Looking outside the Bike Rack!!!

The other day I made a quick stop at REI to pick up an order which is always trouble since I walk out of there with something that was NEVER on the list, it is a kind of love hate relationship with that store. I LOVE to go in but my bank account HATES it when I leave.

It just happened to be the same day as their Scratch and Dent sale and even though I came late in the afternoon, there was still some little treasures to be found. If you have never been to the REI Scratch and Dent sale you are missing out. Don’t get me wrong, there is a ton of crap, used clothes and many other broken things that you would never want. Seriously, there are some pairs of shoes that I wouldn’t put on my feet even if I was the one to make them look like that. But you may just stumble upon a little diamond in the rough. In my case that is an awesome bike rack.

As I was checking out the bike rack, to see if it was something that would work, the REI employee came up and asked if I wanted it because they needed to pack it back up. As I played the game of ‘ahh, I don’t know…hummmm…maybe’ the guy grabbed his pen and decided to reduce the price from $50 to $30. Good thing he had no idea that I was going to buy it anyways but hey an extra $20 off, can’t be that. Plus, there are crazy people who wait in line for 2 hours to get first dibs (yes I have done that), but sense I have been channeling my inner Ninja, I was in and out of there in 20 minutes...

The only problem with this bike rack is that it had a 1 ¼” hitch, aka in truck owner land a ‘what the heck are you going to haul with that tiny little hitch'. If that makes no sense to you, the common truck has a 2” hitch. So as I am looking at the potential awesome new bike rack, I begin to rack (pun intended, cuz I am just that funny) my brain to see if there is any way I can make this work on my truck.

The REI guy made a mention that they sell adaptors that will make it work on my truck but not one to take the easy way out, I decided to make a little project out of it.

My new Bike Rack:)

After a few hours and using some of my master metal cutting skills, I had all the pieces to make my new bike rack work on my truck. You probably are expecting me to weld it all together with my mad skills but unfortunately I can't do it all and had to down someone who could. So now I have a pretty sweet $30 bike rack that is worth 10 times what I paid for it. Plus I don't really trust those little hitch bars anyways.

2" Hitch...SWEET!!!

So take a chance and look outside the box and maybe you can make use of something work for you and if not, just give it to me, I am sure I can…


Great Winter Workouts

Not everyone can be a NINJA and running in the single digits may not seem fun. But as the temperatures return to normal, getting outside is that much easier, even when there is snow on the ground. A few years ago, you would have never caught me running during the winter and the only thing I thought about when it snowed was hitting the mountain. Don’t get me wrong, I still love to snowboard but I have found there are many other ways to enjoy the snow.

When I was introduced to Yak-Trax it was a life changer. These little contraptions allow you to run in snow and ice without the slightest hesitation. They easily slip on to your shoes and off you go. If running isn’t your thing, they work equally well for walking. The company makes two different kinds but I have found that you can use the walking ones for running and they cost $10 less. So if you are hesitant to get out and run in the snow, I can tell you a pair of Yak-Trax will change your mind.

Last year was my first snowshoe experience. When the snow gets a little too deep for running or you want to get off the road and explore, snowshoeing is the way to go. This is a great way to get some cardio exercise during the long cold months and if you are extreme, can lead to some amazing hikes and stories for years to come.

View from Schweitzer Mountain

Tiffany and Natalie enjoying our snowshoe adventure.

Our group before the infamous Schweitzer climb.

Climbing to the top of Schweitzer Mountain...Up the FACE!!!

I have read about running with snowshoes and hope to give it a chance this year. I am not sure how it will go or if I will look like the guy walking around with flippers at your local pool but it should be fun to try.

Skate Skiing
Now I have only skate skied twice in the past and all I can say is that I sucked at it, but had a blast. This is another way to get out and enjoy what the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Now I am currently trying to find some used ones because, well I am so bad I do not deserve new skis. The awesome people down at Fitness Fanatics, can rent you gear if you want to give it a shot.

Skate Skiing up on Mount Spokane

So if you are tired of being stuck in the house all winter long and want to get out side and enjoy the outdoors. May I suggest giving one of these a try.


Civilian or NINJA?

Civilian or NINJA?
There are two kinds of people in the world, civilians and NINJAS. If running on a treadmill sounds like the absolute worst thing in the entire world, then you might be a NINJA. If freezing temperatures can’t keep you from running outside, then you might be a NINJA. Now if it is in the single digits and you have a run scheduled and you are still going to run outside no matter what, then you ARE a NINJA.


As you can see from the picture, as we transform into NINJAS very little skin is showing and our hands all but disappear. This really helps when trying to hide from the evil enemy...COLD!

Jessi and I put our NINJA skills to the test. We were not quite sure what level NINJA was going to be required in order to complete our run but we were ready to go. With the temperatures hovering around 8 degrees, we headed out for our run. The civilians driving in cars probably thought we were crazy people, having no idea that NINJAS aren’t really bothered by the cold.

This run was nothing like our last crazy winter run, before we became NINJAS, and absolutely froze our arses off.
As you can see, not very NINJA like.

With multiple layers on and our faces covered, we left the house and had a great 40+ minute run. At one point I can actually say I was warm and didn’t even notice the cold, but once again because we are NINJAS. It was a great run and I challenge anyone who thinks they are NINJA enough, running in this weather is very possible and can actually be enjoyable.


Golf in December

Today we played golf. I know that it is absolutely freezing outside and there is no way you would be playing golf. There are also some of you who would NEVER play golf EVER, but in this game of golf we did not swing clubs trying to break out the windows in an SUV... I mean to hit little white golf balls.

The goal of golf today was the same, try and get the lowest score possible. In our game of golf, we take the total time it takes to swim a certain distance and add the number of strokes it takes to swim said distance. In the case of today’s workout, we had to swim 20x50 yards on the 1:00. And if that wasn’t hard enough, we then needed to add the stroke count to the time it took to swim.

I will have to say that trying to get under par (72) was a challenge. As I was slowly running out of oxygen, I was working on the techniques that were suggested earlier, focusing on good breathing, counting and decreasing my stroke count, increasing my speed, decreasing my time, taking my time for each set and then adding it to the stroke count, all while leaving on the 1:00. It is making me tired just thinking about it.

Did I forget to say how much I love swimming and can’t wait until I get just a little bit better:) By the way, our coach said he had someone with a golf score of 36 or something crazy like that. All I can say is that definitely need to work on my golf game.