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I am being mocked

Sunday, May 26, 2013

By an inanimate object no less.

My bike. Or rather my daughter's bike. It laughs at me, it taunts me.

Twice this week I have gone for a bike ride, approximately 3.5 miles each time. Both times my time was barely faster than my running speed.

Now, in my defense, I have 2 major strikes against me before I even get on the bike. I live amongst hills. And did I mention the hills?

The first time I took my daughter's "regular" bike, her 10 speed. Unfortunately the seat is just enough too low to make pedaling comfortable and she has not taken very good care of it over the years. The gears are stiff and don't want to shift.

And there are hills, which must be gone up. One is named the Never Ending Hill of Death. The second is Kill Me Now, which has to climb the same distance as the NEHD but in half the distance. Plus the hill I live most of the way up.

Granted, going from not riding a bike in forever to expecting to tackle Kill Me Now is not realistic. But the flat stretches kicked my butt too. That, I am convinced was due to the bike issues.

My second ride was on my daughter's Trek bike, which I got her back in 2011 for her triathlon, when she swore she wanted to do more races. At least she did use it regularly and took better care of it.

Riding it was much, much better than the 10 speed. Except for the seat 30 seconds in to the ride :

It wobbled and then pointed down so if I tried to actually sit on it I would slide right off onto the ground.

But I am (stupidly) stubborn and continued my planned route. So much fun. Stupid hills.

At least they are back roads and there was no traffic at all so no one to laugh. Just the bike, every time I have to get off and walk on those damn hills because my speed drops to the point where I'll fall over otherwise.

Back at home I looked underneath the seat. I can see the problem, but not how to fix it. There are 2 metal pieces, brackets for want of the proper word, that hold the seat in place. But they don't do a good job because enough weight or pressure on the seat and the bolt loosens, the brackets slide back and allow the seat to wobble again :

I don't know if you can see enough detail in the picture but this is the view when I have the brackets tightened so the seat is in a normal position. As soon as I start to ride it all slips to look like this :

Any cyclist who can tell me how to fix this myself, your comments are most appreciated. I'd like to be able to fix this myself and not have to take it in to a bike shop. It's bad enough that the bike laughs at me.

Bike...enjoy yourself while you can because when I come back from vacation next month I am so going to whip your tires!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAZZEJR 5/27/2013 9:43PM

    You're so funny---wish I could tell you how to fix it. I got on mine for the first time in about 20 years. Thought I was going to break my neck by falling head first on it. But like you, I'm determined. Thought they said you never forget how to ride a bike!!!

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GARDENCHRIS 5/27/2013 8:36AM

    perhaps the bolt is stripped?

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ILOVEMALI 5/27/2013 1:01AM

    My bike doesn't love me anymore, either. Makes my neck hurt and gives me migraines. HAve fun without it -- for a while! HAVE A GREAT HOLIDAY --

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MI-ELLKAYBEE 5/26/2013 10:39PM


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MCJULIEO 5/26/2013 10:37PM

    Saluting your Memorial Day background..... emoticon

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GETSTRONGRRR 5/26/2013 6:36PM

    Hmmm, I really can't tell from the photo.

I have a Trek also and went to look at it. That seat has a ratchet mechanism to prevent just what you're talking about. Once tightened, it doesn't slip.

Can you slide the seat back some? That might help being balanced over the seat post

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FROSTY99 5/26/2013 6:09PM

    I have no doubt that the bike has met it's match. You will be the victor!!!

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LYNCHD05 5/26/2013 4:08PM

    I want DH to I flare my tires so I can ride my bike. Hmmmmm, he is taking way to long to do handle this request. Loved your story and could see myself doing the same thing walking up those hills.

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WALKINGBYFAITH2 5/26/2013 2:27PM

    The flatness of Michigan has probably never sounded so wonderful to you! emoticon Your bike will probably never know what hit it when you get done with it. You can do it!

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DAZZEEDOO 5/26/2013 2:12PM

    Sorry, don't know how to fix the seat. But I was just thinking how good the ride up hills is going to be to tighten up the back end. With Your stubborness, You'll end up with a firm little toosh! Hope You can fix the seat. Just a thought- look up how to fix or adjust bike seats online and see if you can find your answer.

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    Lol! I am getting ready to try biking...but I live in Alberta...prairie...fairly flat! You will beat the bike and the hills!

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OMG! A Bug!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My cat Gandalf :

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRIANGLE-WOMAN 5/24/2013 7:39PM

    I just peaked and saw the pics of Stupid Dog and his side kicks. What fab names for your pets!

