Sunday, November 30, 2014


Sure, I fantasize about food all of the time when I run. The further I go, the more I picture all of the foods I want to eat when I'm done (fried chicken, ramen, ice cream, cupcakes, and on and on). 

Yesterday, during my ten mile run, I must have been thinking really hard about something sweet, because I literally manifested a pie right there on my trail. Forks and all!!

Don't worry. I may have manifested this sweet treat, but I did not digest it. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Off/On Topic

No running talk today.  Please bear with me while I go off (but, oh so on) topic.
Our country (the world, for that matter) seems to be in the middle of a whole array of social crises (racial profiling, domestic violence, marriage inequality, domestic violence, just to name a few).  What I keep hearing over and over on both sides of the conversations is the idea of "them" and "us" and "they" and "we."
But, here is the thing we are missing.  Here is the thing that we must grasp.  Here is the thing that without, we have no hope of leaving this place any better than we found it.  Here is THE thing:
We are so focused on our perceived differences, we are missing the most important fact of it all: we are all the same.  We were created as ONE MANKIND.  And, sure, that one mankind comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes and colors and religions and sexual preferences.  But those variations don't compare to, compete with, or diminish our overall sameness.  No matter what color, sex, nationality.  No matter if we are gay, straight, Christian, or Muslim.  We are first and foremost, human beings.  We have all of the same hopes, dreams, and fears.  If we stopped for one second to see the sameness in us all, the differences might not look so big.
When one of us is hurting, instead of judging or feeling judged, what if we asked what we could do to help?  What if we decided to truly listen to each other instead of speaking over one another until there is nothing but screaming and noise?  What if we realized that in taking care of each other, we also take care of and better ourselves?  What if we accepted that when one of us is raised up, we are all raised up?  When one of us hurts, all of us are lessened. 
They are us and we are them. 



Thursday, November 27, 2014



Today is all about one of my very favorite things: gratitude. I can't tell you how much gratitude means to me.  Life is hard and exhausting, but it is, more than anything, breathtakingly beautiful. Recognizing all that is good in this world is the key to overcoming all that isn't.  I have said it before, but it is with saying again, it is impossible for depression and gratitude to exist together. 

Let me expand on that.  There, literally, is not enough room in your head for depression and gratitude. You can have one emotion or the other, but not both. The beauty is, you get to choose which emotion exists in there. You can choose to be grateful.  I have to admit, this concept is much easier for me to grasp, than to put into actual practice. But I'm working on it. I recently started a gratitude journal to help me acknowledge all of the blessings I am given each and every day. 

A few of the things I was grateful for on my pre-turkey run today:

1.  Fall. Yes, I realize it's winter in most of the country, but it's looking like fall in Houston. And, fall isn't something Houston sees very often. Here the trees usually go from full green to immediately bare. It's wonderful seeing the trees with some color. 

2.  Running into girlfriends on the trail who you can scream, "happy Thanksgiving," to as you pass by. On a side note, Ashley and I must be on the exact same running schedule (which is to say, no schedule at all). I swear I see her every time I hit the trail. Now I just expect it and look forward to it. 

3.  Pandora One. No commercials!!  
On that note, 90's Pop Radio is NOT a good running station. Were we really that melancholy and whiny in the 90's?!?

4. Now that the weather is cold, Kleenex. You other runners will know what I'm talking about.  For the rest of you:

5. People who want to spread the good word. 

As you know, I come across all kinds of greats signs while I run, and I promise you, I never take one of them for granted. Every single time I come across something like this, it's not just the message displayed (in this case: "give thanks" and "enjoy family") that I appreciate, it's the person behind the message and their intention that really touches me. When I see that someone out there has taken their time to send a message to me, I can't help but think, "people are GOOD," and " the whole world is good."  Please know, I am so, so thankful for all of you word spreaders. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


This was the gym when I walked in this morning:

