Happily, today felt like Friday, since I have tomorrow and Monday off for my super-fun Chicago bachelorette party and shower trip!

It was also a long run day, meaning I ate a lot.

Like chicken soup:

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And a bagel with a bit of real butter:

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And Greek yogurt with granola:

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And a homemade protein bar:0325 005

I didn’t take a lunch break today so I could leave at 4 instead of 5, so I kind of munched bits and pieces all afternoon.  Works for me!

Also, check out my cute new flats:

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I got them at DSW last night.  They’re super comfy, and the color is kind of a light gold-ish pewter that really will go with everything.  I wore them with a burgundy wrap dress to work and got several compliments.  I think they’ll be perfect for my trip!

Anyway, I bounced out of work at 4, excited about my long run.  I was ready to tackle 11 miles!

0325 006See?  Don’t I look ready?  I think this is going to be my half marathon outfit, because the pants and top are my favorites.

Anyway.  This was my first long run…well, I won’t say FAILURE, but it was my first really, really sucky, painful long run.

  • Mile 1: Feel good.  Except my left knee hurts and is kind of clicky.  Huh, that’s random.  Ow.
  • Mile 2:  My gum falls out of my mouth, hits the treadmill, and flies about four feet behind the treadmill.  I gather up every ounce of badass dignity I have, pick up the gum, and throw it away. 
  • Mile 3:  Treadmill to my right is invaded by some girl in a velour track suit with a rhinestone rainbow on the back.  She alternates between giggly texting on her phone and singing along, out loud, to her iPod, while walking a 30:00 mile.
  • Mile 4: Take Gu at Mile 4.5.  Knee stops hurting.  Mmm, Chocolate Gu is delicious!
  • Mile 5:  Feeling good.  Hey, I’m at the halfway point!  Switch from Dan Savage podcast to music.
  • Mile 6:  Treadmill shuts off after an hour.  I reset it for another 5 miles and keep on chugging.
  • Mile 7:  Urp.  I don’t feel so good.  At mile 7.5, I literally have to make a choice between vomiting on the treadmill console or risking pooping my pants on the way to the bathroom.  I feel like a real runner, and thankfully make it to the bathroom.  GI distress ensues.
  • Mile 7.5:  Reset treadmill for 3.5 miles.  Keep chugging.  Feel slightly less ill.
  • Mile 8:  This sucks this sucks this sucks.
  • Mile 9:  Maybe I’ll have a little more chocolate Gu.  Open another one, eat about half.  Slow treadmill down to a 10:20 mile.
  • Mile 10:  Whoa, that was a bad choice.  Grip sides of treadmill so I can keep from falling over or passing out.
  • Mile 10.4: Get the chills.  Begin dry heaving.  Throw in towel.

Grand total: 10.43 miles.  I stopped giving a shit about time somewhere around the first GI incident, but I kept up a 10:00 pace until the last 3 or so miles, when I dialed back a little.

Anyway.  Not an epic success, but I’m trying to be positive.  It’s still a PDR, and I have been hard on my body this week.  I ran HARD Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and went into this run feeling sore, and tired, and generally worn down.   In the long run, 10.4 miles is still great, and it’s actually longer than Hal recommends in his training plan.  But, it’s still a little worrisome for the race in two weeks.  Eh.  We all have crappy runs, and now it’s over.

Currently, I’m eating the only thing that sounds remotely appealing to me:

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Plain elbow macaroni.  The thought of meat (or anything else, for that matter) makes me want to puke right now.  But this is pretty good.

I have a post for tomorrow, but I’ll be on a bit of a blog-cation the next few days.  I don’t think I’ll have access to post anything, but I promise giant recaps full of wedding porn when I get back!

How do you get over bad workouts?

Snow? In March?

This has been SUCH a long day. 

I rolled out of bed at 5 so I could be at work by 6:30.  Worked from 6:30-noon.  Hey, guess what?


