Bike MS 2014 Pedal to the Point – another 170+mile ride

Looky looky!  Another week and another post??  Just a few more times and that should be all it takes to become habit forming, huh? :)

I really am skipping all over the place with this, but what the heck about me DO I do “normal” ;)

Bike MS

Bike MS – day 2

So this is my third year for doing BikeMS and once again it did not disappoint!  The past couple years BMO and I rode, we rode with Team Mellen.  This year enough of our friends wanted to ride we had our own team, Team OUTRIDE!!  What a great experience this was, being captain of our own team was a phenomenal experience made only possible because I had such great teammates.  I loved every bit of it — the team name was easy, building off our OUTSTANDING ultrarunning team OUTRUN and thanks to Primal Wear, even designing our custom jerseys was simple.

Our Jerseys

Our Jerseys

Our team consisted of:

  • BMO
  • my brother Denny
  • Brooke K.
  • Theresa M.
  • Doug H.
  • Kerri D.
  • Tim S.
  • Jeannette A.
  • Kevin A.
  • and myself

Notice that second one?? Yep, my brother!  Aside from having our own team, this ride was made even more special because my older brother Denny signed up with us.  He didn’t even have a bike before signing up either!

Unfortunately Doug had scheduling conflicts and Jeannette suffered an injury during a race so they had to back out.  While Brooke, BMO, and Tim have ridden hundred milers before – this would be a distance PR for my brother, Kerri, Theresa, and Kevin – and they did awesome!

Our team goal for raising funds I set at $5000.00.  We came SOOO close to hitting the mark too (on a side note — donations are still being accepted through September 30th.  wink, wink, LOL —  click here if you feel compelled to make a donation :) ) Our team raised 92% of our goal ($4646.00).  I ended up raising 64% of my goal and was able to donate $640.00.

Although we couldn’t get all of our team together at one time for training rides, several of us were able to organize a couple rides together.  Nothing really serious as our rides typically have a stop midway through for a burger or something at a nice patio. And before we know it, it was time to ride!

The morning of the ride was beautiful!  We met up dark and early to get our team picture taken, and then hung out waiting to start.

Team OUTRIDE

Team OUTRIDE

Killing some time

Killing some time

Once we were off it was easy sailing.  I wanted to get a chance to ride with everyone on our team.  We all started out together but I think within the first 10miles or so we ended up splitting up into two groups.  I hung back with Theresa, Kerri, Tim and my brother for a little while and to noone’s surprise I think — helped miss a turn to add a couple more miles.  On day one you have an option to add a 25mile loop to your ride to make it 100 miles for the day.  I was thinking of hanging with them till the course split then pressing on to try and catch Brooke, BMO, and Kevin.  We approached the Kendal Clapp turn and…..  they didn’t turn!!!  They kept going to make the hundo!  I guess the adrenalin was pumping and once in the saddle the moment took over — I did say they crushed it didn’t I? :)

10294231_798267396871263_7202859342650184319_nAfter a few more miles I stepped it up some and pressed it pretty hard to catch up to the others.  I finally caught them at one of the rest stops and we hung together till lunch.  A terrible storm blew in and at our lunch stop they were urging everyone to not go back on the course until the storm blew over.

BMO and I have taken this picture each year so far

BMO and I have taken this picture each year so far

Once the storm passed we were on our way again.  Brooke seemed to have started a trend before we headed back out by fashioning rain gear out of a garbage bag.

LOL... just love Brooke!

LOL… just love Brooke!

We encountered a few showers, but nothing major and arrived at Sandusky Highschool a few hours later.

Day 1 --- 100 Miles Done!

Day 1 — 100 Miles Done!

Denny, Tim, Kerri, and Theresa --- 100 miles done!!

Denny, Tim, Kerri, and Theresa — 100 miles done!!

After getting cleaned up BMO and I have a ritual now of heading to the Brass Pelican and grabbing a couple little beers.

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After a night of proper refueling BMO, Denny and Brooke hopped the bus and headed back.  unfortunately they didn’t have time the next day to make the 70+ mile ride home with us.

Bed time!

Bed time!

