Tag Archives: running

Bahamas Balm

BREAKING NEWS: I RAN!!!!!!!!!! And not just in my mind but for real with actual footsteps and heavy breathing and everything!!!

I am thinking I might need to change the name of the blog from Cape Island Runners to Island Runners since I have absolutely no interest in coming home (esp considering Tuesday’s high up north is 30dF). This place is amazing- the scenery is phenomenal and when you add plovers to the mix, you have a combination that just can’t be beat. Wednesday and Thursday were spent on Grand Bahama and we saw 41 plovers, including 2 banded ones! We sadly did not see Bahama Mama and I fear the worst since she was also not seen on the Christmas bird count. But hopefully she is just being extra elusive and will show up again in Jersey in the spring.

We started today with an early flight to Abaco- an eight seater plane was our mode of transport:

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The day was cloudy but it couldn’t dampen our spirits! While waiting for the right tide, I summoned the courage (and had very understanding travel mates) to give a run a whirl. Em came along as my running bud and emotional support in case the tropical atmosphere was not enough to buoy my spirits should the pain rear its ugly and unwelcome head. My heart was racing (for real, I checked; normal heart rate ~55 bpm, it was 78 just before we set out) and I was just a tad nervous:

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Garmy was raring to go (the watch said the date was Dec 6th before the satellites corrected that) but it’s been a long time since we danced together and he was afraid I had left him for a different partner. He saw the goggles and swim caps and wasn’t sure where all this was leading. But normalcy, and Garmsters, reigned king today!

I kept it slow and stayed anxious until mile .82, which is when the pain kicked in on my last run (44 days ago, not that I was counting). At .83, I started to relax. By 1.05, I was on Cloud 9- NO PAIN!!! Em got upgraded from staff psychologist to staff photographer when she captured these images. I think they speak for themselves:

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I felt like ME for 3 glorious miles . I worried that the pain might show up afterwards, but here we are 12 hours post-run and all is right with my right leg. Ummm, yes!!!!!

I think it is still too soon to say I am totally out of the woods but feel like I finally found the trail after wandering around the forest for awhile. My thoughts today are filled with relief, glee, and awe for the power of the human body to heal itself. This day will no doubt loom large in my catalog of runs in other countries. I have lots more to say on this whole topic, but will save it for future posts when my mind stops spinning.

Thanks so much to Em who was prepared to handle whatever came her way today. She’s a great friend and was worth her ( and about 50 other people’s) weight in gold today. Side note- I am so proud of her for sticking with running and look forward to many CIR runs this summer!!

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Still can’t believe this was me today 🙂

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What was a favorite post- injury run you have gone on?

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Running in Bellingham, Washington

Washington has been checked off the state list!! What a gorgeous morning for a run – crystal blue skies, no humidity and temps in the mid-60s! I set out for a jet lagged 6 miles, but I felt surprisingly good by the end and was able to get in a few tempo miles. I plotted a course that was mostly suburban/city roads with some nature mixed in. Perfect!

Drive-thru coffee places were the theme of the morning! Quite densely packed in this sweet little city.

Beautiful buildings mixed old with new. New court house…

…and old whatever this was. Ran by, could not tell, lol.

Sometimes pearls of wisdom show up in the most unlikely of places.

If we didn’t have to high-tail it to Vancouver this morning, I would have come back to this park and luxuriated in its beauty all day.

I wound up tempo-ing it through this park, so this was my last pic. But take my word for it, the trees were so inspiring, cheering me on and pushing me faster than I thought possible today (don’t get too excited, this was Kashi fast, not Meb fast!).

I usually take Fridays off from running, but at the NAOC conference we are at (GD is presenting a poster) we found out there is a 5k race tomorrow morning, the 27th running of race for birders!!! Could it get any better? Stay tuned to find out when, for the first time, everyone I run with will also be into birds.  BIRD NERDS LACE UP AND UNITE!

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What I Saw When I Ran Wednesdays

For those of you who read food blogs, you will often see a “What I Ate Wednesday” post. Same idea here, except it will be what I saw when I ran on Wednesdays.  So take a peek at what my orbs observed and then add your own experience!

