Family Vacation

>> Saturday, July 30, 2016

We spent this last week with my family in a cabin near Alexandria, MN. Here are 6 Instagram posts of mine from the last few days that show a bit of our fun (with the Instagram captions underneath):

Bought my first ever fishing license just to sit in a boat
and hear this guy tell me how bored he was.

Charlie coming back on a jet ski ride with Grandpa and Grandma.

Just the 5 of us at "The Secret Life of Pets." #LotsOfPopcorn #Cousins

#We'reEatingWellTonight #DinnerIsOnMe

My wife posted this with the caption "Sums up their relationship pretty well..."
I commented back: "I sigh a lot around him. Loudly."

Henry's biggest catch of the morning! He caught five sunfish total and had a blast!

And thus ends another year at the cabin. ❤️πŸŽ£πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ☀️πŸͺ⛵️
(That's our cabin in the background, and you can see Grandma Jean's legs in the sun.)

Check me out on Instagram for more of my cute family.

Back shortly with some training updates. Yep, I'm slowly building my running! (If you can call it that at this point...)


Friday Funny 1131: Babies Being Gross

>> Friday, July 29, 2016

Tiny human beings have no respect.

Lots more funny stuff posted all week long on


Friday Funny 1130: 50 'Nerds' of Grey

Well, there's only 23 here (not 50), but these are pretty great:

Lots more funny stuff on


6 Month Training Totals

>> Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Here's what my monthly totals look like from the first 6 months of 2016 when looking at the "time" I've done each activity:

Jan-Mar "sports" minutes were all bike trainer (except for 62 mins on the last day of Mar),
some of April was aqua jogging, and the 15 in June was a stairmill.

That shows a drop in May and June when I started to give my injury TOTAL rest when learning it was a back issue and not a stress fracture/reaction. Looking at my training as just "distance" REALLY shows the drop:


That last graph is only running and cycling OUTDOOR mileage. If I were to take my trainer time and call that an average of (let's say) 18 mph and add that to any "actual" bike mileage, my TOTAL monthly bike miles would be 76.8, 134.87, 111.35, and 170.75 miles for Jan-Apr, for a total of 493.77 miles for the first 4 months of the year. That's easily my highest totals ever for those winter/spring months (and that was PRACTICALLY my YEARLY total for 2011, 12, and 13), and that's why I was extra bummed to not be able to have a duathlon season this year - I was REALLY ready to see what I could do on my NEW bike with some good training!

(Oh, and if I were to call my aqua jogging an average of 8 mph [7:30 pace], my April running total would be 63.2 miles. Aqua jogging is NO stress on the legs, but I was working my heart rate at faster than 7:30 pace for me, so that number might actually be more like 70-75 miles.)

Alright, let's see how much I can start adding to those blank run totals shortly...


New Acupuncture

>> Monday, July 25, 2016

So after my last acupuncture appointment at Magna mid-June, we all learned that Magna was closing. It was a sad day. Robert (my favorite needle-jockey [I don't know if he likes to be called that or not so let's not let this catch on]) decided that the closing of Magna was the jolt he needed to go out on his own. Here's part of a note he sent to his former Magna clients earlier this month:

I am happy to announce that my new acupuncture practice, Taproot Acupuncture, has an official location and opening date...

Together with Tara Schug and Teddy McCann, formerly Magna’s talented chiropractor and massage therapist respectively, I am very excited to continue offering the collaborative model of health care we are so passionate about! This had been our intention all along, but it was proving to difficult to find a space that was both suitable and ready to operate. Well, last week we found just that in a space in Northeast Minneapolis! Conveniently located just off of the New Brighton Blvd exit on 35w, the new location is at 1915 Broadway St NE and will offer free designated parking, larger treatment rooms, and a family-friendly reception area. Although we will all continue to run our businesses separately, we will be maintaining an overall brand for ourselves as Element Wellness Group.

