Thursday, October 29, 2009

Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow

It is officially cold and the snow is still falling.  It's been snowing now for almost two days straight and as of late last night we have just over a foot of snow at our house.  We are definitely getting an early taste of winter this year. Hopefully it will snow only during the week and be beautiful outside on Saturday mornings for our team training runs this season. 

Yesterday I decided to work from home and nurse the cold that will not just hit me completely, rather than brave the winter driving conditions. Even Lucky didn't go outside until Josh came home and made him go for a walk.  I stayed inside where it was nice and warm while they ventured out.  Poor Lucky had to jump from place to place because the snow is almost as deep as he is tall.  Pretty sure he came with springs in his legs. 

This morning I was not as smart. I looked out the window and saw that it wasn't snowing in Longmont anymore.  I got out to I-25 to start the long part of my commute and realized I should have stayed home.  As I slowly made my way to the office, slipping and sliding, I was wishing I would have stayed home in my sweatpants with Josh.  Note to self...ignore all feelings of guilt about not being in the office two days in a row next time it snows more than a foot.  Lesson learned.  So I headed home early and hung out in my sweats, under a blanket with tea in hand to finish my work for the day. Much better plan!  When I got home I made Lucky come outside with me.  He was not so happy. He looked at me shaking with his little ears down. I think he'd be happier if he had little boots and a jacket.

Best thing about living in Colorado, it's supposed to be in the 60's again this weekend. Bye bye snow.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Why I do TNT

I read this article from a doctor in Philadelphia today.  There are a lot of reasons that I participate in Team in Training:
  • It's fun. You get to meet your teammates for Saturday morning training runs and weekday track practice.  I've met some of the most amazing people through TNT and I'm so blessed to have them in my life.
  • I'm doing something for others and myself at the same time.  I may get the physical benefits of running, but in the process I am raising money to help find a cure, help families that are struggling to pay their bills and help patients have a better quality of life. 
  • It really does make a difference.  Many of you already know about the drug, Gleevec which was funded by LLS.  It helps patients fighting chronic myelogenous leukemia which strikes 5000 people each year, keep the cancer under control as long as they are on it.  Just today, another drug was approved for treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.  Arzerra, produced by GlaxoKlineSmith, was fast tracked for approval by the FDA. 
If you needed more reasons to donate, there they are. Please help me make a difference.

Italy on the Brain

Josh and I decided to take advantage of some time off over the holidays and journey to Italy. I cannot wait to meet the gentleman to my left in person, drink lots of delicious wine, take a romantic gondola ride with Josh (let's hope no one is peeing off the bridges) and see the ancient cities.  I've been wanting to go there for quite some time and I was finally able to convince Josh we should just do it.  So that's exactly what we're doing. We leave Christmas Day and will return on January 6th.  We are flying into Rome where our journey will start.  From there we're planning on heading to Cinque Terre, Florence, and then onto Venice where we will fly home from.  A few days trips here and there to near by cities like Verona and Pisa are likely too. Hopefully we will also have some time to spend in the Tuscan countryside.  I'm dreaming on wine and cheese already. 

In planning the vacation, I've come to realize I may actually be addicted to running.  Since I'll be about a month into marathon training, I'll need to get in some miles abroad. I've been looking up places to run where I will not be hit by a car or looked at like a crazy American.  Cinque Terre looks promising, but difficult.  They have trails between the five coast cities, the longest of which is 40k.  Perfect for a long run, other than the huge hills.  So we'll see how it goes. I know I'm going to need to do at least one long run, if not two while we're there.  Good thing we won't be up to more than 15 miles or so at that point. 

Any suggestions about running abroad?  Where are your favorite places in Italy?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Lobster!

First of all, I'd like to thank everyone who has donated to my TNT efforts so far. You guys are so awesome, that in just 2 days we raised more than $1000! If we keep it up at this pace, we'll be to $5000 in no time! Thank you so much for your support.

