Friday, June 16, 2017

Father's Day Gift Ideas: Spartan Up!

Father's Day is this weekend (just a reminder!) and if you want to get away from the basic tie as a gift, why not take advantage of the SUPER DAD DEALS happening with Reebok's Spartan Races to celebrate the Fathers on YOUR list. 



When I tell you that these are some SUPER DAD DEALS, I am NOT joking...check out these inspiring promotions that are happening NOW.

First, let's get Dad Dirty and get registered. With the code SPARTANDAD and get in for the afternoon Sprint distance for only $69.00 race entry fee* Plus, there is more. (keep reading)



Second step, it's time to Smarten Up! 

Now, once you're IN, head on over to get 2 FREE digital downloads* from Joe De Sena books, Spartan Up! and Spartan Fit!

I have Spartan Fit and what a great book! This easy to follow book will set you up for success for your Spartan debut or get your skills dialed in even if you are a Spartan or OCR racing veteran.

This is a super cool bonus for sure. Make sure you use the code SPARTANDAD to take advantage of this free digital download.



Finally, let's get Dad Cleaned Up! Let him share his achievement with Spartan gear!!


Head on over to the Spartan Race Shop and save big on training gear, race  bags and hats, nutrition and more. Go on...you know you wanna look! I think I might splurge and finally get that Spartan jacket I've always wanted. You know, for Dad :)

Give your Dad the gift of grit and the long lasting feeling of accomplishment. But hurry up, this spectacular special will be gone very soon...



See you out there

AROO!!






*The Fine Print:
Free e-book download and $69 Sprint afternoon race offer valid with an adult registration during promotional period only. Must use SPARTANDAD code during checkout. Code cannot be combined with other codes, including GovX. Offer not valid with Spartan Passes, Volunteer, or Groupon entries. New, afternoon time block registrations only, cannot be retroactively applied. US events only. Offer ends 06/18/17 11:59PM ET. E-book download instructions will be supplied by 6/22/17.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Bumps, Pizza and Donuts

Isn't life funny? Just when things seem to be going along smooth, driving down the road at a steady clip and *thwak* you hit a bump in the road. well, there ya go. That'll slow you down. I was getting in some good runs (short and slow but...) and even scored some killer new kicks for the trails up when I am up at the "Chateau" in the western Mountains of Maine.






That has been this week for me. just as things were progressing *thwak* I got hit square in the face (or chest) with a giant germ bomb. Ahh, the joys of motherhood. I listened to my inner coach and slowed things down for a few days. My general rule of thumb for my athletes is above the neck, ok to train. Below the neck, rest. So...I took 2 days off. I eased back into things with a 60 min spin session Wednesday morning and some easy core work. 



The season ahead includes a TON of fun stuff so far and I have a lot of work to do!! 

It was celebration day on Wednesday this week. The fine people at Rev3 always take the time to make calls to each person who registers for their races. Being part of the team means we get the chance to help out with calls. I love doing athlete calls, it is SO fun to connect with others coming to race in Maine or one of our other events. And if you don't already know, Rev3 Maine has now become Ironman 70.3 Maine. While the folks at Rev3 are still producing this race, we entered into a licensing agreement with the WTC. The race will be much bigger this year and the course has changed a bit. 

Anyway, as a thank you to the athletes that helped with calls, they treated our families to PIZZA PARTY NIGHT. WOO HOOO!!!  I have been pretty good with my nutrition lately but it was definatly a day to splurge with my favorite pizza and a big salad. 


My very handsome pizza night date, FM.
and yes, we have SNOW in the mountains...still 

Farmers market pizza, loaded with veggies

PEPPERONI 


I even decided to try a local treat - The Holy Donut. Now, honestly, I am not a huge donut fan but I have been hearing about this place for YEARS. Located originally in Portland, ME they had been expanding. A local Tim Horton's closed and in its spot a new Holy Donut opened. This was literally the talk of the towns for days. Pics all over FB from my friends sharing their favorite flavors. I had client meeting so I made a stop at the new location in Scarborough. 


