Friday FIVE Speed Racer & Thank You!! :-)


Hello my awesome friends. First things first,

Thank you to ALL my readers who took the time to read and comment with such kind and encouraging words on my debbie downer post yesterday. I appreciate you all so much!! I have the best readers. I may not be the biggest, most popular blog but I def have the highest quality friends. And for that I am truly grateful. I’m still feeling slightly puny so it’s another total rest day for me here.

Okay. Okay so for the fun part! Friday Five. How long has it been?!

I’m linking up with Courtney at Eat, Pray, Run DC, Cynthia @ You Signed Up for What?!, and Mar @ Mar on the Run. For a list of their link-up rules and topics click HERE.

Today’s topic is “5 running tips”.

5 Running Tips on Picking Up the Speed!

Over the course of this year I’ve smashed some of my personal records like my marathon time went from 4:24:47, 4:04:24, and finally down to 3:46:18 and 10k from a 56:58 to 44:12 (what we like to call the glorious PR) and I’d like to share what’s worked for me. Especially as we are fixing to hit fall racing season!! (Hello cooler temps and all things pumpkin spice). This is my face reaction about both fall racing and pumpkin spice flavor everything:

Okay, so here we go..

1.) Strength train. Just do it. It can be as short and simple as a few sets once a week. That’s about all I do currently. Now, if you’re training for a shorter race than the marathon then you may want to aim for 2-3x a week.  There are certain exercises that will help the runner more specifically like:

  • Bulgarian split squats -hips & glutes!
  • Abductor/adductor gym machines or exercises like, fire hydrant. Hips & all those inner thigh muscles that are overlooked and underused. These are your supportive muscles that will prevent knee injury if strengthened.
  • Wide grip pulley & front pulley machines to strengthen your upper back and shoulders for a strong arm swing.
  • Flys, military press, push-ups.

These are just a few. I have a WHOLE goody bag of exercises that will help improve your strength and running form. I greatly attribute my now strong finishing kick to strength training.

2.) Cross-train. Running will make you a better running, states the principle of specificity. True. However, if you’re prone to injury you very well won’t be faster if injured! XT is a great way to build cardio fitness while giving your joints a break. I’m a big fan of the elliptical. Just make sure you set the intensity up a bit. It can be tempting to simply swing along easy. But if you choose a “hill setting” level 20 you better believe your booty will be cruising hard! Plus, shaking things up with XT will help keep your brain and legs fresh.

3.) Add some speed work. Depending on your race distance you’ll need anywhere from 100m to 3200m repeats, ladders, and tempo runs. There’s the famous Yasso 800s for the marathoners. But for me personally I began to see results in practicing longer tempo runs (10+ miles) when marathon training.

4.) Easy run days need to TRULY be easy. You know you can run fast so don’t be tempted to run fast here. The point of the recovery run is to simply get your blood flowing through your legs to aid in oxygen recovery, flushing out toxins! I’ve noticed by running my easier runs much slower than I used to I am now able to smash the longer and harder runs.

5.) Rest. Your body will need the repair time. If you neglect this imperative concept you’ll be putting yourself even further behind. By pushing through when you need rest you may end up breaking down muscle too far. We grow muscle by breaking it down and then allowing to rebuild with rest, stretching, and maybe even foam rolling.

Bonus: Buy new shoes. Yup. They make you faster. 😉 I chose Mizuno Wave Prophecy 4. Found them at Sports Spot here in Brevard and can not rave about these enough. If you’ve tried the Prophecy 3, this ‘upgrade’ will knock your socks off! It’s like running on clouds.

Now onto the weekend my friends! I’m resting up today in hopes that I can get through a workday Saturday and a medium-long run Sunday. Enjoy the weekend and don’t forget to take a quick visit at the other fabulous bloggers. 😉

What fast running tips do you have? Do you have any general running tips to share? Weekend plans? 
blessed and beautiful running. 

jesssig

Wisdom Wednesday: You Have Nothing To Prove.

