Thursday, September 27, 2007

Ahhh the power of a full moon...

Tuesday I had planned to run 3 miles; however, my meeting ran late and I realized I left my gym pants at home... grrr... The roommate and I had just enough time to run 2 miles (I ran 1.25 miles at 9:31 min/mi. pace, and 0.75 miles at a 10:00 min/mi. pace) before going to pilates. In pilates, the arch of my left foot cramped up. This has happened in the past, and I must say that it HURTS LIKE H*** when that happens!

Wednesday the roommate and I did arms and abs. Wednesday was also my virgin full moon hash with the local Hash House Harriers running group. It was a lot of fun! Kyle was the hare, and his trail was fantastic! There were even two small bridges (read as boards laid over ditches of water)... I love little bridges. They make me smile. The theme was "PJs". Unfortunately I do not own any traditional "pajamas", so I had to stand in the middle of the circle and drink for that. There was a guy in women's lingerie... it was hilarious! The trail was very tricky, especially considering one of the marks was washed away by a sprinkler. Also, one of the ways to know that people are on the right path is to follow the sound of a whistle; however, the trail went right by a flag football practice, so there were whistles blowing everywhere.

Here is a map of what the trail looked like (sent to me by Kyle)... of course we ran a little over an additional mile while searching for the trail (for a total distance of approximately 4.6 miles)

My night vision is definitely not the best, so it was nice running with Chris as well as following the glow sticks that Kyle used to mark darker parts of the trail. The only injury I acquired (aside from a killer side cramp from trying to keep up with Chris) was when we crossed the second "bridge" and I failed to notice the dip in the ground. When my foot landed I felt a sharp pain my left calf muscle (I tensed my foot when I didn't feel the ground under it, so my muscles were tight when I landed). It went away while we were running, but the next day that leg (calf/foot/ankle) was sore. I recognize that I definitely need more off-road running practice to strengthen my ankles.

Thursday I was too sore to run, so I convinced my roommate to post-pone our run until Friday. Instead of working out, I watched the Smallville season premier with friends. I did not get home until late, so I was pretty tired on Friday. We went to the gym to run a few miles on the treadmill... yeah... I made it one mile and decided I was done. My calves were really tight, and I was just tired! I stretched for a little while after that mile, then we went home and watched lots of television (had to catch up on all those DVR'd and did a short arms/abs work-out.

Saturday was a very long day... the roommate and I spent ELEVEN HOURS SHOPPING! Seriously people... I am not that girly, but we both needed dresses for weddings (refer to previous post). We started out excited. This quickly decreased as we tried on countless dresses and drove all over town! Eventually we did both find dresses. Mine is unlike anything I have ever worn before, which makes me both nervous and excited. I may post pictures after the events (two weddings... two cities... one dress... I'm not made of money people! lol)

Sunday was a scheduled 6 mile run. Unfortunately Sunday morning the roommate said her feet hurt too bad to run (she was crazy and wore heels during our 11 hours of shopping! YIKES!). Unfortunately Joe failed to noticed the "Jes Runner Girl Signal" (like the bat signal--only more awesome) indicating that I needed a running partner at 6:15am), so I had to run on my own. I have never had to run 6 miles by myself (other than on a treadmill)... and it was REALLY dark and started out kind of rainy. Now I can do plenty of things that others may find frightening. For example... skydiving, hang gliding, running 10 miles (okay so my readers won't find that scary in the least, but others would), calculus, chemistry, changing poopy diapers, and the list goes on. However, when it comes to horror movies or the dark, I am the biggest wuss! My apartment has strategically placed night lights for night time wandering. My bedroom is the only room that I like completely dark when I'm sleeping. It probably also doesn't help that I have a very active imagination. So while I was running, whenever I heard any noise, I jumped. Any car that drove by gave me the jitters. The run was a nice adrenaline rush, and I did complete it. After a nice stretch and some breakfast, I went back to bed. I spent the latter part of the day walking around Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, which was soooo much fun!

Oh yes! A friend also told me about Muddy Buddy. Now this is a race that sounds like so much fun to me! I definitely want to try it next year! According to Wikipedia:
A muddy buddy event is a two-person athletic competition that involves running, mountain biking, and the completion of obstacles. The 6 mile course is divided into five sections. Partners leapfrog each other while switching from biking to running and vice versa at each obstacle. The final obstacle in every race is the mud pit where both teammates must belly crawl through a mud pit before finishing the race. Both partners start at the same time, one running and one biking. The first obstacle is at the one mile mark. The biker approaches the transition area first. He or she drops the bike, conquers the obstacle, and starts running to the second transition or obstacle. The runner then approaches the first transition area, conquers the obstacle, finds the bike, and starts riding to the second transition or obstacle area. The team will continue to leap-frog throughout the course, switching from biking and running throughout the event.
Now doesn't that sound like so much fun?!?! There's nothing like a good race with a friend and mud. LOL

The plans for this week are as follows:

Monday: yeah... no work-out today. Cleaning. Boo.
Tuesday: Run 5K and pilates (And my first swim lesson meeting!!!)
Wednesday: Arms, Abs, and Spinning
Thursday: Long run (11 miles baby!)
Friday: Rest day
Saturday: Free 5K race! (WOO-HOO!!! I'm hoping to reach a new PR, but who knows what Thursdays run will do to me. lol) Maybe spinning or pilates later.
Sunday: Maybe a short run