In case it was stormy tonight, I did a quick 3-miler this morning and saw lots of other runners and bikers around – it’s definitely the “busy” season. But we beat the rain tonight and welcomed two new faces to the CIR community! Many of our regulars had prior commitments (job interviews among them, fingers crossed for Christy!)  so tonight was a whole new group and it was great – the exact reason I have been enjoying getting CIR off the ground are runs like this. We got to meet the super adorable Diane who I hope to see a lot more of (I am constantly amazed how many people are hanging about in Cape May that we have not met. Very glad our paths crossed tonight!) and also finally got to run with Tiff, a birding friend who I am hoping to start counting among the birder/runner moniker I am developing down here (we are sorta like actor/models, or slashies if we were characters in Zoolander).  I was feeling extra chatty tonight…ok, that’s a lie, I was the same level of chatty as normal but was distracted by shiny new running friends and did not take as many pics as usual. Next time! Here is what we saw:

CIR chatting it up on Seagrove

Our line of bodies triggered the speedometer – Goooo us!

It’s blurry, but you guys know I can’t go past the circle where we got married without getting all sappy and snapping yet another picture of it.

Post-run…more chatting! Are you picking up on a theme tonight, lol?

GD came back from a stellar run and followed it with a stellar meal – tempeh pineapple stir fry. Please notice the pineapple-ginger punch that he is drinking out of a measuring cup, complete with a pineapple accoutrement.

What did you see on your run today?

What is your favorite fruit to hang on the side of a glass (or measuring cup, as the case may be)?

How much do you love new running buddies?

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Rhode Island Rhodetrip!

Some of you may know that Lil Sis and I have an ongoing competition to see who can run in more states, countries and continents. You may also know that Lil Sis is currently engaged in a “12 Running Goals for 2012” challenge she concocted at the end of last year. Bored of regular training plans and chasing PR’s, she wanted something to spice to up her life (can I please tell you that ever since the Olympics started, I cannot get Spice Girls songs out of my head even though I have never been a fan of them and they have nothing to do with it!!) and the way she decided to make that happen was this: she took 12 slips of paper, assigned a goal to each one and at the beginning of every month pulls one out of a hat and has to complete it by month’s end. Check out her Facebook album documenting this quest and see how she managed to run in costume when it came up as her January goal 🙂

Anywho, July’s goal was “run in a new state”. Her schedule is crazy busy these days and she only had 2 states that are within a weekend drive away, so the choice became RI or WV. For a variety of reason, RI won out and a short Hotwire hotel search later, we were all set to rack up a new state! Well, I should say she was all set to but also grudgingly resigned to the fact that I would be too. I am currently on top of the state standings and since neither of us had RI, it would be a net zero gain for her in the competition. BUT neither of us can resist the lure of a sister trip, so she put her competitive fire aside and off we went!!

That makes the trip sound a lot faster than it was. Although we left early in the day (12:45pm), there is no winning against summer traffic on Friday. Connecticut pummeled us with 55 miles of traffic (that is not a typo – not 5 miles or 5.5 miles, but 55 MILES!!! It was insane!). We have now declared a personal war on CT, since although the way back was traffic-free, it was not easy due to the torrential downpour (< 1 miles past the state line) that forced us to slow down to “hazard lights on” speed for miles!  God bless the people who live and travel around Rt. 95 in CT, you guys deserve a medal or a beer or that surgery from Eternal Sunshine to erase the memory of that mess!

Upon reaching Providence, the quaintness of the city usurped our bad traffitudes (that’s a new word to describe an attitude that comes from traffic. Yup, I made it up) and we soon found ourselves fawning all over it. We had booked a room at the Biltmore, a historic hotel downtown. We got in the room and Lil Sis immediately switched on the Olympics. We didn’t want to miss any more of the opening ceremonies, so we ordered an awesome delivery meal from Luxe Burger and happily chowed down as we contemplated whether Paul McCartney was finally losing his touch or if he was choked up at the beginning of his set (choked up – whew!). By midnight, we turned out the lights in our hot box, making the best of it by assuming the lack of working air conditioning was part of the historic experience of the hotel.

