CARILOUIE   83,295
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Lessons From the Trail

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Yesterday morning was a group run with some people from my gym. We did the entire 5K course in town - I am feeling good about the race on the 16th! The weather was beautiful, and the sun was out, the birds were chirping, people were friendly... My running buddy and I did our usual Saturday morning post-run breakfast (cinnamon buttermilk and carrot pineapple pancakes - yum!). It's a fun little thing that gets us motivated to run on a Saturday morning.

Since yesterday was a lovely day, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to take my bike out to a local trail and get some riding miles in. About 30 minutes away from my house is a rails-to-trails trail along a river. It is beautiful!



The trail is like this the whole route - very flat and wide.

So I set off yesterday around noon - sunscreen on (I did a pretty good job - I only missed one spot on my forearm), water and granola bars in tow, camera ready... there were lots of people out yesterday. And they were all friendly! Within the first hour, I took some pictures, did some quicker sections of trail, and told myself what a great idea this was. There were tons of people rafting and kayaking on the water - it looked like so much fun.
Stopped about an hour and a half in to have a granola bar and some water. Picnic tables are set up all along the trail - they thought of everything!
At this point, I was feeling good (and maybe a little delirious from the nice weather) so I decided to go to the south trail head (which was 21 miles away from the north one).
*Before you read on - *yes*, I did think "I have to come back."

So off I went. Looking at the birds (I saw two huge turkeys), the trees, the railroad, the water... It took me about 2.5 hours to get down to the south point. Nothing was hurting - knees felt fine, rear end felt fine, legs felt good... so I turned around to head back.
About 1.5 hours in on the way back, I thought "wow, my legs are starting to feel this. My rear end is getting a little sore." But it was all still manageable.
I didn't know that quads and rear soreness got worse exponentially! So long story short, it took me a little over three hours to get back. I stopped A LOT to rest my rear and stretch my legs. There were some little waterfalls along the trail, so I filled up my water bottle a few times on the way back and dipped my helmet into the waterfall. I was no longer taking pictures, I was just hoping I'd make it back before the sun went down.

Last night was not a good night of sleeping. I woke up a lot because my legs hurt so much. I stretched a lot last night, but I just went crazy yesterday and should have taken some Motrin before bed. This morning I could barely stand up in the shower - quads are KILLING me. My rear, however, is just fine.
So was my 42 mile trip worth it?

The Good:
I was able to do it! 42 miles is a LONG trip.
The day was beautiful.
When I got in my car, I was so proud of myself for going so far.
I did a good job applying sunscreen, and even took extra along so I could reapply.
The water from the waterfalls was the best tasting water ever.
Bikers are friendly people.
I saw lots of dogs.

The Bad (or, Lessons Learned):
Two granola bars were not enough for my long trip.
I didn't bother to figure out how long it would take me - luckily, I had the whole day free.
My water bottle didn't keep my water very cold.
A more comfortable backpack would have been nice.
Maybe 42 miles wasn't the best choice for one of my first rides.

The Ugly:
non-padded shorts + 42 miles of trail = a sore Carrie
not conditioning myself properly + 42 miles of trail = very angry quads

So *was* it worth it?
YES! My pain will subside; I took Motrin this morning (and I hardly *ever* take painkillers), put some ice on my legs (and will continue to ice them all throughout the day), and am making this a well-deserved Rest Day. Now that I know how long it takes, I can plan better and be prepared. Also, I will have some killer legs if I keep this up.

This afternoon honey and I are going to a pot luck to meet the other people in our veggie cooperative. Don't know what we're taking yet, but honey is good at that kind of thing. Today's goals are few and easy... I need an easy day!

Today I will:
Drink a ton of water
Ice and stretch my legs a bunch
Pack lunch for tomorrow
Get clothes ready for the week
Clean up the downstairs

Have a super day!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JWENZEL723 5/6/2010 10:24AM

    wow!!! i would say your rest day is beyond well deserved! great job!!!

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CAMROLA 5/4/2010 8:42PM

    Oh, the woes of saddle seat--OUCH! Sounds like an amazing ride, though... good for you for continuing to push yourself!

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GSDMIKE 5/4/2010 10:37AM

    Uggh, missed this over the weekend. Sounds like you are still feeling this ride a few days after. I did something similar a few years back, riding about 32 miles when I was used to 10 milers. It sneaks up on you on the bike, but when it hits, it hits hard.

