Saturday, June 30, 2012

Creature Comforts and How Things Used to Be

No, this is not another of those sentimental "remember when" trips down memory lane, nor is it meant to be a depressing wish to return to those "simpler times" that so many folks subscribe to when they post and re-post those dreary lists of antiquities that they miss.

Instead, as I drove along on the interstates and state highways that would lead me to Milwaukee, I reflected on the automotive changes I've experienced in my driving lifetime.  Part of this was precipitated by the fact that 1) my birthday fell on this particular travel day; and 2) I celebrated 50 years of licensed driving on the same day.

The creature comforts of my current vehicle - a nicely trimmed-out Mazda CX9 Grand Touring edition - really emphasized to me how far automotive technology has come.

The simple things - like fuel injection, independent suspension, radial tires - are pretty obvious.  But then there are those things that aren't so obvious to the younger drivers.  Of course, fuel injection eliminated the need for a manual choke knob on the dash, something that most folks under the age of 40 or so will not be familiar with.  Do I miss it?  A resounding "no" to that.

In my driving "career" I have seen so many changes and improvements that have become standard equipment today and hard to imagine cars without them.  While there are many other innovations in today's cars, many of these are "luxury" or novelty features and accessories, not yet in the mainstream.  Of course, today's "innovations" will become tomorrow's standard equipment.  After all, right side rearview mirror?  Innovative way back when.  Turn signals?  Wow!  Space-age technology at the time!

Here's my list:
  • Addition of a side rearview mirror on the right side of the car.  What, you say?  There wasn't always a sideview mirror in the right side of cars??
  • Addition of turn signals. No more rolling the window down and using an arm to indicate a turn.
  • Corollary to the turn signal invention:  The implementation of self-cancelling turn signals.
  • Power steering.  I didnt' own a car with power steering until well into the 1980's.
  • Air conditioning as standard equipment.  Once a luxury accessory in higher priced cars, now every car comes standard with A/C.
  • Change from the dimmer switch on the floor to the left of the brake pedal, to being on a steering wheel stalk.  I can say that, having lived and driven in the snowy Northeast, this was a major improvement!  There were times when snow and ice encrusted that button, making it impossible to activate.
  • Going from no seat belts to lap belts to motorized shoulder belts to the current three-point belt system.  Yes, I embrace wearing seatbelts, unlike my mother, who refused to wear them for a variety of reasons ("they cut into my neck" or "they wrinkle my dress" or "they press on my bladder")
  • Intermittent windshield wipers.  Yes!  And now rain-sensing wipers. 
  • The reverse in polarity of getting a manual shift as standard equipment and paying extra for automatic, to getting an automatic shift as standard equipment and paying extra for manual transmission.  (!!)
  • The evolution of the in-car sound entertainment system from AM push button, to aux FM unit that we bolted to the dashboard, to built-in AM/FM radio, to 8-track players, to tape players to CD players to aux MP3 players to satellite radios.
  • From a search for a payphone at a gas station to installed cellular phones hard-wired inside the car, to bag phones with built-in battery packs, to hand-held cellphones and the demise of the payphone booth.
  • From two-way adjustable seats (forward/backward and seat-back) to powered infinitely adjustable seats with settings memory for up to three drivers.
I'm sure my readers will think of others.  But these came to my mind as I was driving along, in the luxurious comfort of my air-conditioned cabin, listening to satellite radio with no commercials, my phone connected via bluetooth to the car's phone center.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Wisconsin is in the Bag!

The Cheese State has been conquered! 

Race day morning and I awoke to find the city enveloped in a light fog.  It was drifting in off of Lake Michigan and lent an eerie sort of atmosphere to the race start.

I knew that, immediately out of the "gate," we'd be faced with the long uphill slog as we scaled the Hoan Bridge, a massively imposing structure that seems to dominate the landscape near downtown Milwaukee.

We ran that bridge twice: heading south and then immediately turning around and heading north.  The total distance round-trip on that bridge was 5 miles.   So 2 miles of uphill.  Because of this, I already knew that I'd be walking a fair amount in those first 5 miles.   So this would work against my getting a sub-three hour time in.

Elevation chart of the race route

But long, steep ascent of that bridge aside, it was kinda cool to run on this massive bridge!  What was especially cool was the view of the skyline, still enshrouded in patches of fog as we ran back toward town.  Also cool was the fact that once the bridge was conquered, we were more than a third of the way to the finish line!

