Thursday, March 28, 2019

Lyme Grinder '19 - Gravel Grinder Event

I am hosting the innauguarl Lyme Grinder '19 - gravel bike ride on April 13th in Hugo, MN.
It's a 63 mile unsupported ride but will swing through a town with support at the halfway point.
Check out the website for more information and to get registered. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Winter Studded commuter tires - Kenda Klondike and Conti Nordic Spike

The Kenda Klondike tire is a durable grippy winter commuting tire that stands the test of time. I have run these on two different winter commuter bikes, logged over an estimated 1,000 miles in 5 years, and have never wiped out while running these tires. I am not endorsed by Kenda or was otherwise compensated to write this review. I purchased these tires at an end of year party a local bike shop was having before I knew much about commuting or bike tires in general.

I first purchased these back in 2014 and have used them every winter since. My average commute is 15 miles one way and I have easily put on more than a thousand miles on these tires. I have not tried using other studded tires to compare these to, but have a pair of Continental Nordic Spike tires to try and will update this review later.

Only recently have I notice some checking on the sidewall of the tires. I keep these bikes in the garage which is insulated but not heated and is mostly outdoors during the day. The checking worries me a bit as I know it means they are nearing the end of life but feel it’s not bad enough yet to warrant new tires for next season.
Kenda Klondike sidewall checking

As for losing studs, I have not noticed any. My grip today feels the same as when I first mounted them. This is very significant as nearly all of my riding on these tires has been on asphalt and chip seal which tend to pluck the studs right out. To me this speaks to the quality of lamination in the tire building process. Kenda seems to have figured this out. It is also a good sign that the same model tires are available on their website in 3 different widths. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Why Studded Tires?
What I have found with winter commuting in the Twin Cities for the past 5 years is that some of the most dangerous times for ice are during the freeze and thaw cycles. Up here, we typically have ample room on the shoulders of roads and well-salted streets however, the curbs have large piles of snow that melt and ice over the shoulders during the night. It is there and at intersections, that you want studded tires to keep you upright.

Studded bike tires are not something to go cheap on. I tried to stud my own tires once using a pop rivet tool and duct tape. The three hour event went great until I mounted the finished wheels onto the bike. They nicked my chainstays so bad that I could not use them. On top of it, the grip was enormous and I would not have wanted to use them on anything but a frozen lake. Commercially studded tires are the best way to go as they have a proven way of laminating the stud into the rubber to keep them intact as much as possible and are easier to fit to your particular bike. They also are able to use carbide studs which wear down way less than aluminum would.

The two main concerns with studded tires would be the width of the tire and the spike/tread pattern. Remember the stated width of the tire also depends on your rim width so you are probably best off reading up on reviews to see what the actual mounted measurement is before purchasing a tire.

Your front tire will keep you from going down. Your rear tire will give you traction on snow packed trails or sidewalks especially going up hill. Nothing is more annoying than standing up out of the saddle to grind your way up a hill to just have your back tire spin out. Well, other than turning that corner and finding your front wheel slip out from under you. So, when commuting in winter I figure you can either have speed or safety and I choose safety.

As for tread pattern there are heavily lugged tires and those with near smooth city style treads. If you are looking specifically for commuting I would recommend a tread pattern that allows for minimal contact patch down the center of the tire to aid in rolling but offers enough grip to corner and climb properly. Some tires boast throwing the snow or mud out of the tire and yet I have heard from car tire manufacturers that having snow on snow pack offers grip in snowy conditions.

The Kenda Klondike
The Kenda Klondike model I have is the 700x35, 100 stud wire bead model. They can take up to 85 PSI, which I really like since most all of my commuting is on paved streets. I want to preserve as much speed as possible so these are a good match for my bikes. I have used them on a drop bar cyclocross bike and my current flat-bar road commuter. The 35mm tire width is fairly skinny for studded tires and it will cut through loose pack snow. If the snow is wet and greasy, the high psi and narrow tires do not perform as well and you are better off on the street or in the car tire path. However, I feel if the conditions are such, nothing but a fat-tire bike will float across that kind of snow.

As for the tread pattern, it seems less aggressive than the Continental Ice Spike and Nokian tires but 
Continental Nordic Spike
not as smooth as the Schwalbe Marathon tires. This leads to some snow pack continuing on the tire through rotation but I have not had grip issues unless like I said above, the snow is really greasy. The Continentals have a more aggressive lug pattern with no spikes down the center contact patch. I expect these may offer more rolling distance but am concerned about losing grip. I’ll be testing these out in the coming weeks and update this post.