Here are his new hours and info:

MWF - 8am - 4pm
TTh - 1 - 7pm
Sat - By Appointment

Robert Crane LAc, DiplOM
Taproot Acupuncture
at Element Wellness Group
1915 Broadway St. NE • Mpls, MN 55413
P. (612)999-5894

I sort of realized how much Robert was helping me once he WASN'T helping me any more. After Magna closed, my healing started to plateau. But now I started seeing Robert in his new location. The waiting room area is still under construction, but his room is all set up nicely:

When I went to see him last week, I complained about my shoulder from my first swim in recent months, and he worked that area too.

Working on my lower back/disc/sacrum issues.

Shoulder needles. Robert grinned when he told me he got
the little naked guy in the photo in the background because he knows I like him.

Some cupping after the acupuncture.

He was super proud of that dark coloring on my upper back.

I look like a Super Nintendo controller.

So check out Robert at 1915 Broadway NE: or (612)999-5894. Tell him I sent you, and he'll probably give you no discount what-so-ever. Because that's how special I am.

See you next week, Robert!


I Just Ran! TWICE!

>> Saturday, July 23, 2016

I met with my PT again on Wednesday. She noted that the exercises I've been doing 5 times a day for my crooked pelvis have been working because now I seem perfectly in line! I told her I'm getting more and more bummed about the situation because it's nearing 4 months of non-running, and my lower leg still has an ache to it (but the "sharpness" that I would usually feel after being on it a lot has been subsided 95% of the time). She now thinks it could be sacrum related too.

She's a bit stumped, but she told me I should now test it by running!!!!

I posted this on Facebook on Wednesday afternoon:

Joshua's remark is about the 105-degree heat index we had that day.

That evening started well because I had just the perfect poop before my run. You know the kind: not so hard that it hurts, but hard enough that it comes out clean with no need to wipe. Glorious. It was going to be a good run.

So (as noted in the Facebook post), I was to run 5x (1 min running, 4 mins walking). I got REALLY optimistic after my first 1 min run. It felt GREAT. There was a little soreness in that same spot on my leg at the start of my 4th minute, but then it felt decent again for the entire 5th minute.

So it sort of had mixed results.

Friday morning, I ran again. (The same run on the same route.) I had some "throbbing aches" really early that morning that woke me up: it was in the same spot on my leg, and it wasn't "sharp," it was just a deep throb that came on over about 1 second and lasted a few seconds. I had about 7 before my run. I was prepared for me to have to quit this run after 1 or 2 minutes.

But I got through all 5x1 min runs OK! Again in the 4th, I had a little pain in my lower right leg, but it went away quickly and wasn't back for my 5th minute. I kept having those throbs post-run, and they slowly eased up throughout the day. Weird. I don't think I had any by the boys' nap time mid-afternoon.

For now, I'm taking the weekend off, and then I'll be trying the same run on Monday. If it goes OK (like it's been going), on Wednesday I get to try 5x (2 mins running, 3 mins walking). That's DOUBLING my running time! I'll be running OVER a mile! Yay me! :)


Friday Funny 1129: Signs You're Becoming an Adult

>> Friday, July 22, 2016

That was TOTALLY me when I got my cast iron skillet. Remember how much I used it on my camping trip with Henry recently? :)

Lots more funny stuff on


Friday Funny 1128: Weird Shower Thoughts

I shared some "deep shower thoughts" earlier this summer, and they amused me. Here are some "weird" shower thoughts:

Again, here are some more shower thoughts.

More funny things on


Friday Funny 1127: Shower Sex

Hey kids: no matter how awesome shower sex sounds, there are dangers:

Lots more funny stuff on


Instagram of the Day: Riding With My Boys

>> Thursday, July 21, 2016

I posted this photo on Instagram 2 days ago:

Caption: "We raced another guy down the Greenway for 3 miles today and totally beat him!
(I made the boys promise not to mention that he had a white beard.)"

Riding my mountain bike while pulling the boys seems to be OK for my back. We did nearly 11 miles. I may take them out again today for around 15 miles. Charlie's been asking to do it again: "Bike... Y!" is what he's been saying when he wants to bike to the gym.

