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Blessed to live another year!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Today was my birthday!!! I felt amazing, as if I was so blessed to have another year to do my best and reach for all I can. I drove home today along one of my routes that I train on and remembered an area along side of the road where there was a memorial set up for a young man who passed away there. They had his football number, signs and candles set along the road to honor his life. Every time I would bike pass this memorial it severed as a motivation for me to keep going strong. I felt so blessed to be out there giving it my all, and so I would press on faster and harder than ever.

So for today, my 32nd birthday I feel privileged to have seen another birthday pass by. When I race on Sunday, I will think of that young man who was not able to have another birthday or another chance to live out his dreams. I will focus not on time or where I place, but rather racing for those who cannot, always remembering how blessed we are each and every morning we wake and take another breath. 32, here I come.... I am ready!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEXASCHEIBEL 7/16/2009 11:55AM

    oh my goodness...I just got major chills. This is my birthday too!!!

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*SKINNIE* 6/10/2009 10:04PM

    i really like your perspective here.. it is certainly motivational to live life to the fullest and not spend any time moping around for we have the gift of life, and others do not.

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    Dear Jen,

Happy Birthday as I first start sparkpeople your page was the motivation one they suggested so I read your every word, like a friend. I have lost 25 lbs, ran a 5k,and changed my body and attitude at 41- I am feeling great and I too think of all those who never get that chance to live their best lives and motivate myself on. You are more than an inspiration to many of us out here in sparkland- I appreciate your returning mail and keeping in touch but most of all your honesty with your struggle and the before and after photos- thanks Jen- may God bless you and your dreams. HAPPY BIRTHDAY- and Thank you

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TRAINER_T 5/28/2009 5:33PM

    emoticonI wished you a happy birthday on your other blog......I am glad you posted this it touched my heart, we are both blessed! Have an awsome year!

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ALISHAB3 5/28/2009 12:07PM

    Happy birthday!!!!!!

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SEEHOLZ 5/28/2009 11:00AM

    You know what I'm going to say right? I still think of the man in the wheelchair without the legs - the one you saw in Russia and all those who were never taught that running, racing or exercising can give you that shot of courage and strength to master that next task!
I am blessed to have been a part of your journey from 30 plus, all of 31 and now 32... I hope that we can stay in touch at 64 or maybe even at 128---( that might be pushing it a bit) I think doing this same race at 64 might be a great gift for you and then, you'll reflect on the first one, at 32-LOL!
I also think of the fallen ones when I see a memorial and those who died "before their time"!
I'm sure that thinking of all those people while racing will give you a completely fullfilling experience, because it will be about more than just you!
I think that's why I love ya girl- you can see the bigger universe and your horizon has been opened ... it's bigger than the bubble..

Now the real question: What kind of cake did you get?

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MBSHAZZER 5/28/2009 10:15AM

    Happy Birthday, Jen! Participating in the tri will be an awesome birthday present to yourself... getting better, not older!

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WIXNWAX 5/28/2009 9:56AM

    Happy Birthday (yesterday), Jen! What a great encouraging, motivating Blog! We are so blessed to have you in our Texans Sparkin' the Flame with Christ family! You are so beautiful not only outward in appearance, but most importantly inward in your spirit! You are an inspiration! Happy 32nd and many, many, many more to come!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Love and Blessings,
Judy emoticon emoticon

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KIMBEROU812 5/28/2009 9:39AM

    Happy belated birthday Jen!! You are doing amazing things with your life and inspiring so many. Really cool perspective on the blessing of another year!!! Way to go!

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LIL_FROGGER 5/28/2009 12:12AM

    Happy Birthday! And great blog! I have a little road shrine that I pass on a lot of my runs. It's nearing a fairly secluded area with a beautiful view. I have the same reaction when I run by. I always wonder about the person it was set up for and count my blessings for being alive and being able to be out on a beautiful day taking care of my body.

As a side note, the shrine also has one other effect on me. It's right by a pretty severe curve in the road. Kinda makes me wonder if the dude was a runner or biker who got clipped. At any rate, it's a constant reminder to me to not have my iPod turned up too loud, to keep a constant watch and to hug the curb of the road!

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SWEATONCEADAY 5/27/2009 10:46PM

    i turned 32 last friday! happy birthday jen.

