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A *cough* runner's build?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Yesterday I skipped the second of the "two a day" workouts, which was to be a brisk 45 minute walk. For one thing I know I'll be running tomorrow. I had walked my usual work breaks, but I needed to get to Omaha either yesterday or today to pick up my Color Run packet for Saturday.

While there, I shopped for new running shoes (funny how they have packet pickup at fitness stores... what a great marketing deal for the stores!) I was debating between one with a firmer / less flexible "cush" and the Nike Pegasus, which is lighter weight and a softer running feel.

Why even debate with myself? Because of what I read about shoes for the biking leg of a TRI, that firmer, less flexible soles give a better power transfer to the pedals, you don't have to work as hard to get the speed. And if I could have a running shoe that worked better for the bike leg, no shoe change in transition?

I ended up favoring my softer run. Reasoning? The events I have scheduled soonest AFTER the tri are all pure running events. If eventually I decide biking is something I need to emphasize more, I could go to a real clipless bike shoe, and eat the time cost of the shoe change at transition. And I have to consider the possibility that I may decide never to do another tri!

The title comes from an offhand comment the sales dude made as he walked me up to pay for my purchase. He said something about my having a "runner's build". WHAT? ME? What the heck is a runner's build, anyway? He went on: "You know, low body fat." OK, granted he was selling me running shoes, but although I answered with an automatic "thank you", it made me think, once again, about how far I've come and how others who *don't* know my history might perceive me, based solely on my current appearance and body size.

They don't see the 225.5 pound woman who panted and wheezed after taking five steps to answer the telephone. They don't see the woman who had trouble squeezing under the steering wheel. They see me as I am now, and might assume I've always been so... but it's been a long and winding road from there to here... and at moments like this, when I am anticipating the joy of motion, I'm so glad that I traveled it.

There is a toll in time, determination, and sticking with it. There is a toll in having to get back up after slips and lapses. There is a toll in changing eating habits to support the activity. BUT, that toll is so worth it.

To my Spark friends along the way, I'm so glad to be fellow travelers with you. Join the journey! Find YOUR happy place! Life is good. Spark on! emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNYWBL 7/20/2012 1:56AM

    "Built like a runner!" Truly emoticonto your ears!

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NAVYMOM133 7/15/2012 2:26PM

    Fantastic story about your shoe shopping for the Tri !!
Thank you for the awesome message and motivation.

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SHARON10002 7/14/2012 11:45PM

    What an amazing compliment for you! You have come such a very long way, and you must have been walking on air the rest of the day! emoticon

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CASEYTALK 7/14/2012 3:00PM

    I'm really looking forward to moments like that. I'll be retiring next year, but probably will find something else to do, at least while the kids are at uni. One of my goals is to learn what it's like to have people around me think I've always been thin.

Thanks for the inspiration!


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_LINDA 7/14/2012 1:14AM

    "you have a runner's build" Too true, you are rocking this thing!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LJCANNON 7/14/2012 1:00AM

    Ididn't realize that Your Color Run was the same day as Mine! I am all prepared so I will be thinking of you -- Though I will be Walking mine, LOL!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SLEEPYDEAN 7/13/2012 9:39PM

    I love your message here! You've made some awesome strides.

I've always had cages on my hybrid bike so my transitions were super fast. I've just invested in a road bike so I know I need to go to clipless I'm just not ready for that learning curve yet.

Enjoy your run tomorrow.

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KARIDIAN1 7/13/2012 5:03PM

    What a compliment! I need to name my hoop now....

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1CRAZYDOG 7/13/2012 4:37PM

    Take that compliment and run with it! Literally!

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SLENDERELLA61 7/13/2012 1:25PM

    Yes, you have a runner's build!! Hooray! Hope the shoes work well for you. Life is good. The tolls are well worth it -- I say as I look at the mountain of fitness clothing laundry. I'm glad you repeated about your loss. I had forgotten that at one time you weighed even more than I did. Amazing! Our lives have changed so much. Love that runner's build. I never got that compliment exactly, but when I went to my first Lakeland Runner's Club meeting, the president said "welcome, you look like a runner" and I just beamed!! So I know what you mean.