Oh, and here's another recent photo of my 2 boys from Instagram from Monday night:



Camping With Henry in Northern MN

>> Monday, July 18, 2016

Henry and I spent 3 days camping in Jay Cooke State Park near Duluth last week. We had an AMAZING time. Seriously. We headed to the Great Lakes Aquarium to meet with one of my wife's cousins, Kerry, who works there. She was going to show us around behind the scenes.

Mama said we had to stop at Tobie's in Hinkley on the way for sweets. So we did!

Kerry (blonde, female) releasing some large lake sturgeon into a new "touch" exhibit.
She let us back there as she finished up, as this part isn't open to the public yet.

One of Henry's favorite parts was the large model of the locks and dams through
the Great Lakes. Kids got to take little boats and work them through the locks.

Big tanks!

Electric eels!

Selfie over St. Louis Bay on Lake Superior from the Aquarium's balcony.

As we were behind the scenes with Kerry, she said "look through that door." I practically
came face-to-face with this pissed-off bald eagle. Thanks Kerry! Sheesh. :)

After viewing a lot of these tanks from above (and going through the kitchen
and other fun places), we got to see the rest of the Aquarium like regular people.
This is a big shark.

Henry the otter.

DQ for lunch.

Lake Superior.

The lift bridge.

In the biggest lake in the world.

Henry ran through these fountains and soaked his butt...

... then he fell asleep in wet shorts a few minutes later. While looking at a magazine.

Headed to our home for the next 48 hours.

On Jay Cooke's famous "swinging bridge." It was SOOO loud from the rushing water!

Close up of Henry in that last photo. He's covering his ears.

The view of the LOUD St. Louis River from the Swinging Bridge.

Looking back at the Swinging Bridge. The water is so brown from tannins.
(Basically, the St. Louis River is fed by a lot of bogs that have
decomposing plant matter, and that "stains" the water root beer brown.)

On top of the falls. Henry loved it up there.

Setting up our tent.

Climbing on the crooked rocks. Henry could do this forever.

Playing in a little bay off the river.


Pooping in the vault toilet.

Henry wanted to shower.

The first night, I didn't sleep well. Once I started to sleep, people showed up at the campsite right next to us and started setting up at 2:30 a.m. And then they had giggly sex at 4 a.m. Super. In the morning, I'd learn they were a lovely pair of ladies.

Waking up on day 2.


Bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich! (With more bacon on the fire in the background.)

Eating in front of our tent.

Exploring. Everywhere along the river was super loud.

This photo doesn't look steep, but it was!

We hiked a bit down the Superior Hiking Trail, and then Henry found a trail
leading off of it. We followed it down to the river's edge.

Throwing rocks.

Then we took off for Duluth again. We were on our way to the train station to have a train ride along the North Shore. On our way, we stopped just a mile out of our campgrounds to Oldenburg Point. Henry wanted to come back and hike down to the river later. Just LOOK at this view:

200 feet below us was the sprawling, noisy river.

In the dome car on the zephyr.

Watching the lake go by.

The steps up to the dome car.

Above the river coming out of Lester Park.

Another thumbs up for pooping on the train! (See behind me?)

Making the conductor smile as we were waiting to head back.

Last photo on the train.

Ringing a bell next to the train station.

We stumbled across a big street festival. So we HAD to get mini donuts.

Henry wanted to go back to Lake Superior to play.

Lounging on a big rock.

A bunch of teens and their Dad jumping off this thing in the lake.

Henry was getting too adventurous on these big rocks. He didn't listen to me when I told him not to keep going, and then he slipped and fell in the the freezing lake. It took his breath away. Soon, he started joking, "I've been a good listener, but the only time I *didn't* listen, I fell in the lake!" We had to stop at a grocery store to get food to grill that night, and we saw a Fantastic Sams right next to the grocery store. So we got Henry a quick trim:

For the 2nd day in a row, he passed out in his car seat with a wet butt.

Drying out his clothes after his accidental/impromptu dip in the lake.

Supper on day 2: old-fashioned hotdogs and lemon pepper shrimp.

