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Race Report: Tupelo 14.2

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Race Details: Tupelo, MS -

There is a full marathon (which is out and back) and the 14.2, which is point to point. I think the roads loop to make it 14.2 from start back to where they have the finish and they decided screw it - why does a race have to be 13.1? We're doing 14.2! Haha. There was a sticker available at pickup for 14.2, but it was $5 and although I thought it was funny I thought that was a big much for a sticker. I don't even have any 26.2 or 13.1 decals and those would represent more than one race!

Race Slogan: Hurdle the Weak, Trample the Dead

Race Logo: Always skull and crossbones, tie dye Shirts as well.

Race Start: 5AM!

So a Labor Day halfish&full in the south - but it starts at 5AM. Which means weather will probably either be tolerable (not too crazy hot cause of early start) or potentially nice... this year, the weather was drizzly for the half, and after I finished at some point it really started to come down for the full marathoners still on the course.

The race actually started hotter than it finished because at first it wasn't raining but the humidity was stifling, then it broke into drizzle and there were these fantastic cool breezes coming around.

The course was not flat, but not bad - it was rolling, but never a really steep climb. Nearish to the beginning there was one sort of steeper down and then up, which one of the Marathon Maniacs behind me commented: "You're gonna hate this part on the way back" to his fellow maniac, but lucky for me I was only running the 14.2 :)

Another fantastic part about the start time was running in the dark!

I got to meat two fellow Team Marathon members - here is myself and Andrew at the start:

As you can tell, it was dark. :)

Nicholas (ABSOLUTEZER0) met up with us right before things kicked off, but my DH had already headed off with my camera so our photo op would have to wait.

I called CLOVERR1 (Heather) before the start because I picked her packet up on Saturday and turns out - she was lost. OH NO! :( We never met up with her before the start! DH also had her Packet with her bib so he wanted to try to make sure she could find him.

The first 5-6 miles (for me) were in the dark, it just started getting light at some point before the 6.5 mile mark.

Runners had flashlights, headlamps, shoe lights, strobey lights, glow necklaces and bracelets... and several runners did without. It was pretty easy to just follow someone with a light on them. :)

Because it was dark (and apparently I have no idea how to use my Garmin) I couldn't see my pace. I need to learn how to use the backlight because according to a quick google search I just did, it has one! HAHA But I wasn't about to start just pressing buttons in the middle of a race to figure that out.

So I selected someone in front of me that I thought was going about the right pace, paced them when we came up to a light so I could check and see if they were about where I wanted to be.

This worked pretty well. I tried not to push it, and if I came up on someone, I passed them. Occasionally I was passed, but not too much. I think due to my pace, I was running with a lot of full marathoners so they were in no hurry.

Mile 1: 11:13
Mile 2: 11:37
Mile 3: 11:42
Mile 4: 11:53
Mile 5: 11:42
Mile 6: 11:45

There was an aid station during mile 4 according to Garmin - right after the aid station is when Mr. G clicked over to mile 5, so you can see that other than my brief walk there to not choke on water, my pace was pretty good using that method for those dark miles. :)

Also - the mile markers had glow sticks hanging from them for those dark miles.

My goal half marathon pace in order to get a sub 2:30 is 11:41 :) so I was thinking as long as I don't go too much faster than that, I'll be in good shape.

By now it was getting light enough that I could see Mr. G and I was just thinking that I was going to at least try to hold this pace till mile 10, if I made it that long then I would try to hold it to the half mark at LEAST so I could see if I could get sub 2:30 half during the 14.2.

Mile 7: 11:39
Mile 8: 11:35
Mile 9: 11:25
Mile 10: 11:56 (GU & aid station)
Mile 11: 11:44

During these miles at some point I came up behind my fellow Team Marathon mate AND Fellow Sparker, Nicholas - AKA ABSOLUTEZER0 - and I was SHOCKED. I know for a fact that he's way faster than I am. I passed him, but later on there was much leap frogging until after mile 11 at some point when I was fading BAD. At one point though, we were running side by side - behind the tallest most patriotic looking marathon maniac (I think) I have ever seen. I don't know who that man was, but he was funny and he had some maniac friends side by side. Nicholas was running w/ a friend of his from the Arkansas group I think... in any case - I was in a little PACK for a second. Didn't really say a word, but it was nice. Then I had to let them go as we came down a hill.

