Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Starting from square 1

WOW~is all that I can say!!!!  On Monday I went to take Body Combat (ya know that class that I teach) from my sweet friend, Jackie and she KILLED me!  Or I killed me.  Her energy is so contagious and I was so anxious after being out of commission for the last weeks.  I literally feel like I am starting from square from one.  Have you ever felt like that?  It was an amazing workout and I felt great, but man oh man.  When I woke up Tuesday I was a little sore.  Okay, I expected that.  What I did not expect was how sore I felt when I woke up Wednesday!  OOOOOMMMMGGGGGGG!  I'm not complaining though.

I have also gotten a few runs in.  Yes, I did this before being released by my doctor. Shhhhhh, don't tell anyone.  My first run was on Memorial day, and I could not have asked for a better run.  The weather was gorgeous and the company was amazing as always.  The next couple of runs were umm.....not great.  Somebody apparently felt like it was a good idea to flip the humidity switch and I felt it big time.  Again, felt like I was starting over.  That's okay though, I will not let anything knock down.  


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

It's all about putting on your big girl panties and dealing....

......that's where I stand today.  The next five weeks will not be about running or exercise.  WAIT A MINUTE!!! WHAT!?!?!?!  Yep, you read it right.  I am struggling with this big time.  I had minor surgery last week and it requires me to take six weeks off for recovery.  Most people would not care, they would just go about their day to day.   This is huge for me.  I LIVE to work out!  But~you deal with what you got.  It's not the end of the world.  I got this!  

Here's the silliness that goes with this.  
-I'm afraid of getting weaker in my workouts
-I DO NOT want to get slower in my runs
-I WANT to work my ass off this summer and get into my best shape.

This is going to take a lot of hard work and effort on my part, a HUGE commitment, and most importantly some crazy self discipline.

 I will do this!

My blog's name is my mantra for the year.  Little did I know that five months into 2013 would have taken on such an emotional roller coaster.  
February 12, 2013 - I received a phone call that changed my life forever!  A very close and dear best friend was in the hospital and he outlook was not good.  There is no other way to describe how I felt other than heart broken.  What the hell?!?!  This kind of stuff does not happen.  I spent the next 2 days at the hospital on and off and then got the phone call that it was time to say goodbye.  HOW? WHAT? WHY?   I sit here writing this and it's been almost 3 months and I still feel the same way.  Heartbroken, empty, sad, confused, did I mention heartbroken.  
Anne Marie Melton is my soul mate.  From day one we had a connection that was unbreakable.  We've had so many good/crazy times.  She's been my voice of reason,, my cheerleader, my fashion consultant, a shoulder to cry on, my VBS co-pilot, and a piece of my heart.  
There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of her.  I still talk to her daily and consult her in big decisions.  I'm still waiting for her to walk through the door and tell me it's all ok.  After I woke from surgery I was so confused.  I felt like she was there with me, like we were having conversations.  I couldn't understand what was going on, damn drugs!  Later I realized she was with me...telling me to put on my BIG GIRL PANTIES AND DEAL!  She comforted and protected me.  Anne Marie, I love you girl!

That was the first big hurdle for the year.  I thought ok, I can deal with this with the help of family and good friends.  THANK GOD for them!

April 2, 2013- I had a routine doctor visit and again thought no big deal.  I walked out of that office that day not knowing what the heck was going onOnce again my life was turned upside down.  They had discovered a mass and immediately sent me in for an ultrasound, and then immediately after that and MRI.  After the doctor decided he didn't like the MRI we scheduled surgery.  One problem here....I had my first half marathon in less than two weeks.  There was no way on hell I was giving that up.  I had worked too hard.  We scheduled surgery for May 1st.   So, for the rest of the month this dumb mass was always in the forefront of my thoughts.  I played through all kind of what ifs.  That's normal, right?  May 1st came and went and surgery went well.  A little  invasive than they originally thought, another mass was found, amongst some other things.  Thankfully I only had to spend the next week playing through all the what if scenarios.  My heart seriously hurt.  I had to lay every fear that I had in God's hands, and tell him to please give me the strength to get through whatever this is.  He did just that.  I went today to my post-op and the masses were benign, and everything else is manageable.  WOOHOO!  I cried.  So happy to know that I have bright future ahead.  This was a very humbling experience and I;m happy to report that I DID put on my girl panties and deal.

