Monday, April 30, 2007

Can you drive a little more in my lane please?

Driving pet peeve:

Drivers that keep one tire on the line, or worse, keep one tire on MY side of the lane. Even worse than that are drivers who drive in two lanes, thinking it's just one S-U-P-E-R-W-I-D-E lane just for them. These drivers are often on their cell phones. Or driving some huge SUV, oblivious to the real size of their vehicle.

Ottawa Marathon Training - W5, Day #1

Planned run: 25 km

Actual run: 8 km

GB called me Sunday morning to tell me he couldn't run with me. Dang! Running alone these days sucks, especially for such a long time. Nothing to distract me, no chatter, no jokes. So no long run ... besides, I had had very little sleep, had to work in the afternoon, and also had dance practice later on.

All is not lost yet though! Let's wait to see how the rest of the week goes ...


Do you ever get one of those crazy hectic days in the office where everybody wants you to do something for them NOW?

Besides making some stupid errors due to too many things to do at once (now rectified of course), I finished later than expected and had to cancel my after-work plans to do more work elsewhere (Hey, I'm contractual!) And during the most crazy and hectic part of today, I felt my toe go through my sock. Great.

Tonight's training:

40 laps = 1000 m in 21 min. Easy-going swim, I tried to stay relaxed. Not bad considering I stopped to stretch and adjust my cap and goggles a few times. I must be doing something right with my technique as I am much faster than last year.

Cool down with another 8 laps, so total swim was 1200 m. I'm happy that I can finally do breast stroke without pain in my neck. My whiplash has healed considerably :-)

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

What's more important than running?

Ottawa Marathon Training - W4, Day #3

Planned run: 15 km
Actual run: zilcho

I had two chances to run and I didn't, for some very lame reasons ...

1) Thursday: watching television and half a meat pie
2) Friday: bottle of wine with scrumptious candle-lit dinner trumps running

Saturday was a no go either ... too much work. Didn't hit the hay until 4 am. Sigh ... life of a contractual worker.

Ottawa Marathon Training Summary - Week #4

Planned mileage: 46 km
Actual mileage: 31 km

On the brighter side, this represents a 237 % increase in mileage from last week's 9.2 km. Woohoo! (I have to count all the little victories :-)

In the end, no matter what distance I train or don't train, it will be worth it ... another shiny medal to hang in my office, and more particularly, this!


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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Is this a little more reasonable?

It seems that with the slight increase in running recently, I somehow think that I have the right to eat anything. Except it's been getting out of hand. Somehow my stomach has tricked my mind into thinking that I need to constantly fuel up for that next run, except that next run never comes ...

Tonight, thought I'd get in a little run even though I felt tired from a long day of work on my feet. Then I realised that Gray's Anatomy was on, and since I've only had the occasion to catch one episode of it this year, I thought I'd catch the last half hour. My run could wait. And then, thinking I could kill two birds with one stone, I'd run while heating up this quick and easy meat pie. Except I didn't count on CSI coming on right after Gray's Anatomy ... ugh.

Look at me, carefully cutting only one third of the pie to eat for supper with a green salad.

This label made more sense than that recent chicken pot pie label. One third is a very reasonable portion.

Needless to say, I didn't end up running. I just cut one sixth more of the meat pie ... Well, look at that! One huge honking half of a pie again in my Buddha belly ... 795 calories.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

"Sometimes I like to go out with hair."

Ottawa Marathon Training: W4, Day #2

Planned distance: 10 km
Actual distance: 10 km

Woohoo!! I tell you ... though I am happy I completed the planned run on my schedule yesterday, it was a really tough one. I had three blisters from Sunday's run, one of which was still red and very sore, and only got more sore with every kilometre. I also had a super tight hamstring which refused to release with stretching, even though I tried four times. But I managed to find a comfortable but very slow rhythm. So with red lights providing necessary short breaks, I succeeded!

Quick shower, then off to meet the Montreal Coolrunners at Hurley's Pub. Here we are from left to right: Killerchops, Silly Sally (me!), Turtleboy, Runningag, Mercury, Lifeany, Joeboxter, and AT. Unfortunately, the lovely Kneejerk had to leave a little before the pic was taken.

