Conferences and EXCITING NEWS

Conferences first.  Then the other thing.

Our conference meet took place over two days, a week apart.  On the first day, I ran the 4×800 and 3200; a week later, I ran the 1600.

Conference day 1: Our main goal for the 4×8 was simply to qualify for regionals, but we also wanted to win.  I was running the anchor leg.

2:26 first leg, 2:25 second leg, 2:26 third leg.  I got the baton in second place by about four seconds, and my leg was pretty rough, even from the beginning. On the last lap, I finally made contact with the team in first but tied up really badly on the home stretch.  I ended up with a 2:25 split.  We finished second in 9:42, though!  Sooo close to the 9:40 state auto!!  (The first place team ran 9:41, so they missed it too.)

After the race, my entire body just felt awful.  My coach wouldn’t consider scratching me as an option even after watching me practically throw up and pass out on the ground, so I finally accepted that I would have to die run the two mile.  Coach told my teammate and me to focus solely on nabbing a regional qualifying spot (top 6).  I decided to go out conservatively and hope to out-kick whoever was in sixth.

I technically executed that plan perfectly by staying behind- and stepping on- the sixth place girl until there were 300 meters left in the race… I kicked really hard and ran my last 400 in an 81!  That’s something to be proud of considering how terrible I was feeling before the race.

I finished 6th in 11:40 and qualified for regionals.  However, I still feel really bad about how I literally used and abused the girl :/

Conference day 2, a week later: All I had to run on Thursday was the 1600.  I was seeded third with a 5:20, and the first place girl was seeded at a 5:17.  My plan was to stick with her and try to PR and/or win.

Unfortunately, she went ham in the first 800!!  Our first lap was a 35, and her 400 meter split was a 73.  I don’t think I’ve ever gone out faster than a 78 in a mile… I gave my coach the “oh, craaap” face as we came through, and he mirrored my expression.  The girl in first maintained a few seconds over the rest of us, so I ran most of the race by myself in second.

The only picture I could find from the race... ignore the fact that I look like death warmed over

The only picture I could find from the race… ignore the fact that I look like death warmed over

By 1000 meters, my lungs were on fire, but I pushed through.  With 200 meters to go, I had nothing left to kick with, but I finished the race in second place with a time of 5:19.05.  That’s less than a second away from my PR, and it’s a season best and only the third time I’ve run in the 5:teens, so I suppose I’ll take it.  The girl who won didn’t run her second half any faster than I did!

After the race, two of my coaches ended up carrying me off the track because my legs just would not function.  I don’t know what’s wrong with me!  This is happening far too often!!

Three weeks until regionals!  I aqua jogged today instead of running because my foot has been bothering me.

And now for the other news…..

I GOT INTO COLLEGE!!!

…That is all.

🙂

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First 3200 of the year

Yesterday was my first time racing the 3200 since last year at outdoor states where I died dramatically and finished dead last in the faster heat.

Great memories.

Yesterday’s meet was a polar bear meet, so it was outside.  It was also in the 30s and pretty windy.  Not as cold as last year’s polar bear meet, though!

The meet operated on a rolling schedule, unfortunately, so we weren’t sure when our races were.  The running finals started at 12:30, so our coach told my race buddy and me to get there at or before 2 because he figured we’d run around 3.  I ate a light lunch of macaroni and cheese and edamame at 11:30 and got to the meet at 1:45…

…and didn’t run until 5:30!!!

This must have been the slowest operating track meet in the history of track meets.  We went and sat in our coach’s car four different times to warm up, and each time we came back thinking, “They must be on Event X by now!” when they were still on Event A or B.

It was dark, cold, lonely, and I was very hungry by the time our race rolled around.  Most of the spectators had left, and the slower heats of the two mile had all been run that morning, so it was just the fast heat of about fifteen girls.  However, half of them scratched, so there were only seven or eight girls in our final!  Two girls from a school in our region were aiming for the state auto, so our coach told us to stick with them.

Honestly, the best part of this race was my ludicrous outfit: bright purple and pink patterned tights, an electric blue Under Armour long-sleeve shirt, my very tight uniform top, white/pink/blue spikes, gray striped gloves, ear warmer… you get the picture…

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I was the most colorful girl in the race!

