Tag Archives: Races

Reflecting on 2014

Happy New Year’s Eve!

Can you believe 2015 is already here?! 2014 seems like it just flew by for me. 🙂 It was a great year overall, and before making some New Years Resolutions, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at what happened this year.

Reflections on 2014

the Medal from the Mad Half Marathon in Waitsfield, Vermont

 

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post race

  • We also got to hear Shalane Flanagan speak at the event, which was so incredible! She was so down-to-earth and funny, and I’ll definitely be rooting for her in 2015.
  • Shalane Flanagan. Runners World Heartbreak hill Half Marathon and FestivalIn September, my mom and I finished our first marathon – the Rochester Marathon!! After playing with the idea of a marathon for so long (and even mentioning it in my 2014 Non-Resolutions post), it feels incredible to think I actually did it. And I know for sure that there will be more. Even though my toenail still hasn’t completely grown back. 😉

At packet pick-up for the Rochester Marathon

  • I began my senior year of college at SUNY Geneseo… and then I graduated. I absolutely loved my undergrad experience, and I am very excited to go back and see my friends in May and walk at my graduation.
  • What it Means to Graduate Early, Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running DuoI continued to grow this blog! When I first started blogging, I didn’t really know what I was doing (at all). But I’ve learned so much since then, and I’m so happy to see my little corner of the internet improving! Now that I’m home, I’m really excited to devote some time to making it even better (but I’ll talk more about that later!)

I want to come up with some goals for the new year. But for now, I’m pretty happy to just celebrate 2014.

I hope you enjoyed 2014 too and have a wonderful New Year’s Eve!

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4 Things Friday & An Announcement

Happy Friday!!

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m not doing a Fall Fitness Friday post today. This week was beyond hectic and on top of all that, I’m fighting a cold (although I am feeling a bit better than I was on Tuesday!).

Not only am I still not feeling 100%, but winter is truly beginning to set in. It snowed today.

First Snowfall. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

It looked pretty, but I’m still not ready to let go of Fall! Bring back the 50 degree temps, pretty leaves, and perfect running weather!

I should probably be used to these winters by now, having grown up in New England and going to school in upstate New York, but even so, I’m having trouble accepting it. 😉

But moving on… Since I’m not doing the FFF Challenge this week, I still wanted to do a fun, personal post today. So, I thought, why not try my hand at 4 Things Friday! (Confused? Just keep reading!)

4 Things Friday

My Top 4 Favorite things about Fall:

1. Pumpkin spice everything… well mostly everything! 🙂 -> 16 Pumpkin Spice Products that Don’t Exist and Should Never Exist.

Pumpkin spice.2. Scarves (I own a billion, but I love them all!)

3. Sweaters

4. Perfect running weather (have I mentioned that fall is perfect for running?)  😉

My Top 4 Movies:

1. Titanic

2. Bridesmaids

3. The Proposal (what can I say – I like romantic movies!)

4. Any of the Harry Potter’s

4 Songs I Can’t Stop Listening To Right Now:

1. Blank Space by Taylor Swift (watch the music video. It’s scary and weird and I couldn’t look away.)

2. You R in Love by Taylor Swift

3.Wildest Dreams by Taylor Swift

4. This Love by Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift's new album.

(Yes, these are all from the new album by Taylor Swift. I can’t stop listening to it, and I’m not ashamed.)

My Top 4 Best Halloween Costumes (Since Halloween was only a couple weeks ago)

1. iTunes gift card (did this with my friend Ramya in high school – it was so fun!)

Woo, throwback to high school dances!

Woo, throwback to high school dances!

2.Facebook

3. Harry Potter’s little sister (yes… I made up a character for one of my Halloween costumes when I was younger.)

4. Cinderella

4 Places I’ve Traveled to:

1. France

2. Disney World (senior class trip! I want to go again. ASAP.)

Disney World. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo3. Yellowstone National Park

4. Vermont (for the Mad Half last summer!)

And this category leads me to my next announcement… my mom and I have decided on our next half marathon in our 50 states mission! The next state we will be crossing off is… *drumroll please* 🙂

Running a half marathon in all 50 states

Yay!! I’m so excited to say my mom and I will be running the Clearwater Distance Classic in January. It will be wonderful to escape the cold and snow and go soak up some of the Florida sun. and run 13.1 miles and cross off another state while we’re at it. 🙂

I hope you enjoyed the 4 things post! Leave a comment of 4 of your favorite things – you pick the topic!

