If it were EASY EVERYONE would do it!

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Happy Saturday!

It’s hard to believe a week ago I was hanging with my parents and Dana attending the Cleveland Marathon Expo.  I wish I could relive the whole weekend, as it was one for the record books!!

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As YOU ALL know (and are probably rolling your eyes as I keep posting about it) I finished the Cleveland Marathon in 3:35:46 WITH 4 rest stops AND the worst weather EVER (hail, snow, sleet, rain, down pours, water spouts, squalls of CRAP).  Oh yea and those 4 stupid rest stops with hands not working to take off my pants!!!

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As you know I have been dwelling on those rest stops, as if they wouldn’t have happened I am pretty sure around a 3:25 marathon would happened… Bathroom stops at miles 9, 14, 17, and 24 as shown below…

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What can I do about it??  I mean I could have crapped my pants, but really no one wants that.  So I need to move on. IT IS WHAT IT IS!!!

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Well, for me in order to move on I NEED A PLAN!  I can’t come that close to my Boston qualifying time and just throw in the towel.  I have to go after it.  SOOO I HAVE A PLAN!!  There are many steps to this plan =)  You know I can’t ever just do something EASY….because you know what Boston takes work, not everyone gets in and there is a reason for that!

 

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So here is the plan…

1.) I have race anxiety that messes with my stomach MAJORLY on race day, so what should I do?? RUN MORE RACES!!!  I don’t run many races so it’s about time I get my act together and get out there. I have a few 5k’s, 10k’s, and a half in mind…

2.) Continue lifting…this was a game changer for me during my last training period, so this must continue.

3.) Follow the same training program, as let’s face it my paces were spot on! YAYAY HANSONS =)

4.) RELAX…. I seriously need to do this, this is all supposed to be FUN.

5.) Figure out when my next marathon will be, so here is that plan…

* PLAN A (this is what I want to do if all works out) RUN the Fox Cities Marathon on Sept. 18th in Wisconsin.  logo

That’s right family and friends, I need you all at every dang mile! I know I have my pace DOWN but seeing you all out there will even make me faster!  Plus once I figure out my nutrition plan I can give you all water, snacks, other items to have on hand to assist me.  SERIOUSLY PLEASE MARK IT DOWN AND FILL THE STREETS!!!

* PLAN B…..now the Boston Marathon has yet to announce it’s registration dates.  IF the dates fall in line with how they have in the past, the Fox Cities Marathon date is just fine.  I hopefully will qualify and can register that Monday BUT if for some reason this is earlier I am going to have to go to the ERIE MARATHON.$_35

Boston usually announces these dates around July 1st, so this is when everything will be 100%.

So there you have it friends!  I have a plan!!!  Going to take my stab at Boston ONE MORE TIME. Nothing worthy while ever was easy right????

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This is going to be EPIC I just know it!!

Thanks for following along on my journey! MORE CUPCAKES WILL BE CONSUMED!!!

XX,

Jamie

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Cake but not THE BEST CAKE!

I am still on cloud 9 from this weekend’s marathon, and should be right?!?! However I must admit, in the back of my head I still keep thinking about Boston, qualifying for Boston.

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I think of this weekends race like this (follow along it will make sense) it’s like you are at a Birthday party and you go to get a piece of cake, you see the piece you want it’s awesome….a corner piece….with the frosting down the sides….ooooo it even has extra frosting as this corner piece has a flower on top.

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You wait for that piece, you are already thinking of how great it will taste.  Then it happens, the person in front of you TAKES your piece of CAKE!  You get yourself a different piece, are a bit disappointed BUT I mean you still have cake!  Then later….later you see this person, throwing away most of the piece of cake they have, making some comment like well it had too much frosting…………….NEVER ENOUGH FROSTING!

So I still had a pretty awesome race, it just wasn’t exactly what I wanted. However, this will throw you all for a loop…it was the race I NEEDED.  I needed to build some confidence.  If running through hail, snow, sleet, squalls of crap, down pours, and 4 bathroom stops with a finishing time of 3:35:46 doesn’t build confidence….I mean come on, OH AND A 14 MIN marathon PR!  I seriously had a turning point this weekend.  I now kind of think I am a serious runner, not just a runner a MARATHONER!!

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Also I did have a big realization.  Ok so I missed the BQ by 46 seconds, but did I really?  I mean there are many people that got the EXACT qualifying time they needed, but still didn’t make it into Boston last year, as they needed to be just a little under.  So how terrible would it have been to get the exact time needed, and then not get in.  I mean that would be like having no cake at the party and having to go home early……………SUCKS!