Anyway, the first half of the race went out about how we expected.  The two girls went to the front, and I slipped in behind them.  By 1200m, I was really feeling my lack of food (hey, I ate perfectly for a 3 pm race…), and it was tough staying up with them.  One of the two girls started falling back, so I just stuck with her while the other girl lengthened her lead.

Girl 1 went through the mile in 5:35, and the two of us went through in 5:39-5:40.  The girl I was running with really started struggling then, so I passed her.  I had slowed down a lot, but I managed to easily keep a 6 minute pace.  I didn’t kick, but it didn’t really matter because I hung on for second and finished in 11:40.08.  It was a decent time (faster than I ran at outdoor states, haha) considering the cold, hunger, competition, and my lovely outfit 😉  I notched the conference qualifier by a good margin and didn’t even feel tired 30 seconds after I’d finished!

The girl who won ran the whole thing by herself in the nighttime cold and finished in 11:07, which was a huge PR for her!  Ridiculous!!

The first day of conferences is this Thursday!  It’s so soon; I’m running both the 4×800 and the 3200, unfortunately.  Next Thursday is the rest of the events, and then there’s a three week break until regionals.

Time to rest and tune up!

States was ridiculous

Time for the states weekend recap.  A horror story filled with blood, guts, and glory…. Kind of 😉

We left on Thursday after school.  I decided not to run the 4×800 because I wanted to be completely fresh the next morning for the 3200.  On Friday, our girls’ team ran a great race to get second place in the state, while our boys went crazy and finished third after being seeded seventh or eighth!  They reset their own school record.  Our girls ran two seconds slower than last week (they lost one second by switching fourth legs…so I’m still the fastest slowest leg 😉 ) but there was no way they could ever catch the team in first because that team set a new Virginia state record!

We went to Olive Garden for dinner on Friday night and I took carbo-loading quite seriously with two plates of salad, three bread sticks, and almost the entire plate of spaghetti and meatballs.  I went to bed around 10:45 pm.

Unfortunately, I woke up on Saturday morning and felt like crap.  I was nauseous and dizzy, and after going to the bathroom I realized I was also shaking.  Not like nervous shaking– actual trembling and I couldn’t hold my hand steady.  I just felt really weak.  I made it downstairs for breakfast where I ate my usual pre- morning race breakfast of an English muffin with almond butter and banana. After drinking a crap ton of water, I felt marginally better, but still not 100%.

The three girls who were running the two mile, along with a few boys that very nicely got up early to watch us race, left the hotel around 7:30 and headed to the track.  We warmed up, and unfortunately the sun was blazing.  It wasn’t that hot (probably 75 degrees, which is still warmer than usual) but the SUN was just sucking the energy out of everything.  I felt lethargic and still kind of sick.

I was really excited because I’d made it into the fast heat!  At my first ever open track event at states! There were 25 girls in the 3200, and they drew the line between heats at 11:20.  Remember what my PR is? 11:19.96, so I just barely squeaked in!  I was the very last seed in the fast heat, but surprisingly that made me excited instead of nervous.

Literally only ten minutes before the race, I went to the bathroom and discovered that Mother Nature had tapped me with her magic wand for the first time in five months.  TMI?  Whatever.   Great.  Fucking.  Timing.

The gun went off, the sun was blazing, and the first 200m felt great.  Duh.  When does the first 200 not feel great?

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400m into the race. Yay! I love running! This is going to be a fantabulous race!

At 800, I wanted to quit.  I’m not exaggerating.  It felt a lot harder than it should have, and I knew that this would not be a fun race.

