Goal Goddess

The “Big Reveal” of Plan B (and I made pasta salad)

She lives, she breathes, she even blogs?

Hi all, ThatJessGal here and I’m finally ready (deep breath) to “reveal” the Plan B I warbled about back in JUNE. (um, yeah that was 4 friggin months ago! What happened?!?) I had this great plan for the reveal that involved videos of my classroom and apartment in which you would oh so cleverly realize that while I tend to post a video of my sweet classroom at the start of the school year it would be clear this year’s classroom is quite different from my science teacher home of the last 3 years.

Right, great plan. And like many of my great plans it totally didn’t happen.  Because while I am indeed in a new classroom this year, it’s not just down the hall; nope, I’ve moved this one woman teaching show a bit south to my beloved Orlando. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for several years now and I even happened to snag a position teaching biology at the high school of my dreams!  Have you ever had the moment when a goal of yours comes fruition and you suddenly get everything you’ve been wanting at once? Ok, yeah, it was a first for me too!  It’s amazing but quite overwhelming for a Type A, concrete-sequential gal like myself. (guess that mean that one of my plans totally did happen? wow!)

Needless to say packing up and moving to a new school, a new apartment and a new*  town has been a bit time consuming. Not to mention my new school year has me hopping with 3 very advanced biology preps (6 classes total, fyi), two of which I have never taught before! Good thing this gal loves a challenge.

*While I’ve spend most of my free weekends the last 4 years in Orlando it’s still “new” since this is the first time I’ve lived here for longer than a month stretch at a time!

Speaking of challenges, now that the first quarter of the school year has officially come to close I think I may have enough of a grip on my schedule to start the challenge of blogging again.  Trust me, I’ve missed it and I have TONS of foodie adventures to share with you, my darlings. My “plan” (ekk, did I just use that icky word again?) is to set aside enough time each week to get one punky little post up for your reading pleasure. Feel free to cross your fingers, for this Irish Lass can use a little extra luck on her side!

Now to start us all off on the right foot I present to you the newest take on my pasta salad which was inspired by a trial subscription to a at home organic produce delivery system which I PROMISE to talk more about soon! For the time being, enjoy!

Yes, I did take this as a screen shot of fbook. The recipe is in my comment on the sidebar. Clicky to enlarge…it’s totally worth it! Baby steps people, baby steps.

Love to all,
~ the happy to be back blogging gal, Jess

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Categories: Goal Goddess, Hey Teacher (Wo)Man, Rad n' Random | Tags: | Leave a comment

ThatJessGal.com Grand Opening!

I am very pleased, excited and a touch nervous to officially introduce my new blogging site: ThatJessGal.com.

This project has been a goal of mine since January 2011 when I listed it as one of my blog related goals, to occur that summer. Totally didn’t happen. Finally in November 2011 I started trading emails with Rachel about “rebranding” ideas since I really value her opinion on all things blog (and life stuff for that matter. Seriously, if you aren’t reading her blog, you NEED to be.) and really took her advice on not pigeon-holing myself as a “food blogger” “healthy living blogger” or frankly any type of blogger.

My name is Jess. I’m a fun loving gal. And I write a blog. I have a quirky sense of humor. Oh and I do eat, A LOT. But I also am an avid bookworm, a silly science teacher, a budding shutterbug, a music lover and an admirer of craftbeers. So with all those qualities in mind the premise of my blog went from:

to

And the fact that it took me another 4ish months to get this baby up and running is merely an indication of how technology challenged I am. Thank god for techy Asian friends like Michael who understand things like “nameshares” “domain forwarding” and that I didn’t need to buy the $80 worth of storage I did from my hosting site otherwise ThatJessGal.com would still be an empty page. Lesson learned. (and some extra hard earned cash down the drain. I’ll live.)

Now for those of you STILL wondering what I’ll be doing here at my shiny new blog I wanted to do a little press release about the Grand Opening of ThatJessGal.com but shockingly none of the local news-stations or newspapers wanted to cover it. The nerve, right?

In lieu of a legit news release, I give you instead a Q & A, written and answered by yours truly, aka a new level of narcissism that has been reached by this gal. Sorry, I’m not sorry. I’m a blogger.

