Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A List

I missed my chance to write my 2013 List or New Year's List, so here in fine fashion is MY LIST.  (Don't worry about it.  It doesn't make sense.  It's just a list of "things I want to talk about," carry on.)

1) Dedicating Race Miles to People

It's a sweet sentiment.  This mile is for little charlie because he's extra slow at learning how to tie his shoes.  Next mile is for all the victims in the world of credit card fraud.  This mile is for the inventor of Tic-Tacs.  This mile is for Brangelina.

THE LAST 0.2 IS FOR ME!

Of course it's for you.  The entire race is for you.  Running, like many sports and hobbies, is selfish.

But YOU are not a selfish runner; YOU run so you can be a better wife/mom/sister/daughter!

Nah.  You run for YOU.  Running makes me a better lawyer; a better wife; a better stranger; and it used to make me a better student.  But that doesn't mean I run for my boss or my husband or my teachers.  I run for me.

You run for charity? That's quite selfless and giving, for real, it's great to combine a social and healthy activity with fundraising.  You're also running for you.  Because it makes people feel better to volunteer or give back.  Fact.

You run in memory of a lost friend or family member? Also for you.  You are tying your intense emotional pain to physical pain, and that's powerful.  But it's still for you.  I suppose it is possible there are a bunch of ghosts sitting on clouds who are like "wow, being dead doesn't suck as much right now because so-and-so ran that marathon while thinking about me!'  And on second thought, that's not possible.

(You know I'm just poking fun and entertaining myself, so if you find some serious value in dedicating miles besides helping you get through miles or making yourself feel better, tell me what it's all about and I'll try it sometime.)

2) Nuun is Trying to Kill Me.

I bought this lemon chai flavor at See Jane Run because it sounded delicious.  It was appalling.  I will eat anything I pay money for, and on this occasion I can't.  All the tablets minus one are sitting here in a basket in my kitchen if anyone wants to take it from me.

If you're ready come and get it


3) Blog Posts Detailing the Race of Your Family Member.

You paced your brother/husband/sister/mother to their first 5k/half-marathon/marathon.  Your readers previously did not know that family member.  This is the most boring blog post you've ever written.

The detailed, play-by-play of your family member's race is like...what's a good comparison....it's like making me read about someone I don't know and don't care about.  Yes, that's exactly what it's like.  But go ahead and take the opportunity to subtly remind everyone how comparatively fast you are to this newbie, and how you are so amazing for helping them push through by running alongside them!

A quick statement about how cool it is for someone you love to share your passion will suffice.

4) Qualifying Your Internet Running Opinion by Noting You are a Slow Runner.

I am cool with talking about how slow you are relative to YOU.  Like hey, I was faster before my injury, or hey, I feel way slower than normal lately.

But one very common comment I get on this blog is one that starts out with "I'm nowhere near as fast as you, but...."

No qualification necessary! Unless the comment prompt is, "can you be my speed workout partner?" I guarantee that your speed does not matter to a discussion about running.  For example, a discussion about a specific race, a pair of shoes, a brand of running fuel, etc., etc., is enhanced by runners of all experience and speed.

And I get it, I do - if I'm in a virtual room with KrisLaw, I'm probably thinking "she's way outta my league, I have nothing valuable to add to this conversation..."  But there is nothing to be gained by setting yourself apart by pointing out you are "slower."  We all put in the time and miles.  It's the same club.

This is not a brag about how some people who comment on this blog are slower than me.  A ton are faster than me too.  They don't write "I could never hang with you because I am way faster, but..."

Just let's all try and avoid this blogger compliment/self cut-down talk!

5) Relays

Overnight relays still sound like my worst nightmare.

Things I love, very possibly MORE than running: 1) sleeping, and 2) being clean.

I have a very healthy fear of not showering immediately after exercising.  I mean for real that's how zits and yeast infections happen, get outta that mess. I will rarely to never get brunch with friends after a race unless I have been able to shower right the fuck away.  Race.  Shower.  Run.  Shower.  In that order.  always always.

The longest period of time between running and showering for me all year long is races where it takes an hour to walk to your car or drive to your hotel room.  I hate that.  Even more dreadful is the chills that come after running without showering.  I get torturous chills if I sit in sweaty clothes for a long time.

Like any good California drought survivor, I take very short and efficient showers. 2-5 minutes a pop.

6) Racing In Makeup

Seriously, what the fuck.  Are you shopping for a date here? Or you just want to make sure to really solidify in your blog readers' minds that you are a perfect unicorn runner?

