Rock ‘n’ Roll 1/2 Marathon Race Recap

Hi there!  I’m so happy to report that we are in the middle of a holiday weekend, AND I completed my second 1/2 marathon today!  Woo hoo!  I’ve been battling indecisiveness (about doing the race or not), a big case of mom guilt (due to time spent on running – – although I’m not sure why since I usually run very early in the AM!), an aching foot, lots of blisters, and lovely back and blue toenails.

Well, race day arrived this morning at an exactly 4:15 wake up call.  We really weren’t sure what was going to happen as our area got lots of rain and wind from Tropical Storm Hermine on Saturday.  We even lost power at 9AM on Saturday morning until about 7 PM that night.  The Mr. was awesome at staying positive and getting us all organized for the early morning.  The race for Sunday went off as scheduled!  Parking was a little more chaotic for us this time.  I truthfully think we left later from the house (2 kids v. 1 nowadays!).  I had to feed Helen in the parking lot before we could head down to the start line.  Both Holden and Helen were complete angels with the early morning wake-up call, but I was still worried about leaving the Mr.  I know he’s completely capable.  I also know how quickly things can go crazy.  I was home all summer with them after all!

After a lovely port-a-potty visit, I kissed my favorite people good-bye and hopping in corral 2.  If you’re unfamiliar with wave starts, it basically means the race officials left some people go at certain times…this is based on your anticipated finish time.  Faster you are the sooner you start.  Well, corral 1 was looking mighty sparse, so I may or may not have edged up and joined the super fast folks.  I did get to catch a quick glimpse of my favorites as the first group left the start line.  To be honest, I felt like I ran the first 5K slow.  Turns out that I didn’t!

The first 6 miles felt pretty good.  Things did start to go slightly downhill from there.  I got lots of blisters on my toes, and I could tell my nails going to be very painful when I was finished.  However, I did maintain pretty good speed until about mile 10.  Then, we made a turn to head back to the oceanfront.  Wind and a slight hill via a bridge were not my friends – PS I always run on very flat land.  Don’t judge the flat land runners!  A slight hill is a big deal!  🙂

I was really struggling the last mile to maintain my pace.  I did a pretty decent job of it.  I do wish I was able to really pick up the pace in my last mile and sprint to the finish.  The sprint at the end is always my favorite part of every race and workout.  I’m thinking less half-marathon distances in my future and fast, shorter courses.  I was really pleased with my final time of 1:43.  This just smushed my previous time of 1:50.  My overall pace was 7:55, but I was faster than that early on.  I was so happy to get to the finish line as the last mile was into the wind on the boardwalk.  I felt slightly light-headed when I finished, but it quickly faded.  So thrilled to see my people!  The Mr. had everything under control, and I am so glad the kids were there to see me finish.  Plus, Helen had to nurse.  She had to come!  No choice little one!  😉  These are my overall stats…

 

  • OVERALL322 / 6088
  • DIVISION10 / 545
  • GENDER45 / 3331

 

 

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So thankful for these two sweet blessings!  Running is fun and all, but they are one of my greatest blessings and joys!

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Here’s my other biggest joy and blessing!  I am amazed each day by him.  He loves me completely and supports me constantly.  I’m so very thankful that God got us together.

Whew!  No more mushy for now!

I plan to savor the rest of today and tomorrow with my sweet family.  Here’s my little corner of sweetness at work…

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And just for fun…here’s Miss Hellie Bellie!

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Ignore spittle from those cute lips…hers not mine!  Sidetone:  How do none of my children share my eye color!??!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Natalie

 

5 for Friday

Hi there!  Wow…this week has flown by!  I think we have Independence Day to thank for that!  I hope you’re ready for another weekend and a hot one at that.  Here’s five things on my mind this Friday…

{ONE}

Helen Elizabeth is three months on Sunday!  She is getting to be such a big girl!  Here’s a run-down of her stats…

  • Sleeping from 9PM to 5:30/6:00AM without any feedings!  Hip hip hooray!
  • Naps are better during the day with longer ones in the morning and short (1 hourish) in the afternoon) for a total of 5 naps
  • Breastfeeding continues to be great – Miss Helen does NOT like a bottle!  We are working on that.  🙂
  • Weight – She weighed 10lbs 14oz at her two month check-up mid-June.
  • She’s a happy baby most of the time!  We’ve seen lots of smiles and heard lots of baby talk recently.
  • Helen loves baths, fans, and looking at books…even big brother’s!

She is so much more alert these days!  Here we are doing a little water play with her.  She promptly spit up in the water after this picture and grossed out her big brother!

