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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Game ON!

So, it is full steam ahead for marathon training.  My ear, nose, throat specialist gave me the a-okay to resume training, full-well knowing that another infection could happen at anytime.  I vowed to do anything and everything in my power to raise my immunities, including, but not limited to, washing my hands 826 times/day, drinking less wine, drinking more water, going to bed earlier, eating more fruit, and trying to touch as little as possible inside Logan's daycare.  Effective immediately, I started by celebrating with a bottle of red wine to work on that fruit intake...

It took me a solid week plus to feel like myself again.  The mega dose of antibiotics kicked my ass and gave me some other, uh, not-so-unusual-to-me issues related to that part of my body.  <-- TMI.  I really need to get better at putting those TMI warnings BEFORE my sentences, eh?  You're welcome.

Mm k, so, last week I was still able to get in 57 miles, which included a steamy, negative split 16-miler (8@7:08 average; 8@6:42 average).  In the final two miles, I started daydreaming about frozen yogurt with heath bar, oreo cookies, and whipped cream, and when this happens, I know I'm ready to stop running.  So, yeah, 'twas a good run, especially given that I was still on the antibitches, err, antibiotics, but I certainly felt it.

The goal for these next two weeks is to be solidly in the sixties, and of course, stay infection-free.   I was excited to do my first track workout this morning since, ummm, errr... yeah, it's been that long.  The goal was 6 x one mile at 110% of the average between Philly marathon pace and goal marathon pace (or roughly 6:07) with quarter mile jog recoveries.  I was all nerded out in excitement, even skipping the temptation of banana-pudding-nilla-wafer cake at Maxie B's bakery last night, where I had the Streakers finish their run.  

So yeah, after waking up today, the morning continued like this:


There was just no making this kid happy.  Not even a waffle slathered in yummy peanut butter could do the trick.  Not even me singing and dancing excitedly like a buffoon along with Curious George (okay, maybe that made it worse).  Not even a pumpkin spiced latte flavored m&m (sorry, Mike, but yes, I went there...).  I mean, who doesn't like pumpkin spiced latte flavored ANYTHING?!  Ugh.

Once mom-of-the-year (that's obviously me) dropped her son off at school, I regrouped, chugged some water, and started warming up until I realized it was already 80 degrees with nearly 100% humidity, and I didn't F*ING NEED A WARMUP!  Yes, I was jacked up.  Chill, sistah, chill.  

     Alrighty, here we go.  ...I made it to the Day School track.  Awesome... No trees.  No shade.  No clouds.  Well, shit.  Strip down to my zebra spandex and neon yellow bra.  I look deranged.  Whatever.  Mile One: This is easy.  I got this.  No problem.  6:01.  Mile Two:  Shit... Here come the elementary school kids for gym class.  STOP SPRINTING BETWEEN LANES AND CUTTING ME OFF, YOU LITTLE YOU-KNOW-WHATS!  Ohhhh... you're trying to compete with me now?!  You want a piece of this??  LET'S GO!  5:59.  Did I seriously just race a six-year old?!  MOM OF THE YEAR.  Mile Three:  Great, I'm sweating so bad that my damn ear phones won't even stay in.  Today is September, right?  When I lived in Connecticut, I swear it would have been, like, 50 degrees by now.  WTF!  6:02.  Mile Four:  Okayyyyy, enough of this boring, hot, black-top track thing.  Time for the road.  Wait, why the hell did I choose to run in the UPHILL direction?  Mmm, pumpkin spiced latte m&ms.  6:21.  Oops.  Focus, you dumbass zebra.  Mile Five:  Yay, downhill finish!  And today is $2.99 meat day at Fresh Market, so game is onna for chicken parma tonight!  What kind of wine do I want?  6:13.  Oops.  Stop SUCKING!  Mile Six:  Whatever, this workout was like sooooo yesterday.  Plus, I think I just melted.  Back to the track.  6:11.  

Average:  6:07.  NAILED IT!!!  Right.

