9/2013 – Where to find me now?

Hey there!

It must be RAGNAR season because every year around this time I get a comments about my Ragnar Relay Packing List or an email with questions. Given that I wrote that post 5 years ago, I felt I should post a little update about where I am now, and where you can (or can’t) find me.

[This first of all required searching the depths of my brain to figure out WTH I would have used as a password as a sophomore in college. I figured it out. It made me laugh.]

[Me, roughly 4  years ago. I can tell I’m sitting in the U of MN Rec Center, which has since undergone major [awesome] changes! Funny – I wore pretty much this outfit yesterday.]

The last post on RunRoamRecycle detailed my switch to self hosting, which was at DrTriRunner.com, later transitioning to theTriathlonRx.com for quite some time. However, if you type in either of those addresses you will find NADA. Unfortunately this last winter I was faced with some privacy issues involving a reader and some pretty unrelenting contact. It was also at a time where I was extremely busy working in the hospital, working in the lab, and school. So I made an impulsive decision, said F IT!!! in that way that only all-caps and 3 exclamation points can convey, and deleted myself from the internet. Didn’t think you could do that, huh? I suppose if the FBI really wanted to find my product reviews, they would have some binary database and could piece it back together. But to the average reader, I was gone.

Unless they were friends with me on facebook or Twitter. Fortunately, this one isolated reader-turned-TOOMUCH was successfully blocked on all other means of contact, and since has been a non-issue.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time off the interwebs, but am happy to be back. The most common thing readers have contacted me about is fibrous dysplasia in athletes, and while I cannot provide any official medical advice, I can share my story and experiences. I am going into my 5th surgery in 5 years, and documenting the journey along the way. I also got many emails from other runners/athletes dealing with various sports related injuries, which further fueled my new venture.

You can now find me at www.offtheDL.com Hope to see you there!

Be fierce. With a smile.

-Erika

Cha cha changes…!

Thursday already? How did that happen?!

Last night something came over me, and apparently the roomie too. For whatever reason it was absolutely necessary that we stay up and watch Scrubs until 1:00am. On a WEDNESDAY NIGHT.

Whoooo does that?

Because of my mandatory-8-hour rule, and because my first class isn’t until 11:15, I skipped the gym, turned off the alarm, had a super random dream, but woke up feeling much better than I think I would have had I dragged myself to go do cardio. (RSC to be specific 😉 ) However, as “refreshed” as I may have been, apparently my mind was still running a little behind. Hence this tragedy happened to my morning coffee:

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My morning cup of black gold turned into a morning cup of black NaCl onion garlic paprika cup of NASTY. I realized it the second I sprinkled it on and did my best to skim the spices off the top, but no amount of skimming could remedy this catastrophe, and down the drain it went.

Despite the absence of caffeine this morning that would usually leave me dragging, I was feeling just fine. In large part I’ll attribute that to the SUN that finally decided to reappear over our lovely city of Mini-apple. Splendid. I had a really fun first class.. we broke into three groups based on our personality types (A, B, C) and the got in little groups and just talked about how we act in different situations. I’ve mentioned before, I’m type A to the max.. probably type A+, but it was hilarious  to talk to the guys in my group about what we do when we’re waiting for someone who’s late.. have a slow car pull out in front of us.. or even just how extreme we take playing a board game (Grandma.. you’re goin DOWN). The class is called Lifetime Health & Wellness, and it’s through my major department (Kinesiology)… definitely my favorite!

Anywho my kiddies.. I will keep this brief because I need to meet the kids for SPIN soon! Tomorrow is TEAM MOVIE NIGHT and I’m hosting, so I have to hit Target on the way home to pick up some movie snacks! I mostly just didn’t want to go too long without posting, but also, I wanted to make sure I’m keeping alla YOU in the loop! Be sure to keep your eyes peeled, because there are some big exciting things coming to RunRoamRecycle! Some will be happening sooner rather than later, but in short, I’m pumped. And you should be too!

