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The Almost PR- Rock N’ Roll DC 1/2 Recap!

Monday: 20min yoga

Tuesday: 8.5m interval 16 x 400s @ 10k pace (6 @ 6:31/pace, 6 @ 6:27/pace, 4 @ 6:22/pace)

Wednesday: 6.9m easy 8:58/pace, 40 min shoulders + legs

I made a ton of last minute changes for the race which made me extremely nervous and anxious during the week leading up to it. Pre-race went badly, a lot of stuff was out of my control, I didn’t think this was going to be a good race.

Monday through Friday leading to Saturday’s race I dealt with a massive sinus headache, sinus related vertigo/dizziness & pressure headaches until Friday ,when i finally started feeling better (cue sigh of relief!) and changed my hair color. Not that hair color had anything to do with me feeling better.. wait, it may have been a slight pick me up.

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The sinus/allergy stuff  was out of my control of course. It’s never fun going into a race week feeling like absolute crap. I still managed to hit the weekly running workouts on the schedule, even though they all felt harder than usual. I’m thankful it was a cutback week, although I probably would have had to cutback anyway with how tired those horrible allergies made me.

The changes I mentioned have to do a lot with nutrition. Since last fall I’ve cut out most refined carbohydrates (breads/pasta etc) and have replaced those grain carbs with potatoes/carrots/beets etc. I will do a post on this in more details soon–> the point being, I was nervous about not having a regular pasta meal the night before and a bagel the morning of the race. So what did I eat?  I had a whole sweet potato with maple syrup and pork chop for dinner. The morning of the race I had a banana with pb and coffee, then on the train I ate a Honey Stinger Waffle and drank pink lemonade Nuun.

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Another thing out of my control pre-race: the metro was a complete mess on race morning. 13 minutes behind schedule and the train stop we were told to get off at had their stairs and escalators blocked off. Hundreds of runners were waiting to load up into an extremely small, slow moving elevator. A lot of us hopped back on the train and got off at the next station. Because of these setbacks, I did not have the chance to warm up or start the race on time. I was literally in a port-o-potty at 7:28am, two minutes before the start.

I ran slowly to the corrals, peeling off my throwaway clothes, getting my Ipod set up and finally squeezed into Corral #5. I was supposed to start in #2, so i knew i’d have some weaving to do in the early miles. My plan for this race was to hold back until miles 6-7 where the big hill was then see how I was feeling to push the backend of the race.

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After the stressful morning,  the race itself was great! Once my legs warmed up (took 2 miles) and I weaved around the corral 5 runners, i got into a groove and felt very relaxed. I finally had some elbow room at mile 5 and I could feel myself trying to speed up and kept telling myself to save energy for the hills in the 2nd half.

You might not like it, but my race mantra for the hill was “I like it on top.” It made me smile and laugh a little, which relaxed me. Feel free to think of this on your next hilly run 😉

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Once I hit that wretched hill and my slowest mile–it took another half mile for my quads to stop screaming at me. But once they recovered I was feeling fantastic and I just let the legs do what they wanted.

The final miles of the race were 7:05, 6:59, 6:51, 7:05 and my final mile was a 6:56! I was hoping on a good day i could FINALLY hit a sub-7 mile during a half. The negative split was my fastest ever 10k! Hitting those splits are a good indicator that big things may happen in 6 weeks. Horn officially tooted.

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Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 2.05.47 PMHere are the splits! Official Time 1:37:05.

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I did a breakdown of the good, bad and otherwise in a few other race recaps and I’m going to continue with this because it’s easy to look back and recall what needs to change and stay the same for future races. So here it goes!

The bad

-I did not anticipate the Metro being backed up, therefore I had ZERO time to do a proper warm up. I truly feel if I had that extra 30 minutes as planned I could have had a PR day, but i’m not upset over it because that was not the purpose of this race. This just means for my ‘A’ race I will have to plan for extra time to warm up just in case!

-My back was really sore after this race. I don’t know if i was tense or if my back was taking all the downhill jolting. Guess I’m out of downhill running practice?

The good

-I felt 100% properly fueled. My nutrition is on point and Honey Stinger products & Nuun are sitting well in my stomach.

