Monday, October 20, 2014

Hitting the wall of AWESOME

Let's discuss the roller coaster that is training for a half marathon. Although I will say that this roller coaster happens with almost every event I've trained for. You start out SUPER excited. You're so jazzed to reach a goal that you get a little overzealous. Maybe the training goes to your head, maybe you get injured or maybe you've committed to something that's just past your limits. And then you go through a time where you're sore all the time, you're tired frequently and you wonder what the heck you got yourself into. BUT then, then you hit the wall of awesome and you are back up on the top of that roller coaster ready for the big drop. I hit that wall last Friday. I had been feeling super worried about my run that day because it was at an unfamiliar time, the trail was one that seriously kicked my butt last year when I ran it training for Irongirl and I was running with a friend which I knew would be new. And yet, I got out there and ran one of my best runs yet. The pace felt easy, my legs felt great, I didn't need compression sleeves and I was totally excited to do abs afterwards. It was a BLAST.
However, the  awesomeness didn't stop there. You see, at the start of this journey my running partner and I had told each other that we wanted our legs in good enough shape that we could wear these tiny running shorts that our trainer wears consistently. A couple weeks into our training we both went and tried some on and immediately said "helllllllll no, I am never wearing those." Fast forward to the LAST week of our training and we both end up texting each other saying that we're going to go try the shorts on again because its the last week we have to give them another shot. Below is me in said shorts! You guys, I felt FANTASTIC in them. I was so proud of myself for accomplishing this goal and feeling good about it! I purchased those babies and tested them out on my last long run yesterday (which also went super well).
I don't want this to sound like a big brag-a-thon by me. I want it to sound inspiring. Training for something and seeing your body and fitness change is something I think everyone should aspire to do. It is so so exciting to reach a goal and know that you can go further. Get out of your comfort zone and do something that you didn't think you could do, because you totally can!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Half Marathon Training

Shin splints. Have you ever had them? If not, let me explain. It's shooting pain down the front or back of your shin bone. It makes it difficult to walk, let alone, run. I had a lovely run-in with shin splints my second week of training and oh do they suck. I iced my shins, changed my shoes, tried running on a treadmill, tried going even slower (which is difficult, I run like a snail lol), and just could not shake them. The feeling of defeat was real. I felt like there was no way I was going to fix them in time to train for my race. A friend had mentioned that I could do the 10k instead which I had eventually resigned myself to until my trainer sent over some shin exercises and I found another kind online.  So I got started with them and OH do they BURN. But I swear to you within a few days I was feeling better. I wasn't walking with pain, I jogged a bit and didn't feel like dying. I tested out my legs last Friday at the track at the gym and somehow was able to do 4.5 miles and it was AWESOME. Hence, the above picture of me grinning.

 And then, over the weekend I got up at the crack of dawn and ran my first long run and didn't die. That is exciting stuff guys! And so I'm back at it and I could not be happier. I genuinely welcome the good pain I feel when I'm running. The kind that comes from forcing myself to be stronger. The kind that makes me out of breath but excited that the next time I do the same workout, it'll be easier. The picture below is after I finished some interval training my trainer had me do to get me back to my goal pace and it was full of the good pain. It was so so hard and so so worth it. I felt so incredibly accomplished afterwards. Even if my shins were aching a bit and my knees were done. I cannot wait for that half marathon. I am going to crush it. It is going to be hard but wonderful at the same time. I'll be able to cross another distance off my list and that it too exciting.
What have YOU been up to?? Tell me about your latest accomplishment!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

San Diego Recap

Ahh, San Diego. Our home away from home. As I mentioned in my last post, we spend a solid week here every year at the end of August (along with many other weekends) and it is always completely relaxing and restorative. This year I had ambitious plans to half-marathon train while on vacation...HA. Does anyone else realize the ridiculousness of this notion? Yeah, neither did I. So I got one run in, pictured below, and then I took 6 days off and I think I got one more run in later on in the week. And the relaxing route was so totally worth it. I felt crappy about it for a day or two but then got over it and realized that I should enjoy my vacation and not worry about "training." Especially considering how obnoxious my shins have been since I started this whole training thing. 

