Tips for cold weather training…

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Well here we are in the heart of winter!  UGHHHHHhhhhhhh!  I am thankful this winter isn’t nearly as bad as last, but let’s face it…it’s still winter.  I am 3 weeks into my training cycle and have to say I am feeling pretty strong.  For those of you following along here is a recap of the past two week’s training adventures:

Monday-9 miles (intervals) 2 mile warm up, 12×400 with 400 recovery, 1 mile cool down.
Tuesday- 7 easy miles
Wednesday-7 easy miles (am) + chest/shoulder work (pm)
Thursday- 7 easy miles (am)+ biceps and triceps (pm)
Friday- 3 easy miles then 60min spin class
Saturday- 10 mile long run
Sunday- 6 easy miles + AB work
Monday- 8.5 miles (intervals) 2 mile warm up, 8×600 with 400 recovery, 1 mile cool down.
Tuesday- Rest (am), chest & Shoulder, back work (pm)
Wednesday- 9 miles (tempo day) 2 mile warm up, 6 tempo miles, 1 mile cool down
Thursday- 7 easy miles (am)+ biceps/triceps/legs (pm)
Friday- 3 easy miles then 60min spin class
Saturday- 10 mile long run
Sunday- 6 easy miles +AB work

So I think I am off to a pretty solid start!  With that being said I thought I would give some of the tips I have learned for surviving training under the winter months:

  1. Always have a plan and try your best to follow it!  I am using the Hanson’s Marathon Method, but there are many amazing plans out there.  Pick one and use it! (I guess this goes for winter and other months).
  2. If you get worried about the cold/ice, don’t run outside…yep not worth it!  Find a gym with a treadmill!!  My treadmill is the ONLY reason I can make winter training possible, I dislike the cold and fell on black ice a few years ago…not making that mistake again.
  3. Intervals and Tempo runs are KEY.  Not only will these types of runs make you faster, BUT they help the time past by rather quickly when stuck indoors on the treadmill.
  4. Music!!!  I am so very fortunate to have a treadmill in the basement and some days that basement becomes a fricken CLUB.  That’s right the music is BLASTING and I am getting those miles in.  The music echoes throughout the house, the only thing missing are a few adult beverages ;)  I do have to admit during the holidays when my parents were here, it was a bit embarrassing when Move B!tc# came blaring throughout the house. Seriously though what is a club without some LUUUUDAAAA =)
  5. Netflix!!!  Seriously thank you Netflix for getting me through my long runs!  My latest obsession includes Parenthood, Orange is the New Black, and for some reason Food Truck Wars.  Just pick a show, pick your pace, and GO!
  6. Cover up the dang screen!  Unless you are doing intervals cover the treadmill screen up!  Watching the number of miles you are at will make this workout feel like FOREVER.  Pick your pace, lock in, and make it happen.  I usually tell myself I can’t look at the milage until a show is over, or I’ve listened to a certain number of songs.
  7. Watch your form.  If you can have a mirror near by USE it.  It isn’t often that we can actually see ourselves run.  The mirror allows you to see how your form is, and if you need to make any adjustments.
  8. DIG DEEP!  Not all treadmill runs will be dance parties or netflix binge dreams…some will just suck.  You will have to dig deep to get through it…
  9. Bribe yourself…yep along with digging deep you may have to bribe yourself to get it done.  For me I always think of the coffee and smoothie that is waiting for me when I finish.
  10. Remember there are only a few short months left of winter.  Use this time to crush that pace you’ve always wanted to get.  Also, when we do get a nice day ENJOY the outdoor run and don’t take it for granted.

Happy Miles and Training!!

XX,

Jamei

 

 

My 5 Goals for 2016…

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Well, the ball has dropped and 2016 is HERE!  Dang where in the heck did 2015 go?!?!  It sure went by quickly.  2015 was a wonderful year for me.  I took on the Cleveland Half Marathon in May and crushed the Akron Marathon in September (with a PR of 3:49) AND THERE WASN’T A FLAT MILE!!

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Pretty fantastic if you ask me!

 

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The course elevation, maybe should have looked into this before the race…yep not one flat mile!

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When you crush a Marathon, you EAT ALL CUPCAKES!

Oh and I placed 3rd overall female in the Akron Race for the Cure (I was beat by two college cross country racers so I am pretty pleased).

