The Bridge 5k 2016

A couple weeks ago, I ran my first 5k since this past spring. Since I haven’t been running much, I knew there would be no PR but I really wanted to participate because it was being sponsored by my church, and was for a good cause:

The Bridge exists to build a bridge of hope and encouragement to our surrounding community. Proceeds will be used to provide equipment, materials, and training to address recidivism among men currently or previously incarcerated in correctional facilities in central Mississippi.

I signed up on a whim the week of the race, and was up bright and early Saturday morning. I went by myself which is fine, but I left a little too early and got bored standing around waiting to start.

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The race was set to begin at 8:00, which is late for Mississippi in September. It was hot and humid yall. I did a little warming up and then hung out around the start line. At 8:00, it was announced that they had blown a breaker so we would be starting late. Great. It was getting hotter and hotter by the minute, and my once ready to run and warmed up body was getting tight. Oh well.

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We finally began at 8:17. There was a 5k and 10k option, and after standing around in the 94% humidity and 83 degrees, I was so glad I opted for the 5k! The race was pretty small (just over 100 in the 5k and 10k) and I had no grand illusions of doing well or placing. I was dumb and went to a hard boot camp class the day before where we did lots of running, and my legs were definitely not feeling fresh (totally my fault).

We took off, and I noticed I was about the 4th female back after about .25 miles. We went down a big hill which I knew meant we would be going back up after the turn, so I decided to not push too hard on the front end. I had my music playing and just hung out behind this one guy for a while, kind of zoning out. Two girls passed me, and then I passed then just before the turn around. At this point, I wasn’t sure if there were any girls ahead of me because I hadn’t paid attention to the people coming back the other way, and I saw at least two girls going straight for the 10k course. I felt it a very strange feeling to be the possible lead female, and it made me chuckle in slight embarrassment because with the time I was running I should NOT have been in the front. I made my way up the second hill and when I had a half mile left I started to really fade. I felt like I was going to throw up and my face was so hot it felt like it was on fire.

All of the sudden, a girl sprints past me. Hmm. Well, if I was in the lead I wasn’t anymore. Oh well. I had about .35 left and was SO ready to be done. I had slowed considerably, and another girl goes by. Well. That’s what I expected so I wasn’t upset. I turned the corner and got to the last straightaway and saw the girl in front of me had slowed down considerably. I gave it all I had and sprinted past her to the finish. Turns out, I was second overall female which means I WAS leading all that time haha!

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I finished the race in just over 28:00. Everyone was saying how much slower their times were because of how oppressive the humidity was, so at least that made me feel a little bit better. Some cheerleaders from the local high school were there, and they did some cheers while we waited on the last 10k finishers and the awards.

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There were a bunch of door prizes, but sadly I didn’t win anything.

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The pastor of my church got up and said a few words about the money we raised and how it was going to a good cause in the community. Then the awards were handed out.

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I was second overall female and first in my age group (which I thought was weird because in most races I have run, if you win an overall award, you are taken out of the age group category for winning?) Either way, I was proud of my accomplishment despite it not being a great time for me in the race. I truly gave it my all with what energy I had that day. I also really liked the hand carved awards!

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QOTD: Do you race when it’s hot outside or wait for cooler weather? Any races coming up?

5 Things Friday XXIV

I actually only have three things for you today because two of them are kind of long (and one is a giveaway!!!) Have a great weekend everyone.

1.) First of all, a huge thank you for all the congrats on the news of our big move. I haven’t had time yet to go back and respond to all the comments but I have read them all! I can’t wait to start a new adventure!

2.) Women’s Health magazine reached out to let me know about their RUN 10 FEED10 program which I thought was really great. Basically, you run a 10K, and feed 10 people in your neighborhood. Ginger Zee, Good Morning America’s Chief Meteorologist, hosted the New York City event over the weekend and spoke to Women’s Health Magazine about how she sees running as part of her fitness routine. Check it out below:

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“Running is a weekly, maybe bi-weekly part of my fitness routine. I think everybody is different. Every body reacts differently. But that’s the beauty of this. It’s something you can train for and make a goal of. That’s what so cool about this event. You’re benefiting yourself, but you’re also greatly benefiting your community.”