So now I have a fricken fire in my belly.  This BQ IS and WILL happen but when?!?!  What race? Where???  What’s the plan?? I have to have a plan!  Ok, ok , ok one thing at a time.  I have some races I am considering here is the short list: Fox Communities Marathon in Appleton, Wisconsin OR  Erie Marathon in Pesque Isle, Erie PA.  Those might get me into the 2017 race.

Pros/Cons to Fox Communities Marathon

Pros: It’s in Wisconsin, my family and TONS of friends are in WI.  I bet I could have a friend or family member at every darn mile!  This would be pretty fantastic.

Pros: It’s a small race.

Pros: With having family and friends throughout the course they can have my water and gels, I really wouldn’t have to carry a single thing.

Cons:  Still not sure about the course, in the description it stats 6 miles of paved trails. Also unsure of the course elevation.

Cons: The date….September 18th, this might be REAL close to the cut off for Boston 2017.

Cons: Travel time, it takes about 8 hours to get there.

Pros/Cons to Erie Marathon

Pros: This race is known to be a Boston Qualifier.

Pros: The date is still close the 2017 Boston cut off, but it’s Sept 11th.

Pros: Travel time is under 2 hours, wouldn’t have to take much time off

Cons: What would we do with the dogs?

Cons: I’ve never traveled to an unknown location to run…maybe this could also be a pro?

As you can see I have a lot to think about.  There is also the idea of waiting and doing a real true fall marathon like Columbus which would get me into the 2018 Boston Marathon (If I qualified).

So there are a lot of if’s out there.  Also this is all relative as I might sign up, go out on race day and not qualify….but I need to get out there and TRY!!

Here’s what I am going to do.  Keep thinking….I will take advice if anyone has any….Consult with my crew (DANA)….Make a plan with said crew…..rock the plan…

Stay tuned…

XX,

Jamie

 

 

 

 

Cleveland Marathon Recap…Part 1

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WOW!!! Another Cleveland Marathon in the books. This year the full 26.2, as I usually participate in the Cleveland half taking on my full marathons in the fall. As we woke up and got ready at 4:15am I already felt a bit of a pit in my stomach, I could hear the rain outside down pouring like crazy. Then I thought well it’s just getting it out of it’s system it will be fine.

We all got ready for the race, my family putting on their awesome shirts I got them (that no one would have seen due to the 25 degree real feel).

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I actually don’t think I bitched at my family this year while making our way downtown/getting ready. I think the weather had me too nervous to yell or talk back to them (#winning). We found our parking spot easily and found ourselves parked and ready by 5:15am. As we sat in the car my emotions and the two hail squalls we drove through on the way downtown were starting to get to me….cue the tears, let’s go home, bed sounds good, maybe I will just do the half…. My family reminded me that I trained too hard for this and tried there best to lift my spirits.
We made our way to the Q arena where the start of the marathon took place. Luckily this year the Q was open for all participants, hello warmth and flush toilets!!! I made my usually bathroom stops, got all my gear ready and tried my best to put my head in a good place. The many comments from race participants around me concerning the weather didn’t really help. At this point my husband could tell I was struggling. He pulled me aside and said Jamie think of all those 4am wake up calls, you put in the work today isn’t the best just embrace the suck….run this thing.
The announcer came overhead telling the participants in the Q to make their way outside. To my surprise I was in corral A, right with the elites….dang!! I listened to my music, getting my head right. Maybe cried a bit in the corral as the rain and hail bounced off my face. I worked too hard for this, I got this….the air horn sounded it was go time!

Miles 1-13

For the first half of the race I felt pretty good. I was wet and somewhat cold, but I think it was still the honeymoon phase of the race, I was still excited and heck I was running through the streets of Cleveland. I was really excited to pass in front of Cleveland State, and it just so happy that on my playlist “This is my House” started to play…heck yes this is my house!! =) I also saw my friend Stephanie out there cheering, omg my peeps are here!!! At mile 5.5 I took my first gel, hello huma blueberry….it tasted alright and my stomach seemed to like it.
One could say mile 12 was magical for many reasons. At mile 12 I got to see my friend Susan, she was jumping….yelling…. and just plan excited. Made me want to push on harder!! She seriously gave me the pick me up I needed. Also around mile 12 I started to feel my stomach drop…sun of a gun I need a portapotty! I saw the green structure in front of me, it was glowing!

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I quick made my way in, luckily making it in time. The hardest part here is dealing with my compression pants, it’s like a wet swimsuit. I think I spent more time trying to get my darn pants up then going to the restroom.
I made my way out of the portapotty still adjusting my pants. I knew I had to make up some time at this point, so I looked at my watch and brought my pace into the 7:30 range. I was feeling strong and wayyyyy better, so the pace was fine. Around mile 10 I saw the cut of for the half, part of me thought hmmmmmm….. but then I focused on how strong I was feeling…..nope I got this! I took my 2nd gel around mile 11, once again hoping for the best!

