Not exactly as planned…

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Happy Sunday all!

I hope your Sunday is filled with glorious miles or even some much needed rest.  Sundays are always my rest days.  I use to struggle so bad with the rest day, like ummmm what do I do with myself I NEED to exercise or do some type of physical activity.  My amazing coach (thanks Katie, check out my amazing coach she’s doing some AWESOME STUFF) and some friends helped me with that, and let me tell you these rest days are now looked forward to and enjoyed! Life is too short and we work to hard to not take a break and recharge.

It’s that time of year where sickness is around us!  Everyone has colds, flu, sinus issues, just NASTY crap going around.  Well, if you follow me on Instagram you will see that I too got the sickness!!! In this picture here it was about 6:00pm and I was in bed, with my jacket on trying to locate my sunglasses (on my head).

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This sickness was brutal and on top of it I ended up with a terrible ear infection.  So needless to say my training had to take the backseat.  I listened to my body and took some rest days.  I only averaged about 20ish miles this week.  I HAD to listen to my body!!

Well, now that the sickness is over, I felt like I could take on training full steam ahead….WRONG!  DANG IT!  My hamstring has been bugging me like crazy, soooooo hello foam roller!!  I have been foam rolling like a crazy lady AND taking advantage of my local spin studio.

I have realized a lot during this training (so far) and you know that that is?  LIFE HAPPENS!!  It sure does!  There are things we just can’t control.  I have seen many people post about sickness, injury, or the fact that they have been stuck on the treadmill due to the winter and being freeze babies.  Guess what??? It’s OKKKKKK!  Keep doing what YOU can.

There are so may times we beat ourselves up over the things we can’t do.  We need to (including myself) be better at celebrating what we CAN do.  So your long run didn’t go as planned…you got the sickness…..you have some injury that is nagging you.  YOU DO YOU, figure out a plan to move forward.  You only can control SO MUCH.  YOU DO YOU and guess what you’re exactly where you need to be.

Keep going strong friends!  We have a little over 2 months yet, plenty of time to take on some awesome miles and plenty of time for LIFE to happen.  Don’t stress…… ROLL with it (or foam roll, hahah see what I did there =) )

 

XX,

Jamie

The training begins…now what?!

At this point in the process you have probably signed up for your Cleveland Marathon Event.  You have made the choice!!!!  You are going to go about that 5k, maybe take on the half, maybe you are FULLY crazy.  No matter what the distance congratulations on making your decision.  The Cleveland Marathon experience is amazing!  I have had the joy of running the half marathon (3 times) and the full (1 time).  This year I will be taking on the HALF!!  My focus is SPEED =)  OHHHHHHHHH and I joined team Bright Pink, so I will be doing some fundraising for an amazing organization (https://www.crowdrise.com/team-bright-pink2/fundraiser/jamiejohnston5) <— feel free to donate =)

So now that you signed up you might be thinking, EKKKKK what to do?!?!  Here are some helpful tips moving forward:

  1. Find a training schedule that fits YOUR lifestyle.  Yes you will be tempted with tons of training plans, folks that claim they can coach you, and well pinterest does have some interesting programs too.  Find something you can make work for you.
  2. Try to follow your training plan the best you can!  Yes life WILL happen!  You may miss a training run or 5…..that is OK, remember you are doing this for fun and to better yourself.  Stay the course and do the best you can do.
  3. Make sure you have support.  The love and support of those around you is key.  This will be so very helpful on the days when you think you just can’t do it.  Use these supporters =)
  4. SHOES!  Don’t get me wrong I love some shoes, especially PINK running shoes BUT not all shoes work for all people.  I highly suggest you head on over to your local running store and get fitted for a pair of running shoes.  If the shoes aren’t in your color, that is OK!  You don’t want to be out there with some cute shoes, limping along….trust me, buy the shoes that work!
  5. Fuel your body!  Make sure you keep things on hand to help with RUNger…yes that is a term.  When you are training, you are needing to fuel you body.  Make sure you keep some good things on hand.  You might be tempted to take down a whole pizza, or indulge in some donuts…hey that’s ok once and awhile, but you will find the better you fuel your body the better you will feel.
  6. Engage with other runners!  The Cleveland Marathon has great ambassadors you can follow…they post some amazing tips…AMBASSADOR LINK, also check out the training pages on Facebook Facebook Page Link.
  7. Trust the process.  Some days will be dang hard and other days you will feel like a unicorn dancing on a rainbow.  Take the good with the bad and KEEP GOING.
  8. Always envision the finish!  When training, thinking about race day, think of yourself crushing that thing.  One main part of training is the mental game (trust me I know), so mentally get yourself ready.  Envision that finish and all your loved ones there cheering for you.
  9. Long Runs = Game Day.  Use your long runs to simulate race day.  This goes for the fuel, what you eat before…during….and after your runs, how you hydrate…..oh and that race gear…wear what you plan on wearing race day.  You need to know what fuel works/agrees with your stomach…also how is that super cute running top going to feel after taking on some serious miles.
  10. Remember your AWESOME!  It takes a lot of guts, strength and amazingness to sign up and train for one of these events.  I’m going to insert the cheese here BUT you truly are lapping EVERYONE on the couch.  You got this!