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KAYAKID 5/27/2009 10:43PM

    Happy birthday! very nice blog! I am running in a 10 k in August for 2 boys who have cancer. It makes you feel like your doing something important besides running. although running is wonderful, its not a life and death situation. Have a great race on Sunday. I am racing on saturday a 5k.

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_MSAPRIL17_ 5/27/2009 10:37PM

    Have a wonderful birthday! We can venture into this 32nd year together!! So far so good for me (even though it's only been a little over one month).

Very touching blog, you are an amazing woman!!


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JDUVAL1 5/27/2009 10:34PM

    Happy Birthday!! Thanks for reminding us that we ARE blessed to live another day. My life journey took a HUGE bend in the road when I was 32... but I learned alot of things I wouldn't have otherwise experienced. I just keep learning to make better lemonade!



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CCSDESTINY 5/27/2009 10:29PM

    Happy Birthday! This post is so touching! :)

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Taking the day off....

Friday, May 22, 2009

I am out shopping, resting and working in the garden today! I feel strange taking it easy now that I only have 10 days before my race, but I feel wonderful and I do not want to overdo things. It has been a long time since my knee has felt this good. On a side note, I am going to start blogging my workout results on my personal blog as opposed to spark. I will still keep my fitness tracker updated, but for my longer blogs that are more descriptive in terms of my workouts, I will use the other site -

10 more days!!! I am SO excited!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Daily goals -
1. Drink 1 gallon of water - done
2. Stay within caloric range and log calories - will report back after dinner
3. Spend at least 20 mins today stretching with foam roller -
4. Ice for 20 minutes 3 times -
5. Take all vitamins and supplements - done

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IRON__GIRL 5/24/2009 3:19AM

    Wow!! So exciting!!! Only 8 more days, now? WOO HOO! You are going to have SO MUCH FUN!!! Savor the moment! Can't wait to hear your race report!!

My first tri of the season is June 28, with MITCHWENDY, in Atlanta, GA! Comin' up soon!!

Hope you are enjoying your holiday weekend!

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MBSHAZZER 5/23/2009 9:30AM

    Enjoy your taper! I'm glad you are feeling great!

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CCSDESTINY 5/22/2009 4:33PM

    Ughhh, I will do my BEST to remember to check there!! :) I wish it would send me an email reminder like spark does! :)

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Workout results 5/21

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I am in good spirits today. My run was so much better than Tuesdays and my knee held up very well with my new Patella band I was wearing even though I ran with a few hills today! I am going to continue the running every other day from now until my triathlon as I think it will help and I will not loose any of my endurance that I have worked so hard to build up. In terms of my speed, I held my pace pretty well today and was surprised at how light I felt. Maybe it is the fact that I have lost more weight or the fact that I am more rested, either way, it was one of my best runs in a VERY long time! Go little knee go!!

I wanted to take a moment to thank each of you for your comments and emails. I would imagine it would become old hearing about all my trials and tribulations with my injuries and yet each and every day I am overwhelmed at your encouragement and support for this journey that I am working towards. Thank you!

Daily goals -
1. Drink 1 gallon of water - done
2. Stay within caloric range and log calories - will report after dinner....
3. Spend at least 20 mins today stretching with foam roller - done
4. Ice for 20 minutes 3 times - done
5. Take all vitamins and supplements - done

Totals for the day -
Time - 97 mins
Calories burned - 982

Workout 1 - ST Upper body
Time - 52 mins
Calories burned - 426

Standard Military Push ups between ST sets - 50 reps
Shoulder press on balance ball - 3 sets of 10 reps with 17.5 lb DBs
Plank rows - 3 sets of 16 reps with 17.5 lb DBs
Reverse fly machine - 3 sets of 8 reps at 70 lbs
Reverse flys on balance ball - 3 sets of 10 rep with 10 lb DBs
Lateral/Front/Lateral raise combo - 3 sets of 20 reps with 10 lb DBs
Wide grip lat pulldowns - 3 sets of 12 reps at 120 lbs
Underhand close grip lat pulldowns - 2 sets of 10 reps at 120 lbs
Bicep curl to Arnold press - 3 sets of 7 reps with 25 lb DBs
Alternating Bicep curls - Set 1 - 16 reps with 30 lb DBs Set 2 - 10 reps with 30 lb DBs
Runners curls - 3 sets of 40 reps with 15 lb DBs
Dip Machine - 3 sets of 10 reps at 90 lbs
DB Boxing - 3 sets of 15 reps with 15 lb DBs

