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Short pre-race report.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Had a good nights rest. I'm carbed up, fat and happy. The weatherman is predicting cool weather. The course has been called "flat as a pancake". All good news for my 2nd marathon.

Spark people has been a huge part of my training and racing efforts. In my offline life I am kind of a loner, don't do group runs. Don't know a lot of local runners, except nodding at them on my runs. So, I do get lots of moral support from you guys. So, it's my friends right here in addition to my family that motivates me.

I'm seeking a pain and injury free run primarily. Of course, I wouldn't mind lopping a few minutes off my previous effort. That was 5 hr 20 min 04 seconds.

Here's hoping that this 66 year old man is still able to grow, and has not peaked, or God forbid, begun the downhill slide yet.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDAKAY228 2/3/2013 9:27AM

    Hope it went great! I am kind of a loner like you and don't have any running buddies. Don't even know of any running groups in my area (rural small town). I kind of like it that way. But like you, I get so much support here!

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ROXYZMOM 2/3/2013 8:18AM

    You have trained well for this marathon! I am expecting great results and to read a race report filled with enjoyment over the 26 miles you are about to run! You are a great inspiration! Thank you!

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KANDOLAKER 2/2/2013 9:16PM

    Hope you had a fabulous 2nd marathon today! Can't wait to read about it soon, and hope your recovery is smooth and pain-free. All the best!!

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PMRUNNER 2/2/2013 8:09PM

    Hope you have a great run, Vic!

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DAPHNE_RUNS 2/2/2013 7:33PM

    Good luck Vic. I have no doubt you will get tons of support will find a few "Vic's chicks" during your run. Lol!!

I think this race will be a lot of fun for you. You were coming off an injury your first marathon and it was really hot and humid that day. Also, you have put in the just get out there and run!

One of these years I will get around to running a full, until then I will cheer my spark friends on who are willing to run the distance.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MASRITE 2/2/2013 6:50PM

    Good luck tomorrow. I know you're just going to kill it!! Can't wait to read all about the run. Rest up!! emoticon

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NWFL59 2/2/2013 5:23PM

    Hope you had an enjoyable injury free marathon in the cool weather! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KA_JUN 2/2/2013 3:46PM

    Have a great race! Know how that is, I typically am comfortable in my solitude when I ride or run. emoticon

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ONMYMEDS 2/2/2013 11:15AM

    From one 66 year old to another, Hell no, we haven't peaked yet. We've only just started. Everything else was just preparing us for these prime years.

Have a great race!!

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YOUNGNSMYLIE 2/2/2013 11:09AM

    emoticon Have fun out there!

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BUTTERFLY-1976 2/2/2013 10:45AM

    Good luck & have fun!!

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DALID414 2/2/2013 10:19AM

    You'll do awesome, I'm sure.

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RHONDALYN10 2/2/2013 9:49AM

    You continue to impress me! Flat for a second marathon is perfect!! Can't wait to read the post report and I am quite certain you will beat your first time!

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WONDERWOMAN 2/2/2013 9:17AM

    You're doing Tallahassee right? Becki (Marathon_Mom) will be there doing the full too. Look for her. I'm sure she'll be wearing her Marathon Maniac gear.

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NATPLUMMER 2/2/2013 9:06AM

    Good luck and have fun!!!

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FLGIRL1234 2/2/2013 9:03AM

    You're so inspirational! Good luck today!

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BROOKLYN_BORN 2/2/2013 9:03AM

    Go for it! You make all of us seniors proud just by showing up and doing it.
66 and still in the race! Good luck.

Comment edited on: 2/2/2013 9:04:56 AM

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LAURIE5658 2/2/2013 8:57AM

    Go gettum' Vic!!!!!!!


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SYNCHRODAD 2/2/2013 8:48AM

    Your ability to do everyday tasks and chores well is the true measure of the downhill slide. If you are a marathoner at all, then you have not gone downhill in the physical measure that counts. May you reach a new, pain free peak today!

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LHEFFERN 2/2/2013 8:39AM

    emoticon wow!

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Tapering for a Marathon.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Tapering for my first marathon drove me nuts. I was new to this and wanted to run all the time. Like all new things for me, I tend to get obsessive. I wanted to run everyday, and my aging body would not allow.

Now that I've been doing this for about a year and a half, I'm more accustomed to it, and feeling less inclined to overdue. Nice. I know my limitations, yet I continue to push on to strengthen until I peak. A delicate balancing act, training without overtraining.

