My First Trip Around the Sun as a Runner

Tomorrow is my running anniversary so I thought what better time to post a blog about my journey into running so far!

On Sunday February 22, 2015 my Dad said he wanted to come over to spend some time with my kids. He told Justin and I we could go get lunch or run some errands but we decided to go to the gym together. Up until this point we always did separate things. Justin always ran and I would do fitness classes. It was snowy and the treadmills were open so I decided to hop on one and give it ANOTHER try. I should back up and say that at this point I had ran 1 real 5k and finished in 43 minutes. I was in shape though, I was just not a runner. I remember before we had kids trying to run with Justin down our street and could barely make it a half mile without feeling dizzy or like I was going to have an asthma attack. I had pretty much chalked it up to “I’m never going to be able to run, it’s just not for me”.

This is the official results from my first 5k in 2012 when I decided I would NEVER try that again:

Female 25 to 34
Place Name City Age Overall Chip Time Gun Time
14 Jessica Hadley Davisburg 28 122 43:35.0 43:35.0

 

 

Back to the story of what happen that day. For Valentines Day I had registered Justin for the Mackinac Bridge run. A run over the bridge that connect Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsula. It was Memorial Day weekend and I figured it would be a good night away for us. It was 5.06 miles and when reading the requirements you had to be able to run it at a 12:00 minute mile. 1. I’m terrified of bridges and 2. CLEARLY I couldn’t run for 5 miles. So I registered just him and was happy with a night away.

Then I got on that treadmill that Sunday. I started at 5.0-5.5 on the treadmill(a 12:00 pace) and ran 3.64 miles without stopping. Justin kept looking at me from his treadmill and I kept giving him the thumbs up because I really didn’t know how I was doing it. I got off the treadmill and right then and there I WAS ADDICTED! I started not doing as many classes and would opt for running instead. This is one of my first Instagram posts about running, it was the first time I ran 4 miles and I remember feeling on top of the world! IMG_0560.JPG

So you know what obviously happened then!? I signed up for the bridge run with Justin. And honestly I was more nervous to run over the bridge than the actual run. The weather got nicer and I started running outside and realized it was harder to pace myself outside than on the treadmill. Also, breathing was much more of a concern for me outside because of the elements. I honestly still struggle with that the most. I really just LOVED having something to do with Justin. My parents were very good about watching our kids early on Saturday mornings so we could run together- even though he usually doesn’t run with me because he is faster than me, it was still something fun for us as a couple.

We ran a trial 5k before the bridge run because I wanted to try out another race. It was at the University of Michigan and little did we know we would be running a 5k with 5,000 other people. I did well in my opinion for my first real 5k and a little over a month of running under my belt.

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My running bug was a little out of control and before we even did the bridge run I signed us up for the Detroit Free Press Half Marathon. It was scheduled to be on my 32nd birthday in October and seemed like a perfect way to start a new year! I was so proud of myself when I crossed that finish line after running 13 miles, I started crying when I talked to my oldest son on the phone after.

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In the span of a year I have done:

Six – 5K’s ; One- 10K; 1 – 5 miler(bridge run); 1- 10 miler; and 2 Half Marathons.  

My race 5K PR is 26:34 and my half PR is 2:02.04. I’ve now had faster training run 5ks and 10ks.

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WHAT?!? I honestly ask myself that everyday! Sometimes I will say “Oh I only have to run 5 today” and then I think “who am I?” When I hear myself say “I’m a runner” It seems strange and not right coming out of my mouth.

What I love the best about running is the feeling after you are done. The feeling that you accomplished something and that you gave it your all, even on the bad days when you are not running at your best! I still feel great just knowing that I put it out there and did it. Every single run is a reminder to me that this is something I couldn’t do in my twenties. This is something that I just started doing at 31 years old and I have to work for it with every single step. I’m a Mom of two, with a full-time career, and I have to make time for this because I love it SO much!

I also fell in love with the inspiration I get from new found friends on Instagram. I see the dedication and pride in each workout and run and I feed off of that. I’m so thankful for it because I think it has kept me even more dedicated. I’m also lucky enough to have a husband who loves to run and a best friend who loves to run too- they both inspire me in different ways and always push me to keep going. I’m thankful for the encouragement I get from my family and friends- and thankful that the people that love me understand my crazy new found love of this sport.