  
In my continued efforts to analyze my negative thoughts on Saturday, I may have had a “lightbulb” moment after reading the quote above…

I’m grateful for my Believe journal written and organized by two amazing Olympians. The quote above came on the next pages week after my race. Perfect timing.  

What is it exactly that I have to prove? Need to prove? Why am I seeking approval and from whom am I? 

Then, I really got to thinking. Seems like throughout my life I was always seeking that stamp of approval from the world, but felt I always fell short. I was that alllllllmost smart kid. All A’s in school except my reports were tainted with a B. Almost the best. 

Growing up I felt I wasn’t good enough in my family circumstances. I won’t go into gorey detail but anytime you have a split family I think your self esteem takes a big hit. Maybe if I was good enough my parents would work out… I’m no physiologist but I’ve read enough info to see this is true. 

I could go on and on about all the reasons why I or someone else would feel they have something to prove, but that’s not my ultimate point here. 

My point is simply this,  you have nothing you need to prove my dear. 

It hit me like a ton of bricks. My racing isn’t a proving point. It’s my stress relief and my personal playground. And I need to remember this. 

You are perfectly beautiful, smart, fun, and wonderful the way you are. 

Life is meant to be enjoyed! Yes, enjoy a dose of healthy competition but STOP the negative thoughts when you don’t “win”. Your time will come. And until then keep focus on your strengths and #PressOnPowerfully. 

You are a gift to this world. Believe it.

Do you feel as though you need to prove yourself to the world? What holds you back from enjoying the moment? What is your ‘playground’?

blessed and beautiful running.

Jess

Firecracker 10K PR and Tales from the Second Place

I cried all the way home. There is something wrong with me. I know. But let’s back up…

PicMonkey Collage

Today’s race started about mid 60s and humid. Not the worst case scenario for a race. I arrived much later than I meant to so after getting one last pee break in I quickly pinned the bib on thanks to the kid getting it for me in line while I pottyed and got in line. NO warm-up. That made me nervous especially as the conversation I had with the girl next me….she was a multi BQer. ugh. Great. Steep competition today. Sometimes placing in a race just depends on the competition that shows up. And we had a good mix.

The course was similar with one change running down a different road. It’s basically a mix of rolling hills, partly shaded with an out and back turnaround that was very scenic and beautiful! On this run I  noticed horses in the field running with. That was more beautiful than words can describe…

My legs felt pretty good. All was well and I felt as though I ran strong although my breathing was seriously labored. This one dude was like, “Your breathing is making me tired.” ugh.  sorry dude, but I’m trying my darndest to give it my all here. If you’re talking to me you obviously are not.

Then I one girl passed me and although she was most def trying to encourage me, and she did, she said to me (without being labored in breathing at all) “You’re doing great! You’re running with a college runner!” And I responded, “Yeah..{{insert breathing hard like I’m dying here}] I’m ….just…a … mom…”She did pass me of course but I ended up being 5th female overall and 2nd in my age group. I think second is a harder pill to swallow than being a mid-packer because it’s like you were thiiiiis close to beating her.

Official stats:

Time: 44:10 7:05 min/mile per Garmin time 44:11 per Right On Time Productions time. Who’s counting seconds though? lol

15th overall

5th female overall

2nd in age 19-29

My first thoughts:

Why am I always second best??

Second?! In my age?!? ugh. NOT impressed.

Why do I even run? Why do I even try to run? Or train?

I tried so freaking hard and it still wasn’t good enough.

Why do I even place this pressure on myself?

Why do I even try? What’s the freaking point?

I’ll never be good enough. I’ll never place first against steep competition.

Why do I even blog about it?

My afterthoughts after my thoughts:

Um hello, you still ran a freaking PR and a pretty solid one at that! AAAAANNNNND you didn’t pass out like you did three years ago. You race against yourself.