I learned my lesson and now build back up to those levels slowly at the beginning of the season.

Toss a half full bottle in the freezer for long rides. Top it off with water before you start, and you have a cool bottle a lot farther into the ride.

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GROOVYCHICK9 5/4/2010 10:29AM

    UGH!!!! No padded bike shorts. I wouldn't have made it two minutes. I live for those shorts. I admire you for not giving up. You did a great job. Great advice from sparklingdawn. She knows her stuff.

Have a great day.

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SOUTHGOINGZAX 5/3/2010 6:37PM

    WOW!!! You have turned into a crazy fitness monster! How awesome!

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KATZABELLAMAMA 5/2/2010 1:14PM

    My first bike ride on my new bike was a horrible experience. My friend had taken me into the mountains and expected me to ride log filled trails and up hills with ease. I ended up turning back. I'm not turned off of bike rides. I just know I'm not ready for that kind of terrain. She had let me use her hydropak and I didn't like the taste of the plasticy water and it was warm. That didn't make the experience any better. I like my water cold as well

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ROGUE_1 5/2/2010 1:00PM

    Oh WOW! You are a warrior; first a run then a major ride??? You must've burned a bazillion calories yesterday!!!

It's so windy out today here in my neck of the woods and every time I look out the window I think ooohhhh I do NOT want to run. However after reading this, you have got me inspired! I'm NOT going to give up on my workout. Have you ever mapped out your trail and calculated how many calories you've burned on sparkmaps? I did it for my husband once, and he went on a half hour ride but is super fast, and managed to burn like 700 calories or something insane like that. I need to get a bike!

Maybe a nice epsom salt bath will help with your leg soreness??? I heard those are amazing after long runs or rides. That trail photo is beautiful!

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EATNBOOGERS 5/2/2010 11:53AM

    I think it's amazing that you did this ride. I was wondering yesterday if you knew what you were getting into, but I know that you're smart and sensible, and I knew you had a lot of time to do it. I think it's a big accomplishment! I think the padding on the butt is the worst part, personally. My first monster ride (almost 20 years ago), I was wearing lace panties under my shorts. :-O Enough said. ;-)

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TMAC10 5/2/2010 10:07AM

    love how you seperated the good/bad and reflected on them! your ride definitely beat mine. i just took my bike for a small ride to see if it was still workable and if i enjoyed biking!! hope you are feeling better and get to relax some today :)

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SPARKLINGDAWN 5/2/2010 7:50AM

    Great accomplishment. It sounds like this is something you would do again - no?
One piece of advice if you plan to go that long again - go early - and plan for a break. Bring a book or something, and yes - bring real lunch and not just granolabars. emoticon As you know - I commute to and from work, 20 miles each way each day.
BUT!! I have 8 hours of work in between the two rides, which makes it much more durable for the body. So plan for a real break and a real lunch next time. Bring ALWAYS stuff for fixing the tire, and practice in getting the tire off by yourself - or put in those "flat tire preventers" - a kind of padding you put inside. If you bring the stuff there is much less chance that you will ever need it - and get a pair of padded shorts - they are worth their money. Watch out though. They come in different brands. I bought a pair in REI last year (TX), and bought another pair this year (NC). The old ones still work, but using it every day it is nice with some extras. The new ones... the exact same brand was several inches shorter on the back emoticon. Lesson learned - it is not enough to try those in a fitting room standing straight up - they need to fit and cover what they must cover while you sit in the position on your bike. Depending on whether you own a racing bike (like I do) or a grandma bike (upright sitting position) there is big difference if these shorts/trousers fit or not. So new fashion year, year I know - but why the he... let that fashion get onto the biking stuff??!? - totally useless. So now (last week) I went back to yet another REI (NM) and chose a pair that would work for me.
And - else I just wanna say - have fun girl emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GRAMMYEAC 5/2/2010 7:42AM

    WOW!! What an awesome feat! I can't quite imagine 42 miles!! I've done 25 a few times and that's about rhe right length of ride for me.

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M! A! Y! May! May! May!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

I love love love May. It means that school is in the homestretch, consistent warm weather is upon us, and I can plant flowers outside without fear of the frost getting to them. Yahoo!