-The final 6 miles. I paced properly! All those workouts of mile repeats and 2 x 3s are showing up!  A 7:00/pace did not feel like death :).

-I’m definitely a midwest girl. The flat parts of the course I cruised and dare i say, the pace felt easy. I never felt like I went above an 7-8/10 effort and the negative split was just icing on the cake.

-This race felt better (i.e I felt more comfortable) than  Indianapolis where I got my latest PR.

The firsts  I know you aren’t supposed to try new things on race day, but this was a practice race for me so there were a TON of new things.

-Pre race evening meal. Sweet potatoes will forever be a staple. And the morning meal, no bagels just real food.

-On the course i only drank water. This is the first time I didn’t have gatorade, and my stomach was happy because of it!

-Shoes. I bought a brand new pair of Saucony Kinvara 6s for this race. I did not wear them or break them in before the race. They worked perfectly. No blisters or anything. Saucony is seriously amazing.

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-I was blonde. Hey when you’re not gunning for a PR you need to find other running firsts. It was my very first run with blonde hair. lol.

 

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Last Week

Monday: 7.5 tempo (2m warm up, 3 @ 6:53/pace, 4 x 2:00 @ 6:18/pace, 1m cool down)

Tuesday: 4m easy 9:45/pace + 2m walk w/LE

Wednesday: 6.9m easy 8:41/pace

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 13.1m Race 7:20/pace Rock n’Roll DC 1/2 marathon

Sunday: Rest

Total Miles: 31.6

What are your pre-race rituals??

New running “first” you’ve accomplished during a race (other than a PR/distance record)?


16 Comments

Cutting Back

Monday: 7.5 tempo (2m warm up, 3 @ 6:53/pace, 4 x 2:00 @ 6:18/pace, 1m cool down)

Tuesday: 4m easy 9:45/pace + 2m walk w/LE

Wednesday: 6.9m easy 8:41/pace

I feel like every blog i’ve read this week have mentioned a cut back week in their training. A cutback week is when you cutdown your mileage as a way to recover from the constant increase of mileage and intensity from harder speed workouts. This training cycle has been going extremely well. One of my 2016 goals is to run 5 days per week and strength train without feeling burnt out or getting injured. As i’ve mentioned, running my easy days at a 9:00+ pace (much slower this cycle than in the past) I’ve been able to easily run 5 days per week and have had a healthy, happy and productive first few weeks.

Last Thursday was the first time a workout left me extremely fatigued. Granted the workout was HARD (2 x 3 miles at my goal half marathon pace -6:52). As tiring as this workout was, it was the first time i’ve been able to consistently hit my actual goal half marathon pace. <–this is a big deal. If I can do 3 miles at a time at a 6:50ish pace not once, but TWICE, i should be able to hit my 1:30 goal within this year. This workout left me mentally strong and is the type of quality workout that will carry me 13.1 miles at a fast-for-me-pace.

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With all the progress, I decided to take a cutback week. Not necessarily because I’m feeling the training (which i am) but because it’s supposed to be 70 degrees Saturday and I signed up for the Rock n’ Roll DC 1/2.

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You know me, i like doing a half marathon as a check-in to see how much work is left during training. I’m not planning on going full out since this is a very hilly course and I haven’t been training hills that much. I might attempt a course PR, but overall this is meant to be a tempo/hilly/long run that is accompanied by thousands of other runners and gatorade stations. 🙂

So that’s it! That’s the current news. Training is going well, the weather is beautiful and i’m out to run half marathon #14 in DC!

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Last Week

Monday: 3m easy 9:55/pace, 45min total body strength

Tuesday: 5m easy 8:56/pace

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 7m MP tempo (1m warm up, 5 @ 8:00, 1m cool down), 30min TRX upper body + core

Friday: 9m tempo (2m warm up, 2 x 3 @ 6:53/pace, 1m cool down)

Saturday: 10.3 easy 9:30/pace

Sunday: 2m walk w/LE

Total Miles: 34.3

Anyone in DC running the Rock n’ Roll?

Who takes cutback weeks?

