Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Really we still exist...

I have some fabulous updates from the last....well....let's see two months or so!   I promise it's on my mind to get the blog caught up and our absense in writing will make sense when you see what we've been up to!

Stay tuned..... :)

(Today's random item)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Chamber Challenge 5K

Mark: Yesterday we ran the Eden Prairie Chamber Challenge 5K, a smaller local race that was sponsored in part by Premier Sports and Spine, Kris's physical therapist . As a sponsor she received a number of comped entries and she offered two of them to us.

This was our third race in as many weeks, each at different distances, so it has been interesting managing our trainings during the week. Granted the weather has not been helping either, Thursday we went out to the Legends course intending to run the 10K route and just as we arrived at Deephaven Elementary school it started to rain. Normally I might have stuck it out but it was also 43 degrees, I'd rather avoid getting sick again, so going into this week's race we had not run since Monday and made it only to swim on Tuesday due to a little too much celebrating for my birthday. Kris:  Oops...ok two glasses of wine and two apple-tini's did me in but the birthday outing was totally worth it :)  Dinner at The Butcher Block and then we went to see Flanagan's Wake put on by the Actor's Theatre of Minnesota.  I HIGHLY recommend it!  Just don't forget your camera at dinner....like I did....sigh... 

Race morning we woke up to the sound of rain on the windows and from the beginning we had our doubts about what we be able to manage at the race but we got up, got dressed, grabbed a quick english muffin and got out the door, stopping only briefly fill our mugs with our favorite morning beverage, Caribou Coffee. We we arrived at Purgatory Creek reserve picked up our race packet and then retired to the car just to stay warm for the next 30+ minutes.

With a few minutes before the start of the race, Kris and I ran down the course about a half a mile to warm up a bit. To my surprise a lot more people had showed up and there was close to about 200 participants lined up for the start. As I looked around there were a few runner runners and a hand full of high schoolers so I thought I could potentially have a good race. After we got started I quickly found myself in second place, the guy out in front took off and I knew I could never touch him, and I was guessing that he was running sub-6:00, out of my league. But as I took quick glances behind me I was in good shape, or so I thought. Through almost 2 miles I was holding onto 2nd place and then I faded just a bit, not much but enough to get passed 5 times. Sigh..... Yes I did start out a bit fast but not to bad and I was able to hold onto my pace through out most of the race. As we turned to cross the lake, running into the wind took a bit more out of me and I had almost nothing for the final tenth of the race. It is a little bit frustrating to be able to read the clock as you are running to the finish line and you can tell there is nothing you can do as the clock approaches 21:00.

Final time 21:07 (6:48 pace). Unfortunately my Garmin and everyone else with a GPS was indicating that the coarse was long, I had 3.17 and I heard 3.2 several times. If I recalculate for an actual 3.11 5K my time should have been about 20:43 (6:40 pace) which would have been a new PR. Oh well!! But that brings up a pet peeve of mine, if you are a race director, there are a VERY FEW things that you CAN NOT screw up, TIMING and DISTANCE are two of the most important!!! Which is why Kris and I were taking extraordinary efforts to make sure that the Legends is correct.

Here is my Garmin Connect data from the race. Remember that that the race course was long (3.17 according to my GPS) and that I actually finished in 21:07, you can actually see that in the race map (I wander over to the snack line) and my HR suddenly slows down.

Aside for the distance being wrong and forgetting to stop my Garmin at the finish, oh and as Kris will tell you, I missed her finish 1st female overall, it was a good small race. I ended up finishing 7th overall, 2nd in my AG, remember the guy who took off at a sub-6:00 pace? He was first overall and of course he was in my age group as well.

Kris:  I was going into the race feeling very under prepared.  That's also been a common theme lately for me.  Our warm up run felt hard on my heart rate so I wasn't sure what was going to happen once the race got started.  I began at the front of the pack with Mark since it's a gun start.  I took off and because of the down slope and the pack of men I was surrounded by, I looked down at my first 1/4 mile and was running about 6:30 pace.....ok SLOW DOWN!  I knew I had to pull up a bit or I was never going to make it.   I slowed up to around a 7:30 and then realized something....everyone ahead of me was male.  I was the first female out of the gate.   I got a small peak behind me around the half way point and realized the next two women were about 50 yards behind me.   Trying not to care if they caught up, I just did my best to hold a fast pace and go for my own PR.   I think I held up fairly well and even 'chicked' two guys within the last half mile.   I knew I still had a decent lead and was going to come in as first place female.   It doesn't feel like a massive accomplishment since it was such a small race but still something to be proud of.  So as I was running to the finish line and people I didn't know were cheering, I was looking around......NO MARK.  Crossed the finish line....still NO MARK.   Where is he?  So I walked towards the food area and sure enough he was over there with a cookie and bottle of water.   I know he knows about how fast I run so he will never live down that he has now missed me coming in as first place female TWICE because he was parched and needed a sip of water.   Couldn't wait 3 minutes to see me finish first.   :-P    Sorry Honey, I love you but will be giving you grief about that for a long time ----<{@  

Final time: 24:08 (7:46 pace).   As Mark mentioned, the course was long so it may have been a new 5k PR for me as well if it was measured correctly.  Average Heart Rate - 187.   Leg/IT Band is definitely more sore today (Monday) after that hard 5k run and a long easy recovery 12 miler yesterday.  Going for a soak at the club over lunch today since I'm working from home.   Realized I am almost back to the distance where my injury occurred last year so I'm a bit nervous about the next few weeks.

Mark: It was probably the most profitable race we have ever ran, 2 free entries and between the two of us we brought home $75 in Scheels Gift Cards. Not a bad morning at all.

Next up - Walk on Waconia 10 Mile. Kris and I sat down last night and look at our remaining races as we approach Grandma's and decided that we are going to concentrate on the the equivalent paces the McMillan predicts that we can run, 10 mile, 1/2 marathon and 20 mile.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Birthdays and Geocaching!

Mark: I have been geocaching for 5 years now and during that time I sort of stumbled onto my own personal tradition, Birthday Geocaching. I pick a day, typically the weekend before or after my birthday, and I just take off and go geocaching. Three years ago I took off and drove up the North Shore, then over to Ely to then finally to Alvin's Phone Line. Two years ago when I met Kris, my birthday geocaching trip was her first extended experience geocaching and she loved it, so now it continues as a annual event.  Kris:  One I look forward to every year :)

Mark: This year I was having a hard time decided where we wanted to go and then it dawned on me, why not run a race and then cache the rest of the day, but where and what race. It was Kris who came up with the best idea, why not run the Earth Day Half Marathon and cache around the St. Could area, but he best part of it was she suggested we run the race as a relay team, that way it would not be too much running, we would still have some energy for caching the rest of the day.

