#MarathonMonday, TnT Tuesday, and Wisdom Wednesday. Let’s Play Catch Up!

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baby gym! It’s going to grow!

Hey, hey! Yes, I’m still alive. I’m so alive in fact that I’m having a hard time getting around to the blogspere world. Much of my time has been dedicated to WORK, personal training, and getting ready for my Back-2-School #FitMomsRock event later this month. This is the first time I’ve attempted something like this so wish me luck! The hubby has been helping get the home gym prepped and ready to go. It’s a small start but it IS a start!!! My business has been slowly growing. But progress is still progress no matter how slowly. One step at a time. Just like the marathon.

#MarathonMonday

Oh, speaking of marathon I’m now in week four (how did one month come and go almost already?!) and all systems are still going well. I’ve hit every planned workout. I’ve added two new elements to my training: more strength training (but keeping it lower in weight, higher in reps) and the second element I’ve added this time around is adding in more GMP (goal marathon pace) to my long runs. Before I’ve always just ran my long runs long and slooooow with maybe one or two miles fast at the end. But I am pushing the envelope a bit. For example, my goal this time is to SMASH the heck out of my BQ goal. What is required for my age and gender is this: 26.2 miles in 3:35 which translates roughly to an 8:12 min/mile. But I don’t want to squeek my way in. So my long run this past Saturday was a 16 miler with 10 miles at GMP @ 7:40-45 min/mile pace. I ran the first 6 miles around an 8:10-8:15 and finished the last 10 at goal pace. I did it. I held on strong. It wasn’t easy but I am now more confident in being able to hold that pace for the long haul. I most definitely attribute my pick up in speed to strength training, minding the little things (yoga, core work, stability work), and adding GMP to my long runs. Plus, I’ve been running my last mile slightly dehydrated. Trying to mimic how the last mile or so of the marathon will feel…I’ve ran 4 so I’m very familiar with how my body responds and feels during those last few miles. The last half mile is the worst…That last long run did take a lot out of me… so it’s not something I will do every week. Thank the Lord it’s cut back week!

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I don’t count my miles until it starts hurting 😉

#WisdomWednesday:

In order to achieve something you haven’t been able to do, you MUST do what makes you temporarily uncomfortable. You CAN NOT just go along with what you’re “good at” or what is comfortable. You need to CHALLENGE every fiber of your body, mind, and soul to see yourself grow in greatness. -Jess

#TnTTuesday

Strong core = Strong runner! So I’m working on building my exercise video library! I’m slow but I’ll figure it all out. 😉 Here’s a fun move to try:

And for the random:

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So what’s for dinner?! Man, we have been TERRIBLE about dinner. Like wait till the last minute and decide on cereal or sanwiches…again. #TheStruggleIsReal Partly due to my ridiculous work schedule and tired little marathon body. SO…we invested in a new kitchen toy are going to try it out tonight! One of my favorite dishes is chicken, veggies, and rice. It’s simple, easy, and now it’s going to be super tasty. I plan on making the dish healthier than what the original Food.com recipe calls for … a little less butter and lower sodium soy sauce. I’ve never used a wok before…I guess it’s time for me to take a wok on the wild side… LOL Anyone else love puniness?!

'Don't wait up for me, Dear. I'm taking a wok on the wild side.'

‘Don’t wait up for me, Dear. I’m taking a wok on the wild side.’

Have you used a wok before? What’s your favorite dinner dish? If you’re training for anything how’s it going? Any new training elements your adding??
blessed and beautiful running!

jesssig

Wisdom Wednesday Daily Grind

  
Why do I get up early nearly every day to read my Bible, drink coffee, run, workout, blog…why do I choose to run marathons? Why do I do what I do? 

There are many, if not most, people who question what I do, wonder why, and on the occasion even criticize my passion. But they have NO clue how many people’s lives I have the ability to touch and reach out to. Blogging is a huge platform. Marathoning can be an extremely social event. Running for charities is giving back to the community. 

I could list and exhaust all my reasonings and still have people judge my intentions. 

But you know what? Those who do don’t matter. 

Remember David and Goliath? Even good men told him he was too small. He must be nuts. 

We all know Noah and his arc. Now that man was definitely seen as a raving lunatic. 

