Week in Review

Well it’s the weekend (yay!!!!!) and this week about killed me. Whew!!! Exhausted. I think I may have mentioned that yesterday.

Eventhough this week was long and tiring, there were some highlights. Normally when I use the word highlights, it is referring to my hair. This use of the word highlights focuses on the positive things that happened during my week.

1. I took the week off from running but I did start a new workout plan at 79PT. I loved adding in some physical training to my regular workouts. I think having some more overall fitness will help my running. I really enjoyed the early morning workout yesterday and watching the sun come up on the beach. Beautiful.

AND..Summer is coming and I plan to be ready!!! biKiNi——WHAT!

2. Had my blog complemented by an actual (professional) writer. Thanks for the compliment Jennifer! Check her blog out at www.make-upmusicmoneyme.blogspot.com she has been writing some really cool pieces on nail polish.

P.S. Runners, remember to pamper those paws!!!

3. Had a wonderful collaborative meeting at work with a team of people I don’t get to normally work with. I am very excited to get to know them better and join up to work on this cool project!

4. Started season two of Downton Abbey. Oh I absolutely love this show. What is going to happen with Bates and Anna?!?! I ordered all of season 2 through iTunes the other night. I see some tv and couch time in my near future!

5. Started looking at flights to San Diego. Always love when I get to go there!!!

Hope your week ended well.

Happy training/Happy weekend-Jess





Pollen Exhaustion

Have you been experiencing the pollen hangover? Ugh, it’s awful. I have been dragging all week. Every year around this time I get to a point of shear exhaustion. However I don’t remember the pollen coming this early. The best way I can explain how I feel is by remembering the scene from “The Wizard of Oz”, when Dorothy falls asleep in the poppies. I feel so dopey. I refuse to take medicine for the problem. I like to use natural remedies when at all possible. I use green tea, juices, some vitamin C, and lots of water. One old wives tale I have heard is to add some Apple Cider Vinegar in your water and sip through the day. If things do not get better soon, I will be trying this method. I literally think I was in the bed last night by 8:15.

I love being outside and I can’t even handle going for a run due to the yellow everywhere. I have been grateful for my early morning workouts on the beach. For some reason I feel like when I am close to the water with the breeze blowing, I get some good quality air. Coming off of 2 race weekends in a row and being wiped out from allergies, I think it was good I rested my legs and took some time off of running. I have been to 2 personal training sessions this week. It’s amazing how I can feel my body responding to the new workouts. Muscles I have not used in a while are sore and I can feel them re-engaging.

I plan to get back to the pavement this weekend. Next race in a few weeks.

What do you do to still get your workouts in when you are not feeling well?




79 PT

So it’s been a little over a week since I completed the half marathon. I ran once last week and then raced the Spartyka Wounded Warrior on Saturday. My legs still are sore and recovery is taking longer than expected.

Last night I switched it up and went to a group personal training session. Some of my friends have been going and they love it. Your first class is free, so I figured I would give it a shot. I have been involved with exercise “classes” before. Usually I have participated in them during times of injury and taking a break from running. Normally not my usual form of getting exercise. When I workout, I do not typically socialize. Runs are usually my time to zone out from the world, re-center and get back to neutral. I do however like personal training. It gives you the extra push you may forget to give yourself in workouts. Also, I always learn new tricks or tips.

This trainer does the sessions right from her house. And like me she lives near the beach and utilizes the sand and scenery in her workouts. I knew by the moment warm-ups began, I was going to like the trainer and the workout. She was fit, she was participating, and she was a runner!

The workout was based on a 3 set rotation. Meaning, we did 3 sets of the same group of activities. We started with a group warm up of light stretching. We used a PVC pipe over the head for shoulder rotations and back bends. I had never used such an ordinary piece of equipment before. Note to self, have Dad cut me a piece of PVC pipe for future individual workouts. Then we started the sets ( see exercises below). There were 6 of us in the class. We started out pretty much at the same pace for the first set. Halfway through the second set our pack of six started to spread out, I was in the middle of the pack. The entire workout lasted me approximately 28 minutes. I saw approximately because I did not realize the workout was being timed. I found that out at the end, when I heard the trainer caller out times. All I caught from mine was 28…… I asked why it was timed and being a runner, this I understood. We were racing ourselves. Each workout that this trainer gives is high intensity and is designed to last each trainee between 20-40 minutes. I like that, efficient and effective!

