Praying for Rain and Bathtime Trauma

9 Dec

Happy Sunday!

Yesterday morning I started my day off bright and early at a 5K race in a park near my house.  Not to run, or even to spectate, but to hand flyers out for a race that the Junior League is holding in March.  After I was done the only way out of the park was the same route as the race, so I was stuck for a while.  Luckily you could see my house right from the route:

photo (1)

Not really.  You could probably fit about 4 of my houses inside of that one.

I’m happy to report that after I got home, I finished my longest training run yesterday – 8 miles :)  I got out earlier than last week, I started out slower than last week, and the 8 miles felt so much better than the 7 I did last Saturday.  And kept up on my goal for the progressive training runs – barely, but each mile was faster than the last!

12-9-2012 1-26-32 PM

 

It was still really hot out though, well over 80 degrees, even at 8:30 in the morning.  It was so humid that the air was sweating.  I could tell that the clouds themselves were praying to let go of all the rain they were holding but it just did not happen on my run, much to my disappointment.  Oh well.  Still a great one.

Another thing I am noticing that I keep doing unintentionally is going faster than the Smartcoach trainer is telling me to.  I was supposed to finish this run with an average of 10:23.  After reading this post, I think I might know why.  The post outlines the difference between fast twitch muscles and slow twitch muscles and how you can determine whether you’re built for speed or endurance for longer distances.  When I was setting up my training plan for this race, I used a time trial of 1 mile.  I am not a sprinter, or great at short distances.  But what I do have is endurance (who knew?).  I feel much more comfortable mid-run when I get into the groove and aside from last week’s run, I generally always feel like I could keep going or have more in me.  I highly recommend that all runners read that post by Laura and think about this during all of your training.  It’s so interesting!  Also gets me excited to add the longer runs for this training.

The rest of yesterday was spent Christmas shopping with Jeff for almost everyone on our list.  We did pretty good and the stores were not too crowded for a Saturday in December.  We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.  In New Jersey, all malls are packed all the time every Saturday, even if it’s not Christmas.  Grateful for the South Florida lack of shopping obsession.  We got dinner at our favorite Thai restaurant and called it a night.

Today is a rest day.  Our biggest accomplishment was giving Jingo a bath.  She was in desperate need of one and we bath her ourselves (it’s a two person job definitely).  When she was a puppy we brought her to a groomer but were told politely not to bring her back until she was trained to be calmer.  Five years later and she has not quite found that calmness yet, especially with strangers, so we bath her in our backyard with the hose since we only have stand up showers in the house, no bathtubs.  She doesn’t mind the bath but just cries the whole time until it’s over.  It’s like a war zone out there, and enough hair comes off of her to make about 5 more dogs out of.  There should be a locks of love program for dogs.  She would definitely be their biggest donor.  For some reason having a bath is a traumatic experience and Jingo becomes a mommy’s dog for the rest of the day.

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Yes I took a shower after giving her a bath and promptly changed back into pajamas.  That bath is going to be the one and only productive thing that is done all day.

Have you done your Christmas shopping yet?

Any other neurotic/crazy dog owners out there? (the dog, not the owner… ok or both)

Anyone still racing or training for races this weekend or is your season over?

 

First Speed workout and Magazine Mania

7 Dec

I did it!  My first speed workout on Wednesday.  I stuck to the treadmill at the gym before work.  I trusted the treadmill pacing more than my own and tracked it on Nike +.  Doesn’t that girl kind of look like me?  Not really?

nike

 

I did a slow warm up mile, then did 1 mile @ 8:20/mile, .5 mile slow, and repeated the fast mile & slow .5 two more times.  It wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought, and it was kind of fun!  Although it was only 3 fast miles and I can’t help but wondering how I will manage to continue that for 13.1 by February… eek. But this is what the training is for right?  You can’t just go out there with no preparation and expect to run fast for 13.1 miles.  These type of workouts are going to make me a stronger faster runner.  Yesterday I did another slow 2 on the treadmill @10:10 pace &

To be honest, I am realizing more and more that I have not been pushing myself my last few affairs with running.  I never applied any type of conscious training, I just went out there and ran.  Never seeking to improve, or see what I could be capable of.  That’s what I am loving about right now.  I’m learning about my body, learning about running, and learning about myself.  I never thought of myself as the competitive type, but I’m finding that I absolutely am.  Not really with other people, but with myself.  Using all these different tools, being able to track my progress and speed is something new and different and exciting.  And I love looking at how I’m improving already after only a few weeks!  It’s amazing what can happen when you hold yourself accountable to achieving something.  If I can do it, anyone can.  Not that I’ve actually accomplished anything real or official.  I don’t have a time posted on a race results website that tells me (yet), but I know it for myself and that’s good enough for now.  It’s nice to have something that I enjoy doing that I can improve upon and keep getting better through my own work.

