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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Tuesday!

#runnersheart

-Jen

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10k’s and Hair Products!

This past Sunday, I ran my 12th race of the year…back in March when I ran my first race of the year, a St. Patrick’s Day 5k, I never thought I would run 12 races this year, let alone finish a half-marathon (!!!) and three 10k’s within those 12 races.

The race was the Mark’s Place Healthy is Beautiful 10k and of course I ran it with my Running Bestie, Sarah ๐Ÿ™‚

Can’t run a race without her now ๐Ÿ™‚

I have to be honest though, we both were not feeling like running this race on Sunday. We’re not sure why, but we both admitted to each other that we were not feeling this race, but we decided to do it anyway because we knew that we would regret not doing it.

This race a little different for me because it was scheduled for the afternoon and not first thing in the morning, I’m used to. What I’m used to is working midnights and running my race first thing in the morning after I get off…crazy I know, but if I’m not running a race after I get off my midnight shift, then I’m working out or running at least a 5k myself anyway…so why not run a race??

Anyway…

I must say, that I am so very glad that I ran the race. I PR’d my 10k time (AND my 5k time by the way…go me!), and it was a beautiful fall day with the leaves changing and falling from the trees as we ran.

The best part about this race was the loot we got for running. The 10k was sponsored by a salon and for running we got a travel sized Matrix shampoo, conditioner, and hair spray (along with our t-shirt)…AND when we were done got a 2 bottle combo pack (big bottles) of Matrix shampoo and conditioner that costs $32 in the salon. We were suppose to trade our bibs for those, but Sarah and I asked if we could keep our bibs because we save them and lucky for us, they let us keep them. I don’t think I could give up my bib, even if that is the exact type of shampoo/conditioner that I use for my hair and it’s expensive…I earned my bib and it’s important to me that I save it for my wall…

It’s a runner thing…

Selfie

Post-Race Selfie

Another 5k coming up next Sunday! I’m actually excited about this one! Race number 13! When I started again at the beginning of this year, I had a mental goal to do a few races, maybe 2 or 3 over the summer…never thought I would be where I am today. I am very proud of myself.

Big plans in the works for 2014…it’s going to be EPIC!

I am a runner.

Happy Monday!!

#runnersheart

-Jen

I think I’ve lost my mind…

So at the beginning of this month (May), I came up with this brilliant (I say this sarcastically), that I was going to run every single day this month. And so far this month I have run 27 out of 27 days this month. I post my progress on my Facebook page, Twitter account, and Instagram (when I have pics) and I always end my posts with #runeverydayinMay.

I have had many of my friends and aquiantaces stop me when they see me or message me and say that I have inspired them in someway to run themselves, or I have at least made them “think” about running. At least they are thinking about doing it. My hope is that if they think about it long enough, it will get them to actually do it. It makes me so happy to think that I could have that kind of affect on people. I thought that I was annoying everyone with all my posts about running because there are a lot of them.

A little over two years ago, I got this brillant (again, I say this sarcastically) idea that I wanted to run a 5k. I dismissed the thought as soon as it came to me, but it kept nagging at me. Why couldn’t I run a 5k? I’ll tell you why: I have never run a day in my life. My motto up until then was I wasn’t running unless I was being chased. And I was majorly out of shape.ย I think I was inspired by watching some of my favorites from the Biggest Loser (Hannah, Olivia, and Jay) run a race on the show. I really identified with all of them and thought that if they could do it, then maybe I could do it too.

So after I made the decision to do it, I bought a “Couch to 5k” app on my iPod, registered for my first 5kย (so I couldn’t back out)ย and started the 3-day-a-week training. I am not going to lie. I was the hardest thing I have ever done. The first week you run for a minute and then walk for a minute and a half, and I felt like I was going to die! My lungs couldn’t handle it and all my muscles were screaming at me to stop the torture. I kept doing it though and eventually it because easy and I looked forward to my runs each week. After I completed the 9-ish week training, I ran my first 5k. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, but I completed it and it felt amazing.

I did another race about a month after my first 5k and did much better, but after that race, I stopped running. I let my hectic life get in the way between my son, school, and work. I missed running so much and told myself that as soon as my schedule let up, I was going to do it again. Well that’s the thing with nursing school, that schedule is brutal and it never lets up.

