Cleveland Half Marathon Recap, PART 1

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WOW!  My journey to 13.1 for my THIRD year in Cleveland.  Seriously let me first pinch myself, my 3rd 1/2 marathon…..that’s just CRAZY.  I never in a MILLION years would have thought I would complete one, better yet 3 of these running events.  The weekend started off pretty great as my parents arrived in from Wisconsin Friday evening.  Not going to lie was so happy to see them but a bit bummed as I didn’t get to join my fellow race ambassadors at the VIP reception.  Maybe next year I could bring my parents??

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OWN this RACE!

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Well, it’s Half Marathon Week………ARE YOU SERIOUS! I can’t believe it’s here. Not going to lie yesterday I was having mixed emotions about the week. I thought things like ughhhh I wish I had more time, like a month more of training……….then I looked at the forecast, seeing 80 and humid didn’t really make me ecstatic. I was seriously thinking man this sucks…

WTHHHHHhhhhh head! Stop that crap! =) Yes it’s going to be hot, probably humid, heck it might even rain but you know what?? IT IS WHAT IT IS! These are all things we can’t control. What we can control is how we handle it and how we mentally prepare for the week. So here are some Marathon Week Tips, take them or leave them =) Ohhhhhhhhh also, you may find that everyone is a dang expert these days. True, if you are running your first half or first full everyone is offering you some kind of advice. It’s really nice that they care, BUT remember everyone is different and you need to attack this thing doing what’s right for YOU. So once again, here is some advice…take it or leave it =)

1.) Stop the I can’t, seriously STOP it right F*ing NOW….it’s Marathon week, no time for those crazy thoughts.

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2.) Hydrate, hydrate, for the LOVE OF GOD HYDRATE! I don’t care if you are drinking so much that you are either at your desk or in the bathroom. You need to get your body ready for this thing. Hydration starts WAY before the event. So get to it, bottoms up, start chugging.
3.) Get that playlist ready. It will help you get excited for the race and let’s face it come the harder miles; it’s nice to know there is a little Reba to push you forward (that would be one of my artists of choice).
4.) Don’t eat anything CRAZY. Stay with what your usal fair is. Now’s not the time to try that extra fibrous bread or oatmeal, don’t you dare start some strange cleanse. Stay with what you know.
5.) Don’t second guess your training, OR start comparing your training to another runner. You trained your best; you are EXACTLY where you should be.
6.) Enjoy the expo but not too much. The expo will be amazing with some pretty fantastic vendors BUT keep in mind the next day you will be crushing some serious distance so stay off those legs.
7.) Speaking of the expo, it’s cool to TREAT YOURSELF. Buy some new running gear =) BUT DON’T use it at Sunday’s race. You need to try that stuff out first and race day isn’t the time to do so.
8.) Enjoy some much deserved REST. Your miles should be lower this week, so enjoy those extra hours. Sit and RELAX, go to bed early maybe wake up a bit later.

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9.) It looks like it’s going to be a warm one, so take a look at the course and know what mile markers will have those hydration stations. This way you will hopefully remember come race day.
10.) Every SINGLE DAY before the race, envision yourself crossing that finish line strong. SERIOUSLY if you need one of these tips to follow THIS IS IT. Running is very much a mind game so show that mind who’s BOSS…you are! Every night I am envision myself CRUSHING that finish line, leaving every part of me on the streets of Cleveland.

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Happy Marathon Week friends, we got this!!
XX,

Jamie

10 things to Remember before CLE!!!

