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Saturday was the first PrintSocial and Theo Castro a friend from Canada came over to my apartment at 2pm.
I sat Theo at my table and explained all the ways he could create an image on a block. He decided to draw freeland with a marker. As Theo drew I set up the inking station and printing papers. By the time I was done with that Theo was ready to carve. After showing him how to carve I sat down at my table to carve my block. I have a giant 36″ x 24″ block I am working on for my exhibition which opens March 4, at Muriel Guepin Gallery in Brooklyn.
As we both carved we talked and talked. I have known Theo for 5 years and I have watched him go from party boy art student (though he was also a theology student at the same time) to ordained deacon to ordained priest. It was always funny at work when I would say I am going to Canada to my friends ordination, he is a priest. Most people could not quite figure out how I would have a friend who is a priest. Well today they got to meet him as he came to my class at Long Island University, no one expected a 33 year old “kid.” But back to PrintSocial.
It was amazing to talk about both of our journeys over the past 5 years. A lot really has changed. Theo finished carving the block and I showed him how to ink it then run it through the press.
The first impression as it is called was uneven, so as he inked his plate I adjusted the press. The second one was perfect. He ran off a edition of 10, plus two artist proofs. An edition is a set of prints that are identical. The “proofs” are the trial prints made before the edition. But they too match.
Just as I had planned it took 3 hours, but Theo stayed and we talked for over 6 hours. He is leaving in two weeks for Sri Lanka where he is doing refugee work. I will not see him for three years. I will really miss him.
One addition I plan to make from time to time with PrintSocial is cookies. A fantasy I always have had is to bake cookies each morning, then go to work on the press. It is my wish that people will drop by to chat, have a cookie, look at art, maybe make a print. This is the fantasy that I am creating in New Mexico, and I also throwing a chicken coop into the fantasy.  But in NYC I prefer people to call before coming over, and if I have a few days notice, I will make cookies. But please do not be shy about wanting to come check this PrintSocial thing out. It is for everyone, no matter what your background. It is just a sit and carve and chat in my kitchen, with Labradors lazing about.

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Hilary Lorenz and Theo Castro

Today I am going to move away from running and talk about art, specifically my new project PrintSocial.

I concieved PrintSocial a couple of months ago after working long hours at home carving my wood and linoleum blocks.  PrintSocial was created to serve two purposes. One, begin the process of publishing prints, something that I have always wanted to do but never thought I was equipped for.  I don’t want to publish to make money but just for the love of it. My project is very small scale  but it is a start that will eventually move to Abiquiu, NM where I am building a physical printmaking studio.

For those that do not know about printmaking studios, printmakers often work in a community studio because we require big heavy expensive equipment. It is a great place to meet a lot of interesting people and because there is  literally a printshop in just about every country,  it provides a great experience to travel  and make art.

But perhaps the biggest reason I started this, is to invite people into my apartment to make a print and simply talk, or sit in silence, it is up to my guest.  After 17 years of having studios I moved my workplace home and found myself  isolated. By inviting people to me, we have a really fun day, they get to learn something and make art; perhaps for the first time. I get my guest started working and then carve my own block. I see PrintSocial as being  grounded in the tradition of the sewing bee, but working on our own individual projects.

The first PrintSocial was last night with Theo Castro. Originally from the Philippines, Theo grew up in Vancouver, BC. I have know him since 2005 when he was super party boy, and my student at a Parson the New School for Design in the summer intensive drawing program. Now Theo is an ordained Jesuit Priest and he is leaving in 20 days to  Sri Lanka for three years to do refugee work.   Tomorrow I will post the extraordinary experience of working with Theo. The event was truly beyond my wildest imagination of what could occur just through talking and making prints.

To learn more about PrintSocial, click the page link at the top, or contact me.

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After not posting for over two months, this is a good one. If you believe in fate, luck, or the universe, this is the story of stories. After a two frustrating summers in a row with injury, canceling my key races and developing a hateful attitude about New York, my job, blah, blah, this is almost unbelievable.

