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  • Writer's pictureJessica Jones

Dawn of a New Blog

Updated: Apr 8, 2018

Welcome. As my first blog post, I’d like to introduce my goals and what you can expect (hopefully) from following my journey. Everything I’m about to say (write) is what I’m thinking now about how I’d like this page to shape up. No guarantees that this won’t change over time. That disclaimer out of the way, let’s get to it.

Why do I want to share my running journey with you, the internet universe? Well, I joined some social media running groups a while back and found some great people. My online running family. I have been encouraged and inspired by them. Runners of all shapes, sizes, ages, and abilities. Most of whom I’ve never met in person, but I feel I know them well. We are connected by our passion for running. So, I’m opening this up in hopes of expanding my running family. So, please, feel free to comment on this page, ask me questions, follow me on social media, or shoot me an email. I’d love to get to know you!

What dreams, what goals, am I chasing? As mentioned on my home page I have a few, but the World Marathon Challenge in 2020 is my big dream. Seven marathons. Seven continents. Seven days. This is inspired by the current record holder and two-time winner of the event, Becca Pizzi. She is an amazing athlete. An inspiring woman. Every target race, event in this case, I have at least two goals. An “A” goal, which is what I REALLY want to do. The big dream. The scary one. And, a “B” goal, which I’ll be happy to achieve. A real accomplishment. Lots of coaches encourage a “C” goal that is not time-based (such as sticking with a race strategy). Sometimes I include one, but usually not. On the home page, I wrote that my goal is to complete this event in under 28h, cumulative time (under 4h per marathon). That’s my B goal. For this, I need a C goal. That’s to finish (preferably healthy). My A goal is the world record.

That’s a pretty big goal, but why stop there? It’s a few years coming, so I need some things to keep me busy in the meantime. Run a BQ time in all 50 states before I turn 50 (as mentioned on my about page). I just finished the Little Rock Marathon in 3:29:26, which makes Arkansas the 12th on that list. Only 38 to go! I’m six weeks away from racing my 4th Boston Marathon, where a PR (currently 3:14:49) is my B goal. My A goal is sub-3:10. It’s a daunting goal to take nearly 5 minutes off a marathon PR, but I just watched Amy Cragg destroy her PR at the Tokyo Marathon. Anything is possible with the right plan and dedication.

Getting back to the blog, and expectations of what will be here. Hopefully you have already, or soon will, take a look at the home and about pages of this site to get a bit of background about me. I’ll be giving more details of who I am and my life’s journey as they are relevant. Or, if I get nostalgic. I encourage you to take some time to check out the gallery page on occasion. It has some of my favorite pictures from my race travels and training runs. I will try to keep it updated routinely.

Goals, photos, what else? Well, I’m planning on posting weekly(-ish). If you’re interested in more frequent updates, follow me on Instagram or Facebook. There I post more frequently, but with not a lot of detail. Here, I intend to be more detailed about my training. This means workout summaries for each week. Planned and actual mileage and paces. How did I feel? Did I stick to the plan? Did life happen and I had to adjust? I’ll be sharing my perspective on training and what it means to me. I want to emphasize that I am a firm believer in “you have to find what works for you”. We are all individuals, and while there are some basic principles that will help any runner, there are huge variations of what will work for each individual. What I talk about is what works for me.

Along those lines, as a starter, here’s a general overview of my training “philosophy” as it were. Training is a term that covers three main areas, in my mind. Running (obviously). Cross-training (I don’t do a lot of this in a traditional sense). Nutrition (mmm….food!). To perform at your best, to achieve those big goals, all three of these areas must be optimized and balanced. That’s what I’m working towards. More to come on each aspect of training. For now, let’s recap the last week in my running life.

Training Log, February 26 - March 4, 2018

70.4 miles for the week. 70 was the goal.

Paces: R (recovery) = 9:09 or slower; E (easy) = 8:08-8:36; S (steady) = 7:30-7:50; MP (marathon pace) = 7:15; T (threshold) = 6:58; WU/CD (warm up/cool down) = easy by feel

Monday – planned: 6R in AM/3S in PM and stability session

6.2mi @ 9:13 in the AM. All good.

3.5mi @ 8:15 in the PM. Slightly modified the workout to 0.5WU, 2.5S (7:30-7:48 on treadmill). 0.5CD. A mental challenge on the ‘mill after a long workday.

Stability: 10 leg swings (front and side, each leg), 10 clock lunges (front, side, back, each leg), 6 pistol squats (at least as much of ones as I can do!), 20 mountain climbers, 2x20sec superman.

Tuesday – planned: 8E in AM/2E in PM

5.9mi @ 8:25 in the AM. Felt okey dokey, but cut short thinking I’d add a bit to the evening run. Another long day at work, so no motivation for the afternoon.

Wednesday – planned: 2WU, 5x(1.5MP, 0.5S), 1CD and stability session

13.7mi @ 8:00. I messed up my first interval and when my watch beeped for the 1mi (7:25), I thought it was the 1.5mi interval and slowed up. Doh! Otherwise, decent paces for the 2nd (7:27) and 3rd (7:20) intervals. The 4th (7:22) and all of the 5th (7:42) were into a ~10mph headwind, so expected to be a bit slower. The first part of the 5th was also up the hill on the bridge. I went into CD after the 5th 1.5mi, rather than keeping S pace. Hard workout. Used my mantra a lot. Focused on “live it”. Have to do the tough workouts. That’s living the way to the goal. Still have work to do on speed endurance, for certain.

Stability: 10 leg swings (front and side, each leg), 10 single leg deadlifts (bodyweight), 10 squat side leg raises, 20 alternate arm/leg raises from plank.

Thursday – planned: 2E

2.9mi @ 9:25. Wednesday’s workout left my legs a little heavy. With the races coming up on the weekend, I decided to back the pace down to R, but an extra mile. This and Friday are all about getting a few miles in without damage. The weekend will be the time to work hard.

Friday – planned: 4-6E

3.1mi @ 9:08. Slow and steady on the hotel treadmill. First half at R-pace, and second at E. Cut mileage as I’m still on track for weekly total and rest for tomorrow’s race will be good.

Saturday – planned: 1WU, 6.2T, 1CD (Little Rock 10K)

1.2mi @ 9:11, 6.3mi @ 6:46, 1.1 @ 9:39. Faster than planned for the 10K, but fairly consistent (6:51, 7:01, 6:45, 6:45, 6:47, 6:32). Mile 2 was mostly up a gradual incline, and I let my competitive edge show around mile 3, when I had the leading woman in my sights. Settled into a quicker pace for miles 3-5 and ran mile 6 by feel. Hard, but reserved. I’m happy with the effort. Plus, I ended up breaking the tape at the finish line!!

Sunday – planned: 26.2 progression (Little Rock Marathon)

26.5mi @ 7:55. Started out a little too fast (I’m seeing a pattern), so this turned into more of an even-pace run than a progression. I’m okay with that considering there was some decent elevation between miles 14-18!

Until next week.

Own it, live it, be it.

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