May Love and Laughter Light Your Days…

An Irish blessing to all my running friends…

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Updates soon!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

#runnersheart
-Jen

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Exhaustion, stresses, and injuries. Oh my!

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It’s March folks! FINALLY!

I’m ready for Spring time and WARMER WEATHER!! Though I live in NE Ohio and who knows when we will finally see good weather…

At the beginning of this year I had big plans and I was so excited to get started on those big plans, but…I let some life stresses get in the way, along with another shoulder injury…but those are just excuses. Excuses that has kept me from what I love to do. Which is run.

Well I am not letting any of those excuses get in my way anymore! I have a good solid plan to get myself back on track and ready for my upcoming racing season! I’ll keep you posted on how things turn out.

Wish me luck!

Happy March!

#runnersheart

-Jen

Goodbye 2013! It’s been a blast!

I would have to say that 2013 has been my most favorite year!

Why?

Well, so many great things have happened this year. Many of them by chance, but most of them because I worked my ass off and made them happen.

At the beginning do this year I made a decision to change my life. I wanted to get back to running which is something that I had loved in the past. I never in a million years did I think I would run nine 5ks, a 2-miler, two 10ks, and a half-marathon! Thirteen races total from March to October. The only thing that stopped me from doing any more than that was finishing up my final weeks of nursing school.

And to top it all off I graduated Nursing school! The biggest goal of my life so far! I did it all while I worked midnights every weekend, took care of my son, AND ran 3-5 days a week with some weeks doing cross training as well. It was HARD, but so worth all the hard work.

Now on to 2014!

There is no doubt in my mind that this next year is going to be even better than the last. I’m going to start working as a RN (as soon as I pass that pesky NCLEX) and I’ve come up with a few goals. I’m going to declare them here because once I get them out, they become real and I have to complete them. This blog is how I keep myself accountable and on track!

Goals for 2014:

1. Run at least 1000 miles

2. Complete at least 4 Half-Marathons (I’ve already registered for 2 in April. I know I will do the Akron Half-Marathon for sure again in September and I’m sure I’ll find another one to do. Heck, I may end up doing more than 4, but that’s my goal)

3. I want to run a 5k in under 35 minutes (My most recent PR is 36:55, so this one might take some work, but I’m up for the challenge)

4. Complete at least 20 races this year (13 races from March-October was actually NOT hard to do and that was with working midnights EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND! Really the challenge wasn’t the time for me. The challenge was the COST! I was a very poor, single mom, nursing student. I had to save my money for races, but races were the only fun thing I did for myself I the past year since I didn’t have a very active social life. With my new job as a nurse I will have the benefit of getting every other weekend off as well as be able to afford to pay for more races)

5. I want to travel to do a race (It doesn’t have to be far, but I would love to be able to go somewhere not around here and do a half or 10k. Ultimately I want to do a Run Disney half-marathon. Fingers crossed I can accomplish that one this year if possible!)

There you have it! My big goals for this year. I don’t think there is one that I won’t be able to accomplish as long as I keep my head up and my heart in the game!

Happy New Year!

#runnersheart

-Jen

I DID IT!

What’s “It” Β you ask?

I GRADUATED from Nursing School!

I'm a NURSE!

I’m a NURSE!

My Nursing Pins!

My Nursing Pins!

This past Friday I graduated from Aultman College of Nursing and Health Sciences (that’s a mouthful, I know) with my Associate’s Degree in Nursing! My ULTIMATE dream has come true! I have worked so long and hard for this moment to finally be here. My proudest moment!

Now that I am done with school (only for a little while), I can finally start focusing on running once again! Running had to take a backseat to Nursing school because everything that I had to endure to prepare for finals. While, I missed running so much, it was necessary if I wanted to pass and graduate. Nursing school has been all about sacrifice and I had been doing pretty good juggling both school and running, but the last month and a half of school was BRUTAL and I had to give up ALL extras and sadly that including running.

This coming Monday morning I start my training from the beginning. I’m going back to the basics! I have had to go over my strategy in my head the past few days and have decided that starting over is the only way to go because if I just try to go out there and run my usual 3-5 miles, I’m going to be very disappointed when I don’t do as well as I used to.

I haven’t ran since my last race in the middle of October and even though I’m not completely out of shape, I still have to be realistic in the fact that it is much colder now and I haven’t ran in so long, I need to train my body to run in these conditions along with get back into my usual groove.

I cannot wait to get started!

Happy Saturday/Sunday!

#runnersheart

-Jen

Here's my reason for EVERYTHING I do! Love him!

Here’s my reason for EVERYTHING I do! Love him!

I’m a lazy bum…

I haven’t ran in a month…

A whole FREAKING month!

Here’s my excuse: Nursing School.

I know there’s really no excuse. I’ve been running since February and I have always been able to find time to get runs in, but in all honesty, this past month has been rough. I’ve got one more class and then finals and then I graduate!! And then it will be back to my regularly scheduled runs!

