Monday, December 24, 2007

The parking lot work-out!

Today I burned nearly 50 calories just by leaving a store and walking through the parking lot to my car. How do I know this? Well I will tell you! Thanks to my most amazing, sweet, and wonderful boyfriend, I am now the very excited and proud owner of a Garmin Forerunner 305!!!! Believe me, I squealed with excitement!! I promised myself that I would not run until Christmas day to make sure my knees were alright, but I am finding every other excuse in the world to test it out! (For example, I burned 4 calories walking from P.F. Chang's to the car.) Tomorrow will be my very first run. I CANNOT WAIT!!! I will warn you now, you will read about this tomorrow. LOL.

I've also added some picture of me and my "baby" (my golden retriever). He's the best dog in the world!!! Oh and I also included a picture of my running Christmas ornaments. I finally ordered the two I said I wanted, and my mom had the other ornament made for me. I am "The Queen of Running Land"! Haha!

I hope you all have a very lovely Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Smart Jes wins this time

All day Tuesday I walked with a slight limp, because my left knee was hurting. The roommate and I worked out arms and abs at the gym then decided we'd test out spinning to see how my knee felt. Spinning actually rocked! It felt great, and my knee felt wonderful after the class ended. By the end of the evening the "twinge" was coming back in my knee, and by the next day I was limping again. Bleh. Smart Jes told me not to run Wednesday evening, so I didn't. Thursday I REALLY wanted to go to spinning, but my knee was still not 100% so Smart Jes won again. In fact I don't think I'm going to run again until Monday. As badly as I want to run, I want to be able to enjoy more run more. I figure that by Monday my knees should be pretty good (not to mention this weekend is packed with a birthday party, Christmas party, and driving back home to visit Mom for the holidays). I really wish the lap pool at the gym was open, because I'm craving a cardio work-out, but unfortunately it is closed. Of course with the time I've gained from not going to the gym, I have managed to finish my Christmas shopping and nearly all of my wrapping. Yay! The roommate and I have also been doing 10 push-ups (girly-style right now... I'll build up) every morning and holding a 2 minute forearm plank.

I hope to catch up on some blog reading while I'm back home. I swear you guys write too much. LOL. Of course I greatly enjoy reading all of it, so please don't stop!

In response to some recent comments:

P.O.M. and Jess: Thanks for the comments regarding my picture. :-D You guys rock! And POM good luck for your half marathon! I can't wait to run one again in February!

Doug: You don't happen to have a picture of you with a frozen beard and icicles hanging from your face... do you?! I would LOVE to see that!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My very first run in the cold!

Last night was my very first run in the cold...about 2.7 miles in 26 minutes… including walking time in the middle. Recall that I only started running in January and it was just in the treadmill. I don't believe I ventured out-doors until March... and I do live in Florida.

Just last week the temperature was in the 80s, but last night it dipped down to the mid 40’s with a wind-chill that made it feel more like 40F outside. I was freezing (okay sure, I didn’t look anything like the picture of the ice cold woman, but that’s how I felt. LOL) I was bundled up much more than Chris and Kyle, who ran with me. In fact, Kyle was wearing shorts and Chris a t-shirt. (I initially questioned their sanity, but considering they were sweating by the end... they knew what they were doing.)

It was decided that we would run to a particular corner and back. I fell behind as usual, since my pace was slower than theirs. The distance to the corner was approximately 1.2 miles (the boys each have a Garmin), and I averaged probably around a 9:30 pace (estimatation based on what their pace was). Then we walked for a bit, which was good since I needed to catch my breath. My lungs stung a bit as I expected, but I did not anticipate my ears hurting. I would describe it as the aching inner-ear pain you feel if you have an ear infection. By the end of the run it did go away, which I was thankful for. I probably averaged about the same pace for the run back, because there was a bit more distance between me and them on the way back, and their pace had increased.