Yesterday's goals for the last day of April were simple. I was going biking after school, so I purposely made them very do-able. Since the rest of April was pretty much a bust, I thought "well I might as well make the last day count."
Water? Yes yes and yes.
May goals? Yes! (those come at the end)
Stay awake at the meeting? By some miracle, yes, I stayed awake. But I still can't stand having my time wasted.

Yesterday I packed up the bike and went to a lovely park after school for a wonderful 45 minute trail ride. I was able to do some parts on the trail yesterday that I couldn't do on Tuesday. Yippee! I am slowly working on my riding confidence, but I am sure that will come with more experience. When I entered it into Spark, it read that I burned over 400 calories from just 45 minutes of mountain biking! Wow! I'm not *too* surprised - my legs are definitely feeling it today.
At 7:00 I am meeting a group from the gym to go running. We're training for the local 5K coming up in about two weeks. It's a nice flat course through town; I would love to beat my time from last year!
The triathlon challenge at my gym is over tomorrow, and I still need to get some biking miles in. So this afternoon I'm packing up the bike again and heading out to a Rails-to-Trails park. The whole trail is about 20 miles each way - don't know if I'm going to do the whole thing, but who knows - the weather is supposed to be beautiful, and with no papers to write, I have the day to do pretty much whatever I want! I've heard from some people at my gym that the trail is just wonderful. Only about a 1-2% grade, wide and gravel-y, and runs totally along a river. My ride might turn out to be a leisurely one with some camera action. I'm really looking forward to it!

I spent a lot of time thinking about my May goals and challenges. I have two big goals that I'd like to meet by the end of May.
1) Fit into a really pretty size 4 skirt I have (I bought it as motivation - I'm almost there!)
2) Do 16 full push-ups in a row (they are no longer "man" push-ups to me - I think since I can do 12 in a row right now they're not just for men!)

I also have some weekly must-dos. I decided not to call them goals, because I'm not working toward them, I'm just going to DO them.
1) Limit 3 sweet treats a week (sweet treats are things like cookies, pie, and other "fun" desserts. This does not include baked apples.)
2) Track calories to stay in range 5 of 7 days (This is going to help keep my packed lunches in check. Sometimes I go a little crazy. While I don't pack anything junky, my lunches sometimes get over 700 calories. yikes!)
3) Run 3x a week. Bike 2x a week. Strength train 2x a week. Swim 2x a week. (I plan on getting the swimming part in before school. I love going for an early morning 20 minute swim. Really wakes me up!)

So there they are. May goals. I decided I'm not going to make a fancy poster this month. Instead, I'm going to make about 8743784902 copies of my goals and put them up EVERYWHERE. I might even post pictures of my skirt everywhere. I need to be reminded of my goals when I reach in my wallet to buy a biscotti at the coffee shop. I need to be reminded of my goals when I go out for dinner with my friends. I need to be reminded of my goals at the end of the week when all I want to do is crash on the couch with a bottle of wine and a pint of ice cream. These are the times when I need the reminders; not so much when I am getting ready for school in the morning.
My rewards are simple, but that's really all I need.
Weekly reward - fresh flowers
Monthly reward - massage and/or a really beautiful dress I've been eying up. I have a summer wedding to go to in August, and I'd love to have this dress for the wedding. And speaking of the dress, I need some thoughts. I have a 20% of coupon for J.Crew (where I found the dress), and it expires on May 9th. Is it really horrible to buy the dress now with my coupon and then keep the tags on until the end of May when (notice I said *when*, not *if*) I meet my goals? Ha! I must sound so cheap...

I hope your May Day is super!


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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALLTHNGSPOSSBLE 5/6/2010 10:14AM

    You have accomplished so much and I love your May goals and rewards. Sometimes the simple, little things can really make our day.

I say buy the dress!

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JWENZEL723 5/6/2010 10:05AM

    TOTALLY buy the dress!!! it will serve as motivation!

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ROGUE_1 5/2/2010 12:55PM

    My favorite out of yesterday's goals: stay awake at meeting!

I really love your daily Must-Do's. I'm going to use that from now on and stop refering to things like - plan and prepare meals, drink water, blah blah blah as goals. You're absolutely right, they're things I just must do, no questions about it.

GROOVYCHICK9 is right! JCREW gives discounts to teachers! They have some realy great dresses and you are going to look fabulous in whichever one you select. I don't doubt that you'll get into your goal skirt by the way! May is going to be a great month.


