Picky Kitty & A Weight Workout

Who had a Terrific Tuesday? I sure did try! Luckily, one of my stress sources was eliminated.

No, I didn't get rid of her. However, I did find out that this little kitty happens to be a picky little bugger. Just 2 weeks ago, I bought her a new litter brand since the other was sold out. Ever since, Ginger refused to use her litter box. She found that our memory foam bath rug was a better choice. She greeted me with a present every day after work.

Once we figured out that Ginger has a preferred brand of litter, we got the old stuff and our little spoiled brat is using her litter box again! Yay!

Anyway, enough about cats!

For those of you who want to get fit or maintain your fitness, you should know there's more to it than just cardio. To truly become and stay fit, you need to strength train, perform ab exercises, stretch to gain flexibility, and then some! I TRY to include each of these practices into my weekly routine. I do ab and weight training 4 days out of the week (2 days of abs and 2 days of weights). Then, I TRY to stretch (I'm bad and sometimes skip...oops!) every day after a run. However, I'm finding that these good habits are not easily maintained!

I feel like after work, I devote most of my time to running and fitness. Food manages to take up the rest of my time. Peter may see me for 5 minutes in the evening...

But I think he still loves me.

The results are definitely worth it, though.

Not too shabby, huh? Remember, muscles love calories! The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you will burn. And if you're like me, you LOVE to eat as many calories as possible without gaining a pound.

With that being said, I'll end my post with what I typically do on a weight training day. I use a 15lb kettle bell and 10lb dumbbells.

Push-Ups: 2 Sets of 25
Dumbbell Front Raise: 2 Sets of 20 (Learned this one from Jillian Michaels and hate her for it!)
Bicep Curls: 2 Sets of 30
Overhead Press: 2 Sets of 30
Kettle Bell Swings: 2 Sets of 25
Tricep Lifts w/ Kettle Bell: 2 Sets of 30
Upright Rows w/ Kettle Bell: 2 Sets of 30
Calf Raises w/ Dumbbells: 2 Sets of 25
Dumbbell Flyes: 2 Sets of 30
Dumbbell Press: 2 Sets of 30 
Reverse Flyes: 2 Sets of 15

Give it a try if you'd like and tell me what you think!!

Do you have a pet? Do they have any bad habits recently?

So you do cardio, but do you work on strength? 

How do you balance your work life, fitness life, and personal life?

Feeling Crazy on this Maniac Mile Monday

Today was the perfect day for Maniac Mile Monday because I feel like I am been going insane!

But before I get into that, I am happy to say that I finally broke in the treadmill shelf! It was a rainy day today, so I decided to take advantage of the dreary weather and catch up on Vampire Diaries.

This shelf will definitely serve it's purpose for quite some time! It didn't 100% distract me from the time and mileage (many of you should know that tracking those numbers can be torturous!) but having the laptop was a bit of a relief.

Following my regular run, Peter and I enjoyed some zesty spaghetti!

Spaghetti is super easy to make and it's perfect for the ravenous runner! I devoured mine in a few bites...or so it seemed! I really want to try baked spaghetti next time!

Anyway, after some digestion, I threw myself back on the treadmill for the Maniac Mile, which happened to be a repeat of the last two weeks. That's right! Another 7:14 mile time. Though, I was a lot nicer to myself this time around.

If you haven't noticed, I've been a stressful mess! This site is not where I want to share the source of my stress in detail (this isn't LiveJournal!), but it really has affected how I've been running and eating this past week.

This evening, I wanted to make an effort to be more relaxed on the Maniac Mile as opposed to MAKING myself hit a faster time. If it happened, great, but I wasn't going to stress it. I want to gain positivity from my run rather than harshly critique myself if I miss a goal. Running should never be stressful! Especially when it should ultimately RELIEVE stress. Thankfully, that's exactly what I got out of it this evening...relief.

When I finished the Maniac Mile, I felt the majority of my stress disappear. Even though I still don't have the money to go back to school, my job position remains the same, and my cat is still using rugs as a litter box, I feel like I can breathe a little easier when it comes to everything that has been driving me nuts.

Thank you, Maniac Mile for clearing my mind!

How do you entertain yourself on a treadmill run?

Has stress ever effected your workout? Did it make it worse or better?