I hope that my next half marathon, in February, isn’t this cold. (That’s right people… The roommate and I are officially registered!!!) On my drive home last night I called my friend who was previously stationed in Alaska. He said until my eye lids freeze shut and/or open, I’m not allowed to complain about the cold. LOL

God bless all of you who live where it actually snows! I don't know how you manage!!! In fact, this weekend I actually drank HOT coffee... considering I only ever drink iced, it was a pretty big deal.


This weekend I went to Chris’s work Christmas party. It was a dinner cruise and sooo much fun! There was good food, wine, and dancing. Below is a picture of us before the party.

I did rest this past weekend as I said would (excluding dancing in heels. lol). Saturday I was still limping a bit, but felt much better by Sunday. Today my left knee is sore from yesterday’s run, but my hip feels great. The roommate and I are going to do an arms/abs work-out before spinning this evening. Then I think I’ll ice my knee before we head out to finish some Christmas shopping.

Tomorrow the roommate and I are planning an easy three mile run. I’m not sure what the plans are for the rest of the week yet.

Friday, December 14, 2007

And the "Idiot of the Year Award" goes to.... Jes!

Eight miles for Friday...


Extremely sore hip and aching knees...

...check! check!

Well the roommate and I did it. We decided to run in the morning since the temperature has been in the 80s in the evening. Plus we knew we'd be less likely to skip the run if we got it over with in the morning. I got up at five this morning (she got up a half hour later) and at six we headed out for our run. The last time the roommate ran eight miles was back in October I think; otherwise, she's stuck to less than six. Although, she did run seven this past weekend in 87 minutes. Today we ran (and walked a few times when I was certain my knees and hip were about to fall off) eight in 98 minutes.

I'm certain that my knees and hip have never hurt this much during a run.


This is pretty much how the inner conversation went with myself today:

Smart Jes: "Jessica, what in the world are you doing? You are going to hurt yourself... Don't you feel that sharp pain shooting down your leg? That's a sign you should stop. Two miles is enough!"

Idiot Jes: "I can run through it... besides, I said I'd run eight miles today. I blogged about it. I've felt like a slacker all week... not swimming Tuesday, only running two miles Wednesday, and completely skipping the arm/ab work-out yesterday to do laundry. I HAVE to do all eight miles."

Smart Jes: "You are just going to injure yourself. I mean really, the knees are NOT happy right now, and you know your right leg is extremely tight right now. Don't you feel that stabbing pain in your hip and butt?"

Idiot Jes: "Shut up! The roommate needs to go eight miles, and so do I. I won't run at all this weekend. I'll take it easy after this."

Smart Jes: "You're soooo going to regret this."

Idiot Jes: "Okay... I'll walk just a little bit. I mean that's not cheating, right? Nah... walking for a little bit is okay... Ahhh... that feels better!"

Smart Jes: "Told ya."

Idiot Jes: "Last mile... I can run the last mile... okay I can slowly jog the last mile and curse at myself the entire time... ow..."

**End of Eight Miles*

Smart Jes: "How do you feel?"

Idiot Jes:

Smart Jes: "I told you....... You should have listened to me."

Idiot Jes: "At least I did it! I said I'd do it, and I did! Time for more ibuprofen. The foam roller is definitely going to work with me today. And Yes... next week I'm taking it easy!"

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Darn Holiday Gym Hours

Tuesday the roommate and I headed to the gym after work only to discover that the new holiday break hours meant that the lap pool is only open from 11am to 3pm. Grrr... That meant no swimming on Tuesday, and we also didn't break regular gym clothes with us. We ended up going to Target to do some Christmas/Graduation gift shopping and also purchased a second set of eight pound weights for our work-outs at home. That evening we did an arms and abs work-out at home. Let me tell you, I really need to work more on my upper body strength. I have been slacking these past few weeks, and I can definitely tell a difference.