I am going to conclude this with a cheesy e-mail forward that I received. I hope that everyone else has a great week! This is for all of the fellow Floridians out there:

You know you're a Floridian if....
..Socks are only for bowling.
..You never use an umbrella because you know the rain will be over in five minutes.
..A good parking place has nothing to do with distance from the store, but everything to do with shade.
..Your winter coat is made of denim.
..You can tell the difference between fire ant bites and mosquito bites.
..You're younger than thirty but some of your friends are over 65.
..Anything under 70 is chilly.
..You pass on the right and honk at the elderly, but pull over for a funeral.
..You've driven through Yeehaw Junction.
..You could swim before you could read.
..You have to drive north to get to The South.
..You know that no other grocery store can compare to Publix.
..Every other house in your neighborhood had blue roofs in 2004-2005.
..You've gotten out of school early on Halloween to trick or treat before it got dark.
..You know that anything under a Category 3 just isn't worth waking up for.
..You dread lovebug season.
..You are on a first name basis with the Hurricane list. They aren't
Hurricane Charley, Hurricane Frances...but Charley , Frances , Ivan
and Jeanne.
..You know what snowbirds are and you hate them.
..You know why flamingos are pink.
..You think a six-foot alligator is actually pretty average.
..You were twelve before you ever saw snow, or you still haven't.
..'Down South' means Key West
..'Panhandling' means going to Pensacola
..You think no-one over 70 should be allowed to drive.
..Flip-flops are everyday wear.
..Shoes are for business meetings and church.
..No, wait, flip flops are good for church too, unless it's Easter or Christmas.
..Sweet tea can be served at any meal.
..An alligator once walked through your neighborhood.
..You smirk when a game show's 'Grand Prize' is a trip or cruise to
..You measure distance in minutes.
..You have a drawer full of bathing suits, and one sweatshirt.
..You get annoyed at the tourists who feed seagulls.
..All the local festivals are named after a fruit.
..A mountain is any hill 100 feet above sea level.
..You think everyone from a bigger city has a northern accent.
..You know the four seasons really are: almost summer, summer, not
summer but really hot, and February.
..It's not soda, cola, or pop. it's coke, regardless of brand or
flavor, 'What kinda coke you want?'
..Anything under 95 is just warm.
..You've hosted a hurricane party.
..You go to a theme park for an afternoon, and know when to get on
the best rides.
..You understand the futility of exterminating cockroaches.
..You can pronounce Okeechobee, Kissimmee , Ichnatucknee and Withlacoochee
..You understand why it's better to have a friend with a boat, than
have a boat yourself.
..Bumper stickers on the pickup in front of you include: various fish, NRA, Nascar and Go Gator's.
..You were 5 befor e you realized they made houses without pools.
..You were 25 when you first met someone who couldn't swim.
..You get angry when people say ' Florida isn't really part of the
..You've worn shorts and used the A/C on Christmas.
..You know what the 'stingray shuffle' is, and why it's important!
..You recognize Miami-Dade as ' Northern Cuba '.

(Full moon hash images borrowed from and

Monday, September 24, 2007

Spider-Jes and Flight of the Conchords!

Spider-Jes, Spider-Jes, does whatever a Spider-Jes does...

This weekend I went to visit some friends in Tallahassee. I had a wonderful time! And I have discovered a new love... rock climbing! It was soooo much fun! Maybe Spiderman and I have a little bit in common. I am definitely going to go rock climbing again.... but I really need to work on that upper body strength!

I was also introduced to Flight of the Conchords. HILARIOUS!!!! Seriously, you have to check out their series on HBO (or YouTube... see videos below... and there are more!).

After rock climbing on Saturday, spending Sunday on a boat, then driving back home I was too tired to run. I also had to go grocery shopping. I realized that this is supposed to be my easier running week anyway, so I figured I'd take it easy. Here's my plan for the week:

Monday: Spinning (check!)
Tuesday: Run 3 miles (at least 5K pace) and pilates
Wednesday: My first full moon hash!!!!! (be prepared for updates!)
Thursday: Run (not sure how far yet...) and abs probably
Friday: Arms and Abs
Saturday: No work-out (Wedding dress shopping day! Eeek!)
Sunday: Run (not sure how far yet...)

Well check out the videos if you want a good laugh!

"Part Time Model"

"Business Time"

"Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros"

"If You're Into It"

(sorry, I couldn't resist adding this one too!)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

You're never going to believe it...

10 miles in 1 hour and 36 minutes! That's even better than my 10K pace! Woo-hoo!!! Great big "thank you" to Joe for helping me along! And pilates was great. I definitely was not at the top of my game after that run, but it sure did feel good!

I'm exhausted, and I have to pack for my trip still. So here is a comic that I think is amusing (sent to me by my mom). It's like the previous comic that I posted.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Back to my old self...

Sorry about that last blog yesterday. I tried on the suit again today (in the comfort of my own home with much better lighting in comparison to that dressing room), and it's not as bad as it looked yesterday.

I am still excited about the triathlon!!!! In fact, I was on the phone with one of my best friends this morning, and we were catching each other up on what's going on in our lives. I told her about my plan to do a triathlon next year.
Friend: "But you hate swimming!"
Me: "I know, but I'm going to get over my fear."
Friend: "But you really Hate swimming!"
Me: "Just wait..."