I got there at 2 in the afternoon and there was a LINE. I was standing at least 20 deep and I could see that the selection of flavors had been picked over and there were only a few left. The case did not look like this one (from their FB page)

photo from The Holy Donut 
at nearly $30/doz and $14/half dozen I figured these beautiful gems would be donut nirvana and I would fall in love. I even made a friendly bet with friends to see if any of them would survive the drive up to Sugarloaf. I was so proud of my hungry self for not eating any pizza or donuts...when I got to FM's place, I broke out the box of donuts and we tried one. 

*sigh*

I was expecting SO. MUCH. MORE. but they were just...meh. I was a little sad. The anticipation of some heavenly DONUT ended up in disappointment. Maybe I am just not a donut girl. It definitely wouldn't be worth the calorie bomb that a donut is. Especially one this big. 

I will say, the only donuts I have ever really enjoyed are the donuts from URBAN SUGAR on Sugarloaf Mountain.

But I am a pizza girl. And I am a Rev3 girl. 

So now that I am feeling better and I have goals to chase, it's back at it tomorrow. See you out on the trails!! 


What is your favorite Pizza?
Do you have a favorite donut place?

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Enough

Enough. 
determiner & pronoun
  1. 1.
    as much or as many as required.
    "too much work and not enough people to do it"
    synonyms:sufficientplenty, a sufficient amount, an adequate amount, as much as necessary
adverb
  1. 1.
    to the required degree or extent (used after an adjective, adverb, or verb); adequately.
    "before he was old enough to shave"

I have always struggled with being ENOUGH.  Am I enough ---
Smart enough. Pretty enough. Skinny enough. Fast enough. 
AM I GOOD ENOUGH.  




My persona is such that I seek perfection.
perfectionist is defined as a person who refuses to accept any standard short of perfection. Some might also add that they are delusional, generally nuts, and stress out everyone else around them, including themselves.

I am also one that does not do anything "half-assed" (I always use my whole ass). I am an ALL or NOTHING person. This has been both a blessing and a curse. 

The combination of striving to be "good enough" and wanting perfection was a driving force in academia, in my career and in training & racing. It also brought insecurity and a need to excel; an intrinsic desire to succeed in whatever I did. Some days I would set my bar too high and walk away from whatever feeling defeated and not good enough. 

I remember PR'ing a 5k by several minutes (from a 23:xx to a 21:12) and being so upset with myself because I did not meet my goal time by 13 seconds. All I had wanted on that day was to go sub-21. I gave it my all...and I was so disappointed in myself. After filling in Training Peaks with all kinds of horrible words about my performance, my coach sent me a scathing note, telling me I should be thanking my body for performing minutes faster than it ever had before. Instead, I was chastising myself for not being "fast enough". A PR was not good enough for me, it had to be sub-21.

People who have crossed paths in my life brought hurt and disappointment, and the message I heard was "Jen, you're not enough for .... "whatever it was in the situation. the truth. their loyalty. positive change. love. or to stay. 

Why did this person do this? or say that? I believed that since my ex-husband couldn't change for the better, it was because I was not worth it or I was not loved.  It has been a process of learning that most of the time, THEIR behavior had nothing to do with me, but their own internal bullshit. It is hard when people let you down to think it isn't some flaw with YOURSELF.

For years that quest to be enough was my own barrier to being healthy. I would try this fad diet or that fad diet and FAIL. Failure in THAT would make me feel like a failure in life, so I would quit, then soothe my feelings by trying to eat and drink my inadequacy away. I would try another fad diet, fail again and eventually I would stop. I did not succeed so, I must suck. I completely gave up on myself. I no longer cared. 

I vividly recall the day I quit on ME. I packed up all my beautiful size 4 and 6 designer clothes. I had grown to a size 22 and there was no way I would ever put on those Versace jeans or that Donna Karan suit. I took thousands of dollars worth of clothing to the local thrift shop and gave it away. 