A sleepless last Saturday night I was surfing Craig’s List real estate ads first for the New York Adirondacks and Northern New Mexico. I have been doing this on and off for five years with big fantasies to sell my apt, leave my job, live simply and just make art and train and race in some beautiful place. Reinvent myself so to speak. Why five years? That is the first and last time I went to New Mexico. I was an artist in resident at the Santa Fe Art Institute and after the residency my then girlfriend Lisa and I rented this amazing round stone house in Abiquiu Every house I have looked at I compare to that landscape and that house. That year was a turning point in my artwork and my athletic prowess.

The house we stayed in was built by Pat Frazier and master stone mason Felipe Leyva. Pat moved to NM from California. She was a radiologist who took a vacation in NM; fell in love with it, bought some land. She eventually took a class at the Northern New Mexico Community College on how to build adobe and moved to NM full-time. She met Felipe and they began building houses. Pat gave Felipe 2 acres of land to build his own home which Lisa and I saw the beginnings of it back in 2005.

Back to Saturday night. I am looking through Craig List and I see this amazing stone, what looked like steps cut into a channel on two walls of earth meeting in the center with a sweet little casita. There is a photo of a chapel and kitchen and I am immediately thinking about Pat and the stone house. I read the ad, and not only is Pat’s name there but so is Felipe. It is the house he built for himself completely out of stone and adobe. I almost had a heart attack! I especially almost had a heart attack because I could not believe the price.  I immediately emailed Pat and told her how Lisa and I stayed there and how I want this house more than anything in the world.  I want to live there the rest of my life, dust my ashes there when I am dead.  I want to go there, set up a printshop, invite artists to make prints and my athlete friends who can train at altitude, (6k feet) not only running for miles, but  biking and swimming. The 5200 surface acre Abiquiu reservoir is only a couple miles away and mountains including the iconic view of Georgia O-Keefe’s Pedernal surround us.  Now how is it one can be so lucky as to live in the desert and have a reservoir a couple miles away that you can swim and kayak?

Now the obstacles. I must get all the money in cash, which is definitely not in my savings account. I need to do it immediately, buying it with a leap of faith sight unseen. A deal with another interested party needs to fall through and to top it off, it must all happen in one week. So I offered a little extra money. I emailed Lisa to tell her how she will not believe it. And while it never crossed my mind, when she said, “I love would to own a home there” I offered. Why not? So we will be co-owners. I wired a deposit on Monday, Lisa wired money to me, I took money from my retirement and it looks like I will wire the remaining cash on Friday.  I will fly down in a couple weeks to see our new two bedroom hand build adobe and stone casita. I want to sleep on the roof and wake to the sunrise.

To top it off  I will probably use  the most more than Lisa, staying there during my academic breaks in December, January, June, July and August. So what about all those other times? Felipe was going to move in with his son-in-law who lives a short walk away, but why not let him keep living in the house, care take it and work exchange to build a print studio? This way he keeps living in the home he built. He will be there to maintain it pay the electric and water bill and we will use it when we can.

In 2013 I get my next sabbatical and I have no plans of returning to my job. You will find me running in the mountains, swimming the Abiquiu Lake or in the studio.

For friends and friends of friends if you are wondering, yes you can rent it.

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sea_pods_ptownI am laying in bed, two dogs stretched out around me and I am coughing like crazy. My brain is in overdrive with teaching too many classes, taking too many classes, my exhibition opening and obsessing about running. So one at a time.

Exhibition. On Saturday I am showing at a new gallery in Brooklyn New York, Shop Art Gallery. It is very exciting, the gallery just opening in December. I delivered the show today, brand new 2009 etchings some combined with digital photographs plus watercolor drawings.Shadow Bird 2 Delivering the exhibition is a huge relief as I have been printing and cutting and framing like crazy, sleeping less than 5 hours a night. The opening reception is Saturday February 7, 2009 from 4-7pm. Come on by.

