June Recap

Here we are at the end of another month. I don’t know how that keeps happening, but sure enough it does! Since it does, that means that it is time for the next installment of the monthly running recap.

MONTH RECAP: June

Total running: 339.40 miles

Workouts: I think this month was the most consistent I’ve been with doing my workouts in quite a while. In addition to the ones listed below, I also had two long runs (a 20 and a 22 miler) that are technically considered to be “stress” workouts (meaning that you need a recovery day afterwards). If you include those then I have 8 workouts this month, which is two per week. That seems to be my happy place with workouts. I know some people can do three per week, but I am not one of those people.

2 mi. WU, 12 X 400 hill repeats (1:50, 1:48, 1:56, 1:58, 1:54, 1:54, 1:50, 1:49, 1:48, 1:52, 1:56, 1:55), 1.5 mi. CD

10 mi. progression + 2 mi. pick up (6:27, 6:17) + 1 mi. CD

13 mi. TM run w/ a few quicker miles in the middle (6:49, 6:40, 6:49, 6:59, 7:09)

2 mi. WU, 400 (77), 5K (5:59, 6:02, 5:53, 0:34 = 18:28), 400 (78), 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 3 X 2 mi. (12:58, 12:49, 12:38), 1.5 mi. CD

3 mi. WU, 4 mi. tempo (6:56, 6:42, 6:46, 6:49), 3 mi. CD

Races: Just one this month! LuLu’s Hot Trot 5K. It’s a good one.


Favorite race: By default this award goes to LuLu’s Hot Trot 5K! I love this race though. If I had done several races this month, I’m pretty sure it would’ve still been the winner.

Longest run: 22 miles. Followed by big gulps and fountain hangs.


Shortest run: 4 miles. This was actually the day after Hot Trot. I was running on the treadmill and my hamstring kind of started to bother me all of a sudden, so I decided to stop right then. I stretched it out and thankfully whatever that was seemed to straighten itself out fairly quickly.

Favorite run: I really enjoyed running with Daniel and his friends last Saturday. We did 12 miles at a decent pace and followed it up with breakfast at Warehouse afterwards. I’m excited to train with his group more during marathon training this fall.

Oh, and according to this article, post-run social activities actually promote recovery. I like it!

Rest days: 1 (today)! I honestly didn’t realize that I haven’t taken a day off this month until I sat down to look back over my training. I don’t specifically have a rest day planned into my training each week, but I usually do end up taking one or two here and there whenever I feel like I need it. I guess I didn’t really feel like I needed one this month, but since I noticed it, I figured that it would be smart to go ahead and give the leggies a little bit of a break. I’m sure they’ll thank me later.

Other: I rode the bike once while Daniel ran and I walked a few miles (less than 5 total for the month). We have continued our push-up and sit-up training 3 times per week this entire month and I’ve also been doing 5 minutes of planks 3 or 4 times per week. I know that a stronger core is going to be beneficial in the long-run. Pun intended.

What’s next: I’ve got several races lined up in July … a few shorter races and then the 50K is at the end of the month. I’m still trying to decide on my fall marathon too.

Workout Wednesday + A Running Survey

Hello friends! It’s Wednesday, so you know what that means … Workout Wednesday. You got it!

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I kind of blew up my running schedule this week because I decided that I wanted to run a 5K Saturday that wasn’t previously planned. A couple of our friends are doing it so, you know, FOMO. The problem is that I was supposed to have a tempo run today and a fast finish long run this weekend and figuring out how to work the 5K into the mix without having back to back stress days proved to be a bit of a challenge.

One of the main principles of our training philosophy is the stress and recover principle. You stress the body when you run fast or run long (or both) and then you let your body recover with a short or easy day (or both) or with rest. Once your body has recovered from the stress run, it is stronger and more adapted to the stress, which leads to improvements in your running fitness.