Happy Birthday Lobster!

Today is my lobster Josh’s 28th birthday. Have you all seen the Friends episode where Phoebe says Ross is Rachel’s lobster (they join claws and mate for life)? That's where the pet name comes from. But I digress. Aside from enjoying some Indian food and cheesecake with Josh’s sister, her husband, kids and family friend, today was mainly spent trying to recover from yesterday.

Let’s recap yesterday’s debauchery. My day started with an awesome 5k run around our neighborhood. I was only planning on doing a slow 2 mile run because it was my first run since the half last week. I was feeling so good at 2 miles; I decided I do 2.5 miles. When I hit 2.5 I was still just warming up, so I decided to just do the 3.1.

Time: 27:35        Distance: 3.1 miles (5K)         Avg. Pace: 8:54 min/mile

After cleaning up it was time to head to Fort Collins for the football game. Tailgating here we come.   A few things have changed since the college days. First of all were in the alumni parking lot not partying with the students on the other side of the stadium, we actually brought food with us, 1/2 of the group consists of married people and we actually paid for tickets. Otherwise it was a flashback to college.

Especially when this came out….

Yes that is a six person beer bong.  Yikes, I know.  Another way I can tell we're not in college anymore...a few people did actually say, what about the Swine flu  while debating whether or not to drink from our old friend?  This was quickly followed by old school reasoning...the alcohol will kill it. 

Anyway, after a game of washers, eating and drinking we headed into the stadium. The Rammies were doing awesome and were even up by 14. All the ladies took turns being thrown in the air every time CSU scored. Not gonna lie, I don't remember it being as scary when I used to be thrown in the air in college.  Either I've become a bigger wimp than I used to be or I didn't have enough beer to make it seem like a good idea.  Regardless, by half time there was no more of this…they gave it away and ended up losing their 5th game in a row.

After some downtime at Kevin’s house it was time to hit Old Town. When we were in college, we would just walk or ride our cruisers down to Old Town and back. These days we don't know anyone that actually lives in Old Town anymore so we had to pile into Russell's big new truck and drive down there. Old Town is definitely one of the best things about Fort Collins. There is always something going on down there. From Brewfest to the Greek Festival that ran out of food the first day of it's inaugural year.  Can you tell I miss living there?

Back to the debauchery. We tried to hit most of the old bars we frequented (that hadn't closed down...Zydeco's what's up with that?), starting with the oldest and smallest bar in Fort Collins, Town Pump (Odells has a special brew you can only get in FoCo named after it) for jello shots and some booze soaked cherries...this pretty much sums it up.

From there it was off to Lucky Joe's my favorite bar in the Fort for sure!  You could typically find us here on Saturday nights. 

I found myself looking around for people I may know, when I realized I don't know a single person that is still going to school at CSU which is just crazy to me. 

While at Lucky Joe's there were two different groups of people out celebrating their friends' 21st birthdays.  I officially felt like an old chick at the bar especially when one of the birthday boys was like hey is that ring real? Are you married? I said yep and he was like wow, how old are you?  Like I was super old. least he didn't call me ma'am like the girl at American Eagle a few months back.  That one hurt.

The Ladies
Liz, Jennell, Myself and Bronwyn

Josh and the Crazy Asian...aka Kevin

Me and Russell-Yes I realize I look naked but I swear I was wearing a shirt.

After a few peanut shells in my deliciously fresh Sunshine Wheat, we headed to a few other places including The Drunken Monkey which has swings for bar chairs:

After a pit stop at Jimmy John's, it was time to call it a night. Once we were able to wrangle Josh and Jason we headed home. 

It was a great time, but now I remember why I don't go out like this very often...ugh, the next day is awful.  Two naps later, I think we are just about recovered and ready to start the work week.  Hopefully this scratchy voice I've developed today will be back to normal tomorrow.

I hope you had a great birthday Josh. I love you!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Denver Half Marathon

Well I completed my first 1/2 marathon. Granted I've run that distance and longer many times during training but I'd never actually done it in a race.

