Running On Average

Kip Moore and Kid-Free

Guys.

Last week was aMAZing.

Dave’s parents came into town on Wednesday afternoon for a visit and to watch R and J Thursday to Friday so Dave and I could have our first kid-free overnight trip. I love traveling (in fact, it was my dream to be a travel writer) and before we had lil R, we’d traveled to France, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Turks & Caicos, and more. Where did we go last week? An hour south to…

Morgantown, West Virginia!

Kip Moore is my absolute favorite artist and he had an acoustic concert at the Metropolitan Theatre Thursday night, so on Thursday afternoon Dave and I grabbed coffee and donuts from Dunkin and headed south for our first kid-free getaway.

We stayed at a hotel that was straight out of the movie Clue and I felt like a guest at the Hollywood Tower Hotel, except the staff was extraordinarily friendly and the elevators graciously didn’t go rogue. It was kind of awesome, although could use a few updates.

IMG_6194

Anyway, as soon as we got into our room we took a naptime (#parenthood). Then we cracked open the Booker’s straight bourbon Dave got me for our wedding and enjoyed it while we got ready.

IMG_6172 

IMG_6178

For dinner, we walked to the Morgantown Brewing Company which had a Mad Mex vibe to it even though it wasn’t really anything like it. We ordered burgers and drinks which included me going big and trying Old Forester 1920 which was delicious. It was so nice to sit there and talk and not, in the back of my mind, worry about getting home and back to the babies.

4314641A-6AF8-46B8-A235-70A20BF7DF4D

IMG_6180

After dinner (by which point I was feeling nice and warm), we walked to the Theatre for KIP MOORE! We were in the balcony, but it’s a pretty small theater so we could still see and hear him perfectly. Muscadine Bloodline was his opening act. I’d heard of them before, but didn’t know many songs. I’m a fan now for sure.

Then Kip Moore came out. Just him, his guitar, and a red Solo cup. He talked a bit and sang a few songs, then the rest of the Slowhearts came out.

IMG_6191

Here’s the thing about Kip Moore’s concerts. He doesn’t just come out and sing and hype up the audience with bro country beats in too-tight jeans and cowboy boots. He’s the real deal. Before most songs, he stopped and told the story behind them, how they came to be, or related back to another audience on his tour. He actually chatted back and forth with the audience and took requests. I was so overflowing with happiness, I almost cried. (cheesy as hell,yes, but here we are.)

IMG_6187

And he played our wedding song, Hey Pretty Girl. I cannot put enough heart emojis in here to describe how happy that made me. <3

IMG_6193

Friday morning, we checked out of our hotel, grabbed some lunch at Panera and headed over to the Forks of Cheat Winery for some wine tasting. Then on the way home, Dave wanted to stop at the Tanger Outlets to look for pants so, hello, I got to go child-free-outlet-shopping! The Under Armour Outlet is a glorious problem. Smile

I didn’t realize how much getting a break would affect me until we got back to our babies. I was so excited to hug and snuggle them and watching them play Play-Doh didn’t seem boring or frustratingly messy. My energy is revamped and my cup is overflowing with happiness.

Mamas- have you ever taken a child-free getaway? Did you like it? I feel like I’ve been a much better mom the last few days for it!

Anybody like Kip Moore? Who wants to go on-road and be a groupie with me? haha I kid, I kid…

Running and Life Update

Gooood morning! It’s Tuesday! Today will be filled with cleaning and, of course, a run. My in-laws are coming into town tomorrow to watch R and J so Dave and I can go on our first kid-free overnight! I’m so excited. I love my babies to the moon and back, but I’m excited to spend some alone time with my husband. Smile

Last Thursday, we went on our first family double jogger run of the season. I know it’s so nerdy and nuclear family of us, but I love running with my little squad. We only covered 2.5 miles, but it was enough to just get out of the house on a beautiful night and spend time together.

IMG_6042

Fast forward to yesterday, I got a 5.25 miler in on the treadmill. I wanted to run outside so badly, but my intestines gave that a hard no so treadmill it was. I swear treadmills are harder for me. I think- I know- it’s a mental game, so I try to mix it up as much as I can. Last night it was a speed ladder. I ran 3 songs at 9:40 pace, then every song I increased the treadmill by .2 (so like 20 seconds?) for 6 songs, eventually getting up to 8-minute pace, then 3 more songs at 9:40 pace and a cool-down walk to get me 5.25. Ba-bam! Love it. I’m also loving Panic! At the Disco for running lately.

IMG_6095

Tonight will probably be a quick 3- to 4-miler because, again, deep cleaning.

I’ve also been going on a bit of a spring cleaning/Marie Kondo craze lately and am organizing and nesting like I’m pregnant (I’m not!!). Anyway, the Vietnam Veteran’s Association does this great donation project called Pick-Up Please and today they are coming to pick-up a bunch of clothing and shoes and bedding, some of which I’ve had since childhood. Yeah, I know. This was long overdue. But at least it’s getting done.

