7 Days Without A Run Makes One Weak…or Strong

Earlier this year…the week before my amazing running trip to Albuquerque to be exact, I began noticing a nagging discomfort in my hamstring. I wouldn’t call the hamstring problem a pain as much as I’d call it a pain in the you know what. Bothersome enough for me to be aware.  I would nurse it as needed and remain mindful of it while doing strength training, purposely staying away from explosive or jarring movements.
Lots of changes from RUNNING to REAL WORLD:
Since starting a new job and a new training cycle this summer, I’ve also conservatively/cautiously started increasing both volume and speed to my workouts. I was adamant to stick within the recommended 10% mileage increase week over week for safe training (averaging 20 miles/week). I have been diligent about paces as well. Per recommended RRCA training standards: my long runs have been completed at 9:30-10:00 pace, 60-90 seconds off of my goal race pace. Speed and tempo runs have been completed on effort due to humidity and high temps, no faster than 8:00/pace. But as any life long runner knows, sometimes you can do everything right and the body still fights back. With each occurrence over the past few months, there didn’t seem to be any commonality to each flare up. Speed or distance didn’t seem to matter. Sometimes it would just “act up.”
The past two weeks the discomfort has spread. Even after having a spectacular and conservative 6 mile run last Saturday to cap off a stellar training week, I knew by Sunday morning I needed a break. This was confirmed in wise words from my training partner as I sat on a bag of ice.
For the past week I have not run. Each day passing I thought maybe today or maybe tomorrow. The week brought stress and scheduling challenges from work and personal life. My mind and body was tired. I am sure this aided in my aching leg. In the past I would have either:
A) tried to cram it all in anyways
B) would have felt guilty missing a workout
C) ignored the problem and hoped it went away
Instead I opted for
D) to listen
Not only to my body, but to the universe. Obviously both were trying to not only slow me down but stop me dead in my tracks. It was clear my energy and attention needed to be spent elsewhere. Message received!!!
It is now Friday and I haven’t run since Saturday. I feel edgy, emotional, and of course out of shape. The later being something that is completely psychosomatic I am sure, but never the less, true for any sidelined athlete.
With all of this extra time…I have taken a step back. I refer back to years of great coaching and wisdom from Ryan Conrad and Jerry Frostick. Time for me to decide how and what should happen next. What can I control? What attitude will I take?
What I will NOT do:
I will not jump back in to the exact spot I walked away from. It would be foolish and risky to tackle the 8 mile run scheduled on my training plan after 7 days off. Duh!!!
I will not spend time thinking about where I would be had this not happened.
I will not neglect self care including warm ups, post run, nutrition, yoga, sleep or massage.
What I WILL do:
Order a boatload of new gear from Brooks!
I have scheduled a massage and a short shake out run for the weekend, both will complement my Saturday obligations of work and beyond.
I will allow myself to feel frustrated but not defeated. This is a minor detour to my destination, not a roadblock.
I will participate in the Rock n Roll 5k in two weeks for a little race practice and for the fun of it. I will absolutely #runhappy and will embrace a fun morning in my Brooks on my boardwalk.
I will implement a more robust nutrition plan complete w carbs, iron, and protein.
I will commit to better sleeping habits as part of my recovery program.
I am weeks away from Crawlin Crab and have matured enough in my running to know that taking a step in the reverse CAN and WILL pay off advantageously for the training cycle moving FORWARD.


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August: Craving Routine


Oh August I feel ya coming in loud and not so clear. July left me longing for routine and I’m not sure I’ll get that from you this month. This summer has served up new EVERYTHING, including meal times, sleep schedules, and workouts…or lack there of. But with all of the NEW, I wouldn’t change a thing.

I found myself having the same conversation more than once last week with different friends. “Let go of what doesn’t serve you” I encouraged them. You simply can’t be of service to others or have anything to offer anyone if you are depleted. Even after all the repeating, I somehow didn’t hear myself. I needed a reminder.

