Saturday Casual Chat, Goals, and What’s On My Mind…

Sometimes women need to talk and simply just need to be heard. We aren’t looking for answers, solutions, or problem solving.

We are just looking for someone to look us in the eye and nod their heads in empathy. Validate our emotions. I realize I may have too much to say sometimes…sometimes I can be a bit too much.

Well, that’s one reason I blog. Sometimes I just need to be heard and acknowledged. And you, my readers are amazing! So I thank you every time you read or comment on a post. It means a lot to me.

I just needed to get that off my chest. Mmmk. I’m good now. Let me know if we need to talk about it further..

If you read my post HERE than you already know that I’m signed up for 10 miler race February 14th! I’ve been thinking about goals for this race since this was a “last minute” registration. I hadn’t heard about the race until last week.

As I ran through my 10 miler today for my longish run on my  marathon plan I was constantly gauging how I felt. I ran the first 5 miles conservatively, picked up the pace over the next 5 miles with a faster finishing kick. If you follow me on DailyMile then you may have seen I ran a 1:17 today fairly comfortably. In evaluating my run today I’ve decided on my three goals.

10 miler race goals for the Green Valley Road Race:

Goal A 1:12:50 7:17 min/mile

Goal B 1:13:00 7:18 min/mile

Goal C 1:15:00 7:30 min/mile

(I found a pace chart HERE)

I believe in always setting three goals. A) my “reach” goal for a great day with ideal conditions, B) goal for difficult but definitely attainable, and C) goal for “I’m sure I can do this even if I’m having a rough day”. Without goals I feel I’d be lost with no direction, floundering without purpose. Here’s an easy acronym to remember when goal setting:

S – SPECIFIC

M – MEASURABLE

A – ATTAINABLE

R – REALISTIC

T – TIMELY

Other than timed goals I’m thinking about place and personal goals. Since this event is held in a larger city the competition will be stiffer. In a small town it can be easier to grab first in your age range, but in a larger city, faster competition comes out.  For example, my first female overall win in the Brevard White Squirrel 5k last year was a total fluke. Maybe all the fast girls stayed home that day or were out racing a different event. A 22:32 time would not be fast enough in a big city to score even an age range I’m thinking…not that I’m not happy with that time or that it’s not fast. I am and it is. But I’m just a small fish in a small pond and the racing world is so much larger out there and I’m curious to stick my toes in the bigger ponds.

So realistically in looking at the previous year’s 10 miler times it’s reasonable for me to just stick with my personal time goals and not expect to place. Which is totally okay. I’m excited about putting myself into a faster field. It will both challenge my mental strength and give me some insight into how fast I need to be to really take competing seriously. In the past I’ve always ran to beat my own personal bests, and I will continue to do so. But I don’t see anything wrong with the desire to compete. Realistically I don’t foresee myself competing in the big time events, but maybe against the somewhat larger surrounding cities. It’s about striving for excellence. There is certainly more than one way to strive for excellence.

Do you run to beat your own personal records or do you enjoy competing against the racing field? How was your Saturday? Any casual chat on your minds? How many goals do you set? Have you ever stalked previous race results?

Blessed and Beautiful Running!

~Jess

Friday Five: Favorite Indoor Workouts PLUS New Race Distance!

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Hey, hey it’s FRIDAY y’all! This means it’s link-up time hosted by Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia. Take some time to check out their pages and meet other great bloggers. For their rules and how to link-up click HERE.

This week’s theme: 5 Favorite Indoor Workouts

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{{notice CheriBundi on the weights. BEST natural anti-inflammatory. Get rid of that OTC med cabinet!}}

1.) One of my favorite indoor workouts lately has become lifting weights, especially with the Mr. He has shown me a lot! I prefer free weights and pulleys. Just enough to keep some muscle tone during marathon training. I’ve also been getting a ton of great workouts from Oxygen Magazine, my favorite fitness magazine. It’s not your typical “fluff” mag teeming with sex, make-up, and kinda sorta workouts. It’s the real deal with real women and delicious recipes. Do you read this or any magazines?

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2.) Yoga. It’s always been a favorite. And yes, it’s totally a workout. If you’ve never tried yoga, I dare you.

3.) Elliptical at the gym. Great for my cross-training days.

4.) Sitting on the couch. It’s my mental break workout. It counts.

5.) Last but not least, this:

IMG_3010 …my spiritual workout.

Soooooo…Side track on another note because I rabbit trail down thoughts like this, If you follow me on Facebook then you already know that I’ve officially signed up for my first race of the year (besides the big Nashville Rock n’ Roll marathon in April)!! I know I’ve mentioned the Frostbite 10k in Feb but now I’m registered for a 10 miler. The Green Valley Road Race on Furman in Greenville, SC. I enjoy running 10 milers but I’ve never raced the distance. And I’ve never races in South Carolina. Win-win!