My training is in full force, here is a look at what my week involve =)

Monday– Speed intervals, 400’s at 6:40 pace…. 8 miles total with warm-up/cool-down

Tuesday– Morning recovery, easy paced miles…..6.5 miles total, Evening- weight lifting

Wednesday– Tempo run at 7:19 pace for 3 miles….. 8 miles total with warm-up/cool-down

Thursday– Morning recovery….. 6.5 miles total, Evening- Nothing (usual weight training but it was my birthday).

Friday– Morning Spin class =)

Saturday– Long run, 10.5 easy paced miles on the treadmill

Sunday– REST DAY, remember your body needs the rest days as much as the days where you are crushing those miles!

Weekly totals

Miles for the week: 39.5

Weight lifting: 70 minutes

Spin class: 60 minutes

I hope you all have a wonderful week and happy miles!  Also be sure to follow me on instagram Instagram Link @cupcakesforPRS .  In honor of my Birthday I am doing tons of giveaways this month…lillbuffprotein cakes, a BOOK written by one of my fellow Cleveland Marathon Ambassadors, AND an entry to ANY CLEVELAND MARATHON EVENT!!

 

XX,

Jamie =)

Have your CAKE and eat it too =)

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Hello all!

If you follow me on instagram (https://www.instagram.com/cupcakesforprs/) you might seem some crazy cakes, and ice cream creations. I have found some products that I just love that are high in protein AND satisfy my dang sweet tooth #winning #innerfatkidproblems .  So now you might think well how in the world can you eat these things and still be “healthy” and promote a health/fitness lifestyle.

Well…… I gave up tracking weight watchers points about a year ago and it was the BEST decision of my life! (now don’t think I don’t like WW or am talking trash about it.  WW helped get me started and helped me learn so very much about portion size and reading food labels. I just found with my exercise and fitness goals, it was time for ME to move on). I signed up with an amazing macro coach and haven’t looked back since.  I use my fitness pal (user name jamariejo if you want to share food diaries) and have a set number of grams of fat, carbs, and protein to hit everyday.  It’s almost like food Tetris =)  I founds some items I like Lil Buff Protein Cakes (https://www.lilbuff.com I posed the link as they are only available to purchase online if you are not in the greater Cleveland area).

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Arctic zero ice cream (now I ONLY like the maple vanilla and salted caramel flavors and you HAVE to microwave that pint for 30 seconds to get it creamy, IMO all the other flavors are like nasty ice milk).

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I have been sticking to my running schedule but also working on weight lifting and spin class.  I have noticed a HUGE difference in my body.  I am getting some small little baby muscles and well that’s pretty cool.  I am trying so very hard to work on ME and develop some type of balance in my life this year.

Last year I thought the number of miles I hit every week would make me stronger, leaner and better….to be honest that’s not always the case, and it’s really no way to live.  Life works best with balance. I am working so hard on that right now.  THAT DOESN’T COME EASY FOR ME.  So I have done some thinking and processing and have decided a few things (I know you are on the edge of your seat)…

  1. I am going to try hard to work on ME and BALANCE this year.  Enjoy life more!
  2. I LOVE running, seriously heck to the yes BUT I am not defined by the number of miles I run.  I am going to fall in love with running MORE as I am not going to force myself to run some silly number of miles.
  3. The Cleveland Half Marathon is going to be my BI#CH this year.  Yep that’s right taking on the half, no full for this girl.
  4. This half training cycle I am going to focus hard on speed, I have two goals I want to crush (I know you’re not surprised).
  5. With all this balance thing I am going to work on having some non-tracked meals, enjoy life, you know live a little.  If you know me you would know every week I sit down and fill myfitnesspal with all my food for the week.  I pretty much stick to this plan (don’t get me wrong I have been known to be stuck in the peanut butter jar or have a few untracked items).  This peanut butter right here is GOLD =)peanut-butter
  6. However, it’s ok to have a meal that isn’t exactly in the PLAN.  My husband reminded me of this when we were at the grocery store, as I was reading the nutrition labels of some food items he said you know it’s ok to have treat that isn’t in that tracker…..yep it is, I need to do this more!
  7. I love LOVE my spin class, seriously if you have in the Cleveland area check out The Edge Indoor Studio (http://www.reachtheedge.com) The-Edge-Logo-GT300.pngPLUS the first class you take there is FREE, so why not give it a try?  I go every friday morning, join me!  I found in the past I didn’t go to spin class as yep I was so focused on those miles.  It’s ok to cross train and have those other activities, it also helps your core/running form.
  8. YOGA, I need to go back to yoga.  I love yoga and find during that time my mind is quite, which is a rarity.  So I will be heading back to yoga =)
  9. Enjoy the moment.  I am going to enjoy the moment I am in MORE, we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow, so why not enjoy the moment we are in???  SUNDAYS are now my REST day.  No weights, no running, no spin, REST and try to embrace/enjoy it.  This is easier said than done for me.  I am usually a HUGE A-HOLE on Sundays BUT I am going to do better!!!  Who would have thought I would need help resting?
  10. I NEED to be nicer to me.  I work so hard on my eating, fitness, I WORK HARD FOR WHAT I HAVE.  I AM STRONG AND BEAUTIFUL, I need to embrace this and celebrate me.  I am too terrible to myself, always focusing on my flaws…. I WORK TOO HARD FOR THAT CRAP…. I mean come on I’m pretty cute …. (be nice that took a lot for me to post as I am really not THAT confident). me cute.jpg
  11. BALANCE!!!