I knew that I couldn’t do my long run Sunday if I race the 5K Saturday, so I thought about doing my long run today, which would give me two days to recover for the 5K and I was just going to consider the 5K as my tempo run. As I was running this morning though, I had an epiphany. Monday is a holiday and there is actually a 4 mile race close by and so I can pretty easily do 14 to 16 miles before that race and then do the 4 mile race as my “fast finish.” I really like this idea because it will force me to actually do the fast finish portion of the LR. I have a tendency to bail on the fast finishes far too often.

After I got that all worked out, it was back to regularly scheduled programming this morning, which was a tempo run. The workout was supposed to be a 2 mile WU, a 5 mile LT tempo (6:20 – 6:30 pace), followed by a 2 mile CD. What I actually did was a 3 mile WU, a 4 mile tempo (6:48 average) and a 3 mile CD. Daniel did the workout with me, which made it a lot better!

The 2 mile warm up got stretched out into a 3 mile warm up because there is a huge hill on our route right at mile 2 that is basically an entire mile long and there was no way that I was going to start the tempo on that thing. We knew that 6:30 pace would likely be tough to hit, so we decided to try to stay in the 6:45 range. I entered the temperature and dew point into my calculator when we got back and my LT tempo range for 78 degrees and a dew point of 75 is actually 6:43 – 6:47, so we were almost spot on! That made me feel a lot better!

Don’t beat yourself up over your paces during the summer. Do the work and wait patiently for fall. It’ll all be worth it.

I found this cool little running survey floating around the interwebs and I thought it’d be fun to complete. Here goes …

What is your favorite type of cross training? LOL. Of course this would be the first question. I don’t do a lot of cross training at all, but I guess the question asks about my favorite type not the frequency of the activity. I’m going to go with paddle boarding. It’s a good core workout and it’s challenging, but relaxing at the same time.

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Sometimes we surf on the paddle board!

What is your favorite song to run to? Goodness, that’s a tough one too. This survey might be harder than I was expecting. Favorite song definitely changes from time to time. One of my current favorites is “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten. Another all time favorite would be “Break My Stride” by Matthew Wilder.

What brand of shoes do you wear? Brooks all the way!

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Our dog is named Brooks. That one isn’t too tough.

Do you wear a hat when you run? If it is raining, definitely. Otherwise, it’s usually only to hide dirty hair.

What temperature is your favorite for running? 55.

Do you run solo or with a buddy? Preferably with a buddy (or two or three).

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My favorite running buddy that time he paced me to a mile PR & state age group record. One of my favorite running memories!

Are you a morning, noon, or evening runner? Yes! Haha. Most frequently I am a morning runner, but I do evening runs a couple of times per week and the occasional lunch time run.

Do you have any big races coming up? I’m trying to decide on a fall marathon. I know I’m going to do one, it’s just a matter of figuring out which one that will be!

What is your favorite post run snack? I don’t know that I have a favorite post-run snack. I’m usually not extremely hungry immediately after running. In the morning, I usually have yogurt and oatmeal after my run.

What is your favorite distance? My favorite race distance is the half marathon. My favorite distance to run would probably be 10 miles.

What is your favorite race? I don’t think I can pick just one here, so I’m going to call it a tie. First Light in Mobile was my first marathon, so that holds a special place in my heart. I’ve also done the half there several times as well as the relay, which is always a blast. Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans is the co-favorite.

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Some of my other favorite running buddies after one of the best races!

Do you wear a Garmin? If not, how do you track your distance? I go through phases with the Garmin, but I am currently all-in. I somewhat recently get the new Garmin Forerunner 235 (with the built-in heart rate monitor) and I love it, so that is contributing to my all-in phase. I also somewhat recently joined Strava and so, I have to wear the watch to upload my run to Strava. If you didn’t Garmin it, it didn’t happen.

What is your least favorite race? I kind of hate to even answer this one, but since the question is here, I’ll do it. I am really not a big fan of the Azalea Trail Run. It’s one of the biggest 10Ks in our area, but I just don’t like it.

Who is your running idol? I am a big fan of Desi Linden and Meb Keflezighi.

