MarathonMaiden's Blog

September 6, 2011

The Race That Wasn’t Supposed to be a Race. And Wasn’t. Really.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:36

I’m really glad that the DRC Breakfast Bash 5M that I ran on Saturday morning wasn’t supposed to be taken as an actual race for me.

competetor . com

While the above picture isn’t exactly what happened to me during the race it was probably the longest 5 miles. Of. My. Life.

The plan was to get some miles in before the race and then take the race as MP, to get some pace work in, as it was the LR day for the group ( I still feel weird calling it “my group” despite having run with them 3 times in the 3 weeks I’ve been here and 2 weeks in Dallas). MP, of course, means nothing to me as I’m not signed up for a marathon and sooo am not in marathon *racing* shape or really any racing shape.

I met with up with two friends to do a 9 mile loop around White Rock Lake beforehand. My goal was to run the first 9 slow and then just push the race. We started out at 0600 (and it was PITCH BLACK) and we went…slowish. The first mile was nice and slow, right where we wanted it to be (we were shooting for 9:45 average) and then picked it up a bit too much for our liking given how early we were in the run, the first three miles were 9:30 average. Normally this wouldn’t matter too much but we had that race after.  We locked into 9:45 even for miles 3-7.5 and then slowly picked up the pace over the next mile and a half.

Grand total pre-race: 9 miles in 87 minutes even, which is a 9:39 pace. I’m pleased with it.

We finished up with about 20 minutes before the 8am start and I’m pretty sure it was hot out. As I mentioned above the goal for the race portion was to go at MP.  One of my friends who did the lake loop with me wanted to target 9:00-15 pace, and I wanted…well ideally I wanted to PR, but that would mean a sub-7 pace.  Did I ever mention I was delusional?! I set my sights, however, on a sub-9 pace.  Ideally just under since my speed session during the week indicated those were the paces I was training for (according to that chart). As I told my friends earlier in the run, I want a sub-9 pace, even if it’s one f#$%ing second sub-9.

Summary of the race: It hurt and tested me mentally. I gunned it from the get go and my first mile was a little fast, second mile a little slow but the last three were dead on even (8:50, 8:58, 8:55, 8:55, 8:54). According to my watch (and I had to stop and tie my shoe and stopped my watch.  If it’d been a training run, which essentially this was, I’d have done the same. Don’t judge) my time was 44:42, which about a 8:56 pace.  Officially I ran a 45:01.  Annoying 1 second.

I’m pleased.  It’s what I wanted, even and hard effort, and my pace, while definitely not my marathon paces in the past, felt hard and challenging and it was a good workout on tired legs. And  I’ll repeat: it was the longest damn 5 miles of my life.  Thank god for some guy that chatted with me during the second half who kept me going and not letting me quit (and called me silly for not taking any water at the water stop. HA)

That said, after talking with some peeps from the group post-race (see below picture), I’m still excited to get into a training mode for my half in early November. I also got a mini-massage on my achilles and hips because they’re acting up, no injury but just tightening.  Silly Dallas and all your concrete!

Oh yeah, in a race that I was not racing at all I got 4th AG. So maybe it was a race for me. Evidently my AG isn’t too competitive here.  Too bad I’m bumping up one this fall and it’ll get more competitive. Damn.

I went out to Ft. Worth that night with a friend (who ran the loop with me) and met up with a bunch of people, including a girl I went to college with.  We danced the night away! It was so much fun despite, out of all the people we hung out with I only knew two of the people. But I guess now I have more friends after that night.

The rest of the weekend was about recouping, both from the race and getting home from Saturday night at 0430 Sunday.

I got a little taste of home on Labor day, when I stepped out my door for a morning run: 67* and a nice crisp breeze. Yay for “cold fronts”

But after being here for close to 3 weeks now, with the lows in the 80s and the highs being 100+, it did almost felt chilly – guess I’m embracing the whole Texan thing.  I wanted to go for a mid-distance run (and I got it) but I also wanted to get some type of faster turnover and I figured that my legs should be adequately rested from the pace work on Saturday and would be ready for the group quality workout Wednesday if I did them today.

I settled for a minute-ladder: 1-2-3-3-2-1, with half recovery between them.  I toyed with the idea of doing it twice (because grand total my miles were around 10.7 and the above workout wouldn’t take that long) but after the last interval, I could take the second ladder or leave it.  So I left it. I’m second guessing my decision so if anyone has any input (*cough*FLO*cough) on what the “correct” thing to do was I’d love to hear it. I’m sure that if I took equal recovery for the intervals I’d have been able to do the second ladder but I’m never sure how much rest to take during speed sessions.

I figure that since I’m getting back into quality workouts, I think I’ve only done 4 or 5 speed ones including today, and that last week was my first “training week” with 92 miles. It might be good to ease back into it and work up to multiple ladders? On the other hand I ran over 10 total and maybe the long slow portion negated the faster minutes.

Who knows. I clearly overthink things. This morning was an even “chillier” one: 63*.  I was running and looking around expecting leaves to be changing and apples to be ripe for the pickin’.  No such luck.  This is Texas after all.  I got my 8+ in though.  I’m thinking of hitting up my standby neighborhood run (aka I can run on people’s grass and not concrete) later today when it’s *only* 80-something degrees out.

May 1, 2011


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:06

I spectated my first race earlier this morning.  I’m not going to lie: I thought I was going to hate it and that I’d be wayyy jealous that I wasn’t running, etc.

SOOOOOOOOOOOO not the case.  I had a blast.  I mean, I even woke up EARLIER than my alarm because I was so excited.  To cheer the people I knew running the half (which, by the way, it turned out that I knew way more than I thought) and my friend who was running the full (who ran a 3:05 on his FIRST marathon.  Holler). And perfect strangers, because that’s what the vast majority of the racers were to me.

I had spent the early part of Saturday night creating a poster to hold up and cheer everyone one.  After extensive googling I made one that said “Because 26.3 would be crazy”.

Then around midnight, and maybe aided by some adult beverages, genius struck. I give you MM’s amazing sign:

I’m 99.4564564% sure that the racers loved it.  Most of them anyway.  One guy did tell me that “Charlie Sheen is a f$%^ing liar”. But this was with about 1.5 miles left.  So he was probably in pain.  I told him he was awesome anyway.

