Goalie

No, this post has nothing to do with hockey. Although we were talking about it this weekend and I’m really hoping we are able to watch the games on one of the 4 basic cable channels that we get. Go Wings!!

I have been mentioning that I was really looking forward to getting back into a cross training routine after my 1/2 marathons. I was doing well running and cross training this spring and early summer, but about a month ago, when I developed some wicked tendonitis in my foot, I told myself that I was going to only focus on running until the 1/2’s were over. It meant a lot to me to finish those races, so whatever I needed to do to get myself to the finish line was ok by me. It was especially true once my knees started to get to me and I really had no choice but to rest in between runs.

All of that being said, I have been thinking about my game plan for once the races were over. I knew I wanted to incorporate spin back into the mix, so I set my alarm Sunday night for bright and early Monday morning. I woke up with a sore throat and stuffy nose, but drug myself out of bed anyway.

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I know you guys were really missing pictures of my feet…

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It’s kind of crazy how much I missed spin class. It’s such a change from running and I always feel like I’ve had such a great workout when I’m done.

I have decided to focus on the following in hopes of getting stronger and reaching more of the goals that I am setting for myself:

1- Nutrition- I really can’t eat a lot of ‘bad’ food, but I have been really lax on what I have been eating lately, especially during the month of September. I know that my body performs it’s best when I am fueling it properly, so that is going to be my focus. I know what I should be eating, it’s just sticking with it that’s going to be difficult. It’s going to be the biggest challenge around the holidays but I know I need to stay focused and just do it.
One thing I will not be eating again is this flavor of applesauce. No peach flavor at all… total letdown. I’m sticking with grapple from now on.

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2- Core Work- I have read that a lot of running injuries can be prevented by a strong core. My core is desperately in need of some TLC. As I’m sure it is with most people, my stomach is one of my biggest ‘trouble spots’, so this focus will definitely help to kill two birds with one stone.
I decided to try out a new ab video that I found on YouTube. It’s a great way to get in workouts for free!

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I could tell it had been a while since I focused solely on my abs/core and after 10 minutes I wanted to cry. My abs were on fire in the best possible way. P.S. I’m wearing my shirt from the race last weekend and it was the 10th anniversary of the Park2Park, so they’re extra cool and I should wear it 10x more than any other shirt that I own.

3- Schedule- I have created a ‘perfect schedule’ for myself with daily workouts that I would like to stick to when possible. Keyword being PERFECT, meaning that in a perfect world I would do all of the workouts I set out to complete at the beginning of each week. I know that life will get in the way, so I’m not going to get too discouraged if I don’t meet that goal, but it gives me something to reach for each day. It’s pretty ambitious, so it’s likely something I will work my way up to.

4- Accountability- I plan to do a weekly recap on Mondays to lay out for myself what I really did accomplish in that previous week.

5- New Race Goals- I am not planning on signing up for anything yet, but I want to knock out a couple more 5 and 10k’s before the year is over. Once my running hiatus is over I plan to train throughout the fall and winter, using some races as motivation, so I am in better shape going into next spring. I want to run the Gazelle Girl 1/2 in the spring, followed by the Riverbank Run 25k. I know that it won’t be easy for me, so staying focused in the months to come will be extremely important.

6- Weight Loss- Ugh. I hate this one. I focus really hard on being healthy and not so much on the number on the scale, but I know that I have more weight to lose. I have to face the fact that the more I weigh the more weight comes down on my knees, ankles, feet, etc when I run. Losing weight will help me prevent injury. Period.

7- Motivation- I find motivation from the simplest things, like reading fitness blogs, magazines, TV shows, etc. It is the biggest inspiration to me to see others working hard and reaching their goals, so I plan to keep this up as much as possible.
I will be successful at this so long as the Biggest Loser never goes off the air.

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I know that these will be my 7 goals to success, so staying focused and remembering that my body can do amazing things will be key.

Here’s to the next chapter in this 365 days of health challenge. I can’t wait to see what I can convince myself to do next!

Have an awesome Tuesday!

Race Recap #2

Happy Monday!

I’m so happy to say that I survived my second 1/2 marathon! With a 1 minute PR at that!