As you may have already read we had a great time running the half marathon relay and ironically at the finish line was Jam3s, one of our geocaching friends. After we changed out of our running gear we started to look for caches the find, since Jam3s was from the St. Cloud area I sent him a message asking for any recommendations, he had one, Pillar of the Community, which turned out to be quite the challenge.

All in all we found 20 caches, not a lot but we were not concentrating on numbers. We DNF's 4 I think, but that number might not be as high if the weather had been a little warmer. It was frustrating getting cold while looking for the caches. It's April......It should not be this cold, not to mention the snow that was on the ground when we got up this morning.

One other side note about birthday caching this year. The month of April has always been my busiest, (most caches found) month, birthday caching trips have helped. But there was one day of the month that I had never found a cache, April 16th. Convenient that my birthday trip fell on the 16th this year. ;)

Kris: I tried to do my best to video the experience so here ya go.....sorry it was a bit windy!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Earth Day Half Marathon

Earth Day Run Half Marathon
Kris: This past weekend Mark and I went up to St. Cloud for the Earth Day Run Half Marathon as a two person relay.  Unfortunately our training this past week got a bit off so I was a bit nervous as to what kind of pace I could push through.  It was a very chilly morning so we had to drag out the cold weather gear after being in our shorts the past week or so.  I ran the first half and was hoping to hang on to the 7:38min/mi (1:40 half) group for as long as I could.  I knew it was very unlikely that I'd stick with them for the whole distance but I want to push myself a bit as opposed to running a) without a pacer or b) with the 8:00 min/mi (1:45 half).  I was fairly confident I could do the 8:00 min pace so I had to jump down to 7:38.   Plus, looking at last year's results, Mark and I were confident in the possibility that we could place as a co-ed team if we ran a combined time of under 1:40:00.

I was really nervous at the start since I knew it was going to be a fast pace for me but we took off and, without throwing too many elbows, tried to stay right on the heels of the pacers.  The first two miles didn't feel too bad but right after mile 3 I got that "wall" feeling and I started to slowly trail off the back of the group.  Holding on for 3 miles though felt good and makes me a bit more confident at a potential PR at this weekend's Chamber Challenge 5k. 
My half was fairly flat and I was happy with how I did.  Ended with an avg heart rate of 182 (yeah...i know it's high but it's always been that way :-P)  I definitely think running with music again this year has been helpful for me.  It puts my mind on something other than my severely heavy breathing and pounding heart rate and allows me to push a bit faster (I think).  

Mark: After the race started I had a little time to kill so I dropped off our stuff at the car and then came back to the field house to stretch and stay warm until it was time to head down to the exchange point. After a short walk I warmed up by running down the course a bit which brought me to a GU stop and then a water stop which was idea as we had breakfast much earlier in the morning and I knew I might need a bit more energy. My goal was to run the second half in the 6:46-6:52 pace range which is about a 42:00-42:40 10K.

While I was waiting for Kris I watched the other relay teams come through the exchange and to my pleasant surprise, when Kris got there only two Coed teams were ahead of us, unfortunately they were a couple minutes ahead and it was unlikely that I could catch them but perhaps I could claim 3rd place for us. I kept a close eye on who I was passing and the very few runners that passed me, relay teams had an ankle chip as opposed to one on the shoe and it was bright orange so it was easy to spot. All in all I think there was only 2 other relay runners who passed me, and as the race wore on I desperately tried to keep them in my sights but they just got beyond my reach. One in particular was easy to spot as he was wearing a bright orange hat, as as it turned out that was the one I really needed to stay with.

Kris already mentioned that it was cold out but on my half of the course the wind became a factor and it was quite strong and we turned to head back at the southern most part of the course. The southern part of the course was also rolling hills and combined with the wind slowed me down a bit, plus I was getting tired. 10K is about the limit that most runners can maintain at or above Anaerobic Threshold. For me my predicted max HR is 182 and I averaged 167 for 7+ miles.

Here is a map of my half of the course.

I was also running with music (Daft Punk Alive 2007) I think it is helping me out as well and for most of the race I was in my own zone but near the end as we were approaching the stadium, with about a 1/4 mile left, I had an opportunity to have a little fun. Another relay runner passed me and on the side of the road, what must have been his partner was screaming and yelling at him to pick it up he was almost there, running beside him to encourage him on. I let him go not worrying about them being a coed team and just focused on my finish. As we turned the corner and headed onto the football field (That is second football field finish line in as many weeks, Goldy's the week before) I dropped the hammer and took off. Now I don't know if this is a failing of mine but I have always been able to finish a race, last 100-200 yards at my top speed, perhaps I am not leaving enough on the course but that is what I have always been able to do, I would love any opinions about that. So anyway the guy who passed me was about 10 yards ahead and I easily caught him and then dropped him like a bad habit, I think his team mate pushed him to start his sprint for the finish line too soon as he was fading fast. Good thing I did pass him. ;)

Kris: After the race we hung out and chatted with a number of friends that were there running and/or cheering.  We were both in serious need of a stretch, Mark's calves have been getting tight and my IT and quad seems to be a little unhappy after cool-down.   I haven't noticed any problems DURING running though so I'm staying confident that I'm going to make it through the marathon distance.  I'm still ramping up my mileage very slowly compared to a normal schedule but I'm finally up to distances that makes me feel a bit more like a runner again and obviously the reduced mileage per week hasn't had an effect on my pace.  If anything, Mark and I have been chatting about how we both seem faster this year and don't entirely know why.  Part of me thinks it may be due to the fact that I'm about 10 lbs lighter than I was a year ago.

I was very excited that Tonic Sol-fa was part of the post-race entertainment.  I've been such a huge fan of their music and tried to be close to the stage without looking like a mosh-pit stalker as most people seemed to be standing at least 40 ft back from the stage.

Here is our post-race recap video:

Awards came and went without our name being called.  I was kinda bummed but at the same time excited to find out we came in 4th place out of 66 co-ed relay teams and 10th out of 202 total teams. Mark: (Catching that guy at the finish paid off) Kris: We missed third place by 57 seconds!!  We both enjoyed the race and have agreed that we would like to come back to try for a new team PR and hopefully a podium spot :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

McMillian Running Calculator - Is it right?

Recently we've been using the McMillan Running Calculator to try and figure out our training paces and what pace groups we should try to stay with during races.  I've heard a lot of people talk about how great this calculator is for figuring out what paces you should be training at and what your body "should" be able to do in terms of setting PRs so now that I figured out the best way for me to use it, I wanted to post what I learned and see what you all think.

