LITA Post – 3D Printer Handyman’s Toolbox

This post was originally published on Library & Information Technology Association (LITA) Blog

On this site, we have discussed how 3D Printers can enhance various aspects of your library’s programming and how to create important partnerships for implementation. Indeed, 3D Printers can improve the library experience for all involved. However, what happens when that printer comes to a screeching/beeping halt? After two years of maintaining our printers, Makerbot Replicator 2 and Tinkerine Ditto Pro, and thanks to the kind donations of library patrons, I have assembled a toolbox that has eased daily maintenance and disassembly.

The post is broken up into sections covering tools for the following aspects:

Each section also looks at pricing for these tools and alternatives.

Tools for: Plate

THE TAPE

Not all of us can afford to wait for flexible platforms and we must make do with laying down some painter’s tape to ease the object removal. At first we would use standard-sized tape which would require about 8 strips to fully cover either platform. A few months ago someone graciously donated a roll of 3M ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape Superwide Roll that has made it just a two strip process:Tape

As you can see, the Superwide covers the majority of the Makerbot plate and a single strip of regular sized painter’s tape finishes the job.

Layout is also important. We place the thinner strip at the forefront where both printers clear their extruders before starting a print job. This allows us to replace the highly-used section of the platform at near daily intervals while the larger portion is only replaced when there is significant wear. This is also a cost saving measure as the Superwide variety can be nearly $50 per roll, and minimizing its replacement is vital. Utilizing this method allows me to stretch two rolls for four months, despite the printers actively printing out 3-4 jobs per day. If you are tight for funds, there is also 3DXTech’s XL Blue Painters Tape worth considering, which is half the price but with mixed reviews.

THE SCRAPER

Both of our printers use PLA 1.75MM filament and while that does give some Scrapersflexibility in removing items from the platform, it can still be a pain to remove flat thin objects. Paint scraper to the rescue! At first we tried a cheap plastic scraper set (the red ones) but their edges were too soft. Upgrading to a metal 1.5 inch scraper provided much better results. While it does have a tendency to damage the tape, thus reducing the re-usability of said tape, it provided enough strength to wedge a gap in mere seconds. As for pricing, metal 1.5 inch scrapers can be found for less than $5.

Tools for: Fine Tuning Prints

For print jobs that required a bit of polish, we turned to three trusty friends: scissors, X-ACTO knife, and sandpaper.

Fine_Tuning

The small scissor allows you to cut through thin pieces, such as supports or excess filament. The X-ACTO knife is called in for situations like stubborn raft pieces. Finally, the sandpaper can smooth out imperfections. Combined, all three will give your print a much finer look and prevent broken nails. Additionally, all of these pieces are easy to come by and should be no more than a few dollars each.

Tools for: Gripping

PincersThese tools are recommended for any situation that requires a delicate and firm grip. For the most part this occurs when small bits of filament are left in and around the extruder. In these situations we use a wide range of tweezers and pincers. These tools are easily found in any craft store or online. We found the flat head tweezers to provide the best grip on filament. Once again, these tools are quite affordable at around $3-5 each. Pick up one for now and add to your collection as required.

 

Tools for: Disassembly

The web will likely have an abundance of video and text resources on how to fix the exact issue for your printer. Avoid the temptation of these “quick fixes” first and check your manufacturer’s support site. I found quite a few answers to our Makerbot2 problems on their excellent support site. However, you should also be aware that the day will come when you will need to disassemble the magical device.

For the most part, 3D Printers come with everything you need. What they can lack are clear instructions on how to disassemble, let alone what tools you need, and even such great resources as ifixit.com fail to cover this vital maintenance aspect. It should be noted that the following tools are only needed if your warranty is already void. Some provider’s warranties will not even let you disassemble simple housing areas. Read those warranty guidelines that might be conveniently located in the bottom of the now discarded box, or on their support sites. All clear?

