Thursday, June 30, 2011

Don't Drink the Water

I had one vacation day left that I had to use by the end of this week so I took today off from work.  I had a vet appointment scheduled this morning for Hershey but that was my only plan for the day.  I normally go to lunch time Masters swim laps on Fridays but decided to go today since I was free. 

I got to the pool right when it opened at 11:00 and my friend AJ was also pulling into the parking lot.  We shared a lane and got started on the workout.  We were slow to start since we thought another friend might be joining us but she must have gotten caught up at work.  The warm-up we decided on was 300m of easy swimming.  After the first 100m I had to jump out of the pool and switch goggles.  The ones I started out with were leaking just enough to bother me. 

After the warmup we moved to a 300m set that was mostly kick.  We threw a swim in the middle for AJ to compare her kick while swimming to her kick during kick work.  For some reason, she finds kick sets to be painful and we were trying to figure out if she was kicking differently.

Our main set for the workout was a descending ladder that started at 400m and went down to 300m, 200m, then 100m.  The fun part was that the final 50m of each ladder rung was done on a fast pace.  We took a 20 second rest interval between each ladder and that last one was tough!

We finished up the workout with some more form work by doing a variety set that included pull, back kick, free kick, pull, stroke, and free kick.  This ended up adding 300m to the workout so we tacked on another 100m cooldown to end up with an even 2000m for the day!

The weather has been so hot lately so the pool was actually pretty refreshing.  The water was really cloudy today which made it tough to see even the end of the pool.  For quite a bit of my swim, I kept thinking of the song from Dave Matthews called "Don't Drink the Water" which kept my mind off the swim and distance.  I also counted strokes during the long sets to keep myself focused and not slacking during the easy portions of the longer distances. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Weekend Wrap Up

It is Summer Hours season at my office so my weekend started off Friday at 11 am.  We work an extra hour per day in order to leave early on Friday.  I go in early on Friday too so that I can leave at 11 am instead of noon so that I can go to lunch hour Masters lap swim at the Memorial Park Pool. 

This was my first week to go to Friday lunch swim.  I had been travelling the past two weeks since the pool had opened and missed those sessions.  The pool was full when I got there and I spent a few minutes trying to figure out which lane my friends were in.  The lap swim starts at 11am but I don't get there until 11:20 so I generally miss out on the warmup.  Friday I swam with Carie and AJ and we did one of Carie's workouts from her time in Omaha Masters club.  Carie keeps a stash of these workouts in a small Ziploc bag and she picks a new one out for each workout.  The workout we got included a bunch of 100m repeats and none of us knew what time to use for the interval since we haven't been swimming long course that much yet this summer.  We all started on a 2:00 min interval which we held pretty well for most of the first set of 6 x 100.  Between the 4th and 5th, we took a little more rest but then got back onto the interval.  Little did AJ and I know that there was another set of 100m and that they would need to be faster than the first set.  We talked it over with Carie and she thought we swam the first set too fast so we slowed it down to a 2:05 min interval for the next 5 x 100. It was a good workout and ended with an easy cooldown.  There is something great about circle swimming a tough workout with your friends! We were all business during our sets but we had fun between sets!

Saturday morning I headed out from my house for a run.  I had intended it to be my long run but I knew within a few steps that it was going to be a tough run.  It was warm and humid out and the hills around my house kicked my butt.  I just couldn't get my head in the game and overcome the external challenges.  I pushed myself to get a total of 4 miles which is better than nothing! After I finished I took my dog for a walk and got another mile in with her.  From there, I headed out to the lake for an open water swim with AJ.  We parked and saw that the swim beach was very different looking this year...there was no beach.  The water level in the lake is really high so the swim beach is somewhere under the water.  We were both a little concerned with all the geese hanging out in the area but luckily they didn't bother us any.  The swim went really well and we did two loops on a course that is an out and back.  We practiced sighting and buoy turns and were together for the first loop almost the entire way.  The second loop we held different lines but stayed on about the same pace the whole time. 