Bring on the triathlon training!!!!

I also failed to mention yesterday that I had a great 5K run on the treadmill. I ran the whole thing at a 10 min/mile pace (well I kicked it up for the last 0.1 miles). This may not seem fast to many of you, but seeing as I had been keeping between a 11-12 minute/mile pace recently, it was a little bit more difficult. Yesterday's run felt great! Then I have a fantastic pilates class!

Today was just arms and abs, since I have plans later. Tomorrow is scheduled for a nice 10 mile run. I can't wait!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

This is not a self-motivational post.

There is absolutely nothing worse than bathing suit shopping. It's official, dressing room mirrors are the most evil objects in the world. I can't believe I just spent so much money on something that makes me feel so depressed.

Stupid triathlon idea.

What was I thinking?!?!?!

Well I bought the stuff, so I guess I have to stick with it... I guess it can only help, right? Yeah, that's what I'll tell myself... there's my attempt at self-motivation.


I just read an article on MSN about how this is supposably the 25th birthday of the digital "smiley"... :-) It is also Lance Armstrong's birthday.

haha, I love birthdays! (and birthday brownies! yay for awesome co-workers!.... calories totally do not count on my birthday!)

Go Shorty, It's your birthday...

... we're gonna party like it's your birthday! Yay, Happy Birthday to Me! I have a nice 3 mile run planned, followed by pilates, then I will probably go out afterwards.

When my mom called me this morning (of course she had to sing the birthday song), she asked me how it felt to be 26. I told her that it felt good and that this time next year I would be training for a marathon. She was amused. (So Doug, I think you're right... A half is only the beginning!)

Yesterday my roommate signed up to run the 5K that will be on the same day as my half marathon. Then I got her to agree to run a half with me in the spring! I knew she wouldn't stop at 5K like she originally planned! hehe. (And Amy, the roommate seems to be doing great now. I think the humidity might have had something to do with it, and everyone's allergies seem to be acting up as well.)

While I'm responding to comments (man, I love comments! Thanks guys!!!)... Thank you Tom! I can say that a few years ago I never would have thought that my mom paying for me to run 13.1 miles would have been the best gift. She's great! Ali, I am happy to be one of the "crazy runners"!!! And I greatly appreciate all the support and encouraging words for my swimming adventure! Your friend is doing an Ironman... that's so amazing! Marcy, I'm sure you could go the tri route... I mean you have the running and biking portions down! Tangie... you should sign up for swim lessons too! We can train together... er... sort of. At least keep each other motivated from a distance!

Note: I'm way behind on reading everyone's blogs. The past few days have been pretty busy, but I hope to catch up soon!

I hope everyone has as wonderful of a day as I plan to have!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Today I registered for my first half marathon!!!

(Another long one... sorry guys!)

First of all... the big news! I am officially registered for the my first Half Marathon!!!! I am sooooooo freaking excited! It will be on December 1st! When I told my mom, she was so happy for me that she told me she'd pay for my registration as a birthday gift (YAY for Mom!), and according to a friend of mine, I am one of those crazy running people! I'll take that!

Okay, I will attempt to stop jumping up and down from excitement and update my blog.

I'll start off by saying congratulations to Chris and Kyle for completing their own half marathons today!

It's interesting how different I feel about running compared to when I started. Back in January, I would gladly have welcomed a weekend away and told myself, "I'm going out of town, guess I can't run this weekend. Oh well." Today however, when I make plans to go out of town, I am immediately trying to reschedule my runs so I can fit in the miles I want for the week.

For example, my roommate went out of town this weekend. Knowing that we wouldn't be able to do our long run on Sunday, we decided to run it Saturday morning before she left. I am also going out of town next weekend to visit some friends. I am really excited about this trip, but I know that there is no way I'm running 10 miles while I'm there. So this next week's schedule is being rearranged so that my long run is Thursday (10 miles), and then when I get back Sunday night I'm going to do a 6 mile run. The roommate committed to the Sunday run, but said she didn't want to do the Thursday one. Lucky for me I know this amazing person named Joe who is going to run with me. I'm sure that I'll be slowing him down, but I appreciate that he is going to keep me company. And while I'm at it, I must again thank him for "creating a monster" who is addicted to running! He is also one of the main contributors towards my future triathlete goal, and his excitement about my signing up for swimming lessons just made me all the more excited to do it! He also mentioned the half-marathon to me on Saturday... between that and my friend Chris running in one today I decided that I just had to sign up today! So THANK YOU JOE AND CHRIS!!!!

And just as Amy and Tom so beautifully put into words... A great big THANK YOU to all of my fellow bloggers who keep me inspired and motivated! I appreciate all of your support!

Saturday's long run...
We decided to do our run on campus, thinking that the tailgaters for the football game wouldn't be an issue so early in the morning. In all honesty, the tailgaters were not the problem (and I did get to laugh at those who were already drunk at 7am), it was the cops that annoyed me... but I'm getting ahead of myself.

