Cooler than a polar bear’s toenails…

Winter is a bitch. A fat, snow swirling, bone chilling, motivation sucking bully that clearly has not taken notice of my little white flag that I’ve been waving frantically since November. Branches heavy with layers of pristine glittering snow do nothing for me, the stark antithesis of my ideal climate. Needless to say I am the first to admit that the past few weeks, I’ve struggled with keeping my motivation where it needs to be to hit my goal for Glass City. Sub 1:45.

In all honesty it is kind of scary putting it out there like that. OK so let’s get real here. Is a sub 1:45 feasible for me? Absolutely, no doubt in my mind. Is it feasible for me, this training cycle?? Crickets.

Aside from a few strong progression runs, I have hardly dabbled in speed this cycle. I could go round with excuses (see said bitch winter or starting Whole30 mid cycle), but at the end of the day I’ve recognized this lingering fear that I can’t seem to push thru. A fear of pushing myself, a fear of embracing the uncomfortable, a fear of injury, a fear of burning out. Damn, when did I turn into such a wuss?

My 6 year old daughter has a ridiculous fear of being alone. She needs to know exactly where everyone is at home at all times. An even slight uncertainty of the location of mommy and daddy will bring on immediate and utter panic. Yesterday, something changed. She refused to allow her fear to stand in the way of what she wanted. She told me proudly, boldly…”Mommy, I’m going to be brave.” Off she went into the shadowy depths of the ominous basement to retrieve her beloved monkey stuffed animal. This new found courage has trickled over into so many other areas in her little kindergarten sized life that we’ve failed to tackle in the past.

It was this small insignifcant moment that just rocked me. I needed a little nudge, a tap on the shoulder kind of reminder that fear is no more powerful than the power you give it. It’s a silly comparison, I know….but no less silly than the bulk of our fears which more often than not are completely unfounded. I have absolutely no reason to think I am incapable of achieving (a realistic) x, y or z. I am extremely competitive and have continued to surprise myself with what I have been able to accomplish on training that isn’t always the strictest or most structured. I’m very comfortable and aware of the fact that eventually, I’m going to hit a plateau. Until then, I’m going to ride this thing. I’m going after that little stuffed monkey. I refuse to let my fear shape my future. I will be bold, I will be brave. I will take chances. Write that down.

xo

Reflections

Yea, it’s been a while.

But I’ve been working hard kids. This Sunday I will be running the Nationwide Children’s Columbus Half Marathon. This will be my second time running this race and I am beyond super stoked to get after it this weekend. I have a goal of hitting sub 1:50 and have already committed and convinced myself that this goal is absolutely 100% obtainable.

I haven’t really stuck to a training plan this go around…..crazy I know. I did stick to the long run schedule (Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 1) with the exception of swapping this past week’s 12 miler for an 8 miler for more of a taper. I’ve never run more than a 10 mile long run during my past cycles so I was totally fine with this. The furthest run this go around was 11.3 (yes random, we were supposed to stop at 11 but overshot our turnaround point and just kept running). I’ve learned that I do better with a proper taper and really like to give my legs a lot of time to rest.

This week I plan on doing an easy 3 this evening and my last run will be Wednesday for 4 easy miles with my Wednesday group.

Speaking of my Wednesday group, I’ve come to the realization that this past training cycle has been a culmination of a bunch of firsts for me…

1. First time running with a proper group– I was lucky enough to have found a group (Mom’s Run This Town- Columbus, OH chapter) that I absolutely adore. I started running with the group about half way thru my training cycle and have already made some amazing friendships. The amount of support that emanates from these fabulous ladies is just unbelievable. I now know first hand how amazing this running community is and am so grateful to be a part of it.
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2. Super early AM runs– No I’m not talking 7am kids. I’m talking drag your ass out of bed at 3:45, slap on your Garmin and Sauconys and meet the ladies at 4:20 type of early AM run. Revolutionary. Yes, I want to keel over by 7:30 PM but it’s a fair trade for ridding the mommy guilt of going out for a run after dinner after you’ve been away from the kiddos all day. I was able to squeeze in a lot more miles on weekdays that I previously was not able to do d/t restricting myself to evening runs.

