What I Wore: Navy & White

Back in March, I left the agency life. I got lucky with an in-house gig for a company that was similar to one of my former clients. As time went on, the commute was a lot (usually 45 – 60 minutes one way), and I wasn’t feeling satisfied. Like something wasn’t fitting quite right and my unhappiness was seeping into home – which is never a good development especially with a stubborn, sometimes trying 3 year old in the mix and a husband who didn’t deserve any of my grumpy mood swings. 

Somehow, an amazing opportunity showed up that was more in my wheelhouse. I started about a week and a half ago, and I’ve gotta say, I’m super jazzed to pull out my business casual attire and feel like I’m going to a big girl job again. The bonus for the blog here? I get to post more like this. Maybe one day I’ll get hubs to take pictures OR get a photographer pal of mine to do some styled shoots….maybe. 

navy and white outfit
Top: Exact | Pants: Exact | Shoes: Similar, Similar | Necklace: Similar

The shoes, I have to talk about the shoes. I found these babies at one of my favorite Annapolis consignment shops, Uptown Cheapskate and nearly peed my pants when I tried them on. The shop itself skews younger and trendier than I usually am but I’ve found a few gems there like a Lush roll tab tunic, a pair of Stuart Weitzman flats, and of course, these JCrew Leopard Print beauts.

uptown cheapskate annapolis jcrew finds

Another consignment gem in the Annapolis area is Savvy Consignment in Severna Park where I found a super cute JCrew Silk tank and a like new clare cardigan both for about $25. This shop has racks of JCrew, Vineyard Vines, Lilly Pulitzer, and other high-end brands – definitely worth a browse if you’re looking for quality pieces on the cheap. 

What is your favorite consignment store find? Any other amazing consignment shops in the area I should check out? 

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Race Recap: Maryland Sprint Duathlon

Up until last Friday AM i wasn’t sure I was going to do the Maryland Sprint Duathlon. I hadn’t really trained, I’d been running 2 -4 days per week (depending on the week and the weather) and as of lately, I’ve been doing more pilates (which I’m really enjoying) but I hadn’t been on my bike since the Hagerstown Duathlon back in October.

Friday though, I told new coworkers and my new boss about the race (despite my uncertainty) and decided, what the hell. Why not?!

So Friday night, I brought my bike up from the basement, gathered up all of my gear and got the family ready for an early morning.

Pre-race

In order to be at the race by 6:30 which would give me about a half hour to get my packet, marked, and get my bike set up, we had to leave by about 5:45am. Which meant a 5:15a wakeup for me and Hubs, and a 5:30 wake up for little man. He was, less than thrilled about that to say the least.

Thankfully for this race, parking has never been a hassle since it’s a smaller field, and I knew I wouldn’t have issues. I got my packet with no issues, got my tires pumped up (Note to self get a foot pump – we have a pump at home that my BIL got Hubs which is great, but i had a tough time with it and since it’s electric, it can’t really live in the car) and got racked.

maryland duathlon pre-race

 

Run 1

maryland sprint duathlon start

To say the course was hot is an understatement. It was about 70 degrees when we kicked off after the men and the elites went out. But the course is a 2 mile out loop through the park, a short out and back on the main road with not a whole lot of shade. There’s one hill on the last 3/4 mile (at the turn around on the out and back part of the loop) and man. Brutal. 

Time: 21:53

T1: 2:59

I need to find a way to make my transitions faster. This one was a touch faster than last year, probably because i made the decision not to switch Runkeeper over to a bike – it was just being too slow and I had a fear of being busted and DQ’ed. Note to self: get garmin working better.

Bike

Ugh this bike. In theory, it’s a 13 mile loop. 13 miles isn’t too shabby. Until you hit some massive hills around mile 6. They seemed worse this year but I don’t know if that was just because my bike and I haven’t been as friendly as we were this time last summer when I was in the midst of training for Iron Girl. Either way. The night before my bike water bottle showed up moldy and disgusting in the trunk of my car so hubs and I decided to toss it, so i didn’t have a water bottle. It was hot. Hilly. I tried to cheer on the riders on the hills – some of them were super friendly especially one dude who i kept going back and forth with. But just…by the time I hit the last mile, I was so spent and tired of the hills, I didn’t finish as strong as I would have liked. 