And Jesus. He was so persecuted he was put to death. But HE still changed the world. 

I firmly believe God gives us each a very specific purpose in life. Though it might not be as dramatic as building an arc….

Bottom line: if you’re doing what you know you’re supposed to be doing with your time on earth, let them talk. Those who matter will cheer you on in this life and those who don’t, well…pray for ’em.
blessed and beautiful running. 

~Jess

#WisdomWednesday The Struggle is Real. But Yes, You CAN!

“Don’t say I can’t. Say I presently struggle with.” – Tony Horton

It’s okay to think you can’t until you’ve had your coffee…

This has been me. Every. Single. Morning. Can’t move until caffeine has taken over body and mind…..Wait, what?! It’s Wednesday already? Amazing how time flies by like that. I’ve started my new work schedule where I work longer days but have one more day off to focus on my personal training gig.

So how did I fare with my zero goals for #MotivateMe Monday? Perfectly. And apparently one of my zero goals was to not blog sometime in-between last Wednesday and now. ha! I ran when I wanted. How I wanted. I read a little more. Enjoyed a weekday with my kid, went to the movies, had a date night with the husband at my fav place Olive Garden, enjoyed the pool, ate brownies and ice cream…yeah. I’m a human being!!! Yes, a crazy running machine (LOLOLOL) but also very, very human. I refuse to act like I have all my crap together all the time. Because I don’t. I’m honest. Raw. Real. But I’m also dedicated and motivated. So it really was the best thing I could have done for my overall well being. I tend to push myself to the limits. Since I’m starting marathon training up again next Monday I figured a good mental and physical break was needed. I take my marathon training pretty serious with diet, strength training, and running so taking a few weeks to let the body and mind wonder is a refreshing take from the strict training weeks.

And no. I’m not an Olympian. But yes, I still take my training seriously. Why? Because if you have the mindset of an Olympian you can achieve great things in life. Not just running goals either. But having that dedicated mindset will translate into every crevice of your life creating a bold and confident lifestyle.

I’ve been running super low mileage lately but this past week I’ve been up a bit more and this week I’ll be up a bit more and ready to rock next week! I have a pretty aggressive 16 week plan laid out ahead of me. Which brings me to my main point. Sometimes we become so overwhelmed with everything we “have” to do that we forget that it is a blessing to be able to do so. And even when we do “fall short” on getting things done it’s not the end of the world! The earth will continue spinning and no one will think any less of you if you just couldn’t get to that last load of laundry. I promise. And if they do have a problem with that, then they obviously have the problem and need to live life on the edge a little more like, “ohmygosh I’m a total rebel. Totally NOT washing the dishes today. I’m going on a hike instead. Living on the edge baby!!!!” Life was meant for work, yes, but more for exploring and enjoying!!

After working with my client today I had the opportunity to go for a run since my sister had the kid and took them to an afternoon movie in town. Yay! Run! OUTSIDE! But wait, it’s like almost 11 and it’s really warm outside…so I can’t run outside. I’ll just die! I just know it! #thestruggleisreal

But so is the solution:

I remembered I live next to this incredible thing called the forest, where it’s cooler. Trail running…It’s like pure freedom. A kid with candy running wild without inhibition through an amusement park. That kind of happy y’all! I mean look:

pisgah-trail

you’d run this all day too if you could!

Yes it was still warm but I just slowed my roll and focused on breathing and just being in nature. Trail running is therapy. And on my run today I was reminded of how good God is. And how blessed I truly am! The daily struggle in life is real, but His strength is real too. I need to stop trying to work in my own strength on the daily because I do nothing but exhaust myself and always feel that I come up short.. Running away in Pisgah took me to a place of peace.

hello Pisgah Forest! been too long…

muddy sweaty legs=one GREAT run!

You might not think you can right now, but yes, yes you can! For almost every problem there is a solution. You may just have to get creative. Long work hours? Set your alarm a little earlier in the morning to get that workout in. Stuck eating out too much? Pre-pack a few quick snacks and dishes. The Lean Green Bean has the best food and meal prep solutions!