Just working out guyssss

7) Having Pictures Taken of You During a Training Run

Blows my mind when bloggers regularly post a picture of just themselves during a training run.  Did the run really get put on pause so you could hand your phone/camera to a fellow runner and ask them to capture a picture of you in action?

I will happily stop for a picture if I'm running with friends and they ask for a group shot memory, but...if my running partner requested I stop running to take solo shots of them, I would pretend to take a few but just take a dozen dick pics instead.

8) Lists of Runner Holiday Gifts

Well this list item dates how fucking long ago I drafted this post.  I'm really on top of this blog stuff.

When it comes to runner holiday gift posts, ask yourself one question:

Are any of these gift suggestions sponsors of the blogger? Than it's not a list of holiday ideas.  It's an advertisement that fulfills a duty to the sponsor.  Move along. You don't need another "26.2" necklace. Although a "26.1" necklace would be funny, like you got really close to finishing a marathon distance but not quite there yet.

Oh, the brilliance of making a list that includes knocking down a type of "list".

List Transition To Things I Am Straight Up Loving

1) Blue Diamond Almonds BOLD -- Wasabi and Soy Sauce

We've been mowing through tins of these.  Then we bought a 1 pound value pack and inhaled that.  These are the most addicting and delicious snack in the world right now.


Blue Diamond almonds are the best.  They have the best texture and "not too crunchy" crunch (I have an aversion to super crunchy things)...yum yum yum.  Bring them hiking or camping, you won't regret it.

2) L'Oreal Age Perfect Glow Renewal

I totally dig this stuff.  I spent most of my life, as a person with oily skin, trying like crazy to avoid anything remotely oily.  Buying "light" moisturizers exclusively.


But it turns out that putting oil on your face twice a day makes your skin happy.  Especially in the winter, when I'm rubbing tissues under my nose 80 times a day.

My dude uses this on his beard too, because your skin can get dry when it is hidden under a beard.  I think he likes it too? Come on men, don't be shy, walk to the drugstore counter with one of these.

3) Skin Sake Athletic Ointment




Back when I posted about trying out a Moving Comfort sports bra and my years of dealing with sports bra chafe, a wise commenter referred me to Skin Sake.

I bought two tubes, and this stuff is in a whole 'nother league than Sports Glide.  I have not had any serious chafing problems since I bought this (oh why didn't I know about it before my wedding!?).  The true test will be when I start hitting higher mileage, because I haven't yet used it on any run longer than 17 miles.

It smells good too.  And a little goes a long way, so the tube will last a long time.

Also note -- it is very waterproof, which I think is why it works so well.  It rarely all comes off when I shower!

4) Balega Socks



These are comfortable as hell.  Thanks Jessica and Dennis for the tip!

I haven't raced in them yet, so I'm not sure about the blister factor.

5) This "tip" from my Runners World desk calendar running log:

"Regardless of how well you're training, lofty goals can be dashed by poor nutrition, inadequate sleep, or stress at home or work."

A simple tip, but sometimes I forget that running really is the whole life package, not just a reflection of the miles you put in.

Poor nutrition? I'm getting better at this.  I gave up candy for New Years, if anyone wants me to talk more about this at some point I will.

Inadequate sleep? Duh yes, who sleeps adequately? I'm operating with 6 hours per night on average.

Stress at home or work? Work for me, not home (except the home buying process has been stressful - lots of urgent appointments to visit homes before they are listed, urgent contract/bid offers signed).  Work is not stressful all the time, thankfully, but yeah.

sum total = lofty goals dashed.  I've been stuck for some time with my running, unable to squeeze under 1:26 in the half or 3:05 in the full.  Boo.

6) My wedding pictures.  They finally were provided to us by our photographer, over 5 months after the wedding.  That ridiculous wedding post will finally come along.



Nothing sponsored here folks, just MY LIST of stuff.  Uh....what's...your list? (perfect segue to your comment of choice.)

54 comments:

  1. Hahahahaha. Cathryn and I have totally done #7 -- stopping the run to take photos of each other running. But we only do it every 3 months... so that's not too egregious, right? ;) Glad you wrote about the Skin Sake -- almost forgot about this possible life-changing balm.

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    1. Jen's such a dobber. It's always her idea :)

      JK.

      I particularly loved number 4. You're right! Totally right. Which means, to prove this, you need to come and run very slowly in the rain with us this weekend. And take our photos too.

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    2. I'll be in Vegas this weekend, but let's all run soon. Lafayette reservoir maybe? You have been warned if I have to take pictures, I'll be returning your camera with dick pics

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    3. Yes for Lafayette Reservoir, no for dick pics.