Until soon mis amigos!
-E

Final days of the giveaway. Gym’n it. Boss..?

This is just gonna be a quickie (TWSS) but I needed to stop in and say

LAST DAY TO ENTER MY GIVEAWAY

so if you haven’t yet done it, step ya game up and send me a photo already! Yes folks, it is really that easy.

I also needed to say that I just bought 48 bags of popcorn for $1.89 because I love Costco and I also happen to love coupons and I’m a boss (warning – mucho profanity ahead with that one). Really though… I am.

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(excuse the blurries.. la madre doesn’t have practice taking photos on a cell phone)

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Whhoooo does that? I felt like I was holding a child. A child stuffed with three types of meat, cheddar, swiss, and tomato slices. Beast. Or I guess I should say “Big. Overloaded. Sub. Sandwich.”

So basically, you really should go enter the giveaway. And then my friends, life will be complete. 😉

Innn other news – so I told you about the bone growth stimulator. Well, turns out with insurance and the whole the 80/20 deal, my “20%” is $700. Somehow I don’t think that fits in my college budget. BUT!!! Silver lining here.. maybe. Hopefully! As an independent and a student, I qualify for financial assistance. So if everything works out (go find some wood – knock on it!!) then I wouldn’t have to pay anything out of pocket. I’m prayin!!

I may not be eating any BOSS sammies, but I definitely am still getting good solid training in, and the appetite is high, in true Sperly fashion. My mom and I made our mother-daughter-tradition venture over to Costco today to get some goodies. As mentioned above, BOSS Orville Redenbacher popcorn – my favorite!! – had a coupon in the biweekly Costco Coupon book. $4 off an already low price of $5.97, making my 48 bags of salty goodness only $1.97. Also included in the purchases were many a produce: broccoli slaw, tomatoes, asparagus, mushroooms, and sugar snap peas, as well as my staple of all staples: egggg beaters a la Kirkland. I really do love Costco.

Wait wasn’t I talking about training? Right. So Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday is SPIN on my schedule, and this morning SPIN I did. It is not running, but at least it makes me sweat and I feel like I’m working. NTM, my Thursday/Saturday instructor is also a BOSS (how convenient) and he makes it that much more appealing to go to class. He had a sub today (as in substitute teacher, not SUB sandwich. I’ve moved on), and she is ALSO really great. My list of I-Like-You-Spin-Instructors is short and selective, but these two are both on the top. If you’re ever venturing into the world of Lifetime Spinning.. lemme know and I’ll hook you up. 😉

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I took this photo a long time ago, and have been meaning to post it, because really, I do love my gym. BOSS? Hahha yeah I think so. This is over the railing, going down into the world of cardio/weights. I especially love my gym when I’m injured, as in now. They have so many options, and so many classes! In place of our run workouts on my practice schedule, I have “RSC” – otherwise known as Running Simulating Cardio. My favorite machine isn’t included in that picture, and it’s definitely NOT running (I don’t count it as “x miles” or any of that b.s. business…) but it is good. Good indeed.

Alright kids, that’s about as much random goodness I have time for today. If I didn’t mention it before, I got a research position at school through my kinesiology department and am a co-investigator on an awesome study we are about to start! I have to finish my IRB training, which if you’ve had to do it before, is loooooong, tedious, and did I say long?  I think I need to go pop some popcorn…

Love,
-E

magnificent Monday and POPCHIPS perspectives…

Not too late to enter Sperly’sFirstGiveaway!!

Go. Do. It. Now!

Helllooo blog buddies. Apparently I’m all about alliteration today… so sorry if it gets overkill! It’s only noon, so it may be a little too early to determine this Monday as “magnificent”.. but so far it’s off to a muy bueno beginning. 😉 Here has been my day thus far:

  • 7:20 – wake up call
  • 8:10 – leave hose to catch bus to school
  • 9:00 – practice: 4,000 meter swim
  • 11:15 – ROCK my anatomy exam!!!!!