After "cooling" down and seeing the temperature read "feels like 87", I treated myself to this:

No, not a cool bath, and no, not pizza, but a cool bath WITH pizza.  Try it sometime.  I feel freaking FANTASTIC right now!

So, onward we go!  I'm excited to bump to some longer long runs and run through Wilmington on our anniversary weekend coming up soon, but for right now, ima need to go hammer some pumpkin spiced latte m&ms, so yeah, buh-bye...

HAPPY RUNNING!

Hey, ma, the track is that way ...

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Decisions

Decisions.  Yep, I have to make some.

Last week was a wonderful week.  I hit 60 miles for the first time ever in training (I probably would have hit this in college if my priorities were in check, but we don't need to go there...) and felt ON FIRE.  The week ended with a 16-miler with 3x 2-mile fartleks in the later stages of the run at ~6:20 pace (aimed for current, perceived half-marathon effort), followed by a bottle glass of wine that evening.  My mom came to visit for four days to help out with Logan while Mike was in California visiting a friend, and she had a blast bonding with Logan.  I have amazing friends that, as always, I had a fun time hanging out with.  Furthermore, I started coaching another Streaker session and have 110 runners on my roster, in addition to a bunch of other individual athletes, making this the largest number of athletes I've ever coached.  I'm so fortunate to love my job and to have so much awesome-sauce all around me.  Life is good!

Now, with that said, life is still good, but in the marathon course of life, there will always be uphills to climb, right?  We inevitably get over them, but it doesn't mean they don't piss you off when you didn't know they were going to be there.  Throughout last week, I developed yet another sore throat.  I knew it wasn't strep, but it kept getting worse, so I finally went to the doc, and it turns out I have another infection that is feared to turn into an abscess.   The doc gave me an aggressive antibiotic treatment, including a shot in my ass ("Drop your shorts, ma'am" ...Really?  The nurse was wayyyy nice, but I'm not gonna lie and say I didn't think about tooting in her face.  <--- okay, gross, sorry) and pills to start asap.  Hopefully the abscess will be prevented, but I'll know more on Friday when I go to a specialist.   The doc thinks I developed scarring from prior infections, and if I don't have my tonsils removed, it will keep happening every couple of months.  I can't live on antibiotics, so yeah, in the oh-so-adorable words of Logan...BUH-BYE tonsils...

So, here is where the decisions come into play.  The recovery from an adult tonsillectomy is apparently a bizznatch.  If I do it soon, there will be no November marathon (I mean, I probably could run it, but I'm not interested in just running...I want to RACE).  If I opt for the marathon before having surgery, I may be seeing more antibiotics, and the nurse may be seeing more of my ass, before then.  I could choose an earlier marathon, despite not having all the training in I want yet, or I could push the marathon out to early next year, but then that messes with other stuff Mike and I had planned.  ...and who knows, the specialist just might tell me, "Look, abnormal gross tonsil chick, you're doing this surgery now!", and I won't have any decisions to make.  So yeah, there's my uphill.  Can haz downhill now?  This certainly isn't the end of the world, as I realize I'm one helluva fortunate gal, but this is my blog, and I can haz pity party if I want to.  k, thanks. 

Mm k, enough.  Let's talk HAPPY shizz again!  My brother got married earlier this month, YAY!  I got drunk at his wedding and danced like a buffoon, YAY!  Mike and I get to take a weekend trip by ourselves next month to celebrate our ten year anniversary, YAY!  I have a blog to vent to when I cannot run, YAY!  I keep having a dream that I'm locked up in prison, YIKES!  <---seriously, what the f?!  No wonder my body is in distress.  No more Orange is the New Black for me...

All in all, I'll do whatever is necessary for my health, and in turn, the well-being and happiness of my son.  So, whether the marathon stays as is, gets pushed up or back, or gets pushed off to an even later date, I'll listen to the doc, and it will all be good.  ...I just might cry a little or spontaneously lash out at the grocery store clerk every now and then.

