Average Jane Runs

I'm just like you. And that's okay!


Since I’m already late posting this I’ll spare you my drivel and get right down to it!

Our Grand Prize Winner – a pair of Altra Zero Drop Intuitions is…

Suzanne W.!!!

Winners of 40% off an Altra Zero Drop purchase:

Paul C.

Laurie Br.

Sarah S.

Julia T.

Jared C.

Winner of the Tommie Copper compression shirt and sleeve set:

Nicole V.

Winner of the Enell sports bra:

Laurie By.

Winner of the Avila Hydrapak:

Matthew K.

Winner of the $35 Road I.D. gift card:

Lesley L.

Winner of the Hex Photopolar Sunglasses:

Emily H.

Winner of the GU Sampler:

Julia P.

Winner of the Achiva Native Energy Chai Tea Mix:

Adam P.

Winners of a 4-pack of Nuun Hydration:

Gary N.

James O.

Winners of an AJR Swag Bag:

Alisa B.

Crystal C.

Aimee S.

Sandra C.

Daphne R.

Rich V.

Rob S.

Richard T.

Alex J.

Christopher H.

CONGRATULATIONS to all the winners and thank you so much to EVERYONE who participated! I will be in touch with the winners via e-mail soon to work out shipping details (just give me some time to get through the 26.2)!

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LAST EXTRA ENTRY OPPORTUNITY! Help me with my pre-race playlist!

So I need some tunes to get me pumped up on Saturday morning before the marathon. I have several songs in mind but I would love to hear what you guys think! What is your favorite energizing pre-race music?

Dwight knows what’s up…

Comment here with your suggestions for 1 extra entry (1 per person) into the St. Jude Marathon AJHeroes Giveaway!

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LAST DAY TO ENTER!!! St. Jude Marathon AJHeroes Giveaway Coming to a Close!

First and foremost I would like to thank everyone who has participated in this endeavor so far – whether you entered the giveaway by donating, provided gear for the drawing, or simply helped spread the word. We could not have come this far (going above and beyond $1,000 for the kids of St. Jude!) were it not for the amazing community spirit. I can’t say it enough – THANK YOU.

Secondly, we are down to the LAST DAY TO ENTER the St. Jude Marathon AJHeroes Giveaway! Donations will be taken through January 2, 2012 but today is the last day for your donation to give you a chance of winning one of TWENTY-FIVE prizes from some awesome sponsors! Ten of these prizes will be AJR Swag Bags and if you haven’t checked these out, you should – one of my Twitter friends described them as, “a runner’s dream” (I would certainly love to win one if I could)! I am working on tallying entries today so make sure you’ve racked up as many as you can (check blog posts here for extra entry opportunities). There will be one more chance to get extra entries at some point today, so keep an eye out!

Thirdly, the winners will be announced and posted here tomorrow evening at 8:00PM CST. I will list the winners by first name and last initial. If you do not want me to list your name PLEASE TELL ME NOW! It is absolutely not a problem for me to list you anonymously or by a handle, just let me know before tomorrow if this is your preference.

Finally, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to leave a comment here or e-mail me directly at averagejaneruns@gmail.com – I will be glad to help you out!

I am SO EXCITED to see who wins! Good luck and have fun!

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SEVEN DAYS…Taper Madness!

So we’re down to the proverbial wire. One week from today I will be embarking upon my second 26.2-mile journey. I’ve been going from zen to freaked out and back to zen again for the last week. Mostly, though, I just feel like this…

…which is absolutely nothing new. Honestly I think the Zombie Tired™ is keeping me well distracted from this crazy little thing called tapering. Ah, those last few weeks of winding down the mileage to prepare the body for the Big Day. A relaxing time to recuperate from all those draining workouts and a chance to reflect on all the hard work you’ve put into your months of training. A time to take bubble baths with epsom salts. A time to eat lots of delicious carbs with no regrets. Two weeks of serene, starchy, contemplative bliss…

Well, maybe I’m doing it wrong but I am far from relaxed. My muscles are twitching and my appetite is through the roof and my energy can’t decide if it’s nutso or dragging and all I can think about is how my longest run was only 18 miles and 18 miles means I still have 8.2 miles after that and I’m gonna be so slow and HOLY CRAP I’M RUNNING A MARATHON IN SEVEN DAYS!!!

