week 25: what’s your temperature?

I love cold temps 32-60* I’m happy. I will tolerate hot temps 80-100, but I don’t run well in them. I don’t mind the temps but the direct sunlight is a no go.

It’s hot so my sweet spot is in the 60’s with little humidity. Lately the humidity has been in the 90% range which is when I just want to run on the treadmill. It was brutal today with the humidity but it was not as hot as Phoenix.

I prefer the 30s. Gloves, tank, arm warmers, and shorts are preferred. December through February in Georgia are absolutely perfect. Even though it gets disgustingly hot and humid in the summer, I think it makes me appreciate the preferred weather when we get it. I have joked about moving to Eureka, California just for the weather.

Perfect running temps…that’s a hard one. Perfect racing temps – 30-55* with no wind. Perfect day to day running weather? 55* and above. I’ll run in heat but not <20*….unless it’s Winter Warrior and I’m streaking. 😂 Hope that narrows it down…

Not to gloat, but I live in pretty perfect running weather, at least for a morning runner. 50-60s almost all year plus it’s usually overcast until 9 or 10am depending on how close you are to the coast. It’ll be hard to ever live somewhere else (only from a running perspective…I’m over the traffic and high cost of living). I’m wimpy in the cold now but mostly because it’s been years since I’ve had to deal with it. Probably anything 30-70 degrees is doable with the right acclimation. Direct sunlight used to kill me in Florida until I realized a visor makes a huge difference–now I never run without it.

Ideal temps for me are 30s for road races and 40s/50s for trail ultras. 20-90 is my suck it up range but I dont venture outside it too often. If I do it’s to run in <=95. I remember while heat training for Javelina getting cold running in 85…I wish that was still the case because I’m melting now.

My idea temp for running is between 40 and 50. For racing a 35-40. I’m not sure that I’ve met a temperature that I wouldn’t run in. Probably anything in the 90’s or higher. It gets hotter than that here in the summer but only during the day time and I usually run before or after that. I’m not sure that the cold would stop me because you can just add layers. The heat, though, is inescapable. Even in tiny shorts and a bra, you still suffer.

At this point in time if I could run in any temperature I’d be ecstatic. As I remember, from my running days, 40-60 was the sweet spot.

My ideal running temp is 59. Anything below 30 is a no go although my marathon PR in West Virginia was ran with temps in the mid-20s. If it’s in the 100s , I may run a bit to test the stress and quit when called for.

My sweet spot for temps is around 50-55F. Anything below 30F here and it snows so that’s not ideal. Anything above 70 and the humidity is just suffocating thanks to being surrounded by huge bodies of fresh water. Would I move to have better running conditions? I don’t think so. I love to x-c ski in the winter instead of running and I can do that for 3 months here. Temperature totally matters to me but when you have the massive fluctuations that we get here, it makes sense. Today’s high is 60F which is weird because it should be in the mid-70’s to low 80’s. My limits: below zero and I won’t run. I’ll ski but I won’t run. Above 90 and I won’t run. I might power walk but it might be just a power walk to the beach!

I like a dry cold. I prefer being cold at the start of a run knowing I will warm up. I don’t like midday hot running, but late evening can be good.

no temp I wouldn’t try and run in but prefer cold and snowstorm.


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week 24: if i had 500 dollars

With my guilt free $$$, I’d buy one of those fancy Garmin Fenix/Sunnto watches.

$200 for a larger hiking pack. $150 for a smaller sleeping bag. $65 to go eat cheese and chocolate with my bestie at the Melting Pot. $50 for an ultra sign up fee. $20 for a new handheld bottle. $15 for a couple of IPA bombers.

$365 would be spent for the 4 hr Walk In the Woods Spa treatment at The Umstead. The rest of the money would be spent at the Bar & Lounge at the hotel for food and drink. If there is any money left over I am buying a book from Amazon for my Kindle.

If I had $500 I’d fly to the Adirondacks and meet Elizabeth there to go camping and hiking. The $500 should cover the flight and a rental car and if she uses her $500 for flight, wine, and bagels, we are SET! 😀
I bought a new car today (yay!) but $500 doesn’t go very far there. This might be TMI but I’d probably get laser hair removal since it’s bikini season and that’s a splurge I wouldn’t normally justify.
I would spend the $500 on the Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, and Zion Park Trailfest!! Go ahead! Sign me up!!

$500 is a really awkward number. Not enough for a Stradivarius, but too much for a box of chocolate truffles. I’d probably use it to buy a few votes in an upcoming election.

Kidding, just kidding. Plane ticket to Phoenix.