On the hunger problem in America:

“I’ve done plenty of stories – a lot of environmental stories, a lot of food stories. We know that there’s a problem with hunger right here in the United States, right here in our back yards. It’s easy to forget about when you’re going to the grocery store and you can pick up whatever you need. That’s not the case for everyone. And that’s not the case for people directly in your community. This is one of the only events where I can say the money or the funds and the activity raised goes straight to people that live right next door to you. That’s the most special part of this to me. There are so few charities where you get to say that. You don’t know necessarily where the money goes. This one you know where it goes – it goes right next door.

On running the RUN 10 FEED 10 race:

“I’ve been with RUN 10 FEED 10 now for four years. I can’t believe it. The number of meals served keeps adding up. It’s the most fun event of the whole year, really, as far as fitness goes. That whole time I’m running, every step I’m thinking about the people I’m serving. It’s a great, almost meditative, moment.”

Prior to race day, Women’s Health, along with Macy’s President Jeff Gennette, Ginger Zee, and FEED founder Lauren Bush Lauren, lit the iconic Empire State Building red to raise awareness for the fight against domestic hunger. <—How cool is that?!?

If you would like to participate, I have a discount code for you! Enter this at checkout: WHPR50OFF. Register now through November 29, 2016 at RUN10FEED10.com.

3.) I am hosting a GIVEAWAY here and on Instagram sponsored by RunningSkirts.com. There will be three winners. I will pull ONE winner from the blog giveaway and TWO from Instagram, so feel free to enter to both! One person will win a Keep it chill tank, one  the arm sleeves, and one the gaitor.

Keep it Chill™ cooling technology racer back sport tank has Xylitol infused Hearts that activate when they get wet (think: hot sweaty run) to provide a long lasting cooling effect. When you sweat it starts cooling or you can dunk it in water to get an immediate cooling effect. This really works yall! Running in the southern summer heat is brutal, and having a tank that makes me feel cooler is awesome. The gaitor around my neck in particular really cooled me off. I dunked it in water before I ran and it helped cool me off and keep the sun off my neck.

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The Keep it Chill cooling sleeves have with thumbholes, hand garage and exterior pockets. The sleeves are great for sun protection and cooling. The pocket is large enough to fit something like chap stick, a Gel, or car key.

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The  Xylitol infused hearts Keep it Chill cooling neck gaitor is designed to be versatile and can be worn in many ways…around the neck, on the head, or as a tube top etc. I have worn mine on my head and on my neck and it’s also great for wiping sweat out of my eyes mid run.

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All three pieces come in Azure blue or white. I am wearing a size medium tank in the photos. To check out the full line, click here and go to “new” and “keep it chill collection”.

To win one of the three items, follow the instructions below. I will be posting the Instagram giveaway something this morning so stay tuned. The giveaway will run until September 27th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 Tips for Working Out Without Breaking the Bank

When you think of getting fit and healthy, you don’t have to also see lots of dollar signs. There are ways to be healthy, get fit, and reach your goals without breaking the bank. Check out my 5 tips below:
5 tips for working out without breaking the bank

1.) Really do some thinking about your gym membership.

If you go to your gym 4 times a week and use multiple pieces of equipment, the pool, the childcare, etc. then you should probably stick with it. But, if you go to the gym 3 times a month, or only use it for the treadmill, then maybe you should consider alternative means of exercise. If you only go to the gym for a treadmill, consider buying one for your home. You can find used ones on craigslist, or at a second hand fitness equipment store. If  you lift lighter hand weights, maybe buy a set or two of lighter and heavier weights and a resistance band. If you love yoga but cringe at the thought of forking over a high amount for a month at a studio, maybe buy a mat and download some free yoga videos from the internet.

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2.) Set a budget for races and make finding good/cheaper ones a game.

Let’s face it, racing, especially destination racing, can be pricey! One option is to set a yearly or quarterly racing budget that includes not just entry fees but also what you would spend at a hotel or on transportation, food etc. as well. A lot of times, you can find fun races that aren’t publicized on the big race websites if you do a little digging (hello Google!)  Trying to fit races into your budget is like putting together a puzzle, and can be fun if you are a planner like me. Also, try to find things to help your budget, like run a destination race close to where your aunt lives, and ask if you can spend the night at her house to save money on a hotel. Yes, you may end up sleeping on her couch with a cat on your face, but better than forking out 150+ dollars for a hotel room. Maybe you can find a friend online running the same race as you and share a hotel, or a cab from the airport. Every little bit helps!