Sunday morning started off early, 4:15 am early. I was a little worried when I burned my normal prerace breakfast of peanut butter and jelly toast and after checking my bag, I discovered my iPod was almost dead. Lucky for me, those were the worst things that happened all day.

Before the race my friend Kirsten and I met. She had been training for the past 4 months or so to run this race. She was really excited and nervous at the same time. A feeling I know for sure.

On the way to the starting line I saw my old TNT coaches Tony and Andy which was awesome. It's always nice to see friendly faces in the crowd. At a little after 7am we were off! For some reason everyone started at the same time rather than in waves which caused a bit of a cluster for the first few miles.

Along the way we ran by lots of Denver landmarks. The Pepsi Center, Union Station, Coors Field, City Park and Cheesman Park. It was a beautiful course. Since this was my first big race since the marathon I tried not to put too much pressure on myself to reach a time goal especially since I only had a little over a month of real training and one 11 mile run. I felt strong the entire run and actually had to tell myself to slow down otherwise I might burn out.

I finished in 2 hours 13 minutes and a few seconds. It was an awesome feeling to cross the finish line especially after I was sidelined for an entire month after the marathon and have had a painfully slow recovery from tendonitis.  Note to self: DO NOT GET TENDONITIS AGAIN. 

Kirsten finished about 50 minutes later. I'm so proud of her for not only getting to the starting line but finishing the race strong! We were both proud to show off our medals to Josh and Brandon who were waiting for us at the finish line. Josh and I met my friends Rachael and Jason for a late celebratory brunch.

My legs were a bit sore for a few days after the race, but now I feel ready to run again. I think I'll tackle my first post race run on Saturday before heading up to Fort Collins to cheer on the Rams for Josh's birthday.

Who is Jess?

That's me in the middle right after I completed my first marathon in June of 2009 in Seattle. If you would have told me a year ago that I would have already completed a marathon, half-marathon, 3 5ks and a 10k by now, I would have said you were crazy!

On my 24th birthday I decided I wanted to become a runner, yes that was just about a year and a half ago. It wasn't because I thought I would love it, oh no, it was more for the body. I wanted a body like those of the awesome runners who grace the covers of Runners World. My running journey started slowly...literally, I was moving like a snail. I would run (what I felt like was running) for about 3 minutes and then need a walk break. The first time I completed an entire mile without walking was a HUGE day for me.

I did my first 5k in July of 2008 right here in Longmont. Thanks to my husband Josh, who of course, can just run like the wind regardless of how long it's been since his last run, I was able to make it in just over 32 minutes without walking once. I crossed the finish line and immediately felt like I may vomit (I didn't). The pancakes they served made me feel much better.

For the next few months I tried to increase my endurance and slowly started to move a little faster all the while gaining confidence in my running abilities. That is when I heard about Team in Training. I knew my mom had participated a few years ago and loved it, so I said I'll just go to the meeting. Well, I went to an informational meeting, watched the video and was signed up to train for my first marathon before I knew it.

Here I am a marathon later and still running! The marathon was no breeze. I battled tendonitis that left me in tears and yelling like a trucker for the last 6 miles of the race. There is no way I would have made it to the finish line to be plastic wrapped with ice had it not been for my awesome mentor Meghan.  But here I am, four months later, doing it again with the hope that I will be injury free and raise even more money to find a cure for blood cancers.

Let's talk who I am other than running. I am the oldest of 6 (Tom-22, Riley-13, Emma-11, Ted and Audrey-11) and though I've lived in Colorado for 13 years now, I'm still a Nebraska Cornhusker fan. I met the love of my life while going to college at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.   We just celebrated our first anniversary on Oct. 11th and we have a 2 year old dog named Lucky Red who has an unbelievable amount of energy.

I think I'll stop there now that I've rambled for some time. Anything else you want to know, just ask.