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Where training meets fandom. And everything in between.

Face The Music Friday #32

I’m not even going to summarize my workouts because the only thing that I did this week was the Newport 10 Miler on Sunday. Done.

There are a lot of things that went on this week at work, and will continue to for probably a few months, that are just frying my brain on a daily basis. I can’t really go into it because I’m not sure how confidential most of it is so I’ll just leave it at “very stressful”! My anxiety goes through the roof all day long and by the time I get home I want to do absolutely nothing and when I get up I just want to go right back to bed.

I have a busy weekend coming up that I plan on enjoying to it’s fullest. Tomorrow I run BoldrDash with my Unleashed teammates and couldn’t be more excited! I love training with these people and can’t wait to see them in their elite element. I, on the other hand, am so far from elite I should probably be banished from that gym. HAHA

Sunday I’ll be volunteering at the water stop for the Cox Rhode Races marathon and half. I know a couple of people I need to keep an eye out for, but if you’ll be there let me know so I can cheer for you!

Race season is upon me so suddenly, I feel like it snuck up on me. I’ve got 3 races this month (every other weekend), including goal #1 – Tough Mudder. I’m excited but nervous about all my races. Training hasn’t gone exactly as planned lately and I have no one to blame but myself so I just need to figure out how to get my head straight and move on.

Just a quick post today with the update and the song choice for the week. I should note, I listen to 90% alternative/rock music, however I will listen to almost anything and have quite the plethora of song styles in my iTunes. In junior high, I had a rap phase, but don’t really listen to much of it nowadays unless it’s on mainstream radio and I catch it. I picked this song because I do like it, but I was reminded of it when I saw a video of Jimmy Fallon and Emma Stone do a lip sync battle and that was one of the songs. So today, you get 3 videos – the original song video, the Jimmy/Emma video and the video that is what I think of when I hear this song (hint: it’s got JT in it).

 

All I Do Is Win – DJ Khaled (and guests) – Original

 

Lip Sync Battle w/ Jimmy and Emma

 

SNL video w/ JT – the song specifically is just before the 2:00 mark, but the whole thing is funny (sorry couldn’t find whole skit on YouTube so just click on the link to watch)

http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/81536704/

 

 

 

 

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Newport 10 Mile Race Recap

Sunday was race #5 for my #14in2014 – the Newport 10 Miler. This was also the longest distance I’ve ever run in my life and my first attempt at it. Prior to the race, I’d only run 7 miles as part of my training plan.

Going in to this race, I had no time aspirations. My endurance has suffered a lot over the last 6-8 months due to constant injuries. I haven’t been able to run 3 days a week, every week, for at least 3 miles like I was last summer. I’ve been doing a run/walk plan of 4 min run/2 min walk for a while now and was really just going in to this to cover the distance and finish, not win any awards. I’ve still got a massive competitive streak though, so I really just aim not to finish dead last so I don’t beat myself up.

On Saturday, I got a message from a friend of mine I’ve known since college. We’re Facebook friends, but hadn’t seen each other in probably 12 years. Since we were both doing the race, she wanted to meet up before the race so we made plans. It was really great to see her and nice that she finally got to meet Tara. We hung out pre-race and chatted, warmed up, made our portapotty runs and then lined up to start together. This is where that story ends because she is MUCH faster than I am! She got a new PR of 1:22:50. See? Speedy!

 

The two of us heading out of the Fort to line up

 

All week long I had watched the weather for this race. Normally I don’t obsess this much for a race, but when I knew I’d be out there for more than 2 hours, I reallllly didn’t want it to be in pouring rain. At the beginning of last week it showed somewhere around 60* and 0% chance of rain. By Saturday morning, it showed 30-40% chance of rain straight through 6pm Sunday! We ended up lucking out with the weather, for the most part. At the race start, it was chilly, but not super windy and no rain – just clouds. Around the halfway point of the race the sun even peeked through for maybe 15 minutes or so. It then got cloudier and cloudier, plus the wind started picking up something fierce. By the last mile, the wind was so bad right next to the water that it was almost pushing me backwards! The sprinkles didn’t start until we were leaving, but never really amounted to any rain of any sort until long after we’d gotten home.