I was fighting a cold but I lost. I began getting sick on Friday and thought I would be fine to race on Sunday in Central Park the Gridiron Classic 4 miler. Five thousand, two hundred and sixy eight people came out in the nice 30 degree weather. Yes that is 5,268 runners. It was a tough and crowded race, I did not do as well as I wished but I did place 13th in my age group, not bad but I want to be in the single digitsl. I have been working out twice a week with Front Runners. I have not been doing much mileage mostly under 30 per week,  a far cry from the 50-65 I was doing last year at this time. I also hired the expertise of runner and coach Lowell Ladd an NCAA All-American (10,000m), one of the top ten Americans at Boston Marathon twice (2002 & 2003)  runner-up finish at 2005 Steamtown Marathon. and first place in the 36th Annual Harrisburg Marathon, 2009, to help me out with my training. Right now I am trying out a four week plan to get started so that we can see how each other works. My current training was a mix of my most excellent FR coach Kelsey Louie, an amazing  short distance runner,  workouts from  Pfitzinger ‘s marathon schedule and strength training from my favorite PT’s at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy. Pete and John fix me up and help me to work on all my weak points. They are responsible for putting some muscles into my skinny distance runner legs. I am at a point that I need to have someone put everything together, look at what I am doing and validate or rewrite it.  I speak to Lowell once a week on the phone and plan my running, right now the focus is tempo runs.

School. Oh. Yes I am working too much, don’t most people. I will not go into the details but I have way too many independent students who are not  independent. In the classes that I am taking I have an annotated bibliography to write – something we never did in art school and a whole lot of catching up since I missed yesterday and today because I was sick.

So until next time, happy running, go see some art and hire experts to make your life better.

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This month I have a bit of it all, 4:30am walks with my new puppy, 8pm training runs at the New Balance Armory Track, New York Road Runners Thursday Night at the races –  track race,  an exhibition opening  February 7th and school started.  Plus it is cold.

I feel like hibernating at this time of year, it is cold, last Saturday my 12 mile run was done at -4 degrees, today was almost balmy at 26 degrees, but never the less I don’t like it. Tomorrow is NYRR 1/2 marathon but I am skipping it. Right now my focus is to get quick and all my short runs would not make for a good 1/2 marathon time.

Hilary at the track meet Two weeks ago I got my nerve up to run at the NYRR Thursday night at the races. This indoor meet is for track racers, those speedy folks that run sub 5:00  miles. One man in the 45-49 age catagory ran a 4:28 mile! Clearly speed is not just for the 20 year olds! I thought there is no way I am going to race on that track, despite the fact  I train on it twice a week. Well I am super happy to report that not only did I race that night, I raced this week as well. I ran the mile, 3k, and 1500 meter all on a 200 meter track. Let me tell you, running 15 laps around a small highly banked track is not for the faint at heart, but I did it and ran a 12:48 3k, and  I was not last, but I was lapped. It did great things for my humility and my self esteem, all very positive, it also made me very sore. But I figure it will make me  stronger.

I am also training my new lab puppy, “Homer”  who is now 16 weeks old ans 23 pounds. As you may suspect he is a handful but very sweet. The dogs crawl all over me during yoga which you can see in the video. House-training is not so exciting. The last walk is at 11pm and the first at 5am, sometimes earlier, so I am quite sleep deprived these days. But I think he is going to be a good running partner.

On February 7th I have an exhibition opening in Brooklyn at a new gallery. I have a lot of work to do before that day, I am way behind. But it is going to look spectacular! Everyone is welcome. My info is not up on the website as of today, Jan. 24 but it will be soon. Hilary Lorenz Watercolor