We started at 6:30 am. Right on time. By mile 2 I could already hear my roommate breathing very hard. Hmmm... this wasn't good.  Around mile 2.5 we stopped because I was pretty sure she was having an asthma attack (she doesn't have asthma that I'm aware of, but she definitely was not breathing correctly!). I was freaked out! After she caught her breath, she said she just wanted to walk for a bit and didn't want to go home. We walked to mile 3 (and hit mile 3 around 35 minutes) then she said she was good to run again, just slowly. By the time we hit the 4.5 mile mark, the cops were all over the place getting ready for the mass of tailgaters that they were expecting. That was when one of them told us we had to run on the sidewalk and not the road. First of all, there was hardly anyone driving on the road! And we have run this same route (right past the sheriff's office mind you) for weeks now! No one has said a thing until now! Second, he clearly ate too many donuts and had no idea how much the sidewalk makes my hip hurt. Grrrr!!! So then I was grumpy and in my head was thinking of how much I disliked this fat motorcycle cop, and how it was going to be his fault if I didn't finish my 10 miles because of a sore hip, and why didn't he just go eat donuts and leave me alone! (note: I am not a hater of cops... I interned with some really great ones, and I even know a few people who are planning on going into the police academy... I just did not like that particular cop.) Then all of the sudden, at about 5.5 miles, a hawk flew right into the tree that was just ahead of us. Wow.... That was just what I needed to forget about the cop and get back to positive thinking.  We hit mile 7 a little before an 1:30, which is when I went ahead and the roommate stopped. My hip was definitely sore, but I finished the 10 miles in just under 2 hours. I am not happy with the overall time, but I know that I can do better.

Later in the day I went to the football game and had a blast! We may have lost and gotten drenched, but tailgating was a blast and the game was a great one!

Today I went to a "sports outreach", which was a lot of fun. There were soccer players, skateboarders (it reminded me of the video below and made me laugh), and I got a copy of "How to be Like Women Athletes of Influence" written by the Vice President of the Orlando Magic team, Pat Williams and sportswriter Dana Pennett O'Neal. Pat Williams even autographed the book for me. The book looks really good and contains interviews with 32 female athletes.

I hope that everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Friendly Support

A little later today, I shall write about my interesting run yesterday. For right now, I wanted to give a shout-out and a great big cheer to Chris and Kyle who are running the Maui Half Marathon this morning!!! I know that they will both do fantastic!

Now I just need to find a way to Maui so I can do the zip lines, para-glide off of a volcano, and swim beneath waterfalls.... I'm so freaking jealous!!!! (o;

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Swimming Lessons

I have said that I want to eventually train for a triathlon. Unfortunately, I am not a strong swimmer. I had what I would consider a "near drowning experience" as a kid (which probably wasn't, but that's how I remember it), and I haven't been the most comfortable in water since . Well today a girl at work told me she had her swimming lesson tonight. I guess the gym at school gives swimming lessons (all kinds of levels), and she was taking an advanced level to better her technique (she already competes in tri's). She said the next group of classes will start in 3 weeks. I'm going to sign up! I'm very excited about this... nervous as well, but mostly excited!

Spinning tonight was wonderful! My roommate and I also did arms and abs.

Yesterday was a 5K run. The treadmills were all being used (except those ones right under the tv's that hurt your neck), so we decided to run on the track. There were quite a few people on the track already, and my legs were tired. Thankfully I had my roommate there to keep me going, but I was disappointed in my time. I really have slowed down. I think I've settled into my long-distance pace. Now I am really going to try and speed up the shorter distances. After running, we went to pilates. It was a great class, yet again.

Tomorrow is a planned 6 mile run then power pilates.

Monday, September 10, 2007

What do you mean I'm not a superhero?!?

My homepage on my work computer is set to Every day I glance over my horoscope. If it says something that I like, then I'll tend to hope it comes true or agree with it; however, if I don't like what it says I brush it off and tell myself that horoscopes are silly nonsense. (Don't you love my logic?)

Here is today's horoscope:

Virgo (August 23 - September 21)

Once you stop dreaming about having "super powers" you will feel a lot better, dear Virgo. You are not a super hero and you never were. For that matter, no one is. On the other hand, you surely have capacities that you have exploited in the past, but now you seem persuaded that they are of no interest. It is time to rethink this issue.

Okay, okay, so I know that super heroes may be fictional (according to Wikipedia), but I could still be one. How do you know that Grad-student/Thrill Seeking/Runner Girl/Dorky Jes isn't just my secret identity?

Personally, if I could have any super power, it would be the ability to fly! I am absolutely obsessed with flight! (Hence my love for skydiving, hang gliding, and my desire to have a pilot's license.) How about you? What super power would you have? And would you use it for good or evil? Would you be a Super HERO or a Super VILLIAN? And how about that super power... I'm sure you can think of ways to use it both for good and bad. For example, with my super power of being able to fly...

Superhero Jes would use her powers of flight for good in the following ways:
* To save kitties/children/other random creatures from trees when they get stuck
* To catch people as they randomly fall from high places (unless of course they have a parachute attached their bodies)
* To save the environment by flying to places instead of driving
* To carry bad guys someplace tall and leave them stranded there

Super villain Jes would use her powers of flight for evil in the following ways:
* To stick kitties/children/other random creatures into trees where they will be stuck
* To cut the cords on parachutes
* To randomly swoop in and scare people driving cars so they swerve all over the place
* To carry the good guys to the top of tall buildings and leave them stranded there

Now, being the avid MySpace user that I am, I am well aware of the presence of online quizzes that determine what type of SuperHero/Kisser/Pirates of the Caribbean Character/Disney Character/Girlfriend or Boyfriend/Personality Type/Etc you are. So I googled "Super Hero Quizzes" and came up with the following results:

First quiz:
You are intelligent, witty, a bit geeky and have great power and responsibility.