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Well, we are 16 days away from the Cleveland Marathon Weekend! ARE YOU SERIOUS!!!!! Where did the time go, well let’s be honest we know where it went…sitting inside wishing winter would END =) With that being said some of you are tapering, a few might be doing a few more longer runs, and some might also be thinking WTH did I sign –up for, this seemed like a great idea….
No worries fellow runners WE GOT THIS! So I thought now would be the perfect time to put a list of things to remember before tackling your Cleveland Running Adventure =)
1) Remember why you signed up! I am sure there is some reason that made you do this, so remember that and take note if you had any goals in mind. If it was just a drunken mistake, well that’s ok too sometimes we make great decisions when alcohol is involved =)
2) Think of the goals you have and make sure you have a plan A goal and plan B goal. A-lofty goal you’d LOVE to hit B-it’s ok I didn’t hit goal A, this goal is also super awesome.
3) Remember to do a practice run with the running gear you will be wearing on race day. Yes it might be tempting to buy something new and fun in the next couple weeks (or at the race expo), but make sure you run in it….chafing and wardrobe malfunctions are no joke!
4) Start thinking about race day and put a plan together for that morning. Make sure you start communicating this plan to you loved ones that will be supporting you that day.
5) Remember to pack some extra clothes for race day. Someone told me this before my first marathon and I thought they were silly, little did I know that extra clean pair of shorts would feel like a million bucks.
6) Start putting a list together of things to remember on race day, because let’s face it we get a little crazy on race day and we really don’t want to forget things.
7) Remember all the training and time you have put into this, don’t take it for granted!
8) Remind yourself why you like running, at this time we have trained hard and might not be 100% in love with the sport….so remember why you love it.
9) If you like to dedicate your race miles, start thinking of you’d like to dedicate those miles to. I put a list together and kept it in my pocket on race day. When it got tough I would pull it out, see what mile I was at and look at what person I dedicated that mile to. It made me smile and push just a little bit harder.
10) Last but not least……THIS IS THE BIG ONE….. REMEMBER TO TRUST YOUR TRAINING! You’ve worked your butt off, YOU GOT THIS…. No seriously you do!!!!!

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No SERIOUSLY I do =) Remember WHY you love running!!

Why I love running!

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Well we are just about 3 weeks out from the Cleveland Marathon…….SERIOUSLY!!  You wouldn’t guess that by the 40 degree temps we are experiencing today, but summer is just round the corner right???

Training has been consistent, which I guess is a good thing =)  I didn’t get to my long run last weekend due to the painting of our garage and some SERIOUSLY sore legs/body.  Usually this would throw me for a loop, making me stressed however back to the BALANCE thing I discussed last time….I am discovering it more and more and becoming OK when life happens.

As I am sure many of you are aware this past Monday was the Boston Marathon.  I couldn’t help but find myself glued to the computer screen cheering on some dear friends and my favorite elite runner Shalane Flanagan.  I then thought to myself DANG who am I???  Here I am watching a running event and loving every second of it.  Never in a million years would I think I would be a runner better yet one that has participated in many 5k’s, 2 half marathons, 1 marathon and in the midst of training for my 3rd half.  I started to think to myself why I love running so much and decided to generate a list =)  I thought this would be something fun to remind us all why we are here, as with just 3 weeks before the marathon we could be feeling UGHHHHHHHH, AHHHHHHHHHH, stressed, wondering why we signed up, or just dang excited!  So here it goes the reasons I love running:

15.) I love to run because I have the BEST supporters =)

My Dad being able to PICK ME UP and hug me after my first FULL!

My Dad being able to PICK ME UP and hug me after my first FULL!

My amazing family making me cupcakes before my first full =)

My amazing family making me cupcakes before my first full =)

14.) I love running in the early mornings, before the world really wakes up.  This has given me the opportunity to witness some of the most amazing sunsets!

13.)  I love to eat!!  Running allows me to splurge now and then, while still keeping my fitness goals!

Wisconsin Cheese Curds, NOTHING like them =)

Wisconsin Cheese Curds, NOTHING like them =)

Yep....proof, I LOVE a s'more =)

Yep….proof, I LOVE a s’more =)

I did sample some beer on vacation, and ENJOYED it!

I did sample some beer on vacation, and ENJOYED it!

Cleveland Half 2013 (first ever half) celebration cupcake!

Cleveland Half 2013 (first ever half) celebration cupcake!

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12.)  Running has brought my husband and I closer together!  No he isn’t a runner BUT he’s the BEST dang supporter EVER.  During marathon training he has followed me step by step riding his bike, never complaining about the early mornings or the numerous 5k races.  He’s always there with a smile and the camera =)

Dana and I after a 5K.

Dana and I after a 5K.

Best supporter, there for EVERY long run!

Best supporter, there for EVERY long run!