SCREWDRIVERS – Phillips & Flathead

Alright, so the first thing you want to purchase is a screwdriver set that contains Screwdriver_Seta variety of bit sizes. This allows you to tackle devices whose manufacturer decided that a different size was required for the shell, extruder, panels, board, and warning label. Again, you should really read any and all support documentation before attempting to use these tools. Our aptly named Precision Screwdriver Set, which covers 1.0mm through 3.0mm, has opened up a few areas on the machines. Just do a quick search on Amazon and find a set that fits your budget and needs, such as the $7 Herco HE826 Precision Screwdriver Set or $5 for the Stanley 66-039 6-Piece Set.

SCREWDRIVERS – Hex

We also ran into areas, namely the extruder, which required a screwdriver with hex bits. BitsFor these advanced areas (did I mention you should really read those support documents?) we turned to the 54 Bit Driver Kit from iFixit.com’s store. This set also includes a flexible driver that made it easy to work with in the printer’s cramped areas.

The set is perfect for 3D Printers as it also contains flathead and Phillips bits of all sizes. It can easily cover the majority of your disassembly needs. At $25 it is definitely the pricier of the three sets but I highly recommend it due to the quality of the tools and the diverse sizes.

Final Cost

After all that, you are probably asking yourself: “how much is this going to cost me?” Let me break it down for you in a handy table.

RECOMMENDED TOOLBOX

Item

Cost

3M ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape Superwide Roll

$50

Metal 1.5 inch Scraper

$5

Small Scissor

$5

X-Acto #2 Knife

$6

Flat Tweezer

$5

54 Bit Driver Kit

$25

 

$96

ALTERNATIVE TOOLBOX

Item

Cost

3DXTech’s XL Blue Painters Tape

$25

Metal 1.5 inch Scraper

$5

Small Scissor

$5

X-Acto #2 Knife

$6

Flat Tweezer

$5

Stanley 66-039 6-Piece Screwdriver Set

$6

 

$52

The contents and size of your 3D Printer Toolbox will come down to your needs and the model you use. I am allowed some freedom in dissembling our printers to fix small issues, like filament jams, and the high use of our machines means I am changing out the plate tape every few hours. Both of these requirements are reflected in the higher quality (and thus higher priced) emphasis of the plate and disassembly sections. You might find that your printer needs finer tweezers to reach certain areas and for other functions. A 3D Printer is a massive financial and time investment, so remember to save some funds to ease your interaction with them.

Building the ABV

PROJECT

The Archivist’s Beer Vault (ABV) is a database that I have worked on since my second semester at UNT. Initially it was just a simple beer database built using a fairly low tech software for SLIS 5200 Introduction to Information Organization. For my term project in SLIS 5707 Data Modeling for Information Professionals we were tasked to devise a multiple entity database and create it using Microsoft Access, with some hints of SQL. Converting the ABV into a multi entity database was a bit perplexing but once I figured out the entity-relationship diagram it was smooth sailing. Later in SLIS 5717 Dynamic WWW Control Structures, I learned about how to query SQL databases using PHP. Little by little more functions that I envisioned during my initial brainstorm for SLIS 5200 became realities. It currently stands as a mix of a fictional store front and a database with far more detail than presented. I am still figuring out how to best display certain data so elements like Distributor information are sitting idle. For now the only real functions are purchase and adding beers to the database.

There is more information about the structure and design of the database on the site itself and in the presentation below.


 

LINK TO LIVE SITE

Screenshot - STYLES Welcome to the Archivist s Beer Vault


 

PRESENTATION

Presented at UNT LISSA’s All School’s Day 2015 event, this slide show contains a look at the development of the database and provides a complete site demo.

LITA Post – Diagrams Made Easy with LucidChart

This post was originally published on Library & Information Technology Association (LITA) Blog

For the past year, across four different classes and countless bars, I have worked on an idea that is quickly becoming my go-to project for any Master of Information Science assignment; the Archivist Beer Vault (ABV) database. At first it was easy to explain the contents: BEER! After incorporating more than one entity the explanation grew a bit murky:

ME: So remember my beer database? Well now it includes information on the brewery, style AND contains fictional store transactions
WIFE: Good for you honey.
ME: Yeah unfortunately that means I need to add a few transitive prop… I lost your attention after beer, didn’t I?