Okay, I know I go pretty early, but it wasn't that early.  I mean, this is just plain old creepy, scary movie type stuff.  You know, if there had ever in the history of man been a scary movie set in a gym (there hasn't been.  I googled it.  Well, except 'Carrie.'  But, that was a different type of gym).  So setting aside the creep factor, what's up with the empty gy?   Has the holiday slacking really begun?
Do you suffer from holiday slacking?  Do you stop getting in your usual workouts during November and December only to start back fresh in January?  If so, and judging from the gym today, you aren't alone. 
Personally, I don't have this problem.  The holidays are usually right around the time I'm stepping up my workouts.  This is for two reasons: 1) I'm usually training for a marathon/half marathon.  The Houston Full/Half Marathon, which I have run 3 of the last 4 years, is in January, so November and December usually find me really getting into the long runs; and 2) Two words: calorie + deficits.  I LOVE eating holiday foods.  I can't imagine passing up the mashed potatoes and gravy, and you know I'm not passing up the Christmas cookies (or the wine).  Here is the thing, I'm just not that into feeling guilty about food.  I enjoy eating.  I enjoy eating big meals with family.  I enjoy eating cookies pretty much all day, every day.  Getting in good runs beforehand helps me feel good about myself and skip all of the guilt.  
PS -- Even if you don't get in good workouts, please skip the guilt.  We have so many more things to worry about in this world than how much we eat during the holidays.
PPS -- Retail chains are catching all kinds of the heat for being open on Thanksgiving.  Well, WTH 24 Hr. Fitness?!?!  Give me (and your employees) a break!!  Judging by today's day-before-Thanksgiving turnout, there is no need to be open tomorrow.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Nothing Nine

This weekend's long run was nine miles long. I wish I had a really good lesson or interesting story to report. But I've got nothing. So bear with me during this useless nine mile summary. 

I was WAY overdressed. 
It was 68 degrees when I stepped out of the car to start my run. Now, I know 68 degrees is plenty warm enough for a run, but the wind had a little nip to it and I was just way too comfortable in my jacket (and I'm a Texan, so 68 degrees is a little chilly to me). I've been a runner long enough to know better.  Even as I took off I was telling myself I would regret it. And, I was right.  I regretted it like crazy and ended up running most of the miles with a jacket tied around my waist.

I've started doing this new thing with my Garmin and I think it's really helping me on my runs. Instead of keeping it on the main/first screen where I can watch my current pace, I've started leaving the Garmin on the screen that just displays my average pace. I can't explain exactly why, but this small change has helped me with negative splits and more effective pacing SOOOO much.  I think that maybe before I was just constantly trying to keep my goal pace up the entire run. Only watching my average pace is helping me figure out how to take it easy (using that word loosely- running is never easy) in the beginning so that I can close really fast (again, using that word loosely).  I'm definitely going to employ this Garmin strategy during my next half marathon in three weeks (3 weeks?!?!). 

Even though the run was uneventful and not really blog-worthy (sorry), it was still pretty awesome. Apparently, I quickly forget how much I like long runs. Yes, they are hard. And yes, sometimes finding the time to squeeze one in is inconvenient. And yes, I envy the hell out of The Hubs as he stays snuggled up in bed while I treck out early on a Saturday. But, there is nothing like the feeling of finishing a long run. The feeling of accomplishment mixed with exhaustion is something I haven't been able to duplicate anywhere else but in the long run. 

Oh, and did I mention the feeling of hunger?  Luckily, I'm married to the world's greatest man and he had this waiting for me as soon as I walked in the door. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Headed In A New Directioner

Y'all, I had a life changing epiphany yesterday while I was on the elliptical machine. I'm not sure I should admit to this, considering I am in my almost-mid thirties. But here goes, it turns out, I'M A DIRECTIONER!!  I had no idea but those 5 young boy band guys make me ridiculously happy!

Of course I had heard of One Direction before. To be honest, I've probably spent more time than I should admit singing along to Story of My Life. But I'd never really considered the boys behind the ballad. That is, until my time on the elliptical yesterday. 

This gym's TV choices are basically Fox News or Sports Center, so when I saw a TV in the corner with the Ellen Show on, I switched it right over and out came One Direction. 

Sorry for the picture quality, this gym doesn't allow photographs, so I have to sneak the snaps.

After a few minutes of watching, I caught myself looking like this...

Turns out, those British boys are really cute!  And when that one with the hair does the fingers through the hair thing...swoon!  

