Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Short and Sweet

Posted by CheapRunnerMichelle

So I guess I'm up for the #fcrr recap número trois today. I ended up signing up for the 1/2 marathon. This is the third year in a row I have participated in this race. Three years ago I did the 5k, last year I did the 10k and then the 1/2 this year. All week the forecast was calling for rain...whomp...whomp. We woke up on Sunday morning, and although it was veeerrrrry chilly - ☀ the sun was shining.

The week leading up to the race I had had 2 pretty good training runs, and had gained some confidence back after Around The Bay last month, so I was completely relaxed and not nervous at all leading up to race morning. We toed the start line, and the race started right on time (ok let's back up a minute...at this point the only thing I was nervous about was the fact that I had not been able to "take care of business" in the bathroom before the  race). I had decided to do the 8:1 run/walk again in hopes of finishing feeling good and strong. The course was very well marked, including each and every water station.

At the 1st station in fact the volunteers were even wearing a sign indicating whether they were handing out eLoad or water. All the stations were laid out the exact same way and clearly marked with signage ahead of time - this is a HUGE race+. At every turn that we had to make, not only were there volunteers there to coral us in the right direction, but there was signage marked with arrows and directions. Each KM marker was clearly marked for the race you were participating in. The volunteers were all super friendly and very encouraging. I really enjoyed the race course. We ran through our city's downtown streets, through the University of Western Ontario, on some of the downtown running paths and back through some pretty nice neighbourhoods. The sun was shining, and I was just focused on enjoying myself and being present in what I was doing. My legs were not great later into the run - but I made a conscious decision to enjoy myself the entire time and keep a smile on my face.

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I was a little disappointed that race day did not translate as well as my training runs had been, but not every day is a great day, and I am totally at peace with that. I realize that I am never going to be like my 2 fellow cheap runners that typically place at races - and I am totally fine with that. So more then anything, going into races, I want to do my best that day, enjoy myself and be grateful that I am even able to be there participating! So with that being said - mission was accomplished. It wasn't my best 1/2 marathon time, but I'm ok with that. #4 is now in the books! This was a great race, a great course, and I look forward to participating again next year!

Kennedy and I are leaving early tomorrow morning to head to Orlando for our race this weekend. I think the running is going to be the easy part...I think the scavenger hunt clues are going to do me in. Although Mike tells me I can be charming enough to ask other people for the answers...fingers crossed.

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Boy oh boy...I'm not sure that my brain is ready for this. I'll try and post some pics on IG, so make sure you're following me, so that you can tag along in our adventure! I'll see you on the flip side.

...no questions today...instead..tell me something random about you or or week so far

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

CRRhoda’s Forest City Road Race 10K Recap

Posted by CheapRunnerRhoda

Here we go again folks! Another race recap. This marked 4 out of 6 races that I am signed up for-done. This was the 6th 10k race that I have done and I think I am really starting to like them. I signed up for this distance as this up coming weekend I will be doing my first full. I went in to the race with very laid back thinking. I really just wanted to enjoy the run. I have not been focusing on my times at all lately as I am nursing my bad hamstring and just want to get through Sunday’s race. I am finding that by not focusing on my times, I am enjoying the run more.

Anyways, all that being said, lets get to the race recap!

Saturday night, Mike and Michelle had me over for a nice pasta dinner.

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They were so thoughtful and even made my favorite, spaghetti and meatballs.

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My brain was really not even in race mode Saturday night. I enjoyed the night and went to bed around 11:30 and slept great through till 6 am, at which point, I got up and made some coffee, got my race outfit set up and did some blog reading for a bit.

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My race didn’t start until 10 am and I live about 1 km from the park where it started so I had a nice relaxing morning and took my time getting ready. I headed out the door around 8:30 to walk down and it was perfect timing to see Mike running through around the 8ish km mark.

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I continued on downtown and played cheerleader near the finish until I saw Mike finish. I then headed out to bag check, got rid of my bag and made my way to my starting area. Race started right on time at 10 am. The morning ended up being a very nice and sunny morning. A little on the chilly side but the sun was out which I am always happy about, especially on a race day!

I had decided I wasn’t looking at my pace and was just going to run at a very comfortable pace. I weaved a bit through the crowds and found a good spot and settled into a easy pace. The course took us through some city streets, through the University and then onto the paths. There were water/elode tables set up throughout the course and the cheering at these tables was amazing!

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I had my music on and was just moving along. Just before the 9km mark, the course took us back to the city streets and was a slight uphill run to the finish from there.