A few tips on overcoming the life struggle:
  • Plan ahead.
  • Prep foods.
  • Allow yourself some grace.
  • Wake up 15 minutes earlier to take a time out with yourself. Coffee. Tea. Read. Whatever you need to have a quite moment. I can not do my day without this!
  • Break your problems down into bite size pieces. Looking at a weekly mileage log of 50 miles seems like a lot, but if you take it just a few miles at a time each day it’s not so bad.
  • Tomorrow has enough troubles of it’s own for you. Be present in your today.
  • Drumming up problems inside your head will stress you out to no end. So how about you stop that. Right now! Instead drum up positives. Solutions. Ideas. Goals.
  • Remind yourself that you are human and capable of so many great things but not EVERY single great thing.
  • Keep a “blessing” or “grateful for” journal. Write down one thing each day that you are grateful for. Re-read as needed.
  • Take a week to simply enjoy life! Eat the brownies for Pete’s sake! (whomever Pete is. I’ll never know….) But DO NOT eat them daily. Once a month is enough… I usually save my big treats for post race grub.
  • Connect with others who are in similar boats. Link arms with them!
  • When all else fails: just close your eyes and BREATHE.

What do you presently struggle with? What’s one thing this week you can do to overcome that struggle? Anyone else gearing up for a marathon training season?
blessed and beautiful running.

jesssig

Wisdom Wednesday Plans Shmams. How to NOT Make Plans.

Hello Wednesday we meet again. I had plans for you. All kinds of well intention, carefully drafted, time-lined, and highlighted plans for you. But instead, my car battery died. My immediate thought,

“ohhhh-emmmm-geeeee. how am I going to drive to town to run?!” #slightlyobsessedrunner

It’s okay to totally LOL at me now.

My husband, true to his ever prepared self, hands me his car keys and told me to go out and run and we will solve the car problem when I return. Ladies, this is a wise man indeed. He knows how much happier momma is when her run is in and done.

After happily driving to running destination (sounds so ridiculous. drive to run. i know.) I realized I had forgotten to grab my arm band for music at the house and my Garmin would not connect.

But. Instead of freaking out (what has gotten into me?) I calmly, almost excitedly, thought,

“hmmm. a nice no-pressure-who-gives-a-crap-what-my-slow-pace-is-today run might be just what I need.”

So happily I ran off on a 6ish mile route I was familiar with. It was refreshing. Running naked can really help you to focus on your breathing and running technique. I highly recommend running naked once a week, at least.

Thank the Lord my husband was home to help take care of me and ‘ol Focus. After my run we spent our entire morning jumping off the car, carefully driving it to town, having it looked at, and blah blah blah {{insert boring as crap details here}}. While this might seem frustrating for the A-type it was kind of nice. Instead of planning I was just living in the “now”.  Running without Garmin and music (Who AM I?!) and then it was nice to enjoy lunch with my kiddo and hubby. And this time instead of freaking out over the whole situation, as per usual, I decided to relax and enjoy the life snafu.

I feel as though God was reminding me to chill out. I have been uber stressed lately and taking it out on the world. But today instead I laugh. I smile. I am happy. I am full of joy because it is MY choice. And you have that choice too.

choose laughter when trouble comes. it lightens the load.

Not having plans can be refreshing. But it can also sometimes prevent sticking to routine! I’m currently “tuning up” so to speak, for the 10k on July 4th. So, here’s my #MotivateMe Monday schedule:

Monday: XT 20 minutes + upper body strength routine

Tuesday: 7 miles speed work

Wednesday: 6(ish) miles easy + Vinyasa Flow Yoga

Thursday: 8 miles w/6@10k goal pace

Friday: 5 miles easy + lower body stability/strength routine

Saturday: 10 slow miles

Sunday: Planning for an easy 4. Kid goes to camp here so I will be lucky to get a run in.

Total goals miles: 40

Last but not least, I introduced you guys to the Micro Nutrient company, EnduroPacks, a while back. I have now been using the product for a month and feel I can give you all a complete, thorough, and totally honest review. If there is one thing you can always count on from me (we all now know it’s not timely posts…) it’s the fact that I will always be 100% honest with my readers and do my homework before giving out any review. It will take me some time to properly type up the review as there is tons of good info. Look for it next week! For now I will just show you how it’s helped me thus far, observe below:

Finally the official review NEXT week!!