100 Reasons Why I Run - A Work In Progress

I am struggling with life in general today and my mind is filled with negativity.  When I initially wrote my blog post today, it quickly went from the subject of running, to "I hate my life and let me list the reasons why". I decided to abstain from posting such ugliness to my blog and opt for "Reasons Why I Run".

This is something I've wanted to post for some time. During my last few runs, I began to mentally make a list. I want to make it to 100, but for now, my brain has thought up with the following. I will add more as they pop into my head.
  1. Relieve stress
  2. Release aggression
  3. Eat more
  4. Stay in shape
  5. Have a sense of worth
  6. Meet new people
  7. Make up for the years I didn't run
  8. Races
  9. Medals
  10. Race shirts
  11. Bibs
  12. Cool shoes
  13. To inspire others
  14. Feel accomplished
  15. Surprise myself
  16. Challenge myself
  17. Journey to new places
  18. Impress others
  19. Maintain sanity
  20. Time to think
  21. Time alone
  22. Go farther distances
  23. Knee high, colorful running socks
  24. Faster pace
  25. Qualify for the Boston Marathon
  26. Compete in a marathon
  27. Win first for my age group
  28. PRs
  29. Funny/embarrassing/bad race photos
  30. Support from others
  31. Confidence
  32. Enjoy nice weather

What are some of your reasons for running?

15 Mile Trail Run

After my measly day yesterday, it was tough getting out of bed this morning.

I was really cozy too and maybe a tad hungover.

Yet, I felt the only way to feel better was going for a 15 mile run. The other day, I posted that I have not completed a run above 14 miles since my marathon attempt. I thought today would be a perfect day to go beyond that.

I also had a new toy to bring with me...

This was a bit more convenient than the CamelBak backpack and now, I don't think I could ever run without this. I went the whole fall/winter without bringing liquids on long runs. I'm realizing that I was stupid for not doing so. Having Gatorade when I needed it was beyond satisfying. It also stayed decently cool the entire time.

I also brought along a snack.

Many runners seem to like gels, but for me, I will swear by granola bars. My stomach doesn't like gels, but it sure loves Nature Valley! You can't really eat this while running. Though, I never saw the harm in stopping to take a food break at the halfway point.

I checked my time during my snack and I was sitting pretty around 1:15:00, which was a perfect 10 minute mile pace. I was looking to have a negative split though, so I knew the next 7.5 miles would have to be faster.

I was confident I could do it. It was a gorgeous day and I was feeling great!

I was able to finish the second half about 2.5 minutes faster, putting me at 2:27:32 for the entire 15 miles. I was amazed how comfortable I felt through the entire run. I wasn't in pain, I wasn't exhausted, and I wasn't praying for the final mile marker to magically appear in front of me. I finished feeling quite energized and I'm looking forward to my next 15 miles in about 2 weeks :)

Hope you all are having a lovely Saturday!!!

How many miles did you log today? Was it a long run or a short run?

Do you bring Gatorade or other sports drinks on your run?

Do you like to focus on pace and splits?

Food Foto Friday Part 2!

Immediately upon arrival at work, I indulged in a Nature Valley Granola Bar. The Roasted Almond bar is our fav variety!

There for a while I was stuffing my face with a Snickers bar during my snack on Fridays. This time I thought that I could exchange one unhealthy item with a healthier option.

When I came home, I picked out a frozen cheese pizza and topped it with fresh peppers and onions. I also added chipotle seasoning and crushed red pepper. I like it spicy!

As always, my evening snacks are usually up in the air. Depends on how much I drink... if I drink. And don't you worry, I will be. Today just was not a good day for me. I had a bad appointment with the doctor and was denied financial aid for the fall semester. They didn't have enough money to give out this year. I was truly looking forward to going back to college and finally getting my degree. There was also a running class I really wanted to take.

Pass me a drink.

Quarter Day of Work/Food Foto Friday Part 1

Am I the only employed individual that would go in for a 2.5 hour work day? Probably. I had a doctor's appointment today and decided 5.5 hours was enough time to cover a 30 minute appointment. Actually, it was done that way to keep my time off balances to full days, not partials.

Like most normal individuals, if you didn't have to be at work in the morning, you'd sleep in, right? Not me! I was up making breakfast for me and my man.

Normally, I put grape jelly on my bagel, but today, it was a cinnamon and Splenda sugar kinda Friday. Scrambled eggs with Mexican blend cheese joined in on the breakfast party.