Can't wait to hear all about your tri. This is just SO EXCITING!! Know that I'm so excited for you. Swim like a fish, bike like the wind, and run like nothing has ever felt better in your whole life!! -Marsha

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OPTIMIST1948 7/13/2012 11:26AM

    I thibk it depends on howmany hillsin your bike part of thetri. My crash, while standard for learning, set back my confidence and I put the platforms back on. Try to see how many hills and how steep. Choices in this world!

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MSLZZY 7/13/2012 11:16AM

    You one needs to know your entire past. Let them
focus on what they see-a vibrant, healthy woman
who is doing what she can to live a healthier
life. You fit the package! HUGS!

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MRS.DOYLE 7/13/2012 10:51AM

    Excellent. I'm sure he meant it.

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ANDI571 7/13/2012 10:09AM

    emoticon You are such an inspiration.

My daughter is getting ready to do a color run. She is disappointed that she will have to walk it, because of a knee injury. But at least she will be out there.

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PROFMOM4 7/13/2012 9:00AM

    Love it! What a GREAT compliment!

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KALIGIRL 7/13/2012 8:30AM

    Here's to a runners build!
You deserve the compliment.

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HEALTHYOTTER 7/13/2012 7:57AM

    Bike Nashbar had laceup bike shoes for MB (easier to walk in than road bike shoes) for 28 bucks. Clipless pedals were 35, I think. I went clipless for the bike to keep my knees in better alignment. As OPTIMIST mentioned, the switch takes practice! You'll likely fall at least once teaching yourself the unclip part. I put yanks in my bike shoes. Swim, then dry and put on socks, slip on bike shoes. T2: slip off bike shoes, slip on run shoes. For me, the time tradeoff is worth the support and alignment. I was looking in the mirror the other morning, and I could see shadow on either side of my abs, a hint of muscle definition. I immediately remembered one of your pictures in a jogbra, defined muscles and your runner's build. Tremendous inspiration!

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CMKARLS 7/13/2012 7:54AM


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LEANJEAN6 7/13/2012 7:53AM

    Happy Places are great!-I need more!--LOL--- You are doing so well Barb!-- emoticon

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BIGDOG18 7/13/2012 7:43AM


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Victory - concentration

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Remember how I was having my little spat with Polly Perfectionist on Tuesday about losing track of the lap count? Today I was NOT going to go through that again. So I carefully concentrated on a different element for each 100 yards (4 lengths of the pool = 100). The first hundred was just concentrating on getting that little warm up, on going easy. The second was triumphantly knowing I hadn't lost count YET! emoticon

The third I set my focus on my kick. The fourth on smooth breathing... etc. Pick an element for each 4 length rotation.

In the end, I finished my 1200 in 43 minutes, which is about when I called time on myself on Tuesday. And I feel good! emoticon Take THAT, Polly!

Oh, and yes, I got my 15 miles on the bike in after work, but I chose a bike path whose twists and turns slow me down. Probably a good thing, as it was rather warm... our little break from the heat seems to be over for now. Or at least, now being separated from those 100's by a few days, the 90's are feeling hot again.

In short, life's still good. Spark on! emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 7/14/2012 11:53PM

    emoticonovercoming Polly's pontificating! All that swimming and a bike ride too! I get tired just reading about all you're doing, Barb!

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LEANJEAN6 7/13/2012 7:21AM

    Tweek that workout--but enjoy yoyur rest day Barb!-Lynda

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_LINDA 7/12/2012 11:27PM

    Well done!! Was wondering how you were going to do it! A bike paths with twists and turns sounds good -must be scenic and would be more fun then a straight boring path..
Keep up the fabulous work!! I so wish I could be there in person to cheer you on in that Tri!!

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SLENDERELLA61 7/12/2012 1:15PM

    You are just doing great on thistri training! Thanks for sharing the details. I like your method to keep track of your laps. I may just use that sometime if I can get a little more comfy in the water. (I'm comfy backstroke, breaststroke and sidestroke, but the crawl gives me the willies for some reason)

As you say, Spark On!! -Marsha

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KARIDIAN1 7/12/2012 10:11AM

    You got Polly that time!