Time: 58:42 

T2 time: 2:26

Run 2

I tried to go back to my 4-1 intervals – when I don’t feel like running I stick to those but the heat got to me, the hills were just…painful. My downfall here was not in the lack of hills training, but rather the bike to run transition training was my major downfall. I just tried to do some pseudo-farleks – picking points and running as much as I could. I gave it all I had for the last quarter mile or so, but I could have done better if I had done a couple of brick workouts.

Time: 27:11

Total time: 1:53:19

maryland sprint duathlon medal

(fun fact: last years time, the 2nd run was faster but the transitions were slower, my time last year was 1:53:54)

Overall, fantastic race. The team at RipIt events puts on fantastic races and the Maryland Duathlon is no exception. The size is just right for the space, the roads are usually pretty empty (save for the sh!t bag who nearly backed into a biker ahead of me out of his driveway). See you next year Maryland Sprint Duathlon!

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July Stitch Fix Review

The July Stitch Fix is in. I have mixed thoughts. Nothing was REALLY my style. I wasn’t wild about anything. The prices were okay. I did keep one shirt because it was completely different than anything i have, the price wasn’t break the bank after my styling fee credit and the style itself is one I wear often.

 

Daniel Rainn | Minal Sleeveless V-Neck Blouse

This style top looked better when I tucked it in, but it still wasn’t quite right. I didn’t LOVE the color and the fit was just…okay. Not exactly the most flattering.

Verdict: return

Kut From the Kloth | Siena Cropped Pant

stitch fix cropped pants

The pants themselves, from a fabric standpoint, were super comfy. Unfortunately, cropped pants that aren’t tapered or fitted, just don’t look good on me. I’m short so anything above the ankle just kind of cuts my legs in a weird spot which is exactly what these pants did.

Verdict: return

Market & Spruce | Char Geo Print Maxi Skirt

Ugh. What is it with the maxi length? I just got a maxi dress last time, that ah-hem I still haven’t found a place to wear it to yet. I didn’t need a maxi skirt sent to me again this month. I don’t like busy prints. If my stylist actually looked at my pinterest board, she’d probably see that i like gingham and stripes and polka dots. Not weird geo-prints. I like neutrals – my palatte in my closet is best described as navy, black, white, tan, ballet pink and red-orange. With the occasional olive or maroon thrown in for the fall/winter months. But yeah, no geo prints and really, not any jewel tones like…magenta. Ugh.

Verdict: Return

Street Level | Rio Crossbody Bag

Cute bag. Not in a color that goes with anything in my closet. And not nearly big enough for me. I didn’t get a clear picture that wasn’t blurry – silly non-photog skills showing through. 

Verdict: Return

Papermoon | Holden Scoop Neck Blouse

papermoon scoop neck blouse stitchfix

Like I said, normally, I don’t go for busy prints. I’m a simple girl. But this one i kind of liked. Especially once it was tucked in with the black pants. This is a top I could throw on with some cute shorts, a pencil skirt or a pair of black skinnies. Multipurpose is always a win.

Verdict: Keep

All in all, I’d give this fix a 2 out of 5. I didn’t feel it was personalized. I didn’t really think it was tailored to me. However, I will say, while I’m good at giving feedback, I’m not great at leaving my stylist notes saying what I’m specifically looking for – so I think for my next one which should be in September, I’ll let her know some colors I’m looking for, and what gaps I’m looking to fill in my fall wardrobe. Nope, not giving up on Stitch Fix quite yet – getting my fix box is just too much fun.

 

Have you tried Stitch Fix? If you haven’t, I’d love for you to use my referral link!

 

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Race Recap: Zooma Annapolis 10k

Better late than never right? How was the Zooma Annapolis 10k race nearly a month ago already!? #bloggerfail. Here’s my recap: 

Hubs had National Guard drill so we got a sitter for the race – though I did love seeing a few dads out on the course running with their littles – one of these years, maybe we’ll run it as a family.  Tackling the Naval Academy Bridge with a dualie? That’s no joke yo. I ran that bridge a few times with Ethan when I was training with the Fleet Feet group for the ATB 10k.