We went through the mile in 5:36 or 5:37, which is PR pace for me.  Unfortunately, it felt a million times harder than it should have and I was ready to drop at this point.  To make matters worse, my senior teammate dropped out during the 5th lap, which made me feel half, “I should quit too” but also half “well, one of us has to finish.”  I went with the latter feeling.  The second mile was death, and I knew I had fallen WAY off pace when a coach yelled to another girl who was struggling in front of me, “88! C’mon!”‘

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The last three laps were a blur.  When the bell lap rang, I had fallen off so much that my goal was to get under 11:50…aka unbearably slow.  I was so out of it that I tripped over the track rail twice in 200 meters and barely made it across the finish line.  I vaguely remember some girl offering me water and then holding me up when I was actually unable to take the water from her because I was so tired and dead.

finished...finally

finished…finally

Honestly, I’m not angry about my time.  I know that there were several factors that played into it, and I do feel like I gave it my all.  Almost every girl in that race had a mediocre/bad/terrible time, so I’m not alone.  Mine was just MORE terrible than theirs 😉

My junior year of running is officially over!  I am now on a seven-to-ten day break, and then I’m planning on running 20-30 minutes easy for about a week before starting real cross country training.  It’s been a great year, folks.  I have six hundred finals to study for.

Conferences and Conjunctivitis

What a week! As you can probably tell from the title of this post, it’s had its ups and downs.

Let’s start with the good-ish.  Tuesday and Wednesday consisted of our conference meet!  (Sorry, no pictures)

All seven of us varsity distance girls were entered in three events: either the 4×800, mile and two mile, or the mile, 800, and 4×400.  I was one of the 4×800, mile, two mile girls.

Tuesday was the 4×800, along with some field events and sprints prelims.  We weren’t running our fastest 4 girls, so we didn’t have an assured win. We thought we could still beat the school seeded second, though, because our combined times added up about eight seconds faster than their season best.

I was the leadoff leg.  The gun went off and I ran a pretty good leg to put us just behind the second-seeded school.  My time when I handed off to my teammate was 2:22 which is technically a PR, but I handed off before the “finish line” because the exchange zone starts at the arrows.  So technically my leg was like 795 meters… I’m still calling it 😉  Our #2 put us in first for a bit, but the other school’s girl had a great kick to reclaim first.  Our third leg (who was our fastest girl in the relay) got off to a good start to put us back in first but the girl from the other school stepped on her shoe and it came off with 600 to go! She ran 3/4 of the race with one shoe but still managed to run 2:21 and give us about a 20 meter lead.  Our final leg ran solidly as well, but the other school’s anchor went out in a freaking 61 (and came back in a 74, but you can’t make up a 61).  The other team had beaten their season best by 10 seconds, so I’m not too upset that we didn’t win.

The next day was the mile and the two mile.  We were seeded 1-2-3-4-6-7-8 in the mile!  Obnoxious of us, I know.  Plus, girls 1-4 had already qualified for regionals, so our school basically stole 4 of the 6 available regional spots for no good reason.  Other than points, I mean.

The mile was definitely tough for me at least.  The pre-race strategy for our top four girls was “Let seed #5 do all the work and pass her at the end.”  Mine was “hang with them for as long as possible.”  We passed the 800 at 2:37-2:38, on pace for a PR for me.  My legs started feeling it at that point, so I dropped back from the top five a bit.  I knew I had to get sixth place, so I hung on as best I could and ran a PR of 5:18.08.  A tiny PR, I know, and I thought I’d gotten the time qual of 5:17.84, but at least I qualified place-wise!  My teammates finished 1-2-3-4 in a strategic race. 5:11, 5:11, 5:11, 5:12.  We ended up finishing 1-2-3-4-6-8! (our seventh girl scratched)  We scored 29 points in the girl’s mile alone and went from losing by 28 points to winning by 1!

The two mile strategy was completely different from my mile strategy.  All I needed to do was score points, not get a good time, so I let two of my teammates battle it out with one other girl (the same girl who had been the #5 seed in the mile) while I used everyone else in the race to pull me along and then went for it with 400m to go.  It was actually so fun because I knew I wasn’t working as hard as everyone else in the race.  With 400 to go, I passed all the girls I’d been using and closed at least 5 seconds faster than any of them. 🙂  My time was somewhere around 11:35, but who cares?

I had a ton of homework, so I only got five hours of sleep Wednesday night.  My eye had been bothering me since Tuesday, but I thought it might just be undiagnosed allergies.  Thursday night, I sucked it up and went to Urgent Care, where I was diagnosed with bacterial conjunctivitis.  Greeeeeeaaaat.  I didn’t go to school Friday and skipped the speed workout.