I have recently started working on just speed with short mileage and I’m amazed at the times I’ve been hitting. 7:30 paces…WHAT?! Oh and I signed up for a marathon in September, still freaking out about that! In fact I ran a 10k over the weekend and I thought “how the heck am I going to be able to run 20 more miles on top of this”… Still processing that in my mind!

Running has changed my life, my body, my soul, and my goals in life. I love that my oldest son is proud of me and talks to me about running. I am so proud to call myself a runner and I am excited to see what improvements I can make in the next year!!!!

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RUN HAPPY!!!!!!

-Jess

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The Marathon Leap

So I did it, I registered for a marathon. When I hit the submit registration my palms were sweaty, I felt like throwing up, and I was extremely excited all at the same time.

Coming into 2016 I had a goal to run a marathon and I had an idea of what I wanted to do. I didn’t tell anyone but my goal was to run the Chicago marathon for St.Jude. I have a special place in my heart for St.Jude and I wanted to be able to run for a purpose. On the same day I posted my goal on Instagram my beautiful little cousin Nikki got engaged. You are probably wondering why that is relevant. Well I’m the Matron of Honor, her wedding is the last weekend of October and her bachelorette party(in Las Vegas) is the first weekend of October. The Chicago marathon is the second weekend of October. In no way did I want my running to interfere with her wedding …and let’s be honest, running a marathon a week after being in Vegas is just not a smart decision. So I had to change my plan and I still plan to fund raise for St.Jude but not in one of their sponsored races. Timing just didn’t work out this year.

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I started looking at other marathons. I narrowed it down to Detroit on October 16th or Marquette on September 3rd. I drove my husband insane talking about it and going back and forth with pros and cons for each. Here are the reasons I chose Marquette:

  1. It’s on Labor day weekend- which gives us another day to recover.
  2. I will not be training during my cousin’s bachelorette party or wedding.
  3. The course looks amazing and I got great feedback from IG friends who have done it before.
  4. My husband said he would do it too if I did Marquette.
  5. My husband’s family lives in Marquette and graciously said they would watch our kiddos while we did the race! (THIS PRETTY MUCH SEALED THE DEAL) . Since it is the last weekend of the summer I didn’t want to leave my babies at home.

So I’m going to run a marathon. I really cannot believe I’m going to do this. I still can’t believe I’ve ran two half marathons with a third coming up in May. I’m not the fastest, I’m not trying to qualify for Boston, I’m just trying to push myself to do something WAY out of my comfort zone. I don’t have a goal time in mind, I just want to cross that finish line. I’m scared of training and I’m scared of the pain- but I’m telling that little voice in my head to shut up and I’m going to put my big girl pants on and try to kick some butt this summer! e343eb65daf31a2d3922653d727bba51

I have so many questions and research to do on marathon running. I need to learn how to fuel better during long runs. I currently don’t wear a fuel belt or camel back for hydration. I also don’t use any GU’s because I have silly stomach issues. I need to be a smarter runner on my long runs if I’m going to do this.

So I’m asking for suggestions and help! What advice would you give to a first timer?

XOXO

Jess

 

Crushing on Compression Socks!

I still consider myself a new runner- it’s been less than a year since I threw myself into this sport and I’m still trying to figure out what works for me. I’ve been eyeing compression socks since I started running and read countless articles on the pros and cons. I have RLS(Restless Legs Syndrome) and I’ve had it since I was a little girl. I feel like I have growing pains when I sleep every night and sometimes during the day. It’s awful and honestly the cramping in my calves from running has not helped it. For me, compression socks seemed appealing for this reason alone!

Team Tiux reached out to me about trying out their socks a few weeks ago and I jumped on the chance to see if they would work for me.

They came in such cute packaging- I was so excited and happy to get them in the mail! IMG_9940.JPG

I go to the gym very early in the morning and I’m there with the same few people every single morning. When I walked in with my neon colors and my compression socks on at 4am one guy said to me “you look like you are about to dominate that treadmill”, I laughed because I did feel a little silly at the gym with them on but I couldn’t wait for the weekend to try them out! My first run in them felt great, I loved how they supported my ankles. What I loved the most was that later at work my legs did not feel fatigued or in pain like they usually are. IMG_9941

Last weekend I was very sore from running, leg day, and cross-training. I decided to try putting them on to just lounge around my house. After an hour my legs felt more relaxed and not in so much pain. I actually slept in them that night and put them on every night now when I get home from work. My husband and oldest son think I look crazy but I have noticed such a change in the way my legs feel and how quickly I recover after a run.