Sunday morning AJ and I met back up for a bike ride from the Arvest Ball Park in Springdale.  This is much closer to AJ's house so this is more of her territory than mine.  I've only ridden from that spot a few times but it is nice to mix it up and try out new routes and terrains.  We hadn't really discussed a route just wanting a distance of around 40 miles.  At 8am it was already super warm and sunny and we decided to stop at 10 mile increments for a water/snack break.  At our first stop, we talked about the lack of gas stations along this route and thought about what route changes we could do.  AJ thought she could put us on a loop course and she proclaimed that it would be 38 miles.  The saving grace for this route was that we would pass a gas station...perfect for a mid-ride Gatorade stop! We decided to switch to AJ's route and we soldiered on...enjoying the shade when possible.  We passed a couple funny sights.  The first was someone fueling up their car using a gas can in their yard.  The second was a farmer calling his cows to come home for feeding time.  It was something funny to hear him call out to the cows and them moo back.  In the end, our ride ended up exactly at 38 miles just as AJ had predicted.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Wheels on the Trainer Go

Round and Round!

My plans for bike riding outdoors tonight fell through earlier this afternoon.  I got home from work and somehow the time got away from me and before I knew it I was getting on the trainer at 7 PM.  I put my iPod on the speaker and then jammed out while I rode the trainer.  I put the music on shuffle and let the various songs set the tempo of my workout. When a fast tempo song came up then I did sprints and when a slower country song came on I slowed things down for recovery or did simulated seated hill climbs.

Listening to music helped my hour on the trainer fly by.  My dog didn't enjoy it as much as I did and she wandered around the living room moving from one spot to the next every 10 minutes or so.  At one point, she just looked up at me with this look of "why are you singing and please stop!"

I quickly changed shoes and threw on a running shirt in order to do a brick run.  It took my Garmin a few minutes to link up with the satellite but I just enjoyed the cooler weather since it was now 8PM.  I tricked myself into running a different route because I secretly wanted to do more than a mile for my run.  I ended up with a route that had a lot of uphill to begin with initially and then had a huge downhill.  I stopped at 2 miles at the base of a big hill at the end of my street.  My street ends in a small park with lake access for fishermen.  The hill at that end of my street is brutal and I generally avoid it at all costs.  Tonight it served as my cooldown walk and it's just as much of a bugger while walking as it is while running. 

All in all a good workout and the extra time I took relaxing after work paid off since the weather was so much nicer for the run.  I also got to see all the fireflies coming out as I was finishing up my run.  There was even a deer that ran across the path when I was down by the lake which was cool too. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Back in the Pool

It's been about two weeks since I've done a swim workout.  Early morning lap swim started two weeks ago at our outdoor pool and I have yet to go to a workout.  I'm not the best morning person but I'm hoping to go at least twice a week. 

Today I stopped by the pool after work to pick up my pool pass I bought on the first day the pool opened, Memorial Day.  Yep, that's a long time to skip the pool.  My last swim was actually during my triathlon races the first weekend of June. 

I managed to get there before the swim team kids and got a lane to myself.  The lap timer clock was at the end of my lane and that motivated me to do a workout versus a mindless swim. I did an easy warm up and then settled into sets of 100m.  I did 3 sets of 3 x 100m with a 50 m recovery swim between each set.  I went on a 2 minute interval which allowed me about 15 sec rest after each 100m.  I probably should have gone on a faster interval but figured since it had been awhile I should ease back into it. 

It felt good to get back in the pool but I really need to get there during the lap swim hours.  The pool is set up for long course then and there is a huge difference between long and short course especially when training for triathlons.  Our Masters group is supposed to be offering workout suggestions during the early morning workouts so that will be an added bonus when I get my butt there! My goal will be to get there next week and until then I'll be looking forward to the lunch hour Masters swim on Friday afternoon!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fuel Your Summer Racing Giveaway

This weekend I attended the inaugural Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged conference at the remote and beautiful Ozark Natural Science Center.  The conference brought together 45 women from across Arkansas and Missouri to talk about blogging and social media.  There was an awesome swag bag for the attendees and so my friends I am happy to share my good fortune with you through a series of upcoming giveaways.  First up is a gift pack from Murphy USA.

Murphy USA operates over 1000 gas stations across 23 states with many of their locations in the parking lot of your local Walmart store.  They are known for offering low gas prices and 93% of the time that they have surveyed it they have the lowest price in town! What a time savings to know you are going to get the best price always.

I was really surprised to learn that Murphy USA is so active in social media.  They have a Facebook page and offer an iPhone app.  I had never ever considered that you could get discount coupons on gasoline purchases but Murphy USA offers various promotions throughout the year including free offers for drink/snack items and even cents off per gallon promotions.  Just sign up for their Murph E-offers program.

To be honest, I am not a devoted brand loyalist for any gas station.  My choice usually depends on where I am when I run low and yes I wait until I get the notice for 50 miles to empty before filling up.  We have a new Murphy Express store that I sometimes go to and one of the things that I like about it is that they have video screens at each pump which help keep me entertained while pumping gas.  They also offer some great specials on sports drinks, sodas, and snacks.

