Sunday, December 31, 2017

See Ya 2017!

I always love to look back on the year on December 31st and highlight some memorable moments that shaped my year.  I ran the race of my life in Miami then battled injuries the rest of the year.  I started adding strength training and Olympic lifting into my weekly routine and I love seeing progress and the opportunity to learn as I go.  I took a chance with someone in the spring that tested my patience, vulnerability and spontaneity and then later in the fall tested my strength and confidence.  I watched a client mourn the loss of her dad after a friend lost her husband suddenly—both of which weighed heavy on my heart and taught me to be present and live in the moment because time is short and life is precious.  I was also lucky to reconnect with a few old friends that reminded me the importance of close friendships and how thankful I am to have each and every one of them in my life whether they are near or far.

In January I ran an epic 20 miler in the snow as my final long run before the Miami Marathon.  I went to Miami healthy and hungry.  I gave it everything I had earning a PR and BQ.

I took some time off in February then enjoyed easing back into running with some fun, snowy runs with the pup.

In March I started training for the Buffalo Half Marathon.  I celebrated my 31st birthday and had an awesome birthday brunch with my parents.  A new tradition.

As a training run, I signed up to run the Newport Rhode Race with my dad in April but I got injured.  It was my dad’s 10th half marathon and I was a DNF.  I started PT with Kathy for an abductor strain—an injury that really debilitated me for quite some time.

In May I started running again and ran the Piggy Trot with friends then made the trip to Buffalo for the Buffalo Half Marathon.  I ran the 5k with my cousin Melissa and ran/walked the second half of the half with her the next day.

My mileage started to build up again in June and in July I started training for a September half marathon in Philly but then got a stress fracture and cancelled my trip.

I attempted to run the Falmouth Road Race in August when my foot wasn’t fully healed.  (Stupid!)

In September I submitted my application for the 2018 Boston Marathon and in October I discovered miles and miles of trails behind my house with Georgie.  I also started Olympic lifting with the goal of feeling strong and ready to take on the hills in Boston.

November started off with a 2nd place finish and a 7-mile PR at Falmouth in the Fall.

December has been about getting into a routine and Boston Marathon training started on Christmas Day!

762 total miles in 2017.

2018, let’s go!  I am ready for you!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Weekly Roundup 12.18-12.24

Ok real talk.  It’s the most wonderful time of the year and I wasn’t feeling it.  With so much holiday cheer going on around me, I should be all holly jolly.  I mean I love Christmas.  But the truth is I’ve been struggling.  I was checked out all week.

I have so many great people in my life but now and then I still feel so alone.  A little lost.  Anxious.  Full of self-doubt.  Beat up and worn down.  We all have our moments and sometimes I know it is ok to not be ok.  The highs are high and the lows are really low.  The important thing is that we pick ourselves back up and continue on.  Nothing—good or bad—lasts forever.

I’ve never been one to set New Years Resolutions and I’ve never looked at January 1st as a significant date.  This year seems a little different.  2018 brings new goals and a sense of renewed hope.  I know what I want.  I know what I deserve.  And I have the best family and friends supporting me.

I am thankful to have running to turn to.  I crave structure and routine in my daily life.  Marathon training gives me a purpose.  It provides me with something to work towards and focus my energy on.

The next 16 weeks will not be easy but I am totally committed.  I am healthy.  I am strong.  I work hard.  I will trust the process and I will get through whatever this is because when nothing is certain, anything is possible.

Upcoming events:

·      16 weeks until the Boston Marathon!

Monday 12.18.17
3 treadmill miles (23:02)
Greg’s Workout #4
30’ spinning with Leslie
Burdenko H2O
14,322 steps

Tuesday 12.19.17
Marathon Sports Run Club! 3.58 miles (31:35)
Taught spin class
17,291 steps

Wednesday 12.20.17
Greg’s Workout #5
7,448 steps

Thursday 12.21.17
Taught spin class
Power Water
12,683 steps

Friday 12.22.17
2 miles with G (18:13)
2 miles (15:40)
12,268 steps

Saturday 12.23.17
Greg’s Workout #6
5,665 steps

Sunday 12.24.17
Merry Christmas Eve!
1.08 miles with G (9:29)
4.30 miles (30:55)
13,770 steps

This week’s mileage: 16 miles
This week’s G mileage: 23 miles
December Totals: 62 miles
2017 Totals: 738 miles

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Weekly Roundup 12.4-12.10 & 12.11-12.17

Days are FLYING by!  Only one more week left before training for the Boston Marathon begins!

I blogged about why I registered for the Boston Marathon.  If you missed it, you can catch it here:

The last two weeks I’ve felt so lousy.  I even called in sick with a fever last Monday and slept most of the day.  I went to the doctor’s office but she diagnosed me with a cold.  (I did not have a cold.)  Georgie was not happy with my day home of laziness—however I did get her out for a short walk around the block for some fresh air.

Wednesday I was still feeling sluggish but I stayed after work I got in a workout.  I wasn’t really in the mood to run but a member convinced me to get on the treadmill.  I made it two miles then I went home and took G on another night walk.  Something is better than nothing!

