Tag Archives: Zelda

Out of Whack

Helloooo, Friday!

mean-girls-october-3Had to do it #sorryimnotsorry

Even though I’m inclined to say “it’s been one of those weeks,” it really hasn’t. But it kinda has. Let me explain.

Earlier this week, we undertook a renovation project of sorts at work. This meant about 2,000 pairs of running sneakers had to be moved from the shoe room on the ground floor to the basement downstairs. And this relocation displaced our buyers, marketing folks, editorial gurus, etc. Somehow, my workspace became the new garbage location (I don’t ask questions), so I’ve been working remotely.

It’s been a productive, but surreal week. Nearly all of our “downstairs” people have been working from home, so when I stopped in Wednesday afternoon to take care of a few things, it felt like summer camp—a.k.a. hanging out with your friends without adults. (This doesn’t mean people are not responsible adults; the atmosphere was just different because our corporate contingent wasn’t there.)

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Action shot from our Marathon FAQ Panel.  See the sneakers on the left?  Direct result of the renovation project.

Working from home has its positives and negatives: Woohoo for wearing glasses, camping out on the couch, and blasting Maroon 5 all day (and OneRepublic and Sara Bareilles too.) Boo for going stir crazy, experiencing Girls’ Club withdrawal, and having no one to talk to. Gotta take the good with the bad, right?

On a related note, I’ve felt totally out of whack this week.

My routine changed because working remotely means I can start doing my thing earlier. This week has actually reminded me of Honors Week during my senior year of college. Basically, students undertaking Honors projects had five days to write at least 50 pages of a dissertation of sorts; and since I’m a morning person, I’d wake up early, crank out words for five hours, and then take a break. There’s no drafting and revising now, but there have been similarities like days blurring together and taking 30-minute power naps.

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Also, thank GAWD season six of Parks and Rec is on Netflix Instant

During Honors Week, I shut myself off from everyone, put my blinders on, and basically only did one of three things: wrote, ate, or slept. Thankfully, I lived with my BFF who was also doing Honors, so we felt some solidarity in our zombie statuses: ‘Are you alive? What page are you on? Nice, ready, break!’

That rigid intensity hasn’t been replicated this week, but that sense of distance feels familiar. Since I spent my Honors Week waking hours dialed in, there was virtually no socializing. Granted, it was only five days, but still. Not ideal. This week has felt like that too: It’s tough when you know exactly what’s going on in someone’s life—including the nitty gritty stuff—and then you don’t see or really talk to them for a week. Again, not ideal, but normally, this wouldn’t be an issue; as a type-A person, I’d cling to and find comfort in my routine, but since my day-to-day has changed too, well, it’s been a long week.

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Miss you, Zelda!

There’s no concrete end date in sight—just the vague, “sometime next week”—and since we’re in full-fledged marathon season, we can’t let up either. It’s the most wonderful (and crazy and stressful) time of the year!

Speaking of, two quick PSAs: First, for you NYC folks, JackRabbit is holding our Four Jacks Run tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. If you need one last long run (20 miles) before the marathon, then this is perfect!  Second, I’m doing Bike MS Sunday with some coworkers. This has become a personal cause—you may remember I did MuckFest Boston last year with my aunt—and every donation helps.

All right. It’s back to Sara B. until further notice.

What are you up to this weekend?

Spill It

Hey, look who’s popping in on a weekday and blogging!

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Jokes.  You know you work at a running store when …

I know, I know.  Blogging has fallen to the wayside since triathlon training began in January.  There aren’t enough hours in the day, and something’s gotta give.  But in an effort to start again, I’m taking a page from Alex’s book and spilling it.

The last five people you spoke to on the phone:  Do people still talk on the phone?  Aside from work-related calls, I talk to my mom everyday, and that’s about it.  So let’s go with texts instead.

Coach – re: triathlon stuff

Sister – re: boyz and nailpolish colors

Sister – re: the dentist

Mom – re: finally getting a Valentine’s Day card because I don’t check my mail

Friend/coworker – re: inside joke/making fun of someone

The last five meals you ate:  Hello, standbys.  Aside from Whole Foods sushi and Taco Tuesdays, I cook 95 percent of my food.