IMG_6113

What are your plans for the day? The week? Have you ever taken an overnight without your babies? Let me know in the comments!

Entyvio, the ER, and a Sunset Run

You may or may not remember, but I’ve been on Humira for ulcerative colitis since May. In October, they doubled my dose after a colonoscopy showed still severely active inflammation. Even after the doubled dose, however, I still have inflammation and symptoms, so after some back and forth with insurance (of course, right?), I got approved for Entyvio and yesterday was my first loading dose. Hurray!

IMG_5915

It was pretty straightforward and weirdly relaxing. The nurse took me took me to the infusion office and set me up in a nice chair and explained the process. The infusion would start slowly to see how my body reacted to it, then she would increase it as we went. She hooked me up and I pulled out my book and read for the next hour and a half while she periodically checked my blood pressure and increased the Entyvio.

At the end of the 90 minutes, she unhooked me and I was good to go.

I felt so much better today then I did on Humira days when I’d feel exhausted and just all around bummy. Of course, that could also have been the beautiful weather today, but we’ll see. My next infusion is in two weeks.

Which brings me to my next topic. I WENT ON A DUSK RUN TODAY!

IMG_5952

Evening-sunset-dusk runs are my favorite and the winter keeps me from them. But since daylight savings time is back, I have time to go outside after Dave gets home from work. This week was chaotic with my baby boy in the ER on Monday night (he’s okay now) and yesterday just being a general nightmare, but today made up for it all.

IMG_5896

I ran an 8:11 mile and kept a sub-9 average pace which felt waaaay easier than the same run on a treadmill so I will take that win!

When is your favorite time to run? Do you love daylight savings time as much as I do?

P.S. Happy Birthday to my big sister!! Smile Love ya!

Marathon Deferment

Last week was a doozy. My kids both had a stomach virus, which then Dave got. Then while he was on a business trip, I got it. Needless to say, marathon training did not go according to plan.

IMG_5687

I got my Monday and Tuesday runs in all right, but Wednesday I pretty much just put on cartoons for the babies and when they got bored I parented from the couch.

IMG_5744

I began Googling “should I defer my marathon” and 10,000 related searches. Most of the articles that popped up seemed confident that I could still run my race even with numerous missed runs. Maybe it wouldn’t be the race I planned, but I could still be in marathon shape.

But the more I found that answer, the more I realized that I was just looking for an article to tell me, “look, Jess. You’ve missed too much. You won’t be prepared to run this race.”

I realized that my heart just wasn’t into training this time around and that’s when I made the decision to defer my race. Coming to that decision was hard and took hours (or let’s be honest, I’ve been wondering this for weeks since I had the flu) of debating, but once I submitted my deferral I didn’t feel upset at all. I felt relieved, as if a huge weight was off my chest.

And that’s how I knew I made the right decision.

d8j8ehZe_400x400

It wasn’t that I wouldn’t be able to run the marathon in May- I know I could have- my heart just wasn’t into the strict schedule and I’d found myself dreading every long run instead of looking forward to them.

And I think that’s really important for a lot of runners to realize. Sometimes it’s better to walk away from a race and let yourself be happier than it is to sludge through training simply because you feel like you have to, like you still CAN make up those miles so you SHOULD. But if we’re not enjoying running, what’s the point?

It’s just not my season for training and that’s fine. It’s my season to get healthy, get my babies healthy, and run to build up my endurance not break down my body by running through the flu or sinus infection or stomach virus or whatever else the kids give me next.

Yesterday I took the kiddos to the gym and dropped them off at child care while I did a 4.5 mile tempo run, reaching 7:30 pace, followed by some shoulders/chest weight lifting and abs. The last few races I’ve run, I’ve really slacked on weight lifting in favor of running, so I want to rebuild a solid weight training routine and when I begin training for my next race I can incorporate weights in more.

Have you ever deferred a race? Did you feel better or worse about it? Did you ever wish you’d deferred?

Don’t Stop (get it get it)

Well hi again!

Six months ago,  I was stoked after reading Rachel Hollis’ Girl, Wash Your Face  and determined to stop starting over, to work for it, to grab life by the horns.

And then I haven’t blogged since.

Oops.

IMG_5719

So, how successful have I been? I guess that’s open for debate. I had a temp freelance job writing social media for a communications company for five months. I joined a gym with childcare. I finished crocheting a blanket for R and began one for J. I’ve made progress on my novel. I’m training for another marathon.

IMG_4284

In that regard, I have been. But generally speaking, I don’t feel any different. I don’t feel any more accomplished and I certainly don’t feel like I haven’t wanted to start over once a week.

Maybe that’s all part of it, though? That even though my life is moving forward and I am trying, I definitely have room to improve upon my goals and consistency, but that doesn’t mean I’m failing. It doesn’t mean I need to start over. I need to realign and keep pushing.

IMG_4871

How about you? How has your life been moving forward? What are your goals?

I look forward to chatting a lot more often!