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Training derailed--making peace with possibly not hitting my goal.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Monster Dash Half Marathon is a little over 2 weeks away. I LOVE Halloween and I LOVE this time of year. In my previous blogs I've told you all about how my goal was to break 2 hours for this race.

Everything was on track until about 2 weeks ago. At that point I came down with a nasty chest cold/ sinus infection. I missed almost a whole week of running, but I did jump right back into my training once the cold was mostly gone. Last Tuesday was my latest "long run" which was 11 miles. It was going awesome until about mile 10. I stopped at that point to stretch and drink some water. As I started to run again, my right calf tightened up. It was similar to the cramps that I felt at the end of Grandma's Half Marathon last June. I got home and alternated heat and ice for the day. Wednesday it seemed better, and then Thursday it was so tight that I didn't even go to work since I was hobbling around. I continued to heat and ice, and checked in with my doctor. It's a pulled muscle that possibly tightened up because of the colder weather we're having in Minnesota. On Friday my leg was feeling better, but then I got slammed with another chest cold.


I am so frustrated!!!!

Tomorrow is my long run day, and my training schedule says 10 miles. Because of the leg injury and being sick, I'm going to shoot for 4 miles--I'll push to 5 only if I'm feeling okay to do so. I'll also probably attempt this at the YMCA because I don't want to be stuck out in the middle of no where if my leg isn't 100%.

I had a good cry because I know that missing all of the speedwork and tempo runs has likely taken my sub-2 hour half marathon away. I know my base fitness is high, and I *might* still hit my goal, but I'm preparing for the fact that it's unlikely. I am okay with that...I'm not going to beat myself up because a few things happened that are out of my control. I could choose to throw in the towel, but instead I'm going to do the best that I can and ENJOY Monster Dash. :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CBEVNOW 10/18/2011 1:35PM

    Just get ready for the next one. Be well and get back up, you can do it. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KJDOESLIFE 10/18/2011 8:38AM

    I'm so sorry that all these events keep piling up against you! But you're right - go HAVE FUN and save the goal for the next race! ;) Biking or riding the stationary bike at the gym will also help keep your fitness level up without putting extra pressure on your leg. Have a great week!

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NUOVAELLE 10/18/2011 1:43AM

    I'm so sorry all of these things had to happen at the same time! But I'm glad to see you have the right attitude. Ourselves are the best competitors we can have and the harder to surpass. You're still in the race. You're still going to compete against yourself. You just know from the beginning that if you don't come up to your own expectations, you're not to blame. Things happened that, as you said, were beyond your control. And sometimes life is like that - you know that better than me - it creates uncontrollable situations on our way and changes our plans. It's ok!
Make sure you help this calf heal. Get ready for your race and enjoy it! Something tells me that nothing is over yet...

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IMSMILEY88 10/17/2011 9:44PM

    Enjoy your race and know that there will be others!

My suggestion? Just enjoy yourself and don't make it all about a PR. (I know i'd be struggling, too!) Talk to other runners. Cheer them on. Have FUN!

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JERSEYFLOWER 10/17/2011 9:40PM

    Oh, sweetie, I'm sorry this isn't turning out how you had planned. I know you were really gunning for this. I do commend you for pushing forward and flipping that switch in your head to doing the best you can and enjoying the race. That's tough to do!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 10/17/2011 8:45PM

    I'm so sorry to hear about all you medical problems. Enough is enough! I hope you feel better soon.

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    Hugs - try to relax PRs are not everything.

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DRB13_1 10/17/2011 7:37PM

    I understand it's frustrating to be so close to your goal and hit an obstacle like this, but be proud of all you have done to prepare and like you said, ENJOY the event, even if it's not a PR. Most of all, GET WELL! emoticon

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Easy "Egg Mug" Breakfast

Sunday, October 09, 2011

If you are anything like me, you get into food-ruts. I tend to eat the SAME thing for breakfast day in and day out. It's fun to switch things up!

I love Hungry Girl...she was recently featured on a DailySpark Blog. My new favorite breakfast is a variation of her "Egg Mugs" that are so easy and so yummy.

All you need is a coffee mug and egg substitute to start.