We spent several days at the beach, ate A LOT of delicious food, went on long bike rides, saw dolphins in the ocean, had a bonfire on the beach and celebrated Chris' grandparents 55th(!) wedding anniversary. It was wonderful. I came home ready to eat clean, excited to spend time on our house and happy to sleep in my own bed for more than one night. 

And now, pictures! Of which there really aren't that many because I was doing my best to ignore my phone. So so nice. Try it some time.

4.5 very slow miles after taking several days off to ice the shins.

Sunset Cliffs, we got clouded out but it was still gorgeous
Sunset cliffs

Beach day!

Like father, like son =)

Giant bike sculpture!

Golden hour

Ruth Chris to celebrate 55 years of marriage between Chris' grandparents

View from on top of the midway

Pink lights for my road bike!
Ready for bike the bay!

View atop the Coronado bride...taken while riding my bike of course.
 How was your August?? What are your goals/plans for September??

Thursday, August 14, 2014

August and Training

The month of August is finally here! It feels like my summer has been one blur of non-stop traveling for work and for fun. I had a full week in town towards the end of July and took full advantage of it by trying a new workout class, meeting with my trainer to get my half-marathon schedule figured out and getting plenty of time at home to hang out with my handsome boyfriend. 

This month is easily one of my favorites because the summer heat starts to wane just a bit, its normally back-to-school time and we get to take a week-long vacation to San Diego. We leave for San Diego this Saturday and oh my goodness, I am excited. We've got rides planned, there are sunsets to be watched and there will be dinner at our favorite italian place. 

Up in that picture you'll notice that I have half-marathon training written down. Now, to be clear, when I finished my olympic distance tri in April I made a huge fuss about the fact that I NEVER wanted to do anything close to that distance ever again. That tri was difficult and painful and it still sucks to recall it and yet I am here to say, never say never. You will eat your words. Despite all the signs my body gives me that it doesn't like distance anything, I am attempting to run a half-marathon on October 25th. A day that is near and dear to me because it was my first tri. And that tri was wonderful. I am so excited to be training for a new distance and to be "competing" in another all-girl event. My friend Niki signed up to do it as well and she is totally rocking her training thus far. While I was rocking my first week, my shins decided to keel over on my run this past Monday and I am now nursing shin splints. BUT after a couple days of rest and icing, I think I can be back in the game tomorrow with a 4-5 mile run. And if that goes well I will plan on my long run on Sunday in sunny SD. 

Life is good these days. I am busy, I am fitting in my training and I am over the moon about a week away from work. 

How is your August faring thus far??

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tone it up!

A couple weeks ago I felt super lucky to live in Las Vegas because the gorgeous, inspiring and forever fabulous girls behind the brand Tone it up came to the Fashion Show to launch their line of Oakley sunnies! And it was AWESOME. I cannot tell you enough about the wonderfulness of the TIU community. I've only met most of these girls once and yet when we get together we can't stop talking and laughing and I feel like I've got a whole bunch of girlfriends instead of the zero I have most of the time lol. And Karena and Katrina themselves?! They're just as approachable, sweet and funny as they seem in all their pics, videos and their show.

I am continuously grateful for the community that they've built of confident, happy, healthy girls. I have made friends on IG that I genuinely think about on a day to day basis. I'm always excited to hear about Erin's next race, I love to see Niki's updates because she always looks adorable and happy and Ashley is about as friendly and inspiring as they come.

If you have been looking for inspiration to start training for a race, put more effort into what you're eating or just want to increase your fitness, look up the TIU girls. They're amazing. I am a forever fan.

P.S. If you're on IG, my personal account is @jennys_88 and my TIU account (where I post all my workouts to keep me accountable) is @jennys_tiu

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Girls Weekend 2014

 Hooray for another successful sister/mama trip to California! We haven't been on one for a few years now and it was long overdue. We drove down to Newport Beach last Friday and spent all of Saturday shopping, relaxing, eating and enjoying time with one another. The one downfall was that because Shelly lives in Colorado and doesn't have much flexibility to travel she couldn't join us =(. But we have a camping trip coming up in a few weeks and that should be a blast!

Me and the mama

Matching sisters. Stupid beach with no sun =(

Sneaky sunlight.