Eggs and egg whites with spinach and avocado

Chicken fried rice from The Feed Zone Cookbook

Indian-spiced turkey burgers with roasted Brussels spouts, mushrooms, and sweet potatoes from Practical Paleo

Protein smoothie with banana, frozen strawberries and blueberries, almond butter, and protein powder

Turkey wrap with spinach, hummus, and avocado

The last five places you traveled/will go:  Define “traveled.”

Stamford, CT to swim in a long-course pool

Prospect Park in Brooklyn to run The Cherry Tree 10 Miler

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The Armory in the Bronx to watch some friends from work race

“Upstate,” aka about an hour and forty five minutes outside of the city to see my sister and Zelda

And I will go to South Beach in 38 days to race!

The last five workouts you did:

See training log—swimming, biking, running, and strength training.

Five things that make you happy right now:

My friends (both coworkers and teammates) – I’m surrounded by some awesome people.  It’s a blessing to train and work alongside folks who truly “get it,” and they constantly inspire me to become a better athlete and employee.

My job – I don’t talk about it a lot, but it’s going well.  Really well.

My health and training – My life centers on swimming, biking, and running, and again, I feel so blessed to have the health, body, and support—from my family, teammates, and friends—that allow me to train.

(Pictures of) Zelda

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And my Dad’s coming to visit this week!

Your turn—spill it!

What I Do When I’m Not Training

… because swimming, biking, and running have taken over my life.  And I wouldn’t want it any other way.  But let’s be real:  The running, triathloning, and healthy living communities constantly surround me.  After all, I go to practice and then head to work and help others discover this lifestyle too.  With that being said, here’s how I spend my time when I’m not working or working out.

When I’m not training …

… I’m drinking coffee.

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I am not a verb!

Please don’t tell me this surprises you.  Early-morning wake-up calls demand pre-workout java, and there’s no way I can ride the subsequent endorphin high all day.  However, I have discovered I can make it to 3:30 p.m. or so before crashing. (Which also means if there are evening plans on the agenda, then I need my second cup around this time.)

… I’m cooking and meal-prepping.  Again, this shouldn’t be a surprise.  Whenever I have 30-45 minutes at home, it’s likely broccoli, mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, and/or sweet potatoes are roasting.

… I’m watching Downton Abbey and/or Parks and Recreation.

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Seriously two of the best TV shows ever.  Speaking of, happy Galentine’s Day!

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… I’m hanging out with coworkers, a.k.a. work friends.

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Whether it’s watching them race, grabbing drinks on the weekend, or simply supporting their non-JRab endeavors, I’m so grateful to call them friends.

And eventually, I will write one of those “day in the life” posts.

How do you balance fitness with other activities?  What do you do when you’re not working out?

Real Talk

TGIF … seriously.  It seems like count down mode never ends—first keeping track of how many days until Thanksgiving, and now crossing off box after box in my planner until Christmas.

On that note, you know I’m all about keeping it real over here.  Sure, this post has no definitive common theme, but in the words of Hollie, it’s real talk time.

Yet again, my workout motivation has vanished.  I blame being home for Thanksgiving and playing catch-up this week.

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And spending too much time with Zelda who naps while I plank.  What a load!

Also, maybe the fact that my season officially starts in one month (yes, exactly one month) can be credited with some of this motivation zapping?  After all, if I’m going to skip workouts, then I may as well do it now—because it definitely won’t fly in 30 days.

as has my endurance.  So I attempted two speed workouts this week—and bombed both of them.  Darn you, offseason.  No, you can’t maintain peak fitness year-round, but I don’t feel good about where my run stands as of right now.  Not to mention my first race of the season is exactly four months away.

But I get to be a “real girl” for another month.  Holiday parties and team gatherings comprise my social calendar for the next few weeks, and you better believe I’ll YOLO now because January 6 looms overhead.

Why couldn’t I go to The Running Event (TRE)?  Every year in Austin, runnerds from across the country gather at this conference/trade show to geek out and talk about the industry for a few days.  Our higher ups attended.  I’ll get there one day.  Gives me something to shoot for, right?