Next quiz
You scored as The Invisible Girl, A gifted scientist, Sue Storm is the "Invisible Girl." With her ability to turn invisible and project force fields, Sue is a valuable member of the Fantastic Four. She feels like she is always mediating between the others, settling Reed and Ben's disputes and making her younger brother Jonny behave. She is often frustrated with Reed's distant attitude and inability to express his true feelings.

Next quiz:
You are a little on the geeky side, but you love saving that special someone, you jump from rooftop to windows trying to save the people of your town!
(Really, Spiderman Again? Seriously, why not someone who can fly???)

Okay so the next quiz states:
You are Wonder Woman!
A princess from the Amazon with all the grace and style that goes along with it. You're independent but selfless, always helping others before taking care of yourself. You're open to finding love — you just have high expectations. To top it all off, you fight crime in a bustier and boots. You're bitchin'.

Then I took that same quiz again, changing one answer (the date/bank robbing question) and got SPIDERMAN!

You are Spider-Man!
You are the reluctant superhero. You're a bit shy and definitely nervous — especially when dealing with that girl next door you've been crushing on. Truth is, you'd rather be photographing crime scenes, not creating them. When that skintight Spidey suit goes on, the world is your stage, and you live to rock it.

(Note the crime scene part? Intersting...
By the way... This quiz totally cracked me up! I definitely recommend this one if you are looking for a way to kill time!

And another quiz...
Your inner superhero is Spider-Man / Catwoman
There's a dark side to you, but you always end up doing the right thing. With great power comes greater responsibility, so don't be fooled by the glitz and get caught in a web of evil.

And apparently my super hero lover would be:
None other than Spiderman!
72.4% Match
Spider-Man is perfect for you. He's totally nerdy and always cracking jokes. And cute! A date at the museum or a movie would be right up his alley. Don't expect to spend the whole evening together though, Spider-Man's known for ducking out early.

(hmmm.... I just hope I'm not dating myself!)

And my Super Villain personality is...
The Joker
The Clown Prince of Crime. You are a brilliant mastermind but are criminally insane. You love to joke around while accomplishing the task at hand.

Well I do like the "brilliant mastermind" part.

And that concludes my super hero rant. Take that MSN! And yes, today is one of those days "horoscopes are stupid" days.


Just so I have something work-out related in this blog...

After yesterday's 10 miles I was feeling sore. Not just any sore... no no. We're talking walking-with-a-limp-while-whimpering-every-other-step-decided-to-go-out-and-buy-medicine-at-10:30pm sore! However, thanks to some Ibuprofen (Thank you Ali and Tom for the tips!) and my amazing foam roller, I am feeling much better!

I even went to spinning tonight! It was good to be back!!!

Tomorrow I am scheduled for an EASY 3 mile run and pilates. I can't wait!

Oh yes, and I had a question about my pumpkin oatmeal... I just add canned pumpkin to my oatmeal mix (I like the cinnamon flavored oatmeal with it). And then I'll add some extra pumpkin pie spice to give it more flavor. (o:

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Why stop at 9 when you can make it to 10? Because the world is full of zanies and fools...

(Sorry it's so long)

...In my own little corner in my own little chair
I can be whatever I want to be.
On the wings of my fancy I can fly anywhere
And the world will open its arms to me...

...The prince is giving a ball! The prince is giving a ball!
The prince is giving a ball!...

...Impossible for a plain yellow pumpkin to become a golden carriage.
Impossible for a plain country bumpkin and a prince to join in marriage.
And four white mice will never be four white hourses.
Such fol-de-rol and fiddle dee dee of courses. Impossible!
But the world is full of zanies and fools who don't believe in sensible rules
and won't believe what sensible people say..
and because these daft and dewey eyed dopes keep building up impossible
hopes impossible things are happening every day!

...In the arms of my love, I'm flying over mountain and meadow and glen.
And I like it so well that for all I can tell I may never come down again.
I may never come down to earth again...

...oh why would a fellow want a girl like her, a girl who's merely lovely,
why can't a fellow ever once prefer a girl who's merely me
What's the matter with the man, what's the matter with the man,
what's the matter with the man?!!...

...Do I want you because you're wonderful,
or are you wonderful because I want you?
Are you the sweet invention of a lover's dream
or are you really as wonderful as you seem?...

...You say good-bye, away you fly
but on your lips you keep a kiss
All your life you'll dream of this
Lovely, lovely night...

For those who think I am absolutely crazy, those are bits and pieces of the lyrics to the songs in Roger and Hammerstein's Cinderella play. I went home this weekend to see the play, where my friend Joey played the Prince. The play was absolutely spectacular! I ended up going with my mom and my little brother, and the entire time my brother was saying that he was really glad I brought him. When I was little, my mom had the Cinderella movie with Ginger Rogers, Walter Pidgeon, Celest Holm, and Lesley Ann Warren on VHS. I used to watch it over and over again. I hadn't actually seen the movie or play in years, yet I found myself singing along with every song (in my head of course... otherwise the audience would have left, or thrown something at me). It was a wonderful, cheesy play. It made me wonder if someone said such romantic but cheesy lines to me whether I'd melt like butter or laugh at them. I'm honestly not sure. (o:

So Friday I was feeling much better. After the play my sisters, mom, and brother all came over to celebrate my birthday early, since I wasn't sure if I'd make it back home this month. My mom bought my favorite cake... angel food cake! And get this, you can buy it so it's both fat-free and sugar-free (mom has to watch her sugars)! It was soooooo good! I had a huge piece with cool whip and strawberries. It was like Heaven! Man, I love angel food cake!!!