Eating with my big dude.

Henry wanted to go back to that big overlook from earlier in the day. We got there as 2 college-aged guys were making the climb up that trail, and they warned us it was steep and slippery with mud. We were ready to try to tackle it:

There were a handful of SUPER steep muddy sections like this.

Hiking down.

At a little washed-out creek at the bottom.

The view of the river at the bottom! 85% of the river is on the other
side of this rocky island, so this is just a bit of it. This is looking to the right...

... and this is looking to the left. Notice that
house-sized plume of mist behind those trees from the rapids.

Selfie #6 (if you can count the "train ride bathroom" as a selfie - which I think you can).

I climbed higher to make some photos, and Henry played 20 feet below me in the little creek.

HERE WAS OUR LITTLE BIT OF DRAMA DURING OUR TRIP: I took that last photo and then noticed how dark the sky was. I looked out at the sky and saw it swirling around and heading our way. I hopped down the hill to Henry and said "Buddy, we've gotta GO! There's rain coming, and we need to get up these muddy hills FAST so we're not trapped down here!" So we took off in a hurry.

The only photo I took on the way back, as we climbed these 60 rocky stairs.
(Henry looks like he's hardly moving here, but we were going fast!)

We made it up that 200 foot hill in about 75% of the time we took to get down it, which is crazy fast. We were both breathing hard! The sky above us was getting dark, and it JUST started to drizzle as we got to the car. We pulled onto the highway as it started to rain:

Damp s'mores back at our campsite.

Time for a warm shower.

G'night on day 2! We fell asleep to the sound of rain on our tent.

I woke up at 2 a.m. and pulled up another quilt and put on a shirt and socks. It rained the first half of the night, but then we woke up to a calm 60 degree morning. Henry woke up at a normal time (6:45) and had to pee. So he went out and "watered a tree." Then (to my surprise) he crawled back under the covers. I had to wake him from a DEAD SLEEP at 8:20:

Left over old-fashioned hot dogs sliced and fried.

Trying to feed peanuts to a little squirrel behind our campsite.

Our new little buddy.

We got packed up and took off. I wanted to check out the area just upstream from us at the Thomson Dam. Henry didn't really want to, but once we got out of the car, *HE* was the one who wanted to keep exploring. It was another beautiful stop:

Willard Munger State Trail bridge in the distance.

Looking back toward the highway, with the dam in the distance behind that!

Climbing up to the state trail.

Awesome terrain for hiking!

Tiny blueberries all over the place.

Tiny Henry.

At another overlook.

Throwing more rocks.

Our final stop in Duluth before heading for home that afternoon was the Lake Superior Zoo.

They had a big exhibit on big spiders!

Henry the tarantula.

Watching the tiger.

Asleep in the backseat for the 3rd day in a row. Only in dry pants this time.

My wife posted this the morning after we were back saying
this is why it's hard for her to leave for work. :)

We've had a LOT of fun so far this summer (like a quick trip to CO with my wife, taking Henry on his first airplane ride and then playing with horses, camping with my family and in-laws, taking a few fun trips to Red Wing, riding rides for Henry's 5th birthday, and taking the boys on a fun hike around Pike Island), but this was by far the most fun. I won't be forgetting this trip anytime soon. And believe it or not, we did more than what was pictured here - this is just when I had my phone handy. Henry wants to go back and hike and play at the Aquarium and in Lake Superior again.

p.s. Henry and I also stopped at a soda/candy store twice while we were in Duluth. I posted about it here on my Root Beer Blog. My first review of the 3 sodas I got there is also posted (which has Henry having a sip of it by the campfire).

p.p.s. Also, before camping, my boys and I headed to the Anderson Center to see my work up in their gallery. Click that link to see photos of the exhibition on my Photo Blog.



Follow steveinaspeedo on Twitter

Facebook Fan Page

All content and original images copyright 2006 - 2024 by Steve Stenzel, AKA "Steve in a Speedo." All Rights Reserved.
Want to use something seen here? Just ask - I don't bite.