As I enter into the week, I have my training plan all mapped out as remember #3 =)

Monday: Speed Intervals

Tuesday: Lifting-back, chest, shoulders

Wednesday: Running, hoping for miles with Reese

Thursday: Running, miles with Reese or some tempo on the treadmill

Friday: Spin class

Saturday: Running, hoping for the great outdoors

Sunday: DAY OF REST!

Have a great week everyone.  Also feel free to reach out with any questions about my lifestyle, training, or anything else I am an open book =) OH AND COMMENT PLEASE, I always try to be 100% honest, so appreciate anything you have to throw at me!

XX,

Jamie

Happy 2017!!!

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Hello all!!!  First off Happy NEW YEAR!!  Wow I can’t believe it’s 2017, where did 2016 go?!?!  2016 was a pretty fantastic year, BUT I am really looking forward to what 2017 has in store.  I know for a FACT there are some pretty big things happening in the Johnston household, but I can’t share just yet (I know you are on the edge of your chair).

I always have a love hate relationship with new years.  I look back at the past year and always wonder if I did enough, could I have done more, am I where I need to be???? whooooaaaaa that’s a lot.  Then I always think oh my a new year!!!  What goals do I have, wow a fresh start, new page, LET’S KILL THIS THING…. yea a bit overkill.  However I always love the excitement everyone has, as folks up their fitness levels and start enjoying the fit life a little more (welcome, keep it up you won’t regret it).

So let me address the first part, did I do enough, could I have done more, am I where I need to be???? I pulled up my best 9 photos of the year….

best-9I look at all these photos and I think I did A LOT, and these are just my fitness related things.  I crushed 2 marathons one with a 3:35 pace (well 3:35:46 let’s not forget those oh so important 46 seconds), the other with 3:41 pace…still amazing!  I had support of my loved ones, had some pretty fantastic food ( I mean see those cupcakes and pancakes??), oh and look I built some muscles =)

Personally I started to find a bit more of balance in my life, realize it’s not always about the miles.  It’s about experiences, your relationships, about being HAPPY!!  Only you can control those things!!  Also, ummmmmmmmmmmmm I am right where GOD wants me to be!  So yes I am exactly where I need to be!

I ended 2016 with my loved ones in Wisconsin.  The time went way to fast, and I wish I could have had another week with them.  I think experiences and making memories are MOST important, which is just what we did to end the year!  My family and I went to the Packer vs. Viking game AT LAMBAU FEILD!!!

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Yes I rocked the camo on camo, and had a few beers.  I topped out at 2, as let’s face it I don’t drink a lot and am a lightweight!  Seriously though, this was the best Christmas Eve I have had in a VERY long time!!!!!

So what now…on to 2017, what does it have in store, do I have goals???  Well, I do have some goals but not many are fitness related (for once)…. I want to experience more moments and memories with my family and loved ones, I want to love myself more, find some balance in my life with food/exercise/enjoyment, I just want to LIVE and be HAPPY!

As I enter 2017 I am facing one of my first fun experiences!  The Cleveland Marathon, I was asked back to be an ambassador!!! HECK TO THE YESSS!!!

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Then comes the question but what race will you run?!?!  You know what, I am not sure…..gasppppp I know!  I am leaning towards the 1/2 and might even do the 10K, maybe I will tackle those 46 seconds and try and PR that marathon.  I honestly don’t know.  What I do know is I pushed myself really hard last year with 2 marathons, 3 actually took place within a year time frame and well that’s just too damn much!  I was tired, over trained, and not enjoying running…. I don’t want to do that again!!  So in early Feb, I plan on making a decision.

So for now I am going to enjoy the moment…

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love my husband more…

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cuddle those little furbabies…

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I mean look at the cuteness in that picture!!!!

I am going to live a little, find that balance.  I might even build some more muscles, that’s kind of fun =)

Happy 2017, wishing you all nothing but the best!

XX,

Jamie

I’ll have what she’s having…

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I have been thinking about this blog post for a loooonnnnnnnggggg time.  In my head I have probably wrote and then rewrote it.  I don’t want to come across like an a-hole, but I also think there is something that needs to be addressed.  So here we go, I can tell you are already on the edge of your seat.

Why do we compare ourselves so much to others????  Seriously?  I too have done this in all aspects of my life, my professional life, my personal life…..fitness….running…everything.  I mean you look at instagram and you see all these posts some of these people are dang beasts!!  Makes me think WOW how do I get to be that fit, how can I look like that, what’s wrong with me , how can I improve????????

Sometimes comparing yourself to others will have you rethinking your current lifestyle and routine.  I have been through phases of this.  I would see someone online or in the fitness world and think, well if only I ate what they ate….if I did that then I would have their results.  ORRR you go out to lunch/dinner with a fit friend and you think well I WILL JUST HAVE WHAT SHE’S HAVING. You don’t get something you’d like to have, or really enjoy… you give in and have whatever your friend is having.

This we need to STOP doing… right this second…… JUST STOP!

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When you are working on your own fitness things you don’t realize is everyone is at a different point of their journey AND different programs and approaches work for different people.  My journey started with weight watchers, it gave me the start I needed.  I then stopped and kinda was in limbo and now I track macros, which for me has been life changing…….BUT THAT IS FOR ME!

Now there are tons of approaches out there…..macro counting, logging with my fitness pal, weight watchers, I have seen some people ordering meal plans online……some even hire a personal training.  YOU DO WHAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU.  For me, I can’t buy meals online or have someone telling me what to eat……if I can’t sustain it for a lifetime I don’t want to do it, crash diets don’t work (IMO).