Miles 13-20

These miles were interesting. The hail was pelting me in the face, it almost felt like someone had a bag of frozen peas and decided to throw them directly at me. At one point I thought seriously God, what the hell. During these miles I lost all use of my hands, it was pretty scary. I tried to grab a cup of water and my hand wouldn’t open nor move. Now what?!?! I thought hard on this, is my hand frost bit could that be a thing? Am I starting to experience hypothermia? Why won’t my hands work?!?! I blew into my hands trying to warm them. As I did this my fingers did give me a wiggle, I figured this was a good thing and no medical tent was needed.
Around mile 14, I felt that gel take hold of my stomach again. AWESOME I need another portopotty. This time it was questionable on if I would make it in time. I saw the green meca and kicked up my pace to get there. At this point my hands still were not working. I couldn’t get my pants off!! My hands weren’t working!! Now what?!?!?! I shoved my hands into my compression pants and used my arms to pull them down. Now I debating sharing this part but figured….let it all out (literally) as I did this my stomach let lose….I am pretty sure the back of the toliet was a dang mess. At this point I thought on no I literally have poop all the way up my back and lululemon jacket. I thought well there is nothing I can do, I might me the shitty runner out there but I have to continue on (I did later find out, no poop on the jacket…praise!!!). Now I tried to get my pants back on, yep those hand still not working. Shoved my arms down and pulled them up the best I could, back on the road.
Once again I knew I had time to make up, pressing the pace again moving forward. At this point I discovered due to the whole hands not working thing, my underwear never made their way up, help they were some where lower butt….awesome!
I kept pressing on and honestly was starting to feel the suck but trying to embrace it. It was at this point the wind gusted so darn hard that it literally moved my whole body. Between this and the hail, I just couldn’t…..I might have yelled you have to be F*ing kidding me. Then I saw two angels…I am not exaggerating here. I see Boyd and Lisa Yarbrough, sitting there yelling my name all budded up in the elements. OMG they are here, yelling for me, hells yea….I got this!!! They were at an amazing spot on Lake Ave, so not only did I see them around mile 14, I also saw them on my way back around at about mile 16 or so. This really gave me the 2nd ok maybe 3rd wind I needed.

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At mile 16 I also knew my gels weren’t really agreeing with me but what do I do, I need the carbs but well I don’t want another shitty experience. I decided to take the gel, I was feeling strong with my running and figured I could always up my pace to make up for things. I just needed my hands to work. Well….those gels once again attacked me around mile 18… once again no hands working….using the whole arms to raise and lower my pants, exiting and pushing my pace into the 7:30’s.
Mile 20 came, at this point I figured only 6 miles left. I usually run 6 miles with my dog Reese on Sunday mornings. I thought well all I have left is a Reese run, that’s no problem. Also around this point there was a lovely volunteer handing out out honey stinger gels, at this point mine weren’t working and I figured what the hell I have had honey stinger before…it was vanilla and the lady was a doll and had it open for me! I took the gel, it tasted pretty good….

Miles 20-25

At mile 20 I usually have a conversation with myself and God, my body usually wants to walk at this point. NOT THIS TIME! Seriously I felt so darn strong. I kept looking at my watch and I was consistently around a solid 8:00 pace. I could see the city in front of us… almost there, almost to home base. Well you know my body much like the Cleveland weather wanted to be shitty….so at mile 23, guess what…yep stomach drop. I will spare you all the details as you know what this had to involve, and yes my hand still weren’t working. I came out of the bathroom at mile 23, knowing I had 3 miles left. Time to leave it all on the streets. I have to kick it in the butt…it’s go time.

Miles 23-25

I kicked hard, keeping my pace around 7:50-8…it was a slight incline but the view of the city kept me focused. I knew I was close to my goal, just didn’t know how close. I also knew the elements, bathroom stops, and loss of usage of my hands did play a part in the day.

Miles 25-26.2

These miles were the best, the end was in site. I felt strong, the rain was just a mist….time to bring it home. As I entered the finish line area I knew I was close to that BQ but also had a feeling it was just out of reach. I finished strong and saw my husband and family.

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Dana gave me a huge hug, I could tell with the elements he was relieved I finished he also couldn’t believe how strong I was running through weather HELL. I walked through the finishing area getting a few things to eat. Saw my friend Stephanie and gave her a hug. Then connected with my family. At this point I saw the results….yep 3:35:46 I teared up a bit BUT I had just ran a marathon through fricken Armageddon…..no reason to be upset! Some people didn’t even compete today due to the weather! I braved the elements and really kicked it’s butt!

Here are the result from my Garmin….yep you can see exactly what miles included those 4 bathroom stops!

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After the Race..

