Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Jingle Jog 5k recap

I'm still trying to play catch up on my blog.  As I mentioned in my last blog post, I started a new job and my hours haven't exactly been consistent, so it's been hard for me to sit down and write up some blog posts.  

Last month I decided to run the Jingle Jog 5k in Cumming.  I ran this a couple of years ago and, while the course is a bit hilly (hey, it is Georgia) I wanted to see how I would do since my 5k time had been consistently improving.

I was fortunate enough to get a bib through J's company (thanks Hansgrohe!).  

As tradition has it (and to make it easier when I get up in the morning) I lay out Flat Jen - it made me laugh that I ended up with Bib 1....ha!

The race was only about 5 minutes from my house (yay for local races!) and it had a later start time, so I always welcome getting a few extra minutes of sleep.  Parking was super easy, and I had some time to stop by the Hansgrohe water table to chat with them as well as walk around to check out the fun outfits people were wearing.


As I walked around the race area, I heard someone yell "JEN!"  I turned around and saw my sweet friend, Zoila, and her hubby, Chris (who I went to college with).  

I hadn't see her since the Peachtree Road Race so it was wonderful to catch up with her!  Chris was running with some of his Army buddies, so Zoila decided to join me.  The only goal I had for this race was a course PR, and Zoila wanted to push herself a little more.

The race started right on time, and we were off!  Within the first half mile you go up a decent hill, but we stuck with our intervals and made it up.  The course has rolling hills (as do most race courses in Georgia) but we kept a good pace and enjoyed each others company.  The volunteers on the course were great, but there were some super creepy looking "gnomes"...they reminded me of a bad version of the dwarves from "Snow White".  I didn't get to take a picture of them, but just trust me on this one...

The nice thing about going up hills is that you have to come down, and we had a very nice downhill finish.  Once we crossed the finish line i saw that I got a 6 minute PR!  We walked up and got our shirts, some water, and then hung out for a bit.  One of our OTF members was also running so I walked back to the finish line to try and see her finish, but sadly I missed her! :( 


Although the website said "No dogs allowed", there were a couple of cute pups who trekked the 3.1 miles with their humans.

Local races are always fun to do, and this is one that I really enjoy.  I'll be back again next year gunning for that PR!

Did you do a Christmas race this year?  

Until next time,


Friday, January 8, 2016

Looking Back at 2015

Whew...this has been a crazy work week for me!  I finally had time to come up for air and write a post I've been thinking a lot about.

2015 has come and gone, and just like every other year, it feels like it flew by!  And just like every year, it was full of ups and downs, but thankfully, mostly ups!

I found a new, fun place to work out!

After a friend in Florida told me I needed to check out Orangetheory Fitness, I jumped at it when I found out one was opening close to my house.  I took classes before there was even equipment in the studio and became a founding member, going 4-5 days a week!  Now, I work there part-time and love sharing my experience with others.  The members, staff, and coaches at my studio are seriously amazing and they make it such a fun time to spend an hour working out.  If you've never been to Orangetheory Fitness I highly recommend checking them out.  I've improved my endurance during runs as well as lost close to 30 pounds.  Check to see if there's a location near you! 

Finding my stride again

Toward the end of 2014, I was seriously burned out from running...After the Atlanta half marathon on Thanksgiving day and having a disaster of a race, I decided I needed a small break from running, and that's exactly what I did.  During that break was when I started going to OTF on a regular basis.  After a little peer pressure I signed up for a half in April...I didn't do nearly as much long distance training that I should have, but I could certainly tell a difference in the way I was running...I even got a course PR!  Seeing the improvement made me excited to run again..I even PRed my 5k distance 2 times in 3 weeks!  I'm excited to see where 2016 will take me on the pavement.

A girls weekend/racecation to Disneyland
I was very fortunate to be able to travel to Disneyland for the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend this year!  It was such an amazing time with some wonderful friends, both old and new.  You know you have great friends when you can go a couple of years without seeing each other and you're able to pick up like you'd just seen each other yesterday.  We came from both coasts...Georgia, Florida, Washington, and California to The Happiest Place on Earth for what we dubbed as #DiamondGirlsWeekend.  We laughed, we ate, we drank, and we ran - I miss these ladies like crazy and we're already planning our next #DiamondGirlsWeekend.

With those highs also came a couple of lows -

Losing my job
Last February, my team at work as well as others were brought into a room and told that our company was in the process of being purchased and, as a result, they would be downsizing.  They couldn't tell us when the sale would be final as there was a lot of red tape they had to go through, so for 6 months we continued to plug along, not sure of when our jobs would come to an end.  As scary as it was to think about ending a job I had been at for close to 9 years, it was also a good thing...I needed to move onto something different and this was the push that forced it.  I wasn't too torn up about it (obviously as you can tell from my picture) but not having a job for 2 months was definitely not glamorous.  Thankfully, the owner at my OTF hired me as a sales associate.  I've started a new full time job but still work at OTF one day a week.  The real kicker?  I found out the sale went through when I was at Disneyland...haha!  So what do I do?  I grab a celebration button and drinks!

Lost friendships

We all know that people come and go out of our lives...some we have control over while others we don't.  Nothing necessarily "happened" for these friendship to fizzle - no arguments or anything like that.  We are probably just in two different places in our lives, and I understand that.  It's still a bit sad when you think back on all the fun times you had together, but things change...people change...and all you can do is move forward.  A friend shared this photo with me and it's so very true...I still think highly of them and if our friendships spark back up I'd be happy to have them back in my life, but if not, I wish them well with their lives.  A plus side to this is that some of my existing friendships have grown closer, and I'm excited to see where the new friendships I've started will go.  :)  

As my friend, Justin, would say... #MakingLemonadeOutta

So there you have it...my thoughts on my 2015.  I'm always excited to start a new chapter in my life, and 2016 is shaping up to be an awesome year.  I look forward to taking you guys along for the ride!

Until next time,