Jersey Shore Girl

From the time I was a baby, I was a Jersey Shore girl ❤  Many summer days were spent downtheshore- most specifically, but not solely limited, to Wildwood.  Wildwood has my heart and tomorrow I leave for Round 1.  I will be there until Monday night.  Round 2 is next weekend, Thursday night until Monday night and then Round 3 the following weekend from Thurs night to Sunday.  I never like when summer ends but I can’t think of  a better way to bring it to a close.

Here are my plans for the shore: eat, run, lay by the pool, eat, nap, beach, nap, eat, lay by the pool, eat…..rinse and repeat!

I have three long runs I plan to do at the shore and I am looking so very forward to them- running down the shore…it doesn’t get a whole lot better than that!  These next few weeks my blogging/reading/commenting will be sporadic; not only will I be away quite a bit (and not bringing my laptop this weekend) but classes start Thursday and the teachers/students come back next week.  This is why an end of summer vacation is so wonderful- R&R before the craziness picks back up!!

Here are some pics of me downtheshore when I was little- enjoy 🙂




Shore bound for now………….

Run For Tony Race Report

Last night I ran the Run for Tony- a run, in its 17th year, that helps pay for the medical bills of a man who was injured when he was younger and paralyzed.  He is at the finish line of every race and it is a wonderful event.  Lots of people, food and a free beer at the end (I always give mine away) which gets a lot of people out to race!

Time/Pace: 29:42/9:35  (see my last post in regards to my sub-30 5k excitement!)

Overall: 383/522

Age: 23/35

Gender: 138/240

Pre-Race:  I took a quick nap when I got home from work and headed over to the race around 6:00pm to pick up my number.  I saw my teammate Dan (he is training for his first marathon too!) and chatted for a while before stretching.  My shin was still bothering me a little and my sunglasses broke- not a good sign for the night.  Also, I had chosen to wear a running skirt I bought last fall and had never worn and it was a little big.  I starting to re-think the race when I ran into my friend Michele.  She too was gunning after her first sub-30 5K and was also having some leg issues.  We bitched a little and of course, I decided to race.  My friend Danielle also met up for the race so the three of us just chatted for a while before the start.

Race: The race started (kind of oddly, we were all like “huh we started?”) and off I went.  Seriously, all the aching in my calf/shin disappeared and I was moving fast!  I felt great and at the 1st mile marker I was pacing 9:11- WOW!!!  Somewhere into the 2nd mile I was feeling really dehydrated so I stopped and walked through the next water station and through a sprinkler (many residents put out sprinklers for the racers- it was wonderful!) before taking off again.  I have no idea what happened to the 2nd mile marker but I totally missed it and had no idea where I was in the race or what my pace was- I could only semi-judge from my watch since I had walked a bit.  I still felt like I could make it under 30 minutes but I wasn’t sure….I just kept plugging away.  At the next water stop, where I walked again for about 15 seconds, I heard a guy who was spectating tell someone in the crowd that the finish was “right around the corner and down about a block”- I checked my watch and knew if I sprinted a little I had a chance.  As I came into the finish I could see the clock…29:56, 29:57, 29:58, 29:59, 30:00 and then I crossed it at 30:01.  I was infuriated.  I am pretty sure I shouted a profanity and kicked a cup, I was so mad to have missed it by 1 second.  Uh, and then I got my act together and realized that was the clock time, not my chip time and all hope was not lost.  I checked the chip times when they posted and there is was….29:42….next to MY name.  3.1 miles in 29:42 for a sub-30 5K!!!!!

Post-Race: Hung around with Michelle (she got her sub-30 time as well!!!) and Danielle…at some food and stretched while chatting about the race.

This was a great local race- the course was nice with a few small hills and enough turns to keep it interesting.  The frequent water stops were great and like I said, it was so nice to have the residents put out sprinklers.  It was so hot and the water made for a much cooler run.  It was also nice to have some of my friends running in it and of course, getting the sub-30 made my night. 

This is a race I plan on doing every year and even though I was really apprehensive about wearing a running skirt, who knows, maybe it was my lucky charm!  I think Iwill be wearing (a better fitted) one for PDR in a few weeks.  🙂

100th Post And Big News

This is my 100th post– yeah!!!!!