Workout 2 - 3 mile run with a 1 mile walk for warm up/cool down
Time - 45.28 mins
Calories burned - 556

Warm up walk - .5 miles 8:05 mins
Run - 3 miles - 29.51 mins/ Avg pace - 9.57 mm
Cool down walk - .5 miles 7:31 mins

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CCSDESTINY 5/22/2009 4:26PM

    WhootWhoot!!! :) I just love the days where a run feels "Good"! I personally agonized over my run today so it is SO refreshing to see that it was YOUR TURN to have a great day!! I think the reason nobody ever gets tired of hearing about all of your tribulations is because we all have them and know how it feels to have a bad day!

Hope you have a terrific long weekend! Catch up with you monday or tuesday :)

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CHOSH96 5/22/2009 7:39AM

    I am new at this. I am at the point where you were when you saw that picture and said enough is enough. You are truly one of the most amazing sucesses I have found in the 12 days I have known about spark people. I am happy to know exactly what you are going through to get to each goal. It has been so motivating looking at your spark page! GO Jen GO!

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SEEBEES3 5/21/2009 9:46PM

    I'm so glad the PT is helping. Look at you go!

Comment edited on: 5/21/2009 9:47:08 PM

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SEEHOLZ 5/21/2009 5:11PM

Old, never! ( well, never day never, but...) I'm glad you had a good run!
Enjoy the holiday week-end girl!

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Workout results 5/20

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My PT session went well today. She gave me a list of exercises to work on and my next apt is next week. I bought a band to wear around my knee for support during my runs as well as some sports tape. She said my hamstrings are very tight and I need to be stretching more and I need to work on strengthening my inner thigh and hamstrings. My quads are very strong but I need to work on a balance between my hamstrings and quads.

She also said that I am having pain on the side of my knee due to a very tight IT band. So I have to do the IT exercises on the foam roller twice a day to help. My kneecap is being pulled to the side and is slipping out of the socket, so I need to tape it in a special way to help give it support. So along with my arthritis I seem to be having a few more problems with my knee that I was not expecting. I am going to do my best and work through all of this. I know many runners who have had problems with their IT band, so I am choosing to look at this as something that I can control and take care of. As far as my pain from the arthritis, well, I am going to do my best to continue to stretch, ice and take my meds to control the inflammation. I really do think that the more I loose weight and strengthen the muscles around my knee and my hamstrings, that in time my knee will continue to improve.

My workout today was a bike ride followed by a short walk and then toning/stretching exercises for my knee and legs. My bike ride today was my best yet in terms of my mph. I was able to ride for a short while with another girl who was out training and she gave me a much needed push!

One week from today I turn 32! I plan on making the most out of this week, enjoying every last second of being 31! What an amazing year it has been and I look forward to seeing what I will accomplish this next year.

Blessings to everyone on this gorgeous day! Keep pressing on!

Totals for the day -
Time - 124 mins
Calories burned - 1024

Daily goals - Will report back later tonight.....
1. Drink 1 gallon of water -
2. Stay within caloric range and log calories -
3. Spend at least 20 mins today stretching with foam roller - done
4. Ice for 20 minutes 3 times -
5. Take all vitamins and supplements - done

Workout 1 - Bike ride followed by walk
Time - 83 mins ( time includes warm up, stop lights and cool down on bike)
Calories burned - 839

Bike - 16.18 miles - 56:12 mins/ Avg speed - 17.3 mph Max speed - 26.3mph
Walk - Easy post ride walk - 1.32 miles - 20:00 mins