Which is a fair reaction since trying to describe the intricacies of abstract ideas such as entity relationship diagrams require clear-cut visuals. However, drawing these diagrams usually requires either expensive programs like Microsoft Visio (student rate $269) or underwhelming experiences of freeware. Enter Lucidchart, an easy to use and relatively inexpensive diagram solution.

The website starts off users with a few templates to modify from 16 categories, such as Flowchart and Entity Relationship (ERD),  or you can opt for a blank canvas. I prefer selecting the Blank (Name of Diagram) option as it clears the field of any unneeded shapes and preselects useful shapes.

LucidChart-Shapes-Flowchart
Preselected shapes for a Blank Flowchart document

 

While these shapes should be more than enough for standard diagrams, you are also free to mix and match shapes, such as using flowchart shapes for your wireframe diagram. This is especially helpful when creating high fidelity wireframes that require end product level of detail.

Once you have selected your template it is easy to begin your drawing by dragging the desired shapes onto the canvas. Manipulating shapes and adding text overlays is straightforward, you merely click the edge of the boxes of the shape you want and adjust the size of it, which can either be done manually or set to a specific pixel size. Using the program is akin to having access to Photoshop’s powerful image manipulation tools but in a streamlined user-friendly UI. Most users can get by with just the basic options but for advanced users there are settings to adjust your page size and orientation, add layers, revision history, theme colors, adjust image size, and advanced text options. The frequently updated UI adds user requested features and contains tutorials within the diagram menu.

Adjust shapes by clicking on corners or select Metrics to adjust to specific size.
Adjust shapes by clicking on corners or select Metrics to adjust to specific size.

It also contains intuitive features such as converting lines that connect entities into cardinality notations with pulldown options to switch to  the desired notation style. This feature is not only practical but can also help with development. Getting back to the ABV, as I drew the entity structures and their cardinalities I realized I needed to add a few more transitive entities and normalize some of the relationships as I had a highly undesirable many-to-many relationship between my purchase table and items. As you can see below, the ABV’s ERD makes the complex relationships much more accessible to new users.

BEHOLD! BEER!
BEHOLD! BEER!

It was easy to move tables around as LucidChart kept the connections on a nice grid pattern, which I could also easily override if need be. This powerful flexibility lead to a clean deliverable for my term project. The positive experience I had creating this ERD lead me to try out the program for a more complex task, creating wireframes for a website redesign project in my Information Architecture class.

Tasked with redesigning a website that uses dated menu and page structures, our project required the creation of low, medium, and high fidelity wireframes. These wireframes present a vision for the website redesign with each type adding another layer of detail. In low fidelity wireframes, image placeholders are used and the only visible text are high level menu items while dummy text fills the rest. Thankfully LucidChart’s wireframe shapes contained the exact shapes we needed. Text options are limited but it did contain one of the fonts from our CSS font family property. Once we reached the high fidelity phase it was easy to import our custom images and seamlessly add them to our diagram.

Low, Medium, and High fidelity wireframes of a redesign project.
Low, Medium, and High fidelity wireframes of a redesign project.

Once again LucidChart provided a high quality deliverable that impressed my peers and professor. With these wireframes I was able to design the finished product. With LucidChart’s focus on IT/engineering, product management & design, and business, you can find a vast amount of shapes and templates for most of your diagram needs such as Android mockups, flowcharts,  Venn diagrams and even circuit diagrams. There are a few more perks about LucidChart and a few lows.

PERKS

  • Free… sort of: For single users there are three levels of pricing; Free, Basic $3.33/month (paid annually), and Pro $8.33/month (paid annually). Each level adds just a bit more functionality than the last. The free account will get you up and running with basic shapes but limited to 60 per document. Not too bad if are you creating simple ERDs. Require more than 60 objects or an active line to their support? Consider upgrading to Basic. Need to create wireframes? Well you’ll need a Pro account for that.
    Thankfully, they are actively seeking to convert Visio users by offering promotional pricing for certain users. For instance, university students and faculty can follow the instructions on this page  to request a free upgrade to a Pro account. Other promotions include 50% off for nonprofits and free upgrades for teachers. Check out this page to see if you qualify for a free or discounted Pro account. I can only speak for the Education account that adds not only the Pro features but also the Google Apps integration normally found under Team accounts.
  • Easy collaboration… for a price: As seen in the figure below, users can reply, resolve or reassign comments on any aspect of the diagram.
    LucidChart-Comments
    Comments example

