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Marathon Training: Only 5 more weeks!! Time to step up my game...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Maybe I am weird, but I feel more fatigued and sluggish running slow, than I do if I run a moderate pace. It seems like the more I try to keep my pace slow, the more heavy my legs feel, and the more I seem to drag. Am I the only one who feels this way? I am just curious...

So, now that I had a wonderful 23-mile training run (which will remain my longest training run), I feel I am ready to focus more on pace. I have REALLY held myself back from speeding things up for a couple of reasons:

First, early in my 18-week marathon training program, I started having knee pain, which I found out was IT band related. This really scared me. Hadn't had that before, and decided to back off my pace, though I actually suspect it had more to do with the fact that I was biking so much along with my running (bikers often have problems with IT band too, so I've heard). I also ordered a foam roller (which has done WONDERS for me), and read up on all the info I could find about IT band pain. Started doing stretches and exercises as well, and I have not had any knee pain whatsoever for several weeks now, but still, held back a bit.

Second reason was simply that I have been building myself back after having a rough summer in 2010. Got sick, had to take 2 weeks (or 3? I can't remember), and it just really derailed me. So, when I started back, I was really down on myself about my horrible pace.... Then I decided, pace didn't matter, but the most important thing was getting back into a regular running routing, and building my miles back up, so that is what I focused on. I have been running by how I feel, and not so much for a certain pace.

But like I said - TIME TO STEP IT UP!! I am ready!! I set my race goal time for under 4:30. I think this is very reasonable for me, even at a slower pace. My HMs have ALL been 2:05 or under, my HM PR being 1:55.

Last week when I ran 23 miles, I did 9-1, run-walk for the first 27 km. I think this is what made my run so successful, and it has rekindled my interest in more of a Galloway-style of running. So, my goal today was to run my 14 miles (before I changed in my VFFs) at my race pace of 10:15/mile INCLUDING walking every 9 minutes. I TOTALLY NAILED it too!

Run in normal shoes: 14 miles
Goal Pace: 10:15
Time: 2:23:15
Pace INCLUDING walking: 10:11 per mile

Quickly changed into my VFFs and used my bathroom, and took off again.

VFF run: 2 miles
Time: 18:58

And I still got juice left!! I could totally do more... emoticon But I gotta save up for another 20-miler in a couple of weeks.

So, last week's plan was this:
Sunday: Rest (Yep!)
Monday: Run 10 miles, BodyPump
**Actual: Ran 10.6 miles, did BodyPump and P90X Ab Ripper X
Tuesday: Rest
** Actual: Did 30 min out of the 90-min P90X Yoga X (NOT used to Yoga!! Totally new at that!)
Wednesday: Run 4 miles, plus strides, BodyPump
** Actual: Ran 4.8 miles with strides, did BodyPump and Ab Ripper X
Thursday: Run 8 miles
** Actual: Ran 8 miles, did part of X Stretch
Friday: rest
** Actual: Did 40 min of Yoga X and then Ab Ripper X
Saturday: Run 16 miles - Yep, did exactly that!!

Plan for Week 14:
Sunday: rest or X Stretch
Monday: Run 10 miles, Body Pump, Ab Ripper X
Tuesday: Plyometrics (P90X)
Wednesday: Run 6 miles + strides, BodyPump, JM 6-week 6 pack
Thursday: Run 6.75 miles with intervals
Friday: Yoga X, or JM Yoga DVD, Ab Ripper X
Saturday: Run 16 miles

Week 15's long run: 20-21 miles.... AND THEN TAPER!! Only 2 more long runs before my taper! I am almost there!

So, I am feeling on fire! Feeling great, feeling fit, feeling ready to CONQUER this marathon in 5 weeks! Hope I'm passing along some positive vibes....

HAVE AN AWESOME WEEK, all my fellow Sparkers!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BADAMS86 1/26/2011 12:24AM

    Way to go! I hope to be saying someday that I am training for a marathon, but for now I am just working on training for my first half! :)

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SEEHOLZ 1/23/2011 1:23PM

    You definitely ARE on fire girl- wohoo!!! It's starting to get exciting and your body is definitely getting used to those miles- it's great to know that you got more left in the tank, isn't it?

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SUNGODDESS2180 1/23/2011 1:12PM

    I believe that the slower runs are harder because you lose the benefit of inertia, you know, that whole "a body in motion..."