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lawrence_posterThis is driving me crazy the link for Race to Delivery donations keeps expiring and/or changing. How do they think we are going to gather donations for next week’s race if the link never works. Anyhow I am only $165 short of my goal and I have 6 days to make it. Hopefully, if you find an extra $5 in your pants pocket while doing laundry perhaps you can donate it. It is an excellent benefit group that feeds people with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life threatening disease.
Okay, next; just  when I was about to gathered up a bucket of toilet water to throw out my second floor window on a guy that refused to turn down his car stereo he finally drove away. I was working on a paper that I needed to finished today and the music was driving me mad. Now that he is gone I can get something done. Though it would have been fun to throw toilet water on him!
One week ago today was the NYC mararthon. The first time in my running career I ran two marathons in three weeks. It is not bad. I was not sure what it would feel like to run two so close together especially after Chicago which was so hot and took so much out of me. But when I awoke on Sunday November 2 to a 40 degree day, I knew it would be good. I was hoping for my 3:45, which is what I wanted in Chicago. I was realistic that I may not get it since I had just run my marathon but I was going to give it a shot. I decided to start out with the 3:50 pace group just to keep myself calm and slow in the first few miles. I thought I would stay with them until mile 10 but decided to leave early to pick up the pace. This way I would not have so much time to make up later. It was all going well, and the goal was in sight but then suddenly at mile 18 after the gel stop and the mountain of cups and Gatorade all over the road, I fell. I went flying forward landing on my hands, left shoulder, left knee and curled up into a ball so that I would not get trampled. Someone whisked their hands under me and popped me up. I walked over to the side, blood on my knee, scrapes on my should, Gatorade and sludge all over my side. I checked everything out and felt okay and started again. Less than 10 steps and I fell again, this time on my right side. (I have a bruise on my hip the size of a cantaloupe). A women picked me up, I went back to the siding thinking, “is there something wrong with me – do I have to quite?” I stood there for a full minute or longer contemplating what happened. I felt fine, a bit freaked out about watching all the people go by, but I was not dizzy or in pain. So I started again but a bit slower. I got the 20 mile mark and said 10k to go, and gave it all I had to run a 10k and catch up on time. Well as many people know it is not easy to catch up on time, not impossible, I have run negative splits, but not today. During my fall the 3:50 pacer passed by but I managed to still pull that time out of my body and only a minute slower than last year. I was happy for that, I was proud. For my gender and age group it is a Boston Qualifer and that is a good stamp of approval for me. Am I going to run it – no way. I ran it last year, it is an experience most people should have but I have new goals. After 4 marathons in one year, my first year of marathoning I am spending the next 12 months training to take 10 minutes off my time, then the following year another 10 minutes. Can I do it?  Who knows but I am going to try hard. I know I can run a 3:40, that will not be the real test. In order to do that I need to get serious about my strength training. I have already begun discussions about this with my Physical Therapist, Pete. If anyone can get my body strength trained it is him. And my Coach Kelsey at Front Runners. On November 18 we go indoors for 5 months of 2x a week track speed training at the New Balance Armory.

Friday night I had an exhibition opening at NuturART in Williamsburg Brooklyn. It is an excellent exhibition curated by Denise Wong. The show runs through December 13. Here is Denise’s description of the show:
Present Perfect Continuous presents the work of emerging artists who have migrated to New York City from elsewhere. Using drawing, painting, sculpture, and collage, the artists interweave memories of experiences and past travels with the realities of their urban present to create personal, historical narratives. The works take cues from biological processes, human origins, and visceral experiences to chart a physical and personal process of evolution.
That is about it for today, Sunday. Monday I will wake up to a short 3 miler over the the Williamsburge Bridge and back, then after teaching my computer graphics class I will go for a leisurely swim at the LIU Pool. It is very nice to have a pool and rec. center at work. Then I will begin the process of designing my 12 month plan to a stronger, sleeker, faster me.

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Appleton, Wisconsin. I spent the last three days as a visiting artist at Lawrence University. My old pal Ben Rinehart invited me as part of their lecture series program. Ben and his partner Josh moved her two years ago leaving NYC for a full-time teaching job which in a matter of days snowballed into the American dream of home ownership and fatherhood. Once Ben signed his contract he and Josh found a wonderful house just 1.5 miles from campus with a sweet yard and lots of space, something one only dreams about in NYC unless they have the cool 1.2 million, the average price of a one-bedroom apartment. And just as they were getting moved into their new home a wonderful new opportunity came upon them to adopt a beautiful son, who they named Harper. So this weekend was my first trip to Wisconsin, the first time seeing their new family and visiting the house. It was one of the most wonderful weekends I have had in recent memory.

The weekend began with a full schedule of a group critique of art students at Lawrence, followed by lunch with faculty, individual critiques with students in the afternoon, a public lecture, gallery reception, then dinner. It was intense, compact and extremely rewarding. The caliber of students at Lawrence is extremely high. The students are some of the most thoughtful and well-researched kids I have ever met. During our critiques they would tell me who they have read, what artists they are looking at and all the additional research they do from the point of view of art, biology, sociology, economics, etc. They are smart, they know that art does not happen in a vacuum and they conduct through their library, in book, film, and visual documentation. They are able to explain what the goal is of their work and they achieve. Many of these kids are double or triple majoring and have three, four and sometimes five minors. They are high achievers.