First Calculation:  Based on my half marathon PR from last year of 1:54:58 (Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon), the calculator says I can do the following:
  • 1 mile in 7:10.8
  • 10 mile in 1:26:34
  • Marathon in 4:02:28
  • Easy Run Pace: 9:46-10:16min/mi
  • Tempo Runs: 8:25 - 8:47min/mi
CONCLUSION:  This was not a good basis for pacing.  My current PRs for all of the above listed races except the marathon is faster than what this calculation said I could do them in.  Plus running an easy pace at 10:00min/mi is much slower than what I normally do and consider an easy pace.

Second Calculation:  Based on my 10 mile PR from last year of 1:24:02 (Monster Dash), the calculator says I can do the following:
  • 1 mile in 6:58.1
  • Half Marathon in 1:51:36
  • Marathon in 3:55:22
  • Easy Run Pace: 9:29-9:59/mi
  • Tempo Runs: 8:10- 8:31/mi
CONCLUSION: This was a better basis for pacing my current training but still didn't feel quite right.  Granted I was slighly injured when I made this 10 mile PR but these times were not enough of a push for me personally.  My 1 mile PR is already 12 seconds faster than what's listed and my tempo runs currently get down usually in the 7:50s.

Third and FINAL Calculation:  Based on my 1 mile PR from last year of 6:46 (TC 1-Mile), the calculator says I can do the following:
  • 10 mile in 1:21:36
  • Half Marathon in 1:48:21
  • Marathon in 3:48:32
  • Easy Run Pace: 9:14-9:44/mi
  • Tempo Runs: 7:49- 8:06/mi
CONCLUSION: BINGO!! I just got a new 10 mile PR last week of 1:19:55, I've been thinking I want to try to stay with the 8:15 pace group for my upcoming half marathon which puts me at a finishing time of 1:48:05 with my ultimate goal of trying to stay with the 8:45 pace group for Grandma's Marathon which is a 3:49:25.  PERFECT!!

So I am all for using the McMillan Running Calculator to determine my goals for the races leading up to my "A" race of Grandma's Marathon IF I base them off my 1 mile PR.

Who else has used this calculator and what have you figured out about it?  Anyone else have feedback or suggestions on figuring our marathon training paces?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Goldy's Run - Check This Out!

Kris:  Two new PRs and a podium finish.  Yeah.....seriously!

I wasn't really sure what was going to come out of today.  Originally I wanted to try for a straight 8:15min/mi pace.  Then after our last long easy run that felt like maybe it would be too much so I decided to stay with the 8:30 pacers for 5 miles and then try to take off for the second half.  Then we found out the course was actually quite hilly.  Ah, wtf do I do??  Stick to the plan and hope for the best. Mark: After our last long run where we were testing out our pacing, I decided it might be best to stick with the 7:30 group and save some speed for the last couple of miles.

Kris: I was feeling pretty good by time we hit the start line since we had quite a few friends around us.   We found Don and Scott from MN Running Wild, Tina, Adam and Leah were pacers for the race, Steve, Tony (Gilby) was there for his first road race in his training for Grandma's and of course the ever awesome Brandon and Theresa (Team Baby Dinosaur) up from CO for the week. Mark: Last night I tweeked my hip and it was still bothering me when I woke up this morning so I was not sure what was going to happen. Luckily some Biofreeze and Ibuprofen made all this difference and by the start of the race I felt great. It really was a who's who of people who we know, in addition to our friends Kris already mentioned we also ran into Pete and saw several TNT'ers as well.

Tony and I ran the first half with the 8:30 pace group which was actually being led by Leah so it went by really fast since we were distracted chatting quite a bit.  Part of me wanted to take off before the 5 mile mark because I knew it was flat but I stuck to my plan.   It actually worked out great because shortly after the 5 mile mark was this wonderful LONG downhill that gave me a great recovery and lots of speed.  I had my Garmin lap set for 0.25mi and one of them going downhill was like 7:16 min/mi.   Geez!  Granted then I got my rear handed to me going up the LONG uphill.  I have this habit of trying to power up hills and then recover after.  It works but it gets my heart rate up .  I think I was around 190 at least twice on the course.

Mark: I started out with the 7:30 pacer and as much as I tried I could not stay at that pace, so after the first mile I settled into my own pace which was somewhere between 7:00 and 7:30 and slowly pulled ahead. This course was indeed hilly but for me that works to my strengths, I honestly like hills and I make most of my passes on climbs. Since I recently got a new Garmin I have been keeping an eye on my HR during training runs and now races. At the top of every climb I quickly checked and my HR was consistently at 161 with the last major hill peaking my HR at 162 so I was very happy with that.

Kris: I had my headphones on for the race and honestly I think it helps me pass the time much better and not think so much about how tired I am.  I also would love to credit my new Newton's for some of my speed.  They are extremely comfortable for me.   Granted as you can see by the below picture, if I'm not concentrating (like when I flag down Steve Stenzel who's cheering and taking pictures), I am a horrible heel striker.

Of course here is Mark, not in Newtons, in a perfect stride as usual :-P

The race was very unique in that the finish was around the TCF Stadium and down onto the field, ending at the 50 yard line.  So the last 1/4 to 1/2 mile was flat, around the building and down the ramp. I do have to say it was a seriously awesome finish area.    (could probably use a few more post race treats though ;) Mark: After you loop around the stadium, you enter Gate D and run through the dark tunnel which is a stepped slope down to the field level, and if you're not careful you could loose your footing, luckily I was able to hit the field at a full out sprint and even passed a few more runner on the way to the 50 yard line. 

Tony, Kris and Mark
Kris: We all hung out at the finish, took some photos and then myself, Mark and Tony decided to further drag Brandon and Theresa into the awesome obsession of geocaching.   There was a creative hide on campus that we brought them over to and had them make the find.   And while enjoying a mocha treat at Caribou, without any prompting, Tony also told Brandon how ridiculously awesome it is that he's a pilot and could rapidly fill in the states map.   (See Brandon.....geocachers may be nerds but you would be a really cool nerd! :-P )

So the race was great and the company was really great.   Mark came out with a killer PR. Mark: Thanks Honey! My previous PR was over 3 years old and I thoroughly enjoyed testing my legs, I am definitely a better runner then I was in 2008, my first season. I improved my PR by 11:04! Now I just need to break 1:10, but I promise not to get obssed with a sub 1 hour 10 mile. ;)

Kris: And I took about 4 minutes off my previous 10 mile PR, managed about a 8:06 min/mi average (up for discussion as the course measurement seems to be about .20 different than our GPS watches).