Needless to say, I will be seeing this trainer weekly. Instead of group sessions, my time spent there will be one on one.

Mondays workout ( all while carrying the PVC pipe)

1. run down to the Beach- about 200 yards

2. 15 lunges out in the sand, PVC pipe overhead

3. 15 lunges back , PVC pipe overhead

4. Run back to the house

5. 20 squat lunges with PVC overhead

6. 15 Burpees ,ughhhhhh

I look forward to my next workout with 79 PT Personal Training!!!

(6:15, Thursday morning)

Happy Training-Jess



A Trying 5k

The day was beautiful. Sunny and warm, muggy even. It was my first bike ride of the season. Most of the races on the boardwalk, I ride my bike to. Parking can be crazy, plus the fact it’s more fun to bike. Also, I knew there was an after party with beer and thought biking would be a good option. I felt good when I woke up and good during my stretching. This was only a 5k so I figured I would sprint right through it. After-all the race the weekend before was a much greater distance. I started out the race at a good steady pace. I had left my watch at home, but I could feel that I was moving faster than 10 minute pace. The race was an out and back (31st to 9th and back ). As I made the turn, my legs became very fatigued.My legs had been tired all week. I wrestled with taking more days to recover after the 1/2. But I decided to keep my running up. This short 5k was beginning to wear on me more than the 1/2. How was this possible? It should have been a breeze I remained motivated by the fact this was a short race and it would be over soon. Not to mention, this was the race of the fit and beautiful. I mean it, everyone at this race looked amazing. Needless to say I finished at 29:01. Under 30, that was good. But still rather slow. You can’t win them all. This week will have some distance and much needed recovery workouts built in.


My Running Must Haves

Just as I would prepare for any big event, I do the same for my races. I probably put more prep and planning into my running gear and equipment, than my daily routine.

This particular running season I started training with my iPhone. It was great because I had access to my music at all times. Also I did feel secure having my phone on some of those longer runs. I found myself using my phone camera quite frequently during my routes. Most of my blog photos come from my iPhone camera. I always come across the best scenes or situations when I am running and have been thankful to be able to capture them.

The one item I have had the toughest time finding was a good pair of headphones. I tried the earbuds. They were ok for shorter runs, but after 30 minutes or so I would begin to have some discomfort. Minor I know, really just more annoying. Also I wanted to be able to control the song selection and volume from the headphones, not the phone.

My mission for the expo this year was to search for such a device. If it existed, chances are I would find it at the Shamrock Sportsfest. And as luck would have it, I found them. Auria headphones!!! There was a booth set up with several people gathered around getting demonstrations. I figured I would give it a try. The sound was great! They were light and came in different sizes. The tech fit you at the table. I was immediately fitted as a small. These headphones fit in your ear differently than any other. They use the outer part of the ear to keep them in. The part that impressed me were the controls. On the cord itself was a slider and clicker. The functionality included: volume control, track repeat, track pause, and track skip. SOLD! For over 2 hours of running ahead of me, these would become very resourceful. For roughly $30, a definite bargain.
And the lived up to all my expectations.

Other products I consider a must on such races are glide or powder. I choose powder. Johnson’s Baby Powder in all the places you may use glide works great, plus you don’t feel so slimy. Besides, your mother used it on your tush as a baby right?

I also use powder in my shoes to lessen the effects of possible blisters. I had no blisters after the 1/2. In my shoes I use Gold Bond Medicated Menthol Powder. **** DISCLAIMER , do not get the powders confused!!! Trust me.

My product list would not be complete without one glam product. I do not wear makeup on my workouts other some Burt’s Bees Chapstick and some Maybelinne Mascara. I go with the waterproof kind. My mascara didn’t come off at all, even tears and sweat couldn’t shake it. These are the commercials they should show on television. Tag line “mascara that makes it through the marathon”.

I hope you enjoy my product recommendations and maybe even try some. Let me know the items you can’t run without.

Happy Running-Jess








What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger

Shamrock weekend is officially over. Some remnants of the festivities still remain. The city crews were out this morning removing the “road closed” signs and cones. Guests have checked out of their hotels and are headed home. Construction has resumed on the North End and it’s business as usual here in Virginia Beach. I am enjoying what I feel is a well deserved day off. The small set of stairs down to my rental are quite challenging today. Slow and steady, which is exactly how I tackled the 1/2 marathon yesterday.

