Thursday, December 1, 2016

Care to join me?

Shall we spend some time together, perhaps over a cup of coffee? Actually, you can have the coffee, and I'll have my usual chai latte.' Care to join me?

What's new with you? Any races coming up? Did you have a great racing season? Any new injuries, or were you able to breeze through the training injury-free?

Here's what I'd share with you...if we were having coffee.

First of all, I'm a little relieved to have November behind me, but now I'm in the midst of that dreaded "marathon hangover." Ever been there? I don't know about you, but my body is feeling tired, but not drop-dead exhausted. And, strangely, I'm feeling a little lost without a workout regimen to keep me busy. Kind of like I'm in a fog....

Next, my planking challenge was successful! My goal was to do 150 planking minutes, and I ended November with 150:30. I actually remembered to take measurements this time....and I lost an inch off my waist and hips! My weight pretty much maintained itself through my marathon training the past few months, but I could tell my clothes were fitting looser (especially around the waist/hip/tush). I did a lot of side planks (on my elbow), and those are total mid-section burners. I also did a lot of my training runs in the early morning hours, so I was burning more fat than fuel because I was running in a "fasted state." (***disclaimer---I was NOT purposefully trying to lose weight or burn fat, that's just when the bulk of my training runs fit my schedule best)

Also, let me share with you some of my December goals. I had some unexpected hip/groin discomfort during the from Mile 2 until the finish line. I had to take more walk breaks than I'd preferred (resulting in a slower finish time than I wanted), but I'm thankful I had the training (and endurance) to finish the race (though there were several times I considered stopping at the half marathon finish line instead). As a result of 24+ miles with a compromised hip, my body needs some serious recovery time from running. I plan to do some cross-training, as well as daily push-ups, planking, and cardio. Oh, and there will be some easy daily streaking as well....

Care to join me?
Yes, you heard that correctly, I am attempting to streak through the rest of 2016. I have done the Runner's World Winter Streak before (like in 2015 and 2014 and 2013), and am hoping I can also complete it in 2016. So far, I ran a couple of easy miles on Thanksgiving morning, and have run an easy mile every day since. Nothing grandiose, and certainly nothing fast. I'm just doing the minimum 1-milers each day for now. I finished November with 115 monthly miles, which will put my total 2016 miles at 947 if I do just the 1-mile minimum each day. Trust me, I'm quite content with that. It's another PR for mileage for me. If things go well, and my hip is feeling better, I may add a few extra miles here and there...but I probably won't make it to 1,000. My main focus is recovery, not creating another injury.

And, lastly......guess what's happening in June 2017? I'm heading back to Duluth, MN to run Grandma's Marathon! It's gonna be strange returning for a repeat marathon, but I'm looking forward to running the beautiful course along Lake Superior again. Also, there's gonna be a few running gal pals there with me, so it'll be a grand experience.

Check out this piece of hardware!
So, there you have it. That's the latest and greatest in my little corner of the universe.

Do you feel lost after a marathon (or any big race that you've trained for)? Do you honor the rest and recovery routine after a big race? Have you ever done a running streak?

I'm linking up with lovely Deborah and Coco for the Ultimate Coffee Date link-up, and also with Meranda and Lacey and Rachel for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Route 66 toughest race ever

Let me set the scene....

I registered for the Route 66 Marathon back in March. There were several races between then and race day (including that 12-hour Ultra), and a few odd-ball injuries. I had long-been contemplating working with a coach, so I hooked up with Coach Suz and we got to work in late August.

Fast forward to the race weekend.

My friend, Barb, and I loaded up and hit the road around noon on Friday, and arrived in Tulsa just before 8:00PM. Thankfully, it worked out for my friend, Traci (from RUN? Are you in? ) to pick up our bibs from the expo so we didn't have to worry about that detail.

First up was the 5K on Saturday morning. We were anticipating decent weather, but the temps were a bit cooler than what had been forecast. We had plenty of sunshine, though, so it was bearable.

Why do a 5K the day prior to a marathon? Well, there is a bit of extra bling (and a bonus prize for doing one of the Double Challenges (running BOTH the 5K in addition to the half marathon, full marathon, or being part of a relay team). But, for me, it's an added day of running in a new place. I have done numerous "double" challenges such as this, usually with the goal of simply shaking out the legs a bit (and after an 8-hour car ride, I thought it was a necessity).