Tuesday afternoon I found myself staring at the turn of the calendar and acknowledging more questions than answers with the new month. Ugh… I was craving routine. Instead of expecting to have the most perfect fall schedule and fitness habits, I’m embracing the ebb and flow of this changing August tide. I could easily become consumed with trying to nail every single one of my workouts in this new training plan. But then…I realized, running is not a priority right now. It is however a necessity. I need to be outside. I need to be with my friends. I need to play. Remembering my Brooks Running mantra, I simply need to Run Happy! Surrounding myself with people I love and routes that excite me will do that.

I need to be prepared for fall races. But I don’t need to PR a half or even a 5k. I need to enjoy the journey and the passengers I share it with. My friend and teammate Steve gets it and he captures it in his latest blog here.

I am a creature of habit. Workouts, cooking, laundry, and even grocery shopping all completed on respective days each week. Journaling out my schedule and to-do’s gives me a sense of control and calm.  It also brings a good reminder to let go of the things that do not serve my spirit. Make room for more. Make room for a full life, not a fast one. Remember that is is not so much about life getting in the way…but rather on it’s way!!!

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You ARE God’s Gift


Let’s talk a little bit about your talents. If you really are in touch with your talents and gifts, you know they are God given. They are on loan to you and were made for sharing with the rest of the world. In hopes to better others around you.


Your talent or gift may be making lots of money. Are you sharing your riches? Are you teaching others how they can achieve this?

My talent is my voice…my words. It isn’t always heard. Often it is read. Right here on this nearly 7 year old site. My perspective on faith, fitness, and wellness is clearly voiced on my channels. It is my why. When I spend time fostering it or developing it, or sharing it…It is my best yes. I’m learning more about that in Lysa Teurkeurst’s best seller.

“God had given me a gift of this time. My time. My voice. My approach.” 

I’ve had 7 years of writing, 3 of which were heavily dedicated to the development of my craft, audience, and talent. It is ever evolving and I pray it never stops. Saturday brought an impromptu brainstorming session with a member of my team. Before I knew it, a sort of longevity plan manifested itself. It was right on point with why I developed the site in the first place.
After months spent in prayer, I’ve been given another gift. The gift of financial stability that without a doubt will have a positive impact on the little blog that could. It came in a form I never thought, but the important thing is that it came.
Are you currently sharing your talents and gifts….
Have you identified your best yes? Are you praying about your why? Are you praying for a way? Are you listening when you get answers? Are you executing?

How does fitness fit in with your gifts and talents? My friend Kristy wrote about something similar on her site just days ago. Her gift is that she is an expert connector. She’s been given a new role where she is thriving and sharing her skill to better others. She, like me, has a passion for running, but it is not our gift. But because of this passion for running, we can individually use it as a tool to help support the chase towards our own missions.

When you are physically challenging yourself through fitness, you physically get stronger. Did it ever occur to you that what you may be training for physically, is impacting and preparing you for how tough you need to be emotionally? It is part of being your best self. In turn allowing you to offer your best yes. Setting fitness goals like attending a weekly yoga practice or completing a 5k, builds trust within yourself. Builds stamina. Builds strength. You have a new confidence. You can be accountable to structure, and chase something that is important to you. If you can complete a physical task that you sort of want to do, imagine what you could do with that same dedication and drive directed to your own personal why? It then becomes something you must do!


Grateful for Team Petite! Thank you for fostering my gifts!

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Live Unstoppable

live unstoppable

When we step into our own personal world of fitness goals, we certainly face the choice to be unstoppable. The decision is something we are confronted with on the regular. What does it mean to be truly unstoppable?

Is it something that can be witnessed by others as we pursue it? Is it physical? Is it emotional?

