Getting Competitive with Adam

Guess what? We’re thisclose to the long weekend!

Last night I got in a nice little run at my favorite place. My old level of fitness is definitely coming back to me. I was able to hold 13 minute pace really really easily. I dipped down into the 11s several times without meaning to, but I reeled myself back in because easy runs are supposed to be really easy, right?!

It would be nice if something in the 12s was soon my easy pace… maybe it’s about time for that to happen, especially since I have eliminated walking breaks!

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I had set A, B and C marathon goals in my mind a couple of months ago. As the weather warmed up and as I dealt with hip issues, I lost focus on those goals, but now I’m narrowing in on them again.

I don’t want to share them just yet … is it silly that I feel like I’ll jinx myself the moment I say them out loud / type them on the blog?!

Each of my recent runs has really lifted my spirits (and confidence) and I am starting to feel good about those exciting 26.2 goals again!

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What is it that people say about marathons? Second time’s a charm? :) I hope so!

This weekend I don’t have a whole lot on tap. Adam and I are just staying home, probably going to the movies, the beach, and picking out activity trackers.

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Yep, two years after ditching our old Jawbone UPs we’re getting back into the competitive game of seeing who can get in more steps and more sleep each day :). I think I have a serious advantage as a runner – especially as my long runs get longer during marathon training.

I mean, I’m definitely going to win on long run days! #InItToWinIt

Actually, funny enough, we used to get the most competitive over who could fall asleep the fastest and who got the most deep sleep, haha!

Thank you to everyone who commented yesterday with your favorite trackers – it gave me a few options to research further! I appreciate it! I’m strongly considering the Fitbit Charge HR and Adam is strongly considering the Basis Peak!

Do you get competitive with your significant other? 

Any big plans for the weekend?! Spill the beans!  

5 Things Going On Around Here

Hey! Check it out, it’s almost Friday!

Today I’m just chatting about a few things going on around here…

1. I’m Feeling Under the Weather

The last three or so days I have been feeling pretty under the weather. Stomach issues, sleep issues, allergy issues… everything acting up all at once!

sdfI just need to make it until the weekend so I can CRASH. I know I can’t be the only one looking forward to THREE days off!

2. Story of My Life

These shirts accurately tell the story of my life.

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LOL!

But seriously I want both of these!

3. Little Black Skirt

A couple of weeks ago I asked for recommendations for nice running skirts that have no shorts underneath or that have 5″ or longer shorts underneath. If my shorts are any less than 5″ I am super prone to chafing in the thighs which is no bueno.

Alison at JWalking Designs was kind enough to send me a Little Black Active Skirt to try!

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The skirt has built in shorts with 5″ inseam… and so many pockets for your phone, gels, keys, cards, etc. I will pop up a full review soon!

It’s quite a bit longer than the Sparkle Athletic skirts I wear (that have no built in shorts), but the length isn’t bothersome at all.

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So far I’ve only taken the Little Black skirt on one treadmill run, and I want to test it outdoors before I share my final thoughts!

4.  FINALLY a New Nail Polish

I must confess I wore Essie’s Fashion Playground nail polish for about 3 months straight. Literally. I really like the color a lot for spring, but I finally decided to go for a change.

I wanted something neutral – either a light pink or a light beige. I finally ended up with Sally Hansen Insta-Dry in Pink Blink!

20150516_213942It’s honestly not my favorite pink. I thought it would be more sheer. I don’t think this picture really gives you the best view of how thick it is, but you can see Cecil in the background and that’s really what’s important :) .

5. FLOTUS Kicking Butt

Did you see Michelle Obama’s video where she gives us a glimpse into her workout?

I love it! Whether you voted for her husband or not, I think you’ll kind of like this video!

Do you have an activity tracker? If so which one? I used to have a Jawbone UP but it kept breaking so I threw it away. I want something new. I wish the Garmin 225 came in different colors!

Would you rather have a shirt that says Suns Out, Guns Out, I Flexed and the Sleeves Fell Off or Will Run for Wine? :) 

Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Friday after work I had some time to kill before I needed to head over to Miami International Airport to pick up Adam.

I went for a walk around Coconut Grove to check out a couple of little shops:

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And then I went to Flannigan’s so I could grab a bite to eat and watch some basketball to pass the time before Adam’s (delayed) flight got in at 8:30pm.

