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

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Fun Friday!!! My Week in 5 Photos…hint; Beer Relay!

Happy Friday y’all! After a full week of waking up before the rooster even thinks about crowing I’m excited to have a full work-at-home-at-my-leisure kind of day. But enough about my boring life. Here’s a few exciting things instead…

First check out some fun photos from our weekend Beer Relay:

yes. I know. we are smokin' hot! literally.

yes. I know. we are smokin’ hot! literally.

I know I didn’t provide you guys with a full race review because I’m pretty sure I’m the lousiest blogger on the planet, ever. I mean, I can’t even spell worth a fart half the time.

But here’s a short synopsis:

Date: July 18th

Place: Race was held on the Oskar Blues REEB Ranch in DuPont (one of the most beautiful places on God’s green earth.)

Time: Started at 11:00 am aka: hotter and more humid than the devil’s armpit. After a one measly mile warm up we were sweating from head to toe, but according to A that’s cause we are so darn fit. I’ll take it.

Details: We had a full 16 ounce beer can as our “baton”.

Drink a 12 ounce beer, get a 2 minute time bonus. My BRF and I opted out of that. And we still kicked some serious booty. We ended up coming in first place female duo category. woo! A is the coolest and came up with our team name, “Speedy Shawtys” We are short. But we are fast, baby.

Course: She ran the first lap, then I went. We each ran two laps. We expected it to be a 5k loop but it ended up only a two mile loop, which was okay with me by that point because I was dying from a heat stroke. I know I’m a total wimp, check this mess out, after my first lap I was like “ommmggeeee I just can’t go again. I just can’t!!!” loser. But of course I did it. This just goes to prove that i am a human being to the 100th degree. I might think I’m a tough cookie, oh, but I can be broken down. Just trow in a few baby hills, heat, humidity, and three creek crossings and you get pathetic jess. ha!! I would like to note that I used EndroPacks electrolyte spray and I attribute that to my not dying of dehydration and helping me push through! Oh, and thanks Bill for the ice cube!!! He literally saved my life.

Hot racing tip: suck on ice cubes and shove the rest down your bra. Amazing.

The course was beautiful though. I wouldn’t have traded that for anything! First half winding up through the forest, second half out in the brutally hot sunny field.

We had a great Brevard crew out that kicked booty as well. Racing is more fun when it’s on trail and with friends!

Oskar Blues had a great festival going on, Burning Can, with music, food, and such but we didn’t stay too long so I can’t provide insight to that but I hear it’s always a great time.  The whole beer and camping thing isn’t really my scene. Music and running yes, but I can get by just fine without the former.

This also proved to me that I have a LOT of mental strength to gain. Which I attested to in one of my previous posts. Anyway. Look, yay I’m having fun! The rest of the photos of me were complete crap. I mean CRAAAAP. If you want a good laugh feel free to visit their site and check out bib number 31. Ew.

only two good pics.

I’ve been having fun in our garden and if you follow me on Instagram then you’ve already noted this.

IMG_4262

squat and weed

Then my husband and I stayed up late reminiscing our honeymoon…finally downloading wedding pics 9 months later..

ahhh Antigua... can we go back now please???

ahhh Antigua… can we go back now please???

Then I got myself a new toy!

medicin ball push-up

medicin ball push-up

I am really enjoying the medicine ball. It’s super versatile and you can create a full body workout with it. Think you’ve mastered the push-up? Try it on a medicine ball! It’s an excellent tricep target and core stabilizer!

**Don’t forget about my GIVEAWAY! You have until Sunday at midnight to enter! It’s a fun Facebook Rafflecopter entry for My Dream Big Shop bracelet or shoe tags!!**

What’s been fun in your world this week? Do you drink and run? Trail or road races? Any hotter than devil’s armpit races for you? What’s your favorite workout “toy”? Mine is still my good ol legs…running! But the medicine ball is fun!
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.

#FridayFive Happy 4th!! Five Things I LOVE About the Fourth of July in Brevard

Linking up with Courtney, Cynthia, and Mar for the #FridayFive today. Swing by the other blogs and check out all the fun! LOVE Friday’s yall! This post is suuuuper short because I’m short on time but I wanted to play along so here you go!IMG_16055 Things I LOVE about the Fourth of July in Brevard!

firecrackerurn

  1. Firecracker run! There’s a 5/10k option. It’s always a hot but fun event.
  2. Family time and cookouts. Burgers. mmm.
  3. Being able to run in freedom and safety. Thank you to ALL who serve our country. We are all truly blessed to run free.
  4. Our little town’s festival with music, food (um, can you say ChubBurger from Oscar Blues?!), dancing, and vendors.Image result for 4th of july festival brevard nc
  5. Our little firework show 🙂 We might be a small town but it’s home. And it’s where I feel safe.

fireworks

What’s special about your fourth?! Who’s racing?
Happy Weekend y’all!
blessed and beautiful running!

jesssig