Water bottle, Koozie, Gift Card, Pedometer, and Personal Fan! Oh my!!!
So how does this relate to Fueling Your Summer Racing? Well, if you are like me then you have at least one race on your schedule this summer that requires a road trip.  Murphy USA was very generous to offer up a $15 gift card in our swag bag which you can use towards your gas purchase to help on your travel expenses.  This prize pack also includes a nice big water bottle so that you can focus on hydration while driving to/from the race and even a personal fan in case the heat of summer is too much to bear!

There are several ways to enter this giveaway. Please leave a comment for each task that you complete.  The giveaway will run through Monday, June 20th and a winner will be chosen at random on Tuesday, June 21st.  Good luck!

Mandatory: (one entry per task)
Become a follower of my blog.
Visit the Murphy USA Store Locator and tell me the closest store to where you live.

Optional: (one entry per task)
Follow MurphyUSA on Facebook
Follow MurphyUSA on Twitter
Mention this giveaway on your blog, Facebook page, or via Twitter.

Please note that this gift pack was provided to me as a conference attendee.  I was not compensated for my review of this retailer. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Another Round of Rush Hour

If my math is right, it has been about 3 weeks since I have been at a Rush Hour Speed Workout.  That is way too long as I discovered tonight!

The temp this evening was warm and windy. Let me clarify that...the temp was very warm. Our track is situated near an elementary school and preschool and the preschool building is at one corner of the track.  This provides one small area of shade and when the temps are really high we can often con Mike Rush into starting from that corner of the track.  Tonight I had to bribe him with homemade salsa in order to let us start from the shade.  It didn't do a ton of good though since he decided to have a workout with very little rest in it. 

This workout was designed to help make 5K pace seems easy...especially the finishing kick at the end of a race.  We started out with 2x200m with 20 sec rest between them at our desired finishing pace for a 5K.  Everyone got to take 60 sec rest after the 200's before starting a reverse ladder.  The ladder began at 1600m then went down by 400 m for a ladder of 1600, 1200, 800, 400.  Each of these distances was to be done at 5K pace and included a 100m shuffle of active recovery between each rung instead of standing rest.  At the end of the 400, everyone got another standing rest of 60 sec and then it was time to repeat the 2x200m with 20 sec rest.  The goal was to equal the pace of the first 200's!

So that's what the workout was supposed to be if you followed it exactly as Mike prescribed.  Unfortunately the heat got to me and wore me out.  During the 1200 I had to stop for a little water break and to wet down a sweat rag  to help cool me off.  During the 800, I took another quick break to cool off and pull myself together.  Each of these instances subtracted about 200m because I cut across the inner field of the track in order to meet back up with my running partner Anne. She is such a trooper and much stronger mentally than me.  I think my paces were in the range of where I wanted them to be but I really only paid attention to my 200 splits which were right around an 8 min mile.  I would kill to run an 8 min mile in a race!

Another fun workout and Mike has given me until Wednesday to drop off my salsa bribe! Next week, the group is starting speed workouts to prepare for the Twin Cities Marathon in October. Even though the marathon is not my goal, Mike thinks that doing the longer distance workouts will help with my half marathon goals.  He is going to offer some breaks so that those focused on shorter distance races have an option to shorten the workout. I'll keep you posted on how the workouts change over the coming weeks. 

Have a great week and stay tuned for a giveaway this week.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tour de Fun Recap

Saturday the Teen Action and Support Center hosted the 5th Annual Tour de Fun event from Lewis and Clark in Rogers.  The Tour de Fun offered several different bike ride distances and even a 5k run.  I signed up for the 50 mile ride which is an out and back route of 25 miles.  This was going to be my 2nd time to complete the 50 mile distance!

The ride had a very early start time of 6:45 AM which really sucks when it comes time to get out of bed.  However, towards the end of the ride as the heat was really starting to build I was definitely thankful for the early start! I got to Lewis and Clark and headed to pick up my registration.  They had a ton of volunteers working the registration table so it went super fast.  It was also great that the store was open so that we could go inside and use real restrooms before the start of the ride.  I ran into AJ and we both took time to cover ourselves in lots of sunscreen.  We were curious about our other friends, Rhonda and Maja, since it was getting close to the start time.

