Can I? Jess I can!

Half Marathon Training February 11, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessica @ 7:00 AM

As you may know, I’m signed up to run a half marathon in 17 days…eek! I’m starting to get nervous.

I didn’t follow a training plan per se, but focused on the following elements that most good training plans have:

  • A gradual buildup of miles, peaking around 30-35 mpw
  • Long runs of 10-12 miles. Unfortunately, I’ve only done 6 of these so far. I’m hoping this is enough… I hope to get in one 13 mile run in the next week. My first long run of 10+ miles was done at a ~9:15 pace, and now I’ve been doing them closer to an 8:15-8:30 pace. Hopefully this means I’ll be able to run 13.1 at an 8:00 pace!
  • An easy week every fourth week, with a drop down to 20-25 miles and no long run.
  • Speedwork, including intervals, fartleks, and tempo runs. I try to do 2 of these per week. Many of these workouts have been done on the treadmill because of the snow and hills around here.
  • Easy recovery runs. I try to do 2 of these per week, but at least one usually ends up turning into a goal pace or tempo run. These are tough for me to do, because I’m always tempted to push the pace. The best way for me to do these slower runs is with my sister, since she is much more relaxed about her running, which means that she is much more relaxed about her pace. These are usually done around a 9:00-10:00 pace.
  • Stretching– I try to stretch for a few minutes before and after every run, but will take a little bit longer to stretch at least once a week, especially if I feel any sort of pain coming on. I’m also working on getting back into yoga to get back some of my lost flexibility.
  • Strength training– I used to be really into lifting, but once I started seriously running, I cut back to next to nothing. I’m now back to incorporating it into my routine. I usually lift twice a week after an easier run; one day focusing on my upper body, and the other day focusing on my lower body.
  • Cross training– I usually cross-train one day per week. This is usually either a Jillian Michaels video, different cardio machines at the gym, or something active like skiing or rock climbing.
  • Rest days– I’m horrible at taking rest days! I always feel so guilty for not doing anything. I was taking them every 4 days or so, but now it’s been more like once a week. Recently I’ve been feeling great, so I’ll go up to 10 days without taking a break. I’ve only taken one total rest day in February so far, but have plenty of easy days. The key is listening to your body and not overdoing it.

I’m lucky that I’ve managed to stay injury free since the second week of December, when my training officially started. I’m also glad that I have been able to maintain my training through the holidays and dark, cold, and snow of winter. Let’s hope all of this hard work pays off on February 28th!

Have a great day!


Photo Help! February 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessica @ 4:35 PM

I’m new to this whole WordPress thing…

Does anybody know how to get rid of those gray outlines around 4 out of my 5 pictures? I don’t know why some of them have the caption and the gay, and why the other one doesn’t….

Also, is there any way to make the posting area bigger so that you can see more of the post at once? Right now, all I can see is 5-6 lines at a time.



The non-snow day

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessica @ 4:27 PM
Tags: , ,

The school department may have preemptively cancelled school today. I woke up after 10 am, and there was not a flake of snow to be seen! The first flurries didn’t even appear until noon, and the roads didn’t get too bad until after 3 PM, meaning we definitely should have had school today. Oh well! It’s looking like there might be a legitimate snow day for tomorrow though.

No workout yet as of today. I’m still waiting to see if the snow is going to accumulate more. If not, I’ll head over to the gym and take a spin on the brand-new treadmills! If I can’t go anywhere, it will be down to the basement for some weights, yoga, and 30 Day Shred.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with some pictures from the Super Sunday 5K that just got posted. Sorry the pictures aren’t great quality and are tiny. These are just the previews; I didn’t pay for the real deal.

Super Sunday 5K
Running along the water, around mile 2.5
A little bit further up on the waterfront.

Finishing strong at a sub 6:00 pace!

Finishing strong, with some crazy huge quad muscles!

On my way to a PR!
Approaching the finish line, not the most attractive face!

All photos courtesy of

Enjoy the snow day!


Running Bucket List and 2010 Goals

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessica @ 7:00 AM
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So I may be a little bit late on the goals and resolutions bandwagon, but I figured I’d post with some of the goals I have for this year, as well as some of my ultimate goals. Most of these are in terms of running, but rest assured, I have other goals as we

In 2010, I am going to try my hardest to:

  1. Run a half marathon– I am already signed up for the Hyannis Half Marathon on February 28, and the Run to Remember on May 31. I am also thinking about running the Worcester Half Marathon on June 13, depending on how I’m feeling after R2R.
  2. Run a 1:45 or faster half marathon– this translates to a pace of about 8:00/mile, which is definitely achievable for me in my first half even. If not, I’ll definitely get it the second or third time around!
  3. Train for and run a full marathon– I’m looking to run a full marathon in October. I’ve got my heart set on the Marine Corps Marathon for many reasons, so hopefully I’ll be able to get an entry.
  4. Run 1500+ miles– this translates to roughly 30 miles per week. I’m on track so far!
  5. Run a 21:00 or faster 5K (current PR is 21:54, so I need to shave off 54+ seconds, or 18s/mile)
  6. Run a 45:00 or faster 10K (current PR is 47:12, so I need to shave off 2:12, or 21s/mile). I loved the Tufts 10K for Women this past October, and definitely want to run it again!
  7. This is the big, major, almost out of reach goal: Qualify for Boston! I really, really REALLY want to run the 2011 Boston Marathon, for many reasons. If worst comes to worst, I will get an entry to Boston by running for a charity such as Team in Training, but for my own pride I’d really love to qualify on my own merit.  To qualify for Boston would mean being able to run 26.2 miles at an 8:23 pace. Right now, 8:30 is a pretty effortless pace for me, so I think that this is achievable with the right training. Once I start the official marathon training after my halfs, I plan on logging 50 miles per week to make sure that I can do this!