After a “good night’s sleep” we were back in the saddle again.  It was awesome to hear that Theresa and Kerri decided to crank out the miles on day two as well!  It was a little wet and we got rained on a couple of times but all in all it was a beautiful day!  Much of it looked like this:

Kevin was having a little trouble with his leg locking up some, but he powered through it and crossed that finish line on day 2 like a champ!  I feel like I’m rambling on and the this writing is “all over the place” so I’ll end it with  quick Magisto video I made at the end of day one.  Click on the following link and it should open up.  Enjoy! (if it doesn’t work, please let me know, I’ll fix it)

http://www.magisto.com/video/MwYNZgkTFCozQxdnCzE

Do I still have any followers left?

I sure hope so!  I have been away from blogging for so very long.  I seem to have great intentions for doing so, take tons of pictures with the plan of getting posts done, but alas — when it comes down to it, I drop the ball, blogging gets put on the back burner and *POOF* nearly 6 months go by without so much as a peep from me…. so, for anyone that still has me on their follow list – thanks for sticking around :)

I’ve been thinking about the best way to get back at this, but it seems there is so much that I want it is almost a little overwhelming.  I am thinking that it will be in parts – gardening/yard, running, Bike MS, kids/summer.

This first part is going to be about the garden (just cuz I’m lazy and there is less to write about and I figure this will be the easiest)

We didn’t have the garden last year and I really missed it.  While I’m not entirely thrilled and do not find much joy in weeding it, I do love to plant it and watch it grow!  The waning months of the garden may not be the prettiest, but it still produces a very bountiful harvest :)

How it all began this year

How it all began this year

After taking care of over a year’s worth of neglect I was finally able to get this planted.  Tons of tomatoes, several different kinds of peppers, cucumbers, zucchinis, broccoli, cabbage, brusselle sprouts, sugar snap peas, and squash.  Also, as a bonus all of my raspberry bushes grew phenomenally!

In no time at all it really started to take shape!

In no time at all it really started to take shape!

And then my favorite time — HARVEST TIME!!!  I honestly don’t think I’ve ever eaten so many tomatoes and peppers in my entire LIFE!  I think I ate more than 50% of what I was picking before it even made its way into the house.

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Amazing how well iPhone pictures come out.

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Perhaps one of my favorite plants in the garden was this one —

Behold - the broccoli flower

Behold – the broccoli flower

This one made me happy for several reasons.  It showed to me that my garden did very well this year — despite my “help”.  It also was a great example of how even when conditions are not ideal (I did say I wasn’t a fan of weeding, and I may have forgotten to water it from time to time) life could flourish.  And finally, perhaps I won’t need to plant as many broccoli plants next year, I’ll just need to be a little more careful preparing the garden :)

Other big changes have taken place this year in our yard.

I finally came through with the kids' Christmas present and pulled the trigger on the pool!

I finally came through with the kids’ Christmas present and pulled the trigger on the pool!

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I ended up pulling the trigger a little late in the year, but the kids were able to enjoy it quite a bit this year.  One thing about having the pool is, it became abundantly clear how much my kids are growing up.  Shortly after it was installed they had a couple friends over to swim and have a fire.  It was a bitter-sweet evening.  My babies are growing up…….

Cannot be more proud of my kids and the people they are becoming...

Cannot be more proud of my kids and the people they are becoming…

OUTRUN 24 version 2014

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The third running of O24 took place on April 26th and once again – it. was. amazing.  The turnout this year exceeded what we expected.  The inaugural running of O24 in 2012 had 66 runners toe the line, 2013 there were 85, and in 2014?  ONE HUNDRED FIFTY FOUR!  Love how this race is drawing so many new folks into the world of ultra running.

This ultra trail race is probably one of the most runner friendly, walker friendly, family friendly events there are.  For those that haven’t read my posts before about O24 and have never heard of it; a brief description.

A race for beginners and ultra veterans alike, the unique Outrun 24 Hour Trail Race is held in the Lake Metroparks Chapin Forest Reservation in Kirtland, OH approx. 30 mins East of Cleveland. With its distinctive rock formations and mature woodland trails, the park provides a scenic setting for the endurance run. Runners will follow a 1.00244mi USATF certified loop and may run any distance or time up to 24 hours. If you are looking for a great atmosphere to come out and test yourself, come and check it out! Course The USATF certified (# OH11035MW) and IAU Bronze Labeled course is a 1.002445 mi loop on trails that consists primarily (93%) of crushed limestone, dirt, and a short bit (7%) of asphalt. The loop is rolling with one main hill. There is approximately 65 feet of elevation gain & loss per lap. Please see additional tabs for course photos, video, directions, and other information.

