Category Archives: Anecdotal

Change is not a 4 Letter Word

People love a good weight loss story. Since it is still technically January, I’m assuming many people are still at least attempting to maintain some semblance of resolve with their goals for 2017, and research shows a good portion of the US determines to lose weight every January. In that vein, I want to just share with you a few tidbits from my weight loss and running journey so that you have a better framework of where I’m coming from.

Lately, I’m always accused of having a fast metabolism and of being a skinny girl. This brings me equal parts satisfaction and frustration. The satisfaction portion is obvious, but the frustration portion is that I work like my life literally depends on it to maintain my current physical state.

As an individual that recognizes that one’s mind, body, and spirit must be in alignment for passion and purpose to fully collide, I reassessed where I was at in my life when I was staring down the barrel of turning the big 3-0 in 2010. I was out of shape, 60 pounds larger than I should’ve been, fat, flabby, and apparently a willing accomplice to this physical state of being. I was the perfect martyr, complaining that genetics dealt me this hand.

I had always struggled with weight and body image to a degree, but after I became a mom to my two boys, I had somewhat settled into it and felt it was my destiny. I’m never going to be tiny and one pearl of old age is self-acceptance. I have always been confident in everything, except my physical appearance, and I had decided I was done feeling bad about myself for how I looked.

Something, however, flipped in me as my waist bands grew tighter and my scale kept creeping upwards. I was never a lethargic individual, but I knew as I got older that would become my new norm if my pant size continued to grow in proportion to my age. I don’t mind adding chronological years, at least it means I’m still alive, but I decided I didn’t have to grow old and I certainly didn’t have to be old and fat. There were more reasons to lose weight than to try to look like a super model and for the first time in my life, true balance, health, vitality, and wellness were my physical quest.

I’m now fit, semi addicted to running (of which I never dreamed would occur. I couldn’t’ even run one mile when I first ventured out), energized, and more passionate about every area of my life than ever before. I am learning to celebrate the highs and lows of my life while gaining wisdom, knowledge, and experience, and I love sharing that spirit of celebration with others.

Regularly running marathons is now my current hobby of choice, and at one point was on a run steak, running every single day with no breaks, from November 17, 2011- May (well I blocked the exact date because it felt like a divorce) 2013.

I know I haven’t shared the who, what, when, where, and how’s of this journey in this post, but if you read the archives, you’ll find some information, and I will periodically revisit this topic.

Everyone needs someone they can identify with, learn from, and live in relationship with and I’m putting myself out there to hopefully be that person for someone and in the process, let you peer into my home, head, and heart and glean from you.

The truth is, YOU CAN DO IT!

I’m a multifaceted person.  I vacillate from fitness guru to theologian to mom to foodie to psychologist to marriage counselor to motivational speaker to wife and back. I’m not an elite athlete. I’m just a girl who was born into an overweight family with terrible genetics that decided to rewrite her health and fitness story.

The greatness realization of this journey is that people aren’t kidding when they tell you the mind, body, and Spirit must all be aligned and working together for wholeness and wellness.

Do you have any body and fitness transformation stories to share in the comments and discussion portion?

 

Simple, but grand

A healthy relationship is one where two whole people make a commitment to help make the other person the best version of themselves.-Wendy Treat

Today my husband asked me if I needed any help. I had worked all day to get several projects finished and was in the post school, cook and scarf down dinner, clean it up, wrap up loose ends and run frantically out the door for a church function whirlwind. That morning between packing lunches, dressing boys, doing my daily devotionals, hiking in a blizzard to the bus stop, and working out at the YMCA, I had stripped all of the beds, washed the sheets, and somehow also managed to wash my sweaty run streak clothes.

(Full Disclosure: I’m a gross person and in the winter will often wear the same outfit 2 days in a row on my runs. In the summer I don’t do this because I start smelling like a zombie, but in the winter I bend the rules of polite social conduct.)

I asked my husband if he was sure he wanted to ask that, and he assured me he was. Do you know that wonderful man not only asked me if I needed help, but then followed through? He put the clean sheets on the boys bunk beds and made their beds. For sure it benefited him to do this, otherwise the boys would be up all night waiting for me to finish after we got home from our event, but it was an unnecessary act of kindness.

The life lesson in all this is that any wonderful relationship is made up of a series of these unseen, untouted, simple grand gestures. A phenomenal marriage is usually the outcome of a daily choice to carry the weight of life, responsibility, family, and fun with each other. Although he’s always good at speaking my love languages, it’s the unexpected extra mile in a frantic moment that keeps a girlish smile on my face. Yes. It is possible to have the rush of an adolescent crush in a mature, seasoned relationship. I’m racking my brain to see what I can do to one up him. Let the games begin.

What simple, unexpected thing can you do today as a grand gesture of love, commitment, and relationship?

Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. (Romans 12:10 NLT)

At the finish line of the 2013 Akron Marathon together after running 26.2 miles side by side. He’s the best pacer.

20140205-193316.jpg

Step by Step

Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit. (3 John 1:2 NLT)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA picture I stumbled across yesterday of myself with my cousin Paul 2 weeks before I started my mind, body, spirit transformational journey.
 

iPhone Fall 2012 to Fall 2013 Jess 607

Versus a picture of me this past summer (2013) with my beautiful aunt (You caught me looking at family photos yesterday!)

Today I had a reminder of how powerful habit is in our life. Besides celebrating Day 807 of my runstreak (which means for that length of time I’ve run everyday with no breaks), I had an interesting conversation with my husband. I don’t like to talk about our fasting a lot on the blog because I feel like that is a personal decision that we make to honor God in our lives, however, I feel that in the interest of exposing how I achieve my mind, body, spirit balance and how I am going about my “one word” for 2014, alignment, I thought I could let you in a little bit.

We begin each year with a 21 day Daniel Fast. I have spoken about it before in previous blogs, but you can also google it if you are unfamiliar with what it entails. We also fast at least one day a week, and in addition, kick off each month by fasting 3 days at the start of said month. The purpose of our fast is multi faceted, but one of the benefits of it is increased health and vitality.  It is not a magical spiritual, mental, or physical bullet, but step by step you grow in every area of your life and start to see God’s blessing increase with each new season of fasting and prayer.

Physically, there is no doubt that when you eliminate grains and animal products, your body isn’t using as much energy in the food/digestion area which releases it to execute more exciting uses of energy. I will be dabbling more into different food choices and detox strategies later this year that I will write about and keep you informed on, but for now, I just want to encourage you on the power of habit. The Daniel Fast is much more spiritual for us than it is physical, but you can’t separate the two. Some of my food detox journeys and research undertakings have little spiritual focus. They are just me pursuing the best physical and mental me I can be, but without a doubt, every time I’m my best physically and mentally, I’m also my best spiritually. It is a circle.

We ended our 21 days at the end of last week, and yet when faced with what to eat for lunch today, my mind only gave me the options that were “Daniel” approved. It was like I had forgotten that my typical egg sandwich was even an option or that pretzels weren’t “forbidden” foods. Am I cured from my cravings? I doubt it. When my mileage amps up the closer to the marathon we get, you better believe I’ll be elbow deep in all natural ice cream and other treats, but for now my new and reset habit system will allow me to further my health goals with little to no effort on my part.

Because I’ve been making good choices, good choices have become automatic. One decision for a cheeseburger won’t derail my life, because my habits are set. One busy day will not keep me from a life of bible reading and devotions because my  habits are set. There will be occasional steps out of the healthy habit train and that is fine with me. I’m in this for life. I’m not an ethical vegan or vegetarian and I have no known food allergies, therefore I have no real deep and meaningful reason to “deprive” myself.

The cool thing about habits is that once the correct ones are cemented, you don’t feel deprived, ever. Habit makes the automatic wise choice for you 96% of the time and that makes it possible to be “bad” the other times. See, there is no black and white. Gray is where the party is at, but your brain and body won’t let you “party” too much because it will desire to return to its setpoint or habit structure.

God created us for far more than we give ourselves credit for. We are generally so busy fighting our human nature with its impulses and temptations that we forget to lean into the momentum that God has stored up for us. God created our brains and bodies to embrace habit and instead of utilizing this amazing computer program he downloaded into us, we are constantly trying to uninstall the very thing that could take us to the next level.  We stop celebrating how far we’ve come and start seeing how far we have to go.

We label segments of our life into categories:

  • Black and white. Good and bad. Wrong and right. Cold and hot. Pessimism and optimism.

Could it be that many things we weigh ourselves down with mentally, physically, and spiritually were never meant to be categorized? Could it be that we have never embraced gray areas?

We stunt ourselves by not embracing the gray areas. There really is no good or bad. Something is better than nothing. Take it step by step. The reason this lifestyle change has stuck is because I approached it with the lens of legacy and the long journey.

Never stop celebrating how far you’ve come. Always build an altar of memories poised for praise (photos in this blog are to jog my memory and celebrate the journey). Sure there is still a long way to go. Sure there are still mental, emotional, spiritual and physical demons to slay, but what if instead of worrying about the unseen, we just baby step our way to the legacy we want to leave.

One day at a time your habits will change to match your dreams and decisions that once stressed you out will become automatic no brain choices. How would it feel to  use your willpower for greater things than survival mode? What if instead of fighting food cravings and a lack of desire to exercise you could use your energy and will power to fight for social justice? Seem like a leap? It isn’t. You can do it. I did it.

My brain and my body were created for more than considering what to eat and what to wear. God put greatness in me and I’m going to live a long healthy life pursuing his promises, living out my purpose, and declaring hope.