My tapering process has returned. I've done my longest runs. I maxed out with a 22 mile LR; now my longest run, tomorrow, will only be 10 miles. I ran a shorter 4 miler and a 6 miler already this week.

Not piling on the miles during taper weeks is rather enjoyable this time around. I find myself with time on my hands, so I do other stuff to keep me busy.

I know I'm 'allowed' to eat a bit more too, to store up the glycogen supplies in anticipation of the approaching massive assault on my old muscles, tendons and bones. Another benefit - eating!

Yeah, taper weeks are kind of nice this time around.

Thanks for reading and have a great day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MBSHAZZER 1/31/2013 4:35PM

    Personally, I LOVE the taper! It's the not being able to run AFTER the marathon that stresses me out. Enjoy your race!

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SKINNYPOWELL1 1/30/2013 2:54PM

    emoticon enjoy your low mileage, I can't wait to be on the taper in 4 more weeks, which seems like an eternity. When's the race?

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CM_GARDNER78 1/27/2013 3:54PM

    AWESOME!! Can't wait to hear about your marathon!!! :-) Keep up the great work...and enjoy the eating!! :-) LOL

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BROOKLYN_BORN 1/26/2013 7:37AM

    You've got the right idea. Just follow the plan. Looking forward to your race report. Good luck!

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STRIVER57 1/26/2013 2:09AM

    what was astonishing to me was that it really mattered, in my half. i can't run that fast on regular runs! enjoy & good luck!

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NWFL59 1/25/2013 8:45PM

    Glad you've been able to make the mental adjustment to have a taper week prior to marathoning. emoticon

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RUN4FOOD 1/25/2013 8:29PM

    Enjoy your tape time. Sounds like you are ready and will do great.
Have fun and enjoy the whole process. I always found it to be an exciting time.

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MASRITE 1/25/2013 8:09PM

    OK, when is the marathon again? You're going to do great again!!

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ROXYZMOM 1/25/2013 7:59PM

    You are doing great! I can't wait to read about you marathon. I had to laugh when you wrote
"only 10 miles"!!! That's my long run :)

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DALID414 1/25/2013 1:47PM

    I miss running. Haven't been healthy enough all month! I like running for the eating more part emoticon

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SOUTH_FORK 1/25/2013 1:43PM

    Best of luck on your upcoming race... actually- scratch that- best of you on your upcoming race! Good for you for enjoying this taper week; a foreign concept for me (still only sprint distance running)!

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KA_JUN 1/25/2013 1:26PM

    Nice job, sounds like you're prepared for your challenge!

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NATPLUMMER 1/25/2013 11:28AM

    I'm glad you are enjoying your taper :-)

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BUTTERFLY-1976 1/25/2013 11:27AM

    Enjoy your taper week!!

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SEABREEZE65 1/25/2013 10:36AM

    Good luck on your marathon. You will do great!

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FLGIRL1234 1/25/2013 10:32AM

    Ahhhh I can't wait until, for me, ten miles becomes "only ten". lol

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PMRUNNER 1/25/2013 10:23AM

    My favorite marathon running advice is "start slow and taper off" A different taper, I know, but tapering helps remind us that, at times, excitement and adrenaline are not our friends and can be counter productive to our end goal if used improperly.

Wishing you fleet feet and strength for your upcoming race!

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SYNCHRODAD 1/25/2013 10:05AM

    I have never run enough to taper. It is my hope someday..,,

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Inspirational Local News Story about my nephew, Nick Newell

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

10 second commercial followed by video of my nephew Nick Newell, being refused entry into Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The quote from UFC President, Dana White is shocking to me, but I give him points for honesty.

Hoping Nick will eventually prevail and gain admittance into the #1 MMA venue, which is the UFC.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MASRITE 1/29/2013 10:25PM

    Finally got to watch the video of your nephew. AMAZING!! He is so inspiring. I hope he gets to the top!!

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BROOKLYN_BORN 1/24/2013 8:42AM

    A very strong and determined young man. Thanks for sharing the update.

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ROXYZMOM 1/23/2013 9:21PM

    Your nephew has worked so hard to get to this point I have no doubt that he won't give up. His victory will be extra sweet!

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CM_GARDNER78 1/23/2013 4:03PM

    Dana White will be eating his words...I don't doubt it. He's too busy worrying about the women's events....when he has time he'll check out your nephew and we'll be hearing about him in NO time!! Thanks for sharing this. I love the UFC - can't wait to see him in the octagon!

