vegas strong | marathon monday week #23

the morning after. spreading some #VegasStrong love


Holy shit. It’s been a while since I’ve blogged and on the afternoon of October 1st, I sat down to write my first Marathon Monday post in weeks. My world had been crazy with moving, work and life in general so I was glad to find some time to update the blog on my running progress.

Then, at 2am, I woke up to my neighbors screaming, the wind howling and no less than ten texts from an assortment of people. I quickly learned about the tragedy that took place five minutes from my house shortly after I had fallen asleep.

At that point, and for the last two weeks, everything non-essential has fallen away. Time spent on social media, time watching reality tv and time focusing on bullshit. Because the only thing that we could focus on was how we were going to move on from this nightmare affecting our city.

My focus has been my family, my city, working and running. In times like these, you begin to see what really matters in your life and what things make the cut. And I think the only thing that has really kept me sane these last two weeks is my hour or so everyday to escape it all and run the city.

And yes, this race is still happening and I will still be running it. There’s no way in hell I was going to let a sub-human scare me away from running one of the most famous streets in the world. Together with all of the other Rock N Roll Marathon participants, we are showing up to continue to show the world just what #VegasStrong means.

It would be easy to default to fear, stay inside, never do anything ever again. But that’s ridiculous. It’s not the way to live a life. Let me put it this way: I went to see The Grateful Dead five days after the Manchester Bombing at an Ariana Grande concert. Last week I saw Kings of Leon, five days after the 1 October shooting. Because fuck fear. I won’t let it stop me from doing absolutely everything I want to do.

kings of leon has been one of my favorite bands for forever ❤

So this is where I’m at. The events and the aftermath over the last two weeks have changed my mind and put into perspective so many things. I’m not sure where we all go from here, but I do know we just have to keep going.

WE are the lights of this city.

#VegasStrong #BattleBorn

GENDRY DIDN’T GIVE UP | marathon monday week #15

Hey guys I am BACK! I was packing and moving all of last week and that shit got stressful so I had to drop everything and work on getting prepped for the movers. Regardless, I did manage to get my running in and of course all the thinking that comes with it. Lol.

my parents were in town for my move and this was their view at planet hollywood. like HELLO VEGAS!
desert smash @ Hexx Kitchen – gin, blackberries, rosemary agave, lime juice


So last week I did this amazing 5 mile run. I felt so relaxed and confident the entire time. The music was bumping and I was throughly in the groove. When I find myself in a good groove like this, it allows me to actually enjoy the run, which is a nice touch.

Once my run was complete, I looked at my pace and I wanted to faint. I was looking at thee SLOWEST 5 miles I have ever done. Talk about deflating that ego. What happened? Why didn’t my pace match how I felt about my run?

I’m here to tell you folks, sometimes the numbers do lie.

We’ve all heard stories about friends who are working to get into better shape. They feel so good, yet, their weight is slow to drop. There are stories about rich men and women who are the unhappiest people on the planet while some who are not-so rich are living full, blissful lives. One donut is perfect, yet seven of them produce unpleasant consequences.

You see what I’m getting at…the numbers aren’t always indicative of our level of success.

As a runner, I get so caught up in beating my pace from the last run or how fast I have to run to qualify for Boston. (It’s really fast.) In life, we get caught up with our weight, the amount of zeros in our bank account or pairs of shoes we own (so guilty).

What if we had no concept of the numbers? If weighing ourselves wasn’t such a falsely inflated milestone on a weight-loss journey? If we unsubscribed from those Nike Store emails?

Would we ignore what the numbers were telling us and determine success based on how we feel about our work? I’m guessing we would. Perhaps we would celebrate our success and that would only inspire and drive us to go out and do it again.

Now, I’m not saying that achieving big things is pain-free – not even a little bit! What I’m trying to convey is that it doesn’t (and probably shouldn’t) be a 100% dreadful experience. Where’s the fun in that? Doesn’t leave much room to enjoy the journey.

I’m also not saying we should ignore our Amex limit and buy the new Gucci sandals in every color possible. Or that money doesn’t matter in terms of being able to fulfill goals such as travel or charity.

