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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TNT Tuesday: Creative Cardio on a Budget, TKO Jump Rope 15 Minute Workout!

Hello you! The one who can’t stand the the thought of jumping on a treadmill or who can’t afford the gym membership. Or the you who is completely bored out of your mind with workouts. Or the you who just needs something fun.

Yeah YOU! What if I told you there is an incredibly affordable and freaking fun way to jump your way into a quick cardio workout that did not include a dreadmill or elliptical? We are going old school!

jumprope

Introducing TKO JUMP ROPE!  Find it HERE at Macy’s online.

A few quick benefit notes about the product:

  • Easily portable. No excuse to not get a quick workout on vacation.
  • Lightweight, vinyl rope 9 foot long means little to no pain if you whack yourself. If you’re like me you most likely will. 😉
  • Comfortable grasp handles
  • Metal ball-bearings which prevents jumprope from tangling
  • Consistent swing motion
  • Smooth swivel design for agility training
  • Affordable
  • Versatile, think HIIT workouts!
  • Um, it’s fun!!
  • Can be a total body workout focusing on agility, coordination, footwork, quickness, endurance.

tkojumprope

I personally enjoy this product. It’s definitely going into my bag of tricks! You’d think any ‘ol jump rope was a jump rope. But the TKO company really has perfected the tool! Their slogan, “Whatever It Takes” lives up to my expectations and exceeded them even. I was surprised at how fluid the motion of this jump rope was.

Try this 15 Minute Workout and tell me you haven’t broken a serious sweat! Increase the workout by adding one or two more rounds!

You’ll need:

  • Your body
  • A yoga or exercise mat
  • TKO Jump rope!
  • Water near by!

Workout: Perform with no break in-between unless repeating entire sequence more than two times, in this case allow a 1-3 minute break. 

2 minute basic jump-rope Warm-Up

30 seconds push-ups, as many as possible

1 minute twisting jump, jump-rope

30 seconds Sumo Squat

1 minute alternating feet jump-rope

30 seconds V-Ups

1 minute criss-cross legs jump-rope

30 seconds mountain climbers

REPEAT!!! 

Finish with one minute easy jump-rope.

Do you like jump roping or do you incorporate it into your workouts at all? What other creative ways do you workout?
blessed and beautiful running.

jesssig

**Disclaimer: I was provided the TKO Jump Rope at no charge in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Also, although I am a certified personal trainer it is important that you check with your family doctor before beginning any new exercise routine or program.**

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

#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