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BUTTERFLY-1976 1/23/2013 1:32PM

    He should be allowed to fight!!!

Dana White said 'no women' now he's getting an all women event. He'll be eating his words again with your nephew!!

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SEABREEZE65 1/23/2013 11:58AM

    A very strong young man in many ways!

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NATPLUMMER 1/23/2013 11:21AM

    emoticon He'll get there...he's got the drive.

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DALID414 1/23/2013 10:42AM

    My boyfriend said the same thing dixieworkhorse did about Dana not letting women fight. He'll be eating alphabet soup soon!

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MARATHONDAD 1/23/2013 10:19AM

    he will get there soon Dana white talks out of his ass most of the time. he will be in there soon enogh

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SOUTH_FORK 1/23/2013 10:06AM

    Love these updates on your nephew. Shame on Dana White- Nick has enough of a fight in the ring to not have to fight just to get into the ring!

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    Dana White also said that he would never allow women to fight in UFC and that is about to happen. Your nephew will be there shortly. I will definitely watch when he does.

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DAISYBELL6 1/23/2013 9:01AM

    Good for him! He sounds like a determined young man. Hopefully, he will prevail and be allowed to fight.

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SKINNYPOWELL1 1/23/2013 8:47AM

    This is an outrage. They should not discrimate against anyone.

emoticon I am cheering for your nephew, all the way. This is one tough sport and if he has a record that speaks for itself, let him fight. WOW, truly a remarkable young man.

You should start a petition or an email campaign to Dana White, you have a lot of support from your fellow Sparkies to back you up.

Comment edited on: 1/23/2013 8:47:42 AM

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I Do Other Stuff, Too.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

One of my other hobbies is ham radio. My interest got started with radio stuff when I was a teenager. My grandmother bought me a transistor radio, which had a short wave band on it. I used to lie in bed at night and listen to the distant AM radio stations from the US and overseas. Also, I heard the shore stations sending and receiving morse code to and from the ships at sea. I was fascinated with the patterns and wondered how this strange language worked.

Years later when I joined the Navy, I tested high in morse code aptitude, and was offered "Radio School". I did well with the morse code, my electronics not so well. I passed school and was sent to the Panama Canal Zone at Navy Radio Balboa, and was assigned the CW (continuous wave, or morse code) station quickly. I rapidly progressed to high speed CW, and have loved morse code ever since.

So the years passed, and I got my ham radio ticket, and I continued with my love of CW. I often operate high speed. There are few people who do this kind of speed, and it becomes necessary to go much slower if you want to accommodate and communicate with others via morse code. However, one must exercise high speed if one desires to maintain this level of speed. It can be stressful operating at just above ones maximum speed, but that's how you improve. For what it's worth, I am talking about 40 to 50 words per minute, a very fast pace.

So, all this typing to express what I have found to be, the similarities between CW/morse code exercise, and running exercise. The paces in each can be stressful or relaxing. But both paces are necessary to maintain a useful fun filled stride. To backtrack for a bit, I cannot compare my skills in running to my radio skills, one is average - the other is excellent. But, the comparison remains, regardless of skill level.

I thought about writing this blog when I participated in a radio exercise on January 1st of this year. We had an event called "Straight Key Night" whereby ham operators are asked to get back to their roots and use a hand key rather than an electronic keyer.

To chat more and relax more with other like minded hams. This once a year event is very popular, and there were lots of straight key operators on that night, and early the next day. I talked to 14 different stations and had a swell time. This pace for me, in not uncomfortable, and enjoyable. Even though I am capable of the higher speeds, I acclimate myself to the pace and enjoy.

There can me much enjoyment in the excitement of fast pacing and knowing you are in an elite category of participants. And, the converse is true, there is also much enjoyment to be gained in the slower stride of just enjoying a hobby for the sake of doing it.

I hesitated to write this blog, because it necessitated a longwinded explanation of ham radio. My first draft was really long, so I shortened it a lot. If you've gotten this far in the reading, thanks for sticking with me and I hope you've found it interesting.

Thanks for reading and have a great day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKINNYPOWELL1 1/22/2013 8:49AM

    Thanks for sharing a little bit about you, who knew? And good comparision to running, I'm more of a dash dash dash instead of dot dot dot.

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FUNFROG79 1/21/2013 11:41AM

    Very cool, thanks for sharing!

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STRIVER57 1/21/2013 2:17AM

    very interesting blog. my father was a navy radio tech (in ww2).