When to buy?
End of season sales are good times to look for studded tires. Some stores or sites will have 50% a second tire or even a buy one get one. These are good investments if you are committed to biking outdoors in colder weather and have safety on the top of your mind. The price may scare you at first but remember that they last a long time and have the proper rubber compound and lamination to perform under extreme conditions.

Update: 3/28 - Not long after publishing this blog post, I switched to the Continental Ice Spikes and as luck would have it, the spring melt started. So I didn't get enough miles on these to provide an accurate side by side type comparison to the Kenda's. So the review will have to wait until next December. 

Monday, February 4, 2019

Free Winter Gravel training series

In Feb and March 2019 I am hosting a series of 4 gravel road bike training rides from Hugo, Mn to Marine on St. Croix. Check out the blog page I created here for more details.

Also connect with me on Facebook and you will see the 4 events I have created.
I hope you can make it. Should be fun. These are FREE events.
It's been a cold end to Jan. and most of us have had to spin indoors or ride the fat bike sparingly outside. My hope is to push ourselves a bit with the mileage and prove we can take on the spring gravel classics here in MN.


One of the topics that I have been thinking about a lot lately is how important it is to keep gravel bike events free of charge. I have looked at other races in the Midwest and see they charge somewhere from $50-100 per entry. This doesn't include Dirty Kanza which charges even more.

People say,  you need insurance to cover yourself. So I have inquired with a local attorney and looked at some websites online. It appears that if you are a company like an Llc. you need insurance. (If not an LLC. still consult an attorney). From what I see, you can purchase one time event insurance for about $6-10 per entry. You can add riders to the policy for volunteer's medical coverage, harassment, accidents etc. This may raise the cost slightly but not to the $50 level.
Add in a porta poddy or two, and maybe some food and bev. for the stops along the way if you like and I see no reason to charge more than $25-30 for an event.

Also consider this. Most racers do not toe the line without having their bike tuned up, replace their chain or cassette, purchase at least $10 of food or sports drink to survive the event, maybe buy new tires, gas to drive there, and possibly even an overnight stay. I would say most people spend around $50-200 just to be on the starting line each time. This doesn't include any post-race damage to the bike and necessary repairs.

I propose that we work to keep gravel events free. That we reach out to bike shops and other vendors who want to be recognized by us who spend money in the local communities we visit and ask them to sponsor parts of the ride that are needed. If you need insurance, ask someone to cover for it. Or at minimum, be transparent in what your costs are. There is no need to deter people from racing. Its a different animal than someone out to try biking on gravel roads.

The roads are free to bike on. Keep gravel free.

Crush Gravel.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Gravel Grinder & Commuter Interview - Rob Mosimann

Rob Mosimann is one of the most consistent and dedicated riders in the Twin Cities. He and I met on one of Randall's Midtown rides but I don't remember it. Rob is always at the same gravel races as I am and I can never quite keep up. I actually had to tell him, 'Rob I can't draft for you at 21mph. but I can draft off you." He is constantly encouraging and self-deprecatingly humble. He's intelligent and and unassumingly strong. And he knows his gravel gear. Plus he's accomplished what most of us gravel grinders have on our bucket list. Read on for more about Rob.

You are considered by many to be a super commuter - nothing stops you. Why do you do it?

I started commuting a few years ago when my daughter, then in college, got a summer internship and I had the stable-genius idea that instead of buying her a car, I would give her use of mine for the summer. That seemed logical until I remembered that I needed to get to work, proving an inverse relationship between intelligence and commuting by bicycle under all conditions. There’s also the fact that climate change scares the wits out of me – though it now sounds trite, minimizing my carbon output is important. Cycling is a door to an alternative climate reality.

How has biking changed your life?

My guiding principle is best stated by local cycling legend, Gene Oberpriller: “Bicycles are freedom.”  Growing up, it was the escape button from my parents and gateway to the huge, complicated and intriguing world of nearby New England towns. I graduated high school at the tail end of a bike boom when everyone got a bike to end dependency on foreign oil. Bike touring was hot for a second or two and my brother and I crossed the country in our late teens, teaching us more life in three months than we had learned to that point. I kept riding after that, during a period when riding a bike as an adult meant that you were either a dork or a pro, and I was not a pro. I took a long sabbatical from cycling and then picked it up again while going through a rough patch of middle life  and rediscovered that it was my outlet for pure joy.