We got some surprise visitors: Mr. Lambchops and his mountain goat friend who will be racing in the Alps and climbling 6000 m during this event!

Last Coolrunning outing we had, Runningag said he would show up at the next one wearing his wig: "Sometimes I like to go out with hair." Here he is, as he promised, the man of the hour wearing his $20 wig ... but sooo nicely coiffured by a professional hairstylist for $5.

The pull was too intense. We all had to try it on afterwards ...

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Weekend Delights!

Ottawa Marathon Training Summary - Week #3

Planned mileage for the week: 40 km
Actual mileage for the week: 9.2 km

Decrease from last week's mileage of 38 km = 75.8 %

Um, I ain't doing so good ...

But I did hit the pool again on Saturday and swam a kilometre (40 laps non-stop) , then of course, played with the kids.

Saturday evening yumminess:

First BBQ of the season ... I make the most amazing BBQ sauce from scratch. Can't believe the kids ate more than I did! On the menu, BBQ boneless and skinless chicken thighs, romaine and endive salad lightly tossed with salt, pepper, olive oil dressing, and something my mom introduced me to ... red rice, waaaay better than brown rice. Super tasty!

Sunday evening yumminess:

I've been promising my kids to make these for a while. Chinese sticky buns. These ones are filled with minced pork and seasonings. I also made some with Chinese sausage inside. For those who don't know what they are, well, I would post a pic but we ate them all. They're small and red and a little sweet ... absolutely delicious and one of our favourites.

I have fond memories of my mother spoiling us with buns like these ... she used to make them occasionally along with all sorts of exotic goodies. Everyone's got their comfort foods, and I think EVERYTHING my mom used to cook falls under that category.

I made sure to eat a good supper because GB came by afterwards and we ran on the mountain together. I brought my headlamp as the mountain path gets quite dark and there's hardly anyone around.

We passed some silly girl wearing headphones, no headlamp, and running by herself. GB and I looked at each other ... yup, same thoughts. Not the wisest thing to do, run in the dark alone on the mountainside without being able to hear the predator pouncing on you because the music is blasting too loudly. Or second scenario ... "I've sprained my ankle because of the uneven path and it's only a 5k walk back down the mountain."

Ottawa Marathon Training Update: W4, Day #1

Planned Mileage: 21 km
Actual Mileage: 21 km


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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Nothing out of the ordinary

I would have posted something sooner ... but I've been, ahem, lazy.

I don't know how people fit in all their necessary training in-between family, friends, and work. I don't even work full-time, just contractually. Mind you though, this sometimes means wickedly weird hours that throw me off-schedule for days.

Swam a wee bit while with the kids yesterday, I don't think more than about 30 laps or so (750m) since I wanted some time to play with them. And later on, I wanted to go running so I called on Killerchops to come watch my kids while I went off and ran. Except my belly was too full from supper, so we all went for a walk to the park, which continued into a walk around the neighbourhood, which then became a stop-off at the local McDonald's (one of the only places open) for a quick snack. And after my fries, I certainly didn't feel like running.

I felt like snoozing ... so that's what I did. Happy I'm basically over this dreaded 5-week+ cold, but I'm still tired.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I have absolutely no remorse

I ate the other half of last night's chicken pot pie for lunch today and I have absolutely no remorse. It was delicious.

Ottawa Marathon Training: W3/Day #1

Distance planned: 7 km
Distance ran: 9.2 km

I wasn't sure how my legs would feel today running since they still felt sore but once I started, they felt fine ... actually felt surprisingly light and springy! Needless to say, today's run was at a MUCH faster pace than Saturday's. I quite enjoyed it and started feeling like my old running self again, almost like I could run forever. I say "almost" 'cause I'm not THAT back in shape ... yet!

Followed my run with my new post-run routine of 20 push-ups and 60 crunches. A little while later and after scoffing down some yummy strawberries, I went to the pool and swam non-stop for a little over 20 min. until the pool closed and they kicked me out.