Zack Johnson, the RD for this race and the head of OUTRUN,  puts an amazing personal touch on this event.  From before the event starts with email blasts to all registrants, to a prerace video -

 

To running laps along side participants -

zack running

To finally making sure he personally hands each finisher their well deserved medal and takes a photo with them, no matter what time of day, or night, or well… even the next day.  I mean, after all, the race does start at 8am on Saturday and doesn’t end till 8am on Sunday.

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My goal for this race when I registered was 100 miles.  My plan is to run at least one, 100 mile race each year.  Two years ago it was BR100.  Last year it was supposed to be NYM100 - but you know how that turned out.. So, after Yo Momma kicked my ass again, I decided that O24 is the perfect place to knock out 100 miles and ensure I get at least one in and then tackle YM again with a hundo under my belt for the year already.

That quickly changed when my training wasn’t going as planned.  I really hate talking about things that ail me because I don’t want to be labeled “that guy who makes up excuses”, or be “that guy who always has something wrong”, but I couldn’t ignore this much longer.  I finally sucked it up, went to get checked out, and get myself back on track.  I have to admit that it was quite relaxing to go into this race with no goal at all – talk about no pressure!  I charged up my GoPro camera and after my race committee responsibilities were completed I made sure to get some footage.  Here is a glimpse at the start of the race.

Here a few other pics from the race –

No that isn't a real tattoo but an arm sleeve.  I do have three tattoos and actually never wanted a full sleeve.  Hmmmm. until after seeing this picture - now I want one! LOL

No that isn’t a real tattoo but an arm sleeve. I do have three tattoos and actually never wanted a full sleeve. Hmmmm. until after seeing this picture – now I want one! LOL

Peg getting her leg rubbed out...

Peg getting her leg rubbed out…

Cheering on all day and night!

Cheering on all day and night!

Over the last few months, quite a bit of my training has taken place on the road or even worse the dreadmill, so I bought a pair of Hokas to help ease the pain.  I LOVE the Bondis I bought but unfortuantley they didn’t last very long.  I blew both shoes out and took them back with just over 100 miles on them.  They didn’t have the new version of the Bondi’s in (apparently improved because many people were having the same issue) so I took home a pair of Hoka Rapa Nui’s — big mistake.  I started out the race in my regular Saucony Exodus shoes and was feeling pretty well.  Around mile 18 or so I decided to change out of those and put on my new Hokas.  I only wore the shoes walking around a little bit to try and get a feel for them and after only a few miles I started to get a pain in my left foot which progressively got worse; to the point where I was only able to limp around the course now.  I know I didn’t have a “goal” for the race but I had to at least finish a 50k!  So I walked the last 8-10 miles and finished with a new PWR (personal worst record) of 9hrs 58min! YIKES!  Click here for my Runkeeper data for this run.  Took those Rapa Nui’s back the next day and ordered the new Bondi.

So what do you do after you complete a 50k in 9hrs at a 24hr race?  You hang out, cheer on your friends and have a good time.  Also, while your friends are out there trudging along, you get to do this —

sleeping

Hey —- I wasn’t the only one!

sleeping2

Click here for a full list of 2014 race results.  There was a new record set this year. Jim Van Orman cleared 120 miles!  Every time I saw Jim he would smile and wave.  He made it look so easy!

Huge Congrats Jim!!

Huge Congrats Jim!!

Amanda Mowry completed the most miles for the women.  Covering 84 miles

Amanda Mowry completed the most miles for the women. Covering 84 miles – Way to go Amanda!!!

Once again there were so many amazing people who came out and pushed themselves to their limits.  There were those that were running the race to raise money for charities, those that were walking the entire way to a distance PR, to the Grandmother, Mother, daughter trio that rocked it!  I could go on and on but rather than taking just my perspective of it, here are a several other blog posts about it.  Enjoy!