A smile can hide a world of hurt. Me at 260+ lbs


In my mind, I would never be determined enough to lose the weight and be healthy. But if I was gonna be fat, I was gonna do it well. I would eat all that I wanted. I would drink as often as I could. And I would grow to hate myself even more. 

It took a long time to get to a place where a glimmer of hope started to shine my desire to be a better me was based on something bigger than myself. It was the hope of being a Mom that finally motivated me to change.



Getting better is an ongoing processing. I have been working on this kind of mindset and changing the internal dialog that happens. It is learning to change 40+ years of thinking one way to another. It takes practice and it is difficult most days. 

It is learning that I AM ENOUGH. 
I am smart enough. 
I am good enough. and I deserve love and wonderful things in life. 




I now set my own standards a little differently. My value and worth is not determined by a scale. or a clock. a label. or another person. I have learned that 

⇒There is no single goal achievement that will magically make me feel like I am enough. 

↠There is no such thing as perfection.

⇒As long as I know my self worth, no one else can make me feel like not enough. 



and YOU?

YOU ARE ENOUGH TOO








Thursday, March 30, 2017

Ready, Reset, GO

...sometimes you need bad things to happen 

to inspire you to change and grow...


There is no doubt about it, the past 2+ years have been filled with some incredible highs and some extreme lows. It has changed me in so many ways and life has shown me, yet again, that the storms prepare you for the sunny days.



I completely stepped away from training and racing this past season, only doing things as I felt like doing them. The stress of a 2-plus year high conflict divorce took it toll on me, both physically and mentally. I just wanted it all to end so I could focus on this new life as a single mom and with an amazing partner. I wanted to get back to ME.

STRESS can really take a toll on a person. My sleep patterns changed. I was exhausted all the time. I did not have the energy to train. When I got done teaching 3, 4, or 5 classes in a row, the last thing I wanted to do was WORKOUT. All I wanted to do was eat some comfort food and take a nap!!

Getting into therapy to sort out the toxic and abusive marriage I was in for too many years was a double edged sword; rehashing the past was not fun but it allowed me to leave it there - in the past. Plus, having an unbiased person to vent to and listen was a gift. The days prepping for court, the hearings, the mediation...ugh. I don't wish that on anyone!



As the months dragged on, I put on some weight and lost endurance. I was missing a big part of who I am and what makes me happy. Luckily, I was surrounded by family, friends and a boyfriend that loved me and supported me no matter what life threw my way. With love and support, anything is possible!! 

a few weeks ago, things fell into place for me to finally get off my ass, to stop making excuses and get back to being the kickass, happy, spunky human being I am. 

I had to LET GO of the things I had no control over. I had to leave the resentment in the past. And I had to accept my flaws and mistakes for what they are. Life handed me a more than a few lessons in the last 2.5+ years. Instead of remorse and regret, I am heading into the NOW with a grateful heart for the family and friends that surround me. For the lessons learned. For the love I have received and for the bolt of reality that RESET MY MIND!! 



Getting back to training has certainly been awesome. I am feeling better every day and I am finally sleeping better. I am making healthy food choices daily and I am being KIND to myself. I am being patient with the slow miles of running and loss of endurance. I am not watching the clock like a hawk in the pool and letting things BE.

I am excited to celebrate the finality of things (soon, I really hope!) and chase new goals.



I have so many exciting things planned for the rest of 2017! 

New things, new challenges and revisiting some of my favorite races. There is some travel & trips planned and I am so optimistic about things to come. 

  • I am still racing with the best race series ever, Rev 3
  • I have an amazing tribe of people with From Fat to Finish 



And I will be back to writing and sharing this new chapter of my journey, and it feels like coming home...


Friday, October 21, 2016

FULL CIRCLE

When I started my own journey back in 2008, I was quite alone. I had just had my daughter and went from working full time in a very full and busy medical office to being home with just me and Lola. And trying to figure out being a mom and getting healthy. 