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Top 3 finishers, Akron Race for the Cure 2015.

2015 was a huge year mile wise, I crushed 2060 TOTAL miles for the year.  That is over 5.5 miles a DAY, WOW!

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Not only did I have a great running year but 2015 was pretty fantastic for my family.  We didn’t have any huge things happened and everyone remained healthy…yep pretty fantastic.

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My amazing supportive husband and I.

 

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My two Furbabies, Reese and Emma Jo!

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In 2015 I even won our friend’s Italian Sauce Off!!  =)

So now we enter 2016…now what?!?!?!?!?  Well, I am not one for resolutions, if that is your thing good for you.  I personally think to resolve means to find a solution to a problem.  I don’t really think I am a problem, nor do I have a problem.  I do however think now is the perfect time to reflect, to learn, and to create intention.  ALSO I am ONLY in competition with myself…

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Look in the mirror, that’s your competition….I NEED to BEAT HER!

So with that being said I do have some pretty exciting GOALS for 2016 as I am a #goaldigger!  So here they are:

1.) Focus on nutrition!!! – I know you are thinking, what?!?!  You already eat pretty healthy why would this be a goal for you.  Well the truth is I always feel like my nutrition is all over the place.  I either am right on track, usually only eating certain things and restricting myself of other things OR can be compared to an unsupervised child at a Birthday party. 050f2bb858c775389621383955d3561e506204-wm

I need to find balance!  It’s ok to have a cookie once and awhile and a cheat meal doesn’t mean to go completely off the rails.  I need a better relationship with food.  I need to be able to enjoy it and rid myself of any guilt when I do .  I have much room for improvement here, BUT it will happen. *****Disclaimer, I know I have already grown in this area as let’s face it I have come a long ways from my McDonalds Breakfast, full chipotle lunch, and pizza dinners =)

2.) Enjoy the moment!– I am very much a person that is always looking forward to something.  Looking forward to my next vacation, or life event but never really truly enjoying the moment I am in.  Life is too sort for this crap, I need to enjoy the moment I am in!

3.) Blog more! – I am once again an Ambassador for the Cleveland Marathon…HECK YES! So this means I need to blog more about my training process, so here I am once again committing to blogging more (make sure to check out all the ambassadors here). My goal is to blog at LEAST once a week.  Twice would be ideal but I am going to start small here.  I hope to keep you all posted about my training on the blog.  Also check my training out on instragram @cupcakesforPRs

4.) CRUSH CLEVELAND!!!– Yep this is a really lofty goal BUT I hope to crush the Cleveland Marathon.  For the past 3 years I have tackled the Cleveland half, this year for the first time I really have my sights on the FULL.

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It’s go time! Cleveland Half Marathon 2015

This is MY RACE and MY TIME.  I have the training program, I am getting my nutrition on lock…..Its go time.  I have NEVER felt more ready.  I have a BQ dream, time to get after it!

PLUS, how cool would it be to CRUSH CLEVELAND and get a BQ WHILE running for my Irun4 buddy RY!

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My AMAZING buddy RY!  I dedicate my miles to this sweet boy. He is always encouraging me and supporting me.  I can’t crush this thing without him!

5.) Be NICE to ME!!–  I am terrible to myself in my head.  I always see extra fluff on my body and am really MEAN to myself.  This needs to improve and is no way to live.  I am going to work on this.

So there you have it folks!   My 5 goals for 2016!  I don’t take my goals lightly, so I plan on crushing them.  What goals do you have for 2016??

Best to you for 2016!!

XX,

Jamie

Akron Marathon, 26.2 #2

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As many of you know, if you follow me on Facebook or instagram (@cupcakesforPRs) … I have been training my butt of for the Akron Marathon.  Countless hours and miles have been crushed, some even at 3:30am.  I took on a pretty aggressive training plan complements of the Hanson Brothers.11951666_954458710514_3719257284039323474_o

The expo was wonderful!  Was able to get my bib as well as some wonderful race goodies.  I forgot I put Sidekick on my bib, which caused me to get a bit emotional at packet pick-up.  You see Sidekick was the nickname my grandpa and I had for each other. My grandpa was my very best friend.  I know he and my grandma have been with me for every long difficult run as I always see two yellow birds following me, strange but true!  So Sidekick bib #3284 was ready to rock.