Clearly this last one is makin my day. The occipital protuberance.. serous fluid.. and synovial joints aint got nothin on me baby!! The test was on 11 chapters (half of our book!) so it was a lot of material. We were aloud to make a “cheat sheet” – 8×11, front and back, whatever you can fit on it.. mine sheet took me about five hours to make! I think I only used it for like three or four questions though.. it feels so good to go into a test actually excited about it because you’re PREPARED and your brain is so effing saturated that you know everything you can possibly know!

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Well now that I got that out…! Just a heads up, this is a pretty NRR (non-running-related) post… so if you’re waiting for that one about injury prevention – this isn’t it! (Still  coming though.. promise! Going to the Underwater Treadmill dealio soon!)

Time to move on to other important matters:

Snack like no one’s watching!

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while.. you know that I luuurve my popchips. Love as in I could buy a bag at 2:00, and it might very well be gone by 10:00. I’ve made all sorts of crazy creations with my pleasurable little poppers… nachos, chili dippers, taco salads, you name it. They’re also the perfect snack to bring when you’re going to a potluck.. a MOVIE.. a team dinner 😉

[This is supposed to be a photo of the awesome package.. but apparently it’s still on my camera at home!! I’ll upload when I get there!]

Not too long ago, Shana, part of my snackfamily over at popchips was awesome enough to send me a sample pack! What I really had wanted to get was a racing jersey to sport the popchips logo.. but they don’t have those. Yet. 😉 I got an awesome t-shirt to sport in the mean time!! I just feel like Popchips is such a fun, upbeat company, but they also work so well with my athletic lifestyle! They’re “love, without the handles” and they’re a healthy (delicious) snack I can plain take on-the-go, eat em’ at home, or make them into a more elaborate meal. Here’s my official rundown on the flavors that were included in the box, in order of my favorite to least favorite. And by “least favorite”, I mean that in a liked it a lot, but SOMEONE had to come last! kind of way! Here we go:

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1. Cheddar Potato – I. Love. Cheddar. Pretty much cheddar anything. Don’t even get me started on cheezy popcorn because I’ll never get to the end of this post! I feel like the cheddar popchips have juuust the right amount of cheezygoodness to satisfy that craving, but it’s not overkill. Actually, my VERY FAVORITE POPCHIPS EVER are the Golden Cheddar MULTIGRAIN flavor. There is absolutely nothing they could do to make those better in my opinion. Pure goodness on a plate napkin? straight out of the bag? You know how I do 😉

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2. Salt & Pepper Potato – These are soooo good! Aside from the little kick you get from the pepper, I think these are also one of my favorites for their versatility! I mentioned popchip nachos.. and these are BOMB just for that reason. These make fantastic soup dippers/cruncher topping. My favorite is with thick creamy tomato basil bisque (a la French Meadow if possible!!). Heaaaven!

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3. Sour Cream & Onion Potato – Alright. Who doesn’t like sour cream & onion chips? Haha for some reason I feel like that is such a guilty flavor! Maybe because I’m remembering regular Ruffles potato chips with the sour cream & onion DIP.. the dip being the guilty factor! Honestly guys, if you like sour cream & onion, these are for you!

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4. Barbeque Potato – favorite #4. These have a reallly strong barbeque flavor, so if you want mild, then pick a different flavor. But I definitely don’t want mild, so I think these are great! The only reason these aren’t higher up on my list is because the only way I have figured out how to eat them thus far is just plain. Nothing wrong with that, but sometimes I like to get creative! What are other ways you do up your BBQ chips? I’m open for suggestions!

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5. Original Potato – Really, these last three were all so hard to rank. They’re ALLLL good! The original flavor is great because you can dip it, top it, crunch it, and really get crafty here. These were my very favorite for making nachos until I found the Salt & Pepper flavor. Salty crunchy good!

