Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Marathon Training: It Ain't Pretty!

I have decided that marathon training in itself is not a pretty thing.  Especially right smack dab in the middle of it.  Week 11 and I am toast I tell you.  Burnt ugly toast with no jam.  But it IS a beautiful thing!  I've had my highs and lows thus far in the course of training.  I've seen my body magically transform from flabby to strong. I've had runs where I've cried and failed. And runs where I've smiled from ear to ear.  But through it all I've learned so much. And one of those things is that it isn't pretty!
  • I sweat. A lot.
  • Which in turn causes breakouts.  In places I didn't even think about.
  • I've gained weight.
  • I've lost weight.
  • Gained some more.
  • I'm hungry ALL the time. Just ask my poor co-workers.  (I'm now famous, when someone is hungry they say, "I'm pulling a Jessica...I'm huuuuungry!")
  • My house is a disaster area. Most of the time.  Who has energy to clean after 6, 10, 15, 18+ miles??
  • My skin has been freaking out all over.
  • My feet...oh my poor tootsies...let's not even go there. (think blisters..)
  • Everything revolves around training runs.
  • You're GI does all kinds of fun tricks. <- oh this one is my favorite.  -_-

But the beautiful thing about it is:
  • I feel strong.
  • I've made new friends.
  • I've learned so many life lessons.
  • I'm hungry ALL the time.  Thus, I get to eat all the time!
  • My kid has learned so much from my training.
  • I've gained new muscles I didn't even know about.
  • I feel the urge to share the running love with everyone.
  • I feel it's made me a more positive person all around!
  • Running provides time to reflect and pray.
And in turn, these things make me FEEL beautiful.  Even if I don't look it after runs.  ;-)

Oh and I'm loving the support and network of runners out there on social media!  I have to give a shout out to the @therunchat for my cool sticker!  Can't wait to slap that bad boy on my truck!

Look what I got in the mail today!

So what else is coming up??  Finally some races!

  • Oct 7 - Dupont 50k Relay in 18 days (EEEEEEK!) Going to check the trail out this Saturday with my relay partner.  Should be fun!
  • Oct 27 - Flight of the Vampire 10k in 38 days!! I have big plans to knock this one out of the ballpark!!!  (prayers lots of prayers)
  • Nov 11 - OBX Marathon!!!! in 52 days!  I am getting way excited.  Hotel is booked, shoes are bought! It's starting to feel real. 

**What's your favorite, ugly and beautiful thing about running?**

PS-What do you think about the marathon outfit so far?  Pic is kinda fuzzy. Been using the cell...I need a camera. (along with a laptop...I need a money tree!) I'm still undecided on how to carry my you carry your gear (water bottle, gels etc) on race day?

Marathon outfit! Pink and black ... of course!

Happy (&Blessed) Running!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Few *Exciting* Things for Thursday!

**What I'm reading: To Be A Runner by: Martin Dugard
When I've finished I'll provide more thoughts on this book, but so far I can say, it has me excited about running and reminding me why I love to run!  He writes with humor and honesty.  Enjoying it thus far! ~> Check him and his book out HERE!

**Where I'm at in training:  um, week 9? Or is it 10?? I think it's 10. Yeah...ha! And I'm supposed to have a 20 miler this week. But guess which girl is working six million days in a row this week?? THIS GIRL! So maybe a shorter, long run on 'ol Treddy this week sometime. {I don't know about you, but the long runs have been the biggest challenge for me to squeeze YOU think it's okay to not have a super, long run each week?  Like every other week??}

**What I'm trying: CLIFBar's new energy gel. This is from the makers of Clifbar-->

"CLIF SHOT® is a great-tasting sports nutrition line for performance athletes that delivers essential energy and hydration, plus fast muscle recovery using organic and nutritious ingredients. CLIF SHOT® Energy Gel is the only leading energy gel made with organic ingredients and only the essential nutrients that athletes need for performance. Less is more. The carbohydrates and electrolytes in CLIF SHOT Energy Gel provide a fast acting energy source in performance friendly packaging. CLIF SHOT Energy Gel is available in eight delicious flavors that performance athletes love. The SRP for CLIF SHOT Energy Gel is $1.29 per packet."