11.) Through running I have met the most amazing BUDDY EVER!!  I get to run and dedicate my miles to Rylan!  Interested in this program check it out at: http://www.whoirun4.com/

Rylan, wishing me luck for the race!

Rylan, wishing me luck for the race!

I finished!!! CUPCAKE TIME, that's my BUDDY!!!!

I finished!!! CUPCAKE TIME, that’s my BUDDY!!!!

Poster my buddy made for me =)

Poster my buddy made for me =)

Awesome shirt my buddy Rylan and his family sent me!

Awesome shirt my buddy Rylan and his family sent me!

10.) It allows me to clear my head, shake off the crazy.

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9.) Running is something I can enjoy alone or with some lovely running company.

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8.) A run is always there waiting for you!  Either you chose to lace up and experience it or you don’t.

7.) You seriously never regret running!

6.) It doesn’t matter what you look like, running doesn’t care.

Feeling like death after the Akron full, thanks Mom for this outstanding picture!

Feeling like death after the Akron full, thanks Mom for this outstanding picture!

5.) Running has let me rock my favorite color (PINK)  NUMEROUS times.

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4.) Through the love of working out and running I have met some seriously AMAZING lifelong friends.

Great friends I met at our local Rec Center, now some of my very dear friends =)

Great friends I met at our local Rec Center, now some of my very dear friends =)

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3.) You discover what your body is capable of doing, which is pretty dang amazing….always keeping in mind your head will give out long before your legs will.

Finishing my first EVER full, had to own that finish!

Finishing my first EVER full, had to own that finish!

2.) I LOVE running clothes, yep seriously addicted (especially lululemon).

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1.) Running has helped me transform my body, assisting in my 180lb weight loss.  Not only losing it BUT keeping it off!!

Just about 4 short years ago, this was me!

Just about 4 short years ago, this was me!

What about you?? Why do you LOVE running???

Balance and a Weight off my Shoulders…

Many people say you should practice balance in your life, balance in all aspects.  For me balance is somewhat difficult.  I at times find myself to be all in or all out.  I have been trying my best to focus more on balance in my life, especially when it comes to diet and exercise. Diet should involve both things that are good for you and once and awhile an indulgence.  I at times have a hard time including the indulgence, but am trying to allow them into my life more.

My training for Cleveland has been pretty strong, but once again I need to involve balance.  I find that my training has involved lots of miles, and countless hours of cross training (spinning), as well as weight lifting.  Don’t get me wrong I have been enjoying the process BUT have found myself VERY wrapped up in the training.  So wrapped up in the training to the point where it hasn’t been fun. Yep, I am being honest here….my long runs HAVE NOT been fun in fact I have been dreading them.

Some of this has to do with the Cleveland winter, as lets face it…it’s been darn cold and the snow has been terrible.  I have been stuck on the treadmill, putting in the miles but staring at the basement walls.  Two weeks ago when I completed 16 miles, I thought I was going to go insane.

Well, last weekend was my breaking point.  There were tons of tears and almost a mini tantrum, as I had my long run in front of me BUT didn’t want anything to do with it.  I found myself thinking wait a minute….this running thing, this is suppose to be fun, this is suppose to be a process I enjoy.  Now don’t get me wrong, I know I am not going to be jumping out of bed ready to take on EVERY run however I shouldn’t be to the point where I feel complete miserable every weekend due to having to tackle the miles.

I had a conversation with my husband and he was very supportive.  I decide to run outside (as gassssppppppp it was actually nice out last weekend) and really think about my training, life, and most importantly BALANCE.  During my run I really enjoyed the outdoors, but I couldn’t bring myself to run more than 12 miles.  Then I thought to myself Jamie, what is it that you NEED what is it that you ENJOY?  Well, I found my answer….

What I enjoy is the Cleveland experience, every second of the race like I have said before I feel like it is my race as I have completed the half marathon the past two years. So how can I practice balance, enjoy MY RACE (sorry I know it’s all your race too) and enjoy the training process????  My answer…..WHAT I KNOW AND LOVE the Cleveland HALF!!!  That’s right, I am going to take on my race again the Cleveland half.

