Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Race Recap: Walt Disney World Half Marathon 2016

Saturday marked the Walt Disney World Half Marathon and for me, personally, it marked my 12th half marathon.  Considering that just a few years ago, I thought I would never get through a 5K, I'm still pretty astounded to say that I've run 12 of these bad boys.

That being said, my 12th half marathon goes in the books as my slowest half marathon to date.  I finished in about 3:20, which if super duper slow, even for me.  At first, I will admit that I was a little disappointed in my time.  But the truth is, I'm not in great shape right now, I'm significantly heavier than I was when I ran my fastest half marathon, and I spent much of the event cheering on Jamie, who was struggling with a knee injury and cramps in his quads.  Had I been a real jerk and left him behind at mile 6 when he started hurting, I probably could've gotten myself a better time.  But you know... love conquers all and all that.

Regardless of my finish time, though, I had a pretty great time.  The weather was ideal for running - it was cool and foggy out for the entire race and the mean Florida sun really didn't make an appearance.  I never really hit the dreaded wall for this one, which is a first for me.  No matter how trained I am for the event, I usually start to struggle somewhere around mile 7 or 8.  But I felt pretty strong the whole way through, probably because I took it so slow.  In fact, I was able to push through the last mile of the race and finish strong.  It was a good lesson in pacing.  While I never want to run another half that slowly (mostly because it just felt like I would be running forever), it's good for me to remember that starting off slow and finishing strong is better than trying to push it the whole time.

I also got some serious love from people along the route.  Several of my friends and coworkers were out and I got some great sweaty hugs that pumped me up.  Two of my Leaders actually came out with a great snarky sign telling me they had changed my start time for work the next day.  They even went so far as to have one of my coworkers hold up a similar sign just a little later on.  Funny... except that when I took a nap after the half, I had a dream that they really had changed my start time and I'd slept through my shift.  Oops!

All in all, I'm glad I signed up for and ran this one, even if I was a bit grumpy about it leading up to the actual weekend.  And my finish time just gives me somewhere to go this year, right?


Monday, January 4, 2016

Great run and fresh start.

Yesterday's run:
7.13 miles in 1:40:00
Today's workout:
Yoga Camp Day One

New year, new beginnings, new lease on life.

I set out to run 5 or 6 miles yesterday.  Honestly, I just wanted to be sure that I could get in some distance because hey, guess what?!  I run a half marathon next weekend and I haven't trained at all!  But I digress.  It was about 55 degrees outside (PRAISE THE LORD ON HIGH) so it was actually pleasant to run outside.  My hamstrings have been sore for days, but for some reason when I started running today, there was no pain.  I felt like I could just keep going and going, so I did just that.  Ended up running just over 7 wonderful miles.  Then I took a super hot shower, went to Pei Wei with Jamie, and then had my very first white chocolate mocha from Starbucks.  It was essentially perfect.

I went to work after that until 1:30 in the morning, but we're just going to forget about that and focus on the good stuff.  Like that white chocolate mocha.  You guys.  Have you ever had a white chocolate mocha?  I'm assuming it has 5000 calories and 5000 grams of sugar and I don't even care.  That thing was delightful.

Today was more good stuff.  I mean, my day started with going to the dentist and finding out that I need a root canal.  So obviously that sucked.  But after that, it got better.  Lunch with Jamie, shopping trip to BJ's where I considered buying huge bags of trail mix and then remembered that those are single serving bags to me, a little bit of yoga, and a nice quiet dinner at home.  With the Sherlock special, of course.

Yes please.

The yoga really was one of the best parts of the day.  I've been hearing about Yoga with Adriene for a long time now from a lot of people, and I honestly didn't think much of it.  But with a new year comes new resolutions and one of mine was to get back into the practice of yoga.  I've been struggling a lot with balance - I run too much and stretch too little, I work too much and sleep too little, I think too much and relax too little.  Not perfect.  And I know that yoga can't fix it all, but I feel like I'm a much more grounded and balanced person when I practice regularly.  So today I started the 30 day Yoga Camp and I'm really excited to see where it takes me.

So that's where I'm at.  What's in store for your 2016?


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Still not running.

Hey guys!  Remember that time I set some solid goals for myself for the rest of the year?  Well, none of them are happening because I'm still coughing like a bad smoker.

I woke up this morning bound and determined to go for a run.  I've been sitting on my rear end for several days now and getting REAL grumpy.  Honestly.  Jamie deserves a medal for putting up with my poor attitude.  So I was actually super pumped to get up and go for a run to get some endorphins pumping into my chubby body.  And then I woke up with a pounding headache, throbbing sinuses, and that damn cough.  I'm so tired of it that I'm actually considering going to the doctor even though I FREAKING HATE GOING TO THE DOCTOR.