New distance+new state=stupid excited Jess!!!

Annnnnnnd it gets better, my hubby will be running the 8k distance and my BRF is racing the 10 miler too, along with a group of our local running club. This is also a first for me. I’ve yet to travel or race with our Transylvania Running Club. Running is beautiful in that it can be a shared experience or a solo mental break.

So. Much. Excitement.

Oh yeah, and it’s on Valentine’s day. The couple that runs together stays together. Sweet. 🙂

What’s your favorite indoor workout?
Have you ran a race yet this year? Anyone down in Greenville SC? Have you raced a 10 miler?

Blessed and Beautiful Running.

TNT Tuedsays: Appetite Control for the Vicious Marathoner Stomach

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**Disclosure: I am not a nutritionist or registered dietitian. Please seek your own primary care physician or RD for a nutritional plan. I’m simply sharing what’s worked for me.

As the miles increase so does our hunger. And accordingly, so should our calorie intake.

But how much is too much or too little?

We don’t want to undo all we’ve worked so hard for yet we don’t need to starve our bodies of necessary nutrients and energy. We run hard, work hard, play hard…and then we consume an entire large pizza solo. Well…you know…it happens.

Eat to run strong.

Eat to feel well.

Eat enough to stay properly fueled.

Meaning don’t starve yourself but don’t over do it with the extra sugars because you ran 10 miles.

How many carbs do we really need? From Dietitian Today:

Runners need between 7 and 10 g of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight during training and closer to the upper end of this range before long runs.

(To calculate lbs to kg divide your body weight in lbs by 2.2 w(lb)/2.2=w(kg))

If you have time I highly recommend visiting Dietitian Today’s article on Marathon Fueling. It is packed with info on fueling your body during training, race day, and recovery. Especially if you’re a numbers nerd like I am. I get way too much satisfaction over playing with numbers and calculations..

Tips to help control the urge to over indulge:

  • If you’re feeling hungry you may simply be dehydrated. Sometimes your body mixes up the two. Try drinking a full glass of water first, then if still hungry grab a quick healthy bite. Read THIS LIVESTRONG article for more details.
  • Keep healthy options stocked! We try to keep plenty of fruits and veggies on hand. I prep some and pre-pack them into snack size containers so it makes choosing healthy snacks easier.
  • Remember why we eat. To fuel our bodies. Remember this.

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

  • Opt for a cup of decaf, green, hot tea about an hour before bed. Helps curb appetite, detox your system, and sleep sounder.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I really do struggle with food, calories, and self-image. I feel as though I’m constantly battling my mind and stomach over how much is too much and how little is too little. Constantly counting calories in and estimating my calorie expenditure during my runs. This isn’t healthy. This is called obsession.

#thestruggleisreal

We are ultimately in control of our bodies, minds, and thoughts. If not, we allow the urges to control us.

What it all boils down to is listening to your body closely. It will tell you when you’re truly hungry and in need. Just don’t mistake your need for calcium for a three scoop bowl of ice cream… 😉 it’s all about a healthy balance. One scoop should suffice.

On another note, we had a few flurries coming down today! It was beautiful with part sun and part clouds and a few teeny tiny flakes. It was refreshing, peaceful, and calming. Even though I had set out to run five miles of tough hills. I set out to run the toughest hills in town. Which isn’t too terribly hard to find in western NC. In fact, it is more challenging to find a zero hilly route around here. But that’s a good thing! Hills=strong glutes my friends. But I swear, when it’s cold and I’m running uphill over and over again I feel like I’m breathing like a moose on steroids. Terrible.

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a hilly, chilly 5 miler complete with flurries. You can’t really see the flurries though..iPhone photos..

Do you fret over calories in and calories out? Do you follow any kind of eating plan while marathon training or do you follow the “feed-my-stomach-when-its-hungry” plan like me? Are you running in snow yet? Do you breathe like a moose in the cold?

Blessed and Beautiful Running (and eating).

#MarathonMonday Week 4: Practicing Peace. Om.

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Hello happy Monday!

Last week was stellar for me mile wise (work, eh not so much). I hit my mileage goal and even surprised myself in speed. That’s both exciting and scary… It’s like okay, what horrible run is coming next?! Does it seem to happen that way for you? Amazing run, terrible run.

We will think positive though! So as I mentioned yesterday this week will be a “cut back” week for me as far as miles go. The plan I’m following builds up the intensity over three weeks and cuts back every fourth week. I plan on keeping yoga and strength training throughout my training but during the cut back weeks I’m aiming for more yoga and weights to help balance my core and overall strength. Maintaining a strength routine can be key in increasing speed! Check out THIS informative article on all the additional benefits.

I’ve not been as diligent with my yoga. It’s been once a week here and there. Same with the strength training. So this week is a great time to really get more engaged.

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photo source a yogi runner is a strong runner.