ALSO– If you want to register for the Zooma Annapolis race (June 4th!) use CORI16 for 10% off before the price increases on Saturday! Register HERE

zooma


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Inside the 10 Mile Mind – Vol. 3

Week one of half marathon training went as well as it could have gone. My easy runs were easy (all 9:00+ pace) and the speed workouts were much easier and faster than normal! (6:44-7:30/pace). I’m already seeing the benefits from changing up the pacing and running slower on easy days.

Saturday morning was the first double digit run since November. There’s something about the first 10 miler in a training program that I love. It’s exciting, a little scary but the expectations aren’t too high. It’s the first of many long runs i’ll encounter and eventually 10 miles will be the “shorter” long run i’ll endure.

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I downloaded a few podcasts and set out on a flatter trail that i knew wasn’t completely covered in snow. The first mile was under construction. Running over the uneven, muddy, wooden planks forced a slow pace and took my mind off of how cold it was.File_000 (61)It also helped that the podcast I chose was all about running my easy runs “painfully slow.” The first several miles were so easy I got to enjoy the outdoors (I hadn’t run outside since Jan. 16th!) and my legs had plenty of time to ease into this run.

My plan was to run the first six miles as slow as possible, squeeze in the Nuun Year Dash virtual 5k and finish with a cool down mile. It doesn’t matter if i’m running 400s, mile repeats, a 5k or an ‘A’ race, I’m always nervous that i won’t be able to run fast when i’m supposed to. And with all the slow running i’ve been doing I was nervous my body wouldn’t remember what “fast” was. (Ridiculous right?)

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At 6 miles, I restarted my Garmin, switched from the podcast to EDM Pandora and stretched my legs for a minute. I knew I didn’t want to go all out, there was almost no point since I would be stopped by 2-3 intersections and I still needed to actually finish the long run without burning out. I was hoping for a solid, moderate effort.

I took off and my legs felt as if they were freed from a cage. I was completely shocked at how easily I went from running a 9:20/pace to a 7:16/pace. It felt natural, I felt in control, and that made me the happiest little runner of all. File_000 (62)

During long runs in the past, i used to over think a lot. I put myself down and told myself i wouldn’t be able to get faster or ever run a marathon again, or would never meet my half marathon goals. Mental training has been much more important to me for the last several races. I try to only think positive thoughts, even when the run isn’t going fantastic. I’m going to do the best I can on the day, and if things don’t go perfectly…i’m only in training and it’s not my job.

During this particular run I wasn’t thinking about much except that i was going to run until I had to run a little faster for 3 miles, then chill out for the cool down. Breaking up the long run was helpful mentally and physically. When my plan calls for those long run with a “fast finish” I will make sure I leave the last mile for a cool down. It was the one thing I kept telling myself during the 5k effort–> You get to run a slow mile soon! That was actually motivating and a huge relief when I finished the hard portion.

It’s also very motivating to know that a hot shower, hot coffee & a warm puppy are waiting for me afterward. ❤

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OH and if you haven’t seen my Instagram, i totally put her in my Nuun shirt and threw the medal on her. I figured you guys have seen me in a medal enough 😉

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Last Week

Monday: 5m easy 9:25/pace

Tuesday: 3m easy 9:10/pace, 40 min strength (chest/legs)

Wednesday: 6m HMP Tempo (2m warm up, 3m @ 7:03/pace, 1m cool down) + 1200m row 

Thursday: 25min hips/core

Friday: 4.1m easy 9:13/pace, 15min rope pulls & body weight tricep dips

Saturday: 10.1 long (6 @ 9:19/pace, 3.1 @ moderate effort 7:16, 1m cooldown 10:45/pace)

Sunday: REST!

Total Miles: 28.2

Do you dress up your pet?

How do you mentally get through your long runs?


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Running Favorites II

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 9m interval 7:46/pace

Okay, it’s time to tell you about the running related things I have been using for years now, because i love them and i like talking about the things I love.

Shoes. #1 most important thing for a runner. And I love Saucony. They’ve been coming out on top, over and over for me. Especially the Kinvaras. I’ve been racing in the Kinvara’s for a while now and love a light shoe that is still supportive underneath the midfoot. Brooks is a close 2nd. I love the Pure Project line even though I gave Brooks a rest over the last year, I will be wearing them again in the near future.

Kinvara 5s.

Kinvara 5s.