This race also took place in Holland at the fairgrounds, just a few miles from the state park and Lake Michigan. I had been told going into this race that it was significantly less hilly than the Holland Haven race we ran just a few weeks earlier, so I was already less terrified heading into it. We got there at 7:45am and the race started at 8am. I get crazy nervous right before races start so I’m glad we weren’t there too early and just standing around. I had 2 cheerleaders on Saturday, and of course my Bear starting by my side, so I was feeling energized and ready to go. We started on a dirt/grass track and headed into one of the surrounding neighborhoods before heading toward the lakeshore. I struggled A LOT more mentally during this race. Around mile 3 I remember thinking ‘I really don’t feel like running today’. It was pretty terrible considering I still had 10 miles left to run.

I wore my IT band sleeve and it really helped with the pain, but my calf was really tight the whole race. It was something I was definitely not used to, which freaked me out. At least with my IT band pain I knew what to expect, but I didn’t know what this was, how bad it was going to get, how it was going to feel after the race, etc.

The weather for the race was great, so I didn’t feel uncomfortably hot or cold, which was really a relief. I don’t think I could ever do a mid-summer 1/2 marathon. There were plenty of water stops, and I know there was supposed to be energy gel but I didn’t see any. Luckily, I had my own!

I remember starting to feel fatigued during mile 12 of my first race, but it started to kick in around mile 10 of this one. I started to get really annoyed with every song that came on, everyone who was around me, the course itself, etc. I was just over it. I couldn’t wait for the race to be over. I tried to hard to think positively to get me through. I kept repeating things like ‘you’re running a 1/2 marathon, this is an amazing thing and it’s supposed to be hard or everyone would do it’ and ‘enjoy every second and every step becuse you will never have this moment again’. I wanted to enjoy it. I wanted to cross the finish line with a smile on my face. I reached mile 13 as I headed back into the fairgrounds. I could hear what sounded like hundreds of people cheering from the bleachers and thought ‘ok, this is it.. just a few more steps’. I saw Bear to my left (he’s way too speedy for me) and gave him a high five and yelled ‘holy crap, I hurt’. I looked to my right and saw Meghan and Ashley in the stands, signs held high. I remember giving them some type of signal with my hand that to me meant ‘I’m so done physically and mentally right now’.

It was hard. That’s all I can really say. It was a great course that kept it interesting along the way, but I couldn’t get into it like I did earlier this month. I think I am just so burnt out of running right now that I wanted it to be done. I am so incredibly proud of myself and for my PR. Again, I didn’t have any goals for this race except to finish, so to finish in 2:06:xx was amazing. Here are some pics from the day:

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Overall, I will consider 1/2 marathon #2 a success! I look forward to the lower mileage races that I have in mind for this fall/winter (more to come) and keeping up my training for some goals I have for next spring (more to come on this, too!), but I am going to focus on just cross training for a couple of weeks and letting the knees take a chill pill for a bit. I have a feeling I’ll catch running fever sooner than later, so we’ll see how long this really lasts! I want to start back up injury free, so that is priority right now: healing and strengthening in all the right places.

I’ll be back tomorrow with some of my new goals and a rough cross-training plan for the next few months.

Here’s to a great week ahead!

Tomorrow!

Packet pickup today after work, carb loading like a boss for dinner and the race starts at 8am tomorrow! I’m excited about the cheerleaders that I’ll have along the way and plan to keep this race a lot like my last: slow and steady. I want to find a comfortable pace (without looking at my watch) and just stick with it. I don’t care about my time, just getting to the end. Positive thoughts and good vibes for my knees are appreciated!!

I’ll leave you with two of my favorite cheesy motivational pics:

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Have an awesome weekend! I’ll send a note tomorrow letting you know I’m still alive…. Maybe 😉

Grapple

Oh snap! Got this email the other day and peed a little:

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When the race director starts sending packet pickup info you know it’s getting real. Only 2 days til race day!

How have I been prepping this time around?
Eating as much grapple sauce as possible (grape and apple flavored). This stuff is seriously amazing and this is my absolute favorite flavor!!

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Eating the rest of my candy corn/peanut combo. No, I didn’t eat the whole bag alone…

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Trying SO hard not to get sick. Bear has had a sore throat, cough and sinus pain/pressure for the past few days so I have been loading up on the emergenc and airborne.

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Finishing those crazy grad school classes for the week so I can focus on race day. I get a little crabby when I have to sit inside on a gorgeous night while everyone else is out playing.