All the other runners responded positively though. Some other comments I got?

  • I’ve got the tiger blood in me / Adonis DNA
  • Winning. DUH.
  • I am a winner! (which got a “hell yes you are!” from me.)
  • I read your blog (which girl if you are reading this then HOLLER! And if you’re in the PVD area let me know because I am dying for more running — aka any — buddies)
  • Bring me a challenge.
  • Awesome poster girl / Best poster out here.
  • This is just what I needed to see, thanks!

I felt weird that people were  almost cheering me on. Of course I had some good things other than the usual “Awesome job” and “Keep going” — both of which I did say.  But since I was out there for almost 4.5 hours I needed to bring a bit more to the table (I actually was practically bounding out of my bed this morning and did not mind the fact that, as a spectator, I was freezing my ass off for the entire time).

  • Enjoy the ride bro. You are winning!
  • Your success rate is 100%. Do the math.
  • You’ve been given magic. You’ve been given gold.

Can you tell that my fit of genius last night was more than a mere moment? My friends and I — who were not getting up early to cheer with me — kind of, well, ran with the theme.  At first I was a bit shy to be all shouting and yelling (I was at the 1.5 mile mark which was also the 11.5/24.5 mile mark) but runners are such an awesome bunch.

I also loved giving people high fives. A couple other spectators told me that they loved my enthusiasm and one even snapped a picture of my sign for future use.  Not bad for someone who really didn’t know many people out there.

On a less happy note, I thought that spectating the race would stoke a racing fire.  Get me pumped to sign up for a race.  Well it didn’t.

I mean, it did pain me a bit to see everyone out there butttttt I was quite content to go back to my apartment and go out for my own run.  On my own terms. My runs the past few days have been great (perfect weather!) and slowly but surely getting faster but with the same effort level.  And no pain.

It’ll come back though. This I know. Running itself is still fun and hopefully, once my friend recovers and his excitement over the race rubs off on me, training for a race will happen.  I already have some tentative ones picked out. But, and I sent this video to him, I have no real desire to have any of these thoughts.

Hope y’all had a great weekend! I can’t believe that it’s already month 5 of the year. Crazy.

December 7, 2010

I Freaking Love Texas.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 07:34

I had lots of money in the bank.  And now I’m broke.

This and most of the other pics are Liz's because she remembered to bring her camera! Oops.

There were so many things I was going to title this post (my absolute favorite being “We’re doing it Longhorn style”) but in the end I went with my motto throughout the entire Dallas White Rock marathon that I ran this past Sunday.

If you’re my fb friend (or if you read on other places that stole my thunder) then you know that I ran really well.  Like really well.  So I guess I’m not spoiling anything by giving the stats first:

Dallas WR Marathon

  • 26.2 miles (or I’ve been told that it was actually 26.45 but whatevs)
  • 3:09.26
  • 7:13 average pace

I don’t have the exact splits but you can wander over to my running sistaaaa’s blog (whom I ran with and she did amazing as well!) because I think she’s going to post them when her in-depth RR goes up.  Regardless the above stats garnered me this (and keep in mind there were A LOT of people who ran it.  I have no idea how many but this is a HUGE race) (these are updated results from the WR website post-FB status)

  • 126th overall
  • 9th woman (annoying because when I checked yesterday I was 8th)
  • 2nd AG

I’m pretty much on freaking cloud 9 right now.

But first let me back up and kind of recap the whole weekend (or as best as I can in one post. So beware this is going to be long).  I left work Thursday night to head up to my good ole childhood home so my mom could drive me to the airport Friday.  I slept very well (and in my sister’s bed because I no longer have one there. Sad face) and when my alarm went off at 0600 I woke up with a start and had NO IDEA where I was.  Legit.

Once I got my bearings I got up, threw on some clothes and headed to the airport (btw the shoes I was wearing were the ones that I wore to work the night before: heals).  The flights were unremarkable which was incredibly nice because the last time I went to Texas all hell broke loose from the skies and the travel was a nightmare.  I actually landed at DFW *early*.   On my flight to Philly I actually sat next to a marathoner (2:45) from Dallas and we chatted about the race and he gave me general advice.  Very cool to have that happen.  Anyway, he told me that he’d be cheering for me on Sunday (he wasn’t running but was going to cheer peeps on)

When I landed I hung outside the airport while I waited for Jess to pick me up.  It was really nice to sit in really warm weather.  When I left Boston it was 28* and when I landed in Dallas it was 75*.  LOVE IT. Jess drove up from Houston that day, with a friend who was also running the half, and they were amazing to pick me up!

We hung out in Dallas for awhile where we meet up with a friend of ours to chill before the RWOL Dailies dinner.  We ate nachos and dip.  Talk about good pre-race food 😉

Then we headed to The Angry Dog to meet up and eat and drink with my peeps:

They are the NICEST people EVER.  It was an amazing time.  We talked about running (duh) but also life.  It was great to put names to faces and hear voices.  I owe A LOT to these guys (and obviously those on the forum that weren’t there).  Lots of laughs were had.

I was originally going to spend the night with my running sis but plans change (another saying of mine this trip was “This was such an ill planned trip! I pretty much just hopped on a freaking plane!) but I had a friend who graciously let me crash on her couch for the night.  I slept really well.  I slept until 0900 Dallas time.  Ummm that’s 1000 my time? I NEVER sleep that late.  But it was good.

Rather than do a shakeout run (which I had wanted to do) the two of us went out for coffee.  Then Liz came by and picked me up to head to the expo.  Traffic was brutal and (yet another “theme” of the trip: we’re glad we made it there alive hahah).  We picked up our packets and shirts and chatted with some really nice Texans (seriously the nicest people in the world).  We also ran into Jess and her friend there.  Well okay, Jess and I had been texting each other to try and meet up.  But it was nice to see her again as I didn’t actually see her at the race itself.

Liz and I also bought these babies:

I actually won a pink pair in a giveaway but they haven't arrived yet and I really wanted these for the plane ride back to Boston. So worth it!

Then we left the expo and got coffee (more for me. YAY).  Then I met back up with the friend I spent Friday with and we headed up to dinner with her parents and her parents running friends (her mom was running the full too). It was cool to spend another night with runners who were able to give advice.  As well as laugh and have fun.