Workout 2 - Toning/stretching/PT exercises
Time - 41 mins
Calories burned - 185

Calves/hip flexor stretch
Piriformis stretch - 3 sets of 20 second holds
Planks - 3 sets of 20 second holds
Side plank - 3 sets of 20 second holds
Clamshell with resistance bands - 3 sets of 10 reps for each leg
Bridge with single leg holds for 20 seconds for each leg - 3 sets of 10 reps for each leg
Adduction with resistance bands - 3 sets of 10 reps for each leg
Abduction - 3 sets of 20 reps for each leg
Leg side raise - 3 sets of 10 reps for each leg
Adduction machine - 2 sets of 20 reps at 115 lbs
Glut press with bosu ball - 3 sets of 15 reps for each leg
V leg raise on balance ball - 3 sets of 20 reps
Pizza press - 3 sets of 20 reps for each leg
Romanian dead left - 5 reps with 25 lb DBs ( only did one set as I was very tight and I did not want to pull a muscle)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CCSDESTINY 5/20/2009 7:52PM

    I cannot BELIEVE how much you've done with that many things going wrong - LOL! Take care of those legs, they have lots and lots of miles left to go :)

I know exactly what you mean about being grateful for the year your've had and looking forward to the year ahead - things just seem to be getting better and better!! Happy birthday early - because unless you tell me again, I'll forget to tell you later!

Comment edited on: 5/20/2009 7:53:03 PM

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MBSHAZZER 5/20/2009 6:31PM

    That sounds like a very productive session with your PT! It sounds like she gave you lots to work with - very encouraging. Also, way better to know ahead of time what your problem areas are in order to head off more serious issues down the road. You are armed and dangerous, girl! Enjoy your last week of 31!

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Workout results 5/19

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Todays workout was good, I kept my run light and did my best not increase my pace too much over the course of the run. I took a long warm up walk which seemed to help my knee during my run. I am icing now and I think so far it is feeling rather well. My first physical therapy session is tomorrow morning and I am hoping that it will be helpful, we will see. I will be sure and report back how the session went.

Have a blessed day everyone! Stay strong and keep pressing on....

Daily goals -
1. Drink 1 gallon of water - done
2. Stay within caloric range and log calories - done
3. Spend at least 20 mins today stretching with foam roller - done
4. Ice for 20 minutes 3 times - done
5. Take all vitamins and supplements - done

Totals for the day -
Time - 105 mins
Calories burned - 1,092
Calories consumed - 1,871

Workout 1 - ST at gym with light walk/run on tread
Time - 42 mins
Calories burned - 356

Wide grip lat pulldowns - 4 sets
Sets 1-3 - 8 reps at 135 lbs
Set 4 - 6 reps at 135 lbs

Bicep curl to Arnold press - 4 sets of 8 reps with 25 lb DBs
Horizontal Body chops - 3 sets of 10 reps on each side at 37.5 lbs
Pushups - 20 reps
One arm DB rows - 4 sets of 8 reps for each arm with one 37.5 lb DB
Reverse fly on balance ball - 3 sets of 8 reps with 10 lb DBs
Leaning lateral raise - 2 sets of 10 reps for each arm with one 12.5 lb DB
Alternating front raise with squat hold on wall with balance ball - 3 sets of 20 reps with 12.5 lb DBs
Lateral raise with squat hold on wall with balance ball - 3 sets of 8 reps with 12.5 lb DBs

Workout 2 - Run/Walk outside followed by 700 yard swim
Time - 63 mins
Calories burned - 736

Run/Walk - 4.16 miles
Walk - Warm up, 2 min walk between run and cool down - .95 miles - 15 mins
Run - 3.21 miles - 33.36 mins/Avg pace - 10.39 mm

700 yard freestyle swim - 2 x 300 intervals with rest between and 100 yard cool down -
300 - 5:47 mins
Rest - 46 seconds
300- 5:43 mins
Rest - 45 seconds
Cool down 100 - 2:10 mins

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEEHOLZ 5/20/2009 1:20PM

    Help Jen! My left shin is acting up today--- it's not as bad yet, but I need to keep it easy... it's always something, huh?

Anyways, let me know how the PT appt went!

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    Good luck at PT

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CCSDESTINY 5/19/2009 9:05PM

    stupid question - how do you know how far you've swam?

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STEPHANEFANY 5/19/2009 8:14PM

    I checked out your sparkpage. You look great. You have a good workout plan as well. Hope your knee feels better soon.

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CHRISTIEC73 5/19/2009 7:42PM

    Workouts look great. I hope you PT goes well.

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MBSHAZZER 5/19/2009 6:11PM

    I am definitely curious to know how the PT goes! Hope it's helpful!

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