..*) ♥.*)
(. .♥ (. .♥ (.*`* ♥☆.*`*♥☆
`*♥☆ Keep Spreading the Spark!!!

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MCJULIEO 5/23/2013 12:24AM

    A French bug, I presume???

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23KAIYA 5/22/2013 1:35PM

    What a cutie!

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ELYMWX 5/22/2013 11:18AM

Fast forward to 2:06

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GARDENCHRIS 5/22/2013 7:10AM

    Lord of the rings fan? Love those books ...... and your cat is Cute!

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INIT2LIVEIT 5/22/2013 5:32AM

    So cute!

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JERSEYFLOWER 5/22/2013 12:36AM


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CODEMAULER 5/21/2013 7:57PM

    Summer flies are a delicacy at our house.


Such an intent look on Gandalf... hope he scored the bug!

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SVELTEWARRIOR 5/21/2013 6:45PM

    He is so pretty!!!!!!!

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    Sometimes I think cats can see things like spirits as they sit like sphinxes and seem to track invisible things around the room. Then I think, nah, they're just spoofing us!

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ARISAH 5/21/2013 4:39PM

    Cute! Gandalf makes a good cat name!

emoticon for the welcome into the SP Community Team!

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ILOVEMALI 5/21/2013 4:13PM

    Kitties see things that we do not.

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FROSTY99 5/21/2013 3:32PM

    Ready, Set, Pounce.

Abbie gets intent like that when she is chasing geckos!

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GAYLLYNNE 5/21/2013 2:19PM

    He is adorable!! Looks like my Jenny when she sees a bug (and she will get it too!)

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The Ugly Truth about water

Monday, May 20, 2013

Day 9 of my 8 glasses a day streak. Regardless of the consequences I have to get the news spread and maybe I can save someone from these horrible fate :


I can now understand the crazy astronaut lady who wore adult diapers to drive across the country.

Don't let this happen to you!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SONYALATRECE 5/25/2013 12:27AM


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JAZZEJR 5/25/2013 12:22AM

    Yep--so true! It's trot, trot, trot to the potty!

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YELLOWDAHLIA 5/24/2013 3:42PM

    Oh yeah! So, so true!

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MCJULIEO 5/23/2013 12:27AM

    As long as you get them all drunk by 10 am you should be OK for a night of sleep... of course that DOES make work during the day interesting...

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KICK-SS 5/21/2013 6:44PM

    It's my understanding from what I've read that the 8 glasses of water is just a guide and that 8 glasses incorporates the liquids you drink - coffee, soda, tea or whatever. (maybe not alcohol tho). And the article also said that as long as y our urine is clear, or really pale yellow, you are getting enough liquid and not to worry...

I can't tell y ou now, just where I first heard it, but have read that in other articles since then too. Maybe you can look it up and find the info for yourself?

Also, as your body gets used to 8 glasses of liquid a day, you won't spend as much time in the bathroom, the body will adjust... emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

There is usually a lot of water in your foods too, lettuces are a high percentage of water and most other veggies and fruits are too...

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-CORAL- 5/21/2013 1:38PM

    8 glasses a day isn't really necessary, especially if you're in the bathroom all day. We get a lot of water from our food as well. Just a thought. There is NO hard and fast science behind the "8 glasses a day" thing.

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CC3833 5/21/2013 9:20AM

    Hahaha! I say the same thing! I usually drink my water early at work than the other amount when I get home... Otherwise and 1 1/2 hour bus ride would be very very unpleasant!

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SVELTEWARRIOR 5/20/2013 11:48PM

    Alas, I read this too late....LOL

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ILOVEMALI 5/20/2013 11:17PM

    too late here, too

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WALKINGBYFAITH2 5/20/2013 10:18PM

    too late.... emoticon

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PATRICIA441 5/20/2013 9:38PM

  Water has to be really cold. I cannot drink any after six or I am up constantly. The cats get really upset when I get up they have to come and "help". By about the fifth time they moan! Too funny!

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GETSTRONGRRR 5/20/2013 9:31PM

    That's why we sweat it all off!

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FROSTY99 5/20/2013 8:00PM


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23KAIYA 5/20/2013 4:59PM

    So true!!!!

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NAYPOOIE 5/20/2013 3:57PM


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ELLENIRENE 5/20/2013 1:49PM


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HEALTHYGRAMMY49 5/20/2013 12:24PM

    emoticon yepper...I can relate! Ooooh...excuse me gotta run to the &$@;?

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REBECCATKD 5/20/2013 10:52AM


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ADZY86 5/20/2013 10:02AM

    Haha this is so true! The cold hard truth indeed. I sometimes wonder if people at work think I have a bladder problem! emoticon

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RUNNER4LIFE08 5/20/2013 10:00AM

    emoticon You are too funny!