 

 

Now let’s get down to the meat of the race – the running itself. I went in with my 4/2 plan, but didn’t end up paying attention to it. I decided watching my Garmin for my intervals would cause me to look at my overall time too much, so I decided to try doing a song for song interval (run one whole song, walk one whole song). This worked out pretty well and allowed me to not focus solely on my overall time. Sometimes I did a little less or a little more depending on if there was an uphill or downhill and used it to my advantage.

The course itself was gorgeous. We started out in the parking lot at Fort Adams, headed out onto Ocean Ave and just kept following that beautiful coastline. Once we’d run out the coast, we ended up on Bellevue Ave where the famous mansions are located. After we cruised through some side streets, we finished back inside the actual Fort, which was pretty cool.

 

From race website

 

They started the race by firing a “cannon”. The DJ then started by playing Follow The Yellow Brick Road as the lead-off song, which I thought was hysterical! I started out OK, but the first mile was almost all uphill which was a quick energy zapper. I wasn’t sure how my stomach would react with this type of distance (plus nerves), so I had only an English muffin with PB and jam, plus a banana and coffee around 4:30am (race start was 8am). I brought my handheld water bottle, which has a small pouch attached, so I stuffed some Shot Bloks in there to use throughout the race. I didn’t really know how to fuel myself properly during the race, so my plan was just to wing it based on various things I’ve read online, plus I knew there would be Gatorade at the mile 6 and 8 water stops.

 

 

They had water stops every 2 miles which I thought was great, too. I definitely didn’t drink enough because I never even finished my handheld and it’s not all that big (8 oz maybe?). I had two half cups of Gatorade and 4 of the 6 Shot Bloks. I ended up stopping at the portapotties at miles 4 and 8 so I definitely appreciated that they had them out at all the stops. I’ll definitely need to figure out fueling in the next few weeks considering how fast Tough Mudder is coming up and that it’s probably 10-12 miles (on a mountain!). That will be a big issue if I don’t figure it out.

I definitely enjoyed the scenery on this run. It’s really hard to have a tough run with views like this:

 

 

I felt pretty strong through about mile 7 and then sort of hit a wall. Each step seemed tougher and each time I ran seemed shorter and shorter. I think the last 2 miles took more out of me than the whole previous 8 did. The last mile was VERY hard due to the wind pushing us backwards for almost a mile, but then we got to round that corner and finish inside the Fort and it was like heaven being able to just stop moving for a minute. I had been nervous if I slowed too much or quit walking for a few minutes that I wouldn’t beat the 3 hour time limit. As it turns out, my official time was 2:19:52 so I was pretty happy with that.

 

 

Pros:

  • Early packet pick-up Friday and Saturday
  • A nice quality tshirt, along with a sticker and a few snacks as part of the swag
  • Beautiful course
  • Water/portapotty stops every 2 miles that remained fully manned and stocked until us slow pokes ran through

Cons:

  • Parking. It’s not really the fault of the organizers, but there is limited parking space at the Fort, so the parking started ½ mile from the start and just kept getting further back the later people got there until people were parking on the streets! Luckily we followed instructions and showed up early so we weren’t terribly far away.
  • Vendors/food table at finish. This was a BIG disappointment for me personally. I don’t know if they ran out of food, or didn’t feel like sitting around in the cold wind, but when I finished multiple vendors were already packed up and leaving and there was NO food in sight except some guy selling kettle corn (which I hate). There was not a bagel in sight! Tara told me while she was waiting she saw people getting food and giving it to their kids and stuff. I was so exhausted and emotional that I burst into tears because my legs were cramping as soon as I stood still and I couldn’t even get a freakin’ banana!!
  • Disorganized start. They had us all milling around inside the Fort for registrations/packet pick-up as well as portapotties. The start, however, was outside in the Fort parking lot. There was no signage about this so when someone randomly starting shouting through a (not loud enough) megaphone, we all sort of just walked out of the fort, but didn’t know where to go for the start line. Once we got out there you could hear better because the DJ used the PA system to line us up, but it was a slight bit confusing.
  • Age groups. Both myself and at least one other person I know were put in the wrong age group because they changed our age. I’m 34, but I was put in the 35-39 age group. I don’t care that the age is wrong, but what if I was a serious competitor and wanted to really see how I did against my peers? I would have no idea because they put me in the wrong bracket. This is really just a minor thing, but still worth mentioning I think.