Yesterday we had planned to run three miles before spinning, but I got caught up doing some statistics at work and only had time for two miles (in order to fit in a stretch before spin). So yesterday I ended up running two miles at a ten min/mile pace, stretched, then had an amazing work-out in spin class. Man, I love that class!

Today the roommate and I took a super long lunch and swam for an hour at the gym before heading over the chemistry Christmas party. After watching people pass by with plates mostly filled with desserts, we decided to peace out of there and went to Subway for lunch. Swimming was exhausting, but it felt really good. I am still practicing my drills... not up to free-style yet, but I'll get there eventually! I'm feeling pretty good right now!

Unfortunately my knee is quite sore. I'm hoping it will be better before tomorrow's eight mile run. We are running at the roommate's pace, so she's shooting for under two hours. I'll let you know how it goes.

Again, I'm super behind on blog reading... and I have no idea when I'm going to have time to catch up. Just know that I will eventually read and comment. I hope everyone has a great upcoming weekend!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Catching Up!

The nice easy two mile run last Thursday turned out to be a rather painful run. The roommate and I did finish the two miles, but my left leg cramped half way through and my hip was still pretty sore.

I ended up going back home to visit my family and see my friend in a play. The play was excellent! My friend was "George Bailey" in "It's A Wonderful Life" (see picture). Sadly I did not run my 8 miles on the 8th... I was a bit disappointed, but I know my hip was not ready for it yet.

Last night, however, I ran with Chris. I decided that any time I run with him can be logged as speed work for me. We ran 3.6 miles in 33 minutes, then walked 0.2, then ran the rest of the way to reach 5.3 miles (in a total time of 47 minutes). That was definitely a work-out for me. During the first part I was fighing off a cramp and slight nausea, but it went away (Yay!). It felt really good to run again!

Today my right leg (mostly the outside of my thigh) is tight and my left knee hurts, but I have a feeling swimming is going to help it.

Here's the plan for the week:

Tuesday: Swim for an hour and arm/ab work-out
Wednesday: Run 5K then spinning
Thursday: Swim and arms/abs again
Friday: 8 miles (this will be the roommate's longest run so far... well she did 8 miles once before... she's determined to run a half marathon! I'm soooo proud!)

I'm not sure if I'll do anything over the weekend. That's up in the air. I know I have a Christmas party and graduation party on Saturday.

I am also going to try and stick to eating well. I slacked off this weekend, and the fact that one of my best friends just sent me a one pound brick of pumpkin fudge doesn't help. (I think her plan is to make me fat. lol I will be taking it to the Christmas party to share... and of course try some myself!)

I'm still extremely behind on blog reading!! I even missed out on telling Amy good luck on her marathon! What a fantastic time! Congratulations Amy!!! I hope everyone is doing well.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Ah... dear old mom....

I did not mention in my race report about my conversation with my mother after the race. The day before the race she sent me an e-mail saying she would be cheering me on from home, and she expected me to come in first place (Joking of course... because we all know that will NEVER happen... and I'm perfectly okay with that!).

After the race she called me, and I told her I was really excited because I ran the entire race at under a 10 minute per mile pace. She asked what my overall time was, and I told her. Then my dear, sweet, sometimes-makes-me-feel-like-I-must-be-adopted mother said completely seriously, "But I thought you said you finished it in under 10 minutes?" Uhhhhh..... My response was, "Seriously mom??? You think I ran 13.1 miles in under 10 minutes??" To which she responded, "Yeah sure, why not?" She clearly was not thinking at that time. I mean let's do the math, shall we? Let's say I finished in exactly 10 minutes... I would have been running at nearly 79 miles per hour!!! While it would be extremely awesome to have super speed, I do NOT possess that power. I have to admit that after that conversation my 2:06:56 time seemed a little on the long side.

