Wednesday, December 26, 2012

On the fun train, and its headed straight to 30.

I am sure if you've been here before, you're noticing that my blog is no longer dedicated to running and all things marathon. With 2012 coming to a close, I have come to terms with the fact that running is out and my new blog is in. With deep thought, and a little inspiration I give to you...

Haus of Jacula 

Dreaming of my life as a sex and the city esque blogger, I was planning on turning myself into the Carrie Bradshaw of North East Pennsylvania. In my mind Jaclyn in the City would bring to you a glorious mash up of fashion, make up & love and relationship advice. Upon realizing that I have nothing to really offer in way of any of these things, I came up with Haus of Jacula. 

 I wish I could narrow down the scope of my blog, but I think I am going to stick with blogging about 30 something happenings here and there. I plan on sharing with you the latest and greatest of whatever it is I am into that week. Not to brag, but I currently can boast two official Haus of Jacula members- Baxter and myself. We are  however, looking to expand, so if you are up to it, we would love to have you come along with us while we venture into 30...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep. - Robert Frost
In its simplest form, this poem depicts a person stopping by some woods on a snowy evening. Taking in the lovely landscape in silence, he or she is tempted to stay longer, but then acknowledges the pull of obligations and considerable distance yet to be traveled before he or she can rest for the night. As with any poem there is always room for interpretation and this poem has a special meaning to me. When I started running, this poem spoke to me and has served as a constant warm memory and inspirational writing, consistently giving me hope and happiness. Many people who know me wont be surprised when I publish this post, because they know my deep rooted love for Robert Frost. Many people have asked me why I love this poem so much and what it means to me. For the most part, I consider myself a private person, but this like all poetry has a purpose to be loved as well as shared. Although, the entire poem speaks to me, the final stanza is my favorite part. 

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, 
but I have promises to keep,
and miles to go before I sleep,
and miles to go before I sleep.

It always reminds me that no matter how lovely and enticing things can be whatever they might be, I have promises to keep. To me, promises include being the person I was raised by my parents to be and keeping my fathers memory and legacy alive-always. Miles to go, is a constant reminder that I have a long way to go to prove myself and continually remember and honor my father. I like to think of it as a long journey that I hope will last a life time- until I die, this dream and goal wont be able to sleep.

Tonight, I got a permanent reminder of my favorite father and poem. It also happens to be on the left side of my body- closest to my heart. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Pez, Papa and the Pool

I am proud to say that almost a week ago, I climbed out from my PEZ, Ramen noodle coma and started going back to the gym. Dusting off the chip crumbs on my shirt, I traded in my sweat pants for sneakers and got to work. I am still trying to find a decent time to go to the gym. It is crowded beyond belief at all times of the morning. Don't these people work? Within the last week, I also did the Gary Papa run with my mom to benefit prostate cancer research, and honor my late father. It was a great event, and with the help of co workers, family and friends, Team Smith raised over $500.00 Thank you to those who supported us and also those who made a donation. 

 If you don't see a blog from me for a while, its most likely because I am tanning. Don't be alarmed. But if you are interested in a real treat, you can join the frightened neighborhood kids and see me and my bikini at the pool. I don't know where I thought all those burgers were going when I ate them, but I reassure you, I found them. Nothing like summer to bring you back to your fitness goals! Viva La Summer!! 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I've got 99 problems but the gym ain't one

There are few days more exciting and beautiful then that of the last day of school! I am so happy that summer is here, tanning can begin, and I can finally get back into my gym routine. For months, I have been counting down the days till summer and planning my attack strategy for my summer slim down. I would like to make 1,000 excuses as to why I have been skipping the gym but I will spare you. Never the less, tomorrow is the first day of summer. I am hitting the gym and then hitting the pool. Its nice to be back. Viva La Summer and long live the Reckless Runner. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Now Processing


