Thoughts for Thursday: BELIEVE Journal and Why

believejournal

say hello to my new secret weapon.

Hello Thursday! I have a lot going on today so this is just a brief post to introduce you to my new secret weapon. Except I guess it’s not really a secret if I’m displaying it out for you to see…but you’ll never see the inside {insert wicked up to no good chuckle here}.  I found the perfect running log/journal for my next adventure(s) in life thanks to Vita Trains 4 Life who blogged about this fancy little leather bound journal. ((You should check Vita out. Her writing is witty, humorous, and inspiring!)) Created by elite athlete women Lauren Fleshman and Roisin McGettigan-Dumas it’s chalk full of inspirational words of wisdom. I love the layout of the book as it allows freedom to write, doodle, plan, and think out loud however I see fit. The journal also introduced me to Fleshman’s Blog where she answers Questions of the day.

In other news, on Instagram I was tagged to write five reasons why I run and I thought I’d share with y’all #5reasonirun since I’m all into goal setting and new dreams with my journal. It’s always a good idea to revisit the why behind the goal(s).

photo (6)

post marathon swollen face. mmm. photo I chose for #5reasonsIrun

  1. Running is my freedom
  2. it makes me feel strong inside and out
  3. it’s brought me new friendships that otherwise wouldn’t exist
  4. it’s goal setting, achieving kind thing–always striving to be a better version of myself
  5. I like to eat bacon cheeseburgers. a lot.

So this is my official farewell and break-up with DailyMile. Bring on the new goals and BIGGER dreams!!

That’s all I got y’all!

Do you keep a hand written journal? What are some reasons you run? Do you re-check and re-set your goals throughout the year? What’s on your summer to-do list?

blessed and beautiful running.

jesssig

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Wisdom Wednesday: The Best is Yet to Come 

#Spring #running !! making wishes along the way…

I’m a girl with BIG goals, dreams, and ambitions. And I believe that the very best of me is yet to come. And I think that YOU should believe that about yourself no matter your age, place, or current position in life. As we get older we tend to think that our “shelf life” is becoming stale or expired. But I truly believe that we can only become better versions of ourselves if we press on each and every day to get the best out of ourselves. Don’t let age, failures, set backs, or other negative distractions stop you from pressing on. With each stage of life comes new challenges and successes. My marathon success most likely will not be the highlight of my 40’s or 50’s but rather other things will become the best of me. Like what, I’m not sure yet. But I do know that ready or not, life is going by and I better be ready to hold on tight! However, in the meantime, I read somewhere that women tend to fully peak at their marathon racing ability in their late 20’s, early 30’s. I’m 29 and been running for roughly 3.5 years. So I feel like the best of me in running the marathon distance is still out there. I’m still going to run that BQ. Bring it.

“Female long distance runners are like wine, they get better with time”

“Most of the time, endurance athletes peak ten years after they begin.” -RunningTips101.com expert resource, Coach Rick Rothman

So like I mentioned yesterday, I have already created a game plan post Country Music marathon. Because without a few goals I am lost. So very lost wondering around aimlessly and I’m already too blonde to be wondering around aimlessly as is, so it’s better to have a game plan lined up.

Summer/Fall Goals:

  1. Journal offline with training. I’ve been logging all my runs/workouts on DailyMile but as I’m trying to re-focus my life and reduce stress I feel it’s best to get off one or more social media sites. And I think this is one that can go. I’ll be training but it’ll be top secret. 😉 This is something I feel like the Lord has led to me let go of.
  2. I’ll be taking the summer off strict training and focus heavily on core strength and yoga.
  3. Test my mile, 5/10k, and half-marathon time
    1. 5k is lined up for May 9th at the Tata Trot in Rosman, NC Find the race on FACEBOOK. This course is notorious for a solid 5k PR
    2. Half-marathon is lined up for June 6th at the Asheville Half in Asheville, NC I ran this race a few years back untrained and just for the fun of it. But I have yet to actually attempt to race a half-marathon. yes. that’s right. I’ve run FOUR FULL marathons and only half halfheartedly ran a half. once.
    3. 10k is lined up for July 4th at the Firecracker Run in Brevard, NC This course has been known to crush me because I don’t do well in heat or humidity. But I am determined to race it strong this year.