The only REALLY unfortunate part of the race was that I got 3rd in my age group and could have been part of the awards ceremony but I had no idea and left!! AHH!  I age up in 2 months and will likely have little to no shot at a podium finish against 30-34 women so I was super bummed that I didn't know and we didn't stay.   (Hey Podium.....please make sure their is a REALLY obvious place to get your results immediately after the race.  We briefly looked for it before we left and didn't see it)   So I'm very excited to get my award in the mail but really bummed I wasn't part of the ceremony. Mark: Congrats Honey!! Your so much faster then you give yourself credit. You will have a chance at another podium real soon.

Kris: I have to be very relieved and happy though that I didn't ONCE think about my knee.  It didn't hurt or feel "wanky" at all during the race.  Tonight sitting here writing this it's tight and hot but that's OK.  I am feeling more and more confident that I'm successfully getting over this injury and can make a really push for Grandma's and Whistlestop this year.

Kris:  1:19:55  -  Mark 1:10:35 - (FULL RESULTS HERE)

Next up....Earth Day Half Marathon Relay.   6.65 Miles.....can I go sub-8??  Not going to get my hopes up....but it would be seriously sweet ;)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

First Run Race After Injury....Nervous?

Kris:  A little....

This is the first time in a long time I actually am having pre-race jitters.   I haven't "raced" a race since last October and even then I was starting to feel the IT band injury.   So post wedding marathon, it was two months of no running and then super slow return to mileage.   So this Saturday will be my first attempt to "race" in about 6 months.   #1 I just want to be able to run hard and NOT feel the injury and #2 potentially pull a new PR.

I never thought a new PR would be possible this spring since my running has been so restricted but there might be something to that "less is more" mileage plan.   At least while recovering for me.   My paces have been sub-9:00 for most of my runs and I've been feeling good.   Every run I feel pretty fresh so I'm excited/nervous to see what happens.   It's the Goldy's Run 10-mile.  Pretty flat and I get to try out pacers this time around.

Mark and I have both decided we are going to try to use the pacers in marathon training this year.   Unfortunately I think my ideal pacer pace for Saturday would be 8:15min/mi but they only come in :30 sec intervals.   Last weekend we went for a long run and without pushing myself too hard I think it was fairly clear that trying to stay with the 8:00 group would be much too fast.   But the 8:30 group might be too easy.   To PR, I need to beat my previous PR pace of 8:26 so my plan to go for a new PR but also see what it's like to run in a pace group is to run with the 8:30 group for the first 5 miles and then, provided everything including the left knee/IT is feeling good, I'll break from the pack and rev it up a bit for the second half.

Mark: I am also hopefully will be trying for a PR. Granted my PR for the 10 mile is over three years old, 100% Irish in 2008 and I am a much more experienced runner since then. 2008 was my first full season of running, having run my first race on Thanksgiving of 2007. Since my 10 mile PR, I have run 4 other 10 milers, but the focus has been running with Kris and this will be my first opportunity to try out the legs and see what I can do. McMillian says I can do it in 1:11:33 (based on my 1 mile PR) Not sure I am up to that but I think I can manage a sub 1:15, it might just depend on how I feel on Saturday. This past Saturday when Kris and I were testing our legs I actually set a PR during my training run so I am feeling good going into this weekend.

Like Kris mentioned I am also going to be running with the pacers to start out with, and somewhere in the back of my mind I wonder if that is a true test of what I can do but yesterday the new Runners World showed up in the mail and there was a big article about "Rabbits" who are essentially paces for the elite runners of the world. So if they can do it and set World Records, then I certainly can set a PR with a pacer. Did you know that when Roger Bannister broke the 4:00 minute mile he had two rabbits to help him.

Feedback anyone???   Runners please comment if you have either
  • Come off an injury that had you not running for a few months or
  • Had a good/bad experience with starting to use pace groups to set new PRs.

Monday, April 4, 2011

New Cache Placement - LPC Series

Kris:  Ah, finally almost all the snow is gone and caches are coming free of the ice left and right :D   Mark and I are getting very excited to spend some upcoming weekends out caching.  Plus we've made plans to visit North Dakota and Colorado this year so I'll be adding two states to my map :)

Two weeks ago I placed my cache that is going to be part of the MN LPC Series.  We captured the coordinates on the GPS but then a few days later wiped the memory to upload new information and lost the coordinates.  (Drat.....)  So today we were back out in Waconia, checked on our creative container and grabbed the coordinates again.  I have always gotten a kick out of "skirt lifter" caches and the creation of this series by EP Minnesota has really brought out some fun containers in what is normally a very "film canister filled" environment

And if you would like to claim the prize I refer to in the end of the video.  Please email me at trichick7 (at) yahoo.com.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

#Geocache365 - Day 236 - Out with the Team Dogs crew

Kris: Quick find on a beautiful day so we brough Truffle and Journey along to get some fresh air:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Things are Looking Up and a Change in Racing Plans

Kris: This is going to basically be a quick mish-mosh of some of our current happenings that, for once, are all moving us forward!!

Injury-wise I'm still only running 3 days per week but been keeping a decent pace on the longer runs and knee is feeling less and less achy on the days I'm not running.   Mark took a week off due to an Achilles strain and then took it easy and has been running with me this week and seems to have avoided any further damage.

It did dawn on us yesterday morning that we are less than 3 months from the Pipestem XTERRA triathlon and haven't been in the pool for a training swim in months.   Luckily the financial situation is turning around a bit so as long as we can motivate ourselves out of bed next week, we can pay our way back into morning Masters swim training 2x per week.  Getting out of bed has been impossible for us lately but we've been trying to force ourselves to bed earlier so it's not such a short night.

We managed to get a loan lined up and so the townhouse is being listed next week.  Granted it is being sold for much less than I bought it for but at this point, it's killing us financially so even at a loss, we'll end up with a smaller, much more manageable loan.   That will allow us to start paying off some debt, fix up our current house and start thinking about buying one that is better suited for us.  Cross your fingers!!

Well we did just find out one UNfortunate thing this evening.  Boulder 70.3 filled up before we got around enough money and courage to sign up for it.  Sorry Team Baby Dinosaur :( :(   So bummed that we aren't in for this one now but maybe we can rearrange and create a solid plan to come visit Colorado in September ;)

But that does mean we are now looking at any other race possibilites for July and August.  Something probably here in the Midwest so we can just make it a weekend driving trip.   Road or off-road triathlon or some unique endurance events.  

