Hi guys.

Bikini prep progresses… I’m warning you now that in my upcoming posts you will be bombarded with body photos.  Brace yourselves.

Like everyone, I just wish I’d magically be in perfect form already and stay that way so that I could be lazy and eat a whole bunch of whatever the hell I want.

But thank god I actually like exercise and lifting weights so this is pretty fun.  Plus, all of the planning really appeals to my inner nerd.

I’m five weeks from an NPC competition in Arlington, Texas (which just reminded me that I need to update my event calendar in my sidebar. don’t let me forget that y’all).  I think I’m five weeks.  I’d have to actually count it out.  I hope I’m further than that because I really need to lean out my waist a bit more.

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Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just all slob out and wear our big comfy clothes all of the time instead of when we are at home?  That would be so cool.

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Okay now the rest of this post is going to be about skincare and rosacea….

So last week my skin just totally went crazy.

Did I ever tell you that I have rosacea?  Ick, oh my god, I totally do.

Except it usually doesn’t matter even at all because I am a really super good eater and have figured out pretty much what causes it (for me) so I just avoid anything that might provoke a flare up.  It’s really important to me to have pretty and luminous skin – I don’t ever want to have to wear makeup or anything like that.  And, I just think it’s really sad to have to go around with crappy skin.  That’s hard on a girl.

So last week it was SO bad.  I was pretty upset because I hadn’t done anything different to speak of.  It totally affected my self confidence, so I was sad.  And.  I was on a mission to get to the bottom of what was causing it.

I only use my standard Face Brand (and had even really not been using that lately or going to the spa even at all – the heat treatments tend to make a flare up even more noticeable once I’m in the throes of one) and Aveeno eczema therapy lotion.  This combination has worked for me for years.  As  long as I avoid processed foods (sometimes I get weak.  i like junk food too!  i am not immune to it’s siren-like allure), grains and sweeteners I keep a clear face.  My cleanser is Cetaphil – only because last year when my Clinique bar soap finally ran out, I didn’t replace it because the soap dish was cluttering up my sink.

So.  Tried everything that usually works and just couldn’t get it back in balance.

Until!

Claritin.

yeah.  I stopped taking Claritin  last year because I felt like I was getting the same results by just using a saline nasal spray (gross, I know) for allergies.  Why put a medicine in my body if I don’t need it, right?

But since I’d been experiencing more than my usual share of allergy symptoms in the past week, I had to wonder if my flare up wasn’t from allergies.

Totally was.

But just to be on the safe side, I’ve also added a few other things to my arsenal.

Well, first and foremost I’m headed to a surgeon early this week for a laser treatment consult.  Enough is enough.  He just needs to fix my damn face so that this doesn’t happen even at all.

Also, I’ve started taking probiotics again.  You know those folks who keep saying all of our … actually I don’t know what they are saying except that it has something to do with our “gut” (i’m guessing they are referring to some kind of mysterious stomach part that I am not interested in) and overall health.  Rather than waste time bothering to understand this, I just wanted to get to the point and try out this probiotic thing for myself.  I chose one that I took in the past when I remember not having any issue with my rosacea at all.  Also, it tastes really good.

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I’m probably drinking too much of it because I don’t have any junk food or sweets in my life while I’m on contest prep, so this stuff is like candy to me.

Here is my *slightly revised* skin care routine, which has helped remarkably.

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First I switched my cleanser back from Cetaphil to my tried and true Clinique bar.

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I do not use a washcloth or hot water on my face. Ever.  You don’t need a washcloth to “exfoliate” your skin – especially if you apply retin-a to your face.  Exfoliating your face, particularly if you are prone to redness, eczema, or rosacea is totally unnecessary.

Anyway, right after washing my face I use my standard Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy lotion.  I’ve told you before that I have tried Everything – from high end moisturizers to bargain bin crap at the dollar store, and I swear that  nothing compares to Aveeno if you have rosacea. 

Right on top of the Aveeno, I blend in Clinique’s Redness Solutions Daily Relief Creme.  The reason I do not use it as a stand alone is that if I do not have a base of Aveeno moisturiser on first, even the Daily Relief Creme will burn when my face is inflamed.