How long have you been running? I started running track my junior year in high school.

Do you wear your engagement/wedding ring when you run? No.

What is your favorite type of run? Long runs are my favorite 🙂

What do you drink to stay hydrated? Nuun.

Where is your favorite place to run? Favorite place to run would probably be the beach. I love to go out for a run on vacation early in the morning before everyone else is awake. I usually do most of my miles on the road and finish it up with a couple on the beach. You can’t beat that.

What do you take on a run? Does it vary by distance? I don’t typically take anything with me when I run with a group. If I am running alone, I take my phone and mace or some sort of protection device. I am trying to do a better job of carrying a water bottle with me during the summer time long runs.

Your turn! What is your favorite race? P.S. Any good fall marathon suggestions are welcome!

I Will Survive (Hey Hey)

Hey, hey! I hope everyone had a lovely weekend!

I am linking up with HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin for the Weekly Wrap.

As it turns out, I didn’t end up playing tennis this weekend, but my team actually won state! I was supposed to play Friday afternoon. However, one of our girls won her first match 6-1, 6-1 that morning and still felt fresh, so it made sense to let her play again. Honestly, I was relieved not to play. The tournament snuck up on me and I didn’t get much any practice in. I would’ve been totally winging it and when you have a state championship on the line, that isn’t really the best approach.

I’m so proud of my team! Here are the 4.5 Alabama state champs!

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It’s hard to juggle tennis and [ultra] marathon training. Tennis is so hard on my feet and it was hard for me to find time to play this spring. Tennis was my first love (sports wise) and I hope to get back into it more seriously one day, but right now running is my main focus. Running will likely be the main focus for at least the next 4 or 5 years and then, who knows, maybe tennis will take over. My running years will likely peak during that window and tennis is a lifetime sport. I just need to play enough over the next few years to be somewhat competitive when I am ready to get back into it.

This weekend was a big training weekend for me. The 50K that I am looking to do is in 4 weeks. That doesn’t leave too much time! It isn’t really going to be a goal race, but mainly just want to do one so that I can continue my birthday streak. I need 31 miles for 31 years. One day I’m going to have to pick a new birthday tradition (or perhaps just switch over to kilometers), but for now I’m going to continue with the whole run my age in miles thing.

Saturday morning I ran with Daniel and his friends. I ended up doing 12 miles at just under 8 minute pace (7:52). The guys picked it up some towards the end of the run, so their average was a little bit quicker. I enjoyed running with Daniel’s group at a pace a little bit faster than I would have if left to my own devices. I think it’s good for me to push the pace a little bit every now and then on an easy run, just to get out of my comfort zone.

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Of course coffee and breakfast afterwards at Warehouse is just an added bonus!

Rebecca and Savannah came and met us for breakfast and Savannah really enjoyed her fruity pebbles donut. She kept picking the entire plate up and brining it to her face instead of picking up the donut because she doesn’t like to get her hands sticky. She is a little OCD like her mama!

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Since Daniel was finally off work this weekend (hallelujah), we headed to the bay with our fur baby for a little bit Saturday afternoon. Brooks did his typical fetching and waller around in the sand thing. He’s a mess. Like literally a mess after this …

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The remainder of the day was an HGTV Flip or Flop marathon with some rest thrown in.

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Sunday morning was the longest run of the training cycle thus far and of course, it was crazy hot and humid (I guess that’s pretty much a given at this point, but I feel the need to say it every time just in case you aren’t familiar with lower AL summer weather).

Rebecca and I had a good 22 mile route mapped out with lots of options for water. Jessica joined us too! She isn’t even training for anything specifically and hasn’t really done a long run since Boston in April, but she did the entire 22 with us. You know … no big deal, except for that she is kind of a big deal. People know her. She’s very important. Anchorman quotes never get old right?

