About Jessica Goldman

An underdog runner

Dial it back

This was an easy week for miles, only 55 but I had to work hard for all of them. A lot of snowshoe miles and tempo runs. After pushing my pace for a 19 miler before work yesterday I almost didn’t show up at the snowshoe race today but I am glad I did! I was second place female and I won craft beer and a snow shovel. The course was tough and the crusty snow was difficult to maneuver. What a fun day with family and friends though.

Interesting tidbit..one year ago today is when I ended up in the emergency room with the neurological issues. I would say I have come a long way! I see an optical neurologist this week who will be trying to identify the issues with my vision. I had my friend Deb do a gate analysis (although I was wearing a skirt) and it seems like my right side muscular weakness is slowly improving. I still have a lot of work to do but I am not as bad as I was.unnamed1

I have been cleared to start some upper body strength training. So far I have been shoveling so much snow that I don’t need to do too much else. Also the snow running seems to be much more work on the upper body and core. It is frustrating and exhausting but really good for balance and strength.

I struggled to get through my training this week and I am so thankful for all of my friends who helped get me through. I look forward to days without snow storms. My work schedule has been very hectic due to weather cancellations and I have a tough time staying on track with my runs when my hours get jumbled up. Hopefully this week offers some fair weather and routine. I need to ramp up again. (After a good nights rest hopefully)

Full on Winter

This has been one of the toughest 80 mile weeks that I can remember! So much snow! When you are in deep snow and running in snowshoes or spikes, a mile that would normally take 8 minutes takes 16 minutes. Work, run, shovel, eat, sleep. I am so thankful for the people who come and do this crazy stuff with me. The night runs are particularly fun and wild. One night we had to turn our headlamps off because the snow was coming in sideways and we couldn’t see a thing. I got my snow shoe wedged under a log one night and the binding pulled my heel out of joint. Luckily Dr. Middleton was able to adjust it and I have been able to run on it again.

We had our SIX03 Endurance kickoff party this weekend and I got to meet and talk to the famous Bill Rogers. He is the  former world record holder for the marathon and won the Boston marathon 4 times. It was so cool to be able to ask him questions about training. I am so thankful for the new friendships and perks that the club has given me. Well, it is time to go shovel again and come up with a game plan for my miles. Have a great week!

Things just got real

I ran 83.5 miles this week. And now I am officially in marathon training. I have moved from base training into hills and speed work. It feels like being strapped into a roller coaster and knowing that there is no getting off of this ride without following through. Look out April here I come! I even took the step of getting a GPS watch so I can glance at my pace and run intervals on the road. Speed work is not something that I have a lot of experience with so I am getting tips and pointers from a bunch of my friends.Part of me misses my freedom to aimlessly ramble around on trails but another part of my is excited to see what I am capable of. I started with 6X800 meters today. I am not used to running a sub seven pace so my legs were all over the place. I trust the training though and will continue to follow my plan. A huge shout out and thank you to all of the people who have been keeping me company on training runs, in the day, in the night, and to those who have been helping me with the gadgets to track all of this stuff. I would be lost without you! 16406770_10102459050305381_89176846584852729_n16426100_10210363165907430_6328034796109604209_n16387169_10154423530862901_6976993240259353130_n16473929_10102459044027961_6935167291709867535_n16522711_10155776144135968_518849343_n

Hill Phase

This week was a drop down week for mileage. I cut my first hill circuit workout in half today because I had already reached 55 miles. I have 4 weeks of hill circuits lined up so I have plenty of time to master them. I actually had crazy anxiety dreams about it last night. In one dream I forgot my pants and shoes and had to run in a skirt and I forgot to start my watch. The hill drills are hard but manageable, the worst things that happened were people giving me funny looks and some llamas chased me from the other side of a fence.

My friends and I had some great adventures running around mountains on spikes again. I also got some faster runs in this week which are helped to build my confidence.

On another note, I have been trying to share stories and imagery of my international experiences to calm the racial and religious fear that has come to the forefront of American politics. I love and support my beautiful and diverse friends all around the globe. Like many other people I feel devastated by some of the changes taking place here. I am using my voice whenever I can and I plan on running like crazy as a coping skill. Until next week…

I got in!

I got home from work just in time to jump online as the clock struck 7 and I got into Vermont 100 ! Today was a rough training day trying to wrap up my third 70 mile week in a row but I am glad that I pushed through. It made the moment of pressing the registration button a little less terrifying. That race got the best of me last year and I am determined to go back stronger and faster.

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The ice and snow has made for difficult miles this past week. My friend Ryan and I went up some local mountains and had to break trail the entire way. Even in ice spikes we were slipping and sliding all over the place.