I keep trying to tell myself what I always stress to others – TRUST YOUR TRAINING. The only time I really missed any significant runs was when I was injured. Granted, that was over a month of lost mileage buildup keeping me from hitting the one or two 20-milers I had on the books but it was definitely a necessary hiatus. I successfully returned to training and completed my adjusted plan. Aside from my usual exhaustion, I feel strong, able, and for the most part, ready. There is no reason why I should worry.And yet, I do. And I will. But I know that as soon as I get to the start line and see the runners, walkers, volunteers, supporters, friends, families, and survivors – all out there for the kids of St. Jude – the worry will melt away. Because in the end it’s not about finish times or mileage or even running. It’s about thousands of people coming together for an amazing cause. For one day, we’re all family. That thought always seems to bring me back to zen.

What are your favorite methods of de-stressing and decompressing? (Leave a comment with your answer for THREE extra entries into the St. Jude Marathon AJHeroes Giveaway drawing!)


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AJR Swag Bags!

As promised, here are all the rad (yes, I said rad) goodies in the AJR Swag Bags! I’m giving away TEN of these bad mamma jammas (along with some other cool gear)! I really, really wish I could enter my own giveaway because this is crazy good stuff…

5 Lucky Gals will win one of these:

5 Lucky Dudes will win one of these:

What’s in the baaaaaaaaaaaaaaag?

Each bag (provided by Running Warehouse) contains:

One Sample of Achiva Native Energy Chai Tea Drink Mix

One Achiva Native Energy Temporary Tattoo

One Altra Zero Drop T-Shirt (not pictured)

CEP Compression Socks (gals get pink, dudes get black)

Two Samples of GU (flavors will vary)

One Sample of GU Brew

One Roll of KT Sports Tape (color will vary)

One 12-Serving Tube of nuun Hydration Tablets (flavor will vary)

10 Single-Serve Samples of nuun Hydration Tablets (grape & fruit punch)

One nuun Water Bottle

One Road ID Hat (gals get a visor, dudes get a cap)

One 1.25 oz. SCAPE Sunblock

Tommie Copper Beanie

Tommie Copper Measuring Tape

I’m really excited to be giving these away and can’t wait to see who wins! If you haven’t entered the St. Jude Marathon AJHeroes Giveaway, there’s still time. Winners will be drawn and announced on December 1, 2011. To those already entered – good luck and have fun!

Go forth and win stuff! :)

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St. Jude Marathon AJHeroes Giveaway – CONCISE EDITION!

I had a thought the other day that my original giveaway post is a bit…well, cumbersome. To avoid any more confusion (or any more “tl;dr“) I’ll consolidate a bit here. If you haven’t already guessed, I’m raising money as a St. Jude Hero for the St. Jude Memphis Marathon. Thanks to the support of some great sponsors, I’m also giving away a ton of awesome gear! Read on for more details…


1. Make a donation (any amount) to the Average Jane Runs St. Jude Heroes page.

2. Enter “AJHERO” as a personal message when you donate.


Check the blog, Twitter, and Facebook for periodic opportunities to gain additional entries. I have already given two chances at extra entries – all the activities on the blog will remain open until the giveaway ends.


There are TWENTY-FIVE prizes in all! Check them out on the main giveaway post. I will have a new prize post up soon with more details and photos.


I launched the giveaway on September 1, 2011. Winners will be drawn December 1, 2011.


1. You must donate to enter.

2. If you forget to leave the “AJHERO” message when you donate, just e-mail me, message me on Facebook or Twitter, or comment here – otherwise I won’t know you want to enter the giveaway (though I will contact people if I don’t get a message)!

3. I love to thank people – if you follow me on Facebook and/or Twitter with a handle that isn’t your name, please mention who you are when you donate! I don’t know everyone’s real name so I can’t always connect who’s who without doing some digging. If you’d rather remain an anonymous donor/entrant that’s fine, too! But if you’ll let me thank you, I will. :)


1. I’m pretty strapped for cash these days, does it matter how much I donate?

ABSOLUTELY NOT. You can donate as little as $1 and you will have the same chance of winning as someone who donates $50. Some of us can’t spare more than a dollar. Some of us are able to share more. As far as I see it, giving is giving. The amount coming from your heart matters more than the amount coming from your wallet.