The exhibition of my work supported the lecture that I gave about my running, hiking, and making art. Sometimes when I give talks there are things in my brain that I think I communicate but I actually don’t’. I showed a lot of photos, perhaps too many but I did it in rapid succession to illustration the collection of images I made for my future work.

The next day after the best sleep I have had all year, I got up to run. The weather was perfect, 41 degrees, dry and mild sun. It was to be a slow, muscle relaxing 8 miles. I started out trotting along the sidewalk, running along the river, and over each of the bridges in Appleton. I did not keep track of my time, and I had not even broken a sweat when I check my watch. I had already covered 6 miles at a 7:39 pace, which is faster than the last 10k I raced. I was thrilled and it was a big boost to my confidence since the NYC marathon was just one week away. I went back to the house and did 30 minutes of yoga.

Later in the day after Joshua, Ben and Harper returned from the neighbors birthday party we loaded up the car and headed to the outlet mall, an extravaganza of North Face, Gap, Ralph Lauren, Eddie Bauer and a whole slew of other stores. I scored big time, coming back with two new pairs of pants, four sweaters, flannel shirt (I was in the Midwest after all I need a some flannel), and three long sleep black t-shirts, all for $150. That alone was worth the flights.

That night we went to dinner. Eating in Wisconsin feels like a foreign country, it is very odd that everything contains milk and meat products. The day before at the university lunchroom I saw adults drinking glasses of milk, I did not know anybody over the age of 10 drank glasses of milk. Anyhow we went to a Mexican restaurant, which is always a good bet, being that two of us are vegetarian. One can always get beans and rice, ahhhh, with exception of here. I did not even think to ask if the beans were prepared with lard and sure enough they are cooked with ham. No big deal just take the beans out of the burrito and use roasted vegetables and rice, that is unless the rice is made with chicken broth – grossssss. So that removed the rice as well. But the dinner did come with a salad bar and I was excited to get some greens. At first I saw a big bowl of iceberg lettuce and thought, oh god this cannot be happening, but right behind the iceberg was a nice bowl of deeply colored mixed greens. As I started to pile on the broccoli, I saw cheese shreds in the broccoli, why in the world add cheese to broccoli, but unfortunately it did not stop there, it also had some kind of meat product, ham or bacon mixed in with it. There was no vinegar and oil dressing only creamy milk based junk. It was all meat, all the time. I could not help but think about my recent studies in clinical exercise physiology and diabetes. I am sure the rate is high here as it was pretty obvious the obesity rate was. I had to tease Ben, who really likes pork, but he is very slim, that he could get chicken gravy or pork gravy on poured over his meal. Umm yea, give me a pork and cheese enchilada smothered in pork gravy. Other meals we had over the weekend were very tasty. I had a delicious tofu bulgogi at a very popular Korean restaurant and a nice vegetable and angle hair pasta with lots of artichokes, olives and sun dried tomatoes. I did however ask to have it prepared with olive oil rather than butter. The thought of butter made me visualize a bowl of melted butter with pasta floating in it all runny and soggy. That was probably not the case at this rather expensive restaurant but I was not about to take any chances and since I am not a dairy eater, I was not going get sick. Yes I am a troublesome dinner outside of NYC but if my eating habits can keep me running strong, ward off arthritis, osteoporosis, obesity, diabetes, and possibly cancer I will do anything I can to keep healthy. Plus I see no reason for eating animals.

I spent Thursday though a very early Sunday morning in Wisconsin. It was tremendously relaxing and I had the best sleep I have had all year and the best run. The noise and the light of my apartment in NYC, while I am deeply conditioned to it, have an affect on how well I sleep. The getting up at 6:30 to take the dog to the park always feels a bit tiring, yet I easily awoke well rested at 5:00 today to catch my plane. I am excited to get home, but I miss Ben and it was great to see him. Being at Lawrence really makes me examine my the University where I teach, comparing the students, the administration support, the budgets, the enthusiasm and involvement of other faculty, the ultimate university community where everything is about investigation, ambition, involvement and excelling. It was an inspiring environment and far less stressful than being at a tuition driven university with little administrative support and with students who need more recourses than the university can offer or perhaps should offer for people that are expected to operate at a standard university level. It gives me a lot to think about.