Room 720, where it was as hot as the 1700s

Dinner! Guess who ordered the Gorgonzola tater tots?

We woke up the next day ready to get a big check in this little state! I had not mapped out a route as I am apt to do, so with nothing to guide us but Laur’s innate sense of direction,  a Garmin and an iPhone (“the devil’s instruments. you’ll rot your brain with those crutches!” shouted the ghosts of the colonists), we set off. We had a glorious run, enjoying the cool morning air and the picturesque sights. Here is what we saw:

An action shot at Burnside Park

Lil Sis tackles stairs at the Rhode Island College of Design


The Carrie Tower built in honor of one man’s deceased wife. I fully expect one of these if I go before GD.

Indeed

Brown University was great to run through! I believe at this moment we were debating whether or not Michael Jackson was actually guilty. You can see the impacts of an Ivy League school on our intellect already!

Post-run sister self-portrait! We have more pics like this than we can count and I treasure every last one.

Upon our return to the hotel, we got cleaned up and went to do a bit more exploring:

The waterfront where they conduct WaterFire.

Chowing down at Tazza while we watched some impressive and not so impressive teenagers do Parkour.

Going for a tour at the John Brown House and ending it by making the decision that Lil Sis must buy an old house to fix up and live in.  I will do my part by visiting her and heaping compliments on her restoration and decoration efforts.

We both repeatedly remarked how much we enjoyed the feel of this city. There is just something about immersing yourself in historical places that makes you appreciate what you have and how far people have come. I mean, when the people of the 1700s wanted to check RI off their run list, they had no Google Earth, Garmin or iPhone to lead the way! They just put on their wool suits and set off into the great beyond! Seriously though, from dealing with their children dying, to no plumbing or electricity, to the very tumultuous political climate, they were clearly made of mettle far stronger than what I possess.

On the flip side, Lil Sis and I also spent time wondering what the people of the future will think about our way of life today. For example, we both think there is a lot of room for improvement in traveling and we like to picture people hundreds of years from now walking through a museum showing the fuselage of a plane and the docent saying “Yes, in their day, these people would strap themselves into one of these tiny seats and then sit for up to 16 hours with nothing but reruns of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ and teeny bags of pretzels to get from one country to another! Can you imagine??”

We both loved Providence and would like to come back one day to do a race. However, unless teleportation suddenly becomes an option (can someone get on that? it is the 2000s now, the stories of my youth led me to believe my cells would be zapped from here to there and everywhere in no time by now!), we can guarantee it most definitely will not be on a summer weekend when traffic in CT will inevitably lead to us cursing the day it was ratified as a state!

Who is your road trip buddy?

How many states, countries and continents have you run in?

Where do you think the museums of the future will focus on about today?

 

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What I Saw When I Ran Wednesdays

For those of you who read food blogs, you will often see a “What I Ate Wednesday” post. Same idea here, except it will be what I saw when I ran on Wednesdays.  So take a peek at what my orbs observed and then add your own experience!

Helllloooo gorgeous! What a morning! It was the kind of day that reminds you how much heat and humidity actually do impact you – even for a humidity lover such as myself, I have to admit that its absence this morning was a welcome reminder that I am not slow as molasses. It was a joy to look down at Garmy and see numbers that have been strangers as of late. I hope you got out for a run today because that was a true gift. Here’s what I saw:

2 points if you can name where you have heard this – “But keep a weather eye open, mates, and hold on tight… Thar be squalls ahead, and Davy Jones waiting for them what don’t obey.”

If you like craft fairs and lighthouses, the state park was the place for you today!

Got to run the paths at the state park, which I had not been able to do since spring because we close some of the access points to protect beach nesting birds this time of year. Sadly, their nesting season is wrapping up, but happily this sea of flowers welcomed me back!

Top of the morning to ya, favorite part of the trail, how I have missed you!

Love, love, love the sweet roadside stands this time of year.

If you find yourself on Lighthouse Ave on a Saturday morning, be sure to stop in this one for baked goods. They open at 10a and you best get there early because they are usually sold out by, oh, about 10:08a.