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It was a bit weird to be at the restaurant all by myself while everyone around me was with their family or friends… It was weird but I didn’t really mind it. I like being with friends but I appreciate alone time too!

I finally got the call that Adam was out of customs around 9:30pm (so late)! Both of us were pretty beat on Friday night so we just got into our PJs and relaxed for a couple of hours before bed.

On Saturday we fell right back into our happy little routine of eating tacos and then hitting up the gym together.

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I increased my weights for squats and decreased my assistance on pull-ups … my heart was pumping and I was sweating like I had just run 5 miles after that workout!

Strength training is pretty great… except for the part where you’re sore as a mf’er the next day! haha #PardonMyFrench

It’s a great feeling to make gains though! It’s the same feeling you get when you knock out a new running PR!

After the gym I had to take a quick shower and get ready for a movie date with a girlfriend! We went to see Pitch Perfect at the dine in theater, of course!

Photo Credit: Forbes.com

Photo Credit: Forbes.com

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I didn’t love part two as much as the first PP movie, but it was still cute.

After the movies, I swung by the house to pick up Adam and then we went down to the beach to get some frozen yogurt!

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The beach is a hoppin place on a Saturday night! Lots of music and lights …. I much prefer the peace and quiet I get during my runs :).

Sunday was a chill out day!

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Mom, stooooop taking pictures of me! 

I ran a couple of miles but I didn’t get in the seven that I had planned. My stomach wasn’t feeling well at all – for the second time this week. I hope that I don’t have the stomach flu or something (TMI?)!

I hope you had a great weekend! To everyone who raced, I can’t wait to hear all about it!

PS: CONGRATS TO MADDIE ON KICKING BUTT AT HER FIRST HALF MARATHON!

Do you mind going to places (like restaurants) by yourself? 

Isn’t it weird when you go somewhere you normally run in your regular clothes? I was speed walking to the froyo just because my legs are used to running A1A! 

The Run Where I Got My Mojo Back!

The whole time I was taking a break from running to deal with my hip bursitis I worried about how much running fitness I was losing. The first couple of runs after my break I was really worried about how much running fitness I had lost because even my old super easy pace felt hard.

Granted I’ve been able to shed my run/walk intervals which is really nice, but my legs just did not want to turn over like they used to. (I mean, not that they ever really turned over fast, but they did move faster.) 

Last night I finally started getting my mojo back!

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I know some of you can WALK 13 min/miles … I don’t know how!

When was the last time I saw a mile in the 11s? Maybe two months ago? Man it felt so good to finish up that mile and see 1-1 click off (even if it was just barely an 11).

I guess it helps that my course looks like this:

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Oh, Fort Lauderdale, I love you!

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Post run, just chillin! Super grateful that I got to go home from work a little early today and actually got to see the sun from somewhere other than my office!

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I can already tell that today is going to be an awesome Friday too. Know why? Because Adam has been in Finland and Germany for work the past two weeks and he finally gets home tonight!!!!!!! I can’t wait to pick him up at the airport!!!

I hope you have a great Friday too!

Any fun weekend plans? Maybe a long run or a race?! 

My Hips Don’t Lie!

I couldn’t be happier to say that my bursitis in both hips is completely healed. I no longer feel any pain in either hip at all!

After each of my runs over the last week or so my hips have been tight immediately after, but as soon as I do my PT stretches they loosen right up.  I’m doing numbers 5, 6, 7, 10 and 11 from the chart below (along with fire hydrants) every day.

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I don’t think you could possibly find someone more dedicated to stretching than I am right now!

After going through several sleepless nights with bursitis I swore that I would do everything in my power to keep it from ever coming back, which included shaking up my strength training routine to incorporate more hip and glute specific exercises. 

When Meg started her personal training business I knew that I wanted to work with her someday. I initially had it in mind to reach out to her to help me get prepared for ultramarathoning, but when the bursitis struck I realized I needed to reach out sooner.

After a few back-and-forth conversations, Meg designed a full body workout plan for me that I incorporate into my routine twice a week.

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My strength workouts now include fun things like squats, deadlifts, step-ups, lunges and reverse lunges (among other things). 

I’ve always done squats and deadlifts, but I’ve never really been into lunges.

Well, let me tell you Meg has me doing SO MANY LUNGES. Like I dream about them… or maybe I have nightmares about them (haha)! I totally get how they’re important for strengthening the hip flexors and glutes though. I don’t need to read any research reports about it, I can feel stuff happening when I lunge!