 

I would definitely do this race again in the future simply because of how awesome the course was, but I will definitely be working on my fueling procedure and my training.

 

 

 

 

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Face The Music Friday #31 (Plus The Update You’ve All Been Waiting For!)

Fitness this week:

Saturday – 1 hr Unleashed OCF class + 4 mile hike

Sunday – Rest/Easter business

Monday – 2.62 miles for Boston

I don’t know if you heard of, or took part in, the Boston Marathon World Run, but I had pledged 25 miles. I finished the week before, but didn’t realize you could get fun virtual swag.

 

 

 

Tuesday & Wednesday – Rest

Thursday – 1 hr Unleashed OCF class

Friday – not sure yet, but I have lots of stuff to do around the house today and will probably just chill today and tomorrow since I have the Newport 10 Miler on Sunday

 

Well, looks like the ol’ blog is taking a backseat again, but it’s OK – it just leaves you more time to yearn to read my words again. Life has been fairly busy as of late. Tara and I had a really nice couple of days last weekend. We had plans for a mid afternoon lunch/dinner for Easter at my aunt’s house, so we checked with Julie and Dan about making a weekend out of it since we hadn’t seen them for a bit. They live only 15 minutes from my aunt’s house which meant we wouldn’t have to drive the hour plus up there and back on the same day as dinner.

I found out that Unleashed was hosting BoldrDash last Saturday morning as part of their race series they’ve started where the race directors come in and promote local races and you can get discounted entries and swag, as soon as you finish a kickass workout of course. I wanted to check out BoldrDash because it’s on 5/3 – which I originally had a race, but the race date got changed and I had to cancel due to volunteering on the same date they moved it to. I wasn’t sure what discounts BoldrDash were offering, but because it’s such a last minute registration for me, I didn’t want to sign up online at full price so I made plans to take the Saturday 6:30am class and then check them out afterwards. And yes, I got suckered in and signed up, so now I’ll have a “minor” warm-up race before Tough Mudder at the end of the month. I’m looking forward to it though – I’ve been told it’s a GREAT local race and I’ll be running with my Unleashed teammates so I’m excited.

After class and signing up for the race, I headed home to do a couple of things in the yard and then we drove up to MA. The weather last weekend was gorgeous, so we planned a hike around the Ponkapoag Pond Trail that Tara and I had done once last year. We knew it would be an easy beginner trail for Julie and Dan because most of it is gravel/dirt road and not so much an actual trail through the woods. I think it was a great time and it was fun doing something active together as a group.

 

Testing out my new Camelbak hiking pack I got for Christmas!

Me and Jules

 

 

The rest of the afternoon/night we just spent hanging out. It was also nice being able to chill with them on Sunday morning. Normally we’d drive up Friday night and leave Sunday morning, but because our dinner at my aunt’s wasn’t until 2:30 we didn’t have to rush off anywhere. I had brought my running stuff to get 4 miles in, but my shins and ankles hurt so bad from the hike I decided not to push it.

Easter was nice – just our small crew from my mom’s side of the family. My aunt, uncle, cousin & bf, my grandmother and me & Tara. My grandfather was working and never ended up making it there before we drove home around 4:30ish. There was lots of yummy food and we watched a little playoff hockey while we were there. I love just hanging out with them.

Monday I decided I would do that run I missed on Sunday, but what I intended to be 4 miles didn’t turn out that way. My shins were still really bothering me throughout the day, but I figured I’d try it out and see what happened. We drove up to the high school track so that I could run while Tara walked. I was OK for the first interval, but then my shins were screaming. I did a few more intervals, but couldn’t hack it so I just stopped and walked the rest of the time with Tara until I hit 2.62. I figured if I couldn’t get my 4 in, that would be perfect to do for Boston.

 

 

Speaking of Boston, I only have one thing to say – MEB!!! That was amazing! I had to work, but as soon as I got there I logged on my computer and the first thing I did was pull up the live feed of the race. I had it going in the background for hours and kept giving people updates even if they didn’t want them. I was so hoping Shalane was going to win it for the women, but you know what – she still kicked ass! Meb was a rockstar though, what an amazing finish. I only wish I could have been there and been a part of it. Maybe next year.