Anyhoozle, I swung by to get my bib Friday night. Said hello to a few ambassadors at the cocktail party (mmmm Barefoot wines). Got home, gathered my gear. Could not find my singlet that I got as an ambassador despite searching relentlessly at 10pm Friday night. Knowing I had to be up early, I gave up around 11pm. 

Race Day

I got there just in time to do the ambassador picture, kind of hidden in my non-Zooma Singlet. Intentional-ish. Have I mentioned how incredible the Ambassador group is this year? Seriously, there are some amazing runners in the pack and I am constantly inspired by all of them!

zooma ambassadors annapolis

I’m in there. Just in the middle and the back. You can see my navy blue strap. 

The race started, looped around the parking lot onto Farragut drive, back around to Taylor ave with some rolling hills. We headed downtown – it was… to say the least. Soupy. Not super hot but just really grossly humid. That type of weather is common for this race though and even more common for this time of year in Annapolis.

zooma annapolis 10k

After making our way up King George, we headed up to the bridge. I like the 10k because we only go over the bridge ONCE and we don’t have to go up the nasty hills on 450 headed up towards Route 50 like the half marathon does. 

 

My legs were getting a bit stiff by mile 5.5 and I was losing gas – I didn’t fuel very well and felt a bit dehydrated so the last half mile once we were in the final stretch was a real push for me. It certainly wasn’t my best 10k time, but wasn’t my worst by far.

zooma annapolis 10k finish

Given that my training was kind of m’eh (thanks shitty commute and shitty job for stealing all of my motivation), and the humidity was terrible that day, I was okay with this time. Year number three, in the books. See you next year Zooma!!! 

 

(Stay tuned for my update on the Zooma Summer Challenge!) 

Time: 1:13:35

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Summer bucket list

Each summer, I get wistful about making it the BEST. SUMMER. EVER. Filled with beachy weekends, tons of outdoor hosting at our house – you know…summery things.

Most of the time I fail, because well, life. But sometimes, we get a big fat win – like last year when we spent a couple of weekend days at the beach (though our anniversary trip was a rain out which was a bummer), or the summer I was pregnant with Ethan we got to go to Ocean City with one of my best gal pals and we finally (nearly 10 years later) made it to Seacrets.

So this year, we kept our bucket list short – I’m up in Vermont for a bridal shower this weekend, Adam’s National  Guard training is taking him out of the country for 2 weeks at the end of July, and then my sisters wedding the weekend after he gets back…our summer is already half filled. But what we put on here should all be fun, small ways to make the most of the rest of our summer.

summer bucket list

Go to an outdoor concert

There are so many free concert series around us in Annapolis or Crofton – even in Baltimore, how can we not make it out once to listen to some live tunes?! Definitely need to pencil that in once or twice this summer. The Friday night series in Annapolis is one of my usual go-to’s and they do the same thing in Crofton on Saturday nights. 

Visit a splash pad

My dear friend Lexi recently turned me onto a splash pad in Ellicott City which isn’t super far from us that I would love to check it out with Little Man 🙂 In addition to this one just west of us, there are apparently a handful of others fun water parks and splash pads in the greater Annapolis/Baltimore area. 

 

Go to the beach

Each year, we try to make it out to the beach once or twice – usually for day trips. This year, we’re heading out to Dewey in September for my triathlon but I’d love to get out there once before the end of the season.

Visit four new ice cream places on the MD ice cream trail

Though none of these are super close to us (1 – 2 hours away) i think we can do some fun exploring and really come down on the debate of who has better creemee’s – Maryland or Vermont (Ima go with the 802 on this one friends but please let me know if you beg to differ).

Have a date night at the Annapolis “Dinner Under the Stars” 

They are apparently closing off a portion of West Street for some dining al fresco – I love eating outdoors and since this is going on until October, I’m sure Hubs and I can find a Wednesday night to get a sitter and have a fun date night.