My eye and head both hurt a lot, and I have multiple long papers to write this weekend.  Catch ya later!

Finally posting again!

Phew! These past few weeks have been full of the SAT, track meets, papers, IB exams and other tests, etc.  Sorry I haven’t posted– I just haven’t had any time!

Here’s a quick recap of my life the last few weeks:

  • I took the SAT! *groan*
  • The same day I took the SAT, I raced the two mile.  My brain was totally fried and we raced really late, but I still got my season goal of sub- 11:20! I went through the first mile in 5:37 right behind my teammate and another girl.  They started to speed up because their goal was closer to 11 flat, so I just tried to hang on.  I finished in a PR of 11:19My teammate won and our speedy freshman ran a 2o second PR and finished close behind me to qualify for states! Cray.
The race photographer stopped after the slow two mile heat (!!!!) so here's a screenshot of a video instead

The race photographer stopped taking pictures after the slow two mile heat (!!!!) so here’s a screenshot of a video instead

  • Hard workouts from the past few weeks include 8x400m between 74-79, 3x1000m/4x200m, and the never-ending 3x800m relay workout (2:36, 2:45, 2:50. Very hot!).  Can you tell we are tapering?
  • Quad meet to try for some regional autos…too bad you can’t get regional autos in a meet with less than ten teams! C’mon VHSL.  I still split a 63 in a 4×400, so that was nice 😉
  • IB Economics exam last week, which meant I only went to school for less than 90 minutes on both Monday and Tuesday
  • Hot weather meant early morning workouts! Not that I don’t wake up at 5:30 anyway, #lightsleeperproblems
  • Unnecessary milkshakes/froyo/French bread
  • But I did counteract it with salads…
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I went a little crazy at Whole Foods…there’s a mountain of spinach under there as well

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  • Mother’s Day!  We went for a family hike including the dog
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He was pretty excited to be there

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  • I tried my hand at being social for once… pizza and s’mores with some friends last night!
People always confuse us for each other

People always confuse us for each other

Life has been pretty crazy lately, but summer is only a month away!  My friends won’t shut up about SATs and college, and it’s driving me insane.  I honestly like talking to parents about college more than my friends because at least the adults make it about you and not a competition.  With friends, it’s more like, “What subject tests are you taking/I’m going to apply Early Decision here even though they’ve never accepted anyone from our school ever so basically I’m better/what do you mean you can’t take the SAT in June what are you going to do/I feel guilty because I’ll get into a better school than my sister/I’m also going to take the ACT/you don’t know what you’re writing your Extended Essay on yet??/wow/this is so not a competition but it actually so is.”

Great way to end a post.  Cheerio!

Snap out of it! and a PR

I was in this weird mental and physical funk for about three days this week.  Mentally, I felt annoyed and depressed.  Physically, my workouts felt more taxing than usual and my easy run on Thursday felt impossible and shitty.

Leading up to the two mile yesterday, I was not excited at all.  I kept thinking, “My legs feel like crap and I’m just not in the same shape I was at the end of indoor.”  I couldn’t seem to snap out of the funk.

My teammate and I warmed up, and our coach told us that we were seeded 1 and 2.  That was a little exciting for me, actually, but not so much for my teammate (who’s faster than me).  She wanted to get the 11-minute mark, but obviously I can’t help her with that 😉

Our coach told me that my goal was to go for the state auto, which was only two seconds faster than my PR, but I still didn’t think I could do it.  Snap out of it!!!

We lined up at the starting line, and the gun went off.  Our first lap flew by (80), and our second lap slowed wayyy down (87), but after that, we fell into the rhythm and started ticking off laps.  85, 85, 85.  Some beeyotch freshman tried to elbow me out of my lane during lap 3 (!!!) but she soon fell back.  We passed the mile mark in 5:41, slower than my teammate wanted to go through, but perfect for me.

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The last two and a half laps felt like death- I’d forgotten how bad two miles hurt.  Coming through with one lap to go (10:01) I honestly wanted to quit, but I kept thinking how furious I’d be if I just missed the state auto time.  Coming around to the home stretch, I did not let myself slow down as I sprinted down the straightaway  and finished in 11:22, a PR by six seconds and a state auto! My teammate got first by about three seconds, and I got second!