==  TODAY ==
I'm full of mixed emotions.  My baby brother, Tyler, is getting ready to leave for basic training.  It's hitting home and getting real.  From the time Tyler was a baby we've always had a special bond.  It's weird, really  hard to describe.  Tyler has a special place in my heart and that will never change.  I have watched him grow from a sweet little boy to a kind hearted young man.  I respect his decision to go into the army more than he knows.  It's exciting because I know we will see more growth in him.  Tyler, please remember how much I love you while you are away.  Don't ever forget your roots.  Where you came from and how you were raised is so important.  It's made you who you are today.  You have been through life experiences that some can't even fathom and they have made you stronger than you realize.  
Again, this is making me put on the big girl panties and deal.  

 So, there it is.  My emotional roller coaster.  To some of you, you may be thinking "no big deal," but for me these events were huge.  Life changing in my eyes.  

Jen :)

Monday, April 22, 2013

The heading says it all.  I now have an IRONCORE.  I always knew I did, but this just makes it official.

When Leah & I decided to embark on this journey on New Years Eve I didn't realize how empowering it would feel four months later.  We we very faithful to our training and stuck together through it all.  I wouldn't have it any other way.  It was an absolute blast.

The night before the race, I barely slept at all.  I was so anxious and couldn't wait to just get started.  At 3:30am I decided I would finally get up and try to relax by watching a little TV.  Around 4am I said to heck with it and got up and started to get ready.  Leah & I were meeting the Striders at 5am to caravan down to Clearwater together, and thankfully I packed my bags the night before.  Yes, I said know, the pre-race bag and the post-race bag.

By the time we arrived in Clearwater I was ready to get this thing started.  We stretched really good and just took it all in. When we were standing in the potty line (for the 2nd time) we came across a sweet face.  Boy was I glad to see her.  If you know Becky, you know she has a way about her that is so calming. 
 We pottied and made it out just in time to get to the start.  We gave our hugs and kisses, and words of encouragement and we were off.
I was so surprised to see the hubs,kids, and some great friends during the 1st half mile.  That was just what I needed to calm the "we just took off nerves." 

First up......The Clearwater Bridge. WOOHOO!  I actually like this bridge.  Leah & I killed the first 3 miles and felt greatAt the 3 mile water stop I was wondering how far it was til we got to the DREADED Sand Key Bridge.  Lucky us it wasn't far.  HOLY TOLEDO~that bridge is a BEAST and you have to be a BEAST to get up it.  Thankfully, Leah & I are BEASTS!  After coming off the bridge we headed into Sand Key park where we HAD to stop for another potty break.  All the hydration was really catching up to me ;)  We ran out of the park and headed back out and soon after we saw Josh, the kids, and Kim!  OMG~I NEEDED THAT!  It was soooo nice.....Josh ran with us for a bit giving us kind words and scaring off everyone around us

I am so grateful for wonderful, supportive family and friends.  I don't know how I would make it without them.
We made the turn around and headed back towards the awesome bridges.  Oh joy!
We were still feeling pretty good and then something happened that I never expected.  Leah was running backwards in front of me and she gracefully did a back flip over a traffic cone and landed on her feet.  She is a trip. Literally.  I saw the cone, but just couldn't get the words out of my mouth.  She's a true champ.  
The second time up and over the Sand Key was harder than the first and my knees were starting to bother me, but we carried on.  Around mile 10 some idiot on the side of the road offered us a cigarette!  YES~DURING A RACE!  WHAT THE HECK!  
Anyways....3 miles left and I was starting to fade and get a little delirious.  THANK GOD for Leah.  We just kept and taking in the BEAUTIFUL scenery that we are so lucky to have.  We seriously could not have asked for better weather or a better view.  The next 2 miles were really quite boring and then our sweet friend Becky came back for us after she finished her race.  AGAIN, we are so blessed to have such amazing friends.  Becky got to us just before we were set to go back over the Clearwater Bridge for the last time!  She is so awesome.  She was chatting and showing the medal off and encouraging other runners.  I ran/walked up the bridge and promised them when we got to the top we would not stop.....We took off and made our way to the twirly whirly part of the run.  Becky was yelling to our friends to let them know we were coming and I could here Rachel yelling back.  When we got to the end of the twirly whirly there was a poor girl getting serious medical attention.  I felt so bad....just .15 away from the finish line.  I had to push that image out of my head.  We crossed over the street and could see our Strider friends cheering for us at the chute.  The finish line experience for this race was like none I have ever experienced before.  SOO many different emotions going through my head.  First and foremost I was deteremined.  My body was telling me it wanted to stop but my heart was saying,"HELL NO!!!!"  I was lucky enough to have Josh, Becky, Rachel & Kim run me in to the finish and then Leah & I crossed.  
I cannot explain enough the range of emotion I had at the finish: Proud that I finished, Happy that I set a goal and reached it, sad because it was over, overwhelmed, fatigued, thirsty, hungry.  
I was hanging onto the railings at the chute and trying to compose myself when someone told me that my parents and Tyler were there.  That was all it took~I started crying, my legs gave out, I was dizzy, I don't know what the hell was going on.  The next thing I know I have medic standing next to me telling me he'g going to get a chair to sit in. He failed to mention it was a wheelchair.  He strapped me in and made me go to the medic tent.  I tried with everything I had, but he wouldn't let me go. It was no big deal really, kinda nice to sit and chill.  I think it gave my mom and dad a bit of a scare because I looked at my mom and she was crying and my dad welllll.... he's my dad.  He was making jokes and just kept pouring water on me.  
It was so nice to see soooo many family and friends at the finish line.  I am so grateful for each and everyone of you! MUAH!