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  2. Things I love, very possibly MORE than running: 1) sleeping, and 2) being clean

    That is probably one of my favorite all time quotes. Relays sound like fun for some people but I know I would be miserable doing an overnight Ragner/van relay. They aren't for me. At all.

    This year the gift giving guides were pretty bad. I stopped reading about 95% because I could read one and get the same answers.

    The blue diamond wasabi nuts are one of my favorite snacks right now actually as well. I'm glad someone else is in that vibe.

    My comment of choice is let's do a relay together from east to west coast, not stopping. I'll drive, you run outside you run outside next to the car...then you drive I'll run outside next to the car. It should probably take about a week or so...no showering, no sleeping...occasional stops for some solo photos. Actually stretch that, I'll just ask you to take a photo while you are driving. I guess this is why I'm not a race director.

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    1. A one week, two person running relay across the United States! Dang lets do it, about 500 miles per day, no sleeping

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  3. Phew, for a moment I thought you were going to throw up one of those sponsored posts for completely blog-irrelevant things that I've been seeing...ack. This, however, is gold. It's the randomest still-relevant list I've ever seen on a running blog.

    How did lemon chai ever sound delicious? It sounds appalling. (caveat - I am spoiled rotten by hole in the wall shops that make a mean, milky masala chai that's served in tiny little metal cups and spicy with pepper and ginger and cardamom.)

    Ah, work stress. I blog about twice a month because work is c r a z y (well, no wonder my lofty goals are dashed too), and running is my stress relief, and I'd rather run for stress relief than blog...yeah I hear you.

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    1. I am naive about my chai. I'm also a sucker for unique flavors, like, I will buy every single new gum and chip flavor that comes out. I'm eating tapatio Ruffles right now and whoa. They burn.

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  4. Those almonds are so delicious. Whenever they go on sale, I stock up (because they're kind of expensive, you know?).
    Relays: Nope. I've been asked (for small, local relays, not Ragnar stuff) but it just sounds cold, uncomfortable, smelly, tiring, and like it would be an injury risk. But so many people say that they had so much fun! I just don't see how.

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    1. I can see how they have fun, kind of. It's like delirious summer camp fun. Although, I traveled in vans a lot with my soccer team in my teens and I was one of the few people tucked in a corner trying to sleep who was not having fun. Guess I'm just a LOSER

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  5. I seriously read that Skin Sake bit twice and even squinted at the picture trying to read the package to see where the tie in was to the delicious stuff you sip on with sushi...and then yeah. It has been too long since I had a drink over here.

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    1. I'll taste it and let you know. Cheers to being able to drink soon! (you can drink while breastfeeding yes?)

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  6. FINALLY someone who agrees with me on Relays. I too value SLEEP and CLEANLINESS above running all night. The thought of being stuck in a vehicle with a bunch of other smelly, tired people holds NO appeal to me whatsoever. I'm fairly sure that by the end I'd want to kill them all.

    Also, ALL HAIL THE BALEGA SOCK! I got a pair once because I forgot to pack socks and luckily was near a local running store, so I went in, bought the balegas, and put them on right away. I have never looked back.

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    1. you, me, and all the anti-relayers in the comments should gather together and create the unhappiest relay van of all time. I actually think I might like that

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  7. I have fallen prey to the "OMG YOU HAVE TO HAVE THIS ISH TO BE AN AMAZEBALLS RUNNER" talk, and mostly been disappointed. From compression socks, to specific running clothes brands, to electrolytes... I was very susceptible to falling victim to the paid sponsor bs. Thankfully I have figured out what works for me and as such, I have weeded out a lot of those types of blogs that are just fluff and pushers of sponsored crap. Keep it real, girl. Though I do love relays, mainly because I really enjoy staying up all night, eating little to nothing, and seeing how far I can push it before I hit a wall. No joke. Fatigue training is my favorite.

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    1. Fatigue training!? You are bold.

      Since you've weeded through all the crap, I'm very curious what you have found works for you!

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  8. If running is selfish, then isn't everything you do that isn't automatically bettering the world for other people selfish -- reading, going to the movies, eating, hanging out. Unless you're dedicating your life to becoming an ascetic and dedicating yourself to solely to others, then I don't buy it. (Or, I suppose if you're like running over small children in your desire to be faster and trampling rare flowers. That would be shitty of you.) Running isn't selfish. It just is.

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    1. I see what you're saying, the short answer is yes to some extent, any activity purely for self pleasure (like watching a movie) is "selfish". Being selfish isn't a bad thing. Most of us live in such a way that the world revolves around ourselves and our loved ones. Pretty normal. Unlike watching a movie though, running enough to train for a marathon takes 12-20 hours a week, easily.

