New Year's Eve!

Once again I find myself blogging for the first time in weeks... definitely not embarrassed at all.

But I had to blog today because somehow December disappeared and now it's New Year's Eve.  I know everyone is saying it, but how did it get to be New Year's Eve?!  I can't believe that as I type this, there are only 6 more hours left of 2012.  So I thought I should probably take a moment and look back on 2012.

I'm not going to lie... 2012 started off pretty badly.  January sucked.  My show was cancelled, my relationship was in ruins, and I felt like my whole life was over.  I honestly didn't know what to do next.

After that rocky start, I thought 2012 was going to be awful.  I mean, three weeks in and already I've had that much happen?  I try my best to stay positive, but that seemed hopeless.

And yet... here I am on December 31st, 2012, thinking back on all the amazing things that happened this year.  It seems that my life had to fall to pieces back in January so that a better life had a chance to emerge.  So here's a few things I'm incredibly grateful for from the year 2012:

1.  Getting the chance to work in Magic Kingdom Guest Relations at the Walt Disney World Resort, one of my absolute dream jobs.  I have had some tough days, but it has been an amazing experience.  I have the opportunity to make incredible magic for my Guests every day, and I have met some fantastic people along the way.

2.  Falling in love with Jamie, the best boyfriend ever, who cheers me on, lifts me up, and makes me smile every single day.  I am so excited for all of our adventures in 2013 and the opportunity to keep loving him.

3.  Getting to perform in the 2012 Candlelight Processional Cast Choir.  I haven't posted much about this on the blog, but I got to sing in the Cast Choir for a show in Epcot called the Candlelight Processional - it's the Christmas story told through scripture, narration, and song.  It's an incredible show, and it features different celebrity narrators throughout the season.  I got to sing behind Geena Davis, Neil Patrick Harris, Blair Underwood, Jodi Benson, Lea Salonga, Gary Sinise, and Marlee Matlin.  

Can you find me?  :)

4.  Finishing two more half marathons!  My times sucked, but I wanted to run two half marathons in 2012 and I did it!  The Rock 'n Roll Denver Half Marathon and the Walt Disney World Wine & Dine Half Marathon have nothing on me!

5.  Being able to train for a marathon.  This one has been an absolute love/hate for me, and the truth is, once I cross that finish line on January 13th (!!!) I probably will not run another marathon.  But how amazing is it that I have the ability to train for one?  Sometimes I forget how far I've come.  Just a few short years ago, the idea of running a mile was intimidating to me.  In 2009, I made it through Couch to 5K and could run 3 miles, but the half marathon was out of my reach.  In 2011, I made it through a half marathon, but felt like that was the farthest I could go.  And now I am two weeks away from running 26.2 miles.  I'll be running slowly and I'll be taking lots of walk breaks, but I am going to run a marathon.  If that isn't something to be grateful for, I don't know what is!

I'm coming for you, Mickey!

6.  And let's not forget what I'm grateful for all the time... having wonderful people in my life who love and support me.  I am glad 2012 gave me many chances to spend time with those that I love, and I hope 2013 brings more of the same!

I am so grateful for the gifts that 2012 has given me and the incredible opportunities for growth that I have had.  I am a very blessed girl and I cannot wait to see what 2013 will bring.  I wish each and every one of you a wonderful new beginning!



Remember that time that I swore I was going to blog regularly?

It's been almost four months since I last blogged and I would be lying if I said I had a better excuse than "I've been busy."  Well, maybe that I've been busy AND lazy AND my marathon training has been sad enough that blogging about it would be rather depressing.  But I've been reading other running blogs and thinking about my big comeback post for weeks - planning what witty, delightful things I was going to say.  And then I realized I was not going to be able to write a big comeback post because aside from the fact that I still have a cool job, my life is still not that exciting.

So this is my big comeback post - today I ran!  And I was not as pathetically slow as I have been lately!

Let me give a bit of background on why that is impressive... see, since that last post back in August, I've still been following this plan to train for the Walt Disney World Marathon in January.  Yes, you read that correctly - I am a crazy person and signed up to run a full marathon.

I would love to say that the marathon training has been going splendidly and I haven't missed a single run, but that is so far from the truth.  To be honest, the marathon training has been pretty rough - even though the plan I'm following only has three runs per week, I have been missing training runs left and right.  I would love to blame it on my work schedule (and I do, regularly), but there has also been a serious lack of motivation.  I have gotten progressively slower in my running, probably as a result of lack of sleep, being on my feet all day at work, not eating particularly well, and putting back on about ten pounds.  I sound impressive, don't I?