Go hiking

A few years ago, pre-baby, we hiked up Old Rag in Virginia. I miss hiking, it was something I did somewhat regularly when I was in Vermont. While Little Man won’t be scaling stone walls or going up rock scrambles like Old Rag any time soon, I’d love to check out some of the family friendly hikes in the area like Calvert Cliffs, Patapsco State Park or Gunpowder Falls to do some hiking as a family.

What is on your summer bucket list friends?

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How to get out of a rut & an update

I’ve been in a funk my friends. I’ve been unhappy – with myself, my motivation, my job, my goals. That probably explains why I haven’t blogged since June 1 – since I feel like I’ve had nothing to say. At the very least nothing positive or productive. 

The past month, during my absence here, I took a lot of things into consideration. Hubs and I went to a marriage retreat (if you’re military, I highly recommend the Strong Bonds retreats. They’re free for service members and so very valuable! More on that later though), and while our marriage was never in jeopardy, it helped me reevaluate how we’re communicating and what the root of my problems was and why I’ve just been so blah and not present in my life. 

I was doing things that weren’t making me happy or fulfilled and the unhappiness was causing me to retreat inward – not run, not eat healthy, not spend quality time with my family – it was a downward spiral. I was officially in a rut. 

getting out of a rut

I’m not going to preach on happiness because there are other bloggers that do that a gazillion times better than I ever could (I’m looking at you Gretchen Rubin), but I do know that if you’re not focused on what brings you joy, or what motivates you – you’re going to be unhappy and nothing else except your unhappiness will matter.

So how am I digging my way out of this rut? Well, here’s what I’m doing

Reevaluate goals

I took a long hard look at what I wanted. What I had capacity for outside of the necessities (working. eating. sleeping. taking time for my family.)  It was in doing this that I briefly wondered if I was in the right career (marketing). I am – because ultimately marketing is my passion, but I wasn’t at the right place.  The right thing came at the right time and and I’m confident I’m finally about to land at a great company, with great values, in a role that is really perfect for me. It just took me a while to get here. 

Next, I looked at my racing schedule, my travel schedule, and decided to stop. I have three or four races left for the year but I decided I will not be racing Iron Girl Columbia in August. That was a tough decision because there is nothing I hate more than wasting race fees, but it was causing me unnecessary stress and I didn’t have time to train with my commute and wanting to have actual family time at the end of the day. There is a chance I’ll miss the MCM 10k depending on if Hubs leaves for a 2 week training (still TBD) but I’m okay with that as well. 

By reevaluating my goals and looking at what was really bringing me joy, what I wanted to put my time and effort into, I finally stopped thinking I had to do ALL OF THE RACES, BLOG ALL OF THE TIME and be ALL OF THE THINGS to everyone. I can’t. And I need to be okay with that. 

Make tough decisions

Getting to this point involved making some tough decisions. Leaving my job. Throwing away $100+ on a race fee.  Accepting the fact that I’m not making thousands of dollars from blogging because well… I haven’t been blogging. Those weren’t easy decisions or acceptances for me – but they were necessary.

But, what I did there with those tough (but necessary) decisions, was I put my family first. What I wanted was a little less important when i looked at how my goals were affecting my happiness and what ultimately is most important to me at this point in life – my family and quality time with them. As a working mother finding time for little man can be tough, but him and hubs are the two great loves of my life and I really needed to focus on them a little more rather than training for a big race or commuting to a job that I wasn’t enjoying. 

As you reevaluate your goals, make those tough decisions and don’t let yourself be guided by money or the “should do’s” because if those are the only reasons you’re staying at your job or training for a race or in some cases (though not mine) staying in a relationship – that should give you the answer to the tough decision you need to make.

Be (a little) selfish

I stressed a lot about giving my notice but when i thought about it, it’s wasn’t personal, it was a decision that’s best for me and my family. A business decision if you will, with the business owner making the decision being me. The timing was less than ideal but I need to “do me” (i.e. “you do you”) when it came to this. 

While i love running and racing, I need to think about me and hubs and little man for a change. While sticking with the races I’ve since chosen to forgo might have been more selfish, I would have been doing it so I wouldn’t feel guilty about wasting the money. For me, the money wasn’t worth it. Instead of thinking of what I SHOULD do, I’m focusing on what I WANT to do. I’m being selfish in the best ways possible. 