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GARDENCHRIS 5/20/2013 7:24AM

    yea ..... but look at how clean your insides are! LOLOL

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GLUECIPHER 5/20/2013 7:16AM

    so true

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ADAPTOR 5/20/2013 7:07AM

    I am glad you said this. I thought about it a couple of times during my week where I finally became successful drinking 8 glasses of water. But ended up not commenting on this side effect. You are so right though!

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GAYLLYNNE 5/20/2013 7:01AM

    I hear you!!! I find if I drink flavored water I don't go as much. Not sure why but all that water makes commuting difficult!!

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WELLNESSME09 5/20/2013 6:57AM


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ALCHARVEY 5/20/2013 6:52AM

  that just made me smile lol

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SPARKCHANTAL 5/20/2013 6:45AM

    maybe, but it sure washes all those fat cells away!

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BIGBEAROHYEAH 5/20/2013 6:32AM


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Now What?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

I went to the farmers' market again today and wandered around while my daughter went looking in the shops for sandals and accessories.

I scored a nice fat eggplant, over 2 pounds of the fattest carrots I've ever seen, a carton of beautiful oyster mushrooms and some brown button 'shrooms to go with it, some sort of possibly Middle Eastern seafood mix (sold by the guy with the cart full of tzadiki and hummus and other awesome goodness)...and a large bunch of very pretty white asparagus with purple tips.

The eggplant and 'shrooms are joining the garlic and tomatoes I already have for a lunch casserole tomorrow. But...what do I do with asparagus?

I mean, I've eaten it at restaurants before but have never been faced with actually preparing it myself. At while it is certainly perfect enough to eat on its own...what exactly can one do with a bunch of asparagus other than grill or steam the spears to be eaten alone?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NINJA_SMOO 5/23/2013 11:10AM

  Oooh! I am so envious your farmers' market is already open :) The one in my neighbourhood starts in two weeks, I think. Can't wait!

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ILOVEMALI 5/19/2013 11:15PM

    I love it steamed with a little mayo. Recently, my husband started grilling it -- brush with a little olive oil and sprinkle with S&P and a little garlic powder. They take about 10 minutes or so on the bbq

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TUDAFD 5/19/2013 1:25PM

    I love it raw and steamed. Boilham's idea sounds delicious!

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GARDENCHRIS 5/19/2013 10:11AM

    all sound yummy .... check Spark recipes for more ideas.

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FLORIDASUN 5/19/2013 8:38AM

    Dito on the broiling technique with olive oil, a little garlic, sometimes I throw a few squirts of pomegranate balsamic on it...dust with parmesan cheese...just YUM! emoticon

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ADRIENALINE 5/19/2013 2:03AM

    You have some great ideas here. I don't buy it, cook it ,or eat it. I went to the Farmer's Market today too and got delicious donut peaches, blueberries, strawberries and the first tomato and cherries of the season. Yummy!

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IMREITE 5/19/2013 12:21AM

    dont like asparagus all that much, but there are tons of ways to prepare them

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MCJULIEO 5/18/2013 11:05PM

    Sometimes my asparagus never even makes it to the grill... so good raw...

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MSKIZ69 5/18/2013 11:03PM

    Roast them, yummm! Gave me an idea for tomorrow!!

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DJ4HEALTH 5/18/2013 9:26PM

    I have grilled it with olive oil and salt and pepper and that tastes great. Just don't over cook it;

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FROSTY99 5/18/2013 8:51PM

    I like it in an omlet or a quiche. But I agree my favorite is grilled with a little olive oil and some herbs and then when done just a dusting of Parmesan cheese

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REBECCATKD 5/18/2013 7:31PM

    I grill it with olive oil and garlic salt.

Otherwise, think pasta primavera with asparagus and baby peas. Mmm...

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LDHAWKE 5/18/2013 4:04PM

    I love going to the farmer's market. There are so many good veggies there and even a few surprises, like homemade sausage links.

There are lots to do with asparagus. Try looking at the recipes in SP. I am sure you will find plenty to try.

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SUNSHINE99999 5/18/2013 3:46PM

  roasted veggies are the best. emoticon

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DOODIE59 5/18/2013 3:43PM

    I often roast veggies, and it is always my goal to have as many different veggies in the mix as possible, asparagus included. You can always make a simple cream of asparagus by cooking 4 c cut up asparagus in 4 c vegetable broth until done, then blending. Add salt, pepper, a squirt of lemon juice or a shake of anything else you can think of, and you're set. The same soup can be made w cauliflour, broccoli ... delicious, low cal and very tasty.
Have fun experimenting. I've heard adding the rind of parmesan cheese to any soup adds a lot of flavour ... can't say I've really noticed that, but I read it often so it must be true!
Take care

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BOILHAM 5/18/2013 3:12PM

    My daughter broils it whole, with a sprinkling of olive oil and garlic.