At some point I apparently went past them again, because I definitely remember when they came up behind me and Uncle Sam was like - "Hey there's Snickers Marathon girl again!" And I was mentally giving him curses because I didn't want to get passed by them again. RAWR! But things were not cooperating digestively now.

Mile 12: 12:34
Mile 13: 12:47
Mile 14: 13:49
Final .23: 13:31 (pace)

I actually passed a portojohn somewhere around mile 12, but they were full right up until I was JUST running past and had already made up my mind that since it felt like a serious bathroom visit was needed, and I didn't want to risk an un-equipped portojohn, and I only had 2 miles left... I was just going to suck it up and keep going.

Unfortunately this meant I had to walk a bunch.

I did put on a happy face and better posture for a couple of photographers, and slouched and stuck my tongue out and sighed as soon as I got past them. HAHA. I even waved at those Photogs!

In the final mile I was walking up some hills and running down - some how this felt better on the clenching abs and whatnot. That area of my body was soooo crampingpainful at this point. I was walking up the hill right before the entrance to the parking lot where the finish was, and I hear my husband in the parking lot - there's my wife! RUN DANA! RUUUUNNN YOU'RE ALMOST THERE!!! So of course, I had to run. HAHAHA.

Coming into the finish I even raised my arms up over my head - I've never had a finish photo like that so I decided to try it out. We'll see if it looks awful. HAHA. I grabbed my medal and said - I have to go to the bathroom. And made a beeline - the finish was right next to a building that had bathrooms inside and the door was straight to the left of the finish.

I did not hug husband.
I did not pass go.
I did not collect $200.

HAHAHA. I didn't even put the medal on. And of course I chose a stall with no TP so I just waited until someone came in because I knew it wouldn't be long and a fellow runner helped a girl out.

I stopped Mr.G after I entered the building on the way to the restroom -

2:50:23 - average pace 11:59

Obviously my stats might have been SLIGHTLY better had I stopped it a few seconds earlier, but really, I didn't stop it that late and I wasn't walking leisurely at that point anyway. HAHA.

Although my official time is 2:51:07, I consider Stretch Goal A) REACHED!

I was seriously impressed with myself for the pace I kept so long in the race. I've never run that fast for that long ever. Stretch Goal was based on me reaching an average pace of 12mm, so regardless of if Mr. G was slightly off at the start or finish (no chip start, but I'm pretty sure I started it at the right time), I still averaged a pace of 11:59 over the distance of 14.2 and I am totally thrilled with that, AND the fact that until my digestive issues I was doing even better!

I am still holding off on registering for the Soldier Half because we want to be sure we'll be here in the area, but I'm more amped than ever about running it:

Soldier is supposed to be pretty flat and fast, a PR friendly course - and it will be even better weather I'm sure. :)

Here I am at the finish with Sparker ABSOLUTEZER0:

Talking with him after the race - you KNOW he's been racing like a madman... he did a hilly trail 14 mile race the weekend before this, has been struggling with IT Band pain in the knee, and ran a race the day before this so.... this explains why I even saw him at ALL during this race. :) We had a great conversation, talked some football w/ my DH, watched the super fast marathoners rolling in... it was great. I ate a cookie, an apple slice, and drank some liquids.

Then I get a call from Heather's phone! Her man, B, told me she was through mile 16 and wanted to try to get her packet for her. By this point the rain started to really pour, so during a lull we headed to the car (which was RIGHT at the finish line - yay DH for moving the car while I was running!), and waited for him so we could give him the packet. The race director knew she was on course, she started about 16 min late (doing the FULL obviously), and B was able to deliver the bib to her around mile 20 and she finished with her chip and everything. Official time was 16 min off due to the late start and no chip start, but she still was able to finish well below the cut-off time which I think is awesome.

So we headed home and I took close-ups of my medal in the car:

Since I ran just over half a marathon, my medal was just over half of the full marathon medal. HAHAHA.

SLIGHTLY different - the full has Trample the Weak Hurdle the Dead at the bottom of the medal instead of 14.2 Miler, but otherwise they really looked very similar... only ... fuller. HAHA :)

In the car I was freezing (decided not to change right after the race) and added my Team Marathon Jacket, so I wanted to take a picture when we got back of the full get up:

Then after cleaning up we eventually headed out for food - my stomach was just not interested, but when we decided to leave, I stood up and got a little dizzy so I knew it was needed. I finally got hungry in the restaurant while we were waiting for our food - and it was fantastic.

