Strength and beauty — Washington DC (April 2014)

"Tough times don’t last but tough people do." —A. C. Green*

Close friends are the family you choose.  The friends who mail letters and make you fall off a chair {literally} laughing. The friends who would/do drop everything to be there, no questions asked.  The friends who are *always* up for adventure — big or small — even being the best/worst/best partner {hypothetically} on The Amazing Race.  The friends who inspire you with their strength, loyalty, empathy, and love.

*Today’s MilePost quote resonated deeply.  Tonight, especially, counting every gift…particularly, family by birth, by choice, and by love.

My mantra through much of my marathon training so far as been “I run this body.” This is a saying, coined by Dorothy Beal, I found while looking for good running blogs to follow ( Ever since seeing those words I knew I wanted the shirt. Lucky me, they just came back on the market!

Aside from the shirt though, I think this is a powerful mantra whether you’re a runner or not. You’re in control of every decision that you make. No one puts the cake in your mouth and chews it for you. No one downs that last shot and then makes you to drive. No one ties you up to stop you from getting in your run today. Besides you. You run your body. I run my body. So let’s do this. 

Today’s feature: @kyletravers
Today’s location: From Portland, travel east on US Hwy 26 to Sandy. Turn right (southwest) on OR Hwy 211 and travel 6.1 miles to OR Hwy 224. Turn left (southeast) on OR Hwy 224 and travel 30.2 miles to Oak Grove Fork Road (Forest Road 57) (approximately at milepost 50). Turn left (east) on Oak Grove Fork Road and travel 7.4 miles to High Rock Road (Forest Road 58). Turn left (northeast) on High Rock Road and travel 1.1 miles to Forest Road 5810. Turn right (east) on Forest Road 5810 and travel 4.9 miles to Forest Road 5810-210. Turn left (northwest) on Buck Lake Road (Forest Road 5810-210) and travel 0.5 mile to the marked trailhead at a pullout on the left (west) side of the road.
Image selected by curator @jeff_bell_photos
Join us in exploring Oregon, wherever you are, and tag your finds to #Oregonexplored || Find us on Twitter @oregon_explored || Find us on Facebook -
#BuckLake #MtHoodNationalForest #Oregon
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ultra crush


When she finally hit Milepost 100, she found they were out of space blankets. What were the race organizers thinking? she muttered to herself. Suddenly, a handsome, lanky man loped out of the shadows. He extended a ropey forearm and handed her a space blanket. “You can share mine,” he said.

In the light cast by her headlamp, she could see the sparkling salt crystals on his chiseled features. “Thank you,” she whispered.

"Also," he said,"Would you like some of these Peanut M & Ms?"

Her eyes glistened. Yes. Yes, she would like the perfect combination of carbohydrates and protein! As she bit into the sweet crust of an M & M, she wept. She wept because the stranger was so beautiful and generous. She wept because the race organizers were good people, they had just failed a tiny bit and we all fail sometimes. And she wept because she was so darn exhausted and happy.


Day 8 - Milepost 383, May 19

"Time to start the return trip.  With the poor sleep and the late start, today is already much harder than yesterday.  I got some cheddar popcorn and Mtn Dew to help me get started.  My right lateral hamstring bothered me for a little while, but it improved throughout the day.  Near the top of Waterrock Knob (5800ft), I saw an RV pull up and stop.  A man got out of the passenger side, pulled a road bike off the back rack, and start riding the 2500ft descent to Balsam Gap.  The RV went ahead, presumably to meet him at the bottom.  After all the cyclists I had seen struggling to ride that climb and all the mountains I had labored over in the past week, I muttered, "No, you didn’t…"  and angrily chased after him.  Breathing steam and burning rubber, I managed to pass both him and the RV on the way down.  Climbing to the peak of the Parkway was even tougher the second time.  Heat and fatigue make for unwelcome riding companions.  There was a lonely stretch of road between the peak and Mt Pisgah where I hit new lows in this regard, where the road just never seemed to go anywhere.  Uphill or downhill, I felt like I was making no progress at all.  Eventually I made it down the mountain and into Asheville where Damtoft, Subway, Ingles, and Mexican food were waiting for me."