At 6:40 Maja and Rhonda showed up...they had ridden to the start and were running a little late obviously.  We skipped a pre-race picture since they were rushing to store gear and things.  As we rode to the official start line, the rest of the bikers were riding out.  We didn't communicate very well and at the last minute Maja unclipped and stopped.  I barely got unclipped but my friend Kier wasn't as lucky.  He wasn't expecting the stop and ended up toppling over which is more embarrassing than painful.  I felt awful since he fell because he was avoiding hitting me.  After the last biker passed us, the group pulled out to join in. Sadly we were on a small incline and I couldn't get clipped in and started for the life of me.  I had to walk my bike to the end of the store driveway and then sprint to catch up to the rest of the group.  Thankfully, the start was the only eventful part of our day!

Me, Maja, and AJ at the rest stop.
The route follows some of the roads that we ride on for our Tuesday night group rides so I was familiar with the terrain.  I had only done 2 rides of 30-35 miles this year and was a little worried about the distance.  I was mostly worried about the final 5 miles of the route since it included a couple of good sized hills.  I wasn't sure how my fatigued legs would handle those climbs! 

The organizers had two rest stops (one halfway and one at the turnaround.)  This equated to three total stops since we hit the halfway stop going both directions.  It was good to fill up our water bottles and have a few snacks but it also felt great to get off the bike for a minute or two and walk around.  The middle 10 miles were on one of our most common routes and we got pumped up and really worked it for that section.  The funny part about this section is that it always seems to be uphill and always seems to be into the wind no matter which direction you are headed. 

At mile 40, 80% done and starting to get a little hot and hungry.
I was really surprised by how fast the ride flew by even with our stops.  I expected us to slow down a lot more on the second half but we were pretty evenly spaced between the two halves.  I think our time at the turn around was 1:32 and our total time was 3:05:15 and change.  Not bad for my second 50 miler!!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Route 66 Triathlon Festivus Recap - Part 2

If you missed Part 1, I completed the Route 66 Festivus over the weekend which entailed a sprint triathlon on Saturday and an Olympic triathlon on Sunday.  This was my first Olympic distance triathlon after two years of sprint distance races.  I woke up feeling a little soreness in my back and neck but overall felt pretty good following the sprint race. I was extremely nervous for the race and even though I had raced the day before my nerves were still super high. 

My sister tried to get me cheery and relaxed but I was fairly nervous until I started setting up my transition area.  Saturday after the race I tried out my wetsuit so that I could make sure that I wouldn't panic in it in the water.  The water temp ended up being wetsuit legal by 1 degree and I was taking advantage of that since almost all the other athletes were wearing their wetsuits.  One thing I just don't get is why people put their wetsuits on and then get into the porta-potty line...just doesn't make sense to me.  Around 7:20 we headed down to the water for Buzz's pre-race meeting and he made the announcement that the men and women would be starting together.  Oh my, that was not what my nerves needed to hear. As we filed into the water, I stayed to the middle of the field of athletes but behind the men on the front. 

Swim: The race started with the DG Productions shot gun blast start.  This was a shallow entry start so I walked as the front men ran into deeper water.  I took my time knowing that a few extra seconds to wait for open water would equate to a much calmer swim for me.  I hate bumping into people and feeling like I'm under attack in the water and when swimming with guys it just seems like a good idea to sacrifice a few seconds.  The swim went well and I quickly reached the turn buoy.  On my return to the beach I swam really far to the left of the field which meant I had plenty of open water and was able to get relaxed and swim easy.  There were volunteers at the exit point to help direct traffic down the beach to re-enter the water for lap 2 of the swim.  The second lap went well however I noticed that I was chafing under my arm pits from the wetsuit.  Lesson learned now on where to apply BodyGlide before swimming in the wetsuit..unfortunately this was a painful lesson to learn the hard way!  I exited the water and a volunteer helped unzip my wetsuit as I made my way to the stairs and transition.  There were more volunteers there to help with stripping the wetsuit off which was really helpful and it felt like it barely added any time on to my transition. 

Bike:  I took my time in transition to put on my bike gloves and get in a little nutrition.  Because this was my first Olympic there were a couple times where I just told myself to take my time and run the race for me.  The bike was a two loop course and was the same as the sprint from Saturday.  I reminded myself to take water and eat some fruit snacks to keep my nutrition up on the bike.  At the end of the first loop they had water and Gatorade available as a handup stop.  I decided to actually stop and refill my bottle because I didn't trust that I could be coordinated enough to deal with an extra bottle on the bike while moving! The bike went faster than I expected and soon I was heading back into transition for the run.  On the last 1/4 of the bike leg I definitely noticed that the temperatures were rising quickly.