Oh my goodness. I had no intention of running the 5K for any kind of fast finish time (and Coach Suz would have jumped on a red-eye flight, met me at my hotel, and shaken her finger at me if I did). But the 5K event was a bit of a circus....lots of people (which is a good thing),but many of them didn't seem to have much knowledge of race etiquette. We're talking lots of walkers (again, a good thing, but walkers typically should start the race towards the back of the pack), and numerous kids (seriously, where were their parents/guardians?). I'm all for big events, and love seeing so many people being active,but it's frustrating to be constantly dodging groups of people and (almost) running over little ones who abruptly stop directly in front of my feet.

Anyways, the route took us through some of the streets of downtown Tulsa. It was cold at the start line, but I felt fine once we were moving. Despite the constant weaving, my pace was pretty consistent. Per Suz, I was to run the 5k "easy" and not even think about "racing" it. Mission accomplished...29:03.

Even the 5K had a decent-sized piece of hardware
Next, Barb and I found a Starbucks, grabbed a hot beverage, and headed to the expo. We found some bargains (arm warmers!) and met up with Traci for a bit.

Later we did some walking on the streets of downtown Tulsa and grabbed dinner before settling in for the night.

Yes, we found a selfie-appropriate landmark... 
Sunday morning, we were greeted with much cooler temps than expected. We had saved our heat blankets from the 5K and used them to keep us warm before we lined up for the race. Despite the cold temps, we were blessed with a beautiful, sunshiny day.

can you say, "Brrrrr...."
I was cautiously optimistic. I had trained hard. I put in more miles than ever before. I did a lot of speed work. And I felt ready.

Hanging out, ready for some dynamic exercise warm-ups
We heard the National Anthem, there was a loud blast and tons of confetti and streamers, and we were off! Barb and decided to line up near the 4:15 pacer. My marathon PR is 4:33:32, and although I was hoping to break 4:30, I was really hoping to run a sub-4:20 (and Suz thought I could do 4:15!).

Ready to go!
I had tried to get in line for the porta-pots, but the long line did not move quick enough, and I had to bag that idea right before lining up. Ugh...I didn't know how long I would last before I'd need a potty stop. Barb and I hung with the pacer, but at the 2-mile mark I knew I needed that potty stop ASAP. Fortunately, I didn't have to wait too long for my turn. Back outside, I decided to shed a layer. I wasn't really feeling hot, but I didn't want to get too sweaty and then be cold later when it did get warmer on the course. Talk about an awkward wrestling match in attempting to shed that batman shirt!

I didn't know how much time I'd lost, but wasn't worried when I saw the 4:30 pacer up ahead. I had 24 miles ahead of me, so I figured I could catch back up with the 4:15 group. I knew I had to just continue on easily (about a 10-minute pace) and eventually I'd find them. Except, I was starting to notice a little wonkiness with my left hip, kind of in the groin area. It had felt a little weird the past week or so, but not bothersome when running....but there it was.... acting up on the race course.

Back on the course, I passed the 4:30 group. I was not going fast, but trying to keep a steady pace. I knew the 4:15 group couldn't be too far ahead of me that early in the race. Onward. Easy does it. I kept telling myself the hip thing would work out the kinks in a few miles, and I'd probably be able to get some Biofreeze or pain meds at one of the aid stations.

The course was beautiful, taking us through residential neighborhoods. There were many historic houses, and constant rolling hills along the route. There were aid stations almost every mile-to-mile and half, all of which had ample water and Gatorade...I still wasn't seeing any first aid supplies, though. By the time I made it to the 7-mile mark, I had to pull over for another potty stop.

When I came out, there was the 4:30 pace group...again. Since my hip was still feeling funky, I decided to hang with them for awhile, then I wouldn't have to concentrate so much on my pace by myself. Maybe after several miles at that easy pace, I'd be able to conserve some energy for the second half of the race, right? By then, the hip/groin would feel better and I'd be able to just let go and run.

Except the hip/groin kept hurting. It wasn't gut-wrenching, but it was nonstop. Every step with my left foot reminded me that I was not in complete comfort. I kept taking periodic deep breaths and tried to relax. Maybe there would be a substantial first aid station at the halfway point...if I could persevere that long, I'd be fine.