3. Running without music– We all know music is a HUGE part of my running. I had it in my head that I physically cannot run fast (or slow) without a little push from Glassjaw or Lil Jon (yes hello I have schizophrenic taste in running music). For the first time this training cycle I learned that that is simply not true. Most of the miles were accompanied by chatter instead of pounding bass and I actually enjoyed it (who am I?). Disclaimer: I do still love to have music when I’m running solo or if I’m racing. That’ll never change!

4. I listened to my body– Really, I did. I did not stick to a regimented plan and really let my body dictate the pace of the workout. If I felt like running faster that day, I would. If my legs weren’t having it and I wanted to ratchet it back, I would. I felt like it alleviated a lot of stress from fretting over whether or not I could hit a particular workout. If I didn’t want to run a weekday run, I skipped it. If I wanted to run 8 instead of 6, I did. We’ll see how this shakes out race day but it really lessened the load mentally throughout these past 12 weeks.

All in all I am super excited to leave it all out on the course this Sunday. Looking forward to crushing my sub 1:50 goal and everything beyond.

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Music Monday

Thursday Tunes no more, enter Music Monday. It rolls off the tongue a little more smoothly and as a self proclaimed social media junkie is much more hashtag appropriate.

I’d love to share some of my favorite playlist downloads from the week. I know I’m not alone when I confess that there is nothing like some fresh songs on your playlist to really amp up your run. You may be shocked to hear that I rarely run without music. The only time you can find me wire free is super early in the morning (like that ever happens) or any time darkness is at a maximum. Safety first, kids.

Feast your ears on the following:

1. Knife Party- Power Glove
It is literally impossible to not think you are as fast as Shalane while listening to this song. It will make you MOVE.

2. Liquid Stranger- Ripple
Twitch danced to this during one of the audition episodes of this season’s SYTYCD (obsessed!). I had to download it right away.

3. Kanye West-Black Skinhead
Love him or hate him, you can’t deny this track.

4. Seven Lions- Below Us (feat. Shas Sparks)

5. QOTSA- My God Is the Sun
Buy the new album and thank me later.

And last but certainly not least….I dare you to watch this little clip and not want to completely destroy some mileage afterwards. Gets me pumped every. single. time.

Thursday Tunes

So, I’m pretty confident that Thursday Tunes will easily become one of my favorite regulars on the blog. Music nerd doesn’t even begin to sum it up. Without further adieu here are three music faves from this week.

1.  SHOW ME HOW BIG YOUR BRAVE IS.

Tonight prior to bath time, Maddie and I had our own mini dance party to Sara Bareilles’s new single Brave. Secret is out, I looooove Sara Bareilles. Her voice is one of my absolute favorites in pop music today. She’s a fantastic songwriter and completely owns the piano like a badass. She’s gorge, hilarious and swears like a sailor…my kind of gal. We love this song and the video is even more fun.

 

2. Ellie on BGT

I’m a huge Ellie fan.  Ever since I heard her on Skrillex’s track Summit, I was hooked. She is always doing these amazing covers that I just love, love that may be magnified slightly by the fact that she’s a pretty serious runner too. Exhibit A…

 

3. Modern Vampires

OK so this clip may be from a couple weeks ago but I had to share. Obsessed doesn’t even begin to describe my current relationship with this album. Easily my fave of the year so far. Kids go get your boat shoes and button downs.

Thursday Tunes- My fantastic Earth Day Half playlist

So initially the goal of starting and (ahem) maintaining this blog was really more to share my new found love for running and racing above all others. However, for those who know me it’s no secret that I am equally as passionate (if not even more so) about lots of other things including music.

I grew up in a very musical family. Thanks to my mom and dad music was always a common denominator in our daily lives. All of my childhood memories have specific soundtracks attached. I started playing piano when I was 5 years old and was formally trained beyond elementary school and into high school (with a brief hiatus due to adolescent rebellion shrouded in lots of black eyeliner, Nirvana t-shirts and Doc Martens). I sang a lot too… Show Choir, Cincinnati May Festival Youth Chorus, on and on.