HAPPY RUNNING!

Buffoons

Logan and Grammy

Zoo fun

Buddies

Happy almost ten years to us!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Heat is On

I'm hot.

No, not in the beauty sense (but thanks if that's what you were thinking), in the freaking summer sense.  Did spring skip North Carolina this year?  I believe so.

I suhhhpose it could be my fault that running feels ooober hard these days.  I do run at 3 or 4pm when the sun slams you in the face.  I mean, ya gotta do what ya gotta do, but dang, sistah needs some reprieve!

So, I realize it's been a while since my last blog post.  Lots has happened since then, so to give a quick summary before I start blabbing, here it goes:

(1)  I've become a hypochondriac.
(2)  We went to Asheville for a kick-a$$ vacation.
(3)  Logan started talking - like, real words.
(4)  Marathon training has begun again - YAY!

Mmk, let's start with my neurosis.   It all started with two swollen lymph nodes.  No, not me, and, no, not mini-Mike; this time, it was big Mike.  After a trail run during Memorial Day weekend, big Mike came home extremely fatigued and with two lumps on his neck.  He did not have any other symptoms at the time, and of course, when you consult Dr. Google on this (or a hang nail for that matter), you can ultimately guess the diagnosis (I don't even like saying the word).  So, fearing the worst, I accompanied him to his doctor appointments for two weeks and played the slowest game of wait and freak.  When we finally found out he had mono, I cheered.  Yes, I CHEERED that my husband has MONO.  Worst.  Wife.  Ever.

I then obviously decided I needed a physical to make sure I was healthy.  It turns out that I thankfully am, except for one low level on my CBC that is consistent with GI issues.  Uh, you think?!  Apparently, this low level can be caused by (1) too much alcohol (me?  noooooo) or (2) possible gluten sensitivity (aww, heyyyullll no.  I'll keep the risk of shi**ing myself over eliminating carbs, thank you very much).   The other interesting discovery was that I've already had mono and didn't know it.  There is actually a *chance* it was in the fall when I was going through all that "why-aren't-antibiotics-getting-rid-of-my-3x-strep-throat" mess.  So, with that said, I've never been one to toot my own horn, but if I actually ran a 2:58 marathon while having mono........  <--toot toot TOOT!  Jus' saying.  Who knows though.

Whether justified in my hypochondriac ways or not, I'll say this:  when faced with something that can potentially be a true life game changer like that, you really gain some perspective on life.  Suddenly, insignificant sh*t that you stress about simply does not matter.  What matters most are family and friends that love you and that you love.  Therefore, after all of this, we were fortunate to spend an entire week in Asheville with two great friends and their two little girls.  We had a FABULOUS time relaxing, eating, running, eating, hiking, eating, and adding to my low CBC level.  Mike was an extreme trouper, as he could not run, bike, or have any beer from Asheville's 18 breweries.  <---torture.

Logan REALLY started loving Daddy while in Asheville.  I, apparently, became the biggest pile of doo-doo.  Perhaps he felt bad that Daddy had mono (at least that's what I told myself to make, um, myself feel better).  Anywho, Logan's vocabulary really picked up while there too.  So, without further ado, her is our son's current vocab:

1) Daddy  (he definitely knows who this is and what it means)
2) Mamamama (pretty sure he has no clue who the hell I am)
3) Bubbles (why is this, like, all kids' first word?)
4) No (we promote positivity)
5) Uh-oh (we promote positivity A LOT)
4) Cheese (how I know he is my son)
5) Shoes (how I know he is my son again <-- I assume he is referring to running shoes)

So, let's get back to that hot running thing.  While it doesn't feel super awesome, I'm running pretty strong considering.  I'm officially back in base phase towards the fall and hoping for a healthy ride through to marathon number seven.  I have a little chat every night with my stomach hole to make sure she's happy in our relationship.  <--- Dang that bi*ch is high maintenance!  I already have a training plan laid out, and I'm excited to bring my mileage to higher volumes than I've ever done before.  I plan to add a half-marathon, 5K, and 10K into the speed work mix and see if I can nab some new PRs along the way too.  So, here we go!  I'm pumped and ready.