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{TWO}

Running – I’m really enjoying running again.  Hallelujah!  Also, it has been pain free except for that feeling of tiredness that makes me think I’m slightly crazy to be planning to run 13.1 miles in Virginia’s hot and humid weather!

I have been fortunate to do lots of outdoor runs in the past two weeks, but I got a late start on Thursday.  I had to do my 3 miles on the treadmill.  It was a pretty fast one!  First mile was 7:46.  Second mile was 7:11.  Third mile (+.1 – I actually pretended it was a 5K and ran the extra .1) was 7:29.  Overall time…

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{THREE}

Family Visits – We’ve been so blessed to see lots of family over the last several months.  The trend continues with my sister-in-law and her fiancee coming to visit this evening.  They’ll be staying with us this weekend and enjoying some of our hot and humid weather!  I think it will make for a very early beach day tomorrow!  I’ve got lots of good food planned and can’t wait to see them!  Here are two recipes that are guaranteed good (aka I’ve tried them before!).

Chicken BBQ Sandwiches

Key Lime Bars

{FOUR}

Groupon – I love how Groupon can inspire you to do something you haven’t before.  It might be a new restaurant, a day at a paintball park, or even a massage!  I bought three Groupons in the past couple months.  One was for a local Lego place that allows kids to visit and build.  We’ve been before, and Holden really loved it.  I also bought my Rock n’ Roll Half-Marathon entrance fee from Groupon for some percentage off.  Another one I bought with Holden in mind was the Color Me Mine visit.  We went this week.  The Groupon covered the studio fee.  Holden picked out something to paint, and I had to pay that additional cost.  He picked a crab mug!  Must be inspired by his recent fishing trip!  We had such a nice, relaxing time painting together (Helen was snoozing!).  I can’t wait to pick it up next week after it has been fired.

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Love this sweet boy!  He has so much to say and wants to learn/take in everything!  I hope his curiosity continues.  🙂

{FIVE}

A couple cool quotes I saw on Pinterest this week…3ac40d475b8901bf25e1545ce9f5ece5.jpgtumblr_o23ds6S4gI1s8zgc6o1_500.jpg

Source

Have a great day!

Natalie

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts on Aging and More Swimming!

Hi there!  Sure feels like Friday to me…but it’s only Tuesday!  I think that is due to lots of fun plans we have coming up this week.  We’ve been doing more swimming this week with a full hour today to make up for one day we will miss…

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Check out that killer jump!  He absolutely loves jumping in now!

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Little sister beating the heat with her fan!

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I can’t believe the last day for us will be tomorrow!  I really thought it would be a bit of a pain in the you-know-what, but Holden has loved it!  As a parent, you know that you tend to love what seeing your kid(s) enjoy himself/themselves.  So…I had the best time too!  I won’t miss sitting in the sauna that the pool area is, but I will miss getting to see him enjoy the water.  Lots of pool/beach days in our future this summer I hope!

In other athletic pursuits, I did a 4 mile run this morning.  I foolishly did a pretty vigorous leg workout/arm/abs yesterday.  Now, the arms and abs were fine, but I could feel how tired my legs were as soon as I took the first strides.  Sunday was a 6 mile run too.  Apparently, I need a little more rest than I used to!  I was just telling the Mr. this morning that I feel like I’m a better runner than I used to be (i.e. in my youth), but I also feel like a more delicate runner.  More stretching, more planning, more “babying” myself in order to run better and feel better.  Isn’t it funny how things change?!?!  I used to look for the “easy” way or cut out some spots on a run to decrease my mileage when I was in high school.  Running/”practice” was a little more dread than enjoyment.  Nowadays, I’m scheming on ways to get out of the house and eek out a few more minutes to make my run longer.  So funny!  I was just reading a bit about how women become better endurance runners in their 30s and later.  Here’s hoping!  I’d love to beat my time (1:50:20).  🙂

My heel is still a bit tender, but I didn’t have any pain on my run.  More like stiffness.  I did have a pain in my side that I believe resulted in absolutely NO concentration on my breathing…I find that I have to be very methodical and make sure I’m breathing in and out of my nose.  All those things you forget when you haven’t run for a speedy purpose (half marathon 67 days!) in some time.

Tomorrow will be crazy busy for us, but I’m hoping to do some yoga and REST.  Like easy peasy yoga – I don’t want to break a sweat at all yoga.

Have a great evening!