Now I know….. I know I set a lofty goal of taking on the full for Cleveland this year, which is why this decision has been a hard one.  I felt like by switching to the Cleveland Half I’d be letting folks down, felt like I was quitting.  I need to not feel that way, I need balance in my life and this is how I am going to achieve it.  Long runs on Saturdays are wonderful, BUT I really enjoy my Saturdays with my husband and family.

So I hope you all can still support me and don’t think of me as a quitter, but I will be taking on the Cleveland HALF in May.  I feel like a huge weight is lifted off my shoulders, and I also feel like I have a little bit of me back…..I now have a little bit of the balance I was lacking!  I am really looking forward to my training again AND am looking forward to the upcoming Easter Holiday, as my parents are visiting from out of town.

More post will be coming, as I am re-engergized and ready to take on MY RACE!  Thanks for your understanding and I hope if you are training for this amazing race that it’s going well….if you are going to be at the finish as a spectator, I still hope you join me in the celebration at the end with a cupcake or two =)

Also if you are interested please follow me on instagram, JamieJohnstonsJourney…. I tend to post often and include training posts =)  How’s your training going????

Balance!

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I am happy to report, I have FINALLY been able to run outside this weekend. It sure felt great and I really did miss it. Wasn’t feeling the best during my run, due to being up late the night before (had a work event, no big party for this girl) BUT it was still better than the treadmill. As the weekend progressed, I started to feel a bit worse….sore throat, coughing, and stuffed up nose.

Well, this morning and I woke up not feeling the best the cold has arrived!!! So this morning I had two options 1) Get up and run my planned Monday routine on the treadmill 2) Take some meds and give myself a day of rest. What did I do??
I took the day of rest! Honestly I have been pushing myself pretty hard lately with my training and I need to listen to my body. It’s ok to have a day of rest, it surely is ok to listen to our bodies. I am feeling a bit better so we will see what tomorrow brings.
During my run on Saturday and throughout the day today I have been thinking about this more and more…..balance. What does it mean?? How does one truly have balance in their life? I have to admit I have a darn hard time with balance! I find myself either really strict about things, or very carefree. This has been evident in my eating, exercising, and really different aspects of my journey. You would think after almost 4 years of this, I would have this balance thing down but I don’t.

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I am going to try my best this year to focus on balance, and to listen to my body. I think I actually did that today by staying in bed and not taking on the 9 miles. Yes, I could have pushed through and done the run BUT I bet I will be better off taking this day of rest, my body will thank me. So throughout the rest of my training, I am going to focus on BALANCE =)

What about you, do you have balance in your life??? Is Balance difficult for you? How do you manage balance?

The treadmill can be your friend, no really…

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Alright Cleveland winter and cold temps PLEASE for the LOVE OF GOD PLEASE leave!  I know we have a little sampling of nice weather going on today, but it looks like the temps are going to drop once again as the week progresses.  I don’t know about you but I want to be running outside!!!!  A few years ago I fell on black ice outside so needless to say I am a bit of a baby when it comes to the weather and heading outdoors.  All my training so far has been on the dreaded treadmill, or as I like to call it dreadmill.  This weekend’s training had me completing 16 miles on that dang thing.

I can honestly say this week’s 16 mile training run was one of the hardest runs I have done in along time.  I would have to put it right up there with my 22mile run last year when I was training for the Akron Marathon (I got stung by a bee during my 22 miler at mile 19 and you would have thought it took my leg off, I was a bit dramatic).  I tried everything to make my mind stop, stop thinking about the fact that yes I am on a treadmill for 16, yep all I am going to view is whatever is on the tv and these basement walls.  I am really hoping to head outdoors soon BUT until then I thought I would give you all some nice tips for passing time and using the dreadmill to your advantage for training.  So here are some quick tips =)

1) If available to you find yourself a show on TV that you have been looking forward to watching, use this to keep you occupied during your run.

2) No TV?  Turn it into a dance party!  Last weekend I was able to pound out 14 miles rocking out to a new playlist…and by rocking out I seriously mean the house was jumping.

