Friday, August 31, 2007


So, I wish I could report that my running is going ok. So far I have yet to run this week, that's right, the big goose egg!

Gracie has been sick all week with a terrible virus that has her up coughing most of the night. I felt totally helpless last night watching her suffer so bad with the coughing, it was awful! Hopefully today will be better for her.

Lack of sleep, full time job, school at night, and a sick kid has me very overwhelmed at the moment. At least I've been able to keep my nutrition in check over the last week. I'm a little stressed about my first three test I have next week. Not to mention I'm trying to prepare for a week long class that I'm teaching at work next week. This weekend will be filled with reading text books....happy labor day to me! Did I sign up for this?:) I do feel like I'm learning quite a bit and I just hope I'm able to retain what I'm studying now for the tests.

I'm not going to worry about my missed runs and just move forward one run at a time. My plan is still to get the majority of my runs done in the early morning hours. Hopefully the sleepless nights will end so I can get up early enough to get them done. I'm so glad it's Friday and I'm so glad there are no classes tonight and the only place I need to be is home. Yeah, that sounds good. Ashli probably feels the opposite since shes been home with Gracie all week, cabin fever starting to set in! I also run the homeowners association in our neighborhood and I will have to do a few things tonight for that but otherwise I will be just trying to relax tonight and hit the books this weekend. Hopefully I will find some time for a good run!

I haven't had a chance to catch up with every ones blogs so hopefully I can do some reading this weekend as well and I hope everyone has a great labor day weekend! - Jason

Monday, August 27, 2007

Busy Days...

Last week was just crazy. Between my work, night classes, and training it has been crazy. I am happy to report the Gracie is doing great at school. Ashli took her in last Wednesday and there were a few tears but no drama. On Friday she went right in to the classroom with no problems. That is a huge relief for us and I'm so happy Gracie is enjoying herself.

Saturday morning Gracie woke up complaining of a sore throat and she really didn't eat much through the day because of it. By Saturday night you could tell she was in a lot of pain. She really didn't sleep well at all and was up at 4am Sunday morning. Our doctor agreed to see her Sunday morning which is really super nice of her. Our fear was that Gracie had strep throat and we wanted to get her tested. The doctor ran the rapid strep test and thank goodness it came back negative.

When we left the doctor's office yesterday Gracie seemed to be in good spirits but by the time we got home she was really feeling crummy (those were her words:)) We took her temp and she had a 103.7 temp. We kept a close watch and took her temp every hour or so and by late afternoon it was down to 101 and by early evening it was 100. She was very restless through the night and finally broke her fever early this morning. Now she has a really stuffy nose and slight cough but thankfully no fever. However, no school for her this morning and believe it or not she was upset about that which is a great sign!:) Ashli started feeling the same symptoms yesterday and this morning her throat is really bothering her....uh we go! I've been popping my vitamins and doing some praying that I don't catch this virus....knock on wood!

My classes are going well and my professors seem to be real good guys. Doing a lot of reading both at work and at home. I'm getting ready to teach a class at work called A+ Certification for our store technicians and desktop support folks. For those that don't know A+ is a certification course for PC Support technicians. It teaches you how to repair and build computers from the operating systems to all the hardware inside. This is a course that I used to teach full time but it has been a couple of years and the objectives for the course have changed a little and I need to prepare. So, its reading by day and reading by night.

I'm really enjoying the Anatomy and Physiology class and have already learned a ton of information in just two classes. Not an easy class and will take a lot of time learning all the new terminology. I also have Exercise Physiology and Concepts of Wellness and Fitness this semester and both courses are very well put together. The Exercise Physiology class will relate well to my A&P class and in the Wellness & Fitness class we actually spend 30 minutes working out. That class will have us testing several different modalities from BOSU balls to strength bands, should be fun. My classes are only Monday through Thursday and I'm home by 9pm on Mon. & Wed. and 10pm on Tue. & Thur. I'm learning to love the early morning runs and to be honest I haven't been 100% successful at it yet. I will get myself adjusted to the new early morning training schedule. Each day will get easier...I hope!:)

My diet has not been that great over the last few weeks, no major damage just not the best choices. I have to get myself back on my healthy plan, no excuses. With all the running it's so easy for me to use that excuse to eat more and eating more is good just not good when its empty calories! Yesterday after the doctors visit for Gracie, Ashli and I made blueberry pancakes and we pigged out...I guess I was carb loading....yeah that's it. Man, were they good. Getting back on track is really important right now. I only have a little over 2 months and I still need to shed about 15 pounds before the big day. Plenty of time but I can't fool around, its "GO TIME".