Action shot of me "running."

I've done two half marathons this fall (seriously, I can't believe I didn't blog about those) and each was slower than the last.  Now, to be fair, there are valid reasons for that - my last half marathon, for example, was the Wine & Dine Half Marathon two weeks ago.  It started at 10 pm, and I am not a night runner, so I had that strike against me.  I had also spent the entire week before the race eating absurd amounts of food with my parents, not sleeping enough, and walking around the parks for hours on end.  Despite all that, I probably could have finished in a decent time except that the first two miles of the race sucked because I had shin splints like you would not believe, so I threw my time out the window and stopped to take pictures with all the characters along the route.  So my finish time was embarrassing and my legs hurt like hell, but at least I got an adorable picture with Pluto!

Cute pictures aside, my increasingly slow pace has been frustrating me, and when you combine that with the fact that my exercise routine has completely fallen apart since I moved to Florida... well, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that I'm a little unhappy with my training progress.

BUT I have decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and take charge.  I still have eight weeks until the marathon, and I know that a lot can change in eight weeks, so I am recommitting to my training plan and recommitting to my weight loss.  I am back to tracking this week because it's the only thing that has ever truly worked for me, and I know that if I suck it up and just do it, I will see the results.  Plus, I seem to have developed a terrible case of lunch lady arms and I can't have them flapping around when I cross the finish line at that marathon.

I will also be back to blogging, which I know I've said a million times, but I mean it this time.  This blog helped me stay on track with my running before and I know it can help me again.

Anybody still reading this thing?


A short list of things.

1.  I am still sick and have not run at all this week.  I am supposed to run 9 miles on Saturday and I don't know if this is a good decision.  Seriously, why did I sign up for a marathon?!  Unwise.

2.  I am using the fact that I am sick as an excuse for just about anything.  So far, it has worked beautifully as an excuse to eat way too much of all the wrong foods, lay on the couch while dishes stack up in my sink, sleep until almost noon today, and make Jamie go get me breakfast this morning because I couldn't get it together to get out of bed.  By the time I get better, I will probably have gained 20 pounds and Jamie will have dumped my needy behind.

3.  Did I mention that I am supposed to run 9 miles in two days and I just ate roughly the caloric equivalent of two meals in one sitting?  I'm not sure I can see my toes if I look straight down right now. I've never been more proud.

4.  I was sniffling so much at work that I think my Guests were afraid to come close to me for fear of catching what I have, which I can only assume is the Black Plague.  

5.  And then this happened:


Why I haven't blogged since Friday...


15 Thing Friday

1.  Has everyone seen Janae's ADORABLE new baby, Brooke?  GO SEE HER.  She is absolutely precious and I am so happy for Janae and Billy.  What a cute family!

2.  I was planning on doing a 5K tomorrow morning, but I forgot to register before the online registration closed down.  I had planned on just registering at the race in the morning, but I checked the website when I got home from work and learned that the race was sold out.  So I ate leftover Chinese food, way too many Goldfish crackers, and chocolate milk because I was sad.  Let's not even get into the irony of this.

3.  This dog is fantastic.

4.  Today was one of those days where I was just not having it.  I am usually a pretty patient person, but my tolerance for other humans was shot by about noon.  Super helpful since I didn't even start working until 3 pm.  Obviously it went very well for me today.

5.  I have recently picked back up my Crystal Light addiction.  I would say I'm about 80% Crystal Light.  And 20% refined carbohydrates.  It's a miracle I'm still breathing.

6.  Currently obsessed with this song for running.  And getting ready for work.  And sitting around.  The music video is fantastic because I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IS HAPPENING.

7.  Two nights ago, I discovered that The Office is on Netflix, and started rewatching it.  I'm halfway through season two now, which gives you a great idea of my productivity lately.

8.  I was going to post this picture to talk about my new love of everything "ermahgerd" (which Jamie is really proud of because he introduced me to this stupid thing)...

9.  But then I found this and it was even better.

10.  I took my trash out yesterday and it was about the most productive thing I did aside from showing up to work.  I feel like it's just one of those weeks, which is absolutely a cop out, but I kiiiiind of don't care.

