3 things thursday [98]

1.  I’ve been sidelined with a whopper of a cold since the weekend.  I’ve still managed to get all of my runs in, but they’re slower and I’ve felt like dirt.  Yay for peak week? :(

2.  Yesterday after work I ran on a new-to-me part of the DPRT.  I parked my car at Half Day and went south on the trail for 2.5 miles, which took me along the grounds of the Marriott Lincolnshire resort.  It was GORGEOUS.  SO MANY FALL COLORS – reds and yellows and oranges and browns.  It was an explosion of fall, and it was wonderful.  I’m glad I decided to change up my route like that!

3.  I’ve recently started reading the alphabet mysteries, mostly because “S” is on my reading list, and I don’t like to read them out of order.  The books are set in the 80s, (and many were written in the 80s), so they’re a little dated, but I’m enjoying the stories so far.  I’m on C!

the magic ring

One of my favorite slot machines in Las Vegas has a bonus game where you have to journey to the dragon’s lair.  Along the way, you’re presented with options, in a Choose Your Own Adventure type of way.  Pick A, B, or C.  You can get a free pass, fall in a trap, or even be saved by a magic ring.

I’m sure what you’re asking yourself is, how in the world is this relevant?

Well, it’s relevant because I have a magic ring.

I told you last week all about how I wore my mom’s wedding ring during the marathon.  On Saturday, I got dressed for my run and went outside.  I didn’t notice until about a mile into the run that I was still wearing my mom’s ring.  I wasn’t having a great day – I woke up with a sore throat, I didn’t really feel well, and I was getting a late start because it rained all morning.  Also, the wind coming out of the north was heinous.

I slogged through that 8 miler.  I felt every single step.  I counted down what felt like every quarter mile.

But you know what I didn’t do?

Quit.  I didn’t quit.  I pushed through all 8 of those miles.  I didn’t call it a day and only do a streak keeper.  I finished my last mile in 9:17, which was my fastest on the day.  I did it.

Does my mom’s ring possess magical powers?  I’m not ruling it out.

contest with a cool mystery prize!

By now, you’re probably all read my review of my hydration vest.  (Psst – if you have not, then this is your cue to click on the link and read away!)

As longtime readers are well aware, I name everything.  My old car was called Hamster, my lion is Orton, and our DVR is named Stan.  So it’s only fitting that my new hydration vest should also receive a name!

Here’s the criteria -

  • It has to be the name of a character played by Ben Affleck in a movie,
  • That’s it.  That’s the only criteria.

How to win -

  • Leave a comment with the name you pick, and the name of the movie it is from,
  • Provide a brief explanation as to why you chose this name.

In one week, I will select a winner.  The winner receives a mystery box of fun things (2 legit running items, hilarious stuff that longtime readers will appreciate, and a special prize from the man lion himself, @OrtonPants).

Good luck and happy naming!

training oct 13-19 [14]

Training Stuff:

Monday:  1.1 miles (9:27 min, avg pace 8:35)
Tuesday:  1.17 miles (10:03 min, avg pace 8:36) + 0.42 miles walking (7:03 min, avg pace 16:49) = 1.59 miles
Wednesday:  5 miles (47:39 min, avg pace 9:32) + 0.59 miles walking (9:12 min, avg pace 15:37) = 5.59 miles
Thursday:  5 miles (47:04 min, avg pace 9:24) + 1.05 miles walking (16:23 min, avg pace 15:37) = 6.05 miles
Friday:  5 miles (47:31 min, avg pace 9:30) + 0.52 miles walking (8:04 min, avg pace 15:32) = 5.52 miles
Saturday:  8 miles (1:15:21, avg pace 9:25)
Sunday:  2 miles (19:11 min, avg pace 9:36) + 10.03 miles w/ Anne (2:10:56, avg pace 13:03) + 0.14 miles walking (2:23 min, avg pace 17:03) = 12.17 miles

Total Mileage:  40.02
Total Mileage (month):  134.02
Total Mileage (year):  1426.77

Total Time:  7:10:17
Total Time (month):  22:49:01
Total Time (year):  241:32:16

Fun Stuff:

Something Interesting:
I pushed my streak keepers to Monday and Tuesday this week, which worked out nicely.  I was WAY more sore on Tuesday than on Monday, and I wanted to make sure that my body had enough time to rest properly.

Books I Read:
The Target (David Baldacci)
Living History (Hillary Rodham Clinton)
Me Talk Pretty One Day (David Sedaris)

New Beers I Tried:
Bouncy House IPA (Smuttynose)
Rudie Session IPA (Ska)
Flipside Red IPA (Sierra Nevada)

orange mud vest review

Disclaimer:  I was not compensated in any way to write this post.  I purchased the product on my own.  I am writing a review because [spoiler alert] I really like said product and thought that you may enjoy it too.

You might remember way back when I wrote this review of my hydration pack, subsequently christened Neil.  (Hahaha the first thing Susie asked me when she saw my new hydration pack was, “Is this the famous Neil?”)

So why get another pack, if I liked the first one so much?

Two things – I sweat too much and the back part was getting really gross, and I wanted to hold more fluid.

I could only hold one bottle in my other pack, which is good for 12 miles.  I knew that with the really high mileage of my marathon training this cycle being in October, it’s pretty hit-or-miss if the drinking fountains in my neighborhood will still be on or not.  If I have to double back to my house, I won’t go back out.  I know myself.

Hence this pretty thing.

Double bottle action on the North Branch Trail  (Photo taken by Susie on my iPhone)

Double bottle action on the North Branch Trail
(Photo taken by Susie on my iPhone)


  • It fits perfectly, and adjusts in several places to get that great fit.
  • 2 water bottles in the back, and you can use your own and adjust the holder accordingly.
  • Lightweight = no more excessive back sweat!
  • No bouncing.  (Once I got used to the weight of the two bottles, half the time I forget that I’m even wearing it.)
  • 2 front pockets are much larger than expected – I can fit all of my nutrition, plus my iPhone and credit card.  And car keys.  I’m basically a mule.


  • This is really nitpicky of me, but I am OCD, so hear me out – there’s no little hook thing to use to hang it up.  In other words, Jakre and I have a key rack by our front door where Neil currently resides, as he has a tab for a hook.  This one does not have anything like that, so it’s currently on the floor with my Toms.
  • Price.  It does cost $149.95, which is expensive for anyone.  Do I think it’s worth the money?  Yes.  But did I cringe a little bit when I looked at the total on the computer screen?  Also yes.

Bottom Line:

  • I highly recommend this, not only for the great form and function, but also for the excellent customer service.  I work in customer service, so this makes me really happy when I see a company go all-out for the consumer.  For example, I had a problem when I first received this pack, where the rip cord for the front pocket detached and came off in my hand.  I tweeted them, and quickly received an email from the CEO, who sent out a brand-new pack for me.  Not many companies are willing to do that for others.

Thanks, Orange Mud!

(If you want one of your own, be sure to visit this site!)