What I am saying, at the bottom of everything, is – none of it means shit unless we are happy and fulfilled by our achievements. What use is the house and the money and the glory if we wasted our soul and body away to get these things? In my opinion, not worth it at all.

While numbers can and do matter (especially in athletics), it’s important to listen to our bodies and take stock in how we feel. Even if that means slowing pace and not feeling like a lung will burst throughout that 5 miler. Like they say, slow and steady wins the race! You can’t finish if you give up halfway through!


I cannot with Game of Thrones last night, how are we going to wait a whole year for the next season. How.

Happy Monday!

lord love a duck | marathon monday week #14

“Lord love a duck” is one of my mother’s favorite sayings. I don’t really know what it means, except that she uses it when exasperated.

I personally think the literal interpretation of this phrase would be hilarious. I feel this way because I’ve had a recent obsession with ducks. I know, random. It started with a post on the Passenger Shaming Instagram account. For those that don’t know, it’s an account that features submissions of people being terrible airline travelers. The photo I’m talking about featured a very adorable service duck, on a plane, in BOOTIES.


Guys…BOOTIES!! Obsessed.

From there, I did some research about the feasibility of owning a pet duck in Las Vegas. Guess what? It’s not feasible. On to Plan B, which entailed setting my text tone to the duck quack and going to Sunset Park to visit the ducks. I talked about my return to this sport a couple of weeks ago.

On Saturday morning, I let myself sleep in before embarking on the run of the day. The longer I sat in my chair drinking my coffee, the more time I had to attempt to talk myself out of running. But then I thought of the ducks. My ducks. I needed to go see these damn ducks. I couldn’t let them down.

To clarify, I am fully aware of the fact that I do not own these ducks. They are wild, majestic creatures that dwell in the lake at Sunset Park and I have no claim to them whatsoever. So why am I attached to them?

Maybe it’s because while I’m sitting on the side of the lake, post-run, watching them swim around doin’ their thang – I feel so peaceful. Perhaps it’s because this is the next best thing to making an irresponsible life decision to acquire one as a pet.

Either way, I learned this weekend that I LOVE the ducks. I don’t know what this has to do with running or even life for that matter. If I could pull anything from this revelation, I would say that finding a quiet moment is so important to balance out our busy, stressful lives. Discovering a place to come to peace could be a crucial step in the process that is getting through a week without threatening to murder a coworker (you know which one).

There’s a reason so many of our favorite authors went out into nature. To be a witness of such perfect stillness and beauty is nothing short of satisfying – and inspiring.

I hope you find a place of peace this week, especially if things start getting crazy. Or, like me, you are having a mild freak-out after seeing both this week’s and the preview for next week’s GAME OF THRONES. OMG.

Happy Monday!



holy shit halfway check-in | marathon monday #13

this patron prickly pear marg was muy perfecto!
i got to see the killers last week live on jimmy kimmel! AMAZE.

“Holy shit.” Yeah, those are my exact thoughts on this topic. How did we get here so fast?! In 13 weeks, the big day will be real. So I thought it was time to check-in and see what I needed to adjust during this last half of training.

I’ve come to the realization that I do need to make this a more prominent part of my life because this is where the mileage begins to increase. In the coming weeks I will start running distances I’ve never reached before. I’m not afraid to admit it – that’s intimidating!

The only thing I can do is become obsessed with my training and do everything I can to contribute to this process and set myself up for success.

This is what I see looking back on the last thirteen weeks:

– Summer has been hectic! Between traveling and moving and music festivals, sometimes it’s been difficult to get all my workouts completed. Now that my schedule is clearing up, it’s going to be a lot easier to make this marathon a bigger priority.

– SLEEP. For sure, I need more of this shit. Then again, I could always use more sleep. This scenario is a little bit out of my control (I have some WEIRD ASS sleeping issues), but I can work harder to contribute to a better night’s sleep.

– Stretching. I can tell you right now that I do not make enough time for a proper warm up or cool down stretch. All I can tell myself about this one is…just DO. IT.