Last year’s stats I ran a 50:49…so yeah. It’s def a course PR by like almost 6 minutes. Focus on how far YOU have grown personally. Why is that not good enough for you woman?!

It’s good to race against steeper competition because a.) it humbles you b.) it pushes you c.) it reminds you that you have net yet arrived at your best potential.

You blog about it to be an inspiration. To remind those out there who may never even place in a race that by running it they have already won.

Second isn’t so terrible. One of our SMART girls nabbed second too! Seeing her reminded me that I am supposed to be a role model in all walks of my life. Whether it be me being on the mountain top or in the valley or somewhere in between.

borrowed from the BRF 🙂 SMART girls run strong.

We live in the land of the free. You should be grateful. WE are BLESSED!

photo 2

my sister snapped a few pics for me sprinting in home.

My form has tremendously improved thanks to strength training. Although I’m ready to get back to running more…I feel like I’ve strengthened my body for a good finishing kick but have lost some serious endurance.

photo 1

goofy face but strong arms.

photo 4

bannanaaa!

photo 3

the kid and i

The 10k is a tough distance. It’s endurance coupled with speed. And speed isn’t my forte…although I wish it were. I was never a runner. I was always the daydreaming, song writer until I hit my mid 20s. So today, I will celebrate my growth. My ‘tude at first was stinky, but I’ve given myself a good reality check. And I’m better now.

Whew. I already feel better. And that is why I blog. There’s something about typing it all out that really makes you think deep about how you’re feeling and WHY you’re feeling that way. I’m sure there’s more to it than this short blog post but for y’alls sake I will just leave you with this:

Life is beautiful. Running is a gift. Racing is fun…second isn’t so bad. 😉

Are you a second place runner, midpacker? Do you beat yourself up on race day if you don’t do as well? I pout and stew for a bit…then I blog and feel better.
blessed and beautiful running.

Tata Trot 5k Recap Will Race for Food! #WorkingClassAthlete

The Silvah Lining

*Sorry this 5k recap is a bit way belated! Life has been so super busy lately with work, kid, baseball, and trying to squeeze in a few runs here and there. I was finally motivated to finish this short post after reading Fit Nice Runner‘s Race Recap Link-Up hosted by Jessica, Wendy, and Meredith. Thank you for saving my race recap!!! Anyway, onward…

If you’ve followed me for a few years now then you know I’ve ran the Tata Trot now a handful of times. It’s one of my favorite courses and causes to support. The Tata Trot 5k started out as a senior high school project by Chrissy Hale’s, race director and breast cancer survivor, daughter to raise funds for the American Cancer Society.

Chrissy Hale, breast cancer survivor more than once! She's a pillar of strength and I am proud to know her.

Chrissy Hale, breast cancer survivor more than once! She’s a pillar of strength and I am proud to know her.

It really is a beautiful story. If you get a chance, like them on Facebook, keep tabs on the dates for next year, and make plans to visit us next year and race with me!

registration morning!

Where: Rosman, NC

When: May, usually on Mother’s Day weekend 

Cost: $20.00 early registration then $25.00 day of. Very affordable! I pre-registered with a mail-in form and we registered Mr. P day of.

Weather day of: perfect. partly cloudy and cool!

Course: Same as the previous year, starting at their high school gym, three loops around the town of Rosman with ample downhill to get you started, and just a short uphill on the finish.

I personally prefer point-to-point courses because something about running the same loop messes with my brain. Makes me feel like I’m getting nowhere fast. However, the benefit of running the same track a few times means tracking your pace is easy and you know exactly which hill comes next. I tried to run each loop a little faster than the previous.

The husband and I both ran our personal bests here!

Mr. P ran his personal best here too!


photo 1 (1)

cutest finish ever.

Food: bananas, granola bars, water, chips

Entertainment: They had Mr cool DJ, Marcus, from Class & Sound Entertainment keeping everyone energized with all my favorite beats. He had us dance the Cupid Shuffle as a warm-up. Fun stuff. Of course me, Mrs. Serious Racer, opted to watch everyone else dance. I know. I should totally not take a small town race so serious. That’s one thing I really need to work on, lighten up sista!