40 laps x 25 yds = 1000 yds or 914.4 m

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Monday, April 16, 2007

I chose the wrong food for supper

Ottawa Marathon Training Summary - Week #2

Mileage planned: 34 km
Actual mileage ran: 38 km

Alright, perhaps this was "cheating a bit" since I ran Saturday to make up for last Sunday's missed long run. But of course, week #3's mileage might be short ... ugh. I'm sooo bad at keeping to a schedule ...

Mileage increase from last week's 11km: 245.5%!!

Ideally, a running program should not increase in mileage by more than 10% to avoid injury. Meaning, I should have limited my running to 12.1 km total this week. I figure though if I follow this rule, I'd just avoid running, nevermind injury, and that would defeat the purpose of my mrathon training program.

Sunday was a day off from training. I just swing danced a lot. Fun ... yay! Try it sometime.

Today, I thought about running, but with high winds of 50-70 km and sloshy melting snow from last night's 10 cm dump, combined with sore legs from Saturday's run ... well, this meant only one thing ... Hit the pool!

And so I did, but only after I threw in a frozen chicken pot pie from St-Hubert's BBQ. Quick easy food for supper! I had one hour to get to the pool, swim, and get back home so I could take the pie out of the oven.

I swam 74 laps in 35 min. Not bad. 1850 yards or 1692 m. (This was not a metric pool ... one lap = 25 yds.) I think I must be getting faster since this included a few stops to let the faster swimmers go by. I don't normally swim this quickly but a burnt chicken pot pie was the alternative.

I was soooo happy to wolf down this easy and delicious supper after the short intense swim until I read this:

Like, who in the world eats only one eighth of a chicken pot pie? I'm not a 2-year old anymore! How about 4/8ths of a pie, or more precisely, one huge honking half of a pie. Sheesh! So much for watching the waistline. I just downed 880 calories and 60% of the recommended maximum daily intake of fat. And for sure, I consumed enough sodium for a long run tomorrow, in fact, I consumed enough sodium for ALL of my runs this week.

I should have eaten slower and allowed my brain that 20 min. necessary to tell my body that it was already full.

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

I got gypped!

Ottawa Marathon Training - Week #2

Day #2: 12 km planned for Thursday

Thursday morning started off with a great swim, 90 laps = 2250 m :

- 8 laps front crawl warm-up
- 4 laps kick
- 4 laps on alternate sides
- 8 laps zipper
- 8 laps pull-buoy
- 6 x 8 laps front crawl
- 10 laps cool-down (breast & back stroke, long gliding front crawl)

I was supposed to run in the afternoon, but being the wimp that I am, when it started to drizzle freezing rain, I said, "Heck, I'll wait for it to pass."

Well, it didn't pass ... it turned into snow, lots of it. The icky, slippery, very wet, twist-an-ankle kind. Not the light, fluffy, powder, I'd-rather-snowboard-than-run type. Here's a pic at the beginning of the snowfall ...

It fell and fell so I continued diminishing my stack of paperwork that had accumulated last year while I was too busy training for Ironman. "There's always tomorrow!"

So no run Thursday.

Friday came but where did it go? Still in paperwork and feeling on a roll, my evening run and swim somehow faded into the background. Besides, why tire my legs out for ...

Actual distance ran: 18 km Saturday morning

Followed this up right away with 20 push-ups and 60 crunches. They weren't easy. Ugh! Thanks GB for running with me!

Later on, thought I would slip in a short swim. According to the schedule on the internet, the pool closed at the half hour ... Twenty past the hour and I find myself getting kicked out of the pool. WHAT?! Dang, I got gypped! So I only had time for a 650-yard swim in 15 min.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

My car odometer lied to me!

Ottawa Marathon Training - Week #2

Day #1: 15 km
Distance ran: 6 km on Monday ... was supposed to run Sunday, but what the heck ... figured I'd do the long run the day after

Day #2: 7 km
Distance ran: 14 km, but thought I had run 15 km! Really!!

Last year, I measured today's route with my car odometer ... Then tonight, I went to verify it on and found out that I've been lied to! Grrr ... I thought I was being a good girl forcing myself to go the complete distance, only to find myself one measly kilometre short!