What is the most unexpected way cycling has impacted you?

I have always loved cycling. I never realized that so many other people share that passion. It is a connection I have to engaging, passionate and crazy people. We are in the middle of a cycling renaissance and we, the cycling community, are a force for good, bad traffic manners, appalling fashion taste, chain grease and all. There has always been talk of the ways that road racers differ from transportation cyclists who are a different breed than mountain bikers who don’t hang with the wicker basket retro steel ubanistas, and on and on. But we all have more in common than not, and this big, bountiful movement is what I never expected.

How do you stay so positive all the time? Especially on the bike in a grind it out horrible situation?

Ha! Do I fool everyone? My brain churns out large quantities of negative internal propaganda on hard rides. But I have been in so many precarious situations that I now have a rich portfolio of doing dumb things and surviving them to draw from. Like the time I crossed North Dakota from east to west wherein I learned the concept of a prevailing wind. There’s not much to stop wind out on the prairie. Day in, day out, that wind laughed hard in my face. I credit that week with teaching me the art of hunker down and grind.

What piece of cycling gear are you obsessed with now? Why?

Tire choice for gravel racing fascinates me. I run heavy, durable tires, but the trend to big light tires like the ones that Panaracer makes for Compass, and running them tubeless, is interesting. Personally, I’ll err on the side of not flatting than having the fastest wheels. Though I will be on a podium when night stops being dark -- those with a shot at glory weigh the arguments differently. And, by the way, bicycles as a whole can and should be objects of unspeakable beauty and therefore never painted Celeste Green.

After doing DK200 last year - what's your next challenge?

The DAMn, of course. Ultimately, the Great Divide Route, with extensions north to Alaska and south to Argentina. I have no idea how, but surely ignorance is not an obstacle.

What music/playlist are you listening to now when you ride?

One of my goals this year is to get a speaker to play music on the bike. In the meantime, the listening room in my head is a disorganized mess of Charlie Parr, Ben Weaver, The Last Revel, Drive by Truckers, Bruise Violet, Low, Giacomo Puccini, Joy Division, Dead Horses, Bob Mould, Son Volt, Dessa, Maurice Ravel, Happy Apple, The Weavers, Sonic Youth, Trampled by Turtles, Grant Hart, Fugazi, The Blind Shake, Gabriel Faure, POS, Kurt Vile, alt-J, Bad Bad Hats, Husker Du, Mississippi John Hurt, Sleater-Kinney, Dave Brubeck – ad infinitum. Music and cycling are what drive me and are mutually reinforcing.

What social media connections do you want to share?

I’m a social media introvert, but do have public accounts on Facebook and Strava under my birth name.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Gravel Grinder & Commuter Interview - Kiatonda Oslin

I don't remember when I first met Kit. But she seemed to be just about everywhere I was riding. I think I actually knew the aura of Kit before I met her. There was always this rad woman who was at every group ride or event I was doing but crushing them. She was always there. Consistent and smooth. When you get to know her you find out that she likes heavy metal music, multiple shots of espresso at once, and all things Bianchi. And she is one of the most encouraging and inspiring riders around. But the best word that I think describes her is badass, in the good way. Here she is in her own words.

How did you get into cycling? 
My daughter moved away for college and I no longer knew what to do with all my free time.  I got a bike to ride just for exercise and to be outside and explore, however I have always played sports growing up so I found that I renewed my competitive streak and started wanting to find others that liked to ride and push themselves.  I took my bike to work one day and was going to ride after work and my boss saw it, and said, "I didn't know you rode?"  I told him just for exercise and fun.  He invited me to ride with him one day.  When we rode he told me I should be racing, and I said, nah, probably not race, but would love to meet other people to ride with and learn to group ride.  That Christmas he bought me a SPBRC club membership and the entry to the Beginner Race Program and my bonus for that year at work was an Orbea Onix.  This started all the madness.  ;)  I went to the beginner race program the 1st night with intentions of just meeting people to ride with and left there determined I would race that year and I did.  My first year of racing I did 47 races, I then knew I was addicted, but also knew it would evolve. 