2. How many entries do I get for donating?

You will receive FIVE entries in the drawing for your donation. Everyone starts with the same amount of entries.

3. Can I donate using PayPal?

I’m working on it. If I can’t get it figured out through the St. Jude site (I really want to keep everything going directly to them if at all possible) I might set up an AJR PayPal account. I will keep you updated.

4. How will the winners be announced? What if I don’t want my name listed publicly?

I will list the names on the site by first name and last initial. IF YOU WISH TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS OR TO USE A HANDLE IF YOU WIN, PLEASE LET ME KNOW NOW! I have no problem at all doing this, but I need to know before the drawing on December 1st as I’ll post the names that day. I will also be e-mailing the winners directly for shipping information, so please use a real e-mail address when you donate! (I do NOT share e-mail address information AT ALL.)

As always, if you have any questions or concerns – just ask! THANK YOU to all who are already participating and spreading the word. Your support for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital means the world to me and to the St. Jude families with children fighting for their lives.

For those of you who haven’t jumped in yet…what are you waiting for?

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Lunchtime Poll #1: Your Weekly Workouts (Two Extra Entries for AJHeroes!)

Here’s a quick questionnaire that’ll give you TWO extra entries in the St. Jude Marathon AJHeroes Giveaway drawing! (If you haven’t entered yet, you’re missing out on winning some amazing gear, so go do it now!)

You must answer each question completely to get the entries. Leave your answers in a comment and you’ll automatically have two more chances to win!

Question #1:

Runners: What is your typical mileage per week?

Non-Runners: How often do you exercise per week?

Question #2:

Runners: Have you ever completed a road race? If so, what distance (5K, 10K, etc.) was your longest race? If not, what distances would you like to try (if any)?

Non-Runners: What is your most challenging workout? What other exercises or sports would you like to try (if any)?

Question #3:

Runners & Non-Runners: What time of day are you most energized and fueled to exercise? Are you able to utilize this time of day for working out?

And that’s it! Now get to posting for those extra entries!

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Average Jane Isn’t Running…at the Moment

I have been so dejected about not being able to train or even work out very much over the last handful of weeks. Stress, sleep deprivation…they led to injury and now a flu-like sinus infection. I’ve been worried as the weeks keep ticking by that I’m losing so much time – too much time – to successfully complete my training for the St. Jude Marathon in December. I know I can always run intervals, and that’s likely what I’m going to have to do. But I so much wanted to run this one full-out.

This season has proven difficult for many distance runners and I’ve seen a few have to bow out from intended races already. I keep hoping I won’t have to do that. The thought that I might not get to run it at all has really gotten me down. Yesterday, after acquiring a bucket full of allergy meds and five days worth of antibiotics, I was feeling particularly sorry for myself.

Then I checked the mail.

There were two packages in the mailbox – one from the St. Jude Heroes Program and the other from Vista Print.

I definitely needed to see both of them:

The singlet reminded me that it doesn’t really matter if I run, walk, or limp through the 26.2 – I’m doing the best I can. And even if I don’t join the race at all, I’m still very much a part of it by raising money for the kids of St. Jude through their Heroes Program.

The business cards reminded me that I need to get off my hiney and promote this giveaway more whether my training is up to par or not. I’m hoping to spread these out on campus and in my neighborhood to broaden my reach. Sometimes I forget there are networking opportunities outside of the internet.

Hopefully by the end of this week I’ll feel up to training again. And as much as I hate to say it, I should probably be thankful for the sinus infection forcing me to sit on my rear to give my injury ample time to heal. Otherwise I would have been That Runner™ who turns something moderately painful and annoying into something completely debilitating by foolishly running on an injured foot. I’m trying my best not to be That Runner™ or That Person™.

So far I’m doing better at the Runner one.

Have you picked up distance training after a long break? How did it affect your race goals?

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Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight.

I feel like I’m plodding clumsily through my life worse than I ever have while running.

Aside from a handful of laps around the University track last week, I haven’t run in 2-1/2 weeks. I am by no means a mileage hound but let me tell ya, it feels more like 2-1/2 months. Add to that the anxiety of missed long runs building up to that monumental 26.2 and you get an even bigger feeling of defeat. Well, I get that feeling, anyway.