I didn’t think I was that cold until about 20 min after the finish.  I started to shiver uncontrollably, yep I think I was a bit hypothermic!  Dana tried his best to warm me up, but I wanted to make sure to get some after race photos.  I tried my best to women up for the pictures, as I knew this truly was a race to remember.

After the pictures we made our way home for a much needed shower and relaxation!!!!  Now you are probably wondering what I am thinking.  I mean I almost qualified for the fricken Boston Marathon…..yep that is true.  I almost qualified with terrible weather conditions and 4 restroom stops. So I am giving myself this week to celebrate (today I will eat whatever the heck I want and go back to real life food tomorrow), and will just enjoy my accomplishment the rest of the week.  Then next week I make a plan for the next 26.2!!  I will keep you all up dated.  However, I really can’t be mad I mean seriously 3:35:46 THATS JUST DANG AMAZING (and you know I don’t toot my own horn).

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I was so honored to be a race ambassador again this year!  Thank you Cleveland marathon!!

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Until next year Cleveland!!!

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Don’t worry all updates on the next big adventure to come, we have a BQ to get!

XX,

Jamie

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20 Tips to Survive Race WEEK!

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Wow it’s race week!!! It’s finally here!!  Cue the taper crazy, self-doubt, HUNGER, phantom pain, and ALL THE EMOTIONS!

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Race week is sure to make you anxious, as you are used to kicking butt most days out on the pavement.  The lack of running or sticking to your usual schedule will make you a bit crazy and HUNGRY.  So I thought I would put a few tips together to help you get through the next few days!

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  1. Trust your training! If you kept a training log, I encourage you to look back at all the miles you have logged.
  2. Not like college! Remember training for a running event is NOT like college; you can’t cram and do a couple quick runs to prep. The training is in the books… TRUST IT!
  3. HUNGER will strike. You are nervous and your body is healing from all the training you have put it. Try to manage the hunger. Address it but don’t go crazy.
  4. Figure out your carb loading plan. Some people take this to the EXTREME, don’t get too crazy. Figure out your plan and stick with it. For me I will be carb loading Friday and Saturday. My carb loading involves decreasing my fat and some protein, focusing on carbs.0e4a4974e1b6c4f51b1bab563d64dee0
  5. Along with Carb Loading/fueling….nothing NEW! You might be tempted to try a friends fueling plan before your race….well so and so did so well and they had a bagel, banana, and cliff bar before their race I will try that…… NOOOO you are not so and so you did not practice this race nutrition….stick to YOUR plan.
  6. Also going with nothing new on race day, no NEW CLOTHES! Yes please treat yourself at the expo BUT if you haven’t wore the item for a long training run, DON’T WEAR IT ON RACE DAY. Yes that new tank might look supers sweet but it won’t be super sweet at mile 10 when it is chafing the HECK out of your armpit.
  7. BELIEVE! This is something I am trying hard to focus on, but seriously believe in you. You put in the work.
  8. Envision yourself crossing the finish line……… CRUSHING the finish line. I recently started to read a book about mental training, one of the things they stressed was envision yourself completing your goal, if your mind sees it your body will help you achieve it.
  9. STOP THE NEGATIVE TALK! It’s easy to get down on ourselves…the SECOND you start thinking ANYTHING NEGATIVE concerning this race, replace that with 3 POSITIVE thoughts and stop the negative thought in it’s tracks.
  10. Make sure to go to the expo, shop the heck out of the expo BUT remember you will be on your feet a lot the next day….so maybe don’t spend the whole day on your feet.76b21877f97e371f615b33e92ebe0046
  11. While downtown picking up your packet, make sure to put together a plan for race day. Drive around downtown and figure out where you will be parking in the morning, this will save you some stress the morning of the race.
  12. Plan a meeting spot. If you have family and friends coming to see you crush that goal, make sure you have a meeting spot for after the race. The finish line can get a bit congested, so knowing exactly where to meet your loved ones will save you some trouble.
  13. Charge all your STUFF. If you are like me you use some technology on race day. Make sure this stuff is all charged and ready to go.
  14. Get everything together and laid out the night before, you don’t want to be searching and playing where’s waldo on race day.
  15. Stick to YOUR plan. If you are use to running with others and plan to run with a pacer, do it. IF you are more of a solo person and want to do your own thing, that is cool too. Remember it’s your race day.64cad7d3b779a6420380c0d48851404c
  16. SMILE….at this point and time your family and friends have probably offered you more advice than you could ever really use, they just care. So SMILE take in the advice BUT stick to your plan….remember once again YOUR RACE, NOTHING NEW.
  17. TAPER….It’s going to get hard, but stick to whatever YOUR taper plan is. My taper plan is a mini taper because that works for me. You know what works for you, so follow it. Don’t get caught up with what others are doing.
  18. I’m going to say this again because it is so key…..remember all the training you have done!!!!! YOU GOT THIS.
  19. Remember this is what you do for FUN, don’t suck the fun out of it. I am trying to remember this and focus on that. We do this for FUN, this is your thing…ENJOY IT.60d332b4f129a81a6b92328886bb973c
  20. ENJOY EVERY DANG SECOND! FROM PACKET PICK-UP, TO MILE 10, 20, THAT FINISH LINE, THAT FIRST HUG FROM A FAMILY MEMBER…………..TAKE IT ALL IN. YOU WORKED HARD FOR ALL THESE MOMENTS…..MAKE SURE TO ENJOY IT!