Who inspires you to ride? Why? 
EVERYONE!  I love riding in general and find inspiration in every single person I get to meet and ride with.  Sharing stories, accomplishments, passion sets me on fire.  So, I have to say there is not one particular person really, I'm not really a fan girl of a particular pro racer, I find inspiration from getting new people (especially women) into cycling.  To meet someone (and this happens every year) that tells me, I ride by myself, but I want to ride in a group and feel comfortable.  This was me, so I get it and I know what it takes to get past the fear and be opened up to where cycling can take you and I love to lead others down this path, and am so grateful for opportunities through NOW Bikes Arden Hills to have the platform to do this each summer, by leading their ladies rides each summer. 

What is your fascination with Bianchi all about?
OH, now you are in trouble....  ;)  as I mentioned before I started riding on an Orbea, and actually my second bike was a Orbea Ora TT bike, and my 3rd commuter was a TREK Portland (which I sold immediately, it just did not connect with my body)   All of these except the TREK were bonuses from work.  Now, it was time for me to upgrade my road bike and I was still racing but also enjoying doing century rides all over the cities, so I wanted a bike I could race but also be comfortable on long rides.  And this time I would want to pick perfection as I was using my own money.  Fortunately I am still a member of SPBRC and racing for them through Grand Performance so we get some great club deals on bikes and components and Dan takes very good care of me.  So I was off, the 1st bike I rode was the Bianchi Infinito C2C and I fell head over heals with the way the bike felt like an extension of me, I felt like a little kid, I could play and be punchy but also would ride from morning until dark and want to get up the next day and do it all over again.  You just can't beat that feeling, especially at age 40.  But I didn't want to get carried away (surprise)  so I went out and test rode some other brands and models that compared to the Infinito.  Specialized, TREK, Cannondale, Fuji, etc...  but all I wanted was to go back to the Infinito and ride it again.  So I did, and again nothing compared to the ride of this bike.  Since that day, I have been adopted into an amazing Bianchi Family of Bianchi shop dealers, associates, and bike owners and I treasure these people with all my heart.  We truly are a family!  Since that first Infinito I now have the Infinito CV that I upgraded almost 2 years ago, I have the Bianchi Zurigo for my gravel/snow bike, and I have a Bianchi San Jose single speed for when I feel the need for steel.  I love them all, they all have their purpose, and I am always learning what Bianchi has coming next and making plans for what will be added to the stable.

What is your greatest accomplishment on the bike?
I'm still working on my big goal which will come in 2019, but to date my biggest accomplishment is probably the 16,000+ miles I rode last season, and completing my 1st 1,200K event last September.

What do you like most about bike commuting? 
Mostly just not being stuck in traffic, and free to just pedal and pass cars, meet up with friends.  You feel a sense of freedom, accomplishment and a smile that is hard to remove when you get home for the day.  It just makes you feel good.
**her commute is 20 miles one way. 

What is it you like most about gravel biking? 
It is very different than road.  It's very similar to the same reason I'll ride a 600K, but when I race I love to CRIT.  It's a shift mentally.  Long rides are about convincing yourself you are not tired, or sore and you can keep going, you are strong,  you can complete this.  CRITs and Gravel are more mental.  CRITS are me against what other people might do, how you can play and get away.  Gravel is about constantly finding that line, and staying on top of it. Then when you get to mix Gravel with Long Distance, like DaMN (Day across Minnesota) ...  HEAVEN!!!!

How do you convince/inspire women to move from spin class to outdoor riding?
For me, at times is it a challenge, because of the type of riding I do for myself, sometimes, if they don't know me, they are intimidated.  As if I couldn't possibly want to do a 20 mile ride or ride at 13-15mph.  But for me, I love those rides just as much.  I love talking to them while they ride with me and being able to physically show them an example of how to ride in a paceline, or sit on someone's wheel.   If I can talk them into coming out once, most always they are hooked.  And if they are friends of mine that want to try group riding, it's a piece of cake.  It's hard to hold in all the excitement and passion I have for cycling so I like to share it with everyone that feels it too, even if it's just a little bit, it grows like wildfire!

What is on your bucket list for rides?

My big goals this year are to do my 3rd R12 (200K a month consecutively in the state of MN,, my 4th and 5th SR (Super Randonneur 200, 300, 400, 600K- I want to do this twice this year)  and I will do another 1200K this year - Next year is my big goal of doing ParisBrestParis 1200K,  This only happens once every 4 years so 2019 is my year.   

What music playlist are you listening to now when you ride?

* I like an array of music much to peoples surprise, as I do listen to a lot of heavy metal, it's just something about the angry drive of guitars and double kick drum that gets me hyped up, but I also like Styx, Journey, Zeppelin, etc.  Even a couple of country songs, but not a big country fan.  So, I don't really create playlists that often, I just pick genres and roll with whatever comes on. It's all just depends on my mood for the moment.