One thing that I’m already quite an expert at already is reading magazines.  I came home and opened the mailbox to find all of these lovelies staring at me:

photoLooks like I have a lot of reading to do!  I love to read books too, but for some reason it seems so much easier to find time to fit a few pages of a magazine in (could have something to do with the fact that practically half of them are ads).  The sad thing is that this isn’t even all of them that i subscribe to.  There’s also Glamour, Clean Eating,  & Women’s Running.  I can’t help it.  Who can say no to $10 for a year of wonderful article filled monthly gifts?  I’m especially excited about getting to the Runner’s World issue because they have a special feature on 2013 marathons, which I plan on taking part in one of those babies :)

Today was a rest day and I have 8 easy miles on the plan for tomorrow – the longest yet! I will also be going to a 5K race tomorrow not to run, but to put flyers on windows for a race that our Junior League is hosting in March.  This is part of my obligation as a first year member.  Other than that, I will most likely be starting my Christmas shopping this weekend and maybe decorating :)

Do you include speed workouts in your training?  Do you enjoy them?

What is your favorite magazine?  Anyone crazy about them like me?

 

Catch-up time!

5 Dec

Ok.  I did not make that ‘real effort’ to update more often.  Oops.  Life gets crazy.  Especially around the holidays.  Forgive me?  Or you didn’t even miss me?  That’s ok.  I get it.  This is for me anyway.

Let’s recap the week (and a half).  We’ve got a lot to catch up on.

Thanksgiving Weekend : Awesome, food-filled fun.  There was lots of eating and laughing with Jeff, Jingo, and my parents visiting from NJ (yes my dog laughs – there is no argument on that point). 

All the food

All the food

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Jingo waiting for turkey to fall on the floor while it's being carved

Jingo waiting for her best friend to slip her some secret turkey

Cooking like there's an army to feed

The rest of the weekend we did NOT brave the crazy stores for Black Friday.  Saturday we went to an antique car museum and saw all different Packards from the early & mid 1900s. 

image2image

I know nothing about cars but they looked really cool and my dad loved it so it was a success.  We also went on a boat tour of all the crazy mansions in the area.  Sunday came so fast and I drove my parents out west to my Grandmother’s house where they were staying for the night and got to have dinner with them and my Aunt & Uncle from Orlando.  All in all it was a fun food family packed weekend!

I lucked out with my training plan for the 1/2 in February that Thanksgiving week was light – 4 easy miles Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday so I was able to fit them in without a problem.  Last week looked a little like this:

Monday – 2 miles outside easy @9:55 (supposed to be 10:23)

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Tuesday – spin class with the least energetic instructor ever.  I know it’s hard at 5:45 am to be energetic but if you’re teaching the class you need to pump me up!  I’m needy like that.

Wednesday – 6 mile tempo outside: 1 easy, 4 @8:30ish (was supposed to be 8:55), 1 easy, here’s what it looked like:

12-5-2012 9-37-33 AM

Thursday – 2 miles on treadmill @ 10:15/mile (supposed to be 10:23) and Strength - legs and abs – so many planks I was sore until yesterday! Also – interesting revelation.  I was doing one exercise sitting on a bench, and then stand up on one leg , 15 times on each side then switch.  I struggled to no end on my left side.  The right side was hard, but I was able to finish them.  There was such a big difference on my left side.  This is the side with my bum knee.  Also leg I sit crossed ALL DAY at my sit behind a desk stare at a computer for 12 hours job.  I don’t think this is a coincidence and the trainer agreed.  He told me to try a few hip strengthening exercises with resistance bands at home to see if that helps.  I am going to give it a try and see!  {Note – still have not tried this, 5 days later.  I fail so far}  My knee has been feeling fine, but I don’t want to give it any opportunity to get hurt again.

