Saturday, April 7, 2007

Getting Equipped!

Since we heard there' s a trip to Isle Royale in the works, we've been trying to slowly equip ourselves with stuff we don't have that we'll probably need.

This past week Sam got a new packable sleeping bag! She was so excited about it that she took a Saturday afternoon nap in her sleeping bag.

Here she is grinning in delight- not that you can tell.

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REI Garage Sale!

The bi-annual REI garage sale is held to sell off defective & damaged products that have been returned to REI throughout the year. It's usually a great chance to pick up some quality equipment for super-cheap.

Since great deals are to be had, you'd better get there early. We went to another REI garage sale last year, arrived soon after the doors opened, and the stuff was pretty well picked over already. This year we decided to get a better jump on things. The doors opened at 9:00 am, so we planned on arriving at 8:00 am. We made it by 8:05 (not too shabby!), and got in line behind 70 or so people who were clearly more motivated than we were. Just an example of how serious some people take this, the first few people in line were in tents. Considering we still had to wait out in the cold for nearly an hour, we were content with our place in line.

We didn't have any big items we were looking for, we had discussed a few things that if we found a good deal on we might pick up, but for the most part were just checking out what was available. We ended up getting more than we thought we might, but most were pretty practical for some great prices.

Check these shoes I got. Nice huh?

The tags all have a description of why they were returned or defective. The shoes have an especially fun tag.

I lost my watch somewhere a couple months ago, so I found this watch for $25. The description of problem: Worn ? Works

It gets better! It has a thermometer, barometer, electric compass, altimeter, and stopwatch. Fancy!

I also lost/misplaced/unknowingly donated to charity my headlamp, which I have found to be very useful camping in the past. It even makes you look intelligent!

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Friday, April 6, 2007

"New Shoes" (or "Ay, There's the Rub")

I purchased new running shoes this week. I realized at the Martian Marathon this past weekend that I ran the Chicago Marathon in my current running shoes. Sad to say, my last Chicago Marathon was in 2005. I was definitely well overdue for some new shoes.

I went and tried on some shoes and picked the ones pictured to the right. Pretty normal except for the funky shaped laces which are supposed to minimize lace slippage. I took them home and went for a bit of a long run. Unfortunately, my right shoe was rubbing on my heel the entire time, so by the time I made it home I had a nice blister.

New running shoes aren't supposed to need to be broken in, so I was a little worried. The next day I decided I would just wear them around to hopefully break them in a bit. While I was putting them on, I noticed my right shoe just felt tight, as if it was the wrong size. I decided to check the insole to see if I could possibly buy a thinner one that would allow the shoe to fit better. I pulled out the insole only to find...another insole! For whatever reason, the right shoe had two insoles, which explained why it felt small & why it rubbed on my heel. I went running the next day and the shoe didn't rub at all. Hooray!

It's just dumb luck I decided to check the insole; I could've not noticed that for weeks or longer and had to deal with a shoe that didn't fit correctly.

P.S. Do you like the "Rocky & Bullwinkle" style title?

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Now THAT's an Exciting Shirt!

The race shirt given away when you run the Martian Invasion of Races is probably the most interesting race shirt I've ever seen. The proper description of the shirt would require pages of text, which even then would surely never fully do the shirt justice; so I took pictures.

Though it is a very original and fun shirt, I really can't think of anytime I would actually wear it. It's just a little busy. Maybe we'll have Roswell Day at school for a Homecoming spirit day next year...

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Martian Invasion of Races

This past Sunday(4/1/07) I participated in the Martian Invasion of Races, which consisted on a 10K, Half-marathon, and full marathon. I opted for the half-marathon, which I figured I would be in good shape for when I initially signed up for it. In reality, I wasn't as prepared as I thought I should be (though I survived pretty easily).

We went with the Jamies, of whom the male version participated in the full marathon. He's been good about training during the winter and has said he's trying to run four marathons a year. I'm not so good about training during the winter (or the entire school year for that matter), so I didn't dare attempt a full marathon.

We were a little worried about the weather; thunderstorms were in the forecast and it was supposed to be a bit chilly. As it turned out, the weather was nearly perfect for running. It was in the upper forties to low fifties and overcast, and a drop didn't fall from the sky during the race itself. The course was marked with inflatable martians holding signs, and overall it was a good race.

I finished the half in 1:48:23, which I was quite happy with. I felt much better than I anticipated I would. A week and a half before I went on an 11-mile run; I ended up walking the last mile or so and didn't feel that great while running, so I was a little worried about running 13.1. Jamie finished the marathon in 3:58:54, which I believe he was happy with as well.

The pictures of me running are by the finish line. I look a lot better than I felt!
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Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Catching up: Key Club Convention 2007

So...I guess I've been taking a break from blogging...

I'm back though, so don't fret. Unfortunately, I don't have the fancy moving pictures like some overachievers (check it out). What I do have is our wonderful time spent the weekend of March 23-25 with 500 high schoolers from around the state.

That's right, it was the Michigan District Key Club Convention, held in Midland, MI. Luckily I was able to drag Sam along with me this time. As far as Key Club conventions go, this went pretty well, we won three awards, which is three times the number we've won total the last three years. Our video won 3rd place and the club scrapbook won 1st place in the state in the non-traditional category (amazingly enough, much of the final work was done in the car on the way to convention). We also earned 3rd place in the state for the best single service project, which is one of the bigger awards given out. Overall I was quite happy & proud of the Whitmore Lake Key Club.

Here you can see how much fun it was...

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