When I finally decided to make an effort to try to run again, I started getting a major pain in the heel of my right foot. I found out from my doctor that I had plantar facititis in my right heel because of large hook-like heel spur. I had toย  go through physical therapy, as well as get steroid injections in my heel to help with the inflammation. Both helped a great deal, but I still have pain in that heel, though it is much more bearable.

Which brings me back to this year. At the beginning of the year I made the decision that I WAS going to run once again and this time it was going to stick. I started working out and even went as far as pre-registering for several races so I couldn’t back out of it now. Even though I was working out, I wasn’t running as much as I should have been. I ran my first 5k of the year on St. Patrick’s Day and it was horrible.ย It was freezing out that day and even though I was bundled up, my lungs couldn’t handle it. Neither could my foot that decided it was going to have a major flare up during the middle of the race. I ended up walking most of it which didn’t make me very happy. That day I decided that it was time to get serious about running because it was something that I really wanted to do.So I went back to the basics. Running several days a week and even started using the original “Couch to 5k” program I used before.

Which now brings me back to present day. I have run 28 days (this includes April 30th) in a row and here are a few things that I have learned:

1. I hate hills. They kill me. Every.Single.Time.

2. Stretching is my best friend. If you don’t stretch before and even after your run then you will be hurting for days which will force you to slather your muscles in roll-on biofreeze or icy hot. Your friends will then make fun of you for smelling like an old man. True Story.

3. My playlist is the most important part of the success of my run. If I’m not feeling the music, then I’m not feeling the run.

4. It doesn’t matter how slow you run. It only matters that you run. My motto now is “slow and sweaty” because I run slow and I sweat A LOT.

So what is the point to this whole blog? Well last night I was looking back at my posts online and reflecting in the fact that I have run every day this month (#runeverydayinMay) and I began thinking: what’s next? I needed another goal because when this month is over, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. So that is when I had another brilliant (but very CRAZY) idea: I should train to run a 1/2 marathon this year. That’s when I thought I had totally lost my mind, but I couldn’t shake the idea. Why couldn’t I run a 1/2 marathon this year? It is something that I have always wanted to do as my ultimate goal, but I was thinking that more in the long term like after I graduated nursing school in December when I would have more time.

I then started doing some online research to find some sort of training schedule to maybe change my mind because I couldn’t possibly have the time for something this crazy. That’s when I found a few 12-16 week training schedules that were 5 days a week and gradually increased the mileage and incorporated a run/walk method to the training. I run 7 days a week now and a 5 day a week training schedule would give me 2 rest days. I could totally find time in my schedule to do this.

Here it goes. I am declaring this now: on September 28, 2013, I am going to complete the Akron, Ohio 1/2 Marathon. Now I’m not trying to run this to get a decent time. I’m “slow and sweaty” remember? I just want to be to complete it and accomplish my goal. I’m crazy, aren’t I? It’s okay, you can think it because I think so too.

This Saturday I am running the Girls On The Run 5k at Walsh University. On Sunday, I’m going to have my first rest day in 33 days (I’ve run every day since April 30th and I think I deseve it, damn it!). Then on Monday, I am going to start training for a 1/2 marathon. I am going to use this blog to journey to the finish line. Cheesy I know, but it fits ๐Ÿ™‚

Before I end this, I have to mention someone that has been a great inspiration to me. My friend Sarah and I have known each other since we were freshman in high school. After graduation, we lost touch a bit, but that’s normal because back then we didn’t have things like Facebook to keep in touch. In the last year and a half or so, Sarah has gotten in to running and fitness and seeing her posts on Facebook have really inspired me to get back into running. The last 3 races I have done, she has also done and she is doing the Akron 1/2 marathon in September as well. The last race we even went to together and both of us beat our personal records. She has also gotten me intrested inย Zumba and we go to the same class twice a week now. It is a lot of fun and it is great to have her in my life as a support system because she knows the struggles that I have been through and has had her own personal struggles herself.

So that’s it. This is my story. I’m going to use this blog to document my journey and struggles as I prepare to run this 1/2 marathon in September. Doing this is going to help keep me accountable and also be a great record for me to look back on. If people read it, great. If no one reads it, that is okay too.

Have a great week everyone!

429778_10201318955718481_1991774114_nย This is me after my run yesterday ๐Ÿ™‚

 

-Jen