I am one of those people who cannot seem to function without several metric tons of “things to do” on her shoulders. I have convinced myself that not only do I like it, I’m also good at it. That said, I almost always find it difficult to see the Too Much Line. You know the border I’m talking about. It’s the one that only takes a pinky toe stepping over to make your entire being collapse under the self-inflicted weight. Well, congratulations to me, I’ve done it again.

With an unexpected job loss in June of this year, I tried to turn a frown upside down by thinking of all the time I’d have to do all the things I’d never been able to do while working. And besides, you know what they say about idle hands…

Excitedly I listed the possibilities:

I’ll be able to focus more on school!

I will have the most sparklingly clean house!

I can plan an EPIC first birthday party for The Boy!

I’ll have time to train for the full St. Jude Marathon!

I’ll be able to spend more time with my family!

I can start that blog I’ve always wanted to write!

I can use the blog to help raise money for St. Jude!

I can put together a GIVEAWAY!

And so it began.

Then I remembered, after I’d jumped feet first into everything, that everything was happening at once. My giveaway launch? The week school started. Family in from overseas for The Boy’s birthday? The week school started. My son’s birthday? The week school started. And oh, yeah, there’s that marathon thingamajig.

Thus my optimistic determination became rabid desperation:















You would think after cyclically doing this my entire life that I’d have somehow learned a lesson about balance. I think it’s a lot like the year or so after running a marathon. Your body/mind has time to forget the agony and you regain your sense of, “I CAN TOTALLY DO THIS NO PROBS!” My breaks from school end up working much the same way.

I’m not sure how, but I always forget that being a Literature major means reading. A lot. And writing. A lot. As a new parent – even after an entire year – the fact that I can rarely get anything domestic done during the day (or night) somehow slips my mind. Creative projects? Fugettaboutit. Studying? Are you kidding me? Blogging? Hah! I might be able to piece together some form of writing by the time I get to stare at the back of my eyelids at night. If I’m lucky, I can even get some school reading done after the kid is in bed.

If I can rest enough to run the next day I’m even luckier.

That brings me to perhaps the most poignant stressor of them all. For the last 12 months, with the exception of about three (non-consecutive) weeks’ worth of days, we have not slept more than 2-6 (non-consecutive) hours per night. I really and truly wish I were exaggerating. The Boy hasn’t slept well since birth and we’re still working on it. We seem to be on an upswing this week but it’s difficult to keep hope alive when we’ve been fooled before. At this point we take what we can get and try not to lose our minds. Some of us are doing better at that than Others (Some being my husband and Others being me).

Sleep deprivation is a sneaky thing. It seems entirely unfair that you can never truly “catch up” on lost sleep but not catching enough Zs is cumulative. After a while, you are tricked into believing your body has acclimated when the truth is, study after study has shown that over time brain function is compromised, reaction time is lessened, and physical fitness is hindered.

Sleep Deprived Runner ≠ A Healthy Runner (more on this to come, stay tuned)










I attempted to keep up with my training through all the hullabaloo of the past few weeks but in the end I just decided to sit it out. While I am not at all happy with having missed such a big chunk of mileage, I think it was the smart thing to do. I still have plenty of time to get back at it and my mental and physical well-being are absolutely worth it.

So here I am, trying once again to re-arrange my marathon training plan (thank you, Runner’s World for Smart Coach!) to make up for lost time and lost mileage. I’ve been struggling with the Depression Monster a bit through all this and trying to stay as positive as I can. What makes it more difficult is knowing that I’m the one who gave my life the performance edge to overtake me in that last lap around the track.

No one forced me to sign up for any of it – the marathon, the blog, school, parenthood (though I did NOT sign up for a year of sleeplessness, just to be clear), or any of the other projects I piled onto my back. I can’t help being the aspiring, determined, dedicated, and…okay, stubborn person that I am. What I can do is make the best of it.

And no matter how often I stumble along my path, I will always stand up again. I will always keep running.

How do you balance stress, rest, and training?

Do you struggle with feeling defeated during a “forced” break from running?

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Gross Things You Do While Running: Snot Rockets and Loogies and Pooping, Oh My!

In general I think most people agree that there are things you talk about and things you just don’t. That line becomes considerably blurry when you become A.) a parent or B.) a runner. Now that I’m both, it seems there are very few topics that are hush-hush anymore.