    All account levels include these basic functions. However, a revision history that tracks edits made by collaborators requires a Pro account. Moreover, sharing custom templates and shapes are functions reserved for Team account users, which starts at $21/month for 5 users.
    One final note: each collaborator is tied to their own account limitations which means free account users may only use 60 shapes even if they are working on a diagram created by a Pro account.

  • Chrome app: The Chrome app converts the website into a nice desktop application that is available offline. Once you are back online the application instantly syncs to their cloud servers. The app is fully featured and responds quicker than working on the website. Using the app is a much more immersive experience than the website.

LOWS

  • Pricing for non-students: As you can see by now LucidChart has an aggressive pricing plan. The Free account is enough for most users to decide if they want to create diagrams that involve more than 60 shapes. It is a bit disappointing to see that the Basic account only adds unlimited shapes and email support. Furthermore, wireframes and mockups are locked up behind the Pro level. Most of these Pro features should really fall under Basic. Still, the $99 annual price for a LucidChart Pro account is far less than Visio, which starts at $299 for non-students.
  • Chrome app stability: For the most part the website has been a flawless experience, the same cannot be said for their Chrome app. There have been times where the application crashes to desktop, the constant syncing did save all of my work, or some shapes becoming unresponsive. There is also an ongoing bug that keeps showing me deleted documents, whichdonotappear on the website.
    LucidChart-Ghosts
    Icons in grey were deleted months ago but still show up in the Chrome App

    None of these knocks against the app have prevented me from using it but it is worth mentioning that the app is a work in progress and can feel like a lower priority for the company.

Don’t just take my word for it, you can try out a demo on their website that contains most of the Pro features. Are there any projects you can see yourself using LucidChart? Have a Visio alternative to share? I’d love to hear about any experiences other users have had.

Archivist’s Beer Vault Using MS Access

PROJECT

The Archivist’s Beer Vault (ABV) is a database that I have worked on since my second semester at UNT. Initially it was just a simple beer database built using a fairly low tech software. For my term project in SLIS 5707 Data Modeling for Information Professionals we were tasked to devise a multiple entity database and create it using Microsoft Access. Converting the ABV into a multi entity database was a bit perplexing but once I figured out the entity-relationship diagram it was smooth sailing. This was my first forray into Access and I was impressed with the flexibility and power of the program. Knowing some SQL commands that I used for my Team ASPCA Questionnaire project definitely helped with the query and reports aspects of it. I was able to finish with enough time to implement a great looking UI for the database. Here is my ABV built by Access.

Main Menu
Main Menu

 

OVERVIEW

The Archivist’s Beer Company (ABC), located in Pasadena, California, is the largest craft beer specialty store in the state. The store is stocked with well over two thousand individual craft beers from across the United States. The store sees 300 customers in any given day, of which 15-25 are new customers. A new soccer stadium down the street is set to open within a year and business is expected to boom. The database, Archivist’s Beer Vault (ABV), grew out of the need to keep track of the large collection or beers, as well as a rapidly expanding user base. The ABV houses not only beer and customer information but also distributor profiles and customer purchase history.


 

USER REQUIREMENTS

With the high amount of beers in stock, the store is not easy to browse. Instead of having to navigate aimlessly down endless rows of bottles and cans with only labels to go off of, customers use the ABV, through the ABC website and in-store kiosks, to smartly drill down by important beer attributes, such as the International Bitterness Units (IBU) or seasonal availability, which are not necessarily found directly on the bottle. Browsing beers that share beer style allows customers to see what other beers the store has that fits their preferences. In effect, the database exists to aid customers find the beer they need and as a discovery tool.