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CM_GARDNER78 1/20/2013 10:48PM

    Wow! That is really cool! I love it! I do not know how to operate the hand key, but I have had the opportunity to tap on one. :-) Not sure I did anything that anyone could decipher, but fun nonetheless! I like watching people use them.

Thanks for sharing - I find this quite interesting!

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KA_JUN 1/20/2013 8:42PM

    Very interesting, thanks for posting it! emoticon

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NWFL59 1/20/2013 8:25PM

    Enjoyed the blog. The few times I use cw, its slow and mostly to work the short DX exchange but not to ragchew. For ragchewing I prefer PSK31 over most of the other modes. --... ...-- -.. . .-- ....- - -- -- emoticon

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JENN03275 1/20/2013 7:54PM

    Very interesting. Ty for sharing your other hobby.

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BROOKLYN_BORN 1/20/2013 7:43PM

    I was going to impress you with a reference to the Morse Code in Independence Day, but Synchrodad beat me to it.

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SPEEDYDOG 1/20/2013 7:32PM

    I know what you mean about long blogs. I think you did just fine explaining your hobby. I think it is cool that you can use a straight key. Can you tell certain key operators by their "fist"?

You probably don't use a key that often to be able to determine who sent a message just by listening to the rhythm.

Fun stuff.


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MASRITE 1/20/2013 7:24PM

    Loved reading about your other hobby!! Very interesting and didn't know much about ham radio until now!!

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SYNCHRODAD 1/20/2013 5:09PM

    Two current events in which Morse code saved the day. One was the peaceful acquisition of a first strike weapon called "Red October." Flashing Morse code. Then there was the world saving CW Morse code used when those pesky aliens had disrupted all enhanced communications in "Independence Day." I bet Samuel Morse never saw that coming.... emoticon

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DALID414 1/20/2013 4:14PM

    It was an awesome blog, I was very interested. Is this where the HAM part of your SparkPeople name is from?

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SOKKERNUT 1/20/2013 3:33PM

    What an very interesting hobby. How cool.

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RUN4FOOD 1/20/2013 2:21PM

    Don't think I've ever seen any comments on the similarities of running and morse code. Sounds to me like you are very good at both.

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BUTTERFLY-1976 1/20/2013 12:50PM

    Very interesting..Thanks for sharing!!

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JOPAPGH 1/20/2013 11:53AM

    I enjoyed this post. Rock on, regardless of speed!

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KELSEY54 1/20/2013 11:48AM

    That is so interesting. It is nice that you have stuck with it. emoticon

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NATPLUMMER 1/20/2013 10:48AM


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SEABREEZE65 1/20/2013 9:40AM


My brother was in the Navy and stationed in the Panama Canal zone - you know - a few years ago - probably about 1963 give or take a couple of years. He had something to do with electronics at that time.

Comment edited on: 1/20/2013 9:42:23 AM

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KANDOLAKER 1/20/2013 9:04AM

    Very interesting indeed! Thanks for sharing!!

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ROXYZMOM 1/20/2013 8:58AM

    Very interesting! I learned something new today! Do you practice every day to keep up your speed?
And...Is that why your Spark name has "ham" in it?

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How Much Is a Dollar Worth To You?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I had a great 8 mile run this morning. I was really surprised that it went so well, because usually, the week after a longer race, I am pretty whipped. Not so, this last race or the HM before it. I actually 'raced' last time, not full out, but still raced and not just used it as a training run. And yet, I feel great today, 4 days later.

That is encouraging, I think my strategy of slowing down for most of my training runs is working for me. I have a 20 miler coming up this Saturday, and I am ready for it!

So, today I started out slow running, like 13mm and walking for the first mile. A nice warm up, then stepped it up a tad. Maybe run/walk for 3/1 minutes. Then around mile 3 I just ran and walked as felt like it, keeping my HR nice and low, around 145 BPM. I ended up running most of the last 3 miles or so. When it was done, I felt really good and invigorated. No sense of needing to 'rest' or recover at all.

When I was at mile 5 or so, I see a dollar lying on the ground. Woohoo! I found a buck! But wait... I am running so well, nice stride, my new method of paying close attention to my posture and foot placement is working great, I'm really in the zone. Maybe I should just keep running.

Are you freakin' kidding me? Who thinks like that? Did I actually just CONSIDER passing by that dollar, because I am in the "zone"? Man, you are pathetic, just stop and pick up the dollar already - how long will it take you - what? - 10 seconds?