Can’t wait to see you all at the finish line!!

XX,

 

Jamie

Wait… Where’s the Confetti?!?!

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Happy Monday all!  That is kind of an oxymoron but heck it’s Monday and well my Monday has been pretty fantastic.  I finished up my last interval run before the Cleveland Marathon!!  Intervals are never easy BUT they really pay off!!  Then something AMAZING happened, but first I need to share a little bit of back story…… Grab your carpet square and try to stay with mer, I promise it will be worth it!

So as many of you know about 5 years ago I decided to make a lifestyle change.  I joined weight watchers and started to focus on my health.  Weight Watchers taught me all about portion control, how to eat healthy and how to create a healthy lifestyle.  Weight Watchers was just what I needed at the time, and the perfect start.  I lost most of my weight in the first 3 years I was on the program.  Then you could say I kind of hit a wall.

My weight didn’t change too much and I would add and lose the same 10+ pounds, sometimes 20 (the holidays though…).  However something not so good was also happening.  As many know Weight Watchers focuses on points.  The higher the points a food item is the less you have to eat the rest of the day.  So in my head it started, high points = BAD stay away from that.  Then I started to save points, because if I don’t eat all my points well that should be good right??  I will lose more and make it to my goal weight.

Well, I played the point game and tried so hard to lose the last 10-20 pounds, and got close so many times BUT really wasn’t doing it the right way OR HEALTHY.  My head started to also play games with me, still focusing on high points IS BAD.  I also found myself not eating many carbs, because those aren’t that great either right???

This past Christmas I decided something needed to change.  I was sick of not making progress and KNEW if I wanted to do better with running, I needed to slim down BUT Weight Watchers really wasn’t my answer anymore.  So I QUIT, I quit weight watchers.  The program that got me started, my security blanket. What I had known for about 5 years…

I decided to work with a coach and start marco counting.  This was exactly what I needed.  Food no longer had a points number, it was just a combination of carbs, protein, fat and calories.  I could can play with different food items and fit them into my day  however I’d like (I’d like to note if you are doing WW the right way this is also possible, but I NEEDED A CHANGE). After starting with this new program I started to feel re-energized….I also was eating CARBS!  This new program not only helped me start seeing results on the scale BUT my running has been stronger, who knew carbs were a runners best friend.

So I struggled on how to tell everyone that I quit WW, as it IS AN AMAZING program…I just needed a change!  So now that I got that off my chest  (thanks for sticking with me here), gosh that feels great …

NOW I HAVE SOME NEWS TO SHARE!  THE REASON BEHIND THIS FACE…

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Today, after my run…. today is my weigh in day.  I hit the scale like I do EVERY Tuesday and GUESS WHAT…. GUESS WHAT?!?!?!?  I HIT MY DANG GOAL WEIGHT!!!  YES!!!  The weight that I set as my goal about 5 years ago….I FRICKEN HIT IT!!!!!  I am not going to lie, as I stared at the number on the scale I did expect some magical things to happen…… I mean I have been doing this thing for over 5 years…WHERE’S THE CONFETTI???? FIREWORKS???? FLOWERS FALLING FROM THE SKY…ANYTHING???? COME ON GOD JUST MAYBE A PARTY POPPER???

It only took 5 years and some serious struggles!

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I am not sure now if this is where I will stay, or what I am really comfortable with BUT I can figure that all out FOR NOW, I WILL CELEBRATE!! WHICH REMINDS ME….. I think someone AHEMMMMMM DANA said he’d take me shopping in NYC when I hit my goal, I might need to remind him.

Thanks for all your support friends, and thanks for sticking with this log DRAMATIC post =)  I also need God to work on that confetti for moments like today😉

Happy Monday indeed!

XX,

Jamie

STOP! It’s Taper TIME!

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OHHHH MYYYY GOSHHHHHHHHHH…………………..The Cleveland Marathon is 2 weeks away, I MIGHT be freaking out JUST A BIT! I keep watching the weather like some dang crazy lady.  As of now it has changed about 3 times, with the latest being 73 and cloudy PLEASE LORD KEEP THIS!!

