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

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Busy Busy!

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I.Am.Exhausted.

This past Sunday, I ran in the Derby Downs 5k that my friend, Sarah, and I signed up for at the end of last week at the very last minute. I talked my old roommate, also a Sara, into running with us (“Come on, it’s ONLY 3 miles!”). We all did amazing and Sara even ended up taking 3rd place in our age group (I was 4th!). Okay it was the first year for the race and there weren’t that many in our age group and Sara was very shocked and didn’t believe it when they called her name to come up to receive her trophy. I was very proud of her, as well Sarah and I.

This 5k was no joke. Big, BIG hills, both up and down. Running down hills aren’t too hard, but when you’re running down a soap box derby hill with such a steep incline, you become afraid you’re going to trip and roll down the hill. Or least that’s how I felt, so I took my time down the hills and I power walked up the last gigantic hill, which may be why my calves hurt for 3 days after the race. Overall time was just over 33:15 minutes and I beat my fastest mile by 40 seconds! (10:45, down from 11:25!!!)

Sarah and I crossed the finish line together which was cool because she’s my partner in crime, my inspiration, and my sole sister when it comes to all things fitness, especially running. I am so proud of how far both of us have come and I can’t wait to see where this all leads…

Which actually it leads to us signing up for a 10k on August 3rd (WHAT?). I know it’s in progression for our half-marathon training, but as soon as I submitted payment on the race registration, I felt instantly nervous. Obviously I’m doing this to finish, not for a timed goal, but it it takes me forever to finish, then I know I’ll be crushed.

The farthest I’ve gone is 4.24 miles and I did that in 53 minutes and that’s not that bad because that was with a lot of walking…so I don’t know. We’re just going to have to wait it out and hope for the best.

This past week was crazy busy. It started Monday when I had to rush to the Cleveland Clinic to be with my Uncle Ray who has heart issues and has taken a turn for the worst. Thankfully at the moment it is stable and doing good, but he is scheduled for an experimental surgery this coming Monday.

Also this week was the last week of classes with next week being finals week. I had a few tests and quizzes this week, as well as clinical, papers and such. And of course I’m working Friday and Saturday 12 hour night shift.

It’s never ending. Always something going on. Busy busy! Can’t wait to have a day when there is nothing to do.

Happy Saturday!

-Jen

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Last Minute Race Sign-up!

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I just signed up last minute for a 5k that is this Sunday morning and I couldn’t be more excited! Especially since I had a bad few days in regards to my half-marathon training.

My chiropractor appointment this past Monday, left me in a TON of pain and I was very uncomfortable for all of the day on Tuesday and most of the day Wednesday. I was able to run a little bit on Wednesday afternoon, but I didn’t push it because I didn’t want to chance ruining it.

This morning I was feeling just overly tired so I decided that since Thursdays are my scheduled rest day, I was going to take it. So I did and so far I’ve been okay, but just feeling a little down about not training as much this week.

So that’s when I talked to my friend Sarah and we decided that what we needed was a race. We both always feel amazing after we do one and I know it is just what I need to get out of my slump. I already feel better knowing that it’s coming up 😁

Wish me luck!

Happy Thursday!

-Jen

Oh you know…just lifting some weights…Day 2 of #sweateverydayinJune

It was really weird for me to get off work this morning at 7:30am and NOT go run at the Monument like I have done every other weekend morning for the last month. I have to say though that I am glad that I did decide to make myself take a rest day with the running because my calves ached from that 5k race yesterday. I ran my a** off yesterday…

Oh this picture cracks me up...my face looks horrible because I'm concentrating on breathing through the humidity and I was saying a silent prayer for the photographer to NOT take my picture...no such luck...

Oh this picture cracks me up…my face looks horrible because I’m concentrating on breathing through the humidity and I was saying a silent prayer for the photographer to NOT take my picture…no such luck…

Starting Line to the race yesterday...Sarah and I are WAY in the back!

Starting Line to the race yesterday…Sarah and I are WAY in the back!