What social media connections would you like to share?

I'm on all of them.  I am inspired by seeing what everyone is sharing and what they are up to.  If feels like a way to stay connected to like minded people when you can't always see them face to face everyday.  I do my best to stay surrounded on social media and in real life to positive vibes that aspire you to do and be more.  
         Kiatonda "Kit"  Dawn Oslin - facebook 
         kito1968 - Instagram
         @kiatonda - twitter
         Kit Oslin - Strava

Friday, January 5, 2018

Gravel Grinder & Commuter Interview - Matt Gryiewski

Matt Gryiewski and I met at the back of the pack - literally. It was one of Midtown's long Saturday hilly rides that Matt and I met and had to work together to finish the ride. Since then we have been on many other adventures, some ill advised, most of them with searing heat, rain, or cold. But that doesn't stop us. Matt has a great heart for others and loves the sport of cycling as you can see below.

Matt Gryiewski - 37 - psychotherapist

Who got you into cycling as a sport? I had a friend in elementary school that invited me to go for a bike ride and I asked "to where" and he said "no, not bike to get somewhere but bike to have fun." After that he taught me a lot about the sport and the budding world of mountain biking. From then on I really got into it since he and I could make little challenges for ourselves like trying to ride to the mall, ride to the state fairgrounds, ride to a sporting event. For two middle schoolers, this was equivalent to riding across the country. We always felt accomplished. I supposed in many ways I've never stopped this pattern since.
What was your first or favorite bike? My first modern road bike was a Giant OCR and I loved it, it was perfect for me but was stolen when I was at work one day. I did events all over Southern California, Arizona and even one in Mexico with it. I think about this bike as being the bike that really brought me to a whole other level of involvement in the sport.
What do you like so much about bike commuting? I've always loved biking commuting because it adds a little of adventure and vigor to every day. Also, in many ways, it makes commuting more predictable in the sense that I pretty much know how long it takes me to ride to the places I go a lot and traffic and weather almost never impacts this and if it does it is usually something I can plan ahead for. Bike commuting also is an important way I save money, despite how much I spend on bike stuff it is still much less than using a car. It is also nice that I don't have to find additional time to workout outside the normal routine of going to work.

How far is your commute? When do you not bike commute?

Currently, my route is about 8 miles each way. The only weather condition I really shrink from is rain, especially when its cold. Being wet us much harder to handle than being cold by itself. Also, in the winter I use my fat bike to commute and sometimes you have to plan that out a bit more since it takes so much space. Sometimes I'll find another way to commute if I don't think I'll have room for it at the places I need to go.
What tips would you give someone about bike commuting?
I've been bike commuting since I was in high school and have learned a lot. Especially pertaining to commuting to work, I find it helpful to keep your work clothes at the office somewhere, along with some recovery food. This saves a lot of weight and helps keep the commuting routine simple. Also, if you can have a small electric fan at your desk this will do a great job drying you off when you get to work, much better in my experience than a towel. Most of my coworkers have no idea that I bike to work since I tend to be able to clean up so quick after I get there. On cold days I recommend putting on all of your riding gear as early as you can so you start to get hot in your house before you leave, or at the office before you head home.This will help you feel motivated to get out the door and ride if you are feeling lazy.  
What is your greatest achievement on the bike? Definitely, my greatest achievement on the bike was when I got 5th in the public category of the Everest Challenge stage race in Bishop,CA in 2006. It was a two-day 208-mile race with 29,000 feet of climbing. It was unforgettable scenery of riding the divide between the eastern Sierra mountains and Death Valley. They guys who used to put on the event did an amazing job providing nutrition and volunteer support too.

What is your favorite gravel bike race or event to do? Why?

My favorite gravel rides tend to be those in northern Minnesota. I really like the Grand Du Nord. Its just so different and Grand Marais is just such an amazing little town. I like the idea of basically riding to Canada and back. I think riding through forests is much more fun than riding through farmlands.

What is your next gravel race?

I usually like to start my season with the Mammoth Gravel Classic. It's in such a beautiful area and St.Croix Falls,WI is such a great town. I feel I didn't really get a fair crack at the 100-mile route last year since it rained so much so I'm hoping for a more suitable scenario this year.

What is your A race/event this upcoming year? 