It started snowing/raining/sleeting late last night and continued throughout the night.  This morning, it turned to snow.  We now have probably 4-5 inches of snow on the ground.  And it’s March 20th.  Not cool, winter.  Not cool.

The upside is that it’s supposed to be in the 40s tomorrow so hopefully it will all melt.  But still, sucky.

I was absolutely determined to get the shopping-related errands done today.  They’ve been stressing me out for the last week and I was tired of it.  So I forged ahead and did my errands, snow be damned.

First stop: Ulta, for shower hostess gifts.  I have 7 hostesses (roughly) so it had to be something reasonably inexpensive.  I’m going to wrap them up with a note hoping that all their showers will be as nice as mine!

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And a nice flatiron for my hair.  My straightener right now is a joke—I think I bought it at the drugstore for $9.99 my freshman year in college, and it doesn’t work.  I’m so tired of long hair, but I want it to look nice for my shower/bachelorette parties/etc, so I figured I should splurge on a nice one.

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Then I stopped by the running store to a) restock on Gu and b) pick up some odds and ends to wrap up for my sister’s maid of honor gift half marathon registration.   My friend/the owner Bob was there, and of course he asked about my shoes.  Guiltily, I told him that they just weren’t working all that well and showed him my dead toenail/new blisters. 

He felt bad and gave me some new cushiony insoles to try.

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They are so wonderful there, but I think they think I’m a lost cause at this point.  Bob admitted that he can’t think of one more thing that would help me that I haven’t tried, and recommended I see a doctor.  (Which I plan to do after the wedding—things are just too crazy now.)  It makes me sad that there’s really nothing else they can think of that will help my poor feet.  😦

Bob even said, “I’ve never said this before, but maybe you should just go to a sporting goods store, find a pair of shoes that feels good on your feet for $50, and keep trying that until you find something.  At this point, you don’t have anything to lose.”  (Except more money.  But…a nice sentiment.)

Anyway, I got this.  I’m not sure if it’s going to be for my sister or for me quite yet.  Oops. 

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And an array of goodies to give my sister—non-cotton socks, sport beans, shot blocks, various Gu flavors, and Body Glide.

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I also bought a whole box of Chocolate Gu.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?  This should last me awhile, and it’s discounted if you buy by the box.

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Then I headed to the mall and picked up some bronzing airbrush spray while I waited to get my eyebrows done.

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Got my eyebrows waxed, came home, ate dinner, and now we’re watching The September Issue and possibly The Hurt Locker later.

Anyway, not a cheap day, but I think I’m mostly done shopping-wise for my Chicago trip.  Tomorrow’s MUST GET DONE LIST:

  • thank you note for the gift we got this week
  • print/cut/assemble/address rehearsal dinner invitations
  • write out cards for shower hostesses
  • try to get as much Chicago packing done as possible

Anyone else getting unseasonably awful weather?

Irish eyes are smiling

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  I have not celebrated in any way at all today, which makes me a little sad.  I didn’t have the foresight to pack green clothing, unfortunately.  However, I am indeed Irish—75%.  (The other 25% is northern Italian.)  My mom’s maiden name begins with O’ and my paternal grandmother’s maiden name starts with Mc.   I have pale skin, freckles on my shoulders, and enjoy beer more than I should.  I think that qualifies me, no?  Growing up, we would always have corned beef, boiled potatoes and cabbage and soda bread today.  Last year I made soda bread, but this year I’ve been lame and forgotten altogether.  Fail.

Anyway.   Woke up in a hotel room.  My room service breakfast order showed up shortly thereafter.  On the menu today?  More food than I’d intended.  The card I filled out was for eggs and toast and coffee only, but much to my surprise, I got scrambled eggs, bacon, breakfast potatoes, orange juice, and coffee.

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The eggs were terrible.  So was the bacon.  So, I had toast, potatoes, orange juice and coffee for breakfast.  Not the healthiest, but such is life.

