Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Week 7 ~ Taper Time

Here Goes....

Tues ~ 5 Miles Easy
Actual ~ 4 miles sub 9's @ 8:49P

My schedule has proven to be a huge adjustment and I've failed several times at remembering to pack breakfast to fuel up before my runs.  This was one of those days and even though my stomach was growling like a raging animal, I made it through my run anyway.  Time constraints left me shortening the run a little and getting it done a little faster than planned.

Thurs  ~ 7 Miles Alternating
Actually ~ 6.67 Miles Steady

The high rivers forced me to detour around my original route...no biggy, just left it a little short at the end.  I spent this run reflecting on the incredible energy shifts that are happening in the world and in my life.  I am so blessed to be healthy and able to enjoy such a gorgeous day even though it might be too cold for the majority of people around me.  I sent out lots of prayers to all of those who are suffering in the world, the Japanese and people in the Middle East, and wished that my hubby and dear friend were able to enjoy the day running too.   With a renewed focus and perspective, I find these runs are the most important to me.  I feel free, light, and humble.

Sat ~ 8-9 Easy
Actual  ~ 0

This weekend was a complete unexpected whirlwind.  I had so much to fit it, (when don't I), but I always seem to fit in my run.  Well, not this weekend.  I was so exhausted that I just couldn't justify making myself get out there when I felt so rundown.   I did get it in Monday...a shortened version of it, so I guess I file this away in the "Life Happens" compartment of my brain and keep my eye on the race later this week.

Weekly Total  ~ 10.83

Speaking of race....The Martian Invasion is within our sights!!!  In 5 days I'll be running my first half-marathon and I can't wait to soak it all up.  The racing jitters have started to creep into consciousness each time I think of my race strategy and all of the list making of gear and what-not to remember.   I am really excited to have my husband spectate me, as I'm sure his presence on the course will do wonders for my moral.  Also, I'm so excited to meet so many bloggers that I have come to enjoy too  :)

One of them....Marlene from Mission to A(nother) Marathon...is one of them.  I just love reading her blog  She always has the most encouraging things to say and share.  I am so stoked to have won her blogger giveaway from Races2Remember.com.  I haven't picked out what I want to get just yet, but I will surely incorporate it somehow for the Riverbank 25k in May...keep an eye out.  Thanks so much for all of your support girl...can't wait to meet you!

See all of you on Saturday....Stay Calm, Focus, Breath....You Got this!!

Peace and Blessings,

Jen B.

P.S.   Everyone who has run knows that its most important value is in removing tension and   allowing a release from whatever other cares the day may bring.  ~Jimmy Carter

Friday, March 25, 2011

Silent Auction Success!!!

I cannot begin to express the overwhelming gratitude and pride I have today following our DetermiNation Silent Auction.  What started as a faint possibility, through hope and generosity, grew into a full blown charity event. 

The Abbey Road Runners, (Lainie, Leah, and myself) really put in some quality time and effort to make it happen, but it is without question that none of this would have been possible without our sponsors.....

First and Foremost....MBC Lansing.

Having never organizing any type of charity event in my life, I sat down with Marc Wolbert, General Manager, and worked out the details of our event.   I was humbled by how the word "Yes" just seemed to flow from his mouth.  We had a great conversation, and I left with such a positive feeling about the possibilities we could create.  We had a date and time, some giveaways, and a starting point to then venture out into the community to ask for auction items.

All three of us "Hit the Ground Running,"sharing our vision, goals, and passion for the American Cancer Society and our event.   I'd like to recognize those generous individuals and companies who so selflessly gave to our cause....

Sansu, NCG Cinemas, Champps, Max and Ermas, Buddies, Enso, Anytime Fitness in Haslett, Brookhouse Fitness, Weight Watchers, Playmakers, Brighton Harley Davidson, Jill Lenkowski with Two Ring Photography, Car And Driver, Maggee Moos, P F Changs, Ingham County Parks, Panera Bread Company, Hair Express, Amy Frick Masi with Thirty One Gifts, Chapelure Bakery, The State Room, Mark's Watershed, Anytime Fitness in Haslett, and Gary Brewer with Dart Container.