      I was all like, “omg I’m NEVEEERRRR running 26.2 miles again.” Then after “MUST DOMINATE AND CONQUER MARATHON NEXT TIME!!!” 

      So naturally you know I’m ready to sign up for my next marathon….

    4. And the full marathon is set for the Rock n’ Roll Savanna November 8th. I loved Savanna so much and regret that I was totally untrained for the race last year. This year I’ve proven to myself that by training hard I can knock off 18 minutes on a tough course. So I’m feeling strongly that I can knock off some more time on a flatter course with cooler weather. I do believe the hubby and bro-in-law have agreed to run this as their first full marathon too…
  4. Creating my own marathon plan. In the past I’ve always strictly followed a pre-set plan. And they have worked. But this last time I just kept feeling like I could push more. So I’m going to tweak what I’ve been currently using to fit my own body and schedule.
  5. Focus on the blog a little more. I’m not the best at blogging. nope. But I love the running/blogging community.
  6. Work on creating more personal training routines for clients. This takes T-I-M-E.
  7. Focusing on nutrition… as I mentioned on Facebook I have a problem:

What is wrong with this picture?? #EatClean ha not. #workinprogress

So I bought this Runner’s World book on a whim since I found it on sale at our local bookstore. I feel like if I could learn to really manage what the heck I’m putting in my body then maybe my body would respond naturally by picking up in speed and strength. But who really knows. I’ve read where some elites have been known to carb load on donuts.

thoughts on that one??

How quickly do you sign up for a race post marathon or any other distance? Are you LOVING spring running? Any spring/summer races? How’s your healthy eating habits going? Mine stink!

blessed and beautiful running.

jesssig

Nashville’s Country Music Marathon Recap

**I am so sorry this is late! But after the long drive home and getting right back to work my time was limited. Thanks for being patient and still following along. ❤

Where to begin? First off, if you’ve been following my #MarathonMonday journey, then you know I was training to run a Boston qualifying time (3:35:00) but I ran 11 minutes shy. And I’m thrilled! Why? Let’s kick our feet up, have a cup of joe, and chat shall we…hold on tight. This may be a long one…

LOVE me some Swiftwick compression!!

Expo

This time around we drove down the night before the expo so we could enjoy the experience more than we did at Savanna and we had a blast!! This was hands down the best I’ve been to; complete with plenty of swag, food, games, and prizes. I won a hat and a tee from Brooks. Woot!

Music City Center

the hubs, myself, and the bro-in-law

my mom is in San Diego… next state?!

less than 24 hours to go!!

The St.Jude exhibit was my favorite part…we listened to the short three minute video and I may or may have not teared up. Just knowing I was a small part in helping is truly humbling. Collectively we Heros raised over TWO MILLION dollars.

writing on the St.Jude wall for the kiddos ❤

the hubby gave me a lift so I could find a blank space to write

Thank you to ALL who helped raise money for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. You are all heroes!

Race Eve

My flat racer model. I ended up wearing a new sparkly head band instead of the hat since it ended up being sunny and no rain. I picked it up at the expo from Sparkly Soul. No slip. No headache. Worked like a charm! And it was the St. Jude colors. ❤

What I wore Flat racer: St. Jude singlet, Under Armour compression shorts, Swiftwick socks, Mizuno Prophecy 3, Sparkly Soul headband, Brooks sports bra, Moving Comfort undies.

Personalized race bib for my buddy, #IRun4Dylan ❤

After the expo we enjoyed a lunch at the library’s courtyard that the sister-in-law prepped. Seriously I couldn’t have asked for a better set of in-law! They took such good care of us feeding us and I enjoyed their company so much. We did our fair share of walking around the expo and town so we called it a day, headed home, and enjoyed spaghetti dinner and ice-cream. Seriously, the ice-cream is the killer race day secret. Then, we all went to bed early. And for once, I slept so good on race eve! That never happens.

Race day

Nashville!

Remember how terrified I was about potential thunderstorms?! Well, the weather turned out beautiful! Cool and cloudy to start, but quickly escalated to warm and humid…

Start 

We had no issues with parking. As long as you leave early enough like about an hour ahead, you should make it through traffic fine. We parked at LP field with plenty of potty time.

As a St. Jude hero we got access to indoor bathrooms. Score! No porta potty line wait. Highlight of my day.