I dedicate this blog to you.  Without you and your unconditional love and determination I don't know how I would have gotten through with this.  We  have bonded, become friends, and sisters.  We have shared laughs, cries ,and disgusting bodily functions.  You have put up with my non-stop peeing and somehow we made it!
I hope you know how much I love you and how proud I am of you!  I can't wait to do it all again.  So, what's next on our list?  I love you   

So here it is.....this is what the months of early wake ups, long runs, sore legs, blistered toes, and toe nails falling off was for:

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Best DAMN Race

I CANNOT say enough good things about this race!!!!!!!!!!!  The race director did a DAMN fantastic job putting on a first time race! 
First off, packet pick up at Sports Authority was a a dream.  It was so well organized that my husband was in and out with in minutes.  Swag bag was ok, nothing stellar, but they did have my favorite mojo bar! WOOHOO!
RACE DAY~  Josh, myself, Leah, & Jackie loaded up the race wagon at 5:15am and headed to Safety Harbor, but not without meeting our sweet friends Kim & Tricia.  It was a chilly 43* when we left the house and most racers were stoked about this, I was not!  We arrived in Safety Harbor around 6am parked the race wagon with no problem and headed on to go pick up everyone elses packets.  What a breeze.  The volunteers were a pleasure to speak with at an unreasonable hour in the morning and again this part was very organized!

We all started making the potty breaks.  I don't know about you, but I swear I must pee at least 10 times from the time I get up til the race actually starts.  Ridiculous~I know.  But, what can ya do?  So we pee'd and headed the start line.  Somehow in the midst of getting to the start line Leah, Tricia, and I lost Jackie & Kim!  I was starting to get nervous, this was my first official 10k race.  I don't know why I was nervous.  I had no time to beat and wasn't racing against anybody, so what's the big deal?  I don't know, I still get like that before I teach my classes too.  Finally~time for the national anthem, the gun, and we were off!  YAY!

I almost wish that I had run with a camera because this course was GORGEOUS!  It was the BEST DAMN course I had ever raced!  We started out along the water in Safety Harbor along a quiet neighborhood.  It was seriously breathtaking!  I was getting caught up in the moment during the first 2 miles because the view was out of this world.  The sky was a beautiful pink, purple, orange color with the water and it literally took my breath away.  I kept thinking to myself, "God is good, all the time, God is good."  It was a moment that just spoke to me.  I have never had that happen in a race so it was weird.  Just before mile 2 I started getting hot and starting tearing off the throw away clothes.  Hat, gloves, & shirt~all gone!  I AM SO GLAD I thought ahead!  