After eating, I lounged around, playing Candy Crush Saga because candy and puzzle games similar to Bejeweled are a weakness of mine. This game may actually end my relationship with Peter. Poor guy has been taking a backseat to my addiction every evening.

I went to my doctor's appointment, which ended with a bad taste in my mouth. However, the one positive I got from it was my consistently awesome blood pressure. I'm considered "low normal". My doc said it's because I'm an athlete. Love it! I will take that as a compliment.

Following my appointment, I bought myself my Friday Sheetz latte and snuggled up with my kitty to play more Candy Crush.

She looks thrilled!

I also did some laundry so I wasn't completely unproductive.

Got Jeans?

For lunch, I enjoyed some leftover beef mac, which seems to be even tastier two days later.

Now I'm off to work. It's going to be a rough 2.5 hours, I'm telling you. That whole 30 minute meeting, a 15 minute break, maybe some follow up calls...so so rough. ;o)

Be back for part II of Food Foto Friday!

Have you ever went in for less than a half day of work?

Do you play Candy Crush Saga or any of those other addictive mobile/Facebook games?

What are you eating today?

Revisiting the Marathon

This would most likely be the worst time of the year to start training for a marathon. Summer temperatures are right around the corner! BUT I'm not going to hit 26.2 just dreaming about it. It is a 2013 goal and I'm not throwing in the towel!

I've been taking it easy since my first marathon attempt in March. I haven't done more than 14 miles  since. Though, I think I am ready to get serious again and start a legit training plan. This time, not  "Lindsey's Randomly Thought Out Marathon Training Plan". It didn't work...

Unfortunately, the Hal Higdon program just doesn't seem to suite my schedule either. Regardless of experience, each program starts you out at 3 miles. For me, 3 miles just isn't enough. If I started halfway into the plan just to have at least five miles in a given day, I'd have to do an 18 mile run this weekend. I don't think I'm ready for that yet. I will have to put together a well thought out plan that will not only suite my schedule and needs, but follow the expectations that the premade programs have.

Here are some of my current marathon training goals:
  • Eat properly with the intense training this will bring.

  • Respect my body by stretching, doing yoga, resting when needed, etc. I have a bad habit of skipping on stretches and over doing runs. I'm pretty sure that's a no-no and an injury inducer. I also don't get nearly as much sleep as I should. Most of the time, it's not intentional. I blame the furry creature I share the bed with. And I don't mean Peter.

  • Be more aware of pace! I suck at this and thankfully, I'm catching it now. Although my average mile time is better than ever, I'm having more positive splits than negative. Maybe I should ask for a Garmin for my birthday (Hint). It would really help with marathon training :)

I have definitely learned from my failed marathon attempt and I know what I need to do this time to be better prepared. When I figure out my schedule, I'll be sure to post it. I'm thinking I'll start developing a calendar tomorrow!

Have you ever done a marathon or have intentions to do so? If so, what was/is your training plan? Do you make your own or follow a premade?

What are your marathon/race goals, whether it's specific to the race or for training?

    The Balance of Good, Bad, and Food

    There is nothing more satisfying than sticking a knife into a fresh jar of peanut butter.

    Kind of made my hellish day a little more gratifying. Well, my day wasn't too bad, but it did get a little hairy at work. And I lost my credit card! I looked under couch cushions, dug through trash, searched my purse countless times, but I could not find it for the life of me! So I had to call Capital One to issue a new one. Now I have to wait a week for it. AHH!

    However, like most bad days, you can usually find some good in it...if you look hard enough.  I did have an awesome run! 5.2 miles in 44:25. That is about 8:33 min/mile. I'm really loving this 8 minute range recently!

    Though, I think the stormy skies really helped me speed things up this evening.

    I thought for sure it would start pouring on me halfway down the trail. Luckily, the rain began after I made it back to my car. I don't think I would've minded too much if I got caught in it. Been there, done that, loved every second.

    Last but definitely not least, one of the greatest parts of my bad day was Peter making beef mac & cheese for dinner!!

    This was so delicious! Especially after booking it on my run this evening. It was made with our secret ingredients, of course. However, this time, he added beef, which was a first for me. I loved it! Can't wait for leftovers tomorrow!

    Oh, and it's my Twitter's birthday!