But MAN getting into the corral?! That was a trick. We were packed like sardines  I think I’d definitely get there way earlier next time.

Course

I picked the wrong course to BQ. I was stuck for the first few miles trying to weave in and out of people. I kept getting ran over and cut off! Most people were super nice, but there is always that handful of folks who just don’t give a darn. The terrain consisted of rolling hills. If I wasn’t going down I was running up. Trees. Ponds. Neighborhoods. A Park. Downtown scene. A beautiful mixture of it all. But dang, too many tangents! There were five or six turns within the first mile. Seriously? I think having so many hills and turns kept the course interesting and made the time fly by, but if I want to run my fasted time I don’t think I’ll be running this course again. But, I will for sure run it again for experience!

Tons of crowd support. I think Nashville has had the greatest local crowd support that I have seen to date.

Plenty of aid stations. I grabbed water or Gatorade at every stop. And as the heat rose I started grabbing two cups of Gatorade. I’m a seriously salty sweater and I was pouring the better second half of the race. No GI issues this race though, hooray! Oh, and I partook of an orange slice. Best idea ever. It was like manna from heaven. My hydration and nutrition were spot on this race. I’m finally getting the hang of that.

After the marathoners split around mile 11 I got very lonely. I was quite ahead of the crowd but not fast enough to link up either with the faster crowd.

There was also quiet portion through the park which was peaceful but very lonely. So miles 12-26  were me trying to woman up. I met a few cool people but some were faster or slower and I just  ran my own race holding a pace I knew I could manage. I was holding on to a steady 8:00-8:05/min per mile pace until the heat and humidity really rose uncomfortably for me. I re-evaluated my pace because personally I do not race well in those condition. My heart rate really skyrockets. Oh, and then there’s the whole thing were the marathon finished uphill… really?! So I decided at that point that a solid sub-4:00 and that would be okay in my books…

At the finish they had Gatorade, PowerBars, fruit, and water. I usually feel like puking post marathon so I opted for an apple and water.

postnashvillerace

a very tired and swollen post race pic. ew. The hubby ran the half taking a serious chunk of time off his personal best as well!

racetimeofficial

one for the marathon and one for St. Jude! Headed to my i run 4 buddy!!

So how can I be so “thrilled” that I missed my BQ goal by 11 minutes? Simple, I ran a strong race that I had trained hard for in conditions that were not in my favor. I ran for a higher purpose by raising money for St. Jude, and for all those who I knew were cheering me on at home. Could I have pushed harder? I don’t think so. Not without completely destroying myself. If I was an elite I’m sure I would have risked it all. But I am first a mom, wife, and friend.

My priorities are and always will be to run strong, healthy, and safe. Even if I do race too “safe” I can say that I’ve run 4 marathons and not once been injured. I’d rather run too safe than to risk hurting my body for future running. My long term goal is to run until I’m all old and wrinkly!

I worked ridiculously hard during this training season and I refuse to beat myself up over things I can not control, like heat and humidity. I will celebrate things like:

  • I can now more efficiently run hills
  • I have increased my long run pace
  • My legs, lungs, core, and upper body have grown in strength

I also accomplished more this year than just running, like passing my Personal Trainer test!

I work extremely hard to balance life at home, work, family, friends, blogging, and volunteer time. I feel like I do my best to be a positive influence and I am proud of this.

And then there’s the obvious reason I’m thrilled, I finally ran a sub-4 hour marathon! Who wouldn’t be happy with an 18 minute PR?! I’m not the fastest chick on the block and it takes so much freaking effort for me to run faster. And it takes so much work to run a fast marathon. I’m not what you would call a natural. But I am proof that you can accomplish anything if you want it bad enough and are willing to put in the work.

All this may sound like rambling and I sure hope you can get something out of this. But if nothing else,

Be proud of who you are, what you do, and all you accomplish. Even if it ends up being your “B” goal.

Besides, I’ve read it takes years to train for and peak at your race distance. There’s always another marathon…

Running a marathon is inherently both a proud and humbling moment. Regardless of pace or place. The marathoners spirit can not be broken…

Post marathon we checked out the local concert, danced a little, and grabbed some food catered by Chilis for the St. Jude Heros where I picked up another medal. That was a surprise! Went home, cleaned up, napped, and got ready for date night!

patnmepostraceburger

We grabbed burgers at a small shack that were mouthwatering good!! Martina McBride was AWESOME. And then we had ice-cream. No pics of the concert cause my iphone stinks. Seriously. I need to invest in a real camera!