I tried to get to sleep early Saturday night but I couldn’t.  I was never really worried but knowing that I had to get up so early the next day for, the race, I obviously couldn’t sleep.  So I settled for time off my feet.  I woke up before my alarm, which was nice, drank some coffee and ate a pb and banana sandwich.  I had stayed with my friend and her parents overnight and, since her mom was running the race too, they drove me to the start.

Traffic was horrible and I thought I was going to miss the start.  For real.  But I didn’t. I actually saw Lesley at the bag drop off for about 5 seconds.  I can’t believe you recognized me girl! And thanks for saying hi! And luckily I found my running sister at our corral (B. Holler for us putting a fast projected time down).  I probably would have cried if I hadn’t found her. I was in spandex shorts and a spandex top.  No gloves.  I was shivering (I mean, I’m from New England but 37* is chilly no matter what) but it’s all good.  Sure my hands went numb early but whatever.  I was running a marathon.  Comfortable? What’s that? 😀

While we waited for the gun to go off we were dancing and jumping around.  Maybe we should have saved our energy for the race.  But we were excited.  Then we were OFF.

I don’t have the exact splits (Liz was wearing the garmin but when I get them I’ll update this post as well as post them in a future post) but here are some highlights of the race (aka thoughts I can remember):

(splits to be put here when I get ’em 😛 ) I do know that the first mile was 6:58 and we were pretty consistent with our pacing around 7:11 the whole time.  Our slowest mile was around 18 (?) and it was 7:22.  And I do know that we picked it up A LOT at the end and the last 3 were sub-7.  Holler.

  • We went out really fast.  Like really fast.  But it felt good.  So we we said to each other “let’s just go at what’s comfy”.  So we did.  Because we were in Corral B we weren’t with the 3:20 pacer but we actually caught up to him.  And then we passed him real early on.  And never looked back.
  • Around mile 12ish I hear something to the effect of”At least we have two nice pairs of legs to pull us on this pace”.  To which Liz and I replied “Like 2 girls pulling a pack of 10 guys? Oh well.  See you at the finish” hahah.  Later one of those guys passed us and called us mean for ditching the old guys.  That’s us: heartbreakers.
  • The Dolly Parton hills? Really? Yes I saw the sign that announced them (mile 22 maybe?) and I heard people complaining about them but I honestly never felt a hill the whole race.  Silly Texans.
  • Also silly Texans with the Chuck Norris signs of varying degrees. And the “run b!tch run” one. They were hilarious and I high fived the guy with the latter sign.
  • Regardless of what I felt hill wise, I was feeling the effort around mile 19/20 and luckily there were shot blocks here.  I’ve said this time and time again but I am SO not a model runner.  Because I haven’t eaten anything on long runs (nor have I ever had coffee before a run but I did that on Sunday too!).  And I ate these guys.
  • As soon as I ate them I thought that it was a bad idea because it threw off my stride and breathing and stomach.  But I’m glad I did because they did make my legs feel better.  It could just be mental but I felt it.  I also thought at this point that I really can’t vomit at the end because the shot blocks were red and that it would look like I was vomiting blood.
  • Holy @#$& these last few miles suck.
  • Holy #$@% I could break 3:10 (thought at mile marker 26)
  • Holy !@#$ I just did (thought at finish line)

So yeah:

“I love Texas”

I think I said this about every minute.  The crowds were great and I just felt the love. I even got lei-ed in the first half and wore the red lei for the rest of the race!  Liz and I also tried to join in the Texas love by throwing up the “hook ’em horns” at some of the cameras.

Like this but during the race

I adored it when people cheered for us passing the guys and calling us girls and ladies.  I know some people get offended (like really?!) but I love it.  It made me feel really bamf and hardcore.  I definitely chicked a lot of people in the last 4 or so miles.  It felt great.

As fun as the run I was I was there to race and, that said, I was in absolute shock when I finished and realized that I did, in fact, break 3:10.  Totally smashed my goal of 3:20.

We walked through the finisher area together (after jumping around like idiots at the actual finish line) where we were given hats because we were in the top 100 females and told that we were also very likely top 10.  We got our medal, finishers shirt and FOOD.  And BEER.  I’m not at all a big beer drinker but I crave it after races.  So I indulged.  It tasted awesome.

We took a finisher photo together and then met up with Liz’s friend who had driven down from Tulsa to cheer us on.  We had thought he was going to jump in at the last few miles to keep us going but he didn’t.  Lame hahah.  We then headed back to where we were spending the night to eat and shower.

And then go out to drink. Let me just say this now to all you Texans: y’all know how to drink on a Sunday night.  Did I mention I freaking love Texas?

Did I mention I love us too?

After drinking we chilled at the house and ate more before heading to bed.  I actually had a semi-fitful night of sleep and at 0530 whispered to Liz “Are you at all asleep?”.  Nope was the reply and we got up to just move the legs before leaving for the airport.

I guess I should talk about how my legs felt Monday.  They were sore.  I don’t think they couldn’t be after such a hard effort.  But I could do stairs normally and everything.  I was probably more sore after Boston.  Sitting on my long flight back to Boston was rough but I was never in immobile mode.

That said, Monday was a rest day (as was Friday and Saturday btw).  Simply because of the travel.  Which is good because I am sore.  So that tells me there’s damage and running would have been bad.

In any case I arrived on time in Boston and my mom made me a HUGE dinner that night.  And my biggest fear was realized: as I hopped into the car to drive home it was SNOWING  (and the predicted weather this week is snow and below freezing).  I cursed, like a trucker to which all members of my family yelled at me for, and then I said something to the effects of jumping on a plane back to Dallas.

I also foam rolled Monday night after getting back to my apartment and I almost vomited.  It hurt.  I think because I didn’t sleep much Sunday night the muscle soreness didn’t really set it.  It’ll be an interesting next few days to say the least!

So if you made it to the end of this BEAST then congrats. It was a pain in the ass to write because I didn’t write it race day so I’m sure I forgot to include *something*.  Oh well.  It’s all good. This race was wicked awesome and a perfect way to end my 2010 racing.

Because I still feel on top of the freaking world

November 18, 2010

So It’s Taper Time…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:03

…and because I’m a bit worried about the fact that I signed up for this race not too long ago, I figured I’d take a moment to write a post about my possible taper plan. I kind of mentioned it on Monday’s post but it was buried amongst other things.