11.  They recently released the design of the new medal for the Walt Disney World Marathon in January.  I am furious because the medal is fantastic.  Now I have to actually run the stupid thing because I want that medal.  I may not live past January 13th.

12.  I bought several books about marathon training off of Amazon this week, in an attempt to get myself to recommit to training.  The books arrived at my apartment yesterday.  So far I haven't read a single page, but I did sleep in for the past two mornings instead of running.  So that plan definitely worked.

13.  I am now out of things because posting about the marathon made me feel woozy.  I should probably go lay down.

14.  Wait... I'm already sprawled on my couch in my robe.

15.  Can I pay someone to carry me to bed?


15 Thing Friday

1.  Today I really needed to do the following: wash my dishes, go grocery shopping, exercise, and work on preparing my audition for a really awesome career opportunity (more on that later).  Instead I got distracted by shiny objects and somehow ended up watching several episodes of Frasier on Netflix, which shocks no one, and playing on the internet.  Welp... there is always tomorrow.

2.  On the bright side, all that internet time included finally taking the time to add all of the runs I have gone on since January into my Dailymile account.  Really, there weren't that many runs to log, so it wasn't particularly hard.  But my total miles for 2012 went from 33 to 166 in about ten minutes, which was pretty spectacular! 

3.  Remember when I was really proud because I finally ran all three training runs in one week?  I haven't run once this week.  I am hoping I can pull it together to do 7 miles on Sunday.  It sounds like death.

4.  Speaking of running (which apparently I need to), going through all those past runs made me realize that my pace is suffering quite a bit.  While I have needed to slow down because I'm running in high temperatures and very high humidity, I'm realizing that I should probably get back on the whole eating right and exercising regularly bandwagon.  I found this Runner's World article about how losing weight can affect your pace.  At this point, I would really like to lose about 15 pounds, which seems so daunting I can barely stand it... but it would mean improving my half marathon time by around 5 minutes.  Will this help me not eat chocolate?  Only time will tell.

5.  In case you're wondering how I'm doing on the whole getting back on the eating right and exercising regularly bandwagon, today I decided not to exercise at all, and I just ate a can of Spaghetti-O's for dinner.  And yes, I am ashamed.

6.  Jamie introduced me to this glorious video, which I have watched several times today, and I am still not sick of it.  I love this kid.

7.  His other commercial is also definitely worth mentioning.

I am in love.

9.  I have decided that if I could eat at Sweet Tomatoes for one meal of every day, and at Outback Steakhouse for one meal of every day, I could die happy.  Which is good, because I would also die early, since I would be eating macaroni and cheese and massive cheeseburgers every day.

10.  I read Cely's 15 Thing Friday post (I owe her so much credit for any success that my blog has) earlier, and while I know I read the whole thing, all I remember is that Nathan Adrian has fantastic abs and makes funny faces, and I want pan-fried noodles and lettuce wraps from P.F. Chang's more than I can possibly describe.

11.  The other day while I was outside at work and trying to wipe the sweat from my forehead in a delicate and ladylike manner, a little girl standing nearby said to me, "You sweat like my dad."  Charming.

12.  I have been wanting to try a new nail salon because despite my noble attempts, I suck at making my hands look pretty, so I've been looking at reviews of places nearby.  Apparently I've been doing too much of this because I had a dream last night that I went to two different nail salons and both were horrifying - the first one looked nice and was really well priced, but when I opened a drawer to look at the polish colors, it was filled with bugs.  The second salon was on a ranch (subconscious, what is going on with you?!) and was gorgeous, but they handed me a sheet with the services and prices on it and a manicure was $89.  If you wanted to get a French manicure, it was an extra $12 per nail.  I am really hoping I can find a salon somewhere between those two... bug free, but less than triple digets in price.

13.  Speaking of triple digets in price, I want these and I want them bad.  My excessive, man-like sweating has started making my earbuds fall out of my ears one mile into a run.  As fun as that is, I need it to stop, and those headphones look like a delightful, if expensive, answer.  Anyone else have a good headphone recommendation?

14.  I'm still thinking about pan-fried noodles and lettuce wraps.

15.  Sounds about right.


Welcome to Running with Pixie Dust!

Running for Bikinis has now officially become...

Running with Pixie Dust!