3) Use the treadmill to your training advantage.  Set your pace and a 1% grade and keep it there.  The treadmill is helpful as it helps you keep your pace constant, so add the grade and set your body on cruise.

4) Interval training.  This has helped me with MANY treadmill runs and my training.  I usually do my interval training at 1/4mile increments.  I will do 1/4 mile at a faster pace that I am use to and then “rest” for a 1/4 mile at an easier or my regular pace.  I also make sure both are done at a 1% grade, knowing this will help me in the long run (literally ;) ).

5) Hill training.  I have been playing around with the treadmill and some serious hill training on Wednesdays.  This can be done by altering the grade and your pace.  A killer workout I have done on Wednesdays involve finding a decent pace that you are comfortable in, run 2 minutes at this pace with a 2% grade, then 4% for 2 minutes, back to 2% for 2 minutes, up to 5% for 2 minutes, back to 2% for 2 minutes, up to 6% for 2 minutes…. you get the drift, I have challenged myself all the way up to 10%.  When doing this BE CAREFUL and if you find it too tough keep the grade but slow your pace.

6) Get by with a little help from your SUPPORTERS.  Yep, I was struggling on the treadmill last weekend.  My amazing husband and furbabies joined me in the basement for my miles.  They watched TV with me and chatted with me to help the time go by.

7) Hide the time and the miles.  I find that if I take a towel or use a setting on the treadmill so I can’t see the time I have been on it or the number of miles completed, it goes by a bit faster.  This way you aren’t watching second by second tick by.

8) Cut your miles into different sets.  If you think about it 9 miles can seem like a lot BUT if you think of it as 3 sets of 3 miles, it seems a bit more manageable.

9) Picture the outdoors.  Yes, I know you aren’t actually outdoors but envision yourself on your favorite running route.  I like to envision myself crossing the finish line of the Cleveland Marathon, I have heard if you envision something it’s more likely to happen =)

10) Also, this doesn’t really relate to the treadmill BUT make sure you are doing some cross training.  I am finding Spinning class to be an AMAZING cross training workout, I am really hoping this helps me crush 26.2 miles.

I hope these tips are helpful for you all!  I realize my training post have been ummm…… lacking.  So be prepared for some more frequent updates.  I am going to try my best to post 1-2 times a week from here on out.  I have been active on my instagram page and Facebook, so be sure to check it out for more training information both can be found at Jamie Johnston’s Journey.

 

How is your training going????

For the HEART of it!

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It’s hard to believe it but we are already mid February. I don’t know about you BUT I am ready to say goodbye to winter. This winter seems to be extra cold and snowy. However, I do have to say February is one of my favorite months. During February I get to celebrate my Birthday, my Father’s Birthday, my Husband’s Birthday, Valentines Day, My GodMother’s Birthday, as well as my Uncle’s Birthday! LOTS of Birthdays =) February is also American Heart Month =) That’s right time to check in and see how healthy that ticker is!

I am honored to join forces with the American Recall Center in honor of American Heart Month for this blog post as my family is no stranger to heart disease. My very best friend, sidekick, and BEST Grandpa in the entire world (yep truth Bomb) died from complications of this terrible disease. First off for those who don’t know let me tell you a bit about my grandpa (I could go on for seriously hours….days….best guy ever, so I will keep it short and sweet).

My grandpa and I were best friends, we did everything together. My grandpa supported me in everything I did, and also was always there to lend a helping hand. He NEVER missed an important event in my life.

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Grandpa surprising me at my College’s Homecoming Parade. I was on court =) As you can tell me was pretty excited to surprise me, maybe even a bit teary!

Grandpa at my College Graduation.  I don't think that smile left his face the whole day =)

Grandpa at my College Graduation. I don’t think that smile left his face the whole day =)

Grandpa and I picking out two puppies for HIM.  These puppies helped bring a smile to my grandpa's face after my grandma passed.

Grandpa and I picking out two puppies for HIM. These puppies helped bring a smile to my grandpa’s face after my grandma passed.