It was just before the 12-mile mark that we crossed under a bridge with an historic Route 66 sign. I decided to pullover for a quick photo op...only I couldn't get my phone to pop out of the pocket on my fuel belt. Not sure how much time I lost on that "short" pit stop, but I got my selfie.

A short ways later, I spotted Traci! I called her name as I caught up with her. It was so great to see her. I was really having a tough time...the hip still had not loosened up, and I was desperate for some relief. The marathon and half marathon had shared the same route, but the split-off was coming up and Traci and I'd be parting ways. For a quick fleeting moment, I was tempted to follow Traci to the 13.1 finish line and call it a day..... but, No! I had trained for 26.2 miles, and I'd regret quitting early.

We wished each other well, and I turned off with the other marathoners. A mile or so after the split-off, the route headed due south....on a long stretch, straight into a fierce head wind. I still had not seen any first aid stations, nor had I noticed any such medical supplies at the numerous water/Gatorade stands. Suddenly, I had the crazy idea of just turning around and back-tracking to the 13.1 finish line. By this time, I was having serious doubt as to whether I'd be able to actually finish the marathon. I was barely past the half way point, and the hip was not feeling any better.

A short while later, I spotted the 4:30 group and was able to catch back up with them. I decided to (again) try to hang with them for a few miles, then (maybe) progressively up my pace and (hopefully) find the 4:15 group. I still held on to the hope I'd find an aid station with more than just water or Gatorade, so I pressed on.

It was finally near the 16-mile mark that I decided to walk for a bit. The constant hills were not giving my hip any relief. Thankfully, most of the hills were fairly short and not many were steep, but there was very little flat terrain in between any of them. Also, I continued to entertain the idea of turning around (and seeking out the long-passed 13.1 finish line).....but I also kept reminding myself how much I'd regret it. I think it was finally near the 18-mile mark that I reached an impasse; I decided to just keep going. There still was a slight chance I could get my PR, but the 4:15 (and 4:20) were pretty much out of the picture.

Throughout the course, there was constant crowd support, though. There also were numerous police officers keeping the intersections clear of traffic. Many of the neighborhoods had "block parties" with people dressed in costume, handing out jello shots and various other beverages of choice. Thankfully, all of the spectators were wonderful and really helped keep me distracted from my frustrating situation.

By the time I made it to 20 miles, I had lost the 4:30 group. I can't even remember when the last time was that I saw them.There were a lot of people walking in those final miles. Despite my aches and pains, I never felt like I had hit "the Wall." I was able to run at a decent pace, but had to keep taking walk breaks because of my hip.

Within the final mile, there is the Center of the Universe detour. It's a unique little Route 66 can do the extra (out and back).3 mile detour, and in doing so you not only earn bragging rights to having run the "world's shortest ultra," but you also receive a commemorative coin as a keepsake.

Center of the Universe detour...and the coin
I finished the detour, and rounded the final corner towards the finish line. By this time, my body did feel exhausted. I could barely lift my arm to hit the shuffle button on my ear bud cord. I have never cried at a race before, but I did have tears (and a painful lump in my throat) at the Route 66 finish line. Tears of exhaustion, tears of relief, tears of pride, and a few tears of disappointment. I had never had to work so hard for a finish line....but I did it, all on my own.

pics from MarathonFOTO
I got my medal, posed for a few pics, and stumbled to the medic tent. I asked if they had any Biofreeze or anything like that ...and they offered me ice. Seriously? (no thanks). I walked (slowly) through the food line, and found Barb waiting for me.

It's always dangerous sitting after a marathon...getting back up is not a guarantee
Barb had done well....I think she finished around 4:18. I, on the other hand, didn't even come close to my desired finish time. My official time came in at 4:50:19 (my watch showed 4:50:27), 30 minutes longer than what I'd hoped for. That finish time does reflect a couple of lengthy potty stops, two wrestling matches when I discarded my top layers of clothing, the photo op at the bridge, and the detour near the finish line. Don't get me wrong, 4:50:19 is not a bad finish's just not the finish time I wanted, expected, or trained for.

These numbers don't lie....
Haven't we all been there, though? We invest a lot of time, energy, training, and miles into one morning of our lives.To have it not play out the way we envision or hope (due to weather, unexpected illness, injury, or whatever) feels like a slap in the face.