I mulled and mulled over what to do for a 100th post but really, I just couldn’t come up with anything.  I thought about a give-a-way, but nixed it…then I thought about a survey of some type and nixed that too.

So what to do, what to do…..

I figured it would just come to me.

And it did.

How appropriate that on this, the night of my 100th post, I GOT MY FIRST SUB-30 5K!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Yes, that’s right folks…slow Jillian is a slightly faster Jillian as of right now.  And you can probably see the glow on my face from your homes!  Let me just say it again cause it feels so good- SUB-30 5K.

Seriously. I can hardly wrap my brain around it.

The sub-30 5k (did I mention I ran that tonight!?!??!?!) was one of my biggest goals for the year- my best time up until now for a 5k race was 32:40.  I knew I would do better than that based on my training, but I still wasn’t sure of the coveted sub-30.  As of this morning, and even a little before the race, my shin was still bothering me.  I decided as long as I wasn’t in pain while running, I would push through- and if I had to walk I would.  I knew after the first mile I really had a chance but because I did walk twice (for less than 30 seconds, but still) I didn’t know…I just kept pushing. Hard.  And I got it. I FRIGGING RAN A SUB-30.  Holy mother of running!!!

Oh…and I also want to mention that it was my best pace time for a race of any distance ever!

Tonight was a good night. Tonight I love running. LOVE, LOVE and more LOVE.  Tonight is why I run.

So yeah…no survey or give-a-way for the grand 100th post…but uh, I got a sub-30 5K!

Race report tomorrow. 🙂

Props Wednesday- Meet Jamoosh

Meet Jamoosh!

When I first come across a blog there are a few factors that determine if I am going to become a reader of said blog.  With Jamoosh, it was clear…I would be a frequent reader of his blog. 

Initially, I was hooked by the opening statement of each post; usually a lyric.  I liked that he set up his post this way, which was different from any other blog I had read to date.  Furthermore, his blog is interesting.  It is peppered with life tidbits and humor.  Sure he writes about running and fitness and his 4987239 yearly push-ups goal but there is more to his blog that just stats and figures (or I wouldn’t be a frequent reader).   

While Jamoosh’s blog is centered around running, he also writes frequently about his other love.  No, not his wife…beer.  He loves his running and he loves his beer.  And he has found a way to make the relationship between them both work.  And when he isn’t writing about running or beer, he focus’s on the important things in life like farting and bacon and Jaclyn (the wife). 

All of this makes Jamoosh’s blog sound like a man’s man blog, but honestly, he has a deep female following.  Of course with that said, you must know this:  If you become a reader of Jamoosh’s blog there is no guaranteethat he will become a reader of yours- the man has criteria!!!  He is not a fan of the female tangent and would prefer to read about women who write about running (duh) but also women that fart, who are dorks (and okay with their dorkiness) and who drink and write about beer.  If you like bacon…bonus. 

Given this criteria, I must admit, I am unsure how Jamoosh and I became blogger friends: I do not drink beer, I don’t like bacon and while I am a proud girl farter (I just admitted that to the world, yes), I don’t think I ever talked about it on my blog.  It is only my guess that my dorkiness and charm won him over 🙂  Whatever the reason, his is a favorite of mine to read and I highly recommend to stop on over and check him and his blog out. 

Oh, and Jamoosh likes photos, so here are a few I picked specifically for him!

mooshAfter the DE 1/2 Marathon- My free beer of which I did take a sip!!

sorkI was a huge fan.  I had all the gear and was proud of it!  And if this does’t scream my dorkiness, I don’t know what else will!

fartThere is a 99.9% chance I am farting in this picture.


