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Journey To the Finish Line

PR's, toddlers, hopes and dreams; I'm always running after something

I Have A Need for Speed (2/13-2/19)

This week was a bit rougher, training wise. My stomach was feeling “off” for lack of a better word, on and off the whole second half of the week. Luckily it never turned into anything. Bryan also had shoulder surgery Monday, so there has been a lot of extra house duties for me recently. Also, I’m tired.

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Monday cross. 2000 meter swim. I focused a LOT on technique and drills this time, following a suggested workout from a website I found posted on Facebook. The theory here is you have to go slower in order to go faster, and I can tell you without a doubt I have zero issue with the slower part.

Tuesday tempo. 2 miles @ 7:50 (half pace), 3 min recovery, 2 miles @ 7:33 (10k pace), 3 min recovery, 2 miles @ 7:16 (5k pace). I changed things up from the book a bit and took a suggestion from the one we call the “wise man”. I remember wondering how on earth I was supposed to manage 2 5k pace miles (7:06) after 2 half and 2 10k. Because I couldn’t. I mean logically, my 5k pace is an all out effort for 3 miles. If I can run that pace after 4 speedier miles, I wasn’t running fast enough. Turns out I didn’t read the workout correctly. I was supposed to do ONE 5k mile or 2 half miles at 5k pace. So yeah.

Wednesday speed. kinda. 2 miles @ 7:05 (goal was 7), 2 miles at 7:46 (goal was 7:50), with 1 WU, 1 CD. This was the weekly pub run put on by the local Fleet Feet store. Wise man suggested I do both sets at half pace, but I wanted some speed also so figured I’d split the difference. I had a few issues here. First, my stomach wasn’t feeling great. Second, I was still tired from the workout the day before. Third, I did the two miles on the local trail which has inclines. Pathetically small ones, but when you’re doing speed work, they might as well be Mt Everest. Then, by the time we started the group run it was dark, so I ended up going faster in order to keep the lead runners in sight. Well, can’t win them all.

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I am in here somewhere

Thursday cross. 40 minutes trainer intervals, 10 minutes lower body. 

Friday REST

Saturday long. 12 miles. 2 easy, 8 @ 7:50, 2 easy. My watch had satellite issues AGAIN and skipped .15 miles somewhere into the first faster mile, and dipped over a minute in average lap pace somewhere in mile 9. I did it, but it wasn’t easy, and I’m not sure where I’m going to pull another 5 miles at that pace from. Thin air maybe. Here is hoping taper helps, because I’m pooped.

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Sunday cross/easy. 55 minutes yoga/2 easy stroller miles @ 9:02. I did rock a nice headstand.

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And I forgot to mention it last week, but still doing the plank challenge and attempting to take some creative pictures.

See Bryan waving on the left? He didn’t remember me taking it. 10 minutes later he asked me if I took his picture. HAHA

Bring on taper. I am ready.

I Have A Need for Speed (2/6-2/12)

Ugh and I’ve fallen behind again. I’m blaming this one on Bryan’s recent shoulder surgery.

Monday – cross. 1800 meters. In short, I’m still slow.

Tuesday -tempo. 7 miles @ 7:46/mile. With only a little over 3 weeks left I really wanted to run some more race pace miles, so I substituted the books’ tempo for this one. I felt good for the majority of the run, save for a side stitch I had to stop for for a bit because I couldn’t just run through it. And wise man says to try to finish faster, so that was my goal. My only complaint was it was getting warm quickly and was 65 degrees once I was done, and I could really tell those last couple miles.

Wednesday speed. 3×2000 (1.25 miles) at 6:55. NAILED IT, with a 6:54, 6:49, 6:47. HELL YEAH!

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Thursday easy run/cross. 3 stroller miles/yoga. Ok, so I know this sounds ridiculous, but I really don’t like sweatpants. Not for myself, or for my kids. But Miles has this one pair that he now refers to as his “running pants”, and so now I have a soft spot for them. He insisted on wearing them for today’s run and asked me at least 6 times when he could “run on the sidewalk”.