I measured out 3/4 cup of egg beaters and dumped it in the mug. You can add anything--the sky is the limit! This morning I opted for a Laughing Cow 35 calorie reduced fat swiss cheese wedge. I put the mug in the microwave for 1 minute, took it out, stirred it, and then put it back in for another 45 seconds.

VOILA! Perfect low-cal scrambled eggs!

I topped my mug with 1/4 cup of salsa to give my eggs some zip.

Check out Hungry Girl's website for lots of neat, figure-friendly ideas! www.hungry-girl.com/chew

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 10/10/2011 9:27PM

    Sounds great!!

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CBEVNOW 10/10/2011 2:47AM

    I like Hungry Girl my self.

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FRAN0426 10/9/2011 11:27PM

    Sounds like a great change for breakfast.

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CKAYT56 10/9/2011 11:04PM

    Yep, I'm that person in a rut, too. I am stuck on certain meals....will give hungry girl a try after reading this.

Have a good week.


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CJD2000 10/9/2011 11:02PM

    I enjoy watching Hungry Girl on Food Network. She does come up with some good ideas.

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DIAMONDMAMA 10/9/2011 11:06AM

    I make a variation of this with real eggs.

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ROOT4HOME 10/9/2011 10:56AM

    Thanks for sharing Jess!

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ELSCO55 10/9/2011 9:39AM


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FCARMICH 10/9/2011 9:37AM

  Sounds good to try

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STARMIZER2000 10/9/2011 9:22AM

  Will give it a try

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And then the doubts creep in...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

In my last blog I told you all about this terrifying decision I had made to run a marathon. I was on a high for the next few days until I got slammed with a serious cold. Not just the sniffles and general inconvenience cold, but the full on barking cough, feel-like-you're-hacking-your-lungs-out stuff. My running got sidelined for an entire week.

During that time I did a lot of resting. I attempted yoga one of those days but couldn't get through the dvd. Then on Tuesday I knew I HAD to get out there. My training schedule had me running 9 miles. I dropped my daughter off at preschool and then came home and got ready.

Everything in me wanted to say "forget about it" and just lay on the couch. I fought that little voice in my head and got my running clothes on anyway. I set up my iPod, turned on my Garmin watch, and was off.

The first 3 miles were BRUTAL. My speed has improved greatly over the last year, and to look down and see myself STRUGGLING to keep an 11 minute mile pace was crushing...I realize that I was sick, but my head was trying to tell me that I was a wimp. I stopped several times that first 3 miles and cough/hacked/retched on the side of the road. I'll spare you the details. I came SO CLOSE to calling someone to pick me up. The entire time all I could think was, "And YOU think you're going to be able to do a MARATHON? HA!"

Around mile 4 the junk in my chest had really loosened up and I was starting to feel better. It was still most definitely hard--don't get me wrong--but I saw my pace starting to pick up a little. At 4.5 I hit the turn around point. It's amazing how KNOWING that you're half done can do wonders... I felt like I was finally finding my groove. By mile 6 I was settling in to a good clip and I was feeling no pain.

I finished mile 9 at a 9:50 pace, and while it isn't my best time, I was on a high because I had battled through the adversity.

I'm still struggling with doubts, and I'm sure that it will be a common theme for me until I am actually on the starting line next June. At least I know that I've got some mental toughness!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUGIRL06 10/5/2011 6:27AM

    Way to go on pushing through the run but aren't you supposed to avoid cardio when you have a chest cold (i.e. coughing and mucus??). Anyway! I have been sick too and have been completely resting despite a half marathon next weekend. I'd rather be fit to run the race than worry about practice runs here. You have a much stronger will than me! So woohoo! And the doubts will be there I think every run until the big day! At least that is how I think it is going to go for me!

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THEMRSH 10/4/2011 12:08AM

    It's funny how things come along just when you need them. Kind of like me clicking on the MOD when I never do. Just at the precise time that I am doubting myself for signing up for a 1/4 Marathon (which by the way I announced on Spark!). Then my sister announces to me she's doing her 1st every 5K in 2 weeks and wants me to do it with her. Well, I haven't run since my 5K in May. I went out today and it was brutal, it was worse than the beginning of this year when I took my very first running step. I thought I was going to die and I just want to give up running all together. So thanks for writing this blog (and your last one) which helps me realize that I'm not alone and I can do this. Best wishes on your Marathon! emoticon

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GEORGIZ 10/3/2011 9:51PM

    Wow, I'm really impressed that you pushed through this type of adversity. May I point out, as far as doubt, that it's extremely unlikely that you will have a awful cold in June. What you will have is the memory of this experience of overcoming a huge physical obstacle so no matter what the doubt is, you'll have a great comeback!