Friday – sleep in, be more tired than ever

Saturday – Long run, 7 miles outside  @9:39 (supposed to be 10:23).  This was my first really not fun run I’ve had since I started training.  I woke up too late, so it was over 80 degrees and bright and sunny by the time I got out there.  I know, that should not be something to be complained about, it’s gorgeous, but it wasn’t great to run in.  I went out too fast but didn’t want to slow down so I wound up pushing a lot harder than I really should have on an easy run.  I saw the craziest thing though… I always see little lizard babies running around all over the sidewalks and I think they’re so cute.  But during this run, I saw 3 HUGE wild iguanas chasing each other.  They were at least 3 feet long.  And they gave me the evil I as I ran past.  If I wasn’t so scared of them and ran faster to get away from them, I would’ve stopped to get a picture.  I tried to be braver on my way back but they were gone :(

The rest of the weekend was spent lounging, eating 100 meatballs and eggplants at our favorite Italian restaurant Saturday night, and more lounging.

That brings us to this week:

Monday: 2 easy miles outside @10:04/mile (supposed to be 10:23)

Tuesday: Strength, upper body with the trainer.  These little chicken arms were burning!

Tomorrow I have my first ever SPEED workout for my half marathon training!  I’m going to try it on the treadmill because I’m not going to a track at 5:30 in the morning and I have little to no trust in pacing to guarantee I’ll stay at the right speed.  I’m a little nervous.  I haven’t done anything speed related in a long long long long time.  Like 5-6 years.  BUT, I’ve been beating the prescribed tempo times on those runs, and the speed workout is only slightly faster that what I’ve been finishing those in.  So maybe I’m ok.  If not, the world won’t end.  The treadmill won’t eat me and my ability to run another day won’t be taken away.  I’ll just be slow.  But I’m still running and have my legs and health in tact so that’s all that should matter, right?  Right. 

Ok that’s enough running rambling.  I’m going to try to incorporate a little bit more non-running.  Maybe.  Last Tuesday after work I also went to a Welcome Reception for the MBA program I’ll be starting in January.  I don’t think I mentioned that.  So yes, on top of running, working full time, commuting full time (which lately is another job in itself), I’ll be spending the next two years taking night and weekend classes to get my MBA at the University of Miami.  So I can be more than just a geeky accountant.  Now I’ll be the MASTER of the geeky accountants and other such business.  That’s what it means, right?  I kid.  I’m really slightly more intelligent than I seem.  I promise.  Maybe.

Sooooo that’s all I’ve got.  Go check out the Foodie box I sent to Theresa!  I joined Foodie Penpals.  I’ll explain another time.  Because unfortunately my penpal match didn’t send me a box (you get one match that you send goodies TO, and a different match that you get goodies FROM) :(.  I was like a little kid on Christmas getting nothing from Santa.  Oh well.  I’ll try again in January. 

Hope you all had fabulous Turkey Day Weekend and 9 days since!

Anyone go to grad school?

What kind of strange animals have you seen on your runs?

Pictureless Post

23 Nov

Happy Black Friday!  and belated Turkey day :)

I am recovering from eating my face off yesterday and enjoying time while my parents are visiting from New Jersey!  They got in on Wednesday night and will be here until Sunday.  We spent all day yesterday cooking, eating, being thankful, and laughing at all of the funny human like things Jingo will do.  I swear she is a little person trapped in a dog’s body.

There was no running or exercising yesterday and I am not sorry!  I am still following my training plan for the half and this week was 3 easy 4 milers Monday, Wednesday, and tomorrow.  Monday and Wednesday were checked off the list in ‘cool’ 60 degree weather and had me breaking out the running pants for the first time in Florida and I liked it.  I eat a lot on Thanksgiving.  A LOT.  But you know what?  It’s one day and I’m not going to hold back just because I’m training for a race, I don’t think worrying about eating too much for one day on the best eating day of the year will affect my performance.  If the race was today or tomorrow then sure, but it’s not so I’m golden :)

No Black Friday early shopping for me.  There is not nearly enough organization or thoughts of holiday shopping yet for me to brave those battlefields.  We went for a drive last night and on the way back we saw people lined up outside of Target at 7:30…. go home and eat some pumpkin pie people!!  No deal can be that great, sorry.  Not worth it to me.  But who am I.