If you know of a great off-road triathlon, half iron triathlon or some other fun, unique endurance event, please comment and let me know!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Favorite Beer??

OK, so today while Kris and I were walking around the the Mall of America she asked me what my favorite beer was? I actually had to stop and think about it and I could not come up with an answer. So she asked me my top two favorite beers..... Still I had to think about it and I could not come up with a definite answer. So I spent some time and tried to think, if I walked into the liquor store or a bar what beer would I buy/order?

  • When I'm at a restaurant or a bar, the first beer that I look to see if they have is Blue Moon. A great beer on tap or from the bottle, but it has to be served with an orange.
  • Along the same lines is Leinie's Honey Weiss, served with a lemon wedge. I used to drink it a lot but recently it has fallen out of favor with me, not because I don't like it just because I think I have had my full.
  • Another beer that I truly enjoy is Michelob AmberBock. If I want to drink it though I have to buy it at the liquor store as it is a rare treat when you find it on tap in the bar.
  • Recently I find myself ordering Stella Artois whenever it is available. It is a great beer that has great bang for it's buck.
  • A new beer that I have been enjoying lately on a limited basis is New Glarus Brewery's Spotted Cow which is a great local beer from Wisconsin. Unfortunately it is only available when you take a trip into cheeseland.
  • A "Green" beer that I frequently purchase is Dos Equis. A good beer form south of the border that needs a lime wedge to enjoy. I am sensing a trend... Orange, Lemon and Lime's
  • I love REAL Irish beer and if I had to choose just one from the emerald isle I would have to go with the obvious choice.... Guinness. It is a beer that has to be server at just the right temperature, if it is warm it is as my brother would put it, like chewing on a tree branch. But when the temp is just right, it is a true pleasure to enjoy. Of note it is great as part of a Black and Tan as well.
  • If I include a German beer on my favorite list it would have to be Paulaner. A beer that I was introduced to several years ago during Oktoberfest at Gasthof. If your going to have Paulaner, make sure that you have it in a boot.
  • The last beer on my list would be Coors, and don't be mistaken and think I like Coors Light, No I am talking about the Original Coors Banquet Beer. It is really good, a great summer beer when it is hot. If you have never tried it or are only familiar with the "light" version, go out and buy the real thing!
When I was younger I used to drink different beers and I suspect that has a lot to due with the fact that I have grown up and have a better pallet. In my 20's I used to drink MGD a lot. I suppose it was cheaper and everyone else liked it so it was easy to bring a 12/24 pack to a party. In my late 30's I drank a local "Irish" beer, and if you have ever seen the tattoo on my arm you would know what beer I am talking about. Unfortunately that "Beer" has lost it's vision and not really worth it.

So can I answer my wife's question?? Sure. My favorite beer is any one of them on my list and depends on my mood and what I might be eating at the time. I am always open to suggestions and if you know of a beer that you think I would enjoy, please feel free to leave a comment let me know.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mr "OK-So-Actually" and Mrs "UH-So-Actually"

Kris: I've trying to find a better way to keep up with our blogging and also the posting of our videos.  Most of the videos we put together are part of our #Geocache365 Project, something we are trying to use to develop into more of a short film series eventually on it's own blog/site.

Now any of you that have seen all of our geocaching videos you may have come upon our horrible speaking habits.  Ever since I started watching our films clips, it's ridiculously obvious that both Mark and I stutter and severely overuse the words OK, So and Actually.    So.....please know we are going to keep working on that :)   Below is our most recent video of a find and some of our opinions on the archiving of the ET Power Trail.  You can find the rest of our Geocache365 videos by searching for makuhn2000 channel on YouTube.

It's pretty late in the evening so I'll cut this post here.   But I will say we had a really fun day today course marshalling for the Get Lucky Half Marathon.   We saw a number of our runner friends and then got to hang out with Team Baby Dinosaur for the afternoon while they were in town.   Those two are so much like us, it's funny awesome :)   Although I'm sure their house stays much cleaner than ours and is much less......uh.....chewed on.  

We spent some extra time Friday night trying to clean up so it was a little more presentable, and then I crossed my fingers that our sweet, not so intelligent Journey didn't make a puddle or mess on the floor for us to find when we arrived back at the house with our guests!   We love Journey dearly, but being a mistreated puppy mill dog, she's not all there and we have to be very patient with her mess making.

We'll try to get a training, rehab, racing update to you tomorrow :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mardi Gras and lots of Food & Wine!!

Kris: This past weekend was a busy, fun weekend again starting with our Geocaching Mardi Gras party put on by our geocaching friends NOSNOW and Shadow's Friend.   It was so much fun to catch up with a number of our friends since I don't think we've been out to an event since our "Eat, Greet and Meet the Newlyweds" event back in December.  I was a little concerned we were going to have to show up at this Mardi Gras event without masks but thanks to a trip through the $1 aisle at Target the night before, we were all set :) Mark: Kris forgot to mention that our $1 aisle masks also earned us each a Mardi Gras geocoin.

Kris: Sunday morning was a morning of running and classes again at Life Time for me.   I could only run 6 miles and Mark was doing 12 so we ran his first 6 together on the trail from the St. Louis Park Life Time Fitness towards downtown and back and then while he finished his second 6 miles, I went in to a Barbell Strength class.   While I still get cranky about not being able to feel like I'm on a "real" marathon training schedule yet, I have really enjoyed being able to get in a run plus a class or two at the club on Sunday mornings.  Pace is actually doing fairly well, I've been able to keep all my runs below a 9:00min/mi pace.   The knee was a little achy after we were done working out but no pain during the run :) Mark: After the first six miles with Kris I grabbed her Garmin and headed back down the trail torwards downtown, when I got to Cedar Lake the time I turned and followed the trail doen to Lake Calhoun, and then over to Lake of the Isles and back to Cedar Lake on the way back to the club. It was supposed to be 6 miles according to the map at LTF but I made a wrong turn and it ended up being 7 miles. So being me, I had to run a little more, .1 and run a half marthon just for fun. What was fun was finally having HR information for a run. My average HR for 7.12 miles was 149bpm with a high of 162bpm and that was at a 7:57 average pace. Not sure what to make of that but it is interesting.

Kris: And it was probably a really good thing that we had our longer workout on Sunday morning since that afternoon we were headed to the Food and Wine Show.  I was so excited when I won two tickets for us to go to the show through a Twitter contest from Minnesota Monthly Magazine (thank you!!)   The two tickets were worth $150 total. Mark: Kris wins countless things via Twitter contests, while we were at the show, Urban Eatery mentioned they had a chance to win a $25 Gift card. Guess who won? Today Kris also happen to win tickets to the Pet Expo this coming weekend.