 

 

Weekend Recap – Tomahawks & Running Shoes

Hi there!  Can you believe it’s the last week of June?!?!  Time is going so quickly!  We checked one item off our summer fun list by visiting the Jamestown Settlement this past Saturday.  Holden absolutely loved the Powhatan Indian Village!  It was our first stop when we got there.  P.S.  Everything takes three times as long with two kids…like getting out of the car!  🙂

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In the picture below, the Mr. and Holden are standing in front of the little “deer stand” thing that the young Indian boys would sit in to shoot at or scare off critters trying to eat their garden goodies.  How about that for entertaining the kids!

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Replica of the Susan Constant

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Little girl riding on mama

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Church pictured below

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I think my personal favorite were the ships…Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery.  We also looked in all the buildings at the fort.  Holden even stated one time to one of the costumed people, “I like the Indian village better!”  In fact, he liked it so much that we had to go back a second time!  We did not go through the museum inside the welcome center, but it looked very nice as we were passing by on our way out.  Holden got a tomahawk to go with all his weaponry at the gift store, and I picked up another Christmas ornament for our collection.  Definitely had to get one since this is Helen’s longest trip away from home!

We had a nice picnic off of Colonial Parkway on our way back home.

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The rest of Saturday was spent relaxing and watching Sleeping Beauty.

On Sunday, I went on my first trail run in a long time.  It was so nice to be out of the neighborhood running thing.  I did 6 miles in my new shoes!

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Love my Brooks Ghost 9!  I had been having some Achilles tendon pain/tightness, but I took all last week off from ANY physical activity.  I’m happy to report only slight tightness this morning.  I did put my little rice pack thing in the freezer and put it on my ankle twice yesterday.  This brings me to my next point…I’m a little bi-polar when it comes to running these days!  I recently wrote about how I didn’t want to do the Rock ‘n’ Roll half-marathon in September.  Well…then I talked to a neighbor who is doing it and how she did it after she had her second child.  Competition…Competition…uh oh.  About 12 hours later, I found myself purchasing a race ticket on Groupon {yay for saving 15% off the price}.  So now I’m doing it!  I know that it will be tricky to get the longer and even the shorter runs in, but I’m trying to give myself grace and remember that I enjoy running.  I don’t have to beat my time {yes, yes, yes I want to!} or my neighbor!  😉  Who am I kidding?!  I want to do that too!  All jokes aside…it will be good to have time to think and for myself to be out of the house without a dog or a kid.  IMG_3579.jpg

My trail run did prove that I need to do outside runs as the humidity KILLED me!  I’ve been using my treadmill in my nice, climate-controlled house.  I felt like I had just moved here from the Midwest complaining about the Virginia humidity.  I also learned/remembered a few other things on my first long run…

  1. No hat – better cooling
  2. I like to run in tank tops not shirt.
  3. Take a change of clothes
  4. Wear hair in a braid – Whoa the tangles when I got done!
  5. Runners are so friendly…probably the friendliest people you’ll see at 7AM on a Sunday in the heat running through a swamp 🙂

After my run, the kid and I went to church.  They were little angels!  Thank goodness!  Nothing like a crying baby to make all heads turn to you!  Later on in the afternoon, Holden’s C-Pa came over to take him to see Finding Dory.  What a special treat!  He stayed for dinner and helped the Mr. and I celebrate 6 years of marriage!

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These chocolate-covered strawberries were so easy!

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We cracked open our rehearsal dinner favor from over a year ago!  I felt all festive with the strawberries and Prosecco!

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Love this guy!  So glad I get to do life with him.

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How was your weekend?

Don’t summer weekends seem way busier than any other seasons?

5 for Friday

This Friday is a little bittersweet.  It is the last day that it will be just me and Helen…or so I thought!  Actually, Big H was with us until we dropped him off around 10:30.  He had to go in for a doctor’s visit due to some swollen lymph nodes in his neck.  Thankfully, the doctor checked him over very thoroughly and pronounced him in good health {with a bumpy neck!}.  She advised us to keep an eye on them, but they should go away over the next several weeks.  It was a little crazy trying to get there and having our last day of girl togetherness horned in on by a little boy, but I’m so glad that we know all is well.  Doctor’s office pics below…Holden was being a turkey and wouldn’t take a pic with us!

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Speaking of which…little girl is my number one!

{ONE}

Helen is becoming a little person, and it so great to interact with her.  She’s been trying on lots of new outfits.  This lasts about an hour or until the next spit-up occurs!

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So precious, right?!?!?