My long run for Friday was a planned 8 miler.  I wasn’t sure I could make it that far so I stayed pretty close to home just in case.  I went back to the gym on Friday night and had the whole place to myself.  Love that.

I ran again on Saturday, had a low key Sunday at work then started to develop some new symptoms Sunday night.  I went to urgent care on Monday and finally got some answers and some antibiotics.

My first run of the week come on Wednesday after another workout.  I ran on the treadmill next to Joe—the owner/my boss—which I’m sure will be the first of many times this winter.  He is also training for Boston.

Friday was a weird day.  I let my emotions get the best of me and my negative thoughts wore me down.  I went out for my run on Friday not knowing if I would be out for 4 miles or 10 miles.  It had snowed the night before and the roads were *mostly* plowed but the sidewalks were untouched and it was cold.  I really wanted to get in 10 miles before Boston training began so I ventured back to Cotuit and made the decision that today was the day.  I kept thinking about my last 10 miler back on an 80+ degree day in July which ended up with foot pain and a stress fracture.  This 10 miler was much different weather wise but I took my time, stopped a few times and took in all the grey and snowy sights.

We had more snow on Friday night leading to another snowy run on Saturday.  I took G out for a bit then continued my own strugglefest solo.  I was beat.

Other highlights:

·      We started the 2017 edition of the 12 Days of Fitness over on the Mashpee Fitness Instagram! Follow along @MashpeeFitness.

Upcoming events:

·      17 weeks until the Boston Marathon!

Monday 12.4.17
Sick day!
21’ walk with G
5,800 steps

Tuesday 12.5.17
Taught spin class
9,345 steps

Wednesday 12.6.17
2 treadmill miles (15:23)
Greg’s Workout #4
17’ walk with G
30’ spinning with Leslie
12,127 steps

Thursday 12.7.17
Taught spin class
Power Water
12,038 steps

Friday 12.8.17
8 miles (59:15)
Greg’s Workout #6
17,697 steps

Saturday 12.9.17
1.52 miles with G (15:02)
2.48 miles (19:33)
11,526 steps

Sunday 12.10.17
Taught spin class
Burdenko H2O
11,866 steps

Monday 12.11.17
0.94 miles with G (9:17)
2.04 miles (16:30)
30’ spinning with Leslie
Burdenko H2O
14,041 steps

Tuesday 12.12.17
Taught spin class
11,374 steps

Wednesday 12.13.17
3 treadmill miles (23:00)
Greg’s Workout #5
30’ spinning with Leslie
13,916 steps

Thursday 12.14.17
Taught spin class
12,096 steps

Friday 12.15.17
10 miles (1:17:27)
24’ walk with the fam
22,964 steps

Saturday 12.16.17
1.60 miles with G (15:52)
2.38 miles (20:11)
21’ walk with the fam
13,618 steps

Sunday 12.17.17
Taught spin class
Burdenko H2O
12,059 steps

Last week’s mileage: 14 miles
This week’s mileage: 20 miles
Last week’s G mileage: 1.5 miles
This week’s G mileage: 2.5 miles
December Totals: 46 miles
2017 Totals: 722 miles

Friday, December 8, 2017

Why I Registered for the Boston Marathon

What: The 122nd Boston Marathon

Where: Boston, MA

When: April 16, 2018

If you’ve had any running-related conversation with me in the past year, you know I was 100% set on not running another marathon ever in my life.  I ran Chicago in 2012 to check 26.2 miles off my bucket list.  I decided to train to race Houston in 2016 to see what I was capable of but I got injured and signed up for Miami in 2017 for redemption.  I accomplished my goal in Miami and was completely satisfied with retiring from the distance.

“But what about Boston?”  

I am not made to run marathons.  A marathon is not what defines you as a runner. The Boston Marathon is not what defines you as a runner.  In fact, I’ve always thought people who run Boston (and train for Boston in the Northeast) are crazy.  I’m a Buffalo girl.  I love New York.  I don’t even really like the city of Boston.

“Boston could be like your victory lap!”

You mean a 26.2 mile victory lap after 16 weeks of training in the freezing, cold winter?

Ok maybe I’m crazy too but the more I think about it… do I really want to let my fear and stubbornness get in the way of an opportunity of a lifetime?

It look a lot of internal debate and motivation self-talk but I did it.  On September 15th when registration opened for my qualifying window, I submitted my entry for the Boston Marathon.

So here we go. These are my top 10 reasons why I registered for the Boston Marathon:

1.  I qualified. 
My goal in Miami was to run 26.2 miles at 8:00 pace which is 3 hours and 30 minutes.  I wasn’t focused on a BQ but reaching my personal goal would put me 5 seconds under the Boston qualifying time for my age group.  Yeah, that’s cool.  But it was never my motivation.

2.  Peer pressure can be a bitch.
Enough said.  You all know who you are.

It’s one of oldest and most prestigious running races in the world.  There is so much history surrounding the Boston Marathon.  It truly would be an honor to run.  And even more of an honor to run as a qualifier.