So yes share recipes with friends, get the salad when out if that’s what YOU want. However stop comparing yourself to others.  We are all at different parts of our journey and different things work for different people.  For me I have discovered CARBS aren’t bad, they actually help me with my training.  I have also discovered fruit and veggies are great but in moderation, you can’t put the whole fruit bowl into a smoothie….that doesn’t work for me.

Also, as I was thinking about this I was thinking of the I’LL HAVE WHAT SHE’S HAVING mentality.  Say you are out with a friend and she gets a burger, you think ok she’s getting that so I will too…..or maybe she gets a salad and you had your day planned and wanted a buger but decide to get the salad as your friend did.  You don’t know what your friends plan was for that day right?  Maybe your friend started the day with something small and she planned in the burger, maybe she has plans later that day for ice cream so she opted for the salad at lunch……IT’S HER JOURNEY, HER PLAN NOT YOURS!  Stop doing what the group is doing…..YOU DO YOU.

Same thing goes for a fitness routine.  For me I have fallen in love with running, love it!  I love running so much that for me 8 miles is my perfect distance.  I think it’s enough that I get to do it in the morning before work without being rushed, and it’s enjoyable.  NOW not everyone likes to run, that’s ok.  I have had so many folks ask me how can I get into running, how can I learn to like it?  UMMMm……… if you don’t like it, I can make you like it, it’s ok IT’S NOT FOR YOU!  Find something you like!!!  Maybe it’s zumba, weight lifting, walking, ANYTHING….YOU DO YOU.

Well, I think I was all over the place..maybe rambled and didn’t make sense however I needed to address this.  So yes, use your friends as inspiration, maybe look at their food log for some meal ideas BUT don’t be crazy and try to duplicate their efforts.  Everyone’s body is different, you need to know what your body likes….what fuels your passion, what fuels you’re body. YOU DO YOU!

XX,

Jamie

 

What I’ve Learned this Training Season…

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I know some of you didn’t think it was possible BUT I did it!  I gave myself a whole week of rest.  No running, no activity, just pure relaxation!!!!  I am actually pretty impressed with myself as I almost gave in today as it’s a beautiful morning and a run would have been nice, BUT NO I said one week and I am sticking with it =)

Tomorrow morning I think I am going to attempt 3 miles in the morning, but we will see.  I have some time to relax and enjoy off season.  No rush, no need to get the miles in, no pressure…..this all is so nice!

So I have had a lot of time to think of things and as you know I am always honest with you all……always, maybe too honest and open at times but you know what I am not going to be fake just because someone may read this blog and think differently of me.  Don’t follow me, or read my blog…that’s ok =)

I have beat myself up a bit this week.  The 46 seconds of Cleveland and 6 minutes of the Fox Communities Marathon have messed with my head a bit.  ALL that training and miles that I put in, to NOT accomplish my goal.  That will mess with you a bit.  I was pretty mean to myself yesterday, and did have a day of tears (come on you all knew it was coming).

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However I did learn a lot in this training season and thought I would share some of those things….

  1. Back to back marathon training is hard! Not something I would really recommend.  However if I do this again, I will take a small break in-between training….for like more than 2 weeks.
  2. Fuel is key!  I learned a lot about nutrition during this training and I am so very thankful I started to fuel my body properly!  CARBS are good and do help you run!!
  3. If things happen in life and you miss  a few training days the world won’t come crashing down, BUT you should try your best to stick to it.
  4. Tempo runs, interval runs ARE KEY!  If you want to increase your speed you need these training days.
  5. Support is NEEDED!  Training isn’t easy and will play with your head a lot. If you don’t have the support of the loved ones around you, well I really don’t know how it would be possible.  So make sure everyone is on board. Also enlist some seasoned runners, as you will have TONS of questions!
  6. Long runs are game day practice!  You should use your fueling plan and stick with it, this is the only way you will figure out what works on race day.  I am still learning this and need to be better with it.
  7. The last 6 or so miles of the marathon are KEY!  This is usually when my race is made or falls apart.  There is no telling what can take place during those last 6 miles.
  8. Stick to your plan on race day.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement and start out fast, or to forget to fuel yourself.  Try to stick to the plan and put it into motion.
  9. Respect the distance!  26.2 miles is a long ways!  I really try not to think about that much, as that will plan with your head during training, but dangggggg.  Drive 26.2 in the car and really think about it!  It is no small feat!
  10. Be thankful.  Seriously be thankful during a training cycle.  Thankful to log the miles, thankful for your health!  Not many people can do all of this, so thank God for the opportunity to do so.

Now that this training cycle is over, and I have had my day of tears (yesterday) I am putting my big girl pants on and moving forward.  HECK I completed two marathons this year at pretty ok times 3:35:46 (yes I had to put the 46 seconds there) and 3:41.  (now at four total completed marathons).

Also, as you all know I am pretty damn tenacious and I can’t let this goal rest.  I do have a plan to tackle it again, and a pretty fantastic plan if you ask me =)  I will share that in a later post (I know the suspense is killing you).  I Jamie Johnston am a marathon addict…

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Happy Sunday Friends!  Go Pack Go!

XX,

Jamie

Well now what?!?!

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Happy Wednesday all!!!

It’s hard to believe two weeks ago I was running 13.1 miles before work, 10 at a marathon pace.  One week ago I was tapering for my marathon, and then today…today I didn’t do crap!!!