My coworkers are the best.  With the pre- and post-marathon booms behind us, traffic at the store has slowed, which is normal for this time of year (until the holiday shopping starts, of course).  Since we’re not cranking out shoe fits constantly, there’s time to complete several projects that get ignored during the busier months—and opportunities to talk and get to know each other better.  Without getting too sappy, I feel blessed and grateful to be surrounded by these folks; they truly care, they truly “get it,” and they’re so much fun to be around.

On that note, I’m off to work—have a great weekend!

National Dog Day, Training Updates, and a Bout of Nostalgia

Hello!  Woah, I totally didn’t mean to take a five-day hiatus, but it feels like I’m still catching up from my weekend in New Hampshire.  Here are some highlights from the past few days.

Celebrating National Dog Day

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Unofficial blogger rules question whether I celebrate since I didn’t Instagram a picture of Zelda–ha!

Setting a new bike personal distance record (PDR)

Early Sunday morning, a teammate and I rode across the George Washington Bridge, explored New Jersey, and logged 60 miles.  For the serious cyclists and long-course triathletes, this distance won’t seem impressive, but it’s a PDR.  And we’re already planning to break it this upcoming weekend with another multi-hour outing.  In related news, I’m now taking road saddle suggestions.  And starting my tri bike research.

Contemplating a long (for me) race

Speaking of going long, I need to start doing some double-digit runs.  Even though there’s a training philosophy that says you should go fast before you go far, it’s important for athletes to develop both fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibers. (Read more here.) All of my Full Throttle Endurance run training has worked toward building speed (our workouts cap at five or six miles), and I haven’t logged longer runs this season.  In fast, my farthest one was with Jen back in February.  And sure, I could go long for fun, but I know myself well enough that a tangible goal (read: race) would hold me accountable.  Enter the 3rd Annual Fall Foliage Half-Marathon.

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Yes, I am considering a half marathon.  Considering.

Starting the final training cycle

Yep, the last eight-week training session kicked off this week, and it’s been bittersweet so far.  I’ve had so much fun this season—training, racing, and hanging out with my teammates—and part of me doesn’t want it to end.  But on the way to practice yesterday, it hit me:  I’ve been swimming, biking, and running for eight months.  Eight months.  Let’s just say some downtime (read: unstructured workouts) will be welcomed.

Feeling nostalgic

College students across the country are heading back to campus, and my alma mater hosted its first-year orientation this past weekend.

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Photo has reached 113 likes, FYI.

This is for real.  There are no words.

Moving on, I met a teammate and newly crowned Ironman for lunch last week. (He’s the one who completed Lake Placid.) Of course we talked triathlon, but we also discussed writing (because he finally launched his blog)—blogging for a digital space, getting into a writing routine, etc.  It’s been a while since I’ve talked about writing, and I didn’t realize how much I missed it.  And that in turn made me miss the critical classroom discussions, which in turn made me think about college … you see where this is going, right?

When’s the last time you felt nostalgic?

Home For The 4th (and 5th) of July

Hiya, friends!  I hope your long holiday weekend is going great so far!  On Wednesday, I hopped on a flight home to Syracuse, and I’ve been fully enjoying Central New York.

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A little different than New York City, right?

My first stop after the airport was Wegmans.  Obviously.

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I have yet to find sushi that even comes close to this in NYC.

While home, I needed to complete a tempo run, so I signed up for my hometown’s 4th of July 5-K.

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I debated whether or not I should write a race recap, but honestly, there isn’t too much to say.  I did a quick warm-up mile on the high school track, and excluding two big hills at mile one and two-ish where my pace creeped up to 8:1X, I hit and held my tempo pace.  Official finishing time was 23:36 (7:36), which I’ll take for not “racing.”  Shortly after, I took Zelda for a “recovery jog.”

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Good news—the Mizuno Wave Sayonaras can withstand both road racing and greyhound walking!

Anyway, later that afternoon, my entire family—aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents—came over for 4th of July festivities.

