#MotivationalMonday ~ How I Got Into Running

I was that kid in school. You know, the one who always “forgot” her athletic shoes on gym day…the one who hated anything to do with sweat, physical activity, and running.
Yup. That was totally me.
The more I look back the more I realize it was all out of fear and insecurity. I was embarrassed when I sweated. Um, hello younger Jessica, everyone has sweat glands!! If only I had discovered Certain Dry
Aside from your typical kid problems, family life wasn’t always too great. I’ll spare you the more in depth and personal details. But to sum things up throw in some physical and mental abuse, torn family and I was left with a lot of self doubt, insecurity, instability, and unworthiness as a child. Unfortunately that carried with me through middle school, high school and into young adulthood. Fast forward to the year after high school I found myself with child. Tried to the right thing by marrying and starting a family. Again, I had failed. The relationship was dysfunctional and lasted a year.
So by 21 years old I was a divorced, a single parent working a dead end job.
Awesome. Welcome to another American statistic.
Life really began after I passed my pharmacy technician certification.
After many failed attempts to start something new or to better myself (insert one and a half semesters of college, MaryKay sales fail, applying for better jobs, failed relationships) I was angry.
I was angry at myself.
I found myself worthless, useless, and a as a BIG FAT FAILURE.
Who would want to love a wreck like me?
No college degree, a kid at such a young age, bills backed up for months, a dysfunctional family history, divorced…
I was angry. I was hurting. I was hopeless.
But something kept telling me I was better than these thoughts.
So after dropping the kid off at W.E.E. School one morning, I had work off as well, I put on some old tennis shoes, goofy looking hand-me-down shorts and tank, took off down the sidewalk, and ran.
I just ran.
I didn’t make it too far before I was crying and out of breathe…but it felt good.
I saw a local Reindeer Run 5k advertised and I said to myself, I’m going to run that. I saved for the race fee and signed up.

This decision I believe saved my life from a lifetime of failure and regret and turned it into success and achievement.

I didn’t have a Garmin, smart phone, or Mizunos at that time. So my ‘training’ plan was just to run. I ran whenever I could, lunch breaks (in my work clothes and all) during WEE school, with the kid in a stroller.
It was tough. I couldn’t run a full mile without dying.
I can not tell you how many times I stopped to cry because I had to walk so much.
But I pressed on. I would not fail this time.

Race day came December 2011 and I ran my little heart out.

I finished on 27:07 8:44 min/mile and scored 2nd in my age division. Great for a local race!

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I had finished something.
I crossed my first finish line and was hooked. The feeling of accomplishment and success tasted so good! Maybe, just maybe I wasn’t a total failure after all…a year later I ran my first full marathon.

Success is possible no matter where you started.

This is one of the biggest reasons I wanted to volunteer with SMART Girls. Because maybe one of those girls needs that acceptance and love. I need to inspire her. To remind her that she’s beautiful and worth more than a million diamonds.
Becoming a runner has been one of life’s greatest blessings. It’s not just the physical act of running but it’s the whole mentality behind it.
The determination, the fighter inside, the goals and dreams.

I couldn’t run a full mile three years ago… In 6 weeks I’m fixing to run my third FULL MARATHON. It’s possible.

Keep fighting. Press on.

Have you always been a runner? How did you end up running?

blessed& beautiful running.

~Jess

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Friday Five: Blogs I Stalk Religiously

IMG_1605.JPGHey, hey! I managed to find a little time to squeeze in for the Friday Five Link-Up with Mar on the Run, Eat, Pray, Run DC, and You Signed Up For What?! You can find more info and the rules on their link-up HERE.
This weeks link-up is an easy one to post about yet the hardest. Because I enjoy reading SO many blogs!

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I’ll just go down the roll in no particular order:

1.) Jess at Blonde Ponytail
She’s a personal trainer, runner, CrossFiter, mommy, coach’s wife, and overall positive spirit! She’s always posting great workout ideas (especially for mommas!) and cute kid pics. I love her energy, enthusiasm, and honesty in every post.

2.) Nicole at The Girl Who Ran Everywhere
She’s fast, funny, and real! Enjoy reading her real life blog posts.

3.) Running With the Sunrise
All things running!! ‘Nuff said.

4.) Milo and the Calf
He interviews BQers including Amby Burfoot recently. Love reading their stories!

5.) The Lean Green Bean
She’s my food prep idol and where I’ve gotten many yum recipes!

Any favorite bloggers you follow?

blessed & beautiful running.

~Jess

Thoughts for Thursday: Be Patient With Me…

Hello all! I know my blogging has been a bit of a hit and miss lately, but the closer we get to wedding day the busier life is getting.

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37 days!!!!

House hunting.
Vow writing.

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Favor making.
Thank you card writing.
Vendor appointments.
Etc….you catch my drift.

I’m loving Eat, Pray, Run DC’s Wedding Wednesday posts too! Perfect timing.
But I want you all to know that I won’t be too far gone for too long. Rest assure I’ll be back in full swing after October! Plus, I’ll have a marathon to run in November so LOTS of cool things to blog about. I also plan on getting back to studying for the NASM personal trainer cert. Had to place that on the back burner because simply put, I loaded my plate way too full.
My eyes are always hungrier than my stomach.

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But that’s the beautiful thing about marriage. With the right somebody you can accomplish so much more together as a team than on your own.
Transitioning from single mother minded to getting married minded hasn’t been easy. You’d think all my dreams have come true so life must be pure bliss 24/7 right?! There’s so much more to it than what I realized. There’s many inner demons (self doubt, worry, fear, past pains and rejections, fiercely independent, selfish single ways…) that I had to overcome and still many things I’m working on.
We are all a work in progress, no?

At any rate. I say all this to say, please be patient with me during this busy time until I can resume blogging
regularly. I have some great plans for sprucing up this site.

I also have a blog post coming up soon , per request, about how I got into running. If there’s any questions you have for me let me know! I’d be happy to answer any questions in an upcoming post.

blessed & beautiful running.

~Jess

Tempo Tuesday: FOCUS. Rawr!

How to re-FOCUS:

Forgive yourself
Overcome the self doubt
Count your blessings
Understand your hang ups
Stride on

IMG_2016.JPG This is my game face. Focused. Ready to get my rawr on!
I’m re-focusing my mind today. The past two weeks as far as training has gone, I’ve been mediocre at best. But as I stated in a previous post: I’m only human.
However, it’s time to stop dwelling on the runs I’ve not gotten in and training not accomplished thus far. I’ve given myself the slack needed and now it’s time to focus on what I have accomplished and get after some more. I’m ready to get up, dust it off, and #getafterit. Back on track so to speak. The best way I’ve found to get back on track is:

• Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. Maybe even write that down.

• Set small, daily achievable goals. Write those down too. Or blog it down. 😉

• Find an accountability partner.

• Think on how you will feel post accomplishment or training session.

• Get after it!

Here’s my goal training week:

Monday: rest – check. Always an easy one to accomplish. 😉

Tuesday: tempo 6 miles – check.

Wednesday: easy 5, yoga class

Thursday: speed work 7 miles total

Friday: strength train/XT

Saturday: easy 5

Sunday: 18 miles

Total mileage: 41 miles

Your turn! How’s your weekly mileage? Hit any “speedbump” in training? Do you allow yourself any slack? How do you refocus?

blessed & beautiful running.

Saturday Motivation. And I Have Work To Do.

#MondayMotivation you can rest assure, there WILL be obstacles… But #presson my friends!

Flying Feet In Faith

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

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