Saturday morning I woke up feeling terrible again, but I was able to hang out with my family for a little bit before heading back home to get some work done in the lab. At which point I ran into my adviser and asked him about some of my results, to which he replied, "Jessica, you really are going to finish!" Does that mean he just realized this??? Or that he's trying to convince me?! I could use some motivation as far as the research is going, so it was nice to hear.

Unfortunately, by the time Saturday night came around, I felt like someone had punched me in the face. I took some extra medicine and tried to go to bed early. Since I was having troubles breathing through my nose, I couldn't sleep. Then a good friend called me at 3:30 in the morning. We hadn't talked in ages, so it was nice to hear from him, but we didn't get off the phone until 4:30-ish.

5 am came very quickly. I still couldn't breathe well, but I knew I wanted to get in my long run, so I got up. At a little after 6, I stuffed some tissue into my sports bra (for my nose people!), grabbed a small bottle of water, and my roommate and I headed out the door. Now I never carry water with me, but on the last couple of long runs, by the time I hit 6 miles my mouth was usually very dry. I figured I'd try carrying some just to keep my mouth wet. The water carrying actually wasn't bad, and it did help out a lot!

Once my roommate and I headed out, we realized that for the past two weeks the farthest distance we had run was 4 miles. Today I was supposed to run 9... er... actually last night I decided I wanted to run 10! Yes, that's right, 10. Why stop a 9 when I could finally make it to double digits? I was going to make it to 10!!! But we had only run 4... oh that didn't matter!

We definitely started out slower than usual, and my legs felt pretty heavy. The first half of our run was along our usual route, so I was kind of in auto-pilot mode. We both welcomed the distraction of the handsome, shirtless, glistening guy in the blue shorts with his white ipod that passed by us... twice. And the rear view of the guys on the bicycles were a nice distraction as well.

The second half of the run was good because we changed our route, there was a lot of shade, and I could breathe through my nose! By mile 6 we were both feeling pain. My hip was starting to hurt, and I knew I still had 4 miles to go. The roommate wanted to stop, but then agreed that she'd run with me to 7, because I didn't want to run 4 by myself (I was afraid I might not make it on my own). She was awesome and stuck it out to 7, then she slowed down and took the path that led straight back to our apartment. I went on ahead.

By this point my hip is telling me that I should probably take a break, but I really wanted those 10 miles! I wanted them bad. "Less than 3 miles..." that's what I kept telling myself. "Three miles is nothing. You run three miles on recovery days." Finally I hit 9... the nine mile mark is right next to my apartment. The thought of a big glass of lemonade was sounding pretty good, but I kept going. "Nine... wow, this is my farthest run so far... 10... I can make it to 10! I told my friend I was going to run 10, so I have to make it! I just need to distract myself for this last mile!"

I started planning out what I would say in blog, bragging about my 10... I thought about the play, about the guy in the blue shorts, about the conversation with my adviser, about the movie I watched last night (Fracture, which I do recommend), I imagined that the hole in the clouds led to some enchanted place with people that would serve me angel food cake until I burst, and I even told myself that if I could just make it to 10 that by December I might be able to run a half marathon. Finally, I saw the corner where my run would end. I tried sprinting, and well I definitely picked up my pace, but i was not running very fast. Final time: 1:53:35 (RunStoppable says it's 10.07 miles, but who really knows). Not the best time, but I can improve next time!

10 miles! I made it! I just had to walk around the block to get back home. That's when I realized that my butt has never hurt so bad!!! Seriously! My butt was killing me! I was suddenly very aware of how huge and painful it was. LOL. After some stretching and filling up the tub, I soaked in an ice bath while eating my pumpkin oatmeal. Then I went to bed. I definitely needed sleep! Too bad I'm all stuffed up again. At least running was a temporary cure. (o:


In response to some comments that I've received on previous posts... as far as my run last Saturday, I know that the route looks crazy on the map. And I was asked how I didn't get lost or could remember it... Well the thing about that hash run is that you don't know what the route is. lol. There is a trail and marks that are left to confuse you so that the person designated as the "hare" can get ahead without getting caught. So in those places on the map (particularly before we ran onto the interstate) where it seemed like we were running in circles, it's because we were... we were searching the clue to where the trail picked back up. Man, that was so much fun! I can't wait to do it again!

Also, Reluctant Runner asked about my pumpkin pancakes. I buy the Aunt Jemima Whole Wheat Blend Pancake mix and follow the recipe on the box for "No Cholesterol Pancakes" (using 2 egg whites for each egg and skim milk instead of whole). I also use unsweetened apple sauce instead of oil. Then I add canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract. Just make sure that you keep an eye on the pancakes so they don't burn. Then I add a little bit of syrup, but they do taste good without the syrup too (but come one... pancakes should have syrup!).

Well I hope that everyone has a great week! Remember to smile!