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3.) Think of things around your house that could be considered cross training

Look around you, there are plenty of things you could probably do or that NEED to be done that would work up a sweat and be considered cross training. Some things to do are work in the flowerbeds pulling weeds, scrubbing wood floors on your hands and knees, raking leaves, wiping down baseboards, painting your dining room, scrubbing the shelves in your refrigerator (no…I am not listing all the things I need to do…yeah…of course not). Not only will you work up a sweat, but your house will look awesome! Put on some music and maybe add in some lunges or squats as you go.

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Painting a fence counts, too!

4.) Be Social and know your city.

If you did a little research, you may find a hiking trail you didn’t know about, or a walking club for moms that meets every Tuesday morning. Being in the know will help you to make decisions that are right for you and your family. Do you know an elderly lady with a big dog that needs some exercise? Volunteer your time to get to know her and her dog and then take it (the dog, not the old lady) for a run. Introduce yourself to the neighbor who just moved in and ask if they want to go on a walk around downtown with you and you can point out things like the best stores, restaurants, etc. as you go to help them learn their new town. Getting exercise but also helping out someone else makes you feel good. Bonus points!

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I found a trail!

5.) Don’t spend a fortune on fitness gear.

This one is hard for me because I love cute running gear! Wait for sales, or free shipping for online products. Sometimes you can find affiliates who are offering discounts on products you love online. Buy the model that is not in production anymore and they are usually cheaper (for shoes). I also take good care of my fitness gear. I wash it every time I sweat in it (totally can’t imagine re wearing sweaty workout gear. ew.) I hang dry everything, and it lasts a long time. Also, when people ask what to get me for Christmas/Birthday, I tell them running gear,  or a running store gift card.

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QOTD: What is your best fitness on a budget tip?

5 Things Friday XVI

Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday! You’re welcome. Bust day of workout and work ahead of me, but the sun is shining and it’s Friday. I hope everyone has a great weekend! Catch ya on social media until Monday.

1.) Running Skirts has come out with a new ADORABLE compression sock with tiaras on them! Love! Even better, right now you can get these socks with free shipping. This probably won’t last long so I would jump on it.

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2.) Last week I spoke of loving the chocolate chip Complete Cookie. That was until I tried the birthday cake flavor. Holy cow, this is good stuff friends! If you like cake flavored things you should check these out. I love that I can get a box of twelve because Bobby keeps stealing them.

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3.) My child loves ducks and is not afraid of them. There are some pretty aggressive ducks at one of our local parks that will come right up to you if they think you have food. My kid is like “whatevs, I just want to hug them.” I love that she is obsessed with animals. Sweet baby. Now I just hope she doesn’t get attacked by one and scared for life.

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4.) Does anyone have any experience with this particular water and sand table? I saw it at Sam’s for a great price but haven’t heard reviews on this one. Thoughts?

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5.) As a Rock ‘n blogger, I get fun things from time to time like the Eagle Creek gear I made a video for last week. This week I got this great training journal and book about proper eating for athletes. Can’t wait to dive right in! Thanks Velopress!

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QOTD: Any experience with water tables? Any scary duck stories? I have been bitten several times. Favorite Complete cookie flavor?

5 Things Friday XV

Friday, we meet again! I hope everyone had a great week, and has an even better weekend.

1.) Mother’s Day: Mother’s Day is SUNDAY. Hopefully you were already aware of this fact and have plans to mail a card/send a gift/visit your mother. Do something. Your mom put up with you your entire life, including your angsty teen years, so tell her thank you.

2.) Beat the sun: ASICS is once again trying to beat the sun with a fun race, and this year they are including some amateur runners, and you can vote for your favorite! (ppstt. Ryan is a fellow ASICS ambassador, just saying.)

3.) Fabletics fun: Check out these adorable new pants and top I got from Fabletics this month. I love the top because it’s super light and nice and long for a tall person like me. The pants have tiny little cut outs in the pattern and I love the bright color. Very comfy!

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This post contains affiliate links, which means I get a small commission when you shop through them. However I would never advertise a product that I myself wouldn’t use, so thank you for supporting my blog!

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Also, how fun is my RunningSkirts.com skirt?

4.) Complete cookie: I know I am late to the party, but I just had my first Complete cookie recently and yall, eating protein has never been this tasty for me! I am hooked. I have only tried chocolate chip and birthday cake but they are both delicious! I usually eat half a cookie then save the other half for the next day.

