Missing The Long Run.

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This is the first week I’m unable to get my long run in. This makes me sad.
I’m exhausted from work and there truly has not been any time. I’m not one to make excuses, skip long runs, or training weeks. I can usually find a way to get it done. I’m creative and adaptable. But, sometimes life’s schedules just do not cooperate. I’m not at a total loss though. I anticipated weeks like this. That’s why I started training two weeks early. I added two extra weeks in my training plan for the honeymoon week and an emergency week. Would someone please tell my J-O-B to stop making me work 7 straight days in a row!! I’m exhausted. And while I have run 20 miles before work on Sunday before, in hind site it didn’t quite work out as I was 20 minutes late to work, completely useless, and did not take the proper time needed to recover.
There’s a few key things to remember here so I don’t completely beat myself up for missing a long run:

• Halfway through training and I’ve already had two successful 20 milers,17 miler, and an 18 miler.

•I’ve hit all of my tempo and speed sessions perfectly. Even getting some done on the track

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There’s something about running speedwork on the track that makes me feel awesome! Ha.

• I am not an Olympian. I am just your average, everyday #motherrunner trying to run a marathon.

• I can not compare myself with those who have zero kiddos and can get 50+ weekly miles in. Period. Stop comparing yourself!!! {speaking directly to myself here} my schedule simple is not as free.

• I have already accomplished many great things. As I refer to my backwards bucket list.

• Um, I’m kind of also planning a wedding. That takes T-I-M-E. When I signed up for this marathon I knew what I was getting into. I like a good challenge. When I think back on my last marathon training cycle for OKC Memorial Marathon I had to really get creative. My treadmill broke down not even halfway through my training! With the help of my sister and a 3 month gym membership I squeezed in a few runs here and there; still managed to run a 4 hour marathon. I’m hoping with how much better training is going with this training cycle that a BQ is possible.

• My life consists of more than running.
***GASP***
Oh yes, just said it.
I have a fiancé to love, meals to cook, a home to clean, thank you notes to write, wedding crafts to assemble, a kid to help with homework and play with, friends to visit, wedding vendor appointments, church to attend, a job to make all that money to spend on this wedding, packing to be done, a blog to write…etc. I love running. It keeps me sane. But I also have a life to live.

• I know that next week I have more days off and I’m going to kill it in the marathon training department.

• We all know that success is rarely a straight line of perfection anyway.

• I’m a rockstar. Because the One Who is in me is greater than anything on this earth. And I’ll be just fine. Long run or not.

Your turn! Have you missed training runs or weeks? How many long runs or 20 milers do you get in when marathon training? Do you beat yourself up if you miss?

blessed & beautiful running.

~Jess

Saturday Motivation. And I Have Work To Do.

So it’s Saturday. And I still have a speed workout to get in and an 18 miler. Yeah.
If you’ve been following me for some time you may know that every other week I work 7 consecutive days. And this makes marathon training difficult. Impossible? No. But very, very difficult.
Add some wedding planning, everyday household needs, dance lessons, family, and other factors of life and suddenly the excuses start creeping in. You must be diligent to not let it detour you permanently. It’s okay to miss a workout here and there but please:

DO NOT LET THAT MAKE YOU GIVE UP. RUN ON.

Marathon training is a part of who I am and I can’t let that go.
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blessed & beautiful running.

~Jess

Friday Five: Fall Preview. And it’s a BUSY One!

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I’m sticking with the Friday Five Link-up with Mar at Mar On The Run, Courtney Eat, Pray, Run DC, and Cynthia at You Signed Up For What?! I’ve enjoyed getting to know these super-cool bloggers better! Find more info on their Link-Up click HERE!

So what’s in store for this fall? BUSY!! And if you’ve been following me for some time you probably already know some of these.

1.) I’m getting married this October!!

IMG_2031.JPGI love him.

2.) Honeymooning in Antigua! We need a vacation so bad we can’t hardly stand it!! We chose Antigua because it’s the the most romantic location according to Sandals. 🙂 We also thought it’d be fun to get a passport! It’s been a new adventure for both of us planning this baby!

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3.) Savanna Rock n’ Roll Marathon
This is the only race I have on my schedule. Albeit it’s a big one. I’ve decided to shoot for a BQ time with this marathon. I knew with the wedding planning that one race was enough and that I would need to pace myself accordingly. I’m really hoping to squeeze in more trail running this year too. Nothing quite like running through fall leaves.

4.) Moving. Fall is a season of change! And with this fall a LOT is changing. After we say “I do” I’ll be moving in with the Mr.! Yeah, I’m a bit nervous. If you’re married or living with yours, what was the biggest surprise for you after moving in? Both good and bad?

5.) Continue studying for NASM cert. I started studying back in early spring but it fell by the wayside due to wedding planning and marathon training. I’m totally okay with this because I can always get my personal trainer cert whenever I want. But this wedding and marathon is coming up soon!! After the busyness of fall subsides I’ll crack it back open.