With $500 I could go camping for a weekend at Yosemite. Gas and campground fees. Use the rest for dinner/food, splurge on some pizza and an ice cold IPA in Half Dome Village while enjoying the view. 😎
$270 Jabra Elite Sport True Wireless Waterproof Fitness & Running Earbuds with Heart Rate and Activity Tracker – Advanced wireless connectivity and charging case

$70 Topeak RX BeamRack with Side Frame – V-Type

$80 Topeak RX Trunk DXP with Panniers

I’d spend $500 on a new outfit and a night out dining and drinking delicious wine and fancy cocktails.
My knee was healing and my energy was zapped by my junior high concert band camp. For $500, I would buy a kayak and the Kala Ka-JTE/MTW metallic white archtop tenor ukulele with pickup.
i’d buy airline tix so we could go see ani difranco at the fillmore in san francisco with my sister jami. she’s never seen ani live. just fly in, have lunch, see show, fly out. much fun.
Dopey Challenge at Disney because I really want to do it, but it costs so much.
$500 – I guess I would probably purchase a subscription to the Steppenwolf Theater. I’ve been a subscriber since the 90’s and I didn’t renew this year. Kind of bummed me out but it seemed practical.
If I had $500 to spend on anything, I would buy a plane ticket to go visit Brenda and I’d have enough left over to pick up a bottle of wine, a dozen Brooklyn bagels and a New York cheesecake.
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week 23: my batman



I don’t have a Batman but my Adam West is Mayor of Quahog, RI.

I have multiple Batmen in my life depending on what I am in need of. As for Batman Batman it is Adam West. (Here’s a Bat Mobile circa 1976. My son found my cousin’s matchbox cars in his closet this weekend.)


My Batman is my roommate from college. She’s always been there for me and always seems to know what I need. If we are talking actors I grew up during the BOOM, POW 💥 era so I guess Adam West.

Grew up watching reruns of Batman the tv series with Adam West in his funny outfit. LOL But the one that really portrayed Batman as the comics illustrated was Christian Bale in “The Dark Knight.” The Joker completed the superhero vs super villain chess game.

When I think of Batman, I think Pow! Bam! Kaboom! Coincidentally, I bought this for my son today so I guess he’s my Batman


No clue what you mean by “who’s your batman?” Do you want to know who’s there to rescue me or help solve a crisis? No one really fits that/fills that. I’m pretty self sufficient.
My Batman is my 6 year old niece who LOVES Batman. I got her Batman pajamas for Christmas and when we played Batman, I asked if I could be Robin. She looked at me with a very serious face and told me I was Alfred.
Adam West is my Batman. RIP Bright Knight.
I remember watching Michael Keaton’s Batman Returns and it was the first “dark” adult movie I can recall. I remember that it seemed like there weren’t really any happy parts in the movie and I didn’t like that. Also, Danny DeVito was super creepy.
My batman? I’m batman…RIP Adam West.
Don’t have an answer for the Batman question-interesting picture though.
my batman was a kid at a dia de los muertos festival. there was merriment and mayhem all around him, but he sat all alone on a curb. it’s not easy being a superhero …

LEGO Batman comes out on disc today. The kids, wife and I will probably have a viewing at home. Although I like the Christian Bale / Christopher Nolan versions the best.
Batman lives on my street. His in-laws installed our heat pump. The Batmobile cruises the neighborhood.
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june raos: smokey and me

the rules: entries must include running and Smokey Bear.


my plan for this was quite promising; however, I failed a bit on the execution. Trespassing through a construction site was not on my list of things to do on father’s day morning. My run was supposed to be Smokey’s head and hat. I did run past his bffs, the real heroes.




You saw it here first. 11 mile run followed by a Smokey sighting. Then I had a banana split topped with crunchy peanut butter for dinner. Because I’m adult.






Hang In There Bear takes Fivestarks on a search.


Close but not quite…


Too green.


Too purple.


Took a train ride to check the countryside.


Perhaps hiding in the ruins?


Scenic rest break.


Wading through the tall grass. Smokey, where are you??


Drat! I’ve looked everywhere! Guess he’s not here!


Aha! Finally found him!!




My heart is still healing….since I told Mo she could have him, I admire him from a far.

After I saw him I saw a single running shoe on the beach. How does someone lose a shoe here? Way sillier and way more random than a Willy nilly silly old bear.




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june raok

Got up at 3:15 am to drive a van full of cyclists to the start line in Philadelphia for the American Cancer Society Bike A Thon. Wow 😳 must say 3.15 comes awfully early. If you need me later I’ll be 😴


in the first of what will become a weekly gig, we volunteered today at a rehab shelter for raptors.


There is a family run Lavender Farm about 40 minutes from my house. They have a harvest festival every June. I donated 4 hours of my time to perfect strangers selling ice cream. I ended up with some lavender, a bandana, a glass from the local mead place, a great meal and some lavender products. I’m not sure who benefited the most but I am certainly going back next year.