When negative thoughts bombard your mind, say, “I am strong. I am well able. I have what it takes. I can do this.”-Joel Osteen

A Big Deal

Exercise in the morning before your brain figures out what you’re doing.

(Thought in my head every time I run in pitch black darkness. Do I love a 5 AM alarm? No. Is it magical to run when the rest of society is asleep and you can still see the moon? Absolutely. Is being done with your run before you even take a sip of coffee rewarding? For some strange reason, yes!)  Full Disclosure: I prefer about 7 pots of coffee before my run and an additional 2-3 after my run, but you can’t always have it how you want it. 🙂

Basically I’m kind of a big deal. The evidence is below. Some of you may already be aware of this, but for those of you that aren’t, brace yourselves. I, Jessica Buckland, was a supermodel for the Akron Marathon race guide in 2013 (bottom left photo). I’m a little late in reporting this news to you because, frankly, I forgot about it, but I didn’t want one additional moment to pass without informing the world that Andy Warhol knew what he was talking about. I’m living my “15” minutes and I’m capitalizing on it, taking my existing celebrity and turning up the volume. (All jokes aside Jonathan and I were interviewed on race day for the Akron Marathon commercial. Be on the lookout. He said we were so good that he thought we worked for the Chamber of Commerce.)

20140117-133450.jpg

In 2014 my “word” is alignment. For peak performance in body, soul, and spirit, I am instituting more frequent tune ups in my life. Alignment is a game changer, although its quest can include pain. If you have ever been to a massage therapist for deep tissue work or a chiropractor to get cracked, you understand that small things can be hindering an otherwise healthy person from achieving their personal best.

In my quest for “self actualization/living God’s absolute best for this one life I have”, I have hit up many friends, mentors, and confidants to speak into my life. This week, two such people said some things about areas of my life that could have been difficult to receive, but instead left me inspired to do more, try harder, and go all in. It is a blessing, not a curse, to surround yourself with people committed to seeing you succeed. Success is conceived in the “dark room” before it ever born for everyone to admire.

About 24 hours after one of the conversations, I saw this tweet from Donald Miller that resonated with me. I don’t know about you, but at the end of my life I don’t want saddled with regret. I want to have lived out my purpose.

20140117-133459.jpg

If you really want to be a big deal, surround yourself with encourager’s, yes. However, and most importantly, surround yourself with people who can talk about the tough stuff with you and make you leave believing that you are a big deal and that you are worth the effort and valiance of honesty.

It is imperative to know which people have your ideal destiny in mind rather than their own motives, distorted philosophies, and intentions. If the truths being spoken over you aren’t wrapped in love and pom poms, run from such people.

Not everyone has your best interests at heart. Some people aren’t healthy enough to have a front row seat in your story. Know which seat at the table of your life to put everyone in, and then just pursue your vision of an ideal future knowing that God has already gone before you and that goodness and mercy are chasing behind you. Everyone has an opinion, but not every opinion counts. You are a BIG DEAL, now just surround yourself with people that believe that with you and will help you maximize your potential.

Decisions

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”-Socrates

Everyday we are faced with hundreds of decisions. In fact there are around 612 choices that we make everyday whether we are fully cognizant of each one of them or not. Oftentimes our decision is actually posing as indecision because refusing to decide is in and of itself, a choice. The last couple of years I have been working on honing my disciplines by learning that a “No” to one thing is actually a “Yes” to another. That being said, today, when faced with a choice that you would really rather not make, reframe it. There is no getting out of choices and decisions, so you just might as well lean into them and choose the one that has the best long term outcome for your life.

The most extreme example of applying this method of thinking in my life would be my #runstreak. Today I ran day 787. My choice this morning was not IF I was going to run, rather WHEN, HOW, and  HOW FAR. Unless you have been living in the bottom of the ocean, you know the whole country has been under a Polar Vortex this week. (I think we just like drama. Let’s call it what it is……..WINTER)

For some people, they may have been faced with the decision to ditch their New Year’s Resolutions and goals in the infancy of 2014. After all, who wants to workout when nature has given you a -40 degree windchill excuse. (Forget the fact that you can in fact work out in a heated home or gym. Your home doesn’t even need equipment for you to get a work out in. You can do a YouTube fitness routine. How’s that for robbing you of your excuse?)

For me, however, facing a PR year of running  (I’ve never run 2 full (26.2 mile) marathons in 1 calendar year back to back before, so regardless of pace, I will acheive a personal record.), working on year 3 of the #runstreak, and at the start of my Cleveland Marathon Hal Higdon training plan, running wasn’t an option, it was a mandate. You must have steely resolve in your goals, but also be flexible. Do what you gotta do to make things work, but also don’t excersize your self-discipline muscle too much too soon, or it will cause you so much pain that you will quit before you’ve gotten a new habit or routine. Ease into it and you will amaze yourself with your newfound capacity for snap and efficient decisions.