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MEADSBAY 10/3/2011 8:44AM

    Setting a goal and not achieving it for any reason (worse case scenario) does not make one a failure in any way, shape or form.
Rock yourself in the cradle of lovingkindness.

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DIAMONDMAMA 9/30/2011 11:08AM

    Way to battle through!!! Thanks for the inspiration to keep going, just what I needed to "hear" this morning. I have a 5 K on Sunday that I do not feel ready for as my running really went downhill over the summer (I just could not get up early enough to run before the heat!) and I have got a head cold/sinus headache. I was seriously thinking that I won't even try to run it, but still do it. You have given me the motivation to do it! If I end up having to walk I will but I will push myself and think of you doing 9 miles with a chest cold! emoticon (Sorry for the long comment!)

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CBEVNOW 9/30/2011 3:57AM

    sounds to me like you are doing good. Hang tough.
Caroline, the Walker emoticon

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NUOVAELLE 9/30/2011 1:42AM

    And then the doubts are shattered by Jess' willpower and determination!
I'm not a runner. (Oh, how much I wish I were!) I don't know the first thing about mental battles during these long miles and the word marathon sounds like one of Hercules' labors to me! But I know a woman who couldn't run a mile without stopping and now she runs nine miles being sick! A woman who has lost a lot of weight, has run 5Ks, 7Ks and half marathons. I'm sure this woman will be mentally and physically ready for a marathon by June! And that woman is you, Jess!

She believed she could so she did!
( A good idea for the title of your first marathon blog which I'm already looking forward to!)

Did I tell you I believe in you? I absolutely do!!!

emoticon emoticon

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MISSCOFFEY 9/29/2011 5:30PM

    Don't let those doubts get to you .... you're going to do awesome! Look at all the doubts you've overcome just in the past couple years!!

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    Wow. You really did amazing.

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Here it is...My BIG decision blog.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

For those of you who have been following me on spark, you've been able to follow my progress as a runner. I started out just running a few blocks and stopping because I was so winded. Pretty soon I could run a mile straight, and then my goal became to run a 5K and just RUN the whole thing without walk breaks. I accomplished that goal, and discovered that I truly have a love for running. There's something about a long run that is so therapeutic; I love that I can get completely lost in my thoughts and get a great workout in in the process. There's no one but me and the open road. What used to be my "long runs" are now my short runs. I look forward to my double digit distances and that wonderful time to myself.

This year I will have 3 half marathons, a 7K, a marathon relay, and 2-5Ks under my belt. I've been trying to figure out "what's next?"

Well, what's next is my goal to break two hours in the half marathon that I'm running on October 29th. I truly believe that I'll be accomplishing that goal, as my training is going very very well.

I started thinking about my race schedule for next year, and a half marathon is no longer the daunting challenge that it has been for me in the past. I have been kicking around the idea of a bigger distance, but didn't want to say that "M" word out loud because frankly, it terrifies me.

And then something interesting happened. I was looking for a "sign" if you will, about what I should do. Should I think about a full marathon? Then I got smacked in the forehead by exactly what I needed to hear;

My husband forwarded me the Runner's World Quote of the Day last week:

Some people never get there. They're afraid or unwilling to demand enough of themselves and take the easy road, the path of least resistance. But struggling and suffering, as I now saw it, were the essence of a life worth living. If you're not pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone, if you're not constantly demanding more from yourself--expanding and learning as you go--you're choosing a NUMB existence. You're denying yourself an extraordinary trip. ~Dean Karnazes

You are hearing it right here first-- On Saturday June 16th 2012, I will be attempting my first FULL MARATHON.

Have I completely lost my mind? Maybe. Is there a huge difference between 13.1 and 26.6 miles? Absolutely.

Time to dive head first OUT of my comfort zone.

It's in writing in the spark community, which means I'm going to do it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUNNERRACHEL 10/4/2011 8:55AM

    This is great! Love it!