Run: I entered transition and had a few things on my mind.  I needed to put on a visor to keep the sun out of my eyes.  The run course was extremely sunny and I had regretted not having sunglasses or a hat during the sprint. I also put on my Garmin so that I could try to stick to run/walk schedule.  I added my race belt and a water belt to finish my transition activities.  I had a frozen wash cloth that I stuck in my shirt to use to wipe the sweat off my face too.  I started out on the run and immediately knew it was going to be tough.  I had planned to do a run 5 walk 1 strategy which I did for the first 10 minutes...after that it was all over the board.  I walked longer than I should have but I just didn't want to risk heat injury because it was super hot and super sunny on the course.  I was surprised to see the heat affect so many people but I knew that a slow time was far better than suffering a heat illness.  The run was a 2 loop out and back and the water stop was placed at the end of the out.  They also had a water stop at the transition/finish line area so you hit water every 1.5 miles.  I would have preferred a little more frequently just because it felt so good to dump the cold water on my head.  They also had Heed on the course but I'm not a fan of that and so I didn't take any.  I had a few tortilla chips with me to get some salts and then ate some fruit snacks for my nutrition.  My brother-in-law was nice and brought me fresh wash cloths on the course and there is a nothing better than feeling ice cold water on your face during a hot race! It was a very slow run for me but I wouldn't change that given how hot it was. 

Overall, this was a great experience and I have a much better idea of what the longer distance entails.  Here are the results:
`500 Swim: 30:13
T1: 2:05
40K Bike: 1:33:23
T2: 3:27 (yep, I took my time!)
10K Run: 1:14:45 (walked a little more than I should have!)
Total: 3:23:51

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Route 66 Triathlon Festivus in Pictures

Here's the photo recap of my race weekend.  I'll have the recap of the Olympic distance race up tomorrow.

Welcome to El Reno!
Heading to the Race Site!
That's a lot of bikes...but love the assigned racks.
If I weren't so nervous, I would be excited.
Sprint Race...done!
Getting ready for day 2, my first Olympic!
There's Buzz going through the pre-race meeting.
Here we go...I think I can, I think I can!
Buzz's humor for the bike out/in line! Yes, that really says "Mount That's What She Said"
There was no shade in sight on the run.
Whoo to the Hoo...I did it!
Festivus participants got a license plate for doing both races.
My nephew shared his kiddie pool with me so I could take a really cold soak post-race.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Route 66 Triathlon Festivus Recap - Part 1

This weekend I kicked off my triathlon season by competing in the Route 66 Triathlon Festivus which is made up of a Sprint Triathlon on Saturday and an Olympic distance event on Sunday. I kept quiet about my plans because I was extremely nervous about doing a triathlon double-header especially since it was also my first time doing an Olympic distance race.  I did hint in my Friday blog post that I was headed to the "races!"

The Route 66 series is hosted by the Triathlon Club of Oklahoma City in El Reno, OK just west of Oklahoma City. The race is low-key but super well run and supported.  The race director Buzz is quite the character and one of my favorite parts about the race!

On Saturday, my sister and I headed out to the race which was about 45 minutes from her house.  We got there at 6:15 and headed to the packet pickup table.  I was assigned race number 40 which would be my number for both races.  I got my bike and gear and headed into transition to set up my spot.  Another awesome feature about this race is that it has assigned racks.  It's so great to not have to worry about finding a spot! I got started setting things up and was surprised when another woman cheerfully said "Hello there fellow Festiver" to me.  I was so surprised and was like "How did you know that?"  Apparently numbers 1-48 were for those of us crazy enough to do both races! And all the athenas were clumped together too. 

Buzz eventually announced the water temp and it was a balmy 76 degrees meaning it would be wetsuit legal.  I had just gotten my wetsuit and decided to skip it since I hadn't had a chance to practice in it yet.   We had a pre-race meeting which included course information and a reminder of the rules that the officials would be looking at.  The waves were men, women, and then special.  The timing company DG Productions is known for their shotgun starts at races.  I kid you not...they blast off a shotgun to start races.  Buzz got things started just a few minutes early and soon I was in the water getting ready for the start.

The Swim: The swim course was new this year and was a huge improvement over last year. The course was great except for the low-rising sun which blinded me a few times.  I had several moments of panic again this year.  I think it is just the first open water swim of the season panic but I kept myself going and just did some breast stroke when I felt panicky.  Once I found open water and could swim without getting attacked or running over people I was much calmer and could actually enjoy the process.  The beach was a new addition this year at the lake so we actually had a sandy run out of the water and the race organizers were thoughtful to have two kiddie pools near the swim in entrance to transition to clean our feet off. 