I have had a lot of emotions since my marathon on Sunday.  Some moments of anger as COME ON MAN I really wanted that BQ!  Then moments of…. you know what 3:41 isn’t a bad time at all, with 90% humidity nice job. Then omg….training is over now what?!?!  Then wow girl you completed 2 marathons this year with times of 3:35 and 3:41 that’s amazing!

Usually around this time  the Marathon Blues set it, it’s a real thing look it up.  You basically have spent all this time training, preparing and getting ready for this BIG event and NOW it’s over!!! It is well kinda sad!  I didn’t realize it was a thing until a dear friend pointed it out. Pretty much every marathon that I have completed I have had the marathon blues. They have lasted a week or two, and then slowly go away.  SO far…so far GUESS WHAT?!?!  No marathon blues for this girl!  Seriously, I was so darn sick of training for this thing….I would have tossed in the towel months ago if I wasn’t so committed, plus there was the whole going home to run a marathon thing.

I now have time to REST, RELAX, do WHATEVER THE HELL I WANT!  I don’t have a 13 mile training run before work.  Saturday I won’t be longing over 2-3 hours out on the road.  Now don’t get me wrong I love a training schedule I do, but back to back marathons ARE A LOT and for both of these I completed full training cycles.

Now folks keep asking me, welllllppppp what’s next Jamie.  What are you going to do??  You all I am going to rest!  I am going to practice some BALANCE in my life!!!  This past year or so has been crazy miles, CRAZY MILES.  I am going to figure out a balance of food and running for fun.  It doesn’t have to be crazy weeks of 60+ miles, nope……relaxxxxxx enjoy life.

So what is next for me, balance that’s what’s next.  I love fall and I am going to enjoy the heck out of it.  I love crisp morning runs, with no pace to chase after and I am going to run those miles.  I LOVE pumpkin spice EVERYTHING and I am going to enjoy this, with moderation of course.  Now this will take the same discipline I just completed with my training as balance doesn’t come easy for me, it really is something I have struggled with for YEARS.  I am going to try my best =)

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So for now I rest, enjoy, and ahhhhh yes BALANCE!!

XX,

Jamie

 

PS- Part of this plan also involves blogging more =)

Just chasing a dream…

Fox Communities Marathon Recap…. and then some =)

Happy Tuesday!!!  I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am to be sitting here, out on our patio still in comfortable clothes, drinking my coffee, and just relaxing!!!!  As you all know Sunday I took on 26.2 miles as part of the Fox Communities Marathon, overall a darn amazing day HOWEVER let’s address the elephant in the room (well blog space) I didn’t get my time goal….but oddly I am ok with that.  So let’s hash this thing out and break it down shall we =)

Race Morning:

I woke up at 3:00am to eat some oatmeal, I wanted this to be in my system and digested before the race.  After eating this I went back to bed for a few more minutes as I knew the alarm wold be going off at 4:30.

4:30am the alarm went off and everyone in the house started to get ready.  Mom was even so on top of things, she took a nice shower and did her dang hair/make-up.  I slowly got myself together, which didn’t take me too long as I had all my stuff laid out the night before.

As I have said many MANY of times, race morning I am 99.9% an ASSHOLE.  Seriously I should be punched in the face, but the fact is most people are too scared to even get that close to me.  However, I really don’t think I was that much of an asshole this morning.  My family may think otherwise but I think for the post part I was smiling and not being a rude asshole, so that goal was accomplished =)

We made our way downtown and picked up my mother in-law at her hotel (YES my in-laws came from MN, this seriously was a huge highlight of the weekend).  We then arrived at the race start around 6:15am.  This is when my usual race day anxiety started to kick in, yep this is happening…..oh my gosh 26.2 miles is so long!!!  The anxiety wasn’t as bad as some of my family and friend started to come around and say hello.  Uncle Mike and Aunt Cathy arrived, they were all smiles and even had some awesome run Jamie run shirts on.  Then my friend Kelly who I hadn’t seen in forever showed up with her daughter Taylor, wow that was awesome!!  This all helped my mind a bit.

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This pretty much sums up my nervousness… 

At the start of the race the race director greeted everyone, BUT also let us know that it was going to be hot out on the course.  He said the temps were low but as we progressed we would be in the 70’s OH AND HE ALSO TOLD US THE HUMIDITY WAS 90%….I don’t think I wanted to know that….so I tried to push that out of my head, ain’t no body got time for that sh*T.

The National Anthem played, I said my pre-race prayer and before I knew it I was off and on the road.

Miles 1-5

These mies are interesting.  You have the excitement of the start but also the realization that you have 26 miles to run.  These miles did go pretty fast, and I tried to keep my mind clear as it kept trying to remind me that I had about 3+ hours of running ahead of me.  I saw the 3:25 pacer, he seemed nice and my legs seemed really good soooo yea let’s stick with him…..I introduced myself to the group following this pacer at about mile 4, I figured I was making a commitment to stick with them, so I better say hello.

These miles were the best paced miles of the race coming in around 7:30-7:40 per mile.

Miles 6-13

Everything was feeling good at this point.  I was following my little pace group, listening to my jams and somewhat enjoying life.  I could feel my tight hamstrings reminding me of their tightness every now and then but overall life was pretty good.

Somewhere in this group of miles I see my dear friend Melissa.  Now I can’t even tell you where she all was during the race, as I feel like I got to see her EVERYWHERE.  I can’t thank this girl enough.  She had a busy day and took the time to come encourage me, support me, and really seriously gave me the extra push AT MANY MILES throughout the race.