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Running Goals

Hello again!

Hope you all had a festive Halloween! Can you believe we’re moving on to Thanksgiving and then… *gasp… CHRISTMAS!

Christmas is coming. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

 

Brady. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running DuoGoing back to Saturday’s post, I wanted to let you all know the Janji project reached 100% funding, yay! If you purchased a shirt for yourself or someone else, thank you!

It’s crazy how fast this year is flying by. I’m happy to say, looking back, I’ve done really well with my Non-New Years Resolutions though! I remember cautiously voicing the idea of running a marathon in 2014, not being sure if I could actually do it!

26 in 2014

Check that off the list! 🙂

However, I am getting awfully antsy to do another race. There may be one in the works, but stay tuned for more on that! For the next half marathon I do, I would love to maybe try for a personal record. I ran my best time for the half this past summer at the Amica Iron Horse Half in Connecticut in 1 hour 55 minutes, which is around 8:40/mile.

Amica Victory Shot

I would love to squeeze this down to 1:50 (am I jinxing myself by putting this in writing? Please tell me I’m not.)

Maybe it’s the competitive streak in me, but I love how running races gives you the chance to compete against yourself. I can’t really think of any other sport where that’s the case. Obviously, there are other runners there to race against, but I don’t think I’m ever going to be the first female finisher in a half or full. So, I can just focus on improving my performance and forget about the other racers. I’ve never been very good about fitting speedwork into my running – I generally prefer to go out and run at a comfortable pace for however many miles I am planning on doing that day. But I wonder how much stronger I would feel as a runner if I got better about doing this? So, I’m starting to browse around for 1:50 half marathon training plans. If you have a plan that’s worked well for you, I’d love to hear about it!

That’s about all I have time for (got an exam this week), but stay tuned for Friday’s Fall Fitness Challenge update. 🙂

Do you enjoy speedwork? Do you like to “compete” against yourself in running?

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What I Would Do Differently If (When) I Run a Marathon Again

Happy Wednesday everyone!

I hope you’re all having a good week so far. I’ve been relishing the fact that *gasp* I have no exams/big assignments due this week! Woohoo! 🙂

In today’s post, I wanted to look back a little bit on the marathon again. It was just over a month ago that I was completely absorbed by all things marathon-related. And honestly, I am beyond thrilled with how it all went. But there are a few things that I would do differently, looking back now. And given that there are probably going to be a few more marathons in my future, I figured why not do a post on it!

What I would Do differently if I ran a marathon again

  1. Gently build a base before really diving into the marathon training plan.

I was running A LOT over the summer. I ran several half marathons (a few of which were particularly hilly and challenging) as well as a 10 mile race, and I was doing a lot of long runs with my mom on the weekends. And this was all before I even officially began my marathon plan. Well, it was all fun and games until I strained my toe tendon. Looking back, I wish I had eased my body into things a little more slowly, so that my muscles would have been less fatigued when I finally worked my way up to those 17-20 mile runs. I ended up having to skip most of those scheduled long runs because I could barely manage to run 3 miles with my strained tendon. So, I would be interested to see how my marathon time might improve if I was healthy and able to get in ALL the planned long runs.

At our 10 mile race this past summer. I'm still happy because I haven't injured myself yet.

At our 10 mile race this past summer. I’m still happy because I haven’t injured myself yet.

  1. Experiment more with other fueling methods during training.

I know a lot of runners have issues with gels, but not me. I love GU’s! But after sucking down 4 of those ridiculously sweet gooey packs during the marathon, I was absolutely sick of them. I’ve heard that pretzels and even bread with honey can be good on-the-run fuel, and I think I’d like to experiment with those a bit next time to see if they work for me.