I saw Mike a little ways before the finish and shouted out a few things to him and then picked up my pace.

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There was a girl at this point who had passed me and we were back and forth for a bit.

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About 300 metres from the finish I took off ahead of her but she came back up beside me very close to the finish, so I sprinted ahead and ended up finishing in front of her. I don’t think she was too happy with me. Sorry girl in the blue shirt Smile with tongue out My official finish time was 49:29. I finished feeling physically great and that was my goal!

At the finish area, you go through a tent area, where they handed us a brown bag and we could fill it with snacks and water. My favorite part of any race!

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This is my favorite race to be a part of in my hometown, London, ON so I am very thankful that I was able to be a part of it again this year. They put on a good race, and raise a lot of money for local charities.

Anybody run the Forest City Road Race?

What is your favorite race to run?

Monday, April 28, 2014

CheapRunnerMike's Forest City Road Race Recap

Posted by CheapRunnerMike

Another weekend, another race.  Seems we've been running a lot of races lately as the season gets going!  Yesterday was the Forest City Road Race, which is the biggest race event here in our hometown of London, Ontario.  2500 runners took part in 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and kid's races raising money for local charities.

Michelle and I both ran the half and our race started at 8:00.  Since London isn't too big of a city we didn't have to leave the house until 7:30.  I had a bagel with peanut butter and downed a coffee and we were out the door.  It was pretty chilly at race time, with temperatures at 2°C (35°F)…I had planned on wearing shorts and a singlet, but I made the smart decision of throwing on long sleeves instead.  BRRRR!!!

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My last half a couple weeks earlier didn't go so well as I really fatigued and struggled over the last 5K, due to a combination of going out too fast and not having trained as much as I should have because of nagging injuries and terrible weather.  I decided to race a lot smarter in this race, especially since I only had a 5K and a 5 miler under my belt over the last two weeks because of a cold/sore throat.  I determined that I would need to go out a lot slower than last time and try to build the pace up as I went…you know, a proper race strategy Winking smile

The race started right on time and I tried to keep the pace easy from the start.  I didn't look at my watch for quite a while and when I finally did I saw that I was going a bit faster than I wanted…I had planned to run the first half in the high 4:20's/km (7:10/mile) but I was 10 seconds per km too fast.  I made sure to dial it back while people went by me but I settled into the run at my goal pace.

The first half of the run is pretty easy as you wind through city streets, the University of Western Ontario and into the park system paths.  At the 8K (5 mile) mark you make a left turn out of the park and hit the biggest hill on the course, about a 20m climb over just 500 for a 4% incline.  You are actually climbing for nearly 2 miles but the first bit out of the park is the worst of it.  Just as I was coming out of the park I saw Rhoda at the side of the road cheering…she was on her way to the park for the start of her 10K race at 10:00.  She "caught" me on camera…

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About this time I started running and chatting with another guy after I commented on his Around the Bay shirt (a race we had both done just a month earlier).  We chatted about running and races we've done for a little bit before I let him go…chatting up other runners can be such a great way to get through a tough stretch in a race, it just takes your mind off the hills and watch and everything else, letting your legs just do their thing and fall into a rhythm.

I saw a couple of familiar faces on the sidelines around the halfway point and made the turn back downtown…I was just over 44 minutes at 10K, so my pace was right where I wanted to be at 4:25/km (7:04/mile).  Time to start adding some speed.  I passed another guy at 12K and the two of us would be back and forth the rest of the race.  He came up to pass me about a kilometre later and I kind of recognized him.  I said to him that I'm pretty sure we ran together a couple of weeks ago at the last half marathon, which he acknowledged.  I then told him this was about the same point that he passed me two weeks ago and he just smiled.  He ended up completing the pass but I didn't let him drop me.  I stayed within striking distance for the next mile and ended up passing him again on a little uphill section when we went down under a bridge and back up to cross a busy street.

We turned back into the University before heading back into the park system again to complete the final 5K stretch.  Once we hit the park he came up beside me again…I encouraged him to complete the pass, telling him that he better keep it up.  "Don't let me catch you again, you're faster than me!" I told him.  Again he was ahead of me but couldn't drop me.  I stuck on his heels and worked off of his pace and we passed a few other runners along the way.  Much better than my last race where I was feeling like death and everyone was blowing past me over the last 5K.

