Wednesday, December 31, 2014

See Ya 2014!

I consider 2014 an off year for me.   

I started the year with big goals that were threatened by MRIs and stupid stitches.  

No marathons.  No half marathons.  I didn’t run or work Falmouth.   

But I did run a 5k at Women Running Wild and a 10k PR at the Tufts 10k for Women!  I also joined a Run Club, bought a house and got a puppy!   

I’m not a big believer in New Year’s Resolutions [see Hello 2014!] but I do hope to run more miles in 2015 than I did in 2014 and sign up for a few goal races to bring the motivation back.

What are your goals for the New Year?  Do you make resolutions?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Merry Christmas!

It’s my first day of vacation and the perfect opportunity to get back to running. 

Running shoes were dusty.  GPS watch battery was dead.  They hadn’t seen the outdoors since the Cape Cod Marathon Relay on October 26th.  Christmas started out a rainy, yucky mess on Cape Cod.  Georgie and I spent the morning at my parents house getting spoiled and drinking mimosas.  When we got back home, the sun started to peak out and Georgie passed out for her afternoon nap.  #NoExcuses – I had to get out the door.  2 miles later, I felt so much better.  Cardiovascular system was suffering and the legs were tired but that feeling you get after a run is what every athlete craves.

Going for 3 miles tomorrow.  Now off to Christmas dinner!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Holly Jolly Christmas Spin Playlist

It’s the Eve of Christmas Eve and Tuesday morning spin class was ready for an all Christmas playlist!  It was both fun and challenging putting the songs together for a great class.

It’s The Most Wonderful Time - Johnny Mathis                2:46  Warm up
Sleigh Ride - The Ronettes                                                      3:06  Drills, pedal strokes
Little Saint Nick - The Beach Boys                                        2:03  Build
Blue Christmas - Elvis Presley                                               2:08  Keep building, seated climb
Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy - Garth Brooks               2:31  90-110, downhill
We Need a Little Christmas - Percy Faith                           2:09  Jumps
Feliz Navidad - José Feliciano                                                 3:02  Standing flat/running
A Holly Jolly Christmas - Burl Ives                                        2:14  Build
Santa’s Beard - The Beach Boys                                             2:00  Keep building
Run Run Rudolph - Luke Bryan                                              2:52  Jumps
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) - Michael Bublé   3:09  80-100, recovery
Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town - Bruce Springsteen        4:25  Seated climb
Christmas / Sarajevo - Trans-Siberian Orchestra             3:25  Standing climb
All I Want For Christmas Is You - Mariah Carey                 4:01  Running
It’s Christmas Time Again - Jessica Simpson                       3:11  Cool down
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Michael Bublé 3:52  Stretch 

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Holiday Party Survival Guide

‘Tis the season to overindulge!   I personally made a special trip to my parent’s house this week to pick up some of my mom’s famous Christmas cookies.  And then in a 2 hour time period, I ate 7 cookies.  No control.

Did you know the average American gains 4 to 12 pounds over the holidays?  One holiday meal alone can add up to 3,000 calories and this does not include other meals and snacks that same day.  A cup of eggnog contains 343 calories.  Add rum and you’re adding another 100 calories to this holiday favorite.

Do you have an office holiday party coming up?  Planning a gathering with family and friends?  It’s important to let yourself splurge every once in awhile but here are some tips to help control yourself and not go overboard.

  • Make sure you get in a workout that day.  Hit the gym, go for a walk, sign up for a Jingle Jog or anything to get you moving and burn some extra calories.

  • Eat normally throughout the day leading up to the event.  Don’t skip meals.  If you go hungry, chances are you will end up eating more!

  • When you get to the party, preview the buffet and prioritize.  Decide what you want before you fill up your plate.  What is worth indulging in?

  • The obvious: Don’t linger by the food table!  That’s my go-to spot to hang so it’s my friends’ duty to pull me away to socialize.  The closer you are, the easier to grab.  And when you’re chatting you may not even know you’re munching.

  • If you are going to have an alcoholic drink, grab a light beer or a glass of wine.  A bottle of light beer has around 100 calories and a 5oz glass of wine has about 120 calories.