Disclaimer: You might have difficulty saying no to ice cream no matter how large your self-discipline muscle is. The cure for this is to just keep signing up for marathons. The means justify the ends!

Image

 

20140108-193059.jpg

 

The polar vortex made it unsafe to be outside longer than 20 minutes, so we took the run to the YMCA. (You know the weather was bad for me to opt for a treadmill.) However, because child watch was closed and clearly, from the picture below, no one else was putting fitness first, I was able to run with my BFF’s by my side.

20140108-193038.jpg

20140108-193029.jpgJonathan tried to force me to choose which cover model I wanted him to look/be like. I chose both. We can be smoking hot and be like Jesus all at the same time! (Mind, body, spirit)

20140108-193043.jpgGentry made a very adult (he’s 6) decision to change his hairdo. I basically wept because he looks like he’s 25, but he’s a man that knows what he wants.

 

20140109-103357.jpgI made a decision to take my runs back outside this AM. 6.3 miles in 12 degrees.

You are not hallucinating

In 2014 my “One Word” resolution is alignment. That means that as long as nothing is out of place, I’m free to be me, random blogging and all. I’ve searched for schedule and structure in my writing and blogging, but it’s not my season for that I guess. It’s hard to actually live a life worthy of blogging about and then actually chronicle it while balancing work, purpose, passion, family, and adventure. I will embrace the roller coaster and hang on for the ride though. I just can’t get the idea and call of blogging out of my system. That being said, you are stuck with me. I am not a unicorn. I do exist and I do continue to run, eat, tweet, lead, seed, and repeat. I am still on my #runstreak (working on year number 3 Polar Vortex and all), and I am still juggling my simultaneous desires for cheeseburgers and veganism. Some may call it schizophrenic eating, I prefer the more scientific terminology of “Flexitarianism”.  I will be chronicling all of these thoughts and more for your pleasure, for my pleasure, or more realistically for an audience of around 1.3 fans. Watch out for words flying from my fingers at random!

Lose Weight Fast

The discomfort of giving your best is less than the regret of holding back.

A lot has been going on in my life lately. My weekend started off with one of those days of sorrow topped with joy. We spent the day in Toledo Ohio at the Memorial Service of my 90 year old Great Aunt Dorothy. It is very sad to see her pass and know that her chuckle and ability to include everyone in everything and make you feel genuinely liked will never be felt again, but  celebration of a life well lived. To live to 90 years old and have spent 89 of those years living independently is a great story. She only gave up her independence 9 months before her passing due to some health issues. I am keeping my fingers crossed that I got that side of the families genetics instead of my Bentley side of the family, but so far I’m pretty much striking out since almost all of me is pure Bentley. If I keep running and living well though, hopefully that DNA will kick in and I will last well into my 90’s like so many of the Whitmore’s have.

20130612-114440.jpgThe boys at the memorial service behaving like champs and brightening the mood.

20130612-114424.jpgA small portion of the dessert table that I had to try. It was National Doughnut Day Friday, so I replaced the biblical mandate of eating Donuts on that holiday with a mandate to eat all chocolate products in sight. I had gotten out of bed at 5 AM that morning to get a 6 mile run in before we left for out of town, so I definitely had banked the calories for this.

On Saturday I woke up early again to hit all the Little League Games and get my house in acceptable condition for our friend who was coming to spend the weekend with us and minister at our church. I got my 8 mile run in and felt fantastic. Our rule at the Buckland home is that when friends come in from out of town we have to eat copious amounts of food in our quest to be hospitable, and all of the food must be delicious. By the time our friend arrived, I was more than ready for dinner, but something felt off. I decided to order a salad instead of the burger I usually order at Fat Head’s (the restaurant my husband thinks is necessary for each of his friends to eat at. He thinks eating here is as important as baptism, so you can’t argue with that). I ate my salad and just felt inordinately full.

I didn’t want ice cream after dinner, which should’ve been my first clue something was awry, but since we were going to Mitchell’s (another Cleveland staple and MUST eat), I couldn’t say no. Another glaring clue something was wrong should’ve been the fact I ordered a single scoop cone instead of my usual Sundae the size of a small toddler.

I woke up Sunday feeling lethargic, but since I had slept all of 3 hours the previous night, didn’t think much of it. I did my Sunday #runstreak 2 mile run, had a great church service, then went to another horrible for your body meal. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, you have to eat at MELT when you visit Cleveland. It was Jonathan’s duty of brotherly kindness to expose our friend to this place. I didn’t feel great at this point, but ate my meal and half of everybody else’s meal anyway because it’s just what you do at MELT and I thought I was just tired.

That evening I ate nothing at all. I even said “No” to ice cream when the guys tried to peer pressure me into partaking again. I just felt chilled, tired, stuffed, and not too great. I honestly thought it was from eating too much. I almost always gain like 67 pounds when our friends come to visit and I know how unhealthy eating destroys my body and my system, so I thought I am officially too old to indulge occasionally and it’s time to marry my new lifestyle 100% of the time instead of following my usual 80/20 plan.