My grandpa (also with the help of grandma) gave me one of the best gifts ANYONE could ever give someone, my education. My grandparents were so very generous helping me through college AND graduate school. Some of my favorite memories with my grandpa include walking to the park to feed the birds. Spending Saturday’s together where he would drive out to my parents house and spend the day, usually it involved some gardening and grilling out. My freshman year of college, when grandpa helped me move into the residence hall. My mom and I went to check in and get my room assignment. We received my room number and the keys to the room, Mom and I went to the bathroom. When we came back from the bathroom ALL my stuff had already been moved into my room (it was on the 4th floor), let’s just say grandpa gave the football team a few $$ and got the job done.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of my grandpa I wonder what he would think of my transformation. I also envision him at the finish line of all my running events, being there with the BEST sign and the BIGGEST smile. Funny thing is, I always think of my grandparents and birds…not sure why I put these two things together BUT always have. During my longest most difficult runs, usually when I find myself doubting my abilities I ALWAYS see two birds (grandma and grandpa), these birds usually help me get over my mind hurtle, making me smile and push on.

I LOVE my grandpa with all my heart, and have to say I have been so very blessed to have such an amazing man in my life. Due to grandpa having heart disease, it’s obvious that this is something in my family history. So obviously it’s something I need to be mindful of. As I have progressed throughout my journey this has always been in the back of my mind. I know there are many tips, these tips are courtesy of the American Recall Center.

 

The two I really like to focus on are staying active and eating healthy. First staying active, it’s recommend that you do at lease 20 minutes of activity a day, I say do 30!!! Now I am not saying you have to go out and run 3 miles, but if that’s your thing by all means do it =) You need to find an activity you LIKE. It shouldn’t feel like a walk in the park BUT it shouldn’t feel like torture. There are many great activities you can participate in here are a few: walking, running, spinning class, zumba, weight lifting, yoga, kickboxing, swimming, biking… there are tons of things you can do.

The key is to find something physical you enjoy. It might take trying a few different activities before you find something you like. It also may take a few tries or classes before you get the hand of the activity and enjoy it. For example spinning class. The first time I tried spinning class I HATED…HATED it. Honestly thought that hour long class felt like 5 hours, thought to myself how could someone enjoy this!!! However, I stuck to it and tried it again and slowly started to appreciate it and the workout. NOW I LOVE spinning class and find it to be great cross training for my marathon training routine.

The other tip I think is easy and manageable involves eating healthy. I am not saying give up everything you love, NEVER eat pizza or cake again. I am saying add the color to your plate. Make sure EVERY single meal has some type of fruit or veggie incorporated into it. Breakfast, add an orange maybe a few strawberries to your usual cereal. Lunch should also have some of the good stuff, usually have yogurt? Why not add some fruit or heck pack some carrots or another veggie you wouldn’t mind. NO dinner should be consumed without some type of veggie, seriously just add some broccoli, cauliflower, or maybe some brussle sprouts. Now if you find yourself turning your nose up on these items I just listed maybe find some different ways to prepare them. Steaming them, sautéing them with some seasonings, or maybe just eating them raw. Find a way to enjoy them =)

I hope this post helps you make a few small changes in your life. Just think, these small changes are HUGE. Cardiovascular Disease claims more lives in the U.S. THAN any other illness, so please for your heart make a few changes and enjoy life. I know I enjoyed the life I got to experience with my grandpa and hope this terrible disease claims less and less lives so MORE memories can me made with our BEST FRIENDS.

Fence Sitting can be DANG Uncomfortable!!!!!

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Sitting on the fence is uncomfortable, seriously it is! You just sit there trying to get comfortable when you know you should just get off on one side of the fence. You know you’d feel relief, but sometimes you just sit there trying to decide which side knowing you should just make a dang decision. Well that’s how I feel, I am on this stupid fence contemplating…. waiting……hoping…. as I sit here well maybe I will see a sign, perhaps a double rainbow (almost triple rainbow). Time is ticking by and I am uncomfortable on this fence. So now I need to get off, make a plan and crush some serious goals.