Recently, I have been researching non processed and raw food diets. Not so much for the weight loss aspect, but more for the sake of putting good things into my body. I am no stranger to Ramen or the occasional fast food joint, but if the adage is true, and you are indeed what you eat, I guess I am a big bowl of ice cream. Lately, I've been thinking about meat and sugar in particular. There once was a time, that I didn't eat meat for 30 days. I eventually caved at a backyard BBQ when my uncle Dave made my veggie burger and it looked like a charred hockey puck. Less than appealing. A burger made of vegetables just seems wrong. On the other hand, things I read about meat and the process of how it comes to be at my kitchen table scare me. Food Inc. in particular,was one of the most appalling documentaries I have seen. The conditions that animals are kept in and the steroids and antibiotics that they are pumped with, make me sick. Currently, I don't really eat meat aside from the occasional burger or taco but I am not so sure on where I stand with meat presently. Part of me says yes, part of me says no. On to sugar. We all know that sugar is bad. It rots your teeth, it makes you fat and it also makes you hungry. Refined sugars in particular are evil. When you eat foods with sugar, it is stored in the liver as glycogen. Unfortunately, when your liver gets full the excess gets returned to your blood stream as fatty acids. I think we all know where they end up- your butt hips and thighs! Sugar can be sneaky, so you have to be careful as to where its lurking in your kitchen. Most foods have sugar that you would never dream of. Sugar is like crack, the more you have the more addicted you become. Don't take my word for it, read the labels on your favorite foods- you might be shocked at the sugar thats lurking!  This leads me into my research on non processed foods. This week I am trying to cut back drastically on processed foods, albeit difficult. I had cereal this morning, which is obviously processed and a taco for dinner with a nice crispy processed shell. Its a difficult demon to exercise from your diet, but with a little practice I hope to get there. I am hoping to see a vast difference in energy and mood after the switch. I am looking to start a 10 day non- processed food trial sometime in the near future- baby steps. 

Additional resources
New York Times Article: Is sugar toxic?

Live Strong- Non processed food diet

The Opinionator Blog: Meat is bad for you ( and good)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Fill up your heart and hit the road

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows that it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve.It doesn't matter whether you're a lion or a gazelle when the sun comes up you'd better be running. - Anonymous 

I love this quote because its so true. Running is a mysterious thing. It can make you feel on top of the world, or like a failure. The power and hold that it has on you is addicting. As much as you want to quit or give up, after each race you crave more. Sometimes you need to do another race to redeem yourself after a bad one, sometimes you just want to work on your PR. Often, you find yourself looking for the next big thing to fill that need for endurance and determination. It seems like after every finish line, you find yourself saying, "26.2 miles wasnt that bad" or "I really think we should do another half". It never seems as hard looking back. Either way, running takes endurance, strength, preparation and a lot of heart. I think its due time to present to you, in no particular order some people who deserve to be recognized for their running prowess. These people make me want to be better, run farther and train harder. 

Jen Rarick 
Elite Runner Currently running a 5k in every state.

Dan Santos 
1/2 marathon runner 5k

Jacklyn Unzeitig
5k 10k 8 miler 

Luisa Santos
1/2 marathoner 5k 
Stephanie Hines
8k 5k 

Tyler Smith
10 miler 5k soon to be 1/2 marathoner

Amanda Piccirilli
Marathoner 1/2 marathoner 10 miler 5k

Hans Gibson
Marathoner 1/2 marathoner 5k 8miler 

Rebecca Hann
Marathoner 1/2 marathoner 10 miler 5k

Monday, May 7, 2012

Where do we go from here?

Now that my big races of the season are behind me, I am searching for the next big thing. I do have plans to do another half this fall but until then I've been researching other races. I recently got a card at the Broad Street Expo giving information regarding the Ragnar Relay. This race is unlike the others. It starts in Lancaster county and goes 200 miles to the Pocono mountains. A team of 11 assembles and runs day and night till the finish. Participants rotate and run 5 mile intervals all day and night until the destination is reached. The nice lady promoting the event said that the group goes in a van across the course screaming out the windows and cheering on team members. Seems like a good time. Now I just need to find 10 friends crazy enough to join me. 

Check out the link for more information.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Broad Street is OVER! Time to party!