Asheville Fun:










Happy and Hot Running!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Change of Pace

(Cue Katy Perry):  I raced a 5K, and I liked it...

Okay, so I didn't really like it, per se, but it was fun to change things up.  Running a 5K when you are used to marathon training is, um, well, it sucks.  After my whole IT Band debacle and forgoing a spring marathon, I decided to jump in the Wrightsville Beach 5K as my first speed workout back, and hey, it turned out better than expected.  Despite wanting to kill someone at the start of mile three ("Seriously, why the F did I sign up for this?!"  <-- inner monologue), I ended up winning the women's race in 18:46.  So, yeah.  Given that this was only my second 5K in, uh, seven years (that's what marathon training will do to ya), I may try some more now. Key word = may.  Mm hmm.



So, feeling pretty encouraged and even more so after my Streakers kicked a$$ the next day in the Wrightsville Beach Marathon and Half-Marathon, I wrote myself a training schedule for, um, myself, and off I went.  My first target was to run a fast half-marathon at either the Sunset Beach Half or Marines Historic Half on May 16th weekend.  Shizz was going awesome; I took a down week after the 5K and then had a smashing fartlek (teehee) run and 14-miler with pace work the following week.  Then came the next week, when I crushed a 10-miler with the middle five at perceived half-marathon pace.  I didn't look at my watch until I finished, and low and behold, I ran the five at 6:08 pace.  Okay, now I was feeling REALLY encouraged...

...Until the next day.  While running six miles at la-di-da recovery pace, my calf basically "popped".  No, not pooped (I know I talk about poop a lot) ...POPPED.  Why?!?  F&$% YOU, CALF! (<-- not-so-inner monologue).  After having a little pity party on the sidewalk, I ventured inside a retirement home that was thankfully right there to use a phone.  Picture the scene:  About 100 55+'ers were having lunch in their big, open common area as I, teary-eyed and clad in soaked (it was raining) neon pink shorts, neon pink compression socks, and just a sports bra, walked inside.  Some had a look of horror (women), while some had a look of delight (men).  At that moment, I realized... yyyyyep, they may or may not think someone hired a stripper for this event.  Lawd, get me out of here!!  Luckily, my best buddy lives right up the road, and she saved me.

Anywho, I was convinced my calf was torn, but after an ultrasound scan, it luckily was not.  YAY!  After seven days off from running, I am back at it again, although scaled back until cleared for anything epic.  This means no half-marathon in May, but that is okay; this is just a small blip on the run-dar screen.  My fear though is what is causing all this mess.  It turns out I still have a post-pregnancy I-pushed-too-hard hole in my stomach where my faux-hernia resides.  While the hole has gotten smaller, it's still causing instability in my pelvis, which in turn is causing instability from my waist down.  So, here is my open letter to my stomach:

Dear Stomach Hole:
Close, bitch.
With Love,
Jen

So, yeah, I'll keep on all my strengthening exercises like a bada$$ mo-fo, but at the end of the day, until my stomach gets with the program, a lot of this is a waiting game and pure luck.  One thing is fo sho tho...I'm certainly NOT going to stop going after my goals.  You hear that, bitch?  I WILL win this!  k, thanks.


I hit the elliptikill-me-i'm-so-bored while unable to run for the week, and it apparently thinks I'm too slow.  Way to kick a gal when she's down, elliptikill-me-i'm-so-bored.

In order to combat the aforementioned boredom, I added a couple of new songs to my iPod:  Toto's Africa (channeling my inner Kenyan) and Matthew Wilder's Ain't Nothin' Gonna Break My Stride (well, except for my calf), and then I realized something.  HOLY SHIT; I'M OLD!  When did this happen?!  Did I seriously just choose oldies and forgo and judge Rihanna's Bitch Better Have My Money because the title alone is negatively influencing today's children (<-- inner monologue)?  I guess on Marathon Monday, I did turn 35 (I know, I know, you're so jealous that YOUR birthday wasn't on Marathon Monday), but yeah, I'm not so sure I like this change.  I'd rather race a 5K every day (<-- that is a lie).