I will be posting some cool vacation pics sometime this week as soon as we get all the pics downloaded. Make it a great Monday! - Jason

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Back to the Grind...

Wow, it feels like I haven't posted in forever. We got back home around 10pm Sunday evening. Due to traffic and slow food eating places it took us over twelve hours to get home. It normally takes us about ten hours. We were all very tired and Monday morning was Gracie's first day of K4.

We got to the school right at 8am yesterday morning and Gracie was in good spirits right up until we had to leave the room. She screamed and cried for us not to leave, it was terrible. She was so scared and we were so upset. The school does the ""peel and stick" method in these situations. They peel her from us and stick to her until she calms down. It was very hard to walk out of that classroom and we stood in the hallway for 20 minutes listening to her scream. It felt like our hearts were ripped right out of our chests. After a few minutes standing in the hallway her teacher came out and reassured us that Gracie would be fine and for us to go ahead and leave.....yeah right, not happening until we see her not crying and screaming. After a few minutes Gracie had calmed down and started to participate, so we left in full tear mode....

You have to understand, Gracie has been with us or one of us since her birth she has had the occasional time with grandparents and her weekly gymnastics class but for the most part she has not left our side. She also walked into a completely non familiar environment with non familiar faces and without us. I think I would have been scared as well....

So, Ashli and I walk out of the school and get into the car and sit for about 20 minutes in the parking lot. That was the hardest thing I think I have ever had to go through in my life. Her teacher is really awesome and told us that she would not let Gracie just sit and cry and that she would call us if things got worse. Around 10am Ashli's phone rings... its Ms Peek, Gracie's teacher, calling to let us know that she is doing great and just got a sticker for having the biggest smile in the room, phew, man, was that call relieving or what, and that she is doing really well now. That was the call we needed. Ashli and I headed out and got some coffee and just talked for a couple of hours until it was time to pick her up. Of course, Gracie came running out with Ms. Peek...big smile and very excited. She had a great time playing with the other kids in her class and she did very well the rest of the morning. Happy ending indeed!

I didn't think it would be as difficult as it was....but....

she's my baby girl, she's my life, I want to spend every waking minute that I can with her, and now I have to share her? No way! It's not fair! That's right its not fair, its not fair to her! Gracie has so much to offer, she's compassionate, funny, and intelligent and her smile is infectious, she is daddy's girl...

very difficult indeed. I love my Gracie!

Well, besides dealing with that I also started night school last night. I'm enrolled in Greenville Tech's Personal Training and Nutrition courses and last night I had my first class to attend, Anatomy and Physiology. This is something that I have been wanting to do for the past 3 years but just didn't follow through until now. My goals are to open my own personal coaching practice and help those folks that are in the same situation I was in back in 2003. There are alot of good personal trainers out there but alot of them don't combine nutrition as part of their training plans, just exercise. Also, alot of doctors don't have a clear understanding of how to develop the right nutrition plans. When you have all the right tools losing weight and getting healthy is not difficult and I want to make sure people have the right tools.

This is a certification offered by the school and once I complete my classes I will also be getting some national level certifications. There are several organizations out there but here are the ones I am looking to get. Amercian Counsel on Exercise (ACE), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), and the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). I will have this education completed in 2 semesters.

My life just got really busy. So, I will be shifting my runs to the glorious AM hours or lunch time fun depending on the schedule. I am feeling a little bit overwhelmed but I'm going to take one day at a time and I will not sacrifice time with my family.

Getting back to the grind has been a little crazy but actually a little welcomed. Work has been a little crazy this morning but not too bad. Just looking forward to getting into my new routine with classes and my running. Here are my workouts for this week.