What i would do differently if I ran a marathon again. Experiment with fueling

  1. Make sure my toenails are trimmed VERY SHORT before the race.

Given that it’s going to take another 7-9 months for me to grow my big toenail back, I don’t think I’m ever going to forget this one. 😉 Going along with this, I would definitely try to put some Glide between my toes next time, as blisters get pretty painful when you’re running for 4+ hours.

  1. Eat chocolate chip pancakes after.

I love chocolate. I love pancakes. What better excuse is there for this completely nutritional value-lacking breakfast than having just run 26.2 miles?! And I haven’t had these guys in ages, so next marathon – I’m comin’ for ’em!

Rochester Marathon Race Recap

 

Have a happy Wednesday and good luck getting through the end of this week! 🙂

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Volunteering at the Groton Town Forest Trail Race

Hope you had a fun weekend! 🙂 Today’s post is my mom’s recap of volunteering at a trail race last week. I’ve never run a trail race before, and I’m jealous of how fun it sounds.

Groton Town Forest Trail Race Recap

 

Trail races are so much fun AND a great way to enjoy the lovely  seasonal  foliage. The club Nora and I have been running with  organizes a great one called the Town Forest Trail Race,  which was held just this weekend.

The race offers 2 different distances: a 3.4 mile, and a 9.5, though both take you through the beautiful trails in Groton,  Massachusett’s Town Forest.

I’ve run the 9.5 the last couple of years, but decided that this year I would just volunteer. Nora’s dad came with me and we reported at 9:30 sharp to help set up the refreshments – which we all know are an extremely important part of any race. (Right up there with the free swag!)

Groton Town Forest Trail Race

We set up coffee and cider, and all the usual stuff like bagels and bananas, but our club has some pretty awesome bakers so we had things like pumpkin whoopie pies, and caramel topped brownies, too!

When we were done with that, we went out to help with the parking (always a bit of a challenge when the race course is not exactly in an urban setting). Luckily, we parked everyone without any difficulty and even left enough space for the horses to get back into their trailers.  (No, the horses were not race participants, though we had some other four-legged racers!)

Groton Trail Race Recap

 

Afterwards, we went out to get our course-marshal assignments. Because the two courses overlapped in spots, this involved moving yellow tapes across some of the trails after the runners had passed.  (The year before an EMT vehicle had knocked down our tapes, resulting in lost and annoyed runners, so we were determined that everything would go smoothly this year. )  Once the tapes were in place, we went back to the start, to direct the runners through the first “crossing”.

Groton Trail Race Recap

And they were off!!! The 9.5 racers sped off at 12:30 with a small black dog in the lead, and the 3.4 mile racers took off ten minutes later, heading down a different trail.

Groton Trail Race Recap

We jogged after them, to move the tapes to the appropriate places and then settled in about a half mile from the finish to cheer on the runners.

Despite the difficult terrain, (rocks and roots covered by leaves with steep climbs and even steeper downhills) some of the 3.4 mile racers came past us at around 18 minutes later! They were flying!

The first 9.5 mile racers shot past us in less than an hour, and about a minute after those two runners, our little four-legged friend sped past, still looking happy and full of energy.

Groton Trail Race Recap

As the runners went past, we cheered, told them they were nearly there, and reminded them that there were great snacks just ahead!

Groton Trail Race Recap

When we were pretty sure we had seen the last runner go by, we headed to the finish ourselves where the race organizers were beginning to pack things up.  Not sure how other trail races do this, but our club sends out a “sweeper” on a mountain bike to check the course for any lost runners: a challenging bike ride! When he reported the course was clear, everyone returned to the refreshment area and warmed up with coffee and snacks. Though there were no more pumpkin whoopie pies for us, it had been a great race, for runners and volunteers alike. Even all the four legged creatures, (six horses and one speedy dog) had had a good time.

Tips for Running a Trail Race

  • Though the scenery is beautiful, there are rocks, roots and leaves that make the trail slippery, so it’s actually harder to fully appreciate the view, because you need to watch where you put your feet. (Everytime I get carried away and start looking at the trees, I catch my toe on a root and find myself stumbling into a tree! So it’s best to stay mindful of your feet.)
  • There will probably be fewer water stations than at a conventional race of that distance because setting them up in the middle of a forest can be a logistical challenge. So bring some water.
  • There will probably be fewer, porter-potties! But plenty of trees! 😉
  • Be prepared to share the road. This year we had a number of horseback riders, but after a little traffic direction, everyone got to where they needed to go.