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Let’s start with the basics:

How did you pick your blog name?
As I eluded to up above it’s a grown up take on the moniker Semi-Abnormal Gal I’d started using around the blogosphere. I took Rachel’s advice to nail down a name for myself “ThatJessGal” and then modify the tagline as I see fit. I hope to run a blog in some capacity for the reminder of my days, so that format really rings true with me. I’m from the south, so no matter if I’m 18 or 80 I’ll always think of myself as some variation of a gal.  I hope you will too.
When did you start blogging?
Technically I started blogging the spring of 2005, on Xanga.com with my first edition of Chronicles of a Semi-Abnormal Life.  A group of my friends from college and high school started a little blog-ring where we shared our take on college experiences and life. I still do Flashback Fridays sometimes from that blog, as it’s fun to see how my thoughts have changed/evolved or even stayed the same.
Nearly 4 years later I started my public site under the same name on Blogger.com. It started to to take a “healthy living” twist, as I was unconsciously mimicking what some of my friends with healthy living blogs were doing. I ended up not liking that style, as it wasn’t genuine of this gal, (let’s face it, I like beer, cheesecake and omlets better than running-I only do the later so I can enjoy the former-I’d rather read a book in bed, with a side of that cheesecake) and I slowly developed what I hope rings true as “my style.” Don’t know what that is? Stick around, you’ll find out.
If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Why?
Macaroni and Cheese-not because I like that shade of yellow, but because it’s food. Duh.
What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
The Hunger Games. I have lots of thoughts. I’ll be writing a whole post on it soon. Stay tuned.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
For being very OCD about my hands being clean, I’m actually a “dirty gal.” (Not like THAT, you perv) I hate changing my bedsheets, washing my face and brushing my teeth. I prefer to sleep over shower, and probably would only shower once or twice a week if I didn’t have very oily hair.
Favorite time of day?
I’m actually an afternoon gal. Most days I get a second wind around 4pm until around 8pm. I force myself to be a morning person, because as a teacher I can think clearer in the AM. Even if that means getting up at 3:30am. Ugh.
What did you want to be when you were little?
A killer whale trainer. No lie. I was in a beauty pageant once and when the MC read that as my occupation the audience laughed. I was scarred for life. Seriously.
Favorite Pizza Toppings?
Broccoli, whole roasted garlic, peppers, mushrooms, eggplant or squash. Sausage if I’m feeling frisky. Anchovies. Don’t for get the anchovies.
What 5 things are always on your kitchen table?
A plant or flowers.
My sticky note pad. (I actually have one of these on every “writing surface” in my house- coffee table, bedside table, kitchen table. If I don’t write it down, it’s gone.)
Stack of cookbooks and foodie magazines I’m always reading and marking up.
A funky printed cloth napkin.
My DSLR camera. (Unless I’ve taken her out for an adventure, of course.)

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Still not sure what this gal and her little blog are all about? Be sure to check out the About This Jess Gal tab at the top of my page and just keeping checking in. I only post 2 or 3 times a week, but I promise to make everything you find here worth your while to read, ponder, cook, sample and sip. I’m still new to the world of WordPress and basically putting on my big girl blogger bloomers, so if you have suggestions, topics you’d like to hear this gal spout off about or just want to say hi, please email me. (I LOVE email.) ThatJessGal@gmail.com

Love to all,
~the proud as punch to have finally have a shiny new domain gal, Jess
Categories: Goal Goddess | Tags: , | 2 Comments

No Meat Shall Touch These Lips for the Next 40 Days-Half Way Check In

The Stats:

Starting Date: Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Ending Date: Sunday, April 8, 2012
Total Days Meat Free (so far): 24

The Eats:

Tofu Bahn Mi

Tiki Masala Soup with Shrimp


Trashcan Salads

Spicy Curry Noddle Bowls 

Vegetable Stir Fries with Tofu

Not nearly enough Paneer Cheese and Spinach, and Spicy Peas, Chickpeas & Potatoes with Five-Grain Pilaf and of course, Naan. 