4.  I like even numbers…
2018 is on the 16th and is the 122nd race.  I will be 32 years old and it will be my 4th marathon.

5.  …but 7 is actually my favorite number.
I qualified by 7 seconds.  Was that a sign?

6.  You get a really cool jacket.

7.  You get to eat all the carbs.

8.  I got big goals and I cannot lie.
Actually my goal for Boston is to survive.  Flat courses are my thing and Boston is not.  I will probably run lower mileage in training than my previous marathons and focus less on speed work and more on strength training.  I want to get stronger and FEEL GOOD crossing the finish line.

9.  Two words: Social media.
I’m actually only doing it for the Instagram pics.  (Follow me @jenskiba!)  I also figured it will give me something to do and blog about for those 4 lousy months after Christmas.

10.  As the kids used to say… YOLO.
Let’s do this.  I’m not getting any younger.  Training starts in 2 weeks on Christmas Day!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Weekly Roundup 11.20-11.26 & 11.27-12.3

Another 2 weeks has come and gone.  And can you believe it is already December?

Last week got off to a slow start.  My ankle was still not happy after stepping in the pothole so I asked Maddie to tape it on Monday at work.  With holiday hours at the gym and a minor injury, I decided to take the week off from lifting to heal then ease back into running before I get back to work. 

On Wednesday I used the elliptical for what seemed like the longest 30 minutes of my life!  The good news was that my ankle felt fine so on Thursday morning (Thanksgiving morning!) Georgie and I got up and headed to the trails for our own little Turkey Trot before heading to Falmouth.  We explored a little further down the trail then our last time out there totaling just about 3.5 miles!

I worked on Black Friday but left at 2pm for another 3.5 mile run—this time solo.  Saturday I dragged Georgie out for a mile, which she fought the whole way.  I got home and realized her harness had been rubbing under her arms and she had a big open wound.  I also remembered that last year when we were running together she didn’t wear a harness for that reason.  Terrible mother I am!  Anyways, I dropped her off and home and went back out for 7 miles on my own.

This week I ran more and progressed my lifting routine with a series of 3 new workouts from Greg.  I didn’t pack my outdoor running clothes on Monday and smelly man was on the treadmill when I got out of work so I ended up doing my strength training first then went to the treadmill.  By the time I got to my run, I was exhausted.  Now I know why I run first.

I had to work an extra long day on Tuesday so I didn’t get to Run Club again this week.  Boo.  Wednesday was beautiful weather day and I really wanted to run outside so I put my running clothes on under my work clothes when I went home for lunch so I could have a quick turnaround after work.  I got out at 4 and the sun set at 4:14.  Ugh.  I ran the half mile loop at work around and around and around for another 3 miles.

I was not in the mood to run on Friday and I put it off most of the day.  G joined me for a mile then ran 3 on my own.  That night I made a solo trip to the gym and had the place to myself.  Woo hoo Friday night!

My 8 mile long run was scheduled for Saturday and I went back and forth where to run.  I wanted to go to Falmouth but our Cape Cod Rehab Christmas Party was that night and I didn’t want to rush or waste time driving anywhere.  So I ventured out of my neighborhood, crossed busy Route 28 and ran the streets of Cotuit.  It was my first time long running that direction and I loved it.  Pretty views and I passed a lot of people and they were all so friendly.  A little girl in a stroller yelled to her mom, “That runner is fast!”

Other highlights:

·      I received my “Boston Bound” postcard in the mail.  It’s official!

Monday 11.20.17
Burdenko H2O
30’ spinning with Leslie
9,634 steps

Tuesday 11.21.17
Taught spin class
10,657 steps

Wednesday 11.22.17
30’ elliptical
30’ spinning with Leslie
12,348 steps

Thursday 11.23.17
Happy Thanksgiving!
3.46 miles with G (36:52)
13,399 steps

Friday 11.24.17
3.48 miles (27:20)
12,733 steps

Saturday 11.25.17
0.93 miles with G (10:00)
6 miles (44:21)
17,439 steps

Sunday 11.26.17
Taught spin class
Burdenko H2O
13,679 steps

Monday 11.27.17
3 treadmill miles (23:00)
Greg’s Workout #4
30’ spinning with Leslie
14,840 steps

Tuesday 11.28.17
Taught spin class
Power Water
15,486 steps

Wednesday 11.29.17
3 miles (23:01)
Greg’s Workout #5
13,746 steps

Thursday 11.30.17
Power Water
13,275 steps

Friday 12.1.17
0.95 miles with G (9:38)
3 miles (23:08)
Greg’s Workout #6
14,783 steps

Saturday 12.2.17
8 miles (1:01:39)
TBD steps

Sunday 12.3.17
Taught spin class
Burdenko H2O
TBD steps

Last week’s mileage: 14 miles
This week’s mileage: 18 miles
Last week’s G mileage: 4.5 miles
This week’s G mileage: 1 mile
November Totals: 63 miles
December Totals: 12 miles
2017 Totals: 688 miles