Pulling in the Joy

Bad habits, bad people, bad clothes, bad mojo…get it all out of here.Time for some Spring Cleaning!!! This is the time of year you may start revamping your diet. You may start or turn up the dial on your workout plan. You might start switching out your clothes from a winter to a summer wardrobe. Also during this process, evaluate what and who you spend your time with. Ask yourself, do they bring good into your life? Or do they take joy out? Eliminate the bad and those who bring joy, pull closer.

Today I was able to get a steady 3.5 mile before work. I did have to pull on the running tights and a light hoodie. I did shed the hoodie at my halfway mark.
(From 64th to the boardwalk…stop for a quick sunrise shot, then headed back. The wind coming back was somewhat fierce)

As I ran I began to think about one of my oldest friends. Not by age, but one I have had the longest. We lived together at one point. I have to say, she was one of the best roommates ever! We definitely had the most fun in what I consider to be one of the best summers of my life. That summer we lived together was the final summer of the Duck Inn. You locals know what a fun summer that must have been. ( I plan on trying to recreate something similar in the way of fun this year). Did I mention we lived within walking distance of the Virginia Beach landmark? After my run it was time for work. As I began my day I received a text from this friend for a last minute lunch date. SCORE! So fun. She is a teacher and has the week off, so her schedule was free. We talked about the topic above, JOY! Our laughter took over the restaurant. Sorry to any other Chipotle customers, we were those people making all the noise. By the way, I love the vegetarian burrito bowl. This friend is one who is the perfect example of pulling those who bring joy closer.

Hold on to the simple things. A great morning run, lunch with a dear friend, a glass on PINOT in the evening. Life is good!




Blessed on this Good Friday

Usually I use Friday’s blog as a chance to recap the highlights of the week. On this Good Friday, I am feeling extremely blessed.

Below are some pictures I took from the jet crash today in Virginia Beach. I arrived on Birdneck moments after the F-18 jet crashed into Mayfair Mews. I was there by coincidence, completing a normal errand of picking up my dry cleaning. I feel blessed I was coming through the neighborhood moments after and not sooner. I recently moved from across the street of the crash site. I feel blessed I was out of harms way. I feel blessed to be a part of the Virginia Beach community. I feel blessed to have friends that were on the scene who provided assistance. This situation is something in the back of all oceanfront residents minds. A sad reminder not to take loved ones for granted. I feel blessed for all the calls and texts from friends today checking in.

A sad day…but a strong showing for the city of Virginia Beach. I am proud to live in this city.










This morning I was awakened by some fierce winds. I woke up right before my alarm went off at 5:30. Enough time to catch the morning news and a cup of coffee before heading to my 6:15 am physical training appointment at 79 PT. I peeked out the back door to hear and see the winds blowing wildly in the moonlight. It was cool. 52 degrees when I pulled out of the driveway.

There were 4 of us there this morning. Apparently that is the perfect amount of people to do the Tabata workout. Tabata, what is that? I had never heard of this workout. But as the trainer wrote the workout on the big white board, I heard moans and groans. I guess I was in for a treat. The workout was described to me as wanting to puke afterwards. I think that may have been a slight exaggeration. This version of the Tabata workout would be approximately 20 minutes of intense nonstop burning! GREAT, let’s get started. I love quick high intensity workouts.

Tabata was created in Japan by Dr. Izumi Tabata, for Olympic Speed Skaters.

Original Tabata Workouts looked like the following:

5 minutes of warm-up
8 intervals of 20 seconds all-out intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest
2 minutes cool-down

Our Workout looked like this:
Jack Knife Abs
Push Up knee tucks (I modified due to knee issues)
Dumbbell row

Each of the exercises above would be completed in 8 sets. Each set lasted for 20 seconds. It is crucial you have a timer or stop watch for this workout. Timing and rest are key. Giving your body the maximum amount of recovery, combined with the highly intense reps is what make this training successful.

Each person is in a station. For example, I started out with squats. Someone else with push ups, another with abs, and lastly another with rows. We all move together, each of us completing 8 sets (20 seconds each) worth of exercises in our particular station. Without changing stations, we completed the series. Once we completed the 8 sets, we rotated. After my squats I moved to rows -I used 8 pound weights (8 sets, 20 seconds each), rotate to pushups(8 sets, 20 seconds each), rotate and then finished with abs (8 sets, 20 seconds each).

I didn’t feel like I wanted to puke. Actually I felt great! I felt tired but accomplished. I loved this workout. I liked it because it didn’t require any equipment. This workout is both effective and time efficient! This workout would be a great one for those days you’re short on time or rainy days when you may not want to get out and run. I plan to try this Tabata again soon.







Under Construction

The day started out rainy and windy. When I left for work this morning, I had little hope of putting the running shoes on and hitting the street. As the day went on, the sun came out early, but the wind didn’t go anywhere. This combo leads to a deceiving invitation to get out and run. I decided to try and get in a speed workout. I have been so slow lately. I feel as though my training is like a work site. There should be caution tape around me as I am running, “Under Construction!” Distance is good, but I need to get that mile under 10 minutes in a race. I thought this would be a good time to start putting in some light speed work. I have nothing on the books except a few 5k’s in the next couple of months. 5k’s are a sprint for the most part anyway, or they should be.

I started south on the boardwalk. I knew immediately I would face some strong headwinds on my way back. I knew this because I was moving right along in the same direction as the hotel flags. I could feel the help and push mother nature was giving me. This is part of that deceiving invitation to run. Great heading south, fighting it going back North. My workout was to consist of 4 800 meter (1/2 mile) repeats. This workout is one that is proven ( by me) to bring down the mile time. I have used it other times when I felt I just wasn’t moving as fast as I should be. The first one went great. I felt strong during the 1/4 mile jog before beginning the next one. I am not able to give you split times, I haven’t been able to time any runs for 2 weeks, somehow after the Shamrock I have misplaced my watch. Nevertheless, I began my second 800. A little winded, slower than the first but steady. I was almost taken out by a roller bladder, that could have been nasty. By this point, I was about to the pier. It was time to turn around and head North. And here is where my nemesis of the headwinds make her appearance. I was in the midst of my jog between sets. Remember my goal was to get a total of 4 800 repeats in. I began the third 800, ughhhhhh. I was fighting the wind. I was getting crazy looks from the walkers on the boardwalk. I wanted to say “ha, just wait til you turn around”. My last 2 repeats ended up more like 400’s with a steady jog the rest of the way back to the end of the boardwalk.

I began walking back to my car, which by the way I had to pay for a meter to park. They’re back!!! Tourist season. Note to self…bike or run from the house from now on. As I approached the car I noticed an empty parking lot across the street. A fairly large parking lot, and it seemed to be sheltered from the majority of the wind. Ding ding! I ventured across the street and busted out several 50 meter sprints. Back and forth, weaving through the vacant lot. Perfect ending to my workout. You can see by my expression below, I was tired. I thought I was in better shape. After all, I did just complete a 1/2 marathon…LOL! Health and fitness come in many forms, and it seems that my fitness is still somewhat “under construction.”

Happy training/sprinting-Jess20120402-184548.jpg20120402-184555.jpg20120402-184600.jpg20120402-192248.jpg