I didn't even look at my results printout until a couple days post-finish line. It shows my 20-mile split as being 3:30...which indicates I actually wasn't too far off pace at that point (and there had already been some walking by then). The final 10K (and detour) took me well over an hour (like 1:20) to complete...hence the finish time. If it was any other day, I probably could have finished the remaining 10K in less than an hour.

I have had several days to think, soul-search, analyze, and reanalyze my Route 66 experience. Here's what I've come up with:

*The Route 66 course was tough, and so was my training. Had I not put in the blood, sweat, and tears in preparation, I would have had to walk a lot more...or possibly taken a DNF.

*This was the toughest race I have ever done. I knew the course would be hilly, and I expected some wind. The hip/groin thing is what blindsided me, though. As mentioned, I had noticed a little something going on with my hip, but I didn't think it was an issue because I didn't have any discomfort on any of my runs during my taper (but none of those runs were on hills or for extensive distances).

*I felt ready, and did not approach the start line "over confidant." I sincerely believe it wasn't just the hills, or the wind, or the wonky hip...but a combination of all three (mainly the hip, though) that messed up my performance.

*Despite my challenging circumstances, I still enjoyed the race. It was a top-notch event with awesome crowd support, a huge expo, plenty of aid stations, and near-perfect traffic control. My only complaint is the lack of first aid supplies on the course. There were a few medical personnel along the route, but none of them had the usual items I see along race courses of this magnitude (bandages, Biofreeze, pain meds, petroleum jelly, etc.).

*I am at peace with everything, finally. Honestly, I am ever-so-thankful for the ability to not only run...but to run races of this distance. Although I respect the marathon for what it is, I am not afraid of running 26.2 (or more) miles. And, I'm already registered for another in 2017.

*I would rather run a tough course, and have a few struggles along the way. Anyone can run an "easy" course (and some purposely choose such a course in hopes of a BQ or a PR), but the tough courses are the ones that show us what we're really made of.

The race jackets are nice! Long sleeves, nice (bright!) colors, and thumb holes. Win!

And, would you check out these medals? The marathon medal is like a small trophy!

So tell me...have you ever run Route 66? Ever endured a tough (hilly) course with compromised body parts? Ever considered bagging a 26.2 finish line and turning around?

I'm linking up with Marcia and Erika and Patty for Tuesdays on the Run, I'm also linking up with Deb for the Wednesday Word (and the word is endorphins...which I think were present at Route 66, but I was not consciously aware of them), and I am also linking up with Suzie and Debbie and Rachel and Lora for the Running Coaches' Corner. I invite you to take a look at all of these awesome blogs, as well as all the linked blogs...there's a wealth of expertise and information!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Marathon hangover = Recovery

Marathon recovery sucks. Especially recovering from a tough race that didn't go as planned.

To say the past week has been a myriad of emotions would be an understatement, but I'm riding the recovery (sans the usual post-race endorphins). And, the sun is still shining, so all is well.

 Here's what's been happening:

First off, there's been some emotional lows. As I've eluded, Route 66 did not quite go as I'd hoped. I trained hard, I put in more miles than ever before, and I did a lot of speed work and drills. I certainly was not hoping for a BQ (ha ha ha ha ha...I would have picked a different marathon for that LOL), but I was optimistic for a PR. I knew the route would be hilly, and I was expecting some wind (ummm...Oklahoma...'nuff said). What I was not prepared for was the hip/groin pain throughout most of those 26+ miles. The constant rolling hills did not agree with the constant pain/strain on my compromised hip. Frustration:101.

Next, there was Monday. I was stiff Sunday evening (on the 8-hour drive back to Iowa), but felt pretty good Monday morning. Right on schedule, the DOMS came knocking late Monday afternoon. As much as I was hoping to do a simple (s.l.o.w.) mile for #nevermissaMonday, I resorted to walking instead. Not really a big deal, actually, and Coach Suz advised me to walk anyways. All was well (other than the DOMS playing havoc with  my quads and feet).

never miss a Monday...even if you have to walk it
Tuesday and Wednesday, my emotions were a whirlwind. There was the disappointment with my Route 66 finish time, but gratitude for the endurance that got me to the finish line (there were several miles-just after the 13.1 mark-when I contemplated turning around and going with the half marathon. The hip pain and frustration really messed with my confidence in my ability, and I didn't know if my body would be able to make it 26+ miles). We've all been there...investing a lot of time, energy, and commitment into one race, and then not having things all fall into place. Ugh. Being totally blind-sided by that hip/groin pain really caught me off guard out in the middle of a hilly course on a windy day.