I didn’t end up posting because my Wednesday was a bit blahhhhh and looked like this:

  • woke up 26 minutes before alarm with headache and sore throat
  • listened to pounding rain for 26 minutes

Obviously I dramatize but the rain was wicked heavy at first. Thanks google.

  • drug butt out of bed.  Decided to cut run short because icky feeling was more sick than “holy crap it’s 0500”
  • rain stopped so I tacked on extra
  • considered calling in sick to work
  • went to work and did NOTHING except the bare minimum. Except gossip of course.
  • since everyone was mentally checked out and I don’t think I checked in, I peaced out early
  • sat on my couch with a good book and tea.
  • obsessed over the taper

So here is this post because, while I could elaborate on each of the bullets above, I do not want to relive yesterday. Although I kind of just did.  Oops.

Anyway, so as of right now I’m ~2.5 weeks out from my marathon. Clearly the beginnings of tapering.  I’ll fully admit that I’m a marathoning newbie, having only run 2 and neither time suffering from taper madness.  The first marathon, while I did have lofty goals (want to BQ) I never really thought about the taper and my overall training wasn’t intense.  While training for #2, Boston, I was injured at the end of my cycle so my taper was elliptical with a couple of miles race week.

I have lofty goals again for WR.  After the past few weeks of training I think that, barring anything major, I can do well.  So I’m obsessing over what to do during my taper.  Is this the beginnings of taper madness?!

I’m toying with the following, and the workouts of the last two weeks worth of speed sessions have been by a friend who is actually a coach.  Not mine but I can bounce ideas off of him from time to time:

Week of November 15-21 (aka this week) ~80% of max miles.

  • On Tuesday I got a good tempo/GMP steady run in, with ~14 miles total and 6.6 of them at tempo/GMP.
  • Thursday: LR of 17-18 miles (today and check. 17.6 done-zo)
  • Saturday: Yasso 800s or 3 x (2@HMP, 1@MP+ 15 seconds) <– suggested by friend and the yassos are my idea.  And I’m not sure if, 2 weeks out, they’re the best in terms of race prep. See quote below from my friend.

Week of November 22-28. ~50-60% max mileage

  • Tuesday: 3 X (1.8 miles @ HMP with .2 mile recovery)
  • Thursday: LR of 13-15 miles
  • Saturday: 3 @ HMP, 1 easy, 1 @ MP, 3 @ HMP

Week of November 29-December 5 (RACE WEEK)

  • Monday/Tuesday: 2 @ MP, .5 easy, 2 @ HMP
  • Wednesday/Thursday: 1 @ MP, 1 @ HMP
  • Weekend: Travel and RACING 26.2 miles!

I spoke with a friend who really knows running stuff and he advised me

“At this point, my speed workouts are all aimed at dialing in on goal race pace, so I’ll incorporate portions at HMP or MP twice a week.”

Which I think is pretty sound advice and he also pretty much dictated the above schedule in terms of speed work.  It was in line with what I was thinking in terms of the *ideas* of the workouts and the types, but those are his workouts suggested as what he did before running Indy this year. The only change I think I’d make is to input one straight up tempo, or continuous GMP run instead of one speed session each week. Because tempo intervals (which essentially is what they all are) destroy my soul.

Thanks google images

So I guess I’m trying to feel out what you guys do during the taper and your experiences of workouts during it.  Obviously everyone is different but I like hearing things from “The Peanut Gallery” *CoughFloCough* I have the feeling that my friend is right and dialing into GMP is the thing to do now.  So I don’t know how/if my planned yassos for this weekend will shape up. They might be too intense of a workout so close to race day. [edit: I’m moreso trying to gauge the speedwork side rather than my overall miles for the next few weeks. The mileage cutbacks are pretty much set in stone but I’m just wondering how intense speedwork should be / use the track or go GMP?]

As far as today goes, I got my LR in.  I felt pretty crumby all day yesterday so I wasn’t sure how this workout was going to go.  Luckily I fell asleep relatively early last night and got 9 hours in.  Compare that to the 5 I slept all weekend and the 6 from Tuesday night and I’m no where near out of debt but feeling slightly better than yesterday. I still have some ear/sinus pressure that made the LR oh-so-much but it’s going away and not as intense as when I first got up. Better to feel a bit under the weather now than two weeks from now as two weeks + one day = MM on a plane to DALLAS.

The LR itself was…well a LR.  Nothing terribly special about it.  I didn’t feel particularly strong or powerful during it.  On the other hand I didn’t feel particularly weak or tired.  My legs did feel fatigued over the last 5 or 6 miles but, given the loop splits, I think I was increasing my effort and that’s why they were feeling it rather than true worn-out-ness.

13.5 miles @ 8:44
4.1 miles @ 8:24
Total: 17.6 miles @ 8:40

So I actually don’t have anything to complain about for once.  I did think this was going to be slower because of my head hurting and my legs feeling fatigued by the end.  Plus I was actually famished by the end of it, usually I’m a bit hungry after runs because I get out of bed and go within 5 minutes.  It was weird to be start feeling hungry during a run, especially so during a long run where my appetite is usually killed during the day.  That might have also contributed to the “I think this is slower” thinking.  But I’m happy that it wasn’t.

Money in the baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaank. Lots of you suggested it as an alternative “hay in the barn”.  I’ve obviously heard the expression before but rarely use it.  I should start.  Even though every time I say it I think of the song that was stuck in my head the whole run today

Phew.  Lots going on in this post, no? But I also did my pushups and situps.  Today was W2D2:

Pushups: 14, 16, 12, 12, 18

Situps: 21, 24, 18, 18, 30

October 26, 2010

The Post You All Have Been Waiting For….Part 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:11

First: Yay for y’all liking my cookie post. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  Next up will be Oatmeal Raisin (my all time fav) or a legit PB cookie (because, and I think there was some confusion here, there were only pb chips in the cookies not actual pb). Or I may try something else.  Who knows. But I’m excited for it 🙂

But back to running.  Because I am not Cookie Maiden but Marathon Maiden.

Apparently it seems that you guys all thought my post on cookies was going to be about my destination marathon.  That thought honestly never crossed my mind.  Mostly because I was still debating whether or not I really had the funds to do so. Silly because the blog title has “marathon” in it.