After that is mostly totally absorbed, I mix a bit of Clinique’s Redness Solutions Daily Protective Base Creme with a bit of my Aveeno moisturizer and smooth it on.

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But here is my favorite thing which I consider somewhat magical…

Later in the day, I apply rose hip seed oil and after that sets a second or two, a little bit of Proactiv’s Green Tea Moisturiser.  It is BRILLIANT in a flare up.  I totally swear by this magical rose hip seed oil.  You have to go and get some.

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Anyway, if you have rosacea I totally hope this helped.Enjoy your week  (:

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So, on Sunday?  I was at Vitamins Plus and I was *starving*.  I don’t even know what I was in there for – probably fish oil – that’s not the point.  This guy breezed by me and quickly grabbed *all* of the Quest bars that he could fit in his shirt.  I’m not kidding.  So I was like, “are they that good” and he was all “they are the best protein bars around” and he kindly took one out of his kangaroo pouch and handed it to me.

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I paid and ate it on the way to the car.  It was so good.  It was so stinkin good.  I drove all around until I finally found a place that the bro-type hadn’t raided – and I bought a whole damn case.

They are very good.

I also bought some other ‘roids that day.

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I am still very on the fence with creatine.  I really need to discuss this with someone my own size.  And by my own size, I really do mean 100 pounds soaking wet.  If you are little then you know – if there is a possible unpleasant side effect or reaction – well, you can basically count on having it.

I’m not real wild about the potential for feeling an overall body bloat.  That sounds uncomfortable.  Plus, my two favorite vegetables are coffee and wine… both diuretics… not a good combo with creatine.

Oh! and can you see that Hydrator there?   Yes, it is what you are hoping it is… new Mystic extending products from Planet Beach.  I’ve started using them, but only 2 days ago, so I’ll let you know what I think in a few more days.

I sat in traffic so much on Saturday.  I took selfies because I didn’t know what else to do with myself.  When am I going to learn to stay off of Youree on Saturday afternoons?

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Now, the rest of this post is kitten heavy.

I am going to preface this whole kitten thing with this:

 

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*and* mention the fact that, while I do passionately dislike cats of all kinds, I cannot even stand to see an animal in distress.

Also I have seven cats.

But really, I don’t *like* them – I’m just … how to say it… someone has to be responsible for them and take care of them.  They can’t pay their own vet bills or buy their own food or anything.

But I do dislike every single one of them.  They feel the same way about me.

But here is a THREE WEEK OLD KITTEN.

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I know.

Here is the three week old kitten drinking from a bottle.  It has to have special formula because it totally should still be with it’s mom.  Why are these kittens outside on the street?

 

 

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Here is a big dopey dog licking the kitten.  The big dopey dog has seen many baby kitty rescues come into her life.  She loves them all and gets so excited when there’s a new baby.  She sleeps with them when they are big enough to come off the heating pad.  She’s getting pretty old now, but still knows when there is a baby in the house.

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Lastly, here is little baby kitten tucked away inside a boy’s shirt  (:

Because sometimes you just want to put a pint-sized kitty in your shirt and keep it warm and safe.

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Enjoy your week  (:

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So! First things first – shoes!  While these aren’t my competition shoes, they are the ones I’ll be using for posing practice (yes, a real thing) and are remarkably similar to my comp shoes.  The difference is that my comp shoes are higher.  Challenging for sure.

All I really have to say about these is… Hahahahahahahahah clear stilettoes, hahahahaha.

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Moving on.

My Minnetonkas are here – in the correct size finally.  As a general rule I wear a 7.5 – but with Minnetonkas I wear a 6… the exception to this is their high fringe boot – which I inexplicably wear an 8 in.

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I like both pairs so much.  Totally equal love for these two pairs – I am going to wear them until they fall apart – which better be a really long time from now.

One more word on shoes:

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I want these.  Really bad.

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I’ve been doing something strange: cooking food.  Usually I just steam huge packs of chicken and just grab cold chunks of it whenever I’m hungry or eat yogurt right out of the container.. or eat whatever vegetables or fruits are around directly over the sink.  That’s it.  That is the extent of my interest in food prep: zero.

But lately I’ve been making breakfast instead of foraging around like a savage for raw meat or fruit.