Then, the pendulum swung the other direction. Still, no post-race endorphins (or even a microscopic dose of runner's high), but I couldn't ignore the pride I felt in realizing I had, indeed, just finished another sixth marathon none the less. Even though my finish time was a good 30-minutes slower than I'd hoped, I realize it still was a finish time many others would envy. It wasn't a bad finish time, it just wasn't the finish time I had wanted (or trained for). Stay tuned...the recap is still in the works.

Tough race on a hilly course...but the bling was legit
Thanksgiving morning, there was a small local Turkey Trot in my town. A friend and myself organized this "little" event in's a free event, it offers 1-mile, 2-mile, and 5K distance options, and all participants are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items (which are donated to our local food pantry). I was prepared for walking the 2-mile distance, but on a whim, thought I'd try to run slowly and see how I felt. Much to my surprise, I felt ZERO pain or I continued running. I ran slow and easy and chatted with other participants. I felt like a runner again...and after several days of soul-searching after the marathon, that's just what I needed.

We had over 100 participants and collected over 200 pounds of food!
Also, I had been planning to do the Runner's World Winter Run Streak (running at least one mile every day from Thanksgiving through New Years Day. That "plan" had come to a crashing halt immediately following the marathon...but running on Thanksgiving morning, albeit slowly, gave me hope that maybe the Streak was back on. So, yes, I am doing the Streak, but I am proceeding with the utmost caution. All of my daily runs are gonna be slow and easy 1-milers for the first couple weeks. My body is in marathon recovery mode, after all, and is in no condition to do crazy, fast, or extensive miles right now. After a couple weeks, if things are feeling good, I may add in a couple runs that are longer than the 1-mile distance...maybe. Stay tuned.

Friday, I had a renewed sense of happiness(and a very full tummy from the previous day's gluttony). My sister, oldest daughter, and myself headed to the mall (an hour away) and did some Black Friday shopping. We didn't arrive until almost 11:00AM, the crowds were manageable, and there still were plenty of bargains to be found. We got back home around 5:30, I changed into some running clothes, and headed out for the Streak far, so good.

Streak day #2...successful!
Saturday, my entire body (and mind) were exhausted. Maybe it was that 6-hour excursion in the funky boots while shopping? None the less, another successful Streak run.

Streak day #3...with a warrior-3
And another easy Streak run on Sunday.

So far, so good....four days of streaking
In other news:

We enjoyed having our Pennsylvania daughter (and her adorable dog) for the past week.
This is Lola...and she kept stealing Max's toys
I even knitted Lola a doggy sweater. And she seemed to like it.

My first grand(fur)baby
Yes, the planking still is happening! I'm currently at 134 planking minutes for November.

And, the #Fridayfashion post was all about Black Friday shopping survival.

The color red, puffer vest, comfy scarf, jeans and boots...these are a few of my favorite things
And, it was a great Thanksgiving. The Pennsylvania daughter and the college-student son both were home. And, with a new dog in the family, we had a fun (and busy) weekend.

My heart is full
How was your week?  Thanksgiving with family? Lots of food? Turkey Trotting? Ever have a tough race that left you (temporarily) depleted of all emotion?

I'm linking up with the wonderful Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap. Head to their blogs, and checkout the link-up! 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

'Fessing up and coming clean

Oh, is my heart, mind, and tummy full! And I have some things I need to share (and runfess to everyone).

It's been a crazy week of inactivity (hello? marathon recovery:101), and my thoughts and emotions have been all over the place since the Route 66 finish line.

We've all been there. You invest a lot (and I do mean A LOT) of time, energy, and training over the course of several months, all in anticipation of a successful day at your big race. You battle your way to the finish line, receive your medal, grab a small snack.....and then what?

Usually, I have another race lurking down the road....but not this year. Route 66 is the biggest race I have done this late in the season, and with the colder-than-cold weather headed my way, there's not much else for races in my part of the country for the next few months. And, that's all well and good.

