Monthly Archives: February 2015

Happy 2nd Birthday Stridebox!

CAM06258I was only a subscriber to Stridebox for a short time in their inaugural year, but they continue to impress and go the extra mile.  For the 2nd year in a row, I got a Happy Birthday box from them.  No, not my birthday… their birthday!  I wrote about their birthday box last year and one of the boxes I got in their inaugural year.

Stridebox was at the forefront of the monthly subscriber revolution.  At least in my eyes, now there are a lot of them from snack food to men’s clothing.  I originally signed up in early 2013 and enjoyed getting boxes for almost a year.  The boxes contained a variety of sample nutritional products and as time went on more actual products that were just starting out.  And it seems more Stridebox branded products as well.

CAM06256 The Stridebox box is a great size for organizing and having around the house. Every box also comes with nice tissue paper wrapping, although not usually gold! And the handwritten (really?) cards are a nice touch!  This year’s birthday box had less nutrition and more products!

From the top, clockwise:

  • Bandana thing
  • Shoe mileage counter
  • Stride lights that flash when they shake (so with every footstep of your shoe)
  • Nuun Energy tablets
  • Stickers
  • Stridebox training log (nicely done, but who uses paper and pencil?)
  • PR Bar

It is probably safe to say that this box is worth $15.  The question is more about is it $15 worth of stuff I would have bought on a monthly basis?  When I was running consistently and training for longer races I easily used all the nutrition products and some of  the other random ones.  Now that my mileage is way down I don’t go through nutrition products at the same rate.

I would still recommend signing up for Stridebox.  If you haven’t why not?

Bike Race Scheduled – Dickie’s Scramble April 25

I finally have a bike race scheduled for the year, which will hopefully motivate me to get on the bike trainer more! I’m looking forward to hitting some gravel on April 25 at the low-key Dickie’s Scramble event. The 75 mile gravel ride starts and finishes at JJ Tailgators Bar & Grill in Elgin, MN. The event will include:

I have a couple of options that are ready to go and we are looking at 68-80 miles of river valleys, climbs and rocky ‘B’ roads.


Throughout this ride you are responsible for yourself. No one is going to come get you. Ride safely and within your limits. Bring anything you think you will need. Do not assume what will be around the next corner. Cars, trucks, ATVs, cattle, and dogs (and even a pet pig) all share these roads. Follow the law, don’t pee in someone’s yard etc.,

There is a checkpoint at the halfway point. It is potluck style.

and who doesn’t want to finish a 75 mile ride with a sprint?

If you want to finish the course faster than your friend that will be determined by the Elgin town sign sprint.

A lot went into finding a ride for this year. Last year Almanzo was kind of picked for us and a group rode it. But they cancelled the race this year and then the city decided they wanted to keep it going this year. We had all counted it out and the timing doesn’t work for at least one guy, so we kept looking.

I did a decent amount of research, found some cool websites and some fun sounding events! April isn’t necessarily ideal for a ride, the pictures from last year’s event include snow on the road side. But really it makes it harder to get out for long rides on the road during training. So I was surprised at how many there were in MN in April!!

One resource that lists a lot of non-pavement rides around the country is Riding Gravel. MN Bike Trail Navigator has quite a list of events for the year on their blog. It was written in October, so it may be a little out of date, but it has a long list for the whole year and includes all styles of rides.

One ride that looks super awesome is the Mammoth Gravel Classic. It was so awesome looking, that I can’t actually ride it, well no one without a mountain bike can ride it. See:

The course will not be marked, so we suggest using GPS navigation. There are hungry bears in this area, and we will not have a course sweep – so you must take care of yourself out there. This multi-surface course will be roughly 50% gravel roads, 25% double track firelane, and less than 25% pavement. We absolutely recommend only riding a bike with mountain bike width tires on this course due to many very soft sand pits. DO NOT bring your Cyclo-Cross bike or any other skinny tired bike. The narrowest tire recommended is 40mm.

It does sound like a lot of fun. I would love to take my cyclocross bike over there are try some of of the firelane! But that is also probably where the sand pits are… maybe I could rent or borrow a bike. And the Gandy Dancer Bike Trail sounds like a nice place to ride as well. Maybe this summer!

Do you have any early season rides planned?

January 2015 Report

Yea, a week late, but whose keeping track?

I was 50/50 on the two main goals for the month:

I decluttered my digital life by more than 30 unfollow, unfriend tasks.  Once you get started it is easy to just keep unsubscribing! Most days it felt good, some days it was more of a stretch to find something to get ride of.  A few times I did just change my subscription preferences to reduce the clutter.  Most of my e-mail is filtered around into various labels (thanks Gmail) so my Inbox stays relatively clutter-free but the time and mental energy taken to process the others is still wasted if I don’t need it anymore.  So it felt good!

I struggled with the 30 Day/5 Minute Plank Challenge.  I did a great job of doing them until I needed to hold the plank for 75 seconds.  I just couldn’t get past a minute.  My body would start shaking 10 seconds in and just shake the whole time.  By about 50 seconds my back would start to hurt and bam, I couldn’t do it. I took a few days off and then ended up just doing a bunch of 1 minute planks.  I ended up doing or attempting the workout on 24/31 days.  Some of those 24 were also scheduled off days!  I plan to revisit this in November, so hopefully that will work better!

I did make progress on other goals!

– We went out on two kidless dates!!

– I read all 31 days of the Bible Reading Plan

– I did Crossfit 5/9 planned times, I was sick at the beginning of the month.

– I only ran 10.4 miles, which puts me behind the “schedule” and is way off the 40 I did last January.  It was cold, I was sick, and the schedule has some kinks! The weird snow-less weather has meant that I haven’t been able to do any snowshoeing either.

– I did get to ride my bike outside which was fantastic! On an almost 50 degree random day I snuck out and did the Cedar Lake loop for 11.5 miles.  I biked more last January too, but didn’t get outside at all!  This also puts me behind the curve, but that’s to be expected!

– I’ve been doing mobility.  Some days I squeeze it in right before bed, others I plan on squeezing it in and then forget. And some days its just a quick roll with the foam roller. I did it 21/31 days.  I need to work on some of the quality of it…

February is short and sweet!

– Read a poem a day,

– Write some poems!

(sneak peak –  so far I’m on track and I’m also knocking off another goal of finishing books I’ve already started)