ready to race, ready to write

Sometimes I think the best thing to do when you are returning from a “sabbatical” (for serious lack of a better word in this case!) is to just jump right back in. Take the leap, land where you land, dust yourself off and, well, run with it. Don’t worry about catching up. Just jump in and go. And so it is with my decision to begin writing here again.

I am really happy, and grateful, to be back. Feeling stronger and more clear-headed than I have in years, honestly probably ever in my life. Looking forward to writing again, to sharing my training and racing ups and downs and in-betweens, and more than anything to connecting with all of you on a deeper level than I have been.

So let’s get right to it.

Tomorrow morning I will toe the line at the Rock n’ Roll DC race for the fourth time in a row. This race holds a special place in my heart, and it always will. It was at the full marathon there three years ago that I ran my first ever Boston Qualifying time. That day I accomplished something I had for most of my life never even considered to even imagine. Since then, I have grown a whole lot and I firmly believe that anything is possible in life … well beyond the world of running.

This year I am running the half marathon for the third time in a row. I have been training for it all winter and have put in a solid couple of months of hard work — long runs between 14-18 miles and killer workouts, many of which were executed on the treadmill because of ice, snow and below-freezing temperatures. For the first time since getting serious about my running almost 4 years ago, I am not training for a spring marathon. This decision to take a season off of the marathon distance was founded partly upon my desire and need to strike a healthier balance for myself and for my family and also upon my hopes to run a faster marathon time in the future. I am working at getting faster and stronger at shorter distances right now (next up will be the GW Parkway Classic 10 Miler at the end of April) and will begin training for the New York City Marathon later this summer. I’ve been working with Coach Mark Hadley for about 6 months and am just so grateful for all he has taught me thus far. He is the perfect fit for me and I am so thankful for how he encourages, challenges and inspires me with my running. It has truly been a wonderful experience.

Despite all the training, and how good things have been feeling lately on so many levels in my running and in my life, I am still super nervous about tomorrow morning’s race! I haven’t had the “race brain” for a long, long time, and this has me doubting my mental toughness a bit. Deep inside though, I believe that when it’s go time, when it’s time to take the leap and jump in, I’m going to run as fast and as strong as I ever have in all my life – with a heart full of newfound courage and trust.

This weekend is a big weekend for all of the runners out there. Lots of great races are happening, and people all over are training for spring races that are right around the corner! If you are one of them, I am sending you my best wishes. The running community is amazing, and I am grateful and honored to share my passion with all of you. It’s good to be back, racing – and writing – again.

4 thoughts on “ready to race, ready to write

  1. So good to read a Jessica post! Funny that you just wrote tonight and this is the first time I've checked my blog roll in a looooong time! I like your way of thinking…to just jump back in and write where you are. I might have to keep this in mind if I am ever going to pick my blog back up again. My last post was 2 months ago so not too terribly dusty but feels like forever! It has been so fun to watch your progression with running over the years…you amaze me. Good luck tomorrow! I can't wait to read about it. You inspire me. Will be looking forward to more of your posts again.

  2. I am so grateful that you are back to writing. I connect to what you have to say on a deep emotional level. Your writing is a gift, and just like our favorite book, “Gift of The Sea” you must be patient for the ocean to present it's treasures. That's how I feel about you. We've all been waiting, and now you're here. Makes it that much more special. Race with all of your big beautiful heart tomorrow.

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