It's good because my body (and my "running" mind) need some recovery and downtime. I had some unexpected hip/groin pain and strain for most of those 26.5 miles last Sunday (you read that correctly, there was a small .3-mile "optional detour" we could take, making our race distance actually that of Ultra status!). I spent several miles leading up to the marathon/half marathon split-off (around the 12-mile mark) contemplating the 13.1 finish line (instead of the 26.2, for which I'd trained)....then, I spent another 5-6 miles talking myself out of turning around and heading BACK to the 13.1 finish line (at mile 18, I reached an impasse...and continued on to the 26.5 finish line). The frustration of the hip/groin thing was a tough mental (and physical) battle...and there were several instances when I questioned my ability to finish the race at all (did I mention the route was constant hills? and there was lots of wind?).

So, what needs to be runfessed?

Runfession #1: The Route 66 race recap is STILL in the works.
In the midst of coming to terms with the less-than-desired outcome of my race, I have not been able to sort out all the pertinent details into a race recap (yet).  My thoughts have been all over the place (frustration from the tough course, pride in having the endurance to finish, disappointment with my finish time, in awe of the beauty of the course, irritation from the crazy wind that day, and acceptance for how the race played out).  Bear with me...and do stay tuned.

a necessary pic along the Route 66 course (near mile 12)
Runfession #2: I like the freedom of not having anything "big" on my immediate calendar.
Although I'm used to always being in motion, it's liberating to not be constantly worrying about the weather or thinking/planning the next workout or training run. Coach Suz advised me to take two complete weeks off, not just to let the hip/groin thing heal,but also to let my entire body recover. After all, I did just spend the past three months training for Route 66, and there were many miles logged and lots of wear and tear on my body. I even resorted to walking (instead of running) for my #nevermissaMonday obligation this week (which did fall on the day following the race).

Never miss a Monday, late afternoon.....complete with DOMS
Runfession #3: The planking is still going strong, though I'm not posting (daily) about it.
I can honestly say that I love planking. I do planks every day, no excuses. The difference (for this month) is that I'm challenging myself to do additional minutes "on the floor," in hopes of reaching 150 minutes for November. I'm currently at 118 minutes, so I'm well on track to reach (and probably surpass) that goal.

Runfession #4: I did a short, very easy-paced run on Thanksgiving Day.
There, I said it. Myself and a friend have organized a Turkey Trot in our small town. This was our fifth year doing it, and I just couldn't stay home on Thanksgiving morning. It's a free event, and we have 1-mile, 2-mile, and 5K options. We also encourage participants to bring non-perishable food items, which we donate to our local food pantry. This year, we had over 100 participants, collected over 200 pounds of food, and received over $100 in cash donations! I had every intention of just walking, but when I got to the race site, I decided to try to run a short distance...and stop immediately if anything felt weird, strained, or off. Well, everything felt great! I ran really slow, and chatted with some of the others runners and just enjoyed the experience of being in motion. After the past few days of soul-searching and reflection, this simple easy run was just what I needed for reassurance of my ability and a huge dose of mental clarity.....

ready for the Turkey Trot to begin
....which leads me to my final runfession....
Runfession #5: I am streaking (again)...but with extreme caution.
Now, let me explain. I am going into this with eyes wide-open and a very cautious approach. I have done the Runner's World Winter Run Streak for the past few years. Typically, I am NOT a daily runner (nor am I an advocate for streaking), but this has been a fun change-of-routine for me in years past. As I said, I have nothing on my I'm at a loss as to what to be working towards. Obviously, my body needs recovery time from the marathon, and I plan to honor that. My streaking runs will be the 1-mile minimum (at least for these first couple weeks), and they will be very slow (like a controlled jog, if you will) and easy-paced. And, if I feel the slightest of any discomforts, I will stop. I promise.

Bonus****Runfession #6: I consumed many more calories than I burned off at Thanksgiving.
Oh well, it happens. I am still sort of riding the 2600+ calorie deficit from Route 66, so there's that. I plan to get in some serious Black Friday walking as well.

Enough about me. How was your Thanksgiving? Did you do a turkey trot? Favorite Thanksgiving dish? Black Friday...yay or no way?

I'm linking up with Marcia for the monthly Runfessions.....I have a feeling I'm not the only one coming clean on some stuff. Also, I'm linking up with Meranda and Lacey and Rachel for the Friday Five 2.0. Do head over and check out what everyone's been up to.