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A little about Team Tiux – They are a small company and they are making big waves by keeping their costs low and offering free shipping to their customers. Their socks are high quality material but they cut out the middle-man so that they can offer their customers the best quality and price.

I’m SO in love with these socks. As a newer runner I actually wanted to not love them so much because it is just something else I am going to want to buy, but I can’t help it. If you are spending money on races, coaching, gym memberships, etc…why not spend $35 on something that will improve your performance and help you recover faster after your runs? Socks are so important and that was another reason I didn’t want to love these. I went through a few months last summer with bad blisters because I didn’t have the right socks but then found socks that I loved and prevented blisters so I was nervous that these would bring them back. I worn these multiple times now with no blisters and my feet feel great!

If you are looking to try out compression socks or even want to try a different kind of compression socks, research Team Tiux they come in three different fun colors. They also always offer free shipping!

I already have ordered my next pair and can’t wait to rock them out in the gym and on the road!

Enter my contest on my Instagram page to win a pair!!!

 

 

Closing a Chapter

Before I begin I just want to say my husband gave full approval to blog about this. 🙂 

Today we are closing a chapter in our life together- the “having another baby”chapter. When we got married we wanted to have kids, but didn’t expect to get pregnant so shortly after being married. We were still in our late 20’s and still trying to become established in our careers. He was not planned at all but as always everything worked out how it should have. We knew we wanted one more but I went through a career change and I wanted to grow more in my career before I had another. We went back and forth ALL the time with the debate of having another child. I am an only child and did not want Chandler to be an only child. However as he grew older I thought if I had another they wouldn’t be close anyway. Chandler was such a good baby, almost too good, and we were getting to the point where it was so easy with him. Life seemed pretty awesome as a family of three!

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But there was this aching feeling in my heart to have another child. I just didn’t feel like our family was complete yet. I kinda thought I would have another boy and I loved the idea of two boys. But when I first found out I was having a boy for my second child I got a lot of “you still have to try for that girl” and “third time is a charm”. It actually upset me because I was completely okay with having two boys and even then knew I didn’t want to try for a girl. I was more worried about if I could ever love another boy like I love Chandler. I think every single parent goes through that when they are pregnant with their second child. Then it happened, I had Hudson and our family was whole. They are almost 4 years in age difference and it couldn’t be more perfect for us!

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But we are ready to close the baby chapter. I just love them when they are so tiny and cute but I also just love them as they develop into their own little people. It was not a hard decision for us- we talked about it for a few months and in the fall at my check up my Doctor told me that I could no longer be on the form of birth control I am on now due to medical reasons that could cause me to need a hysterectomy. He said if we are REALLY done having children my husband or I should think about taking a more permanent approach at birth control. It was a pretty easy decision after that. We covered all of our bases and I was extremely concerned with making sure Justin was 100% on board for not having anymore kids even if something tragic were to happen to me. This couldn’t be a one-way decision or a decision that would cause any resentment later in life.

As much as we both want this, it is still a little bittersweet for me. Even though I am a Mom of two I feel like for some reason I’m losing a part of me today- part of being a woman and a new Mom. It’s a strange feeling and I can’t really put it in words. Everything we do with Hudson really is the LAST time we will do it. I think I have tried to cherish him as a baby even more because we know we won’t have these moments again. My heart hurts a little but not because we are done having kids but because it’s saying goodbye to such a wonderful chapter in our lives.

On the other hand, we are ready to enjoy being a family of 4 more! Hudson is almost 2, we don’t have baby gates all over in our house anymore, in less than a year we will be out of diapers, and everything is starting to get easier with him. Justin and I love to travel and we really put that on hold while I was pregnant with Hudson and for the first year because traveling with a baby is hard. We have big family trips in mind for the next few years and we want to be able to show our boys the world. We are putting the baby stage behind us and looking forward to every other stage coming up(except maybe when they are teenagers)..just kidding!

Justin is truly the best Father and a great husband. I decided as a joke to get him his own “push present”(even though lets be honest, a 20 minute procedure does NOT AT ALL compare to 18 months of pregnancy, labor, delivery, and everything else that comes with it) but still I knew that he was doing this for us and I wanted him to know how much I loved him for it. So I got him a new watch to represent that it is the right time for this in our lives.

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Here’s to raising only two boys and being SO blessed and happy with that!

XOXO

-Jess