Friday – rest day

Saturday – long run. 10 miles at 8:10. I mixed this one up a bit too, again hoping to get in some more race pace miles, so I ran 5 miles at 8:30 and 5 at race pace. I had some issues with my satellite and think a couple were a few seconds off (my lap pace had a crazy range and I check it pretty often), and my allergies were acting up so it wasn’t perfect, but I did it. YES.

Sunday – cross. 45 minutes yoga. Honestly I didn’t feel like doing much of anything, but I knew my muscles were tight and needed to stretch a bit at least, so yoga seemed like the logical solution.

3 weeks to go!

Do it Yourself

A few days ago, I read a really eye opening article.

A typical morning around here consists of about 23432897 million requests for something, from me, made by the twins. It doesn’t matter if daddy or grandma or freaking Santa Claus were around, it is me they are asking.

Mommy I need apple juice. Mommy I need yogurt. Mommy I need peanut butter. Mommy she took my toy. All before I’ve even managed to scoop the coffee out of the container and into the pot.

Bryan works way over the “full time” number of hours each week and has to add even more than that over the next three. Combine that with pending shoulder surgery that is going to leave him one handed for who knows how long (he can’t lift more than a cup of coffee with his right hand for 6 weeks, at least), and I was beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed.

So, this article.

It talked about this 4 year old who gets up each morning, brushes her teeth, gets herself dressed, makes her own waffle and eats while her mom gets ready for the day. The night before she helps pick out her outfit for the next day. The twins are almost four, so I think to myself this is perfect. It is time for more independence. I will simply require them to do more for themselves. I share this idea with Bryan, and come Sunday night, I am ready to tackle the week.

That is, until reality hit me.

Monday morning rolls around. No one helped pick out outfits the night before because we were all up late at my parents watching the Superbowl, so instead I figure I’ll have them help me pick out an outfit this morning. I have some extra time. No problem. Miles is easy. He wants a t-shirt and we fight a bit over shorts vs pants, but otherwise his outfit is complete in about 2 minutes. Next is Abby’s turn. My sweet Abby. She turns down every.single. shirt or dress suggestion I make. All of them. I literally go through every option in her closet. Finally a little frustrated, I tell her to choose her own. She says no, and sits on the floor. I pick out a dress myself, telling her if she won’t pick one I will, which results in a tantrum because she didn’t want that outfit either.

So this is going well.

Step two is teaching Miles how to make his own waffle. This actually goes ok, and Miles seems excited about the idea of doing this on his own. Except when it comes to spreading the peanut butter. Then he just simply “can’t do it”. I make him try anyway. Abby chooses yogurt and picks one from the shelf, and hands it to me to open, asking for a spoon. I tell her to get one herself. No, she tells me. *sigh*.

WHY CHILD WHY?

After breakfast, I try to catch them and encourage them to get dressed before they start playing, but no luck. I’m pretty sure I ask them to “please put your underwear and clothes on” a dozen times to deaf ears, each request slightly louder than the previous one. Finally I give up before I lose it, lay on the couch and scroll through Facebook for a few minutes, before I end up helping them get dressed. This lady with her independent 4 year old must be living in an alternate universe.*

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*I will say that after a couple more days of attempts, each day is getting a little better, so it is a work in progress and I will take it. Abby even picked out her dress last night after rejecting only 10 or so other choices. #winning

 

 

I Have A Need for Speed (1/30-2/5)

Monday: cross. 40 minute interval trainer ride/abs. I wasn’t in the mood to deal with a cold pool this morning so I drug my bike out of the living room and did my usual interval ride. 5 min easy followed by 2 min hard gear/3 min easy. Then I played catch up on the ab group I joined and got 4 days behind.

Tuesday – tempo. 5 miles @ 7:35/1 mile CD. Perfect weather, and except for a pathetically slow incline that slowed my last mile down, NAILED IT!