  • Stay hydrated.  Drink lots of water leading up to the party and keep drinking water while you are there.  This will make you feel full faster.

  • Got a long run coming up the next morning?  Don’t eat anything unusual at the party.  Stay away from heavy and creamy foods, seafood, and too many sugary desserts.  Remember that alcoholic drinks will dehydrate you and affect your performance in the morning.  If you must drink, keep sipping on water between drinks!

  • Avoid bringing home leftovers and get right back on track the next day!  It’s very easy to let one bad night of eating turn into several.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Like I Love You Spin Playlist

Tuesday morning’s spin playlist mixed in a few extra JT songs after my mama and I saw him perform at Mohegan Sun over the weekend.  So much fun!  What a performer!

Happy - Pharrell Williams                                        3:53  Warm up
Say Hey - Michael Franti & Spearhead                  3:57  Drills, pedal strokes
Like I Love You - Justin Timberlake                       4:44  Build
Mambo No. 5 - Lou Bega                                           3:41  Jumps
Poison - New Edition                                                 4:20  Build
Just Got Paid - 'N Sync                                               4:10  Standing climb
Lovestoned - Justin Timberlake                             4:19  Build
When I Grow Up - The Pussycat Dolls                  4:06  Jumps  
Black Widow (feat. Rita Ora) - Iggy Azalea         3:29  Seated climb, faster at 1:50 & 3:15
Don't Stop the Party - Pitbull                                   3:26  Rolling hills
Livin' La Vida Loca - Ricky Martin                         4:03  Standing flat, running           
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays - 'N Sync       4:14  Cool down
Pusher Love Girl - Justin Timberlake                    8:02  Stretch

I'm working on my Tuesday, December 23rd Christmas playlist.  What would you like to hear?  Then the following Tuesday my cousin Melissa will be in town so stay tuned for a special playlist for her guest appearance... :)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Offseason Training & Milo of Croton

If you’ve been keeping up with Run Jen Run, you know I’m on a temporary mental and physical break from running.  During this “offseason,” my focus has been on spinning, dog walking, and dog lifting.

Wait.  Dog lifting?

My awesome Strength & Conditioning Coach Eric introduced me to Milo of Croton.  After a little Google search, I have become intrigued by his training methods.

Milo was a Greek wrestler in the 6th century BC.  His superhuman strength and athleticism came from one simple routine: lift a bull everyday.  There are many versions of this tale out there in cyberspace but many believe that to become the greatest wrestler in Greek history, he lifted a calf every single day.  He carried the calf all around Croton.  As the calf grew, Milo’s became stronger.  He continued to carry the calf until it was a full-grown bull.

I am a runner and trainer but as much as I know about exercise science and running, I tend to ignore strength training.  Why?  I don’t enjoy it.  This is something I can relate to.  Skip strength training, get injured, and I will deal with it.  Skip “dog lifting” and someday I will not be able to help Georgie get into the car or I won’t be able to carry her 30 lb food bag, etc.  Sometimes you need a little extra motivation to get things done.

The tale of Milo can translate into a metaphor for running and life.  Milo didn’t wake up one morning and try to carry a bull.  Work hard towards your goals everyday.  Start slow.  Make small gains.  Be patient.  You will get there.

If it worked for Milo of Croton, maybe it’ll work for me.  Right?

On another note, I have a lot of days off coming up after Christmas and I look forward to getting back to running.  If you would like to join me for a few miles, friends are always welcome!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Troublemaker Spin Playlist