Don't judge. You have to see the hair thing for yourself. Then you'd understand. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

NaBloPoMo-Uh Oh

Do you remember this day when I told you that I was participating in the NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) challenge and then vowed to write here every day for the whole month of November?  Well, do you remember those couple of days after November 14, when I didn't write to you from Mexico and then yesterday when I skipped writing again?  I thought you might.  You're hard to sneak things by.  So, I guess it's time to address the elephant in the room, or on the blog, as the case may be. 

I made it all of about 13 consecutive days and then promptly fell off the writing wagon.  I wanted to write to you every day, but I just couldn't/didn't hold up my end of the bargain.  You held up your end.  You came to read.  And I thank you for that (really, I am so thankful to you for each visit).  But, I failed.  I flat out failed. 

You know what though?  I don't really feel badly about it.  I don't really feel badly at all about it.  Maybe I should, but I don't.  I was just writing to someone the other day about not beating yourself up over taking some days off of running and it dawned on me that the same goes for just about everything in life.

We are wasting way too much time beating ourselves up over silly things like not logging that extra mile or not writing a blog or not cooking the perfect 3 course meal and instead picking up something pre-made at the deli.  There are a thousand ways in which we "fail" every day.  But, when you really look at it, all we are failing at are some preconceived notions we put on ourselves of what we "should" be doing.  I don't have to run.  I don't have to write.  And I certainly don't have to be the perfect homemaker (please, oh please tell me I don't have to be the perfect homemaker, because I am terrible at it).  I do some of these things because I want to, because I like to, and because they bring me joy.  And some of the things I do simply because we have to eat.  The problem with setting the arbitrary expectations on ourselves is that we are the only people who are being are let down.  There isn't another person in the world who is upset if I only squeeze in three runs a week instead of five.  No one knows the elaborate meal I had planned for them before I got so busy that it ended up as Chinese takeout.  Not one single other person cares if I don't lose those two pounds I've been swearing to get rid of.  We've got to stop with the beating up of ourselves by ourselves.  Come on, if the rest of the world is okay with you just as you are, what is it you're doing being so miserable?!?

***PS - This post might feel a little like my last post.  I didn't intend for it to be repetitive, but I guess the whole idea of lightening up on myself is really on my mind right now.  I'm starting to realize that I've been holding myself hostage for all of the things that I'm not, or haven't done, or still need to do for way too long.  I'm s-l-o-w-l-y learning that the only person judging me is me and that I've been sentencing myself to a ton of unnecessary misery. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Play on Playa (Del Carmen)

You see my running shoes stuffed down there in my backpack?  

That's exactly where they stayed the entire time I was in Playa Del Carmen. Well, except for that one time I had to take them out to make room for beach towels and such. It was all play and no run in Playa.  I blame it on several things: not enough time, safety issues, and self-induced dehydration.  But mostly, if I'm going to be honest, I didn't run simply because I didn't feel like it. 

I was feeling pretty down on myself for not running while I was in Mexico. One of my favorite things to do is run new cities, states, and countries and I felt badly for not doing just that.  Plus, I had planned on blogging to you about my gorgeous runs along the beach (if you'll just picture wonderfully blue water next to a soft sand beach, I'm sure that's what it would have been like). 

But then I started looking at why I didn't run. I didn't run because I didn't want to. I wanted to want to, but I just didn't.  What I wanted to do was sleep in without ever having to hit snooze on an alarm.  I wanted to wake up and walk to breakfast with friends.  I wanted to spend the mornings walking the beach barefoot.  I wanted to spend my evenings out with friends doing whatever came to mind instead of worrying about hydrating or getting enough rest for a run.  I didn't want to care about my training schedule or my upcoming race.  I didn't want to worry about anything at all.  After all, isn't that the entire point of a vacation?  Isn't a vacation meant to leave you feeling rested and relaxed and rejuvenated?  I'm not saying that running on vacation prevents you from feeling rested and relaxed and rejuvenated.  Normally, I love running on vacation.  I love waking up before The Hubs and getting my run in and coming back feeling excited for the day ahead.  But, this time, that wasn't what my mind or body craved.  This time, I, apparently, wanted a vacation from it all.  And, after realizing that, I've decided not to beat myself up over it.  It's not like I gave up running all together.  In fact, I've already gone for my Monday run and it felt great.  Taking a few days off to relax isn't the end of the world.  In fact, it may be just what my world needed. 
Add "drink" in there and you've got my vacation schedule.