I do the forward lunges holding 10lb dumbbells for extra fun! When it comes to reverse lunges I just try not to fall over in front of everyone else at the gym. I assume I’ll get better at these (?!).

Overall I feel really confident that I’m taking all the steps necessary to keep the bursitis away for good.

I’m stretching, I’m lunging, I’m building up my mileage again slowly.

It’s all coming together just in time for me to start prepping for Chicago! Only 150 days to go!

Do you incorporate lunges into your workout routine?

Least favorite strength training move to do? Favorite?

Prove ‘Em Wrong

Today I was planning to write about the steps I’m taking to ensure that hip bursitis never returns to my life (which includes a great strength training plan from Meg - you know her as Meg Go Run), but I forgot to take pictures the other day at the gym! So, that post will have to wait for tomorrow because what’s a blog post without pics, right?

Instead let’s talk about runners.

Shut Up and Run (SUAR) is one of my favorite running blogs. Yesterday Beth at SUAR posted about an excuse she doesn’t like to hear, “I can’t run, I don’t have a ‘Runner’s Body.’”

What does a runner’s body look like?

According to Google Images it looks like this:

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And according to iStock Photo it looks like this:

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Okay so those ^ are really just outlines of bodies posed in the running position, but if I search for “runner” here’s what I get:

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If you keep scrolling through iStock you’ll find that we all look like this, apparently:

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Either that or we look like this:

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Good grief!

In Beth’s post about the “runner’s body” type she says, “when people say, ‘but you don’t look like a runner’ prove them on-so-wrong.”

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^ At my last race, the A1A Half Marathon in February 2015.

Prove them wrong.

That’s really the best solution – to the runner’s body issue and everything else.

Football scouts said that Tom Brady was too slow, too small and lacked arm strength. They said Aaron Rodgers wasn’t athletic enough to be a good NFL quarterback. Have you heard of Russell Wilson? Yeah the scouts said he was undersized too.

According to the scouts these three guys didn’t look like prototypical NFL quarterbacks, but you know what? All three of them have led their teams to Superbowl wins!

Brady, Rodgers and Wilson proved ‘em all wrong!

I’ve only faced a couple of instances where others have said straight to my face, “YOU run?!”

Why yes, I do, would you like to look at my race pictures? Because I could flip through them all day savoring the memories from each race! :)

I’m hardly the Aaron Rodgers of running, but I do okay for myself!

And you do too!

What is the most annoying misconception about runners/running that you’ve come across?

Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers, who is the best quarterback?

My Mom Made Me Do It

Last week I was feeling spendy!

It all kicked off with a spur-of-the-moment decision on Thursday to buy season tickets to see the Miami Dolphins! Adam and I have been talking about doing this for a couple of years now, and finally decided to just DO IT!

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With Brady suspended, Tannehill will lead us to the top of the east this year!

Sun Life stadium is getting renovated this off-season so when September rolls around everything will by shiny and new – including our seats which have been ripped out and will be replaced with cushier seats! Yay!

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After that big purchase I just seemed to be on a roll!

Remember that gold Kate Spade bracelet I bought last week? It arrived and it pairs so well with my new watch!

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I like the bracelet so much that I decided to buy the matching Kate Spade Creme de la Creme bangle!

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It was sold out on the Kate Spade site but available at Lord and Taylor!

I also got myself a new bag!

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I’m not a Calvin Klein fan at all, but I liked this bag a lot (and I had two gift cards). It’s nude/beige so it will match with a lot of things.

The bag was originally priced $217 but I got it 10% off and then with my gift card I barely paid anything! It pays to stock pile gift cards I guess!

While my mom and I were in the mall we popped over to the Apple store to see the new watches:

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There are very few things in this world more enticing to me than a new Apple gadget. I was totally kicking myself for switching over to the Galaxy earlier this year because you need an iPhone to make the watch work. I really wanted to take that white one home, and I was already feeling spendy so … it would have happened!

Maybe having the Galaxy was a blessing in disguise!

Let me tell you, my mom is such a bad influence on me! She was like, “yeah you have to get that creme de la creme bangle!” and “yeah, that bag is perfect!” and “what about this thing over here? and this one too?”

I’m not a Bath & Body Works girl at all, but thanks to my mom’s encouragement I walked out with a bag full of things made with their latest scent.

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To be fair, this scent is AMAZING. Like seriously, go to your local B&BW and check this one out. I’m obsessed!