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I was pretty excited pre-race Friday as I was surrounded by all my loved ones.  My wonderful parents made the 8 hour drive from Wisconsin, just to see me cross that finish and go toe to toe with the blue line.  How can one not be excited and ready to rock with all this amazing support!!

My amazing parents!

My amazing parents!

Saturday morning came early (4am), but I really don’t think I slept much the night before.  I had a lofty goal in mind, and some pavement to crush.  Once we arrived downtown and found the starting area my nerves were starting to get to me.  Luckily I met up with some of my follow running pals, we chatted a bit and took some pictures. I wasn’t probably too chatty or kind, but I really appreciated their support pre-race.

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Saying my pre-race prayer. Thanking God for giving me this gift of running! NEVER TAKE THAT FOR GRANTED!

Saying my pre-race prayer. Thanking God for giving me this gift of running! NEVER TAKE THAT FOR GRANTED!

The race started pretty fast and somewhat frustrating.  There were many of folks in my corral that were assigned to other corrals!!  So the start was difficult weaving through folks that we already walking or coming to a complete stop.  I have no problem with folks running at slower paces, I think running is an amazing sport that everyone can participate in, BUT for the LOVE OF ALL THINGS go to the right starting corral!! PLEASE! (sorry had to).

After the start the first 13 miles went pretty fast!  However my stomach was HATING ME.  In the first 13 I already had to make one bathroom stop.  I have never went to the bathroom so fast in my life!!  I think I was still pulling up my pants as I attempted to run.  Even with the bathroom stop I remember watching my garmin and feeling pretty fantastic.  Then to my surprise right around mile 13 we came back by the starting area and I saw DANA!!  I looked over and thought, wow that guy looks like my husband!!!  Sure enough it was!  I yelled to him and he ran on the sidewalk for a bit encouraging me =)

Miles 13-15 were great as I was feeling pretty fantastic after seeing Dana, and there is just something about knowing you are half way done!!  At mile 14 I took my 2nd gu of the day, now these things always either ROCK and agree with me or cause me some serious issues.  Well, around mile 16 my stomach dropped and I needed a bathroom STAT!!  This bathroom stop wasn’t as fast as I my 1st, as I was having some serious stomach cramping (I even took an imodium pre-race).  I exited the rest stop and was on my way again.  Oddly still on tack pace wise.

At mile 18 a friend was waiting for me with her daughter!  I remember thinking I sure hope they are there, I could really use a familiar face.  Sure enough they were!!  I got an amazing high five from Kayla and felt a second wind coming my way.

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Hit mile 20 feeling somewhat strong, but the hills were really starting to get to me.  My legs were sore, but I kept trucking forward.  Come mile 23 my legs were shot, seriously Akron?!?!?  Can you give a sister a hill-less mile…..PLEASE???

The course elevation, maybe should have looked into this before the race...or not ;)

The course elevation, maybe should have looked into this before the race…or not ;)

I also started feeling not so fantastic.  I could tell I needed some electrolytes as my body was covered in a salt like residue.  I stopped around mile 23 and took a poweraid, decided to walk while drinking this so I could get it all down. This was probably a terrible idea, as I needed to keep this body running!

Then an angel came from no where.  I am referring to this man as my hippie angel (based off our crazy conversations).  He came up along side of me and said hey little lady you only have 5k left why don’t we finish it strong.  Only a 5k, I can do that.  Ok hippie angel lets get this done.  We encouraged each other and chatted for the last 5k, I even encouraged him to leave me as I didn’t want to slow him down as I felt somewhat sick.

Finally my hippie angel and I hit mile 26, ok we got this.  Hippie angel reminded me to not trip on the carpet on the way into the stadium, he said you know that would be quite terrible after making it this far.  Very true my friend very true!

Finishing with my Hippie Angel! He is in yellow and black!

Finishing with my Hippie Angel! He is in yellow and black!

When entering the stadium the energy was AMAZING!  Then I heard my name being screamed by a heard of people!  I look and to my surprise it was my fellow Cleveland Marathon Ambassadors!  It made me tear up seeing all of them yelling for me, I felt like a VIP with my own cheering section!!!

Pointing to my fellow race ambassadors!