I then discovered this great little online Mom's group and found an entire community of Mom's getting healthy - JUST LIKE ME - and I found "my people". I loved that little group so much (Work it out Sexy Mamma) and it was really get to connect with others all over the country to exchange ideas, challenges, and just talk. They were so integral in getting me to a really good place.

Life got busy and my focus changed - from weight loss, to running to triathlon and I lost touch with that group but still connected with a handful via Facebook. 

Here we are, 8 years later. Lola is now 8. I left a toxi marriage. I moved. I discovered so many things about me. The last year of my life has been so chaotic and stressful and fantastic, all at the same time. 






I am starting over in so many ways - a new life, a new love, a new perspective. I am starting from base on training. I have a long way to go to get back to where I was as an athlete. So much has changed but so much has come full circle. 




And now that the movie, From Fat to Finish Line is out, a whole new world of friends and opportunity to help OTHERS has opened up from OUR online community. Now it is my chance to pay it forward. 




I  want to share this blog post from my FFtFL cast mate, John: 


Friday, October 21, 2016


From Fat To Finish Line - The Facebook Group

If you know me at all, you know that I am very proud of my involvement with the documentary film, "From Fat To Finish Line." It's the story of a dozen people who each lost weight through running and then took on the challenge of the Ragnar Relay Race in the Florida Keys. We battled the heat, the humidity, and the miles, and *spoiler alert* we ultimately crossed the finish line as a team. It was one of proudest moments as a runner.

The film is available now for purchase on iTunes and Amazon or you can watch it on NetFlix.

Believe it or not, the documentary isn't what I'm most proud of, though. It's amazing to be part of it, absolutely. But even more important to me is the community that has sprung up as a result of the film. Let me introduce you to From Fat To Finish Line - The Facebook Group.

Our little group of twelve has become a tribe of more than 7,000 people.

Yes. I said 7,000.

And we're still growing every single day. Because people want to be part of a running community that celebrates who they are right now AND who they want to become. We are fat and thin, tall and short, male and female, young and old. We are every color and religion and nationality. We strive to be the very best at welcoming all walkers/runners/joggers.

We celebrate miles. We cheer finish lines. We applaud non-scale victories. And most importantly, we recognize and support each other when those miles and finish lines and victories feel unattainable and out of reach.

We ARE the reason that people are pushing themselves to try more, to do more, and to be more. We are running buddies and shoulders-to-lean-on and a global support network unlike any other I have ever known.



Thanks to all of you in the group for becoming my running family. And to the rest of you, what are you waiting for? Come join us!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Rewind

It is officially fall here in Maine.
October. The trees are aglow in splendid colors. The cool temps have returned
and
Lola is now 8.




My baby is now on swim team and playing field hockey. She is as funny as ever too!! I am forever grateful I have this blog just for capturing those fun moments with her!

where has time gone?
and where is the rewind button??
There are some moments I would like to revisit,I would like to fast forward through and some I want to hit pause on...


This summer, I got to venture out to San Diego for the screening of From Fat to Finish Line (which is now on Netflix if you wanna see it!). I love the positive energy and the community that has come together surrounding the release of the film. Our Facebook group is growing and growing - and I cannot wait to unveil the fun stuff that is coming!

It was quite the adventure for sure -we flew into Las Vegas (I've never been) and then drove to San Diego the next morning. It was such a beautiful drive too! The desert landscape is so different from the lush, green Maine mountains where I play!! It was HOT too...wow.


The view from our suite at the Golden Nugget

Pool View

I was so super stoked to stay at the Golden Nugget for ONE REASON:

SHARK TANK!





See that blue tube running through the center of that pic above? That is a slide tube where you get to ride a water slide through the shark tank. Yes. That alone was worth the entire trip out west. But we had so many more amazing adventures that I cannot wait to share with you!