Mm k, so as my newly old a$$ makes its gradual ascension back to epic-ness, here are my racing thoughts.  I'm still choosing between fall marathons.  I have an entry into the Chicago Marathon's American Development Program (sub-3:01 for women & sub-2:31 for men), but I'm also considering Savannah and Kiawah since I like both destinations and Charleston because I'm a pig and love the city's food.  I still plan to tackle a half-marathon at some point, and yeah, I'll probably do some 5Ks and 10Ks here and there.  I have goal times in my head for all these distances, but, uh, yeah, I'm not telling.  :) 

All else is great.  Mike's big change is his new job!  He joined a small software development company in Winston-Salem last month and is LOVING it.  Of course, once he was hired, I immediately stalked his new colleagues online to see if any of them run/race.  What?  Is that not normal?  Whatever, the answer is YES!  Many of them do.  Ahhh, it was so meant to be.  Logan's big change is his new molar.  Yep, more teeth to eat with.  He continues to be my fat 'n' happy Mini-Mike man!



Happy Running!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Dear, ITBS: I win!

Good riddance, ITBS!  It took a lot of dedication and patience, but... I win!

ITBS, better known as: 
I'm Tired of this Bull, um, Shit
It Took Beaucoup Strengthening
It's Time; Buh-bye, Suckahhh!

Here is how I beat this poophead:

  • I took a full week of rest, meaning, I sat on my couch and ate doritos.  Yes, FULL REST.
  • In between doritos, I started an aggressive strengthening routine.  When the dorito bag was empty, I went to the gym and finished the routine.  Okay, seriously, here is what I did every day (and am still doing):
    • 2x 25 clam shells, raised clam shells, and leg lifts
    • 25 weightless lunges and weightless squats
    • 2x 20 lateral band walks on each side
    • ten minutes of foam rolling
  • Three or four times each week, I completed 3x 20 leg extensions (30lbs), leg presses (50lbs), hamstring curls (20 lbs), and glute extensions (40 lbs).  Coming to theatres soon, the return of QUADZILLA, mwuhahahaha.  
  • Once running again, I cut my mileage back to the threshold of pain.  Meaning, if the pain started at three miles...run ovaahhhh!  It took over two weeks to build back to a five or six mile run.  This took the most discipline (and the most cursing).
  • I dropped A LOT of F-Bombs.  A LOTTTT.  Very therapeutic.  Try it sometime.
So, there ya have it.  I'm back, b*tches.  It was 70+ degrees in Greensboro yesterday (yep, it's March 5th), and I ran nearly 11 miles painfree.  My fitness is working its way back, but I was able to average 7:00 and click off the final mile at 6:15 just for fun.  And yes, my fingers, toes, and shoe laces are all crossed right now, and I'm knocking on some serious wood (<-- that sounds dirty :-O).  

I'm not making any definite decisions on races yet, but I'm pretty sure I'd like to see what I can do in the half-marathon and then look towards a fall marathon.  I'm weighing between going for a fast time and awesome experience at one of the world majors (Chicago!) or choosing one in which I can be competitive and go for the win.  Unless I win Chicago.  Bahahahaha.  That's funny.

Outside of running, the past month has been great.  Logan is now walking, which I LOVE.  (Over-emotional Mom Alert -->) The excitement in his eyes with every step he takes is a great lesson in celebrating all our successes, whether big or small.  He is also now saying "Mama", to which I get weak in the knees and swishy in the tummy (unless that's all the dairy?!).  Mike and I have a great routine down now, and to all first-time moms in their first year that feel constantly out of control, I can say this:  it gets soooo much better and easier!  I promise.  Trust me.  I was a hot mess.  Momzilla.  Sobfest.  I'm good now though.  Right, Mike?! 