The new design is UP AND RUNNING and I am absolutely in love with it.  I worked with the incredibly patient Cindy from Blessed Design Studio, who I would recommend to anyone thinking about getting a new layout.  She put up with all my demands, and finished the whole thing lightning fast.  Plus, her prices are unbelievably reasonable.  I had been looking at different blog designers for a while, but couldn't stomach the costs.  Cindy does awesome work for a great price.  Seriously.  I cannot say enough good things about her.  Go check her out.

So why did I decide to change Running for Bikinis into Running with Pixie Dust?  Because Running for Bikinis was never really me.  Sure, I own bikinis, and I wear them when I have to, and I have been known to think about skimpy clothing in the middle of a run or a rough workout simply to get through... but swimsuits aren't an everyday thing for me, even here in sunny Florida.  And I don't really run for bikinis.  I run to feel good about myself, to de-stress, to get stronger and fitter, and to prove to myself that I can do anything I put my mind to.  Those are all more important to me than running so I can look good in a bikini (but I wouldn't mind if that happened too).

But it wasn't enough to figure out that running for bikinis wasn't my thing.  I also had to figure out what my thing was!  Funny enough, I was going through the same battle in my personal life... realizing that what I was doing and where I was heading were not going to make me happy, and trying desperately to figure out what would.  Which is how I ended up moving from Colorado to Florida for the third time in my life, to go back to working at the Walt Disney World Resort.  So it all came together and I realized that instead of running for bikinis, I should be running with pixie dust.  

What do you guys think?


Triple Tangent Twednesday!

1.  Last week was week #5 of the marathon training.  It was also the first week that I did all three training runs.  You would think that with my first marathon, I could somehow manage to run three times a week, but that didn't happen.  I didn't feel too badly about it until I watched the running events in the Olympics.  Um.  Yeah.

2.  Tomorrow is my ninth day in a row of work.  I am really enjoying this job, but it turns out that I really do not enjoy working nine days in a row.  

On the bright side, if I can live through tomorrow, I will have four days off in a row.  Is it terrible that I plan on spending one of them in bed?  Just the entire day.  In bed.  Can't wait.

3.  In case you haven't noticed, I HAVE A NEW DOMAIN!  Running for Bikinis is now officially Running with Pixie Dust.  If it seems like a weird shift... forgive me.  I was never all that thrilled with the title of Running for Bikinis, and I think Running with Pixie Dust makes a lot more sense for me, especially since I'm back in Disney.  And even more exciting - I will have a new design up soon!  I decided to splurge and pay someone to design a new layout for me, because heaven knows I can't handle that.  I am in love with the design, and I'm really excited to unveil it soon!  :)

Now... sleep.  Glorious glorious sleep.

It's time!

In case you're wondering, that title does not refer to it being time for me to stop eating or time for me to exercise.  Neither one of those is happening at all tonight.

But it IS time for something exciting... and completely overdue.  Remember that one time when I talked about how excited I was because I bought my own domain?  Yeah... like 4 months ago?  Remember that?  No?  Apparently neither did I for the entire summer, because if you take a look around, you might notice I'm still on Blogger's domain.


I am taking full advantage of the fact that I am done with work early today, and I am finally sitting down and moving the blog over to the new domain.  I will be completely honest and say that I have no idea what I am doing... which is why I wanted to make this post.  Really, this is just a warning to say that if my blog goes up in flames tonight, it's because I merely pretend to understand computers.

That being said... I am doing it if it is the last thing I do.  So here goes!  Hopefully my next post will be my first post on my brand new domain!  Fingers crossed...

The 100th Edition of Why I Failed at Blogging

But seriously.

Today's run:
5.11 miles/1:09:00

I wish I had a really good story about why I haven't been blogging, especially since I made a big "I'm back!" post and then wasn't actually back.  I suppose the good story is that I took a new job, left my old job (I cried so much when I had to say goodbye to my Weight Watchers members), moved across the country into a brand new apartment, furnished the apartment, started training for the new job that has a crazy schedule, attempted to have social skills so as to make friends at new job, and generally tried to continue functioning as a productive member of society.

It's not a great story, but it's the truth.

So part of why I haven't been blogging is because I've been crazy busy.  I am loving my new job so far, but I am back on the bottom of the totem pole at Disney, which means I work a whole lot of nights.  Not sure if I've mentioned it on this blog before, but I am a morning person.  I am a serious morning person.  I am chipper and cheerful at 6 am.  You know when I'm not chipper or cheerful?  3 am.  But have I been working at 3 am?  Oh yes, I have!  And I'm sure I was a real pleasure to be around.