The marathon is a whole new distance, one that I’ve never run before. That means I need to constantly check-in and tweak my training and my approach. Which is a thing I can do.


I want to close my “Holy Shit Halfway” Check-In with a quote that my Mom found in her local paper yesterday:

“Too many of us mistake the edges of our comfort zone for the limits of our endurance.” – Chris Huston (Journalist)

cheers bitches!

running with gratitude | marathon monday #2

It’s Monday, Monday, gotta get down on…Monday?

OK, maybe not, but, how productive is a song about Monday? Just kidding, “Manic Monday” is a thing. Anyway… let’s get into it.

Marathon Monday Round 2!

I’ve officially completed my first full week of training! I was scheduled for four runs, all of which I completed and even ran longer than the training plan required. Go team!

So I’ve felt really good overall and the inspiration during my runs has been FLOWING. I’ve heard that the first thing Ernest Hemingway did in the morning before writing was go for a run. (If you know me, you know I’m infatuated with Ernie.)

I can see why this was an important part of his morning ritual.

Today, I had a completely different post planned. Way back on last Thursday, I knew I was going to talk about some running tip that could also be applied to non-running life and blah blah blah. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good one and it will show up eventually on #marathonmonday, but yesterday on my run something completely different hit me.

Today, I feel so compelled to talk about GRATITUDE. It’s such a simple thing, being thankful for the things that we have. However, it can be easy to forget just how much we as humans in this world have been blessed with. Chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you have access to/own a smart phone, tablet, computer, etc. A blessing in and of itself!

Running is hard. It’s not only physically challenging, but mentally challenging as well. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to stop running during an individual run. The times when I hit that wall and I have to convince myself to just keep going.

And I’ve got to say, the times that I start being thankful for the fact that I have the equipment, time, freedom, health and even body parts required to run, it makes it a whole hell of a lot easier to keep going.

When I run certain routes, I encounter a lot of homeless people and their, well, encampments. Everything they own on a tarp, in a shopping cart or a backpack, in the middle of the city. It’s shocking and sad to see humans live like that, especially when I’m just casually running by on a Sunday morning in specialized running shoes, listening to music with my Spotify Premium subscription, on an iPhone 7 Plus, through Bose Headphones. Yeah, it makes me feel like a douchebag – see the need for gratitude?

Because let’s think about it…

Who am I that I was given this life?? Who am I that I was blessed with every single little thing I have?? Now, don’t get me wrong, I have worked really hard for a lot of the things that I have, but the man sleeping with his shopping cart by the freeway? Just as easily…that could have been me.

Is it fair? Not at all. And that’s exactly why we have to be made aware of this. I haven’t been given this life of blessings free of charge. It is my job to have GRATITUDE and try to make this world a better place along the way. Something as small as a smile can change someone’s day.

It’s easy to feel bad for ourselves when times get tough, trust me I know. But it’s so much healthier and satisfying to take a time out and list our blessings. Don’t know where to start? Let me help you out…

  • Did you sleep in a bed last night? In a house? With walls and a roof? With running water, electricity, heat/AC?
  • Are you getting ready to go to, currently at, just getting home from, or taking a day off from a job?
  • Are you wearing clothes, watching TV, drinking wine, eating dinner…?

I think you get the idea.

It’s been so humbling to see those less fortunate than me during my runs and it jump starts the gratitude list. Not only do I have physical necessities and non-essentials, but I also have the health and actual body parts needed to run in a marathon. Yep, that definitely puts it all in perspective.

Now that I’ve shared my enlightenment…it’s your turn.

I challenge everyone to do what I do each and every morning:

  • Write down 3 things you are thankful for

We’ve already done some brainstorming. It’s amazing how doing this simple exercise can alter the course of my day for the better. I feel myself having more patience and letting the petty things slide at work (for the most part – no one’s perfect!!)

So take my challenge, examine your life for the blessings and I think you’ll find that you have been given plenty to be thankful for.

Happy Monday! Kill it today, my killahs! I’m thankful for everyone who has ever stopped by and read the blog!! : D

❤ Jess