Onward and upward!

 Whoaaaa.  Doritos are buy one, get one free at Harris Teeter this week!

 Date night!  We aren't always sweaty...

 Best buds!

Eating healthy was not part of my strength routine.  Yes, all five glasses are mine.  Try to keep up...  

 Shameless strengthening leg press selfie.  Goober.

 The snow-covered Lehigh University cross-country course.  We ventured north for our former teammate's memorial service.  Rest in peace, Steve.  

Maintaining my strength work in the Hotel Bethlehem fitness center.  ...very cruel view out the window.

HAPPY PAINFREE RUNNING!  :-D

Monday, February 2, 2015

Winter Whine

It's okay that I decided to forgo a spring marathon.  No, really, it is.  It's okay that I just emailed the Wrightsville Beach Marathon race director telling him I won't be on the start line.  Seriously, it's cool.  Ehhh, who am I kidding.  It f'ing sucks. 

My ITBS pain (not to be confused with IBS, which is funny, cuz ya know, that's kinda my M.O.) reached an all-time high, or perhaps I should say an all-time low, a couple of weeks ago.  When you continually try to run through something that clearly needs strength work, and you don't do it, well, whaddya expect.  <---This is purely a factual statement for your learning pleasure.  I, OF COURSE, did not partake in this!  Liar.  Anywho, after a constant stream of a few days off, run again, a few days off, run again, I am finally taking the rest and work I need to get this fixed.  

Whiner Alert --->  What sucks is that my fitness was on fire.  After Philly, I set some pretty nasty goals (nasty in the awesome sense, which really doesn't make sense, but whatever, work with me here).  I figured that if I can run a 2:58 only 11 months after expelling a mini-Mike out of my you-know-what, the sky's the limit.  I used to think I could only get so fast, but that mental block is now blocked.  I know I have a lot more in me, and it was showing over the past month.  So, could I still run Wrightsville?  Sure.  However, I don't just want to run.  I wanted to race.  I wanted to win.  So, my goals are on hold, but they aren't going anywhere.  In the meantime, I'll be here, waiting to hit the roads again, enjoying my full-of-lactose-and-dairy cheese alongside my whine.

It's probably for the best anyway.  The past two weeks in the Goff casa have gone like this:  Logan gets a cold, gives said cold to me, Logan gets the most epic of epic stomach viruses EVER, and finally (I'm hoping this is the end), I come down with a fever, ear infection, and a blown out ear drum (<--- how does that even happen?!).  If I was trying to train hard through all of this, lawwwwd, I'd be grumpcious (grumpy + vicious).    

So, while unable to train, Mike (who, mind you, has stayed healthy through all of this...what!) and I have been chatting about mini-Mike number two and when might be the best time to expand the brood.  At first I thought, well, I can't run, so now is as good a time as ever, but then I was scrolling through my phone and found this (TMV Alert --->):


Sweet jeezers, that &^$% is big!  ...and that's only 28 weeks!  Mmk, so maybe not yet.  Btw, TMV = too much visual.  ...although that probably would have helped you before the photo.  My bad.

So, that's the scoop.  Once my knee is aligned with my brain and heart, it will be all systems go on these goals.  Although, who knows, if one mini-Mike brought such success, I'm not so scared anymore of what will happen after a second.  With hard work, passion, unwillingness to settle, and a little sacrifice, anything is possible!


He may be a mini-Mike, but he is definitely my son too!  
nom nom

Happy Running!
...Oh, and Happy Groundhog's Day.  Jus' sayin'.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

2015

What do female reindeer do on girl's night out?

Wait for it...wait for it...................they blow a few bucks.

BAHAHA.  No, I didn't make that up.  Yes, it was one of the cards for sale in Target's "naughty and nice" section.  No, that was not their raunchiest one.  Yes, I did buy three of them one.