HOLY CRAP!!!  I almost forgot!  As was the case last year, this year Chef Bill catered an OUTSTANDING breakfast for everyone again on Sunday morning after the race.  Check him out here at Playing with Knives and Fire.  Have an event you want catered, a party with some friends that you want a rockin’ meal for, or a date with that special someone — he’s your man.  Look him up.  Plus, he’s a fellow ultra runner – as the other half of Bills’ Badass 50k.

Breaking the Pace

Through a Running Lens

and

Kim’s Low Down on the Runs

 

Ummmm…. Yeah……

I don’t even know where to begin, so I’m thinking a quick little snap shot then in my next few posts highlight a few of them specifically to get caught up.

I haven’t been keeping up with my blog, my training, or my diet.  Reasons being?  Some of the reasons, for training at least, are easy – I have experienced a few physical setbacks.  First, I was/am having some pains in my leg.  I started seeing Dr. Tim Keyes for them though and he has begun fixing all the damage I’ve done.  I haven’t trained at all in a while the way I used to; I used to eat better, run, do yoga, stretch, take ice baths, and lift weights.  Apparently if you stop doing all of that and just run, expecting to run the same distances and times that you used to without doing anything else – you tear up your body something fierce – go figure huh?  I think this has a direct relationship with the injury I experienced last weekend at O24 (more on this later).  As for my blog, and diet – I could make up a number of reasons, but really those reasons would just be excuses.  The only legit reason I could think of ties directly back to diet and training; low energy, which I know could be corrected with a better diet.  Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t completely lazy.  Since my last blog post I was able to cover over 160miles in the month of March, but towards the end of the month the wheels started falling off and April ended with only 72miles when it should have EASILY been 150 plus.  I haven’t run any real distances (by that I mean 50k or more) since the Art More Fatass in January.  And I don’t really think that O24 this year counts since I walked so much of it due to whatever in the hell I did to my foot.

I’ve begun putting things in place to get back on track. I’ve starting seeing Dr. Keyes to take care of the problems I’m having with my leg, I plan to get back to at least making a weekly post about running, food, and/or family (anyone following my blog is more than welcome to call me out if I start to slip, lol).  We’ve prepped the garden and will be planting in the next couple weeks,  I started using our Fresh 20 subscription again and I’m sure much to the dismay of many of my FB friends, started posting things about our dinners again – I kinda feel this holds me a little accountable – sorry friends.  I have also started devising a new training program. While I don’t have too many events I am registered for at the moment, there is a HUGE run that my friends and I are doing in October, Rim2Rim2Rim (Grand Canyon double crossing in one day); and if I don’t want to be left for dead, I need to get off my lazy ass and get things back in order.

Sorry for the repost of this video, but I couldn’t help it.  I watched it several times tonight while looking back at my blog, it just seems to really stir something in me.

The original link from the show for some reason switched to “private” and was no longer viewable…. This is the only other one I found.

http://videos.huffingtonpost.com/entertainment/malcolm-jamal-warner-stuns-with-his-spoken-word-performance-518093059

Now I need to work on some more specific posts;

  • Belated St. Paddy’s day Fatass 25k
  • Mohican Trifecta (well — the 1/2 marathon anyways)
  • Jeremy’s football
  • Emily’s birthday
  • Outrun24 (O24)
  • and our 2014 BikeMS team this year – OUTRIDE

Catchya all in a bit!

 

 

 

Time to play – I mean train, ah… run — Oh what the hell — PLAY!

Hey there folks!  Remember me??

Things have been plugging along lately and the weather here has been torturous which has really sapped me of quite a bit of my motivation to get outside and run.  I did manage to cover just over 150 miles of running in January including my first 50k of the year.  This was the Art More Fatass 50k, recognizing the contributions that Art Moore has made to Ultra Marathoning.  This was a pretty flat course on all clear multipurpose trails, so it made for an easy first one of the year.  It ended up being just over 32 miles (click here to see my run data) at which I averaged 11:49min/mile pace.  In typical fashion I did take a few pics during this run…

Clear and easy trail

Clear and easy trail

Scenic run through Rocky River

Scenic run through Rocky River

Bad ass "Big Sis" and I

Bad ass “Big Sis” and I

After this – the bottom fell out of our weather.  Temps were so frigid that schools were closed and they had to petition for extra “calamity days”.  Of course with this being some of the coldest temps we’ve seen in years – I couldn’t resist getting out for a few runs!