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So some of you might be wondering what the heck is a taper and what does it mean.  The taper is what happens in the weeks leading up to a racing event.  There is usually a decrease in miles and an increase in runner irritability.  YEP I haven’t even really started my taper yet and I am feeling this……UGHHHHH!!!!  My taper is usually CRAP, I don’t taper well and I usually get crabby, hungry, and doubt everything.  With the Hanson’s plan there is a very small taper, this will start for me after this Wednesday.  I know my body is ready for a little break and I am going to try my best to embrace it.

So now you might be asking how in the world is Jamie going to handle this taper, I mean I have been logging miles like a crazy lady…crushing some intervals, making those Wednesday Tempo runs my B*TCH…HOW IN THE WORLD WILL I HANDLE THE TAPER (yes I am yelling this in my head).

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Ok deep breath here’s the plan…

I am going to focus on the following to survive my taper:

1. I am going to try and just RELAX…

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2. I am going to look at my training log and see all the amazing things I have done in the past 18+ weeks, no need to doubt anything!

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3. I will take many evening baths.  Yep I love a bath and it’s the only thing that really seems to relax me.  Most evenings I can be found in the bath with a beer…yep diet root beer, I am so hard core.

4. I am going to try to be over confident.  As you know I am usually pretty dang hard on myself.  So the next 2 weeks, I am going to be so dang confident.  HECK I might even come across arrogant as I will be THAT confident.

5. I will foam ROLL!  This NEEDS to happen…. Yes Dana I need to bring the roller back out, I know you have been telling me this =)

6. EVERY single night I am going to envision myself crossing that finish line.  Not only will I see myself crossing the finish line, I will be CRUSHING IT.

7. I WILL take care of me and get some sleep.  Less miles means more sleep, oh sleep I miss sleep! I might even cuddle with these little cuties…

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8. I will look back at all the photos and running posts I have made, seeing how far I have come.

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9. During this taper I am going to enjoy it, I have worked hard.  This is the clam before the storm….what I have been waiting for.

10. I am going to enjoy and look forward to marathon weekend during this taper.  My family will be coming from WI.  I have an amazing VIP reception Friday night, with a hot date and my fellow race ambassadors.

11. I might even clean the house a bit….ok yes I will do this as my family is coming =)

12. Not only will I focus on crossing that finish line, I am going to think about that ice cold adult beverage or 2 I will have after the race.  I gave up alcohol during training, so I should actually say that 1/2 of beverage I will have, as it’s not going to take much =)

13. During this taper I will carb load, but with a plan!  Last carb loading I MIGHT have gotten a bit carried away…I mean ummmm yea…. a learning experience right?

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I might have hit the pancakes a little TOO hard during my last carb load =)

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14. I will keep this in mind….. at the end of the day I did all I could to make sure I am ready for this marathon.  The rest is in God’s hands =)

15. I will remember and think of all my amazing supporters.  I have so many friends and family that have my back and support me.  I might even try to be extra nice to them…especially DANA!!  =)

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How will you embrace the taper?  Are you ready to rock this thing, because I sure am!!

XX,

Jamie

 

 

 

Treat Yourself Day!

Happy end of April all!!

Seriously where did the month of April go?  I feel like I blinked my eyes and May is just around the corner.  I guess time files when you are having fun right???  Well here we sit April 26th, 2016!  Today I celebrate my 5 year get my S#!t together anniversary, LOL I guess I need to figure out a new name for it… maybe class it up a bit!

Five years ago today I stepped on the scale for the very first time, or I should say for the very first time I volunteered to do so.  I remember it like it was yesterday, stepping on the scale and hearing the number 350 (it was something like 349.2…but my head always says 350).  My heart sank and I just couldn’t believe it.  How did this happen and how in the world did I get there???

So today I decided to celebrate by treating myself, my over 194lbs lighter self!  I took the day off of work and got my hair done!  Some color, trendy highlights (yes I actually went trendy and outside the box ), a cut…..heck yes!!!!

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Thanks for letting me share my day with you.  I am not always the best at tooting my own horn, but I am pretty proud of what I have accomplished in the past 5 years and also that I have kept the weight off (well mostly, the scale does go up a bit around christmas as I LOVE CHRISTMAS FOOD…COOKIES).

If you’d like to celebrate with me, go ahead and treat yourself!!

XX,

Jamie

 

 

 

Like A Good Pair of Sneakers

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Hello all =)

So I had this great idea, ok well I think great idea =)  I always blog about my husband and how he is by far my #1 supporter.  I honestly wouldn’t be able to accomplish anything without his love and support.  This journey brings out a special kind of crazy, a crazy that only this man can handle and deal with!!  Seriously he deserves a medal…

ANYWAYS, I asked Dana to put a blog post together for me. I said it would be interesting for folks to be able to see things through his eyes, through the eyes of a supporter.  HE AGREED!!!!!!  So here it is, probably the best blog post you will ever read on this site.  Not only is he great with words BUT he writes from his heart.