What’s next?

That all being said, I’m still planning on the Maryland Duathlon in two weeks, and I’m still planning on doing Dewey Beach Tri (which I had deferred from last year) but I can handle running and biking until after my sisters wedding and then I’ll throw some swimming into the mix in August 4-5 weeks before the race. Doing it right now when I have a 90 min – 2 hour commute (round trip mind you) each day just isn’t feasible. I’m focusing on yoga and writing and all of the toddler giggles and just finding joy in life. 

I start my new job in just under two weeks and I’m taking some time between the two for a trip to Vermont for my sister’s shower and for myself. Hopefully in these next few days I can recenter and focus on me for a change.

What are my current goals?

My current goals:

  • Enjoy the summer with hubs and little man (summer bucket list! Hubs and i just came up with one. Now that we’ve lost a month of summer hahaha) 
  • Stick with 80/20 paleo diet to continue my weight loss goals.
  • Run 3 days per week and 2 days of some form of cross training. No mileage goals. Just run, yoga and spin.
  • Write 2 – 3 blogs per week. Regularly.
  • Do 2 things for blog housekeeping each week

Have you ever been in a life rut? How did you get out of it? 

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Why I Run

Happy National Running Day Friends!

national running day

Every year, this day reminds me why I run. Why I lace up my sneakers on hot afternoons like Sunday when Little Man is napping. Or the evenings that I run after bedtime is over, or the weekends that I lace up early in the morning before the weekend starts when I leave hubs and Little Man snoozing peacefully in bed.

I run because it’s my outlet. When work is stressful, when Little Man tests my patience, when I feel like I just need to get out and be alone for 30 minutes…I go for a run to release all of that.

I run to be healthy. Listen, I know I need some strength training here, but running is how I choose to be active and I want to be an example of being healthy for Little Man.

I run to be competitive. I may not be podium-ing at every race, but we all have this competitive edge inside of us right? I run to be competitive.

I run to be social. I used to be a solo runner. But then I found a fantastic running buddy at work, and joined my local MRTT chapter. And found group runs. And mentored a 10k training group and realized running socially can be a lot of fun.

But mostly, more so than any of these reasons? I run for me. I run because I love the sport. For love of adrenaline, and finishing a tough course, and training, and early mornings and sunset runs. Ice baths, and cute running gear. All of these things. I run for all of these things but mostly just myself.

Why do you run? 

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OOTD: A Stitch Fix Winner

This week it finally stopped raining. Seriously, I was ready to throw my spring clothes away and stick with black leggings and chambray button downs for the rest of the spring. But then the sun came back, and one of the first pieces I grabbed for was my white jeans.

This was one of the few times I was able to bust out my navy lace stitch fix top that I got in my March Stitch Fix box and I loved this top as much as the first time I wore it. Will definitely be a summer staple for sure!

Navy top: Stitchfix (similar, similar) | White Jeans: Old Navy (similar) | Sandals: Target (exact) | Sunnies: Target (exact) | necklace: hand me down (from my late Nana) (similar)

 

What’s your favorite way to wear white jeans? 

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Unboxed: May Stitch Fix Review

Happy May! Happier now that the sun is out, but at least after a long week last week, I came home Thursday to a couple of fun packages including my latest Stitch Fix box!

May Stitch Fix

Finnegan Roll Cuff Chino Shorts (by Dear John) 

finnegan chino shorts stitch fix

I loved these so much. They were so comfy, so flattering, but, they were way over budget. $68 for a pair of shorts? When I can get similar looking shorts for a third of the price at JCrew or Old Navy? Nothx.

Verdict: Return

 

 Juli Lasercut Detail Blouse (by Market & Spruce) 

market and spruce blouse stitch fix

Oh my word. Pink and navy polka dots – need I say more? I kept this looker – i loved the detail, the shape (though it’s not super stretchy but that’s okay), and the price was juuuusstttt right. A little high, but I had some credit so it worked out.

Verdict: Keep

 

Elaine Ikat Print Pocket-front Knit Shirt (by Market & Spruce) 

market and spruce ikat print pocket knit shirt stitchfix

Though super soft and flowy – just how I like my t-shirts, I wasn’t crazy about the print (ikat), and it just felt kind of blah and I felt kind of blah in it. The fabric was nice but I couldn’t see myself wearing it outside of home despite the styling card suggestion.