But wow, talk about bodies in motion! You guys are awesome! I am 3 days into Sparkpeople, and I am so inspired by so many people. I was inspired yesterday by a woman who wants to get under 500 lbs, and today by you and guys about your marathons! (I am somewhere in between, need to lose about 80 lbs, but I'm no stranger to jogging, I even jogged a little bit this morning during my daily 3-mile walk.)

Good luck to you all!

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HALEY_DAWN 1/22/2011 10:01AM

    I Like that you write out a plan ahead of time. I am going to start doing that because maybe it will help me stick to it better. Thanks for the inspiration!

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AMOHAME2 1/22/2011 9:25AM

    You're not alone, I always feel a lot more sluggish and tired during a slow run. I think it takes more effort for me to try and keep myself at a slow pace and I'm a lot more conscious of every single step. Running in the snow has had the same effect on me lately, and even though I'm not keeping my pace slow on purpose, it's still about a minute/km slower than what's comfortable. Maybe we just need that energetic feeling we get from going fast!! I actually find I go faster when I run according to feel instead of pace. I ran my first (and only) HM without my Garmin, which I forgot in the car, and ended up running faster than I had planned. I was going to pace myself for a 2:05 finish but ended up finishing in 1:56!!

Reading about your 23 miler is getting me both nervous and excited for my own! I'll be getting into those distances in April for a May 29th marathon. Just looking at the training plan makes me a little scared, and I start questioning what on earth I signed up for!!

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Friday, January 21, 2011

For those of you who might have been following my status or things going on with me in general (not that I am THAT important or anything, but just in case!), I recently posted my frustration over having not received a package from my sister yet, which she had sent on December 15th. Normally packages do NOT take that long to get to me here in Germany, even if they are sent regular mail.

So, I contacted the United States Postal Service AND the German postal service 2 weeks ago, and NEITHER could locate my package. The tracking number that was on the package was LAST tracked leaving Miami on December 19th. There was no further information, and the German postal service said the package was not here in Germany.... hmmmm.

So in other words, we assumed it was LOST, since no one could locate it from either side!
Well, today, I GOT MY PACKAGE!!!!!!!! Oh, my goodness, all I can say is, WHAT A HUGE RELIEF and JOY!

Here is what the contents were:
3 Jillian Micheals DVDs
1 Jackie workout DVD
2 books on running for women
My ACE Fitness personal trainer study materials
Some personal mail that my sister had gotten and was forwarding on to me (Including a new debit card, so VERY important!!)

BUT, not only did I get my package, get this:
I got a letter from DHL (Germany's postal service) APOLOGIZING that they CANNOT locate my package, and that it seems to be lost!! HAHAHAHA!! How stupid is that?

Should I claim the insurance on the package?!?!? (JUST KIDDING!)

PURE awesomeness!! I am so excited! Now, I can really start studying (on top of everything else I do), and planning for a trip back to the States later this year to take my exam and become a Personal Trainer! AWESOME!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEDDYBABE 1/21/2011 7:28PM

    Oh on many levels I bet that was a HUGE relief! Enjoy those DVD's.

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MUMMAMICHELLE 1/21/2011 4:16PM

    That looks like an awesome package, I would be excited too. I have Jillian's DVD's and they are awesome. Hmm...reminder to self I should probably use them MORE!!

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SEEHOLZ 1/21/2011 3:02PM

    emoticon I know what a huge relief!

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ASIAMORA 1/21/2011 11:27AM

    I love that Jackie DVD! It's the one I have. It rocks.

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SLEEPYDEAN 1/21/2011 10:53AM

    Ohhh lots of fun stuff! Worth the wait I guess, but jeez you shouldn't have had to wait thaaat long.

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SRVFREAK176 1/21/2011 10:50AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon!!!!!

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REBECCA1354 1/21/2011 10:48AM


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SEEAMANDARUN 1/21/2011 9:19AM

    YAY!!! Please post a review on those books after you get a chance to go through them. I've been looking at those. Darn Postal Service!

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TRIATHLONBABE 1/21/2011 8:21AM

    Woohoo, I'd be excited too, kind like Christmas all over again!


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AMOHAME2 1/21/2011 7:24AM

    That's awesome that you got your package, and I must say it contained some pretty fantastic stuff!!! Enjoy reading the ACE materials, I bet there's some really interesting and motivating stuff in there!

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REMEMBER2BME 1/21/2011 7:20AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
How exciting and what a package! You will be an even busier bee now. Please let us know what you think of the DVDs. I have JM30DS but that's it.