Tue: 3 mile - easy
Wed: 6 mile - easy
Thur: 3 mile - easy
Sat: Cross Training
Sun: 12 mile - long

I did eat a very relaxed diet while on vacation but was able to get in some good running. Friday I got a good 5.2 mile run through my old high school, very cool and the temp was only 74 degrees, man was that nice. Looking forward to my runs this week.

I think the best part of my vacation was visiting my 93 year old grandfather. He is doing well and it was a great visit. We took him out by the little pond they have and watched fish swim around and shared some really good cookies and coffee. He eats like a horse!:) Ashli got some good pics that I will share this week. He's doing well and was in good spirits. Something that I needed to see. It was very difficult for me to walk out of his room and leave but I know he's in God's hands. I love you Poppop!

We have a connection, something special that is hard for me to explain. Even though I only get to see him once a year he's always in my thoughts, like he's right there. He's now in a wheel chair full time to get around and that was kind of hard to see. This is a man that was walking a few miles a day at age 91, he loved his walks. We also had a great time visiting with my Uncle George, Aunt Sandy, and my cousins Mare and Suze. Mare's youngest son Rueben is adorable, sorry if I misspelled Mare, and Gracie loved playing with him. Every time we get together with them we spend alot of time laughing and goofing around, great time! Wish we lived closer to spend more then once a year! Saturday night I caught up with a good friend of mine Brian talking over coffee and Gracie always enjoys goofing around with "Uncle Bubba". All in all a great time away and a good release. Glad to be back and rolling! Make it a great Tuesday! - Jason

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Vacation Time...

So far vacation has been good. We had some car issues on the drive up. The ignition coil went bad on the car right when we hit Greensboro, NC. The car will run with a bad coil but is basically down a cylinder, so lacking power. We drove 635 miles with a bad coil and made it safely to my folks.

This morning I got up and started making some calls to get a new coil. I was able to buy the coil and the boot for a good price and my Dad's mechanic said he would put it in for FREE!!! Wow, what an amazing guy!!! Such a rarity in today's world. We will be sending him a card and some goodies when we get back. Now we can enjoy the vacation without the stress of worrying about the car.

Tonight I was able to get out for a 3 mile run after dinner. The temp was in the low 80's but was still somewhat humid. My legs felt very heavy through the entire run and couldn't find a good rhythm at all. Even though I struggled, as strange as this sounds, I did enjoy the run. It felt good to get out and sweat and workout.

Run: 3.11 Miles
Time: 31:52
Pace: 10:15

I had to get a sub tonight from my favorite Italian restaurant, Super Italian with the works! Not the best food to run on and probably why I struggled but man I only get that once a year and it was yummy. My weight has been up a little but with all the running I'm doing I'm not concerned!

Tomorrow we will be going to Boyd's Bear shop where they make their teddy bears. Gracie has been collecting these bears since she was an infant, well I guess we started it and she really loves these bears. So, I will be in teddy bear hell...did I say that, I mean...heaven!:) Anyway, Gracie will sure be in heaven and that's all that matters. I will also be doing my 5 mile run sometime tomorrow as long as the storms hold off. Hopefully the weather will cooperate. It's been really nice getting away and Gracie is having a blast, grandparents spoiling like you can imagine.

Have a great Thursday! - Jason

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Weekend Fun...

Wow, what a wild week. Ashli took her niece to the airport at 5am Saturday morning for her flight home. We had a great time with her while she was here. Baby Charlie and momma are home and resting, both doing great.
I took the advice from David and Chad and decided not to worry about the two missed 3 mile runs from last week. Thanks guys for reminding me of the importance of recovery!;) I did however know I couldn't and wouldn't miss my long run this weekend.

Run: 10.2 Miles
Time: 1:48:19
Pace: 10:39

Well, completed my first double digit run since my half back at the end of April and did it without tossing my dinner and without stopping! The first 6.5 miles felt strong but I really started getting fatigued by mile 7. Mile 8 through 10 were up and down. I did take 20oz of water with me and didn't take any fluid on until mile 8. Since I didn't start my run until 9pm I had no sun bearing down on me and while still humid it didn't seem to terribly bad. Very happy and a good quality long run.