It's kinda sad, but while Christmas shopping, I was tummy-hurts-cracking-up while reading these cards.  Perhaps my head has been stuck up my ass for too long now, but when did Target get so racy?!  Regardless, it helped me realize something:  In 2015, I want to have more fun, stress less, and c-to-the-h-to-the-ill out.  Mind you, I am not one for New Year's resolutions (I mean, why make changes in January?  What's wrong with June?  If you want to get in shape, June is warmer...jus' saying), but I guess this kind of is one?  Lawd help me.

We are 17 days into the New Year, and my early resolution report card gives me a B-.  To earn an A, I should have corrected myself as such in the following situation:

While out on a stroller run with Logan, a nasty sweet old lady honked her horn in Logan's face for what I thought was no reason, until she turned her car around and berated me for running on the wrong side of the road.  Nasty Sweet old lady obviously does not know the rules of running on the road, so instead of flipping her two birds, I should have simply educated her on them.  Or just flipped her one bird  ...a B+ ain't too shabby.

Okay, so where have I actually done well?  Let's start with work.  I made the decision to cut back about 20% of my responsibilities in favor of more time with Logan, Mike, and friends.  I'll still be working full-time but will focus primarily on coaching, which over the past few years has become my true passion.  It took me a long time to follow through on this decision; I was a little afraid of being perceived as a failure for admitting I couldn't handle everything.  However, what's liberating now is giving two shits, wait no, SIX shits, about what others think of me.  Did you know that 91% of peeps pick their nose on a daily basis?  Yep, ain't no one gots room to judge (and apparently 17% admit to doing it in their car.  Eww.  Where do they put their boogers!?  ...aaaand, we're off topic.).

Mm k, so, after the Philly Marathon, I took two weeks off before commencing with the "jackass" phase again.  ...ya know, that phase before base phase in which you run whatever the heyull you want, and hence, act like a total jackass.  Oh, you don't know?  Whatever, jackass.  Anywho, the problem now is, I'm having a slight knee, um, problem, which I'm about 87.2% sure is IT Band Syndrome.  This is undoubtedly a result of ignoring my tight hamstring while training for Philly, as my attention was primarily being given to please-don't-shit-yourself prevention.  Over the past few weeks, I was stubbornly running through the ITBS, but after a 9-mile run this past Tuesday, I knew it was time for some rest.  So, with that said, my name is Jen, and it's been four days since my last run...

Here's the thing though...I'm at peace with it.  Whoa now...this chill Jen bitch is scaring me!  With a little TLC, my knee will get better, and running will, as always, still be there.  If all goes well, you sure betcha I'll line up for another marathon this spring.  If not, no worries, the fall isn't too far away, and it looks like Chicago is my next calling.  I already have new marathon goals, in addition to some over shorter distances, and I'll attack them when healthy.  In the meantime though, on Wednesday, I rode the recliner bike (recliner bike...that's an oxymoron, right?) for 30 minutes on level wimpy seven while gossiping with a friend and checking Facebook.  HARD.  CORE.  ...but it was fun!

  As for my tummy issues, still no answer, but here's what I've determined...I'm about 79.4% sure I'm dairy intolerant as a result of pregnancy.  However, the daily pleasure I receive from drinking a 16-ounce filled-to-the-rim-with-milk white chocolate mocha outweighs the severe potential of shitting myself while running.  In fact, if that were to happen, I may even console myself by eating cheese.  On another good note, my strep throat has decided not to make its fourth appearance.  Although she's scary, that chill Jen bitch gets all the credit; it turns out that cutting yourself some slack works wonders for your immune system!

So, there ya have it.  While 2014 was amazing for so many reasons, I am looking forward to 2015, a new perspective, less stress, and more time with my two men, friends, friends' babies, and, well, me.

Christmas Eve morning with best buddy Wit

 Christmas Eve dinner with Aunt Alisha



Chillin' at home

On a final note, I returned to Target this morning.  The "naughty and nice" section has been replaced with the "sexy" lineup for Valentine's Day.  Low and behold:


 Does that really say bend over?!

Happy 2015!