The other reason I haven't been blogging is simple: shame.  See, the working until all hours of the morning thing doesn't just make me grumpy.  It also makes me tired.  Really tired.  Let's take, for example, the string of three nights I worked last week until 1:30 am.  That's actually a very reasonable hour for me, and honestly, I am not complaining - I really do love this job so far, and am very grateful I have the chance to do what I do.  But if I'm working until 1:30 in the morning, I don't get home until about 2 or 2:15.  Then I need a little bit of time to decompress (read: shove food in my face and stare blankly at a wall) before I go to bed.  So I'm asleep by maybe 3 am.  It's not terrible, but let's keep in mind that I am now living in Florida, the land of heat and humidity.  If I want to have a decent run, I need to be out the door by about 7 am.  Asleep by 3 am and running by 7 am does not a happy Jessica make.  Want to take a guess at how many runs I've been on since I got to Florida a month ago?

Come on, it'll be fun!  Take a guess!  10 runs?  15 runs perhaps?  It has been a month, so if I was running my typical 3 times per week, then I should have racked up at least 12 runs by now, right?

Um.  Yeah.  Did I mention the shame?  Including tonight, I have run 5 times in Florida.  Once on the treadmill, which was just as hateful and boring as I remember, and four times outside.  I can't even tell you how I much I sweat here.  But you don't want to know, and I respect that.

Long story short... I haven't been the best runner.  And I certainly haven't been the best blogger.  But today I went to lunch with a friend of mine who also has a blog, and who has managed to rack up an impressive amount of readers.  We got onto the topic of blogging and how sometimes it just isn't happening and she said something about how she'd read my blog and I was good at it.  She said I was funny.

So here I am.  Back to blogging because somebody said I was good at it.  Well... that and because I actually went for a run.  Please hold your applause until we see if I make it back tomorrow.

I have a big post planned for tomorrow...

But for today, I just had to say that this is my new favorite thing ever and I will look at it every time I try on pants and cry (which is more often than I care to admit):

Big post tomorrow.  Promise.  Stay tuned.

I'm baaaaaaaaaaack.

I know... it's been forever.  And now I'm randomly popping up on a Saturday at 9:30 pm.  The truth is that I've been planning on making a comeback for a while now, but for some reason or another, it kept not happening...

Really, I think I just wanted to make my first post back completely perfect.  But then I realized that nothing about this blog has ever been perfect... it's just been me.  So here I am!  Back from the land of not blogging.

First of all, I want to say a huge THANK YOU for all of the sweet and considerate emails that you all sent me in my absence.  Everybody was so supportive and I hope you know how much I appreciated everything you said.  That being said... if you are wondering why you didn't get a response and feeling pretty mad at me, please forgive me.  The truth is that after everything that happened in January, I kind of blew off a lot of responsibilities and assorted things, including checking the email I made for this blog.  I only recently realized that and started reading through said considerate emails.   I am now in the process of responding to them, so I promise you will get a response!  It is not because I don't love you, because I do... I was just lax in checking that email address.

Now for the burning question that I know you are all dying to ask: Jessica, are you okay?

And the answer is... I AM GREAT!

Honestly, life is really good right now.  January was terrible, and I'll be honest... February wasn't much better.  In case you're wondering, I did not end up doing the half marathon in February that I had trained for, but it was not because I was too busy wallowing in my own sorrow (I was much better by then) - it was because I had caught the flu from a coworker and it was snowing.  And as smart as I thought running a half marathon in the snow while sick with the flu would be, I decided to skip it.  Actually, I decided to skip running entirely in February and March.  

