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Roller Coaster Race @ Six Flags!

Tuesday: 8m intervals (400, 800, 1200, 1600, 1200, 800, 400)

I was going back and forth with wanting to run the half marathon at Baltimore’s Running Festival- but it’s about a month out from the Philadelphia Marathon i’m training hard for and I can’t risk doing a hard half that close to the marathon. Instead, I was invited to run a 10K at Six Flags America (Upper Marlboro, MD) on Sunday, October 16th.

Roller Coaster Race oval logo

Im excited about the Roller Coaster Race for a number of reasons:

1) I haven’t raced a 10K since 2013! It’s not a distance i race often, so i’m excited to hopefully update a new PR.

2) With the entry purchase of the 5k or 10k you get a free ticket to the park (good for the day of the race) and free parking! Cameron and I have wanted to go to Six Flags all summer, but it’s been so humid we haven’t ventured out that way. October sounds like a more enjoyable time to be walking around a theme park. And i’m never going to turn down a post-race funnel cake.

3) If you have friends or family who want to participate, but aren’t runners there is a Roller Coaster Ride challenge they can sign up for. Then they complete a 5k’s worth of roller coasters throughout the day to snag a custom medal!

4) The race starts at 9:30am. Hello beautiful.

If you’re interested in signing up do it today! Price increases tomorrow. Check out more information here and let me know if you plan on going so we can meet up! I’m so excited about a day at the park!!!

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Remember a while ago Cameron and I ran a Color Me Rad 5k through Six Flags? It was fun, but they didn’t give us a free park ticket! We both thought it was odd to bring all these runners and walkers to a theme park and not offer a discount or ticket for the day.Screen Shot 2014-05-11 at 10.50.26 PM

Ever run a race through a theme park?
Roller coasters? Love em or leave em? 


5 Comments

NUUN #RunBikeHydrate Virtual 5k & Foo Fighters!

Monday: 15min glutes/hips

Tuesday: 4m easy 9:15/pace

Wednesday: 35 min running drills, skill work

I’m sure by now you’ve seen the Nuun #RunBikeHydrate (Virtual 5k, 10k and 10 mile bike ride) all over Instagram! So I’ll tell you a little about how my run went.

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This 5k I planned was a loop near my gym which started downhill, climbed the 2nd mile and had a downhill finish. I wouldn’t necessarily consider this a legit 5k time since I had to stop at a few lights and stop to catch my breath in the humidity. For a speed work sesh, i’m happy with it. To even see sub-7 paces on my watch is a huge win coming back from an injury.

The mile splits were 7:00, 7:15, 6:50

Virtual 5ks are kinda strange. It’s easy to cheat…i.e. me stopping for a breather a few times. And it’s also hard to really cruise without stopping at lights, unless you’re on a track or treadmill. However! I still did feel the urge to push the pace and “race” and I still got a little nervous before I took off. What are your thoughts on virtual races?

What are your thoughts on self timers? I suck at it. haha Pretty sure I was chewing gum in this one.

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The 4th of July came and went too fast this year!!

We spent our day at the Foo Fighters 20th Anniversary show! Here’s a few pictures from the day…

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I have no idea...haha

I have no idea, literally…haha

Sarah, Domenic, me

Sarah, Domenic, me

Mon: Rest

Tuesday: 3m easy 8:45/pace

Wednesday: 25 min legs/hips/triceps, 2m walk with LE

Thursday: 1500m row, 100 pushups, 100 situps

Friday: 3.1m Nun Virtual 5k 7:03/pace, 2 cool down miles, 2m walk with LE

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 6m walk/run

Total Miles: 15.2m running, 4 walking

Ever try a Virtual Run?

How was your 4th!?


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Run for Haiti 5K Recap!

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 5.2m easy 9:21/pace

If you follow me on Instagram you already know the outcome of Sunday’s 1st attempt at a sub 20:00 5k!

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There’s not a whole lot to say about the race (cause 5ks are a whirlwind) except it felt as good as a 5k can feel. It was hard, yet bearable. I held back the first mile, pushed through the 2nd and gave everything I had in the 3rd and still managed to kick the last 400m. I paced myself as best I could for the given day. We had a ton of that mean wind again (10mph, 28mph gusts), and the course was nothing but rolling hills except for the start & finish which was on a high school track.

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That picture was of the last few hundred feet and me squinting to read the clock. I finished in 20:51, 3rd overall female and 1st in my age group.

