Sunday, August 23, 2015

Marathon Training week 5: 99 problems


So after all was said and done, after that bad long run last Sunday, I decided to stick to my training plan. I got up early Monday morning to run 6 miles at marathon pace. Miles 1-4 were good. I started to struggle with the humidity about mile 5, but I pushed myself hard. And mile 6 was my fastest mile of them all. I needed this run and I'm glad I did it. I don't think I could have run 12 at this pace in those conditions, but I was glad to battle through this one. Average pace was 8:43min/mile.



Tuesday was CrossFit/MetCon with Becky. She gave me a little lecture on sticking to the plan, and that Monday's run was important for me to do after the long run. She also talked to me about not letting a bad run get in my head. As far as mental toughness goes, she told me that yes, mental toughness comes from pushing through a bad run but also pushing past a bad run, letting it go, and moving forward to the next workout. She reminded me of the importance of recognizing when I've had enough. That was the boost I needed.


For this workout, I first did 3 minute intervals of jumping rope, lunge steps with an overhead plate, and push-ups. The remainder of the 3 minutes was on the rower. After I completed the interval, I got a 3 minute rest period. I needed to improve my calorie burn on the rower each time. Which I did. Then she had me row for 500 meters.

Wednesday was yoga. The theme for the class was shakti. Anyone who does yoga has heard of shakti, which is sanskrit for power. More specifically, shakti is the female embodiment of power. Shakti is the power behind the power. The Yin to the Yang. The female to the male, Shiva. Shiva is energy, Shakti is power. Without power, energy is nothing. So everything we did was the power behind the pose. I'm way in over my head here. We did a lot of deep stretches. And it was awesome.


Thursday was my usual double workout of speed work and CrossFit. I woke up with a migraine and nausea, which was not good. I had a couple cups of coffee, and the headache wasn't going away. I decided to tough it out anyways. The temperature and humidity had dropped, and it was 60 degrees when I got to the retention pond. It was also very windy. I knew that half of my trips around the pond would be with the wind at my back, and I decided to make the most of that. But my splits were actually pretty even! I was happy and surprised at how well I did. The running took my mind off the pain in my head, but when I stopped, there it was. When I got home, I took my ibuprofen and zofran, and hoped to get the headache down to a dull roar before CrossFit. Plus I was having lunch with Marcia, and I needed to feel better!


At CrossFit, Becky first had me pick up two 35# kettlebells, and instructed me to carry them around the block. The goal was to keep my shoulders up and engage my core. It was much harder than it sounds, and I had a sensation of sinking down while I walked. I'm pretty sure my arms are a few inches longer now. I had to set the kettlebells down 3 times to catch my breath and shake out my arms. After that, I did box steps with a bar, followed by hamstring curls on the ball. And then came the fun part.

We went back outside. First I had to throw a shot put forward followed by the backwards toss of a slam ball. Then Becky strapped a parachute to me and had me sprint across the lawn. I did this 3 times. I repeated the cycle. After the final parachute sprints, she had me sprint all out x 3. I was amazed at how much faster I ran without the parachute. This workout put a huge smile on my face! And how many people can say that about their marathon training?

Do my arms look longer than usual?



Friday: I had the day off, and I could have gone kayaking with my friends for Kayak Friday again! But I promised my son I'd take him for his driver's license. First, I went for a yoga class. I love Megan's class--this one is more gentle and less athletic than my Wednesday class, which is just what I needed after yesterday's speedwork and CrossFit. Megan talked about how we have thoughts flitting around, like birds, and we need to try to prevent them from nesting in our heads. That was some good imagery. I felt great after class, and I collected Matthew to go for his license.