Thankfully, or horrifically depending on your perspective, I have learned over the course of the last few days that it wasn’t what I was eating that is the problem, but in fact, my body decided to go on the WORSE DIET EVER. I got up Monday and almost passed out walking to my kitchen to start coffee.  This is obviously not normal behavior. I can run a marathon but I can’t walk to the kitchen, funny stuff. I felt so hot and so cold at the same time that I thought I was going to burst. I crawled back up to my room and just layed like a kid in bed. When I can’t make or drink coffee, it’s time to call the coroner. I was down for the count.

Because Jonathan had appointments that day, I pulled myself up, threw clothes on and took Gentry to safety town. I had already promised Reese that we would go to the YMCA for me to work out and him to have kids club, so despite my husbands plea’s, I took off.

20130612-114416.jpgG-Man Representing Safety Town

After 576 Days on the RunStreak I’m committed to the streak. I eeked out my 5K on the treadmill feeling like I was going to die and then skipped weight training. At that point, there was no arguing, something bad was happening. I will not tell you the other evidence of the stomach flu in my life at that moment, but let’s just say I had a very unpleasant day. I went home, showered, and didn’t move all day. At this point I had not eaten one thing since Sunday at lunch and was not only not hungry, but terrified of what would happen if I ate. I finally force fed myself a banana and some Sprite, but I had a fever of 101 and couldn’t budge.

So, if you want to lose weight fast, find someone with the stomach flu and get it really good. It is Wednesday and I’m still not recovered. My fever has broken thankfully, and I’ve eaten some chicken noodle soup and toast, but i have no appetite and my energy is nill. I am down 5 pounds from Sunday morning. I hate being sick, but if I can keep it off when I feel better and start eating again, that will be nice.

I have kept the #runstreak alive against all common sense and logic, but I have had to replace my 10 mile run this week and my 8 mile run with 2 mile slow runs and I pretty much have read that you shouldn’t resume any mileage until you can eat normally and feel strong. For now, I guess the only speed work that will be happening is a trip to the bathroom.

What are your lose weight quick tips?

When was the last time you were bed ridden? (The last time I was this sick was before my eldest son was born and he is 8 now, so I have a great track record for health and wellness overall.)

Did you celebrate National Donut Day?

“THAT” Girl

Look in the mirror, that’s your competition.

Today marathon Jessica was officially back. After taking the month of May to not think about training schedules and to focus on falling in love with running again, running and I moved our courtship back to engagement levels today. I ran my first 10 miler since May 4 (the day I ran the Capital City 13.1). I’m not going to lie, being engaged again feels nice and mother nature smiled on me hugely with some amazing running weather. My marathon training plan for June is to run one 10 miler, one 8 miler, one 6 miler, three 5K’s, and my 2 mile “rest” day every week. For me, this is a reasonable way to stay in medium to long distance shape without the risk of overuse or injury. My official training plan is 16 weeks long, but it is much much easier to train for a Marathon with a super solid base than it is to jump from 4-5 mile days to 18-20 mile days too quickly. Therefore, these first 3-4 weeks are just going to be base building beast mode. Wish me luck!

This lady is my competition. (Pic from 2011)

This lady is my competition. (Pic from 2011)

I’m starting to become “THAT” girl. Recently I noticed a phenomena of all of my random neighbors, which includes people who live up to 6 miles away from me because I frequently run past their homes, to start commenting to me and staring at me. I think this is funny because my husband runs nearly (notice I say nearly because clearly my mileage this year is blowing his out of the water. I’m several hundred miles further than him this year) as much as I do and nobody ever looks at or says anything to him. A couple of weeks ago a neighbor commented that I make him dizzy and tired because he sees me out all the time at random and nocturnal hours of the morning just running in circles. He said just watching me makes him feel exhausted. I wasn’t sure how to respond to that except to say to myself that he needs to up his fitness routine. In addition to that exchange, people will ask how many miles I’m going today or say they see me all over town and it blows their mind because I’m so far from home. My neighbors landscaper told me that I “get around”. Thankfully there was good context for a comment like that :)

Anyway, today a man I have never seen stopped me on the sidewalk and just asked me why in the world I’m always running. He said, “You must really want to be in shape. I just saw you an hour ago running and here you are still going.” I explained to him I was on my long run (I guess the super stylish fanny pack like fuel belt and hair saturated in sweat didn’t give me away) and that I enjoy training for and running marathons for the stress relief, the solitude, and the mental health benefits I feel. He was pleased with the answer, which is good because if he wasn’t I think he might have broken my legs to get me to quit running.

So, my question for the blog is, do random strangers ever comment on your running?