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You Melissa are a true amazing friend, I can’t thank you enough.  You were everywhere on that course! 

Around mile 12, there was a bit of a hill.  While climbing this hill I thought, welppppp this isn’t a flat course, and oohhhhhh helllllooooooo tight hamstrings.  Then I heard my name being YELLED, it was my MOM!!!  I looked and she was there with her loud ass cowbell yelling my name and running along side me.  This was just what I needed and OMG it’s my mom at mile 12…THIS IS AWESOME!

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This picture is amazing!!  Mom pushing me through mile 12.  

I then see my Aunt Cathy….OMG this also is awesome!!!  I wave and feel my heart filled with so much joy!

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Mom and Aunt Cathy! 

At this mile my mom’s work was also set-up for a water stop.  It was so very nice to see Women’s Speciality Care out on the course, they all knew my name and were YELLING IT!  Thanks for making me feel like a VIP ladies, also this location was awesome as you could see their awesome sign as you rounded the corner.

I hit mile 13 strong.  Looking at the clock for the 1/2 way point I realized I had just crushed my fastest half marathon….AWESOME BUT waittttt is that awesome or did I start out too fast?!?!  So much to think about!

Right around this mile marker I see a lady wearing a pink shirt on a megaphone….WTHHHHHH this lady is craazz…..wait, wait that’s my Aunt Sue!  Oh man she is yelling her praises at me.  I couldn’t help but laugh and smile, this was just awesome!

Miles 14-18

I realized at this point I was so focused on my little pace group and awesome excitement that I hadn’t fueled AT ALL.  SH#T that’s probably NOT good.  I reached into my bra (yes I am that classy, hey it has these little pockets in it for gels THANKS LULULEMON).  I start my first salted caramel gel….ughhhh it tastes like crud today and it’s extra warm….yuck.  I manage to choke it down…

At first I thought my stomach was feeling good, at one point I even lifted my hands to the air and praised the Imodium I started taking at noon the day before.  Then at mile 15ish the damn wheels came off.  My stomach dropped…I NEEDED a port-o-potty STAT!  Luckily there was one.  I was fast, off came the pants…. I did my thing…back on the road.  I was so fast that I could still see my little pace group up ahead of me.  Perfect they are within sight!  It was at this point I probably made a terrible decision.  I decided I would try and get back with my pace group.  BAD JAMIE BAD!!!!!! Miles 15-18 were spent trying to gain ground and get back to my new peeps……I did get close but never reached them.

Miles 18-22

At this point I realized it was ok, I wash’t going to make it with my pace group and I still had a chance of hitting my goal time.  However at this point, my fast half and my last few miles of playing cat and mouse were starting to take a toll on my body and legs.  I wasn’t feeling fantastic AT ALL.

Then I got exactly what I needed, a small pick me up!  I saw Cori, Kevin, and Angela!  They were all wearing run Jamie run shirts and yelling….YES YES YES!!!  I managed to high five Kevin and kept pushing forward.

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I was feeling pretty great at this point.  Then I had a volunteer coming running up to me….all I could hear was Jamie, Jamie….your grandma is here she is waiting for you.  I was thinking what?!?!?  Is she serious?!?!  Sure enough there was my GRANDMA WITH A SIGN!!!!!!  OMG MY GRANDMA IS HERE….MY GRANDMA IS AT MY MARATHON WATCHING ME RUN!!!  The volunteer even held a sign that said grandpa loves you (as he wasn’t feeling the best).  I did my best to blow a kiss to grandma, made it a bit down the road and felt the need to yell with everything I had… I LOVE YOU GRANDMA (as seriously how many times does anyone get to experience this exact moment).

Mile 18 had me feeling so good, at this point I needed more fuel as I had been sucking in that department.  I took one of my huma blueberry gels….yep tasted like butt….I usually LOVE these but my body was NOT feeling it today.  I took about 1/2 of it and tossed the rest….this will haunt me later in many ways.

Right after mile 18 I see my dear friend Mike!  Mike is like a brother to me, he was sitting there chilling in a lawn chair drinking some coffee.  I think he said something like you are kicking so much ass keep going….this was awesome!

Right around mile 20 that 1/2 a gel I had haunted me….. where the F* is a big blue port-o-potty I need it now….luckily I find one.  Once again feel I am pretty fast and make my way back out to the road.  At this point the sun is baring down on me and there is NO SHADE.

20-22 were hell miles, I hit the damn wall.  My lack of fueling properly was haunting me, the heat was killing me, and ummmmmm that super fast first 1/2 was saying ohhhhhh remember me…WHY DID YOU DO THAT?!?!  During these miles I reached a dark place and various things went through my head things like…… You know you could call Dana and he would come get you, welllllppppp it looks like this thing is going to take you about 5-6 hours to finish, WOW all that training and you are sucking this up big time real nice, all your family came here to watch you hit this goal and you suck, why do you suck so much right now……FFFFFFFFFFFF THAT FFFFFFFFF THAT….

I had run through what seemed to be a prairie at this point, with the sun just beating down.

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Then I heard my name…omg it’s my girl Andrea and she is yelling all kinds of great stuff at me.  She is taking this negative talk and helping me move out of the basement and into positive land.  ANDREA you were at the PERFECT spot!!

Miles 22-24 

At this point I stopped the negative talk and got my shit together.  Seriously I am out running a damn marathon, my 4th marathon in fact and I still was managing a pretty respectable time…. embrace the suck and move the fu#k forward Jamie!