The day started early with a 4:45 wake up time. Coffee, bagel and Vitamin Water was the menu for my breakfast. I met my coach/dad promptly at 6:00 so he could drop me at the starting line by 6:30. I arrived right on schedule for one last bathroom break and time to find corral 4. I started at the back of the corral. I was feeling lots of emotion. It was overwhelming. This was not my first 1/2, but for some reason, it was very emotional. I felt a mix of part extreme happiness and part of me was fighting back tears. Over the past few months I have faced several personal challenges. When I first signed up for the race, it was in an attempt for me to focus on a goal and focus on myself. And I had done that. The day had arrived to prove it. I was choosing only to race against myself, which if you are like me, I am my worst critic. The weather was a comfortable 54 degrees at the start. I took off with a great pace of a 10 minute mile. Then after a good 3 miles, there was my coach right where he told me he would be smiling and cheering. I would pass him in the same spot about an hour later. I kept that pace up for the first 7 miles. I then began to slow a little, but felt great. I had great tunes and great scenery through the fort. I ran by the athletic fields where I had played kickball years before and reminisced. Exiting the park, I began the home stretch. Popping my jelly beans for the last hope of some energy. Passing my coach, “3 miles to go, looking good!”, he said as he gave a high-five. I would see him one last time at the 12 mile mark. I knew I was moving slow, never an option of walking, I am sure my shuffling barely qualified as running. 37th street, 36th street, 35th street…I see the finish! Usually giving one last push, I was doing good to keep the pace going on the same boardwalk I train regularly. The boardwalk was lined with hundreds of cheering spectators, just as I had been the day before for the 8k event. Strangers began to call my name from my race bib. “Go Jess”, “You got it Jess”, “Way to go Jess!” To all of you, thanks for that. It means to world to us runners. If I had more breathe or energy yesterday, I would have thanked you. Crossing the finish line at 2:28 made me happy. I was hoping to break 2:30 and I had done that. It wasn’t my best 1/2 time. But it also wasn’t my worst. I felt impressed and proud of myself! Any of you that have set a goal and get to the moment of achieving it, you know exactly what I am talking about. Especially if your goal requires you to push your body to limits it isn’t accustomed to doing. My complete respect goes out to all the marathon finishers as well.

Special thanks to J and A racing for putting on an awesome event. With all the fanfare, you managed to help keep a smile on my face through the long run. I loved all of the fun signs and jokes on Shore drive. I had an awesome time! I loved the swag at the end too. Great hat and sweatshirt! Having run the 8k 15 times before, this was my first Shamrock 1/2 and it definitely was one of my favorite races.

The song I repeated several times during the race was Stronger, by Kelly Clarkson. I will leave you with one of the lyrics that moved me, literally. I even found myself singing while I ran, and at one point, even bouncing a little. Great words that parallel running.

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, stand a little taller, doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone

What doesn’t kill you makes a fighter, footsteps even lighter, doesn’t mean I’m over cause your gone

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, stronger, just me myself and I

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, stand a little taller, doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone”

Happy running and hope to see you at the next race… Spartyka Wounded Warrior 5k this Saturday!








Let the Preparations Begin

Let the preparations begin. If you are a runner this weekend in the Shamrock, your preparations started weeks if not months ago. 8k participants have probably trained for some speed and steady racing. Marathoner’s and 1/2ers have prepared by putting in more mileage with weekly long runs. They have bought the gel or goo of their choice. All of us are probably figuring out race day attire as it is predicted to be one of the best Shamrock weekends yet as far as the weather goes. Saturday and Sunday both look to be in the lower 70’s.
Some of my personal preparations include:
No more alcohol this week until the finisher tent on Sunday
Toenails painted a lovely Shamrock Green
Playlist of all my favorite running songs made
Race wear washed and ready to go
If you are part of J and A racing, or the city of Virginia Beach, the visible signs of preparation began this past week. The closed road signs are up. The portable toilets are in place. The tent is being built. Shortly the start and finish line will be assembled. Other preparations are taking place as well. The conference center is setting up booths and tables for the 1000’s of participants. The shirts have been ordered. The goody bags are stuffed. Volunteers are lined up and ready to go.
A big thank you to J and A Racing for putting on this race. I look forward to participating in my 16th year of the Shamrock. Usually an 8k participant, this will be my first Shamrock 1/2 (4th half overall). Good luck to all runners. Good luck and Happy Birthday to my dad, as he will be competing in the 8k on Saturday (his 16th year also).
Sent from my iPad

Jessica Horton