So Much To Say…

I have so many different things to write about floating around in my head- from runs, to work, to school, to vacation, to tragedy, to new shoes to races….its all up there waiting to be written about.  I should probably break it up into a few different posts but instead I think I’ll do a list format week in review 🙂

  • I just finished my 5th week of Marathon Training; in general it is going well but I am starting to get nervous about the upcoming longer runs.  I have never ran more than 13.1 miles and THAT was in a race.  I have never trained more than 10 miles in one run.  Now that I am going to be scheduled for runs as long as 10, 13, 15, 18 and 20 miles, I am stressing out about water dropping, routes and just making it through.  This is normal right??  RIGHT??????
  • Tonight I ran in my new shoes.  It was fabulous 🙂
  • The Wildwood race, as I had suspected, was turned into a DU. I am still glad I didn’t go- it was rainy and messy and I needed to day off to be productive.
  • I have a 5k coming up on Wednesday- I haven’t ran a 5k since last October and my current PR for a 5k is 32:34.  I have no doubt, the way I have been running, that I will PR; but I want the coveted sub-30.  Other than this race, I am only running two other 5k’s this year, and one is a fun Christmas race where I will be dressed as a reindeer.  Yeah, no sub-30 there as I hand out candy canes! So this race is pretty big for me and I really REALLY want to kill it.
  • As always I don’t want to talk too much about work but it has been stressing me out so badly.  I am trying really hard not to let my 8-4 ruin my 4-8 but the teachers come back this week and students in two weeks and I just don’t feel ready.  It’s coming whether I like it or not, I know this, but anxiety is high.
  • Speaking of school, my classes also start in two weeks. I am taking two classes again and like last semester, one is undergraduate and one is graduate.  I love the dual program, because it is saving me money and I am earning credits toward my M.A, but the work is tough and I am not sure I have even recovered from the Spring semester and now Fall is starting.  Being that I am an English Major, my classes are full of reading and papers.  I have British Literature (undergrad) and Life of Walt Whitman (grad)- both seem fairly interesting (even though it is my major, the reading does not always interest me) but I saw the syllabus’s and I have a feeling the library and I are going to be close friends.  I see many late nights at Barnes and Nobles and weekends at Panera in my near future.  Are any of you in school?? If so, what is your major?
  • With all the stress of the upcoming school year and work, this is the perfect time for a vacation.  Thankfully, I have one coming up.  All summer I have taken only two days off from work (yeah, we work four day weeks but most people take a week or two vacation) but for the next three weekends I will be in Wildwood.  My parents are going for like 15 or 16 days; I am taking off next Monday to make it a long weekend and then the next weekend is labor day so that is a long weekend and the following weekend I took off Friday to make it a long weekend.  I need this vacation in ways I cannot even explain.  Wildwood is my home away from home; it is my happy place.  I can’t wait!!!
  • Once vacation is over, the training gets pretty hardcore- within 10 weeks I will be running 2 half-marathons and my first full marathon.  Am I crazy…I think so, yes!

I want to separate this next bullet- in an effort to acknowledge the victims and hopefully spread some awareness (or at the very least serve as a reminder to be aware)

  • There have been two rapes in Fairmont Park, PA in the last 10 days.  Both were runners.  One took place in the middle of the morning and one in the early evening.  It was light out. There were people around.  It still happened.  These rapes are linked to rapes from 2007 and the man sack of shit is still on the loose.
  • I have raced in various parts of Fairmont Park over the last year, both road races and triathlon.  I love this area- there is so much beauty it is impossible not to love it.  The best Philadelphia races are held here; much of the reason I chose Philadelphia as my first marathon is how close it is to my heart.  With all that said, I don’t train there and would never feel safe running there alone.   I know things like this can happen anywhere, but this park has a reputation and as far as I am concerned, unless I have someone running RIGHT next to me, I am alone.
  • The truth is though, I do run alone in my area and while I do feel safe, it is hard to feel safe anywhere these days.  It is scary.   I run paths that are full of people, I never run in the dark and I carry a screamer with me at all times.  I keep my IPOD low enough to hear my footsteps and I am constantly keeping aware of my surroundings.  But is that enough?  I sometimes feel bad when I cross the street because there is a man alone walking on the side I am running.  But that is what the world does to us- it conditions us to be afraid of our surroundings.  To be afraid of everything.  I honestly feel I do everything in my power to both train and train safely, but I have to believe that the victims felt this way as well.
  • I hope this isn’t scaring anyone but like my swimming post- sometimes we need to be reminded of things, even if it does put a little fear in us.
  • How do you keep yourself safe?  Do you carry mace, a screamer etc?  Please share your thoughts.

