Cross Country Riding

Some photos I took of my daughter riding her horse, Kane.

They are working hard on his jumping and dressage skills.

Cross Country Horse Clinic

Cross Country Horse Clinic

Cross Country Horse Clinic

Happy 4th of July to my US readers!

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July 2017 Free Calendar Download - Roses

Summertime means flowers galore. These roses grace a park in the middle of Saugatuck, Michigan.



To download this month's calendar, click on this link from Box.com
Link -> July 2017 Desktop Calendar - Roses

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Along My Run | 25 - Spring into Summer

It's been a while since I posted about running. After my Ultra at the end of March, I cut back on running in April. The Ultra must have taken a harder toll on my body than I realized - I lost my motivation to run and when I did get out, I labored through what I consider an easy pace. It wasn't until the end of April until I got my running mojo back, so maybe there is truth to the adage that runners need to take a day for each mile after a race.

I've continued to run a mix of road and trails, although my longest distances have been on the trail. I've turned into one of those trail converts as the road feels hard and pounding now.

April - May Running 2017
1. Spring is in the air, 2. Reversal, 3. Golden Glimmers , 4. Off Season , 5. Take Nothing for Granted , 6. I Found Snippets of Trail Out Here , 7. Illinois Marathon Day! , 8. Kicking It This Morning y, 9. Sunday Runday Perfection , 10. Somebody's Watching Me , 11. 50th Birthday #Run Group , 12. The Last Curve

I turned 50 at the end of May and celebrated it with a 50 minute group run. Afterwards we enjoyed post run goodies- cinnamon breads, scones and coffee. My birthday fell the Friday before Memorial Day, and each event that weekend continued the celebratory vibe.

My Running Friends Help Celebrate my 50th Birthday!

On Memorial Day, I coordinated another group run out on a new trail that turned into an adventure. Due to our wet May, the trail was muddy and overgrown with portions under water. At the first water hazard (huge knee deep puddle across the trail), we found an alternate way around. We were feeling pretty trail-tough when we ran up to a small waterway crossing - with no bridge to cross! The footbridge had been moved to the bank, presumably due to flooding. No one wanted to climb down the 6 foot bank into water of unknown depth. We opted to turn around at that point and attempted to run the course backwards. We got lost three or four times. What was supposed to be a 7 mile loop ended up being 9 discombobulated miles. Still, we had a great time. In true trail running fashion, we enjoyed some treats at the end of the run - strawberries, almond butter on wheat bread, fresh scones and cold water.
Before We Got Lost - Trail Buddies

In mid June, I volunteered as a race marshal for the Countryside 10k race sponsored by my running club. In addition to marshaling duties, I became the official race photographer. Even though the race starts and ends at a nice park, the course winds through country roads with very little tree cover. In the warmer months, I like to start my runs very early (like 5 or 6am), so this race, with its 8am start, was a scorcher. Another reason for me to take photos instead!

On and On
It's Called the Country Side 10K for a Reason

Second Wind Countryside 10K Race
Alex, The Overall Winner 35:57

Second Wind Countryside 10K Race
Robyn, the Top Female 42:45

Second Wind Countryside 10K Race
My Running Friends

Cow Bell Winners
Age Group - Cowbell Winners

Second Wind Running Club
Second Wind Running Club Representation

The end of June means 2017 is half over! Here are some running stats for the first half of the year.
Total Miles - 805 (I just hit that on this morning's 14 mile run)
I'm too lazy to calculate my average pace right now - I know it is slower than previous years due to the number of trail miles I now run. I should track my road miles separately I guess; something to consider for the second half of 2017.

So what is up for the rest of 2017? I am considering a fall marathon (Indianapolis Monumental Marathon) and maybe a half marathon in Arizona with some friends. In October, I'll find out if my lottery entry into the London Marathon was accepted (Several of my running friends entered with me and we've decided to go if picked).

As always, I feel blessed to be able to run the distances I do and I am grateful for my running friends who make it fun. Happy Running!

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June 2017 Free Calendar Download - Cardiff, Wales

Occasionally I travel for work, and in 2016 I spent a week in the UK. I visited my sister who lives in London before taking the train to Cardiff, the capital city of Wales. This port city has experienced significant development over the years, yielding a vibrant waterfront center with commercial, entertainment and sporting venues.

And while I am not a Dr. Who aficionado, I learned the current series was filmed around Cardiff, so the area is a draw for fans of the series.

My previous trips to the area were during winter months, so I never had the chance to see the waterfront in the daylight! I got lucky this time with a couple of clear, temperate days. I took the photo below from Waterfront park, looking back at the Pierhead Building.



To download this month's calendar, click on this link from Box.com
Link -> June 2017 Desktop Calendar - Cardiff, Wales

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Prom Season

It’s the end of May and here in the Mid-west, May ushers in Prom Season, Graduation Season, the end of school and the start of summer.

My son went to Prom a few weeks back. Prior to this year, the prom experience involved my daughter and I can say things are very different with a son. Some elements were easier - for example, hair, ie, no elaborate updo’s for my son! Choosing and renting a tux was fairly painless, although I don’t recommend waiting until the week before to complete that task. Surprisingly, the cost to rent the tux was higher than what my daughter spent on her dresses, but at least I don’t have a tux taking up space in my closet.

Here’s the main reason for this post – Prom pictures!

My son and his lovely date, A:
Prom 2017

Each class designates the location for photos and for the Class of 2018 it was Foelinger Auditorium on the south end of the Main Quad at the University of Illinois. All the couples and their families enjoyed the lovely spring weather. We felt lucky as the previous weekend's prom goers endured torrential rainstorms.

Prom 2017

Red was a popular color this year. You can't really tell from the above photo, but the two of them are wearing the same dress. The nice thing is neither really cared.

Prom 2017 - Family Plus
My son with his date's family. Aside note - I learned a few days after Prom that A's family lives two blocks from us!

With friends:
Prom 2017

Brian with his long time friend, E. They have known each other since they were both three years old. They are all grown up now....
Prom 2017 - All Grown Up

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Harbingers of Spring

Spring came early to Central Illinois - the trees bloomed in early April and most have fully leafed out. It was so short lived that I didn't get to enjoy it.

However, I made a last minute trip out east to the Boston area and got to enjoy an early spring all over again. I normally visit the area in summer, so the landscape was very different from what I am used to.

Morning Glory

Veridian

Show Me the Way

My runs took me to a local pond and even in the off season, it was calm and inviting.
Off Season #shirleyruns

Even with a bit of rain, there was no wind (in Illinois, rain is almost always accompanied by straight line winds).
Tentacles

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May 2017 Free Calendar Download - Black Beauty

I post a lot about my daughter's equestrian adventures, so I always make sure to feature a horse in my photo calendars. We encountered Black Beauty in the heart of horse country - at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington - while waiting to compete in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association's National event.




To download this month's calendar, click on this link from Box.com
Link -> May 2017 Desktop Calendar - Black Beauty


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