Southbound, we ran in the northbound lanes. 
Long, long uphill stretch!

Southbound, near the peak of the bridge.

Returning northbound.  An even longer uphill stretch.

The next two miles of the route ran along the shore of the lake on Lincoln Memorial Drive, and it was flat and smooth, if unshaded.  Then we turned left onto Lafayette Hill Rd and climbed a steep, but short hill to get up above the lake.  Once up the hill, we ran along Terrace Ave, a street lined with fabulous mansions overlooking Lake Park with a vista of the lake below.  It was a beautiful stretch of the course! 
Up Lafayette Hill Rd

Just past the beautiful St. Mary's Hospital, we turned onto Oak Leaf Trail, a pedestrian and bicycle path that followed the edge of the bluff.  Along the way, we had occasional glimpses of the lake below.  The North Point lighthouse sits right on this trail, a nicely restored historic building.  The trail eventually connected us back up with Lincoln Memorial Drive at mile 9.

Now we were heading back toward town and the finish line.  Just 4 more miles to go!  The next two miles had a nice gradual downhill grade and I was surprising myself by how much I was able to run at this point in the race despite the lingering chest cold and lack of training. 

At mile 11 we turned off the road and into Veterans Park.  The last two miles seemed to stretch on forever!  This illusion was magnified by the fact that our race route passing through this park was not straightforward, but had turns and bends and one double-back.  It seemed almost cruel torture to not be able to actually see what direction we would ultimately be heading. 

All along the way we were greeted by enthusiastic water station volunteers, but little else.   The city of Milwaukee has not embraced this race in its newness, so there were no spectators, there was very little entertainment, and not much hoopla at all. 

The finish line finally appeared and although I was most glad to cross that final timing mat, I was a little dismayed at how barren the finish line area appeared.  There were no volunteers there cheering us or congratulating us, a scene so totally different from what I've experienced at all of the other marathons and half marathons I've participated in. 

I kept moving in a forward direction, but there was no indication that I was going in the right direction.  About 50 yards down the empty chute I finally found the guy giving out the finisher's medals.  Then I wandered another 30 or so yards through an open barren space and found the truck on the right side giving out chocolate milk.  There seemed to be absolutely no sense of "finish line excitement" here.  It was as if the volunteers just gave up after a couple of hours and the whole finish line area just seemed to fall apart.  Usually, no matter how large or small the event is, there's a whole phalanx of volunteers greeting us on the other side of the finish line, congratulating the runners, ushering us toward the medals, the water and Gatorade, the snacks or food. 

This is a new race - 2012 is only its second year - and the organizers still have a lot to learn.  Milwaukee itself needs to embrace the event and incorporate it into the fabric of the city. 

I finally found the finish line photographer, and stood in front of the backdrop and let him take my picture.  Then I continued moving forward, expecting to see tables with snack foods for the finishers, but, next thing I knew, I was about to exit the runner's area and still hadn't seen any tables bearing food or snacks. 

I walked back the way I came until I found someone in a yellow volunteer's shirt and asked him if there was any food.  He pointed off to the left and said there was food "over there."  But "over there" meant the food merchants in the large commercial lakeside park area outside of the finishers' area, not finish line food.  "No, I mean finishers' snacks," I said. He had no clue and just shrugged his shoulders.  I couldn't even figure out where I was supposed to redeem the little tear-off coupon on my race bib for that free beer.

Disgusted with the whole finish line experience, I found my way out of the fenced-off finish line area and headed back the mile to the hotel.

But I didn't let that finish line experience dampen my feelings of pleasure at having finished yet another half-marathon.  One more state added to my list of completions, and one more state closer to accomplishing my goal of 50 states-50 half marathons!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Downtown Milwaukee Gets My Vote!!

There are lots of things to like about Milwaukee!  I'm speaking about the very downtown areas of the city: Juneau Town, Historic 3rd Ward, Kilbourn Town.  The Milwaukee River cuts the city in half, but that didn't seem to deter the settlement and growth of the city.  Instead, the River was its lifeblood, bringing industry and commerce into the city, which sits on the western shore of Lake Michigan.

Building after building, block after block, are designated National Historic Sites, listed on the National Historic Register.  All of these fabulous, large historic buildings give the city a certain gravity and permanence. 