Plus loads of: Tuna Salad with Crackers, Subway Seafood Sensation Subs and Eggs (scrambled, fried sandwiches, hard-boiled)

The Reflections:

This challenge has been fairly smooth so far but admittedly not very creative. I’ve been a very busy gal the last couple of weeks, so grabbing what I can, when I can has been the reality of the situation. I’ve discovered that the only time I struggle with avoiding meat consumption is when I fail to plan in advance. Of course this statement is true of nearly any healthy eating, I think, meat or no.

I’ve been eating mostly trashcan salads for dinner (I roast up a huge pan of veggies and potatoes on Sunday and eat off it all week in my salads) and tofu sandwiches or tuna/seafood subs for lunch. Breakfast has been mostly unchanged, I just don’t include ham in my egg scrambles or sandwiches.  

Dining out has been painless as well, since my friends are awesome and we have been frequenting mostly Asian fare restaurants, which ironically I usually eat tofu at all the time. Dining out with others has also been the hardest on me, because I’m a big sharer of meals and it’s irritating not to be able to steal a sesame glazed chicken wing off a friend’s plate, or a bite of chicken pad thai off another’s. I think that leaves me more leaning towards reintroducing meat into my diet after Easter.

This coming week will be the most challenging yet to be sure. I’m headed out on a road trip with my Mum to stay with her brother as we visit with my elderly grandmother who now lives permanently in a nursing home.  I didn’t tell my uncle and aunt about my new “vegetarian” ways because I didn’t want them to make a big fuss. But they are good southern hosts and both excellent cooks; which means bacon in even the green beans! Oh and my uncle makes some wicked good grilled chicken. Yes, a challenge to be sure. I’ll report back soon.

How is everyone else doing with their Lenten abstinences? Have you learned anything new about yourselves?

Love to all,
~the Lenten veg head herself, Jess

Categories: Goal Goddess | 1 Comment

Gal Talk: Motivation

Motivation. It’s a bit of a dirty word to a high school teacher. We are always trying to find a new way to motivate our students and let me tell you friends, in 2012 even this “young dog” is having a hard time finding any “new tricks” to motivate her students.

Motivation applies to many things. Motivation to be successful in a career. Motivation to be successful in a partnership. Motivation to raise a family, be a supportive parent, or understanding to an aging parent.

Finding the motivation to be healthy is one of the most common topics around the lunch table and blogging world, however. I don’t usually say much about motivation around these parts for many reasons, mostly because I think “motivation” is truly different for everyone and should be a personal thing.

I know that I personally am not motivated when people yell or scream “hard, faster, push-push-push” or anything of the sort. I just don’t really like yelling. Or being bossed around. Or anything that seems remotely similar to military boot camp. In fact at my triathlon one spectator (she was another competitor’s coach, I think) started yelling at me to “push harder” during the last mile of the run and I may have yelled back a few not so nice things. Don’t push me; it just makes me angry, not motivated.

Needless to say, most of the “motivational things” that are said in group classes, such as spinning, Body Pump and Body Combat don’t really get me going either.

PS. This isn’t my gym. They didn’t have any group class photos. Lame, GHF. 

This Saturday I had a revelation. Right in the middle of Body Combat. Carrie, our instructor kept saying that if we we want “to see change you have to go get it. It won’t just come to the doorstep” or something to that effect. Sometimes sweating my brains out makes my memory a touch fuzzy. I’m sure you understand.
Anyways, as usual I was tuning out the “motivation” spewing forth from the instructor’s mouth until the last track. Push-ups. Ugh. I hate push-ups. And after a bunch of punching drills that had already shredded my arms and shoulders I really, really hate push-ups. Honestly I was about to fake my way through the set when Carrie once again said “change won’t come to you, you have to go get it” and for some reason it finally clicked. If I want ripped arms, I have to fight through the push-ups. 
Now I know most of you are saying “duh, Jess. Did you really just climax with that?” Stay with me. Aside from realizing I need to embrace push-ups the important lesson I learned while teetering on shaking arms and abs was I am motivated by rational “cause and effect” statements. 
Guess that means that I’m finally motivated to be motivated. And you know what? It feels good.
Love to all,
~the “motivate me with logic and reason” gal, Jess
Categories: Get It Girl, Goal Goddess | 1 Comment

Leap Year Look Ahead

I’m a gal who really likes goals. I’m always dreaming about the future and plotting out my next weekend, vacation, and move in life.