Life is a Highway – Rascal Flatts                    4:38  Warm up
Lucky Strike – Maroon 5                                  3:05  Drills, pedal strokes
Crocodile Rock – Elton John                            3:55  Endurance 80-100 rpm, flat road
Tainted Love – The 5 Valentines                   2:52  Strength 70-90 rpm, seated climb
You Can’t Hurry Live – Diana Ross               2:47  Downhill 90-110 rpm
Troublemaker – Olly Murs                              3:05  Build, stand during Flo Rida verse
Krazy – Pitbull & Lil Jon                                   3:52  Jumps 20”
Fireball – Pitbull                                                 3:55  Recovery 80-100
Please Don’t Stop the Music – Rihanna       4:27  Standing flat
Work Work – Britney Spears                         4:08  Alternate seated/standing climb 1’
Shake It Off – Taylor Swift                              3:39  Faster rpm with 2x15” bursts
Bye Bye Bye – ‘N Sync                                      3:20  One last build to a standing
Just The Way You Are – Bruno Mars           3:42  Cool down
Return to Innocence – Engima                      4:10  Stretch

From the Mashpee Fitness Instagram account

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Final Weeks of 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

As you roll around the house stuffed with turkey, stuffing and pie, think about what you would like to accomplish before the new year.   

I am challenging each and every one of you to set a goal.  5 weeks.  Thanksgiving to New Years.   

What will you do every single day?  Be realistic.  Will you wake up every morning and start the day with 10 pushups and 20 squats?  Will you run at least one mile every day?  Go to the gym?  At least 30 minutes of physical activity of every day?

Here’s my goal:
I would love to go for the Runner’s World Run Streak but I don’t want to set myself up for failure right now.  So... from Thanksgiving to New Years I will walk at least 10,000 steps every day.  This is a realistic goal that will benefit both my dog and me.  I have a Fitbit.  Most days I am over 10,000 steps.  Some days I am close.  Other days I am nowhere near my goal.  I am committed.  Actually, WE are committed.

Now is the time.  Don’t fall into the holiday season trap.  Get started on your goals early so it becomes a habit by the start of the 2015.


I have a lot of reasons to be thankful this year but my parents deserve a special shout out.  They are so amazing.  I don't know what Georgie and I would do without them.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Tips for Thanksgiving Turkey Trotters

Did you know that the average person consumes over 3,000 calories during Thanksgiving dinner alone?  Add in the rest of your meals and snacks that day and the number gets even scarier.  Start the holiday morning off right by signing up for a local Turkey Trot.  Turkey Trots are a great Thanksgiving Day tradition that joins family and friends together for a pre-meal walk, jog or sprint.

Tips for Thanksgiving Turkey Trotters

1.  Recruit a running buddy.
Whether you keep each other company during your training or just drive together on race day, running is always better with a friend.  Keep each other motivated and accountable.  Don’t live near each other?  Email or text daily mileage to help stay connected.  Is your family competitive?  Make it a yearly tradition to race and see who’s been training or who has the natural talent.

2.  Prepare for the race.
Running is also always better when you’ve been training.  I would never suggest signing up for a race and showing up race day without preparation.  Most turkey trot races are the 5k distance and you should have a good 8 weeks of running (or run-walking) under your belt before tackling a 5k.  It’s too late to prepare for this Thanksgiving but if you ever need help with a training plan, get in touch with me!

3.  Pace yourself.
You may think that 3 miles will be no problem, but 3 miles will feel a lot longer if you don’t pace yourself!  A common race day mistake is going out too fast.  Start out feeling comfortable.  If you feel good after the first mile, try picking up the pace a little bit.  If not, stay consistent and keep pushing until the end!

4.  Hydrate and eat right on race morning.
Even though you will be consuming 3,000+ calories later in the day, it’s not ok to skip breakfast!  Drink lots of water and eat a good breakfast consisting of carbs and protein to get your through the race.

5.  Have fun! 
Most Turkey Trots are more about having fun and exercising than running fast times.  Enjoy yourself out there.  Take in all the sights and sounds along the course.  Use the miles to reflect on the year and recall what you are thankful for.

A few years ago my mom RAN her first 5k on Thanksgiving.

Can’t find a Turkey Trot in your area?  Head out the door anyways!  Last year my best friend and I hit the trails for our own little Turkey Trot.  In this crazy life that we live in, it’s the miles and friendships that I cherish the most.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Recovery Tip #3: Get in the Pool

“Anyone can train hard.  Do you have the discipline to recover?”
~Lauren Fleshman

Whenever a client complains of soreness after a tough workout, my go to line is always “Get in the pool!”