I took a few hours today to walk the town, with a short list of must-see's, but an open mind and eye for the unexpected treasures along the way. 

First on my list was lunch at the Rock Bottom Brewery, which sits on the west bank of the river, just a few blocks west of the Pfister hotel.  I walked west on Mason Street until I hit the river, then headed north one block on the River Walk to Wells Street.  From this vantage point, I had a nice view across to the Rock Bottom Brewery and other nearby buildings.

I shared a view looking south and west from the Wells Street Bridge with an icon of Milwaukee culture, The Fonz.

Lunch was a delightful bowl of chicken noodle soup, packed with noodles, vegetables and chicken, with a big chunk of Italian bread, served by an outrageously cute and friendly waiter.  Now I was pleasantly full and ready to start this walking tour. 

My objective was the old Pabst Brewery on W. Juneau Ave.  The walk was about a mile, on pleasant streets.  Part of my route took me on Old World 3rd Street, where biergartens and restaurants lined the street. 

Nearby was the Usinger's Sausage building and a block later, a cheese shop. 

I cut one block over so that I could see the enormous Bradley Center, home to the Milwaukee Bucks before I turned left onto Juneau Ave.  Another two blocks uphill and I could see the enormous turreted brewery building and the large Pabst sign spanning the street ahead.

Very impressive!  Large empty and derelict warehouses with loading docks surround this original building for blocks all around, no doubt the results of more than a century of expansion, now the victims of the times.  Pabst Blue Ribbon was my dad's beer of choice.  In 1996, they shuttered this brewery, as production was moved to other locations.  Today the facility houses the original Stirnewirt Pub, a gift shop, and gives one hour tours of the original brewery building.  The statues of King Gambrinus and Captain Frederick Pabst still stand in the gardens of the pub.
Stirnewirt Pub, at the original Pabst Brewery

I walked back to the hotel on a different route, walking past the giant county courthouse complex, the Bradley Center, and then to the River Walk at the State Street bridge.  The downtown area has all of these really great signs giving directions and distances to important and interesting historic sites.  At this corner a sign pointed one block east to the historic Pabst Theater.

Milwaukee was the birthplace of the American League.  I had no idea!

Very nice city!  So much to see, I need to come back!

It's was an amazing day yesterday, and another nice day today.  Tomorrow:  Rock and Sole Half Marathon!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

An Amazing Birthday

Today is my birthday.  And it has been an amazing day!

 It is my second day of travel and I spent it on the road, traveling to Milwaukee, driving from Farmington MO where I'd spent the night before.  My first day of travel was long - over 700 miles - and I spent those hours getting from Houston to Farmington. 

Even yesterday was pretty amazing. 

As I planned my route for this trip, I wanted to avoid the construction delays on I-40 east of Little Rock.   I scrutinized the map a little more closely and discovered that US 67 heading northeast out of Little Rock was actually shorter than the way I've always gone when heading toward the Chicago area.  It would be an adventure.  It was actually a surprise and was nothing, if not interesting.  Way more interesting than I-40 to I-55.

US 67 between Little Rock and I-55 just south of St. Louis represents every conceivable type of roadway.  Everything from bumpy two-lane to smooth divided four-lane.  And every road condition in between.   Faster than the alternate route?  Maybe, maybe not.  Shorter?  Absolutely.  More interesting?  Most definitely.  The section that ran through Arkansas was signed as the "Rock and Roll Highway 67"  and every time I saw one of those blue signs I wondered about the genesis of that designation.

As I neared exit 69, I saw this sign:

And all I could think of were the guys on the MTF forum who have a running gag about gourmet possum going.  Possum and grape?  Maybe a new twist to the marketing strategy?

But then day two of the trip was my birthday and was filled with some pleasant memory-makers. 

The first was at the counter of a McDonald's in Festus MO, right off the interstate.  I stopped for gas and there was a Mickey D's right next door.  Everyone knows how much I adore their latte's - so full-bodied and served piping hot.  The drive-through window traffic was wrapped around the building, so I parked and walked inside.  Only one other person was at the counter, an attractive young lady who'd already paid and was waiting for her order.  It was one of those caramel macchiato-type concoctions, complete with whipped cream and chocolate drizzle on top.  She picked it up and as she turned to leave, sheepishly smiled at me and said, "I know it's not the most healthy breakfast, but what the heck.  It's my birthday!"  I couldn't believe my ears.  "Oh my gosh!  It's my birthday, too!"  I responded.  We wished each other a happy birthday!  What a fun way to start the day!

The Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee is one of those "Grand Dame" hotels, lovingly restored and maintained in it's Victorian era grandness, like others of its breed:  The Palmer House in Chicago, the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco, the Omni Parker House in Boston.

When I stepped up to the registration desk, I handed the staffer my credit card and driver's license.  I don't know what made me say this, except that I felt alone on this birthday and felt the need to share.  So I said to her, as I handed her my license, "Today is my birthday."  Just an off-handed comment, reaching out, searching for some personal connection, that's all.

Some mighty big running shoes!
But when I opened the door to my room, I immediately noticed that I'd been upgraded to a beautiful room!  Nice!

Luggage safely stowed in my room, I went out of the hotel and began walking south toward the Italian Community Center, down in the historic 3rd Ward district of the city, to the Fitness Expo to pick up my race packet.  As I walked along, I enjoyed the pleasant breeze off the lake, the moderate temperature and humidity, so unlike the conditions back home in south Texas.
I was pleasantly surprised at the size of the fitness expo, given the relatively small size of this race event.  There were several running clothes/shoes vendors, some smaller booths with the usual assortment of runner accessories, gifts, gadgets.  And the always-present vendors selling decals, magnets, and other items with "13.1" and "26.2" as the theme.

Note the hand-lettered sign...still
a small-town race.  Give it time!
Packet pickup counters were at the back of the small hall.  There were no lines and I was out of the expo within 20 minutes and walking back toward the hotel.

As I passed through the lobby, I decided to sit in the very pleasant lobby piano bar and treat myself to a glass of bubbly cava.  I sat there and enjoyed the soft music, the people-watching, as I sipped my wine.  Too often my birthdays - and many holidays - are spent alone and it's at these times that memories of my late and much-loved husband come back to me.  It's when I wonder what my life would be like today if he were still alive.  Would I have taken up running?  Most likely not.  It was his passing away and the desire to do something in his honor and memory - raise money for the American Cancer Society - that took me down this path.   Would I be riding a motorcycle?  Most definitely not. 

After having dinner at the hotel restaurant, I stopped in at the little hotel cafe to buy something sweet for dessert.  My eye caught the few remaining cupcakes and I quickly decided...that's what I want!  I chose the chocolate cupcake and the red velvet cupcake and, again - don't ask me why - I mentioned to the gal behind the counter that I needed cupcakes to celebrate my birthday.  She carefully packed them into a box and then handed them to me, saying, "These are on the house, for your birthday."  Oh, my!  I was moved almost to tears by the gesture.  I certainly didn't expect such an offering.

Back in my room, I was just about to dive into those cupcakes when there was a knock on my door.  When I opened it, there stood a bellman holding an envelope and a small box.  "Compliments of the hotel," he said.  Really?   A hand-written note from the front desk wishing me a happy birthday and offering me this small box of truffles as their gift.  Wow!  I was overwhelmed.

It was a "just right" birthday.  Nothing big happened.  No cake and balloons.  Just an accumulation of small, nice little things that added up to one great day.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

State Eight

That would be Wisconsin, and I'm heading there this weekend to run in the Rock & Sole Half Marathon in Milwaukee.

The bags are packed, mail is on hold, cat provisions are in place, and I'm ready, ready-or-not.  Thankfully, today is the first day I've felt somewhat human after fighting a head/chest cold for 7 days.  Let's hope there's no relapse. 

I've not run a single mile since contracting this cold.  I've not wanted to press my luck and not give the virus a reason to party hardy in my nasal passages for any longer than necessary.

So....we're off to Milwaukee!! 

Details and photos later!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Here's the "Actual-to-Plan" So Far

Scrolling through my blog posts I realized I've not written about this lately:

So where am I so far?

Conceived earlier this year, the plan is to run a half marathon in each of the 50 U.S. states.  I already had a bit of a head start when I thought of this, with one of the hardest to get - Hawaii - already in the books.   Taking this one bite at a time, I've planned out the schedule for 2012 and have already worked my way through half of this plan already.  I'm even looking ahead to 2013, researching races, choosing probable locations, seeing what neighboring state can be combined into the same trip to maximize cost efficiency.