As I crossed the finish line, I promptly tripped over my own spike and landed on the turf.  Spectators might’ve thought I collapsed because I ran to the point where I couldn’t stand up anymore, but nope… I’m just a klutz. 😉

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Crossing the finish line ecstatic…

And then tripping...

And then tripping… and hitting my teammate…

Whoopsie

[She’s] going downnnn… I’m yelling timber

I’m very happy that I’m going into spring break on this note instead of still in a funk.  I’m hoping for another week and a half of solid training, along with eating lots of good food. 🙂

T-6 days until I’m licensed!!!!!

I made a list of all the school-related things and other stuff I have to do over spring break and almost started crying.  There’s so much to do…ahhhh!  Sometimes I wonder why I ever signed up for full IB.

Outdoor track goals

As a quick recap, here’s a general summary of what my indoor season looked like, along with my previous PRs:

Mile: PR before indoor- 5:32
5:27
5:27
5:19

Two mile: PR before indoor- 11:59
12:02
11:36
11:28

800: PR before indoor- 2:29
2:23

Outdoor track goals 2014

On my “Goals” page, the goals I made for this season back in August are sub-2:25, 5:18, and 11:30.  I clearly did not expect the time drops that have occurred over the past few months, and I’m really, really happy with my times right now.  Time to edit those goals!

New goals: sub- 2:20 800.  I actually don’t care if I achieve this one or not because I’ve always considered myself to be more of a mile/two mile girl.  Who knows if I’ll even run 800s this spring?  Although I think I’m running a 4×8 in two weeks; obviously I won’t be in sub-2:20 shape by then considering that we haven’t even started doing workouts yet.  But if I run the 800 later in the season, that’s the time goal.

sub-5:15 mile: I really want to see what I can do in the mile this spring.  My 5:19 back in January was completely unprecedented, but it psyched me up for outdoor!  However, I don’t know how much more time I can drop, so I’m hoping five seconds is the way to go.

sub-11:20 two mile: Again, I don’t know how much more time I can drop, since 31 seconds came off in the span of one season.  But it would be so nice to be in the teens!

Regionals!

Regionals! I’ll jump right in.  We left school at 12:45 and got to the sports complex around 1:30.  My race wasn’t until 7, so-lucky me- I got to sit around for five hours.

Everybody’s events were before my race, so some highlights from my team include:

  • my friend won the girls’ mile in 4:56! and another friend ran her season best time
  • our boys’ 4×8 unexpectedly qualified for states by finishing second after being seeded something like tenth
  • another friend ran a season best time in the 1000
  • our lone regional-qualifying freshman toughed it out and raced the 500 while nauseous/sick

There were 22 people seeded in my race; I was the first seed in the slower section.  But the rules stated that if 20 or fewer people checked in, they’d combine the heats.  Exactly 20 people checked in, so we thought there would be one heat.  That would have been great for me because I’d have girls ahead of me, but as we walked to the starting line, the race official went, “There’s too many of you for one heat.  We’re sticking with two.”

Arghhhhhhh.

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After we found out I was the first seed in the slow section, my coach told me that my super-duper-complicated race strategy was to “go for it.” As in, literally go crazy the first mile.  He wanted me to aim for the state auto (which was  11:13 and, oh, only 23 seconds faster than my PR…)

(This is when I tell you I miraculously got the state auto time, right? Spoiler alert: Nope.  Not even close. But I’m not unhappy at all about that because I knew I wouldn’t get it anyway.)

My personal strategy would’ve been to go out around 5:45 for the first mile because that’s 11:30 pace. But no.

Coach: “Just go for it.  Go out in 5:30 or 5:35.”
Me: “Wha-?”
Coach: “Yeah! 5:35 or faster, that sounds good.
Me: “Eh-?!”
Coach: “Have fun with it! See what you can do.”
Me: “But-“

So, being a dutiful runner student and against my better judgment, I went to the front after 400 meters and went through the mile in 5:35… (fun fact: it was faster than the fast heat’s mile split would end up being!)