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A few things I did differently during the race than my previous 5ks: I warmed up for 20 minutes. I made sure I was pushing during the entire race. If I felt like I was taking a breather or my foot was on the ground too long, I just picked up the pace! Kept saying to myself, “Forward, move forward” or “pick up your feet, keep moving.” One thing that really got my motivation sparked was this saying I found on Instagram the night before:

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I literally repeated “You can stop when your done” out loud and to myself when I felt like I wanted to quit. Which suprisingly didn’t come around often. These mantras & positive thinking tools were actually on my side this time, which makes me even more excited for running longer distances. Plus, I was on a mission. There wasn’t time to waste! Instead of going into this race expecting the worst, I wanted only positive thoughts and planned for the best outcome with the reality that the best outcome was going to hurt and be uncomfortable.

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Now I know you might think, I’m usually upset with myself after a race I didn’t hit goal on. Usually you’d see the Mackayla Maroney meme of her not “impressed” face, but honestly, i knew going into this race i’d run between a 20:30-20:55. I’d never understood how elite runners and coaches can predict race times so closely but I totally get it now.  And in another 4-8 weeks I’ll shoot for a sub 20 5k because i know how many more weeks it will take to drop time, based on the previous training log.

Based on all previous training logs a very awesome meal & adult drinks are part of the recovery. First this lady & her man met us at McCormick & Schmidt’s Grill.

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Emmeline & Joe!

Breakfast included us all splitting donuts & berries:

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I ordered eggs benedict & Cameron got some sort of chicken with eggs thing. I can’t remember, I was so tired and brain dead at this point.

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Last Week

Monday: 15min Rope Pull Machine

Tuesday: 6m interval 10 x 200s (5 @ 5:33/pace, 5 @ 5:30, 2 @ 5:27), 100 TRX Chest Press + 100 TRX Chest Flys

Wednesday: 3000m row, 20 min TRX Rip Trainer

Thursday: 6m + 5 strides easy 8:40/pace

Friday: 3.1 easy 7:57/pace, 20 min shoulders

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Run for Haiti 5k 6:44/pace + 1m warm up

Total Miles: 19.2

Best tips for a 5k?

Mantras to stay positive??


10 Comments

Snow, St. Pattys, 5ks and Random Facts for a Random Week!

Monday: 15min Rope Pull Machine

Tuesday: 6m interval 10 x 200s (5 @ 5:33/pace, 5 @ 5:30, 2 @ 5:27), 100 TRX Chest Press + 100 TRX Chest Flys

Wednesday: 3000m row, 20 min TRX Rip Trainer

Thursday: 6m + 5 strides easy 8:40/pace

Friday: 3.1 easy 7:57/pace, 20 min shoulders

Happy Spring! Even though I woke up yesterday to Christmas outside…

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Don’t worry, it all melted into a slushie during the day. I’m planning to run (weather permitting again!) a 5k this Sunday. The Run for Haiti 5k in Reston, VA. I ran this same race 2 years ago, so i’m excited to attempt a course PR! Sunday is supposed to be cold, but dry, so I gotta take the chance, be like Nike and Just Do It! Cross your fingers and hope the stars align!

Aaaand since I missed it, happy St. Patrick’s day! One day i’ll get my life together and blog on a more consistent basis, but for now, retroactive posting it is 🙂 On the 17th we were given some pretty nice kelly green Gold’s Gym shirts to wear.

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and I had an awesomely green drink over the weekend! #1 Fun fact about me: i love drinks with herbs. If it says mint or basil Im ordering!
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#2 Fun Fact- My hair grows really slow.  I cut my hair really short in 2011 and have been growing it out since. It was not fun running with short hair…

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and as it started growing out…
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And Random Fun Fact #3- I lived in Asheville, NC for a short period of time in 8th grade, and visit there every so often. One of my favorite places.. I think i just really really love mountains 🙂
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Enjoy the weekend! I promise I won’t wait a week to update everyone on the 5k outcome!

How far are you running this weekend?

Tell me about the weather near you..did spring actually arrive yet??


8 Comments

5k Power Songs!

Wednesday: 4m easy 9:20/pace, 25 minutes of  TRX chest/shoulders

There’s a decent chance I won’t be running the planned 5k race this Saturday due to incoming winter weather–but i’m still crossing my fingers and preparing just in case. I’m taking a rest day from running today and heading to the chiropractor. My shins are a little achy, and rightly so. I’ve been pushing the pace weekly and soreness comes with the faster territory. I just want to get ahead of the aches and get the knots worked out.