So here are the big updates on life in general:
  • David and I did talk again after my last post, and decided to remain broken up.  We have not talked since, which was my choice - I thought it would be better if we had space.  I'll be honest and say that I was miserable for a little while, and I just kept replaying things in my head and trying to figure out what went wrong and what I could have done differently.  But I healed pretty quickly and realized how right the decision was.  I tried to deny it, but I was dreading moving to Los Angeles, and I can't even explain how freeing it is to know that I don't have to anymore!  I still think of him and hope he's doing well, but I am happy with that decision.
  • For most of February, I had no idea what to do with myself.  With the weight of moving to L.A. off of my shoulders, I felt very free, which was a wonderful feeling that left me completely restless.  So I did what anybody living a double life would do - I booked a trip to Orlando to do some seasonal work at Jungle Cruise.  At the risk of sounding cheesy, this trip turned 2012 around for me.  On my last College Program, one of my roommates, Breanne, worked with and became friends with a guy named Jamie.  We had hung out a little and I thought he was really fun, but I was with David and thought that Jamie was in love with Breanne, so I didn't think much of it.  Fast forward to the last week in February when I'm in Orlando, and Jamie and I go out to dinner.  He showed up at the door of my hotel room looking incredibly cute in a button down shirt and smelling way too good, and I have to admit that I got really flustered - apparently I had been so absorbed in being in a relationship to remember how cute he was.  He took me to a little Italian restaurant and I think I barely ate because I was so nervous.  Then the next night, my plans fell through, so we went to Epcot together and then he took me to Jellyrolls, a dueling piano bar, for my very first time.  He held my hand at the bar and kissed me before he left that night :)  we ended up spending a lot of time together, and I came home absolutely elated.  
  • In that elation, I realized what restless me wanted to do - GO BACK TO DISNEY.  So I applied for twelve Disney internships.  Yup.  Twelve.  I was on a mission.  
  • At the end of March, I went back to Orlando and back to Jamie.  More spending time together, more holding hands, more kissing... and then he asked me to be his girlfriend.  Cue more elation!

And here's the really big update... on April 6th, I got a call from a lovely woman named Amy, who works in Casting at Walt Disney World.  She asked me several questions, and then offered me an internship in Guest Relations!!!  Guest Relations is one of my dream jobs, so obviously after I remembered how to breathe and stopped jumping up and down, I said YES.  The internship starts on June 14th, so I will be headed back down to Orlando in just about 8 weeks!  Life is wonderful :)

So in honor of all the big changes happening in my life, I decided to treat myself to my own domain.  As fun as Running for Bikinis has been... it seems to be a time for change in my life, and that includes my little blog.  I have purchased a new domain and am in the process of moving everything over.  I think you will all love the new blog name :)

And there it is!  My big update!  I'm glad to be back with all of you :)

Why I completely disappeared.

So... it's been over a week since I last wrote a thing on here.  Let's go through the week, shall we?  Don't expect any fun pictures or anything... this is going to be a massive pity party.

Last Tuesday (last time I blogged): went for an awful run, realized I was overtraining, and vowed to take it easy for a while so that I would not kill anyone.

Wednesday: took my own advice for once and didn't do anything... including blog.  I was going to write a Triple Tangent Twednesday, but it was going to be a whole lot more like this girl's tradition of WTF Wednesday.  Not a great day, but not horrendous.

Thursday: horrendous.  Felt completely off all day, and the only thing getting me through was that I was so excited for the last rehearsal for Cinderella before we went into tech and dress rehearsals.  Then I got to rehearsal.  And both the artistic director and the show director were eerily quiet until they told us to sit down.  Then came the really horrendous part: they announced that they had gotten a phone call that morning from the licensing company that they worked with asking why the ticket information was on the website.  Turns out they had pulled the rights to the show back in November and notified the artistic director, but she'd never gotten the notification.  So the show was cancelled.  Three months of work and my dream role down the drain.  Cue lots of crying and drinking.

Friday: more crying.

Saturday: more drinking.

Sunday: got into a horrible fight with David that lasted for three hours.  Lots more crying.  Finally resolved everything and went to bed not crying for the first time since Thursday.

Monday: relatively harmless.

Tuesday (yesterday): David and I decided to break up.  This sucks.  I honestly still can't believe it.  We had a lot of obstacles to deal with (long distance, two different religions and backgrounds, different career goals) but I always thought we could get through it.  Part of me still thinks we can get through it, and wants nothing more than to book a ticket to Los Angeles and just show up at his doorstep.  I think that's the only thing getting me through right now, actually... it doesn't feel permanent.  And maybe that's just me and maybe he's thinking something completely different, but I've never had a breakup like this before.  In the past, it's always been very clear that the other person wants out (read: I get cheated on and dumped), so I am just forced to move on.  But David and I didn't break up because we wanted out... we broke up because we weren't sure if it was right.  And while part of me thinks that maybe it's for the best, and he and I will both find someone else who has the same dreams and ideals as us, another part of me is just desperately hoping that a couple months from now, he'll still love me and I'll still love him and we can figure this whole mess out.