{TWO}

Run work-outs – I’m so, so, so thankful to be running again.  I stopped when I was about 35 week pregnant.  Little Girl arrived at 38 weeks and 2 days.  I remember jealously watching runners in the neighborhood just jogging along.  Babies are such gifts.  However, they take a lot out of you including your plans {i.e. going for a run}!  I’m also so thankful for our treadmill.  I was going to go into the gym today, but the little girl had the hiccups and needed extra help going down for her first nap.  Therefore, the window of time was lost.  Enter the treadmill.  🙂

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I am really looking forward to getting to the gym this weekend.  P.S. I always walk the first two minutes at an incline and speed of 4.0.

{THREE}

Greens!  We have been eatings lots of greens.  Arugula, spinach, kale, romaine…you name it!  I went a little crazy in Sam’s Club one day this week with produce.  I mean, who doesn’t need 6 heads of romaine lettuce for three dollars and change!

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The fruit we currently have:  apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, watermelon, pineapple, strawberries, and blueberries!  Veggies are:  shrooms, cucumbers, carrots, zucchini, broccoli, kale medley salad mix, romaine lettuce (x6), celery, and more kale.  🙂  It makes it so much easier to avoid after-dinner desserts when there’s lots of fruit choices.  However, I believe animal crackers and popsicles are all the desserts we have right now.  We had beets earlier in the week.  They are so crazy!  Look how they dyed my hand for hours afterwards!

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{FOUR}

HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training – I’m loving youtube workouts!  I did this one by Karena and Katrina of Tone It Up.  Wow!!!!  I was sweating big time and about to fall over on some of the moves.  It was only 19 minutes long!

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I took the picture above when it was a beautiful day, so I had to improvise and do my own HIIT workout on the deck.

{FIVE}

Salads for Lunch – I’ve been eating a salad every day for lunch for about a week and a half.  The more variety the better!  A big change I’ve been doing with it is using one tablespoon of hummus as the “dressing.”  Try it!  Even better if you can add a bit of avocado.  My avocados are as hard as concrete.

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This salad includes kale, celery, cucumber, corn, a bit of leftover roasted broccoli, one hard boiled egg, pepper, 21 Seasoning Salute {salt free from Trader Joe’s}, and hummus.  I had this with a slice of toasted bread with almond cheese {yes, fake cheese.  It was surprisingly good and had a nutty flavor.  Obviously!}.

Well, that’s it for me.  I’m so excited to pick up Big H from preschool this afternoon.  I’ve got a few balloons for the car plus three new books from Goodwill to celebrate the end of the school year.  Plus, we are headed to the “fro-yo” {H’s name for our local frozen yogurt place} to continue the celebration.  Have a great weekend!

Natalie

What’s Up Wednesday

Happy Hump Day!  It’s the last week of school for some kids, and you can just feel the excitement of summer in the air!  I visited my school yesterday and got to see students and fellow teachers.  The main attraction was definitely Miss Helen.  We visited for a little over an hour and a half.  However, she slept the whole time!  She only peeked her eyes open a few times for a select few people.  It was so nice to see the kids, and I may be crazy…but it seemed like they had grown so much in just the two months I’ve been gone!  Helen looked just lovely in her power color, purple, but I didn’t get any pictures as my arms were full of a little baby I know.  Here’s a selfie I took in the Starbucks drive-thru…got to document this out-of-the-house-with-make-up-and-real-clothes thing!

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This week has had a few ups and downs with Helen’s sleeping.  We tried something different on Monday night to try and alleviate the early evening nap crying.  It was AWFUL.  It turns out we just traded the early evening cries for the later evening cries {and for a longer period!}.  😦  Last night, we were back to the cries during the early evening nap.  It took her quite awhile to settle down, but I do think she got a little catnap in before waking up again right before 8:30.  However, she went right to sleep after a feeding, a bath, and some screaming at Daddy.  She screams at him every night.  Isn’t that terrible?!?!?  No sweet baby rocking.  Just screams!  It seems like she has to just get it out of her system.  Then, she settled down and slept until 5:30 with one feeding that I woke her up for at 11:30.  Yay!  No night crying and sleep all around!

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Even Roscoe is happy {though he doesn’t show it}!