Around mile 23 I saw uncle rick, aunt terry, and aunt mary.  It was so nice to have my own personal cheering crowd at this point in the race.  They were all smiles and looking fantastic.  My uncle rick even used his wheel chair to come right out and give me a highfive….. ok if uncle rick and survive a brain injury and be out here, I can do this thing.

Right around this point I hear another loud friend, my friend AMBER is here!!!  WOW, she is so loud I love it.  I knew she’d be at the perfect point in the race and nothing has changed about her, I can hear her as clear as day.  I was almost in tears as I remembered the last time I saw this girl was in college….so much has changed since then and here she is supporting me.

At mile 24 it happened again…. big blue and I were reunited and I was quick to get back on the course.

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When I popped out of big blue I was passed by the 3:35 pacer.  I knew at this point a BQ 100% wasn’t in the cards for today…. my heart did sink a bit.  Then I thought really, you are going to be in the final 2 miles of a marathon all upset because of a time…nope NOT TODAY, you have ran a marathon in the heat killing it….no time to booooohooooo about it, F* that.

Miles 24- finish 

Well right around mile 23-25ish the race went over bridges…oh awesome, talk about heat and sun…. WTHHHHHHHHHH.  I managed to push on, my body was hating me….my fueling and lack there of was hating me…… I needed more water……

I rounded mile 25 and got to see aunt sue again, this made me smile.  I then saw Kelly and Taylor, they were cheering so loud I think it gave me a little push.  I started into mile 26 and see this big guy in camo crocks running at me….what the hell, it’s my dad…what are you doing I think.  He is running along side telling me to kick it in the ass and finish strong.  OMG dad please don’t hurt yourself…..why don’t you kick it in the ass buddy, you didn’t just run over 25 miles….but wait…it’s my dad and he is helping me finish….THIS IS AWESOME!!!!

I cross the finish line strong.  Looking at the time 3:41….nope not that BQ I was hoping for but A DAMN GOOD TIME, and omg look at all the amazing miles I just put in!

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At this point I feel like death…serious death.  I am dehydrated, I didn’t fuel right…..omg where is my husband.  I see him, I see my hero…. I see he is yelling #4, #4 as he is just so proud that I finished my 4th marathon.  At this point he scoops me up and helps me lay on the ground.  I look up and my whole dang family is fanning me……my whole family, with fans above me……alright I may be 1/2 dead but this is awesome…..

 

********I think this is the perfect point to end this blog post, there is another one coming to finish off some thoughts…..

It’s a JOURNEY not a Destination!

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Happy Wednesday Friends!  I have received many different questions via e-mail (jamariejo@me.com), blog (here), Instagram (@cupcakesforPRs), Facebook (Jamie Johnstons Journey), and personal Facebook page asking questions about running, my weight loss journey, food I eat, and I have promised you all I would address them.

So today’s the day (I know you have been sitting on the edge of your seat waiting (sarcasm).  I am pretty excited to put this together for you all!  As always if you read this and you think of more questions or want more information on a topic please reach out.

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My most recent transformation picture.

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My most recent transformation picture.

Q: What made you make a change in your lifestyle?

A: I get this question A LOT!  I feel like I should have some magical AHHHH YESSSSS moment to share but sadly I don’t.  I have been overweight my whole life, I joke and say I was underweight once as I was born premature weighing only 5 lbs. I don’t have a moment that made me change, BUT I was finally in a place in my life where I could focus on me AND had an amazing supportive partner along side me.

Q: Did you start with activity right away?

A: NO!  I didn’t start any type of activity until I had lost around 30-40lbs.  I didn’t want to jump into it all like a crazy lady and get burnt out.  I focused first on my nutrition with weight watchers, and from there I started to walk but not until I had lost appox. 30 lbs.

Q: How did you progress from no activity …. to walking…to running?

A: I started walking very SLOWLY!  I did laps around my neighborhood.  Not going to lie it was HARD.  My body wasn’t use to ANY type of activity.  One lap around my neighborhood is .7 of a mile, so I started with one lap and worked my way up.  I had to deal with my body hating me as well as my head playing games.  In my head the whole neighborhood was watching me (they probably weren’t and could have cared less).

After I got comfortable with one lap I added more, slowly working my way up to 3 or so miles.  After about 8 months of walking and about 75-100 lbs lost (so I weighed around 225-250 at this time) I started to venture out of our subdivision, and figured out a 5k (3 mile) route.  I would take this route on 3-5 times a week.  I slowly started to jog across the street at intersections.  Then 1/4 mile by 1/4 mile I started to run more.  My first mini goal was to run a full mile without stopping.  My running progressed after I walked my first 5k and made a goal to run a 5k in the following year.  This is a slow process and you need to do it slowly so you don’t get injured or take on something your body isn’t ready for (which would suck).

Q: What are your thoughts on weight loss surgery?

A: I get this question A LOT!!!!!  Honestly it’s everyone’s own journey.  For me sticking with eating right and exercise worked and I am pretty darn proud of that.  Some have trouble with diet and exercise, that’s their journey.  I suggest really trying the diet and exercise thing, if you gave it YOUR ALL and still don’t have results work with your DR on a plan.  I have seen many success stories with weight loss surgery but have also seen some that have gained it all back….with that being SAID the same is true with weight watchers and other programs, people have success and then gain it all back.  It’s about finding what works for YOU and YOUR lifestyle, what can you maintain for a lifetime and BE HAPPY WITH.

