The Friday Five Link-UP! Favorite Motivational Posters.

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Well hello friends! It’s been TWO weeks that I’ve not posted on a Friday. Gah. Life gets crazy busy. So glad for the Friday Five link-up hosted by Courtney, Cynthia, and Mar. Check out their rules and future topics HERE!

So here we are and I am so ready for some more sunshine and NO MO SNOW! Y’all…for real…the snow has been beautiful, the kid has thoroughly enjoyed every minute, and it’s good for watering the earth so to speak…but I’ve had enough of the treadmill. However, I am so glad my hubby fixed it! Without it this week would have not been as successful with marathon training! Silver lining friends!

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Anyway, so this week’s Friday Five is “freebie”. I can post any 5 things I’d like to. So today since I was feeling bummed this morning I’m going to post 5 of my favorite motivational posters. Enjoy!

1.) This picture is from my first ever marathon, OBX Outer Banks NC. As a single parent, achieving a full marathon was the greatest feeling in the world. This race taught me that I could indeed do anything I set my sights on. Now I relentlessly, fearlessly pursue my goals everyday.obx

2.) Strength.

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3.) “They will soar on the wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary.” Probably my most favorite.

IMG_15234.) This one reminds me that God has got this and that I can and will finish  my race in victory!

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5.) Always be proud of who God created you to be! Every step forward is a step no matter how long it might take you! I recently heard a thought on a podcast that many people give up because the start up of their projects are taking too long. Don’t stop. The time will pass anyway in your life so be proud NOW of each and every little step you take.

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That’s it! see you guys next Monday!

What are some your favorite motivational posters or sayings? How crazy was your week?

blessed and beautiful running.

jesssig

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TNT Tuesday: Journal with pen/paper or Online?! 

peek-a-boo treadmill runner! a new drive belt and a few tools and it’s fixed! 

Okay first of all: our treadmill is fixed!!! Thank the Lord because we are officially half-way through marathon training! How did that happen?! And if you stalk me on Instagram then you already know all about it cause that’s what we crazy social media runners do. We run. Take pics. And post.

Anyway, more snow has arrived! This time we got a crazy amount of the fluffy white stuff. Not icy snow but the real good packing kind. I’m not a big fan of playing outside in it, but I am a big fan of drinking hot cocoa loaded with marshmallows and watching it snow…oh the kid just LOVES it though! I believe he would play out there all day until he turned into a frozen popsicle of a nine year old little boy.

So what then does the mom do on a snow day? Blog about it, make hot cocoa for the boys, and study. I’ve finally made arrangements to purchase the NASM exam and schedule it for the second week of March. Hopefully by this time next month you’ll see CPT next to my name! Feels good to have a solid date set. #progress

view from our treadmill room. believe it or not there is a car outside this window.

So today’s Tips and Tricks Tuesday inspiration is brought to you via Vita Runs for Life and my inbox over at Gmail. Since I’ve registered as a St. Jude’s Hero for the Nashville Rock n’ Roll Country Music Marathon I receive weekly updates and some training tips. This week was about keeping a journal and Vita just recently posted HERE about keeping her journal in the laundry room. Hey, journal when and where you can! I used to keep a pen and book kind of running journal until I discovered DailyMile. There are several reasons for keeping a journal of some sorts:

Logging how many miles you run. duh.

How certain foods and drinks affect your digestive system when running.–I’ve learned that tons of cheese the night before a run usually does NOT pan out well…

How different weather affects your pace.–Humidity is my nemesis.

What kind of music rocks your world.

If you used a heart rate monitor.

Your perceived level of exertion.

Different moods and feelings.

How many miles you log on each pair of shoes. I tend to run close to 400 miles before my Mizunos call it quits.

Running Competitor gives us some solid reasons to keep a written record also.

And the list goes on…

Tracking what works and what doesn’t can greatly help you fine tune your training. History teaches us. I don’t dwell on the past as far as training but I do reference back to it occasionally. But I mostly find that keeping a written training plan for upcoming weeks strongly encourages me to stick with my marathon training. If I see it on paper and blab away about it on my blog, I’m more likely to just do it.

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this needs to be used more than my pc.

Keeping a running journal also strongly correlates with keeping a faith/prayer journal. By writing down our prayer history we can see where our weakness and strengths are. Where the Lord has improved our lives and rocked our worlds…I’ll be the first to admit that I am not as faithful to keep up with my prayer journal…I have scolded myself on this matter. I think to myself, “If I was just as diligent with my prayer journal as I am on DailyMile, how much greater would my spiritual life be?”

Just allow that thought sink in…

LEARN from yesterday, LIVE for today, HOPE for tomorrow.

My question for you: Do you keep a running journal? If so, is it with the classic pen and paper or more modern take online? I find this blog tends to run as my very personal online training journal some…Do you support St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital? If yes, then head over HERE to send some love their way!

blessed and beautiful running.

jesssig

Marathon Monday and CLIFBar WINNER!

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Hey hey guys! So sorry this post is up super late and it’s ridiculously, sporadically compiled. I had an early start, like 5:00 am start, to my day so this post was definitely squeezed in last minute after running, kid, work, some kind of frozen dinner (yes, I know. *hangs head in shame* in front of all my amazingly talented pre-prepped foodies out there. This is not one of my finer skills.) , and now WordPress.