I did my work thang in the morning and got on the road back to Kansas City around noon.  It was a four hour drive.  After the coffee debacle, I decided to grab lunch BEFORE I got on the road.

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It was a long, foggy, boring drive.  Thank goodness for Dan Savage podcasts.

Somewhere along the way, I decided I might as well do my long run today.  I’d be back at the office at 3, meaning I could be at the gym by 3:30, do the run, and be home before 6.  If I waited to do it tomorrow, I wouldn’t be able to start until 5 and wouldn’t be home until 7:30 or 8!  Plus, I got a lot of sleep last night and was sitting on my bum all day.

I changed and walked over to the gym.  I wasn’t sure if I’d want two gels or one, so I brought two just in case.  I also brought some Gatorade powder because I remember craving it during my run last week. 

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And…the running commenced.  Today marked the start of double-digits for me with my first 10 miler!  I broke it into two 5 mile segments.  I took the Tri-Berry Gu at mile 5, and refilled my water bottle and added some of the Gatorade powder.

The first five miles weren’t bad, and I definitely felt a nice energy rush after the Gu.  But at about mile 7.5, my energy started to wane.  Fine.  I can push through low energy.  But at mile 9, I realized I probably a) should have saved the gatorade for post run and b) probably should have incorporated both gels into the run.  My stomach started feeling kind of barfy and sloshy.  Nonetheless, I pushed through, literally counting down the seconds until the 10 miles were done!

All in all, 10 miles in 1:40:00—I stuck the treadmill at 6.0 and left it there.  (I took maybe 1 minute to reset the treadmill and fill my bottle, but whatever.)  It wasn’t a bad run, but I think that I learned that 9 miles and over requires two Gus—maybe at mile 4 and 8 or something.  I also forgot a stick of gum, which helps with dry mouth, so I drank too much water which I think contributed to the stomach issues.

My right foot is also a hot mess.  It kind of reminds me of raw ground turkey.  And the toenail just keeps getting blacker.  Sigh. 

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In other news, remember the awful yellow flowered capris Victoria’s Secret sent me instead of my rehearsal dinner dress?  Well, the actual rehearsal dress showed up yesterday.

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I need to wear it with Spanx to smooth everything out, because it’s a little clingy, but I do like it and the price/casualness level was perfect.  I think I’ll wear it with some kind of sandal, maybe.  It’ll also be good to take on the honeymoon. 

So, that’s that.  10 miles, in the books, and I lived to tell the tale.  Just tack a 5K onto that and I’ve got a half marathon!  Eep!

Are you Irish? Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

Invitations out, new shoes in!

I had one thing on my mind when I woke up this morning.

0227 001 Getting our invitations mailed!  We are exactly 10 weeks away from the wedding today, and today was the big day.  No turning back now!  I can’t wait to get back some RSVPs.

This is an incredibly unflattering picture.  Yuck.

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Second order of business: going to the running store to see if they could help me with my heinous foot and leg problems of late.

For those of you who have been here awhile, you’ll recall that about a month ago, I went to get fitted for running shoes, again, after battling the world’s largest blister, AKA Blistersquatch, in my right arch.  The store put me in New Balance 769s, size 8.5, wide width.  Since then, I’ve had shin splints, calf pain, and a developing new blistersquatch on my left arch.   So, I was not happy with the shoes, to say the least.

I can’t say enough about how well The Sports Medicine Store handled my troublesome feet.  Certain other running stores have basically shrugged their shoulders at my problems, and told me to try lacing my shoes tighter.  I went in today hoping I’d be able to modify my New Balances because I simply cannot buy a pair of running shoes a month. 

The trainer I worked with, Bob, was incredibly helpful from the get-go.  He was 100% willing to work with me on modifications to my New Balances, but after really looking at my feet from every possible angle (on the treadmill running, standing, sitting, with socks and without socks) he told me, flat out, “We made a mistake and put you in the wrong shoes.  You should not be in a wide shoe, and you should probably not be in a stability shoe either.  We’ll fix this, and we’ll have you running Chicago this fall with a smile on your face.” 