In my shirt with my friend Jamie that we stayed with -

Yeah you can't really see the shirt, but it has the logo on it and it's awesome and tie dye. :D

So there you go! The FULL report.

Things to do better:

1) don't eat red beans & rice as a pre-race meal
2) eat earlier and get more sleep so you can eat something in the morning (I didn't eat pre-race)
3) try to do all gu's (I planned for 3 but only gu'd twice - I could've done another but my stomach was not into it and I did get tired, but I think the digestive issues were the primary culprit of the slowdown because the painful cramping in the abdomen area was the reason I had to walk, not just cause I was tired - BUT - I won't ignore the tired part as well!)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKYFYRE 9/16/2011 12:59AM

    Holy crud, your hair is long!! You look so pretty! Congrats on earning that medal, YEAH!

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CAROL_HOORAH 9/11/2011 9:00AM

    wow what a cool medal!!! I'm jealous, that seems like a wicked race!! How many races have you done now?? You are such a pro!!!!

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TRACYZABELLE 9/11/2011 9:00AM

    When ya gotta go ya gotta go!! LOL~

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AIMLESS07 9/10/2011 9:25PM

    That's a wickedly cook medal and I am stealing that trample the weak hurdle the dead phrase!

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MARLIE13 9/9/2011 9:09AM

    Woohoo! I'm going to see if I can remember my comment commentary I had going in my head while reading your super awesome blog!

WHooooaaa early race start! Did you mention what time you got up in the morning? LOVE the slogan...or was it the motto? The trample/hurdle weak/dead. haha! Never thought about a shoe light before. I wonder how that would work with all the movement? Love the medal and the "just over half part" that is very creative...oh and the shirt! And that's too bad about the tummy troubles but can you imagine not making it to a bathroom? haha!! Early on this training season, I had a very scary moment. My hubs and I bonded even more. lol!

Oh, did you figure out your backlight? I thought it was tapping the on/off button?

Great job Dana! And so cool to be running with so many spark friends and snicker pals!!

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AUNTC321 9/8/2011 8:48PM


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MBSHAZZER 9/8/2011 9:55AM

    Awesome job, Dana! Sorry to hear you had tummy issues, but you did great anyway. I love the medal! And I love that it started at 5am, too! I know all about that Southern hospitality, I mean heat and humidity!

BTW, if you tap the power button, the backlight on the Garmin turns on!

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WHATAGRL42 9/7/2011 10:33PM

    HOLY TEAM MARATHON! I am exhausted just reading this account!! Your blog makes a reader feel like they've run along with you! What can I say other than you are incredible, enviable, buff, and a maniac in your own right!!! My knees would have screamed in pain mile 2!!! (and my poor discs..... uh... don't even want to think about it!) ;-)

emoticon emoticon

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CLOVERR1 9/7/2011 4:20PM

    I didn't pay attention to what brand of gels the aid stations were offering, but I wish I had...so I could avoid them in the future! I grabbed one, slurped it down and YEEECHHHH. After that, I got some of my own GU brand from B. and carried a couple with me. Only used three throughout the marathon, the one nasty not even sure what flavor it was supposed to be, one vanillla andone strawberrybanana.

Anyway, you did great!

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HOPERY 9/7/2011 11:20AM

    Awesome race! You did so great. If Derry wasn't on his way to Canada, he might be coming your way. emoticon emoticon

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REEKU731 9/7/2011 10:32AM

    YAY For awesome race reports!! That's so fabulous that you had so many SparkFriends there!!! That medal is totally Bad Ass and you should be super proud of yourself!!! You are a rockstar and should definitely be happy with all of your successes!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

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Short Race Recap: Tupelo 14.2

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

NAILED IT. Well .. almost. :) hahaha was nailing it, then had some digestive distress that caused me to walk a lot in the last few miles, but still finished almost right on my A goal???

I call that a resounding success! And next time no red beans and rice as a pre-race dinner. *sigh*

The splits will tell the story, but more details on everything and pictures later:

Mile 1: 11:13
Mile 2: 11:37
Mile 3: 11:42
Mile 4: 11:53
Mile 5: 11:42
Mile 6: 11:45
Mile 7: 11:39
Mile 8: 11:35
Mile 9: 11:25
Mile 10: 11:56
Mile 11: 11:44
Mile 12: 12:34
Mile 13: 12:47
Mile 14: 13:49
Final .23: 13:31 (pace)

The race was chip time finish, but no chip start - I forgot to turn off my garmin right away, but not tooo long after, Official time is 2:51:07, Garmin time with bonus after finish line (doh) is 2:50:23 - still avg 11:59 mm for the race which exceeded my stretch goal of 12mm! :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NYC_NATIVE 9/7/2011 3:01AM

    Awesome job on this race! Too bad the rice and beans dinner wasn't the most ideal carb-up, LOL. At least it's another lesson learned.