     I feel even older knowing that my twitter is that old. Still, go wish it a happy birthday. Make my day! :)

    Have you ever been caught in a rainstorm on a run? Did it speed you up? Slow you down? Love it? Hate it?

    What did you eat for dinner tonight?

    Do you have a Twitter? If so, how long have you had yours? What about other social networks?
    Twitter for 4 years.
    Facebook for 7 years. Wow...

    This Relationship is Over!

    I think the friendship between me and my shoes is over.

    These Asics were suggested to me as a great road running shoe, but I've only been through Hell with them. They are making my feel are fall asleep, making my ankles swell up, and above all, they are just plan uncomfortable. I have tried to tie them in obnoxious patterns to help alleviate some of the pressure they put on my feet, but I've not found any success.

    At first, I thought the discomfort was simply from road running since I haven't done it in a while. Though, when I did a road run with my Brook's on Sunday, it was apparent that the Asics were the problem. My Brook's didn't leave me hating life.

    I was willing to give the Asics one last shot today, so I wore them on a road run around my parent's. Unfortunately, they didn't prove themselves. I had to make several deals with myself just to finish the route in it's entirety, not take a short cut to peel the shoes off my feet and burning them. The deal that I decided on was if I completed the route, I would get to put my strength training off till tomorrow. I was willing to run through anything at that point. :)

    I don't mean to be so cruel to a pair of shoes, but these are at the bottom of my list. Nobody should ever be that uncomfortable on any run! I may just invest in another pair of Brook's or go back to a pair of Nike's for the road.

    But other than that, my run went fairly well! I actually did a longer run than intended.

    I can't help but be curious if I would have done better if I wore different shoes.

    Ever purchase a running shoe that didn't work out? What did you do with them?

    What kind of deals have you made with yourself to finish a workout?

    What are your feelings on Asics? What is your favorite running shoe?

    Meh Mile Monday

    Maniac Mile Monday was Mildly Mundane (how many "M" words can you use in a sentence!?). My time was exactly the same as last Monday and I felt like this week was 10x harder. The only thing I changed was increasing the speed and keeping it the same the whole run. Typically, I start slower and end at a higher speed.

    I looked like this afterwards...

    I am getting a little frustrated that I'm not in the 6 minute range yet. I don't want this setback to get the best of m because if I quit, I will never see 6:59. Though, it's really not motivating when there is no improvement. Perhaps I should switch Maniac Mile Monday to one of my 2 rest days. It may show help if I don't include it among other workouts. Unfortunately, I can't think of a clever name right now for another day. So Monday it will remain.

    My normal run on the trail wasn't too bad, with the exception of choking on gnat clouds.

    I'm going to just LOVE the cicadas this summer!

    Anyway, I kept an average pace of 8:41/mile. I like when I see that my pace has excited the 9 minute range.

    Tomorrow, I'm considering yet another road run at my parent's. I was almost dreading the trail today. I've been having the attitude "Ugh, again!?" when it comes to the C&O Canal. The road run may help, though I don't want to make it a habit. The last thing I need to do is revert back to road running every day and injuring myself.

    Happy Monday everyone! YOU MADE IT!

    How do you deal with a running plateau?

     Do you frequently run the same route? Does it ever get boring?

    Will you be dealing with the cicadas this year? 

    Road Running, Trains, and Watches

    Toady's road run went so much better than yesterday's. Sure, I didn't do 13+ miles with hills being the primary obstacle, but today still had it's own challenges. I was able to handle it much better though. I have done this route before and was fully prepared for the difficulty.

    But I was not prepared for this train.

    I used to run this road every day when I lived at my parent's. Not once did I ever get held up by a train. I guess I wasn't so lucky today.

    I do love this route though! The road I start on is so beautiful! It's surrounded by nothing but farm land and trees.

    I did a total of 8.3 miles in 1:15:22 though out the small town of Williamsport. Not too shabby if I may say so myself! Especially from someone who does not like doing more than 7 miles on a Sunday. Actually, for the past few Sundays I've been doing more than that. Yay me!

    By the way, all weekend I've fallen in love with recording my runs live. I've been taking my phone with me so the GPS can log everything into MapMyRun. It is making me want a Garmin watch REALLY bad. It would surely beat my phone in convenience (my phone doesn't always have the best service on the trail).

    I've been looking on Amazon for used or refurbs and I'm really torn between the following:

    I am looking at the 305 because most of the bloggers I follow swear by it. Though, do I really need all the perks of the watch? I feel like I could get everything I need from the 110. Any suggestions?