Since I am pretty much always thinking (and chatting aloud) about the future, one of my closest friends was surprised that I didn’t have a running “bucket list.”

This came as a bit of a shock to me as well. Why didn’t I have a bucket list? I realized that I do have one, it’s just been rattling around in my brain (and occasionally getting lost) all these years.

The physical act of listing out my life long dreams, goals and aspirations brought to light how varied they are in terms of time to accomplish.  Some of the entries will be crossed off as soon as this summer (road trip solo) or as far off as visiting all 52 states and the 7 continents (who knows when I’ll pull that off…50, 60, 70?)
As the Leap Year drew closer to the all important date of February 29th I began reading up on what the Leap Year means and special traditions that are associated with this funny quad-annual calendar anomaly I kept running across the term “Leap List.”
A Leap List is pretty much what it sounds like. A list of goals to be achieved by the next leap year. Four years to tackle a chunk of my Bucket List? Now that sounds like a plan right up this gal’s alley.

Leap List, 2012 Edition
Solo Road Trip
Visit Polyface Farms, owned and operated by Joel Salatin
Return to Metropolitan Area Living
Start Leading Community Yoga Classes
Complete a Sub 3 Hour Half Marathon
Complete a Sub 30 Minute 5k
Complete a Sub 1:55 Sprint Tri
Complete an Olympic Distance Tri
Travel Abroad Again (Asian Countries? Return to Munich?)
Spend Time in Portland and/or San Fran
Purchase a house as a single gal
Adopt a Rescue/Shelter Dog
Start a Vegetable Garden (and ideally not kill it!)
Take a college level creative writing course
Phew! I’m sure I’ll think of a thousand more things before midnight, but I’m going to cap myself right there. It’s going to be an amazing four years. Get ready 2016, I’m going to have a lot to share with you!
Love to all,
~the “what did I just leap into this time?” gal, Jess
Categories: Goal Goddess | 1 Comment

No Meat Shall Touch These Lips for the Next 40 Days

That’s what she said. Barharhar.

Ok, sorry. Let me get serious here. Today is Fat Tuesday. So, happy Mardi Gras, everyone!

As I am Catholic, that also means that tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and the start of the 40 day season of Lent. If you are not familiar with Lent it is a period of reflection, prayer and fasting.

[“40 days” represents many things- The 40 days of the great flood (found in Genesis), 40 years that the Hebrews wandered in the desert (found in Numbers),  40 days Moses spend on Mount Sinai (found in Exodus),  40 days that Jesus was temped by the devil in the desert (found in Mathew).]

In the past I’ve given up fast food, swearing, chocolate, and caffeine. Well, I don’t eat fast food any more. The swearing bit was an epic fail last year and as a high school science teacher I NEED chocolate and caffeine so I don’t bite the heads off of unruly freshman and sophomores!

That only leaves one thing: it’s time to go meatless. I had actually considered fasting from meat for Lent a couple years ago, but at the time I wasn’t eating much meat at all, so that didn’t seem like much of a sacrifice. But recently? Well, I’ve been eating-and enjoying- a great deal more meat than I have in the past 6 years or so combined. I blame it on addictive nitrates!


Case in point:

Yep, that was just a week ago. And let me tell you, the idea of having to for go salami on my cheese plate for the next month and a half makes me a little twitchy. However, since Lent is about sacrifice, I can suck it up.


Instead, my Tweets might sound a bit more like this in the coming days:


I’m excited for this challenge, to be perfectly honest. My vegetarian and vegan friends are being super supportive, sending me recipes and ideas. Some predictions have been made that I won’t even look back after Lent is over. We shall see. Maybe this Lenten experiment of sorts will change my diet drastically.

Or maybe I will feel like this:

Thank goodness I genuinely like beans, tofu and veggies*!


