Questions and Answers

by - Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Thursday! Just one more day until the weekend and I can't wait!

Running has been sort of nonexistent for me this week. I tweaked my right piriformis muscle last week during my 11 miler and it's still rather tender. I've been stretching and foam rolling the area to work out some of the tightness with the hopes that I might be able to get a run in this evening. We shall see.

And now on to the fun part of this post!

Questions and Answers! I'll tackle the first half of the questions today and leave the second half for tomorrow.

I always think of you as "my" Pennsylvania Jess, possessive, not obsessive :-) If you could live and run anywhere else in the U.S. of A., where would it be?

The beach. I love running at the beach. Not so much in the sand, but on the boardwalk and along the main drag in the ocean block. It's the perfect place to do nice long out and backs. Plus there's nothing better than setting out for a run just as the sun is starting to come up out of the ocean. It's gorgeous. My favorite beach to run is Rehoboth Beach in Delaware, but I think it would be really fun to run along the Cali beaches. In the end though, I'd be happy at just about any beach.

What's your favorite form of exercise and why? Did you ever hate exercise?

Running is hands down my favorite form of exercise. I can do it anywhere and it doesn't require me to pay for a super-expensive gym membership. I never really hated exercise, but when I was younger I was painfully shy and refused to play team sports. My mom practically begged me to sign up for softball when I was in grade school, but I refused. By middle school, I had come out of my shell a little bit and loved playing sports. I do remember hating swim team though when I was younger. I signed up because my friends were on the team but man swimming bored me to tears even then. Plus I was slow.

What do you think is the best perk of being a blogger?


I'd have to say it's the community and the support I've found from other runners. I started the blog as a training journal during my marathon training and just found this wonderful group of people who became my sounding board when I had questions and offered words of encouragement when I struggled.

Running, working 40+ hours a week, managing a social life... what does a typical schedule (training, sleeping, eating) look like? How do you manage to get enough good fuel at the right time?

This varies largely day-to-day. I'm a morning person and love starting my day with running, but with my current job and commute, running in the morning isn't really an option, so I've really had to adjust things. A typical day looks something like this.

6 a.m. Alarm, groan hit snooze.
6:15 a.m. Alarm, groan dragged self out of bed
7 a.m.: In office
Between 7:30 and 8:30: Eat cereal at my desk (I'm a big fan of Kashi Cinnamon Harvest)
Noon: Lunch time (usually a sandwich, cottage cheese, and fruit or veggie)
Between 3 and 4 p.m: Greek yogurt with granola
4:30 p.m. Leave office
5:30 p.m. Get home
6 p.m.: Run (I run on average two to three times per week during the work week)
7 p.m. Shower
8 p.m. Dinner
9:30 p.m. In bed reading
10 p.m. Pass out

As far as fueling through out the day, I usually eat what works out to three meals and a snack. It's not a perfect science and some days are definitely different. And there are plenty of days when I find myself visiting the candy jar in the office. For the most part though, I just try to eat when I'm hungry. If I've done a longer run the day before, I know I'll be more hungry the next day, so I pack a bigger lunch.

As for my social life, that's usually reserved for the weekends. You wouldn't know it from that schedule above but I watch several TV shows. I catch up on them online on one of my rest days. Seriously, Hulu rocks.

What do you recommend as best "power food" before a 10K race & how long before the run should I eat it?

My favorite pre-race food is a PBnJ or some version of this. For a half marathon, I'll eat an entire sandwich before the race, but for something like a 10K, I've found a piece of toast with peanut butter about an hour before the race is all I need. Plus I drink tons of water before the start of the race. That plus nerves necessitates that I use the porta-potties at least three times before the gun goes off.

Any strange running rituals of sorts?


Yup. The night before a race, I create my "running man." I find a space on the floor and lay out everything I plan to wear the next day in the shape of a person. So I'll start with my shoes and socks at the bottom. Right above that goes the shorts. At the waistband of the shorts, I lay my fuel belt. Then my top and sports bra. On top of my shirt goes my race number and at the sides I place my watch, pace band and iPod.

Plus I have to use the porta-potties three times before a race start. Not sure why, but I did it for my first marathon and didn't have to stop once on the course. So I've done it ever since.

I swear I'm only slightly neurotic.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the rest of my answers to your questions!

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