Hearing that floored me.  How often do you get that kind of service?  They don’t usually take shoes back after they’ve been worn (let alone for a month) but they acknowledged that their staff fitted me incorrectly and were willing to remedy the problem.

I was there for over an hour and ran over a mile on their treadmill in different combinations of shoes.  He looked at the sockliner in my shoe and pointed out that it was very obviously rubbing against my foot—the pattern inside the shoe had faded pretty obviously.  We watched lots of slow-mo video of my feet—my arch was collapsing in the New Balances, and the vertical line on the back of the shoe was, well, not vertical.  I am also bow-legged, which affects my gait as well.  Oh, and the sports trainer recommended I see a dermatologist if I get another Blistersquatch, because “that isn’t normal.”  Poor Bob declared my feet “the biggest mess I’ve ever seen.”

After consulting with Bob, and their other athletic trainer as well, we concluded that these are the best solution to my problem:

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They are Brooks Defyance 2’s, in a size 9, regular width.  (As opposed to wide width, size 8.5s.)  My left foot is barely a size 8, but my right foot is about a size 8 and 2/3, so the larger size makes sense.

They also have some mods on them.  Namely, arch support insoles.  These shoes aren’t COMFORTABLE when I wear them—but my feet feel really locked down, and that’s what they suspect will help the problem.  If my foot doesn’t move in the shoe, it can’t rub, and can’t blister!  I ran in them, with arch supports, and they videotaped it, and the vertical line on the back of the shoe remains vertical.  Which means I’m not pronating in them.  Aack.  I hope these work.

They were happy I was running in Balega running socks, but they thought I might try out a double-layer running sock for extra blister protection.

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They also sent me home with a blister care kit to heal up the decent sized blister on my left foot before using the arch supports.  (Also, they actually put a liquid bandage on my foot IN THE STORE.  How’s that for service?)  I also got some new Gu flavors, per your suggestions, to try.

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Anyway.  I paid for the insoles and socks and everything else, but they exchanged my shoes for me free of charge and let me know that if I have any more problems, I should come in for more help.  I am absolutely floored with how good the service was.  Kansas City runners, get yourselves to The Sports Medicine Store ASAP. 

Then I went shopping.  Mission: find something to wear to the shower.  I big fat failed on this one.  Apparently, from what I can tell, the trends for spring 2010 are shapeless bags, ugly 70s throwback prints, and dingy gray or bright salmon-colored things.  Here are some of the horrors.

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Bleh.  And trust me, these are the best of the worst.  I have been trying to find something on a budget, but that has NOT been possible.  I may just break down and buy this dress online that I love.  (Or maybe this one.)  They’re both more expensive than I’d like, but I’m about to tear my hair out over this one.

Anyway, cross your fingers and pray to the foot gods that these shoes work.  I feel like my feet are the only thing holding me back from making a breakthrough distance and speed-wise with my running!  This is my fifth pair of fitted running running shoes (Adidas Supernovas, Asics Gel Cumulus, Saucony Progrid Rides, New Balance 769s, Brooks Defyance) and none of them have worked.  I’m desperate.

What do you think?  Keep shopping on a budget or spring for one of the dresses I really love?

Eight is Great!

Today I traveled for work.  It was about a 2.5 hour drive each way, so I left home around 7:15 and got there around 9:45.  I did my thang there until 1.  We were served (ta-da!) a standard corporate box lunch:0225 001

I got all excited when I saw they’d put the veggies on the side, but I picked up the wrapped turkey croissant and it was, surprise surprise, dripping in mayo.  Yick.  So, I ate the apple and the brownie.  I had prepared for something like this, though and on my way home, I ate a PB and raspberry preserves sandwich on an Arnold’s Thin:0225 003

And a Clif Mojo Mountain Mix Bar!0225 004

Since I was going to be done with work earlier than usual today, and I know tomorrow’s going to be really hectic at work, I decided to make today my long run day!  My Zensah compression sleeves felt so good last night today I wore them under my dress pants with my heels and knee-highs!  Classy, huh?