I am sorry to have ended my post on such a sad note- things like this really just get to my core and upset me to no end. I know this post was all over the place- every now and then I just need a venting, whining, babbling post.  I am off to eat some ice cream and relax with some Sunday night TV- I should be back to my charming, not whining/babbling, self in no time 🙂

Hurricane Bill And I Are Not Friends

Yeah, Hurricane Bill is a jerk.

Today I was supposed to participate in the Wildwood Tri.  I was looking forward to this all summer- Wildwood is my home away from home and to do a tri there would have been awesome.  However, they had been saying for days that Hurricane Bill would be roughing up the ocean pretty badly and I wasn’t in the mood for a Duathlon.   I thought it over for more than a day.  Duathlon’s are races that, while I would do if I didn’t have a choice, I don’t want to do.  Finally at some point yesterday, I made the decision not to make the drive down the shore when I was fairly positive the swim would be canceled.  For me, it was a free race for having volunteered earlier in the season, so besides the experience, I didn’t lose out on anything.

While I am bummed to miss a race, especially this one, I am happy with my decision.  The storms here last night were absolutely horrific, so on top of the race being turned into a Duathlon, I would have been on very little sleep.  Storms normally don’t bother me (I don’t like them, but they don’t bother me), I typically sleep through them and I am not afraid of them, but this one was downright scary.  In fact, this was the scariest storm I remember in my lifetime.  It woke me out of a dead sleep @ 1230am and kept me up for close to an hour.  The thunder never stopped- it was one consistent super loud, rolling, cracking, booming thunder. And the lightning was even scarier.  I have two large windows in my bedroom and at one point I was a little concerned that I would be electrocuted in my own home!!! It was unbelievably intense.  If nothing else, Jersey has seen its share of rain this summer!

Up until about an hour ago, it was STILL raining and of course now that it has stopped the humidity is back to its unbearable self, so the run I planned for this morning has been postponed until tomorrow evening.  And because I didn’t run this morning, I went back to bed and watched Pay It Forward which is one of my favorite movies.  After the movie I dragged myself out of bed and got a lot of cleaning done, but I have a bunch of errands to run still and no energy to do them.  I know it is supposed to rain again this afternoon and I don’t want to get caught out in a storm.  Plus, the rain tends to do this to me; I get all lethargic and lazy and just wanna lay in my bed.

In other news, I finally bought NEW sneakers yesterday!!  I was in desperate need; I am sure I was close to or over the mileage on my current shoes and I was feeling it in my knees, calves and shins.  I went in, tried on a few but in the end I stuck with my trusty favorites- Score for a new pair of Adrenalines!

What is the sneaker you swear by or do you run in all different kinds?  I have been running in Brooks pretty much since the beginning and even though I always try other sneakers on, I somehow always end up back in the Brooks.  Silly allegiance perhaps…or maybe it is because I am just a creature of habit, but regardless, I do love my Brooks.

Yeah, I Am A Rebel

I am doing my TiaRT on a Friday.  I like to get crazy sometimes, what can I say!

Recently Runners Lounge asked bloggers to submit questions; each week a different chosen blogger will ask a question (mine is coming in a few weeks- shameless plug!).  This weeks question is from  Marlene! She asks:

When did you know you had become a runner? Was there a defining moment, or was it a gradual progression over time?

I struggled with calling myself a runner or a triathlete for a while and I would always get uncomfortable when someone would refer to me with the statement “she runs” or “she is a triathlete.”  I always felt like I had to back it up with amazing stats that didn’t exist.  I felt like I needed to be a winner to give myself the title of runner or triathlete.  That is, until I had my revelation: Finishing is Winning.  No matter where I fall on the results list, I still swam, biked and ran the same miles as everyone else in the race.  And I have the T-shirts and medals to prove it!!