{{{Review and giveaway soon!  I promise. Stay tuned in!}}}

**What I'm thinking: I'm nuts! And can't wait to redeem my 10k time October 27th!

**Where I'm featured: Fit For Moms blog!  I'm honored and thrilled that I was asked for a interview. How cool is that?  And FFM blog offers SO much for the busy momma!  Fitness, food, advice and a place just for mommas to share stories!
See my interview HERE!
Follow Fit For Moms on Twitter here!

**What I'm grateful for: My mom. She sends me motivational posters like this one here often!

So there's a short bit for your Thursday!

***What's going on in your neck of the woods?  Anything exciting?***

Happy (&Blessed) Running!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WW: Don't lose Focus!

Ever get that feeling like something amazing is fixing to happen?  I call it God's plan.  I find that if I fix my focus on Him everything falls into place.
Now not everything is always smooth sailing...(and I also realize that many readers do not share my same beliefs. And that's ok!  This post is to encourage you in life in take from it what you will. But let me tell ya, our Creator is awesome!) that's cause we be human idiots at times. And if any of you are anything like me, we get easily side tracked (call this kids, family, work, the cat vomiting on your shoes, you know life) and completely forget where/why/how/when and what the heck we are doing. Why am I running thirty-thousand miles a week again???  Okay, bit of an exaggeration. You catch my drift. But today, call it runner's high if you'd like, I can't help but feel like God is smiling down on me. It's as if He's saying, "I've got something amazing for you up my sleeve!" In reading this verse this morning:

Psalm 20:4 NIV
"May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed."

that's when it hit me.

I had lost my focus. That's why last week was such a miserable training week.  Felt like none of my plans succeeded!  When you regain your focus, your goals become crystal clear. And in turn, makes for training successes.  I'm here to encourage you in everything you do in life, let it be done with so much drive and focus on the prize that nothing stops you from achieving what needs to be done. And may the desires of your heart (aka: stellar runs and amazing PRs) be fullfilled!  Your plans will succeed when your focus is right on where it needs to be.

***What gets you easily side-tracked and out of focus?***

Happy (&Blessed) Running!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

DuPont 50k Relay!!

Trail racing newbie look...ME!
What have I gotten myself into?  A 50k relay to be precise.  Not just 50k, but a trail 50k! A friend from high school recently asked if I would step in for her sister's place to run a relay with her due to the sister not being able to run it with her.  So we would each do roughly a 15 mile leg.  I'm a little hesitant and way nervous.  It's one thing to run 15.5 miles on the road and another on the trails!  But I'm also thinking that since I didn't get to register for the half in Asheville this will be kinda like doing a half...except longer...and more challenging!

My concerns:

  • Being the klutz  that I am I fear I will twist my ankle
  • I'm a gps retard and afraid I will get lost on the trail.
  • I'm afraid I will disappoint with a slow time...I'm not so speedy on the trails.
  • What if I can't find my partner on the day of the race or during the trade off?
  • What do I wear to a trail run?!
  • What do I bring?
  • I fear I will  be dead last.
  • Or just be dead.

 So here's some info on the race:

Course description HERE

DuPont is pretty awesome from what I've heard and it was also the filming ground for the Hunger Games (which I didn't care for the movie but whatever).
Just check out these photos!  My mental game plan here is to just run it easy and enjoy the run as a long run and take in the scenery.
I fear I will be last...but at least I can get some good sight seeing in.
   I did find a Runner's World article with some sound advice
And 17 Tips HERE I found useful (and humorous) BUT, 
***Has anyone ever done a 50k relay or similar? Or participated in a trail run?
I am requesting tips and thoughts PLEASE!!!!!!***

Friday, September 7, 2012

MT Week 9 SUCK. And McDs FAIL!

Okay running peeps, so I am normally totally optimistic about things but I am also a firm believer in being real

Here's little ol me excited to try out the CamelBak and get a good long run in...blindly optimistic.