My heart and my belly were happy. The only thing missing was my kid. He opted to stay back home with the g-parents due to baseball games…which were rained out anyway. 😦 I told him I would never race without him again! I missed my little booger!

As far as recovery, I was able to walk without limping and squat the next day. Ha! That tells me I trained hard and that my body is getting stronger…

So what’s next? Oh, I’ve got plans. You know, type A over here with five-thousand calendars and “to-do” lists. But, I’ll save that for another blog post. 😉

***Oh yes, and we have TWO NUUN winners since I ran in the middle of both predicted times! Congrats to Samantha at the Healthy Pancreas and Kelly at Miles-to-Go!! Be sure to e-mail me your info either via my Let’s Connect page or via my Facebook page. Thanks for reading and playing along!!

What’s next on your “to-do” list? Races? Enjoying the summer break?
blessed and beautiful running.   

jesssig

Friday Five! 5 Things I Do Race Day

 

woooo! #crazywife

 

 Hello friends, it’s Friday and I’m blogging via iPhone in Nashville!! Can I get a woot woot?! I’ve be training relentlessly for 16 weeks for THIS weekend. I started posting #QuickFitTip Fridays, but I was just too excited about the Friday Five link-up hosted by CourtneyCynthia, and Mar this week cause it’s about RACE day which happens to be tomorrow for me. Complete with rain, hills, 50,000 tangets, hills, and thunderstorm warnings in the forecast. And I chose this race to try and BQ?! Awesome. Bring it. 

 

I’m pretty sure running in a rain storm qualifies as total hard core runner. right? ;-D

 

Sooooooo

Anyway y’all should def check out the Friday Five rules and future topics HERE! The BEST way to meet new fabulous bloggers and join in on the fun weekly convo. 

Today’s topic:

5 Things I always do the morning of Race Day:

1.) Drink a good cup (and a half) of hot, strong, black coffee and wait for the manic to happen. I love my coffee every morning. I need it…I mean c’mon. You all know what you have to do before you start off running..heaven help if there’s no coffee. Or this guy resembles my face: 

i better get my magic juice..


2.) I eat a cinnamon raisin bagel, drink NUUN, and pee about 10,000x. 

3.) A long hot shower to wake up. 

4.) Pray. I usually do this as I’m getting ready but also have a special pre-race prayer for all those I love. 

5.) Short jog, dynamic warm-up, and run my heart out!! 

So that’s my basic, boring runner routine. 🙂

**You still have time to WIN a tube of NUUN by guessing my marathon time HERE!!**

~What do you do race morning? Any unique rituals?!~

blessed and beautiful running. 

Wisdom Wednesday: Rear view Mirror Runner…Only for Checking.

We have rear view mirrors on our vehicles to briefly check behind us for any oncoming traffic, human beings wondering around aimlessly, and/or other things that might be obstructing our path. And this is a beautiful parallel for life. Often times our past failures seem bigger than what they really are…as with the rear view mirrors… Our past is only meant for a brief check. Not to gaze behind long in regret, or could haves or should haves…

Go ahead and check your past.

observe what went wrong; what went right.

review what needs to change, if anything.

pause for a moment to allow things to pass or move out of your way so you’re not plowing ahead or behind and running people or ideas over without care.

but what ever you do, do not stay stuck.

because who you are today is not who you were yesterday, but you wouldn’t be who you are TODAY if it wasn’t for yesterday….did I lose you?

I am not who I was yesterday. Thank the LORD!

we are constantly learning. growing. shaping.

don’t let past failures shape your future. rather, allow lessons learned grow you.

This is also a practical application for your physical training, like marathon training. I like to review past workouts to see what worked and what didn’t. But I refuse to dwell on where I goofed for too long. Instead, I press forward to find new ways to work on my training. One method didn’t work. Oh well. We move on.

#presson

pssst..please review THIS past post briefly to WIN NUUN! Thanks, y’all are the best.

How often do you check your “rear view mirror” in life? Do you keep a running or fitness log to review?

blessed and beautiful running.

jesssig