Time to stop your run when your water freezes

Time to stop your run when your water freezes

Dress properly!

Dress properly!

Starting temp of this night time run

Starting temp of this night time run

Not a soul on the roads made for an eerie run.

Not a soul on the roads made for an eerie run.

Ending temp -- yes that says -02deg F

Ending temp — yes that says -2F

So while some of my friends have been pushing through and getting their runs in — I.have.not.  And I’m not feeling too good about it.  Honestly, I feel like I am in the worst shape I’ve been in a LONG time :-/  BUT that IS changing!

The weather has also been messing up not just my training plans but my race schedule.  We were supposed to run the Pilot Mountain Payback again this year (click here for my race report from 2013) but North Carolina got hit with nasty weather as well so they wouldn’t let us on the mountain.  The race was rescheduled for April 12th, but I already have the Forget the PR Trifecta that weekend in Mohican.  After finding out our race was canceled I quickly shot Tanya (RD for Winter Run for Regis) a facebook message.  WRFR was my first 50k attempt and a race I’ve run for the past three years (click here for 2011 data, 2012 data, 2013 data, and 2014 data).  This race is typically in early January (click here for last year’s race report), but she changed the date and it happened to fall on the day we were already registered for PMPB.  I explained to Tanya that I just wanted to run a little bit of the course and play with my GoPro camera.  I was going to start with the half-marathoners and carry my own aid and record a bit of both loops.  Tanya explained (for those that know her well – in the nicest way Tanya could, ehehem… LOL) that she was not happy about me banditting the course.  Luckily tho she said someone dropped from the half and I could buy her bib – so I bought the bib, started with the 9:25am wave of half marathoners and made my first real GoPro running video.  I’m pretty happy with my first real attempt, there is a lot to get to know about this camera.  I’m excited about getting better with this thing as I make more and more. —-  Here is the entire Run for Regis course – enjoy :)

2013 in a word — “Learning”, 2014? “Training”

Well, New Years day has come and gone and I’m sure I’m THE last to blog about it – same thing as being “fashionably late” no?  Ok, no – I’ve just been a bit lazy.  Then again, it is still January – I’m OK :)

With all of the things that I am excited about and need to update my blog about —- my running plans for 2014, and oh yes… 2014 is going to be epic!  Several destination runs (including a run across the Grand Canyon and back), my first 50k of 2014, what the kids are up to, and then several other more serious topics that are stirring in me which I have to get out!  I decided it’s just easier to start with a new year’s type of post…..

2013 was a heck of a year, aside from learning more about outward things such as: running, cycling, swimming, finances, gardening, home repairs, and unfortunately our judicial system, I’ve learned a tremendous amount about myself, relationships, about parenting and which battles to stand firm on and which really, in the grand scheme of things – are not all that important.

While the term “failure” sounds pretty harsh for lack of a better, more encompassing term, by definition, it is the best fit.  In each one of these areas, in one way or another I’ve learned something through failures.  Be them in DNF’ing a race, blowing my budget, a non-existent garden this year, in who I am and my take on things, in looking back at a journal I used to keep and realizing a real root cause of a problem I was having, or even in silly arguments I used to have with the kids over things that in hindsight were no big deal.  With each failure I’ve grown and learned something.

So with 2013 being summed up as “learning”, my goal for 2014 is “training”.  Training as in, not learning through failure but being properly prepared for success.  A couple of nights ago I was laying in bed watching TV – The Aresenio Hall show.  It’s sandwiched between two of my favorite things to watch – Fox 8 News and The Big Bang Theory.  While the show is usually on just to pass time because I’m too lazy to reach over to grab the remote and change the channel,  a segment came on that couldn’t have been more aptly timed.  Malcolm Jamal Warner came on and I wasn’t reallypaying much attention at first but then, then it spoke to me.  I thought “That’s it!”

Sorry about the video quality – the original link from the show for some reason switched to “private” and was no longer viewable…. This is the only other one I found.

http://videos.huffingtonpost.com/entertainment/malcolm-jamal-warner-stuns-with-his-spoken-word-performance-518093059

“It’s only 25% physical.  It’s really about the 25% mental, the 25% spiritual, the 25% emotional that I need to make sure that I could endure this obstacle course that the game of life leaves before me.”