While my arms aren’t super mega buff they are most definitely way more defined than they ever have been. I feel like I am in better shape now than before I gave birth to a child.

A few key notes on the product to tide you over until next week:

  • I feel stronger and leaner
  • I have more energy throughout the day
  • My workouts have been top notch
  • I don’t dehydrate as bad on my runs when I use the electrolyte spray

Well, since my plans are a bit skewed for the day I might as well just take off to the pool now… enjoy y’alls humpday!

Are you a planner and freaker-outer (yes, it’s a word) when plans don’t go as originally planned?? If you’re married, is he/she your hero too? How are you blessed today? What makes you laugh? Have you heard of EnduroPacks? Do you use supplements?
blessed and beautiful running.

jesssig


 

#WisdomWednesday Choose To Be POWERFUL, Not Pitiful + Ladder Workouts

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I like how I FEEL powerful here in this photo. Photo Credit: Jenna Leigh Photography NC

Hello Wednesday! Monday has come and gone, Tuesday skipped by, and now we are lookin’ at you humpday! How. In. The. World?! I haven’t posted much in a while but I have been super hard at work that I just didn’t feel as though I should post some haphazard post just to post. So without further adieu I give you my snippet of wisdom for the day:

Choose to be POWERFUL. Not pitiful.

We all have that choice in life. To tackle life’s little annoyances with positive or negative ‘tudes. Recently after having a rough round last week mentally and physically I’ve been forced to ask myself what is worth keeping current in my life? Why am I feeling so pitiful? Have I been putting too much pressure on myself? Piled too much on my plate? Where can I back off? What do I want in life most? Like really, really, really want? Where am I willing to sacrifice?

I believe when we overstimulate ourselves with too much activity in our everyday lives it can cause us to feel pitiful. Forcing us to feel like failures because we simply can’t do it all or do it all well.

The solution?

Choose what’s most important to you in your life and give it all you got.

Like loving your family.

Training for an important race.

Running your own business.

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Whatever it is choose to live powerfully in those areas. I think all the other little things can slide like being on every. single. social. media. outlet. That in itself is enough to make anyone feel totally inadequate when it comes to keeping up with the Jones!

So. On another note, guess how many miles I ran last week?! LESS THAN 15. Let me tell ya, I was soooo not feeling powerful last week y’all.

Wait….what?! Jess? The little happy running freak? Well. I am not sure entirely what went down last week other than the fact that my training journal reads waaaaay too m any rest days. But looking at it with a different perspective I think it’s just what my body needed. I think in all my excitement I may have forgotten that I’ve run a marathon less than two months ago and in less than two months will be putting myself back into the rigors of marathon training. Oh, and still working full-time in the pharmacy while trying to start my own personal training business..  that’s a lot folks. Maybe a total slacker week was needed.

But this week I’m back at it and feeling more like myself again. I ran an abridged ladder workout on Tuesday to ease myself back into speed work in an effort to tune-up for the 10k in July. I like ladders because they keep the workout fresh, varied, and they fly by quickly.

Here’s what it looked like for me:

one mile warm-up easy pace

1200m @ 5k race pace

400m Rest Interval (walk/slow jog)

800m @ 10 sec faster than 5k RP

400m RI

400m @ 30 sec faster than 5k RP

400 RI

Then I ran it backwards back up the ladder.

One mile cool down

This is a shorter version of the ladders I will use during marathon training. During my last marathon training I didn’t run any ladders, only a handful of YASSO 800s and mile repeats. Which are good workouts but it’s best to keep things mixed up in training to keep pushing your body. The benefit in the ladder workout is that is teaches your legs to run faster while fatigued from running fast.

And like the ladder workout as in life, you will go up and you will go down, but the key here is to keep on truckin’.
#PressOnPowerfully

So this next marathon training I’m bookin’ after it! Here’s to all you powerful people out there! Let’s rock this summer!

Do you run ladder workouts when training or even just to keep in good shape? How was your running week last week? How do you choose to be powerful? Are there things in your life that could probably take a back seat to allow you some stress relief? 
blessed and beautiful running.

jesssig