The Bike: The bike course is an out and back with a few inclines that are gradual inclines.  The roads are in horrible condition though which makes this bike course challenging.  There are some cracks in the road that could literally swallow your tire.  We passed by a federal prison and I think it was taco day because it smelled like they were cooking up something spicy.  Also just down from the prison it smelled like they were making some sweet bread like cranberry bread or something.  The inital start of the course doesn't seem like a downhill but it is definitely an uphill on the return which thanks to Oklahoma seemed to be into the wind too.  Overall, the bike was pretty uneventful for me which is the way I like it!

The Run:  The run course winds its way around the lake access road and is a basic out and back course.  Buzz says that there is water every mile on the course but the water stop is actually at the turn-around.  The run course has absolutely no shade on it anywhere which means it is a hot, hot, hot run.  I took walk breaks as I needed them which was more than I would have liked due to the heat. 

Overall, my time was 1:35:08 compared to 1:34:54 at last year's race.  I was surprised to see how close my total time was to last year!
Swim: 11:10
T1: 1:15
Bike: 46:49
T2: 2:07
Run: 33:49

More to come with the recap of Day 2 and the Olympic distance.  I've also got a bunch of pictures to share from my sister who turned into cheerleader/picture taker extraordinaire! She took a gajillion pictures that I'll share with you in a picture post!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Heading to the Races

My bags are packed and ready to's the kickoff to my triathlon season! Let's hope I didn't forget anything. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Unplanned Green Team!

Tuesday night was a great night for a girls night.  Around mid-day Kyla sent out a note to the girls offering to cook dinner for us and not just any dinner...nope on tap for us was the infamous Governor's Chicken Salad! This is one of Kyla's signature recipes that comes from her mother-in-law and is named as such because she once served this recipe to the Governor.  I had planned to do a trainer ride with some speed intervals since I have some races this weekend but Kyla's dinner offer was too tempting to skip!

A few of us met at Kyla's house which is just one mile from the big group meeting location.  I walked into Kyla's house in my lime green top and she was so disappointed that she had chosen an orange top to wear.  A few minutes later, Maja showed up and she also was wearing a lime green jersey.  Kyla promptly changed into her green top so that we could all match!  Poor AJ and Mandy didn't get the color memo so we'll have to work on that for next time. 

Post ride: Kyla, Maja, and me
Once we had Kyla's wardrobe change down we headed out and of course we were running late...impossible not to be with 4 girls (filling up bottles, taking potty breaks, searching for sunglasses, etc.)! Lucky for us, our 5th girl was also running late so the big group was waiting for us.  Mind you late was just about 3 minutes after 6 but sometimes the guys get antsy and want to leave exactly on the dot of 6!

The guys had selected a 30 mile route that is a loop that isn't the most conducive for shortening.  The girls were all wanting to do around 20 miles so we decided to take another route that wasn't quite as long.  We wanted something a little more leisurely (in pace!) but still a good workout so we chose a route with several hills.  Kier joined us because it was his first outdoor ride in a while and Danielle was another addition to our group.  

We had a great time riding except for all the bugs that we seemed to be inhaling.  So gross! It was Danielle's first time to ride up Slaughter Pen hill and she was tough doing a standing climb for quite a bit of the hill.  It is one of our toughest hills and always is humbling! We got a good 20 miles in and were on our way back to Kyla's for dinner when we spotted a Segway coming towards us.  We had to add on an extra block in order to check this out...the guy was totally motoring along!

This is what's left after 4 girls tackle some chicken salad!
After finishing up, we headed into Kyla's and she put us to work.  Maja and I each were given a small cutting board and started cutting up the grapes.  AJ was put in charge of whipping the cream and Kyla pulled it all together.  We were like vultures over the kitchen counter as we all ate veggies and dip and the leftover grapes while Kyla pulled the chicken salad together.  AJ's son had a bag of Cheetos that we all kept stealing from much to his dismay.  The Governor's Chicken Salad did not disappoint and everyone was happy to sit outside and enjoy catching up. We peppered AJ's son with questions about their recent trip to Washington, DC.  We don't remember what the question was but Keegan gave us the best answer possible..."There's really no way to be sure." See if you can incorporate that into your conversations! Maja thought it would be great for answering questions at work..."Will you have the project done? There's really no way to be sure!" All together a fun Tuesday night filled with exercise and great friends!