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I had really upped my pace at this point and was feeling great…my back half was entirely under 7:00 miles and getting quicker.  One last push was left and that was the deceiving home stretch out of the park…a decent little hill that you don't know about unless you've run this race before.  Just enough of a hill that you really feel it at the end of a race.  It was here that I ended up making one last pass and then dropped the hammer and made a big push to the finish over the last mile.  I ended up running by three guys on the hill and then got my finishing kick going once things flattened out again near the park where we finish.  My last kilometre was my fastest of the day at 4:07 (6:35 mile) so I would say I executed my plan to perfection!  I finished the race and felt great, a million times better than my half two weeks ago.  My sparring running partner finished just a couple of seconds behind me so I waited and shook his hand then headed off for some water.  The first guy I ran with was waiting there for me as well and wanted to thank me for sharing those middle hill miles with him, he said it was just what he needed too!  He just missed his goal of sub 1:30 by 4 seconds, so close!!  Great run for him though…

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I ended up finishing in 1:31:26, a good 4 and a half minutes faster than two weeks earlier.  Though it wasn't a PR or even in my top-3, I was really happy with my time.  I executed my strategy and ran smart, overcoming a lack of training and that damn cough that is still bugging me.  I filled up my food bag and met Rhoda outside of the tent.  I also was finally able to meet Chris, one of our readers, and his daughter who was running later on in the kid's race.  After chatting for a bit I went over to grab a free McDonald's coffee and check my results.  I saw my time and that I placed 22nd overall, pretty happy with that.  Then Rhoda pointed out that I had actually won my age group!  I didn't even notice that haha…turns out the guy I was racing with over the back half was in my age group as well and that was the battle for first.  One of the other guys I passed on that last hill was also in our age group, so I ended up going from 3rd to 1st in that last mile.

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I picked up my award, a gift card from Runner's Choice, and didn't even make it out of the tent before spending it.  Runner's Choice (our local running shop) had a clearance tent set up and I ended up snagging my first pair of racing flats, New Balance 1400V2's.  I had been eyeing them for a while, and they were marked down by $50, plus I now had a gift card…sweet deal!

After going home and getting cleaned up, Michelle and I headed out for some lunch (my parents had the kids up at the cottage with them).  We went to Jack Astor's where I had a huge burger loaded with bacon, pulled pork, hot peppers and lots of BBQ sauce.  And of course these were in play as well…

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So it was a great race day for me…an age group win, a plan well executed, a new pair of shoes, all topped with a delicious pint of Guinness Smile  What more could I ask for?

Lots of races this weekend, did you run one?

Do you like running with others during a race?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

3 Cheap Runners' Weekend Wrap

Posted by CheapRunnerMike

While the 3 Cheap Runners enjoy their day off, here are a few of the happenings that caught their eyes during the past week...

 

Links we Liked


In case you missed a day...

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Snapshot Saturday

Posted by CheapRunnerMike
Enjoy some photos snapped by the 3CheapRunners this week as seen on Instagram.
 
 



Follow MichelleInstagram Follow RhodaInstagramFollow MikeInstagram

 

 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Procrastination at it's Finest‏

Posted by CheapRunnerMichelle

In less then a week now Kennedy and I are heading to Orlando to do the Disney Expedition Everest Challenge...which we are both pretty excited about. I finally this past week booked our plane tickets (I was waiting for the prices to come down...yeah that never happened), but I have yet to book a car or a hotel yet...no biggie right?!? Smile with tongue out

But that's neither here nor there...so what is the Disney Expedition Everest Challenge?

Expedition Everest Challenge
Saturday, May 3, 2014
10:00 p.m.
Start/Finish: Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park

Take a run on the wild side and uncover the mystery of the clues!

Take a run on the wild side during the Expedition Everest Challenge, a thrill-packed, timed endurance event that combines a 5K adventure run through Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park with the challenge of a scavenger hunt. Your nighttime adventure starts in base camp where you'll begin a journey along an obstacle strewn course. Then get set for all the excitement of a scavenger hunt in the spectacular setting of Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. Complete the challenge and escape with a special edition Compass finisher medal. (Source RunDisney.com)

Good thing Animal Kingdom has wifi...I have a feeling we might be messaging Mike for help with some of the clues in the scavenger hunt portion if the night!

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Once we have run, used our brains, crawled, balanced and jumped to the finish line then we get to parrrrrty!!!

Expedition Everest Challenge Post-Race Party
Saturday, May 3, 2014
10:30 p.m.
Start/Finish: Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park

Come party the night away with the Yeti!