Last year I joined the Minnesota Randonneurs and did a number of 200km rides. The next level is 300km and I'd like to attempt one of those in 2018 and if that goes well maybe even a 400km. 

What other races/events are on your list for this year?

Other events this year include a (hopefully) triumphant return to the Almonzo 100 after last years icebath that ended after 40 miles. I'll likely do the Hill Billy Gravel ride (Huston,MN) as training for Almazo, though it is much harder than Almanzo. I hope to also do the Grand Du Nord again and I also have a massive ax to gride with the Heck of the North and hope to return with a vengeance. 2017, in general, was a hard year for me due to some business travel that interrupted my exercise routine quite a bit. I hope to get back to doing what works for me for 2018.

What is one of your bucket list gravel races?

Someday I'd love to do a 1000km Randonneur event. I'd also love to do the Haute Route: Rockies, Bad Lands Gravel Battle, Lutsen 99er (though it is technically a mountain bike race), Dirty Kanza (of course), Gravel Conspiracy, and I'm sure I'm forgetting some.

What advice would you have for someone starting to get into gravel racing?

I would recommend checking out the websites for the events as often they will have the maps or cue cards on their year round. That way you can see where things go and if you wanted to could even go ride the route any time you wanted and shorten it if you needed to as well.  Also put some effort into choosing the right bike. I would generally recommend a bike with no less than 30mm wide tires. I would also recommend finding a way to bring three or more water bottle with. In general don't go to a gravel event expecting that the route has been planned to avoid major terrain obstacles and wind, quite the opposite! Gravel rides are hard and they are meant to be hard. 

What music playlist are you listening to now?

Lately, I've been listening to the groups Beyond the Waves and Infinity Shred. While I ride I also typically listen to Audible books, usually about psychology or therapy.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Cross Training for Gravel Biking AKA running

I guess I couldn't stay away too long. (I started this post a few days and it sat there until now)
It's Christmas break and I decided to take the week off work. It's been wonderful sleeping in and staying up late binge watching Netflix shows. Season 4 of AMC's Turn was incredible.
The Christmas cookies and cheer are a double-edged sword. They're tempting and good but stick to you and slow you down.
not good as post-run selfies - but mustache-icles
As I shared in the previous post, I have switched from bike commuting to running now.

I don't ride a bike trainer.

I don't own a treadmill.

Being outside makes you tough and there's a lot of harder things in life to prepare for.
This is just training.

It's been a tough week to start running seriously again.

I am committed to running the half-marathon Presidents Day weekend and have my training plan in place. It's good to hold me accountable or I'd sit around and veg out and then wonder why I gained so much weight this winter!
I started off running 3.5mi. and then upped it to 4 and next became 5mi. It was good and I felt my body say it was ok.

But the weather outside is not cooperating. Actually, it's just really really cold. Thankfully there is not much slush to run through outdoors. Just packed ice and snow. I run with my Yaktrax on and seem to get good grip to not slip. The first few runs were rather slow for me, around the 9mi./mile mark. When it is Zero degrees I don't move too quick.

For New Year's weekend we were able to travel and see the in-law's. We also spent the day at the new Recreation Center. I ran 5mi. on the new indoor track but due to the steel building, Strava did not record my GPS track. I had to use all my fingers to keep track of the number of laps and miles. Pretty sure I ran more than the 5miles but was happy to hit the stop at 42 min. and think that was probably fair. 8:24 per mile.
It was good to see my Watertown Triathlon buddy there too who informed me about  a foot pod he uses to track his laps/distance and how it syncs with his watch. I told him I would have to look into that.

This week, on Tuesday it did warm up to 12 degrees. It felt downright balmy compared to the 0 deg. and windchill from last week. I ran faster too. In part warmer weather makes it easier to breathe but also I am starting to reap the rewards of running for 2 weeks already. I ran 4 miles at 8:06 pace. That bodes well.

I don't take too many pictures when I am running since I am focused on my pace and traction and body position so screenshots and post-run selfies will have to do. Plus I have my phone strapped into a holster on my arm that is not easy to access.

Well, so far so good. I checked my excel spreadsheet/training plan and am on target. I am running 4mi. every other day with a 5mi. run on Saturday's now. The weather pattern has not changed so it's still zero degrees out with no precipitation in the foreseeable 2 weeks. Gotta keep the mindset right. Toughen up. This is just training.

Keeping one foot in front of the other and beating everyone sitting on the couch....
Until next time.