Back To Reality!

List format post! 🙂 Love them!

September 11th- Before I begin, I want to touch on a more serious note.  I have been mourning the loss of so many in 9-11-01.  I had just returned from the shore the evening before the attacks- being down their is always a time of reflection for me.  I will never forget and always honor.  I am forever grateful for those men and women who have and are currently fighting for this country.  I will forever be indebted to those who gave their lives.  My greatest wish is to live in a more peaceful world.  It might be a tall order but I will not give up hope.

Ok…less serious….

Shore No More-My three weekends downtheshore have come to an end.  😦 I have picked out an entirely black outfit for work tomorrow in order to properly mourn.

L is for Loser- I ran a total of zero times this past weekend.  Zero as in none.

PDR- The Philadelphia Distance Run is in one week from today.  I have been looking forward to this run for over a year.  Part of the reason I was a total slacker with my running this weekend was to give my sore calf a break- nothing happened, it has just been tight and a bit sore.  Come Sunday,  I want to be race ready.  I plan to race this for time and I plan to will PR (I hope!!).  I am also looking really forward to this race because a few of my close friends are also racing.  I haven’t seen my friend Colleen in over 10 years!!!  She moved away after high school and although we don’t see each other, we have been keeping up with each others progress for over a year now and it will be so much fun finally seeing her AND running with her!

Another Blog- As it turns out, in my Grad class we are required to keep a blog. Of course, because the class is all about Walt Whitman, the blog is…you got it…all about Walt Whitman.  So for 15 weeks I will be keeping up with two blogs!!

Guest Week TiaRT- This Thursday I am the host of Runners Lounge Take it and Run Thursday.  I don’t want to brag, but I think I came up big with my question.  I have been working on my own answer for a few weeks and I am looking really forward to reading all of your posts.  Stay tuned for my slide-show too!

Props Wednesday- What are your thoughts on this project?  I have gotten some feedback on the posts, but as a whole do you think it has been effective?

What’s in Store- This week is packed full.  Tomorrow I am going to spend some times with my Pop-Pop.  He has been really sick for months and I haven’t seen him in over two weeks.  I hate when I get too busy for the most important people in my life.  Also this week, I have to go to the mall for some new work clothes.  Unlike most girls, I HATE shopping. Hate!  In one year, if I go to the mall five times…that is a lot.  I like to go in a store, get what I need and get out.  Because of my height, I struggle with finding clothes that fit and I get frustrated easily.  The whole thing is just never fun, however I am desperate for some new pants and skirts so I am sucking it up and hitting the mall Tuesday night.

Back to Reality- Now that I am back from vacation, I will be getting back on schedule.  I have a planned 5 miler to gear up for Sunday and as of Tuesday, I will be back to spinning again.  I plan to go every Tuesday and Friday morning now; if it gets to be too much I will give up the Tuesday.  While it was nice to take the weekend off from running and have some extra sleep in days during the week, I am looking forward to getting back on track.

Shore Photos- I don’t want to overload one post with all my photos, so I will post a few now and some later.

shore09 004Reading by the pool- anyone recognize the book! Love it- it is a favorite 🙂

shore09 019At Sunset Beach in Cape May.  Each night at Sunset they dedicate a flag to a war veteran. It is touching and beautiful.

shore09 018The Sunset. Did I lie- gorgeous, right!

I hope everyone has a fabulous week 🙂

Props Wednesday- Meet Jill

Meet Jill.

Clearly, I think she is awesome because we share the same name.  Meaning of the name Jill: Awesome.

Oh, and according to one group of boys, she also “has that boom boom pow”.

In addition to having the name Jill, being awesome, and having that “boom boom pow”, she is a runner.  A fast runner.  And her blog is one of the first I read when I started lurking the blog world.  I read her blog for a good month before I started my own and she was one of my early inspirations.  Her commitment to running and to life is contagious.

Jill lives in Nevada and faces (and runs in) temperatures I could not even imagine dealing with.  NJ is hot but Nevada is ridiculous.  And once, while running, she saw a sign for a missing tiger (or lion was it??) from a local magic show- really who does that happen to?? Yeah, best run story ever!