I can’t believe I’ve become “THAT” girl. What I mean by that is there was man where we used to live that everyone in the town talked about all the town because he would speed walk for hours on end, miles and miles everyday. People speculated that he must have HIV/AIDS or some other horrible ailment and that he was trying to stave it off with fitness. People would regularly refer to the man in conversation, even though nobody had even met him. He seemed to have endless energy. I used to giggle when I would see him zooming by. He was a MEGA fitness walker. He was probably speed walking as fast as a lot of people run miles. I think of him when people comment on my running and take it as a compliment. Hopefully I’m inspiring people in my community, but if not, at least I’m meeting a lot of people and having an open door of conversation to let them into my life. Jesus modeled relationships and neighboring, and although he didn’t use running as his method, I’m sure he’d be glad I exchanged dusty sandals for springy Brooks tennis shoes and bring people together.

20130604-142623.jpg

Speaking of relationships, the sounds of my boys using their imaginations, creating, playing, and jumping outside with neighborhood kids makes my heart glad. I’m thankful that they are living childhood the way it should be, and not in front of a TV screen, a computer, or a video game. Don’t get me wrong, they spend plenty of time on iPhone apps and in the company of angry birds, but as adventurous boys, the call of the wild is strong for them and I am more than happy to appease that drive to get dirty, loud, and sweaty and let them be kids. I am so thankful for the nicer weather. In the winter sometimes you have to resort to Wii Sports games for any semblance of exercise for your kids, but when it’s nice out, forget all these expensive childhood obesity campaigns and just help encourage people to get their kids outside. Imaginations don’t cost money and they teach everything from fitness to team work to what it truly takes to succeed in life.

20130604-142501.jpgVolunteering at Reese’s school for field day. Keeping that giant ball up in the air and chasing it down for several hours and getting several hundred students to do team work games was both fun and exhausting. I probably added at least a couple miles to my run total for yesterday at this event.

20130604-142515.jpgField Day Potato Sack Races

Come back later and we will talk about food and other equally exciting things like how people like to tell you running will cause arthritis or that with all the running you do you should be skinnier or that they just can’t fathom how you have so much time to train for a marathon. ( Preview: Everyone has the SAME 24 hours in a day, some just choose to set a ridiculously insane alarm, or stay up when every else is snoozing so they can fit all of the work, dreams, and desires into their life. Also, most marathon runners I know are the busiest people I know. Presidents have run marathons. Medical Students have run marathons. CEO’s, actors, lawyers, and moms with full-time jobs plus a husband and 4 kids. The secret is simple, remove obstacles and excuses.)

Stray Saturday

Train — like an athlete. Eat — like a nutritionist. Sleep — like a baby. WIN — like a champion.

I like the above quote, however, those of us that have raised babies realize that this is not realistic for an adult. Babies snooze a lot and snooze deeply, but they sleep according to their own whims and at their own discretion. I may feel like crying from 2 AM-4:30 AM as an adult like a baby would, but it doesn’t work out too well for my schedule.

  • (I have totally felt like crying all night long lately as my allergies have been out of control and keeping me awake. I have even gleefully plotted the methods I could use to remove my eyeballs from their sockets.  I am taking Claritin daily, but it is struggling to keep up with the reality that my neighborhood looks like a winter wonderland, and no, it’s not from snow but from extreme pollen.)

I have a lot of stray and random thoughts today, so while I desire to change your life,  motivate you, and elevate you holistically, I’ve been taught a mind is a terrible thing to waste. Therefore, I decided to just let the stray mental bullets fly.  Mind, Body, and Spirit are all at work today. Hopefully you’ll catch something!

20130601-135300.jpg
From the rosebush on the side of my house. I’m pretty proud of the fact we didn’t kill them all, just most of them 🙂 What I looked like after a hot 8 mile run the other day vs. What I imagined I looked and smelled like. We won’t have a visual for what I actually smelled like.
20130601-135307.jpg
What I looked like after my 8 mile run this morning, and proof that I completed it despite the mental gymnastics. My pace was not great  because I did not get up and run at 5 AM before the sun came out with guns blazing.Don’t be jealous of how gorgeous I am here.

I completed day 565 of my #Runstreak today.

  • (You can join a temporary #runstreak by aligning with Runner’s World and their Summer Streak. Check out #rwrunstreak. One of their holiday challenges is how I got started on my streak and I had so much fun streaking that I have just never stopped!)

My question is how did 8 miles feel like 3 miles just a couple of weeks ago but feel like an ultra marathon today? Thankfully I’ve been in the running game long enough to know that the weather, sleep patterns, stress levels, eating habits, and numerous other factors all go together to decide if a run is going to be easy mentally and physically, or if it is going to be a struggle in one of those areas. The good news is that no matter how bad a run is mentally or physically, the endorphins produced do not discriminate and flow footloose and fancy free through your mind, body, and spirit and make you very happy that you did what you did and that you are accomplishing your goals one step/one run at a time.