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Returning my shoes and trading them in for a different style. I’m trying out the Brooks Ghost 7’s this time around. I think there was wayyy too much support in the other pair that I had and my arches were killing me. I tried this shoe on one foot and the Mizuno Wave Rider (the shoe I’ve been wearing for years) on the other and ran around the store (it’s not weird) and fell in love. There was a HUGE difference in the amount of cushion in these shoes when my foot meets the ground. I’m really hoping these work out better for me. Unfortunately, I won’t have time to break them in before Saturday but they will be my new BFF’s as I train through the fall and winter.

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I was talking to a co-worker who is also a runner and mentioned I was having really bad IT band pain. He recommended I get a sleeve for my leg to help with the pain.

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I did some research and they got amazing reviews online, so I decided to check them out. The woman at Gazelle also said that it was like night and day when running, so I was sold! I’m gonna try it out on a short run tonight (last one before Saturday!!!). Fingers crossed it provides some relief!

Hope your week has been great so far! It’s been flying by for me!

Weekend Recap & The Countdown (again)

Warning: This is going to be one random post and a week filled with countdowns!

We spent the weekend on the east side of the state and tried to squeeze in as much family and friend time as possible.

We attended a wedding on Saturday for a friend from high school. The four of us girls were pretty much inseparable in high school and this is the first time we were all together in 10 years!

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We got back to Holland early on Sunday because I had about a million things to do including conquering a laundry mountain 10′ tall, grocery shopping, meal prep, a run (let’s not talk about how much my pace has been suffering lately…someone please trade me knees!):

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And homework, of course:

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Nothing like a little cost accounting in front of the fire to end a weekend…

Now for the randoms:
I am obsessive about having my hair done (not to be confused with actually doing my hair…). I get an idea in my mind and need it immediately. For some reason I fell in love with this Pinterest pic:

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Obsessed with the color, length, style… All of it! My hair was pretty dark at the beginning of the year but my highlights majorly came through during the summer, and since I saw this pic I can’t stop hating my hair! Please tell me I’m not the only one who gets an idea in their head and then needs it asap! This pic also made me wish I looked good in aviators. I still haven’t been able to find a pair that looks good on a round face.

Random #2- I’m done with coffee for a while. I drank my usual large iced coffee after lunch and got crazy jittery. It was horrible because I got stick in a traffic jam for an HOUR and just wanted to run around in circles. Not fun.

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Okay, enough randoms. We are only 4 days away from 1/2 marathon #2! I was worried about the wind (not so much the cold), but the weather is supposed to be MUCH nicer toward the end of the week! I have been trying to break in my new shoes but it’s just not happening. I think I hate them. I’ve had terrible pain in my arches when I run and am getting killer blisters. I think I may need to take them back and exchange them for my Mizunos. I should have known not to mess with a good thing!! Needless to say, I’ll be sticking with the pair that got me through the 13.1 miles at the beginning of the month.

Last night was filled with more homework and Biggest Loser:

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It’s a good season so far but I miss my girl Jillian!

Hope you’re having a great Tuesday! The month is flying by!

New Shoes & Taste of Fall

I’m back! My new phone came in yesterday afternoon and I am officially back in business

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It’s shiny and beautiful and I love it. Ok, it’s the same thing as I had before minus the boob sweat water damage.

I am not sure if it counts as proper 1/2 marathon fuel, but I have been eating candy corn like it’s going out of style. My co-worker and cubicle-mate had NEVER had it!! How is that possible!!? I had to fix that immediately so I stocked up on pumpkin shaped candy corn to eat by itself and regular candy corn to eat the best way ever:

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Peanuts + Candy Corn = Do this immediately! One of the best tastes of fall.

I have been desperately trying to break in my new shoes before next weekend, so I took the new shoes for a spin yesterday after work.

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So shiny!

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I’m not sure why but I thought it was freezing outside so I wore a long sleeve running shirt and about 2 miles into my run I wanted to die of heat stroke. (Ps I don’t know why the towel is like that… Der?) I made it through my run with no IT band pain (yay!) but my knees just hurt overall (boo!). I didn’t want to push it so I kept my pace nice and easy. I think that’s going to be my strategy for the race- the tortoise approach.

I had 0.5 seconds to change and head to ‘Framily Night’ (friends who are as close as family).

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Red face+sweaty hair+smelly. It’s a good thing they love me like family, too!

The night was filled with food, wine, friends, and lots of laughs.