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MARLIE13 9/6/2011 11:38PM

    OOohhh way to rock it!! Boo to the tummy issues. Sounds like something stupid I would do. haha!

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WAVEDANCER7 9/6/2011 9:32PM

    emoticon Another great race Dana! You are becoming quite the running rockstar!

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    great job girl. i loath tummy issues. bleh!

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SKYFYRE 9/6/2011 6:16PM

    You did great! You averaged a great pace for the race! emoticon

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MBSHAZZER 9/6/2011 2:48PM

    Nice job, Dana! Can't wait to hear the details!

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My Mother in Law ROCKS! :)

Friday, September 02, 2011

Everyone, immediately, please go to her page:


And see the awesome transformation.

She used Medifast program to help her lose weight - her body definitely responds better to a balance of macronutrients with less carbs, she is a carb sensitive person although not diabetic at all. She is now moving through transition into maintenance, increasing her carb ratio somewhat, but still keeping it low compared to someone like me who doesn't have a negative carb reaction (unless it's super refined! Sugar binge = bad business for anyone!).

The best thing? She's a member of the gym I go to, and is turning into a gym rat. :D I love it!!!

And since I live in her house, we help motivate each other to make strong, healthy food choices for ourselves.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WAVEDANCER7 9/8/2011 2:16PM

    Wow, she does rock! And how awesome to have a motivation partner right there in your house!! do you girls make henry eat "diet" food? hehehe

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AUNTC321 9/7/2011 12:02AM

    That is wonderful.

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MBSHAZZER 9/3/2011 4:32PM

    Yes indeed, she does!

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SKYFYRE 9/3/2011 2:30AM

    Ok, Dana, I went and saw her transformation, WOWEE!
I love that you can go to the gym with you MIL, that is AWESOME!

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SEEHOLZ 9/2/2011 7:02PM

    Really cool!

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LIZZABETH1986 9/2/2011 6:37PM

    that is beyond awesome... she rocks and so do you!

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ZORAHGAIL 9/2/2011 12:31PM


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KNH771 9/2/2011 12:24PM

    It's great that you two have a good relationship!

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MIPALADY23 9/2/2011 11:28AM

    Ohh may i be a Mother-In-Law that rocks!

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Checking In!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ok, weight is holding steady, food tracking has not resumed, been hooping and running.

Got a race coming up this weekend and another trip got added to my calendar. WHOOPS. ;)

It's worth it - I got free tickets to see the Avett Brothers in Atlanta a week from Friday and so did my pals so we're all going to carpool and share a hotel and have FUN. I'm excited.

But first things first - this weekend, 14.2 in Tupelo!


A: Sub 2:50
B: Sub 3:00
C: Finish the darn thing!

2:50 is a pace about 20sec/mile slower than my goal half marathon pace, but the race is 1.1 miles longer than a half so I want to be somewhat conservative. I will be aiming for around 12mm pace.

Sub 3 requires an average pace below 12:38 mm and I feel super confident about achieving THAT at least.

But let's say all things go wrong, I am most confident I can at least finish the distance.

My mileage got up to 30+28 miles per week before I started to taper last week at 23 and this week is race week. I feel really good about how my whole improving my base thing is going so far.

Shark week this week... boo.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MBSHAZZER 9/3/2011 4:32PM

    Dana, sounds like things are going GREAT!!! Glad to hear it. Have fun at the race this weekend!

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SWEATONCEADAY 9/2/2011 10:10PM

    omg you are doing so good. i can't believe all the miles you are getting in! way to go dana. was the race today? how did it go?

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SKYFYRE 9/1/2011 2:40AM

    You are going to have a blast!!! (At Tupelo and Avett Brothers!) Your base running has been impressive and I am betting you will make all 3 of your goals! Go Dana!!!
Food, I am rethinking what it means to be "on track" Oi! I am stoked that you are holding yourself so accountable! Go Dana, Go!

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FLUTTER-BY)L( 8/31/2011 1:56PM

    Sounds like you have some very fun plans. I hope the race goes well and the tip is fun.