Please stop reading now if the title makes you uncomfortable or offends you in any way.

That said, here are some of my not-so-socially acceptable running experience admissions:

1. I have successfully launched a Snot Rocket (but only once, turns out I’m not that good at it).

In “real life” I would never even THINK to do something like this in public (or anywhere else for that matter). However, while running my mind tends to deviate toward the most logical and efficient way to accomplish things. Case in point: I need to get some funk out of my nose. I need to keep running. I don’t want to trip over myself trying to blow my nose on my shirt (plus it breaks my breathing pattern a good bit). I don’t want to carry tissue around, because, ew (funny how your Runner Mind rationalizes “ew”)! Therefore, the most efficient and logical way of removing the sludge from my nasal passages would be to quickly and forcefully shoot it out of my nose (imagine spitting, only out of your nostril – and with snot instead of saliva – yum!).












2. I have blown my nose on my shirt more times than I can count.

Why would I blow my nose on my shirt when I just said it would make me klutzy and interrupt my breathing pattern? Well, I had to learn to get over that when I (more than once) ended up spraying snot all over myself in my attempt at perfecting Snot Rocketry. I figured if it was going to end up there anyway, I might as well do it with dignity.

3. I have “hocked a loogie” (or several).

Speaking of dignified and ladylike behavior, this is another action I would never perform in public or elsewhere if I weren’t running. In fact, in most cases I find it appalling. But again, my Runner Mind doesn’t think this way. If I need to rid myself of excess saliva and/or phlegm, I’m going to find the fastest and easiest way to do it. If that means spitting like a cowboy at High Noon then so be it.

I do always try to be courteous with my loogies, though, and aim for grass or roadway (and always out of sight/vicinity of people, cars, and animals if possible). After all, there’s no reason to not make SOME effort at being a gentlewoman.

4. I have peed a little. Yes, while running.

I used to be one of those people who swore, “this will NEVER happen to me!” Then I had a baby. Since I had done my million Kegels a day to build up my pelvic floor I thought for sure I’d be golden (ahem). I was running my first post-baby 10K this past June when it happened. It had been 9 months since the boy was born so I figured I’d had enough recovery and strength-building time for it not to be an issue. Wrong! I found myself a mere mile and a half from the finish line with a dire, urgent, nothing-is-stopping-this need to pee.

My choices were to be creepy and go door-to-door asking to use some poor unsuspecting soul’s toilet, to be disgusting and squat like a dog in some poor unsuspecting soul’s yard, or to be noble and do what any reasonable person with a weakened pelvic floor would have done in my position and pee their pants. Because nothing says “nobility” like incontinence.

5. I have come entirely too close for comfort to, erm, the secondary toilet elimination possibility. Yes, while running…my first marathon.

I was ten miles in. I was feeling pretty good. I hadn’t needed a walk break. I was on pace to finish faster than my estimated goal time. No aches or pains, no huffing or puffing, no discomfort whatsoev…uh-oh. It came out of nowhere – that feeling you dread as a runner and hope to God you never have to experience.

I had to poo. And I had to poo SOON.

I was determined not to walk. I wanted to at least make it to the halfway point without breaking my stride. Not to mention that with my…pressing issues…I couldn’t really afford to slow down. My prideful stride turned into a sad, waddling Poo-Poo Dance shuffle as I searched for somewhere, anywhere to lay my burden down. It’s unbelievable where your Runner Mind goes in times like these. I honestly considered going behind a dumpster at one point.

Fortunately for me there were port-a-potties before the halfway point because I wouldn’t have made it to 13.1, walking or not. It hurt (physically and emotionally) to stop but I will take lost time any day over loss of…well, dignity.

After that first marathon three years ago if you would have told me I’d be writing publicly about almost pooping my pants, I’d have probably denied having almost pooped my pants. I definitely wouldn’t have owned up to the peeing part. But three years ago was well before parenthood and well before I learned that sometimes gross things just happen and you’ve just gotta roll with it.

Running and parenting have removed the weight of shame from my shoulders. I no longer take a second thought to freely discussing any bodily function.

Now if you’ll excuse me, my son is trying to get my attention with some sort of horrible smell he’s created.

What’s the grossest thing you’ve done while running?

What gross thing are you most afraid of doing while running?

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