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I got to join my friend Kevin this weekend while he did his first ever 20 mile training run. I also got to run with my friend Frank who pushed my pace and helped me run some miles at my marathon race pace. I feel so lucky to be a part of the SIX03 Endurance community because it really helps to have company during tough training weeks.

This week I will be dropping my miles a little bit. I need to do this every 3-4 weeks to give my body recovery time. It looks like a wet and rainy week full of doctors appointments so it seems like good timing. I am so hungry right now that I am speed typing this post..I need to go eat and I know that everyone is watching football anyway so you may not even see this!! Have a great week

Tired but Strong

70.2 miles for the week! I did some of my runs on ice spikes, and some of it was trying to get more comfortable with a sub 8 minute mile on road again. I was feeling pretty tired and frustrated for a few days and then I remembered that I SHOULD feel tired.

I went to the Krempels Center this week and did a slideshow and presentation about my run across America and how forward motion can be key in coping with brain injury.It is kind of funny how my own presentation had an impact on me. I was saying all of these things and it reminded me that I have overcome difficulties and obstacles before.

Usually, when you are trying to accomplish something hard, you feel TERRIBLE! If you actually give it your best, you will feel exhausted and drained and there is absolutely no guarantee that you will succeed unless you keep pushing. When you are trying to tackle something huge, it can be daunting to look at the end goal. Breaking things down into small steps can get you a little closer each day though. So instead of focusing on,”How on earth will I  ever be able to run my goal pace at Boston”? I need to instead, be happy that I ran faster this week than I did last week. Plenty of time left to improve..step by step. An older gentleman and brain injury survivor approached me in his wheelchair and asked me how I always stay positive and expect things to work out. When he asked me the question I stammered a little bit because I did not have an answer. I thought about it for a few days and this is what I came up with: Life has shown me that all outcomes are not good. I know that every time I take on a challenge, failure is possible. But I also refuse to let negativity get its foot in the door. Bad things will happen but I will not flatter them with invitation or consider them worthy enough to focus on them. If something eventually goes wrong, I will take time to come up with a plan B.

Speaking of plan B…I was heading out for a long run this weekend when a loose dog ran up to me crying. She had little icicles hanging off of her beard and she seemed to be distressed. I let he in my car and turned on the heat to warm her up. I couldn’t find anyone around but I didn’t want to put her back out in the cold alone. I ended up calling a few police departments and finally was able to take her to an officer who could hold her while we looked for the owners. I posted on Granite State Dog rescue and Facebook.

Eventually I drove back to go for a run and I saw a car driving really slow and saw two other dogs that looked just like her inside. I pulled over and flagged them down. The owner was distraught and said that they had been looking for a long time and they wouldn’t know what to do without her. I was able to direct her to the Lee PD to pick up her puppy. What a sweet little dog! She was so cute and well behaved. I took some pictures of her and made a collage. Always an adventure!!

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Bring it!

Despite the freezing cold weather and need to run in spikes I managed to get my first 70 mile week in for a long time. My phone froze/failed so I still need to get the GPX file from the group run we did today. It was bitter cold and I love that I found enough crazy people to join in that it made for  fun adventure. My face was frozen so I barely talked but it was still nice to have company! I also had friends to run with for the 18 miler on Sat..Some people think I am crazy but there are a bunch of us out there. We are a tribe! 15934720_10211912184579474_363500620_n15934823_10211912184219465_754973280_n15941599_10211912183019435_863135114_n15941769_10211912184859481_297349406_n15942072_10211912180779379_857483538_n15942169_10211912183939458_956617712_n15942280_10211912184459471_2107149189_n15970013_10211912181579399_1674752649_n15970050_10211912181419395_69150288_n

Not only has this been a tough training week, I have also had a bunch of medical appointments which have been wearing me out a little. Tomorrow I go in for more testing and hope to get some answers. They checked out some things this week for my vestibular function. Part of that was a hearing test. My hearing checked out pretty good with the exception of me mishearing the word “workshop” as “porkchop” (What kind of vegan am I ?!) I was definitely pushed out of my comfort zone this week which is always a good learning experience. My friends took me trail running on ice in the night time..terrifying but I really got comfortable with the spikes by the end and it helped me to work on balance issues. Also we ran through a shooting range. Enjoy photo of my friend Maureen pretending to take aim at me. Thanks to Tony for being the only one brave enough to take gloves off and take pictures in this dreadful and cold weather. I am so hungry that I am not going to edit this blog post. Feel free to make fun of any poorly constructed sentences or spelling errors.