Kris: Luckily they had a number of food items in between the wine samples because I probably had the equivalent of 4 glasses of wine.   But my downfall I think was that I was so hungry coming in to the show, I ate too many larger samples so that by time we were half way through the show, we were starting to share our samplings! Mark: We ate so much, not only were we sharing the second half of the show, we were being picky about what samples we were eating. My tummy HURT for all the food.

Kris: At first I was having trouble holding on to my bag of coupons, my glass of wine, whatever the current sample was AND a fork.   But I made a very helpful discovery.   A lot of the samples came in a cup that fit in the top of my wine glass.   So I started having fun with that......

Bloody Mary | Curried Rice with Chicken

 A little coffee | Cole Slaw

 And the napkins were thick enough to form a plate for my bruschetta | Turkey Chili

Mushroom Dessert (...it was ok) | Caramel Puff Corn

Baked Beans

And one of my favorite sections to go through had a huge line of cheese vendors.   I can't even tell you how many different cheese there were.  Everything from bleus to bries to new cheddar, old cheddar, smoked gouda....yum!!!  Here's a few looking down the one line of cheese samples:

And Mark gave me a bit of insight that really paid off.  He has worked at this show before and learned many of the vendors hand stuff out at the end of the last day.  Basically so they don't have to drag it back home.   With about 15 minutes left in the show, we started to double back on all the booths to see if anyone was giving stuff out.   OMG did we come home with a stash!   

We spent $5.00 to park, $2.00 to check our coats and ended up coming home with all this....

Mark: Just for fun let me itemize what you are looking in in that photo.
  • A case of 6 12oz Cameron Coffee (6x$7) plus two sample sizes
  • A 12 pack of Samual Adams
  • A 4 Pack of Pomegranate Ginger Ale
  • 1 Random Amber Ale, forgot who the brewer was.
  • 3 Wedges of Cheese 2x Gouda and Pepper Jack
  • 6 Bottles of water
  • 4 fortune cookies
  • 6 Carmel Dips (for apples)
Kris: Taking into account the tickets were free, this was awesome!  Especially the box of coffee :)

The Never Ending Love I Have for the Residents at Home for Life

Kris: I wrote this up and submitted as a possible guest post to the Home for Life blog.  It's not posted there yet but I wanted to make sure and post it to my readers as well.  If you want to put your money towards a wonderful animal charity, please consider Home for Life.
I need to start this story back a few years. I had been sponsoring a Feline Leukemia positive cat named Freeway.
He was a quiet, sweet, white cat with one blue eye and one green. We knew his time was limited but I got to give him lots of love until the end. It was a hard loss but when it was time for me to choose another cat to switch my sponsor to, another sweet white cat with one blue eye and one green stole my heart with her ridiculous amount of cuteness.

Her name was Olive and I learned from Lisa that was one of the first cats in the HFL crew. Over the years I sponsored her I just couldn’t get to see her enough as she treated my visits like she just won the kitty lottery. Always so happy and cuddly. So to cut right to it, her death was a painful loss. Her life was significantly lengthened by the care and attention she received from the Home for Life staff but unfortunately in her advanced age, an infection got the best of her very quickly.

It was hard to visit the sanctuary and not see her there but we recently made a special visit to decide who I would be transferring my sponsorship to. We spent time meeting lots of new cats and giving some love to a few that I have met many times before. I spent a day with Celeste with I volunteered at the MOA this past holiday season so she has earned a special place in my heart.

From the HFL website: Celeste was first sighted running as a stray at a trailer park in Wisconsin. Kind residents there left food and water out for her and she enjoyed and appreciated the attention. It is very likely she would not have survived had these people not reached out to her—Celeste is blind.

But you've never know it.  She gets around obstacles with ease and will come running right to me when I call her name.  And she's a serious cuddler!!  More than I've ever seen in any other cat.  She loves me to hold her and will put one paw on each shoulder and nudge my neck with her little wet nose for hours I think if I'd let her.  I’ve had a few people ask me why I didn’t choose to sponsor her but it’s only because 1) I know she already has sponsors and 2) whether I sponsor her or not, I will always go spend time with her when I’m at the sanctuary.

I had made a decision that I wanted to sponsor a cat that did not already have a sponsor. There are so many “normal” cats at the sanctuary that often get overlooked for sponsorships. They don’t have any special medical condition, unique situation or tragic story; they are just cats that need love as much as the next cat. Freeway had a horrible disease and I will always miss him. Olive, was a special cat with a special situation and I will always miss her too but now Mark and I are proud sponsors to just a sweet black cat who is a little hard of hearing.

His name is Jonathan. I didn't notice right away that he was quietly following me around. He would walk around me, give a subtle rub against my leg, then watch for an empty spot in my lap. He doesn't have any defects or known diseases, he's just a cat that was found to be deaf and found his way to Home for Life.
He's got lots of character and handsome, glowing yellow eyes. We spent a few minutes with him while Lisa was giving us his story and all of a sudden he decided the best place to perch would be on my shoulders. We have two wonderful rescue cats at home, one of who loves to spend time on my shoulders. So in that one move by Jonathan, he stole my heart. He chose us.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Surviving Winter Triathlon Training! (My Social Experiment)

Kris: So I'm sitting here at work and can't help but think about how lately I haven't been training nearly enough and feeling like a TOTAL slug.   I know I've been coming up with a number of excuses including lack of time and $$ but the things that seem to keep me from wanting to go out to the pool or spin or run (outdoors or at the club) are:
  • Snow
  • Cold Mornings
  • Icy Trails
  • Cold Afternoons
  • Shorter Days
  • Lack of Sunlight
  • Layers and Layers of Running Clothing
So as an active member or the social media community, I've decided I want to reach out and see if you would all be willing to help me put together a list of Your Best Ways to Stay Motivated!

So no matter what your outdoor sport, please post your best "kick in the butt" reason or saying or whatever so we can all have a place to come back to and read when we are feeling like sitting on the couch and not getting out to train.  If I get enough feedback, I'll compile them into a separate blog post for you all.    Please send this to all your athlete friends who are also trying to survive this winter and ask them to post! 

Thanks in advance, you are all awesome :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mini Golf and Golden Statues!!

Mark: We managed to keep busy this last weekend attending not one but two unique events.

On Friday night Kris and I along with our friends Steve and Bobbi took part in the Skyway Open, a mini golf event setup in the downtown Minneapolis skyways. The course features 18 one of a kind miniature golf holes created by local architecture firms. Steve and I have done this event in the past and we wanted to share the fun with our significant others this year. 