Not only that, but my legs are paying for this sudden increase in mileage. Just love that lactic acid buildup! I am so looking forward to tomorrow morning ... NOT! I'd forgotten how difficult running is ... so much easier on the body to cycle and swim.

Alright, so far this week, I am two km short of my training goal ... sigh.

Note to David Fein, my dance buddy in New York ... thanks for calling to encourage me for this marathon ... I'll call you back tomorrow - I promise!

Went out to catch "300" with KC. Pretty cool film. Pretty cool fight scenes and effects. Pretty cool script. I especially liked the part where the queen ... (can't tell you or I will give it away ;-) It was fun to see myself in it for all of two seconds as one of the slave girls ... try to pick me out ... I'm carrying the bowl of fruit ... LOL!!!

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Ottawa Marathon Training Summary: Week #1


I didn't do too well with my first week ... Bad start, bad start. But it's so hard to train when I know I've been able to pull off a marathon with almost no training (New York 2006).

Besides, I'm still sick (3 1/2 weeks now with a cold and counting) ... and it was a holiday weekend with the kids ... and it was cold and dark outside by the time I had a small window of opportunity tonight ...

Week #1
Scheduled mileage = 26 km
Actual mileage = 11 km

But if I look at it this way, I don't feel as bad ...

% increase from last week's mileage of 5 km = 102 %

AND ... I swam a tiring 1000 m this afternoon. Tiring because there was only one lane open. No fast or medium lane. Just a general "I want to dawdle" lane. I had to do a lot of sprinting to get past the other "swimmers" and avoid a head-on collision with those in the other half of the lane. Very frustrating reaching the ends of the pool as there were only a few people who understand the concept of "letting the faster swimmer go ahead". Guess it was more like interval work today, except there were no sets and no breaks.

Tonight, I only managed a measly 6 km run. Honestly folks, the cold and dark and lack of company (yes, I tried calling a running mate) did not motivate me. I had to use the flimsy excuse of needing to pass by a bank machine to get me out there ... sigh ...

I swear ... tomorrow ... I'll make up for it ... while it's sunny outside :-)

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Look what we found!

It's been a holiday weekend full of food, food, and more food. Good thing I love to cook and bake. No running though ... I am again off the mark with my marathon training plan. Well, there's only so much I can do as a single mother when the kids are around.

When I trained for my first marathon, Quebec 2001, my children were much younger and much LIGHTER. When I had no sitter and had to train, I used to pull them both in the wagon. They loved it and used to scream out "Faster, faster!"

Perhaps my neighbours thought I was crazy running in such hot temperatures while pulling my little ones, but I remember how proud I was of myself for being so determined. I felt the same way cycling on the bike paths with both kids in tow in the trailer, especially as I passed the other cyclists on the uphills. Though I am not a frail woman, I am still quite petite, but never have I felt less than MIGHTY and INVINCIBLE during these precious moments when I trained with my kids.


With only a few hours sleep due to my previous night's shoot, Good Friday became Relaxed Friday.

As expected, no training except for some good ab work, what with all the gut-wrenching laughter as we watched the totally hilarious and highly enjoyable film Blades of Glory. A "must see" if you like great parody and purposeful cheesiness.

Will Farrell and Jon Heder play two over-the-top figure skaters who, after being banned from men's competition forever, find a loophole and overcome their differences to compete in the pairs division. Fantastic costumes and routines. Especially hilarious to me since I grew up watching lots of figure skating.

**Watch for my light blue Chevy Aveo with the snowboard rack as Will Farrell "gets away"** This film was shot in Montreal and I did some extra work on it with Greta, my car. Will Farrell is really tall, especially running with skates!


We hit the pool but unfortunately the holiday schedule dictated an early closure. Dang. Instead, we headed off to pick up some Chinese groceries ... and LOOK WHAT WE FOUND!

Earlier that afternoon, my sons remarked on my being smitten with a certain German tea set from the 1700's on display at the Museum of Fine Arts. I stopped three times to gaze at it longingly as we explored the "Decorative Arts" exhibit.

So when we found this $19.00 set, we just had to have it!