When we got to the DMV, the place was packed. We checked in at the front desk and were told it would be a "2-3 hour wait". I was feeling pretty zen from yoga, and I didn't want to disappoint my son, so we sat down. Isn't the DMV the most inefficient place you've ever been? Besides the post office? After an hour, when our number was called, I joked to the employee that I felt like I won the lottery. She just glared at me. "Didn't they tell you it would be a 3 hour wait?" She then proceeded to dress me down because I didn't go to the facility closer to our house. Apparently it was all my fault that her facility was so crowded. Then she unloaded on my son because we came 5 days before he was eligible for his license. 5 f-ing days. Some supervisor came over and told my son that "he should have known better". I believe he said "it's the law" when I asked why they couldn't just let him proceed. 5 f-ing days. Bottom line, we left without a license. My son, who usually lets things go, was really upset about the way we were treated.

The birds were swarming. Trying to nest in my head. Ignore! Ignore!
Saturday: I asked Becky if I could do my long run on Saturday instead of Sunday. The weather forecast was much more favorable on Saturday plus I really wanted needed to have this run done. While my legs felt much better this week than last week, this run was complicated by a portapotty stop at mile 4, an iPhone malfunction at mile 9, and a side stitch at mile 11. The side stitch really threatened to derail me, but I knew I had to power through this run. I stopped once or twice to relieve some of the pain, but when I ran, I really concentrated on the breath and exhaled on the side that didn't hurt. Thankfully, the side stitch only lasted for that mile and finally went away. I was really empowered by that. I so needed this run to go well, and in spite of the glitches, I was pleased. No birds nesting in my head this week. 14 miles in 2:07:27, average pace 9:07. I'll take it.


Sunday: I headed out to do the 5 miles on my plan. Immediately, and I mean with that first step, my side stitch came back. Are you even kidding me? What is that all about? So right away, I worked on breathing it out. It would not go away. Couple that with my heel pain, and it took everything I had not to stop right then and there. I made it to 2 miles, and called it quits. I walked home, really unhappy.


And then, out of the blue, I got a text from one of my friends. She and another friend were going for a walk, and would I like to join them? I haven't seen either of them for a while, and I joined them. Walking and talking with them was the best medicine for my wounded psyche. Sometimes things are meant to be. There is nothing better than time with friends.

So in spite of my "99 problems", it was a strong week of training. I looked back and read the post I wrote one year ago. It was really helpful to do that. In spite of my long run challenges, my speed work is faster this year, and Becky's pushing me harder on my interval training. I need to ease up on myself. Last year, my expectations were much lower. I'm really glad I have last year's posts to refer to. I also wanted to share this graph which was sent to me by one of my running friends this morning.

You know where I'm at right now. There's no where to go but up! And that's my mantra heading into week 6.


Finally, this song by Jay-Z put a smile on my face during the long run. Because yep, I got 99 problems! Don't we all?

How was your week of training? Anything threatening to derail you? Have any good DMV stories to share?

I'm linking up with Holly at HoHoRuns and Tricia at MissSippiPiddlin for their Weekly Wrap! Be sure to see how every else's week went!


84 comments:

  1. Becky is a smart lady! I also find it helpful to go back and look at old posts as well - they always serve as a great reminder to how far you've come. :) Nice work this week, even if you did have a few problems!

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    1. She's a very smart lady! Now I just have to get past this recurrence of my PF. It's always something, right?

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  2. I know all too well how you are feeling. The ups and downs of marathon training. I was right there battling with ya today during my run!! I am so thankful I had friends with me running this morning. They are the reason I kept moving!

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    1. Haha, misery loves company! Hopefully, we'll be on an upward trend next week!

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  3. Great job / pace on that 14 mile run! And seriously, your cross fit day pics / posts always seem so fun!!!! If I am ever in Chicago, I'm going to crash your cross fit day:)

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    1. Oh that would be fun! I do love my cross training. If it were just running, I wouldn't enjoy my training nearly as much.

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  4. Definitely ups and downs. You are getting so strong! I really like the creativity in your program. Hang in there!!

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    1. I have to keep telling myself that this past week was a glitch, because my training has been going so well. I do love this training plan!