Active recovery in the water is one of the best ways to reduce muscle soreness and stiffness.  The hydrostatic pressure can help reduce swelling by promoting circulation. 

Exercising in the pool is unique in that water assists, supports, and resists.


Water assists movements to improve flexibility.  Many clients can do exercises to stretch muscles in the pool that they cannot do on land.  Even better if the water is 88+ degrees!


Buoyancy of the water and the strength of your core allow you to perform exercises in the deep end with minimal impact on the joints.  Exercising in a non-weight bearing environment helps reduce pain while focusing on active recovery.


Not only does the water help to improve flexibility and reduce pain, resistance in all directions helps to develop strength.  Increase resistance by adding equipment like ankle cuffs, resistance gloves, and long tubing.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Spin Playlist 2014

I’m always up for a good themed spin playlist.  Let's go!

1313 Mockingbird Lane - the Moon-Rays            3:13  Warm up
Disturbia – Rihanna                                                    3:59  Drills, pedal strokes
Fireball - Pitbull                                                           3:55  80-100
Black Widow - Iggy Azalea                                       3:29  Build, stand at 1:50 & 3:15
Dark Horse (feat. Juicy J) - Katy Perry                  3:36  Keep building to a stand
She Wolf - Shakira                                                       3:09  80-100
Spiderwebs - No Doubt                                              4:28  High tenstion, high RPM
My Songs Know What You Did... - Fall Out Boy   3:07  Standing climb
Animals - Maroon 5                                                     3:51  Recovery
Ghostbusters - Ray Parker, Jr.                                   4:05  Build
Maneater - Nelly Furtado                                          4:19  Seated climb
Supermassive Black Hole – Muse                           3:32  Standing climb with POWER10s
Thriller - Michael Jackson                                         5:58  Cool down
Monster Mash - Bobby "Boris" Pickett                  3:19  Stretch
Halloween Theme - John Carpenter                       2:55  Stretch

Happy Halloween!  Treat Yo Self (in moderation)!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Race Report: Tufts 10k for Women 2014

“Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves.  It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go.  It helps us to find out what we are made of.  This is what we do.  This is what it’s all about.”
~PattiSue Plummer, U.S. Olympian

This “Quote of the Day” was delivered to my inbox on Tuesday, the day after the Tufts 10k for Women.  The timing couldn’t have been better.  The Tufts 10k did not go as planned.  Things happen in life to throw us off course.  I am not good with that.  I am a planner.  I plan for a reason.  Everything in my training has a purpose.  When I got sick and then started to lose sleep and regularly skip runs because of my new puppy, I fell into my own evil trap: my motivation decreases, my enthusiasm lowers, and I am a huge negative self talker coming up with all the reasons why I should skip the race.  I knew it was happening but I could not win the mental battle.

When I was first employed at Cape Cod Rehab, I took the StrengthsFinders 2.0 test.  It’s a really cool activity that we still continue as part of employee orientation.  The gist is that the test finds and teaches you how to focus on your strengths rather than weaknesses.  The reason I am bringing this up is that my #3 strength was “Competition.”  It may be my strength but I also feel like it’s my weakness.  I am so competitive within myself that if I know I am not where I’m supposed to be at in my training or if I know I’m not going to perform well, I don’t even want to try.  It’s pathetic really.  Running is fun.  Some runs are better than others.  We all have bad days.  As long as you have fun doing it, there is no reason to skip the race!  You may even surprise yourself!  (Which I usually end up doing!  #noexcuses right?!)

A couple of texts and phone calls from my mom and dad made me change my mind and head up to Boston on Monday morning.  I was bumming because I left my pup at home (even though my awesome mom went over to let her out and feed her) and that I was going alone.  It was a super easy drive into the city.  I parked in the Commons parking garage—very convenient.  I picked up my number and long sleeve shirt.  Walked around a little.  Found a spot on the curb and rested for a while.  Went back to my car to change into my racing flats and pack away the unnecessary items.  Then I hit up the porta potties and headed to the start line.