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6. Sea Salt & Vinegar Potato – Alright.. here’s my explanation. I have some weird thing with acidity. Or maybe it’s like a brine flavor that I can’t do? I don’t know.. but it prohibits me from eating olives, ketchup, really anything with that briney flavor. Sea Salt & Vinegar chips have always fallen under that same taste-category for me. I don’t know how to explain it.. it hurts my tongue? The problem is though, I still LOVE these chips!! Hahah so I eat them anyways.. and then my tongue is like swollen! It’s not a popchip problem – I promise you that. It happened when I bought a bag of Sea Salt & Vinegar soy crisps too… bummer! These are my mom’s favorite flavor though!

So those were the 6 that were in the box. How awesome is Shana! Like I said though.. they now make MULTIGRAIN flavors, and the Golden Harvest Cheddar is by farrrr my very favorite. I have also tried the Multigrain Sea Salt, and those are great too! There is a Parmesan Garlic Potato flavor which I have yet to find at any of my local grocery stores… but I am dying to try it! I said I love cheese. Parmesan = cheese. Something tells me those chips are golden. 😀

If you can find popchips near you, I think they definitely outshine any of the other chips out there on the market. And if I need to include a disclaimer.. (yeah.. enough with you new blogging protocol rules…) I can tell you that obviously popchips sent these to me, but in no way was it dependent on a review by me, much less a positive one. Trust me.. if there’s something I don’t like, I’ll be the first to let you know!

Well how’s THAT for a good start to the week! The rest of my day is pretty scheduled, just the way I like it, and it looks a little somethin’ like this:

  • 3:30 – practice/PT exercies
  • 5:30 – WORK! Just a couple hours tonight. I’m liking makin $$
  • 8:00 – hopefully earlier? Hit the grocery store on my way home. My fridge looks naked.
  • 11:00 – again, hopefully earlier! SLEEEEEP

I’m trying to implement a new 11:00 rule – must be IN BED by 11:00. I have been trying to work on getting more sleep for howww long? I set the alarm on my phone to go off at 10:30, so it’s my little reminder that if I’m not already getting ready for bed, I need to start makin’ my way to it. Yesterday I FAILED and wasn’t in bed until 12:15.. which for me, is pretty ridiculous for a Sunday night! I had just spend the last like 6 hours at the coffee shop though making that study guide, so when I got home at 8:45 I felt like I had barely been home all day. Because I hadn’t! Anyways.. I’m going to try and work really hard on this new 11:00 thing, because SLEEP* is an important component of recovery! Not to mention.. I’m a bltch when I don’t get my 8 hours of Zzzs. (* OMG. For this reason alone I am so happy I decided to keep blogging. That post was from my freshman year in college when I used to nap every day in Coffman. And that hummus!!! I haven’t had that in SOOO long but will definitely be picking some up at the store tonight!)

Well, I’m off to catch the bus! I’m uh.. not attending my math class today. My 2nd class of the day was canceled, and I have math last, so I’d just be hangin around all day. Plus I talked to the professor and the material we’re covering today is stuff I’m solid on. No biggie! Plus, that lets me get practice done early, which lets me get to work tonight, which makes me a Money Maker. Yessir!

Seeee ya.
-E

p.s. meals & moves is 6 months old and is hosting a giveaway! check out cookware.comfor your favorite brands like cuisineart, emile henry, rachael ray cookware and more! giveaway ends 10/23!

First snowfall, sweet dreams, and giveaways galore!

Well helllloo bloggies (and non-bloggies sister mom dad roomie that I know are reading). On this MONDAY night I hope you all had a wonderful (or at least a step above terrible) start to your week!

Mondays and I have a love/hate relationship goin’ on. Love em’ because I have one of my favorite classes (Human Anatomy for Kinesiology majors), we get 4,000 yards done in the pool first thing in the morning, and there is $1 coffee at Caribou (which I actually no longer partake in now that I don’t drive to school.. but it definitely always made my day!), and Somer is the spin instructor on Monday nights she pretty much kick SASS. Hate em’ because it means there are still 4 days left of the work/school week, I have my least favorite (though easiest) class, I am reminded that I think I’m allergic to chlorine, and the fact that Monday’s come after Sunday – a day of which could not possibly be any better. (haha oh wow – how’s that for a throwback post?