On the staff side, the ABV fills multiple needs that can only be achieved with a database. For example, the store’s layout is built around beer style instead of the usual brewery name organization scheme found in rival stores. That is to say American Pale Ales are right next to American Wheat Pale Ales but far away from Doppelbock. Staff must know what style a beer is set to and find the appropriate stocking location. The store has a policy of awarding contracts of one brewery to one distributor, the ABV allows management to ensure that the policy is enforced. The ABV also allows marketing staff to monitor customer purchase trends to adjust marketing campaigns to highlight underperforming beers.


 

BUSINESS RULES

  • A customer may have zero or many orders.
  • A customer has only one favorite style.
  • A style may have zero or many beers.
  • A style may be the favorite of zero or many customers.
  • A purchase order is submitted by one customer.
  • A purchase order has only one customer.
  • A purchase order contains one or many beers.
  • A beer is listed only once per purchase.
  • A beer has only one brewery.
  • A brewery has only one distributor.
  • A brewery may have zero or many beers.
  • A distributor may distribute zero or many breweries.

MAJOR ENTITIES

CUSTOMER

This table contains information related to ABC customers. It contains the customer’s rewards program unique ID, contact information and favorite beer style.

BEER

This table contains individual beer details. It stores the beer Universal Product Code (UPC), name, brewery, assigned style, and vitals.

BREWERY

This table contains information regarding a brewery company. It stores the brewery ID, name, location and distributor.

STYLE

This table covers beer style details. It stores the style name, country of origin, suggested serving temperature, recommended glassware, best food pairing and shelving location.

PURCHASE

This table maintains records of purchases. It stores the purchase ID, customer ID, date of transaction and total.

DISTRIBUTOR

This table contains information related to ABC distributors. It contains the distributor ID, location and contact information.


ENTITY-RELATIONSHIP DIAGRAM

ERD
Entity Relationship Diagram

 


 

SAMPLE QUERIES

  • How many fall seasonal beers does the store carry?

SELECT COUNT(BEER_Availability)  AS [Number of beers AVAILABLE]

FROM BEER

WHERE (BEER_Availability = “Fall”)

GROUP BY BEER_Availability

ORDER BY COUNT (BEER_Availability) DESC;

  • Which Oregon breweries are represented in the store?

SELECT Brewery_name

FROM Brewery

WHERE Brewery_AState = “OR”

ORDER BY Brewery_AState ASC;

  • Which distributors supply beers from Texas?

SELECT Distributor.Distributor_ID, Distributor.Distributor_CompanyName, Distributor.Distributor_Contact, Brewery.Brewery_AState

FROM Distributor, Brewery

WHERE Brewery_AState = “TX”

AND Distributor.Distributor_ID = Brewery.Distributor_ID

ORDER BY Brewery_AState ASC;

  • How many customers love Stouts (Style_ID =2)?

SELECT COUNT(Style_ID) AS [Number of Stout Lovers]

FROM Customer

WHERE (Style_ID = 2)

GROUP BY Style_ID

ORDER BY ‘Number of Stout Lovers’ DESC;


 

SCREENSHOTS

Using various options in MS Access I was able to create an interface for the ABV.

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Team ASPCA Half Marathon Questionnaire

PROJECT

For this project we were tasked with designing a survey in PHP that can add, edit and query an SQL database. Since I am a huge supporter of Team ASPCA I decided to create a survey for race participants in a fictional race. What follows is part of the write up for the project or you can just jump right into the survey  to check it out for yourself.

CLICK IMAGE FOR SURVEY.
CLICK IMAGE FOR SURVEY.

 INTRODUCTION

The TEAM ASPCA Half Marathon is a race event held on the last week of every October. Over 5,000 people participate in the three races; a 5K, 10K and half marathon. Each race has as a different course but finish and start at the same place. The first two events have been marred by reviews from Half Marathon runners complaining about the lack of support in the final stretch as runners from the shorter distances have used up the water and food. The event, in its third iteration, has become a marquee event for the ASPCA and management would like to improve the race to attract a larger crowd. A survey sent out shortly after the race can provide insight as to what the racers liked and disliked about the event.