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5.) Email list: Another huge thank you to those that have signed up for my email list via my free printables or my free how to start a blog e-course. If you want to join my email list (I only email bi-weekly right now) without signing up for one of the above two options, you can do so below. Thanks so much for your support. Lots of good things coming, and subscribers will be the first to know!

QOTD: Have you ever had a Complete cookie? What are you doing for Mother’s Day?

Don’t Be Like That

Eagle Creek so graciously sent some packing essentials my way, which I was very grateful for. I have always packed for races with garbage and grocery bags, so this was a real treat! Check out my short video below for more info and a fun little way of sharing about their products.

Here is the Eagle Creek website where you can find all of their cool gear! Remember, no one wants to sit next to a smelly person’s stuff on an airplane. So just don’t be like that, ok?

QOTD: How do you pack your stinky race day gear and shoes?

Motivation with Moto 360 Sport

Motivation can be such a tricky thing. Not everyone is motivated by the same things, and sometimes it can be hard to figure out what gets you going personally. I have had t try many different tactics to keep me motivated to stay fit and healthy, and honestly I have realized that it’s not just one thing for me.

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Wanting to set a good example for my daughter, having group accountability, and keeping track of progress are all good motivators for me. My toddler is a little to young to go run with me (haha) but I still try to get a good example by being active with her, going on walks, and playing outside. I joined a boot camp class for motivation in a group setting (it’s expensive so I go simply to not waste money, if nothing else), and I keep track of data like my steps walked, heart rate, calories burned, and run stats because seeing progress is definitely motivating.

I have used many different things in the past few years to help keep track of my stats, and the new Moto 360 Sport watch is by far the coolest thing!

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Right out of the box, I knew I was going to like this watch because it is a good size. I have other touch screen watches but the faces have been really big, so this guy is ahead of his time by having all the same technology but in a sleeker design. The flame orange is pretty awesome to me, but if it’s not your favorite, the Moto 360 Sport also comes in white and black.

So let’s start with the obvious for me, all about the numbers for this data and running geek. This watch gives it all to you without having to carry your phone. The top left number on the above photo is how many minutes I have moved that day, the bottom lest is my calorie burn, top right is steps walked, and bottom right is the second hand for the clock. The clock face I had my watch on is the “sport” one, and as you can see I can easily hit ONE BUTTON….START from the main screen and start my run. It will track all the stats of a regular GPS watch as well as heart rate and time spent in different heart rate zones, but that is just the beginning!

Music on the run? Sure! There are 4 GB of space and it is compatible with Spotify which is awesome (love the integration!) Oh, speaking of integration, it is also compatible with programs you may already use like FitBit, Map My Run, and Strava.

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Check out the cool charging dock, just set it inside the cradle. I have to charge it nightly because it has so many cool features always running, but that’s ok, it’s totally worth it!

I downloaded Android Wear™ which allowed me to sync up my watch so that I can check traffic, weather, get social media or email notifications, and even text messages!

The watch itself is very durable, make of silicone that doesn’t absorb sweat while ventilation channels keep you cool. The Motorola AnyLight display is really brilliant. It’s the world’s first hybrid screen and you can read the display even in bright sunlight because it adapts to the light level around it. So cool.

Another really cool aesthetic is the ability to change the watch face. There are tons to choose from, like this gorgeous blossom option.

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Now, I don’t know about you but I think that is MOTOvating! If you are a numbers + technology geek like me, then you should give this watch a shot. Maybe it could be a good motivator for you like is has been for me.

Whatever it may be, I hope you can find something that MOTOvates you to get and stay healthy. We all need a reason to keep on keeping on, it’s so important! Reading blogs and having people encourage me has also been a big help, so if any of you ever need a little motivational boost, I will be happy to help you out, so feel free to email me anytime. But for now, check out this awesome video that will tell you a little more about the Moto 360 Sport watch.

You can purchase your own watch at Motorola.com, Best Buy, Nordstrom, Amazon, Google Play, Verizon.com, and at the Moto Shop in downtown Chicago.