And for real, this week has just been one sucky run after another.  With the exception of my speed training session on Monday...which is so weird because speed is usually more difficult for me.  And today was the epitome of suck.. The weather did not cooperate with me.  First 10ish miles or so it was foggy and humid.  After that Mr. Golden sun came out and burned me up.  Now I love me some sunshine but not today.  It was a lose-lose situation.   And don't even get me started on McDonald's...they just lost my business today.  (Not that I went there often anyways, so nasty.) Okay so I decided on my CamelBak today and to give it a try.  It did well, didn't bounce as much as I thought it would and didn't chaff anything.  Better than carrying a water bottle but I could definitely tell I had a little extra weight on me.  It only holds 1.5 L but I thought it'd be better than the water bottle.  I was so wrong.  So I made a pit stop at any water fountain I could find.  Which was only two.  And if you haven't learned this about me yet, I sweat... A LOT!  I require more fluid than the average runner I swear.  So anyway, I'm rabbit trailing here....our bike path runs behind McD's so I thought I would pop in and beg for a cup of water.  I was getting low on my supplies....and dangggggit it was getting hot and still had 6 miles to go....I get in there and this is what what down:

ME: "Hello ma'am (as I'm huffing and puffing and obviously spent) do you think I could grab just a plain cup of water?"
MEAN MCDs Lady: "That will be 27 CENTS."
ME: "I am so sorry but I didn't bring any change on my run.  Just a small cup of water?"
MEAN MCDs Lady: "Sorry, but that will be 27 CENTS."
ME: "REALLY????  But it's so hot out there and I'm running low on's really just so hot!"
MEAN MCDs Lady: "Sorry.  No water then."

Now I do not have a potty mouth but WHAT THE !@#$%^&*
It is truly a sad day when a runner can not get a simple cup of water.  Especially over $0.27.  Now I am not a cheapskate I would have willingly paid my $0.27 but as it were at that moment I didn't have anything.  Next time I go for a run, I will be sure to keep some change...But McDs won't be getting it!

Gah. It was so muggy and nasty. After mile 12 I wanted to quit. But I couldn't.  My truck was still 6 miles kept going and just prayed I didn't pass out die.  I had three gels over the course but I don't think it was quite enough. Took it very, very slow.  Took two walk breaks.  I just wanted to stop.  So.  So.  BAD.  My last 20 miler was way more awesome than this crap.  Weather was cooler, I had more gels, I didn't have to walk hardly at all...This week has been crap. CRAP. CRAP. CRAP.  (How many times have I typed crap now?) Ever have a week where you don't hit any of your time/distance goals??  
Nasty nasty!  This picture does not do my sweat any justice.
NOW, for the good news...The run started off so nice, really quite pleasant! I decided in the first mile to show you all a bit of our beautiful Pisgah Forest running trail.  One of many!  I spent a good few miles on the trails today.  The OBX Marathon as I understand has about three miles of trail...So I try to add trail in often. 

Art Loeb is one of the easier trails, unless of course you choose the challenging course of Art Loeb!

The first bridge you cross.  Love this bridge.

Didn't take any more pictures because I was ready to get my run on!  Next time...

Okay, your turn...any crap runs or weeks lately???

Happy (&Blessed) Running! <---hopefully next week. :-)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

WW: Abundent Life--Running Life to it's Fullest!

This post will be short.  So I have just one question for you live (run) life to the fullest?  Or are you too concerned with the past (mistakes, failures, lost chances) or what lies in the future?  I think sometimes we get so focused on the end product of our goals we forget to enjoy each moment. Before you know it, race day will be upon you or any other moment or event.  It is so important to remember each day is it's own gift! 

Life is a journey--a process--a progression.  We are either advancing or back-tracking.

So take a deep breath in and enjoy each run, each giggle, each meal (I have zero problem with this one...including each snack heehee), each hug, each smile, each tear, each and everything else! Take it one day at a time.
Don't let those who are negative steal your joy and abundent life!!