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a couple weeks ago.. we currently have no snow at all right now.

I also (finally!) purchased a lacrosse ball and started rolling out my calves yesterday (actually helped loosen the tightness by 50%). I’ll do a special post for myofascial release next week so you guys can DYI.

I want to start sharing music as I stumble across it, in case any of you are in a music funk or just curious as to the music I listen to out on the open roads. My 5k distance playlist needs to be a super pumped up mix filled with powerful lyrics or music that keeps the legs turning over and my heart happy. I need a playlist that gives me goosebumps and can keep my thoughts positive while pushing through the pain. The playlist generally starts slower & builds up with a strong finish. Exactly how I want to run a 5k. Don’t blow up the first mile and push the last two.

“Bridges” – Broods

“Miles Away” – Madonna

“Island” – The Starting Line

“Say My Name” – Odesza

Gecko (Overdrive) – Oliver Heldens & Becky Hill

Recess – Skrillex

Well these are what I’ll be listening to. I hope you found a new song or two to download for a run. And if you hate them all it’s cool too. It’s my list dammit. 😉

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What’s your current Power Song?


12 Comments

Wine & Race Entries

Monday: 5000m row, 25 pull ups, 50 pushups, 100 sit ups

Tuesday: 5.5m intervals (8 X 400s, 6 @ 6:00/pace, 2 @ 6:15/pace)

I finally have a few races on the schedule! It helps to commit to a race when you have a great cabernet in hand.. No joke: it lowers your inhibitions, makes taking the credit card out a little easier and makes your goals more exciting than ever.

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I really need to see where my fitness is so I can nail that sub 20:00 5k this spring. And a great thing about training for a 5k is that there is almost always a local 5k every weekend, and generally it’s a cheap entry fee. I signed up for the Potomac Valley Track Club’s By George, 5k! The course description says “totally flat.” I’ll totally be the judge of that. Sounds like a good way to wake up on Valentine’s Day and get a workout in before the day starts.

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I also threw my name in the lottery for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler back in December and got in. Everyone in the DC area raves about this flat, fast & beautiful course. I’m also excited to race a new distance this April!

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And finally I choose my fall ‘A’ race. The Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon. I really want to hit a fast half and I’m taking my time to rev up for it. This race is in November, which gives me plenty of time to find another half for a practice race in August/September.

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And what better way to attempt my 1:30 half than by being in my home state of Indiana with my closest, best friend of all time!?

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us just being classy--also this picture is like 8 years old.

us just being classy–also this picture is like 8 years old.

Last Week

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 5 Rounds w/30lb bar: 8 Overhead shoulder press, 15 front squats, 10 thrusters, 5.75m easy 8:01/pace (ranged from 7:22-8:20)

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 20 min running drills, 8 miles (intervals- 8 x 800s), 30 min core

Friday: 3500m Row, 30 lateral wall ball slams, 35 pushups

Saturday: 12m easy/long, 8:06/pace

Sunday: Rest

Mileage: 25.8

Fall races picked out yet?

Goals??


5 Comments

Turn It Up To 11!!

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 20 min running drills, 8 miles (intervals- 8 x 800s), 30 min core

The last time I did 200s on the treadmill I went to 11mph– ELEVEN! That’s a 5:27 pace! When I think of running at that pace, i get really excited, cause I have a TON of room to grow as a runner. When I think of elites running that pace for the entire duration of a marathon, it makes me feel not-so-cool. But at the same time, running’s not my job sooooo… i do what i can. 🙂

from Monday's run outside. sooo pretty :)

from Monday’s run outside. sooo pretty 🙂

Lisa @ Running out of Wine had a really great post today about letting go of obsessive tendencies to count miles (similar to how people count calories.) And it made me think of the transition from continually building mileage to train for long distance races to basically sticking around the same weekly mileage (about 25 for me) and focusing more on increasing speed at a short distance. Training has been so different and it’s hard to turn off the yearning to add miles each week.

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There are days when a speed workout ends at 5 or 6 miles. The distance runner in me always says, “just do one more cool down mile–add to your weekly mileage total!” Usually i’d give into that, but right now i’ve been asking myself if the several extra miles a week are worth risking injury, helping with my 5k time goal, or taking extra time from my post recovery. Instead of the “extra mile” i’ve been focusing more on warming up, cooling down and foam rolling.

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Make sure you ask yourself what that extra mile or two or 3 is adding to your training. Always listen to your body and quit if you are feeling pain.