So here it is, my amazing guest blogger husband, Dana =)

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Like a Good Pair of Sneakers…

Caring, Kind, Beautiful, Competitive, Best Friend; These are all words that describe my wife. These words described her 11 years ago when she first walked through my door and they describe her years later just the same. She’s always had a great heart and has cared about people, many of whom she doesn’t even know personally. This was one quality that I saw in her early on that I envied. How could someone just give of themselves without expecting anything in return? Such an amazing quality. And one of the reasons that this blog exists.

In July of 2010 I asked the most beautiful girl I’d ever dated to marry me. I remember it as if it were yesterday, the warm summer wind atop the Empire State Building tossed her hair while she looked out at the sunset over the Hudson River. I shakenly knelt on one knee and asked for her hand, not sure of what life would bring.

In a way, that was the start of our marathon, one that would take us up hills and push us to the very limits. As we’ve run our race, much like anyone else who runs, we got stronger, more flexible and had more stamina to power through and finish the rest no matter what the course holds for us.

As a spectator, one must learn a few things. Vocabulary is one of the major ones. PR, cargo-loading, what a split time is, 26.2 miles is the length of a marathon, 13.1 is half that, a 5K is about 3 miles and the 45 minutes it takes me to get 3 miles done my wife could have done two of them.

How to make a Killer cupcake is another. We have a great ritual the night before a race. I put on an apron – I’ve got a real tree one now so I don’t have to wear the frilly one – and whip up a batch of funfetti cupcakes with hot pink frosting. Always the same cupcakes, always the same frosting. I never knew how to make cupcakes (or bake anything) before my wife started running.

The most important skill a good supporter needs to know is how to be a good listener. Support is about being there. Not just physically, but being in the moment with her. Trying to understand why she feels stressed, anxious, emotional or happy. Sometimes… most times… there is absolutely no explanation. When that happens I don’t try to find one – I just smile and tell her I love her.

Understanding that I don’t have all of the answers and neither does she, but still doing our best together to be the best we can be.

To be a great race spectator means getting up early on race day, getting into the corral, painfully waiting for the starting gun, then saying a prayer for her safety as she bounds off into the horizon. Then comes the dash to get a good spot to watch the finish. Incidentally this is much easier on a long race because in the last 5K Jamie ran, she finished before the shuttle bus even got to the finish line.

There are few things greater than watching someone you love achieve their goals. Someone you’ve woke up with at 4am to see them off for their run, 6 am spin class, or waiting till 7:30-8pm to make supper because its weight lifting night. Knowing it would be easy to complain, but also knowing that nothing wonderful in life is ever achieved easily. All of this sacrifice is paid off with the smile, the joy of watching her succeed and knowing that you played a little part in that.

It’s been said “I watch you like a mirror because I see in you what I’d like to see in myself. Who we love is a reflection of who we’d like to be”. This quote sums up the reasons why I’d never miss a race, why her external commitments sometimes come before us. Because I see her desire to be better, her desire to do things she’s never done before. To push the envelope to make all of the naysayers eat their words. And she does… every time she walks out on to the course.

So as we keep running our marathon of life, I am certain that not every mile will be a PR, nor will there always be the wind at our backs, the cool breeze to make it more comfortable. There will be hills… Massive ones, but as long as we continue to run, as long as we never give up the fight, when the finish line comes, we’ll both know we left it all out on the road and we’ll cross the line smiling together.

Thank you DANA!!!! I LOVE YOU!

XO,

Jamie

 

 

 

 

Suck it up Buttercup….

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Well, here we are about 5 weeks away from the Cleveland Marathon.  The milage is ramping up and peak week is right around the corner.  It’s usually around this point in marathon training that I hit a training wall.  I have been putting in countless miles, training hard but still have two of the hardest weeks again of me.  It’s now where my head really starts to get to me.  I can almost ALWAYS predict it!

Just as predicted my head is all over the dang place!!  I think I went through so many different emotions yesterday during my 18 mile run on the treadmill.  IMG_6104

I worked through some of the things going through my head, but let me tell you my head was playing some serious games with me.  I figured I might as well let you all in on the thoughts I  have been having, as maybe your too are feeling the same way soooooo here is my mind dump….

Have I trained hard enough??

Did I train too much?

Will I do my 20 miler this c0ming weekend, should I wait till the following weekend??? Run 18 this coming and then 20, maybe vise versa…Do I really need that 20 miler??