So why the 5:00 am start today? My treadmill is broke and I had to make a run to the gym, run five miles, get back home in time to be taxi mom, and employee ready by 8 am. Plus I don’t do no-light-whatsoever-dark-o-thirty-running. Just seems too dangerous. I try to be smart. You know, as I was walking into the gym today I thought to myself how awesome would it be if I was actually on my way to work here? Soon enough. So let me just …

*siiiiiigh*

I’m finally sitting on my butt for a minute.

Anyway, y’all aren’t here to read about my boring daily rush routine. I know. It’s cool cause I have a winner picked thank you random Rafflecopter app!

And the winner is….

Ms. Autum H.! I’ve got your contact info so be on the lookout for an e-mail soon with directions to obtain your goodies. Thank you so much to all who entered and take the time to read my ramblings. 🙂

So what’s new? Well, we have been getting snow and ice. Guess that’s not too new. I’ve decided that running in it was definitely beautiful and peaceful. And that it made me a total tough running rockstar…

But there’s more snow on the radar. So I’m basically over it now. I’m tough but I’ll be the first to admit I’m also tired of being “tough”. I have my limits. I’m training in all this cold weather and I’m just waiting for that marathon day in April to be like 85* hot and humid and I will roast like a puffy, white marshmallow.

As far as mileage last week I hit all my runs except an easy five miler. I had a tight hammie from snow/ice running. I didn’t get in my weight training either as we were snowed in for a good portion of the week…I did practice yoga…I realize I could have put together a body weight routine in place of my regular weight room at the gym routine (Jess at Blonde Ponytail is great at sharing new ideas)…but sometimes…

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pizza..yes please.

When I’m snowed in…I swear I could eat pizza all day every day. Well, even when it doesn’t snow. It’s a flaw. A serious condition. I need to be conditioning my body for strength. Not every day needs to  be a “carb loading” day.. *shakes head in shame* again. Seriously.  I need one my awesome fellow healthy foodie bloggers to create, cook, and feed me healthy food all day, everyday. Logically I know that good food fuels the body for success and strength…but for now I’m doing good to keep my running up. As the mileage increases (on top of a full-time job standing on my feet all day every day) the harder it seems to want to eat celery, carrots, and healthy grains and fit in other critical cross-training and strength training routines. Increased mileage = insatiable appetite and lack of energy to “workout”. Ya feel me?

But this is a new day. Let’s #getafterit!! So this week I find myself on a mission to eat less pizza, after today because I totally did, line-up at home strength workouts for the impending snow days, and yoga it up more this week. You are more likely to eat smart and work out if you plan in advance! Also planning around things like snow.

So this week’s mileage line-up:

Monday: 5 easy w/5 strides

Tuesday: 8 w/8 hill repeats

Wednesday: 9 w7@MP + yoga

Thursday: 4 easy + strength training

Friday: Rest/or XT

Saturday: 3 easy

Sunday: 13 long slow distance + yoga

Total goal miles: 42

How’s your training going? Are you a pizza addict? Would you be willing to solve my poor eating habit?! Any week specific goals on your agenda this week? 

blessed and beautiful running.

jesssig

How to Enjoy 18 miles in Freezing Weather

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#IRun4Dylan 🙂

Running through falling snow has a way of making you feel giddy like a child. It’s an uninhibited joy when you choose to embrace and enjoy God’s creation. I’m by no means a huge fan of winter. In fact, I usually state that I HATE winter. But hate is such a strong word and I’m sure God doesn’t appreciate my strong disdain for His seasons. All season serve a purpose. And snow is cleansing…

So today’s run started out a wee bit warmer like 22* instead of -9* warmer. Hey, I’ll take it. We were practically in a heat wave today! I had 18 miles on the schedule today and with CamelBak in tow, two ClifBar gels, and my trusty pepper spray I felt ready. Nervous though because the last time I ran any distance over 14 miles was way back in August. However, my body felt great. No known issues. No terrible aches or pains. All systems go. Two miles in I met up with the BRF and ran a few miles with her. She had an event to be at later that morning so unfortunately I was again on my own for another 14 miles. I had a lot on my mind that morning…so a good 14 miles with Pandora radio and just my thoughts may have been what the doctor ordered.

It was definitely cold out but manageable. The wind didn’t pick up too terribly with the exception of a few miles. On account of the black ice and un-scraped sidewalks I was forced to hit the road for a good portion of the run. Which I don’t mind but cars and big suvs apparently do. I almost died a few times. Between mean traffic and slick sidewalks I believe I lost about 10 years of my life today in fear. o.O

So were the 18 miles worth it?

Without a shadow of a doubt, YES.

Because as difficult as today’s run was today I proved that I had it in me. I have the guts to stick anything out. I know as most of you are runners yourselves you’ve heard a bazillion times how great running is at bringing out the best in you.  Today, I felt this real life parallel strongly. This run was a strong mental will battle.