Verdict: Return

Carlita Knit Maxi dress (by Loveappella) 

stitchfix loveappella knit maxi dress

My new favorite. If it would stop raining one of these weekends, I’d be able to wear it. It’s unlike anything i own print wise, and maxi dresses are super versatile in the summer. Though I can’t wear dresses to work (i’d get laughed off the farm, let’s be honest), it’s perfect for weekends and beach trips and MNO’s.

Verdict: Keep

Genevieve Stacked Chevron Pendant Necklace (by Romolo) 

I’ve been missing a long statement kind of necklace – i loved the simplicity of this one, and the weight of it told me that it wasn’t just another cheap-o necklace that I could do without. I’ll share a picture later, but I assure you, it’s super pretty. 

Verdict: Keep

All in all, this was one of my favorite boxes – so I won’t be cancelling Stitch Fix just yet (much to Hubs’s chagrin). If you’re interested in trying Stitch Fix, use this link (referral) and let me know what you think! I love seeing what others get to inspire pins to help my own stylist out!

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Race Recap: Howard County Striders Women’s Distance Festival 5k

So here’s the thing about being a military spouse- active or reserve – you learn to adjust your schedule to your spouses. That was why I “deferred” the Cherry Blossom 10 this year.

Sometimes, I get bummed out when I miss out on fun races. Other times, you make due with what you’ve got, lean on your village and move forward. I stumbled upon the Howard County Strider’s Women’s Distance Festival 5k – an evening race – a few weeks ago and was pretty pumped to sign up. It was drill weekend, but I knew Hubs would be home in time.

Funny thing about evening races, I never know how to fuel for them. I don’t like to eat a whole lot before I run, otherwise I get crampy. But having run on not a lot of gas on Friday evening when it was really warm and I was neither fueled nor hydrated, I know the fine line between being over fueled (crampy and just sluggish) and not fueled enough (no further comparison needed. Like driving a car on empty).

Hubs got home and while I was going to meet up with a pal for a beverage after, she cancelled, so the boys followed me out there after a chick fil a dinner. It wasn’t the perfect dinner but it worked.  Just a simple grilled chicken sandwich about an hour before the race. It wasn’t heavy, had enough protein and carbs. I probably could have made a protein shake but sometimes they make my stomach…grumbly so I didn’t want to risk it. We’ll leave it at that.

They made it just in time to see the warm up that was held (is it bad that I rarely “warm up” in a traditional sense? i was great at it when I was mentoring with Fleet Feet but not really much since) and to see the start. It warms my heart when my boys are there cheering me on. Love them.

howard county striders womens distance festival 5k

Anyhow! The race.

Small race. Insanely well organized. Empty course (cars wise – there were runners, derp)- I guess that’s what happens when you take over a largely commercial/business park section of Columbia on a Saturday night. A touch hillier than I was anticipating but less so than Centennial Park.

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I felt pretty good – the first half mile was at a sub 10:00 pace, then we hit the gradual up hill. My splits were…way off.

The second mile was an out and back spur off the main loop – so a little downhill, a little uphill and a little more downhill and a little more uphill. It was…not entirely un-pleasant. Our neighborhood is mildly hilly so I’m mostly used to gentle hills.

Mile 2 – 3 was more gentle hills (nothing major) with a steady downhill down back onto Columbia Gateway.

I felt pretty solid at the finish – the last quarter mile or so was a solid (though short and not too steep) downhill, with the last .1 flat and a slight up to the finish.

womens distance running festival columbia md

Hubs and Little Man were waiting and cheering me – the crowd, though smaller, was certainly energetic despite the ominous skies that were rolling in by 7:30ish. Little man and I shared a cupcake (they were so good!) and then we headed out! All in all, a really fun race that I would totally do again next year – I believe it’s a part of the Women’s Distance series which includes the Baltimore Women’s 5k in June and the Annapolis Women’s Distance Festival in July

Time: 32:41
Pace: 10:38/mi

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