Not gonna lie: Today I wanted to quit. 8 x 800s are so hard to run (800s are 1/2 mile). By the time 800 interval #5 came and went I wanted to end it at 6.  However, just like when you strength train, the last few reps are going to be hard. If you don’t do the hard reps your muscles and body won’t change. Something came over me when I realized this and I ran the last 800s faster than the first half.

1 mile warm up @ 9:05/pace (in between each interval i jogged .25 mile @ 10:00/pace, last 2 intervals I walked for 30 seconds, then jogged)

3 x 800s @ 6:33/pace

3 x 800s @ 6:22/pace

2 x 800s @ 6:18/pace

1.5 mile cool down @ 9:15/pace- total miles 8.

This was me before the torture of the 800s. ughhhh.. my pony tail never looks that cute. Only before bed or before a workout. Am I right ladies? Dudes, you’ll never know what it’s like to plan out your workouts around your hair.. it blows. Like the dryer you have to use after the shower :/

 Tell me about your workout from today! 

How much time do you put aside for the foam rolling and recovery?


8 Comments

Ugly Sweater Run!

Wednesday: Rest

Saturday I woke up way too early to run a fun 5k. –Just a sidenote after years of racing, opt for the night races if you aren’t running for time. It’s WAAAAYYY more fun & relaxing, plus running in the dark automatically makes you feel like a fast runner.

My roommate found the Ugly Sweater Run which stood out from a lot of holiday 5ks for the simple fact they give you a beer at the end. It’s not often you get alcohol after a 5k, so i was on board. That sounds worse than it should, I didn’t do the 5k just for a beer.. jeez… the hats are really what sold me. …also any race that offers free pics is awesome cause they basically blog for me;)

me and Leslie!

me and Leslie and her pup Tessa!

The race itself was not as jolly/amazing/unique as the website claimed. There was a few inflatable reindeer about a mile in, the water station in the middle of the race was disorganized and there was a weird wet foam machine at the finish, i’m guessing it was “snow”— However I thought for the free hat (even though I heard people saying it was the same as last years) the free can of beer and the proceeds benefitting Save the Children, it was fun! The course was actually pretty too with a loop along the harbor.

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Ive done a fair share of fun Five Kays over the last few years and all I can say is if you havent already – do one. Not everyone should run a marathon, but everyone can run/walk a 5k. These are a great way to fit in a workout, encourage a friend or family member who wouldn’t normally workout or run. It’s a lot of smiles and laughs, such a fun way to start the weekend 🙂

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love this candid

Now i’m off to the gym for another CrossFit Endurance workout. Wish me luck this weekend when I try to do all my Christmas shopping.. i haven’t started at all :/

Oops–almost forgot the most important part.. After the 5k I ate eggs/french fries and for the first time ever I had an oyster. Pretty much what i expected. They taste like salty boogers. I’ll stick with mussels thank you!

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Themed 5k’s love em or hate em?

Is your Christmas shopping done?


27 Comments

Running “Smart” Isn’t Always Fun.

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Color Me Rad 5k

The fun run we did this morning was a blast! We got the chance to run through Six Flags, get messy & get a run in good and early.

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To make this long story and day short, my ankle isn’t feeling any better. It was feeling on and off throughout this easy, shake out run, but afterward i noticed it was swollen and painful. I made the decision late today to play it smart and safe (even though there were tears and a lot of back n’ forth) that i’m not running the marathon tomorrow. I had a hard time making it though the 5k, i couldn’t even comprehend going another 23 miles.

I wanted to elaborate on this just a smidge before I head back to my icing, compression, and wine. Yes that’s what I prescribed myself.

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This ankle pain–which is in my Achilles tendon btw–is a new pain. This isn’t something I hid from you guys, or trained on and ignored. I don’t feel like I’ve overtrained or overused this, however I have complained about tight calves for some time, which i think may have contributed. But the sharp pain and swelling is new and happened just last week. As soon as i noticed something was up, i took 2 complete rest days, tested it today and not much has changed. I’m still in pain.

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I’ve seen way too many runners injured by ignoring symptoms (hello, i did this a few years ago) and too many times, runners just push themselves into injuries. There is a big difference in muscle soreness and actual pain. Knowing the difference helped make my decision a lot easier even when I had to fight with my inner self –who wanted to run and was soooo ready to run!–and tell myself that one race wasn’t worth the risk of being injured for weeks or months.