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FIREFLYBRIDE 1/21/2011 5:52AM

    Better late than never! Glad you got your package!! emoticon

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MARATHON_MOM 1/21/2011 5:38AM

    Awesome!! It was like Christmas in January! So glad that it finally came!

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LAUROCHKA 1/21/2011 5:35AM

    Wow - what a great parcel!
Glad you finally got it.

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Rachel Mac Progress Picture Challenge - Jan.20

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I totally didn't get around to taking pics for last week... But here are mine for this week!

Photos taken Dec. 4th:
Weight: 121 lbs
height: 5'5''

Photos taken today, Dec. 31st:
Weight: 125 lbs

Photos taken Jan 8th, and then yesterday:

The lighting is not the best on the new pics, but oh well.

Good thing is that now I got P90X, and am incorporating it into my workout routine. I am tailoring it to suit me, and so that it doesn't hinder my running. I am really looking forward to seeing some serious results over the next few weeks!! So, here goes!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PUPSALOT 1/24/2011 12:59PM

    You abs are looking solid!!! Can't wait to watch your results with P90X!

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    So toned! Gosh that's amazing! :)

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SHAYGETSFIT 1/22/2011 5:29PM


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REBUILDFIT 1/22/2011 5:03PM

    You have great definition coming it! keep it up!

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NANCYANNE55 1/21/2011 9:07PM

    You're showing muscular development all over- GREAT WORK!

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FLYFIGHTER 1/21/2011 10:33AM

    that is so cool that your lbs went up a tad and you totally shrunk and are looking very hard-body-ish!!!

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JOYINRUNNING08 1/21/2011 10:26AM

    WoooT! You look great. P90x must be working well for you. :)

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RACHEL_MAC 1/21/2011 8:51AM

    Maybe it's the lighting but you look soooo much more toned in this week's pictures than in the ones from 12/31! You look fantastic, slim and toned. Keep up the great work!

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GREENBEAN17 1/20/2011 11:33PM

    Your abs look great!! emoticon

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-SHIMMER-ANN- 1/20/2011 10:59PM

    GREAT WORK!!! You look incredible :) I see some really big changes!!

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AMADEUS620 1/20/2011 10:16PM

    not any changes?! are you looking at the same pictures lol :-P you are definitely leaner all over and your muscles are starting to pop. Also, I LOVE P90X I can't wait to see your pictures after you start it.

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CURVYDIVA86 1/20/2011 3:49PM

    Sooo many muscles!!

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REFOCUS92711 1/20/2011 10:40AM

    Check out that definition! I can't wait to have that :)

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SEEHOLZ 1/20/2011 9:55AM

    You are getting ripped girl!

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LASHERTHECAT 1/20/2011 9:46AM


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ABETTERBECKY 1/20/2011 9:41AM

    Holy abs girl! Way to go - great job!

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STARSTRUCKJEN29 1/20/2011 9:33AM

    Your abs and calves look more defined. Way to go!

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LAUROCHKA 1/20/2011 9:05AM

    I think you can totally see the difference - particularly in your abs!
Well done!

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ALESHABEE 1/20/2011 9:04AM

    Look at you shrink're looking amazing!

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FIREFLYBRIDE 1/20/2011 9:03AM

    Isn't it crazy that we can gain weight & yet lose inches and look better? omg. you look awesome! emoticon

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TESS6166 1/20/2011 8:28AM

    You're looking leaner, love the muscle definition! Love P90X, too. Fabulous job!!

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My P90X Plan: It's time to get serious, Y'all!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

emoticon Ok, so as a long-distance runner, I have been pondering how I can work this P90X into my routine, without overdoing it, of course, and without hindering my running. I have a marathon coming up in 5.5 wks, so I am running... a LOT. But even if I weren't training for a full marathon, running has always been my choice form of cardio, and I plan to keep it that way.

Currently, I am doing BodyPump for ST on Monday and Wednesdays, and I am not going to drop that either... My husband would be a little irritated that we are here paying for a gym membership and I am not goin. PLUS, I love BodyPump, and I love to socialize a little with my other gym-going, Body-Pumping peeps. emoticon

Here's my plan:
Sunday: Rest, or P90X Core Synergistics
Monday: Longer weekly run (7-10 miles), BodyPump, and P90X Ab Ripper X
Tuesday: P90X Plyometrics, or Yoga X
Wednesday: Short run (usually TR or S), BodyPump, and P90X Ab Ripper X
Thurs.: Middle Run (5-7 miles)
Friday: P90X Shoulders & Arms, or Chest & Back, AND Ab Ripper X
Saturday: LSD (3-4 hr run), P90X X Stretch (or at least part of it)

So, that is my plan that I would like to follow starting Monday for 3 weeks. Then I will do an easy week 4, like the plan suggests. Week 5 of P90X for me will be the last taper week before my marathon, so I probably will not do ANY P90X, but I will jump back in as soon as I feel up to it.