So fast forward to mile nine after two near slips on ice and one vanilla ClifBar gel I seriously began to question my sanity. I kept battling inside my head and started bartering with myself:

“Okay Jess, you got this. Maybe just make it at least 15 miles. That’s only like 6 left. Man, it’s really cold out here. Like frigidly freaking cold. Is this even safe? Of course it’s safe. You’ve run in colder. Suck it up! Yeah but not like, 18 miles in this colder coldness…okay, make it to mile 15…”

Well by the time I hit mile 12 the ClifBar had hit my system and I began to feel a little better. And began a new bartering system with myself:

“Giiiiirl, you made it this far. Wait, is that SNOW? It’s definitely snowing. It’s so cold…so cold…so… pretty…so soothing…So you had 16 miles scheduled last weekend but you only raced 10, so maybe you can make it to at least 16. Yeah. You can do that.”

I hit mile 14…time for my other ClifBar.

“Oooh, this one has one shot of caffeine in it. Yes! This is really cool, this whole running while it’s snowing thing. I feel like a total rockstar. I’m a running beast! Only two miles till mile 16. Thank you God! Hmmm…I’m hungry.”

Mile 15, Caffeine kicks in.

“I’m on top of the world! I think I’ve caught my second wind. Either that or it’s the caffeine talking …. either way I’m gooood. I scheduled 18 miles today… I simply can not quit now. I only have like two miles after this mile left. I totally got this. Okay..time to stop thinking and just run. Animal mode on.”

Mile 18:

“I freaking did it!! Praise God! That wasn’t so bad…”

If it wasn’t for seeing this post this morning I would’ve probably given up on today’s run. But I’m too stubborn strong willed and determined to throw in the towel…I kept thinking on these words:

The lesson I took from this run was that victory isn’t always easy, clean, and tidy. It gets icy, sweaty, and messy but if you push through the “I just want to quit and die” thoughts, victory is just on the other side. You have to fight those negative thoughts with all your heart sometimes. And you know what?

It feels amazing.

If it wasn’t for the ClifBar my physical body probably would have bonked. But I also truly believe that because I run for a higher cause the Lord carried me through much of it. Well, truth be told, He carries me through all of it. Through all my fears, insecurities, failures, and victories. Running has that profound affect on the soul. Clears the soul of toxic waste, frees your mind of garbled clutter, and allows your spirit to breathe freely. Even if it is labored breathes due to freezing temps…. you catch my drift…

I also run for my buddy who can not run himself. I run for those who struggle physically and mentally. When I think of cold I go back to the movie Unbroken.

We are all “broken” to a degree in some fashion. But I believe when we do not allow our brokenness to stop us, we become undeniably unshaken. It’s hard to keep a good woman (man) down. I run for all those broken pieces. I run to unleash my heart…to allow my thoughts the freedom to think that anything is possible. I run because someday, I want to change the world. To leave a strong and positive mark on this world…

And with this, I’ll leave you with a few of my personal tips that help carry  me through tough runs…

Here’s a few “get you through” tips should you chose to run in the great frosty outdoors:

  • Play mind games with yourself, like okay, we will only run this far today… but you usually end up going the full distance 😉
  • Promise yourself treats i..e ClifBar snacks at mile(s) xyz
  • Layer up. Bundle up. Be prepared for the elements.
  • Do not forget the sunscreen. Prevent windburn.
  • Stop thinking and turn on animal mode.
  • Don’t forget to stay hydrated.

***Don’t forget about my ClifBar giveaway! Tonight is your last night to enter! Go ahead and head over HERE! Entering is easy and fun.***

What was your victory today? Do you have to play mind games with yourself to finish runs? Any epic snowy runs lately? If you’re a believer of the faith do you feel like the Lord carries you through?

Blessed and Beautiful Running.

jesssig

Thoughts for Thursday: Why? A Few Words to Chew On.

Why?

We make plans, strive for excellence, set out specific goals, and chase down dreams…but, why? What is it inside of you that creates these desires? What is the reasoning behind the dreams?

If you can answer this question to you current goal(s) then you are more likely to succeed with said goal. I came across THIS article from LifeHack.org and it’s words ring profoundly true. You may set certain goals to achieve what you think you want to achieve (i.e. happiness, new found love, winner’s status, big bucks in the bank, etc.) but when we meet our original goal we can often feel unsatisfied. Why?

The important thing in the process of constructing our best life is not necessarily what goals we set (what we think we want) but what motivates us towards those goals (what we really want).

While I was reading Marathon Man by Bill Rodgers I kept wondering to myself, why is it that I want, I feel as though I need, to run a BQ time this April? Why do I crave to run Boston so much? He ran because it was life or death for him. His entire life was wrapped up in running.

Is it because Boston is herald as runner’s mecca?

Do I feel as though I have something to prove to myself? The world?

And if I was honest, I don’t think I could give you a solid answer right this moment, other than I know I need to challenge myself, focus my intentions, and always prove myself to be stronger than what I once thought. This post is short and wasn’t written to tell you something profound, rather to encourage you to think profoundly. To think on your real motives behind your goals.

Do you know the why behind your goals? Have you even thought of goals in this light?

Blessed and Beautiful Running.

jesssig