A few other indications when I knew I had become a runner/triathlete:

  • I WANTED to run/bike.  Swimming was never a problem and I always chose it over running and biking when it came to training.  When I started choosing to run and bike I knew something in me had changed.
  • When my bedtime became that of a pre-schooler because it was important to sleep well before an early morning training session.  Not too many years ago 4am was the time I came home and now it is the time I get up.
  • I traded my high heels for sneakers.  I get WAY more excited about new sneakers than I do new heels. I would prefer to buy new sneakers over new heels as well.
  • I was okay with using a porta-potty. And did it often.
  • I would rather spend my money on new workout clothes than any other kind of clothing.
  • I knew the definitions of brick and ringer.
  • I began eating things like GU, blocks and beans.
  • I started to plan much of my social life around training; not planning my training around my social life.
  • My magazine subscriptions included: Triathlon, Triathlon Life and Runners World.
  • I know when it is time to do laundry by the amount of workout clothing I do or do not have in my drawers.
  • I started mapping out running/biking routes while driving.
  • Things like hydration, nutrition and recovery had a whole new meaning in my life.
  • I CHOSE to get in a bathtub full of ice.
  • I started requesting my sick days off work to recover from races.
  • I started using wasted time, for example waiting in line, to stretch.
  • I would get a run in before most of the people I knew were awake for the day.

To answer the question more straightforward, I think it was a series of defining moments of time that led to me “becoming” a runner.  It was the reasons listed above but more than that, it was finding the strength within and focusing on the discipline to reach my goals that ultimately gave me the confidence to call myself a runner/triathlete.  I carry those titles very close to my heart and have no problem telling people “I am a runner” or “I am a triathlete.”

Props Wednesday #2- Meet Ulyana

Meet Ulyana.

Ulyana is a great writer; funny, expressive and honest.  She is also an amazing runner: she has many small distance runs under her belt and a few longer distances as well.  And, she is known to run under a 7 minute mile!!! UNDER!  Just last weekend she took first place female in a 5k.  So yeah, girl can run.  And this year she completed her first Sprint Triathlon- YEAH for triathletes 🙂

I can’t remember how I first came across Ulyana’s blog, I just remember loving the name of it: Shaped By Running.  And after going back and reading past posts, I became aware of just how much she has overcome and how pivotal a role running has played in her life.  And while she has been through some major crap and been struck by tragedy you won’t find her feeling sorry for herself one bit.  Instead, Ulyana has perfected the art of looking at the bright side.

In December of 2008, Ulyana ran in the Dallas Marathon with her friend Erin.  Ulyana has said Erin was “just a running friend” but we all know how important our training buddies become to us.  Erin was the perfect run buddy for Ulyana…they ran roughly the same pace, had the same goals and were running in the same race.  They ran most of the Dallas Marathon together, they were on pace to qualify for Boston and then tragically, at mile 23, Erin collapsed and died.  Ulyana, having finished the race with the assumption that Erin BQ’d, found out later the horrible news.

Putting on her sneakers to run again was not easy; running took her friend away.  Running stood for something new…something painful.  But as Ulyana does best, she turned this into something that could be positive.  She put on her shoes and began running again.  In January 2010 Ulyana is running in the Houston Marathon- a race Erin had planned to run but was sold out.  Instead Erin ran Dallas with Ulyana.  Now Ulyana is running Houston for Erin and she “thinks she will BQ”.  I however, KNOW she is going to kick some butt and get to Boston!  And I am sure Erin will be with her all 26.2 miles.

Ulyana inspires me to have confidence, be more positive and keep running no matter what obstacles stand in my way.  I admire her strength and her resilency…and her ability to run under a 7-minute mile!!!  And she cracks me up too!

Go check out her blog- follow her journey to Houston and get some laughs along the way 🙂

Questionable Behavior

I am sure anyone who has had a blog of the athletic type has at one point bitched about people’s general lack of gym etiquette.  Now it is my turn.

Get off your cell phone– I find this exceptionally annoying.  First of all, if you are capable of talking on the phone while working out, you aren’t working out hard enough.  And second, oh…its rude.

Dress yourself completely– Complete=  Bottoms, tops and ladies please PLEASE please wear a bra. Please. (I am going out on a limb here and guessing men do not see this as a problem.)

The locker room is not your bedroom– Is it really necessary to blow dry your body hair while standing naked in front of the only mirror in the locker room?  I know the answer- no it is not necessary.  This of course doesn’t stop people from doing it…or staying naked while they apply their makeup.  Get dressed.  Save the show for your boyfriend.