Monday, July 25, 2016

Peaks to Portland: 2.4 Mile Swim to the Mainland

The last few weeks have been crazy...fun...a whirlwind of activity!

After spending a week in Vegas and San Diego for the From Fat to Finish Line documentary launch (more to come on that) I came home exhausted and ready to roll into this event. well, kind of...

I was feeling waaay under-trained for the 2.4 mile open ocean swim, Peaks to Portland, this year...having only done a handful of 2 mile swims in the weeks leading up to Saturday.





I did get to swim about 2 miles in La Jolla CA and whoa, that was cool. I've got an awesome story about THAT swim coming too...But anyway, back to Peaks. I knew if I just took it easy and swam steady, it would be a good day. ---> I also had my favorite guy who would be providing kayak support. From the moment I signed up for this event, I was SO excited to be doing this with him -- this gave me LOTS to look forward to!

The night before, sleep proved to be a challenge. Not due to race nerves or anything but simply being a Mom to Lola. I finally got some sleep around 2am so when my alarm sounded at 4:15 am, I barely heard it. Or wanted to. I shut the alarm off and fell back to sleep for a bit, finally getting up just before 5am. I am supposed to be at the ferry station to Peaks Island at 6am. Better hurry!!! I was tired. I was late. I was not thrilled.

I had prepped the kayak and packed up everything the night before and most of it was good to go. I wasn't feeling very hungry so I packed up some bananas, my go-to oatmeal Coach's Oats and Powerbar Simple Fruit in apple/lemon/orange with 2x caffeine. This flavor is awesome but I knew I would also need the extra boost of energy too!  I also knew there would be lots of down time between the ferry ride over to the Island and GO TIME>


going through the checklist 2 or 3 times...


The JennyB kayak. of course, it's in HOT PINK! 

FM and I hit the road 5 minutes AFTER 6am and got to the ferry terminal about 20 minutes later. When we arrived, the parking garage was full. Ooops!!

Current Mood at that moment:
you can see i am thrilled. good thing I had FM there to keep me grounded
 We unloaded the kayak and all of our gear and I went to find parking. I snagged the LAST spot in a pay lot a half mile down the road. Boom! I literally RAN in flip flops, my swim suit and a sundress from the lot back to the ferry lines. When I got there, I asked FM if he had the ferry tickets. Nope, they were still in the car. Sprinted BACK to the car and then BACK to the ferry. Yes, a 1.5 mile interval run would be a great warm up to the day. 

made it back to the ferry WITH the tickets in time! 
In reality, being late did not matter. Leaving the tickets didn't slow us down. The line to the ferry was still just standing there and they did not start loading until close to 7am. Soon we were on our way...and I was able to finally relax.

finally, time to board the ferry! 


We made our way to the top of the ferry where I found several of my friends, including Yvonne who was happily snacking on some yummy local donuts. I was still not hungry. The ride was quick as we chatted about the course, strategy and what a beautiful day it was going to be. We also chatted about the awesome Otillo style race Yvonne is completing next month...swim & run for MILES and MILES.

We made our way to the shoreline amid a mass of colorful kayaks and swimmers and prepped for the morning ahead. 



I was able to snack a bit and get mentally prepared. I was calm since I was not racing yet I was still a bit nervous about how my body would handle the swim. I had to take a year off of swimming due to an injury so I was curious how that would feel. I knew I would finish out of pure stubbornness alone, but still. I did not feel 100% prepared as I normally would for an event like this.

I put those doubts aside, sprayed myself down in TriSlide and got into my Blueseventy wetsuit. Donned my favorite TYR Special Ops goggles after a generous application of Foggies and it was into the water for a little warm up. 


post swim warm up, I was inspired by one of the athletes who would do this event with 1 leg.
I tried to get her to consider doing a triathlon or relay with rev3 in August! 
or should I say COLD UP. The water felt really, really cold. Reports stated that the temps were 61-63* but it felt REALLY cold...my face was fine in the water but my hands and feet were going numb. Normally I would just duct tape my feet up to prevent cuts on the shells, rocks and barnacles that cover the shore and the first 15 feet of shoreline into the water but this year I opted to try water shoes that I would just take off at some point. It seemed to work well...kind of. 