However, leave it to my mom to still make me feel like a "queen of running" even though she seems to be clueless when it comes to distance and time calculations. I received the BEST card in the mail yesterday. My mom is hilarious when it comes to cards… they always include silly sayings on the envelopes (this one read “Stomped With Running Shoes" right on the seal). I took a picture of the actual card... Note the little stick-figure I circled in red. In case you can't read it, the card says, "Not only were you up for the challenge, you went above and beyond it. Congratulations." Inside she wrote how proud she was of me (Awwww) and drew a silly picture of a stick-figure with a crown running towards a finish line, complete with a cheering section and the words "Run, run as fast as you can, you can't out run Jessica, She's the 'Queen' of Running Land!" She also included a ribbon that says "Grand (insert the handwritten words: "Great Running and new distance!") Prize Winner (insert more handwritten words: "To Jessica 12/07"). And the back has my name and "13.1 mile Queen".

Alright so I didn't inherit my math skill from my mother (or her amazing spelling skills, because thank goodness for spell-check!), I was not the first place finisher in the race, and I definitely did not run at 80 miles per hour... but I still feel pretty darn special! Seriously, you know you are jealous of my fantastic card and crazy mother!

I am finally walking without a limp. Actually, I’ve been walking like a normal human being for a couple of days now. Monday I relaxed and did chores are predicted. Tuesday I needed to work out, because I was feeling “bleh”. My hips were still a bit tight, but a half an hour in the pool did them good. It felt really good to get back in the pool, since it has been a couple of weeks. Unfortunately after this week I will only be able to go on the weekends, because the school gym hours are changing for the break. I will try to fit it in when I can though.

Yesterday I went to my first spin class in MONTHS! It was GREAT! Man have I missed spinning… the loud music, the yelling instructor making me push harder, the disgusting sweaty shirt when I’m finished… ahhh yes, it was wonderful! However… having not been on the saddle in quite some time, my butt is a bit sore today. I am going to have to get used to the seat again. I deserve it though for not fitting in more spin classes. I did feel a “twinge” of pain in my hips and knees still, but nothing bad.

I figure tonight I’ll go for a nice easy 2 mile run with the roommate. I’m hoping to be able to run my eight miles for the “8 on the 8th” (or in my case 7th) race tomorrow before heading out of town for the weekend. I’m finally going back home to visit family. I haven’t been back in a few months, and I definitely need to see them. I know I won’t fit in any working out though, so hopefully the 8 miles will happen tomorrow.

I hope everyone is having a great week!

Monday, December 3, 2007

My First Half Marathon Race Report!

You guys are seriously never going to believe my time! I didn’t believe it!!! My chip time was…


That's right, a 9:46.6 pace!

According to the results page there were 2049 people who finished the half marathon and 933 of them were women. In my age group (25-29) there were 162 females and I ended up finishing 63rd out of them. The very first finisher was a man from Poland with a finishing time of 1:10:25… yeah, that’s just barely longer than my 10K time… lol. He’s fast!

Okay, here’s my recap of the events:

Thursday Rebecca, the roommate and myself picked up our race packets and t-shirts (pictured above). At the pick-up place, I saw some Christmas ornaments that I just have to have... they may be dorky, but I promise you I am buying both of these! LOL

All day Friday my right hip and outer thigh were sore. I took the foam roller to work and used it off an on all day and took some ibuprofen before bed that night. A group of us also had a “Pasta Party” that evening and ate yummy spaghetti. I was seriously hoping to make my 2:30 time, but I was starting to have doubts.

Saturday morning I woke up very early and had my usual waffles and a banana for breakfast along with my caffeinated Crystal Light strawberry drink and two ibuprofen. The week before I was given free Sports Beans at the gym, so I ate about four of those and tucked some away in my pocket for just in case (I never did eat them).

Due to some parking issues, Chris and I got to the race a bit later than anticipated, and had to wait in line to get the chips for our shoes. There were soooo many people there! I had never been to such a big race. I did not even find my roommate, Rebecca or Joe before the race.