We have been having a heat wave (I’m actually loving it. I’ve been so ready for this long winter to end), so this week between the heat wave, the high winds, the humidity, and all of the thunderstorms, topped off by my tight hamstrings, I have really been working hard at running smart. I am thrilled to report that my sever hamstring issues were obviously from the weed pulling (my theory was correct), and are not some super long term running injury. I have run three 5K distances, a 6 mile run, and two 8 mile runs this week that will be capped off by my weekly short “rest day” run of only 2 pre-dawn miles early on Sunday morning, which could be a soaker because there is a 90% chance of storms, but I don’t have treadmill at home and it builds character and the mental prowess you need to complete marathon training and actually finishing races. (If you would like to purchase me a treadmill,I will be your new best friend.)

20130601-135323.jpgProof that the meteorological reports in Cleveland are inaccurate a majority of the time. Left shows the forecast (0% chance of precipitation) and right shows the reality out my windshield (monsoon).

20130530-215335.jpgI’m not sure how healthy this snack is exactly in terms of pure/clean eating, but it has been a go to favorite of mine lately when I want “junk” food. It’s not junky at all in reality, and it is sweet. There is quite a bit of fiber in each serving, as well as protein and it is decently low calorie. If you want a sweet crunch, check these out. They are a little on the pricey side, but too horrific. They cost about the same as a pack of Oreos, and if you eat the whole bag  it will  cost you much less calorically than a binge eating episode of cookies.

20130527-143501.jpgI’ve been spending a good majority of my life in Costco lately. I am seriously considering a move into the store. Our church is in a huge Summer Serve Initiative and I have been feeding just about everyone and their brother on the west side of Cleveland. I figure that a majority of Jesus’ ministry was spent around a table in fellowship with others, building common ground, and even showed us that the greatest thing we can do to honor is death on the cross is have communion, which involves the breaking of bread, I can model this and show my community appreciation with all of the goodness Costco has to offer. This is where we fed all of the teachers breakfast at the school we are holding our services at for no reason other than to show them kindness and let them know we are praying for them. I am loving our summer serve and can’t wait for all of the awesome things that will come of it.

20130601-135337.jpgMy husband getting ready to do an adopt a business summer serve project. With a pastor this hot, I don’t know why the entire population of Cleveland isn’t already a member of the Bridge Church.

20130527-143525.jpg20130527-143512.jpg20130527-143506.jpgLiving the mom life, raising intellectual super heroes poised for world domination. Here we are at an early morning school assembly to cheer Reese on and watch him get an award for Academic All Star.

20130530-215342.jpg20130601-135420.jpgIf moving to Costco doesn’t work out for me, I have pitching a tent at ball fields as a great alternative living arrangement. I have been spending numerous hours running all around creation at various baseball practices and games. Of course the boys would be on two different teams and in two separate age groups. That’s what being a boy in summer is all about though.

20130530-215350.jpgThings have been moving at warp speed lately, so thankfully, my work and church life piggy back with my mom life (Not that you can ever separate yourself into categories. You have to be all things at all times, but you get the point). I’m doing summer serves while earning mom points. The Bridge Church tee-ball team.

Where are you spending most of your time lately?

Any hot weather running tips to share? I will be sharing some of my tips this week as well as what I like to pack in my fuel belt. Liquids are a must for me in these temperatures as I sweat like a 765 pound couch potato. I guess I just have an efficient internal cooling system.

How to have endurance

Never hold your head down, never say you can’t, never limit yourself, and never stop believing.

myway_m
I was the inspiration for a children’s book illustrated by a great friend of mine Carol Dixon. She used pictures of me from when I was 8 to base the illustrations off of.

Today was one of those days where you spend almost the entire day thinking it is a different day of the week than it actually is. I’m pretty sure this has to do with the fact that Monday was a holiday, but a good solid majority of my day today I kept trying to follow the Tuesday agenda on my calendar and kept forgetting that I had numerous meetings and baseball practices today. Thankfully my Type A kicked in and I made all of my meetings on time and was able to complete my Wednesday projects. (I also spent quite a bit of time thinking of catchy titles to this blog with the word Tuesday in them. It’s a good thing I couldn’t come up with any.)

None of this is really too embarrassing considering my other forays off of earth onto planet Jessica are usually more tragic. For example, on Sunday I held up our worship team practice internally stewing because our sound guy had not yet plugged in my microphone. Finally, after a pretty substantial lull of me standing away from the microphone singing into the air and watching/listening to the band tune up, I came to the stunning realization that we use cordless microphones. It was an epic blonde moment. It would’ve continued unnoticed by anyone other than myself, except for the fact that my self esteem is high enough to be the center of a wonderfully hilarious punchline and moments like that really should be put out there for pleasure and enjoyment. In my defense, I was thrown off by a random cord laying on the floor unused. In our sound guys defense, we have had cordless microphones for a fairly lengthy period of time, so I should’ve put two and two together. I plead the 5th amendment and make my case for a hands free microphone.

