Monday, June 30, 2014

Savannah Square Run

  On our "free time" at Fitbloggin 14, I decided to get out and tour downtown historic Savannah by visiting all the Squares.  This was my planned route:  

My actual route ran:
 The Squares History:

General James Edward Oglethorpe laid out the basic design of Savannah’s squares in 1733, shortly after his arrival here, creating America’s first pre-planned city. 

It was laid out around four open squares, each surrounded by four residential blocks and four civic blocks.  The layout of a square and eight surrounding blocks was known as a "ward".  The original plan, now known as the Oglethorpe Plan allowed for growth of the city and expansion of the grid.

There were 24 original squares, but three were were altered or demolished in the 20th century. In 2010, one of the "lost" squares, Ellis, was reclaimed.

Most of Savannah's squares are named in honor or in memory of a person, persons or historical event, and many contain monuments, markers, memorials, statues, plaques, and other tributes.

Johnson Square  Named after Robert Johnson, Governor of South Carolina, who helped the infant colony. It was the first square; built in 1733.

Ellis Square. Among the very first squares in Oglethorpe's Savannah was Ellis Square, built in 1733. 
This is where we had bootcamp on Friday morning! Too bad the fountains were not on then!

Telfair Square  Built in 1733, it was originally called St. James Square and was re-named in 1883 for the Telfair family.

Wright Square  Also laid out in 1733, it was originally dubbed Percival Square, but was renamed in 1763 for Georgia's third and last Colonial Governor, Sir James Wright. For many years it has been colloquially known as Courthouse Square.


Oglethorpe Square  Laid out in 1742, it honors General Oglethorpe.

Washington Square Laid out in 1790, it honors General George Washington and is surrounded by beautiful homes with lovely architectural details.


Washington (2)

Franklin Square Montgomery Street at Congress (City Market). Established in 1790 to honor Benjamin Franklin. This square was nearly lost in the 1970's, which saw the demise of Elbert Square, but was ultimately restored to its original state. Site of First African Baptist Church.  

Warren Square . Laid out in 1791, it was named for the president of the Third Provincial Congress, General Joseph Warren, who was killed in the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Columbia Square  Designed in 1799, it is centered by a lovely cast iron fountain imported from the Wormsloe Plantation.

There is a fountain way over there in the background.

Greene Square  Established in 1799, was named for Revolutionary War General Nathaniel Greene, who is buried beneath the monument on Johnson Square. (So he's got his own square, but his statue-and body-are over on Johnson Square.)

Chippewa Square  Named for the 1812 battle of Chippewa in Canada. An imposing statue of General James Oglethorpe is featured here. This is also the square made famous in modern days by the bench upon which Forest Gump sat in the movie of the same name.  The bench isn't there BTW, it's in a museum.



So Oglethorpe has his own square, but his statue is here in Chippewa Square! Who's on First?
Orleans Square  Laid out in 1815, it honors the War of 1812 Battle of New Orleans.

Orleans (2)


Yes, a charming picture of this little boy's tush ruining my photo. I didn't have time to wait for him to stop splashing around.  I was on a mission!

Orleans (2)
Lafayette Square  This square, laid out in 1837, honors the Marquis de Lafayette, who visited Savannah in 1825 and spoke from the balcony of the Owens-Thomas House, which overlooks the square. Lafayette
Pulaski Square  Laid out in 1837, it is named for Count Casimir Pulaski, the Revolutionary War hero from Poland, who sacrificed his life in the 1779 Siege of Savannah.


I learned something here!  In 1778, Savannah had been captured by the British.  The siege consisted of a French-American attempt to retake Savannah from Sept 16 to  October 18, 1779.  On October 9 a major assault against the British siege works fall. During the attack, Polish nobleman Casimir Pulaski was mortally wounded. The siege failed, and the British remained in control of Savannah until July 1782, near the end of the war.  (Pulaski's monument is over in Chippewa Square.)

Reynolds Square . Honors Captain John Reynolds, Governor of Georgia in 1754.

Statue of John Wesley in Reynolds Square.  No, he does not have his own square.
Crawford Square The square was named for William Harris Crawford, a Georgia senator, Minister to France, Secretary of War, and unsuccessful presidential candidate in the election of 1824.