Today was the Philadelphia Broad Street run. Last night I hit the sack early and woke up at 4:40 this morning to eat what I could and start the drive down to the city. While taking the subway to the start, I reminisced about last year, and how I was so overwhelmed by the runners who were participating in the race. I longed to be out there with them, and now was the time. Unfortunately, as many of you know, a lack of effort and preparation in training went into this race, so naturally I was nervous. With my cousin Amanda and my brother and Becky by my side the race began. During the first mile, I was miserable and thinking this was going to be the longest 10 miler of my life. I pressed on and somewhere around City Hall ( mile 5) I got into a solid pace I was comfortable with. My mom and Tyler's girlfriend were at mile 6 which made it easier to keep going. I just kept telling myself to get to mile 8 then, If I needed to stop I would. It was a rough road to mile 8, but a water station was on the horizon so I kept going. I grabbed a water and looked up to thank the generous volunteer and BAM! I realized that the silver fox in front of me was no other than David Murphy from Action News! I love love love love Action News! I screamed "Oh my God I love you!" and went in for a hug. I am sure I smelled like a goat but whatever, I was in heaven. I ran away and was in disbelief. I swear my dad sent me that run in with David Murphy to make it to the end. Former Mayor Ed Rendell was also on the course, cheering people on. Its amazing taking part in something that large. 35,000 people ran today and for each one of them the streets were lined with people cheering and screaming to continue. Its pretty overwhelming running and having that much support. It was incredible, and by mile 10 I was glad I had finally made it to the naval yard ( race finish) and done the race. Congratulations to all the Broad Street participants and thank you to my mom who came out to support my brother and I today. I would also like to give a shout out and a congratulations to my friend Dan Santos, who ran his first half marathon today to raise money for Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Great job Dan! 

Dan's 1/2 Marathon!

5:00 am 
runners on broad 

Amanada and Jac post run
Tyler and Amanda got hungry

The Girls

Beasts of the East

Its a family affair.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Broad Street a go go

This sunday will be the Blue Cross Broadstreet Run. This year, the race sold out in 5 hours! Luckily, I sat on my computer for 2 hours and I was able to sign up myself, my friend Becky, and my brother Tyler. My cousin will also be running. Last year, if you remember, my family and I went down to cheer her on. I wasn't able to run, because the sign up was the day I left for Asia. This year, there were no excuses. Now with my second half marathon behind me, I am ready for this 10 miler. Fast and flat, it will be an awesome experience. I am looking forward to running with my family, and Becky. It should be a great time. If you are running broad street, good luck! See you all at the starting line! Check out my link below to last years blog about Broad Street! 

Last Years Blog about Broad Street

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Saint Lukes 1/2 marathon

This morning was the Saint Lukes 1/2 marathon that has been a sore spot on my calendar for months. It was actually quite fun although I must admit that 13 miles felt a little longer then I remembered it being. I did run past Hans during the race, and he was doing really well. It was nice to see a familiar face. I also saw the police officer from my building at work, who was literally killing it. I think he even won for his age group. I did have to make a few emergency calls, one to my cousin and one to Becky. While I was in the parkway, I saw a man who was jogging backwards encouraging his girl friend to run faster. They were my entertainment for the last 3 miles. I think if there weren't so many people around, she would have punched him in the face. But he persisted, trying to make her smile and run faster while she glared at him and cursed under her breath. I am glad I did the race, although it would have been a lot more bearable had I actually trained for it! 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Decisions, Decisions

Making decisions isn't usually my favorite thing to do. This week, my decision was to run or not to run the half marathon tomorrow. I ended up polling a lot of people, and the consensus was there was really no choice, but to run. So, naturally last night I ended up at the bar. Before I knew it, one drink turned into six and by the time the morning came, I had picked up a one way ticket to Hangover city. Nothing like prepping for a big race, by drinking two days before. You can guess i spent literally the entire day in bed unable to move. I did manage to make it across town to pick up my race packet and Bib number. My cousin gave me a pep talk this afternoon and I am feeling about as good as one can for not training. If I do really bad, theres nobody to blame but me. I am hoping there are a few walkers out there so at least I am not last. See you at the starting line. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

The [Badass] Boston Marathon

Running 26.2 miles is not something that should be taken lightly. In fact, some might argue that its just as difficult to give birth, or pass up an extra scoop of ice cream. All kidding aside, there is something very special about the Boston Marathon that deserves some attention. The Boston Marathon is without a doubt one of the most valued marathons in the United States due to its heavy traditions and difficult qualifying times. The Boston Marathon first began in 1897 and is held annually, on Patriots day (the third Monday in April) in Boston. The BAA hosts the race each year, boasting strict qualifying times to enter the race. 
Boston Marathon
Qualifying Standards
(effective for 2013 race)
18–343hrs 5min3 hrs 35min
35–393hrs 10min3 hrs 40min
40–443hrs 15min3 hrs 45min
45–493hrs 25min3 hrs 55min
50–543hrs 30min4 hrs 0min
55–593hrs 40min4 hrs 10min
60–643hrs 55min4 hrs 25min
65–694hrs 10min4 hrs 40min
70–744hrs 25min4 hrs 55min
75–794hrs 40min5 hrs 10min
80+4hrs 55min5 hrs 25min 

The course runs through 26.2 miles of winding roads.  The race runs through eight Massachusetts cities and towns: Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, Natick,Wellesley, Newton, Brookline and Boston.  Boston also boasts of the ever famous, Heartbreak hill. This hill, drops 150- ft in a half mile stretch, which forces many lesser trained runners to a walking pace. 

