Friday, December 30, 2011

Resolutions for a new year.

Well, its that time of year again. New Years! A time for reflection and for making dreaded resolutions. We all make them, the usual lose weight, work out. get finances in order etc. Tonight, I got to thinking about resolutions and why they are so appealing. I did some research and what I found was actually quite boring and monotonous. The same resolutions filled list after list and website upon website. I had even come to realize that I was guilty of adopting many of them as my own resolutions in past years; Spend more time with family. quit smoking, learn something new etc. I suppose that resolutions are popular because they offer us an immediate new goal for a new year. A new year, means a fresh start and a time to do something that you have been meaning to do. Although sometimes lame and corny, they offer us a chance to do something worthy of applause, and when we actually follow through with them, they give us a feeling of accomplishment. This year, I have one resolution. Its to be open and honest at all costs, while expressing myself with confidence and clarity. If you don't have a resolution, don't fret. There is still plenty of time to come up with a good one, or none at all! Whatever your resolution, or goal for the new year, good luck!  With health and happiness, Cheers to a great 2012!  

Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 You've been good to me.

New Years 2010-2011


My best friend Heather moved to California

Party at Joes

Windlestrae 5 miler through the mud

My cousin ran Broad Street

Lauren had a Bachlorette

Hans and I ran the hottest day of the year at my old Highschool
I took 3rd place for the women he won 2nd for the men

My brother turned 21

I turned 28

28 with friends

I ran my first 8 miler in the dark

Becky got married!

My best friend Melissa got married

Lately, as I am sure most of you have noticed Ive been reflecting about the past year and the journey of my marathon training. With a new year right around the corner, I think its only right to recap the highlights and lowlights of 2011 as I look forward to a kick started 26.2 miler in 2012. Sit back, relax and let me take you back....

As I look back at my blog posts, my first one began with a shout out to my wonderful cousin Amanda and her Broad Street Run. Well, we've come a long way baby. I remember running diligently all summer long planning to dodge the heat by any means necessary. I was running at 5am, hiding water bottles in bushes and praying that I didnt pass out on the side of the road. I longed for those cool fall months and eventually they did come. Now, during the cold winter windy running days, I love for some heat. Its actually easier to run in the heat I think then the cold. Theres just something about having a numb butt thats not appealing. If running has taught me anything, its to be confident in your abilities. Never underestimate what you can do. If you want it, it will happen. Of course, there will be setbacks and tears. But there will be victories too. Big ones, small ones and all thats in between. For the first time, in a long time, I am happy to say that I am proud of myself. Proud that I made a goal and stuck with it. Running a marathon in honor of my dad was a dream. Something I planned to do, for years and never made it happen. Here we are, days away from the race and its becoming real. 2011 brought me so much joy. I learned  so much about myself and was blessed to have the most supportive and loving friends and family.  Although nobody can say what 2012 will bring, I know some things for sure. My blog will remain. I plan on making it a place for me to share my musings on exercise and running and just the usual normal people struggles with cramming in time to be healthy and happy. My resolution this year is to get fit and stay healthy so I can continue running and delving into other endurance sports. I hope to one day do a triathlon Running is also in my 2012 prediction, and Ive already signed up for my second 1/2 marathon for the spring. I am open to trying new things and living the healthiest life that I can. I hope that you will stick around and read on to share in my fitness experiences. I will leave you with this, whatever your goal or dream make an honest attempt to make it happen this year. You never know how far it will take you or what lies around the corner. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

20 miles, Scratch that I mean 10

Becky stretching my bad hip haha

Cold Windy Running Conditions on the Minsi Trail Bridge

Smiles for 10 miles and a lazy eye on my part.
This morning I got up early and headed back to my apartment to meet Becky for our last long run. I got to her house right at 10:30 ( fanny pack in hand) this time we remembered everything including our chap stick and were good to go, after a minor incident involving a lost head warmer. We were both a bit tired today, but we were determined to make it happen. We chatted about Disney and caught up on some gossip. About 3 miles in, it got a little bit windy but the sun finally made a brief appearnace. We headed down the same path that we ran just a few weeks earlier. Along the minsi trail bridge we took in some sights of steel stacks and the Casino. On the way to Saucon Park we ran into other runners. What appeared to be a mom dad and son team. It was nice to see other runners out today, even though they were killing it running at a faster pace then I think my body is capable of! On our way back it got bitterly cold and windy. Now I know what you are thinking, suck it up Jackie its just wind. Well let me tell you wind plus 32 degrees and no sun = no fun. It was hard to breathe and hard to run since wind was heading straight on. We ended up stopping to stretch and then decided to call Jen to come get us. Thankfully, she was home and willingly came to our rescue. We ended up going 10 miles which I am ok with. There comes a point where you just need to call it a day and thaw out your frozen butt. Until Disney....

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Stuff that Fanny Pack

As a teacher, its no surprise that the best time of year ( aside from summer) is Christmas vacation! Today is only Tuesday, and the week is already more glorious and refreshing then I could have hoped for. Today, I spent some quality time with Lauren and went to Ikea ( love it). After that we did some shopping and grabbed lunch at PF Changs. After I got home, I packed up some things to take back to Emmaus tomorrow and went through some Disney details with my mom. After lugging my suitcase up the stairs from the basement, I dusted it off and began to pack some must haves for the trip. This got me to thinking about all the random things I will need while marathoning. Below is my list. Feel free to comment and give me ideas of things I may have missed. Tomorrow, I am going for 20 miles. Do it to it.