I reluctantly wrapped up my run and headed off to work where these amazing things happened: I got to see one of our banded piping plovers at 2-Mile Beach (who was banded in Stone Harbor), a nest we had given up for dead hatched a hail mary chick and, best of all, we got word that the  injured chick from Cape May Point SP nailed rehab and is releasable! And then I started to learn to knit, so everyone get ready for hats and scarves in your future (thanks Emily!! Knitting is even more fun than I thought it would be, esp messing up while chatting away with you and Christy). Perfect day 🙂

Hope to see all of you tomorrow at the Mug Run!

What did you do to enjoy today’s weather??

Do you pretend that you are a Princess when you run through a valley of flowers? Just me?

What is your favorite little place to stop on the side of the road near where you live?

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Running from the Reaper

Today, I would like you to meet the front of our refrigerator:

“Hello, people of CIR!” says our fridge

As you can see, I love a fully decked out fridge front. I can be quite particular about organization and neatness, but not when it comes to this! I think it is because a beloved family friend, Mrs. King, had the most busy fridge face I have ever seen (to this day!) and getting lost in it was a favorite pastime when we visited them as I was growing up. Oh, the excitement of finding my school picture up there, among all the others who loved this woman as much as I did!

In any case, ours generally functions as most do – a snapshot of what is happening in our lives and who we are. You have your wedding invitation/save the date/bridal shower/baby shower invites, your family pics, your New Zealand kiwi postcard, and, of course, a myriad of running odds and ends. Currently, I have my marathon training plan for Philly (training starts on the 30th!!!! Yahooo!!! Nothing better than a plan, says Kashi) a pace chart, some running quotes, this cartoon my dad sent me aways back that always makes me lol:

and this picture that I ripped out of a Runner’s World magazine years ago:

This is a statue of a famous long distance runner, Johnny Kelley, at two stages of his life –  27 and 84.

The first time I saw this picture, I stared at it for a long moment. In fact, I find myself still doing that quite often. I  find the image striking and tender and it makes me want to cry and be happy at the same time. I’ve thought a lot over the years about why it strikes such a chord with me and I think it is because it is an honest, yet sweet, reminder that the time we have on earth is short and that while we are here, we are in constant flux.

I am not a person who comfortably lives with the notion that death is a part of life. Instead, I find myself in an uneasy relationship with it – tiptoeing around it, hoping not to wake the sleeping monster. I hate the idea that one day everyone I love will be gone. That I will be gone. It is not so much that the world will miss me, but how much I will miss the world. I want to stay on our blue bubble for as long as possible.

So I run. I run to keep my heart healthy, my knees and joints in good working order (it’s true! read this ), my brain active. I run to remember that every day counts and we don’t get any of them back. I run so that my 27 year old self will be able to meet my 84 year old self and share the road, hand in hand. I run from death, a hopeless pursuit that I whole heartedly engage in just the same, year in and year out, with my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to outpace ‘ol Mr. Reaper, if only for a few extra miles.

Note: Although it is being posted tonight, in a strange coincidence I wrote this blog just before the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado. I for one will be hugging GD even tighter tonight, grateful for one more day together. My heart is heavy for the victims and their families tonight.

What does your fridge face look like?

Are you on good terms with Mr. Reaper or live in fear of meeting him?

What do you run from?

 

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What I Saw When I Ran Wednesdays

For those of you who read food blogs, you will often see a “What I Ate Wednesday” post. Same idea here, except it will be what I saw when I ran on Wednesdays.  So take a peek at what my orbs observed and then add your own experience!