All in all in was a very fun evening! Our tee time was 6:30pm starting at Hole #1 in City Center, and I have to say the first 5 holes were my favorite, there were still plenty of people around and that added to the fun. Some of the later holes it was a bit sparse and then once the 19th Hole party started, a lot of the volunteers abandoned the holes they were "managing" and it was just the four of us at times.  Kris: It was a lot of fun for the 4 of us to hang out but I definitely was expecting it to be busier on a Friday night.

Kris: I managed to throw together a quick video of our outing.   Unfortunately I don't have the greatest editing software and video card so I'll likely say this every time I put up a video....excuse the cheap editing :-P

We were definitely not going to contend for lowest score, not even if we were playing best score for each hole. I think we even mentioned that we hoped they were randomly drawing prizes and then we might stand a chance. By the time we reached the 18th hole it was about 8:30 and the skyways were getting a bit chilly, so we turned in our scorecard and headed to the 19th Hole party in the LaSalle Plaza for the free beer and wine and free appetizers!! They even had a vodka company there making Bloody Marys with Horseradish Vodka. At first we thought that we might have missed out on the appetizers because all there was left was fruit (Kris: Which was great for me as I got a severe filling of mango slices!  Then came the cookies.....) but as we stood around chatting the table was replenished and then waiters appeared passing various hors d'oeuvres. For the very first time I got to try Steak Tartar, not bad!! Kris however was not a fan. I think we finally called it a night around 11pm, funny how that seems late to me nowdays.

On Sunday Evening Kris and I attended the Aegis Oscar Night Watching Party at the Ivy Hotel, an opportunity for us to really dress to the 9's and hit the town. A few weeks ago Crowd Cut had a 50% off ticket price for the Oscar party and we decided why not, lets try something new. So after spending the late morning early/afternoon getting in our workout we went home and spent some timing thinking about what to wear. Kris tried on several different dress options and I picked my favorite, I had a good idea what I was going to wear it just came down to picking the right tie.

So after "Puttin on the Ritz", we headed down to the Ivy and walked the red carpet, got our picture taken on the red carpet in front of a "Step 'n' Repeat" (Charlie and Mike will be proud) and headed upstairs to the party.

A geocaching friend of ours Josh (who also took over as Minneapolis Geocaching Examiner and writes great articles so check it out!) and his wife Tammy were also attending along with their friends Dave and Kim so we grabbed a table together near the front and started working on our Oscar predictions. You could buy a ballot card for $10 and try to win prizes based how many predictions you got right. Unfortunately we were making some of our predictions in the blind and we ended up getting about half of them right.

Besides the some basic appetizers, popcorn, Rum and Surly specials they had a huge table full of candy for everyone to munch on during the show. They had so much candy in fact that most people (including us) went home with plenty of candy.

Another one of my friends, Colin was at the party as well and I saw him and his wife Kelly briefly when they were at the appetizer table but by the time I got over to that side of the room they disappeared. He sent me a Facebook message at one point during the evening but we never hooked up.

We had so much fun that we would do this again in a heartbeat and I highly recommend that anyone else attend as well. And on a personal note, I got to see just how BEAUTIFUL my new bride really is!! Don't get me wrong, she is always beautiful to me but all dolled up she looks AMAZING!!! Kris:  Mark is incredible at earning bonus points ;) I think part of why I looked so good was because I got my super handsome husband by my side all night.  You looked hot too, honey ----<{@ Love you Handsome!!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Snowmageddon - Round 2

Kris: Yesterday Mother Nature decided we needed another foot or so of snow.  The sad part is that it was supposed to be done by Noon today but I think we're getting more fluffy stuff today than we did yesterday.  Argh!   Luckily, Saturday we got a bunch of required errands done.  Then on Sunday, got our daily cache early in the morning and spent the day working on house projects.   Mark worked on the main floor bathroom.  It hasn't been functional in years due to bad flooring that needed to be replaced.  So he got the new duct work in and the new subfloor :D Mark: I plan of writing a full blog with pictures from the very beginning to the end of the project after the bathroom is finished. Kris: I worked on a bunch of cleaning and focused on getting all the wallpaper off the walls in the kitchen.

Wallpaper was developed by devils....they thought it would be funny for the next guy to try and REMOVE from the walls.

I also enjoyed that I got to cook this evening.   I made the Thai Chili recipe from our new favorite magazine, Clean Eating Mark: For any guy reading this, please note if your signifigant other likes/loves to cook, Clean Eating is the greatest magazine that you can get a subscription too. Not only does Kris get excited about reading through all of the recipes and planning on what she is going to make next but we get to eat much healthier food which tastes really good. I have tried more different types of foods for the first time since we got Clean Eating. Celeriac, Squash, Turnips, Collard Greens and Rapini. A win-win for all involved.

And here's a picture that was finally posted from BonTon Designs of when we went to a mosaic art class back on the 12th:

This afternoon we ended up making a couple short videos so I'll use those to finish this post :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Damn you Boston Athletic Association!

Kris: So I think the universe is trying to tell me I should quit worrying about Boston.  Here's the sequence of events over the past few months:
  1. We decide "Hey, let's make a go at Boston.  Do it smart, take a couple seasons then make a run at qualifying."
  2. Get a show-stopping injury while training for last marathon
  3. Get to a point where I can "tolerate" my severly diminished training schedule for Boston to allow for proper rehab of my injury.
  4. Finish my first week of training (2 runs)
  5. THEN spend a week almost incapable of movement because I was severely laid up with the flu (Day 12.....still sniffling and coughing...)
  6. Now that I'm back moving again, the BAA announces this crap.....

If you want the highlights, it's basically that they changed the registration system to allow those that qualify by 20 minutes or more first opportunity to register, then those that qualify by 10 minute, then 5 minutes, then everyone else until the field is sold out.    AND....they removed the 59 second rule AND decreased all the qualifying times by 5 minutes.   Basically crushing our hopes of ever being able to qualify and if we do, we might not even be able to register before it fills up.

Crap.   Crap....crap....crap.....
Fitting photo of how I feel that I have in my work file :)
Mark: I am more then annoyed by the BAA. I can understand why they made the change to a seeded registration based on time, that make sense to me. Granted I can tell you right now what is going to happen, your average runners who barely make their qualification times will never be able to register for Boston because the registrations will fill up by then. What Boston should have done is placed a limit on the number of times that a runner can qualify/register for Boston. With their new system, the same runners will qualify and be able to register year after year and the average runner who's dream is to run in Boston who might be able to just qualify is basically screwed. Since they screwed the average runner, why not take it to the next step and make qualification times harder by an additional 5 minutes and 59 seconds. What a way to crush average runners dreams, thanks BAA you are a true shining light to the running community.