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  5. OMG, DMV is the WORST! I think I had to make like 3 trips before I actually got my license here when we moved. Every time it was another niggling little thing & I was like why didn't you tell me that last time?

    I'd say you had a great week! One bad run is definitely not the end of the world & you hit all the hard workouts, which is the most important. Great job!

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    1. These weekly summaries are so helpful for me...puts everything in the proper perspective! After writing this, I walked backwards from the ledge...

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  6. I swear the DMV people are trained to be especially rude. I definitely would not sweat the aborted run. I think switching your long run to the day with better weather was wise.

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    1. I just feel badly for my son because I don't know when we'll get to go back. I think I have to take him out of school and go right when they open.

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  7. What a strong week of training! Sounds fun to run with a a parachute and then without to see the difference in resistance! Way to go on your 14miler, your pace is awesome!

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    1. I was pretty happy with that 14 miler...it wasn't perfect, but it was the farthest I've run in almost a year!

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  8. Ugh, the DMV! No fun ever.
    Marathon training is full of so many emotions...it's like a roller coaster. You just never know how a run might go or feel.

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  9. When you're down, the only way to go is up :-) Just like that graph shows! You're doing awesome!

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    1. The graph made me feel so much better about things!

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  10. ew, just thinking about the DMV makes my head hurt. Great week of training even with some of the fits and starts. At least you knew when to push and when to just let go. You're gonna do great!

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    1. I think I'll be fine. I believe that you need a few bad runs to make the good ones more appreciated. Altho I'm done having bad runs now.

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  11. Um, every experience I've ever had at the DMV has gone about like that; I think I'm relieved to know that it's not only in Arkansas! I was starting to think it was just us - ha! I hate that he wasn't able to get it done on Friday; that's a bummer. I love the song "99 Problems!" Perfect - ha! Side stitches are weird; I think I've read some things about them before, like what causes them, etc., but I don't remember any of it. They stink, though, I know that! I hope things go well for you this week; you're doing great!

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    1. The side stitch yesterday was weird because it was there when I started! Ugh. Who knows why?

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  12. Those CrossFit workouts sound killer! And the DMV - UGH!! I hate that place. The people could at least be nice to you after a long wait like that. So sorry you had to go through that for nothing and that you have to go back and do it all again in a few days. yuck.

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  13. Does anyone actually like to go to the DMV? YACK! I have had some major stomach issues I am slowly figuring out which has been haunting my long runs for the past few months. SLowly but surely I am getting answers!

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    1. Just when I get my GI issues figured out, something new triggers symptoms. Sigh.

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  14. I am pretty sure that when people get fired from WalMart they go to work for the DMV- worst place on earth! What an awesome week of training. I am feeling like this foot is derailing my whole life! UGG, I am headed to the doctor this afternoon- deep breath, I am sure it is something I don't want to hear! :(

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  15. You had a great week of training! Those parachute sprints look tough.

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  16. I had an awesome week of training, so I am totally expecting this week to be a bit less than optimal. Tis the roller coaster that we ride with what we do. The hope is that there are more ups than downs, and that the cresendos of awesome line up with our big moments!

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    1. So funny that when I think back to last year, I thought it all was just perfect. Then I read my recaps. Pretty much the same as this year! LOL. Ups and downs. Hoping to be on the upswing. PF be gone!

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  17. Looks like you had a great week. Those parachute run looks killer-killer and really fun too!

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    1. All that crossfit is fun. It's the highlight of my marathon training!

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  18. I struggled with a stupid side stitch on a short run recently too (last week?). It's like WTF? I never get these! Mine threatened to come back the next day too. You had a great training week even with your 99 problems. OMG the DMV! Ugh. Yes, your arms look at least 4 inches longer. LOL. I loved your video of running with the parachute. Very creative training. Thanks for linking with us today!

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    1. Isn't it weird? I don't think I was breathing funny. I may have been a little dehydrated tho. It was deceptively humid that day. I also have 99 excuses....