Decided to make it a two-a-day (this AM and the group run tonight)  since I am oddly enjoying the crazy humidity during my morning runs. Sure, I felt slow and was drenched within .1 mile of starting (ok, who am I kidding, I was drenched within seconds of walking out the door!) but there is just something so lovely about running on  a summer morning. I am trying to put my finger on exactly why something that should be so unpleasant is actually the opposite for me. I think it is a combination of a few things. The first is that I have been running on summer mornings for 20+ years and I think I just like feeling that connection to summers past. The second reason is a little harder to explain,  so bear with me. You know how in movies, they depict life in a way that doesn’t usually mirror reality? I remember watching all the John Hughes movies as a kid and thinking that was what high school was going to be like. Then I got there and it was like “huh? what is this??”cause it bore so little resemblance to what I expected. And man was I surprised to find out that there was no pouring rain or a chase through an airport before the first time I said the words “I love you”, lol.  But I feel like movies nail summer on the head – they convey the languid feeling, the hazy skies, the sound of insects abuzz, the sunbeams through trees …and as a movie lover, I think these morning runs make me feel a little like I am cruising through a movie set from Stand By Me or Man In The Moon or Fried Green Tomatoes. Does that make any sense?

This is what passes for a busy street in my neighborhood at the height of summer. Love!

Our post office, straight out of Mayberry (RIP Andy Griffith)

GD and I will never be able to afford a house here (and maybe that is a good thing considering sea level rise!) but if this place ever went up for sale, I might have to sell some organs or become a bank thief because it has been a favorite since I first saw it in 2001. I wonder if I pulled an Oprah and just knocked on the door and offered, oh, I don’t know, like $10 if they would sell it?

Cape May Red Store – the only business in Cape May Point. It was recently taken over by new owners and the store and restaurant are top notch! Definitely check it out!

My go-to turn around touch point at Sunset Beach. Oh, the breeze there was a delight today!

One run down and one to go! Come join us for round two tonight! Meet at the Cape May Point State Park entrance at 6 pm…. and bring a bathing suit cause this one is definitely going to be followed by a dip in the ocean!

Do you like summer running?

What is something that others find unpleasant that you like to do?

Favorite movie with summer as a backdrop?

What did you see on your run today? If no run, what did you see while out and about?

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Running in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Wowies, this is some place! I (with shame) admit that when Claud told me which city we’d be visiting for the trip, my first thought was “umm, where is that?”. After having seen the 11 million strong (20 million if you count the ‘burbs) city, it is hard to imagine that I had never even heard of is a place so many call home. Cities are fascinating places where you get everything from fine dining and symphony performances (loved it, must go to these type of shows more often!) to cabbies who rip you off (yeah, buddy, I know you drove in a circle just to charge me extra, but my stupid Americano vocab does not include Portuguese – I trust my stern, disapproving glare taught you a lesson though, lol) and homeless people doing drugs right in front of you. While I can’t say it’s the most beautiful city I have been to, it sure is up there for entertainment – both people watching and the more traditional types!

Yesterday morning I struck out on my own (Thursday I was joined by Doug, from Peet’s Coffee and Tea, but he had to jet off to another coffee meeting – you know those java dudes, they just can’t sit still!) with a plan to run from our hotel to the major green space of the city, Parque Ibirapuera. It’s like the Central Park of Sao Paulo, with everything that goes with it – museums, beautiful trees, bike lanes, playgrounds, concert spaces and people of all kinds enjoying the picture perfect days we have had here.

To really get a sense of the size of the city, you should check it out on Google Earth! This little bit does not even do it justice.

To get to the park, I had to navigate the ~4km from the hotel. The area we are staying is the Jardim (Garden) district. Not a ton of green trees in this area, but plenty of green bucks! It’s an affluent part of Sao Paulo and so very pretty, with lovely cafes and upscale shopping (very upscale – the Asics store featured kicks for $400US!). All the private homes and apartment buildings are heavily gated, so as you run the sidewalks you see these signs and must be careful of cars backing out.

These signs blink and make sounds when cars are pulling out of their underground driveways.

The apartment buildings were quite nice, as evidenced here:

oh-la-la, or, in Portuguese, oh-la-la

The major issue with running through these streets was the constant stopping for red lights. As a country mouse, I really don’t understand how anyone gets any training done in cities, it is so frustrating to stop all the time. This guy quickly became my arch nemesis:

*shakes fist angrily at lil man*

I finally made it to the park and was able to get some real miles in – plus lots to look at to keep me occupied! There was what I think was a giant tai chi class of some sort going on, lots of runners (the ones in groups and pairs made me long for a partner)bikers, and birds! I was able to rack up a half dozen new birds as the miles clicked off, which was great. My favorites of the day were Cocoi Heron and Southern Lapwing plus an unidentified hummingbird (GD will help me figure it out when I get home). Here is some of what I saw as I happily plugged along:

Just like Central Park!