Have a good Monday!

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My Mom’s Thoughts on the Roc Marathon

Hi again!

Sorry for the long break, once again. Between classes and my toenail probs, finding the time to post has been tricky! I’m pleased to report however, that the toenail is on the mend, and I was even able to run a nice easy 3-miler this morning! 🙂 But without further ado…

Rochester Marathon Recap

When I was 25 I occasionally ran with a neighbor who was training for  the NYC marathon. ..he and I would run about 5 miles together down to Huntington Harbor and back,  and then he would take off to do another ten miles –or more. I was a bit in awe of Bill, who was 55 a the time, but I never  considered joining him, and I never, EVER thought that, at 55,  I would run my first marathon.

So, if you’re out there Bill P. from Huntington NY, and you happen to read this blog, I thank you for being an inspiration, (even if it took me 25 years to act on it) and I hope that wherever you are, you are still running!

And now to pick up where Nora left off:

Running along the Erie Canal during the Rochester Marathon

Somewhere   along the canal it began to rain and though it was a pleasant drizzle that cooled me off, the sky to my right – the direction the course would take me – looked  very ominous and I was sure this pleasant drizzle would turn into a monsoon before I got to the finish. (It would, but more about that later.)

I am pleased to say, I kept to my plan, of running a mile, and walking a minute, and managed to do this until mile 21. At that point I realized I wasn’t going to be “busting loose” or dropping the walking breaks, in fact, I started to walk a bit more.  At first I felt guilty about this, but as I started to see more and more runners on the side of the road (some obviously feeling much worse than me), I decided there was no shame in the walking, and reminded myself that this was my first marathon and that the goal was to finish, and to enjoy the experience, and that was what I decided to do. I started to walk as fast as I could, (my slowest of these last few splits ended up being 12:46 so not too bad), running for short stretches, and taking the time to thank volunteers and spectators alike. Like Nora, I really appreciated the fun signs!

Finally, I was making   my way back into the city,   relieved to know the end was in sight.  I also noticed there were some large puddles and one officer had hung his rain jacket from the window of his patrol car. It flapped as I went by and he smiled and said, “Trying to get it to dry out.”  I realized it had rained here, but that somehow, I had been spared. (It was my marathon miracle!)

And then I was crossing the finish line!! Nora was there with her boyfriend and they were a welcome sight. 🙂

I quickly realized I had no fine motor skills left and could not unlock my phone to stop Mapmyrun, (the app I use on my phone to log my miles) so I handed it off to Nora who took care of that. I was pretty excited and wobbly, and a gentleman came over with a wheel chair, just in case I toppled over.  I didn’t but it was close!

After walking about and drinking some chocolate milk, Nora and I realized we really didn’t feel like eating anything (never a problem after a half marathon!)  and we  decided it might be best to get back to our hosts’(my sister and her husband)  house, and relax there.  (It never occurred to me to check the results in case I had placed in my age division. Later I found out, I PLACED THIRD!)  We began to walk to where Nora’s boyfriend had parked his car. And then it hit: a veritable monsoon of wind and rain that moved like a wall of water across the streets, whipping down the fences at the finishing chute, and drenching us, and the runners we saw making their way to the finish! By the time we got to the car we looked like drowned cats and I texted my sister that we would need towels! Now cold and wet, I couldn’t help feeling badly for the runners still on the course, and hoping they would not have far to run.

Celebrating our first marathon

After hot showers, and a celebratory glass of champagne, we headed to the spa, for our much anticipated, and much needed massages. It seemed somehow inappropriate to take our phones into the relaxing atmosphere, so we left them in the little lockers provided so sadly, we have no pictures of the lovely facilities. 😦 But needless to say, it was the perfect antidote to running 26.2 miles! (Though I did have to jump off the table because of a cramp in my calf, which was slightly embarrassing.) Nevertheless,  Nora and I have decided that this will definitely have to be a post marathon tradition.