So that was my week.  The good news is that I know I didn't keep overtraining, because I didn't exercise at all.  I blew off two training runs.  I'm probably blowing off another run today.  I'm not completely sure that the half marathon is going to happen right now, because while running is often therapeutic to me, I don't think I can face being left with my own thoughts for at least another few days, and I don't want to do the half having missed a lot of training.  I guess that is just up in the air for now, as is most of my life. But I'm trying to set some goals.  I've been toying with the idea of getting my personal training and/or fitness class instructor certification for a while now, and given the fact that I have now lost two of the things that filled my time... I think it's about damn time to get on that.  I'm also thinking about getting my teaching certification and finding a job teaching tiny children.  Or sucking it up and doing another audition to be a Disney princess.  I guess that's the only good part about having your life fall apart at the seams... you get to create a new one.

Guess who has two thumbs and is suffering from overtraining?

Yup... this girl.

Today I went on a super craptastic run that I'm not even sure I can really refer to as speedwork because it wasn't very speedy.  It was a helluva lot of work though, so maybe I'll just refer to it as that.  I felt awful for the entire run - I nearly gave up 15 minutes in, but I really didn't want another failed run.  Afterwards, though, I was struck by that thought and realized that I have had a whole lot of runs and workouts lately that I felt like were failures.  The sad run on Sunday comes to mind, or the strength training workout that made me want to hide from my free weights.  In fact, as I thought about it more, I noticed that not a single workout this past week was any good.  I had a great run on January 1st, but that's the last exercise that I remember feeling great about, and that one honestly came out of nowhere because I'd been struggling for at least a week before that.

So I did a little Googling and realized that I had pretty much every sign of overtraining you could come up with.  I admit that a small part of me is rather proud - who would have thought that the day would come where I was exercising too much?  The girl who felt successful if she exercised once a week has come a long, long way.  But that is a very small part of me... for the most part, I'm honestly relieved.  Does that sound crazy?  I was reading the lovely Amylee's post about her trip to the physical therapist, and completely understand what she was saying about feeling like you "wuss out" when you give yourself a break.  I knew I was walking a fine line by combining the half marathon training (with faster, harder runs than my last plan) with as much extra cardio as I was trying to do for the now cancelled Cinderella Bootcamp.  But I did feel like a quitter when I skipped a workout, or did just strength training and no cardio.  I realize this is absurd, but it's the mentality I let myself slip into.

That mentality is now no longer welcome, though.  After having done plenty of research (read: looking at a bunch of articles on the interwebs), I am realizing that I need to incorporate more recovery time into my week.  And not just active recovery, but full on rest.  I need to let go of the idea that as long as I'm not doing the same workout every day, I can still work out every day, and I can work out hard and intensely every day.  This is simply untrue!  Sometimes I need to just take Bonnie on a walk or do some stretching and call it a day.  I am also going to take one full day of rest each week, and just relax.  Though I might not need a full day of passive recovery every week physically, I'm realizing that I desperately need it mentally.  I have to relearn the fact that I can take a day off every week and not gain back all the weight I've lost, or lose my ability to run or lift weights.  I think it will help me mentally and emotionally to have that whole day off each week, and I'm sure everyone in my life (mostly poor David) will greatly appreciate having sane Jessica back.

I am still feeling a little ridiculous even calling it "overtraining" because to me, overtraining is what happens to Olympic athletes who are exercising and training 6 hours a day, 6 days a week.  But it honestly feels kind of nice to have a name for it.  Lately I just haven't felt like myself, but I couldn't pinpoint why, and so many of the signs of overtraining (there are a lot of signs!) really fill in some blanks for me.  I was kind of starting to think something was genuinely wrong with me, and now I feel like I know what is wrong and I can fix it.

Have you struggled with overtraining before?

Jillian Michaels is RUDE: a DVD review.

I decided to splurge yesterday. I woke up wondering what workout I would do, and realized I didn't feel like doing any of the DVDs I had. Yet another example of me being five years old: I get tired of all my new toys quickly, even if they're still shiny and pretty. Um... Insanity anyone? Still waiting for me to hate life enough to give it another shot.