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So I am getting off the fence, one foot after another slowly feeling comfortable and love not being in limbo. Ahhhhhhh yes the feeling of making a decision. I have went back and forth on this issue. 1)Run the Cleveland half marathon and kill my time from last year (1:44) 2) Run the Cleveland full marathon and crush my full time from Akron. Seriously let’s take a step back just for a little tiny second……. What an amazing decision to have to make, no seriously…. Here I am sitting on a fence deciding between a half and full marathon, talk about being blessed! My body is capable of both of these distances, WOW this is just hard to believe at times. About 4 years ago I weight 350lbs, now I am sitting on a dang fence deciding the distance goal of a running event………..Thank you God for this opportunity!

Just about 4 short years ago, this was me!

Just about 4 short years ago, this was me!

I thought long and hard. I love the Cleveland half, have done it 2 years now and have loved every second of it. The crowd support, my amazing family coming to support me, being able to crush it both years, seriously I could write a love letter and dedicate it to the Cleveland half. I think in the pictures you can tell I loved every second of my 2 half marathon experiences.

Cleveland Half 2014 waiting to start.

Cleveland Half 2014 waiting to start.


Dancing at the start, Cleveland 1/2 2014 (working out those nerves)

Dancing at the start, Cleveland 1/2 2014 (working out those nerves)


Cleveland 2014 Half Finisher!

Cleveland 2014 Half Finisher!


Traditional Rite Aid Cleveland post-race photo. Cleveland Marathon 2014 with a finish time of 1:44

Traditional Rite Aid Cleveland post-race photo. Cleveland Marathon 2014 with a finish time of 1:44


Cleveland Half 2013, waiting for the race to start

Cleveland Half 2013, waiting for the race to start


Cleveland Half 2013, finishing my first half STRONG! Point to my husband and parents

Cleveland Half 2013, finishing my first half STRONG! Point to my husband and parents


Cleveland Half 2014 Finisher!

Cleveland Half 2014 Finisher!


Then there is the Cleveland full…uncharted waters in my book. I have only done one other full, and it seriously took everything I had in me AND support from my amazing friends and family. There are a lot of what if’s like what if it’s a 70+ degree day! I mean it’s Cleveland in May, I could also be running through snow (kidding but kind of not). The Akron full is one accomplishment I am so very proud of completing, seriously look at the smile as well as the look of death in some of these pictures.
Waiting for the Akron Full, bundle of nerves!

Waiting for the Akron Full, bundle of nerves!


Finishing my first EVER full, had to own that finish!

Finishing my first EVER full, had to own that finish!


Just after finishing the Akron Full

Just after finishing the Akron Full


Feeling like death after the Akron full, thanks Mom for this outstanding picture!

Feeling like death after the Akron full, thanks Mom for this outstanding picture!


After running through both of these events in my head I have made a choice.

Yep, I am going to do the Cleveland FULL Eeeekkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk………….

I just said it out loud, plus I am going to post it on my blog which also means facebook (does it get any more official????). The decision was long and hard, but I am feeling pretty good about it. I also feel like I needed to make sure I had a few things in place before being 100% (here is my check list of necessities before deciding on the full):

1) Training partner for the long runs…..no seriously these can be damn intimidating (it’s mostly a mind game). So I need someone to be there, even if it’s just that they are physically there and we don’t talk. I enlisted the best training partner I know………….MY HUSBAND AND HIS TREK BIKE. Seriously there is no way in Heck I would have completed 26.2 without this man following me for every long run, he even almost had to pick me up when I was taken out by a bee sting on my first 20 mile run (yes I was a bit dramatic, my mind was taking over).

Best supporter, there for EVERY long run!

Best supporter, there for EVERY long run!


2) A nice strong base. I have been keeping up my running distances and doing some serious spinning (my current obsession and cross training of choice).

3) An understand partner. Yep, your partner needs to be on board because let’s face it taking on a marathon is ALMOST like a part-time job. I am so proud to say my partner is not only supporting my decision, like I posted in #1 he’s my training partner for those long runs.

My loving supportive husband, I believe he was buying me running shoes in this picture =)

My loving supportive husband, I believe he was buying me running shoes in this picture =)


4) Friends/family that support and get it. Yep, all your peeps need to be encouraging and supporters. I have some amazing friends/family and I know they will support this decision and do whatever they can to help me reach my goal. Thanks in advance to my two morning workout pals Kcey and Jess…..yep already counting on you and KNOW I CAN.
Kcey and Jess with me for my very first half in 2013

Kcey and Jess with me for my very first half in 2013


My good friend Stephanie (she ran the 10K).