After work this morning I went to the gym at the hospital, where I’m employed and go to nursing school, and it is completely equipped with treadmills, elliptical, weight machines, and various other cardio machines. I was hoping that because it was a Sunday morning and it was still pretty early that no one would be down in the gym, but when I walked in there were three guys in there. One of the guys was lifting and the two were spotting him because it looked like it was lifting some heavy weights. And I must say, that the guy lifting looked completely ridiculous because he was trying to show of for his two friends. It wasn’t even like he was doing it to work out. It was more like he was playing, “my muscles are bigger than yours” which isn’t something that I find impressive.

Anyway! Moving on! I tried my best to ignore them as I was trying to decide what my plan of action was. I decided on just focusing on my upper body, since my lower body was covered in Biofreeze and was not very happy with me. I started out by stretching out my entire body, which felt so GOOD! I do stretch before I work out or run, but I have never really concentrated and done a really good stretch. Then I went around to the weight machines that focused on upper body. I have been doing my research on strength training for when you are training for a marathon and is more important to go with lower amount of weight and just doing more reps. So that’s what I did and I have to tell you that my body feels AMAZING! After I was done, I stretched again and then left “Macho Man” and his posse to continue with their little show. The whole workout only took me about 30 minutes, but I definitely burned some calories and I know that this is going to help me in the long run as I continue training for my half marathon in September!

My Batman shirt makes me feel strong ;)

My Batman shirt makes me feel strong πŸ˜‰

True Story ;)

True Story πŸ˜‰

Okay one last picture before I go!

The countdown is on!

The countdown is on!

Have a GREAT week!
-Jen

Girl on the Run

This morning after working a midnight shift at the hospital (I know, I’m not right in the head sometimes), I ran in the 2013 Girls on the Run 5k with my good friend Sarah. There were a ton of women and girls there to run/walk this event that they hold every year and it was kind of cool to see everyone out there. Today marks the first day of the #sweateverydayinJune challenge.

My last few runs this week had not been so great (they down right sucked in my opinion because I think I was so freaking tired) so I wasn’t sure that I was going to do so well and I mentally prepared myself for not getting my personal best. I was just looking at this as just another run and I was just going to do what I could to not pass out from the humidity.

I ended up doing much better than I thought I would πŸ™‚

I CRUSHED my last fastest mile by 35 seconds. Go me.

I CRUSHED my last fastest mile by 35 seconds. Go me.

I ended the race with a time of 39:03.3 and paced it at a 12:35 mile. That is pretty darn good for me and I’ll pat myself on the back for that one.

This race ended a 33 day running streak for me since I ran on April 30th and then had the bright idea to run every day in May (#runeverydayinMay). Tomorrow I will rest from running (it is going to be weird, but much needed), though I am still going to the gym to start doing some light weight/strength training, since I hear it is important to do if you are going to train for a half-marathon.

The best part about the 5k today was the fact that my little man was there along with my mom to cheer me on at the finish line. They were standing right at the end, yelling my name and as soon as I saw them, I picked up my speed so that I could have a strong finish. It felt great!

Sarah and I in our usual race day colors with my son, Antonio, just after finishing

Sarah and I in our usual race day colors with my son, Antonio, just after finishing

I’m not going to lie folks, I’m a little sore today after taking my nap (hey, I’m not lazy, I’ve got to work a 12 hour midnight shift tonight). Time to take a shower and roll-on the good ol’ Biofreeze and wait for my co-workers to make fun of me for smelling like an old man.

Happy June 1st Everyone!
-Jen

Almost there…

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May 30th…only one more day of running before hitting my goal of #runeverydayinMay. When I started at the beginning of the month, I really didn’t think that I would do it. I figured something would get in my way and keep me from finishing out the month, but I was able to make time to run every.single.day.
It was not easy because there were a few days that I really didn’t feel like going and those were usually the days when I couldn’t start my day out with my run. Being able to run first thing in the morning gives me the boost to tackle almost anything during the day. On the days that I can’t run till the afternoon, I spent worrying all day if I was going to be able to get my run in before the day was over. And then usually by the afternoon it was so humid that I had to push my way through to get it done.
I am not complaining about running every day this month. It was a goal I set for myself and I actually enjoyed every minute of it. It is going to be nice to have two rest days during the week and if a day I’m suppose to run has a conflict that arises and I can’t run that day, then I will just run on the rest day to make up for it.
Bring on June!
-Jen