Friday, November 14, 2014


I have to call uncle. I've missed my National Blog Posting Month daily post by an hour. I would like to blame it on the lack of wifi access down here. But, it could also have something to so with the tequila....

Happy Friday to all!  TGIF. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Here is a Throwback Thursday picture of my very first half marathon. 

You know what I see when I look at this picture?  I see my smile. This picture was taken near mile 12 of my very first half marathon. I had no idea what I was doing. This was pre-Garmin, pre-race goals, pre-expectations, and I am smiling like crazy. 

What does that tell us?  Maybe the lesson is that once we drop all of the expectations and pressure and analysis, we can just enjoy the long run. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Addicted to Shots

Y'all, I have a confession to make. My name is Jessica, and I am an addict. I have a serious addiction. I just can't quit my ShotBloks. 

This is what my car looks like on the regular (two empty Shot Blok energy chew packages) and I don't even think this picture was taken on a run day. Don't tell my husband (who thinks I've at least moderately been sticking to our joint diet plan), but I've taken to eating these things like candy.  So, I figured it was time to dedicate a post to my little gummy addictions. 

My addiction started innocently enough. I got started on the ShotBloks while training for my first full marathon. You see, you have to fuel consistently throughout your long runs (it's recommended you fuel as you go if you are running more than an hour (some say 75 minutes)) and running gu ever did the trick for me. In fact, I kind of hated every gu I ever tried. But then those pushers at the local running store introduced me to ShotBloks and it all spiraled from there. I started as just a recreational ShotBlok user. Only chewing them for long runs. But then it progressed to packing them for my short runs too, then I would eat a couple on the morning before non-run workouts. And now, I think I've finally hit rock bottom, grabbing one or two every time I pass by the kitchen cabinet. Here is the deal though, it's an addiction I'm not in a hurry to break. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day Run

Today is the day that we should pay thanks to all of the Veterans who have served, not only to protect our freedoms and our country, but to protect the freedoms and rights and safety of people all over the world.  Veterans were/are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for people they have never and will never meet.  Today we thank them for that. 
And what's the best way we runners know how to show our appreciation?  We run!  I am so sorry I am so late getting this out, but I just came across it and I think you can still register to run/volunteer on race day (today).  Below is a link to the National Veterans Day Races all over the country.  If your town isn't listed here, try checking your local race calendar for other similar runs.

Also, I think this video about sums it up.  Thank you marathoners for reminding us who it is that really deserves the cheering.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Treadmill Torture/Motorized Motivation

The recent daylight savings time change has pushed most of my evening runs indoors and onto the treadmill. And, let me tell you something:


Is it me or are treadmill runs interminable?  Even the shortest of runs seem to drag on and on.  I think it has something to do with how easy it would be to stop. On outdoor runs, sure you can stop running, but you can't stop moving.  Even if you stop running, you can't be done. You have to walk or crawl or drag yourself back to where you started. There's just no getting out of it. But on a treadmill, it's so easy to stop. That big red 'stop' button is sitting right there ready for the pushing.  

So, today as I struggled mentally to finish my 4+ treadmill miles, I tried to use David Coligado as my motivation for motorized running. Y'all saw this right?!?  Can you imagine?!?  100 miles and 24 hours on a treadmill. David Coligado has my utmost respect. This man must be the most mentally tough man walking (or running, in his case) the planet. I kept telling myself, if I was David, I would have 99 miles left, if I was David, I would have 98 miles left, and so on.  

Other tricks I use to get through those dreadmill runs:

1.  TV - one of the gyms I frequent keeps one television dedicated to the Bravo channel. Sex and The City, Fashion Police, and the Kardashians have helped me through many a mile. 

2. YouTube - the other two gyms I go to, don't have such fancy TV systems (no volume/no good channels), so I rely on YouTube to keep me distracted.  I've mentioned before that I was a gymnast in my former life, so I watch a lot of old gymnastics competitions. It kind of gets me in a competitive/motivated mindset and also takes my mind off of that big red button staring up at me. 