I came across THIS Runner’s World article about all kinds of yoga for runner’s. It includes various routines like quick CORE strength, PRE-YOGA RUN, and poses I’ve never tried. So I’m bookmarking it and plan on getting my om on y’all. Along with multiple yoga routines this week I plan on re-focusing my energies on positive, mind strengthening, and peaceful vibes. Marathoners are tough.

As a distance runner, you know you’re going to get your bell rung.  Distance runners are experts at pain, discomfort, and fear.  You’re not coming away feeling good.  It’s a matter of how much pain you can deal with on those days.  It’s not a strategy.  It’s just a callusing of the mind and body to deal with discomfort.  Any serious runner bounces back.  That’s the nature of their game.  Taking pain.” – Mark Wetmore, head coach of the Colorado University Cross Country team.

While I may spend much time in pain, learning over and over again what it takes to physically and mentally persevere, there comes a time when we need to feed the peace in our lives. I believe yoga will help with this. And in turn having learned control over my mind in peace, I can control my mind during the battle that is the marathon.

This week’s mileage line-up looks like this:

Monday: total REST

Tuesday: 5 miles hills + 30 min. strength routine

Wednesday: 5 easy + 1 hour of Vinyasa yoga at the gym

Thursday: 4 miles @ tempo

Friday: 4 easy/or XT + 30 min. strength routine

Saturday: 10 LDS

Sunday: 5 easy + 30 min. yoga at home

Total miles: 33 miles

So last week I totally forgot to add the actual link-up button…DOH. Blame it on my oxygen being run out. Click below to add your link! Linking up is a great way to “meet” other runners, bloggers, yogi…and if marathons aren’t really your thing Janice over at Fitness Cheerleader and Rachel at Running Rachel are hosting a great #MotivateMe Monday link-up. I linked up with her all of December and it helped me stay motivated tremendously!


I’m keeping this post short because it’s late, I’ve been at work all day, I’ve had zero run, and I’m kinda sorta cranky.

Jess needs sleep. Namaste.

Do you practice yoga pre or post run? Or at all? How was your weekend? What’s on your agenda this week? 

Blessed and Beautiful running!

14 Miles of Joy #longrun Puts It In Perspective

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Frosty windows might indicate that it’s COLD. But not too cold for a run for this girl!

Hello and happy Sunday!

Today’s run was nothing short of a blessing. I was nervous before the run this morning because it has been a long while since my last 14 miler (not counting the marathon last November) and it was super cold out.  It may have been very cold but at least the sun was shining and the wind wasn’t blowing. Focus on the positive! I was also well hydrated, fueled with Clif Bar gels, and good to go tummy wise. Sometimes my stomach can be sensitive. I told myself to start out slow and keep it that way. However, about half way through I was ready to pick up the pace a bit ending my run with my last mile as my fastest. Throughout my run I kept thinking and praying for my #IRun4 buddy who has Moebius syndrome. There’s so much more to what he goes through but I kept thinking about how he can not express his joy physically with his facial expressions. And so I ran on smiling. For him. Puts life into perspective, you know? And I still felt strong after with energy left in the tank. I just felt so incredibly blessed to be out there.

This is good. Not every run is as seamless and unimpaired as this one so I definitely hang on to these moments. When a run is this good you find yourself answering questions you’ve had, finding forgiveness, cherishing life as a whole, being reminded of God’s grace, and embracing JOY.

I’m trying to get in the habit of running a faster negative split. My past marathons have been positive splits, meaning the second half has been considerably slower. So I am fine-tuning my ability to control and steady my pace in my training. Marathons are about mental toughness and self control over 26.2 miles. And enjoyment of the journey.

I wrapped up week three successfully with a 14 miler. Next week is a cut back week which you’ll read about on #MarathonMonday. Marathon training can be monotonous, increasingly difficult, and sometimes it’s a struggle to stay motivated. It all goes back to enJOYing the run. I think cutting back every 4th week is ideal and smart. Keeps you refreshed and ready to kick it into high gear again.

So. On another note, post long run grub…

After my super healthy high protein lunch, spinach salad complete with tuna, tomatoes, and a small amount of dressing, I was still feeling ravenous! I try. I promise you all I really do try to eat healthy. However, since Jen at Jen Chooses Joy, posted about National Peanut Butter Day on Friday I had to make up for no peanut butter days and consume not one, but TWO pb sandwiches. And I fell no guilt.

Word.
Tweet: running #joy What's your positive this week? Widsom in the #LONGRUN http://ctt.ec/el5Sf+
And on another word, I challenge you to find JOY in the everyday life. Last week was a bit of a joy buster for me with my pharmacy job and all but I am determined to refocus my energies on the positives. Tell me one thing positive in your life this week!

Are you a peanut butter fan? Are you running long on the weekends? Do you include “cut-back” weeks in your training? How do you focus on JOY?

Blessed & Beautiful Running!