States I already have from previous years' races:

States I've added to the list this year:
Here's what my completion map looks like today
          Arkansas (March)
          Florida (April)

And if I'd thought of this plan sooner, I wouldn't have run the following races in the first half of this year, since I already have the states of Texas and Ohio:
          Houston TX (January)
          Galveston TX (February)
          Cincinnati OH (May)
I would have used the time and resources to find races in new-to-me states
Here's what my completion map should
look like by the end of the year.
Here are the states I hope to add to this list by the end of the year 2012:
          Wisconsin (June)
          Pennsylvania (September)
          Vermont (September)
          Kansas (October)
          Oklahoma (November)
          Arizona (December)

By the end of 2012 I will have run
11 half marathons in 12 months. 

And I'll have 13 of the 50 states...26% of the way to my goal!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Grandma Weekend

When it comes to being a grandma to two adorable grandkids, getting to spend time with them alone, away from their parents, is the best! 

I drove over to Mandeville on Thursday with plans to stay the weekend so that son Jeremy and daugher-in-law Christina could attend a formal Navy event in New Orleans on Friday night with no worries of driving home late at night.  They could enjoy themselves, have a few drinks, then make their way to their hotel room afterward without getting behind the wheel of the car.

This means that I got to spoil the grandkids!  Let them eat whatever they want, watch whatever they want on Netflix, let them stay up as late as they want!!  Let the fun begin!

Friday morning I put Mimi in the jogging stroller and headed out for a good 2 mile jog.  My caretaking in earnest then began at 2 PM when Christina drove away, headed for the hairdresser's and then to the New Orleans Hilton.    The heavy rains kept us indoors so we resorted to some pre-recorded episodes of a children's show that I'd never heard of before:  Wild Kratts. 

I brought the makings for chocolate chip cookies and got started on these while the kids watched Wild Kratts.  Trevor wasn't interested in helping make them but he was definitely interested in helping to eat them!

So, with mom and dad gone, I found myself responsible for making them dinner, getting them bathed, and putting them to bed.  I can do this...  Right.   Mimi was easy.  She was more than ready to hit the crib.  Trevor, on the other hand, was still going strong.  So let's see just how long he can last.  8:00 PM.  8:30 PM.  9:00 PM.  9:30 PM.  He was showing no signs of slowing down.  But grandma was.  So I bundled him off to bed and hoped he'd lie down and lull himself to sleep. 

As I was getting ready to crawl into bed, I heard a knock at the door and a tiny little Trevor voice asking me what I was doing.  "Getting into bed, Trevor, and so should you."  I took him back into his bed, resisting his heartbreaking little pleas for me to stay and talk with him for a while.


Cornell Hawk-Cam:  Apr 30 2012
Saturday morning, after we were all up and fed and dressed, the three of us went to the nearby park, Trevor on his bicycle and me pushing Mimi in her jogging stroller.  As we entered the park, a red-tailed hawk swooped down in an attempt to nab a squirrel right next to the sidewalk.  The hawk missed its catch, but landed on the sidewalk just feet in front of us to regroup.  We stopped in our tracks and I was able to get a great close-up look at the hawk.  Such a wonderful coincidence, since I'd been avidly following the U.Wisconsin and Cornell Hawk-cams for the last month.  The eyeasses in those nests are fledged or mostly fledged at this point, but it has been a wonderful learning experience following their development from eggs to hatchlings, to fledged hawklets.

Cornell Hawk-Cam:  two of the three hawklets June 3 2012
Unfortunately for us, not too long after arriving at the park, we heard the not-so-distant rumble of thunder and saw the blackening skies, so we packed up and headed back to the house.  The area has been experiencing heavy rains for the last two days, with only little breaks in the rain, enough to tempt and tease us out the door.  But this was only a tease.  Soon it was pouring!

Back to the house, lunch in our tummies, and just as I was putting Mimi down for a nap, Jeremy and Christina arrived home.  We had a lazy afternoon, with both Christina and Jeremy taking naps (up late the night before?!) and then we ordered out Chili's meals for dinner.  I needed some "adult" food after a couple days' eating young child-appropriate finger foods.  Ribeye steak and shrimp, garlic mashed potatoes, and steamed broccoli for me!  We stopped at the grocery store to buy milk and I picked up some brownie bites and some Blue Bell ice cream for dessert!

Sunday morning Jeremy, Trevor, and I went to Target and Home Depot - mostly to get Trevor out of the house while Mimi took a morning nap.  We had hamburgers at Five Guys for lunch, and then returned to the house just as Mimi was having lunch. 