Keeping this one short folks, the next few days will be filled with relaxing, visits to a Brazilian steakhouse, an antique car museum, and maybe a cruise tour of all of the mansions in this area.  Hope you have a long weekend too and that you get to enjoy it with family!

Anyone braving the shopping crowds today?

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food?

Who started off their Thanksgiving with a run?

 

Good things and First Tempo Attempt…

20 Nov

was a success!  and also last Wednesday.  I absolutely stink at finding time for this.  But there are so many good things that I need to get better at it.

The Tempo Run:

I went out last Wednesday before work attempting to do 5 miles like this:  10:36, 9:01, 9:01, 9:01, 10:36.  Here’s what I wound up with:

I do my own hair. Can you believe I’m not a professional

The sun was just coming up at this point. That makes this picture cool and artistic to me.

All the numbers

I would’ve been happier if my goal had been 8:50 instead of 9:01 but I’m psyched anyway because the last long run before this I threw in a couple spurts of the 9 minute pace and it felt like death so I had gone into this thinking I didn’t have it in me and I was destined to be stuck at my 10ish minute miles forever.  So a pleasant surprise.  I might be made of more than I think sometimes.

More Running and not running

Before the tempo run I had done an easy 2 miles on Monday and strength training on Tuesday (upper body/abs) and Thursday (legs/abs).  Since my knee had started bothering me I had cut out legs because my Dr. said to, so now that I’m clear to work them again Thursdays workout hit me HARD.  Like not able to walk normally for two days afterward hard.  And I didn’t push myself tooooo hard either.  I just get out of the swing of things too easily.  So I’m very glad to be back in the game.

Saturday I went out for my longest run of my training so far – 7 miles… woohoo!!  It was more of the same from what my long runs have looked like: 10:15, 10:14, 10:27, 9:58, 9:47, 9:36, 9:24, 8:50.  Average overall was 9:57 for 7 miles in 1:09:46.  I have to learn to plan a route better.  I have my 6 mile loop down but the 7 miles took some creativity.  Since I go out and back I figured that I could just make another small mile loop somewhere but it didn’t work out so at the end of the run it was me running around my block 4 times until I hit 7…. oops.

Mezamashii and Mizuno

My run this morning was extra special because it was my first time testing out these bad boys:

pretty shoes

I have never won anything in a random drawing/lottery type of thing.  And I won free awesome sneakers!  The nicest Ericka ran a giveaway on her blog a few weeks ago and I was one of the 10 lucky winners!!  Included in this giveaway was an invitation to Mizuno’s Mezamashii project.  ‘Mezamashii’ means brilliant run.  Mizuno is giving out tons of sneakers to runners in lieu of spending crazy amounts of dollars on advertising to allow us to find our brilliant run and enjoy running, all because they have so much confidence in their product.  That is pretty cool!  I chose the Wave Creation 13 based on their handy dandy ‘Which of these prettiest sneakers are best for my running type and make me the fastest ever’ tool (ok or maybe it’s called ‘Precision Fit’ tool but who’s counting).  When I came home from work one day last week and saw that the box had arrived, I was so excited that I had to try them on right away (don’t mind the dorky accounting work clothes).

The sneakers are on my feet. And they are awesome.

Even the bottoms look cool!

I’ve never tried Mizuno sneakers before so I was nervous but excited to try them. Right now I’m in Saucony ProGrid Ride 5 which is a bit lighter but I didn’t really notice the difference with one run.  So far they are nice and bouncy and I like that there is a ton of room (width-wise) for my toes so hopefully I won’t get as many blisters and maybe actually keep some toenails!  I went for an easy 4 miles in them and will keep using them on my shorter runs until I get used to them.  So stay tuned :)

Ok that’s all from me for tonight!  Adios

False Alarm and Roadkill Run

11 Nov

Happy Sunday!

As I had mentioned a little while ago, my knee had started to bother me so I went to a orthopedist to get it checked out.  I heard back from the Dr. on Thursday about the MRI I had and the only thing he saw was some “normal” wear and tear under my kneecap, not a torn meniscus which he had initially thought.  So I’m cleared to run!  And can continue my training.  I just have to be careful with lunges, squats, the elliptical, and stair master.  So ultimately, it was a false alarm!

