Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wild Workout Wednesday Runner Spotlight: Jess

Hello, it is time for another Wild Workout Wednesday link up!  If you remember last week, I told you a little about my friend Jess who just completed her first half marathon.  I was talking to Jess and telling her how she inspired me, and I also asked her to share more of her story.  I was fascinated as to what made her train to run 13.1 miles in 3 weeks...yes 3 weeks!  She has inspired me to start running again, and as I mentioned last week I am currently training for a 5k, my first in quite some time.  I want to thank my friend Jess for not only sharing her story, but for inspiring me too!  You go girl!

Jess's Story:

Ang asked me to share some of my experience and it's funny because I despite playing softball since I was 7 and then basketball and volleyball, I had never been great at running. I could barely run a mile when I was 17. I did not start running until college and at 27 years old, I had never ran more 6 miles in my life. This January I made difficult, conscious decisions to stop drinking 100% (I wasn't an alcoholic but I do think I depended on alcohol in social settings), start cooking my own healthy meals (and in NYC cooking is rare) and get back into running. All of January I ran EVERYDAY but started out at 2-3 miles per work out (10 min/mile). Slowly I felt breathing was easier by February and I began pushing it up to 4-4.5 miles per work out. Then the last week in February, I decided to push workouts to 5-6 miles.  I remember on a random Tuesday I decided to try 7 miles on the treadmill and that night after work I DID IT! I rotated from my music, to netflix on my ipad, to nothing but I got through it and when I told my cousin, she remembered she had a friend who had a spot in the half marathon but wanted to give it away. 

At that point, the marathon was only 3 weeks away and normal half marathon training is 10-12 weeks prior so naturally I was worried about saying YES to the marathon. The next day I set up a 3 week training program that was based off a 10 week one. That Saturday I ran 9 miles without stopping and I felt strong. Things like energy beans, gel packs or energy gel blocks are good things to take 30 minutes before a long run and then eat some again after several miles in. They help with muscle fatigue and energy in general and during the marathon I ate some gel blocks every 3 miles (thanks to my cousin’s guidance about how to fuel up during a run that long). The next Saturday was 11 miles and I remember during this run my right leg was killing me but I told my body to focus on my left heel since that felt good. And oddly enough, little mantras and phrases like this is what pulled me back in the zone and got me through the runs. I felt strong and was gaining confidence but some runs sucked. “Some days you own the run and other days the run owns you.” The Monday before the half I decided I needed to get a long, hilly run in to set my mind at ease since I had only been running on a treadmill. I ran over a bridge here in NYC and back to my house for a total of 6 miles and realized mile 2 to 3 sucks but I never stopped. At mile 6 when I finished, I felt I could keep going. When the half marathon day arrived, my mantra I used during the race only JUST came to me which was “I am in control of myself.” I would even say this mantra to myself when I was feeling good, kind of like “SEE! I AM in control of myself. If I want to go faster I will but right now I am going to go slow to conserve.” At miles 9-11, I hit a wall and wanted to stop but I kept telling myself, “This is just a wall. My breathing feels good, my legs hurt but I am in control and I don’t NEED to stop. I only WANT to which isn’t a good enough reason.” The common theme here is my MIND was the star during this half marathon. Despite all my years as an athlete, this race pushed me the most mentally and my body was only following my mind’s lead. 

 I consider myself a strong and confident person who will do what I say I will do, but after completing this race, never stopping and beating the time I set for myself, I am so much stronger and exceeded my own expectations. I want to see what else I can do! My biggest advice is to do these types of things FOR YOURSELF. To prove to yourself you can do it. Not to get skinny or be healthy even but to PUSH yourself. And I am so happy for you Ang because you are doing that with this 5K!

I love reading Jess's story, she believed in her self and finished something she set out to do.  She is going to be doing her second half marathon in October for the Staten Island Half, good luck girl and happy training!  You will keep on inspiring me!  It is amazing when we really set our minds to something what we are able to accomplish.  That is where I am in my journey, working on controlling my mind and my mindset.  I truly believe that we are the only ones that stand in our own way.  Keep pushing past your fears and you will accomplish things you never thought possible.  Thank you for sharing your inspiring story Jess!

What mantra do you use?

Are you a runner?  What running tips do you have for the newbies (like me!)? 

Now it's time for this weeks link up info!  If you have a fitness or healthy living post please feel free to link up.  It is great getting to know each of you as I read your posts weekly!

Now it's time for the Wild Workout Wednesday Link Up! 
Here are the rules to join in:
1)  Follow your host and co-hosts in any way you can!

2) Link up with a fitness or healthy living post.  It can be something you just posted or a favorite from your archives as long as it is fitness or healthy living related.   Feel free to link up to 3 posts.

3) Snag our awesome Wild Workout Wednesday Button to make sure to link back in your blog post:

grab button for Wild Workout Wednesday Link Up
<div class="wild-workout-wednesday-link-up-button" style="width: 200px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="" rel="nofollow"> <img src="" alt="Wild Workout Wednesday Link Up" width="200" height="200" /> </a> </div>

You can also display the button on your blog sidebar to spread the word about this fun linkup!

4) Make sure to leave a comment on the host and co-hosts link up post.

5) Visit at least 2 other blogs in the link up and leave a comment!

6) Share the with the #wildworkoutwednesday on your posts to share this awesome link up and spread the word.  Sharing is caring!  You can also tag @angelenamarie1, @boldfitmom, @pretty_in_pink_fitness and @fitfoodiemama on social media sites.