Not going to lie, the run was a bit of a struggle. There were buckets of sweat, lots of laughs, a few tears, and even a few choice expletives (the end of the run was a bit of a peach show), but we got it in. Summer long runs are all about survival and y’all … we survived! Cue Gloria Gaynor “I Will Survive” lyrics.

Daniel was our knight in shining armor when he brought us all Route 44 drinks from Sonic at the end of our run. I really just thought it was so cool that we ran 22 miles and that when we finished the run we drank a 44 oz. treat and the temperature was 88 degrees. I love number patterns! Nerd alert. I guess that’s the accountant in me.

We cooled off in the fountain, which was quite heavenly!

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That is all of the running related activity that went down this weekend. I feel great (considering I ran 22 miles this morning) and I’m ready to tackle another week!

What was your favorite thing you did this weekend?

 

Be Kind to Yourself

Hey guys! Happy Friday!

Sadly I do not have a race report to give you today. We were planning to go to week two of the summer track series yesterday, but Daniel was worn out and I had a major headache and so we decided it would be best to just rest. Daniel is on his 26th day of work in a row and he is exhausted (understandably so).

I hardly ever get headaches (thankfully) and when I do it is usually because I am dehydrated. I really try to stay on top of my hydration, during the summer especially, but it is definitely possible that I was a little behind. I hated to miss the meet, but at the same time, I didn’t want to dig myself further into a hole. I also had to remember that I am playing a singles tennis match at 1 p.m. today. Yep. That’s gonna be toasty.

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I have to tell myself sometimes that it’s okay to not do it all. I struggle to find the balance between “suck it up buttercup” and well frankly, being kind to myself. There’s that word again … balance. I know that sometimes we need to push ourselves, but sometimes we also need to recognize that we need a break and we need to not feel guilty for taking that break.

Where’s the line between wimping out and being smart? Does this line really even exist? I think that this probably looks very different for different people and there might not be a right or wrong answer in all cases. For some reason right now I am picturing that it looks somewhat like the first-down line on the TV screen during a football game. The viewer sees it because they are able to step back and evaluate things, but the players don’t see that line while they are in the middle of the plays. I know that they know where the first-down is, but in this (somewhat odd) example we are just talking about the magical little yellow line.

What makes matters more complicated is that as soon as you find the line, it moves! I think this is probably true of the line that we are talking about as well. It might look different during different seasons and stages of life. Super deep stuff … I know. That’s the only metaphor that I’ve got. Oh, but I saw this and I just really can’t resist sharing.

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A perfect summation of the struggle. The struggle is indeed real.

Aaaaand I just got completely sidetracked on Pinterest. That struggle is real too. Good news though. I found lots of cute coffee things to share! #winning

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Who’s with me?

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Yes you are! Have a great Friday and be kind to yourself!

Motorcycles + Lemons

Hello friends! Tomorrow is the next race of the summer track series and Friday starts the state tennis tournament, which means that I’ll have some exciting things to tell you about later in the week, so I wanted to do a mid-week check in and tell you about what’s been going on since we last chatted.

I got to spend some quality hanging out with my dad on Father’s Day, which was really nice. Literally hanging out …

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He has taught me so much over the years. He coached all of my sports teams growing up and spent hours upon hours training/playing with me at home too. When I wanted to learn how to do a back handspring, he rigged up a DIY (that wasn’t a thing then, but you get the point) back handspring contraption for me. He got a life jacket from the boat and tied a rope on both sides of it and then hung that in between two trees. I learned how to do the back handspring without fear of falling on my head. I’m pretty sure that I kicked him in the face while he was spotting me one time prior to this contraption being built, so that might’ve been the motivation for it, but alas, it was a great learning tool.

He also taught my Sunday School class when I was in junior high. My dad truly loves Jesus and displays that in every aspect of his life. He walks the walk. He is the most generous, selfless person that I know.

Recent example of this … Daniel has been wanting a motorcycle. I was not super keen on the idea of it (purely from a financial standpoint, not because I didn’t think he could handle himself on a motorcycle). Dad and I were talking about it this weekend and he offered to let Daniel have his motorcycle. Daniel was over the moon excited when he found out! I texted him to tell him that I had good news for him and he said he was happy because he thought I was going to bring him some barbeque home. Motorcycle definitely trumped barbeque and I got some cool wife points in the process.