Tide pools!

She's too cute.

Sunday, June 1, 2014


San Diego has my heart. We got to sneak in a long weekend away in that oh-so-gorgeous town and it was 100% what I needed. The days were long, the weather was gorgeous AND I got a new bike =). We ate at our favorite places (twice at our breakfast place), biked around Coronado, played on the beach and slept in. I didn't worry about work, bills or my hair and it was awesome. Here are some pictures!

25+ miles and we didn't even notice.


golden hour + handstands

Richard Walkers. If you are ever in SD, THIS is where you should go.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Stress and some happies

So I have this job that involves lots and lots of travel. I am usually gone 3 out of the 4 weeks in every month and it is starting to seriously wear on me. When I graduated in December of last year I knew that my schedule would pick up. I knew that I would be busy and gone frequently and yet I was ready for it. I thought it would be no big deal. However, now that Chris and I live together and I am gone so much all I can think about is that I'd rather be at home. I'd rather be training at home, eating healthfully with the food I make and having more than two days to relax and run errands. But as of now, I can't really think of a way to change the amount of travel I'm doing. Summer is our busiest time and my only idea is to make sure my weekends are full of fun things and that I try and find the joy and happiness in my job.
Lauren frequently makes a list of all the happy things going on in her life to help refocus on the good things instead of the things that are not so fun and I LOVE this idea. It totally helps. What are the things happening in your life that are making you happy and keeping you smiling =)? Here are a few of mine:

*a new bikini for a long weekend in San Diego

*long days where the sun is up early in the morning and it stays out for hours in the evening

*REI's anniversary sale

*finding out that one of my best friends is continuing on in school to get her PhD. I can't wait to call her a doctor!

*rocking the Bikini Series and feeling every muscle in my body getting tighter and more toned

*Bavarian cream turnovers from the Panderia in Blythe

*Expecting to fight off mosquitos all night surveying bats and not getting bit ONCE (its the little things people)

*fantastic self-tanner

*long swims in the sun

*a week at home.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


 Guys. Jolyn makes the BEST swimsuits ever for swimming laps and also for looking gorgeous laying by the pool. I have their triangle top and scoop bottoms in watermelon and highlighter yellow, respectively, and out of all the two pieces I've swam in over the years this one is my favorite. The tie straps allow for a perfect fit and the bottoms have a built-in drawstring so they don't budge while you're swimming. I've been lusting over their vent tops and misfit tops and gah, its killing me not to buy another set. But, alas, bills. Bills always win. Maybe if I actually complete Tone it Up's entire bikini series a new suit will be my reward.

Where do you get most of your suits? Please tell me I'm not the only one with a serious swimsuit addiction ;)

photo credit: Jolyn Swimwear

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Happies

When you have a rough week I think one of the easiest ways to turn your attitude around is to make a quick list of all the simple (or not so simple) things that make you happy. Here is my list for the week:

-Setting up an appointment for a couple new tattoos next week(!)

-Coming home to a clean and organized house (because I have the world's best boyfriend)

-beef flautas from a tiny Mexican place on the river 

-summery nails

-a fresh hair trim

-sleeping wonderfully in hotel beds

-getting my tan back

-a happy, better adjusted cat

-finishing a good book and immediately starting on the next one

-warm, spring weather

-Easter dresses

-gopher snakes on the trail

-getting to watch one of the world triathlon championship races

What are your happies?? I know Lauren got a new job and I have a good friend racing in her first olympic tri this weekend! Good Luck Erin!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Done and done. You know, that Olympic distance triathlon thing I have been worried and stressed out about for the past 3 months. On April 12 I showed up at Boulder Beach in Boulder City at approximately 6am and was mostly ready for it. Actually, I was stressed and just plain excited about the fact that in a few short hours I'd be able to cross 'Olympic tri' off my list and be able to eat lots of delicious food. Sadly, it didn't really go as planned and now that I've had a solid week to think about it and talk about it and get over it I'm more than happy to discuss it. 