I don’t hate it, but it does take more time than eating cold chicken over the sink.

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Energy was tanking this week – I wasn’t able to keep up with what I need to do to get in shape… sooo enter Sports Nutrition.

I have to be honest and tell you that these strange voodoo witches’ brews do make me feel like a rockstar – particularly when doing cardio (and you know how I just *love* cardio..)

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There is a pitfall to these supplements…

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Oh Yeah! Remember I told you I’d show you how I was in love with cutting up t-shirts now?

Well, here:

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Yeah, that’s my toothbrush in my mouth.  I like to multi-task.

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So now?  My big plan for tonight?  Paint the workout room.  It’s just ratchet dingy white right now.

Tomorrow it’s going to be great!

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Enjoy your weekend  (;

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So.  Here’s the deal for the next 7 weeks:  Squats, bro.

 

No really, I have got to build up my butt or I have no place onstage in November.  Build a better butt, that’s the plan.

It’s sort of wild just going from totally blowing off the fact that I have competitions coming out the wazoo for the next few months, to finally realising and accepting that I have to train like a mofo or I’m screwed  (;

I like it though.  You know I do.

The biggest thing for me has been changing my eating.  I mean, I eat like a total boss, don’t get me wrong, but I eat reeeeaallly big meals at once (ahem, entire rotisserie chicken in the car at the market parking lot…).  Since I’m on prep, I have to shrink my belly – which means still eating *enough* but only eating small meals.

Since I do a lot of cardio and lift pretty heavy, this is a lot of meals for me.  Tiny meals.

This will take some getting used to  (:

Monday I ran a decent pace.  I won’t lie to you – I do look at the calorie burn on my tomtom and I felt a bit jipped for 6 nine minute miles.  Fine, tomtom… I’ll beat you by doing intervals on the rower later…

At crossfit I was stoked to be doing squats, bro.  The rest of the wod was no joke – and I was delighted to get a PR in push press – particularly on a calorie deficit.  After lunch and a little bit of work (I’ve got to finish up these projects or my name is mud), I went to planet fitness for… Leg Day.  I had wobbly Bambi legs when I left.  A job well done  (:  Oh, and I’d also spilled coffee all over my crotch just before walking into the gym, so none of the boys bothered me that day.  #winI don’t remember what the heck else I did on Monday other than get a spray tan and tap my foot impatiently by the mailbox waiting for my Minnetonkas to get here.  Actually, I ordered two pairs and they were both too big, so I exchanged them and I’m waiting for the *new*, correctly fitted Minnetonkas to get here.  When will I learn that they run a full size too big?  I relearn this lesson Every Time I buy Minnetonkas.

 

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On Tuesday I had seriously slept like… 45 minutes.  I’m not kidding.  It was a bummer.  I totally gave up and went to a 6am crossfit… where we ran three miles and did 225 situps.  Cheese Louise.

 

After that I used my hateful HIIT app for the first time.

Tuesday was my first day of fasted cardio, and I won’t lie to you – it was definitely a challenge.  Like, not something I’ll do every day.  Yikes, that was no joke.

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I rested and did some other stuff, and then in the evening I was able to make it back to the weight room – and it was the wildest thing…

 

It was *totally empty*

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So I snapped an awkward selfie.

Then I slept like 14 hours, the end.

It’s all okay  (:  today was awesome.  Really awesome.  I felt like a rockstar when I woke up because my hair looked smokin’.

 

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I ran for an hour and then missed all of the morning crossfit classes because I was busy sleeping like a boss.  I made it to a noon class and *loved* the wod.  Overhead squats are maybe my favorite right now, I’m not sure.  They might be tied with front squats.

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After I did some other stuff, I made it back to the gym for legs.  Legs.  And butt.  Mostly butt.

I failed at doing any intervals today, but great news (;  I’m buying a new rower on Friday so I’ll be able to knock my intervals out at home.  That will be pretty great, I think.  I really hate getting that sweaty when I’m out.  Gross.