SURVEY

Structure

First, the participant is presented with a brief survey covering unidentifiable personal information, such as location and race experience. The next page is the race survey that covers four vital aspects of the race: the pre-race, course, post-race, and the event overall. Each section is clearly marked and contains a textbox for users to add comments, questions or concerns. Every question but the comments boxes are required. After the race survey section the user is presented with a summary of their entries and a button to submit their responses. Finally, the user is thanked for their feedback and provided with a coupon for registering to next year’s event.

Questions

Participant Survey

  1. What is your age?
  2. What running team are you a part of?
  3. Where are you located? (Asks for City and State)
  4. How many races have you participated in?
  5. Is this your first time running one of our events?
  6. Did you fundraise?
  7. Which race did you participate in?

Race Survey

  1. Pre-Race
    1. Was there enough prerace communication?
    2. How did you keep up date about the race?
    3. Did you attend the race kickoff party?
    4. Which expo did you attend?
    5. How would you rate the expo?
    6. How would you rate the starting line area?
    7. OPTIONAL: Any comments about prerace events?
  2. Course
    1. How would you rate the course support?
    2. Who was your favorite cheer squad?
    3. Overall, how would you rate the course?
    4. OPTIONAL: Any comments about the course?
  3. Post-Race
    1. Did you attend the post-race festival?
    2. Was there enough post-race support?
    3. How would you rate the post-race area?
    4. OPTIONAL: Any comments about the post-race area?
  4. Overall
    1. Overall, how would you rate the event?
    2. OPTIONAL: Any comments about the event?

Justification

The participant section of the survey allows the race managers to capture some vital information from their users that allow them to establish user groups in reports, while still maintaining user privacy to allow for candid feedback. Each question in the race section covers different aspects from throughout the event experience. Knowing which communication channels worked can allow strategic marketing of future events. With past problems of spotty post-race support, the survey also allows managers to track if the issue is ongoing. Lastly, providing a comment box for each section allows users to focus their comments on particular aspects of the race.

 


DATABASE DESIGN

The database contains five entities, housed in a separate table:  the event, expo, participant, race and the opinion. Every field but the comment fields are required.

  • The Event table contains information of the iteration of the event. That is to say, the First Annual event has an ID of 1, the Second Annual has an ID of 2, and the Third Annual (this year) is 3. Every year a new row will be created to contain the information of the event.
  • The Expo table contains information of the expo of the event. There are three locations possible for the expo: Friday pick up at Run With Us, Saturday pick up at the Pasadena Convention Center and Sunday pick up at the race start.  There are only three packet ups allowed for the event.
  • The Participant table holds the personal information provided by the survey respondent
  • The Race table contains information on the three races held during the event. There is the 5K Presented by Run with Us, Race for the Rescues 10K, and the Team ASPCA Half Marathon.
  • Finally, the Opinion table holds the race feedback provided by the survey participant. All of the entities are tied together through this entity.
Entity Relationship Diagram
Entity Relationship Diagram

WEBSITE

Sitemap

TEAM-ASPCA-SiteMap
Site map of survey site

Functions

The welcome page explains the purpose of the survey to the participant and collects their personal information. A “On to Race Survey” button links through to the next page, project.php. This page stores the information from the previous page and collects information on the race, which is stored in the opinion table. The user hits the “Review Feedback” button that links to project2.php where they are presented with the information provided in the previous two pages. The user then hits “SUBMIT Feedback” to lead to project3.php that processes all of the information gathered in the survey and inserts it into our SQL database, once the transmission is complete the user is thanked for their time, presented with a coupon and linked back to the survey home page.

Link

CLICK IMAGE FOR SURVEY.
CLICK IMAGE FOR SURVEY.

Drupal Wireframe

ASSIGNMENT

For the first two assignments of SLIS 5745 Information Architecture we looked at the navigation, layouts and sitemaps of various websites. This included a comparative analysis, cart sorts, and other IA tools. For this assignment we were tasked with assessing drupal.org and creating an entirely new layout. Students were told to post their biggest complaints about the sites and to incorporate this feedback into their design.