So instead of running, I'm blogging.  And complaining to my mom over text.  It's a good thing she loves me unconditionally!

Is anybody out there running?  Tell me about it so I can live vicariously through you!


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

It's November 4th and 85 degrees.

There are times I really like living in Florida - like when I get to go kayaking on a random Tuesday with Jamie or when my family comes and I get to visit Walt Disney World as though it's a fun destination and not my place of work.

But sweating it out to the tune of 85 degrees in November does not make for a happy Jessica.  So Florida and I are currently fighting.  Of course, this feud doesn't mean that much at the current moment because it's not like I'm running right now.  Nope.  It's November, so it's time for my body to let down all defenses and allow horrible illnesses in.  Two years ago, it was the stomach virus so bad that I called it the Black Plague.  Last year, it was pneumonia.  This year it seems to just be some hateful form of cold or flu that makes my lungs burn a little bit with every cough.  So good.  Just so good.

So why am I sitting here on my running blog when I can't run?  And I haven't blogged in almost two months?  Great question, person I'm assuming is reading this even though part of me thinks only my cat knows I'm blogging!  I think it's because I have to tell myself that once I feel better, I will get back on the bandwagon.

Truth be told, I've been struggling for months.  I kept it to myself because I was trying to be a good little Beachbody coach and make it look like I was doing great and had all the answers.  But I had so few answers.  And the more I smiled on social media and talked about how great everything was, the more I realized that I was losing my own way.  So I stepped away from the whole coaching thing and made the decision to get back on board with Weight Watchers and get myself in line.
Then work happened.  And life happened.  And this stupid sickness that has been bugging me for weeks happened.  And without meaning to, I gained back a few pounds instead of losing them.  I went the opposite direction that I wanted to and I felt like I couldn't make any forward progress at all.  So now I'm putting my foot down.  The likelihood of me exercising today is low - I can't risk getting more sick because I've got several tough days of work ahead.  And I can't lie and say that my eating has been perfect today.  It's been better because I made myself go to the grocery store, but Jamie and I absolutely got Halloween candy on sale and the little pouches of gummy Lifesavers have been taunting me.  But I am putting my intentions for the rest of the year down RIGHT NOW.  Because soon I'm going to kick this stupid illness and get back to kicking ass.

So here goes:
Goals for the rest of 2015:
  • Run three times a week
  • Swim once a week
  • Go to at least one class in the gym a week
  • Eat out less
  • Three things you are grateful for every day
And of course, the most important goal of all: buy and eat this.

What are your goals for the rest of 2015?


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The triumphant return of Weight Watchers.

Yesterday's workout:

Today's workout:
Not dying

Quick recap of yesterday: I ate a lot of delicious food at breakfast because... reasons.  Then went to Trader Joe's and bought more delicious food.  I couldn't help myself, there was pumpkin everything.  Then I went to BodyJam for the first time in MONTHS and was so so so happy.

Then I woke up today and realized that I either pulled something jamming it out last night or my back has just suddenly decided to loathe my bed.  Either way, my back spent most of the day randomly seizing up.  So that was super fun.  I had planned on a 3 mile run today, but it wasn't happening with the back pain.  In an effort to see the silver lining, though, I took this unexpected rest day to focus on getting back to healthy eating.  And by healthy eating, I mean trying to follow the 80/20 rule of 80% clean eating, 20% indulgences.  Let's be real, I'll be psyched if I hit 70/30.  I really love processed carbs, kids.

Breakfast was vanilla Shakeology with Trader Joe's pumpkin butter blended in - I'm not kidding when I say that I now own everything pumpkin that store has to offer.  Lunch was a bagel thin with roast beef and cheddar, plus some carrots and grapes on the side.  Dinner was tacos with Trader Joe's reduced guilt guacamole.  Otherwise known as my new addiction.  Not pictured here is my new favorite snack, which is an apple and Yoplait whipped Greek yogurt in vanilla cupcake.  IT IS GLORIOUS.