Jill’s blog is personal as she is honest and open about both her successes and not-so-much successes.  She has crossed the finish line at half-marathons and marathons and she has DNF’d- all of her experiences, good or bad, are what she reflects through blogging.  Jill is really good at teaching through experience- I get a lot of my training tips from her blog and especially love her reviews.  I appreciate that she puts it out there in a real way; if she likes a product, she says so and likewise if she doesn’t.

Need another reason why she is awesome?  Jill won the New Balance Running on Hope contest–> she won the grand prize; a trip for 2 to Washington DC, entry into the Global Race for Hope Race, and (seriously, how cool is this???) participation in a documentary about the 20-year partnership between New Balance and Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, shoes, and apparel from the Lace up for the Cure collection.  She wrote about this amazing experience and since I could never put it into words the way she did, I recommend you read about it here.

Okay bloggies you know the deal…go over to JILLWILLRUN, check out her blog and show her some love.

Bike Helmets

During my time down the shore,  I was witness to an accident on the boardwalk one weekend and the following weekend a lady was hit by a car down the street from where I stay while on her bike.  I took serious notice of the fact that very few people wore helmets while riding on their bikes.  Some had children with helmets, but they themselves were not wearing one (do they think it doesn’t hurt if you are an adult??) and in too many cases there were kids without helmets as well. Pure danger.

This is the lesson:

  • When riding a bike, always wear a helmet.

This is why:

  • If you are in an accident while on your bike, and you aren’t wearing a helmet, you could die.

So in summary:

  • Wear a helmet; don’t chance dying.

Perks Of Vacation

Just a quick post before I head home tomorrow.  Once I get back to the real world tomorrow, I have three readings and two writing assignments to do for my classes, not to mention gear up for the first week back with the students at work.  That will probably mean a serious lapse in blogging.  I will still do my best to keep up with my blog reading and commenting 🙂

Ok, enough about work and school and stuff I don’t like to think about on vacation!!!!

I was thinking today, while laying at the pool, about how lucky I am that I even get to vacation.  With the economy they way it is, and all my work and school responsibilities, I don’t get much time to relax.  I keep a world class busy schedule and don’t take enough time to just appreciate the world around me.  Vacation is an opportunity to do just that, and last weekend and this weekend have been nothing but relaxed!

And (insert whiny voice) I don’t want to go back…….no reality plllleeeeaaaasssse!!!!

Here are some things I will miss about running & vacation:

  • Staying up “late”- usually, I am in bed between 900-1030pm; while I have been here I have stayed up past 11 on more than a few nights; I might even make it until midnight tonight.  Living the crazy life, that is right!
  • Getting to “sleep in”- weekdays require me to wake up at 6am (4:45 on spin days).  Weekends include one long run wake up before the sun is out.  On days when I can actually sleep in, my internal alarm has me up and at ’em anyway.  So basically any time I sleep in past 7am, is luxurious.  Here, I have slept past 8am twice!
  • Running in the morning- with the exception of my weekend long run, I usually run at night after work.  The days are just to long with work and school to tack on a morning run; here it has been so nice to indulge in what I really love…morning running.
  • The scenery- uh, yeah, this goes without saying, right???  Seriously, who wouldn’t want to run with the ocean by their side? It is amazing and I have been soaking up every second.
  • The weather- thankfully, the mornings have been fairly cool and I have been able to “sleep in” even on run days until @ 6am.  That is right- sleeping in on run days. HOLLLAAA (and yes, I did just say HOLLLAAA).
  • And most obviously- I just get to run.  No work or school or homework or cleaning or laundry or anything else to worry about.  I get to run, come back and lay at the pool.   That is love ♥.

I am so thankful for my time at the shore- I feel so relaxed and rejuvenated.  And the good news is, I get to come back again next weekend too!  Wildwood has a series of weekends throughout the month of Sept, two of which I spend with my best friend Jessica.  The first, next weekend is bike weekend (as in motorcycles- it is called “Roar to the Shore”) and then two weeks later we come back for Irish weekend.

September is always so much fun- the best way I can think of to end summer 🙂

I hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

TiaR-WDIW

TiaR-WDIW….huh, what????

Clearly, when it comes to doing TiaRT on time, I have recently been a FAIL.  So I bring to to you- Take it and Run- Whatever Day I Want!

This weeks questions is from Lindsay at Chasing the Kenyans.  She asks: whether training for a specific race or just running for the fun of it, we all experience the ups and downs of running. what do you do to get yourself motivated to run when it feels like it’s the last thing you want to do?