The nickname "Heartbreak Hill" originated with an incident in the 1936 race. On this stretch, defending champion John A. Kelley caught race leader Ellison "Tarzan" Brown, giving Brown a consolatory pat on the shoulder as he passed. His competitive drive apparently stoked by this gesture, Tarzan Brown rallied, pulled away from Kelley, and went on to win—in the words of Boston Globe reporter Jerry Nason, "breaking Kelley's heart." 

Today, those lucky enough to compete in Boston, leave knowing that they raced with some of the best. You also get a killer unicorn medal at the finish, and everyone knows the metal is where its at. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Beach Bodies tips and tricks for summer.

As a teacher, I am always counting down the days till school is out. With summer just around the corner, I cant help but feel the pressure of the ever plaguing bathing suit season. This year, I have been pretty diligent with working out and trying to eat right. I do try to frequent the gym regularly, but I think that everyone can agree, even with the gym sometimes you need an extra boost. Diet of course comes into play. But aside from that there are some other things you can do to get beach ready! I spent the better part of the day yesterday researching potential diets as well as methods to become beach ready. Here are some options to get you ready for summer. 

Diet Recommendations
1. ABS Diet for Women- I followed this diet with great success in the past. Its based on eating healthy small meals 6 times a day. It is easy to follow and also provides you with efficient work out exercises as well as recipes. They also offer an online component to help provide food options and strength training options. Its your basic, lean meats, beans whole grains type of eating plan.

2. GI diet- I used this diet when I was done with college and realized I was a whale. This diet does require a lot of discipline, but it also works. Its basic premise is low to no sugars. It organizes all foods depending on sugars and gives them a green, yellow or red code. Green of course, means go ahead and eat as much as you like, yellow are for occasional consumption and red means no go. I did enjoy the results of this diet, but it was a very boring diet because the foods were limited that you could eat. 

Skin firming Lotion Recommendations
1. Fat girl Slim- I reviewed this lotion heavily on line and could come up with only good things about it. It appears to work with frequent use and the results are noticible. The only downside is that when you stop using it, your skin will eventually go back to where it was. Perfect for beach season.

2. Skin tight- this lotion is more expensive but has good reviews and results as well. Its recommended by plastic surgeons for clients to try before they commit to surgery. This lotion is on the expensive side, but the reviews speak for themselves. It works. 

Last minute tips and tricks
1. Cut back on carbs and alcohol 
2. Eat 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day
3. Exercise without rewarding yourself with food!
4. Make sure you have a bathing suit that flatters your body type.
5. Get a fake tan to look more toned.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Procrastinate right up until the date!

With April almost over, and race season well underway, I cant help but check my calendar for upcoming events. Birthdays, weddings, baby showers and house warmings are all on the horizon. I even scheduled a few 5ks throughout the spring. Aside from these exciting events, one thing has been looming on my calendar since January- April 29th The Saint Lukes 1/2 marathon. Let me rewind for a moment- I signed up for this gem, before even completing my marathon. I thought, at the time, whats another 13.1 after you have done 26.2? Now, I find myself in the grips of no training and 13 miles around the corner. Apparently, I thought I was a running machine at the time, because aside from this, the following week I have the Broad Street 10 miler!!!! Now, any runner knows, you will most likely be sore for a few days after a long run, especially if you have been out of the loop for a while. So now I am guessing at the age old question, can you run 13 miles with no training? I will let you know next week. I suppose I could not go, or just pick up the shirt and pretend I ran, but theres no glory in that. I have a feeling this one will be a lesson learned the hard way- NO TRAIN= NO GAIN I will keep you posted! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Run for Hunger Philadelphia

Last weekend I ran in the Race for Hunger with my brother. It was his first 5k, and it was glorious! He did a great job. We stuck together and crossed the finish line. Please check out the organizers website to learn more about Philadelphia food banks and services. There are lots of ways to help out. If you live in the area, in July, Back on My Feet hosts a 20 in 24 race, where you can do a pajama 5k, the midnight 8 miler or the lone ranger where you run for 24 hours straight. Check out pictures from our race below! 

Back on my feet