But I was complaining to various members of my family about the agony of wanting to do a destination race but being on a VISTA budget (aka legit poverty) and the solution? Birthday and Christmas present rolled into one.

Therefore I immediately emailed my running sistaaaaaaaaaa to tell her that we needed to choose one STAT before I backed out due to financial scared-cat-ed-ness.  And after texting back and forth last night we have decided to do:

On December 5th


I think this is a good pick because:

  • The only real weekend that truly worked for me was the first one in December (pushing off until January wasn’t good because of Boston) leaving Dallas and Vegas. I don’t think my wallet can handle Vegas.
  • WARMTH and NO SNOW.  RI at that same time? Well I can’t say there will be snow on the ground but it’ll be cold. Hell it already is (or at least last week, today and tmrw are weird freak warm days).
  • A bunch of people from RW Marathon Dailies are doing it and it’ll be nice to finally meet them in person.

Now I just need to pick a flight and figure out accommodations for that weekend.

But I’m excited. And feel a bit crazy.  I mean, December 5th isn’t terribly far away.  Do I have what it takes to run race a marathon at the moment? My workouts ( 20 miler, 10 X 800m intervals) suggest yes but there’s no way that I can say I’ve been TRAINING for this. Which puts me a bit uneasy as I’m such a planner.  And this is so spontaneous.  But all my other races this fall have been spontaneous (or at least in terms of no specific training / signing up for each race not in advance) and they’ve all been good.

Fingers crossed? I don’t really know what to expect.  Obviously not the most amazing race ever but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to RACE the darn thing.

But it shall not be said that I’m in the process of at least semi-training for this race.  Obviously there is no way to make up for the fact that I should have started training earlier but, with 39 (!!) days until race day, there’s still time to get my body in some sort of fighting shape for this thing.

Hence why I did a tempo this morning. Maybe I was running on excitement from making a decision and planning flights and stuff like that but I wanted to go FAST and HARD. I also didn’t sleep well AT ALL last night (waking up every 1.5-2 hours ugh) and felt jittery, needing to burn off some energy. Since I had run intervals over the weekend (as well as had a semi-long run on Monday before clinic) I chose a tempo.  After all, when y’all were guilting me last week with my lack of speed work, some of the workouts were tempos.

Let me preface this by saying I HATE tempos.  I can never seem to hit them right or make them feel good.  According to McMillian, based on my half time from September, my goal tempo range is 6:53-7:11.  I’m really glad I didn’t know that until AFTER the run because it would have freaked me out.  I just figured I’d go hard and hold it. And I knew that, since I hadn’t done a tempo since Boston training, that I shouldn’t expect to jump into a 6,7,8, miles effort.  I chose to do my pathway, which is dirt as well as ~4 miles.

  • 2.2 mile warm up @ 8:56
  • 4.3 mile tempo @ 7:04 (2.15 miles @ 7:17, 2.15 miles @ 6:51)
  • 5.6 mile warm down @ 8:39
  • Total: 12.1 miles @ 8:08

I must admit that I think I nailed it.  My pace was smack dab in the middle of the given range and I ended STRONG.  My heart was pounding by the end though and my legs were tired.  It was such an effort to keep strong. I used the strategy I use in races: try to pick off the people in the distance ahead.  And clearly it worked. I ran the tempo portion on my pathway and looking at the time elapsed at the halfway mark I thought I was WAY off target, hence the speeding up.  But I was able to handle it. Go me 🙂

The weather cooperated too, for once it wasn’t freezing.  In fact it was 65* and muggy as anything.  Which I’m not complaining about except to say that my body is used to running in 35-40* temps.  Therefore I was a sweaty beast once I was done.

Nope no picture of that. And I apologize for the lack of pictures in this post. To make up for it here are LOTS of giveaways: Jess (Have Faith), Miss Zippy, Julie (HotLegsRunner), Sarah (SkinnyRunner), Shut Up and Run, Monica (RunEatRepeat), Erika (Dr Tri Runner), Matt (The Kitchen of a Runner)

October 10, 2010

I Heart Ke$ha.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:18

For real.  Last night before going out my roomie and I listened to her.  And because we only know the couple of songs that she has on the radio we listened to each one about a million times.  Sometimes I think I want to channel her and be her.

Sometimes not though.  Maybe I just want that gold tooth she has.   That is not going to happen, however, on my VSITA stipend. Although I have been told I resemble her.  Compliment? I think I”ll take it as such.

Oh well.  Maybe Halloween costume idea?  It’s a pretty easy costume but I don’t know how “recognizable” it is.  I mean, I don’t want to have to answer the question of “now what are you for Halloween?“. Because I’d basically be wearing no clothes with teased hair. My roomie and I hit up a Halloween store on Friday, just to get ideas, and I have some of my own but I’d love to hear what you guys are being if you have any ideas (I know that’s unfair to write because I kept y’all in the dark until AFTER Halloween last year hahah!).

But I love Halloween.  And it’s almost here! I can’t believe how fast this month is already going by! 30.3% done. Craziness.

Also crazy? The fact that the wondrous fall weather did tempt me to run yesterday afternoon.  I got in another 8 miles with a friend. Or at least I think it was 8.  I haven’t yet mapped it because I don’t want to know how far I went in total yesterday! Assuming 8 miles it was pretty quick @ 8:20 pace. I think this goes to show that I’m a faster runner in the afternoon than I am in the morning.  Or maybe my legs were just warmed up for this one.  Who knows.

Normally running the extra wouldn’t be a big deal but I have Tufts on Monday — aka TOMORROW.  I’m definitely not worried at all about not recovering in time for the race (I usually recover really fast from harder efforts) but still.  Crazy.

I’ll likely end up letting this weather injure me if I’m not careful!

Which is why when I laced up my shoes — or really I just tied them as I never un-lace them after a run — I made a conscious effort to reel it in.  I guess you could call it either a recovery run from the “long run” I did yesterday or a shakeout run for tomorrow’s race. Either way it was slow, despite not feeling slow, and stayed that way for the large majority of the miles until I decided to just give a little burst of speed so my legs don’t forget.  Totally mental but whatever gets me to the starting line mentally prepared is alright with me.