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My uncle’s girlfriend’s mother made this patriotic fruit salad, and I had to try really, really hard not to put away the entire spread.  The fruit was delicious, but it was the dip that proved to be my demise: fluff and cream cheese.  Yum!

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Other shenanigans ensued.

And yesterday, I completed a five-mile recovery run before hitting the pool.  I mean LAKE!

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Words cannot begin to describe how much I missed open-water swimming here.

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My 20-minute “workout” consisted of a 10-minute warm up and 10-minutes of intervals.  I swam steady to a predetermined point, then swam hard back, and repeated this cycle.  My mom and dad spotted me, and this was the first time since last year they’ve seen me swim, bike, or run—and they were floored.  They said I looked like a completely different swimmer.  Woohoo for progress!

The rest of my day consisted of napping outside and trying not to get sunburned.

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My extended family eventually visited for round two of festivities.  No pictures, but I will say we polished off a bottle of limoncello and citrus-flavored vodka.

How did you celebrate the 4th of July?

Zelda’s on Slowtwitch!

Hi there, friends!  How’s your Thursday going so far?  Thanks a bunch for your thoughtful comments on yesterday’s post.  Riding and becoming comfortable in aero will take time—but patience isn’t exactly my virtue (ha!), so we’ll see how that goes.

Anyway, Zelda wanted to pop in and say hi.  She hasn’t been on the blog recently and was feeling neglected.

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She also told me to share a link to a story.

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Yep, that’s Zelda on the Slowtwitch.com homepage.  She even got a shout out in the Q-and-A itself, so check it out!

Six Things Thursday

Hey, hey—happy (throwback) Thursday!

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I’ve been sitting on this high school basketball picture for a while, and I finally uploaded it to Instagram today.  Miss those glory days!

Anyway, this post is all over the place, which makes for a perfect list.

1.  Wednesday’s edition of heat training for Nautica South Beach went pretty well.  During the Full Throttle Endurance indoor cycling workout, I wore three layers (Under Armour, short-sleeved t-shirt, and long-sleeved t-shirt) and noticed a few key things.  Aside from the obvious (warming up quickly, sweating more, etc.), my heart rate rose quicker during power intervals and took longer to drop during recovery efforts.  This was probably due to a combination of rocking the extra layers and pushing myself more—t-minus 16 days, so it’s crunch time!  Honestly, though, the heat didn’t take its toll until mile three of the run off the bike.  I had to work harder to hold my steady pace, and I was so tempted to take off a shirt or two; I was uncomfortably warm for sure.  Stripping won’t be an option in Miami (need to have some decency, right?), so I pushed through. (Side note:  We talked about the run during our bike workout, and Andrew said four miles have never felt so long.  Gulp.)

2.  My appetite and grocery bills have increased exponentially this week.  Case in point:  My supply of roasted sweet potatoes that normally lasts five days disappeared last night. (Who could’ve eaten them all?) This warranted a trip to Whole Foods, and I also picked up more spinach, almond milk, and protein powder.  Seriously, where is all my food going?!

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Can’t wait to have this fresh batch tonight!

3.  This afternoon’s swim workout wiped me out. (I tagged along with another FTE training group this morning for a 40-minute tempo run and waited until the afternoon to hit the pool.) My training plan called for an endurance swim with longer intervals, so I wrote this down beforehand:

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Swimmers, would you call the main set an endurance swim?  The 30 seconds of rest was too ambitious, though.  After the first and second 500s, I bumped it up to one minute.

4.  I’m so excited to go home for Easter!  This will be my first trip back to Central New York since January, and I can’t wait to see a certain greyhound.

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Let’s hope Zelda will pull me through a tempo run or two.

5.  It’s the most wonderful time of the year: March Madness has begun!

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[source]

Syracuse plays Montana tonight, but I’m not a fan of the 9:57 p.m. tipoff—that’s way past my bedtime! (But really.)

6.  For my fellow Downton Abbey fanatics, have you seen Dan Stevens’ new look?

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[source]

I definitely don’t hate it!

Did you fill out a bracket for March Madness?  What are your plans for Easter?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Good morning!  I’m off to work shortly, but I wanted to pop in quickly and wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day—from Zelda.