Here I am on the 1977 Harley Davidson Sportster that we are going to fix up for Daniel. I brought Budsie Daniel along for the ride. Yes, I am 30 years old and I have a stuffed husband that I take with me when I go out of town. Don’t judge me.

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Mom and I got in another good workout together Monday morning before I headed back home. I did a few relatively easy miles on the treadmill while she did the elliptical. My Garmin foot pod came in and so I was excited to test it out. It was spot on! I did have one reader ask and so a few others might be curious about why it mattered if my watch was correct on the treadmill in the first place. Basically, it doesn’t matter. I am just OCD and I link my runs to Garmin Connect and Strava and so I want the data there to be as accurate as possible.

The gym where we were has an indoor running track as well, so after a few miles on the treadmill I thought it might be “fun” to run on that … until I realized that I had to do 20 laps to get one mile. 20!

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I only lasted two miles and I was definitely thankful to have my foot pod at this point, because there was no way I was going to keep count of those laps. I stopped trying after about 5, but thankfully with my watch set to the indoor run setting and the foot pod connected, it tracked it for me.

Tuesday morning Jessica, Daniel and I got in a good 7 mile run before work. The weather has been so much better this week than last week! After work we did the typical group run at Running Wild thing.

The food situation at home was pretty sad (Daniel worked the weekend and I was gone on Sunday when we typically shop), so we had to make an emergency stop at the store on the way home from the run. I’m pretty sure I understand why they tell you to not go to the grocery store when you are hungry. This happened …

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I mean, really?! We usually eat pretty healthy though, so … BALANCE. We purchased a few healthy items (fruit, yogurt, etc.) as well, so it wasn’t a total sugar fest. Side note: I haven’t had E.L.Fudge cookies since highschool. Those things are delicious!

This morning Jessica, Daniel and I were supposed to run again. Daniel decided to sleep in. I got up and got ready and then I got a text from Jessica saying that she messed up her alarm and had just woken up and wouldn’t be able to get here in time to run before work. It was no big deal, I know that definitely happens. I’ve done it. Daniel’s done it. I figured I would just go over and run on the treadmill since all my buddies bailed on me (kidding, kidding).

Well y’all, the treadmill wouldn’t start. It’s definitely been on its last leg for a while. I tried to figure out if this was like a three strikes, you’re out situation and I should skip the run altogether or if it was more of a when life hands you lemons, make lemonade situation. I decided to go with the latter and I headed out for a solo run. I took my phone with me and listened to some worship music and it was a perfectly peaceful run. I am so glad that I went! It was a beautiful morning and sometimes it is nice to just go out for a run and have time to clear your head and think.

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Why yes life, I would indeed love a new pair (or two) of lululemon shorts! How did you know?

See you soon!

Happy Father’s Day!

Hey guys!

I just wanted to drop by and say Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.

I made a quick trip home to see my dad today and it worked out really well because not only did I get to see my dad on Father’s Day, but I also got to see Daniel’s family and go to my niece’s baby dedication. 

Baby Ava is absolutely precious and she tugs on my heartstrings every time I see her. Her little cheeks and the faces she makes are adorable. 


Daniel’s younger sister announced today that she and her husband are expecting too! Ahh! We are so excited for them! 

Daniel and I are not so sure about the whole kids thing ourselves. At least we are on the same page about it. I keep telling myself, maybe one day. Maybe one day. 


Last year my dad and I recreated this awesome picture from back in the day. We weren’t able to do anything like that this year. Long story short(ish) … He fell in a hole working a few weeks back and didn’t want to go to the doctor about it. If you ever wonder where my stubborness comes from, it’s definitely from my dad. His arm got super infected and he’s been having to go to the Urgent Care every day for them to clean out and redress his bandages.