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Getting to the gym, though, was a comedy of errors.  I was in the middle of super-rural Missouri, and the main road I needed to use was closed, so I went way out of my way for about 15 miles, and then ended up literally driving on gravel roads to get where I needed to go.  Not cool.

After 3 hours in the  car, I made it to the gym and changed.  Except…where were my socks?  They were nowhere to be found.  I had to walk back to my car and tear the whole thing up from top to bottom to find them.  (They’d fallen in between the door and the seat.)

So, I got a later start than I’d anticipated, but still earlier than on a regular workday.  Today’s fuel of choice?  A strawberry Clif Shot Energy Gel.

0225 005I split the run into two 4 mile runs, since the treadmill will only run for an hour before it stops.  I took the first 4 miles easy at about 10:10/mile pace for most of the time and finished it in 40:30.  I reset the treadmill, took the Clif Shot, drank some water, and set off for the second four.

Honestly, this run would have been perfect if not for my feet.  My calves and shins felt great thanks to the calf sleeves (I didn’t wear them while I ran, but all day before), but my feet…oh, my stupid feet.  Apparently, I’m working on Blistersquatch v. 2.0 on my left foot instead of my right this time.

It’s not a great picture, but that red part is all blister.

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Anyway, aside from my feet, I felt great.  I think my lungs and cardiovascular system are getting on board with this running thing, so that’s good.  But yeah, the feet…I think I may need to go talk to the running store people again.  I can’t afford new shoes, but I think a cushionier sock might help.  I really pushed a little harder in the second half, and finished that in 39:50, so, in total, I finished 8 miles (for a new PDR!) in 1:20:30 even. 

Including warm-up and cool-down:

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Post-run impressions: I was SALTY.  Like, put me in a pan with some butter and I’d be delicious.  My skin, especially on my face and upper arms was CRUSTY.  Any of you seasoned runners know what’s up with that?  Also, I’m feeling barfy and nauseous.  I think I really didn’t eat enough today—before the run, all day, I’d had a breakfast cookie, an apple, a brownie, a small PB&J, and a Mojo bar…so not a lot.   Also, my buttcheeks chafed again.  I think I will need to get a dedicated butt stick of Body Glide, because I’d prefer not to put the same stick in my asscrack and on my feet.  (TMI, but hey, running’s not glamorous.)

Dinner was plain pasta with a little salt and butter.  Nothing else sounded remotely appetizing, but I knew I needed to eat.   Blech.

I did, however, come home to some fun surprises!  From Tim:

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Oh, hell yes.  Two red velvet with cream cheese frosting, two chocolate with peanut butter frosting.  Just because!  Isn’t he great?  I think later we’ll split two so we can each try both flavors once my stomach feels better.  (Running-induced nausea usually goes away within a few hours for me.)

And the rest of the flower girl/ring bearer gifts:

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These are SO cute in person, right down to the zipper pulls, good quality, and shipped to me with personalization in less than a week.  I highly recommend Etsy seller Deerpath Designs—I think these will make great gifts!

We also got a wedding invite for a wedding on May 22nd in the mail!  Eeek.  I guess we should get ours out ASAP since we’re the 8th.  Good thing we planned to do it Saturday anyway!

Anyway, I’m off to recuperate.  Any advice about blisters, saltiness, buttcheek chafing or running nausea?  Bonus round: what’s your favorite cupcake flavor?


Today was INFINITELY better than yesterday!  (Thank goodness, right?)

I was traveling about an hour away for work.  There was going to be lunch, but I packed heavier snacks since I usually am not a fan of mass catering–a PB&J on an Arnold’s Thin and the remains of a bag of trail mix.

