My Love/Hate Relationship with 4am!

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So I wake up at 4 am to go to the gym! I kinda think I’m insane some days, my husband thinks I’m crazy but likes having the bed to himself, and my son once thought I was Santa sneaking around in the middle of the night during the holiday. People constantly ask me why I get up so early to workout and run. A lot of people say its “inspiring” to them and I think that’s great! I can’t tell you how many times I have woken up and been scrolling through my phone and see an Instagram post that just kicks my butt in gear to go to the gym! So if one person sees my post and decides to go to the gym that morning instead of staying in bed than I am happy! But that’s not why I do it!

I use to do Zumba and Pilates a few times a week before I started running. I did it at night and I LOVED it! However, I missed my kids baths, dinner as a family, putting them to bed and just being together as a family. As a working Mom, I already have the guilt of being away from them WAY too much and I found myself feeling horrible about being away at night too. I just CAN’T miss moments like this….

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So I started running in February 2015 and at first it was just random and supplemented the other classes I took. My husband is also a runner so we would once in awhile go on a “date day” to the gym and run. It worked when I was just doing it for another form of exercising. Then I signed us up for our first half-marathon and I knew things had to change. No way could both of us get our training runs in at night and we would never be consistent. We decided one of us would have to get up before the kids woke up in the morning and one of us would go after they went to bed at night. Among a millions things I love about my husband, we are completely a team. We both work full-time and have demanding careers so we share parenting equally!

The whole summer I got up around 4:45 to run my miles in the dark before the kids woke up. Honestly, I liked it and it wasn’t as bad as I thought. It made me more motivated during my work day and more productive as well. Days got shorter and it got SO much colder and in the area we live we just don’t have a great outdoor run for that early in the morning in the cold. It’s not lighted enough and with ice and snow on the ground it is scary! So off to the gym I go each morning! I go to a great Anytime Fitness that is only 5 minutes from my house so it works well!

After my first half in October I decided I wanted to implement more strength training and lifting into my routine which would require me to get up EVEN earlier. At first I thought “NO WAY”, I have to pick one or the other because getting to the gym at 4 am sounded AWFUL! I told my husband I would try it once to see how bad it was and again I was pleasantly surprised with how much I didn’t mind it! I feel AWESOME when I walk out at 6 am and I’ve done an hour of intense strength and also a run! My husband jokes that he has to mentally prepare himself in the morning for my return from the gym because I’m always so chatty and happy after my workout and he is still so sleepy.

You want to know what the best part is: I DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT HAVING TIME FOR IT AT NIGHT!!

So people ask me how I do it…it’s this simple…

I set the alarm and I get out of bed!

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I think of it as “if I don’t get it in this morning, I will miss the entire day or I will have to sacrifice time away from the boys” and so far it has been enough motivation to get my butt out of my warm bed every time the alarm has went off!

Honestly when my husband goes to the gym or for a run at night I am so happy that I’m already done for the day. That is the time that works good for him though, he tried to get up one morning and run and it wasn’t his thing. Every person is different and everyone has their own routine. DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU! We are all given the same amount of time and we chose what we want to do with it… and if that little devil on my shoulder starts to nudge me to stay in bed I say…

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#runhappy

-Jess

 

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Key West Half Marathon Recap

This past Sunday I ran my second half marathon. The Key West half was listed as one of the top 10 destination half marathons in Runners World so we figured why not!  I went into this run still nervous about running 13.1 miles but with much more confidence than my first half marathon! When I started running I could run 3 miles in 35 minutes and during this training I had a 3 mile training run at a little over 25 minutes. In less than a year I improved that much and improvement brings confidence. IMG_5905

What I was worried the most about was the Florida humidity and that I had trained mostly on the treadmill. To get my training runs in I have to run between 4-5:30 am so that I can get ready for work and get my kids ready. My husband runs at night and I don’t want to take away from my kids time at night. So in the winter, I have to go to the treadmill at that time of the day, because let’s face it- IT’S COLD IN MICHIGAN!

But I was getting faster and my first half I ran at 2:02 so I thought for sure I could PR this half!

My husband and I flew into Florida and had a pretty good final run before the race. Friday and Saturday were rest days and beautiful outside. BUT the race and people on Instagram kept posting about the weather coming in for Sunday morning. Then at 8 pm the night before we found out that due to safety the course would be changed so that the waves would not knock us off a couple of the piers. A few other races in Florida at the same time were cancelled for the next day. But not ours…so we figured “why not, it’s fun and a challenge”.

We woke up on Sunday morning, did our pre-race ritual and off we went.

The race was set to start at 7 and at 6:15 we got an email that the race would be delayed due to tornado warnings and a high wind advisory. IMG_7878

So they sent us to shelters to stay out of the storm. It was a little scary but also a little fun! I honestly had never ran in such high winds so I was naive and had no idea what to expect. It was pouring tropical sideways rain, signs were being blown around everywhere, and all the power was out!!

But the race director came in, said they had been in contact with the National Weather Service and it would blow through enough for the race to still go on.

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I lined up with the 2:00 hour pacer. We talked, she was a Boston Marathon runner, who has a half PR of 1:25. She told me that due to the winds we would have to run the first 7 miles out at 8:12-8:15 pace because the back 6 we would be running into the wind and it would be very slow and we would the additional time to make up for the slow pace due to the wind. AHHH! I ran the first couple with her and then slowly started to slow to my normal 9:00 minute pace. I got to the boardwalk to run and the conditions were horrible. Seaweed was flying all over, Man-O-War was on the course that had got blown up on the path, the bathroom porta johns were blown over on the course, it was insane.

When I turned around at the turnaround point I instantly felt like I was running in a wind tunnel. But I wasn’t the only one, I looked around at everyone else struggling with the same problem. I watched my watch go past my goal time and then past my first half PR and was MAD at myself. I finished at 2:13 and wanted to cry happy and sad tears. Happy that I finished it because it was the hardest run I’ve ever ran, but sad that I trained so well and didn’t even come close to a PR.

Then my husband came up and told me he ran it 14 minutes slower than his last half. Then I started talking to everyone standing around that had the same exact issues. People who had 1:15 PR’s and ran it 10 minutes slower and people who had done over 30 half’s and it was their worst half to date. Honestly, it made me feel better, it wasn’t just me. I was still sad that it wasn’t what I expected and I didn’t do as well as I had thought but given the conditions I decided to let it go and just BE HAPPY! This won’t be my last half and it taught me very valuable lessons as a new runner. Every run is a blessing and every run is an accomplishment.

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#RUNHAPPY

-Jess

 

 

Who has time to blog? NOT ME!

So I’m Jessica and I decided to start a blog. Actually this is my fourth attempt in the last three years to start a blog. For a long time I wanted to blog about being a working mom and just juggling it all with tips and suggestions of how I do it without pulling my hair out. Lots of wine is the answer, JUST KIDDING! (Kinda) But I never followed through with it and my husband would always tell me to JUST DO IT!

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Well then last year I started running, found this extremely uplifting group of friends on Instagram, started reading their blogs and decided that I needed to JUST do it! So I put it on my list of goals for 2016 and here I am 20 days in and blogging!!

So what will this blog be about? Life as a Mom of two crazy boys, working full-time, RUNNING, Marriage, fitness, my favorite recipes, and everything in between.

Most days I’m not sure how I function and why I keep adding more things on my plate, like blogging for example, but hey…Just go with it 🙂

I’m not sure if anyone will EVER read this, but it’s fun for me! If you want to know more about me you can go to the About Me tab or follow me on Instagram!