This Monday is lookin’ pretty darn  good to me. I just got home from the gym where I got to sweat it out on the xrunner with my favorite gym buddy, got in a solid 10 min. core sesh, AND got through all my PT exercises for my glute muscles. And now, I write to you from the oversized-heaven-on-a-box-spring.

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Please note all the necessary accessories in the photo:

  1. multiple sources of hydration (Sleepytime tea in huge green mug, earth friendly metal water bottle #1, not so earth friendly but free water bottle #2)
  2. the McMac. I can’t imagine ever going back to a PC now… ( ❤ iCal!! )
  3. the pain stick, also referred to as the roller of doom. Important enough that it warrants itself a spot in bed.
  4. new cell phone!!
  5. and the made-for-blogging-in-bed backrest pillow god I got from my godfather. Thank youuuu!

Nothing could make this look more appealing to me. Unless dinner were on a little TV tray next to me, but it’s cookin’ in the oven so that will have to wait. Oh… well maybe looking at it from this point of view…:

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Grey’s. My dear Grey’s. (Please excuse the calfs that look exactly like drumsticks which is exactly why I am a vegetarian…) This dang TV that is in such a convenient location doesn’t even work!! Haha it plugs in.. but no TV. I got one of the federal coupons for getting a digital converter box, but I have no idea what I’m looking for at the store so I have been putting off going to get one. Not like I couldn’t just ask “Hi, my name is [blank]” at Target Boutique and be pointed in the right direction. Grey’s Anatomy is the ONE show that I’m dedicated to and still enjoy watching (except the news.. what a granny!) and I’m finally all caught up with this new season after being gone the last FOUR Thursday nights in a row. Honestly.. who plans team meetings on Thursday nights at 8:00? Don’t they know I have something important to do?! 😉 Hence #5 reason to dislike Mondays – THREE DAYS until Grey’s!

Anyways, I promise, there was a point to this post. Having to refer back to my title tells me I’ve gotten a little off track. Lo siento!

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That would be the across-the-street view from my bus stop this morning. I think God knocked over his sugar bowl when he was making his cup o’ coffee this morning. I have no other way to describe 2.4″ on OCTOBER 12th. Jeeeez. We set a new record for snowfall today in the good ol’ MiniApple. Woooo. ?!

Sweet dreams? I had a dream the other night that I won a crazy blog giveaway. And I’m pretty sure this blog giveaway doesn’t even exist.. because at the end of the dream I ended up in the Natatorium with my tri team handing out muffins. Mmm yep. But there was a ton of sweet stuff in that dream that I WISH I was winning! If anyone wants to jot down what I dreamt I won, and then make a Sperly-just-for-you-Greatest-Giveaway-EVER.. let me know. 😉 Haha and I promise that wasn’t just a fakey-flakey way to segue into THIS, but now that I’m talking about giveaways…

Holy smokes! So many going on. First of all… I would really appreciate it if you all would enter MY FIRST GIVEAWAY! As of right now, I wouldn’t exactly call the competition for winning “steep.” And come onnnn kids.. I know who is reading my blog. I can see incoming links. The majority of you are either food bloggers who happen to run, or run bloggers who happen to very much enjoy food. Chances are you already have a photo posted of one of your favorite fall flavas, and you know the recipe off the top of your head. We don’t need to be talking Gourmet Magazine or anything here. And I may add that a certain variety of bars that a certain variety of [ALL OF] you happen to enjoy very much so was on sale this weekend at my lovely local grocery store. And that certain variety of goodness may have happened to make its way into my package of goodies. 🙂 Still plenty of time left to enter my giveaway, but it would reassure me on my first one if you did it sooner rather than later!