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MSLZZY 7/12/2012 10:10AM

    Yeah, Polly can be a nuisance but I think you shut
her up quite well. Congrats on keeping count AND
the bike ride. You are one awesome lady! HUGS!

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SUNNY332 7/12/2012 9:54AM

    Yepper - Take that Polly!

Your Rocked it!

Hugs to you, Sunny

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LEANJEAN6 7/12/2012 8:17AM

    I knew you could tweek your workout--wink wink--LOL---- Barb you are amazing--You just keep at it-Lynda

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1CRAZYDOG 7/12/2012 8:14AM

    Good for you for popping Polly Perfectionist properly! HEE HEE Good job.

You're rocking this!! Proud of you.


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Slowing it down

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Yesterday after work I did the requisite "run 30 minutes" from the training schedule. My way. I respected the run 8 minutes / walk 15 seconds cycle, but I went a little longer... i.e. I didn't count the 9 minute warm up as part of the 30, and I finished out the fourth 8 minutes.

Today's schedule calls for a 15 mile bike workout. Well! Whenever it says "bike" but not "brick", the temptation is to make my work commute part of the bike. Problem: the bike commute figures out to somewhere between 6.2 and 6.7 miles... even doubled that doesn't make 15.

Plus the bike commute adds the complication of wardrobe changes & carrying a lock cable, and all that rot. So... between that and listening to the body which would like a little more recovery time after the run... I'm opting out of trying to combine the commute into the picture. I will bike AFTER work.

And I will... I have a cute new "tri" suit to try out on the bike... and tomorrow I'll try it on my walk portion of the workout. I intend to wear it for the open water swim in a week and a half. Nothing should be "new" on race day... all equipment should be tried and tested.

By the way, those swim socks? I was impressed with how well they dried off in my kitchen during my work day. And they did not impede my kick in the water, although I was conscious of them. Tomorrow, I'll wear them again for my morning swim.

I am starting to think about the tapering process... I haven't really been tapering THIS week, as the color run isn't a "real race"... it's "just another workout". But I'm thinking I might taper a little bit on the swim workouts next week, in preparation for the open water swim (which is essentially a dress rehearsal).

Life is good. Spark on! emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 7/14/2012 11:50PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Barb, I am truly amazed at your preparation detail! Can't wait to see your new tri-outfit!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KARIDIAN1 7/11/2012 7:13PM

    You need to post a picture of your new tri suit. Don't over do- you want to be rest and not sore for the event.

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1CRAZYDOG 7/11/2012 1:44PM

    You are such a smart planner! Good luck with your bike. Glad that the swim sox are working out.


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_LINDA 7/11/2012 12:26PM

    You have GOT to post a photo of your new tri outfit!!
Hope its not too hot for your after work bike ride, or that you can find a nice shady trail.. Glad the socks are working out!! Looks like everything is going A OK for you!
Life is good -especially since I am finding nice workouts to replace the ones I have lost :)

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MSLZZY 7/11/2012 9:43AM

    Just another workout and a dress rehearsal!
Sounds like good cardio and fun to boot. Have
a SParktacular day!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KALIGIRL 7/11/2012 9:19AM

    New equipment sounds super as does your workout!

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ALOHAEV1 7/11/2012 8:27AM

    Yes, slow it down...besides, you're wearing the rest of us out! You are thinking ahead of everything, guess the rest of us should be taking notes. Wouldn't think of most of what you're doing even if I were going to try a tri!

Interesting about the swim socks, I was wondering about them. That's going on the gift list for the kids. Have a pair of water shoes wore them swimming one time, yes, they aren't made for swimming- work well with water spinning.

Yes, life is good!

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And the winner is...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Uma Rockie Vertigo! Combined a couple of the suggestions from the comments to yesterday's blog. For short I can call her Uma, or Rockie, depending on the sound track in my head.

This morning's challenge? Tamping down Polly the Perfectionist who is stamping her little foot in frustration at me for losing track of the swim laps. I swam for about 43 minutes but since I wasn't doing rest stops between the 4-lap hundred yard bits... managed to allow my mind to drift and lost track. I know I did at least 1100 yards, as I took a conservative bend on where I was in the count, rather than risk shorting it. I was supposed to do 1200 but stopped myself for time. That is the one thing about swimming before work, there is a cut-off.