"To dream anything that you want to dream,
that is the beauty of the human mind. To do
anything that you want to do, that is the strength
of the human will. To trust yourself, to test your
limits; That is the courage to succeed..."
---Bernard Edmonds

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Last Saturday's Hash Run

Chris was nice enough to map out the route we ran on Saturday (blue line). Note the stretch of I-4! Craziness! And I'm addicted!

Sinus Headache. But I Ran 4 Miles Anyway! (o:

Today was a very busy (i.e. productive) day. I had to wake up early, go to the bank, literally spend hours extracting samples at work, and go to a friend's candidacy defense. I was not anticipating the sinus headache that lingered all day. I swear, I haven't suffered from this sort of pain in years, but now it's back to haunt me. Lucky for me I still have my trusty Sudafed PE. I just need it to kick in now! (And I really want one of those nice cooling eye pillows shown in the picture. How adorable is that?!)

Despite feeling icky, I did get my 4 miles in (I felt pretty good while running... it was the stopping that did me in). Then I really wanted to go home, but I was feeling achy, so I went to the pilates class. I'm glad I did, because it helped.

I'm really looking forward to going home tomorrow. Unfortunately now I have to drive back really early on Saturday because I underestimated how long my samples would take to analyze, but oh well. Then I can fit in an extra pilates class.

I hope everyone has a magnificent weekend!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

My magnet has arrived! **Updated 9/9/07**

Thank you Amy!!!! I received my magnet in the mail today, and it rocks my socks off! It already has found it's home on the refrigerator!

(No the picture posted is not the magnet, but rather one I have that I really like with a quote by Emerson. Not to mention it is motivational--which is what this blog is all about--so expect more inspirational quotes and pictures. I'd post a picture of Amy's amazing magnet, but I don't want to spoil the surprise for those who haven't received their own yet.)

My work-out schedule is a bit different this week... a bit easier in fact. This is my easy week, then I will build back up for a few weeks. (I am going to miss spinning though.) Anticipated work-outs for this week include:

Tuesday: 4 miles on the treadmill alternating between a 12 minute/mile and 10 minute/mile pace. And pilates.
Wednesday: Just arms and abs. Unfortunately I'm going to miss spinning, because I am celebrating someone's birthday.
Thursday: Another 4 miles and power pilates.
Friday: Nothing. I'm driving back home to see a play with my Mom. (o:
Saturday: Hm, again no work-out planned. Getting ready for Sunday and driving back from visiting with family.
Sunday: 9 miles! (It's the 9th month, so here goes 9 miles!)

Oh and I looked at my RunStoppable log and my mileage totals for the past few months are as follows:

June 49.8 (longest distance a 10K)
July 46.2 (longest distance was 7 miles... the mileage decrease was due to my super amazing vacation)
August 63.1 (woo-hoo! longest distance was 8 miles)

*********************Update 9/9/07*********************
Well since another one of Amy's fans has posted a picture of the glorious magnet, I figured I could put one up as well! I am actually stealing their picture, but my magnet looks the same. (o: Isn't it fantastic?!!?

Saturday, September 1, 2007

What An Amazing Weekend!!!!

It is time for some much needed updates about my very exciting weekend! (google searchers will have fun with this post I'm sure)

Since my right leg was still sore, and in anticipation of Saturday's run, I opted to run 3 easy miles instead of 6. I then stretched for 20 minutes before heading to power pilates, which was an excellent work-out this week! I can tell that my core is getting stronger, since I am able to go through the moves more easily and more controlled. In non-work-out related news, I had an amazing meeting with my adviser! I also received some amazing news from a friend that literally had me jumping up and down outside of the gym. Which in turn amused the guy I was standing next to at the crosswalk.

I also did some catching up on my blog reading, and came across this video posted on the Complete Running Network blog. For some reason I really enjoyed this video, so I thought I'd share. Maybe I should go running on some lonely stretch of road. (o;

A wonderful day of rest! I will be honest, I didn't even do my arm work-out or abs on Friday. Instead of did a bunch of errands, went tanning, and just relaxed!

I also donated money to a very good cause. One of my very best friends, Alisha, is doing a 5K walk this next weekend for the March of Dimes WalkAmerica. She is raising money and walking to help families that have babies who were born prematurely and to help research in preventing premature birth. This personally means a lot to me, because I was born 2 months premature and weighed just over 3 pounds. And before me, my parents had a daughter who was born 3 months premature and only lived for 2 week. So please, if you get a chance, visit Alisha's blog and her personal fundraising page. *hopping off soap box now*

Saturday started off quite delicious! Ever since I tried pumpkin oatmeal, I have become obsessed with pumpkin-flavored food. Saturday morning I made pumpkin pancakes. They were so good that I ate them for lunch as well! And the day just got better from there!