Since I was free to continue my training, I headed out for my 6 mile run.  I started out slow and everything felt heavy after the first mile I found my groove.  No pain from knee :)

 

This is the elevation for the route.  I don’t think it could get any flatter.  Luckily the race I’m training for is similar but I still thought this was pretty crazy!  Flat roads make for fast times…

Among other things that I noticed during this run, I saw a gross amount of roadkill.  I guess it’s strange that I haven’t seen more but it seemed a little bit exorbitant.  I saw 2 huge Jingo sized possums, a squirrel, and something that looked like it might’ve been a raccoon at some point.  GROSS!  I think I might have to explore some new routes.  As my runs get longer, I’m looking forward making my way down to beach for some nicer scenery.   On the plus side, I think seeing these things that I would rather not see made me faster :)

 

I’m going to keep it my goal to maintain those negative splits through all of my training!  My favorite feeling is sprinting at the very end of the run.  I know that it probably means I could’ve gone harder throughout the run but for easy runs, I’ll take advantage of it :)

Don’t pretend you don’t wish you could have hair that sticks up like mine.  I have another easy run tomorrow and then a tempo run on Wednesday.

Do you ever see roadkill on your runs?

What fun things did you do this weekend?

I figured it out!

3 Nov

Happy Saturday everyone!

Can you believe the news about NYC marathon being cancelled?  What do you think about it?  I was on the fence when they initially said it would still go on.  But the fact that the expo had already started and so many had already made their way into the city, the timing couldn’t have been any worse.  Also not so great that the cancellation was announced on the news before the participants were informed.  But who am I, right?

I think it all comes down to the age old thinking… it’s not how bad the problem is or how hard the challenge may be, it’s how it’s handled.  In this case it wasn’t the best.  But the good thing and most importantly is now all those runners and vendors in the city are helping with the relief efforts despite the threats and bad press they’ve been getting this week.  There will be other races.  And other New York City Marathons.  I will be running in one of those future New York Marathons.

Onto happier things.  I went to get my MRI on my knee on Thursday.  Hopefully I will hear soon.  I did run today.  Very slowly, and I took it easy.  

I know I wasn’t supposed to, but I told myself that the second I felt any pain, I would stop.  I never felt pain, so I got my 6 miles in :)  Fingers crossed for nothing major found in the MRI and that he will just tell me to not run 2 days in a row or if I feel pain.  We’ll see.

Remember this guy that completed a full marathon wearing flip flops?

 
(Source)

I think I’ve figured out how he did it!  You know how all of the running research says that a grassy surface is best for your joints and body to run on?  Well I came across these puppies and I think he must’ve been running in them.

So really, he actually was better off than the rest of us fools that run in sneakers :)  I kid.  This post makes little to no sense I think.  Off to do Saturday things!

 

Happy happy Halloween!

1 Nov

Hi everyone and Happy Halloween!!

Hopefully you’re all sitting cozy in your homes with electricity and Halloween candy. I’m posting this from my phone so I’m not sure if it’ll look ok or not.

We live in a neighborhood with TONS of kids so its been a revolving door so far and we’ve gone through 3 huge bags of candy already! There have been so many cute costumes and some that have come without costumes. Do you still give candy to kids that aren’t dressed up? We still do even though I think if you’re coming to take my candy there should be costumes!

Anyway our neighbor is always sitting outside carving. He makes these incredible walking sticks and for Halloween he switches to pumpkins:

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Pretty cool, huh?

On the exercise front, I was supposed to do my tempo run this morning but since I can’t run until I get an MRI, I decided to skip it and went to my favorite spin class at the gym instead. Yesterday I met with the trainer for an upper body workout and it doesn’t seem to get any easier!