What’s on your agenda this fall? Any races?

blessed & beautiful running.
~Jess

Thoughts For Thursday: Backwards Bucket List

Yesterday I had made plans to cook a real dinner. Didn’t happen and I felt like the worst woman on the planet and had a mini meld down because of my “failure”. Ever happen to you? Well, after reading Keren’s post from Healthy Mind Happy Body I was inspired to focus on all the great I have accomplished. Most of us have goals, dreams, and aspirations for our lives. Especially if you’re the ever so busy “A” type. We write goals down, create feverishly long lists, and organize our sock drawers by color, type, and fabric. Okay, maybe that last one is just weirdos like me. However, I say this to bring home a valid point:
We tend to be so busy making our lists that we forget the current list—the present. In the middle of our planning and organizing the beauty that is the here and now is flying by at lightening speed. So instead of focusing on what I feel I need or want to accomplish or haven’t accomplished, or mercilessly beating myself up because I haven’t accomplished, let me list for myself what I have accomplished. What I have checked off my lists.
I know. I’m making another list…some things can not be stopped!!!

1.) I gave birth to a son. This in itself is a powerful, strong, and striking miracle of the human body.

2.) I became a certified pharmacy tech. This may not mean much to you, however, as a new mother going through divorce at the time, this was a huge accomplishment for me personally.

3.) I took up running and finished my first 5k in 2011.
Thank you KaeLee Denise for the photo!

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4.) I wanted to run a marathon. By the ocean. So I did. I ran my first 26.2 at the Outer Banks, NC in November 2012.

5.) Then I wanted to run a marathon in my home city, Oklahoma City, Ok. So I did in April 2013.

6.) I wanted to volunteer in a way that gave back to girls and the running community. So I signed up to volunteer with SMART Girls in the spring of 2014. Best. Decision. Ever.

7.) I had several goals to home cook meals from scratch. I met my fiancé and then I did. I’ve broadened my list of meal specialties.

8.) I’ve kept a basil plant alive for over a year now. This is a miracle in itself. I also wanted to grow a vegetable from a seed. Mission almost accomplished. Those meant to be carrots…
Look how tiny:

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But my son brought home a seed from school for Mother’s Day and voilà, success:

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9.) I wanted to run a sub-23 minute 5k. I worked hard and accomplished this in May 2014. Even scored first female. Small town rights I tell you… But I’ll take it!

10.) I allowed myself to be loved and to love. This has been my biggest challenge, but by far the most rewarding.

You know, in reflecting on these accomplishments it pumps me up to keep going. I think I spend too much time downing myself, focusing on what I haven’t done well, feeling frustrated, and like I’ve failed over and over again. This list is such a strong reminder that I have accomplished much and will continue to acheive what I set my heart on.
So this is my challenge to YOU.
Stop right now and create your backwards bucket list. Even the smallest accomplishment is worth jotting down. Feel free to share it here, on your own blog post, or just keep it in your personal journal. But do write it down. Seeing your success on paper will bring positive reinforcements into your mind to keep you going strong. If you do blog about it please link back in the comments here. I’d love to spread the positive vibes.

Your turn: do you make lists? Are you A or B personality? Do struggle with staying in the present?
blessed & beautiful running.

~Jess

Wonder Mom Link-Up: Reasons Why I Exercise (Run)

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So glad I came across This Mamma Runs For Cupcakes’s post for the Wonder Mom Link-Up since I’ve been wondering what to post today… I kinda did my whole “wisdom Wednesday” thing yesterday on foggy running…forgot yesterday was Tuesday. Doh. And I guess I only had enough wisdom for one day…
So here I am linking up today with the gracious hosts, Amanda from Mom Who Tris, Susan from Mom Swim Bike Run, and Sue from This Mamma Runs For Cupcakes. Linking up is one of the best ways to meet new bloggers and share stories. It’s how I’ve discovered some great bloggers in the past! For a list of the rules and link-up topics click HERE. It’s never too late to join!
Soooooo…today’s topic is: Reasons Why I Exercise.

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I had to make mine a bit more specific because I don’t necessarily exercise. That’s too hard. I just run. A LOT.
I do the occasional lifting of the weights thing, sometimes I’ll throw in a little core work, I’ve swam twice, and do the yoga thing on Wednesdays but really, nothing consistent.
So without further adu….

1.) Because. I can. My body is a capable, strong, kinda lean running machine. It’s a gift and a blessing to be able to run free. So I do.

2.) It clears the mind. Running helps me solve problems that have been tangled up inside my head.

3.) I get to explore the world from a vantage point most people miss when driving by. I’ve had the opportunity to explore the Outer Banks and my hometown, Oklahoma City, by foot for 26.2 miles. And of course nothing beats trail running and enjoying God’s creation.

4.) Running makes me strong from the inside out. Heart of a lion. It’s taught me perseverance, endurance, self motivation, and patience just to name a few things.

5.) Running gives me freedom from stress and a sense of peace. When I’m out on the road you can forget it. I’m gone.

6.) It’s a great way to give back. Every race I’ve ran the proceeds go to a charity I wholly support.

7.) I like medals. Yup. Just being real.

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PS~ and #IRun4 my buddy. 🙂
Your turn! Why do YOU exercise?

blessed & beautiful running.

~Jess