      In context, my discussion about running being selfish is to point out the irony of runners who claim to be running miles "for" someone else. Dedicating miles to different people isn't for the other people -- it's for the runner. It's something THEIR brain benefits from, not so much the people they think about. And that's healthy (for example, if you are grieving a loved one) but let's call it what it is -- it's for the runner, not the other people.

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  9. My list of stuff: mizuno wave riders and nike pro compression bras - cannot live without. That's basically the end of my list. I definitely need to get my hands on skin sake because my boobs are bleeding from body glide's ineffectiveness.

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    1. never heard of compression bras! Yes, give the sake a try. Hope it works

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  10. Oh my gosh - so much yes to #5 and #6. The idea of a Ragnar terrifies me because WHAT ABOUT MY SLEEP?! And makeup?! WTF. I barely wake up in time to make it to the start line for a race.

    I also skipped over virtually all of the gift guides. I know what I want and I'll buy it myself. Thanks.

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  11. I do not understand running in makeup either... I once out kicked a girl bc I swear she had on fake eyelashes and I was like, Nooooo you cannot beat me. I pretty much only wear Balega Hidden Comfort... they are great for every running occasion, esp races.

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    1. oh and I could have a whole convo about the running for charity... mainly bc that's my job in nonprofit... yes, ppl do run for themselves but many of those ppl are dealing with loved ones they've lost or are going through treatments... and it's their way of feeling like they are "helping" the cause by fundraising for the nonprofit that in turn spends the money on patient aid, research, etc. I hear their stories every day. And the money does help. A LOT! Over $1.4 billion has been raised through Team In Training alone. It's quite amazing to be honest.

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    2. I'm totally with you on the charity fundraising, thank you for the education. It is for the runner AND the benefit of the charity.

      Way to sprint out the faux eyelash runner. Good thing she got up extra early to glue those on, and in a size big enough that you could see them while bouncing by

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    3. Kristy - that's awesome!! :)

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  12. I disagree with you about the charity bit. Yes, charity runners do feel good about raising money for a cause, but there is so much work and stress involved that I can't think of it as self-serving in any way whatsoever. I have some friends who run/ran with Team in Training, and it was so time-consuming that after a few years they eventually gave their own money instead of fundraising.

    Fundraising is, for the most part, not fun. It's a part-time job, on top of training for an endurance event and doing your day job, taking care of your family, etc. So I have a lot of admiration for charity runners.

    P.S. I did a relay last year and it was one of the best races I've done so far! We did stop at someone's house to take showers and sleep in beds. I'm now really good friends with the people on my team. Don't knock it til you try it :)

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    1. I would mayyyyybe do a relay if a shower AND a bed was part of the deal. That changes the whole deal!

      Thanks for sharing about the charity runners. I had no idea it could be like a part-time job, kudos to them. I qualify my # 1 above by saying "charity runners can be very selfless in their fundraising, as explained by Sesa" :)

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  13. Just for this post, you and I are doing a relay together when I get to Nor Cal. Suck it, Roserunner. <3

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    1. Goddamnit, it's been so long since I've commented on a blog, I forgot where to put my email address. OH THE DIFFICULTIES OF MODERN DAY LIFE!

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    2. You know what margotmarie123@gmail.com, for you, I just might. I juuuust might. But we rent an RV so I can sleep and shower.

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  14. I have so much to say about all of this gloriousness.

    Firstly, Nuun. I cannot with Nuun. I've tried it twice after getting some free samples at a race, and I wanted to yak. Are there any good flavors? Are there??

    Secondly, I am totally guilty of calling myself slow all the time. A huge part of it is that I'm embarrassed at being much slower now than I was two years ago. I'm embarrassed that I haven't been able to get my fitness back. I also do feel like my opinion is less valid than someone who trains harder or is faster or whatever, but I will TRY to stop couching my opinion like that. Really.

    Thirdly - Relays. Just no.

    Fourthly - Running in makeup. Also no.

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    1. I had a grape Nuun once, that a friend gave me, and it didn't suck the way the lemon chai one did. But I never rushed out to buy another one, so...

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    2. Lemonade is definitely the most drinkable. Well, really, it seems to be the only one that's drinkable.

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    3. Grape is OK. The only flavor I actually like is fruit punch.

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  15. Love this post! It's empowering to hear a positive message of inclusiveness rather than the "you can't sit with us" mentality of those who think "real" runners are the ones who can run above XX:XX pace. Also, I never ever want to run a Ragnar or Reach the Beach or Hood to Coast...race --> shower --> eat is definitely the order of things!

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    1. yes yes, eating is also on the list of things I like more than running. At least you get to eat during a relay I imagine.