You've earned it – the right to party with the Yeti at Expedition Everest (if you dare go on his mountain)! Plus entry into the Kali River Rapids® Attraction, DINOSAUR, and DinoLand U.S.A.® area. It's all part of an Exclusive Post-Race Party at Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park for participants in the Expedition Everest Challenge. The entry fee for registered participants includes entrance into this exclusive event. (Source RunDisney.com)

....but before I worry about my to do list for next week...I have a 1/2 marathon to get through this Sunday first.
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Chelsea...I think you should have these type of bikes to teach spin on

Happy weekend friends...we'll see you on the other side.

What's your favourite summertime activity?

What are you up to this weekend?

Anyone else think it's crazy that I have to head to Florida at this time of year to finally experience some decent weather?!?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

April Stride Box Review

Posted by CheapRunnerRhoda

I cancelled my Stride Box subscription over the winter because I wasn't going through as many supplies as I was during the summer. I decided to start it up again this month and when I received my first box I was so glad that I did!

It’s so exciting opening a box and seeing pretty tissue paper…it’s the little things, right?!

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Quest Cravings-Protein Peanut Butter Cups

Ummm, yes please! Peanut butter cups are my fav!! Can’t wait to try this.  These cups pack some essential amino acids taking a popular sweet treat to a healthy level.

NOW Trail Bar-Raspberry, Peanut & Almond

These bars are a gluten free, dairy free, all natural fruit and nut energy bar loaded with chia seeds, and held together with manuka honey.

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Achiva Native Energy-Chai Seeds Chews

Still not loving the Chai seed thing but I am getting used to it and do try things with them in now.

These chews have chai, cocoa butter, agave, sugar and natural flavours, making them great for a natural energy boost during a run.

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CytoMax Sports Performance Mix

I love trying out new drink mixes of any kind!

This one is designed to deliver energy quickly and efficiently to help hydrate and fuel working muscles and spare muscle glycogen to delay fatigue!

Zipfizz-Healthy Energy Drink-Fruit Punch

I have tried this one before! Again, it’s a drink mix, so there is a love here already!

This one is sugar free and is meant to refresh, refuel, and rehydrate.

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Huma Gel-Chai Seed Gel-Blueberry

Again-there is that word Chai, however, this is also one that Katie has talked about so I am curious to try.

This is a 100% all natural gel with chai seeds and flavoured from real fruit. They boast that simple ingredients mean energy with no stomach issues. Perfect match-right!?!

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There is always a fun sticker in the box too! This one is perfect for how I have been feeling lately! Every run is a good run!

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The last item was a Running Belt that you just might see in a giveaway soon! Check back in a few days!

Last night, I headed out for a 7km run. Lately I have been turning the pace off on my watch so that I only run based on how I feel. Its working out pretty good for me as I am feeling better after I run than I have been lately. Last night’s run was sooo cold though. I keep thinking we are done with this awful cold weather but it keeps creeping back in. Being cold meant, okay, I’ll stay cold and go for some FroYo!

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Any Chai seed lovers out there?

What is your fuel of choice lately?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sometimes, Training Just Sucks

Posted by CheapRunnerMike

Do you ever feel like your training is just not where you want it to be?  Like for every good workout you have is followed by two or three blah efforts?  Like every time you feel like you're about to break through and get a good stretch of activity in there's always something waiting to knock you down?  Well if you have felt like that, I can relate.

I think it started with the weather.  Everyone has had to deal with the winter weather this year and as much as I didn't like it, I put up with it all the way into February.  That's when we went away on vacation to the Dominican Republic and I had a taste of what nice weather was again.  Once we got back to Canada my outdoor running really dropped off.  I just couldn't do it anymore.  I tried to replace the missed runs with more sessions on the bike trainer and I started swimming as well…both great ways to cross train as well as necessary training for my upcoming half ironman…but also things that got me out of my normal running groove of 4+ runs per week.

I started making an effort to try and get both my running volume and mileage back up before the 30K Around the Bay Race in late March only to be greeted with foot pain which forced me into a two week running hiatus before the race.  I completed the 30K pain free…albeit slower than I would have hoped to if you asked me when I signed up…but at least I knew I could run again.  My speed seemed to come back pretty well too as I was able to get in some decent training runs.  My next race wasn't too far out either, the Run for Retina half marathon.  I had some good runs leading up to it, but only maxed out at around 8 or 9 miles.  Come race day I started out quicker than I should have and was gassed around the 10 mile mark…my endurance just wasn't there.