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LADYVALK 10/3/2011 2:57PM

    Wow this is very inspiring to me, I am becoming a runner and it has been a slow effort on my part.. I will be running my first 2 mile race this week and then a 5K next weekend.. Reading your blog was exactly what I needed to keep on track and continue to strive towards my goals.. I want to do a half next year and as soon as registration opens I will register.

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SUSIEMT 10/3/2011 9:08AM

    WOW! Good for you! Keep up the good work Jess!

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ROWDYRILEY 9/28/2011 11:19AM

    Hi There! Don't even know if you'll remember me. I've been away for so long. Just wanted to let you know that you've been an inspiration for me. Even while I was gone, I would keep thinking of your journey and your running triumphs. I would say to myself "I'm going to do that". Flash forward to this week. Been to the doctor. After all the problems with my husband's heart, it appears he's not the only one with problems emoticon Anyways, I started a Couch 2 5K program this morning. Thanks for being an inspiration!


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BONJI40 9/27/2011 11:27AM

    Jess, you are a rock star!!! I know you can do it!!!

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SUGIRL06 9/27/2011 8:26AM

    OMG! I'm so excited for you!!!! It is a HUGE step and I have to remind myself that yes, its going to be hard but we can both do this! I signed up for my first on March 17th. You can do this!!!
PS. Glad to see you blogged too!

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KKINNEA 9/21/2011 10:56AM

    Woohoo! If I survive Twin Cities, I may do Grandma's next year too!! Maybe you can pull me to the end!

Is your Oct 29 Monster Dash? I won't be breaking 2 hours but I would be happy to meet you at the start line!

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SEESTARS 9/21/2011 10:07AM

    Wow. What a fantastic goal! Bye-bye comfort zone! emoticon

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MEGSFITNESS 9/20/2011 1:16PM

    I got a fortune cookie recently that said "You cannot expand your limits until you exceed them."

work hard, train hard, run hard, smile harder :D Do what makes you happy.

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MEGSFITNESS 9/20/2011 1:15PM

    I got a fortune cookie recently that said "You cannot expand your limits until you exceed them."

work hard, train hard, run hard, smile harder :D Do what makes you happy.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 9/19/2011 10:07PM

    Good luck!! emoticon

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HLTHYRNRMOM 9/19/2011 7:52PM

    WOOHOO! I love when someone else loves running! Your progress with all your races is awesome!! WOOT WOOT for taking the challenge of the full!!

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RONOSOF 9/19/2011 7:09PM


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MY4DOGS2580 9/19/2011 1:14PM

    What a great goal. Hope you have a great time at the marathon next year.

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MELISSAJANEY 9/19/2011 10:45AM

    Are you running the Twin Cities Monster Dash? I am going to be there!

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SKINNYPANDA2015 9/19/2011 10:20AM

    Congratulations, that's awesome! What a fantastic journey, and the marathon will be icing on the cake. I'm doing my first in 6 weeks!

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ROOT4HOME 9/19/2011 10:07AM

    WOW Jess!! So proud of you for taking the plunge!!! You're in the best position to go for it since you're in great shape and your running is improving every day!!! So proud of you!! You're going to kill it! Will be one of your biggest cheerleaders!!! emoticon emoticon

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NUOVAELLE 9/19/2011 4:13AM

    I'm so proud of you! Just know that you'll have many people cheering you on throughout your training and I intend to be one of them. I can't wait to read this full marathon blog!
You just never stop being an inspiration!

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JERSEYFLOWER 9/18/2011 4:26PM

    And it has been heard out in the Spark community, which means we're all looking forward to you doing it. And your ripple effect has continued...

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JICASMOM 9/18/2011 7:52AM

    Wow! This is exciting and I can't wait to follow your progress as you meet your next goal!!! So excited for you!! Good luck!!!

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FRAN0426 9/18/2011 12:31AM

    The best to you for jumping in and decing to go for the marathon. Think of it as two half marathons all together.

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MEGSFITNESS 9/17/2011 10:42PM

    That reminds me of a fortune cookie my boyfriend got recently: "one extends one's limits only by exceeding them."