Memorable things about the day:

  • No fog?  I can see things now!
  • Hard climb, hard climb, ouch
  • More turkeys by the road
  • Motorcycles WHY
  • Chicken nachos were an excellent choice
Blue Ridge Parkway announces 11-mile road closure at Milepost 95 for boom axe operations

Blue Ridge Parkway announces 11-mile road closure at Milepost 95 for boom axe operations

Over a two-week period in November, 

Blue Ridge Parkway maintenance personnel will be conducting large –scale trimming operations along the roadside from  Milepost 95 to Milepost 106 (between Highways 43 at Bearwallow Gap and U.S. 460).

During the periods of Wednesday to Friday, November 12-14, 2014, and Monday to Friday, November 17 – 21, 2014, both lanes of the Parkway in the work zone, during…

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I-10 reopens after fatal head-on crash near Casa Grande

The closure was near milepost 180, about five miles west of State Route 387, an Arizona Department of Transportation spokesman said.

from CBS 5 Phoenix - CBS 5 Newstream. To read the rest of the article Click Here

Posted by Apache Junction News and @NewsApache

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Day 9 - Milepost 312, May 20

"Started really late today: 11:30 in the morning.  (At the beginning of the trip, I was on the road at 7 a.m. on average.)  Too my dismay, it was also late enough to miss Christa’s sandwiches in Pineola, NC, later that evening.  Which is sad because the thought of one was what kept me riding for the longest time.  Before that, I climbed Mt. Mitchell all the way to the top from Asheville.  The road to get there is monstrous.  Also, there is almost the same amount of congratulations at the top as there is at the end of the Parkway.  Which is none.  Ta-dah.  You deal with it though.  Saw more turkeys, descended like a madman, and ascended like an old man.  Had some authentic Mexican food to close out the day.  Good, hard day."

Memorable things about the day:

  • Frightening descents because road conditions - potholes and gravel make for interesting corners
  • Sibley’s Guide to Birds would have been really helpful today
  • Saw a mourning dove belting out the loudest cooing I have ever heard out of one of them
  • Legs Alive! Dead. Alive!
  • Starting to notice how far gone my chain is
  • "I am afraid for the chain…"
  • "But the tires look better than I’d hoped!"
  • BURRITO… of the large variety, containing shrimp AND beef
  • I caught up with some sort of tourist group that was also cycling up the mountain from Asheville.  Needless to say, they all became bait for me to try to catch and pass on the way up, contributing to me having dead legs in the middle of the day.

Best of luck to our elite @sparklysoulinc ambassadors @mileposts who takes on the @runrocknroll marathon tomorrow and @nycrunningmama who is rocking the @philly_marathon tomorrow! We heart you ladies and have a SPARKLY awesome race! Xo #numberonefitnessheadband #fullelastic #headband #nonslip #mileposts #sparklysoulinc #nycrunningmama #sparklysouleliteambassadors


"A photogenic tree accented with fall foliage and fog along the trail to Craggy Pinnacle, milepost 364" along the Blue Ridge Parkway, a scenic highway in North Carolina and Virginia

Learn how this image was taken at:

Photo by Robert Stephens. View more of Robert’s work at:


A full twenty minutes of continuous running today! Had my doubts the first ten minutes when I was huffing and puffing and wondering if it would really matter if I stopped to catch my breath and walk a little bit but then I thought of the quote by Haruki Murakami I read this morning courtesy of MilePost and tried my best to be a machine made of consistent moving parts instead of a faulty human and what do you know? 5 minutes became 10, 10 became 15, and 15 became twenty and I was done!

I also have cut down on the amount of walking time included in my Nike+ workout. Was hoping to keep it just to actual running time today to reflect my 10’40” pace but threw in the extra half mile of walking to cool down to make that RED pledge count.