    Have a good Sunday!

    Did you have a good run today? How far did you go? Trail? Road?

    Where is your favorite place to run? Why?

    Do you have a Garmin watch? Which one? Do you like it?

    Do you track your runs while running or do you log it later?

    Killer Hills Ahead

    I wanted to go on an adventurous half marathon run today. One that wasn't pre-planned or one with a route I've run in the past. I'm bored with the same roads & trails and am longing for something new.

    New was definitely what I got today! Within the first 5 miles, I was challenged with MAJOR hills. I'm not accustomed to the hills this route decided to throw at me. In fact, the hills were quite similar to the roller coasters I rode last week. Once you crested one hill, you saw another one waiting for you.

    I moaned and groaned every time a new hill magically appeared in my path. I managed to push through them, but I felt it took too much energy out of me early into my run.

    At mile 5, I pulled over by a private school to retie my shoes (my feet were falling asleep) and also assess my mentality.

    I was being quite negative on myself, wondering if I was going to complete the run in a decent amount of time...if I was even to complete it at all.

    The 5 minute break was all I needed though. My feet weren't going numb anymore and the hellish hills flattened out (minorly, not completely!).

    My attitude slowly started to improve.

    Closing in at the halfway point, I stopped at a Food Lion, grabbed a drink at their water fountain and ate a granola bar before restarting. I circled through nearby developments to add mileage before heading home. There was no way I was going back the way I came. Instead, I hit the main road to cut back to my house.

    When I arrived in my driveway, I was extremely surprised by my time & distance.

    I made it to my distance goal AND I feel I did it in a decent amount of time. I'm confident I will do well road running in the Frederick Half Marathon on May 5th. My route today had a 190 ft gain in elevation, the half marathon route in Frederick will only be 120 ft (THANK GOD!).

    Overall, even though the run was hard, I'm glad I did it! Another set of new roads successfully completed!

    Tell me about your run today? Did it have plenty of rolling hills or was it fairly even? Was it an impulsive or planned route?

    Do you enjoy hill running?

    Have you ever nearly given up on a run?

    Food Foto Friday!

    Thank God It's FRIDAY! Who's with me?

    I don't know about you, but this week was a mess! I am under so much stress with this new job that I feel like I leave every day seeing double! I try really hard to meet the goals, but many days, I find it extremely difficult to do what they ask. I hope I adjust and get into a flow sooner rather than later. I don't need the winkles or the gray hair.

    Anyway, it's Food Foto Friday and this week is going to look a tad different than most. Yesterday, I was a bit naughty and had fast food, which is a no-no for me Sunday - Thursday. So today, I decided to cut out the pizza and frozen meals.

    First, for breakfast, I was a little lazy. Usually I make eggs, but I decided pouring Life Cereal into a bowl was much easier. But you will never see me pass up a bagel on Friday.

    The espresso loaded latte was also still on the menu. I didn't forget the extra shots today!

    I love you, Sheetz latte!

    For lunch, I packed myself a chicken salad.

     I made it to ultimately balance out the Chick-Fil-A from yesterday, but I loved it all the same. My salads are banging! This one had spinach, carrots, green peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, onion, mozzarella, chopped almonds, chicken and I topped it with zesty Italian dressing.

    For a snack, I had a 100 calorie popcorn bag (remember, I'm not counting!). Though, it didn't taste bad, I don't think it did well in my stomach. I bloated up shortly after eating it.

    When I arrived home from work (FINALLY!), I felt better and made myself some dinner. Peter had already filled up, so I didn't bother cooking anything large.

    I grilled a whole wheat turkey sandwich.

    I made the sandwich with pepper, onions, avocado, Sriracha, and obviously turkey. It was really delicious. My avocado was ripened to perfection! I had green beans on the side. Peter doesn't like green beans...crazy man!

    I never really plan on eating anything after dinner on Friday since I normally have some alcohol tainted drinks...but when you get tipsy, so do your eating habits. We shall see! We do have vanilla ice cream and brownies...hmmmm.

    Have a good Friday night, everyone!

    Do you have a preferred cereal? Do you eat cereal with whole, 2%, 1%, or skim milk?
    - Life Cereal has been my favorite cereal for nearly a year now and I ALWAYS have skim milk!