I had some returns to make at Target, and I swear it's impossible to go to Target and not purchase something, even if you need nothing. So obviously I ended up in the fitness aisle, staring at a variety of torture inducing workouts. I finally decided to pick up two Jillian Michaels DVDs: Yoga Meltdown and Ripped in 30. I was a little hesitant because let's face it... She's evil. I've had 30 Day Shred for a long time now and only pull it out every once in a while because I can't deal with it more often than that. Anyone who actually does the 30 days of that thing is a rockstar and deserves a medal. It is a tough workout, and I don't doubt that it is incredibly effective... But she's annoying! And this is from someone who went through the whole 90 days of Tony Horton and didn't punch the television.  So I must have a higher tolerance than I thought.

That being said... I was pleasantly surprised by both workouts. They were both a little rough in their own way (who knew yoga could hurt that much?!) but great! I loved that Ripped in 30 followed the same circuit format that 30 Day Shred used, but I thought the moves were much better. And Yoga Meltdown was exactly the workout I've been looking for lately - a mix of stretching and bodyweight exercise. I struggle calling it "yoga" because... Um... It's Jillian Michaels, and she says things like "who's your daddy?"  Not exactly the typical yogi one imagines.

But let's be honest, if I can end up looking like that... I'll put up with her craziness.

On a completely different note...

A friend of mine who did his first full marathon at the Denver Rock 'n Roll (probably in the same amount of time that it took me to do the half, damn fit men) posted this on his Facebook.  I appreciated it more than I probably should have, but thought I would share!

His mile 10 and mile 11 are pretty much my mile 4 and mile 5.  Every damn time.

Speak da Troof Sunday: Sad runs are... well... sad.

Love that eloquent title... despite the fact that I haven't felt the need to even attempt blogging in several days, I am still clearly sharp as a tack.  A worn out, dull tack that no one would actually use.

Today's run:
Half Marathon Training Week Six, Day Three (but not really)
4.66 miles/1:02:47

Seriously... this training and I are not meant to be.  I will keep at it, and I will strive to do better this week, but I am grateful that this is my second half marathon and not my first because I am losing mileage left and right.  At first, I thought I was just going to be consistently one mile short on every run, but today I was four miles short.  Um.

The truth is, I don't think I should have gone for this run.  For one thing, it was incredibly icy out today.  Okay, so it's not the end of the world, but I just had this image of myself slipping and falling and breaking something and getting to call my director and ask if she would be okay if Cinderella's glass slipper was a cast.  That's super magical, right?

So I sat around most of the afternoon hemming and hawing and being irritatingly indecisive (this looked a lot like my normal behavior, really) about whether or not to go out on the run.  I finally decided to do it, and was trying to get psyched up when two things happened: I had a tough conversation with David that ended in me bawling, and my Garmin died.  In case you're wondering, this is not a method I would recommend for getting yourself ready for exercise.

Once I finally got out the door, I knew I couldn't do the eight miles that I had planned on because it would be pitch black by the time I was done.  And thus began my sad Sunday run: trying desperately not to fall and break all my limbs on the ice, all while beating myself up over not leaving earlier and not letting go of the painful conversation.  Mostly dead Garmin included.

Of course, when I'm not being Debbie Downer, I know that of course it was not a fail, because I still got out and ran four miles, which is a great way to spend an hour.  I burned 500 calories that I would not have burned if I had stayed on my couch.  I got outside and took in some fresh air.  My life is really not at all hard.

But (you knew the whining was coming)... this run completely sucked.  There was only one point in the entire run that I thought to myself, "This is fun, I'm glad I came out."  It was during my five minute warmup walk, and it was because I was dancing along to the music.  Note that this is before I started running, as it all went downhill from there.  I will not go into a long explanation of why it sucked because really, that's not fun for anyone... but what I learned was that if I leave for a run while I'm sad, it doesn't necessarily mean that I will get happy.  I might just be sad the whole time.  While exercise often improves my mood, being left alone to stew over my emotions and freak out about my future while running does not improve my mood.  Just ask my mom, who was kind enough to pick me up after I called and said, "I cannot face running for a minute longer," and saw me start crying almost the minute I sat down in the car.

I got home, took a boiling hot shower, put on sweatpants, and did my best to forget those four miles.  After all, it was one run.  I know now that it won't make or break my training plan.  Maybe by doing four miles today instead of eight miles, I will lose a tiny bit of my long run endurance, but I did eight miles on Friday and rocked it, so I'm not terribly concerned.  Plus, I still have five more weeks of training to get over today's crappy run, including a 10 miler next weekend and a 12 miler the weekend after that. So will today's run kill me?  Nope... but thank God almighty that it is over.