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Saucony Triumphs

I recently tried the New Balance Zante’s –with only a 128 miles on them, they already felt like they lost their spring & are now just a gym shoe. Definitely disappointing. The other brand I recently tried were Asics. Again, a disappointment. I have 100 miles on them, and the shoe itself is falling apart (several small holes), the insole is bunched up and the shoe feels flat as well. These two shoes will be saved for short, easy running days or walks with the pup.

Clothes: Shorts/pants/socks, hands down Under Armour. I wear their shorts during races whenever it’s warm enough. Shirts: this one is tough for me, i don’t have a go-to. I’m thinking I might try Oiselle? Most of my running shirts are off-brand from TJ Maxx & stuff. Sports Bras: The Brooks Versatile bra is my favorite, and I only have one left, so I scoured the internet and grabbed a few more, but I’m not sure what I’ll do when I need to find a replacement. Socks- Pro Compression baby. I wear these things all the time. They feel so different from other compression socks. No other way to describe it, they just feel better and help me recover faster.

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Brooks Versatile Bra I & II

I wore a tank over this and the compression socks--although i love them, not very good for weather close to 80 degrees :(

My race go-tos–Sauconys, my UA shorts, Versatile Bra, PRO Compression Socks, Garmin & Ipod Nano

Fuel: I used to be a GU Girl–but it’s too thick to try and get down while i’m racing hard. I found Honey Stingers, Hammer Gels & Powerade Gels work best for me. They taste better and are a thinner gel (does that make sense?).

And I think everyone knows by now I have an obsession with Nuun electrolyte tablets. They come in so many different flavors and have a light, crisp flavor without all the added sugars. Although I will drink Powerade or Gatorade the 2 days before a race just to consume extra calories!

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Nuun shipment day! LE was super happy too.

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Gadgets/Gear/Extras: I’ve had my Garmin Forerunner 10 for three years now and it’s still kicking and the best Christmas present I’ve gotten in a long time. It’s a cheaper running watch compared to the others in Garmin’s line but it gives you the information you need total time/pace/distance and you can get them on Amazon right now for $80-90. I use an Ipod Nano from several years back and i’ve been tucking it in a Flipbelt! This has been my favorite thing since I picked one up at the Chicago Marathon last year. It does exactly what it says–you can fit a lot in the belt, flip it over and it stays against your body. No bouncing or losing your items.

Week of Oct 19th-25th

Monday: 6.9m easy 8:32/pace

Tuesday: 9m interval (8 x 1000s- 3 @ 6:48/pace, 3 @ 6:44/pace, 2 @ 6:40/pace – 2min recovery jog in between)

Wednesday: 25 min shoulders/back

Thursday: 10.8 interval 8:14/pace ( 3 x 2.5m – 7:25/average pace)

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 10.2m easy 8:52/pace

Total Miles: 36.9

What are some of your running favorites?


10 Comments

Pre! During! Post!

What you eat before, during and after a workout can really help you get the most out of your time spent in the gym or running along the trails! I figured since we are heading into fall marathon training season, now is as good time as any to share what I personally do for workout nutrition! The peeps over at Eat The Bear Fit wanted to hear about my nutrition and helped inspire this post! They also have a great resource page for pre-workout supplements and fitness. You can check it out here!

Pre Workout: I always try to eat a little something about an hour before I start a workout. I tell my clients to do the same because if you don’t have some carbohydrates in your system for energy there’s a good chance you will tire out easily or even get dizzy & pass out if you are doing strenuous exercises.

When I head out for a run, usually half a banana with a little peanut butter & coffee will do the trick. When I’m lifting or cross training I eat a clif bar. And usually coffee is had sometime before I start 😉

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Seriously. Coffee. All. Day. Long.

Seriously. Coffee. All. Day. Long.

During Workout: If I have a running workout over 60 minutes I make sure to bring a Honey Stinger gel along for the run and will eat it slowly, starting at the 45 minute mark. If I’m strength training I won’t eat anything during, until after I finish (see Post Workout). I always drink water throughout the workout and if it’s really hot outside, or i know i’m in for a tough sweat sesh, I throw a Nuun tablet in my bottle for the added sodium & electrolytes!