Other non-running goals that I have for this year are:

  1. Become financially independent, find a higher paying job,  and move out– Although I am employed full-time right now, my “permanent substitute” teacher salary at a Catholic school is pretty pathetic. Heck, janitors and toll booth collectors make more than I do, and I have a college degree! I’d really like to find a job where I enjoy what I’m doing but get paid a more reasonable salary. Since I am already licensed to teach in public schools, making that switch come the fall would almost double what I’m making right now, thus allowing me to move out of my parents’ house and still be able to pay my ridiculous loan bills.
  2. Keep in touch with my friends from college and Spain– I’m notorious for losing friends because we don’t stay in contact enough. For me, it seems like out of state=out of mind, unfortunately. Things like texting and facebook should make this easier, but it’s still going to take an effort on my part. I made some great friends in college that I don’t want to lose, even if I can’t see them on a regular basis. Plus, who knows if I’ll end up moving back to DC! 😉
  3. Decide on and apply to grad school– I know I definitely want to get at least a masters’ degree in something, but I still don’t know what. My ideas change weekly, but recent contenders have been education, speech pathology, linguistics, social work, law, counseling, and more…. I need to make a decision and actually apply to grad school, so I can get going in the right direction.
  4. Keep my room neater– not likely, but it’s nice to dream.

I have an even bigger list than that, but I’ll leave it at the big and less personal/embarrassing ones for now. I’m a new blogger, so I’m not ready to share every little detail with the world yet! 😀


    3 days, lots of numbers February 9, 2010

    Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessica @ 11:18 PM
    Tags: , , ,


    The Super Sunday 5K in Boston was a huge success! Even though it was a little windy and chilly, I was bundled up enough to not have it bother me. And, the ridiculous flatness of the course more than made up for it! Plus, it was over with so fast that I barely had time to be cold. 😉

    Official Time: 21:54 (new PR by 36 seconds) 48/681 overall, 12/412 women, 7/203 age group!

    Mile splits:

    1- 7:21


    3- 6:51!

    .11 @ a 5:50 pace!!

    (If you can’t tell by now, I love numbers and stats. A little too much maybe.)

    I don’t feel like I was pushing 100% in this race. The only time I really felt like I was pushing it was in the last .6 mile, when I could see the finish. Of course then I was dry heaving, but NBD. Maybe because it was so much flatter than what I’m used to, but I think i could have definitely ran at least 30 seconds faster. I guess that’s not necessarily a bad thing, since I’ll probably PR again next race when I try harder! My ultimate goal is to break 20 minutes, which I think is definitely doable eventually, if I keep getting consistently faster like I have.


    I napped too late yesterday afternoon, so even though the weather wasn’t horrible, it was dark by the time I was ready to run. Surprisingly though, I had a ton of energy, so I was ready to pound out a strong run on the treadmill. Originally I was going to do a 5 mile tempo, then decided to make it 7 with a mile warmup and cool down, then decided to make it a 9 with 2 miles each of warmup and cool-down.

    When I got to 9 miles, I figured since it’s only 1 away from 10, I might as well keep going! I felt great the whole time, and wasn’t even tired, drained, or sore. I just threw my ipod on shuffle, put on the tv, and zoned out for ~1:26:30. Who knew  that a long treadmill run could actually be enjoyable? I was glad to finally get in a long run too, since I hadn’t done one for 3 weeks, and am starting to get nervous about my half coming up in less than 3 weeks. Now I feel much better!


    As much as I’ve been enjoying the treadmill lately, especially for intervals, fartleks, and tempo runs, I figured I might as well take advantage of the “warm” weather (for us New Englanders, anything above freezing!) before the snowpocalypse reaches us tomorrow. I headed out for a 4.5 mile loop around the lake at an easy pace of 8:30, which I maintained consistently throughout the run, without even looking at my Garmin!

    Since I parked my car at the Y, I decided to go in and do a quick leg workout, since they still didn’t feel overly tired from the 15 miles I’d run in the past 2 days. Turns out my quads were actually pretty shot, and ended up having to use less than half of the weight I normally use on some of the machines.

    The Y also got a ton of new cardio machines, so I cooled down by trying out 10 minutes on a new elliptical, and 5 minutes on this weird combo elliptical/stepper machine, which I’ll talk about at some other point.

    It’s crazy how just a few short months ago 8:30 would have been my “tempo  pace”, and now it is my “recovery pace”. I’m enjoying every minute of my training; especially seeing the results in my speed and strength!

    Tomorrow we’re supposed to be getting a boatload of snow, so much that they have already cancelled school for tomorrow! While I’m happy about having the day off, it puts a damper in my running plans. I’m thinking that I’ll try to wake up early-ish and go to the gym before the serious snow starts, but we’ll see. I may end up having a date with Jillian Michaels and Dave Farmar in my basement!


    Today: 6.0

    This week: 16.35/35

    This year: 173.78/1500


    Hello World! February 6, 2010

    Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessica @ 5:17 PM

    Welcome to my new blog! I am soon to be joining the ranks of the food, running, and healthy lifestyle blogs out there.

    Stay tuned!