With AMR before lining up to GO.

It was close go time and I could see FM making his way to the kayak line. Our wave was gathering to line up and go thru the chute and into the water. I felt calm and ready to have a great swim. I was very happy to be there and glad we were able to make the ferry, despite my earlier feelings. I got to give one of my athletes a pre-race pep talk while we were lined up. It was going to be a good day. 



I was in the water and it did not feel as cold. I sighted my starting line and positioned myself at the front right of the wave. I could see FM and knew it would not take me long to reach his side. I stayed calm and was breathing easy as the wave was launched with a GO and a loud buzzer sounded. 

It was about 300 yards out to the kayak and we met up without issues. We were in the middle of the scrum at this point. We communicated our plan to get to clean water and it was executed perfectly. I was still swimming with the water shoes on for a while until FM said he thought they were slowing me down (which they were) so I took them off and handed them to him. Ahhh, much better. He continued to guide me with verbal cues and encouragement. He also said I was moving much faster without the shoes on!! 

It was so great to be out there, doing something I love with this amazing guy right there by my side. Every time I looked up, I was smiling. Literally. We had reached the Fort, which is kind of the half way point of the swim, and I was feeling very relaxed and pain free in my shoulder. The water had warmed up quite a bit, as well as my body! I wasn't feeling any mental or physical fatigue. GOOD GOOD GOOD stuff. I was starting to pass other swimmers and I was having a wonderful time. My heart was very happy. 



Before I knew it, we had reached sight of East End Beach and we maneuvered our way through boats and swimmers. I was struggling to see the course buoys and it was messing with my head. I kept asking where the buoys were and FM assured me that they were there and to just follow his lead. Finally, I could see the big orange buoy and hear the crowds cheering. Let's GO!!

In the final 1000m push my only goal was to pass this guy in an orange sleeved wetsuit, which I did so I considered the day a success right there. FM made his way to the beach in the kayak and I swam my way into shore!  I was out of the water and up the beach. All Smiles. I saw FM and my friend Yvonne on the sidelines cheering. I saw the clock at 1:26:xx and  was happy with that. I figured being undertrained and just getting back to swimming, I would be around 1:30 for this. Previous P2Ps and 2.4 miles swims I have done range from 1:07 to 1:19...but then I looked at my Garmin and saw 1:11 for a time (and a swim distance of 2.49) and I remembered



OHYEAH...wave starts. You did not take into considering the clock started with wave1 silly girl.


So my official time was 1:11:16

Garmin time 1:11:28 and 2.49 miles. I can't wait to load the data and see how far off the line I was with the extra distance. 

I stayed and cheered on friends. My athlete, AMR, who has been swimming her tail off all winter, PR'd this event by over 14 minutes. Her hard work in the pool dropped her times there and now in open water.


I had such a wonderful day filled with smiles. It was an absolute dream come true to race with my guy by my side. Such an incredible happiness. 

And now I am so ready to get back to ME. To training like an animal. To racing and chasing my dreams. To inspire others and help them find their finish lines. 

Thank you to all my friends and family who were able to provide financial support for this event - the YMCA is able to help so many in my community and their mission is so strong. Because of YOUR help, kids right in my town will have access to camp programs at the Y. Thank you!! 

A huge thank you to my incredible sponsors
Rev3 Tri - my second family and the best tri race series out there. 
Blueseventy - I could not ask for a more comfortable or faster wetsuit!
Powerbar - best gels ever. I love the new simple fruit!
SBR Sports Inc - I don't know what I would do without my Foggies and my TriSlide. 

Here is a supercool video FM put together about our day, making our way from Peaks Island to Portland's East End Beach. He did such a fabulous job as my kayak supporter - Thank you!!