To help get you MOTOvated, Motorola is giving away FOUR watches! Simply follow the rafflecoptor instructions below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Motorola. The opinions and text are all mine.

runDisney Princess Half Marathon Packing List

It’s almost time! The runDisney Princess Half Marathon is upon us! Since I planned this trip so last minute, it feels like it was snuck up on me so, so quickly. After only running the half marathon last year, I am so excited to be doing the Glass Slipper Challenge again.

runDisney Princess packing list printable

I started thinking yesterday that there are a lot of things to remember to pack for the race itself, so I started making a list, and realized I wanted to share it with all of you, too. I started typing it out, but then decided it would be fun to make it a printable so you can print it off, and check off the boxes as you go. I also left a section for notes where you can add things I did not put on the list that may be specific to you, so have fun and good luck! I hope to see some of you in Walt Disney World over the weekend! I arrive Friday and will be at the expo that afternoon, and am staying in WDW until Tuesday morning. The weather is looking promising, it’s sure to be a great time!

Click on the words or photo below to go straight to the printable.

runDisney Princess Half Marathon Packing List Printable:

runDisney Princess half marathon packing list

I hope my Princess half marathon packing list has helped you!

QOTD: What would you add to this packing list? Will you be at Princess?

Run True Love

Hey guys! Happy late Valentine’s Day! Honestly, Bobby and I never go out on Valentine’s Day, and he knows I would kill him if he bought overpriced flowers, so we just normally exchange cards and call it a day.

However, when ASICS reached out to me about giving a surprise to our support system or “run true love”, I was super excited and decided to make it a scavenger hunt live on Periscope.

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It was fun and I am glad I did it, and Bobby is happy he has some new shoes. He has never run in the Nimbus before, so I will have to get him to write a review post after he has run in them awhile. If you want to see how fellow ASICS ambassadors surprised their friends or family, follow #runtruelove.

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We ate pizza for dinner, and then it was time for the main event. THE WALKING DEAD! Yall, if you aren’t watching this show then you are missing out on the amazingness that is Daryl Dixon and the rest of the gang.

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Love it. The episode did not disappoint (wow it was intense!) and I can’t wait to see the direction they take the rest of the season. Also, Carrie Underwood was the special guest on the Talking Dead, and I am a HUGE fan of hers, so that was a fun bonus.

So, that’s our incredibly exciting Valentine’s Day, which was fine by me. I hope your day was a good one, too! (and congrats to all the LA marathon finishers. You can check out my recap from last year here.)

QOTD: Do you watch The Walking Dead? What did you do for Valentine’s Day?

5 Things Friday X

We made it! Friday again! Anyone have fun Valentine’s plans? We are boring and will just probably order pizza and watch the Walking Dead because….romantic, right? Anyway, it’s time for another 5 Things Friday! Have a good one!

1.) Aerolife running and cycling backpack rocks my world. I have actually NEVER used a hydration pack before because I either just carry water (annoying) or leave it in my car to go back to mid run (equally annoying), so when they reached out to me about trying out their backpack, I was excited, especially since I was training for two half marathons.

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This pack is waterproof, fully adjustable, and very lightweight. The weight was one of the things I was concerned about, but yall, I forgot I was wearing it. I also love the velcro and zipper pockets to hold my keys, gels, etc.

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It comes with a 1.5 liter bladder that is really flexible and easy to use. The price point on the backpack is another huge plus, as I have seen some really expensive bags out there. This one retails for under $29 on Amazon, and they also have a LIFETIME WARRANTY and customer service warranty. Works for me! Highly recommended from a girl who ahs never used one before.

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If you are interested in a 15% off coupon, email [email protected] and I will send you one!  Readers who will send their email to [email protected]will get also a very special gift for 2016, PLR best seller book: “How to boost your metobolism.”

2.) runDisney Glass Slipper Challenge is NEXT WEEKEND! Jen and I will arrive on Friday, and will be running the 10k and half. We plan to hang at EPCOT on Saturday and Magic Kingdom on Monday. Anyone for a pre race meet up? I want to see your faces!

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3.) Emma Kate is now a big girl. She is moving up to the next room at daycare and it makes me so sad! She was in the cruiser/young toddler room, and now she’s moving to the big toddler room, and the next stop is PRESCHOOL. Terrifying.

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4.) This weather is cra-cra.  It was 68 degrees yesterday and such a tease. I sat outside to do some reading, and the dog enjoyed the sun for a bit. It’s such a tease, because in a couple of days, it will be 31. COME ON SPRING! As long as it’s not freezing in Disney I will be ok…I think.

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5.) I have to run 12 miles tomorrow. I get really bored on long runs by myself, so it will be a miracle if I do this. I know we aren’t racing the Princess half fast, it’s just for fun, so theoretically I don’t need to do such a long run…but I’m shooting for it anyway.

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QOTD: Do you run with a hydration backpack? Are you running princess?