Here’s the kicker: I’ve got 2 races coming up back to back next week. One is a 2 mile Turkey Trot race for my son’s school on Wednesday and the second is a Turkey Trot 5k onThanksgiving day in the morning.

I am in no shape prepared for either one of these races, let alone both back to back. There’s really not much I can do about it at this point. With the way my schedule is up until then, I will only be able work out Sunday morning (after working midnights the night before) or Tuesday morning.

Not really sure if I will be able to handle those days to work out because on top of having no time because of school, I have tweaked my lower back somehow and have been in excruciating pain for the last 2-3 days. To the point where I can barely walk in the morning…

I’m excited for my races though. After Thursday I will be up to race #15!! Can you all believe that?

I have one race scheduled in December and that will be #16. Still can’t believe that I will have completed this many races since March. That accomplishment feels pretty great πŸ˜‰

I just have to get through the next 2 races next week and then I can really celebrate. Wish me (and my injured back) luck!!

Happy Saturday!
#runnersheart

-Jen

The next week should be quite interesting.

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Accomplishments

Today I received this in the mail:

Ohio Challenge Series 2013 Finisher Shirt

Ohio Challenge Series 2013 Finisher Shirt

It’s my Finisher’s T-Shirt and invitation to the Finisher’s Banquet for the Ohio Challenge Series that I was apart of with the Running Bestie this year. To be apart of this you have to have finished 6 races in the series. I signed up back in March and to be honest, I didn’t think that I was going finish 6 races in the series, but I did! In fact, I’ve completed a total of 10 in the series, along with the Color Vibe 5k, Hall of Fame City Challenge 10k, and the Akron 1/2 Marathon! It’s been a busy racing year and I still have a few left before the year ends. Very excited to attend the banquet and get my Finisher Medal to add to my collection πŸ™‚

Happy Tuesday!

#runnersheart

-Jen

13 Races Since MARCH!?!?!

Only 5 weeks left until I’m completely done with nursing school! To say I am excited is a MAJOR understatement. I have been working so hard to reach this goal and have sacrificed a lot to get where I am today. It all comes down to these last 5 weeks and if I can make it through them or not. It has been a long, hard road, but I am so proud of where I am standing today.

With everything with school this week and getting ready for my son’s 7th birthday, I didn’t get to update about my AWESOME 5k last Sunday morning with my Running Bestie, Sarah.

Going into this 5k, Sarah and I had talked about want to smash our current PR’s for 5ks. She really wanted under 34 minutes and I wanted more than anything to beat my most recent 5k time of 38:14 (hey I’m slow and sweaty, remember?). I was really hoping for something under 38 minutes if possible, but I didn’t know if I was going to be able to do it because I hadn’t really run since the 10k we did the week before and really hadn’t done much training before that.

It was FREEZING that morning. The coldest morning we’ve had for a race since the St. Patrick’s Day 5k back in March.

I wasn’t feeling very confident at the beginning of the race because I was so cold and so tired from working the night before, which is the norm for me on race days, but that day I was extra tired for some reason. I told myself at the beginning of the race that if I don’t beat my goal, then it was okay and then listed all the excuses in my head that would cause me to not get a a PR today.

The race started and we were off and running. I just decided to do my own thing and go at my own pace and not worry about everyone else around me. When I get caught up in all the hype of the beginning of a race, I tend to start off way too face and it bites me in the ass later on, but not today. Not this race.

I finished my first mile in my usual 11:22 and chugged on for mile 2, which normally I finish much slower than mile 1. Mile 2 came in right around 12:28, which is actually a lot faster than when I have been getting mile 2. I pushed on for mile 3 and I just had it in my head that there was no way that I was going to get under my goal, but I kept going in my usual 2 min run/1 min walk pace. At one point I looked down at my watch and saw that I was at almost 3 miles and I hadn’t even hit 34 minutes yet. That’s when I realized that I was going to do it. I was going to be under 38 minutes!

I crossed the finish line at 36:55! 1 minute and 19 seconds faster than my most recent PR for a 5k! I almost started crying when I crossed the finish line. I never thought that I would get under a 37 minute 5k…I had been working so hard for so long and for some reason I just felt I wasn’t getting any faster, but I DID IT! And it felt amazing! By the way, Sarah smashed her goal too! Go Sarah!

Honestly, the best race I have had all year. Lucky number 13!

Next race isn’t until the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. I’ve got to buckle down on the studies and get ready to pass my finals so I can graduate in December. Once that is over, it’s back to the grind of racing as much as I possibly can. It’s going to be EPIC!

And now, I must head off to work my 12 hour midnight shift. Hoping to get a Β run in the morning when I’m off if I am feeling up to it.

Happy Friday!

#runnersheart

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Happy!

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PR BABY!

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Happy PR Smashing Girls!
Sarah and Jen

 

-Jen