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  19. What a strong week of training! Those parachute sprints look so challenging yet so fun. I'm definitely at the point in my training where I feel all of the fatigue, but looking objectively at how each run actually went makes me feel a lot better about it.
    The DMV is the worse. When my husband lived in Detroit, the ones there were utter chaos - they didn't even give numbers out! In Seattle, they're all privately owned rather than government run, so they're surprisingly efficient - we got a car registered in under 20 minutes! Hopefully things go smoother for you when you go in with your son later this week (ridiculous that he couldn't just take the test then!).

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    1. It's good to know that I'm not the only one feeling fatigued! I was pretty discouraged this week. Hoping to turn the corner (and the cooler temps predicted this week will help!).

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  20. Ah, the DMV. I loved how Oregon does things--I got my new license in an hour, and had my car tags in under 20 minutes. Why can't every state do it that way??

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    1. I live in the most corrupt state in the US, so it makes sense, right? Washington state and Oregon just seem so much more civilized.

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  21. I love the variety in your training plan! You're right - you're at that low point now, but you know things will look up soon.

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    1. After reading Laura's post at This Runner's Recipes, I feel so much better about my week. She talks about cumulative fatigue and how important it is to train on tired legs; that in the last 6 miles or so of the marathon you need to be able to draw on that training. It makes total sense to me now. Hopefully, I can push through this and start heading into the home stretch feeling positive!

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  22. I think having a great workout after a bad run is essential! It always helps me get back in my groove and restore my confidence! Your Crossfit workout sounds intense and awesome!!!

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  23. Ahh - that phone call for a walk with friends - totally meant to be :)
    I swear, I think Beetlejuice hit it on the head - isn't that the movie that said certain people who die have to work in like an eternal DMV? They are the grumpiest people.. I don't understand the wait. & half the time, they do just send people on without what they came for. Maybe that's why they are so crowded - people have to come like 3 times to get what they need. Geez.
    Great job working out when you felt bad... you push through it all tough lady!

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    1. I really believe that there are no accidents...when my friend texted me, it was the best thing ever.

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  24. The photos in this post are priceless! I love that meme about the DMV and the very first one. Gotta love overhead walking lunges! Hopefully the humidity is on it's way out.

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    1. Today is gorgeous...just a little windy. I think it's going to be cool for my run tomorrow!

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  25. Sometimes we just have tough weeks.... that's what makes you strong. Loved your parachute video this week, I had never seen that before but can see why it would be effective. Hang in there !

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  26. 1) Really good point about mental toughness and getting over a bad run. I remember when I was training for my first marathon I had an awful 14 miler and felt like I was never going to be able to go further, but my coach at the time said to just think how much better the other long runs will feel knowing I felt like crying on that 14 miler. He was so right!
    2) DMV is awfulllll. I had to jump through hoops to get my registration renewed this year.

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    1. I hope that my long runs get better after this. I have to remind myself that this is the farthest I've run in a year!

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  27. I love your crossfit pics. I would really like to give that a try one of these days.
    The DMV is the worst. It was such a pain when we moved to Maryland to get new licenses, etc.
    I hope this week goes better for you!

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    1. The cross fit was the key to my marathon success last year! It's also a lot of fun!

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  28. AH I hate the DMV! When I moved to Maryland it was such a hassle to get my license changed and I am so glad I don't have to deal with that place on a regular basis. Changing my name after I got married wasn't too bad, but I think I just got lucky that day.
    Sorry that training has been a struggle for you lately, but I think that there are periods like that when we are just about to turn a corner in a training and we start seeing alot of progress. Plus, with fall right around the corner the cooler temps will help tremendously! Becky's pep talk sounded like a good one:)

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    1. The more I read, the more I realize that this is a normal part of the marathon training cycle. I don't remember this from last year, but every training cycle seems to throw something new at me!