"The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)." ~ John 10:10

Happy (&Blessed) Running!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


So how's your strength training relationships going?  I'm sad to say I've abandoned mine lately. I didn't mean to break up with it, life just got busy!  Excuses, excuses.  Right, I know. I think I may need this Tuesdays edition of Tips and Tricks more than anybody.
Yesterday I had a friend over and we were discussing training plans, shoes, running yada yada (best friend ever when you can discuss mile split times and not get bored haha ah sweet runbonding time) and I was showing him the Smart Marathon training book I use(ed) for strength training and in flipping through it I saw where I had HIGHLIGHTED and UNDERLINED where it said, "what is required, however, is a commitment to your strength training."  And "do it at least 3-4 times a week."  I was like GAH!  In marking these phrases I still do not remember to get it in. Guess I just closed the book and forgot. Or neglected it. He suggested, the brilliant friend that he is, that I cut the sentance out and tape it to my forehead. I had a better idea.

I wrote down the phrases from my book on a Post-It note, highlighted and underlined it, and taped it to my bathroom mirror where I'm sure to see it every day.  I'm considering taping more to the fridge, closet, pantry, tv, mirrors...everywhere I can see it; so I can't hide from my commitment fears any longer!

**What are some things you do to help you remember to get that strength training in?**

Happy (&Blessed) Running!

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Runner's Body Image

How do you feel about your body?  I have a love/dislike relationship with mine. I love that is feels strong. Especially when I run.  Like this morning's 12x400m!   I dislike my "cottage cheese" on the outside of my thighs, my lower belly, baby skin (gross. Thanks kid.), my oversized two front teeth (hello squirrel) and my list could go on and on and on...but this kind of thinking is so detrimental to my health. I know this. This is one reason I fell in love with running because I wasn't running to "look hot". I ran because it felt good.  Every step was a new challenge to push myself further and further. Faster and longer.
Unfortunetly I like to eat. A lot. And a lot of that is sugary foods. I mean I do eat my healthy foods like fish, lean meats, fruits and veggies, almonds etc...(which almost always brakes my bank) but I also really like my cookies and ice-cream! 

**So how about you?  How do you feel about your body?**

Happy (&Blessed) Running!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

So the Moral of the Story is and etc...

To make sure you arrive in PLENTY of time to register for a race. Even for a Fun Run!  Because apperently they start early.  We arrived with 10 minutes to spare and they said, "sorry but it started at 8:10" when the website clearly states 8:15.  So needless to say we did not get to participate in Hendersonville's Applefest fun run and wasted a drive yesterday for morning.  For nothing.  So strange because every race I've done has been prompt if not later.   I realize we should have arrived even earlier and not pushed too close to time but with a 7 year old that can be a challenge.  I felt like a terrible parent because he was very disappointed.  So we ran our own little mile and he ran about 20 seconds faster than his February time. He says the treadmill is easier and faster. Hah!  I feel ya buddy. The humidity is terrible.  So after running our mile I got him a Lego prize.  Much better than a silly, plastic medal anyway.  And there's always another fun run somewhere, another time.  Lesson learned.
At any rate, so for the rest of the day I did nothing about running and it felt good.  Training for this marathon takes up so much time and energy that I have been neglecting real world issues.  Like cleaning house.  Organizing the kid's room.  Enjoying a nephew's football game. (For the record I am NOT a fan of football but I DO love my nephew! ) 
You know real world issue like everyday life.  Friends and family stuff.  I will be so glad when this marathon is over!  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my training (for the most part) and am beyond thrilled to have this opportunity, but a big part of me misses everyday life.  The long runs seem to take up most of my free time. And I'm supposed to be strength training in my other free times but when I am supposed to have a life?  I'm not. Ha!  Anyway, so I've been slack on the XT and strength training yet again.  Man, it is such a challenge for me to work full-time, manage a home, raise my kid, run 30ish miles a week and get my other workouts in.  I think I need to re-read all my own Tips & Tricks again...somewhere I've lost my strength training mojo...
On another note, I just discovered that on October 27th there will be a 10k also for our local Flight of the Vampire and I couldn't be any more excited!  A chance to maybe redeem myself!  Also, I've been asked to participate in a 50k relay in Brevard's Dupont State forest... the only thing that concerns me is the possibility of twisting an ankle so close to the marathon.

Any thoughts on trail running when marathon training?  Especially for the klutzy runner??

Sorry this post a bit random...just had a few things on my mind. ;-)

Happy (&Blessed) Running!