Chatham Square  Laid out in 1847 it honors William Pitt, the Earl of Chatham. Pitt supported the Americans against the king and criticized the harsh British policies in the colonies.
Chatham was right after Pulaski, on my way to Forsyth Park so I know I was there, I just can’t identify which pic it is!

Aha! Here's proof!

Troup Square . It is named for a former governor of Georgia, George Micheal Troup. Featured here is a dramatic armillary sphere, an astronomical model with solid rings, all circles of a single sphere, which is used to display relationship among celestial circles. The square was established in 1851.

Calhoun Square

 Laid out in 1851, it was named for South Carolina statesman, John C. Calhoun

Whitefield Square


Well I was there, but I am not sure which picture corresponds to  it..
It is named for the Reverend George Whitefield, an early minister in the colony, friend of John Wesley, and founder of the Bethesda Orphanage in 1740. The square was laid out in 1851 and was the last of the City's squares.

I tagged 20 squares. It took me about 1.5 hours, I got a little turned around in Forysth Park.  I also was extremely vigilant crossing streets, no music today!  It probably helped that the parks were not crowded on a hot Saturday morning.  Some squares were busy; other squares had just one or two people sitting on benches, enjoying the day.

It was a cool "speed" round tour of the Savannah Squares.  It would be fun to go back and re-visit all the Squares again, in a more leisurely manner.  Savannah is a very cool city to visit, I would like to see it again!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Ignite Talk Preparation: Final Week!

I give my Ignite Fitness Talk this Friday night at Fitbloggin 14!  I am both stoked and terrified.  Well, not terrified, but apprehensive.

My initial preparation was outlined in this blog post.

My preparation: My speech is informative- "How to Screw Your Shoes"  so it is pretty easy to develop.  The slides seemed to take care of themselves.  I have very little text on each slide.  I took care to find images that were not copyrighted.  A few slides are clip art, as you will see, with some prettycrayon-like words added by me!

Practice: This can't be stressed enough. It's a five minute speech folks! You have plenty of time in the day to practice!

I used a written script to begin with. At first, it was a bit frustrating, as I would forget which slide was coming next, but as I practiced, I could remember where I was.  I used the digital stopwatch app on my phone to time the presentation.

I recorded it a few times on my phone also. I seemed to do well until the last four or five slides, so I began focusing on those slides.  I also knew I needed to slooow down my talking, as I start out a bit nervous.

Last tip was to video myself.  I did this on my porch tonight, with the laptop set up.  The speech went pretty well; I could see the slide show just in the corner on my eye.  It also helped quite a bit to rehearse the speech, standing up (as opposed to sitting in my car at lunchtime.)  I got much more animated, adding in my Italian (by marriage) hand gestures to the mix.

I will do a bit more rehearsing tomorrow, a few at lunch time, then a few after work, at home.  I may try and rehearse one to two times on Friday, before I give the Ignite Talk, to just keep the slides clear in my head. 

I hope to not look up at the slides too often! The Ignite Talk will be posted to the interwebs, so look for that next week!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Planning for Fitbloggin!!

Fitbloggin 14 is this weekend!  What is Fitbloggin? "For bloggers interested in fitness, wellness, good food and a healthy lifestyle. Two days of education, networking, friendship and fun."

This year Fitbloggin is in Savannah Georgia, a city that I have not visited before.  There will be both workout sessions and informative sessions mixed together.

My planned agenda: (which could change!!)


6 AM Early bird Workout: Bootcamp- this seems like a great idea to wake up the body and be a ice breaker first thing in the morning

8-9 AM: Small Group Discussion: Blogging over 40.  Looking at pics of past conventions, I am acutely aware I believe I am 10 or 15 years old than most attendees. I could be wrong.  I was tickled to see this discussion.  I was blogging before Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.  (Do you know people have degrees and jobs in social media these days??)

930-1030 AM: Small Group Discussion: How Very Pinteresting!  I only have a few boards on Pinterest.  I know it's a very powerful tool to use and I could use more education on what the heck to do with it.