Wednesday speed work. 10x 400 with 400m recovery between each. Goal pace 6:20. It was a warm warm up mile but I stood around talking long enough that it cooled down a bit before the speed part, and I hit most splits between 6:17-6:21. I tried to speed up the last 3 and succeeded at least for 2 of the 3, at 6:09, and 6:06. I have to say, I’m SO EXCITED to see numbers like this, even if it is only for 400 meters.

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Thursday cross. Basically a repeat of Monday. 40 minute interval trainer ride/abs. 

Friday rest

Saturday long. 15 miles @ 8:18/mile. It was a chilly and windy morning, and my watch did NOT want to cooperate. A somewhat last minute group got together to run and afterwards I was more thankful than usual. It took 1.25  miles for it to find a satellite, so I’m told told the first mile was the slowest at around 8:50. After that though we kept things pretty steady, even speeding up a bit the last 4 miles. The headwind was awful, and a couple times I found myself falling behind, but I made myself speed up, catch up and stay with them. I have to admit, I thought to myself hmmm, If I can run 15 at that pace, surely I can train to run a marathon….ha. Probably, but not this year. Afterwards, we all met for a MUCH needed coffee and breakfast.

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Will run for coffee

Sunday cross. 40 minutes yoga/abs. I had planned an easy run but I was feeling more tired than usual and had a sore shin, so I opted to stretch instead. My chiropractor would be proud.

I’ve also been following a 30 day plank challenge, attempting to come up with creative plank selfies.

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Will also plank for coffee -Abby says “mommy is kissing a cup”

Getting on Board

One of the things I looked forward to, when I was daydreaming thinking about the fun things I’d do with my future kids, was sit around the table as a family and play board games.

When the twins turned 3, I bought them the game Candy Land – hopeful but not expecting much. I’ve played the game more times than I can count at work, but always with a kid that was at least 4. When I pulled it out for the twins, they promptly started turning over ALL the cards and placed the pieces wherever the hell they wanted.

I put the game away for awhile, wondering who actually managed to successfully play it with a three year old, since its rated 3-6.

Unfortunately, so many of the cards got lost that I had to throw it away before I could even try again.

Today, I made a random run to Target, thinking maybe they’d be old enough. The twins have really been into “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” story lately, so I picked up what is essentially the caterpillar version of Chutes and Ladders. In the car, I told the twins I had a present for them, which of course elicited some excitement. I pulled the game out and Miles asked to see it, prompting Abby to ask where “her game” is.

Yeah, I should have seen that one coming.

Abby is still throwing a fit when we get home and I open the box, while I correct Miles by saying it is for BOTH of them, not just him. Abby still doesn’t want to play.

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I don’t want that ONE GAME!

But I set it up anyway, putting together the blue caterpillar for Miles and the yellow for myself, when Abby predictably walks over, sits at the table, and steals my caterpillar.

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notice she has the yellow one

We each take a turn, both placing their caterpillar on the correctly colored space. What they won’t do, however is leave it there. Instead, they “walk around” the board. Then, once they figure out the food pieces flip over (it changes the slides), its all over and has turned into a play acting game involving feeding caterpillars fruit.

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would you like an apple?

So no, even though the game is rated 3-6, we are NOT at the point where we want to play it as written, however they have spent the last hour pretending to be their various daycare teachers, lining up the kids at the fence and to go outside (FREEZE! LINE UP!), so it isn’t a total loss.

I guess family game night will have to wait 🙂

I Have A Need for Speed (1/16-1/29)

Sooooo, I got behind and so now I’m doing this the lazy way and combining two weeks into one recap.

1/16/17-1/22/17

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bucket heads

Monday – Tempo. 5 miles @7:39 with 1/2 mile cool down. We took a VERY overdue vacation and since the Charleston Half was only two days prior, I had planned to make it an easy run. But, I got going, felt ok and realized I was doing a faster pace anyway, so I just went with it. FINALLY these tempo runs are starting to feel easier (not easy, mind you, just easier).