I went back to my car last night after losing my food for dinner over the side of the mountain. When I got to my car, there was a thru hiker camped nearby. I pulled out my camping chair and tried to stuff as many calories as I could before I headed back out to camp for the night. The two of us started talking and after about an hour, I left him with the key to my car in case he needed any extra food or stuff for my cooler. I left the camping chair and he gladly took it to finish his dinner.

I helped an elderly lady find her car in a hot parking lot.

Used my birthday money from my parents (the only money that is ever only mine) to buy my husband a fathers day gift.

I helped my sister-in-law move out of her dorm room last Sunday. After her boxes were out, one of her friends needed help carrying a fridge from one building to another. I said I’d help only if she’d consider it a random act of kindness. She agreed do I did.

I went to the laundromat right after work last night. About 12 National Guard young men were in there washing uniforms and I overheard one young man tell another that they had to find an ATM because he was out of cash to wash his clothes. I reached over and tapped him lightly and handed him a $20. He didn’t want to take it but I insisted and he was very appreciative.

nature edition. He was headed across the road to be smushed. I move him full circle with my running shoe.
I brought a home-cooked meal (two meals’ worth, actually) to a colleague who had a knee replacement yesterday and her husband. Remembering the many lovely chicken meals I was brought during my ankle ordeal, I sprang for salmon. Don’t get me wrong – they WERE lovely chicken meals, but the dinnertime conversations were along these lines: “What’s for dinner?” “Guess.” “Um, chicken?”
I was at the store the other morning getting coffee before work. As I was waiting to pay I was behind a lady in a pretty dress. I noticed her zipper was only half way up. I debated whether or not to tell her. It was hot 90* . Was wondering if she did it on purpose. Finally told her about it and asked if she wanted me to zip it up for her. She was mortified but let me do it. She told me I had done by kind deed for the day and it was totally random.
Side note: She was so embarrassed she may never shop at that store again. Lol
I sprinted across a parking lot to stop a runaway cart from hitting a shiny new car. The owner wasn’t around so they’ll never know, but I’d think it was kind if someone did that for me.

I was asked to lead a 4-week free kids track “camp” on Weds nights in conjunction with the park board. Last night, ~200 kids, ages 5-14, showed up. The person who was supposed to unlock the stadium is apparently uncontactable, so we had to make it work in the parking lot/field next to parking lot. This was also after I drove 7 hours home from Kansas. Totally worth it though.

Funny story: I told the kids to “take a lap” before they got their treat (pretzels). One 5 year old came up to me, upset. “What’s up?” I ask. “I can’t find the lap so I can’t get my treat.” Poor kid had no idea what I meant when I said to take a lap and was looking for a physical object. He still
got a treat.

Another funny story: at the station I was running, we did Running Games. We played Sharks and Minnows with some of the older kids and one kid dropped to the ground and started log rolling to avoid getting tagged. It worked for like a minute.




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week 22: the day i realized

I was about 10 when I first realized that deer don’t grow into elk during a discussion with my mom about how people shouldn’t be concerned with killing the elk because we have so many deer that will grow up soon enough. Funny conversation ensued to which my mother realized how little I knew and how isolated my life was. It changed my life by encouraging me to learn more about nature and the environment and the world around me.

When I was really little like 4 or 5 I realized nothing would ever be perfect no matter how hard I tried. It was a very philosophical thought for a 4 year old. Thought somewhere in Norwell, Massachusetts.

I was about 4 when I told my family that Santa Claus was not real and it was Mommy & Daddy. I am guessing my sister told me but I remember the look of shock on my cousins face when I told her I knew.

I was 21ish when I realized that I liked Sober Me more than High Me. It saved my life and allowed me to start achieving.

I was probably 12 when I realized I never wanted to marry a man like my dad. Nothing abusive or anything that harsh, but rather very old fashioned (aka sexist) values. Happy that my husband is my partner in life and not a dictator.

For some reason, until I was in high school I had the impression that a body shop was something polite people didn’t talk about or acknowledge. The realization that it involved car repair didn’t change my life till my first accident.

I was 18 when I was contacted by the FBI because a girl who had lived in my dorm and worked with me at the college gym had gone missing. She went for a bike ride one day and never came back. I was 22 when they found her body. In that moment, I stopped being so trustworthy and the assumption that nothing bad could happen to me disappeared. I became less trusting of strangers…and I realized that it’s better to be rude to strangers than to put myself at risk. I wasn’t friends with her, we just smiled at each other in that “hey, you’re familiar” way, but I think about her a lot…and how evil other people can be.

I was 33 when I realized that I had the ability to do instead of wish.