Miles 2-3.5 were pretty uneventful we just kinda jogged and Gu'd(gross) and talked.  It was so nice.  Then we hit a few small elevations.  I can't even call them hills because they were not hills, but I definitely felt them, whatever they were.  We ended up on a trail that had pretty scenery and then back out to Bayshore for about another 1.5-2 miles.  I was doing pretty good and then somewhere in mile 5 I started to lose it.  YUP~I said it, I was loosing it.  I feel like a loser for saying so, but running is all mental for me.  When I don't know where I am in accordance to the finish line I get all outta whack!  Leah went on ahead just a little, I could hear her talking to me and yelling for encouragement & I was sooooo appreciative!  SO THANK YOU LEAH!  I wouldn't have got through it without you.  I looked at the watch and I knew I had about .2 left. I told my legs to go faster and they did, but not crazy fast like I wanted AND THEN I HEARD IT!  Do you know what I'm talking about??????  I heard STRIDER NATION and some of closest and dearest friends screaming for me.  Then I GOT IT~those damn thunder thighs finally started to go at the pace I know they are capable of.  ABOUT DAMN TIME!  I chucked my awesome handheld water bottle out into the crowd and took off like a bat outta hell!  WOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  
*******Official Time~1:07:32**********  I am proud!
It felt amazing to have my friends, my brother, and my boys there cheering for me.  It was special.  There are times when I am so down on myself because they are ridiculously faster than me, but on this day I was grateful.  So thank you so much~Rachel, Kim, Jackie, Cheryl, David, Tricia, Melanie, and anyone else I am missing. 
Cheers to you Nick for putting on the BEST DAMN RACE~can't wait to do it again next year!

Monday, January 28, 2013


I don't think I have ever been so nervous and so excited for anything in my life. Well, except for having for three beautiful kids.  I wasn't even nervous getting married.  CRAP~I sign up for my first ever half marathon and I just don't know what to do with myself. 

Today Leah and I started our OFFICIAL TRAINING for our first half!  Whoop Whoop!  We are kind of following Hal Higdon's Novice 2 half marathon plan.  I know we can do the intermediate, but I don't want to mess with the numbers. 

If you followed my last post, you saw that Saturday was our longest run at 7.5 miles.   Needless to say the legs were still slightly sore so we took it easy.  Let's call it a recovery run.  I think I am going to start running with my husband on Sunday mornings just a few miles before church to loosen the legs, because once we ran today my legs felt great! 

We went our from my neighborhood which is a pretty easy route, nothing exciting scenery wise.  Occassionly we get surprised by sprinklers or by the country club mowing their lawn, but nothing crazy.  By the time we reach my 'hood again, we have about a half a mile left so we usually do two small intervals.  We ran the last .15 at a 7:24 and it felt great.  I know it's not a big deal for my ELITE friends, but for me it's kinda a big deal. I know my awesome ELITE friends love me either way.  They don't care how fast or slow I am and I am grateful for that.  You will read this statement a lot~I have an AMAZING support system.  My family, friends, and our running group the SUNCOAST STRIDERS are unconditionally supportive.  They never make me feel stupid(even though I feel that I way sometimes), they are my biggest cheerleaders, they bring me water or let me sip theirs, they stop and talk to me while they are running, and give great advice.  I couldn't get through this journey without them.  OMG~ I am getting teary eyed as I type this.  So~if you're reading this THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.  ALL OF YOU! 

I decided on New Years Eve, as Leah & I were signing up for Iron Girl that if I was going to do this I was going to train smart.  Training smart= clean eating, or at least better eating ;)  So if you want to follow me on my username is Staubin5.  I am by no means perfect, but I am going to try to eat better.  I know that it will make a difference.  I need to find  a balance in what I am eating and how it effects my runs.  It's going to take some work, but I will figure it out.

Cheers til next time!