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  16. I actually know someone who did 26.1; she made it to the turn toward the finish line, realized her car was much closer if she just cut off course there or would have to double back after going through all the finish line festivities...was in so much pain she cut her losses. Might just have to get a custom sticker made for her car :)

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    1. nooooooo. way. Man, the race director should hear this story if the finish line festivities were that worth avoiding.

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    2. Generally I hear good reviews about that race so I think most people like all the hullabaloo at the end. In her case it would have added a solid .5 post-race to get out of the finish chute and fenced areas then around to where she was parked since it was back in the direction of the course. It was her first (and probably only) full so that's a good indicator of how much it hurt for her to forfeit the finish/medal. I'm not one for big crowds so I found it tedious to be the upstream swimming salmon to get out through the only opening in the fenced area where all the spectators were coming in to meet finishers. I don't think I need to do that one again.

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  17. Balega socks (which I always accidentally refer to as 'Beluga') are my new favorites, thanks to Layla. I pretty much wear them for everything.

    Also, I'm sure it will shock you to learn that for like a month, I thought that Skin Sake was pronounced 'Skin Sa-keh,' as in the Japanese alcoholic beverage. I could not for the life of me figure out why they would name it that.

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  18. I spent too much time in my formative years camping, showerless, on the edge of beyond (I actually had to pass an overnight outdoor survival test to graduate from elementary school). And consequently, since I've been old enough to decide for myself what I do, what I do is shower first - and shower after. With rare exceptions made for cool wilderness adventures (honeymoon in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, for example, or scuba holidays where we're in the ocean by 7 am), I want to shower first thing in the morning. I even take a shower before running a race, and then I shower afterward, too.

    PS - I usually just post under my name when I comment on your blog but decided to add a weblink this time - if you feel like looking at something that has absolutely nothing to do with running (but features so many cute animals you might experience sugar shock).

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    1. From the way your comment started, I thought you were going to say that you have no problem not showering because you have practiced. As much as I LOVE camping....man, that first shower when you get home is the absolute best. At least you don't have marathon sweat crust on you when camping.

      Your elementary school sounds rad.

      I'm checking out your site right now because I love cute animals, duh

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  19. Love your list! I have to admit though I usually always wear mascara including when running or working out... don't hate!

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    1. even if you run first thing in the morning!? I have gone to the gym in the evening with my work makeup on before, but that's just cause I'm saving the ocean by not washing my makeup off first

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    2. No haha I guess I didn't mean first thing in the morning... but I would put some on for an early morning race. I guess I just like to feel put together. I don't need a face full of makeup for that, but I just like a little mascara ;)

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  20. I don't know where else a safe place to say this is other than here ... I loathe those stupid race medals. I am so tired of race fees going up and the crap you get at races. I donate the medals I can to that organization that takes them to kids in the hospital, but the rest just go in the trash. The organization only takes certains types of medals. They just collect dust and serve no purpose. I just don't get it. Why do I need a medal for running a 10k? I went to go sign up for a 5k and the early bird fee was $40. That's more than $13 per mile and of course they were advertising the medals they were giving out. I think medals and t-shirts should be optional for an additional fee. Or, forget both and make a certain portion go directly to a charity. I can get behind that. Okay, rant over!

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    1. This is a great and safe place to post this rant, and I am also a race medal-loather! I know they have value to a first-time-racer, or maybe a special race like Boston or London, but to everyone else they turn to clutter quickly. And drive up the race prices. I briefly talked about this in my next post abut the Kaiser half marathon! They do it RIGHT.

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  21. lol you have the best posts of anyone. 26.1!

    I bought blue diamond smokehouse almonds - and the nutrition facts are almost exactly the same as regular almonds, they just taste way better.

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    1. smokehouse flavor is good, wasabi is better. Get on it!

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  22. Haha great lists. I love how you keepin' it real. And true story, I am drinking a Chai something right now. I know, I just blew your mind. I mean, I'm reading about chai in your blog and drinking chai, it's crazy town right now. For realz.

    And while I may not know anything about running socks, I do know my favorite socks for tennis. They are called Thorlos and they are cushy and amazing.

    Peace out!

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  23. Medals *sneer*

    When did you change your look? Wow...I'm so out of it...

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  24. I loved this post.

    Just the thought of staying in a wet sports bra makes me shiver! No matter how close my hotel/home is to a race I always take a clean change of clothes and baby wipes with me in the car for after a race. First order of business - remove sweaty bra. Then, upon arriving home/to the hotel - hop in shower.

    And while I do love balega socks, I'm a die hard wright sock fan, cool mesh II lo. Love them.

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