Thank You!  Thank You!  Thank You!!!

Event day arrived and we felt confident that we were set to have a great turnout.  It was great to see our family and friends, share stories, laugh, and enjoy the wonderful food and Michigan made beer that MBC is known for.  There was a definite feeling of love floating around as we were so grateful to each and every person who made the time to come. I loved to see a number patrons, who were there that day for other reasons, made their way over to check our what we were doing.  The last few minutes were exciting, as the final frenzie of flying pens and laughter surely drove up the final bids.   Here are a few pics.....

The Abbey Road Runners...Leah M., Myself, and Lainie P.

Mark W. behind the bar working his magic 


Our Mini-Bake Sale...The kids loved it!!

Our setup....

One great addition to our auction that I would like to share is pictured right above.  Mike Massey with Capital City Sport Auctions was invited by Mark to join in the event.  They provide high quality sports memorabilia and autographed one-of-a-kind items (including jerseys, helmets, and balls) to be auctioned off in silent auctions just like ours.  Not only did he come and set up all of his merchandise, but he was so easy to settle up with after the event.  They really provided unique opportunity to our bidders.  Thanks you to Mike and Mark for setting that up!!!

So with the auction behind us, our team was able to meet and count our final tally....



In two short hours we raised $1000!!!  

I can only imagine the wonderful things this money will help to provide for those challenged with the diagnosis of cancer.  Again, I am so proud of our team, our sponsors, and our supporters for such a wonderful day! 

Peace and Blessings,

Jen B.

P.S.   The American Cancer Society combines a never-ending passion with the wisdom of nearly a century of experience to save lives by helping you stay well, helping you get well, by finding cures, and fighting back. Learn more at cancer.org

Monday, March 21, 2011

Week 6 ~ The Countdown Begins

This week was fun in that it counts towards the Cupcake Marathon.  I usually don't do things like this, but I thought "Hey, when are you ever going to do one for realz...never?  Then get out there and take a week (plus) to get your miles in girl!"  I can't even say I've completed the full 26.2 yet, but I'm almost there...lol.  Here's the week...

Tues ~ 5 miles sub 9
Actual ~ 5 miles @ 8:29P

I'm really starting to enjoy these workouts.  It doesn't hurt that the weather is letting up, and on this particular day the winds were practically non existent.

Splits  8:38, 8:23, 8:24, 8:28, 8:37

Thursday ~ 5 miles Easy
Actual ~ 5 miles @ 9:10P

Another great day to run....and I can tell that all of those "fair weather" runners are starting to emerge from their wintry hiatuses.  It's always so inspiring to see so many people out enjoying the river trail.

Splits  9:03, 9:15, 9:04, 9:28, 9:06

Saturday ~ 10-12 Miles Easy
Actual ~ 12 Miles @ 9:43P

 I'm surely snaking a fellow runner's term for this run...but I'm sure she will read this and know where I'm going with it....I "butterflied" my way around MSU's campus for this one.  I have never (and I'm embarrassed to admit that) ran on or around that part of the river trail outside a 5k race, so I took to this workout with an open mind.   I didn't look at my Garmin or stop it at anytime for crosswalks or gu sessions, as the ultimate goal was to feel good after the run.  The accomplishment in and of itself to reach a mileage I never dreamed of before made the run that much better.

Splits  9:36, 9:33, 9:49, 9:38, 9:32, 9:55, 9:35, 9:45, 10:07, 9:30, 9:42, 10:00

Weekly Total:  22.1

Well this week was a major motivator.  After my disastrous 11 miler a few weekends ago, I was excited and nervous to get back out there and tackle the 12 miler Saturday.  I'm so glad it felt as good as expected, as it made the half next weekend feel more  real.  It's taper time!!  I can't believe that I can actually say...The Martian Half-Marathon is NEXT SATURDAY!!