As for the rest of the week, well, Tara’s been a busy bee! She had the whole week off due to school vacation, so she’s tackled various projects around the house. The best one of all was our office/second guest room which is now our office/second guest room/MY RUNNING ROOM!! Now all of my workout clothes and running related gear all have one single home to live in instead of being scattered throughout the house. It’s pretty bare right now, but it was painted a cool grey color called “Pier” and we’re going to hang my medal holder I got for Christmas, as well as the awesome race photos Julie and Dan bought me. I’m sure I’ll post some pics eventually, but I pretty much suck at blogging and never remember to take pics of anything.

We also had some trees trimmed around our property line as well as had a weeping cherry tree removed that the previous owners decided would be a good idea to plant in the flower bed. Geniuses. None of the trees we trimmed actually live in our yard, but they’ve come over from the neighbor’s yard so much they were touching the house, our porch and the shed so we finally had enough. We couldn’t reach enough to trim ourselves anymore. It looks so naked, but now even more sunlight will reach the back of the house so that’s awesome – especially once we put our pool back up for the summer!

 

Tara said these guys climbed like monkeys. They were doing the trimming in the pouring rain!

 

 

OK, so…drumroll please! The most fabulous update you’ve all been waiting for….SHOES! Maybe that’s not such a big deal, but I really had you holding your breath, didn’t I?

As I’ve mentioned a few times, I’ve been seeing my sports chiropractor for a couple of months now. Since our very first appointment, she urged me to get bigger, narrow width shoes. I was wearing a size 8 regular width at the time, which I thought fit me fine. I had about a fingernail of space at the end of the toes and my foot touched both sides of the shoe – sounds fine, right? Nope. She said I had very narrow feet and should really be in a bigger shoe, length-wise, because she said my arches were like knots because my feet couldn’t stretch properly and the bone that protrudes on the outside of my foot, well, it shouldn’t do that apparently.

Every week I would go and every week she would tell me to get the other shoes. I really didn’t want to because I don’t want to spend tons of money and have to replace every shoe I own because once you stretch your foot out, the ones you have won’t fit anymore. Plus I had just gotten new running shoes a couple of months back so I didn’t want that to go to waste. So we battled every week until finally, about 3 weeks ago, she was so adamant about it that she actually said she would reimburse me for the shoes if it didn’t work out. I also figured she has nothing to gain because it’s not like she’s selling the shoes to me, so I finally caved in.

I went on Zappos since they have the free shipping both ways (in case I needed to return them) and got one of the only 3 pairs they had in stock of size 9.5 narrow width of the running shoes I already owned (Mizuno Wave Inspire 10’s). Yes, that is a size and a half bigger than my current shoe. I figured they would feel like clown shoes and I’d be tripping over my toes! Well, when I got them in they actually fit like a glove. I was totally astonished. I brought them with me a few days later for my appointment and she put two pieces of felt pads in each shoe, one under the arch and one under the ball of the foot to “spread the toes”. That felt weird for a day or two, but now I barely notice them. She said it would just help my feet adjust to the new space and get them stretched out. I have to say, I can definitely tell the difference when I’m running and she said she’s already seen improvements in my muscles releasing during my ART.

Since this was the only pair of shoes I had in my now-correct size, I had to get a note from her to wear them to work (since we have to dress business casual) so I could be wearing them at all times. Not that you’d hear me complaining about getting to wear my sneakers all day long. I gave it a couple of weeks to make sure I wouldn’t be needing to adjust anything or change my mind and decided that I would definitely replace everything in that size (except for dress shoes, which she said would be 8.5 narrow). I can’t buy all my pairs of shoes at once, but since we were going hiking last weekend we swung in to REI to get new hiking and trail running shoes (since I’ll need those for TM next month). I fell in love with the first two I put on my feet, which happened to be the only two that they had there he said would work well with a naturally narrow fit. So now I have a pair of Salomon trail running shoes and a new pair of Merrell hiking shoes. I’m not 100% on the hiking shoes yet because they are a lot more rigid than the Merrell’s that I got last year and they seem to rub my ankle bones. I haven’t worn them outside the house yet because I want to be able to return them if I need to. I ended up wearing the Salomons when we went hiking and they did amazing. I’m totally in love with those.