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I’m so glad it’s Friday! It’s been a LONG week and I’m ready for the weekend. Only 8 days till the race. I’m excited for the run itself but not looking forward to a week of anxious excitement.

Have a great weekend!!

Rain Run

Sorry this is such a late post! My phone decided to stop working last night. Apparently running with your phone in your sports bra leads to water damage. Who knew!? Considering I do all of my posts via iPhone, which is where all of my pics are, it didn’t work out for writing this post on time. For some reason my phone is working right now so I’m gonna get this out ASAP. My new phone should be in tomorrow and I’ll be ordering a waterproof case for running! Lesson learned!

My run yesterday was painful. I had to stop 3 times in 4 miles to stretch my IT band. Next weekend is going to be rough but I’m so looking forward to it!

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It’s getting close!!

Is this not the weirdest way to eat a pear?

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It’s all mangled and weird looking but it was delicious.

My run yesterday was so cold to start. I had to wear a jacket and long pants! Bye bye running skirt weather! 😦

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This was obviously pre-run because I got caught in a downpour and it turned into this:

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It was pretty refreshing. I honestly don’t mind running in the rain. I just look like a sad like wet rat/dog after.

I snuggled on the couch and read for class and then dug into this baby:

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I haven’t been this excited for a magazine since Tiger Beat with Nick Carter from BSB on the cover. 😉

All done while watching American Ninja Warrior and mapping out my plan of attack for winning this show someday.

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Jk, those cats are crazy!

Ok, stopping while I’m ahead. My phone is still working so I’m not going to push it. Hope your Tuesday is going well! Thanks for all of your encouraging posts and texts on yesterday’s post. It means more than you’ll ever know! xo

The good, the bad and the freezing

Life is certainly full of ups and downs. In the past I have really struggled to deal with the downs and be mentally strong enough to push myself through. Since I started my 365 days of health challenge I haven’t had a lot of bad days. Health and exercise has changed my perspective and has gotten me through the inevitable rough patches throughout the year. I have pushed myself to do so much more than I ever thought possible- so how can you have a bad day while staying so positive!!? Bad days happen so I have been focusing on turning the bad into the good and just moving forward.

I had been hinting at some potentially exciting news, which unfortunately ended up being some pretty disappointing news instead. I had applied and interviewed for a new job at work and found out Friday that I didn’t get it. It came down to me and one other guy. It happens. I have a strong resume and interviewed well, but it just wasn’t in the cards for me. Was it disappointing? Absolutely. I am a very competitive person so I don’t like feeling like I ‘lost’ at something. The positive? I love my current job. The only reason I had any interest in this new job was because it was an opportunity in a different area within the company. I have a great boss and love the team that I work on. So I’m definitely not too upset about not being selected for this new one.

I have also been feeling like my body’s been losing a lot of tone lately. I know it has a LOT to do with switching gears and focusing so much on just running. I have been having a lot of trouble shifting my focus back into the total body workouts because I’m so used to lacing up my shoes and hitting the pavement. The positive? I ran a freaking 1/2 marathon and will run another in a couple weeks! I can’t believe that and am so proud of myself and how far I’ve come. I have to realize that it’s ok to focus on just one thing at a time.

I was looking at some old pictures and found one of myself at my heaviest. It was spring of 2012 and I was very self conscious and unhappy. I hated taking pictures and really only ever wanted to stay at home. I had a very unhealthy diet and lifestyle. This picture was right before I started running and really focusing on getting healthy. The picture on the right is from mine and Bear’s 3 year anniversary dinner this July.

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I have had a very gradual weight loss. People who don’t see me all the time tell me that I look fit but it’s really hard for me to see it at times. I knew that would be the case going into it, so I focused on health and fitness over being ‘skinny’. I set goals for myself and just focused on meeting them one at a time. That being said, I know I’ll get to where I want to be, it’s just going to continue to be a journey and not an overnight transformation. I can honestly say that I’m not at all that girl on the left. I have taken control of my life and am really starting to love who I am.

More good? Bear’s home! After a week in Japan he is back in the mitten and sleeping off his jet lag.

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Here’s a Japanese Starbucks- he knows me well:

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I got to spend some time with my best friends who cooked an awesome dinner for me:

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GF/DF curry! I had never had it before and it was amazing!! I have recently acquired a taste for spicy food, so this definitely hit the spot!