While it was quite cold temperature wise (42*) the fact that the sun was out made me feel like my longsleeve shirt was overdressing.  Then I’d run under a tree or building and get really chilly and be thankful for the sleeves. It’s always funny to me to think about how different 42* feels at 0500 vs 0900.  I never feel like I can get warm with the former! Oh the power of the sun


Yay google images


Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand I guess I’ve been avoiding the whole goals-for-this-race talk here.  I think I’ve said it enough that A) the race is tomorrow and B) I like to race to feel like I’m going to vomit (sooooo attractive I know) so the game plan is to go out strong and try to hold it.  Luckily I’m racing it with Lacey and that’s her M.O. Since my strength is endurance I’m going to let her push me out and then I’m going to take over and reel the both of us in for a strong finish.

In terms of times, I really want to PR.  I’ve only run three 10ks ever (given that I don’t race much!) and my current PR stands at 45:09.  I think I can break that.  *knocksonwood*.  I’d love to go sub-42. Realistically I’d be happy with 43:17 because that’s a 6:59 pace and I really really REALLY want to average sub-7s, and the sub-42 would just be the next minute barrier after that.  We’ll see. Given that I knocked 90 seconds off my 5k a few weeks ago, doubling that gives me a 3 minute slash right there.  Add in the fact that I’m better the longer I’m out there and I’m hoping for some good things.

Of course positive and good vibes being sent my way would never hurt 😉

Ready? BREAK!


Yeah yeah yeah. I've used this picture a lot. It's a good one though. Admit it.


Kind of a boring post today, no? It mimics my real day as I’m sitting on the couch re-reading Dracula (amazing book. You should read it).  Hopefully after the race I’ll have something exciting for you.  Could be good, could be bad.  But since I’m not planning on just running it I’m assuming that I’ll have something to share with y’all.  Brilliant glory or utter mess.  Hopefully if it’s a mess it’s a hot mess.  Like the girl I heart and titled this post for.  So let’s rock out to my girl some more today? Yes please. I won’t annoy you with another clip or anything.  But you should turn it up because I am as I try to lounge and relax 🙂

So cheers and have a great Sunday.  And Sunday night as YAY for 3 day weekends!


Sorry I really couldn't resist another failblog picture. This one was delivered to my google reader as I was about to hit post. Serendipity right there people. Serendipity.


Oh and before I forget: thanks for your input on blogging privacy in my post yesterday.  Like Sweaty Kid said (and I 100% agree with) “All anyone would have to do is look up my race times to figure out who I am“. There’s definitely a huge element of trust here and it seems that most of us are on the same page that we feel like we know those who comment on our blogs and who’s blogs we comment on but are somewhat weary about those who we don’t know who are reading (and if that’s you then come out of the woodwork! We can all use more friends 🙂 ).  I still go back and forth with how much to publish and am actually glad for it.  I think the second I get comfortable and DON’T question it then I’ll end up publishing my full name, DOB, SSN and address. And that would be no bueno indeed

October 9, 2010

Twelve and an Orange Sherbert Tracksuit

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:32

Nope not 12 miles.  After running a semi-hard (although definitely fast for me lately) 12 yesterday it would be silly to run that again.  Granted I did so that earlier this week.

But I got 12,  ONE-TWO, hours of sleep last night.  I’ve come to realize that, even though I do not frequent college type hang outs anymore (so sad! aka I’m old!), this city is still essentially a college city.  And thus runs on a Thursday / Saturday party night schedule.  And I took advantage last night (and likely will every Friday) that no one was doing anything and caught up on this:


Hollllleeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrr (yay for google images)


Because of my work schedule I haven’t actually watched ANY new episodes of any of my favorite shows.  I think last night kicked off the weekly “Friday is going to be TV catch up night” part of my life. I mean, I had been doing this before last night but now I’m embracing it.  Especially since it means that I’ll get a good night of sleep.  The worst weekends are the ones that you stay up late but aren’t doing anything worthwhile. Just wasting time.

So I was wayyy cool and fell asleep on the couch.  But I slept right through until morning.  Seriously.  The very definition of gloriousness.  I always set an alarm and last night was no different although it was set for the time that I thought would be late enough so I’d wake up on my own.  Ummm definitely not as it jarred me awake.  Not so glorious but it was twelve hours later. Can’t complain there.  Plus I felt much better than yesterday in turns of that silly flu shot.  Can’t complain there either.

I figured that I wanted to get my run in first thing.  On a typical weekend I don’t really care when I run but I was actually afraid that I’d lay back down and fall asleep and wake up tomorrow morning.  And I told myself that I’d go exploring on my run.

Exploring for MM = map out a run first but in an area I’ve never run in.  Yes. I know. I am SUCH a risk taker.

It took me quite awhile to find a route though.  Mostly because I try and search for already mapped routes and see how I can modify them to suit my needs. I eventually decided to explore downtown as I’ve only driven through it and when I usually run I like to stick to familiar areas just due to safety and paranoia. But the good thing about cities in New England in general is that everything is within walking (and thus running) distance.

That said, I knew I didn’t want a long run so I did something I HATE (with the heat of 1,000 suns) doing: I drove to where I wanted to run.

But it was a lovely run.

I actually had typed out (with some pictures because everyone loves pictures) of the landmarks that I ran by today.  But I deleted them because I wasn’t sure how much I should put out there.  I mean, I feel like I “know” the people who read and comment here well enough that the longer I have this blog the more comfortable I’m getting interacting with you guys.  I mean, I’ve even met some of you guys in real life! But I always wonder about who is reading but NOT commenting. So I want to ask you: how do you deal with blogging privacy and security? I HATE having to keep this in the back of my mind but obviously it’s something that needs to be thought about.

And here’s a random picture (for all you cookie bakers out there) to make up for the pictures I deleted



Yay fail blog.


Maybe I’ll make cookies this afternoon.  I may not be a baker at all but at least I know that they’ll turn out better than this!

So pictures or not, all in all it was a great run and I got to see all these sights from a new perspective: that of a runner.  I need to explore the city more often this way! It was a bit of a slow run.  But I think it was because I ran later in the day yesterday (after work) and I was hungry during the run today.

  • 8.1 miles @ 8:59

Even though this is essentially 9 minute miles seeing that 8 out front makes me happy.

Gah I feel so pretentious just typing that!

Another sight I got to see? An old(er — I have no idea how old he really is) man in an all orange sherbert track suit outfit.