Tuesday – run/stationary bike/abs. 2.5 miles on the beach/20 minutes stationary bike/abs. I wanted at least one sunrise run, and how could you not? Then I headed into the hotel gym and got on a wobbly stationary bike so I only rode 20 minutes and finished off with some abs.

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Wednesday – cross. 30 minutes elliptical and 30 minutes weights. As much as I enjoyed the beach run, running on the slightly slanted surface (say that 3 times fast) irritated my right ankle and it was still a little sore, so I played it safe.

Thursday-  cross. 45 minutes elliptical and 15 minutes weights. Same issue.

Friday long run. 10 miles @ 8:11/mile. It was a very nice and partly scenic run but a tough one, as it was 64 degrees and humid. I took a few breaks, and even got stopped at a drawbridge which is definitely a first for me.

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I’m trying to smile but I just look annoyed

Saturday easy run. 4.5 miles @ 8:44/mile. I ended up skipping my speed work for the week but wanted to try to at least get the miles, so there ya go.

Sunday – rest day

1/23/17 – 1/29/17

Monday swim. 1800 meters at an abysmally slow pace. The pool heater was broken but I was told not too terribly cold (however I was also told it would be a good time to try out a wetsuit), but I was already there so I just braved it. It wasn’t too terrible but like the last swim attempt in the freezing outside temps my fingers were numb and I needed coffee to thaw myself.

Tuesday fartlek. 6 miles @ 8:08 pace. So, am I the only one (after I laughed at fart, because I’m mature like that) that thought a fartlek just meant a tempo run? Well apparently it isn’t. It apparently literally means “speed play”, so the idea is you jog a bit, and then pick up the speed for whatever distance, jog, pick up etc. But the distance isn’t measured by a watch but a visual marker, like a mailbox or telephone pole. It actually took me a couple miles to get used to this weird back and forth, but I kinda liked it and think i’ll incorporate more of these in the future.

Wednesday speed. 5.81 miles total. 1WU/3×1600 with 400m recovery/1CD. I KILLED IT, running the fastest mile repeats I’ve ever run, at 6:43, 6:38 and 6:35! Have I mentioned I love speed work? I mean, once I’m done.

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I got my fast shoes on

Thursday  cross. Tired of the bike trainer, I searched my favorite yogi (Ali Kamenova) on You Tube and did three of her HIIT workouts, with some yoga.

Friday  rest

Saturday interesting collection of runs. My plan called for another 10 miles since I shifted a run for the half, and so I decided instead I’d rather run a 5k with a ridiculously long warm up and cool down. On the plus side, I FINALLY beat a nearly 5 year old 5k PR! FINALLY! And the good news here, is that my pace indicates a 22 flat 3.1 (but courses are never exact), which according to the Run Less Run Faster book means I SHOULD (key word here) be able to run the half at my “A” goal pace, and I have 5 more weeks to nail it down.

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Sunday easy-ish run. 3.5 miles @8:30 pace. It ended up being somewhat of a frustrating day  and I needed to burn off some steam, so I took Chance for about 1.5 miles and pushed the twins for the rest.

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I see you, mommy

I Want My Speed Back (Charleston Half Marathon Recap)

I’ve mentioned a few million times that the Ironman sapped my speed. Was it worth it? Hell yes. But do I want it back? Duh.

The Run Less Run Faster plan worked really well for me during marathon training last year, allowing me to PR not once, but twice, and avoid injury. Well, I had a previous issue become aggravated but at least I wasn’t sidelined for the race. So after Sweet Tea’s slow (in comparison) finish, I started following the Run Less Run Faster half marathon plan. My goal race is the Myrtle Beach Half, but I signed up for Charleston so I could get a feel for my progress.

I ran 2015’s Sweet Tea in 1:44:48 (8:00 pace), while training for Disney.

I ran 2016’s Sweet Tea in 1:55:xx (8:46 pace), 3 weeks after the Ironman.