Working in an office can really suck because there are always donuts, cookies and cupcakes (we even had a waffle breakfast) and I can never eat any of it (ok, maybe it’s a good thing 99% of the time)!! I was beyond excited when I got an email about Paleo cupcakes that were in the break room for someone’s birthday!

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Hello triple chocolate deliciousness!

Finally, the cold! We’ve been experiencing a cold front that has made it feel like fall. I love it! It was an awesome summer but I am so ready for cold weather and fires INSIDE the house!

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The kips love it, too!

I’ve been doing some research into new jackets and boots since they’re calling for a winter like last year!

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This one is at the top of the list.. Cute and functional, who’d have thought!??!

It was a great weekend and included a lot of snuggling with these two:

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Looking forward to the week ahead! 🙂

Happy Monday!

Traitor

I went to bed Tuesday with great intentions to get up yesterday morning for spin. My alarm went off and there was just no way it was going to happen. I’m hoping that my body just needs to re-adjust to having class 2x per week and getting home late. It also doesn’t help that I couldn’t start it up on Monday since my legs were still recovering. I always do much better with something when I start fresh at the beginning of the week. I’m going to make Bear push me out of bed on Monday when my alarm goes off and not let me back in. I’m pretty sure it’s the only way.

We had some major storms come through yesterday.

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It was really awesome considering how far away I had to park. I had to go out for a meeting in the afternoon and my hair went from this:

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To this (even with an umbrella!!):

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I stayed out for lunch while I was out and headed downtown to my favorite place everrrr:

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I had logged some major miles on my shoes through the summer so it was time for a new pair (darn! ;)). After trying on about 100 pairs of shoes I decided on these beauties:

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I was a lover of all things Mizuno but have been converted over to the land of ‘Running Happy’. These Brooks Ravenna 5’s are absolutely amazing! I decided on these after going over all of my recent knee/foot/blister issues and making the salesman repeat the pros and cons of each shoe about 14 times. I feel like a big fat traitor leaving my Mizunos after 3 years of loyalty, but these Brooks are extremely supportive and I will try just about anything to alleviate these pains.

I broke my own rule of Starbucks on Monday and Friday only yesterday. It all started with this email:

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Three bonus stars when I buy an Oprah chai? Sold.

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This promo lasts through the weekend, so this may happen again. Sorry, Bear but I spent all of our savings on Starbucks. 😉

The rain finally let up in time to drive to and from class. Then all heck broke loose and the 900 mph winds started. There’s a cold front coming through… Bring on fall!!

Happy Thursday! Have a great day!

How NOT to Recover

I forgot to post one of my favorite pics from the race. My bf was there with signs and followed us through the race to cheer us on. Knowing this girl was just up ahead made it that much easier to push through. She even made signs for all of us!

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Yes, we are wearing pants. 😉

I think it’s safe to say that most people avoid anything to do with using their feet/legs after a race. I tried to lay low as much as possible but Bear and I thought it would be a great idea to go to a concert the day after and get STANDING tickets. 4+ hours on hard cement and I was almost in tears by the end of the night. Not to mention it started at 8pm on a Sunday, which was way past my bedtime. The concert itself was AMAZING. We saw The Black Keys and Cage the Elephant (think bluesy rock) and both bands were better than I could have ever imagined live.

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Not a great idea for recovery, but it definitely made me happy, which is what 365 days of health is all about!

Let’s switch gears- I need to be better about going to the gym! I promised myself I would but my recovery post-race took a little longer than planned. The spin bike is calling my name!!

I did manage to run 2 pain free miles during lunch yesterday. It was my first run since Saturday so I didn’t know what to expect knee-wise. I was extremely happy that I was able to run completely pain free!

I ate lunch in about 5 seconds and was starving around 4 so I decided to dig into my ‘class snacks’ (yes, I’m 12 and need snacks). I almost cried happy tears when I was grocery shopping this week and realized Honeycrisp apples are back! I cannot wait for apple picking this fall. I don’t care if they’re $45 an apple, they are so worth it. 😉 This particular one happened to be the size of my head.

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I put my pen there for scale but it really doesn’t do it justice.

After 3 hours in the business college I headed home and scarfed 2 rice cakes with avocado and one with almond butter and honey. I was starving and don’t think I’ve eaten that fast ever before in my life.

Around 11 I finally crawled into bed and crashed while watching Gilmore Girls (best show in the history of ever).

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Have a greatttt Wednesday!