So a big thank you  to our hosts, my sister and her husband,  who made their home available, who fed us, and cheered us on; to Nora’s boyfriend for driving out to support us, and shuttling us around; to the city of Rochester, its  police force, the volunteers, and the great spectators, who came out despite the rain.

Rochester Marathon Recap

To all of you, thank you for helping Nora and I check off the great state of New York in spectacular fashion!!

Running Tattoos

P.S. one of those tattoos isn’t real… 😉

 

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The Rochester Marathon

We did it.

My Mom and I can both officially say now that we are marathoners. After months of training and reading anything and everything about marathons, we finally went out and completed 26.2 miles. There was uncertainty, crazy weather, and blackened toenails, but we made it.

Let me start from the beginning though. 🙂

Late in the afternoon on Friday, my mom made the long drive up and picked me up from school. It was fantastic to see her again and we chatted the whole time as we made the drive into Rochester. We were lucky enough to be able to stay with my aunt and uncle, so it was a great mini-family reunion. Friday night, we just relaxed, ate pizza and visited, before turning in for an early bedtime. We wanted to make sure we got plenty of rest in preparation for Sunday.

Saturday, we slept in a little, before going for a gentle 2-mile jog, as prescribed in the training plan my mom and I followed. We were also keeping a close eye on the weather that morning, as the forecast for Sunday was looking awful. There was a strong chance of severe thunderstorms from 6 am on throughout the whole day. In the paper, there was an article that explained that if there was thunder at the start time (7:30), then the race would be delayed ten minutes. If the thunder continued – the race would be cancelled. My mom and I were freaking out. At that point, I felt like I would gladly run through the pouring rain, as long as I got the chance at my marathon.

So obviously, we were pretty concerned. We went to pick up our packets as usual though, hoping for the best. Packet pick-up was held at a local running store, Fleet Feet, and it was hopping when we arrived.

At packet pick-up for the Rochester Marathon

My mom and I loved the race shirts, but we were also excited to pick out another commemorative, first-marathon-ever shirt! We both went with these awesome long-sleeve Nike running shirts.

Rochester Marathon Shirt

We tried to stay relaxed on Saturday, but the weather reports continued to predict strong chances for thunderstorms. We organized our running materials that evening – putting pins on our bibs, packing our GU’s in our fuel belts (I wanted to do one every 5 miles through mile 20, at which point I was going to switch to Sports Beans aka jelly beans for runners). With the predictions for rain, my mom and I both made sure to bring hats to help keep the rain off our faces.

We had a simple meal for dinner that night to round out our carbo-loading routine – grilled chicken and baked potatoes. After that, it was a little TV and then bed time.

While I had a little trouble falling asleep, I was shocked at how well I slept until the alarm started ringing at 5 am. My mom and I quickly got up and started prepping the coffee and bagels (with almond butter and raspberry jam of course – our favorite!). It was a little hard to stomach at such an early hour, but we knew it was important to eat early so we would have time to digest a bit before the race began.

A friend of mine from school was running the race as well, and she got dropped off at my Aunt and Uncle’s so that we could bring her to the start with us. We were pleasantly surprised by the weather as we drove into the city of Rochester – a little cloudy, but warm with no rain!

We checked our bags (complete with all the necessary post-race items, including sweats, Snickers bars, and a hairbrush. All completely essential.), and made a last porta-potty stop. Kudos to the race organizers for having enough porta-potties to accommodate all the runners, as this always seems to be problematic!

At the start of the Rochester Marathon

Then, we excitedly went to the starting chute. Of course, there was time for some pre-race selfies.

At the start of the Rochester Marathon 2014

At the start of the Rochester Marathon 2014

We stretched for a few minutes and I reveled in the fact that it was not raining on us. I think all my worry about the weather left me feeling more excited for the race than nervous. Then, the race announcer led us with a moment of silence for a Rochester police officer, Daryl Pierson, who was shot and killed three weeks ago. It was a touching moment, and so important for us as runners to show our appreciation, as the entire Rochester police department was out, directing traffic and lining the course to help keep us safe and the race running smoothly.

Next, the National Anthem played… and we were off and running our first marathon!!! Ahhhhh!