Is anyone else abstaining for the season of Lent? I always get a kick about of everyone’s fasting choices. It’s like New Years with wonderful religious backing.


Love to all,
~the little vegetarian pescatarian Catholic gal, Jess


*I’m abstaining from meat (chicken, pork, beef, etc), but will still consume dairy, eggs and seafood. I also am not worried about chicken stock in soups if it is unavoidable.

Categories: Goal Goddess | 1 Comment

The Impulsive Half Marathoner-The Full, errr, Half Monty

Exactly one week ago I competed in my first half marathon. I’m honestly not sure when I started thinking about completing a half marathon (at least a year ago?) and now I’ve completed one. It’s a little mind boggling to be sure.

But one thing I can be sure about is on Sunday, February 12, 2012 I ran/jogged/walked 13.1 miles all over downtown St. Petersburg, FL in the Inaugural St. Petersburg Rock and Roll Half Marathon and eventually found myself crossing the long awaited finish line. 
As I stated before, registering for this race was very spontaneous. (impulsive, even?) I randomly signed up after seeing friends post the link to Facebook on 11/11/11 with a discount code bringing the cost of registration down to 60 bucks. After a quick peek at the course map, which covered some of my favorite parts of St. Pete I had an email confirmation in my inbox from RnR and a “what the hell did I just get myself into?” feeling in my gut.
A few weeks later that same group of friends whom unknowingly “got me into this mess” ran in the Las Vegas Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon, bringing some flaws of the Rock ‘n Roll series under the microscope in very sharp focus. I recall some people having real qualms about how packed the course was and that they couldn’t move, but the two issues that sent me into a panic were lack of aid stations/no water at the aid stations and a shortage of metals for the slower finishers.  
WHAT? “Come on people, I only do this for the metals!” I wailed.
Needless to say, this cute little turtle paced gal was legitimately freaking out!  But just like any of my freakouts, I got over it and got proactive. I purchased a water bottle with a running grip from Camelbak and reminded myself that they could always mail me the metal later, if they once again ran out at the St. Pete event.
It seems that the RnR group really learned their lesson in Vegas, because I could not have asked for a better first time half marathon experience on my own race day.

So, with all that preamble and no further adieu here is the story of my first half marathon:

The morning started off with a great big “ugh” regarding alarm clocks going off at 5:15am on a Sunday morning, especially when you have stayed up until past midnight with your bestie making positive running shirt signs, watching silly youtube videos, gossiping and chatting about fitness the previous evening. Oh and a double ugh for the 30 degree windy weather awaiting me outside. So yes, it was cold, but frankly I was more concerned about food than the cold snap. (well, when am I not concerned about food, honestly?)

I had discovered the previous week during my last long run-12 miles- that banana and peanut butter didn’t go too well as a pre-run meal for me and since I usually eat scrambled eggs/omlete every morning I had this crazy thought that I would just order that for room service at 5am. Um, well, it was a nice plan but no dice, because good ‘ol room service doesn’t start until 7:30am. (shows you my vast experience with room service-I thought it was 24 hours) The Starbucks in the lobby of the hotel was opening at 6am, so that was my only plan B.

Actually, it was quite a few people’s plan B, because the line was 15 deep even though I got there right at 6am. One coffee and a “perfect oatmeal” later I was headed over to the Trop for the start of the race. I did my best to woof down the oatmeal in my car, but it just tasted really sweet and I only managed to eat half of it. (Rookie mistake number 1)

I wanted to stay in my car, nice and warm, but I couldn’t hear the announcements on the loud speaker and that was making me nervous so I yanked my ugly yellow sweatshirt on over my long sleeved tech tee and headed out to join the queue for the porta-potties. Fun times, fun times. Fast forward the 25 plus minutes of shivering in corral 12 the race finally started. (rookie mistake number 2-totally could have stayed in the car all that time!) 

Another 24 minutes later thanks to the staggered start I was crossing the start line. The first 5 miles were very uneventful. Lovely, very chilly (chilly as in my nose was frozen but snotting at the same time-thanks random head cold that popped up on Friday morning) enjoyable miles, winding around the stadium and covering some western parts of Central Ave. I kept thinking about chunking the sweatshirt as it felt very cumbersome, but then another gust of wind would come swirling down the street at me. Burr.