 

The 3 pairs of shoes I’ve replaced so far

 

 

One other quick chiropractor update, other than her telling me that she noticed my muscles releasing more easily, is that my CES that I see after her ART/adjustment told me that I’m improving there as well. My issue with this is some unfortunate news we got earlier this week from the chiropractor. Back in March, she moved from her own practice location to a small area of a gym in Providence. This wasn’t an issue for me because it was pretty close to her old office and she said it was less overhead for her so I was happy for her. However, earlier this week I received an email saying that due to insurance or whatever, that the CES Mike wouldn’t be a part of her services anymore. He would basically be working through the gym now and would be paid for his own separate appointments – at $50 for 30 minutes!! I already pay a $40 copay per visit with the chiro so basically when I go for my appointment on Monday, I won’t be seeing Mike anymore. It’s too bad, but I’ll figure it out.

On to the song choice of the week now that you’ve probably all fallen asleep. I heard this play on my iPhone on the way up to MA on Saturday morning and just kept focusing on the lyrics “my body tells me no, but I won’t quit, cause I want more”. Yeah, that pretty much sums it up nicely – especially after the massive cramping I had in class last night and my shoulder being all jacked up from the monkey bars last week.

My Body – Young The Giant

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Status Quo And A Question

Hi there. Remember me? OK, so it’s only been 5 days, but whatever.

I’m grumpy lately, which means I don’t feel like writing. Who wants to read my woe is me crap anyway? I’d rather write about good stuff, but it seems few and far between lately. I’m hoping that’s coming around soon.

 

 

 

Let’s try a few things…

The chiropractor is going great. I really look forward to my weekly visits there. I still have a lot of work to do, but I at least can pass the FMS test now for my legs. My arms are another story entirely.

I just had my yearly review at work and it was glowing. Seriously. I got an overall mark of “exceeds expectations” which is as high as our department is allowed to give.

We had a gorgeous weekend this past weekend, weather-wise. Although it was a tease, it just reminds me that spring is around the corner (hopefully – I’m frackin’ freezin’ right now!!).

There. Those are some positives off the top of my head.

 

 

 

Anyway, on to my question for all you runners out there in blog world…

I have a race on my schedule I really want to do (Newport 10 Miler). I’ve never run more than 5 miles, and this was last Labor Day weekend right before my injured IT band. I’m taking a much slower approach coming back from that injury and, on the calendar, I will only be up to running 5 miles again by the time this race comes around in late April.

What would you do? I’m doing a run/walk approach right now so I figured if I can’t run the whole thing (not happening), then I’d be mixing in those walks anyway. I honestly don’t know how big of a leap it is. I don’t know if there is a time limit either, so obviously that concerns me (I should probably check that out now that I think of it).

I’d love some honest feedback. I’m thinking I probably can’t do it and will have to wait until next year, but wanted some opinions from you folks that run ridiculous things like marathons. HAHA

 

 

 

 

 

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2014: A Look Ahead

I only have 2 goals (as of right now) for 2014: finish a half marathon and a Tough Mudder.

I’m trying to finalize my list of races I’d love to do in 2014. I went a little crazy in 2013 because it was my first year of running and I wanted to RUN ALL THE RACES!  I ended up doing 15 5K races, 2 of them being obstacle courses. I’m trying to be a little more controlled about what I do this year and paying more attention to dates and scheduling. Last year, I ended up having 5 races in 5 weeks and it was definitely overload, for myself and for Tara.

I’ve got my main list, but I also have months where I’m unsure of the dates of certain races because they haven’t been announced yet. I’ve got to decide in certain months what races I really “must” do and what can wait until next year. Some races I wanted to re-run, I may just need to skip doing them again, but we’ll see.

Here’s a breakdown by month:

January 1 – Frosty 5K – Seekonk, MA – I haven’t decided on this one yet because of how cold it will probably be. I’d like to do it, but I’m also not sure what our plans will be on New Year’s Eve and not sure I’ll want to get up early for a race on a holiday off. Tara’s not keen on the idea of that either, so that may be a deal breaker.