    How do you like your lattes?
    Large, hot, vanilla-caramel Latte (reduced sugar), extra espresso shots, skim milk, no whip (but somedays....)

    Emotional Eating & I Love Sam!

    Ahh stress! It is ultimately the only thing that will make me believe that bad eating habits are okay...even if it isn't my so-called "cheat day." Healthy foods be damned!

    That's right! I had myself a chargrilled chicken sandwich with cheese AND bacon on it. Waffle fries were a must have for someone who has worked obnoxiously hard all week! And instead of a banana for my snack between breakfast and lunch, I had a Panera bagel with CREAM CHEESE. Mmmm Mmm! Take that bad work week!

    Though, Food Foto Friday may look a little less cheat-like after being a bit naughty with food today.

    Speaking of food, it was my favorite day of the week (aside from the days I don't have to work). GROCERY DAY!!! But this Thursday was special. It was our monthly Sam's Club grocery day as well. 

    Nothing like buying food in bulk to make me the happiest person ever!

    We buy tons of beef and chicken, storing them in FoodSaver bags. This time we forgot we still had a few pounds left over from last trip. I guess we are having a lot of beef and chicken meals these coming weeks!

    We love our Campbell's Soups! We stacked up on tomato and chicken noodle! We also have been buying lots of canned goods like corn, green beans, and peas. You can also see we fill up on sauces, baking goods, and more!

    I love swimming in food. Nothing like a full pantry and refrigerator to make you feel wealthy!

    Do your eating habits differ when your stressed? How do you avoid/cope with emotional eating?

    Have you ever had the pleasure of going to Sam's Club?

    Do you ever buy food in bulk do avoid frequent & large grocery trips?

    My Running Corner

    I hope I'm not the only one that would get excited over something like this...

    My treadmill corner is really starting to come together. I bought the shelf a couple of days ago and just got around to putting it up last night. No more boring runs! Sorry NordicTrack, but starting at a blinking dot go around a track for an hour is not the entertainment I'm looking for. I haven't used my treadmill since adding the shelf, but I'm waiting for the perfect rainy day...or obnoxiosly hot day...whatever comes first.

    I'm also working on making a medal hanger. I've bought the wood, I just need to sand and stain it. When it is finished, it will look similar to this...

    Having a display of your race bling is definitely the ego booster you need on a run sometimes!!!

    Although I'm really making an effort to glam up my treadmill corner, I'm trying to avoid the treadmill as much as possible. Sure, I may have spent a pretty penny on this equipment, but I know I will regret not taking advantage of the gorgeous weather. The trail is really starting to bloom too! There are pretty purple flowers and the trees are green again. I still could do without the insects, but you can't have your cake and eat it too, I suppose.

    Hmm, now I want cake.

    Do you have an area of your room/house that's primarily dedicated to running?

    Do you put your race bling on display?

    What's your favorite part about running outside? Least favorite?

    New Race on the Agenda!

    I signed up for a race today! After Hershey, I am addicted and need the race high again! I'm frantically searching for races to compete in over the next several months!

    Freedom's Run is the one I registered for today. It's pretty close to where I live actually. All I have to do is take a right out of my driveway, go a straight a few miles, and there's the race. You can choose a marathon, half marathon, 10k, or 5k. I'm opting for the half as I am not 100% confident about participating in an official marathon this year. I can always transfer if I feel more comfortable in the next few months.

    The next one I'm guaranteed to do is the Hershey Half Marathon. Because I LOVED the 10k so much, there is absolutely no question if I will be participating in the half this year. I already have the hotel picked and ready to go! What's even more appealing about this race is that they are giving you free tickets to the amusement park for the weekend. Win!

    There are a couple here and there that I'm considering, like a 10k, and maybe two 5k races I did last year, but I'm keeping my eyes open for halfs that are local. I'd rather put my money towards those than to put it away on a half.

    Anyway, today I had off work! Woo! So I was able to put in some additional miles. I did 8 miles on the trail and 1 mile because it's MANIAC MILE MONDAY!!!

    I improved by yet another second. At this rate, it will take me 15 more weeks to get under 7 minutes. I need to step it up!!! I'd really like to see myself under 7:10 next week.

    What competitive race distances do you prefer to sign up for?

    Do you try to compete in more localized races or would you rather travel?

    How do you quickly improve your speed?
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