Except he obviously wasn't Paris Hilton. But the outfit was the same! (google images)


For real.  And he was running faster than a plod.  So I guess props to him.  And I also saw a man in yellow shorts and a red top.  Not going to lie, my first thought was of Ronald McDonald.  And I giggled.

I also got to see a 5k race in progress.  It was a walk/run race for Breast Cancer Awareness and it was amazing to see all these people — young & old, men & women etc — walking the streets dressed all in pink! I knew that there was a race downtown and it actually saddened me a bit to not be running in it as it had been written down on my “race calendar” (Aka a sheet of paper that just has the dates on races in the area).  And it made me feel competitive because I got to see the leaders of the race zoom by.  I wanted to race right then even though I KNEW that I couldn’t because of Tufts on Monday.

Which I’m wicked excited can’t wait for.

Until then I shall sit and wait.  At least for today.  With it being mid-October already there aren’t too many days I can just go outside and sit on my balcony and read left.  I have the option of running again later this afternoon with the running buddy before going out later for the night (college city means Saturday night is where it’s at).  I have yet to decide if I’m going to re-run though.  My legs, while they are by no means close to dead, might want the extra time up while I read. Plus I don’t want to tire myself out if I have a long — but fun — night ahead of me 😉

But the really nice weather might tempt me! I mean, I could also do a circuit of sorts.  But I figure I’m still going strong after not doing any lifting since July (eeek!) and the core has been sporadic at best.  So I may still be lazy on that front.

And I may or may not be in love with FailBlog at the moment.  I even have them on my google reader because they brighten my day.  Again, I don’t want to know what this says about me as a person. But here’s one I saw the other day and both laughed and cringed at the same time. Ouch:




Check out the giveaway from Miss Zippy and Shut Up and Run

October 8, 2010

Still Caffeinated

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 13:42

Yeah. Let’s just say that I never drink coffee.  And 4 cups definitely had me wired.  I think I’m detoxing now and it’s been almost 24 hours! Of course that hasn’t stopped me from drinking some Dr. Pepper with lunch…oh caffeine.

Anyhoo — the phrase of which reminds me of —



Ummm anyone else remember this from back in the day?


Thursday ended up being a great day. Long? Yes.  It was 13 hours. But great regardless.

Like I said the caffeine was a HUGE buzz but calmed me down? I was strangely calm all throughout clinic.  And it was a lottery night too. That’s literally how we pick our new patients: a lottery system. It’s a crazy system and it makes for a crazy night.  Because people don’t like being turned away or losing the lottery.  Understandably so.

But I was surprisingly calm during it.  It was almost an out of body experience. Maybe the long run in the morning helped or maybe it was the 4 cups of coffee I had drunk.  Like I was jittery and talking fast but I was not stressed. At all.  Maybe that should be my strategy for all lottery night hahah.

Plus I discovered at lottery that my Spanish speaking skillzzzzz are NOT as bad as I think they are.  I was able to actually have conversations with the patients (most of them don’t speak English) and they understood me and, once I asked them to slow down, I could understand them.  It was such a nice feeling!

Not such a nice feeling? The way I woke up this morning.  This is because I also got a flu shot yesterday, as it was free and we were doing them that day at the clinic.  It’s the first one I’ve EVER had.  I was going to go without but I figured since I’m working at a clinic I probably should get one.  Blah. Now my arm is achey and when I got up this morning I felt like I had a fever and chills and my face was flush. I know I don’t have the flu but it feels like it and I’ve been told is normal.

I hope I feel 100% better by Monday with the race!

In light of that I opted to not run early this morning but I had set a tentative running date in the afternoon after work with a friend if I was feeling better.  And by the time he got off of work I was (yay Fridays and short work days!).  Since I knew that I felt sickly earlier in the day I wasn’t sure how far I was going to go or how fast.  He had 12 “really easy” on tap (aka his easy is my easy-but-pushing-it pace) so I figured I’d tag along for however long I could.

  • 1st loop: 10.6 miles @ 8:48
  • 2nd loop     1.6 miles @ 7:23
  • Total:           12.2 miles @ 8:35


And to think I was debating bailing out.  And if I was truly sick I think I would have.  But I knew that it was just the shot (plus the caffeine withdrawal) making me feel that way.  And I’m surprised at how fast the first loop went.  I know for a fact that I was DRAGGING my butt the first few miles and I even told my friend to go ahead without me and that I’d finish some sort of run on my own.  But as my legs warmed up and my body took in the crisp fall day — 65* and sunny and little wind! — the pace naturally got faster and faster.

Duh: the last mile and a half or so was under 7:30! Whaaaaaaaaaaat? I’m pretty sure that my current PR 10k pace is 7:16.  Now, I don’t want to jinx anything but I think that, provided nothing extreme happens between now and Monday, the race is going to be good.  If I can pull of a 7:23 pace after running 10.6 miles then good things are possible.  I mean, during Boston training I was always shooting for 7:15-7:30 for TEMPO.  And that was hard. It felt effortless today.

Granted the effort exerted in a race versus an easy run is different but I’m still optimistic.  Which makes me uneasy because I’m NEVER optimistic about a race.  Not that I always think I’m going to fail but I never really go in with high expectations.

So I think it’ll be an interesting race.

Between now and then I’m planning on running but nothing double digits (well I don’t want to anyway.  Hopefully I can hold myself to it 😉 ) and nothing fast.  Today was spur of the moment and just what happened over the course of the run.  If need be I’ll avoid running with others (especially my friend!).  I tend to plod along on my own unless I have a specific goal in mind for a run.

But I’m not going to lie: it was AWESOME to run fast.  Jess said it yesterday and I’ll say it today “I remembered how good it can feel to run fast…I decided I needed to run fast more often”.  Of course it’s getting the motivation to push harder than comfortable.  But good things happen when we expand that boundary.

And I’ll get another taste of it (hopefully sans vomit like the rest of this fall has been) on Monday.

While these two videos aren’t related to anything I’ve written about it made me laugh sooooooooo hard.  I would wait until I’ve done a TM run this year but, with no gym membership and me always waiting forever to use one, I’d likely forget by that time came.  Enjoy. And you have to wait until close to the end.  The guy doesn’t miss a beat in the first one!

And if you want more.  Just go to youtube.  Because that’s what I’m doing.  I don’t even want to know what that says about me as a person!