My “A” goal is a 1:42:30 (7:50 pace)

I’ve run the Charleston event three times (1 half and my first and second full), and not much was different so there really isn’t a ton to report. I drove myself to the start line early and picked up my packet the morning of, in order to avoid rush hour traffic the night before. I did that, and used the bathroom not once, not twice, but three times after my measly half cup of coffee and about 4 oz of water.

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After pee break number 2

I also stopped at my car three times so I was glad I was parked nearby. After my second bathroom visit I walked to the start and had to go AGAIN. Geez Lousie.

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start line selfie with high kick photobomb

There were complaints over the last couple of years about the temperature at this race because it was so cold. Obviously (see tank top) this year was much warmer, and honestly even a little warmer than I’d prefer for a race. The starting temp was supposed to be around 57 degrees, but I knew that when I was standing around waiting for the gun to go off and wasn’t even a little chilly, it was going to feel warm.

The gun went off at exactly 8:00.

My initial plan had been to run this race as a training run and go by the pace in the book, which was an 8:20. I told others this. I told myself this. I, unsurprisingly, didn’t listen.

I started the race and ran the first mile at an 8:09, and felt ok, so decided to go with that. I, as usual when I go into a race without a definite goals, changed my mind one mile in and decided to stick with an 8:10 hoping I might be able to speed up a bit the last 3-4 miles.

By mile 2 I wanted to take off my tank top, but I didn’t feel like carrying it for 11 more miles, so I kept it on. Mile 2 and 3 were run in a 8:10 and 8:11, so at least I was staying consistent. I picked it up at bit at mile 4 and 5, hitting both at 8:06, and by the time I hit mile 6 I couldn’t stand my shirt anymore. Unfortunately by then it also felt quite a bit warmer, so my next 5 miles were between an 8:09 and an 8:12. It didn’t help that mile 10 was over a bridge. By the time I hit mile 11 I had hoped to speed up, but forgot that the last few miles run through a twisty and hilly (ok ok, they were pathetically small inclines) section of North Charleston, so it didn’t happen then either, finishing the last 3 miles in 8:08, 8:11 and 8:07.

The course registered a bit long for me at 13.22 miles, so my official time was 1:47:12, but my time for 13.1 was 1:46:47. Factoring in a temperature that was almost 20 degrees warmer than 2015’s Sweet Tea race (my ideal racing temp is in the 40s and the weather was perfect at this race), I feel pretty confident that I’ve made it back to where I was, so now I have 7 weeks to get faster.

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I actually stuck around for the after party this year, and even drank my two complimentary drinks (mimosas, still not a beer person), and discussed the cool-ness of glittery sports bras.

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glitter hurts John’s eyes

Charleston does know how to throw a good post race party.

Results:

Overall: 264/3007

30-34 age: 15/284

Gender 85/1888

I Have A Need for Speed (1/9-1/15)

Operation Run Faster continues. With about 7 weeks left to the Myrtle Beach half, its getting close to time to decide if my goal is doable.

Monday – swimming barely not drowning.  1800 meters. It is ridiculous how quickly you lose swimming stamina, especially when you suck at it anyway. I’ve only been sporatic about going since I got my Ironman tattoo, and over the holidays. I considered skipping it agin and just picking back up after vacation, but decided it suck it up and go. It was 30 degrees outside. The water really wasn’t bad as long as you were moving, but after about an hour my fingertips were numb, and it took me the rest of the afternoon to thaw. On the plus side, a fellow swimmer saw my tattoo and said I was a badass, so there’s that 🙂

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This pic worked better in my head

Tuesday tempo fail. 6 miles at 7:50/mile. Figuring I had enough weeks of tempo and speed runs under my belt I figured I’d try 6 miles at goal race pace. Well, something messed up on my watch about .75 miles in and my pace jumped from 7:50 to 7:20. I dunno if the satellites were just off, or if I was really running that quickly (I suspect a combo), and then I felt thrown off for the rest of it. Combined with asthma lungs and 32 degrees, this run required a few rest stops and felt much harder than it should have.