So from here on out through the rest of this training every Saturday's post will probably be a LONGEST EVER!  Leah & I's training plan doesn't officially start until January 28th, but we decided we would go for it anyways.
So if you followed last week, went went 6 miles in Starkey Park.  It was nice, calm, serene, and we saw new scenery.  This was a big deal.  It also intrigued us.  We knew we were almost to the enchanted forest so we wanted to go a little farther this week.  I am proud to say that our curiosity made us go just a smidge farther.  We had planned on seven and we did 7.4.  WOOHOO!  The point four miles was because I wanted to make it to the little building on the trail (which we did~and i was SERIOUSLY hoping it was was a bathroom~it was not~boo).  I was happy that curiosity sucked us in because we met up with Rachel and Becky for a few minutes and then they carried on with their run because they were cold. 
At this point,  we decided we would try out some of the goods I brought with us~Shot Blocks.  One word~YUCK!!!!!!!!!  They were so freaking gummy.  How the heck do you chew those damn things while you are running?!?!?!  I could only suck down one and we were off.  (Still trying to suck shot blocks out of my damn teeth).
Off we went, gummy teeth and all, and now the cold was starting to set in.  It seemed much colder than when we started, I'm guessing because we were sweaty.  GET READY FOR IT.....THIS IS TMI, SO IF YOU'RE NOT IN THE MOOD~STOP READING!
Around mile 4.5 My legs were starting to hurt, but not like muscle hurt.  Like rug burn hurt.  Yep, you guessed it, freaking chafe!  What the hell!  This only happens when it's cold, never when it's hot!  Yes~now the word is ~GLIDE! If you're a runner, you know what this is!
I was hoping that I would never have to buy this, but I guess if I don't wanna have issues I am going to have to.  BOO!
ANYWAYS~we ran our last few miles stopping at  the water stops and maybe one time before we saw the awesome brown sign.  When you can see this it means you're almost done.  Usually when we see we pick up pace.  I was wondering if I would still be able to pick up pace after adding more miles, but I don't know why I was sweating it because I did.  I think more or less because I know we are almost done, but I also like to see if I can push myself!

So we did it~7.5 beautiful miles.  We saw a baby buck with his horns growing in, they were so little.  Oh and we had 2 or 3 deer cross our path while we were running. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

6 miles~almost to the enchanted forrest....almost

Six Mile Saturday
Leah & I are two weeks out from our official Iron Girl training beginning!  Whoop~Whoop!  I am so excited.  We may be two weeks out from training, but we also have THE BEST DAMN RACE 10k in two weeks.  For my non-runner friends a 10k is 6.2 miles.  Sooooo, we did our 6 miles and it was freakin awesome!!!  It was seriously best run.  We had great weather, good company along the way, new scenery.  It was so refreshing. Here we are at water stop #1, approximately 1.25 miles out.
Barely even breaking a sweat!
By the time we got to this water stop we had already ditched the water belt and long sleeve shirt for me.

Again I forgot the freaking Garmin.  I figured Josh took the Garmin with him when he left since he was going for a longer run, but he didn't. Boo! Oh well.  I think we averaged between a 10:30 and 11:00 for the 6 miles. I know not real fast, but hey I'm not looking to win the race.....let's be real...that's not happening!  I'm just looking to prove to myself that I can do it.  I know that I can! 
AND guess what?  I am actually starting to like to run.  I mean really like it.  First I just went for social hour, but now I really like it.  Miracles do happen.

I love running at Starkey Park.  It is just so beautiful and it has a calming effect on me.  Leah and I ran out 3 miles and we realized we had finally reached new scenery.

I know some of you may be looking at this like what's the big damn deal, but when you run week after week and you finally see something new it's awesome!  So of course I had to stop and take a pic & then Leah got a little silly.

Hey~we had all the time in the world and let's face it we're fun!
After we took in the scenery we picked it up and started heading back to the shelter.  Life was good.  We talked along the way, teetered tottered with another runner, and then came across Petey the friendly deer.
I like looking at deers from a distance, but they terrify me.  Most things in the wild terrify me, but deer really do it for me.  ESPECIALLY after one of the girls from our running club just recently had a hit and run with a deer.  That's right, the deer did a hit and run!  She was ok, a little banged up from falling, but ok.  So I took a pic of Petey from a distance.  Bye Petey~til next time.

Our last mile and a half was pretty uneventful.  We just chilled at our chill pace.  Again~I am liking running.  By the time we got to where we had a half mile left I was ready to bring it home and kill that last half mile, but I needed some good jams.  I got out my phone and I knew exactly what I was looking for!  TURBULENCE by Steve Aoki.  OMG~whaat a killer song!  Our last half mile was fast and amazing!  We felt awesome!

So that was my Saturday.  Looking forward to my runs this week.  Here's my schedule:

Monday~co-teach Body combat
Tuesday~Run 3miles 530am
             Teach body combat10am
             Teach body combat 7pmn
Wednesday~learn the new combat release
                  teach spin 445pm
Thursday~Run 4 miles 530am
Friday~work on new combat release
Saturday~7 miles