To cap off our spendy day, my mom and I booked a reservation at Ruth’s Chris for dinner! Mmmmm filet mignon! That’s heaven on a plate (sorry vegetarian friends)!

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When we were waiting for the valet to bring the car around my mom was like, “Hey! Let’s take a selfie! WHERE DO I LOOK? WHY DO I LOOK DRUNK? I didn’t drink that much!”

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She was cracking herself up! LOL

It’s a good thing I was driving :) .

For those of you bored to tears, I’ll be back to running stuff tomorrow! I have to tell you all about the personal training plan Meg put together for me to keep the bursitis away from my hips for good!

Do you have that one person in your life who can get you in a super shopping mood? Best friend? Mom? Sister? Hubby? 

Last non-running thing you treated yourself to? Usually I just like to spend all my money on Cecil ;).

Testing My Limits

Yesterday afternoon I pulled up weather.com to try and decide when I should go for my run:

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I went at 5pm, but in hindsight I should have waited until midnight! I totally ROASTED in the hot sun!

20150510_174634Was it hot out? Yes.

Did I make it 6 miles? Yes. (Longest run in a month!!! Whoo)

Did I take any walking breaks? No!

I’ve used run/walk intervals as a crutch for a very long time. I am almost three years into my running journey and I am ready to kick them to the curb! I didn’t use walking intervals for any of my runs this week and guess what? I survived just fine! In fact, I found eliminating the breaks to really help me stay in my flow better.

It was hard to give them up when I was so used to the routine of having them, but after my April break from running now just seems like the right time to leave them behind.

Six miles is by far the longest run I’ve ever done without walking breaks. I think my previous record was 2.5 miles so it’s really awesome to know that I was capable of so much more than I was giving myself credit for. Sometimes, we just have to test our limits to see what we can really do, right?

After the brutally hot six miles it was SO NICE to just kick my legs up and let the breeze wash over me for a few minutes.

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Relaxing after this run was the best part! I can’t believe 10 miles used to be my “easy” long run! I’m looking forward to getting back to that point.

Even though this six miler was a bit of a struggle, it still capped off a really great couple of days because my awesome mom was in town visiting all weekend!

She was a bad influence on me and I did more shopping in two days than I’ve done in a while – but that’s a post for tomorrow! :)

I hope all the moms out there had a great Mother’s Day – cat moms, dog moms, bird moms, etc. included!

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When was the last time you tested your (running) limits? During a race? Speedwork day? 

Getting Curious About Heart Rate Training

Holy cow! I really thought I was going to blog every day this week. I was off to a good start but I seem to have missed a few days in between!

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While I’ve been gone…

I’ve been thinking a little bit about heart rate training. I followed along with Jennifer at Running on Lentils during her latest half marathon training cycle and she has been absolutely killing it.

Jenn recently wrote:

My easy run pace has dropped by about one minute. On February 14, my average pace for an 8-mile long run was 13:07. My average heart rate was 153 and max heart rate was 172. On April 19, my average pace for my 13.1-mile long run was 12:06. My average heart rate was 114 and max heart rate was 165. That shows I was running faster while putting in less effort than the February 14 run.”

Between June of last year and February of this year I was running over 100 miles per month and my fitness was at an all time high. In March I tapered back my mileage to recover from my racing season, and in April I ran less than 40 miles for the entire month due to a bursitis flare up in both of my hips.

Throughout May I’ll be working on building up my mileage again and at the end of June I’ll start training for Chicago.

Since my fitness has taken a dip recently, I think now is a great time to start monitoring my heart rate during training runs. Hopefully I’ll be able to watch as my fitness improves during the next couple of months – and throughout marathon training!

After a short brisk walk. The white band is my Mio LINK heart rate band. Got it on Amazon for $65.

After a short brisk walk. The white band is my Mio LINK heart rate band. Got it on Amazon for $65.

I’m not committing to “heart rate training” or always running within specific target zones. I don’t know enough about heart rate training to know if it’s necessary or even better than the training I do now. I’m talking with my coach about it and doing a lot of research online.

For instance Sage Canaday, 2X Olympic Trials marathon qualifier, ultramarathon champion, and highly sought after running coach, says unless you’re running somewhere with lots of elevation changes, training by pace is pretty much all you need. He explains the pros and cons of heart rate training (specifically the cons of the popular Moffetone system) in this video that I’ve found really helpful:

Sage’s main point is that when training you can’t just focus on the heart and lungs. You also have to properly train the skeletomuscular system and look at pace, effort and velocity to really improve your overall running economy.