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I was ridiculously relaxed through the first mile; my arms were low, I had my game face on, I could see and hear everything, and I felt good.

Snapshot 2014-02-20 20-42-34

The second mile was hell.  I felt the effects of that 5:35 hit me immediately after I passed with eight laps to go, and I knew that I was in for a rough time.

To make matters worse, I had to lead for the entirety of the race, which was both physically exhausting and mentally ridiculously difficult.  I. Hate. Leading. It’s so much easier when you can just latch on to the person in front of you and coast off of them until outkicking them at the line!

Too bad I was the person that this happened to…

The bell lap sounded and I tried, tried, tried to kick, but with no one in front of me I had zero incentive.  I focused on my turnover and powered down the backstretch.  I rounded the final curve and….heard a girl come up beside me.

Shit.

After leading for fourteen laps, I had simultaneous thoughts of “This is so unfair” and “Oh hell no!”  I sped up and gave it everything I had; we were neck and neck all the way down the home stretch.

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I ended up losing by three hundredths of a second, but that’s okay.  I had PRed by 8 seconds and finished in 11:28!!  (I only missed the state auto by 15 seconds….hahaha)

My second mile had been a 5:53.  Lesson learned: I can’t go out 10 seconds faster than goal pace……

Huge PR: Potentially the best race I’ve ever had??

I hope I didn’t just jinx my future races by saying that, but yesterday, as you can tell from the title, I had potentially the best race of my high school career so far.

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I was slated to run the 4×8 and the 3200, but my coach decided to pull me out of the 4×8 so that I could focus on the 3200.  He replaced me with my teammate who hadn’t qualified in an open event, and they won and state auto-ed, so I’d say they did very well!

The downside to the schedule was that we left school at 1, got there at 2, and I didn’t run until 7.  Basically, I was bored for five hours.  To pass the time, I listened to music, went to the bathroom six times, and ate.  I actually ate nonstop between 11 am and 4 pm.  (Don’t worry, it wasn’t like I was eating full meals- I nibbled on stuff constantly.)

Race day food of choice: PB&J, 1/2 almond butter sandwich, Dove dark chocolate, banana, Gatorade, whole wheat English muffin with raisins.

The meet officials wouldn’t let us warm up outside because it was dark and cold, so we ran back and forth in a little 100 meter zone.  Unfortunately, we had to cut our warm-up short because they final-called us 4 minutes in.  Oops.  We then had to wait for fifteen minutes while the slower heat ran.  I could have finished my warm-up!

Before the race, my coach had told me to focus more on place than time (top six move on to regionals).   My place goal was in the top five, preferably third.  My time goal was 11:49, which would be a PR by ten seconds and a season best by 13.

The gun went off, and I latched on to the girl I was supposed to within 300 meters and didn’t really think about pace.  I was conscious of passing the 800 in 2:47 and the mile in 5:44, which seemed unreasonably fast at the time because I still thought I was trying for 11:49.  I passed the girl after the mile and just tried my best not to die, ignoring the annoying pain that had started in my right shin shortly before the mile mark.  I hit 15 laps in third place and starting really kicking with 150 to go, faintly hearing the announcement that my teammate had just won!  Powering down the home stretch, I saw “11:31, 11:32…” I crossed the line in third place in 11:36!!!!  That was a PR by 23 seconds and a season best by 26 seconds! I promptly tripped over my feet and fell right into my coach and teammate.

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My teammate and I were in shock- a mix of elation, exhaustion, and disbelief.  Get ready for what I think is the cutest picture ever, although I look toothless. (I suppose that’s fitting since I technically am, right?)

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Many people congratulated us (okay, many people congratulated her for winning, while I faked an indignant glare until they congratulated me, too) and I grabbed some ice for my shin.  We then cooled down and I ate my requisite post-race dark chocolate and banana.

I got a massage today and it felt so painfully good.  Also, I only ran for 20 minutes and I’m not running tomorrow.  Instead, I made pumpkin chocolate brownies and I’m about to make double pumpkin muffins with the leftover pumpkin.  Why would you exercise when you can just stuff your face? 😉