Just past the 5 mile marker we turned back unto 4th Street South and into blessed full sun. I said goodbye to the uncomfortable yellow sweatshirt and kept on trucking. My plan to run 3x each song on my playlist was working grandly and I was also enjoying the live entertainment on the course. My only slight problem was my pants. Turns out they are a size too big for running (I bought them primarily for yoga) and therefore kept falling down, leaving me yanking them up every third or forth stride. Eventually I got used to them riding low (just on my hips, not my waist where I wanted them…nothing was exposed or anything) just let them be.

The turn around through a residential neighborhood at mile 7.5ish was particularly memorable because I stopped to chat with a friendly homeowner and play with his beautiful Great Dane. She wanted to run with me, which would have been amazing, but of course I had to say goodbye to them both. (It’s moments like that I wish I had run with my camera, but I just wanted to keep the race simple) I also said goodbye to the cool sign on my back around that time, or rather the wind said goodbye to it for me. Sniff.

Trotting along the marina and bay was great, even if a bit breezy, because that chilly breeze was laced with sweet, tangy salt. It made me feel alive and happy. And if feeling alive and happy isn’t the point of a race, then I don’t know what is. The next segment of the race was the down and back along the Pier. When I signed up for the race I was not happy about the idea of this stretch because I figured it would be in the full sun and hot as blazes. It was full sun, but the sun was welcome. Honestly as much as I keep mentioning the chill factor I’m glad it was cold. I would much prefer shivering at the start and having to plan extra layers to shed (and getting super windburned too) over sweating my brains out.

Peace to the Pier indeed. I actually love the “down and backs” of race courses, because you get to better see exactly who is ahead of and behind you. And let me tell you friends, even though I had now long lost the 3:00 hour pace keeper I was nowhere near the end either! And that golf cart that I feared would be on my heels? Not even in sight.
Exiting the Pier left only 3 miles left! Just a 5k, right? No sweat. Ugh. This was the only part of the race where I got a little frustrated and from mile 10.5 to 11.5 I didn’t run at all. Remember, rookie mistake number 1 of not enough breakfast? It came back to bite me hard. I knew I needed more calories, but had only had 2 cups of Gatorade (or whatever brand of electrolyte drink it was-they are all nasty to me) thus far, although I had water at all the aid stations. (which were at every mile-making my decision to leave my running bottle at the hotel actually a good one!)
But back to the calorie deficit, at mile 10 they offered Gu packets. Admittedly I’d never had one before, and I know you “shouldn’t do anything new on race day” but I also knew I needed something. So I took a vanilla one and sucked down about 3/4 of it with a cup of water chaser. (it actually tastes and “feels” just like vanilla pudding, so I’m a fan for future training/events)  
After the Gu pack station the race course turned down the cobblestone street of 5th NE right next to the Vinoy, aka sheer gorgeousness. I have always loved this part of St. Pete and was feeling SO good to be running along it. 
That good feeling abruptly disappeared as I rounded the corner off Bayfront onto Beach Drive and two things happened pretty much simultaneously: 1-my stomach started trying to reject the Gu. 2-I could see the finish line party but knew I still had nearly 3 miles to go. (and people who had already finished started wandering on the course-not cool, fyi) Needless to say I wasn’t feeling so alive and happy at that moment. I pushed on walking as fast as I could and focusing on keeping the Gu inside my stomach. 
Thankfully there was another aid station with water just after mile 11 and after stopping for two full cups of water and some deep breaths I felt much better. Finally all that was left was the out and back across the Snell Island Bridge. Ugh, again. We could still hear all the festivities at the Finish Line Party, and yet we were running (or walking as briskly as possible in my case) away from it.
As we turned and headed back across the bridge I finally got a last spurt of energy. Maybe it was because we were headed towards the finish. Maybe that Gu packet was finally in my bloodstream. Maybe it was gravity helping me down the Snell Island bridge. Whatever the reason I perked up and started trotting along Coffee Pot Blvd with my head held high, knowing I was less than a mile from becoming a half marathoner.
My good mood only improved when I noticed a familiar figure walking in the opposite direction on the sidewalk. With excited recognition I called out “Meghann!” and jumped up on the side walk to give her a quick hug and congrats on her run. (and engagement since I hadn’t seen her recently) Little did I know aat the time she had just successfully completed her goal of finishing a sub 1:45 half marathon. She encouraged me to keep moving, since the finish line was just around the bend. I shouted a good bye to her and kept slowly trotting to the finish line.  
[Just a quick side story here: I first met Meghann back in 2006 when she was dating one of my childhood friends and we were all home from college for the holidays. We stayed friends on Facebook even though that relationship didn’t last and it was thanks to her blog that I first discovered this world of blogging runners, inspiring me to take up competitive racing. So, even though we don’t talk on a regular basis, it is because of Meghann essentially that I am even able to write this post. Isn’t it fun how small the world is?]