Don’t be a stalker– You do not have to stand next to the machine I am on or in front of the weight bench.  I see you. And because you are breathing down my neck like a thirsty dog, I am going to do extra reps.

Don’t stare– Um, this is easy…it’s creepy.

Put the equipment back properly- You think they mark those weight stands for their health?  No, they do it so the 10lb weights end up in the 10lbs spot.  I know, reading is tough.

Clean up after yourself– Don’t be pig; wipe up your sweat.  It is about as unsanitary as a person can get and oh yeah, its super gross too.

There are so many more I could list but I thought I would open it up to my readers: What are your biggest gym pet-peeves?

Apparently, My Ass Blocks Traffic

This past week was great!  Seriously, it has been a really long time since I had a week that was so productive.  Even work wasn’t as bad as usual (just jinxed that for this week, I’m sure) which was a bonus.  I have been right on schedule with my marathon training  and I attended two nights of a swim clinic this past week.  As good of a swimmer as I am, I still took so much from this clinic.  When I train, I usually just swim laps…intervals, tempo, different strokes etc, but I never really learned any specific drills to improve my speed and endurance until last week.  I even spent some time being social and went to dinner with an old friend.  She is also into running and we have reconnected recently.  She was an acquaintance in high school but over the last few months we have become good friends and it was so nice to relax with some drinks and just catch up.

This weekend of course flew by again!  I caught up on stuff around the house all day Friday and then stayed at my parents house that night.  Since I was going to be at my parents, I held off on my morning run so I could run the river by their house.  They still live in the town I grew up in, which will always be home and the river is still one of my favorite places to run!  On Saturday, I spent the day with my Mom.  We went to breakfast, farmers markets, got pedicures, went shopping and got lunch. 🙂  I pretty much love mommy-daughter days!  Saturday night I just hung around my house, watched some pointless TV and relaxed.

This morning I woke up and got dressed for my run.  Then I got undressed and went back to bed.  I was overtired and just didn’t have it in me.  I ended up resting/sleeping for two more hours and when I got out of bed I felt so refreshed.  After I finally rolled out of bed, I made an awesome fruit salad for breakfast with all the goodies I got at the farmers market yesterday morning.  It was super yummy!  Then, I spent the day at the Jersey Shore 🙂  One of my teammates has a place in Ocean City for a week and invited us down for food, beach and drinks.  I, of course, indulged in all three.  It was a great day to be downtheshore and I hated having to come home!

Since I had pinkie promised myself this morning when I ditched my run that I would make it up tonight, I immediately got dressed when I got home from the beach.  Had I done anything else first, I knew I would never actually run.  I decided on an out and back route from my house and was on my way. I had a fabulous run!  It is runs like that, that make all the training worth it.  It is what gets you from one run to the next.  It is what gets you over the bad runs.  There is nothing like a great run…short or long, slow or fast…a great run is a great run!

While I was on my run I had the most bizarre encounter:

About .5 into the route I have to cross a major highway.  Since it is a busy intersection I always turn my IPOD off while I am waiting to cross.   As I am standing on the sidewalk next to the street, waiting to cross, a convertible approaches.  What happened next still has me laughing to myself.

The Over-Made Up Girl in Car: “Your ass is blocking the traffic!”

Me: (look over kinda of with a WTF face)

The Over-Made Up Girl in Car: “Moooooooooooooovvvvveeeeeee”

Me: (still looking with a WTF face)

As this was happening her totally mortified boyfriend who was driving puts the top up on his convertible.  News flash- I can still see your asshole girlfriend even with the top up.  Since it was obvious that the closest this girl ever came to sweating/running was when she went as Work-Out Barbie for Halloween, I just shrugged, ignored her and laughed as I crossed the road and kept on running.  Perhaps she should pay less attention to my ass and more attention to fixing her awful make-up lines.

I would like to point out, that while it might be true that for my little self, I do have a fairly big ass…it does not block traffic.  Maybe I should let you decide for yourself….

bigbutTraffic blocker????

Do you have a similar story?  I remember reading  one from JILLWILLRUN about boys who told her she had that “Boom Boom Pow” which totally cracked me up.  What is the funniest/rudest/oddest thing ever said to you on a run?