Last Sunday I left you with a teaser about my longest bike ride to date, thirty-six miles with my Cruiser friend, Chuck…


What had started out as a bike ride with Bill and Chuck, turned into just Chuck and me when the chain on Bill’s bike derailed and they couldn’t get it back on. Bill had to carry his bike home about three quarters of a mile and after not being able to fix the chain himself, he took it to the bike shop where they fixed it back as good as new.


Chuck and I continued our ride to the end of the W&OD Trail in Purcellville before turning homeward. Chuck had ridden fifty-two miles the day before which had tired out his legs and helped me be able to keep up with him. 


Since I planned to spend most of the day on Friday driving to my mom’s house, I mixed my workouts up during the week, moving my running and lifting days each up one day. I’ve found that planning ahead helps keep me from missing workouts when life gets busy.


On Wednesday evening Bill and I met a new friend for dinner at Ford’s Fish Shack. Miss Ittie Bittie Fittie and I have followed each other on Instagram for quite a while and while chatting one evening through comments in a post I’d made, we decided to meet in person. We had great conversation throughout our delicious dinner and were so happy we’d made the effort to finally meet in person! 


On Thursday as I came in from a walk with a client, I noticed that the southern magnolia was blooming outside the clubhouse where I train a few clients and lead two boot camps. There as only one bloom on the two plants, but I spied it at the top and managed to hold my phone up high enough to capture this gorgeous picture.


After driving most of the day on Friday, I got to my mom’s house in time to relax and change clothes before heading to the local community center for the first night of our annual family reunion festivities. It’s always so fun to see all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins on my mom’s side of the family. Sadly, one of my aunts and her family from the St. Louis area weren’t able to attend this year. Since she reads my blog, let me give her a quick shoutout and say that I hope she’s feeling much better!

Heavy rains and thunder storms Friday night and Saturday morning kept us from going to my uncle and aunt’s picnic area along the North Fork of the Holston River for our Saturday picnic festivities, so we returned to the community center. After lunch most of my cousins and their families went to the river so the little children could play, but I stayed behind with my mom, aunts, and uncles. After hearing that our annual hike up Big Spring Branch went off without a hitch despite the earlier heavy rains, I was disappointed that hadn’t gone with my cousins, but I did have a fantastic time catching up with my aunts and uncles while sharing stories from years gone by.

Below are pictures from our hikes from a couple of different years. For more pictures and stories from previous year’s hikes up Big Spring Branch, check out these posts:

In 2015 we had a rather uneventful hike…


In 2016 we made it all of the way to the top to the spring head despite the water being the highest that I’ve ever seen. 


The water was so high, in fact, that my cousin John had to carry me piggyback across one of the deeper pools. To put it into perspective, John is 6’7″.


Just as he started to set me down, he fell over backwards as I shifted his center of gravity…


We laughed so hard that I didn’t even care that my white shorts would never be the same! Fortunately, I’d handed my GoPro to my cousin Terri and she captured the entire thing.


Looking ahead to this coming week, I’ve got a post about exercising with your pets coming up on Tuesday and I’m sure I’ll be posting about some of my runs along the country roads of Southwestern Virginia (I’m visiting Mom all week). Stay tuned!

In case you missed it, on Tuesday I wrote Flying Deer, Rabid Animals; And What’s The Difference Between A Runner And A Jogger and on Thursday I shared my 2017 Firecracker 5K Race Recap.

This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of my Weekly Run-Down infographic where you can get a detailed look at my workouts each week. Here’s a run-down of other workouts I completed this past week…


Fitness tools beyond the equipment in my gym that I used during the week included: 

Cameras used for blog photography include:


  • Questions:
  • Where’s the coolest place you’ve hiked? ~ Bill and I hiked to Lake Solitude in the Tetons while on our honeymoon.  
  • Does your extended family have reunions?
  • Did you race this weekend? 


Have a great week!


Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on the blue product link and then make a purchase, I will receive a commission for referring you. You will pay no more or less for the product; however, Amazon will show their gratitude for my referral by paying me.




I’m linking up with Holly at HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin for their Weekly Wrap.  Be sure to check out not only the hosts, but the other great bloggers joining in on the fun!