At the start of the race, I was determined to stay at a nice steady pace and not start off too fast. Around 1one I was at a 10 min/mile pace, which is where I met up with Joe. He had started in the back figuring he would be able to find me that way. He said he would run with me for the next mile as his warm up then would speed up to try and beat his previous half marathon time. While we were running, a lady passed us and complimented me on my hair. Apparently she had been following me from the start and loved my hair. LOL. That was cool. At 2 miles Joe went ahead and I continued at my pace, trying not to think about the overall distance but just taking it one mile at a time. I heard two girls next to me talking, and they mentioned that they were trying to keep a 10 min/mile pace, so I figured that as long as they did not pass me I was doing pretty good.

There were water/Gatorade stops every mile and a half. Starting at mile 4.5, I took one swallow of Gatorade at every stop (and water at one, because they did not have Gatorade). As the miles increased, I was staying at just under a 10 min/mile pace. I was shocked, but I still felt really good… like I was not pushing myself too hard. I kept thinking to myself “Wow, I can tell everyone I made it at under a 10 min/mile pace up to mile 5…” which then became 6, 7, then 8…

Mile 9 was where I had problems. That happened to be right after the stop where I drank water instead of Gatorade, which may just be a coincidence, but who knows. I ended up with a terrible side stitch that left me walking. I almost cried, but mostly out of frustration. I walked until it felt a bit better, then I would try and run. This went on for probably a quarter of a mile. I was just praying that it would go away, because I did NOT want to walk to the end. I had been doing sooo well! After the next drink station the pain finally went away enough that I could suck it up and run. I sped up a bit, trying to make up for my time and crossed the 10 mile mark still under a 10 min/mile pace (Seriously people! I was shocked too!).

The last two miles, partly on uneven brick roads, was when I was really starting to feel exhausted. But hey, I would not consider it such an accomplishment if it was easy. At about a half a mile or just under before the end, I actually caught up with Chris. This was great because it really helped me to speed up and push harder to the end by trying to keep up with him. Right after crossing the finish line, someone removed the chip from my shoe, and I received my amazing finisher’s medal (pictured below)! I then drank of Gatorade and ate some fruit.

Unfortunately Joe and my roommate did not get to see me finish, because I told them to expect me later. LOL. But some of my other friends did see the finish, and man it was great! I did eventually find both Joe and my roommate, which I was very happy about.

One of our friends, Diane, ran the 5K, and it was her first race. She said she wants to run another! YAY! The 5K finishers received medals as well, which I thought was great. The roommate did well on her 5K, and now she has the half marathon itch. We are talking about doing one that is all off-road February 2nd.

Oh yeah, after the race, there were some physical therapists offering free consultations at one of the tents. When I described my hip pain the guy actually started laughing because he said he had heard the exact same description so many times that day. He had me lay on the padded table and bent my leg into some crazy positions. The right hip was definitely a LOT less flexible than the left. He showed me an exercise to stretch the hip and told me to try that several times a day. I will definitely be doing that!

Of course today I am still limping, and I feel like an old lady who needs hip and knee replacements. LOL. I am quite sore, but it is getting better. My plan is to take it easy tonight, because I have to get some grocery shopping and other chores done. Then tomorrow I hope to go swimming and maybe just use the kick board for a while.

Thank you all for your support! I was really looking forward to writing this blog to let you all know how it went. I am still shocked and honestly proud of myself. Here are some pictures from after the race (I didn’t get any before pictures due to time constraints, and sadly both Joe and Rebecca had to leave before I could get a picture with them).

With the roommate

Chris and myself

Group Photo with Penny, Diane, Kelly, Myself, Chris, and Kyle

I completely forgot to mention this... this really was the absolute BEST race that I have ever run! It went through residential areas and there were people sitting out on their lawns cheering and playing music. It was GREAT! There were even these three little bitty girls in cheerleading uniforms cheering "Go Runners Go!" Sooo adorable! The crowd definitely made a difference! I couldn't ask for a better race!