Vacation time is almost here. Just a couple of work days and then off to PA for a good relaxing time. Looking forward to the time away. Here's how my runs shake out for this week.
Tue: 3 mile easy
Wed: 5 Mile easy(In PA)
Thur: 3 Mile Tempo (In PA)
Sun: 7 Mile long...I may move this run to the following Monday. Sunday we will be on our way home and driving for 10 plus hours will probably take it all out of me.
That following Monday morning will be Gracie's first day of school and we are excited for her and a little sad. It's amazing how fast they grow up. Seems like just yesterday I was holding this little baby in my arms. I guess she will always be that little baby to me....daddy's little girl always I guess.:)
Hope everyone has a great Monday! - Jason

Thursday, August 9, 2007


How's my week going? Non existent in the workout department.

I have yet to get a run in this week. I missed my 3 miler on Tuesday and my 5 miler yesterday. My 5 miler from last night will be tonight, my 3 miler from Tuesday will be at lunch tomorrow, and my 3 miler from today will be Friday evening.

My brother-in-law and wife had their baby boy this week "Charlie", just over 6 pounds...tiny little guy and momma and baby are doing great. We were at the hospital last night until 10pm visiting and didn't get home until 11pm. Way too late to go out and run 5 miles! Ashli's niece picked the perfect week to come visit and spend time with her new cousin.

I have to come in and work tonight from 7pm to about 9pm so my 5 miler probably won't get started until 9:30, 9:45 but I have no choice it has to be done. Probably not a bad week to take three days off because the temp yesterday was 104. At 10:30 last night it was still in the 90's and very nasty. Can we get any relief from the heat please??

My shoulder is still not 100% but has improved over the last week and half. I will probably stay away from strength training the rest of August. I'll be out of town for a week coming up anyway so it just makes sense to let the shoulder rest. I'm still doing my core and leg work. Leg work is very light and exercises consist of dumbbell squats, calf raises, and weighted lunges. As long as my shoulder will allow I will be hitting the weights and back on my 4 day split come September. I miss the strength work!:(

I've kinda hit a plateau with my weight again, stuck right at the 197-200 weight range. I'm really ok with it and I'm not going to get crazy. I know the reason why because my calories have been right around the 3600 mark. I will be adjusting that slightly maybe down to about 2900 a day but not too much lower then that. I want and need that extra fuel for my runs and especially my long runs. I've been sticking to the same type of foods with lots of egg whites, whole wheat tortillas, chicken breast, veggies, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, grapefruits, bananas, feta cheese, oatmeal, and natural peanut butter. I did find some really good organic frozen burritos. They range from 260 to 300 calories and contain 1 to 6 grams of fat and just under 50 carbs and they're very tasty! I would really like to be around 185 or so come November so plenty of time to drop the 15 pounds.

Ashli's niece has been really enjoying her time and we have enjoyed having her. Today she turned sweet 16! We took her out to one of the local Japanese Hibachi places last night to celebrate and we had a good time. I'm really looking forward to the trip to PA next week and some much needed time away. I do have some mileage to get in while I'm up there but it shouldn't be too bad. I'm looking forward to especially seeing my grandfather, it should be a fun time and I know Gracie is really excited to go see Mammy and Popa!

For those that don't know Tuesday evening a friend of mine David took a really nasty spill during one of his group rides and got banged up real good. Check out his blog for pics of his torn up bike and his torn up body, hang their David we're praying you, Mendy, and Grace and don't drive Mendy to crazy! Heal fast my brotha!

Have a great Thursday! - Jason

Monday, August 6, 2007

Tossing Cookies & Overcoming Challenges...

Run: 7.8 Miles
Time: 1:32:33
Pace: 11:53

Wow, where do I start. My long run was supposed to be 9 miles yesterday and as you can see I fell 1.2 miles short. I decided, like an idiot, to do my run over at Donaldson Center around 2:30pm yesterday.

I put on my fuel belt and was off by 2:45 and feeling ok through the first 2 miles. The first 2 miles are rolling hills and the last little section of the hills really put a hurtin' on me. At the 2 mile mark it was so hot, almost hard to breath and I felt like my shoes were going to melt off my feet at any moment but I plugged along right at a 10 min pace. I made it to the 3.5 mile mark and felt my stomach really doing flips and sure enough my morning fuel found its way on the side of the road! Heat 1, Jason 0! After the quick vomiting session I parked myself under a tree and just soaked my face with water and drank about 8oz. I probably hung out there for about 10-15 minutes before telling myself I need to keep moving. So, I picked myself up and began what I would call a slow death march.