The weather was sunny and beautiful today.  Since I’m carpooling with Tim for the time being, I had to wait near work until 5 to go pick him up.  I contemplated what I was going to do in my downtime between when I’d be done working and when I’d pick him up and decided…hey, why not knock out a long run?  I’d have about an hour and a half to kill, so I might as well.  I was sold!

Around noon I had a light lunch off the buffet they provided–it was Mexican, so I made a wrap with a tortilla, some grilled chicken strips, some salsa and a little cheese.  (Okay, and a small brownie.)  I finished up around 2, and on the drive back to KC I ate the rest of the trail mix and the PB&J in preparation for my big run.

Rewind: the longest I’d ever run (before today! Spoiler alert!) was 7 miles.  This was in October 2008, so a year and a half ago, and it was done the wrong way–I didn’t fuel, and I did it while eating nowhere NEAR enough.  But still, it’s stood as my personal distance record (PDR) since then.  Today, I was determined to smash it.

I prepared.

My inhaler, a stick of peppermint gum, my iPod shuffle, and some Pineapple Gu Roctane I’d gotten for free at my last race.  (Please note the 30 minute limit during peak hours sign.  Yeah, right.  I gots PDRs to smash!)

Anyway, I was justifiably pumped.  The gym was pretty empty, and I’d staked out a good treadmill in front of a TV.  Because my gym LOVES to tune the TVs to the FitTV channel (WHY? If you wanted to do a TV workout, wouldn’t you do it at home instead of behind a random row of treadmills?), I got to watch vintage Gilad circa 1993.  Holy asscheeks, thong leotards were IN.  It was hilarious.

The first 3.5 miles were nice and easy.  I purposely scaled down to a 10:10 mile because I didn’t want to burn out too soon.

At mile 3.5  I took a 1 minute walk, Gu, and Twitter break.  This was my first ever Gu!  It was…creamier? than I expected.  While it wasn’t horrible, a rapid injection of slimy goo is always going to be a test of the gag reflex, especially when you’re panting from running.  I got it down and it was icky.

When I started running again, I picked up my pace to a steady 10:00 mile and then to a 9:50.  As gross as the Gu was, I will say that I think it absolutely helped me to not hit a mental wall energy-wise.  I definitely felt a little peppier afterwards, and while it might be a placebo effect, I liked it.  Two thumbs up for Gu (though I think I need to find a better flavor).

I kept plugging away until I hit 60:00 and…the treadmill shut off?!!?!?  Apparently, the treadmills won’t let you work out for more than an hour.  So, at one hour, I was at 5.85 miles, so I re-started and ran another 1.25.  (Sad, because I was excited to see that 7.1.  Jerks.)

Anyway, I literally had so much energy I sprinted to the finish.  (Note: sprinting, relatively speaking.  I think it was maybe a 9:00/mile pace.)  Final verdict?  7.1 miles in 1:12:25, or just a hair over a 10:00/mile pace.  Hoorah!

Since I couldn’t take a picture of the pretty 7.1 miles on the treadmill, here is proof from my Polar that I at least did SOMETHING strenuous for an extended period of time.  (This includes a 5 minute walking cooldown.)

I win!  Overall I felt very strong on this run.  You know, some days I run and I feel like a rockstar athlete, like today, and then some days I feel like just a random schlub in running shoes.  That’s what makes it so frustrating AND so rewarding–the highs are so high, but the lows can be really low.

Anyway, I picked Tim up from work and we broke into something I’d picked up on my trip.  I’ve seen this on various blogs but hadn’t seen it in my area before.

Surprisingly, after my run my skin was all salty and grimy, so OBVIOUSLY I needed to replenish my salt quickly.  And really, what more pleasant way to do this?  This stuff was incredible.

Anyway, I feel wonderful about today, aside from a tiny blister on my foot and a little bit of chafing.  From here on out, every week’s long run will be a new PDR for me!  I’m excited more than anything.   Chicago Marathon, here I come. Onward and upward!

What’s your PDR?  Are you happy with it or do you plan to break it?