Honestly, I don’t really “run for fun”.  Sure, I think running is fun, but I generally don’t do it for that reason.  I keep myself focused on my race schedule to keep me motivated for training.  I have a feeling that if I didn’t have a race to train for, I wouldn’t run as much, or often, as I do currently.  That doesn’t meant I don’t have down days, it just means I get over myself quicker when it comes to getting it done!

Excuses I often have for not wanting to run:

  • I want to sleep in.
  • I want to go out the night before.
  • It is too hot, too cold or too not perfect weather for me.
  • Too much else to do.

Why I run anyway:

  • Accountability.
  • I know once I am out there I will feel better.
  • I know once I am done I will be glad I started.
  • That schedule that stares me in the face on my fridge.

Things I do if I am struggling:

  • Create a new playlist- new music, new attitude.
  • Buy new clothes/gear- if I have something new, I look forward to wearing/using it.
  • Remembering my goals- knowing why I am training in the first place.
  • Rest- sometimes it is the only answer.

It isn’t always easy, especially recently with marathon training which at times has felt daunting, but I get out there and do the miles because I want to be the best I can be.  Without the training, I cannot be at my best; therefore, whether I want to or not (unless I need the rest) I get out there and run.  Regardless if I want to sleep in, or go out the night before…regardless of the weather or what else I have to do; I remember why I am out there and what it is all for. And then it is worth it.  Up day or down day, the run is always worth it!

Here is a pic of me from this morning.  Getting up at 630am on vacation wasn’t top priority, but getting the miles in was, therefore I got up, sucked up my desire for sleep and ran 6+ miles.  And when it was all said ran and done, I was happy with my miles and time.

shore 062Getting ready for a run down the shore.

Wildwood Round 2

After this crazy week I just had, I am back down in Wildwood Crest- my home away from home 🙂  I drove down after class last night and I get to stay until Monday night ❤

This morning I went for a 6+ mile run with the ocean by my side- it was pretty much a repeat of last weeks 5 mile run but even better because the weather could not have been better.  Just enough sun with a cool breeze.  Seriously, if I lived here I would probably run every single day.  The scenery is amazing.

This is the view from where I stay:

moms photos 044There is a fitness park and then the ocean right across the street 🙂

Other than running, I plan to keep myself busy with laying by the pool, napping and eating.  Today I laid by the pool for close to 8 hours and then indulged in an hour nap.  Tonight we are having spaghetti and crabs which I plan to enjoy with some wine.  Life. Is. Good.

I know this is super short post and I am behind is reading/commenting but hey, this is vacation!  I will leave you with some more pictures to drool over…

moms photos 072

moms photos 078

moms photos 084

Wishing all my readers a happy, and most importantly a safe, Labor Day Weekend.

Props Wednesday- Meet RunnerDude

Meet RunnerDude.

RunnerDude is more than a “dude”; he is one of my major sources for all things running.  And I use much of the information for life as well.  This is a blog that I HIGHLY recommend to all athletes, but especially runners, whether you are a beginner or more advanced.

RunnerDude is no joke.  Here are a few of his credentials:

  • Running Mentor for TheCircle.org
  • Contributing writer for AmateurEndurance.com
  • A board member for GOFAR, a non-profit organization that encourages teens running their first 5k.
  • He is an RRCA certified run coach and is currently in the process of earning his personal training and nutrition consultant certifications.

So yeah, RunnerDude knows what he is talking about.

In addition to what is listed above, he has 20 years of running (all over the US) behind him, so not only does he inform his readers but he also interjects personal experiences into his posts.  Furthermore, he gets his readers involved; he often runs give-a-ways (which are SUPER easy to enter and win) wherein a reader sends in a personal story that he later posts.  It is a great way to meet other runners/bloggers.

RunnerDude’s posts cover everything from types of runs, to nutrition, to hydration, to reviews.  Not only that, but he acknowledges his readers and answers questions in comments.  This is huge- all to often bloggers get to “big” for themselves and forget what it is really about.  RunnerDude has created a community through his blog and his dedication to spreading real and honest information is evident in every post.

If you haven’t already become a RunnerDude follower, what are you waiting for?  Go. Now. Read.