Things for my fanny pack during marathon:

1. Toilet paper- incase I need to blow my nose, or use the bathroom. When thousands of people are using port o potties, they are sure to run out.
2. Chapstick- a must for heavy panting. My lips are always cracking.
3. Gu Chomps or Watermelon Jelly beans- for energy of course! I put them in my back pocket pouch and they usually melt together and congeal into a monstrous jelly concoction that isn't much to look at, but always gets the job done.
4. Cliff Bar- incase I need a snack
5. Bio Freeze- Incase my knee starts acting up
6. Special Picture- for inspiration :) 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Move it shake it.

Today, I had the pleasure of going to breakfast with my mom. Afterwards, I dodged the masses and went to LA Fitness to work off some of my bagel sandwich. As I watched other people working out, I turned up my I tunes as loud as I could and I let my mind wander. There happen to be a lot of meatheads working on their muscular bods and some super skinny girls on elliptical machines. There was also a girl who weighed about 8o pounds diligently running as best she could. I feared her heart might stop pumping mid strike, but she managed to finish her work out alive. None of this really matters, but what happened while I was making these observations does. While I was on the elliptical, I was thinking about all the people working so hard around me and how I was 13 days away from what will be the hardest physical undertaking ever. When I think about it, sometimes I get nervous, but mostly I am excited to see what I can do out there. I have one more 20 miler to do this week and then its go time. While thinking about all of these things happening around me and coming close to race day something happened. I got that feeling that comes when you push yourself to the max and your body just goes to another place. I felt endorphins kick in and I wished for a minute that I was out on the street running and not inside slaving away. Its an indescribable feeling to have a strong desire to run, I just hope it lasts well after January 8th. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Quotes for Runners

Today, my friends and I exchanged Christmas gifts at work. Becky, gave me a great running book with quotes dedicated to runners. Since we could all use a pick me up of inspiration, I would like to share some quotes with you. Feel free to read them, interpret them and use them for whatever you need whether it be motivation to run, encouragement to meet your goals, or just sheer inspiration to make a dream a reality. Disney in less than 3 weeks!!! 

Run hard, be strong, think big! - Percy Cerutty

God has given me the ability, the rest is up to me. Believe, believe, believe. - Billy Mills

Run like hell and get the agony over with. - Clarence DeMar 

Running is the greatest metaphor for life because you get out of it, what you put in.- Oprah Winfrey

In running, it doesn't matter if you come in first, in the middle of the pack or last. You can say "I finished" and theres a lot of satisfaction in that. - Fred Lebow

Training is principally an act of faith- Franz Stamfl 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Disney, Were coming for you.

This morning, Ive been thinking about Disney. With Christmas waiting in the wings, the marathon is right around the corner. I am more then excited to get on our way to Florida and make this pipe dream a reality. Only a few more weeks, stand between me and 26.2 miles. Part of me would love to wear my Snow White costume, but the chafing may be unbearable. I would like some feedback. Run in the costume? Or ride it out in my gear? Decisions, decisions! 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Run for an hour and then two more. Run run and then run some more.

Becky Running to good old 78

Dead Raccoon. I reassure you, it was a raccoon. 

Jackie and Becky, In it to win it.

Mama's got a big old butt.

Saucon Park in Hellertown. Our halfway point

The Sands Casino, where we thought about letting a big rig run us over so we could stop running. 
Today, I was supposed to meet my best gal Becky to run 14 miles. Well, keeping with my new pattern, I woke up this morning around 6:30 and the last thing I wanted to do was run, and by run I mean run 14 miles. 14 miles. It pains me to even say the number 14 with miles behind it. Against my better judgement, I went to her house and we ran. We ran for about an hour, and then two more. We ran and then ran some more. Now normally, I would need a plethora of music to make it out on the streets, but today, we talked and it was so nice to be in the company of a good friend. While talking in our white trash hill billy voice we ran the streets of Bethlehem for what seemed like forever. We talked about the marathon and how it would be the single most difficult thing we have ever done. While we ran, I thought back to the beginning of this journey. When I started running, 3 miles was my goal and a 5K was the challenge. Today, as I ran 14 miles, I thought about all the running I did this summer and fall. How it felt the first time I ran 5 miles, then 8 then a half marathon. Running is a gift. Anyone can do it, but it is what you make it. I've been blessed to have the opportunity to run with my close family members, and friends. Its brought me to a new level of accomplishment and given me happiness during times that I really needed it. As the next few weeks approach, I am filled with excitement for the race, hope for the finish and thankfulness for all those who continue to believe in me. It means the world. Next weekend were going for 18. I will continue to blog about my running journey up until the big race. The next few weeks, my focus is on enjoying the process. 

** my brother Tyler just informed me that he got a fortune cookie today that said, "Dont give up until you reach the finish line" coincidence? I think not. Its a sign!**

Parkway a go go

On Thursday, Becky and I hit up the parkway after work to catch up on gossip and just get the stress out. It was a bit chilly and muddy after the rain, but it was a good trek. We managed to go a new route which would be our next 6.5 miler that Hans had showed me the previous Sunday. If you live in the Lehigh Valley, the Parkway is a sure bet for some seriously relaxing trails. We were even there late enough to catch the lights in the parkway for free :) We got out just in time for the cars to start lining up and the festivities to begin! 


I've been meaning to blog, but with the Christmas season in full swing, I just haven't had the time. Now in an attempt to catch up, I am taking you back... On Thursday, I was tired and it was raining. I knew that I should run, but I was already home from work and I wasn't quite sure about driving across town to go to the gym. So, I geared up and ran in the rain. It wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been considering it was more of a light rain/ drizzle. I did get splashed by a few passersby in the beginning of my run, but otherwise it was pretty good. I would also wager to say that I was running faster than usual, because of the rain. Which, in all things considered is a win win. When I got home, it was dark but I managed to go about 4 miles around town. As we creep into winter, motivation is hard to find and the cold is doing me no favors. Disney is a comin'...