3. Intervals - this is key. I absolutely could not make it more than 10 minutes on a treadmill without running intervals. I start losing my mind about half a mile in if I'm just running the exact same pace for a set number if miles. I play with speed constantly. Sometimes a minute or two of straight sprinting mixed with a little walking. Sometimes just a gradual increase of speed over the miles. Sometimes I play with incline instead of speed. But, without fail, I always change it up. It's the only way I can get the miles I need. 

4. Crazy awesome music - I mean the kind of music that makes you want to run your a$$ off. Normally, when I'm just out on the road, I can listen to any type of music or even books. But, the treadmill requires a serious beat. There is no messing around with the music when I'm on that machine, only the best will do. 

What about you?  You have any tricks for finding your motorized motivation?  How do you get through the treadmill torture?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

This Is How I Roll

This is how I roll.  Foam roll, that is. 

The above device is both a blessing and a curse to all runners.  The above device and I have the epitome of a love/hate relationship.  I love the results I get from using the foam roller, but the price I pay for those results...oh, straight hate.  You runners know what I mean.  For you non-runners, the above device is the equivalent to a bikini wax.  Sure you get smoothed out the results you want, but the act of getting there is excruciating.
Recently, I've been asked by several people what to do about their extreme soreness.  At the expense of their friendship, I have whole-heartedly recommended that they hit the foam roller.  Sure, I wish I could  prescribe something more enjoyable to the people I care about, but because I do care, I have had to send them towards this torture device. 

Really friends, I'm sorry.  But it works.
Seriously though, if you are a runner, I highly recommend you start spending a significant amount of time with this thing.  It's hard and it hurts like hell (added bonus: it will force you to make completely inappropriate grunting and groaning noises in public), but it is totally worth it.  I cannot tell you the amount of relief foam rolling has provided for me over the years.  In the beginning of my running journey, I found myself experiencing SEVER knee pain.  The kind of pain that you never forget and that you never want to relive.  Now, the second I start feeling any tightness in my quads (or anywhere in my legs, really), I make a date with my foam roller.  Actually, I try to keep a standing date with my foam roller to avoid the tightness (which can lead to injury) all together.  This is a hard date to keep because it isn't the fun kind of "maybe I'll invite him up for coffee" kind of date. No, a date with your foam roller is more like, "I can't believe X set me up with this guy.  Obviously, X hates me and now the feeling is mutual.  I can't get out of here fast enough."  But, keeping that date is one of the best things you can do for yourself as a runner. 
To sum up foam rolling in a very simple way, it's an intense deep tissue massage you can give to yourself (read: cheaper and more convenient (and, I believe, more effective) than hitting up your neighborhood Massage Envy).  Foam rolling breaks up muscle knots that, if left alone, can lead to injury.  It also increases blood flow and allows for greater muscle productivity.  Sure, there is probably some science behind it all, but without putting you to sleep (or requiring me to google more than I'd like to), let me just tell you to TRUST ME.  Trust me and foam roll.  You'll thank me after you do.  Of course, you'll curse me while you do, but I'm cool with that.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Long Run Randomness 9 - Saturday Seven

You know, I think if there was a marathon designed for people who run about half a mile, stop and take a picture, take off for another half a mile, then stop and take another picture, and so on, I would probably win that race.  One day It might be a good idea to try running my long runs non-stop. You know, kind of like a race, considering I am training for a non-stop race.  But, what fun would that be?  And how boring for you?  You'd have to hear all about pace and form and real runner stuff.  Luckily for you, I spent this Saturday seven stopping along the way.

I took a trail that I really rarely take because, frankly, it feels a little lonely to me.  But then what happens?  I run into two of my favorite runner friends (and their adorable baby girl, but she wasn't in the selfie mood)!  You might remember Michael, he ran the Houston Marathon with me back in January.  It is good for the soul to see runner friends on the road.  Even if they are more disciplined and don't want to stop and chit chat forever (they obviously don't ascribe to my stop every half mile training plan--they are smart).

My neighborhood is kind of known for the curb painting, but this one is just cracked me up. 

Guys, this is totally unacceptable. I am still eating Halloween candy. In fact, we still have Halloween decorations up.  These people are clearly overachievers. I have (for self-preservation reasons) chosen to believe that this sign and these lights are leftover from last Christmas. 

Seriously, no Christmas lights when Pumpkins are still out. 