Jen B.

P.S.   Check out the awesome giveaway going on over at Mission to a(nother) Marathon....who couldn't use one of these awesome ideas from Races2Remember.com

Sunday, March 20, 2011

~6 Years In The Making~

It starts with a connection......

We meet NYE 2003

It didn't take long to fall in love....

All smiles...
Add in some lyrics...

Follow it up with a promise......a ceremony......and vows....

Getting hitched in Vegas-March 20, 2005


Through the deepest love and care, two amazing miracles are born.....

Bringing Ella home form the Hospital~May 2007

Ella showing Dad who's boss...

First Family Vacation to the Beach
Christmas 2008, Pregnant for Paige

Going Nuts on my due date....June 29, 2009
Paige...July 2009

Our Family is Complete!

Thanksgiving 2010

Mixing in some fun times, just the two of us.....

Christmas Eve tradition...Margaritas!

Halloween 2010

Day in D-town

Taking a trip down the Grand...

Everyday, our lives get busier,
With each passing year flying by before my very eyes.

The beauty of an anniversary, much like the Spring Equinox, is the gift of rebirth.  Today, I reflect on this beautiful life that Jeffrey and I have created with renewed commitment, gratitude, and love.

Thank you Jeffrey for all that you are, I love you more today than the day I married you!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Week 5 ~ Reflections and Refocus Week

After I wrote my last week's recap I decided it was time to take a step back and reflect on what exactly it is I'm trying to accomplish by beating myself up with these workouts. I was experiencing some nagging muscle aches that had reminded me about a certain injury I had to deal with last summer.  Ignorance and denial played a huge role in how things played out then, and I can't afford to make the same mistakes again.   I was glad to have a two day break to baby those sore spots a bit and assess what my next move would be.   It's always been my focus to run this race intelligently. I want to finish feeling really positive and proud of what I accomplished, not frustrated and focused on what I didn't do.  To say I don't have a "super secret time goal" floating around out there would be silly (don't ask, I'll never tell), but I want to enjoy my experience, cheer on my fellow running pals, meet some new running peeps, and be able to walk when all the festivities are over.  I get so excited just thinking of race day.  Unfortunately, it propels me to push myself more than I should. It's time to pull myself back a little...I gotta get there in one piece.

Monday~ Abs and Arms 25 mins

Tuesday ~ 5 Miles Sub 9's
Actual~ 5 miles @ 8:41P

Calm winds made this run feel really great!  Soreness from the previous week was minimal...yay!
 Splits: 8:43, 8:39, 8:35, 8:55, 8:36

Thursday~7 miles Alternating
Actual~ 5 miles Alternating

Due to the terrible weather conditions...whirling winds and sideways sleet aimed directly in my face, I decided to knock off two miles at the last minute.  I figured I had suffered enough with what I was able to accomplish.

Splits:  9:27, 8:05, 9:34, 7:57, 9:13

Saturday~ 10 Miles Easy
Actual~ 10 Miles @ 9:28P w/Jeffrey

Jeff and I got the opportunity to hit the pavement together for the first time in THREE YEARS!  It just doesn't seem possible that it's been that long, but it has.  We set out agreeing that I should lead the way so he didn't push the pace.  We were grooving along pretty good...chatting about this and that when we came upon the hill of death.   I didn't think too much about it and gave a pretty good push to get up it.  What followed would have to be the most challenging 2 miles of my life!!!  As we headed west into a relentless 20-25 mph windstorm, Jeff provided his best rendition of Jim Cantore.  If ya'll don't know who he is, here's a peek....