Along the course of the Rochester Marathon

With all the excitement, the first few miles flew by, but my mom and I did a great job pacing ourselves and sticking to our Galloway method-inspired strategy: run a mile and walk a minute. I really enjoyed checking out the beautiful 19th and early 20th century mansions that we passed along East Avenue.

Mansions along East Avenue. Rochester Marathon

Absolutely beautiful. We continued along, sticking to a pace around 10:30 minutes/mile. Just before mile 5, we came up on our cheering section who surprised us with this awesome poster. 🙂

Of course, we had to stop to take a picture.

We had to stop to take a picture.

As we continued along, my mom started telling me to take off. I was feeling great at the pace we were running, but she wanted to dial it back a little because of the humidity we were dealing with. We had planned on staying together longer over the 26 miles, but with her blessing and some good luck wishes on both our parts, I headed off.

Running along the Erie Canal during the Rochester Marathon

Around Mile 6 or 7 (I think… it’s all blurring together a bit), we turned off and ran along the Erie Canal bike path, which was pretty, despite the clouds rolling in. Soon thereafter, it started to rain – and I thought to myself, “This is it. It’s going to pour, and I’m either going to have to run another 15+ miles soaking wet or it’s going to thunder and they’re going to pull us off the course.”

Thank god that’s not what happened. It rained lightly for maybe 15 minutes, just enough to cool me off, and then it stopped! It was a marathon miracle. 🙂

I was feeling great, and got super excited when I reached the 13 mile marker – halfway done! And I kept feeling great through mile 18, and that’s when it truly started to feel like a marathon. My big toe was starting to hurt (ironically, not on the foot where I struggled with my EHL strain – that foot held up like a champ.). I was running behind someone with a shirt that read “Black Toe Racing”, and I remember thinking a lot about the foreshadowing and symbolism of that. 😉

I kept chugging along though, desperately looking forward to each 1 minute walking break whenever I completed another mile. While I cherished those breaks, I noticed that after about 19 miles, it hurt just as much (if not more) to walk as it did to run. Ugh.

Around mile 20 of the Rochester Marathon

I certainly wasn’t the only one taking walking breaks by this point though.

The last 6.2 miles were the most challenging miles I’ve ever run. I knew I was close to being done, and I just wanted to cross that finish line and for the RUNNING TO STOP. Thank goodness for all the fantastic spectators along the course, and for the people who cheered for me, reading my name off my bib and encouraging me that I was almost done. I also loved all the creative signs –

  • Toenails are for sissies (so true.)
  • Keep Calm and Don’t Poop Yourself. (Also excellent advice.)
  • You’ve been training for this longer than Kim Kardashian was married. (gotta love humor at the expense of the Kardashians.)

FINALLY, I was turning off the canal path, back onto the major roads, and knew I was close to being done. I passed the 26 mile marker, and I pushed it into high gear. Next thing I knew, I was crossing the finish line in 4 hours, 36 minutes. I look pretty damn good for having just run 26.2 miles, right?!

Finishing the Rochester Marathon

Marathon complete.

I was so happy to be done, and to see my boyfriend at the finish. It was good that he was there, because I kept losing my balance and tilting over. Also, my fine motor skills were shot, which made texting interesting.

I couldn't text at all after running a marathon

I tried to type “I’m done” and autocorrect thought I was trying to say “I’m conspiracy”. So that shows you how successful I was. 😉 After that, I made my boyfriend send the texts. We also took some snapchats to send to my friends at school, who had been amazing about sending me congratulatory and good luck texts-

post marathon

And some regular pictures. In between bites of a bagel, obviously.

After finishing the Rochester Marathon

My mom also ran an incredible race (SHE GOT THIRD IN HER AGE GROUP!!!) and finished in 4 hours, 58 minutes.

What an amazing race. After so much concern over my EHL strain and the fears about the weather,  I feel so lucky that I was able to run my marathon. After 9 half marathons, it was time, for both my mom and I.

More marathon reflections are coming, but this post has already gotten ridiculously long. Thanks for reading it and also, thank you SO, SO MUCH for all the advice, and good luck messages sent our way through this blog. It meant the world to us to have so many people rooting for us.

 

 

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