Great little tea set ... and with a metal strainer too! Bonus!! The kids and I were thrilled about our find and were anxious to put it to good use, so of course, this called for some nice loose-leaf tea ... My favourite, green tea!

This little splurge dictated preparing a nice supper to celebrate ... steamed egg with oyster sauce, BBQ pork, sauteed broccoli, and Jasmine-scented rice.

Sometimes it's not the big things that are the most important. Treasure all the small things. They are just as important. Never take them for granted.

Sometimes when picking up my kids, I would tell them that I had a surprise for them ... It was always simple things, like strawberries and cream for dessert, or putting out the wading pool for them, or a friend coming to join us for supper ... the list is endless.

It's up to you to fill your list and make your life special.


We hit the pool again, this time successfully.

1) 10 x 8 laps = 80 laps or 2000 m - Worked on relaxing, body position and pull

2) I played "Monkey in the Middle" and "Tag" with the kids.

Nothing beats celebrating Easter with chocolate, a tasty braised beef with all the fixings, and a fun game of Monopoly. Did I tell you that Monopoly is my favourite game in the world? I once played in a tournament when I was in university ... I'll show you proof one day if you're interested ...

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Friday, April 06, 2007

This is my dressing room ...

I landed a small role as a stewardess in a Quebec film called "Serveuse demandée" (English: Waitress Wanted). I got my own little dressing room, a quarter trailer. This is what it looks like inside ... I was too busy to take a nap, though it would have been nice as it was an overnight shoot.

It's pretty simple inside - what you see is what you get. Hair and make-up is done in another trailer but this is where I get dressed and also where I can have some privacy and relax. Oh wow ... some decoration ...

So what does one do while biding time? Lots of things. I decided to take some pics of my eye ...

Well, short day on set for me, less than eight hours! It was the last scene of the last day of shooting - great to hear the excitement of the crew and other actors as the shoot wrapped at 4 am.

Bedtime for me ... 5 am. Ugh, short night as I had to wake up less than three hours later to pick up the kids. No training for me this Good Friday. Anyway, my legs were sore from last night's run.


Thursday, April 05, 2007

Feeling better ...

Ottawa Marathon Training Day #3: 11k
Actual distance ran: 11k

YAY!! On the mark ... Finally!

I admit though that the two kilometres were more difficult (dang that false flat uphill!). Followed it up with 20 push ups and 60 crunches and some light stretching. I think my quads will be a little sore tomorrow ... but hopefully my muscle memory will kick in soon and all that marathon experience will magically make running easier.

Yesterday, I swam. Only had a half hour so swam 40 laps straight as soon as I slipped in the pool, followed by 4 cool-down laps of breast and back stroke and then two very stretched out smooth front crawl laps.

Yesterday's swim total = 46 laps or 1,150 m

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Montreal Coolrunners and Hurley's Pub: An Intimate Relationship

Ottawa Marathon Training Day #2: 5k
Distance completed: zilcho

According to my new marathon training schedule, I had a 5k run planned. Still felt quite sick and weak and had a lot of catching up to do so had to nix that idea. OOF! I'm not doing too well ... Went off to meet the Montreal Coolrunners instead at Hurley's, an Irish pub downtown.

Here are pics of the gang (all names are left to right):

1) Joeboxter, Silly Sally and Truxx. JB is holding his framed commemative pics of his first marathon, Las Vegas 2006. How cool! You belong to a special club now, JB!

2) Here's one of the fastest in our gang, Mercury, with his non-running friend, Don. Mercury recently ran a very hilly 10k race in Vermont and ONLY got 40:something ... wow, I think that's my present 5k pace ... geez! He is FAST! Even when he says he didn't have a good race. Don, thanks for putting up with us and our one-track minds (running).

3) More of the gang ... Turtleboy, Silly Sally, Truxx and the lovely Kneejerk. Truxx and I have almost the same approach to racing ... "why train?" ... except he's got all the speed. For some strange reason, he seems to get faster with each training session, one month apart. Ugh. Natural talent ...