Let's just say that by the end of this run I felt pretty whooped.  I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with my sweetie...lord knows we can use every second we can get!   He seemed to enjoy his "extended recovery run" too  :)
Splits  9:17, 9:14, 9:08, 9:02, 9:18, 10:06, 9:58, 9:48, 9:34, 9:26 

Weekly Total  20.01

This week felt soooo much better than last week.  I'm officially staying out of the cemetery until after my two long races this spring.  Next week I will be venturing into uncharted long run territory one more time before the race, and I'm feeling really good about it!

3 Weeks til Go-Time!!!


Jen B.

P.S.  Sometimes the best medicine is Rest and Reflection.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Welcome DetermiNation Teamates!!!

I found out this morning that I was being showcased as a top fundraiser for the DetermiNation team....How cool is that!!!

If you are venturing over from the e-mail Newsletter...Welcome!

I have been very passionate in sharing my story about why I am involved in this cause....you can read more HERE.

I have been diligently thinking of ways to raise money besides the usual e-mail communications.  Our first event is in the works...a silent auction.   In my mind I can't think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon!!  You can get the scoop HERE.

Future events might include some bake sales, a rummage sale, a mom2mom sale, a eukre tourney, and even a Parents Night Out event.  Stay tuned...we have plenty of opportunities to share!!

Also...if a Thomas Bell makes his way over here...you wouldn't be my fellow Mason High School graduate from around 1998 would you?  Just curious  :)

Anyway...Happy Tuesday Everyone!!  


Jen B.

P.S.   Most people run a race to see who is fastest.  
                 I run a race to see who has the most guts.                                         
                                       ~Steve Prefontaine

                                          We got this!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mes Enfants, Les Artistes

I just have to share the amazing creations that my children have blessed me with this week.  I know that I might have a biased opinion, after all they are my children, but I have been in awe and rolling on the ground capturing these moments.  They have surely been showing their little personalities.....

For those that don't know, I have two small children, Ella and Paige.  Ella is going to be 4 next month, and Paige will be two this summer.  There is hardly a dull moment these days, but are such a joy to have in my life! 

A bit of background info...I've been trying to make the time to engage more in their "projects" (as Ella calls them), instead of getting them situated and taking that time to get one (or five) things accomplished in the meantime.  They love to tinker around with all sorts of stuff...doll houses, books, stuffed animals, pretend play....you know, things most kids at this age adore.  It seems that art, however, is the area where my children excel the most.   They can draw and color for hours.  Perhaps Paige could use a little more time getting past EATING the medium of choice, but they are both extremely focused when making their masterpieces.

So without further ado I will start will Paige's latest creation.

My belly is the perfect canvas Mom!

Watching her work so hard to get that paint on her paper, as opposed to her body was just precious.  I was completely in love with her finished artwork on paper too!

I'd say this in one for the memory book!!

I've always thought of my Paigey as the calm, easy going baby.  I should probably get used to calling her a toddler from now on  *sigh*   Sitting down with her recently and watching her do her thing was really relaxing and a complete tear jerking experience.

Moving on to my Ella.  She is the cutest, most rambunctious and outgoing little thing.   I swear I can't imagine where she came from, but then it only takes a few minutes of thinking of my own childhood to admit she is ALL of me.  She has been more of  a challenge sleep wise than Paige, but slowly she is becoming her own little person.  She LOVES her projects....painting, gluing, stickers, play doh, stringing beads.....you name it!  Imagine my surprise when this unfolded two days ago.

So....Ella has a little pad of paper that she "writes lists" in....more like scribbles while doing her best Sherlock Holmes face...etc.   She brings the pad to me and asks, "Mom, can you draw me a tree?   I don't  know how to do it."  Of course, and I did...

She paid close attention and asked a lot of questions.  I answered them as best I could and followed it up with, "Why don't you give it a try."

Her rendition....


I could hardly contain myself!!!   I think this too will make the memory book...just not to be brought out until she's 30.  Are you with me friends?

Peace and blessings,

Jen B.

P.S.  A picture is worth a thousand words....

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Week 4 ~ Hit by a truck ??