Got the pet porter out of the shed and have it up on the deck for the kitties to explore today. They are up for their annual shots and too big to both fit in the box they rode in last year. They were very curious about it. I'll just leave it there today, clean it up at some point before we make the trip on Friday.

Oh, and about the swim... tried out a new bit of gear today: swim socks. They are supposed to be wearable in the swim, and protect the feet going to transition from the lake to the bike. I wore them in the pool today, just to see how they'd do. Not bad, not bad. I can see where they would be a great aid if the lake were cold (I don't think this one will be by the 28th).

Out of time, gotta go! Spark on, and live LIFE!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KARIDIAN1 7/10/2012 11:36PM

    Great name for the bike. My new hoop is being shipped so will need to have a cool name for her when she arrives. This is my first hoop so this is the big experiment.

Never heard of swim socks, but I bet they will be nice for your feet.

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SHARON10002 7/10/2012 9:09PM

    Polly Perfectionist is a regular visitor for me too. I have a very hard time getting rid of her. Love your bike's new name! Those swim socks sound like a great idea. Would be good for swimming in some of the lakes I've been in.

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EBEAMS 7/10/2012 7:09PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 7/10/2012 1:13PM

    Love the name. Good choice. Smart to try out the gear beforehand. I am impressed that you can get a swim in before work. That is commitment. Good for you!!

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HEALTHYOTTER 7/10/2012 11:28AM

    Thanks for the mention of the swim socks! The bottoms of my feet are tender, protection would be nice. Great plan to get the kitties acclimated to the pet carrier. Counting laps is tedious! Before I went to my watch, i would put a small hair band on my finger, move it to the next finger when I finished a lap. Now, I swim for a set time most days. Even with the lap counter on my watch I sometimes forget to click it. Ignore Polly! In the grand scheme, you put in a good workout while still meeting your work duties for the day!

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1CRAZYDOG 7/10/2012 10:35AM

    Oh beating down that Polly Perfectionist is a job!! That's a daily battle here too.

LOVE the name Uma Rockie Vertigo!

Well, hope it's a good Tuesday for you.

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MSLZZY 7/10/2012 9:50AM

    Love the name and the swim socks sound interesting.
If you get cold feet on the 28th, you are swimming
in some very cold water LOL!

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_LINDA 7/10/2012 9:15AM

    Great name, I like it!
I absolutely have no idea how you could possibly manage to keep track of your laps. I practically lose count of repetitions when I am doing exercises almost immediately as I am usually paying more attention to the music and what I am doing. Numbers just don't register with me.
Swim socks? If they are what I think they are, soft upper with a rubber sole, I would have thought they would feel like lead weights on your feet. But does sound good for transition, nothing worse then going barefoot over gravel or rocks.
Have a Totally Terrific Tuesday!

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KALIGIRL 7/10/2012 8:16AM

    Socks sound super!

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WATERMELLEN 7/10/2012 8:06AM

    Swim socks: too cool! You ARE having fun!!

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AZMOMXTWO 7/10/2012 7:55AM


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Naming inanimate objects

Monday, July 09, 2012

Some of you have been around long enough to see me name my car and now my bicycle. It might seem silly to some, but I used to do this all the time... and then I stopped. I was married to a man who did not have that element of whimsey, and I was a mother and a career woman, and felt I was too... I don't know, busy? Grown-up? Or did I just lose my inner child for a while?

Whatever, there were several years when the cars did not get names. They were just the ____ (fill in brand name... Subaru, Ford...).

Where am I going with this? My new bike has a name (Brenda Starr Trek), but my mountain bike does not! It's time she got one. Oh, yes, the mountain bike is definitely a she, too. She's blue but her brand doesn't give me much inspiration to work with (Univega?) She's taken me down rural trails and at one point in time allowed me to chase after a then BMX riding son (major reason at the time of her purchase).

Have to give this some thought. Suggestions are welcome.

Yesterday was my niece's birthday, and I went with her and her mom to go watch her dad perform on stage in a Melodrama. Great fun was had by all... followed by a carrot cake b-day cake. Knowing that was coming made me a little saner with the popcorn at the play.