I was surprised at the elites running.  Tufts 10k serves as the Women’s 10k Championships on the U.S. circuit but there was little to no PR about the women in this year's race.  Sarah Hall was there (she ran a PR); Jordan Hassay was there (she ended up winning); and other elites Emily Infeld, Tara Erdmann, Jen Rhines, Carrie Tollefson & Joan Benoit were there.

The overall race was great.  I tried desperately to take in all the sights and sounds and allow all the women around me to lift my spirits and inspire me.  My race was not so great.  It hurt.  It hurt a lot.  My legs felt ok but my lungs were suffering.  I coughed quite a bit.  Before I got sick, I hoped to run under 7 minute pace.  My race day goal turned into “just finish.”  The course was relatively flat.  It’s pretty cool because there are some parts where the elites are running on the other side of the road.  It sent a (very brief) burst of motivation through me.  Mile 4 was tough.  I self talked myself into finishing the 4th mile, stopping my watch and walking to the finish.  When I hit the 4 mile marker, I mentally couldn’t let myself quit.  It was miserable but I couldn’t stop.  I thought if I held on to my pace I would be right around the 7 minute per mile pace.  I tried playing the ABC game down Commonwealth Avenue but just like 2010, I got them all wrong.  All I had left was one more right hand turn and a couple of lefts and the finish line was in sight.  Crossing the finish line was a sign of relief but this was the first race that I’ve ever run that I thought that the medical staff was going to approach me.  It took me a minute to get my bearings then I headed through the food tent and grabbed as much goodies that would fit into my free Star Market tote bag.

The rest of the day my lungs felt like I just finished an indoor race at the Reggie Lewis Center.  I made a quick stop at Pinkberry and Whole Foods on the way home to Treat Yo Self.  I love the Tufts 10k for Women slogan: Start Strong, Finish Stronger.  I may not have felt “stronger” crossing the finish line, but I felt great when I got to the Derby Street Shops!

10/11/10 – 51:40
10/13/14 – 43:26 (108, 51/ 963 F2029, 43:26, 7:00, Jen Skiba 28 F)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Tufts 10k Training Weeks 7-9

My Tufts 10k Training took a bad turn since I last posted.  I had a great Week 6.  Attended KK’s wedding on Saturday night.  Ate an entire bag of Sour Patch Kids at work on Monday from the wedding Candy Bar.  Thought my throat was hurting from the sour… at least that’s what I tried to convince myself but reality was it turned into a nasty 10 day cold/flu/awfulness.


I started to feel better and then I got a puppy!  She has been taking up a lot of my time and my running has continued to suffer.  I have been debating even skipping the race—it’s tomorrow—but we’ll see what happens tomorrow morning.


2010 Finish Line High Five

2010 Throwback: The last time, actually the only time I’ve ever run a 10k, was 4 months after meniscus surgery when Lizzie almost carried me to the finish.  Fun times.


Who’s running the Tufts 10k tomorrow?!  I need some motivation and friends!


On another note, the CCR Flyers will be back in action at the Cape Cod Marathon Relay on Sunday October 26th.  My dad is running the half the day before.  Should be a fun weekend to look forward to… :)


Week 7 Recap

Monday – 5 miles

Tuesday – Spin class

Wednesday – 2 miles

Thursday – Spin class

Friday – Nothing!

Saturday – Spin class

Sunday – Spin class


Week 7 Totals: 7 miles


Week 8 Recap

Monday – Nothing!

Tuesday – Spin class

Wednesday – Nothing!

Thursday – Spin class

Friday – 3 miles

Saturday – 6 miles

Sunday – Spin class


Week 8 Totals: 9 miles

Week 9 Recap

Monday – 3 miles

Tuesday – Spin class

Wednesday – Nothing!

Thursday – 3 miles, Spin class

Friday – Nothing!

Saturday – Nothing!

Sunday – 2 miles, Spin class


Week 9 Totals: 8 miles


[Related Posts: Tufts 10k Training Week 1: Hey, are you guys with Meb?, Tufts 10k Training Week 2 & 3, and Tufts 10k Training Week 4-6]