That being said, I do think it will be interesting to monitor my heart rate numbers throughout the next few months to see the changes! My job has trained me to be extremely data-driven and I LIKE NUMBERS AND TRENDS :).

In the end, being that I’m more of a back-of-the-pack runner, none of this probably matters all too much. BUT being that I’m a back-of-the-pack runner who wants to move up, I’m always looking at new ways to improve my training.

Do you monitor your heart rate on runs? 

Have you ever trained by heart rate instead of pace? Thoughts? Pros/Cons?

What’s on your weekend agenda? My mom is coming into town AND I’m going to catch up on blog reading!!!!! I feel so out of the loop! 

A Day in the Life!

Last Thursday I decided to document my day for another Day in the Life post!

(You can see a Day in the Life post from last May here and a Day in the Life video from January here.)

These days my alarm goes off at 6am which gives me roughly an hour and a half to eat breakfast, shower and get ready before I have to leave the house.

My current tools of the trade:

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My hair is fairly straight on its own but it’s also really limp so I am big on the volumizing and texturizing sprays. Truthfully, these items give me about 2 hours of volume and then my hair is flat again… argh If you have any suggestions for better volumizing products let me know!

I leave the house around 7:15 – 7:25 each morning and settle in for a one-and-a-half to two hour commute into work.

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This commute situation is only temporary – thank goodness!

My company’s main office is currently under construction while they work on a build out, so for the time being I’m working from our other office which is quite far south. It also requires me to drive through some heavily congested parts of Miami where I just sit with my foot on the break for VERY long periods of time #annoying.

On Thursday I got a bit of a break though as I needed to be at a client’s office near my house first thing in the morning. This meant avoiding early morning rush hour traffic in Miami! Whoo!

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Since my team members joining me for the meeting were coming from Miami I arrived early and got to sip some coffee in the lobby before they arrived.

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The meeting lasted quite long and I didn’t arrive down at the Miami office until 1pm! I park in a garage that’s about 2 blocks from the actual office so I walk a bit to get there.

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As long as it’s not raining out or super humid the walk is kind of nice. On mornings that it rains out I valet because … walking in the rain is for the birds!

My temporary desk is in the middle of an open room which is a bit annoying because it can get noisy and people are always walking by which is distracting. I’m also sitting in this cheap-o $20 Ikea chair instead of my super comfortable orthopedic chair which is back at the main office.

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Can you tell I’m looking forward to being back in our normal building?! I’m so looking forward to it! I miss my desk, my comfy chair, my parking spot and my much shorter commute!

(But I am grateful to have a job and all of that – I really should complain less! I’m working on it!!!)

The bonus of being at this office is that the building has some premium views. The conference room provides a great overlook of the city:

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And the break room has a nice view of the water:

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I am also enjoying meeting new colleagues and learning about their skills and experiences. They will eventually be joining me up at the main office once the build out is complete.

Lately I have been leaving work at 7 and 7:30pm – mostly because I’m busy – but also because it allows me to miss the majority of rush hour traffic on the way home. That means I don’t get home until 8pm or later which sucks … but I’m dealing with it. (That’s why I’ve been blogging less!)

Last Thursday after a long day at the office I came home to watch the start of the NFL Draft with Adam (go Dolphins!) and then we headed out to the 10:45pm showing of The Avengers.

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Why I agreed to this late night showing of the movie is beyond me! I would say 15 minutes after the lights dimmed and the movie started I was asleep. ZzzzzZzzzzzZz!!!

Oops!

We got home around 1:15am and I rolled right into bed to catch a few more hours of sleep…

Noticeably missing from this post was a  run, and that’s because I didn’t run at all last week. My left hip felt twingy and I wanted to make sure the bursitis went away completely before I jumped back into training.

I am back as of this week! WHOOOO! Could. Not. Be. Happier!

Do you have a long commute into work? 

Any suggestions for amazing volumizing and texturizing hair products? :)

PS: If you ran the virtual race for PAWS here’s an update: I called the race medal company yesterday and COMPLAINED FOR 10 MINUTES straight about not having our medals yet. They assured me they will ship … within the next 5 days. Probably. UGH. I’m so sorry about the wait!!!!