Hah.. now that I’m done begging… here are some other sweet thangs that are givin away sweet thangs:

OneFrugalFoodie and her DairyFree basket of deliciousness…

RunToTheFinish and the sickest (in a very good way) arm sleeves…

Miss Missy who’s Maintain’ away and her Silk goodness…

SeeJessRun and her eco cool bag…

The Experimentarian’s apple goodies galore…

RunToTheFinish goes gluten free with Gilbert’s…

Oh my lord I know there are how many more..? Looking at my history I can’t even keep track of where I’ve been.

The timer just went off on my delicious dinner bubbling away in the oven, so it is of utmost importance that I get to that, but I just wanted to touch base real quick on the injury front. I have been a VERY good girl with this no running business. Maybe a bitchy very good girl at times, but I have followed my orders. To turn the frown upside down here, there are several POSITIVE posts that I feel should be made regarding my injury, running injuries in general, and whathave you. Given that I have gone through this twice, as well as two other stress fractures in each fibula, I know some things about XT. I have also had a great medical team and coaches behind me all the way, insuring that I don’t eff up my injury even worse. If anyone is interested, I want to do a post about cross training for runners > injury prevention > core strength for runners > swim workouts > bike workouts > the whole deal. Would that be helpful to anyone or would I just be writing to myself here? Let me know what you are interested in learning about!

Let me know…

Enter my giveaway

Have a lovely evening!

Yours truly,
-E

Making a successful school / training schedule…

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I’m not sayin’ its an excuse for going AWOL on you guys, but I just wanted some proof to back me up – this chick has been BUSY. My last post was over a week ago, and the days have just been going by so dang fast! In addition to anything on the ToDo list, I’ve had class, training, we had a yard sale this weekend, work, and work #2. Luckily, my trusty iCal has helped keep me on top of the game.

iCal — Week — 9_13_09 to 9_19_09

Like I said.. no excuses though. 😉

So anyways, now that the school year is underway, I wanted to share with you guys my schedule, and how I fit running/training into that. I have talked to some med students here that I know are runners, or people who are in residencies, and asked them the same thing. Not gonna lie – sometimes it scares me to think I could find myself already in scrubs at 5:00am, working all day, studying, and before I know it it’s 11:00pm. I think of that and the image that comes up in my mind is this blood-shot med student (OOOMG. Do not go type that into flickr.) decked in scrubs, falling asleep over a text book. Well, I don’t have to worry about that yet because I’m still working on undergrad, and then oh yeah – I still have to get in to med school! Haha.. I’ll worry about it when the time comes. So without further ado, here is my current class schedule:


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Every semester up until this point I have alway had a 3 day weekend – either Monday or Friday off. Honestly though, I feel like this is the BEST schedule I have ever had, and especially for training purposes. Because that’s why I’m going to school.. to train.. right? 😉 If you can’t see.. my earliest class starts at 11:15 M/T/W/TH, and I don’t start until 1:25 on F. I’m done with class at 3:25 M/W/TH/F, and done by 12:30 on T!! I also have two nice little breaks on M and TH in between classes. Wednesdays are my packed day,  but honestly, it’s still not that bad. These are the classes I’m taking this semester:
  • KIN 3001 – Lifetime Fitness and Health
  • KIN 3027 – Anatomy for Kinesiology students
  • KIN 3027 – Lab.. we’re working on cadavers!! 
  • WRIT 1301 – College writing. Which I somehow thought I could test out of, so never took it as a freshman. I am definitely the only JUNIOR in that class. 😯 . It’s kinda cute though.. it makes me think back to when I was a freshman. I’m sure I have said some of the dumb shit funny stuff they say. 😉
  • MATH 1151 – Precalc II. Also definitely one of the oldest kids in this class.. mostly freshman, some sophomores. A couple seniors so at least I’m not the oldest! I feel NO shame though. I haven’t taken any math class since my junior year in HIGH SCHOOL.. and that was Pre-calc. So basically I’m retaking the same class I took 4 years ago. While lots of stuff is starting to come back to me, I am definitely appreciative of the review.
So that is my CLASS schedule. Here is what that same week looks like with training built in:
 