September 19, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 11:15


So I’m writing this Saturday afternoon (on my balcony 8) ) in anticipation of the 5k on Sunday. I’m scheduling this post for the time the gun is supposed to go off on Sunday because I’ve done it before and it just feels symbolic to do so somehow.  Maybe I’m weird.  Who knows. So I know many of you will read this after I’ve finished running.  After all it doesn’t take *that* long to run a 5k.  At least that’s the hope for me.

Yes you read that right: I am registered and going for it.

I decided to suck it up and spent the money on the race.  Timing wise, I may not be the most trained for this race. There are basically 5k races every weekend from now until the end of October so I could have waited and gotten a bit more speed work under my belt buttttt the way I see it is that I want a gauge of how the Tufts 10k is going to go.  Because as much as I haven’t trained for ANYTHING post-Boston this 10k is the closest thing to a goal race that I have.

And I want to kick ass at it.  Therefore anything after this week between now and then doesn’t give me enough time to re-focus for Tufts if I’m not doing the things I need to be doing to run well in it.

Plus I had an awful anxiety dream about this 5k on Friday night.  Like really awful.  I almost backed out of heading to registration on Saturday because of it.  I woke up sweating and shaking and feeling like an elephant was sitting on my chest! But then I decided to take on the challenge and entered.

It’d be silly to say I’m not nervous.  But I think I can do it.

I was going to post a picture of being being bamf.  But I had a hard time deciding which one to put up 😀

So I decided this song is kickass (and major blast from the past!) and, while not about running, is going to be my theme


As self-serving as this next quote is (because I was the one who said it hahah) it’s really what I’m going to try and live  out

I don’t know how obvious it is or how clearly it comes across in my blogging but I race to race. I don’t sign up to “have fun”. I sign up so I can run hard enough to want to puke my guts out when I cross the finish line.

Let’s hope for some near puking action! But not actual puking because that would be wayyyyy gross. And I’m a lady. Duh.

A throw back to my Philly trip over the summer. I like this picture because A) I look classy and b) this garden reminds me of Versailles. Stunning view!

But I’m hoping that after the race I look slightly more like this:

Looking good? Finishing strong? Wanting to puke? Yes. Yes. And HECK YES.

September 17, 2010

Short and Sweet…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:28

Because it’s Friday.  And we all know what I’ve got on the brain. WEEKEND TIME 😀

Yesterday turned into a very long day with me being in a very bad mood by the time I left work.  Nothing serious but I was exhausted.  Since my clinic days are really long I’ve been feeling burnt out a bit by Friday.  Nothing major or anything: I just feel tired and I get a bit rattled and frazzled. I think most people know what I’m talking about even if you don’t put in 12 hour days.

Which is why I was glad that I went out after clinic was over last night to unwind a bit.  At a bowling alley.  And before you roll your eyes and ask me how old I am, let me tell you this: it is $1 for shoes, $1 soda, $1 food.

That’s not even the best part: $2 beer and $3 mixed drinks.  Quality stuff too.  How can you go wrong? Plus one of my friends, who is also a co-worker, knew how bad of a week I was having and put me on the tab already started.  So nice!  And I also never realized how many bar + bowling alleys existed until recently.  I had only known of a handful but apparently I find them where ever I go.

Granted since I had to get up and go into work early this morning (ugh — annoying because the doctor I showed up to help didn’t show up until late morning!) I only had one drink but the atmosphere was JUST what I needed. As was “sleeping in” this morning.  AKA not running before work.  It felt good and semi-refreshing especially since it rained last night and sleeping with rain in the background is sooooooooooo nice.

Which meant that I ran after work (which, annoyingly, the doctor didn’t *really* need my help and was out of there within a half hour. *LeSigh*.  BUT I’m NOT hating on my job.  I love it. It’s just been a long week for everyone at the clinic and I’m in a complainy mood hahah). And it’s not like I was there ridiculously late either: because of my long hours already this week my boss let me go as soon as the doctor was done. SO NICE.

So I laced up my shoes around noon and ran.  It was an interesting run. First positive split run in….well I can’t really remember the last time I did it but each loop was ~1-2 seconds slower than the previous one.  Annoying.  Not that the pace was bad or that the few seconds of a drop was significant. The paces of which were

  • 1st loop:  8:22
  • 2nd loop: 8:23
  • 3rd loop:  8:25
  • Short 4th bit: 8:08 (so I did end very strong!)
  • Average pace settled into 8:23.

Not bad for a long run at all.And I’m not putting up the distances because I did, in fact, run long (and I don’t want any negativity raining down on my parade and I want 100% good vibes sent my way for this weekend.  Yes I am selfish and fishing for good vibes.  My blog so whatever hahah!). Oops. But I will reassure you that each loop wasn’t way long and I did not run a marathon-training LR.  Not even close. So not freak out too much 😉

The whole run felt good and strong and powerful.  It also felt in control and not strenuous.  I hooked into a group of guys for a few of the miles and, despite running at a good clip, the pace was easily conversational.  Therefore I’m not worried about today hurting the race if I do run it (I currently am still debating because I really don’t have the $$ to run this race) because I’ve done this before and the results have never been bad.  As long as I have one day to recover from a tough or long workout, I’ve found that I’m good to go.  I rebound really fast.

And apparently I rebound from a long and stressful week fast too because all it took was this run to improve my mood.  Or the fact that it’s Friday and I do not have to do anything this weekend.

Except try and come up with the money so that I can race so hard I want to puke.

So I’ll leave it there because it’s Friday and I promised short and sweet and I feel like I’m rambling with no true point.  But hey, 5 posts for the past 5 days? I can’t remember the last time I did that 😛

And, despite the weather being slightly overcast, a little humid and on the warmish side (hello fall frigid mornings but beautiful afternoons!) but I still think that my balcony is calling my name.

And since I like linking to songs that are stuck in my head here’s a good one that I’ve been loving today….and maybe dancing to on my balcony right now 🙂

I can’t find the real video for it and Pitbull’s rap is different but it’s still an awesome song regardless!

And speaking of Pitbull I just remembered this AWESOME clip.  Wait for it about the 1:03 minute mark.  The man doesn’t even miss beat!

And check out this giveaway from Shut Up and Run.  How about all this awesomeness on a Friday afternoon! 🙂

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