Screenshot of Drupal.org
Screenshot of Drupal.org

SOLUTION

The main change I made to the site was moving the global navigation menu down and formatted as tabs. This was made because Shannon S., Annie G., and Becca W. classmates were big fans of the tab navigation of the original site.  The wireframe also shows the coloration of the active tab to show what section the user is in. The “Log-in/Register” link was left as it seemed important for returning users.

Next, I simplified the search box to just All, Marketplace (my new location of Themes & Modules) and Support. Users such as Becca W. complained about the search being full featured but filled with options that were not useful to the average user. Switching it to three main areas allows the search to fit both power users (marketplace) and new (support).

The main section of the page was changed into a two column format. The left column contains Drupal’s welcome and description. The right column contains an accordion that pulls in a few user requested items. Nearly everyone requested that video tutorials (which Drupal’s YouTube channel has a few of) be on the main page, as well as a step by step process. Shannon S. and I wanted the social media content to be more on the forefront as it provided fresh content on an otherwise static page. Rounding out the accordion, there is a content area for Release Notes and to highlight Sites Made with Drupal.

The rest of the page stayed the same, including the color scheme and footer.

Final Product
Final Product

TOOLS USED

June / July Update

As expected my mileage took a hit during a very busy June. Between marrying the woman of my dreams and celebrating it with a two-week honeymoon in Costa Rica, I didn’t have much time to run. I only clocked in 3 hours 46 minutes for 22.57 miles, most of which were from the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon

July was a different story as I managed to run 52.22 miles! Though I was just shy of my monthly record of 52.54 miles. I’ve been trying to get back into the flow of 3-4 weekly runs and yoga in between but it is still a busy summer. Luckily my next race on tap is Conquer the Bridge 5 Miler. I still have plenty of time to get up to pace for RnR LA… seeing as how I might be running that in costume I should probably up the routine.

Conquer the Bridge

featured-upcoming-cb


Why?

As I stated in the previous post about the race, I LOVE bridges and this run will let me cross Los Angeles off my “Run Across a Bridge in Favorite Cities” list. Others on the list are/were:


Expectations

Since it is roughly a 5 mile race, I don’t have any earlier times to beat. During my last long run (7/14) I ran the first five miles in 49 mins. So let’s say 45 for the race?


Training Schedule

Just got back from a long break my stamina is a bit of a joke. So I will try to hit the following times before then.
7/22 – 50 mins – NO, roughly 1hrs 3mins but it was a trail run. Valid excuse right? hah
7/29 – 49:00 – YES! 46 mins and 54 seconds!
8/5 – 48:00 – NO, 55 mins 30 seconds. Another trail run.
8/12 – 47:00
8/19 – 46:00
8/26 – Sub 45
9/2 – RACE!

Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles: Half-Marathon

featured-upcoming-rrla


Why?

I really love the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series and I had a great time at the RnR LA Mini-Marathon last year. This year I will once again raise money for Team ASPCA but I’ve upped the ante. My goal is to raise $950 for this wonderful organization AND I’m doing the Half-Marathon!

Like last year, I will offer incentives for donations. Since the goal is bigger I’m going to be pretty creative. For my first goal I want to raise $250 by July 27th. If I meet that goal I will run the entire race in a full costume picked by the highest bidder! Now I do have some restrictions so if you are interested please visit my fund-raising site for more details.


Expectations

Hoping to raise $950 and finish the race in a costume! Now that I have four half-marathons under my belt, I’m confident I will finish but the bigger question is if I can raise the money. I’ll have to set a schedule for both running and fund-raising.


Fund-Raising Schedule

7/27 – $250!
8/20 – $500
9/1 – $600
9/15 – $700
9/29 – $800
10/6 – $850
10/13 – $950!
10/20 – $1150! I would qualify for the next level!

Check out my progress:


Training Schedule

Present through 9/1 – Training for Conquer the Bridge
9/8 – 9 miles
9/15 – 10 miles
9/22 – 11 miles
9/29 – 10 miles
10/6 – Might be Running Santa Monica 5000
10/13 – Run 13.1 miles in full costume
10/20 – Run 131. miles in full costume with 2 hr 20 mins goal.
10/27 – RACE!