This trail is actually pretty scenic (for being inside the City and if you call old tires in the bayou scenic) and I got to see some cool looking cranes. But cranes aren't very willing subjects, so all you get is this lousy picture. 

Seven miles at this pace. I'm pretty happy with today's run. There is still some work to be done if I want to maintain/improve this pace for my next half marathon in five weeks. But, I'm ready for that and happy with where I am right now. And isn't that what it's all about? 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Just Do It

Today's long (okay, it wasn't long.  It was very short) run lesson comes in the form of a Nike slogan.

I was not in the mood to 'just do it' this morning.  I was up, as usual, in the very early morning hours and I made it to my 6:00 a.m., Bar Method class, but after that I was just not in in the mood to run.  My training program said I needed to do a quick 5k run, but my legs said, "B%tch, please."  So, I did what any sane runner would do.  I drove to the gym and sat in the parking lot with my car running for half an hour just texting with anyone who would respond at such an early hour, hoping that I'd suddenly find the motivation to get running.  I even sent out this tweet as I waited:

I'm not sure I ever really found the motivation to go in.  Mostly, I was shamed into going in because someone pulled into a spot next to mine and I felt kind of silly just sitting in a gym parking lot with the car running, so I eventually made my way out of the car.  And lo and behold, guess what wonderful treat was inside waiting for me...

That's right, rows and rows of fancy-shmancy new treadmills!  I was so excited to jump on a brand new treadmill, I completely forgot about my lack of motivation.  It was great being able to watch/listen to any TV show I wanted and feel the smooth, unused, tread beneath my feet (sorry 24 Hr. Fitness, your old treadmills had gotten plain ol' sad).

So, here is the lesson:  Just do it.  You'll always be rewarded for it. 

Your reward may not come in the shape of a new treadmill (those things are big and expensive).  It may be small and it may be subtle, but there will be a reward waiting for you.  It may be the self-satisfaction of doing something harder than you felt you could do.  It may be the cookies you get to treat yourself with after the run (or is that just me?).  It may be a friendly smile and wave from another runner.  It may be getting to see a beautiful sunrise as you run down the path.  The point is, I don't know exactly what your reward will be, but I do know it will be there waiting for you.  So, get out of that running car and JUST DO IT.

Thursday, November 6, 2014


Please bear with me, this post might be a little unorganized.  I'm writing this blog in between bites of lunch at the office because well, you know, I'm busy as hell. 

I know I've mentioned to you that before my long runs, I often sit for a few minutes reading inspirational running quotes to help get me motivated to get out there running.  Well, the same is true for my every day.  Each morning, as soon as I turn on my computer, I spend a little time reading inspiring/motivational/calming quotes and then I pick one, print it, and hang it where I can see it all day long. 

Yesterday, I came across one that hit me like a ton of bricks.  As my girl Oprah says, it was an Aha moment! 


Here is the Aha:
Busy isn't best. There is no prize for busiest. The person who drives themselves into the ground in the name of being busy does not win. 

Let's all stop for a minute and take that in......We need to stop the glorification of being busy. We must accept that how busy you are does not correlate with how good you are.. Being busy just means that you are busy. Nothing more.  Being busy doesn't mean that you are effective or productive or happy. Being busy means that your days are full, but it doesn't mean that you are fulfilled by your day.

Okay, now that we've taken it all in and we understand busy isn't where we want to be, let's stop beating ourselves up about taking time to just BE. Let's all vow to get more comfortable with allowing ourselves time to rest and recover and rejoice.  Let's agree to give ourselves and each other a break from the busy,

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Runner Problems

There are certain problems that only runners face. I happened to face three of them today. 