In my twenties, I took a road trip across the country. From LA to Alexandria. The time from point A to point B forms you. Didn’t quite found my life’s calling. Laughed when I saw the movie “The motorcycle diaries” eight years later. Cause the dude found his. LOL… Seriously, I realized that life is an adventure and I now like to go on road trips to National Parks with my camera(s).😎

I was halfway through the Ouachita Trail 50 in 2014 when I realized I was pregnant.

new artist showed up at work. within 10 minutes i realized my life would never be the same.

When I was 12 I realized that you should never set paper on fire and drop it in your plastic trash can. And now, I only buy metal trash cans and usually confine my pyromania tendencies to outdoor firepits. Lesson learned.

I think I was 8 years old when I realized Santa Claus’ handwriting was identical to my Mom’s. It taught me that people in distant places can still be just like us.

was running a 50k in Montana and it included elevation that this flatlander was not prepared for. We ran up to the top of Thunderbolt Mountain (~8500 ft) and the view was beautiful and I was on top of the world. That race changed something in me. I can’t pin point it, but I became more confident and outgoing with the attitude that I could do anything. Maybe it’s just that I finally felt like an ultra runner…

My life changed when I was working retail and had spent 3 years searching for a teaching job. I had interviewed for 4 jobs in that time and I had a message from one of the interviews, so I went outside to listen to it. It was a principal, telling me she wanted to hire me and told me my salary, and I just started crying happy tears. After feeling less than because I wasn’t where I wanted to be, I finally found a teaching job that wanted me back, and I still look forward to, 4 years later.




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week 21: superheroes


Superman is my favorite super hero because Batman isn’t a real superhero. I don’t use any super hero powers when I run, which should be obvious upon review of my race-finish times.


My go-to superhero? Grady the Wonder Dog, of course.
Why? Isn’t it obvious?
Has it changed? No, but may soon…
Do I use my superhero powers when I run? Well, apparently not, since I keep getting injured. But I do pant and snort when I run, and beg for treats afterwards.


Underdog!! Little dog doing big things that are not things you would think he’s capable of!


I am partial to Baby Groot he is definitely my favorite Marvel character. I AM GROOT!


I’ve never really been into superheroes, but I’ve always liked Wonder Woman…I’d love to have her invisible plane.


The Bionic Woman! She can run crazy fast AND would smoke any arm wrestling competition.


My younger brother was super nerdy about comics. Would always buy them on the first week they came out. He would let me read them. I had a few collection of my own but not too crazy. I like the Batman stories. Spider-Man was kinda punk-ish but his adventure were a funny read. Not really a superman fan. Intrigued by Hulk with his anger issues. Lol. There were others. I remember somewhat liking Ironman but I forgot why. If I have to pick one, it would be Batman or Spider-Man. Oops, that’s two. LOL. Why? Cause of the stories and theirs enemies. 😎
I’m not sure he classifies as super in the literal sense, and he’s actually a villian if you classify trying to wipe out annoying kids as a bad thing, but I love Mojo Jojo. For one thing, it’s incredible fun to say “Mojo Jojo.” Say “Aquaman” and then say “Mojo Jojo” and then tell me which one you’d rather hang out with in line at Wal-Mart while waiting in line the day after Thanksgiving Day. He speaks in this weird cadence that sounds like it’s English translated to Japanese back to English through a dog whisperer into a google app and back to English. And I relate to his turmoil. He wakes up ready for his proper breakfast, two eggs and toast, only to find HE ONLY HAS ONE EGG!!! Turmoil ensues. This probably reveals way too much about me.
I’m not much of a superhero fan but I guess its a toss up between Deadpool and TMNT. Helpful heroes who don’t take themselves too seriously.
Growing up, a buddy and I loved Danger Mouse. I can’t say it ever helped with my running, but did help shape my humor.
My go to superhero is Wonder Woman. I’ve run 5 half marathons as her.
Realized how little I know about superheroes (I thought Danger Mouse was a singer). Spent the day researching Superheroes (or at least 5 minutes and who knew there were so many of them?) but that led me listening to the Kinks, Wish I Could Fly Like Superman, which led me down a long path of listening to a lot of different music and avoiding answering this question. Sorry, I got nothing.
never watched much tv growing up so superheroes were never part of my life. We got 3 TV stations out in the countryside and town was a twice a month trip with no money for comics. I literally can’t even fake a super hero connection because I don’t have an inkling and I’m crabby right now.
 I guess my best friend is my super hero. She’s come to my aid more times than I can count and taught me everything I know about running.
Growing up I had a big thing for Rogue from the X-men. She could fly, she was super strong and the whole absorbing people’s powers thing was pretty cool (and tragic). Plus, she was with Gambit and I had a crush on him. Mainly though, she was a tough chick who could fly and that’s all I wanted to be back in the day. Who wouldn’t?
My superhero is my sister Candice! She’s an amazing human!
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