Which what I did. I looked around and no one saw me stop running to pick it up. No cops, either. Heh heh. Got me a dollar.

Now I continue running and am wondering how I am going to describe this ridiculous scenario to my Spark Friends.

Thanks for reading and have a great day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DALID414 1/11/2013 2:14PM

    Thanks for the laugh, I REALLY needed it today (after the crappy week I've had).

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CM_GARDNER78 1/10/2013 10:52PM

    ALWAYS stop and pick it up!! LOL Even just a penny! :-D

Love the lesson of the slow training - it's good to keep in mind when I'm racing around feeling like I want to conquer the world in a day, and really if I just slow down I'm making better progress in the long run! Good lessons!

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LISAINMS 1/10/2013 5:03PM

    Bonus! I love when a great run pays off (one way or another, lol).

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REMEMBER2BME 1/10/2013 4:04PM

    Great job! It definitely sounds like you are in your zone. I love how you describe your scenario. It definitely means you are a runner when you consider such things.

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KIMPY225 1/10/2013 2:44PM


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FUNFROG79 1/10/2013 2:15PM

    emoticon Thanks for sharing, so funny!

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RUN4FOOD 1/10/2013 2:10PM

    Sounds like you are doing very well.
Congratulations on your good 8 mile run and good luck on your up coming 20 miler.

Me too on the $1, I would have picked it up.

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BUTTERFLY-1976 1/10/2013 1:50PM

    LOVE it!! I would've thought the same thing..but in the end I would've stopped to pick it up. It's amazing the things we think when we're in the zone!

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    Thanks for the smile! emoticon

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LINDAKAY228 1/10/2013 12:43PM

    I would have picked the dollar up too LOL! I do pick up even pennies, because a couple of friends and I have kind of a laugh at who finds the most money on their runs. I throw whatever I find into a jar and save. May sound strange to stop my running for a penny but it's just a fun game. Many would not think it's worth it. But a little fun helps my run. A dollar I would definetely stop for. Now if I could just find a trillion dollar coin I would really be set! (That's in the news as a way to raise the ceiling debt. )

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KANDOLAKER 1/10/2013 12:05PM

    Ha- great blog! Hopefully you were able to get right back into that zone!

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JOPAPGH 1/10/2013 11:58AM

    Anything larger than a penny gets picked up. My biggest haul so far is a $20 bill.

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JACEUG 1/10/2013 11:19AM

    Nice one!

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ROXYZMOM 1/10/2013 11:06AM

    Yayyy! You were in the zone!! I would have picked it up too - and used it towards a protein shake when I was done :)

It is amazing to me how much I think of my SparkBuddies when I am running - everyone is so motivating! We are all in it together!
Pretty cool!

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NATPLUMMER 1/10/2013 10:59AM

    emoticon Fab run....and you even got paid for it ;-)

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SYNCHRODAD 1/10/2013 10:55AM

    What is funny is that all these thoughts occur in less than a second. Sounds like you turned around to get it. Your blog also shows how good you feel in the zone and how it influences your life. At the height of Bill Gates wealth accumulation in Microsoft stock gain, it was said he made more money during the time than he would get if he stopped to pick up a hundred dollar bill. I'd stop to pick up a hundred dollar bill, probably with a skid mark....

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-FROGGIE- 1/10/2013 10:52AM

    love it!!!


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HALFFAST 1/10/2013 10:48AM

    Too funny! And I could also see myself having the same conversation with myself. Hate to mess it up when I'm in my zone!

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SEABREEZE65 1/10/2013 10:40AM

    What a great running heart rate. Good for you. And now you are RICH! Woo Hoo!!

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SOUTH_FORK 1/10/2013 10:21AM

    Love this story- of course you had to go back for it! I had to fight off the urge to pick up a 18"x3' granite slab the other morning... I kept thinking I could somehow strap it onto the stroller and just keep going... Sanity prevailed on that one. Glad you're not too tuckered out from your runs; I can only imagine putting in that sort of mileage!

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FLGIRL1234 1/10/2013 10:16AM

    Hahaha. From one runner to the other I totally got why you didn't want to stop to pick up the dollar. lol, we are funny that way.

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SKINNYPOWELL1 1/10/2013 10:15AM

    Hahahahah, great story. I will come to a screeching halt to pick up a penny. I have a money jar with all my running money. I know I've had a good run when my fanny pack is full of coins, ahhhh the simple things in life amuse me. I found 3 five dollar bills once, cha-ching. emoticon It pays to run.

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