My race day nutrition is  still a damn cluster, will I get this figured out during the next two weekends?

UGHHHHHHHHhhhhhh I have two weekends of LONNNGGGGGG runs left, will I survive?

Wow, all this training it’s like a part time job…

I pretty much SUCK lately as a wife.  I get up at 4:15 am, run, go to work, come home, EAT, go to bed early and start it all over again.  I am either running, sleeping or eating. Poor Dana I don’t know how he deals with all of this.

Poor Dana =(

This Cleveland weather has been insane.  What will it be like on race day?

Right now life consists of being hungry, sore and tired…

So many thoughts going through my head.  I need to trust the process, my training and continue on.  The nice thing is that the Boston Marathon is one week from tomorrow.  When I watch that Marathon I feel like my battery gets recharged. This is all part of the training process.  I need to push these thoughts aside and move forward.

Thanks for following along and reading about the crazy that is circling my head.  An extra special thank you to my husband for dealing with my crazy training schedule and still being my #1 supporter. 5 weeks to go, I got this….I think…

 

XX,

Jamie

 

 

 

About me and my crazy week!

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Hello all!

If you didn’t know this week has been pretty darn crazy.  I had a pretty fun week working with the folks at Stack.  They contacted me about 3 weeks ago wanting to do a story on my weight-loss and goal for the Cleveland Marathon.  I am really impressed on what they put together!  I still watch the video and think wait……is that me??  The only thing I would have done different is my hair….no seriously I know you all can see the video, I have one curl that is seriously out of place!  I mean couldn’t someone say something =)  If you missed it here is a link to the article/video (plus you know you want to look now to see that darn rouge curl) http://www.stack.com/a/jamie-johnston-200-pound-weight-loss-transformation

Some of my fellow Cleveland Ambassadors have done some fun blog posts, one of the being 20+ things you might not know.  So I decided to follow suit!  So here you go 20 RANDOM things you might not have known about me =)

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  1. I didn’t start running until about 5 years ago, I had never EVER ran in my life until then
  2. I hated running at first, and seriously thought I was going to die.
  3. I have finished 3 half marathons, and 2 full marathons and I am still trying to figure out my running nutrition.  Seriously my stomach has a love/hate relationship with the long run.
  4. I love a training schedule!  There is just something about knowing what exact training run you will be doing each day of the week.
  5. I love a routine!  Every morning I get up around 4:15, run, and then get ready for work.  You would thinking running that early would cause me to be exhausted all day, but for some reason it energizes me.
  6. I go to bed pretty early at night, yep due to that 4:15 wake up.  I am usually in bed by 9 or earlier.
  7. Running with Reese (my chocolate lab) is pretty much my favorite.  I love looking down and seeing the smile across her face, no seriously she smiles the whole dang time!
  8. I say a prayer before every race.  I have to thank God for this amazing gift, and let’s face it I pray to live through it!
  9. I have race day anxiety like you wouldn’t believe!  As you can tell I don’t do many races and there is a reason for that.  My anxiety gets to me!  I seriously feel ill, and am probably the biggest a$$ on race day mornings (my family usually doesn’t talk to me until the race is over).
  10. For every half and full marathon my husband Dana makes me cupcakes for the finish =)
  11. The cupcakes Dana makes aren’t usually consumed until about 2 hours after the race.  I always say I will have one right at the finish, but that darn stomach of mine is usually a mess.
  12. After every FULL marathon I have finished (2 to be exact) I pretty much swear off of ever running another one, and feel about one step away from death….but yet again here I am training for my 3rd.
  13. I do my hair for EVERY race, yep hairspray and all =)
  14. Running has helped my anxiety BIG time.  I am pretty sure I ‘d be on meds if it weren’t for running.
  15. During the week I usually don’t wash my hair!  Yep due to my morning runs and all my dang hair, I rock the dry shampoo and come Friday I hope for the best =)
  16. Every long run I start off almost crying.  Yep my head gets to me, I think I am going to hate life.  It isn’t till about mile 10 that I think, ok I got this.  Then when I am done I look forward to the next one….it’s a love hate relationship!
  17. After Saturday’s long run I LOVE to drink my smoothie, coffee, graham cracker, and protein bar.  Yep the same darn thing EVERY Saturday, and I look forward to it so very much…during my last mile I am already dreaming of my compression socks and smoothie in hand!
  18. Summer morning runs are my favorite!  I love watching the sun come up and the world come alive!
  19. I oddly don’t mind my treadmill runs.  I find it as a time to better myself and my pace.
  20. Most of the time I don’t feel like a real runner, I almost feel like a fraud. I don’t know why this is!  For some reason I feel that I am not an official runner, I have no idea why this is.  Maybe someday this will change.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!  What are some random running facts about you?

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