Pointing to my fellow race ambassadors!

I finished strong and saw my family in the stands right away.  I was so happy to see them and their smiling faces!  I stood at the fence smiling at them, just happy to be done.  In my head I was thinking NEVER AGAIN NEVER EVER AGAIN!

My NEVER AGAIN face!

My NEVER AGAIN face!


YAYYYYYY I'm alive!

YAYYYYYY I’m alive!

I made my way to get my medal and saw my friend Kristin waiting with a HUGE hug for me.  That was so nice of her!!

I started to feel like death (this isn’t new to me, as I felt this way after my first full last year).  I knew I needed something to eat and drink, plus a place to sit).  I made my way to the food tent, took down some chocolate milk and water.  I knew once I sat down I wouldn’t be getting up for awhile so it was time to get out of the stadium and by my family.

I sure love the stadium finish, but having to go up those stairs after 26.2 is no easy task.  I slowly made my way up the steps and out of the stadium.  At this point I needed to sit and it didn’t matter where.  I could see my family!  We found a place off to the side to sit.  I could tell they all looked concerned, I kept trying to tell them I was fine but honestly didn’t have much energy to even talk (odd for me I know).

This is what feeling like death after 26.2 looks like!

This is what feeling like death after 26.2 looks like!

Finally I got off the pavement and decided we needed to get to the car and go home.  After walking a bit I was feeling just sick.  I looked at my Mom and said I need a bathroom now.  Mom luckily knew of a restroom at a restaurant near by (they may have had brunch their during the marathon).  We made our way to the restroom (I am noticing a restroom theme for this marathon).  Mom came in the stall with me as she didn’t want me passing out.

Mom was nice enough to bringing my spare pair of shorts, as my compression pants needed to come off!  After a bathroom stop and a wardrobe change I was feeling a tad better.  We starting making our way to the car, almost there!!  Then don’t you know the only way to the car….up HILL!  AKRON YOU’RE KILLING ME!!  Slowly up the hill into the car sighhhhh…..thankfully made it!

The drive home my body felt like a roller coaster.  One second I would feel fine the next I wanted to toss my gu, chocolate milk and water out the window.  I told my family in the car NO MORE MARATHONS I AM DONE!!!

We got home, I attempted a cupcake BUT wasn’t feeling good yet.

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Into the shower I went!  The rest of the day was spent relaxing, after about 2 hours I felt back to normal.  I started to recap the race with my family.  Telling them about my bathroom troubles and the hills.

Then I realized wait…..wait a minute…. I just finished a marathon in 3:49, 16 minutes faster than last year and only 14 minutes from my HUGE LOFTY goal of a BQ pace.

Pretty fantastic if you ask me!

Pretty fantastic if you ask me!

That BQ maybe would have been in reach without the bathroom issues, or all those dang hills.  HMMMMMmmmm…. WOW I have done TWO marathons, I am a marathoner!!  UMMmmmmmm… what do I need to do to make this BQ happen….. I am running Cleveland in May, planned on the 1/2….maybe I should take on the Cleveland full, really tackle this BQ on Cleveland’s fast, flat course….yep I will take on marathon number 3 at Cleveland!!!!  Yep within 4 or so hours I went from never again to, when can I take this on again.

Overall, I am pretty damn happy with my results.  The course wasn’t easy and was so very hilly.  I gave it everything I had.  I can’t thank my fellow Cleveland Ambassadors or running friends enough!  All your cheers throughout the course mean more than I could ever put into a blog post.

I also can’t think my husband enough!  He has put up with this crazy running schedule of mine, and has been nothing but supportive.  He has listened to my tears, put bandaids on the blood, and hugged me through the sweat.  He also put up with the 4am alarms and the aggressive training schedule.  He also was the first one to encourage me to take on another, knowing I wasn’t done and that this BQ is a goal of mine that needs to happen.

Post race feeling like death but needed a photo with my #1 supporter!

Post race feeling like death but needed a photo with my #1 supporter!

Well Akron Marathon it was REAL!  Thanks for the challenge!!  Cleveland 26.2 you ARE next, I have some #BQdreams that need to happen.  However now till Jan, this girl is taking a mini break.  Running for FUN and practicing some BALACE in my life!!

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.

first medal

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????

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