Then I went to the spa for two hours and came home and touched up my eyebrows, found the most glorious Minnetonkas in the world at my doorstep (don’t worry, I’ll show you tomorrow), checked in the mirror for abs and glutes one million times, and cut cute little back designs in some new t-shirts (again, tomorrow when I don’t have a shit ton of work to do, I will show you – because a well butchered shirt is important).

enjoy the rest of your week  (;

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I’m 7 weeks and 6 days out from competition.  I have just decided to switch from figure prep to bikini.

 

I *know* already.

But the truth is that bikini suits my current aesthetic and body type better than figure does.  Maybe I’ll compete in a figure competition in the future, but right now I am more interested in bikini – and frankly my body is more spot on for bikini than figure.

 

We’ll see how this goes.

I’ve been training and eating fairly diligently for the past few months, so I’m not totally screwed – but the next seven weeks are going to be a *leeeeetle* more intense than I’m used to.

The biggest difference is adjusting what and when I eat, as well as lifting on a calorie deficit.  Increased cardio isn’t really a huge problem because I’m training for a series of upcoming marathons – so I was going to have to do that anyway.

I also dropped (temporarily) all of my Goruck events  (I kept the Spartan Sprint though – I don’t feel that it carries that kind of risk.  Goruck is a different ball game). I just can’t risk another injury right now, you know?  My sternum took a beating early in the summer and I was so limited in what I could do for months.  I have to avoid that until after competition.  So… hardly any risky/dangerous athletics.  I’ll keep those to a minimum.

I am also currently flying solo – no coach.  This is complicated to explain, and I like to keep this blog positive so basically it was the right choice for me at this time.

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Because I was basically a failure at keeping up with internet/bloggy/social media stuff this week  (: I just have a jumble of workouts to show you.  I’m going to blob them all right here because you don’t really care, but I might want to look back at it later.

Basically, last week I worked up to approximately 1.5 hr of cardio/day, crossfit most days, and lifting.  I do this 6 days a week.  This isn’t a huge change from the training that I normally do. Really the only difference is that I added 30 minutes of cardio – which I keep intense – because my normal hour is very NOT intense.  I just don’t really dig cardio. So, not a lot of changes in my normal programme.

I am only tracking my running – I don’t really keep track of cycling sprints or anything like that, but I might start.  I’m not sure.  I’m on the fence.  Sometimes tracking things takes the joy out of it and I really love being physical and the gym – I think that might change if I had to track it all.

Additionally, sometimes my TomTom makes me look like a slacker because I put the resistance and incline all the way up on the cardio machine so my readouts look like I’m crawling.

Thursday’s crossfit and run:

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Friday’s crossfit and run:

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Saturday was my first day at a new Crossfit box.  I guess lots of changes this past week  (;

I was pleasantly horrified to see that the wod was FIFTEEN ROUNDS.  I am not used to 15 rounds of anything.  It was crazy and pretty decent.

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My current weight/resistance program is M/W/F legs, T/Tr abs, and overall full body day on Saturday.  Sometimes it’s intense, sometimes I’m just a chill lazy slob.  It depends on the day. But I always show up.  Showing up is important.

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So it’s like hardly September anymore even at all.  That means I switched out my ‘goodmorning’ exercises.  Which is good because I was dreading doing 200 jumping jacks for even one more day.  Besides, my jacks were getting sloppy.  So September had been a short pre-breakfast series of cardio and glute exercises.  My new October ‘goodmorning’ is this:

80 *quality* jacks

20 KBS

125 squats

ab/oblique  med ball crunch 3 sets of 15 reps

medicine ball sit up V 3 sets 15 reps

glute kickbacks 3 sets 20 reps/leg

1 min elbow plank

30 sec side plank/side

1.5 min wall sit

I haven’t set up my afternoon ab/weights/pole routine yet – but there’s no getting out of it for the next 7 weeks… so I’ll bore you with it tomorrow.  I know.  Try to stay calm.

Oh and one more thing?  I just now remembered that I have a 15K this upcoming Saturday.  Don’t let me forget to buy new distance shoes please.

So.  Enjoy your week  (:

I have saved your eyes the trouble of having to gaze upon 4 (potentially boring) photos of my workouts from Monday and Tuesday by cleverly being the very last person in the world to find out about photo collages.  Thus, I give to you – 2 days of workouts  (:

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After running and crossfit on Monday, I ate, napped at the spa and then trained abs.  Training abs kills me right now because I have *totally* neglected them for months.  You may call me Ms. Super Weak Core.

