picture courtesy of Ambitions Kitchen

They’re high in carbs, high in protein, satisfy my pancake craving, and are a great treat after a tough workout.

Tough being the key word.  Wimpy being how I felt.

Last night I was all excited about running outside again.  With temps in the 20s, it was projected to be the warmest low of the week.  It was now or never.

This morning, my excitement was gone.  In fact, the first thought in my head when my alarm went off was, “I can’t wait to take a nap.”

While bundling up in layers of clothes, I found myself getting hot and agitated.  How could I be so crabby 5 minutes into the day?!

Fleeting thoughts of going back to bed zipped through my mind, but I was having none of it.  It’s now or never, I kept telling myself.

I grabbed my phone, fired up the running app, and faced the cold.

With every mile under my belt, I was making deals with myself, coercing myself into continuing.  It wasn’t that it was difficult to run, I just wasn’t feeling it.

Until I began thinking about the pancakes.  I would have made them either way, but they’re way more enjoyable after a good workout.

So with that, I finished all seven miles.  I’m a lot less crabby with the run out of the way and a belly full of pancakes and yogurt.

But I still plan to take that nap.


Posted by on February 25, 2014 in Health and Fitness, Running


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