I’ve been working on only 25% of the training I really need.  It’s about time to strive for the other 75% that I’m missing out on.

My little “Cake Boss”

I know I am jumping way ahead of myself here but we did something this weekend that was so much fun that I couldn’t resist.  I  mentioned before that one of my purposes for my blog was to treat it as sort of a virtual scrap-book to look back upon and share with family and friends – both online and in real life.  Who knows – besides trying to promote an active lifestyle and cooking adventures, maybe it will help spark an idea for someone else to do with their kids.  Well, this is one of those “scrapbooking” type posts….

I try to let my kids try as many new things as they would like —  within reason of course.  So we were sitting at the dinner table about a week ago when Emily says, “Daddy, I want to make a three-tier cake; like on Cake Boss“.  Me liking to cook couldn’t say no (yeah, I know — WAY behind on food blog posts……) I figure how hard could it be, right?

I jumped on-line one morning to look up how to make the tiers.  I now know the difference between “tiers” and “layers”, what supports are, and the need for cake boards :)  Emily of course rolled her eyes and expressed to me how she already knows what to do…

Off to the store we went!  A couple of cake pans, 6 boxes of mix, 6 containers of frosting, several different decorative frosting items, two dozen eggs, vegetable oil, supports for the tiers, cake boards, a few new spatulas, butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, flour, and chocolate chips— sounds like more than just cake ingredients, huh?  Well, we decided to also make some chocolate chip cookie dough bites while the cakes were baking… Yeah, I REALLY need to run more now!

Picking up supplies

Picking up supplies

You’ve never seen a more excited little girl at a grocery store!  She wanted more, but I had to draw the line somewhere.  We got home, unloaded the car, donned our, er… ahhh… I mean — her apron and started baking.  This is pretty new to me.  I can cook, but bake?  The most baking I’ve done is making brownies with Emily in our Perfect Brownie Pan.  You really cannot go wrong.  This however was pretty involved.  Emily was eager to start mixing — especially since she loves using our “mixer”.  You remember my mixer from early on in my blog, no?  Here – this is when I had the first idea to fix my problem of not having one

Mixing away!

Mixing away!  Gotta love the goofy smile :)

After mixing up the ingredients and putting the layers in the oven to bake, we decided we needed to do something else.  Thanks to my friends Camille and Kelly G., we had a hankering for some chocolate chip cookie dough balls.  These were super easy to make and we had just enough time too; sugar, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, half and half, flour, vanilla, and chocolate chips…. how could they not be good!

Rolling out the bites

Rolling out the bites

It's a messy job but someone had to do it!

It’s a messy job but someone had to do it!

No fingers were licked before all the bites were rolled.

No fingers were licked before all the bites were rolled.

So now the bites were chilling in the freezer and the cake layers were finishing baking. Mind you we only had two cake pans so this ended up practically being an all day event!

Such concentration...

Tier one being frosted.  Such concentration…

After letting the layers cool  and cutting off the rounded tops, it was time to start assembling them.  Emily did an OUTSTANDING job frosting these layers.

Oh yeah, the chocolate chip cookie dough bites?  Well, in between the layers baking,  the cookie dough bites firmed up and we were able to melt some chocolate chips down to dip them in.  The only problem with these bites — they didn’t really last too long and I didn’t get a picture of them.  They did however look A LOT like the ones in the picture from the recipe.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

We were nearing the completion of this project and it was very exciting to see it all coming together.  What I thought would be a small task and a MUCH smaller cake, was turning out to be a major job and one REALLY large cake!

Tier 2 complete!

Tier 2 complete!

Emily's finished product

Emily’s finished product

Several hours later, and it is finally complete!  It was very rewarding as a parent to watch and help my little girl complete this project.  Emily did about 90% of this on her own.  After our first layer the only assistance I needed to give was to cut the supports down to size and provide comic relief for her when a couple mishaps took place during the frosting phase.  So proud of this kid.  She decided she wanted to do something and did it — start to finish.  Cake Boss folks?  Eat your hearts out! :)