Today is a rest day on the training schedule, and my body is cheering for it... definitely ready. The rest of the week will probably take me away from Spark except for the basics of logging in,tracking and spinning the wheel as I move into two a days with long swims in the morning on Tuesday and Thursday, and a medium bike ride on Wednesday between. Friday I'll need to drive to Omaha to pick up my Color Run packet... so if you don't see me around much... think of me being active and smile for me!

Life is good, if busy. Spark on! emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 7/10/2012 9:38PM

    How about Blaze - for being a trail blazer . . .

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WATERMELLEN 7/10/2012 8:09AM

    Totally agree about naming "things" to recognize their non-thingness. Definitely have named all my cars . . . DH has named all his golf clubs!

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KARIDIAN1 7/10/2012 12:07AM

    We have names for some of stuff too. I used to have a GMC 4x4 pickup named
" Truckie". Unfortunately, Truckie was totaled when we did a head on into a barrier after losing it on black ice. I felt bad about losing him, since he was 11 years old.
My current car is a Subaru Forester which is now 12 years old. Not really a name for this one, just Forester usually. One of my guitars is Ol' Blue.

I like the Brenda Starr Trek name. I'm a Trekker from way back.

How about Babe from Babe the Blue Ox- a Minnesota icon?

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MEDDYPEDDY 7/9/2012 11:49PM

    I want to start naming my vehicles too... thanks for inspiring me! The bike is definitely "gamla Bettan" but the car? maybe "the dying dandy"... I donīt think I will name it since I am going to change it as soon as possible.

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_LINDA 7/9/2012 8:12PM

    I think its a rather nifty idea. Uma Vertigo comes to mind as those BMX's go up and down and around and sometimes makes you dizzy :P

Comment edited on: 7/9/2012 11:08:49 PM

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SUNNYWBL 7/9/2012 8:09PM

    emoticonRock On! emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 7/9/2012 1:56PM

    So glad you found your inner child again. I'll be smiling, thinking about you getting your packet and living life zestfully!! Best wishes for a great taper and the event to come!! Take care.

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1CRAZYDOG 7/9/2012 11:00AM

    Not a good namer either, but I know you'll come up with something meaningful!

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CASEYTALK 7/9/2012 10:30AM

    AH! Now that you've listed her entire name, I get it.

Being a bear of very little brain does have its disadvantages.

I name inanimate objects all the time. The kids have named my car Thor (it's a Prius) and my viola is David (named about 45 years ago after the Bible's David, who sang songs of praise). My first car was a LeCar named K9 because of Who fandom and its shape. Why deal with things all the time when you can be interacting with characters!


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SUNNY332 7/9/2012 9:48AM

    Blazing Blue....

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NELLJONES 7/9/2012 9:37AM

    I only name inanimate objects when they become close friends. Love your bike's name!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 7/9/2012 9:29AM

    How about Martha? A good, old, strong (and stubborn?) German name? LOL!

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SLIMMERJESSE 7/9/2012 9:16AM

    Nice bike. I'm not a good namer.

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LJCANNON 7/9/2012 9:13AM

    emoticonGrowing up, all of our Cars were named Nellie-Belle. No idea why. I definitely think your bike needs a name, but I haven't got any suggestions at the moment.
emoticonLove the Bike-Turtle Photo.
emoticonEnjoy your busy week. Looking forward to hearing all about your Color Run. I am signed up for one this Saturday.

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OPTIMIST1948 7/9/2012 9:06AM

    My bike is The Instrument of Fat Destruction.

Its not trademarked or anything. You can use it too.

What about AdventureSeeker?

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KALIGIRL 7/9/2012 8:18AM


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DEBRITA01 7/9/2012 8:14AM

    Real life trumps Spark life...enjoy your busy week. Like the new Trek (I have a Trek mtn bike and love it) and her name :) emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MSLZZY 7/9/2012 8:01AM

    My first bike was Bessie-not sure why LOL!
SPark when you can but you've got a full week
ahead so emoticon emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 7/9/2012 7:29AM

    I like the name Barb!---- She will carry you far!--Great sense of fun there!-Lynda emoticon

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BABSMOORE10300 7/9/2012 7:29AM

    emoticon emoticon

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