Q: Do you still follow weight watchers?

A: NO!  Now this might get long so please get comfortable…. I LOVE weight watchers and think it’s such a great program and great starting point for many people.  It works with you on portion control and helps you focus on eating healthy and a healthy lifestyle.  Weight Watchers is how I lost the majority of my weight.

NOW….. I was with WW for about 3 years and found myself in an interesting place (I am going to be vulnerable here so hopefully you all don’t judge).  I was at a serious plateau and found my weight was stuck and I kept gaining/losing the SAME 15 lbs. I also found that I would not allow myself to eat things that were higher in WW points and I NEVER really enjoyed food with some type of balance.  During this time it was ALL or deprivation.  So I would have a cheat day and basically eat everything I could this would include pizza, cookies (I mean a whole package of oreos is one serving right?), and other items I could get my hands on. Then I would feel so dang guilty that I would try and limit what I had the next day….I was on a roller coaster that wasn’t going ANYWHERE and high WW points items were off limits.  Most days my diet consisted of vegetables and fruit….nothing else.

During the past Christmas season is when I realized this wasn’t ok and that I needed to do something about it.  I took Christmas on in full force, eating my weight in cookies and other indulgences and told myself enough was enough…

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One of MANY Christmas cookies!

I decided to quit WW as I really wasn’t following the program and I needed to try something new. Now you have to understand this was a big deal for me, WW was like my security blanket!  I wasn’t really following the WW program but it was always there waiting for me.  Also WW has just been my thing.  However, why stick with something that is no longer helping????

So I decided to sign up with a macro coach (if you are interested in who and the program e-mail me and I will tell you more).  So now you probably ask what the heck is a macro coach???  Well, a macro coach works with you and develops a plan for the number of macros you have in a day.  Macro-nutrients such as Carbs, Fat, and Protein.  I started this program and after a week or so fell in LOVE!!!  I was eating foods that I had sworn off of.  I worked a cupcake into my day, just an ordinary day with a dang cupcake.  I ate it and didn’t feel guilty!  I use myfitnesspal to track my food and find it to be a fun experiment deciding what I want to work into my plan each day.  I also include something I seriously enjoy at least once a day (lately this has been ice cream).  This has provided me with balance and FREEDOM.

Now I won’t lie and say it’s been rainbows and butterflies, I still have struggles.  I see some food items and think wellllllll I really shouldn’t have that, OR I find myself having a cheat day and going CRAZY eating way to much.  Now I must say I have actually found the most balance I have had in a LONG time and am moving in the best direction for me.  I have reached my original goal weight and have set a new goal, nothing crazy just a little bit more to go.

Q: I have started to run, but what running shoes should I wear?

A: I can’t stress this enough, no two people are the same.  For me I love my Hoka Clifton 2

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running shoes BUT everyone is different.  I highly recommend visiting your local running store and getting fit, these people know best and it will help you from becoming injured.

Q: What do you eat, what are some of your go to items:

A: I am very much a creature of habit and have many of the same items everyday, which you can see on my Instagram and Facebook pages.  Here are some of my goto items per meal…

Breakfast: Oatmeal with egg whites….(It takes a bit of time but so worth it! 1/2 cup of oats (quick oats) put them in 1 cup of hot water and let that sit for 5 minutes so the oats get fluffy, then microwave for 2 minutes. Add 1/2-1 cup egg whites (depending on what you want), microwave for 3 minutes stirring every 30 seconds (this is key otherwise you will have a hard egg mess). Add anything else you’d like at the end. I like to stir in some pumpkin puree and splenda is a must for me.

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It doesn’t look the best but it tastes very good AND makes a TON! This is in a pyrex bowl! 

 

Puffed Kamut, 

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Breakfast Smoothie (I like to make mine with Quest Nutrition Protein Powder)

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Mighty Muffins these can also be made into waffles, I also use this companies pancake mix for waffles (online link), egg white breakfast sandwiches.

Lunch: Salads I really like salads and don’t mind them daily mine usually have some type of protein (chicken, tuna, lunchmeat) low fat cheese (I can’t do fat free YUCK), and salad dressing, Sweet Potatoes with Jiff Whips Peanut Butter these are paired with my salad, Oatmeal I really dig oatmeal during the winter months and have been known to have it for lunch

Dinner: Sloppy Joes, Egg White Omelets, Tacos, Soup and Sandwich, Hamburgers, Turkey Cheddars, Mini Pizza (made on lavash bread, english muffins, or flatouts) , Chicken Breasts.  All meals are usually with a veggie, lately it’s been steamed broccoli.  For Hamburgers we use 96% or 93% lean beef, sloppy goes and tacos are made with extra lean turkey.  Chicken breasts are great as you can make a bunch and use them for your lunch salad.  Lately for dinner I have been enjoying chicken breast shredded with pizza sauce on a bun with moz cheese.  Lots of great possibilities. 

Snacks: Fruits, Veggies, Complete Cookies, Slow Churned Ice Cream, Arctic Zero (I only like SOME of the flavors: Salted Caramel, Mapple Vanilla, Cookie Dough, Snickerdoodle, Brownie), Quest Bars, Greek Yogurt, Picky Bars, Chips…

Thanks so much for reading along and I hope I have helped answer your questions.  Feel free to reach out if you have any other questions or would like more information on something I addressed.  Thanks for your continued support and for following along on my journey.

XX,

Jamie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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