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I really feel like this week has been the week for me to get back on the healthy eating horse  and enjoying my work-outs.  When I had Holden, I worked out pretty intensely right after having him {we’re talking like two weeks}.  I knew this was against my midwife’s directions, but I was desperate for exercise to help cope with the postpartum depression.  I am firmly convinced this was why I had bleeding that continue for many weeks.  This time around I took it much easier with absolutely nothing the first week, walks the second week, and yoga and walks the third week.  It wasn’t until week 5 was just beginning that I tried a slight jog.  I gradually added in light weights.  I am happy to report that any bleeding ended by week 3.  Yay!  However, I noticed that the baby weight wasn’t coming off as easily.  I’m sure being older has something to do with it as well.  I also noticed that I was coping with being tired by eating little bursts of “energy” like sweets, heavy snacks, and chocolate!  Obviously this wasn’t helpful for fitting back into my jeans.  I knew I had to do something.  I increased my work-out sessions and intensity, but I pretty much kept eating like I wanted to.  I still felt heavier/sluggish, and my wardrobe choices were limited.  I knew that the next hurdle was diet.  I reread the Eat to Live book by Dr. Joel Fuhrman.  It is such a motivating book that provides a very simplistic approach to revamping your diet.  I would highly recommend it.  The main facts I want to share from the book are focus on whole foods {no processed stuff}, cut out animal products {this includes dairy…although I’ve been eating eggs}, unlimited greens, lots of other veggies, tons of fruit, and no snacking {this goes against LOTS of other health advice, but I’m telling you…try it for a day or two or three.}.  I’m definitely over-simplifying all the good info in here, but you really need to read it for yourself.  It’s a pretty easy read too.

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Image from Amazon

My little work-out buddy working on her neck muscles!

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My two treadmill work-outs so far this week…I’m having some Achilles tendon discomfort.  I plan to give the treadmill a break the rest of the week and {hopefully!} get in the gym.  I also did only walking and a 15 minute yoga routine yesterday.  I’m really enjoying the free Tone It Up routines on Youtube.  Here’s the one I did.  

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That’s all for me today!  We’re off to put some items in the mail, grocery shop at Trader Joe’s and Sam’s Club, and chill on the sofa with my favorite girl before big brother gets home from school.

Hope you have a great day!

Natalie

What motivates you?

Thank goodness the sun is out today!  I was all excited yesterday when I “thought” the weather report was calling for some sunshine.  Well, I was mistaken.  We did have just a peek of sun around lunch time.

Little H, Roscoe, and I even got a walk in today!  I used the Baby Bjorn to carry her, but I’m really excited to try out the Ergo with the infant insert.  We didn’t have the Ergo until Holden was much older, and I’m having a hard time figuring out just how to use it in the front body mode.  I’m thinking it needs to be a two man/parent job the first few times, so I’m stuck waiting for some time when the Mr. is home.

Speaking of the Mr., he’s currently off the OBX coast somewhere fishing.  I’m not super jealous at all.  I am not a fisher-woman.  I wouldn’t mind sitting on a beach with a new book right now, but Little H is playing nice with me today.  We’re having a decent amount of fun.  🙂  Since the Mr. is gone, we had to all load up and do preschool drop-off this morning.  That happened a little later than usual due to Miss Helen’s nap time.  I knew today would be a little hectic with the Mr. not reporting back for dad duty until 8-ish the evening (he left at like 2AM – somehow we were not up at the same time!).  I made a plan and a priority to get some exercise in before taking H to preschool.  I decided LAST NIGHT what I was going to do.  4 miles on the treadmill and some light stretching – I think it’s so important to make a plan!  Then again, I’m a big time planner.  It doesn’t just stop with work-outs.  I was asking Holden to help me plan out our summer fun stuff over breakfast.  His request was the zoo and Colonial Williamsburg.

After breakfast, I plugged in the treadmill and got started.  Did I really want to?  Yes and no.  I really wanted to write in my journal, put on grown-up clothes, start laundry, hang out with H, clean up the breakfast dishes (which I finally just did!)…you get the idea.  There are so many things as moms that we have to do/want to do.  It’s so hard to make your personal health (physical and mental) a priority.  I find this to be especially true when I let the dreaded G word enter the picture…guilt.  Guilt that I should be doing this, more like this…etc.  It’s so hard not to let our “to dos” overtake us.  I am plenty guilty of this.  Doing one thing at a time and writing a list of the top 5 things that need to get done that day are helpful, but what really needs to be done is letting go with the mind.  Being open to what God has for us in each day.  I know that I will be ready to take on the day (and His plans for it) better if I move in some physical way over the course of the day.

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7:51 pace (4 miles)

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Holden practicing his cutting while I’m running – Roscoe trying to join in

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I just can’t give up ridiculous rap music when running.  I’ve tried.  #fail

I hope you get to enjoy the sunshine today (and maybe even a run/exercise of some type)!

Natalie