Saturday was my "Virgin Hash" with a local Hash House Harriers group. My friend Chris is a member, and he told me about this "drinking club with a running problem" a few months ago. I was quite intrigued, even though I'm not really a big drinker, but the concept just seemed so fascinating. (The Wikipedia link above gives a nice overview, so please read that if you are interested.) The hare set-off, I was taught about the different symbols and marks during "chalk talk", then we started on the trail to catch the hare. Altogether we ran just under 4 miles (between searing for the next part of the trail and running the trail itself) in just under an hour I think, and ended up crawling under a fence and along a section of the interstate (didn't see that one coming!). I was told that the previous hash run was much more "dirty" as it led through a muddy field, stretches of forest, and across a chest-deep canal of water. (See, doesn't that sounds like fun?!... Maybe I'm just crazy.) Lucky for me Chris was nice enough to slow down for me, so I ran with him the entire way. Despite his going slower, I was definitely doing what I would consider "sprinting" compared to my usual pace, and I looked forward to the "check" marks so I could take a walk break and catch my breath. While that might sound exhausting, I loved it! It was great mixing up my work-out with some interval-like training. And since I was so preoccupied with looking for the next sign of a trail, I was less focused on the running which made it all the more fun. After everyone made it to the finishing spot and enjoyed beverages of their choice (beer, water, juice, soda) and snacks (all the delicious junk food you could imagine... which the mere thought of eating made me feel nauseous.), then there was the "circle", where I was called into the center three times. Since it was my first hash run, I was known as "Virgin Jes". Circle involved lots of amusing songs, calling people out for violating different rules, plenty of drinking, "naming" those who just ran their 5th hash (congrats an the amazing/amusing name Chris!), and just an all-around great time. Later a good portion of the group met up for dinner. Basically, I thought the hash was simply wonderful! Not only was it a great way to change up my work-out, but it was a lot of fun, and I met some really amusing and nice people. I definitely plan on participating again, and next time I'll be called "Just Jes". (o:

After drinking Mountain Dew in "circle" yesterday, which I must say I pretty much never drink on a regular basis, I was up most of the night buzzing off the caffeine. I'm sure that the anticipation of Sunday's events also did not help. I slept for maybe three hours, and my legs were definitely feeling a bit sore from the run on Saturday.

I had made a personal goal with myself several years ago that I would go hang gliding before I turned 25. Due to circumstances out of my control, I had to post-pone this event, and I decided that it must be accomplished while I was 25. Seeing as my 26th birthday is quickly approaching, I realized that I was running out of time! I decided that I just had to go hang gliding on September 2nd of this year! September 2nd was an important day for me as it marked the two year anniversary of my dad passing away. Rather than spend that day feeling sorry for myself, I decided to remember my dad by celebrating life!

I drove out to Wallaby Ranch early in the morning. On my drive over there, I saw hot air balloons being filled and taking flight. Like my skydiving adventures, I learned that many people say they want to jump out of "perfectly good airplanes" or go hang gliding, and at the last minute they never show. This time was no different; however, Chris kept good to his word and came along with his friend Kyle that I met at the hash on Saturday. I was quite grateful that they came, because such an amazing experience really should be shared! So they met me at Wallaby Ranch, and before I knew it I was strapped into a hang glider (tandem with an instructor)!

Now for those of you who are thinking "How do you hang glide in Florida??"... they use "aerotowing", where a two-place hang glider is towed by a specially designed ultralight towplane. The plane tows you up to 2000 ft then releases you and you glide back down to the ground. The flight lasts approximately 15 minutes. The tandem instructor let me steer the glider for a little bit, which was a lot of fun. I even saw the hot air balloons off in the distance. The experience was absolutely amazing and quite surreal!!!
Once you have tasted flight,
you will forever walk the earth
with your eyes turned skyward,
for there you have been,
and there you will always long to return.
— Leonardo da Vinci

Once I landed, I definitely wanted to go back up! Kyle was the next in our group to go followed by Chris. They both absolutely loved it as well! Afterwards, for a $5 donation, we all ate breakfast at the ranch, and it was delicious!

I was very pleased with how the weekend had gone so far, and couldn't imagine it getting any better. Then Chris mentioned that Shinedown was playing at the House of Blues that night and the tickets were inexpensive. I decided that the concert sounded much better than working on my thesis (I mean it was a day for celebrating!). The concert was really good, and I had a great time with Chris and his friends. They are a truly great group of people! After we met with Kyle as well and had something to eat.

I didn't get home until closer to 2 in the morning, so there was absolutely no way I was going to wake up early for my long run. Luckily I had decided earlier in the day to post-pone my long run until next weekend. Seeing as my legs were still a bit sore from Saturday and my right hip still wasn't completely back to normal, I decided that this week will be an easier week (since I've heard those are mandatory every 4 weeks or so), and next weekend will be the official 9 mile run!

So far today I have been lazy and caught up on sleep. I'm going to go to the lab for a bit and work on my thesis, then do some cleaning and watch a movie. I do need to enjoy Labor Day. (o:

In summary, this weekend could not have been more perfect! I tried something new, changed up my work-out, accomplished my personal goal of hang gliding, remembered my dad in the best way that I know how by celebrated life for all of it's glorious moments, met some amazing new people, and just all around had a wonderful time.

As one last note (yes, I'm sure you are sick of reading. Feel free to stop at any time)... Amy made a post about "The List". This list consists of people you could make-out with even though you are married. She posed the question of who would be on our own lists. Without putting too much thought into it (I mean if I was making my official list it would take weeks of research), I listed David Beckham (Mmmm Mmmmmm Good!), Keith Urban (sans the drinking problem), and Matthew McConaughey. This last person on my list reminded me of my cousin's cake at her bridal shower, so I just thought I'd share... Now doesn't that look Yummy?? (of course it was an ice cream cake... and didn't look quite so spectacular after it melted all over the table).

Well I hope that everyone had as wonderful of a weekend as I did! Remember to be thankful for all of the amazing people and little moments that make life worth living.