After that half I had two weeks to get ready for my next race, this weekend's Forest City Road Races half marathon.  I was determined to get in a couple more good runs and a longer run of 10 miles or so, but this past weekend I was hit by a cold.  My allergies were already bugging me, but over Easter Weekend the coughing and hacking kicked in.  I got out for a run with Michelle on Good Friday, but my Saturday 10-miler was put on ice since I pretty much couldn't breathe.  Easter Sunday was too beautiful of a day to pass on though, so I did get my Cervelo outdoors for her maiden voyage on the roads (and off that bloody trainer!)

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I had great intentions of doing a nice long ride, but all I could muster was 30K, which was just under an hour of riding.  My lungs were screaming at me and my throat was killing me…I still had fun though Smile

Monday was a little bit better but I decided it was best to just take another easy day…so we took the kids for frozen yogurt instead of swimming.

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Tuesday morning I was feeling a bit better and really wanted to get a run in, so I threw my shorts and other gear into my gymbag to run at work.  Lunch time came and it was cold…right around freezing with the windchill.  We seriously should not need to worry about windchill in late April!  I only had shorts and short sleeves…I didn't even have my compression socks to keep my calves warm!  I ran anyways, but between the cold weather and being pressed for time (work has been stupid busy lately) I could only manage a little over 5 miles.  It was a decent run though, despite thinking I would hack up a lung at times.

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That brings us to today, and I feel better than I have in about a week.  I brought my swim gear to work and plan on heading to the Y at lunch to get a swim in.  I haven't been in the pool for over a week (not being able to breathe and swimming don't really mix well) so I am really looking forward to today's session.

After today it will probably be one more shorter run and likely another swim then the half marathon on the weekend.  I'm not really concerned with time or results, but I would like to get through it feeling strong and use the race as a springboard to a successful training block over the next few months.

Do you ever feel like you just can't get your training on track?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

#nonrunnersjustdontgetit

Posted by CheapRunnerMichelle
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Yesterday morning I watched as much as I could of the Boston Marathon at home before I had to head to work. As soon as I got to work, I listened to the marathon on the radio, and about an hour after I had been listening to it my boss leans back in his chair and pokes his head out of his office and says to me "You're not seriously listening to a marathon are you? Watching paint dry would be more interesting." #nonrunnersjustdontgetit

I'm so proud of our friends Laura and Sarah...we had set up online trackers on them, and it was neat to "share" in the race with them!

The reason I am so proud to be part of the running community - documented by Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery

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When this guy's body failed him, others came around and would not allow him to be defeated! As much as running is an individual sport - we all belong to a community that wants to see everyone succeed. #BostonStrong
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After my dreadful ATB experience a few weeks ago, I has not enjoying running and I was dreading my decision to run the 1/2 marathon distance at the FCRR this up-coming weekend. I am happy to report that I have found my enjoyment in running again. I've had a few good runs the past 2 weeks, and over this past weekend I was able to get in a couple good runs. Before Easter dinner this past Friday - Mike and I were able to get out for a run together at the cottage

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We did 12.27km together. My knee started to be a bugger at about 11km, but I just slowed the pace a bit, used Mike as my "short uncle" and kept repeating to myself

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I was happy that we were able to get out - since it was raining pretty much all morning, and there was NO WAY that these blister prone feet were voluntarily going to run in the pouring rain.

Sunday brought probably the nicest weather we have had so far this year. After the kids collected all of their goodies from the Easter Bunny we headed off to church

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We were heading over to my mom's for turkey leftovers for lunch - so I knew I wasn't going to be getting my run in until later in the day. By the time I was ready to go, my watch was almost dead...so I plugged it in to charge and went and watched the Tigers win the ball game with Mike. At around 6pm I hopped in the truck and headed to the park. Mike and Rhoda have been telling me how hilly the 1/2 marathon is this weekend, so I wanted to make sure I wasn't avoiding hills...so I headed out on the hilly part of the paths. I had decided to do 15km (7.5km out, then turn around and head back). My watch is still set up from the ATB at an 8:1 run:walk. So all I did was focus on "it's just 8 minutes...let's do this"
I had a great (for me) run. I felt strong at the end, I was able to push, and more then anything else - I enjoyed every moment of it! I even got to break in my new kicks

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I am now feeling confident and ready for my 1/2 marathon this weekend, and the only thing I need to keep my fingers crossed for is that the weather will co-operate.
I keep telling myself that if Katie can run 100 MILES this weekend, I can do 13.1 without complaining. Good luck this weekend Katie...I'll be thinking and praying for you with every mile that I run!

Who else watched/listened to the marathon yesterday?

Any other stories out of the marathon from yesterday that you want to share?

Would you consider running an ultra distance?