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This is this past week – a 54 mile week in terms of running, got in two 3500 yard days in the pool, some biking, some Arc Trainer’n, some core, and some light lifting. As you can see, I tend to load my workouts in the morning because a) I have time to, and b) I am a morning person. I really try and maximize the time I have available – sometimes I can get in a run during my break on M or TH, and yes, I am definitely a kid who eats in class. Hahha there are rules to in-class-eating that I try to abide by (nothing too crunchy, nothing that despite how good it tastes smells nasty), but that is a post in and of itself! It has been really nice to have other kids from my tri team to train with – especially in the pool. It’s also super nice that on the days I bike to school, I can get half my workout done just commuting! It’s a half hour each way which is perfect! I still do “run club” with my guys group.. haha Team MED – anyone remember? .. every Tuesday night at 6:00. It has been our little tradition for a long time now. I can’t believe I’ve been running with these guys for three years! 
 
So then what about school? Because that IS what I am here to do. As much as I joke around about it, school is my number one priority. Scary as it may be to think about not getting to do what I want to do when I hit med school.. or even now.. I just gotta suck it up! There are days when I have had to just say forget it – you’re not getting a run in today. As much as my running (and now, slowly but surely, my biking and swimming) is my one grounding element in my life, there are times when you have to sacrifice and make adjustments. This has been a good challenge for me and my type A++ self – learning to accommodate! Maybe I don’t have time for the 8 miles that I wanted, but I can still fit in 5 – then I can still do the 5! I come from a very black and white/all or none mind set.. and this is good practice for getting ready for real life, when you don’t always get to be the one in charge. 😉
 
In addition to my class/training schedule, I am also still working two jobs. Only weekends at the restaurant now though, and definitely manageable hours. I still need that cash flowin’ in! 
 
What is your schedule like? Are you a student, or have you hit that real-life working world. How do you fit in your training? Do you have any tips to share? Bonus points if you’re a med student and you put in your answer – I’d love to hear it!
 
I’m off for a ride with two of the guys from the team.. and then working dinner! Like I said – super manageable hours. Now that it’s after Labor Day, we close at 7:30, so I’m almost always home by 9:00. As you can see below.. today I’m still reppin’ for the Huskies Tri Team! 
 
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Have a good one!
-E

Being a bike / bus student commuter in Minneapolis. Love it!

Ohhh wow. I just looked down at my hands as I started to type, and WTH my cuticles are all torn up!? Granted I did just get out of the pool, and that always makes them look worse, but what happened? That only used to happen when I had to break down cardboard boxes a lot at work…

 

Random. Sorry.

 

So. I am writing to you from the 114A Express bus – U of MN to Uptown, and wherever it goes after that. I am on my way home from school.. and I am not in my car.. and it feels SO good.

 

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I have officially become a bike/bus student commuter. My lil Accord is still sitting out front, but I am making every effort to only use it when there is no other option. This whole summer I have done really well with eliminating/minimizing/combining car trips, walking when possible, biking when possible, and carpooling if it’s an option. It’s one of those things that just makes me smile.. I can’t help it! It’s kind of like when you’re going to a race at 5 in the morning, and anyone else out on the highway you know is going to the race too because they have their 26.2 sticker on their bumper, or their bike with aero bars on the back of the car. C’mon.. you know you’re sitting there behind the wheel with a hugh jass grin on your face! 