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  29. Wow, I am impressed that you do speed work and crossfit on the same day! Have you ever tried to do a backbend when you get side stitches? I used to get them all of the time and I never had one again after I started doing a backbend every time before a run. It worked! as for the DMV....uggh, that sucks. To wait in line 3 hours and be turned away? They need a better screening process. At ours there is a desk you check in at, tell them what you are there for then they make sure you have all the correct paperwork etc....maybe that would have kept you from waiting.

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    1. I'm going to have to try that backbend trick, as a matter of fact that is the pose for tomorrow's #7daysstretch for prana. Who knew?

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  30. You had such an awesome training week and your paces were so good! Congrats. Love reading about your cross training. So impressive.
    I thought I was the only one with the bad stitches. I've been getting them all Summer and they are so frustrating. Sometimes they are so painful, you have to stop. I really think it's dehydration.

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    1. I agree. I almost never get side stitches, but when I do it's really hot and humid.

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  31. The DMV sucks. Basically, every single government-run agency out there operates on a mode of complete inefficiency where they abide to the letter on nonsensical rules. Their employees are generally extremely crotchety and condescending, too. I am really, really sorry that you had to go through that experience.

    I love the note about how mental toughness comes from pushing past a bad run, letting it go, and moving on. I struggle with SO much with letting the bad runs go. It's so hard to forget them, you know? They just create that seed of doubt in the back of your mind and keep nagging you! I definitely need to work on my mental toughness.

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    1. It is hard to forget those tough runs! I'm great about ruminating on negative things. I'm working on mental toughness too.

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  32. So many training ups and downs! It's crazy how our mind gets the best of us sometimes!

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  33. You had a great week! Glad you didn't let the bad long run derail you. Your crossfit workouts look intense - love the parachute sprints. I've always wanted to try that :)

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  34. The roller coaster of emotions in marathon training - it is just crazy!

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  35. Wow! Super strong week, girl! You rock!

    And Becky sounds amazing! She is tough, but she is doing a great job of moving you along towards your goals! You are going to be so happy with your results!

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    1. It's so good to recap the week, so I don't focus on the bad run--overall, it was good!

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  36. Still sounds like an awesome week! Training with a parachute looks fun and cool! That sucks about the DMV thing though! Hope you have a great week!

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  37. Overall despite the tough runs you did an awesome job! I so admire all of your hard work - I wish I could say I did yoga, crossfit, run and carry around 35 pound kettlebells in one week!

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  38. OMG! I really only thought in Mississippi did they "train" employees of the DMV to be total asses! To really excel at making every single person feel like it is their fault they have to be at this sucky, freaking job!!!! Oh and let them take your picture they are the best at snapping the button just when you look your absolute worse! You should see my husband's picture, he really looks like a serial killer! Despite your problems, you had a great training week! I loved the picture of you running with the parachute! Thank you again, for all your support with the link up! Have a great week Wendy!!

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    1. While we were waiting, I was listening to the lady taking the pictures. She was quite enthusiastic, very different from the rest of the crew at the DMV.

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  39. I read all your posts diligently. You should next write a book on your journey.

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  40. The DMV is a total nightmare. Last time I was there I arrived 30 minutes before they opened and the line was already around the corner!!
    There has to be a better was to manage it. So sorry about your crappy experience.
    Great job on your training this week! That 14 miler was solid!!! :)

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    1. I think an appointment system would be a good thing at the DMV!

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  41. Looks like an awesome week of workouts! I'm trying something new and adding more variety into my week. A little of this and a lot of that makes for a lot of motivation.

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    1. Absolutely. You know how I feel about switching it up!

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  42. Omg I have been having that stitch problem too idk what it is?? The past few runs it comes on hard and feels like a stabbing pain and I can't get rid of it. I had to stop a long run way short (6 miles) because of this last week. So annoying. I'm heading for a long run after work and am really nervous...I have those birds nesting in my head for sure and am trying to think positive thoughts.

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    1. I hope the birds fly out of the nest! You got this Patty!

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