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REEKU731 8/31/2011 1:49PM

    Fabulous goals and I can't wait to see what you do with them!!! Keep up all the great work my friend!!!

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    Sounds like your trip is going to be fun! I'm excited for you!

You're an inspiration to me with your running. I am just starting out, and hopefully one day I'll be running 30+ miles a week!

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Feeling Fluffy

Sunday, August 21, 2011

So.... vacation + following weekend being a wedding = Dana feeling uber fluffy.

I got all my runs in last week, running is going great! But I am still lacking ST and my food went nuts on Vacation and last week I was kind of on track but not tracking, and this past weekend was nutso again. So this week is going to be all about being ON TRACK staying CLOSE TO HOME and being chill.

MIL joined my gym - dunno if I mentioned that before? We're hitting my favorite Zumba class again tomorrow! :) We did last week as well, but last week it was only her 2nd ever Zumba experience and this time it'll be number 4. I'm glad she's hanging in there with it to get a chance to really learn the moves and have fun with it. WOOHOO MIL! :D

I've asked my LR Running Buddy to be an ST buddy with me at work. We'll see if this actually happens - the plan is for it to be TR at lunch like the same time we do hooping on MWF - no changing required, just simple body weight movements at a nonfrantic pace to keep the muscles getting some kind of attention. The possible killers: Other people needing the room we'd like to use on those days, being too busy to give half of lunch eVERY single day of the week (sometimes my RB can't always even make it to hoop class)... but I think it's a great way to make use of my time. I also realllly want to get back to my yoga class at the gym. It's been too long!!!!! Anyway - this next week will be somewhat normal-ish mid week miles, then LR of only... 8? I think? then next week more shorter runs preparing for Tupelo which is the following weekend.

That will be the last trip for a little while!!! I still hope to be able to do the Soldier Half in Nov, but I don't wanna go NO WHERE for October. Too much travelling in July/August/beg Sept.... at least, too much for our budget! Having to travel on a mini budget so not being as comfortable as you could be with additionally also still spending money and getting broker is just not the way to do things.

I have a plan to try to pick up some extra time at work this week as well -- first plan, go in early tomorrow.

P.S. - woke up, felt sick, called in. Sleep more.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKYFYRE 8/27/2011 2:33AM

    Oh boy! Tell me about the wanting to stay home! Lol! Going out= spending $$ which I don't have!! I got an invite to go to Greece but it was going to put me on the creditor call list so I said no,... so SAD emoticon. My pocket book will thank me later! (yours will too
I like the plan for hooping MWF and ST on T,TH. I so wish I had a workout partner at work! I've been stair climbing on the days that I am in the hospital! I hope you feel better! Maybe you are already better, I forgot what I read earlier! I might have early onset Alzheimer's!

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MARLIE13 8/25/2011 9:52AM

    Are you starting to feel the fluff shed away yet? It's so hard to settle into a routine when you're always on the go and traveling. Your MIL is doing great! So awesome of her!

PS You're doing awesome with the running. Don't lose sight of that. Even at your fluffiest!

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CAROL_HOORAH 8/24/2011 6:19PM

    You are such great inspiration for me, I can't believe how active you are sistah! I just saw your picture from your 2nd marathon, congrats that's amazing, those are 2 fulls marathons right?? Crazy! Did you walk or run them? I would love to complete a marathon some day but I think I'd be happy doing it at a fast walk!!

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SEEHOLZ 8/22/2011 5:54PM

    So good to hear from you! You'll bounce back and then some...!!! And yeah for the awesome running progress!

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MBSHAZZER 8/22/2011 1:35PM

    Hope the vacation was fabulous! Even if you returned home feeling fluffy! Love the idea to ST at work!

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REEKU731 8/22/2011 9:50AM

    I'm sorry to hear about the fluffy feeling and I hope it goes away soon!! I always hate that feeling too!! Kudos on your MIL sticking with the Zumba classes!! That's so awesome for both of you!!! I hope the next few weeks go well for you, my friend! I don't blame you for not wanting to travel in October - it sounds like you're super busy right now!

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WOLFKITTY 8/22/2011 1:22AM

    :) Nice to catch up on the ABCs. Haha.

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SWEATONCEADAY 8/21/2011 11:05PM

    boo for feeling fluffy but you have a plan so the fluff should disappear soon. good job getting all those runs in and woo hoo to mil!

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MOMMY445 8/21/2011 9:55PM

    glad to hear that you are feeling so great! have a fantastic week! you can do this! you are worth it!

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