 

I feel like I’m being introduced to a whole new club being a bike commuter. You see “regulars” on the path at the same time each day… people get to know you at the bike shop en route. And then the bus.. there are DEFINITELY regulars there. (cough** and some cute ones at that **cough) 

 

I’ve talked before about the environment being really important to me. I wouldn’t have included “recycle” in the name of my blog if I didn’t care about it. (Ok.. so maybe not on the same level as tatting “I Love Alfonzo” on your hip, but close!) Unnecessary has been my signature word for so long, and it still is. Lately I have become really aware of gas prices, time wasted in a car, the sheer NUMBER of cars out on the road, and that is what I want to talk about today.

 

[ETA: I’m at home now… quick bus ride!]

BIKE COMMUTING

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Bike commuting has so many benefits! Aside from the “insider’s club” mentioned above, I can name so many more:

  • you’re obviously helping cut down on pollution – each and every gallon of gas we burn leads to about 20 pounds of CO2 gas in the air, and that contributes to the crazy climate change business we have going on. 
  • Want to know what you’re gonna burn on your bike? Calories. Want to know what’s going to be heating up? YOU, because you’re going to get crazy toned legs. 
  • What about money saved? A typical U.S. family spends about $8000 per year operating a car. A  bike requires no gas, no oil changes, no new tires, and maybe a $50 tune up. You can even get PAID to bike – the government started a program with some companies that reimburses employees who bike commute! If you’re interested in this program, check out this site from the League of American Bicyclists.

 

BUS COMMUTING

 

I’ll just start right off again with all the benefits of riding public transportation:

  • Again, the big obvious one – helping cut down on gas emissions that are harmful to our environment. The average Twin Cities driver releases about 2.6 tons of green house gasses each year when they drive to and from work.  (Source.) Um.. I’d rather not! And that’s just ONE person. Take that, times every other Joe-Schmoe-why-won’t-this-traffic-go sitting next to you.. and you have a very. very. large number. 
  • Minneapolis now has HYBRID busses! 28% better fuel efficiency.. quiet.. and clean! 
  • No questioning whether or not you’ll go outside after work and be snowed in. 
  • No more scrapping ice off your windshields. 
  • No more parking tickets. 
  • No more expired tabs. 
  • No more running out of gas on the high way.
  • No more speeding tickets (hey.. if the bus driver does it, not my problem!!)
  • Nooo more! 

I ❤ Minneapolis!!

The fact that I have these options – public transportation and paved bike pathways or bike lanes around my city – makes me so grateful!! It is definitely not something I take for granted, because I have been in plenty of cities where there is no such thing as city bus, biking is used only when there are training wheels attached, and not much longer there after, the closest anything is a good 15 minute drive, there just really aren’t many other options besides using your car! Minneapolis for sure has a few areas in which we could improve our public transportation system (and we’re working on it – hellooo more lightrail!) but for my needs at this time, the bus routes we have and the bike paths are sufficient, and they get me where I need to go. I would LOVE if the Lightrail was extended to go up to St. Cloud so I could visit family without driving, but I have a feeling it will happen some day. 

 

What is your public transportation system like where you live? Do you use it? Do you walk or bike places instead of drive? I feel like because this my blog falls into the health/wellness category, answers are more likely to be YES than if I were to ask the general public. But that’s great! And if you don’t or haven’t started trying to cut back on your automobileage.. I challenge you to ask yourself why? What can I (you…) do to start taking those steps? If you’re stuck.. here is a site that offers some great TIPS!

 

 Well.. I could go on and on about this issue for a really long time, so I think I’ll cut it here. I hope you guys don’t mind reading a little non-running post every now and then.. although now that I think about it, RUNNING is a great alternative transportation option too!! Hahha.. a little hard to get those textbooks to school though. 😉  And because I’m not sure how to even write a complete post without mentioning what isss going on running wise – tomorrow is my LAST 20 miler before TCM! A huge group of us is starting at mile 6 and running the last 20 of the marathon course. It should be fantastic. (Ignoring the 5:30 wake up call.. I don’t like that so much.) Know how I’m getting to the start? BIKING. Know how I’m getting home? CARPOOLING!

 

Rockstar.

 

Seeee ya soon peeps! 

-E