130-245 Pm So You Want to Start Podcasting.  I  had a podcast, way back in 2007.  However, I was more of a co-host on the show, Andrew did all the recording and editing.  I've been interested in starting a new podcast in years.  It has finally occurred to me that technology has come a long way in 7 years-perhaps it is easy to start a podcast.  I even have a niche to fill: female endurance athletes. I also have a domain name purchased.

3-415 pm  Podcasting Tips and Tricks- Good! Another podcasting session!

6PM: Ignite Talks! Oh boy, I am on the agenda!  I was selected to give an Ignite Talk.


6 AM- Yoga.  I've never attended a yoga class.  I am very flexible for an ultra runner.  This should be fun.

8-9 AM Small Group D iscussion Balancing Your Blogging without Losing Yourself

930-1030 Zumba-Yes, another activity I have never  done before!

1030-1pm  FREE TIME.  I am going to go run the Savannah Squares.  I guess I better eat well before the Zumba session.

1-215 pm Media Kits and More: The Art of being Booked  As I don't even have a media kit (and it's not going to happen this week) this should be very informative and helpful

230-345 pm  Put your Finger on (re)Branding

4-515 pm-Positioning Yourself to Make Monetization, Sponsorship and Growth More Efficient, Effective and Purposeful

7am  Fun Run-5k & 10K routes-Coach has me running 6 miles or so on Friday and Saturday, off Sunday.  The Friday run is not going to happen, so I will switch that up to Sunday, so a 10K will be good. I plan on just running to hang out with other Fitbloggers.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Summer is HERE!!

It's here. FINALLY.  I really had trauma from this past winter.  Summer humidity (and heat) have arrived here in the midwest.  I have been struggling with it through runs.  But I am determined (so far) not to whine about it. I remember very vividly-wearing tights AND wind pants; two layers of clothes; and a mask, just to get a run in.

I think picture # 2 looks much better!!

I did my long run, 14.5 miles on roads here.  The initial plan was to drive to Mohican, but then domestic life changed things; we went to Amish land to find our bathroom vanity and storage bookcase were not ready.  So I got out on my run at 1130 am.  Not the greatest time of day to go for a run.  Insert "Reason # 375 why you have a Coach" here.  Accountability.  It works for me.  I ran from 1130 to 130 pm; it worked well on my summer tan. I was actually hotter when I stopped running, realizing how drenched I was.

 I had not run through Gilmore in quite some time.  Some of the condemned houses were gone; some were still standing.

I took a left onto Gravel Lick Road and heard barking! Those dogs were still there! Two dogs live on the corner, labs of some color.  They've aged over the years but I was delighted to still see them there, white on the snout, but still barking at me.

I got home about 130 pm.  I showered and then got out to the garden to re-tie the tomatoes and prune them. I thought about weeding the garden (it really needs it) but then the sun re-emerged from the clouds and I decided to retreat to the house. Yay! One day off without over-doing it.

I am really looking forward to summer. Next week is Fitbloggin! in Savannah, definitely outside of my comfort zone, and then, about a week later, I am off to Camp Hardrock!!!  Spectating, volunteering, pacing, at my most favorite race ever!!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Word Update for the Year

My word for 2014 is/was REACH

to arrive somewhere
to get to a particular point in time or a particular stage in a process
to get as high as a particular level or amount
to achieve something after discussing it or thinking about it for a long time

to arrive somewhere
to get to a particular point in time or a particular stage in a process
to get as high as a particular level or amount
to achieve something after discussing it or thinking about it for a long time 
I've been struggling a bit through this first half of 2014, due to domestic issues.  I've been pretty depressed actually, but it's situational depression.  I have been down due to situations out of my control, that I cannot do anything about.
Despite this, I am moving forward to REACH.  I've gone on several adventures all by myself, and that will continue.  I am going to a blogging conference where I know exactly one person and I believe I will be probably fifteen years older than most bloggers there. 
I think Fitbloggin was a good idea for me, especially since I've been a bit down. I've not been very communicative with my friends-because I'm down.  So, perhaps going to a convention that is going to be full of positive people who are very excited to be there will help me REACH OUT to people.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Are You a Race Fan?

The word "fan" comes from "fanatic", which, by definition is  a person filled with excessive and single-minded zeal, especially for an extreme religious or political cause.  Of course in this day and age "fan" really just means something/someone you are fond on, like a baseball team or a Indy Car Drive or an American Idol contestant.