Planetarium – sadly not open when I was there, but I would have loved to check it out!

This was a weird log with holes cut in that people loved! Every time I went by it, kids and adults were all over it!

Bike lanes too!

I then started to make my way back to the hotel and as I was watching the street signs like a hawk to avoid getting lost, I saw this one:

9 de julho, the street. It’s like their JFK or MLK!

Our guide had told us earlier that streets can be named after dates that play an important role in history. We also saw 25 de marco and 21 de maio (I think it was 21 anyway, little fuzzy on that!). I have to remember to look these up – I like the idea of naming streets in this way, it’s like a mini history lesson.

Sao Paulo can be quite hilly and the tail end of my run had me hauling my tired legs uphill. Guess who was nowhere to be seen? And guess whose evil brother showed up over and over again at every intersection?

Ohh, you think you are sooo funny, dontcha??

Ohh, the pain! But when I hit “stop” on Garmy, I did have a nice sense of accomplishment, so maybe Mr. Green’s tough love tactic was a blessing in disguise. I then wished I could read Portuguese because post-run, this would have been fun to peruse over breakfast:

RW, Brazil Style!

Our plane leaves tonight and I am happy to say I managed to squeeze in 5 runs while here (2 at coffee estate, 3 in Sao Paulo) and did not have to resort to the dreadmill for any of them. Brazil has been checked off my running list and the sights I saw safely tucked into my memory. Being able to run in both the country and the city was a real highlight of this trip and I thank Claudia and Peet’s  for the opportunity!

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Adjusting to my “new” running digs

Hi all (and by “all” I know I am being overly optimistic and in reality “all” is probably 3 people, one of which is likely my mom), welcome to my new blog!

GD (the husband) and I (aka Kashi) moved to Cape May Point from Ocean City last fall. I was instantly smitten and I know we are here to stay (assuming we win the lottery and can one day afford to buy a house – until then, look for us on an upcoming episode of “Cape Island Squatters”, the latest reality show on Bravo). There are only two major things that I miss terribly about Ocean City – living a stone’s throw from my sister and the amazing running/triathlon community I left behind. I went from having almost a decade of group runs on the boardwalk, speed workouts on a track, hill workouts on Longport Bridge, group swims and bike rides and a cadre of similarly minded people to travel to races with to almost no one to share these things with. One of the first things I did to get to know my new town was start running in it…alone.

Before Moving: In Ocean City, there were lots of running buds to form a Cape to Gate Team…

Before Moving:… or to sport our finisher medals together!

After Moving: Logging lonely miles by myself (ok, so this was in Ecuador, but just picture a lighthouse in the background and same diff!)

Never one to accept change easily, I have hatched a two pronged plan. The first is to lure Laur (aka lil sis) down here, but the details of that are top secret and belong on a separate blog. Suffice to say they include copious amounts of creamed spinach and a trail of Razzles. But I’ve already said too much… The second part of my plan is to re-create a wonderful community like the one that still lives on in Ocean City – one with people who gets their kicks from tying up their kicks and hitting the open road. One where runners from all ilks come together to support each other, push each other and celebrate the gift that is running.

And hence, Cape Island Runners was born! I have already found one running buddy, Scott (my running husband), who I regularly train with. But two people do not a posse make. My goal is to meet more runners, get us all together, and party it up as only runners can (this often involves going to bed early and waking up the same, being anal about the distances we run, the calories we ingest and the rituals we maintain- yeah we are a pretty rowdy crew, lol). Embracing the 21st century world we live in, I envision this group to have facets in both the real world of my neighborhood and the virtual one of our internet neighborhood.

So welcome, runner friends, as we start this journey together. You can look forward to posts about my adventures in running and anything that catches my fancy that involves forward controlled falling. I can look forward to the witty and thought provoking comments you’ll leave. And we can all look forward to a tomorrow when we are BFF running buds 🙂

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