I packed up my car and headed for home, leaving Jeremy and Trevor to watch their new movie, The Lion King, and Christina and Mimi to get ready to go to a birthday party. 


Epilog:  It was a good visit and another great opportunity to develop deeper bonds with my grandkids.  And no trip to Mandeville would be complete without bringing home the latest cold virus mutation!  Trevor was on the downside of a cold, his nose still a little snotty and with a hacking cough.  So of course I started to develop some tightness in my chest on Monday morning and am now - Tuesday afternoon - the owner of a full-blown chest cold.  Small price to pay for a great "grandkid" weekend!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Gravity Wins!

I don't think of myself as a klutz.  I'm not especially clumsy.  And I've tripped many times while running, but it's always been just a momentary stutter in my gait, perhaps a short flight into the air and a two point landing on my feet, barely perceptible, probably not even noticeable by an onlooker.  I thank the years of ballet lessons for this ability to gain a harmless recovery and move on.

Walgreens Adhesive Pads Medium Bandages, 2 x 3 InchBut this morning my sense of balance departed, my gracefulness flew the coop.  A heave in the path of my running route threw me...literally. 

I set out this morning to get a 4 mile run in.  It was my usual route, staying within my neighborhood and running on streets that I'm well-familiar with.  The weather was nice for a change:  Moderate temps in the low 70's and very low humidity.  If I hadn't just done an 8-miler two days ago, I would have considered extending this run to get more miles in.  But sanity prevailed and I stuck to my original plan. 

After mile 2, I stopped by the Carriage House in our gated community to use the bathroom.  As I departed the building, I considered sticking with my usual route back to the main road, but for reasons beyond me I decided to run down the sidewalk that would take me past the Lakeview Lodge and connect to the main road a few yards further west. 

"Coulda, woulda, shoulda."  A mantra well familiar to folks who participate in events and sports that require some strategy and therefore leave them vulnerable to second-guessing their decisions. 

Had I taken my usual route...had I not decided to deviate from my usual routine...

As I exited the building, my chosen route took me over a little bridge that spans part of our waterway network in the neighborhood.  Then it took me along a sidewalk that passes in front of our lovely Lakeview Lodge, well-named for its position sitting right on the lake, its large wrap-around deck overlooking the gazebo, boardwalks, and lake beyond.

Next thing I knew, I was flying forward through the air.  It all took place in slow motion!  My left knee hit the ground first, followed by my right knee, and then I just knew that my hands would be next.  Sure enough, the heels of both my palms hit next and I became aware that the forward momentum was such that my face was going to hit the ground last.  A "face-plant!"

Sure enough, my chin hit the ground but, with some effort, I managed to use my arms to stop the forward roll at that point.  I lay there flat on my stomach, not moving, as I assessed the damage and feeling incredibly stupid and clumsy. 

The pain in my left knee was the most noticeable.  Slowly I stood up and assessed the damage.  Huge red patch of "road rash" on my left knee, some smaller and much less significant patches on my right knee; "scuff marks" on the heels of my palms and a couple of skinned knuckles on my left hand.   Nothing on my chin, just soreness.

Walgreens All-Purpose Gauze Dressing 4x4 inchWith blood running down my left leg, I returned to the Carriage House and did some immediate first aid in the ladies' room.  Washed the wound on my left knee, applied some pressure for a few minutes  and then ran to my house for some official "patch up."  Wound washed, alcohol applied, a couple of totally indadequate bandaids in place, I headed back out the door to finish my run.  A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

Walgreens Paper Tape, 1 Inch x 12 YardIt really didn't hurt that much, but I definitely knew that my left knee had taken a hit.  When I finished my run, I immediately jumped in my car and headed for Walgreen's.  My "first aid" supplies were woefully inadequate to handle an abrasion of this size.  A package of 4x4's, tape, and some 4x4 adhesive bandages will take care of this far better than the package of little dinky Bandaids I found lurking under my bathroom sink.

Having had "skinned" knees plenty of times growing up, I know what I'm in for, as this heals.  I sure hope it gets past that "dry, cracked" stage before the half marathon in Milwaukee!!  That's just two weeks away!  Keeping my fingers crossed and keeping that abrasion moist and loosely covered.  Wish me "fast healing!"

Signing off for now!
"The Klutz"