This week has been tough!   I've met the line of working enough and working too hard.  Here's how my week played out....

Tuesday ~ 5 Miles sub 9's
Actual ~ 5 Miles @ 8:42P

Although the sun was shining, the winds were brutal.  I worked a bit harder than I should have to keep up the pace, but I wasn't about to let it get me down.  I win  :)

Thursday ~ 5-6 Miles with Hills
Actual ~ 5.5 w/ 4.2 miles of it being in the Mt. Hope Cemetery

I did three 1.4 mile loops in the cemetery, and then meandered my way through the neighborhood home.  I shall add that coming home is uphill.  Doing loops of any kind can play tricks with the mind.  It went a little something like this...

First loop..."I'm going to kill this this workout"
Second loop..."Man this sucks, maybe I can finish two and call it good"
Loop three..."Come on Jen, just make it around one more time and we're homeward bound"
End of Third Loop..."Maybe I can make a smaller loop to round it off to 5 miles" 

"NO, stick to the plan Stan!"   So glad I did because running through that place kicks my @ss!

Saturday ~  11 Miles Easy
Actual ~ 11 Miles Slow, nothing easy about it.

As much as I KNOW how much attitude plays into a run, I still couldn't get past the drudgery I was about to face before leaving the house.  Sure, I planned well for hydration and loaded up with two gu's, but mentally I just couldn't shake the uncertainty of the road conditions or the tightness in my quads from Thursdays hill workout.  I set out telling myself to just take it easy, run a pace that feels comfy.  I didn't think I'd have such a hard time after a warm up mile or two.  Six miles in my legs were complete toast...numb...moving yet not connected to my body or brain whatsoever.  Starting mile 10, I was miserable and grumpy, hating life and cursing the universe.  What a far cry from last week huh?   Getting home I was glad that I hung in there and toughed it out.  It's just one of those runs that comes along every so often to humble me....I get it.  I'm pretty sore, but nothing sticks out as alarming which is good.  It's done...it counts...Yay!

Weekly total ~ 21.5

When it's all said and done, I feel really beat up!  I can't imagine why???   It's not like I increased the distance and intensity of my "easy" run, or did a  killer hill workout, or added mileage to my long run making it the longest to date....all in the same week.   Oh wait...

I'm in the process of consulting with my coach about revising my plan.  :)

With that kids...we have 4 WEEKS to go!!!


Jen B.

P.S.  There's nothing like a piece of humble pie to keep your head out of the clouds!

Friday, March 4, 2011

DetermiNation Update!!

Well, I've been hitting the ground running talking to ANYONE who is willing to listen about my DetermiNation team and how committed we are to raising oodles of money for the American Cancer Society.   If you would like to read my first blog post on the subject, you can do so HERE.

So many things have come about since that post, and I'm ecstatic to share!!!

First is, my family and friends are so generous....I currently sit at $356 in online donations....Wooot!   You can check it out yourself by clicking HERE to see my personal donation page.  If you feel so inclined as to add yourself to that wonderful list of awesome donors by making a donation yourself, by all means knock yourself out   :)

Second, my team and I are putting together a Silent Auction!  Here are the details....

Sunday March 20th from 3-5pm  

MBC Lansing 
402 S. Washington Square
Lansing, MI  48933

There will be FREE appetizers, $1 off pints of their magnificent micro-brews, an organized kids activity with a DetermiNation theme, and lots of really great items to bid on.

Auction items have been donated by Weight Watchers, Ingham County Parks, 
Car and Driver, The State Room, Buddies, Hair Express, and Pancheros.  
I am sure to update with more items soon!

100% off all money collected will be given directly to the American Cancer Society. 

I'm super excited about this event...it's really the first time I have ever put together anything like this. I truly hope that those of you that are able to come can make it, it would mean the world to me!!!

Peace and Blessings,

Jen B.

P.S.  R.S.V.P. Appreciated to brew602@yahoo.com  See you there!