Wednesday speed work. 3x (2x 1200) with 2/4 min rest intervals. Actual goal pace here was around a 6:45, but with the half marathon coming up (that I planned to run as a training run but knew myself well enough to know I wouldn’t) I knocked the pace down a bit and averaged between 6:49-6:55. Because SC loves to fit as many seasons as possible in 48 hours, it was 68 degrees during the better part of this run.

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Subscribe to purchase our future track calendar – haha

Thursday easy run. 4 miles with stroller. Running snacks! And my kid knows me because Miles asked me 5 min in if I had to pee (I didn’t, but I did later).

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Ya’ll – they are heavy

Friday rest day

Saturday Charleston Half Marathon. 13.1 miles @ 8:09/mile. Not a PR but a good solid improvement from my 8:46 average at Sweet Tea. Also, there were yummy Mimosas. Recap to come.

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John looks like a pirate

Sunday rest day, since we spent the majority of it in the car.

I Have a Need for Speed (1/2 – 1/8)

Happy New Year, friends! 2016 was a BIG year for me in terms of my running and triathlon goals, so 2017 is going to be boring in comparison. And hopefully faster 🙂

Monday – tempo run. 5 miles @ 7:41 with .5WU/.5CD Typically Monday is my pool day but the twins’ daycare was closed for the New Year holiday and I didn’t feel like it was fair of me to ask my parents to watch the twins for a swim and work both, so I ran. Since the twins were home with me, this run was done on the treadmill. It wasn’t pretty. I did manage to maintain a steady 7:41 with one break to beg the twins to leave me alone and get some water, but an already difficult run was made more difficult when my apparently oblivious kids started asking me WHAT I WAS DOING. I am running. What does it look like? Miles joined me for my cool down, though.

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Walk time!

Tuesday – ride/HIIT 25 minute ride/35 min HIIT. It was on the warmer side with some rain expected later. The weather said there was a 38% chance of rain. 1.5 miles from home it starts to rain. WEATHER LIES. I was already out so I turned around once it started to do more than drizzle and headed back home to dry my bike off, and did two sets of high intensity interval workouts with some yoga stretching.

Wednesday – speed. 1 mile, 2 miles, 2×800 with 400/800m recovery, WU and CD – 7.25 miles total. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect speed wise with these intervals. According to my half goal, I needed to run the mile in 6:49 and 2 in about 14:04, then both 800’s in 3:16. I decided to tone it down a bit and shoot for a 7:00 and then a 14:10-14:15, but surprised myself yet again and ran the mile in 6:50 and the 2 mile in 14:06. My 800’s suffered though, with a 3:26 and 3:23, but by then I hardly cared.I ran a 7:06 and 7:01 consecutively and didn’t die, and though running another mile wasn’t happening, it tells me the training is working and I am getting faster!

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I AM FABULOUS

Thursday trainer 35 minutes AM/ arms and abs 30 minutes PM. I woke up with a scratchy throat. We had some company the night before so could only squeeze in 35 minutes, but that was fine because I hate the trainer. My last kid canceled so I hit the Y and did a set of arm weights, 5 pull ups (3 then 2) and a set of abs including planks. I also did a short and light set of hips. By then I had some nice head congestion but not enough to warrant skipping. Hot chocolate helped a little.

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no, the tissues aren’t used

Friday rest day . long run. 12 miles @ 8:18/mile. Faced with the decision to either run with a head cold or try to bear through freezing rain (or 12 miles on Satans Sidewalk) the next day, I medicated up (relax, I took one Sudafed), put my shoes on after work and headed out. This run was easier than the same distance attempt 2 weeks ago, but was still challenging by the end, so still work to do. Though, the cold probably didn’t help. Also, rain likes me because again, even though the chance of rain was 1%, it rained lightly almost the whole run.

Saturday –nothing. I literally did nothing. All day.I cursed my cold.

Sunday yoga. Painful yoga. Starting to feel better, but still pretty tired, it wasn’t my best yoga session ever.

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