The real goal right now is to get back on the Weight Watchers bandwagon.  I know, I know... this isn't my first rodeo.  For those of you new to my story, here it is in a nutshell: I lost 35 pounds, I became a Leader, I maintained, I gained a little bit back, I lost it again, I came to Florida, I gained 25 pounds, and have been trying to lose those 25 pounds for three years.  It's not pretty and I'm not proud.  But I will say that I have worked harder this year to get back to my goal than I have the whole time I've been in Florida.  Following 21 Day Fix got me back on track with my eating and paying a lot more attention to WHAT I was eating.  I really started looking closely at labels and caring about ingredients.  But as great as that was, it got to me, and I wanted to eat clean 100% of the time.  As it turns out, that sucks.  It sucks a lot.  It means you don't get ketchup and I really love ketchup.  So I spiraled out of control in the other direction and stopped caring at all what I ate!  That lasted about two days before I wanted to die.  Now I'm realizing that Weight Watchers always has been, and likely always will be, my happy place.  I like that it doesn't tell me what I can and cannot eat (because I'm a small child), but it still gives me guidelines.  And that's what I need right now.

In unrelated news, I had a really big interview today for something I am really excited about.  So if you've got some extra pixie dust laying around, please feel free to send it my way!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Tooting my own horn for a change.

Today's run:
3.22 miles in 45:00
Today was my first run since the Dumbo Double Dare last weekend.  I set out to run 3 miles.  I'm grateful that was my only goal because while I did achieve it, most of the run was spent focused on foot pain, shin splints, and asking God why he had forsaken me.  So all in all, it was a great run.
But I did it and I'm proud of myself for that.  Furthermore, I didn't beat myself up about how slow I was or how much pain I was in because I ran 19.3 miles last weekend, damnit, and that's really cool.  Sometimes I don't give myself enough credit.  Does anybody else feel like that?  I tell myself that I don't really "run" because I take walk breaks and because I'm slow.  I tell myself that because I've done so many half marathons (last weekend marked my 11th) it isn't very impressive when I finish one.  WTF?!  Of course I really run!  I'm out there huffing and puffing while other people I know sit on their couches!  I deserve so much credit for stuffing my jiggly bits into workout clothes and busting my butt!  And it's still CRAZY impressive when I finish a half marathon!  I don't care if I run 50 of them - each one is a massive triumph and I earn those medals and all the bragging that comes with them!
This is something I'm working on, really.  I'm working on being better to myself.  The truth is, I've spent the past few months being REALLY hard on myself.  It's one of those tough parts of getting involved in health and fitness - it starts to surround you.  I did the same thing when I became a Weight Watchers Leader.  I was constantly talking to people about weight loss, food choices, meal planning, emotional eating... it started to become my whole world.  Since I thought about it so much, I started to pick my own choices and tendencies apart.  If I talked to my members about meal planning, I told myself I needed to be perfect at it.  If I harped on getting in the Good Health Guidelines (fruits, veggies, healthy oils, lean proteins, etc.) in the meeting, then I better go home and check every single one off, every single day, without fail.  Not very realistic, right?  But it's how my little perfectionist brain works.

I thought with age and wisdom (let's be real, it's mostly age) that I could grow past that and not fall into the same pitfalls with coaching.  But here I am, eight months later, struggling.  I'm not good at eating clean (because cake).  I still don't know how I got through P90X because as it turns out, I kinda suck at following a workout program exactly (because half marathons).  I spend way too much time comparing myself to other coaches and coming up short, which is stupid, but true (because Lindsay Matway).

But I just spent two weeks pretty much unplugged from the coaching world and when I got back, something in me snapped.  I realized that living this double life of being perfect on social media while having a really tough time in my personal life was just dumb.  So I'm knocking it off and being honest.  And I'm also BRAGGING ON MYSELF A LITTLE.  Let's start here.  Today's run was freaking slow.

But you know what?  It was still a run.  Who cares if I'm slow?!  I've finished 11 half marathons and I'm just starting to train for my 12th.  Tonight, that's enough for me.  I'm not perfect, but I'm pretty great anyway.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Welp. Let's try this again!

So... I'm just going to be honest here.  I have been missing this whole blogging thing for a while now.  And about halfway through the Disneyland Half Marathon this past Sunday all I could think was that I really wanted to blog about it.  Because that's how well it was going.

But the truth is, I've been thinking about how to get started on this blog again for months now.  I thought about it on nearly every run that I went on and considered all sorts of big, exciting posts reintroducing myself into the blog world.

Those posts never happened.

So here I am, just quietly reintroducing myself into the blog world at 10:42 pm on a Friday night.  Which I think shows that I am so ready to get back to blogging that I don't even care if I don't do it perfectly.  I definitely don't think it shows that I have nothing to do on a Friday night.

The point is that I am excited to be back.  I'm actually excited for a lot of things right now.  But that's for my next post.  See you real soon, blogosphere!