4) And finally, Truxx, Kneejerk and Runningag ... Runningag told us that he had entered the Médoc Marathon in France, September 8, 2007. This is a special marathon that winds around 50 castles and wine tasting stations and finishes not only with a medal, but also a bottle of wine. I like ... The only disappointing thing about RG's planned run was his deciding NOT to run as Mr. Peanut ... W-H-A-T?!? How can you DISAPPOINT your fellow runners?

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Master Plan

Looong 11-hour work day yesterday that finished super late. Crawled into bed exhausted and got a wickedly short 5 1/2 hours sleep last night. Agh, that's all I got Friday night too what with DM in town ready to party.

I wish it could have slept more but I had to meet up with Turtleboy for a personal send-off. He's running the Paris Marathon on April 15 and is all excited. Understandable, since he's been training hard for the past 6+ months gearing up for it.

We met up at Mon Shing in Chinatown, one of TB's favourite haunts. As usual, we pigged out - soup of the day, crab-stuffed fried tofu, snow pea leaves with garlic, beef and green peppers chow foon, and of course, rice.

Great fun to catch up. TB chided me for my lifestyle - "lots of socialising with a little hint of work". We laughed. The funny thing is, this is mostly true. That made us laugh even harder. Yes, I do work, but given all the things I do for my living, my schedule is all over the place, so it just "looks" like I play a lot ... Alright, confession ... I do play a lot. It feeds my soul albeit not always the overhead. Well, as some people have said to me, "That's the path you've chosen." I think of these folks sometimes while enjoying a mid-afternoon coffee with another freelance friend as we ponder how their 9-5 day is going.

As I've mentioned before, it's all about choice ...

After brunch, of course, we made a pit stop at Boutique Endurance, since pretty boy TB had to pick up some new running duds and look "styling"... Just poking at you TB! xoxo

Final Destination: Roberto's on Bélanger, famous for it's gelato. I took hazelnut gelato and a café au lait since I felt like I was falling asleep and TB took chocolate and mint chocolate chip gelato. Scrumptious!

Turtleboy and I got to talking seriously about our 2007 planned athletic endeavours.

TB: So what's your next race?

SS: Well, I was thinking of doing a Half Ironman later this summer, the same one I did last year. I know what to expect this time round but maybe I'll do something before that.

TB: (raising an eyebrow) Oh, like what?

SS: I was thinking about running the Ottawa Marathon at the end of May. Do you think that would be possible? Maybe we could go back to my place and sit down and figure out a training schedule.

TB: Hey, why don't we do it here? All we need is a napkin.

So, lo and behold, yes, I am SERIOUS sometimes about training and do draw up schedules ... Lookee here ... A picture tells a thousand words and four pictures tell even more!

Beware the inner workings of Silly Sally's mind!

Can you read the napkin? Yes, yes, I am breaking the 10% weekly mileage rule ... rule, schmules ... and yes, I do realise that it is only a three day running schedule, but how else will I be able to fit in the swimming and cycling? And dancing and socialising?

But as Turtleboy says:

"The most bang for the buck! 8.25 km training for each kilometre racing."

Not a bad deal, I say!

SS: Sorry, I won't be able to give you a lift all the way home, only to the metro. I have to squeeze in a 10k run before my dance rehearsal and if
we leave now, I will JUST fit it in.

TB: No probs!

And off we went.

Got home, checked my e-mail as I waited for my gluttonous tummy to settle down. It didn't. DANG! Alright, Plan B. Go to dance rehearsal, then run afterwards. I made a quick call.

SS: Hey there, I have to run a 10k before we eat supper. Think you would want to run part of it with me? I can run two loops and you can run the first one with me.

KC: I can run all of it if you don't go fast.

SS: You sure? Don't worry, I'm real slow right now. I've only run once in the last three weeks because of this cold.

KC: See you later.

I left for dance rehearsal and exhausted and hungry afterwards, headed to Killerchop's. Did we end up running? Nooooo! Dance rehearsal finished really late and KC ended up enticing me with this!

Alright, Day#1 of my new training schedule has been thwarted! Ugh, I have no discipline. Well, at least this marathon schedule is longer than some of the other ones I've had ... I still have time to catch up!

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