I swam 2 days before the race in the lake hoping to get a feel for how cold it would be. I thought that although it was cold, it was nothing I couldn't handle and that it wouldn't be too big of a deal. HA. Not so. The swim portion was cold. So very cold. I am a good swimmer, I've considered myself very comfortable in the water forever and yet in the last 10 or so minutes of my swim I was DONE. I was sick of being cold and my hands and toes had gone completely numb. All I could think about was being warm and being excited to move onto the bike portion so that I could be in the sun.

As I made it out of the water and up the hill to my transition spot, my family was there to cheer me on and while it helped, I was also a bit of a mess. I made it to my spot and was shaking so badly I could barely get my socks on. I had trouble standing and I just wanted to stop. I was having trouble taking deep breaths and although I knew I needed to hurry and keep going I was a little over it. But I made it through my transition, up the never-ending transition hill and thought to myself, 'enjoy this.' HA. This marked the second time that the universe decided that this tri was not going to be my best. Within a couple of minutes of being on my bike I developed a side stitch that ran the entire length of my right oblique. I swear to you I could not take a deep breath to save my life. No breathing means that the portion I look forward to the most was going down the drain. I will tell you now, more tears were shed on this tri that I have ever shed on any workout. It was hard, it sucked and while it eventually got manageable, it was the worst ride I've ever had. 

Now that I had a 1500m swim out of the way, and a 24.8mi bike ride done I only had one portion left: the 10k run. You should know, while I have made the most improvements on my running since I began training, the run has always been the hardest. I'm just not the best runner. I came to terms with it a loonngg time ago and now it's just the way things are. I knew that it would be a difficult run but that I'd be fine. And let me tell you, the run portion was rough. It was HOT and the first 3 miles were completely uphill. Thankfully, I had a girl doing the exact same pace as me in front of me and I simply focused on keeping her close. If I could keep her in my sights, I was doing fine. After an hour and a half (again, worst time I've had) I finished and you get that picture up top there as the result. After seeing that picture I thought, oh it was obviously better than I remember it, look how happy you are! But really, I'm smiling because I'm done. Because I don't ever have to do that again if I don't want to, because Chris was at the end with 4 tylenol and because I was going to get a medal saying that I finished instead of giving up (which, I did not get). 

This was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, hands down. It was painful; emotionally, mentally and physically. And yet, I'm grateful for it. This race taught me that no matter how bad it gets, I can do it. I am strong enough to not give up and no matter how many tears are shed during that race, it's all good. It's nothing I can't fix at the next one ;-).

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


So, let's discuss March. Because although my last post was written at the very beginning of the month and it SEEMED like everything was going to go along swimmingly it most certainly did not. However, I promise this will not be a giant rant. If there is one thing that tops my list of pet peeves it is constant complaining, no long negative train to hop on here, not at all.

But, back to the joy that was the month of March. Let's start with the fact that I was out of town for work every.single.week. That starts to wear on a person real quick. It wouldn't have been that big of a deal if I wasn't attempting to train for a triathlon OR if I hadn't had several 12-14 hour days followed by less than 6 hours of sleep. To say that I was a little frustrated with my job by the end of the month would be an understatement. Secondly, on the third weekend of the month I crashed on my bike. Not just a little fall, a CRASH. I still have a hematoma in one arm and bruises/scars on my arms and legs. YAY for bikes.

And then to round out the month of fun, I got food poisoning and spent the better part of a weekend being violently ill and losing several pounds. You know, all lots of exciting things. I cannot tell you how excited I was that March was ending and April was soon to be upon us and let me tell you, April has been SO much better!

For example:
-I got to actually train for an entire week and feel slightly less worried that I'm going to die this weekend on the tri course

-I took some "after" pics to see whether I changed at all from the start of training to the end and was pleasantly surprised by a tiny bit of muscle change

-Chris and I moved into a townhouse we are renting and we are LOVING it.

And last but not least, after not riding my bike for upwards of 3 weeks I got back on it and did totally fine. Let's keep up the awesomeness April, I could get used to it.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Color Run 2014

Last weekend we completed another Color Run, also known as "The Happiest 5k on the planet!" Anndd it was awesome. This was my third Color Run and it is a blast every time. This year it was just Chris and I which was a nice change to the giant group we usually have.

This is mostly false lol. I cannot stand running BUT I try, I really try to like it.