I believe that living unstoppable means having the ability to be patient with yourself and with your current situation. I find that those individuals who can acknowledge and honor their own temporary fitness limitations are those same ones who create sustainability and longevity in their sport. They remain passionate and purposeful. Especially those athletes who are runners. Never underestimate our consistency when it comes to commitment. We may change pace or even change direction but never do we stop.

I have included a couple of examples of gals who are living unstoppable in my life in hopes they will inspire you as they have inspired me.

I have a friend who has not been able to run the past several months. It’s not possible right now, it isn’t an option. Her body is healing from an injury. She has come to accept that for right now. So she stopped running. But she opted for a new fitness goal. A completely new type of training. A new type of physical challenge, even requiring the expertise of a different type of coach. Something she never would have dared to dream before. This is what makes her unstoppable.

I have another friend, a marathoner, who has struggling with her running as well. The past several months everything has felt foreign from paces to form. She could have easily chosen to quit and many have told her that is what she should do. Instead she choose to start over with the basics. She is working on strength, physically or course…but in her spirit too. She is being looked after by one of the best running coaches in the biz. #trainjanda Her decision and commitment have made her equally unstoppable. Her eyes fixated on a prize that has nothing to do with time.


These girls are brave. They are a force. The worthy opponent. They may have been forced into a plot twist or a re route, but they never settled for a blockade. Did I mention, they also each called on their faith? Their passion and desire for living well has stayed the same. It is a part of their personal mission.


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Find Your Team


One recent Sunday afternoon, I spent laid out in the sunshine with my eyes scrolling through yet another book. This one spoke about the power and value of a team. A group. A collective. Specifically, it spoke to the necessity of each member.

The winter was both healing and harsh. It was also a happy season that brought a full doss of solo adventure for the single girl…pushing me to brave the world and leave my team behind.  In business it came in the form of a successful launch of my own marketing 1 woman operation. The rewards from fitness came in large part from a running trip to Albuquerque where little did I know, would mold me and help me grow the wings I would need for spring.


By the time this summer started, I was in full flight. June brought sunshine and mile after mile alongside people who pulled out my inner Jess after months of hibernation. I have a couple of handfuls of great teammates and they each play their own pivotal roll in my day to day grind. They are honest. They show and share strength. They push or pull me without hesitation based on the need. One thing they all do is love me for me and I in turn them.  My strengths are attractive to them and my weaknesses are overlooked. We grow and accomplish much together. Each making the other stronger. Each member as important as the next. We may not share the same goals, but we do support them all. My team. My tribe. My squad. They were there with the clouds. They are still here now in the sun. In fact, they are the ones holding the sunscreen.

As part of my latest adventure, I find myself on a new team. With that, I had the opportunity to visit the ODU stadium and tour the facilities. As I made my way from the team locker room to the tunnel, I thought about the concept of team. A football team needs a QB, a kicker, and a tackle. All have set rolls and responsibilities. The success of one is dependent on how well the other does their job.

 Do you have a team? Picture those people now.

How do they make you feel? What is their purpose? Do you smile when you think of them ?

 Things to consider when you are fostering relationships among your own team:

 1. Check in. Texts, calls, emails for no reason seem like little things but bring big bonds. These gestures are ways for YOU to show YOUR commitment to communication.

2. Take down your own walls in an attempt to get in theirs. Being vulnerable and in turn being yourself is the basis for a great relationship. It’s true trust.

3. Talk up team mates when they aren’t around. This is another way of saying don’t talk bad about them behind their back. But really think what is does to show your conviction, belief, pride, and loyalty to them when you praise them in the absence of their presence. My team mates are strong and accomplished individuals in their own right, so they give me plenty of material to brag on them about. It fosters their brand and yours by doing this.

4. Recognize and acknowledge their life challenges. Work, family, relationships pull us all in many directions. By understanding those demands from your team, you are more capable to support and receive support in turn when you are challenged.

 I am learning to settle into my roll..on this new team. But the support from my personal one lives close to my heart. I will grab onto my own advice and foster these new relationships, making me and in turn the mission better for it.

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