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CBEVNOW 9/17/2011 5:22PM

    Sounds so emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticonWe will be with you all the way. You and Faith have a lot in common she loves to run. Me im the walker. Keep us updated.

caroline emoticon

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MISSCOFFEY 9/17/2011 2:00PM

    Awesome!!! I love the quote, and it's so very true. Grandma's Marathon is beautiful and definitely a fabulous goal. I'm excited for your journey!!

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DIAMONDMAMA 9/17/2011 11:31AM

    Wow!! Way to go! At this point I still don't know if I'll eve run more than a 5K. You are truly inspirational emoticon

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CKAYT56 9/17/2011 10:48AM

    WOW! Now that would really be getting out of my comfort zone! I am so excited for you. You have just become a running fool. I am at the age that I don't know if my body could take on a challenge like that...you are young and I know that you will be successful....look at all that you have done already that you thought you would never have attempted in the past!!

So proud of you and your tenacity!

Char in Minnesota

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NORAB52GOOD 9/17/2011 10:18AM

    Good for you!!!! Congrats on taking the next challenge. Enjoy the training!!! emoticon

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SAMMIEJO920 9/17/2011 9:26AM

    So proud of you, you're awesome. I look forward to updates in the coming months.

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NELLYCFIT 9/17/2011 9:12AM

  Good luck on running your first marathon!

I just started running this summer, and my longest race so far has been a 5K

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    A marathon is not 26 miles long, it is a one ,mile run that you just have to do a little bit more than 26 times. Break the big problem down into smaller challanges that you know you can meet.

Make it a great weekend.

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Powdered Peanut Butter

Friday, May 20, 2011

Powdered Peanut butter--what an intriguing idea? I'm becoming more interested in "eating clean" and I've been paying more attention to the ingredient lists on the food that I'm eating. It doesn't get much better than this: Peanuts, sugar, salt. THAT'S IT!

45 calories for 2 Tablespoons...awesome! Peanut Butter is one of my HUGE weaknesses; even more so is PB & Chocolate. I work very early in the morning and am at work by 4:30 AM. Some days I run a little late and grab a meal replacement shake for breakfast. My flavor of choice is chocolate

So now, for an additional 45 calories, I add a little powdered peanut putter, and voila! It's like I'm drinking a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. For real! It tastes awesome!

I found the PB2 on the shelf right next to traditional peanut butter at our grocery store (and I live in a small town). It was about $4, but not really that much more than a regular jar of peanut butter. On the jar it says you can reconstitute it with water, too, if you just want a good old fashoined PB sandwich.

If you're a peanut butter fan, give it a whirl. I'm glad I did!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMJUSTFLUFFY 10/3/2011 2:41PM

    Thank you for sharing that info...I will track them both down!
Rhonda emoticon

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JUSTJUSTY 6/26/2011 9:30PM

    Interesting.. I'll have to check it out. emoticon

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TINAADVANI 6/26/2011 6:45PM

    I heard of this when I was attending WW meetings a few years ago but never tried it. I just added it to my shopping list to get it.

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SUGIRL06 6/1/2011 6:53PM

    I love PB2! I ordered mine from their website. I love it in shakes but its just not the same "reconstructed". I use my all natural jif whhen I want the real stuff!

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    I'm a firm believer in eating clean as well. The good stuff often doesn't even have a list of ingredients.

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RACINGSLUG 5/25/2011 2:33PM

    Brilliant idea. I've never heard of powdered peanut butter before... may have to try it...

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MEGSFITNESS 5/24/2011 10:00PM


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ELSCO55 5/20/2011 9:29PM

    I am still looking for it and I live in a big city. My friends order it online.

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ANGEISBACK 5/20/2011 7:27PM

    i love this stuff i get mine from www.lowcarbgrocery.com! just stocked up again on the original and the chocolate one!:))))))))))

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MISSCOFFEY 5/20/2011 2:08PM

    Awesome .... thank you!! I love the pictures, too emoticon

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YELLOWDAHLIA 5/20/2011 10:19AM

    I love the PB2! I haven't bought it for a while because there is only one place in town that sells it and it's like $6 a jar!

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ILOVELIFE2012 5/20/2011 10:03AM

    someone commented on this when I posted how much I LOVE peanut butter. I'm going to find some of this this weekend. Thanks for posting this! ~Another Peanut Butter LOVER!

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