Ok I’m going to keep this one short, these trick or treaters keep on coming and coming! And I have some cake to eat :)

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Training Begins and Bursting my Bubble

29 Oct

Hi Everyone,

Hopefully you still have power to read this :)  Today was officially my first day of my training program for the half I’m doing in February.  Because I’ve been putting in pretty low mileage regularly each week, the program called for only 2 miles today at 10:36 pace.  I got out there this morning and it felt COLD.  Which made me realize I’ve been in Florida for too long because it was 60 degrees and I felt like it was 40.  I finished up my 2 miles @ 10:21 pace (I tried to go slower but it didn’t work) and then went inside the gym and hopped on the elliptical for another 20 minutes.

Since I decided to get back into racing, my knee that I have had problems with before has been acting up little by little.  It hasn’t been ongoing pain, more like it would bother me at the beginning of a run and then once I’m warmed up it would leave me alone.  Trying to be the responsible and proactive new and improved runner, I decided to work from home today and get it checked out by a Dr.  He took an X-ray and said my ‘joint spaces’ looked good but when he was examining me he turned my knee and it kept popping which he said is NOT RIGHT.  I need to get an MRI and cannot run, use the elliptical, stair master, or do any type of squatting or lunging until I do so.  Exactly the opposite of what I wanted to hear.  I was really hoping he would tell me that it was just sore and I was being a wimp and to keep up with my strength training.  So my training is being put on hold just as quickly as it started.  My very first SETBACK of this race prep.  Boo :(

Not the best news but I’m trying to be positive.  There’s still enough time that whatever is wrong will hopefully be fixed with enough time to get plenty of training in.  I can still SPIN so I can go to my favorite class on Wednesday and not feel as bad that I can’t keep up because at least I am getting my heart rate up.  And maybe I will add some swimming to my routine.  Jingo was so disappointed in hearing the news that she retreated to the bedroom and turned on her alien eyes.

So we’ll see.  I should find out tomorrow when I can get the MRI.

Completely unrelated and random, we started to catch up on all that Tivo has been holding for us and in my sadness I got away with slipping a Glee in there, and they did an awesome cover of Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream – and I do NOT like Katy Perry usually.  Check it out.  It’s good, I promise!

How do you cope with setbacks?

Do you watch Glee?

Why in the world do dogs’ eyes turn alien in pictures?!

Why run?

29 Oct

I hope everyone has lots of food and water and blankets as Sandy makes her way to you!  Emails were sent that our offices in NJ & PA are closed tomorrow.  Can I get away with taking a sympathy day here in their honor?  Probably not.

Today was a rest day.  Although I did go grocery shopping and pushing that cart around is pretty hard, so maybe I can count some arm work for these chicken arms ;)  I spent a good part of my day what you’re supposed to do on rest days.  Stalk pinterest and find 27 recipes to make, and see 5 different ways to reorganize my house, but my favorite of all are all of the little motivational pictures.  You know, like this one:

I get sucked into these things so easily and want to get up and go nuts but I held back and stuck to the couch.  Thinking about my run yesterday, a few of them got me thinking.

Since I left a little later than usual for my run yesterday, I saw more people out and about than usual, doing normal Saturday normal things, working in their yards and such.  I don’t live in an area where a lot of people run, and I got a few strange looks as I ran by.  Now it could be because of my unmatched running outfit or uncombed hair, but it seemed more like the ‘why on earth are you running if no one is chasing you’ kind of stares.  Which is I guess a good question.

Why run?

On top of the health benefits, I run because I can.  I started running in high school and it’s one of the few things you can do with no equipment or gym membership, and do it by yourself.  It’s possible to start and stop and build yourself back up.  I’m a work in progress that’s proof of that.  You can control your pace and push yourself beyond your limits.  I like it because it gets you outside and feeling the air and sun and you look at things differently when you’re running.  It’s especially fun to see all of the little lizard babies scurrying along.  Running is something that so many people CAN do but they don’t.

I’m experiencing firsthand that it’s not easy in the beginning, and it shouldn’t be.  Running is breaking down the body only for it to heal and rebuild into something so much stronger.  If that’s not the biggest metaphor for any challenge and experience through life, what is?

Things that have inspired me lately:

1-watching the Ironman in Kona yesterday

2-everyone who ran the Marine Corps Marathon today in HARSH weather

3-583 pinterest pictures

Ok off to watch The Five Year Engagement.  Has anyone seen it?

Last one – because this is true for EVERYONE at ANYTIME:

Why do you run?

What inspires you?

What do you like to do when you’re stuck inside for a big storm?

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