I am really looking to kick my abs into shape!! As you can probably tell. After having twins, I have a post-baby pooch that was NEVER there after I had my first 2 kids. I am even at a lower weight than before I had my twins! Yet, the pooch remains. Ab Ripper may never get rid of the pooch, but I figure having some rockin' hard abs is better than just flab, right???

Since BodyPump covers my legs, and I don't want to add another leg workout in around my long run, I won't be trying the P90X leg workouts just yet. But there are times when I cannot get to BodyPump, either my husband has to stay late at work, or has a meeting or whatever, and then I will definitely use a P90X legs workout as an alternative. Or just when I feel like changing it up and doing something different. That is why I got them!

Now I just have to take new pictures for my Rachel Mac challenge, and also start photos for P90X!

Wishing everyone and AWESOME, fit and healthy week!! Spark on!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MUMMAMICHELLE 1/19/2011 4:25PM

    You are a machine (whoot, whoot!!) WOW, that plan is going to give you a killer bod! I know what you mean about the baby pooch. After my first baby I got down to my lowest adult weight ever 127 lbs was really skinny for me, but I still had that loose pooch on my belly. I think if I would have worked harder with ST it would have tightened up. I am going to try ALOT harder now that I am finally losing the weight from number 2!

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SEEHOLZ 1/19/2011 10:40AM

    I think I'm also going to do more Abs- I'm really contemplating to purchase the workout, so I can do the Yoga and Abs only. Let me know how you like it, okay?

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KASSAY25 1/19/2011 9:48AM

    At first when you mentioned doing all of those things i was like WOW. But your plan seems totally doable ! Great Plan! I just started incorporating P90X into my routine and i love it! I definitely couldn't see myself doing JUST p90X , so i think we both have got the right idea! Your going to do great!

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LAUROCHKA 1/19/2011 9:32AM

    Wow - quite a plan!
Think theP90x sounds amazing - well done you!

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HEALTHYCHIC 1/19/2011 9:25AM

    This plan sounds great! I had been struggling with how to fit P90X in as well. I think you figured it out! You just cut out his cardio and sub in our running :). So glad to have you as a friend!!! TsuB!

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TRIATHLONBABE 1/19/2011 8:39AM

    Sounds like you've got it all planned out and in writing makes it realistic. I like that. I need to blog my plan even though I have it in writing in my journal, on a calendar and in my head. emoticon

Good blog gal!!!

Love me some P90X, great program for strength training!!!

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

This is really just an update of everything going on with me... Might be a little rambly, just to warn you. emoticon

emoticon So, I met with the 2nd owner at little Kaffee Deel, my new *potential* place of work. If you read my past blogs, you know. It was great! She seemed really, really happy about the prospect of having me on board. I told her my German wasn't super, but she said, "Du kannst sehr gut Deutsch!" meaning "You can speak very good German!"

emoticonAnd then she said, "Du kannst auch sehr gut laufen!" "You can also run good!!" HILARIOUS! I think it is so funny that all the Germans refer to me as the "lady who runs all the time!"

emoticonAnyway, so she said I really shouldn't worry about my German. I am just always nervous about it, and the more nervous I am, the less it flows.... But there is no better way to learn and get better, than by jumping right in there with a bunch of people who don't speak English at all!

About the job - this cafe is only open on Saturdays and Sundays, and just from 2pm-6pm. They serve just coffee and drinks, and cake. The 2 owner ladies bake the cakes beforehand, so it is just waitressing. Saturdays, someone runs the place alone, because Sundays are their big business day.

So, I basically will be working just on Sunday afternoons. Since being at church is very important to me and my family, it works out ok, because we can still be there, and then come home, and then I will go to work for a few hours. I also asked about helping with the food preparation and cake baking, because I am really interested in doing that as well. She said she would definitely discuss that with the other owner lady (who was not there.)

My head is already spinning with ideas - I can't help it, I am a dreamer and a go-getter! I am thinking, once they let me be a part of the food prep, maybe they will even let me bake and try to sell my own American recipes!! I also have some other ideas about working out a business arrangement with them, so I that I can do a dinner meal on Sunday nights for the guests who want to partake. We will see. But it could be the start of really working toward my dream, and I am willing to give it a try!! First I will start by doing the waitressing, though.