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EATNBOOGERS 5/1/2010 10:02PM

    I am *so* happy you are enjoying your bike! Woo hoo! Can't wait to hear about the ride today.

I like your goals (what's new?). I might have to copy the skirt one--it's a really good idea. I think posting a pic of it is an excellent idea!

Re the dress--no reason to pay full price if you don't have to. I think it's legit to buy it when it's cheaper just as long as you *don't* wear it till you meet your goal! ;-)

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GROOVYCHICK9 5/1/2010 3:49PM

    Just an FYI on the dress...I think J. Crew may even give you a teacher discount. I know Ann Taylor does. I haven't tried it yet but I remember someone telling me it might. Let me know. I don't think it is a bad thing to leave the tags on at all. Love the bike pic.

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LALAFLOWERS 5/1/2010 7:39AM

    nothing wrong with getting stuff for cheaper... get it, put it away, and then you have a tangible goal to work towards. You'll get there! Have a fun bike ride!

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MAIA2011 5/1/2010 7:21AM

    This sounds really good! Happy May Day!

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Good-bye, April!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Yesterday was measurement day. I knew it wasn't going to be pretty. In April I ate too much Chinese food, too much candy, too much ice cream, and drank too much wine. I gained one pound, and the only measurement that changed was my biceps. I'm actually not *that* bummed out; the one area where I really worked hard (my arms) got smaller. And I'm very happy that I didn't gain more than one pound - I totally turned into a stress eater in April, and boy, was there a lot of stress.

I don't think I looked at my April goals once this month. Ok, maybe one time, where I thought "I am never going to make April goals." Tonight is going to be some serious May thinking. I need some concrete fitness goals - maybe along the lines of minutes biking, miles run, time on strength training... Some concrete nutrition goals, maybe like no more than three sweets per week, no vending machine at work, keep lunch under 500 calories...

After school I am going mountain biking. The weather is going to be nice, so I'll be able to spend some quality time out there on my bike. This time I'm going to look at the map before I go. When I come home, it's time to get to work on May goals and map out a plan with my calendar.

Today I will:
Drink lots and lots of water
Get May goals in place
Do my best to stay awake during our department meeting this morning (ugh)

Yay Friday! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROGUE_1 5/2/2010 12:48PM

    Hey, not bad for a month full of stress eating and drinks. And, how awesome is it that you lost in your arms! If I'm not mistaken, lean mean guns were one of your goals this year, right? Woohoo!

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EATNBOOGERS 5/1/2010 1:00AM

    I'm with you--I don't think I really looked at or thought about my April goals this month. However--not sure if May is the month for me to buckle down--it's so busy! I'm focusing more on eating goals than fitness goals...

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CAMROLA 4/30/2010 9:13AM

    I think I'm in for the same, since I imbibed and ate too much last night--it's just a day and overall we're doing so much good for our bodies. We'll bounce back, and progress is imminent! Let's make May a GREAT month!

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KARVY09 4/30/2010 8:30AM

    Woot! Arms are TOUGH. Make May your month. I know you can do it!

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PINKCOCONUT 4/30/2010 8:03AM

    Sweet! Way to go on the killer arms!!! I STILL have no idea where my measuring tape is and keep forgetting to buy a new one! LOL Oh well, I know they're getting more toned, slowly but surely!

Have an awesome day woman, May's going to be rockin'!

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MAYGIRL14 4/30/2010 8:01AM

    Great job on the arms! I like your plans to have more goals concrete for May. This month's challenge taught me that I do much better when I define them more clearly.
May will be awesome!!!
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LOSINGITALL4ME 4/30/2010 7:09AM

    Way to go on the arms! I think that's a tough area to see improvement! I can't believe it's May! Yeah!!!!!!!!!!

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PTCAKES 4/30/2010 6:39AM

    May here we come!

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Measurement Day!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I have to admit I'm a little nervous about today. It's been six weeks since my last weigh-in, body fat% test and measurements with the trainer... I'm not totally sure they are going to move too far in my favor. But we'll see.
Woke up at 4:30 (yikes!), had some coffee and some breakfast - if I do not eat a good breakfast before I visit the trainer, I feel totally faint.
I'm really looking forward to today's workout. Within the last week I've been noticing some good changes in my body. My triceps are more defined (I spotted a muscle shadow in the mirror yesterday) and I'm starting to get a little definition in my legs. This totally inspires me to keep running and mountain biking. There is nothing like the burn in your quads when you're pedaling up a gravel-y, rocky path in the woods.