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Bionic Me

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I wish.

When I was a kid, in grade school, we took a road trip out to SoCal. We actually criss-crossed the country and got to go to see Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills in the north down to the Painted Desert, Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest in the south. We drove through Las Vegas, up, down and around San Francisco, and even made it to Tijuana in Mexico. I still remember the paper roses we bought from a street vendor there, and my Dad bought this large carved wooden boat that was awesome and we had for decades.

And, of course, no trip to CA is complete without Disneyland and Universal Studios. At US we were in the audience for a show and when they asked for volunteers from the kids of course my hand shot up in the air along with everyone's. To my great surprise and delight I was picked.

So I got to go down to the stage area in front of everyone...and become the Bionic Woman!

They had my run on this little treadmill kind of thing in the middle of the stage while up on the big screen behind me they demonstrated how they made her run so fast on TV.

OK, I am dating myself, but I loved that show when I was a kid.

And today I wish I had her knees.

I chose to skip my planned marathon in April because my knees weren't feeling right. I rested them for 6 weeks and then started running slowly again. No problems and I was careful not to push too hard to increase mileage and in how I ran (walking on the trails to minimize injury risk, being very careful when transitioning from curb to road and to different surfaces). Things were going good. I officially started marathon (re)training again on Monday, although the first training run would have been today.

Then yesterday morning, as I start my daily squats...BAM! Sudden sharp big knee pain from out of no where.

I've been doing squats since March. I know and use the proper form, I don't push the number (I just increased to 20 this week, up from 15 where I stayed for several weeks) because I am slowly working to strengthen muscles to help my knees.

No idea why all of a sudden doing a squat set off my knee. But it hurt all day every time I moved my knee...while sitting, while walking....although by the end of the day it minimized to hardly anything.

Still...I chose not to go to karate last night to avoid aggravating it. This morning it feels stiff and there are still flashes of "oh, crap, I did something to my knee again" not quite pain.

I know what the problem is (jumper's knee / runner's knee). Not bad enough to need surgery, PT I can do on my own.

Ticks me off to no end though.

I am beginning to think the universe just does not want me to run a marathon because I didn't have this problem until I started training for one (no, it was not brought on by over training or too many miles at a time without proper rest. I had a 30 week training plan purposely to avoid over training injury risk).

I would gladly trade my knees for the latest high tech marvels.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLORIDASUN 5/17/2013 11:45AM

    I have a runner friend that found out that her knees were somehow turning in during her runs rather than straight in proper alignment. Unfortunately she dropped away from Spark and I've lost touch so don't know what ever became of her.

I HATE it when that happens! emoticon

I hope yours get stronger with rest! emoticon

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ILOVEMALI 5/16/2013 3:18AM

    Synvisc. Hyalgen. Ask your dr!

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FROSTY99 5/15/2013 10:00PM

    Brought back memories-I loved the Bionic Woman. Too bad it isn't your knee. Glad to hear you are taking it easy - life just does not always go as we plan but we have to play with the hand we are dealt.

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SVELTEWARRIOR 5/15/2013 7:39PM

    Darn!!!! I am sorry you are not going to get to run in THIS marathon. I do think it is best to take care of your injury first. I have no doubt that you will get to run a marathon real soon

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MCJULIEO 5/15/2013 7:16PM

    Dang it, Kitty! I am SO sorry!

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IMPROVINGME 5/15/2013 12:11PM

    Oh, gosh! So sorry to read about your knee pain!
Best wishes for a complete recovery.

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JENSTRESS 5/15/2013 11:19AM

    I'm right there with you. Knees. Ugh. I know I'm going to have to have mine scoped in the near future. I'm avoiding it.

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GARDENCHRIS 5/15/2013 7:32AM

    I feel your pain literally! I also have bad knees, pain free at the moment ... but I am limited by some things ... no running for me! !

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BECCAZEN7 5/15/2013 4:59AM

    We can rebuild it - those knees can be better, stronger and go further! Da dum de dum....Bionic KNEE girl! LOL.
I loved those shows! I loved Lindsey Wagner so much!
Hope your knee probs subside soon and you can do your marathon as planned. It is so sad when these things pop up even when you are being super careful. Bummer emoticon

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