20130427-151146.jpgCan you rely on God too much? Is religion really a crutch?

Running injuries are a favorite topic around the Buckland household. Jonathan has some sort of issue with his feet and calves that flares up when he increases pace and mileage and I have been dealing with crazy feet my whole life, even before I became a runner. I have extremely flat feet and I walk and run like a duck essentially. I have decided this is a badge of honor. Not many women can pull off a waddle with such gracious ease.

  • (As a side note, the Sperry Topsider shoes are a gift from heaven. They are like wearing a tennis shoe in terms of comfort and form and are in fashion this season for some reason. Anytime a shoe is comfortable and in the remote ball park of fashion I am all over it. Usually I have to pass on shoe fads and just fill with coveteousness and envy towards ladies with dainty girl feet)

I will not go into too much depth with you on my foot problems because I don’t want you to have nightmares, but I will say that, as I mentioned yesterday, my hamstrings are super tight and this is putting pressure on my Achilles tendons as well as the tendons that run along the side of your leg and is making my calves tight. Add to that my flat feet, extra bones, and bruised toenails and you have the recipe for someone who will never attract a stalker with a foot fetish.

I know that I am not in injury mode yet, but I want to ensure that I get these muscle knots loosened up ASAP. Next week I start my pre-marathon training mode and I need to be in top shape for it. Since the Captial City Half marathon, I have been running about 30 miles a week to give myself an “off” season for a couple of weeks and to allow myself to “date” running again. Starting next month running and I will be engaged again jumping to about 36-38 miles a week, and then in July we get to work our way to marriage as I build towards 50 miles and beyond a week until the Akron Marathon.

Because of all of this, I used the pretty little head God gave me and actually chose to run on the treadmill. I needed a way to force myself to go slow and when I run outside my speed creeps up way to easily. I set the treadmill on the pace I wanted to go and just kept a steady rhythm for a 3.1 mile run and then went to a 1 mile walk. I pretty much always do a 5K on the days that I lift weights. (Until peak marathon training season where I run like 876 miles a day regardless of what is on the workout agenda or life calendar. It really is fun. You shoudl try it.) I also focused on arms and abs today and nixed the kettlebells and squats. You gotta know when to hold em and when to fold em. I will be foam rolling again tonight like a good girl while claiming this scripture:

May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, (Colossians 1:11 ESV) (The bible has some of the best scriptures for use while running. Why would I run on my own power and strength when the Holy Spirit can give me a boost? Why would you sit on a couch and not become a runner when clearly we are called to push beyond our limits into his possibilities?)

20130529-125106.jpgThese are the vitamins that I am currently taking. I have low iron counts (and therefore eat about a 78 pound bag of ice everyday. I will probably have no teeth by the age of 40.) and no matter how hard I try or how clean I eat, I do know that there are probably a few vitamin areas I am deficient in. These Costco brand performance vitamins are some of the first vitamans I have taken that haven’t made me sick to my stomach and have legitimately made a difference in my functioning and energy levels. I love them. The other vitamins are from a huge free pack of things I was given to try and I really like them so far. I am going to be purchasing some Glucosamine and Condrotin like a 95 year old lady to help my joints and ease the mild discomforts associated with being a human gazelle and some Vitaman D. Dr. Mercola states that even if you exercise outdoors and spend time outside, if you wear any SPF it blocks the absorption of Vitiman D, add to that the fact I live where we see the sun 3 minutes a year, and I don’t want to risk the negative side effects of low Vitaman D. I haven’t had any issues so far, but know lots of people who have had serious health problems they found out later were a simple vitaman deficiency. I would also rather not look like the “Tanorexic” mom you see on tabloid magazine covers, so some SPF is definitely going on my face.

20130529-202544.jpgJust a few of my favorite people from my LifeGroup tonight. I teach a lifegroup at Dunkin Donuts and still haven’t eaten a single donut at any of my groups yet. I deserve a medal of valor.

20130529-202720.jpgA glimpse into the Foundations 101 afternoon group we had today. I pretty much spend my day hanging with amazing people and talking about Jesus. I also spend it surrounded by carbs and testing my will power. I had no goodies at Panera Bread this afternoon either. I’m upgrading from the medal of valor to the purple heart.

I apologize that I haven’t been posting pictures of the food I’m consuming. I know it has been a struggle for you, but this too shall pass. What is the best thing you have eaten this week? I had a Chipotle Chicken Bowl for dinner tonight with brown rice, black beans, tons of salsa and hot sauce and very light cheese/sour cream. I can’t do away totally with the cheese/sour cream, but I stress very very light to the person making my bowl. Chipotle is always the highlight of any week that it finds itself in.

What is your most annoying ache or pain?