Now I am on the plane from Chicago to New York. When I get back my dog will be eagerly awaiting me and Kat, a friend and trainer of Conrad may be at my apartment with her two dogs who stayed there while I was away. I have a paper to work on for exercise physiology, and a few miles to run to keep my legs going. Whatever I am working on, I have the NYC marathon in the back of my head with high hopes for cool and dry weather.

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I have been corresponding this last week with two new friends, both of which qualified for the Boston Marathon and New York Marathon. It is a little secret that you do not have to wait in line with the lottery system for the NYC Marathon but rather you can qualify by time in either a 1/2 marathon or a full marathon. I will post those tomorrow and long with a number of other tips on cost efficient ways to getting to Boston or New York.

One reason I am in a big hurry is that I have to get to my studio before I go to the University. I have an exhibition in Appleton Wisconsin at Lawrence University this weekend. I am exited to get in the fresh air and see my long time pal Ben Rinehart who is a new Professor there.

Lastly on the update, I am finally getting over a hideous cold I have had since running Chicago, and I ran 6 miles at pace yesterday and did some strength training. I am gearing myself up to do it again, in NYC on November 2. The nice cool weather will help me reach my goal much better than the 85 degrees in Chicago.

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All this running makes me want to get back in the studio to work on some new pieces, but before I do that I need to make room! And just my luck this weekend, October 18th and 19th is the Annual Gowanus Artists Studio Tours. Over 150 artists in 28 building open their doors to show and sell their work. From 1pm – 6pm or later I will be at my studio, 94 9th Street 4th Floor number 43 just waiting for visitors to come.
I recently got my exhibition back from Pfizer, Inc. 28 framed works that, well, frankly need to find homes so that I have more room to create some new work.
So please come by just to say hello or if you are interested in coming to my studio but can’t do it this weekend, just send me an email and I can schedule you a private visit.

So I have a couple more days to let my legs rest. (Do you really think I am resting that much since the marathon? I swam one day and ran just over 5 easy miles another but I also got a cold so I will take it easy)

Have a great weekend.

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I arrived in Chicago last night wearing my Boston Marathon jacket. I only recently bought it. After running Reach the Beach and seeing so many people, and being awed by them, in their Boston jackets I had to get my own. After all I qualified for and run the Boston Marathon in 2007, why didn’t I get my own jacket? I have to admit I felt really special wearing it, I met marathoners in the airport and on the L. People from the UK and from Mexico, man, I love running and I love runners. It sounds so simplistic to say, but what a bunch of nutty good people.

Back to Chicago. I did an apartment swap with a really lovely couple. I am sitting at their kitchen table drinking my morning coffee, calling my friends who are up early and trying not to jump out of my skin or second-guess any of my choices. Sitting next to me is a photo of Paula Radcliffe and Gete Wami  for my inspiration. The photo of them from the 2007 NYC marathon is so intense. Sitting on top of the photo is a really lucky rabbit’s foot given to me by my friend Tiffany. I have never run with a talisman but on Sunday I will have this little guy in my front pocket pulling my knees and feet closer and faster to the finish line.

Just after noon I will go to the expo to pick up my number. I am meeting two teammates, Kieran and Fatai. I will also meet Tom Greene from the Runners Lounge. It is a site for runners to meet and share information and stories. Also I am going to pick up a “Stick” for the 21 day challenge. This thing is suppose to be a miracle for the legs and I am excited to try it out and report about it wonders.
I like going to the expo, it will take my mind off my time waiting to run on Sunday and it will help me confirm that I am doing everything right. I have a 5 mile run to do today to work out my legs, throw in a few 100 meter strides and on Saturday I will run with Front Runners Chicago,
I am eating my morning steel cut oats. This is the best reason for doing an apt. swap vs. staying in a hotel. I can cook my own food and the one thing that is most important especially before my marathon is eating my favorite breakfast three hours before the race. None of that crappy instant stuff for me. I want the thirty minute cooking kind with a cup of black coffee and by race time I am ready to run.
That’s it for today, I am going to pack up my rabbits foot, my photo of Paul and Wami, write down my finish goal time and stick them in my pocket, for good luck.

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