The only thing I need is to take a short course from the health department here in food safety, which you have to have if you are working in the food industry. But I will need that sooner or later ANYWAY. Once I secure that, I can start working right away. She already asked me to come again, and let her know when I can be put on the schedule!

Last week, I posted something about big changes in my hubby's job. Well, it seems it may not be so ground-breaking as they tried to make it out to be. My husband's aunt and uncle are not seeming pressed to make any HUGE decisions, or to do anything differently. And besides all that, after my husband thought about it, he really was more hesitant about jumping into the business.... Same old reasons.

See, for one, my husband is not a car salesman. He has never really wanted to take over the family car business. It's just not him. We came back to Germany so he could give it a try, but it ALWAYS comes back to the SAME thing - he just doesn't feel its right for him. And secondly, while it SEEMS appealing and lucrative, the car business is VERY flaky!! (I'm sure any of you who understand business or have even bought or traded in a car know this very well!! ESPECIALLY after the financial crisis!!) It's just not the best business to be in.

Last fall, he started working toward a bachelor's degree through a very reputable distance-learning university for Information Systems/ Computer Programming.... which is what he WANTS to do. He LOVES computers. I think this is a great direction for him to go in. It fits him. We prayed very much about it, because taking on doing a degree like that is very time-consuming, and he already works about 60 hrs a week, and obviously, has a family!

Well, after considering the 2 possibilities - car biz vs. computer - yeah, the answer is clear. He will continue working toward his degree, and one day BREAK FREE from this car biz junk.... And be completely free from his aunt and uncle.

This last weekend's run was SUCH A HUGE victory. It really gave me the confidence that, yes, I WILL finish this marathon, and do well. I am the type that likes to at least run the distance through before racing it. For my HMs, I ran 16 miles before doing my first, just because I wanted to. And although I was so nervous that I felt like puking before the race began, I was able to really calm myself down knowing that I already KNEW I could do the distance.

Well, I know that is not practical for a marathon distance. But running the 23 really gives me peace of mind. That will be my longest training run that I do. This is what I have left, as far as my long runs go:

This Sat: 16 miles
Next Sat: 16 miles (or less if I feel like I need a "down" week)
Following Sat, 3 weeks pre-race: 20-21 miles
2 wks pre-race: 14 miles
1 wk pre-race: 10 miles

Then: MARATHON!!!!

So, I think this blog is plenty long enough. Must get on with my day!!

Happy Sparking, everyone!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEEHOLZ 1/19/2011 10:47AM

    Du spricht wahrscheinlich besser Deutsch als ich- jedenfalls kannst Du mir ja ein bisschen Nachhilfe geben.... Ich muss echt viel mehr ueben. Ich glaub einmal in the Woche telefonieren ist halt nicht mehr gut genug.

Ich liebe Deine Plaene und ich weiss, dass Du es schon alles hinkriegst!

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REMEMBER2BME 1/19/2011 9:20AM

    Thank you so much for the update. I was so wondering about your opportunity. It sounds fantastic. Slow start, but GREAT. 1 step at a time, right? Patience :)

Great job on your running too. I am just so excited for you on both counts!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHUBBYSISTER1 1/18/2011 7:07PM

    Lots of hugs to you!!!

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JENNIFER124 1/18/2011 1:16PM

    WHAT A GREAT ATTITUDE!! i think that job sounds like fun!!!have a great marathon emoticon

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HEALTHYCHIC 1/18/2011 1:01PM

    That job sounds fun! I share your same ambitions. I used to sell cookies to a local coffee shop! then she closed, but it was fun while it lasted. I'm finishing up some certification to one day open my own counseling practice, for now, i'll still be working in schools, sigh.

My german is always better after a beer, LOL (German was my minor in college). That wouldn't go over well.

Glad things are moving forward for you and your training too.

I did finish my marathon last week after belaboring my lack of training. It was a good time and I ran well! really only need 4 hours of tread running plus 2 other small runs during the week to finish a marathon apparently!

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-POLEDANCEGIRL- 1/18/2011 11:16AM

    Wow! Sounds like you are on a roll!!!

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TWINSMOMMY607 1/18/2011 9:02AM

    Good luck with your new job and your marathon!!

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TAZZ46 1/18/2011 5:19AM

  Just stoped in to wish you a blessed tuesday huggs vickie

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DWROBERGE 1/18/2011 3:41AM

    Sounds like all y'all are keeping very busy.

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