On Tuesday I had another dentist appointment and knew I’d be out of commission after that – so I ran early in the morning and trained legs.  Legs day was cut short because I really hated to miss crossfit.  Plus, my favorite coach was boss of the workout so I wanted to be there.  Don’t lie – you like some coaches better than others.  Some coaches are so superawesome, you know?

 

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I was maybe, possibly feeling a teeny bit sorry for myself after the dentist and went right to the spa.  I had a little pity party and then bought more of the magic collagen masks to take home.  I cannot even say enough good things about these.

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Yesterday I totally overslept and didn’t even run until the afternoon.  I completely  missed crossfit.
I am totally at peace with this because I

a) spent the rest of the day at Planet Beach and,

b) am confident I had a calorie burn similar to what I’d have gotten from TEN MILLION crossfit classes when I realised that I was not 4 months away from OCB figure competition, but rather 8 weeks out. 

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That sort of changes my training plan a little bit…

 

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Thus, I finally got around to updating my event calendar so that I would hopefully not blow off any more upcoming anythings…

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Oh and?  This is my favorite photo from last Saturday.

I remember when bananas were $0.27/lb.  It’s a better deal to pay for the marathon these days.

 

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Enjoy your day  (;

loon

 

On Friday I should have been crowned Queen of Indecision.  Empress, really.

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In the morning, I decided to run slow and easy and lazy because I was running a half marathon the next morning.  Thus, total slacker cardio.

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But by the time I got to crossfit, I had decided that I’d rather just take a break from the races and chill over the weekend – thus letting my body gear up for the goruck challenge next weekend.  So I went totally to my max effort at crossfit.
I was stinkin’ exhausted, but what did it matter?  I wasn’t racing on Saturday.  No distance + speed combo for me.

I fell asleep after a shower.  When I woke up I ate up all of the food ever, got a little bit of work done (a small miracle with me lately, seeing as I am putting it all off until the last minute when I will attempt to complete it while crying), and thought I’d go ahead and end the week with…

LEGS DAY.

I put on a bindi, sprayed on a bit of coco noir and went for it.

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I love ‘legs day’.  Legs day is pretty much the only workout that I can tolerate being titled,  “*Bodypart* Day”.  Legs Day has it’s own name for a reason.

Actually, its the “Two Days After Legs Day” Day that I fear.

I spend a little over an hour on leg strength on Legs Day.  Like, that is solid time.  I’ll talk during cardio, and I’ll definitely talk your ear off at crossfit or during a competition, but during resistance training it is just me and Lil Jon.  Okay, sometimes (often) Miley Cyrus joins us too.
I try not to sing out loud at the gym, but I have caught myself lip syncing and waving my arms wildly.

I have a good playlist.

Late Friday night, while saving the princess (I have the old school wii.  One day *shakes fist at heavens* I will get the wii u – But for now I have old wii) I decided that I would run in the half the next morning after all.  I was feeling like a little bit of a quitter for cheesing out.

I set out my clothes, charged my tomtom and set my alarm.

FOUR HOURS LATER, I woke up and headed out to the Air Force Base where the half was being held.

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I was having a few second thoughts.

Once I arrive at a race my morning generally goes like this:

Check in, pee a thousand times, talk everyone’s ear off and moisturize endlessly.
This particular half started at 7 am – which is a good hour earlier than the other races I’ve run.  I really like the earlier start time because it’s not nearly as hot.  Plus, you can look forward to going back to bed afterwards and starting the day all over fresh.

It wasn’t a bad run.  The course was nice and flat, it wasn’t terribly crowded and there was plenty of water the whole way.

Guess what else there was?

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Plenty of post-race bananas.

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Saturday’s half marked the last distance run I’ll be doing in the heat this year.  As much as I complain about them, I’m sure I’ll be signed up for more distance races soon.  As in, right after I hit “publish” on this post probably…

I don’t have a lot of impulse control.

Oh.  I forgot to share with you my number one race day tip:

make sure you look super pretty for the cameras…

loon