On another angle of training, I am on my bike a bit more or in spin classes as an alternative to running.  That's been a nice burn but I'm still really feeling weighed down by my/our eating habits lately.  We've fallen into eating way too many calories a day so my weight is back up 3-4 from where I bottomed out. Mark: I hit 10 pounds since my low just before Las Vegas. Kris: It's kind of depressing me but I'm doing it to myself so I'm the only one to blame.  Hoping to tough love myself back into eating right again by considering going on a calorie counting stretch again.   Starting....sometime....maybe tomorrow.  I think what might be the added "push" is the fact that I turn 30 in a little less than 4 months and I want to look good and feel good.   Kind of like what we did before Mark's 40th last year.
On another note we did have ridiculously beautiful weather this past week and were lucky to finally have a few opportunities to go after geocaches that were more than 10 ft from the car.    We even got Sugar out with us one day for a lunch time cache grab.

Mark: Interesting to note, we used this picture for our #Geocache365 pic of the day on Wednesday, Day 192. We thought it was cute to hang the cache container from Sugars collar and she did such a nice job of posing. If you just glance at the picture quickly you would never realize that was the cache container. Fast forward about 6 hours and I get a email notification that my "Found" log had been deleted, the cache owner did not want a picture of the cache container because as he put it "(the size, the shape, the color etc.) is an integral part of the hide" Excuse me? It is a bison tube pine tree hide, there are thousands of caches just like that around the world. Nothing unique or special about this cache whatsoever. In fact we commented to each other as we were walking up to the cache that we should be looking for a green bison container. The cache hider only has 160+ finds and just the one hide so I understand that he has might not understand that his cache is just a plain pine tree hide. I did try to point out to the cache owner that gallery pictures often include pictures of the cache containers, that is why Geocaching.com indicates that any pictures have the potential to be spoilers. I respected the cache owners wishes and re-posted my find without the link to the picture. Just very annoying and typical when dealing with caching newbies.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Laid up sick.

Kris: Yes folks I'm still alive.....barely....ok maybe I'm being dramatic but I have now been feeling some degree of miserable for 8 DAYS!  I haven't been sick this long since I had pneumonia in 6th grade.

It all started last Saturday right after a run around Calhoun, I started getting achy and tired.   Then we were scheduled to volunteer for the Loppet from 12-3:30.  Luckily I got to sit down for most of that shift but when we were done I was drained.   We ended up not being able to ski the luminary which we paid for weeks ago and rented skis for.  I was so disappointed.   Pretty much all day Sunday, Monday and most of Tuesday I was laid up, exhausted, achy, bleh!!!   My voice left sometime I think on Monday and it hasn't made it's way fully back yet.  Laringitis maybe? Who knows.   All I know is it's DAY 8 and I'm still feeling sick and coughing like crazy. 

I guess this post is me just bitching about how awful I've been feeling.   I'm depressed.   I am not fully accepting of my new training schedule.  I'm supposedly "in training" for Grandma's but rehab is only allowing me to run 2x per week and currently my runs are only 3.63 miles long.   So after only one week of that, I get laid up sick and can't run or cross-train at all.  Sludged out a run today and I can't stand that I'm sitting here feeling that stupid little twinge of pain behind my knee.  Will this rehab work?   I try so hard not to be mad but I just hate watching other people run without pain right now. 

Our new routine...every evening I need to do my exercises and stretch and roll and Mark....paints his toe nails.  He was chosen as a candidate for a drug trial for treating nail fungus so now every night for a year he needs to paint a clear coat on his toe nails.  I keep threatening to throw glitter fleck into the bottle :-P

Mark has been a saint and so wonderful in taking care of me.   I've been sick, sad, mad, emotional, you name it this week and he's done everything to make me feel better.   I just am glad I didn't get him sick too.  Well...he's got a bit of the sniffles that he's still battling but luckily that's it.

Tomorrow I need to go back to work.  Last week I worked from home as much as my body would let me.   At this rate I don't think my voice will be fully back tomorrow either but I'll do what I can.
Random cute cat photo.  My Maverick resting with me

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Married for 2 months now!

This past weekend marked our 2 month anniversary (Feb 5th) AND our 2 year anniversary (Feb. 7th) and guess what we got each other? A cold/flu! On Saturday we volunteered for the City of Lakes Loppet and while we were volunteering Kris seemed to be getting weaker and weaker. And by 4pm she was gone, we even bypassed the Luminary Loppet that we signed up for and returned our skis early and she was in no condition to ski or be out in the cold for several hours. For the next couple of days Kris was basically bed ridden with no energy, sleeping when she could, so far I have been mostly lucky, I have avoided the severity that Kris has but I can tell that I have the cold/flu and it is making life a lot more difficult. Hopefully in a few days Kris will be better and I won't get any worse.

So as of this writing it is about 1 degree outside and I have had it with winter and cold and snow. So much so that I am really having a hard time motivating myself to even get things done around the house. My newest phrase is "I'll do it tomorrow" which is frustrating Kris, and I don't blame her, it is frustrating me but being stuck in the winter blahs sucks (The cold is not helping either). I am trying honey honestly.

We both are starting up our run training, Grandma's in now 19 weeks away. Last week (Week 20) I ran 21 miles and I was very happy with that and I want to be at a solid 30 miles per week before week 16. I am still desperately trying to get used to my Newtons, running around in the dome makes my left toes go numb, but as I discovered last night, basically the same this happens in my Mizuno Precision's so I will blame the solid concrete running surface and constant turning in one direction. On the plus side, last week was a bit warmer and I was able to get outside and run 4 days which felt amazing. I wore my Newtons and did not see to have the same problems as I am having in the dome. Hopefully getting outside more will help me adjust to the Newtons.

After an email request, Marathon Photos combined our official pictures from the Rock & Roll Marathon into one account and I purchased the lot including our finish line video. The raw video is basically the same time frame but from two different camera angels. For the first time I edited one of our videos and that was a blast. I shorted the beginning and ending and then sliced out some of the middle to have a fluid finish from one camera to the other. Here is my finished work. I think I could be nominated for a technical Oscar for editing. I hope you enjoy!

OK, That should gets us close to being caught up on the Blog front(for the moment). We do have a few new #Geocache365 vblogs that we hope to post in the next few days. So stay tuned!

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