Talking it out with Cameron & a few friends (thanks Lauren & Emmeline!) helped me realize i was being smart about this. The best decisions aren’t always the easiest and this was a miserably hard one. My goal for this race was to complete this marathon comfortably—which won’t happen with my ankle the way it is. I also made a promise to Cameron that I wouldn’t let marathon training interfere with our wedding. If I had to hobble down the aisle that would be interfering…There’s always another race, tomorrow is another day.

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pretty much what I looked like today.

I don’t have any good questions today, tell me something positive cause I can’t handle sympathy comments 😦

Also- you guys make everything awesome. i was really pumped up from all the support and comments, i can’t wait to make everyone proud!


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Hoffman-Boston Elementary School 5K Recap!

Monday: 4.2 easy 9:12/pace, 15 min back, 10 min abs

Friday night i got the sweetest text from Cameron saying he wanted to go with me to the 5k. He’s always been supportive and whenever he can he’s with me at races or the finish line. Saturday was his one day to sleep in so I kept telling him it wasn’t a big deal to be there, but I was really glad he came with. I kinda like him.

The morning started with eating peanut butter toast and coffee as my pre-race meal and sipping on water before the race. It was a 40 min drive to Arlington, VA and it was a cold morning, but the park was pretty where the race was held.

My coach wanted me to maintain a 6:55/pace and I went into the race with the Garmin set just to show Time & Pace. I didn’t want to deal with knowing how far I had left, so the plan was just to check on pace here and there. Cameron and I did about a mile warm up and then he watched me look like a freak as i did my skips, dynamic stretches and strides.

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pre-race pic!

I made sure I was near the front of the pack when the race started (it was a small group, i believe 95 runners?) and I wasn’t trying to waste time weaving around people on the small bike path. I’ve always been too polite when it comes to the starting lines at races, but I have a new basic rule that hopefully will get passed around and start lines will be slightly easier to navigate.

Rule when there are no corrals: Start where you expect to finish. If you believe you are a top competitor in a race, start near the front. If this is your first 5k and will be doing a lot of walking, start toward the back. If you’re running with a few friends for fun (say that 5x fast) hangout in the middle of the pack. Don’t take seconds away from people trying to PR just because you want to start near the front for some reason. Got it? Great.

Back to the race… I started around a 6:25 pace and realized i was going to fizzle out if i tried to stay there, so i found the groove at 6:45-7:00 pace and just cruised. I know everyone’s looking for an amazing PR story, but this was a time trial race and i’ve been so used to just “hanging on” to a certain pace on the treadmill, this wasn’t much different. I knew all those treadmill miles were gonna pay off somehow! And I do what I do best when I’m uncomfortable: I focus on form, my footfall and breathing. Having Coach Lauren tell me I should be able to maintain a 6:55 was also important. I trusted the training and her opinions completely and knew this pace was doable.

My legs didn’t start to hurt until the last mile and I was running alone except for yellow shirt guy in front of me. I just tried to catch him during last part of the race. I never did, but I believe he helped pace me and also helped me from not getting lost. While running that uncomfortably fast it’s hard to think of anything except running and pain and I really thought if I lost yellow shirt guy I was going to make a wrong turn.

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I crossed the line in 21:21 with a distance of 3.14, my official time was listed as 21:24, but we weren’t individually chip timed, so those extra few seconds were from me starting behind people at the start. I’m going to list my PR as 21:21 according to me and Mr. Garmin. I finished as the 2nd female overall.  

I’m very proud that I didn’t go out too fast, hurt too much or have to walk. I know now that pre-race warm ups are key to getting the body ready to run fast. Thanks again to my coach for teaching me about the importance of warm ups before speed work! I’m also very proud of Cameron who had a Personal Distance Record for the day. He warmed up and cooled down with me, but also ran about 2 miles while waiting for me to finish! He ended up with about 4.5 miles for the day.

Then we got Starbucks.

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Starbucks decided I was “Carey” today.

This was my first time doing a tune up or time trial race before a goal race. It was super helpful and will give my coach and I a better idea of an attainable half marathon pace for me. Oh, and it’s a huge confidence booster. I highly recommend it.

Random fact, I told Cameron as soon as I found out about my 2nd place, that I just got the silver medal, and I did better than the USA Hockey team.. but then I gave this face…

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**Just in case you don’t realize, i’m super sarcastic and am very proud and excited about 2nd place.. i just thought it was funny because we’ve been constantly talking about silver medalists and I just can’t quit McKayla!

Anyone ever have a McKayla Maroney moment?

I’m just gonna call them an MMM’s from now on. I seem to have them often.

What’s your 5k PR?