I walked from mile 3.5 to 3.8 where I started feeling much better. I ran from mile 3.8 to 4.6 where round 2 of the technicolor yawn began. The second vomiting session had me concerned because now I have nothing left in my system and I'm down to about 4oz of water and still over 4 miles left to go. Heat 2, Jason 0! I started back to the slow walk and walked from 4.6 all the way to mile 6.1. As I was walking I looked up at the sky and noticed a very large storm moving in on me with several rolls of thunder at mile 6.1 I began to run.

With the sun behind the clouds and a light sprinkle in the air I was back to running. I was just glad to have my legs back underneath me and the sun not beating me into submission. As I ran I got a nasty side stitch that just would not go away, I thought to myself, well at least I'm not throwing up! I took a couple of real deep breaths which really seemed to help. As I neared the car the clouds really started to rip open with heavy rain fall and lots of rolling thunder and I made a decision to stop at 7.8. I stood there, by the car, in the pouring down rain, bent over in pain...

I was questioning myself, I was putting doubt in my mind! Can I really do this? Is 26.2 miles really achievable? What am I doing? I broke down...

Then all of a sudden in my broken down state something popped in my head. Saturday evening I watched the Pro Football Hall of Fame Induction ceremony where inductee Michael Irvin, the famous wide receiver most remembered for his off the field troubles, gave his speech and what an amazing speech it was. What popped into my head was the very end of his speech...

"LOOK UP, GET UP, AND DON'T EVER GIVE UP!" "You tell everyone or anyone that has ever doubted, thought they did not measure up or wanted to quit, you tell them to look up, get up and don't ever give up."

So that's what I did. I sat up and told myself yes I can do this, yes 26.2 is achievable, and yes I will run a marathon on November 10th. I jumped in the car and took off for the house.

When I arrived home I jumped on the scale to find I had lost almost 7 pounds! Yikes! From about 5pm to 11pm I had probably 40oz of Powerade and 30oz of water. The Powerade was so good going down. I also ate a very large portion of spaghetti and a small salad around 7:30. After all of that I gained most of the fluid loss back.

This weeks long run is 10 miles and I can assure you it will be done either early in the morning or later in the evening! No more high humidity runs for me! Here's my week...

Tuesday: 3 Miles
Wednesday: 5 Miles
Thursday: 3 Miles
Sunday: 10 Miles

I hope everyone has a safe Monday. I will just be resting tonight! - Jason:)

Friday, August 3, 2007

Busy Week & On Track...

Wow, what a crazy week it has been. I was scheduled to run 4 miles on Wednesday and 3 mile tempo on Thursday. Well, that didn't work out exactly as planned but I did get my runs in.

I took Wednesday as a rest day and did my 3 mile tempo run on Thursday at lunch. Got my 4 mile run completed first thing this morning, actually I did 4.5.

Run: 3 Miles
Time: 28:27
Pace: 9:29

Run felt good but the heat and humidity was almost too much. A little slower then my normal tempo runs but overall very happy considering the conditions.

Run: 4.5 Miles
Time: 45:48
Pace: 10:07

Just took a nice easy pace and enjoyed an early morning run. Started to get a little over heated towards the end but I did a good job of hydrating myself.

My calories have been much improved with yesterday hitting about 3200 for the day. Today I'm already over the 2000 mark. I need to keep those calories up there. Most of them coming from carbs. Found a really good organic cheddar, rice, and bean burrito that comes frozen and is a quick 300 calorie meal which has helped get those calories where they need to be.

Sunday brings my long run of 9 miles. I probably will run this in the cover and somewhat cool darkness which means I need to pick up my blinky lights and vest sometime tomorrow so the wife gets off my back!:) My shoulder is doing much better but dangit its still not totally there. I've been doing my core work and some very light leg work just to keep things moving somewhat in the strength department. May need a visit to the doc if it doesn't get any better.

Well, hope everyone has a great weekend and stay safe. Ashli is picking up her niece as we speak so will have fun showing her around. - Jason