My good friend Stephanie (she ran the 10K).


My amazing family making me cupcakes before my first full =)

My amazing family making me cupcakes before my first full =)


5) Gear and accessories. Seriously whoever said running was cheap is a dirty dang LIAR! Yes you know that person….all you need is a water bottle and shoes LIAAARRRRRRRRR. Ok so you all know I love some running accessories. I feel I am on point with the gear and really happy about my purchase of a Nathan running vest for hydration (thanks husband), my garmin (sprinkles) is ready to rock (just hope her dang battery holds out). Also I am in a seriously amazing place as I have IVY (yep I have nicknamed my treadmill), she’s a beast and she told me she’s ready for a full.
Nathan Hydration Vest

Nathan Hydration Vest


Amazing Running Shoes from Vertical Runner (they are the best).

Amazing Running Shoes from Vertical Runner (they are the best).


All my running gear for my first full, don't forget the gel AND body glide.

All my running gear for my first full, don’t forget the gel AND body glide.


6) A positive mind, attitude and spirit………….yep think I got it =)

So friends, family, and amazing folks that read my blog there you have it. I am running the Cleveland FULL. Now will start the official training =) feel free to read along, lace up and join me in Cleveland, come support me throughout the course ORRRRRRRRRRRRRRR be at the finish line with a cupcake or heck a dozen cupcakes, let’s face it I’ll be rungry when I finish and we all know how I love a cupcake at the end of a race =)

Akron Marathon (first full) celebration cupcake!

Akron Marathon (first full) celebration cupcake!


Cleveland Half 2014 (2nd half) celebration cupcake!

Cleveland Half 2014 (2nd half) celebration cupcake!


Cleveland Half 2013 (first ever half) celebration cupcake!

Cleveland Half 2013 (first ever half) celebration cupcake!

XX,
Jamie

Cleveland Marathon Ambassador and a decision to make!

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Happy 2015 Friends!! It’s hard to believe we are sitting at the middle of January already. I have been terrible lately about keeping this darn blog up BUT that’s about to change =) I was once again selected by the Cleveland Marathon to be an Ambassador. I am seriously so honored and excited for this opportunity.
AMBASSADORLOGO

So now comes the fun part…..training posts =) that’s right the training posts will be coming your way at least twice a month (hey it’s a lot more than I have been posting lately). I might even post more than that.

If you are on the fence about signing up for the Cleveland Marathon, do it! Seriously, it’s one of the most amazing races in the area. I kind of feel like this is MY race, as it was the first ever half I completed and this will be my 3rd year participating…..

OHHHH YEAAA cupcake time!!!!!  Cleveland Half Marathon 2014

OHHHH YEAAA cupcake time!!!!! Cleveland Half Marathon 2014


Traditional Rite Aid Cleveland post-race photo. Cleveland Marathon 2014 with a finish time of 1:44

Traditional Rite Aid Cleveland post-race photo. Cleveland Marathon 2014 with a finish time of 1:44


Cleveland Half Marathon 2013, finishing time of 1:53

Cleveland Half Marathon 2013, finishing time of 1:53

At the finish of the 2013 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon enjoying a cupcake my husband made!

At the finish of the 2013 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon enjoying a cupcake my husband made!

Not wanting to run 26.2? Don’t worry they officer a ½ marathon and even a 10K, so set a goal and sign up =) Here’s the link to do so:http://www.clevelandmarathon.com/

Now here is my dilemma….do I sign up for the full or the half?!??!?! Many of you know from my facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/JamieJohnstonsJourney) that I completed my first full marathon last year.

Finishing my first ever FULL Marathon =)

Finishing my first ever FULL Marathon =)

It was one of the hardest yet most rewarding things I have done! However, for the past two Cleveland Marathons I have done the half, each year trying to crush the previous years’ time. So what do you all think…………Half or Full?????

Looking forward to training with you all AND seeing you at the finish line (don’t worry my husband will bring the cupcakes).

XX,
Jamie

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