They had photographers set up to catch the facial expressions of people as the finish line came into sight. This was all I could offer.
I call it “where’s the finish line?” because that was all I had been thinking for the last 3 miles! I began a slow jog towards the mats, getting really excited when I saw Christine along the fence of the shoot!
Those are my “excited hands.”
I was waving and flapping around when I saw her!
The next thing I knew I was crossing the finish line!

 Since I crossed solo the annoucers really hammed it up. I believe this is what was said:

And here comes Jess Mahoney. She is 25 and fabulous. And looking so pretty in purple today. Well, I’m sure she always look pretty, but she is sporting that purple today.
It made me laugh and really feel special, even though I’m in the “turtle group” and finished with a time of 3:26:06, a time that many other women can finish a full 26.2 miles in. And awaiting me past that finishing mat was my metal. 

My overall pace was quite a bit slower than I thought it would be (I was shooting for more of a 14:45) which also helps to explain why I was closer to 3:30 than 3:00, but I’m very pleased, considering how undertrained I was for this event. And hey, I totally wasn’t last!  I’m excited to announce after this amazing experience that while this was my first half marathon, it won’t be my last! I’m going to focus on triathlons for the rest of 2012 but I’m planning on fully training for another half for the spring of 2013 and will attempt to actually run the whole beast! Stay tuned for that fun!

Phew, writing this recap was nearly as exhausting as completing the 13.1 miles that made me a half marathoner! Thanks for reading, you deserve a metal just for finishing the post!

Love to all,
the “yup, I’m pretty proud to call myself a half marathoner now” gal, Jess

PS. My only other rookie mistake was my poor hands. I didn’t wear my gloves, which I did bring with me, but just didn’t realize how cold they would be. Also, they got very swollen around mile 6 which you can kind of see in my finisher picture if you look at my wrists. A lady I was chatting with during the “bad mile” told me it was from not keeping them at heart level when when I was taking walking breaks. Lesson learned indeed, because they were incredibly uncomfortable but went back down to normal with in an hour of finishing the race so no real harm done.

Categories: Get It Girl, Goal Goddess | 2 Comments

The Impulsive Half Marathoner-The Short of It

Before:

During:

After:

How:

Details and such coming soon. The short story is: I loved my first half marathon. I might be slow, but I finished and for 2012 that is enough for this gal.

Love to all,
~the half marathoner gal herself, Jess

Categories: Get It Girl, Goal Goddess | Leave a comment

Project 2012: Snail Mail Love

I shared my KIND goals for 2012 with you last week, but I had one more thing up my sleeve. 
See, not only do I love getting snail mail, (because who doesn’t really?) I have a pretty huge thing for stationary. Oh and stamps. And cute return address labels. 
So, in 2012 I vow to share my love of stationary with YOU. Each month* I will randomly draw 2 names/addresses and send you a card. Just for fun. Just for you. 
Want a 1 in 48 chance of getting a fun surprise in your mail box this year? Just send me your mailing address to ThatJessGal@gmail.com. Yay.
Love to all,
~the stationary obsessed loving gal, Jess
*Yes, I realize that I’m sharing the project with you on the LAST DAY of January. I guess I’m sending out 4 fun and random cards in February!
Categories: Goal Goddess | Leave a comment

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