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Post Workout: To maximize muscle recovery it is important to eat or drink protein within 30 minutes post workout. Protein is essential for muscle building and repairing. When you workout you are creating micro tears in your muscles. The protein is needed after to repair muscles so you come out the other end gaining strength and lean muscle mass. Some days I use protein shakes and others I have nuts or greek yogurt. Honestly, it just depends whats on hand or if i’m home or at the gym. Either way, I ALWAYS make sure to have a post-workout snack of about 150-250 calories.

My current go-to has been watermelon & almonds.

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Coconut water & watermelon…most refreshing post workout drink!

coconut water & watermelon...most refreshing post workout drink!

TJ’s brand hemp protein, is not my favorite–it doesn’t mix well and is gritty (even when blended). But I love the texture chia seeds bring to liquid. Chia seeds are a great way to add protein & omegas to your recovery 🙂

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Now that I shared what I do, what are your go-to’s for pre, during & post workout?


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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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Shoppin’ For My-se-elf…

Mon: 5 Rounds: 500m row, 8 body weight dips, AMRAP* TRX triceps extension, 15 each side lateral wall ball slams.

Tues: 4m easy 8:20/pace, AMRAP TRX chestflys/pushups 

Wed: 4m easy (but hard because of the wind) 7:34/pace, 15 min running drills/ 5min bare foot running

Thurs: Rest

* AMRAP= As many reps as possible

How is it Thursday already! I’ve been meaning to blog but shopping for myself got in the way. Also, i’ve been meaning to Christmas shop for other people, but shopping for myself got in the way. Seems like I end up buying gifts like this— one for you, one for me hehee, I can’t help myself! Some of the Cyber Monday deals were way too awesome to pass up!

I bought a 4-pack (but shoulda bought more packs) of Nuun, my favorite training drink of choice–Also, got the email that I’m now a Nuunbassador for their company. Congrats to all the other bloggers out that are now part of the Nuun family :).

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I’ve wanted to try Pro Compression tights for the longest time and with a discount code and free shipping, they now have a fine home on my rear end. Speaking of, they have a high waist band which is nice so you don’t get the muffin top and they’re nice and thick–no undie lines or anything else showing through!

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Then I got one two new pairs of shoes. I needed to replace my favorite New Balance Minimus with a new pair for work. And I also wanted to give New Balance a go with a pair of running shoes.

4mm left, zero drop right

4mm left, zero drop right

The running shoes I bought are Minimus WR10GY. They are still a 4mm drop (what i’m used to), just a lot less shoe than normal. I’m starting to incorporate barefoot running & lots of new running drills into a weekly routine so it seems only natural to get a shoe with less cushion. I’ve been walking/standing/strength training in zero drop shoes all year and I can’t tell you enough how different (in a good way) it feels to lift or squat in shoes where your heel is level with your forefoot. And bonus: my form has improved.

Seeing these positive changes is making me want to run in zero drop. I used to have arch pain constantly–I thought my high arches needed more cushion. Turns out I needed less, a lot less. The New Balance Minimus have literally zeroed out any foot pain i’ve had standing in shoes all day.

and they're so pretty too!

and they’re so pretty too!

I’ve also noticed after barefoot drills my right plantar fascia gets tight and I have to work it out a good deal for it to feel better. This could have been a much worse problem had I not tried barefoot running. <—But Cori, what if barefoot running is making your fascia tight, why don’t you just stop—> Because, made-up-person-i’m-blog-talking-to, my tight fascia probably has been a problem that was hidden with well cushioned shoes that absorb and hide high impact shock. All issues I’ve had have been on my right side (ankle, shin, soleus, & hip). Could the root of all these problems be caused by tight connective tissue along the bottom of my foot? Perhaps. I’m hoping that incorporating running drills and changing training plans will lead me to working out kinks & getting into a healthy racing year and one step closer to becoming an Unbreakable Runner.

Also, just as important as these running discoveries: Snicker Doodle Muddy Buddies. They are at Target right now. Buy them, buy them now.

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Just be sure to buy them with friends to share with. There are 11 servings in this bag. I ate the entire thing in 2 sittings. Eeek.
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How’s your week going?

Barefoot drills? Thoughts? Any discoveries?