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She wasn’t exactly feeling the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Tuesday night.  But she got her act together and sent me a cute care package, which is so kind of her because this is usually how I feel about today.

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Also, I joke that races are the only things I want to commit to right now—ha! (Speaking of, I solidified my travel plans for Miami last night—South Beach, I’m coming for you!) Anyway, Zelda spoiled me.  Have you ever seen a greyhound card?

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Neither have I.

How about chocolate?  Dark chocolate to be specific.  Or a greyhound beanie?  This is too cute!

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And just so this post isn’t all about V-Day, I had the best brick workout to-date yesterday.  After a 75-minute indoor spinning class with my Full Throttle Endurance teammates, we quickly swapped our cycling shoes for sneakers and headed to the indoor track to run off the bike.  Andrew said going forward, we’ll always run after these Wednesday cycling classes, but we shouldn’t push the pace today; the goal was to slowly get acclimated (acclimated being relative, of course) to the jello-to-lead leg feeling.

For the first two miles, I ran with one of my pace group teammates, and we clocked 8:0X miles.  I don’t know whether I should credit wearing my new Sauconys, following the “shorter, shorter, quicker, quicker” approach, or just becoming more triathlon fit in general, but this pace felt manageable.  Very manageable.

As we finished mile two, we caught up to two guys from a faster pace group.  Technically, they should’ve been out in front, so we dropped our pace to 8:20-8:40 and finished the final two miles with them.  Sure, I experienced some rough patches mentally—do you really think you can hold this pace for four miles?—and I have to credit my teammates with pulling me through.  For the final two laps, the guys sped up (probably to 7:30-7:40), and I told my female teammate, “Let them go.”  That didn’t go over well; she responded, “No way!  We’re going with them!”  So we matched their pace for three laps (they started before us, so we had another 400m to go when they were done) and finished strong.  The final lap was tough, but I willed my body to respond, and plus, I didn’t want to let my teammate down.  Honestly, I questioned whether I had enough gas in the tank for this pace, but I did.  Granted it hurt, but in a good way—the kind of pain that means you’re working.  Overall, I was so amped with how this brick turned out; I would literally smile to myself at random points yesterday just thinking about it.

Arguably more exciting than yesterday’s brick, I think my teammates view me differently now.  Not that they didn’t like or take me seriously before, but I’ve known everyone for about a month now, and they’re getting to know me better too.  Not to mention completing these tough, early morning workouts bonds people.  Plus, in the case of my running pace group teammates especially, they feel comfortable enough pushing me—or, in the words of Andrew, refusing to let me “punk out” when the workouts get tough.

Do you like working out solo or with a team/teammates/friends?  When your workouts get tough, how do you push yourself to finish?

23

At approximately 8:41 a.m. this morning, I turned 23 years old.

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Holy cow—talk about old!

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Ballet days throwback.  My grandparents included this photo in the above birthday card–aren’t they sweet?

It seems like yesterday I was playing high school basketball, then hanging out at CampHoho going to college.  Where has the time gone?

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In all honest, though, 22 treated me very well.

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I rang in my second year of official adulthood with plenty of homemade cupcakes and Pinot Grigio.

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I ran my first relay race, the Seneca7, with some awesome Writing and Rhetoric teammates.

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What?!  Who doesn’t like pondering grammar?

I had so much fun fully embracing the sweetness of senior spring—after completing my Honors project, of course.

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I survived my first wine tour.

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I graduated?!

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I decided to give blogging and triathloning a shot.

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I volunteered at the Syracuse 70.3 Ironman—and watched MB kick some serious butt!

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I partied through ran the Boilermaker 15-K with Sara.

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I bonded with Zelda at the Grapehound Wine Tour.

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I finished my first triathlon—and was instantly hooked!

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I completed my second and third swim-bike-run events.

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I moved to New York City, survived Hurricane Sandy, and found a big-girl internship.

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I explored Brooklyn with Gabby and Connie.

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I spent lots of quality time with my family during Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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I officially started training with Full Throttle Endurance.

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I trigeeked out and met Craig Alexander.

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Twenty-two was pretty sweet, but 23, I’m ready for you—let’s do it!