Nothing planned in February or March, although I may want to do the Tour de Patrick, which is 3 local St. Patrick’s Day races on two back to back weekends. Last year, I did the St. Patrick’s race in Providence only. It was sponsored by my work and was my first 5K ever. I wasn’t running yet at that point, so Tara and I walked it together. I thought it was a nice race and think it would be cool if I’m able to complete the “tour”.

 

St. Patrick’s 5K – March 2013

 

April 19 – BAA 5K (part of their Distance Medley) – Boston, MA – This distance medley for the BAA races is one of my must do things this year. I think it would be awesome if my first half marathon would be part of this distance medley. I grew up on the South Shore in MA, about 20 minutes south of Boston and would love to do something of this magnitude near my hometown. They haven’t announced the dates for the 10K or half yet, but those are in the summer and fall I believe.

April 27 – Newport 10 Miler – Newport, RI – This might be good practice for me to reach my half marathon goals, plus it’s in Newport and you can’t really go wrong there in terms of scenery.

May 3 – Cox Rhode Races – Providence, RI – I did the 5K last year and enjoyed it. This series also has a half marathon, so I don’t know if this should be my first half marathon goal or not. I don’t know if that’s enough time to train (with my miserable, injury-prone body) or not. If it’s not, the 5K could be a time I just try to beat from last year. I also don’t know if it would be pushing it if I did the half and then did the Tough Mudder at the end of the same month.

 

Cox Rhode Races/National Grid 5K – May 2013

 

May 31st – Tough Mudder – Mt. Snow, Vermont – I WILL do this. If it takes me 6 hours, I will FINISH a Tough Mudder. I’m working on getting people together to do it with me. So far, a couple of girls in my department were interested in doing it, but not sure if they’d actually follow through with it or not. I feel like one of them might and the other…well, I don’t have high hopes for her. I feel like it would be great to have some guys on the team to hoist me up over walls I can’t get over, but overall I’d like to be able to do everything myself. Whether or not that can happen, I’m not sure, but I’m going to do everything possible to see that it does.

 

Down & Dirty Mud Run – June 2013

Foam Fest 5K – July 2013

June – not much going on here. I’d like to do the Gaspee Days 5K in Warwick, RI again and see if I can beat my best ever 5K time. I don’t know when that race will be yet. The only other thing I noted was the Warrior Dash on 6/28 in Barre, MA. I fell in love with obstacle racing this year and would love to do more than just the Tough Mudder, but this one may be a wait and see.

July – I would LOVE to do the Finish At The 50 at Gillette Stadium on July 3rd, but unfortunately it starts prior to me being able to get there since it’s a night race and I work until 6pm, about 45 minutes away from the stadium. It will be difficult to get the time off, but I might see if I can anyway and if I do, then I’ll register.

August 9 – Spartan Race – Amesbury, MA – I’d love to do this and I feel like it’s got plenty of time in between Tough Mudder so I wouldn’t be all banged up too close together (LOL)!

August 17 – Falmouth Road Race – Falmouth, MA – I think this would be an awesome run with the history behind it and all the people that run it every year.

Two other possibilities in August could be the Bobby Doyle Races or the Pawsox race. I really want to do the race at Fenway, but it requires fundraising goals that I don’t believe I’d ever meet (based on past experience). The Pawsox race would still be running onto the diamond, just on a smaller scale.

September was my crazy month in 2013, but could also happen again in 2014. I would LOVE to do a repeat of 3 races I’ve already done (NK5K, Surftown 5K (or maybe half this year) and CVS 5K), but also want to add in the Zooma Cape Cod 10K or half. No dates on any of those yet so it’ll be played by ear.

October 5 – Ocean Road 10K – Narragansett, RI

Some other October things I’m considering are re-running the Halloween Monster Dash in Providence, the Wicked Half Marathon in Salem, MA (which may be in September) and/or the Run Wild Zoo Run at either the Stone Zoo or Franklin Park Zoo in MA.

 

Halloween Monster Dash – October 2013

 

The only November races I’m considering right now are doing the Turkey Trot again and/or the Pell Bridge Run. And December, I’m only considering the Jingle 5K again. I enjoyed doing the trifecta of Run Rhody holiday races and would probably do all 3 again…but we’ll see.

 

Downtown Jingle 5K – December 2013

 

I feel like I have the mentality that I can conquer my goals. Now, I just need my body to follow through.

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