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Thankfully he is on the mend now and I am so glad that I was able to come see him on Father’s Day! 


That’s all I’ve got for now. Just wanted to stop by and say Happy Father’s Day! See ya soon! 

Race Recap: Hot Trot 5K

Hey friends!

Today I ran the LuLu’s Hot Trot for ARC 5K. This race was my first official race recap when I started the blog last summer, so I’ve come full circle now. Sweet!

I always like to compare race times from year to year to see how my fitness has changed over the years. Hot Trot is a really good one to use, because the conditions are always the same (i.e., hot and humid). A quick walk down memory lane revealed that this was my 4th time to run this race! It is definitely one of my favorite races of the year. There aren’t many other races in June, so I’m usually itching to do a race and it’s at the beach. You can’t really beat that.

A quick summary of previous years:
2012 – 19:56. The year of my inagural Hot Trot. Finished (barely) under 20 minutes.
2013 – 19:35. The year Rebecca and I first pulled the #twinning stunt and I won an hourglass. Super unique prize!
2014 – No race. I don’t remember why we didn’t do the race this year, other than Daniel was probably working.
2015 – 20:50. The year of the 3.25 mile 5K.

Now that we are caught up on previous Hot Trot races, let’s talk about this year’s race. Daniel had to work again this weekend, which stinks. He was definitely missed. I don’t like going to races without Daniel. Thankfully, lots of our friends were there so I had some buddies to play with!

In fact, it was basically a mini Ragnar reunion, which was perfect because our medals came in the mail this week and I was able to give out over half of them today. We all got two more medals! One for first place regular overall and one for first place mixed (co-ed) open.

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RagnarTN reunion!

A storm blew through our area late Friday night and brought a little reprieve from the super intense heat and humidity. All the runners were so thankful! Saturday morning was by far the coolest morning in the last couple of weeks. Don’t get me wrong, it was still pretty toasty, but it could’ve been much worse.

It was a pretty early wake up call. The race starts at 7:30, but it is about an hour drive and we wanted to get there by 6:30 ish to get our packets and get a warm up in before the race. I caught a ride with Jill and Mitch and we pulled into LuLu’s right at 6:30. The day was off to a good start!

We got our packets, did a two mile warm up and some strides and then it was go time.

I ran the first mile with Steve and Young Daniel (two of my Ragnar teammates). We came through in 6:18. I was expecting to be a little bit quicker than that, but that’s where we settled in, so I just went with it. After mile one Steve picked it up and I decided to hang with him as long as I could. He is a very smart racer and always negative splits his race, so I knew the next miles would be faster.

Photo cred: Tim Ard

Sure enough, I came through mile two in 5:54. I mean, I knew we were going to pick it up, but wowza 24 seconds was a lot! Steve was already a little bit ahead of me at this point and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to run another mile at that pace. I ran the last mile by myself in 6:02.

I ended up as the 6th overall finisher and 1st female. My official time was 19:05, which is a 30 second course PR. I’m definitely happy with that!

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A few of my Cheetah teammates & awesome friends!

They had ice-cold towels for everyone at the finish, which was really nice. A few of us went for a two mile cool down and then walked over to the post race party.

The post race party is at LuLu’s, which is the perfect venue. The restaurant isn’t open yet, so it’s basically a private runners-only party. We hung out for a little while and got our awards.

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Sasser, Jessica, Jill, me, Joy, Baby Molly 🙂

The awards (3 deep per age group) are usually coffee mugs. I look forward to getting a mug each year. They are the best, basically because they hold a lot of coffee! I also got a medal and a trophy this year. It’s a shoe with wings (symbol of the Greek god Hermes). Too cute!

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After the race I went out on the boat with Jessica and her family. We went to Gumbo Key, which is basically a floating musical concert in Orange Beach, AL. It was a beautiful day to be on the water!

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Daniel got off work in time to meet us for a little bit. I was happy to see him!

Today was so much fun! I know I’m going to sleep so well tonight.