It’s no secret that mommy hood introduces such a potent concentrated passion into your life that there are times when your passions must fall to the wayside…at least temporarily. One of the best things about being a mom is, as your children grow, learning and NURTURING their passions. Thankfully for me, I’ve got a little girl who is equally as geeked about music as I am.

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Yea, more on that later.

And a super speedy little boy…

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Bases covered.

So today I declare Thursday officially Tunes day on RunJessRun. To kick it off here is my fantabulous Earth Day Half playlist. Happy listening!!

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#2 is officially penciled in…

It’s been a while since I’ve posted….about four weeks since I ran my very first half marathon.

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Quite possibly still on a runner’s high from that dang race.

I unfortunately haven’t been doing that much running the past few weeks as a result of a busy end of the school year schedule, however I’m squeezing in my miles as much as I can to maintian somewhat of a base. The first week in July starts training session #2 of the year for something I am super stoked about…..

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Sunday, October 20th 2013

And no crazy kids I will not be doing the full….yet. Half Marathon #2 coming at ya in October. I’ve heard so many amazing things about this race, the course (flat flat flat) and how flawless of an event it is, so I’m really excited to finally add this one to my race list.

Am I crazy to already be obsessing about my training plan, analyzing every detail and already entering it into my Google calendar??

Nah, I didn’t think so.

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My biggest cheerleaders

 

My first 13.1

Spoiler alert….I ran 13.1 miles last Sunday. I ran them fastish (for me). I ran them smart and I probably ran every single one of them with a ridiculous grin on my face. I can honestly say that I loved every minute of that race. Everything went on plan, to schedule and my body responded the way I hoped and prayed it would.

It was no secret that Carly and I’s goal was to finish in sub 2. A goal that seemed trivial and irrelevant in light of the horror that unfolded the Monday before. Although we both were pumped x 1000 and so amped for this race, a part of us almost felt guilty for the giddiness and excitement.  We both strived to lay everything out on that course and run strong for Boston. Still shaken and saddened by the attacks come race day morning, we pinned our blue and yellow ribbons on and took our first strides in memory of all affected.

The weather was beautiful….sunny, high 40s and zero wind. The course was absolutely gorgeous and predominately flat. It was an out and back course with the start and finish on the track at Kenyon College. The only hill was just shy of the first mile marker with the first 3 miles running thru campus and some residential areas. Once we split from the 4 milers we hit the bike trail for the remaining 9+ miles. We were running thru dense woods, over bridges spanning sparkling rivers and streams with nothing but rolling green hills all around. Once we hit the bike trail we really got in our groove and were nailing our pace mile after mile. I had some Chomps at mile 5, passed on the Hammer Gel that was handed out at mile 8, more Chomps at mile 10 and threw some Gatorade up my nose somewhere along the way. The first 5 miles I was obsessing over my watch, glancing every 5 seconds paranoid we were running way too fast and couldn’t hang on. Our initial plan was to run the first 6 relatively conservatively, ramp up a bit mile 6-10 and then kick it into gear once we hit 10. Did we do that? Uh, not really. Did we crash and burn and go out way too fast? Nope, didn’t do that either. Did we hang on and surprise the shit out of ourselves. Hell to the yes.

Carly and I stayed together the entire time and finished within one second of each other. 1:57:03 (moi) and 1:57:04 (Carly).

1 1.00  9:19

2 1.00 8:57

3 1.00 8:33

4 1.00 8:40

5 1.00 8:58

6 1.00 9:16

7 1.00 8:51

8 1.00 8:40

9 1.00 9:01

10 1.00 8:53

11 1.00 9:04

12  1.00 8:50

13  1.00 8:42

14  0.18 7:44

1:57:04 13.18 8:53 (Garmin)

1:57:03 official chip time

10th AG (30-39), 111 overall

Proud doesn’t even begin to sum it up. Carly ended up shaving 19 minutes off of her old PR. Still so excited for her. Running with the little sis is such a blessing. I couldn’t have done it without her.

More pictures to come…..