Many ultra and trail runners are "fans" of the oldest 100 Mile, the Western States  100 Mile.  I am more of a fan of Hardrock and Massanutten 100 Runs.

I am a fan of two runs that I will never enter, and a third endurance event that I am pretty sure I won't ever participate in.

Comrades Marathon

Comrades Marathon, which is actually 56 miles or 89 kilometers is the world's oldest ultra marathon race.  In 1923 the first female entered and completed the race, Frances Hayward!  The event is stoked in  history, first ran in 1921.  The field is capped at around 18,000 runners.  Marathon Talk did a great two part interview with Bruce Fordyce, who has won Comrades 9 times, it almost made me go out and want to register.

Then I remember, Comrades is a road race! Insert sad music here. While I think the atmosphere is great and I love to read about the race, when I remember the tarmac..well the enthusiasm to participate wears off. 

The second event or challenge, is the Bob Graham Round that I have written about previously.

 The Bob Graham Round is to touch the peaks of 42 peaks  in the British Lake District, within 24 hours.   The ascent is approximately 28,500 feet and about 61-66 miles, either completed clockwise or anti-clockwise, the only rule is the start and finish is at Moot Hall, Keswick.   Scott Jurek and Ricky Gates just completed the BG Round this spring, with Jurek saying "Quite possibly one of the most difficult courses I have done in my life!"  

Talk Ultra just featured two chats on the latest episode. One is an interview with Nicky Spinks who holds the BG Ladies Record, and  Morgan Williams, who is the secretary of the Bob Graham Club.

Why won't I ever do this? Well, one, it's in Great Britain. That makes it hard for a Yank to train for.  Many people who attempt the BG spend lots of time on the fells reccing the course.  Scott Jurek barely finished his round, in 23 hours, 44 minutes! If an elite runner is hard pressed for the cut off, I don't believe I would have a very good chance.  But I love to read about it! 

The third type of endurance event that I am a fan of, but probably will never participate in?  Triathlons but more specifically, iron distance events.  The brand name that comes to mind is of course the Ironman, but there are other race companies out there sponsoring "iron distance" races, which is the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, followed by 26.2 mile run, to be completed under 17 hours.  I used to read more triathlete blogs, as I think triathletes are even more OCD than ultra runners in their training.  I listen to The Competitors and IM Talk on a regular basis.

Why won't I participate in an Ironman?  One-I can barely swim.  It was once a summer goal of mind, to learn how to swim, but I fell on a trail run, and hurt my arm, so that idea went out the window.  
Two-I can barely bike.  I actually feel a bit nervous going downhill.  I'm also not enamored of the idea of the bike breaking down and me having to fix it!  So although I like to follow the Iron distances on TV, podcasts, and occasional reads of triathletes, I don't see myself getting involved in triathlon.

Are you a fan of something you do not participate in yourself?

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Home Remodel: The First in the Series

Our house is a 70 year old farmhouse. It was built from trees felled and milled on the property. We believe the bathroom was added later. We're grateful that it did have running water. Most of the electrical wiring of the house was the old cloth variety.

After turning on the light switch in the bathroom and smelling smoke last winter, it was time to get the house rewired. Note I said last winter. Our house rewiring is finally done. Our electrician came out sporadically, sometimes not for two weeks. The only reason it is done because I threw a fit about this.

 The drywall portion will begin. I don't know when, because we first have to find someone to drywall.




But it's not that easy,because most of our walls are NOT drywall.  They are plaster walls, which means when a section is replaced with drywall, the two segments won't be the same width, so the new drywall will probably need to be shimmed up.

Oh well, at least I have one victory in remodelling: BATHROOM!

No holes were punched into the walls in the bathroom.  Since the old storage unit was removed for the electrician's work, I finally had the opportunity to repaint the bathroom!  Nothing fancy, just a fresh coat of white paint.

I also got a new light fixture.  I've always hated this 1980's light:

I also got rid of the fake gold towel holder too.

  I need to apply one more layer of paint, clean the bathroom, then it will be ready for my custom Amish sink vanity and storage unit!