I packed my lunch very carefully last night. I like to take lots of different things for my lunch, but I was discovering that this made my lunches a bit high in calories. Sometimes way over half my day's calories were being eaten in lunch! So last night when i packed my lunch, I made a conscious effort to measure everything and make it in smaller portions. Half a cup of spaghetti, half a cup of Greek yogurt, no cheese or walnuts on my salad (I don't miss them when they're not there)... and my lunch checks in at under 500 calories. This is super news!

Decided not to take the bike out tonight; I'm getting a good workout in this morning, and I think it's going to be quite windy this afternoon. Tomorrow is supposed to be MUCH nicer - in the low 80s - so I'll wait until then to go back to the trail. I can't wait!!!

Off to get ready for the gym... have a super day!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EATNBOOGERS 4/30/2010 12:13AM

    Looking forward to hearing how the measurements went!

Re lunch and calorie portioning... I know you may not be able to do this, but I've learned that I often do better if I eat half my lunch at lunchtime and half a couple of hours later. It takes care of the afternoon munchy feeling, and I'm not so full at lunch.


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CAMROLA 4/29/2010 10:13AM

    Hope you had a AWESOME workout!

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ROGUE_1 4/29/2010 9:42AM

    Way to go on what sounds like really positive changes to your lunch menu. I'm like you - I like variety, but it's so easy to get carried away with just a little of this and a little of that. Hope your weigh in goes really well today! emoticon




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KARVY09 4/29/2010 8:57AM

    I gotta do these tonight too. Good luck with yours!

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MAIA2011 4/29/2010 7:56AM

    Keep it up! You are doing fantastic! (Lunch at under 500 is too little for me but I am bigger than you!)



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LALAFLOWERS 4/29/2010 6:59AM

    Can't wait to hear how your measurements go. I know that you've been super conscious of what you are doing.. both from the standpoint of what you put in your mouth, and how you move your body. But, as we get closer to our goal weights, it gets slower, and harder to see big changes!! Hope you have lots of fun in your workout!

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MARATHON_MOM 4/29/2010 5:42AM

    I hope your measurements come out great! It's awesome that you are beginning to see more definition!!! That's so exciting. :)

I will do my weigh in tomorrow. I'm a bit nervous about it.

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Sun, soreness, sigh (of relief)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It's another beautiful day! It's a bit windy right now, but the hourly forecast read that it should calm down by this evening. A perfect night for running! I'm meeting up with some of the ladies from First Strides - they do a walk-run Galloway plan, and their run pace looks to be right on target with mine. yahoo! It will be nice to run with a group where I don't feel like I have to sprint to catch up.
Last night I went to a state park to do some mountain biking (well, low-grade hill biking, I should say) but phew! what a workout! There were some hills and rocks and my quads felt it. I can't wait to get better at biking so I can really zoom through the woods. It was really nice getting out there. It was a little windy, so I was only out there for about 45 minutes. I'm going to check the weather and my trail map for tomorrow so I can get a bit more time on the bike.

Wasn't feeling the early morning swim today. Mondays and Fridays seem to be the best days for me to get some laps in...

And the best news is that I passed my Masters Comprehensive Exams! At the end of May I will officially have my Masters Degree. I am SO excited! What a huge relief. Now I just need to think of a good way to celebrate!

The only to-do I didn't do yesterday was clean the dining room table. But I did it this morning, so I guess that's just fine.

Today I will:
Drink at least 4 Siggs of water
Pack my lunch for Thursday
Put my bike in the car for tomorrow afternoon
Clean up the living room

Have a super sunny day! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROGUE_1 4/28/2010 4:25PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CAMROLA 4/28/2010 9:56AM

    You rock!

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MAYGIRL14 4/28/2010 8:23AM

    BIG CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR MASTER'S!!! I hope you reward yourself with something very special for such a satisfying achievement! emoticon emoticon

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KARVY09 4/28/2010 8:16AM

    I never thought biking was much of a workout, but it totally is! And congrats on your Masters! You definitely deserve a great celebration for that one!

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