But all my seriousness won me first female overall with my choice of prize. I totally chose the food gift card. Will race for food! #WorkingClassAthlete

Personally: Overall I felt good. No GI issues. Plenty of energy. Felt strong.

willraceforfood

winner winner chicken dinner!


PR in the books! finallly a sub-21 5k…even if It was barely sub-21… I’ll take it!

Overall there is no doubt in my mind that I will be running this year after year. It’s a personal favorite and a perfect course for a personal best. Now would someone next year come out and challenge me?! 😉 Wouldn’t you want to come visit western NC’s beautiful, mountainous views?! 

Do you prefer point-to-point courses? Loops? Overlapping? Favorite races and cause to run for? 

blessed and beautiful running.

jesssig

Brevard Rotary WS 5k Race Report+Hill Running Tips

Brevard Rotary White Squirrel 5k/10k 

**Please forgive the format! This post was generated from the iPhone device. Blogging on the run!*

1st female

Overall Brevard Rotary, once again, did a great job hosting this race. They host a series of races including 4th of July race 5k/10k and Flight of the Vampire 5/10k. 
If you’re looking a fun, scenic race come visit us. There’s a good chance for an age range place too! Got to love small towns. 
Check out http://www.brevardrotary.org for race into. 
It should also be noted that all active military persons received free entry to this race. Rotary, you rock! Thanks for supporting those who fight for us!

**PR**
5k
Personal Stats:
22:32 7:16min/mile 

19th/209 total

1st female overall
Let me just say when I saw 22 on the clock my eyes got huge! Halfway through I honestly felt like I couldn’t PR but I told myself, “You’re not slacking, no way. Run hard! And just go. You think your running slower but you can run fast.”
Weather:
Perfect. Sunny, cool. 50s I believe. Started out low humidity. Most of the course ran through the shaded areas of neighborhoods, so the sun only beat on me once. 
Course: 
Scenic and pretty. Started at the Brevard college gym, ran through local neighborhoods, past Franklin park. Rolling hills. The hills came about the middle of each mile so the last half of each mile was downhill or flatter. I felt like this was good placement. I read great advice on running hills this morning:
Lead with hips, stand tall when running uphill
“Lean and go” when running downhill.
I just repeated this mantra. Felt like it worked well. 
For a detailed article read Runners Connect:

A few turns. Felt like I nailed the tangents perfectly. 
A few locals cheered us on. 
Plenty of course direction with volunteers, spray painted arrows, and spray painted white squirrels on the road … Only in Brevard. 
{{{Have I mentioned I LOVE Brevard?! Check out one of our local festivals. Post race, it’s fun to mender around town! 

Time:
This was an officially timed course by Right on Time Productions 
Bib time chips 
Swag:
A tee 
Toothbrush. Meh

Grub: 
Pre and post: bananas, orange slices, water, water bottles from PNC bank
Aid station half way through 
Prizes:
They had some really great prizes! As first overall female I received:
$20-25 gift cards to a local restraunt, jewelry store, ladies clothing store, a big box of peanuts, winery (what, what?!)
And of course a big, gold medal. I do it for the tee and medal. 
Extra:
They did have a kids’ Fun Run one mile
All kids who participated received a medal. Kudos Rotary for keeping it kid friendly! 
A few of SMART girls were there running. When I nabbed my medal they cheered super loud and were like “That’s my coach!” The same girl who I ran with at the Legacy Run was there and scored a PR too. That made my day! Better than any medal. 

The fiancé scored a PR as well. Woot!
Think he’s turning into a racer himself. 

And wait for it… 


And I was worried about those hills…


***Did you do any Memorial weekend racing or running? Do hills get you? Any awesome local races your way?***

Remember those who fought for us so we can run free…God bless. 
***Happy (& Blessed) Running!!***