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New Job, New Car, Peonies and Hill Repeats

Been super busy (as we all are) as the preschool where I am the assistant director (soon to be director) is nearing completion of the year!  I am excited and nervous about stepping into the director position but it will be a big change for me....more responsibility and working 5 days a week (still part time) instead of just 3.  Today I had a taste of that as I worked on a Friday and it was not bad!  I ordered out lunch and the Friday vibe is just more chill overall.
Last week we bought a car and it was definitely a long time coming.  We bought our truck in 2004 and owned it for 12 years!  The 2015 Dodge Durango R/T that we replaced it with is the nicest car we have ever owned....lots of bells and whistles, to include a full entertainment system, heated seats, driver seat memory (love this!), and more!  It's gonna take me awhile to learn how to work all this stuff!
Enjoying my new ride! (A sunroof!?)

SPRING IS HERE!  This is one of my favorite times of year because of all of the FLOWERS!
My favorite flower is in bloom...the PEONY.  I really wanted to carry these in our wedding, but alas we got married in Florida in December and it would have cost a fortune to have them shipped here from Holland.  So I ended up with Virginia Roses (which is sort of ironic because we ended up settling in VA now).  Anyway, I don't have any peonies growing around my house, which I need to rectify!  I have just the spot in the front of the house and plan to buy a bush at some point.  In the mean time I have been buying them from Whole Foods and putting them various places around the house.  They are just so pretty...and make me happy!

When I was training for my marathon I incorporated Hill Repeats into my weekly routine of running.  Since completing the marathon (and not really ever wanting to do another one) I had stopped doing them.  Today I started back up!  Hoo boy, I had forgotten how difficult they are.  I have a regular route in my neighborhood that I can fit in running before work and it has the hill repeat part at about 2 miles in, so it is really perfect.  Really the whole run in my neighborhood is fairly hilly but I pick this one hill to repeat (today just 4 times) and make it a nice 5K workout.  I am working on speed and I think having these hill repeats and also Tempo runs (it ended up being a negative split run as well!) has improved and will continue to improve my stamina and times.  Today was really hard because it's been awhile!  Hopefully, it will help me to reduce my half marathon time - which is now my goal to focus on after completing the marathon.  Speaking of which I have signed up for the Nauti Challenge in Norfolk (5K and Half Marathon) in November, the Gasparilla Distance Classic (half marathon) in February 2018 and the Rock and Roll DC half in March 2018!  I am also considering (with my BLUR friends) doing a Ragnar trail race in the spring of 2018 as well...we shall see!? 
My first race of the fall will most likely be the Army 10 miler (October) which will be my 4th time running and hopefully this year with my husband (as he bailed last year because of a conflict in schedule and lack of training on his part!).  I've decided that racing in the summer months is just not for me, as I HATE running in the humidity and heat.  Hence the reason I trained for a marathon that was in March so I was able to do the bulk of my training in the winter.  Anyway, I am looking forward to training for these fall races and for the 2018 races as well.  Here's to decreasing my times and staying injury-free in the process!
Here's a link to get $20 off on the Oiselle website - it's where my favorite running hat that I'm wearing in the above pic is from. 


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