1.  You didn't have time for a run in the morning, but this is the afternoon forecast:

2.  When you go get your hair cut and styled (and I mean styled  as in that super awesome way that can only be done at the salon and never duplicated by you at home)

Only to have it look like this an hour later because you still had a run to squeeze in:

3. Any shoes that aren't running shoes!  Why?!?!?  

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Real Life - this might be harder than I thought

Just one day ago I committed to write to you every single day for the month of November. Yet, here I am, 24-ish hours later admitting to you that this is going to be hard.  Very hard.
See, here is the thing:  I have a real life.  And that real life is full and hard and consuming.  It's 23 of the 24 hours (at least) of my day.  It is non-stop, here it comes, duck if you can (but I never can), real life.  Not that this blog isn't part of my real life. It is.   I love this blog and I have promised to you many times that I will always it real here, but that doesn't keep the real life and real important life stuff from coming at me full speed.  Stupid real life doesn't realize that I've taken on the NaBloPoMo challenge.  Stupid real life doesn't care that it's hard to be creative or witty or well presented every day.  It doesn't care if I would  really rather sit and write than face it.  Real life is going to come at me ninety miles an hour no matter what I planned and committed to.
So this is today's update.  I had another post all planned out in my head, but I just can't write it.  I'm sorry that this isn't longer or funnier or more inspiring.  But, it is honest. It's as honest as I can be.  Things aren't always easy.  In fact, things are usually anything but easy.  Life can't always be presented in a cute, lots of pictures, easy-to-read manner.  Sometimes all you can do is the very bare minimum.  Sometimes all you can do is  get by.  But guess what....barely getting by is still getting by.   Life requires nothing more of us than to get by.  I wish I could give you more, but today it's all about just getting by.

***Edited, after a night of sleep, to add that I am okay.  I know people are going to wonder about my sanity with the above post.  I was just having a moment where all of the must do's and the want to do's and the should do's all collided on me at once.  And when moments like that happen they can tend to make me overwhelmed, dramatic, and a little whiny.  Unfortunately for me, when you hit publish, those moments get sent out into the world for everyone to see. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Firsts of the Month

Okay, so I know it's really the third of the month, but a couple of firsts happened today, so I'm going with the first theme here.

My firsts:
1.  First run of the new training cycle for the half marathon I'm planning on running in December.  And guess what I'm using this go-round? 
That's right, I've decided to use an actual training plan for this half marathon.  Running unprepared two weeks ago was fun and all, but for this half marathon I'll be running alone, so I won't be able to count on my girlfriends to carry me through the miles I'm not really ready to run.  Plus, I have a little thought in mind of going for a PR in December.  It's just a thought right now, so don't hold me to it, but I am ready to put in some serious speed work and even hill work (groan!) for the next six weeks.  Today was an interval run (sandwiched by twenty minutes of warm up and cool down running).  I found it to be moderately challenging, which is really difficult for me because I'm a 110% kind of person, so it's hard when I feel like I'm not pushing at full capacity.  Does anyone else have this trouble?  I was tempted today to do more intervals or increase the pace, but I decided to go with a long-term view.  I still have six weeks of training (coming immediately off of about six weeks of training for my last race).  That's 42 more days.  I need to let my body build up to peak racing shape instead of pushing it too hard right away and dying out as the race approaches. 
2.  This is my very first NaBloPoMo blog post.  Are you wondering if I just fell asleep mid-typing and my head landed on the keyboard?  I did not.  NaBloPoMo stands for National Blog Posting Month.  Through I pledged to write a new blog post every day of the month.  And yes, I realize that the first day of the month was Saturday, but today was the first day I knew about NaBloPoMo, so I'm counting it as the first of the month.
It's a little ironic (I'm never sure if I'm using that word correctly) that I've chosen to take the NaBloPoMo challenge this month considering the fact that just yesterday I sat at the computer screen for 30 minutes trying to come up with something to write.  That's how you ended up with the incredibly interesting and ridiculously short happy Halloween post.  But they say the best way to beat writers block is to just write something.  So, that is what I am vowing to do.  Writing is like running in that the more you do it, the better you get.  Consider yourself warned.  For the rest of November I will post at least one new entry a day.  Please keep in mind that for five of those days I will be in Mexico (where they serve lots of tequila....), so I can't promise that every post will be long or deep or even very entertaining, but I'm going to give it a try.  I look forward to talking to (writing at) you every day.  

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!  I hope you had a spooktacular weekend. 

What's the secret to a great Halloween costume?  Being able to wear your running shoes all night!

As you know, I'm all about the fitness, and I'm so lucky to have married Mr. Simmons who is also all about the fitness. An added bonus: we can share leg warmers. 

Our families must be so proud.

I haven't run in a week. Not one single mile. This afternoon, I came across this and decided that I will get back out on the trails tomorrow.