OK, so as you know I have been ruminating like CRAZY about the Broad Street Run!  I am SOOOO excited but SOOOO nervous!  So, in my craziness, I have been checking the Active website like a madwomen in attempts to confirm my registration.  Well, as of yesterday, there was no Jessica Downes to be found.  Yes, I was bugging.  They even updated registrations this morning and I STILL couldn’t find my bib number!  So, like a freak, I called the person in charge at Students Run Philly Style, the charity I am running for.  She was not able to help me yet, as the Expo hadn’t even opened yet.  SO, I decided to just type in my last name (duh, why did I not think of this before?!!?) and look what I found!?!?!…

Downes Jessca Philadelphia PA 30823

YUP, there I am…JESSCA Downes.  Does anyone see anything missing?!?!?  Like say…an “I” in JessIca!??!? OY!  Well, “Jessca” is breathing a HUUUUUGE sigh of relief (punctuated by laughter of course).  AAAAANNNNNNNDDDDD…..did you see it is an ODD number?!?!  I know, I am SUCH a dork!  Anywhoooo moving on…

I have found a new party in my mouth yummy way to refuel- OH CLIFF WHITE CHOCOLATE MACADAMIA NUT FLAVOR, where have you been my whole life?!?!?  LOVE LOVE LOVE.  Have you ever had this flavor?  HOLY YUM!

Yes, I DO take a lot of pics in my car...MAYBE while it's moving??? I know. Terrible.


A Visit From Two Friends (One old, One new)…

1 Comment

OK, so they are inanimate objects, but nonetheless, friends to this runner!  Excuse the blurry picture, but here are the “friends” that came out to play yesterday!


THE TREADMILL! That's me popping out behind it-flash wasn't working well...

The weather here in Philly has been CRAZY!  Windy windy windy.  So, I needed to bring my final “longer run” inside.  Bummer, but interesting and different.  I definitely appreciate running in the great outdoors WAY more now that I was stuck inside for a day. I did 5 miles at about a ten minute pace.  The TM tends to bang on my shins badly so I took it easy in preparation for Sunday’s race!!!!



Well, this baby and I began quite the love affair friendship yesterday.  IN LOVE.  The foam roller allows you to self massage and get out any kinks or muscle soreness.  According to,

Foam rollers offer many of the same benefits as a sports massage, without the big price tag. The foam roller not only stretches muscles and tendons but it also breaks down soft tissue adhesions and scar tissue. By using your own body weight and a cylindrical foam roller you can perform a self-massage or myofascial release, break up trigger points, and soothe tight fascia while increasing blood flow and circulation to the soft tissues.

The latest issue of Runner’s World highlights to foam roller for use in runner training.  It had GREAT suggestions for exercizes/stretches to do with the foam roller to target specific muscle areas.  An explanation of some of those exercizes is here.  I used a roller at the gym but will be “running” (hehe) to my beloved Philadelphia Runner after work to get one of my own!


Mental Vomit


Help!  I am ruminating like CRAZY about this Sunday’s Broad Street Run!  As you may have read, I GET to run Broad Street this year for the charity Students Run Philly Style!  Remember, you can click here to donate 😉

So now, to explain the title of this post…to be brief, I AM BUGGING OUT!   I need to “purge” this list of craziness that is running through my head…don’t judge!

– What if I can’t do it? I’ve never ran ten before…only 8 and that sucked.

-What if I get blisters, soreness, any other kind of running yuckiness?

-What if I have to go to the bathroom

-What if I can’t fuel properly?

-What if my bib number is EVEN?  I know-weird- I’ve only run TWO races but am CONVINCED that a lucky bib number is odd, as my others have been odd and I have had great experiences.

-What if I HATE it and want to turn down Pine street off of Broad and call it a day?

-What about the weather?

-What about packet pick-up.  I hope Students Run Philly Style have my confirmation by then (they did not as of today!)

-What if I embarrass myself?

-What if I get injured?

-What if I can’t run with my iPod (you arent supposed to but I seriously have NEVER run without it) and flip out

-AHHHHH what if I run out of what-ifs?!?!?

Help guys!  Talk me down…PLEASE!?!?!?

PS:  Husband just passed along this great article detailing how eating/drinking a slushie before a run can enhance performance- I want to believe it!  What do you think?  Click here.

I GET to blog today!


Good Morning all!  Happy Monday!  Oy.  Living for weekends lately.  Anyway, I am ready to combat the Monday morning blues with this here post!  So Saturday I was getting a pedi and catching up on my reading…

LOOOVE me some Runner’s World Magazine!  Ian’s aunt and uncle got me a yearly subscription for my birthday- what an AMAZING present-LOVE IT!  Anywhooo, I was reading and was intrigued by most of the articles in there, espcially one in particular that I wanted to “blog” about. 

The article was entitled “Feeling Lucky” by Kristin Armstrong that discussed viewing runs (and everyday life) as opportunities and how the power of positive thinking can really change your life. 


Running Motivation


If you view your run as an opportunity, your attitude will get an adjustment.

By Kristin Armstrong

Image by Huan Tran
From the May 2010 issue of Runner’s World

I don’t know about you, but my to-do list often rivals the length of my Target receipt. I have activities mapped out from the time my alarm sounds: Down coffee, run, pack lunches, herd kids to school, walk the dog, write and be creative on command, drink more coffee, squeeze in yoga?, prep dinner, drive kids to activities, return to nest, cook, help with homework, eat, wash dishes, oversee hygiene, read stories, give tickles, say prayers, collapse (them, me). Repeat.

When I have a race on the calendar, I sprinkle in long runs and speedwork. By then my to-do list starts to look like a complicated recipe, my day broken down into cups, cups, tablespoons, and teaspoons. Sometimes I can feel the weight of my responsibilities pressing down on me, the way the X-ray apron rests heavy on my chest at the dentist.

I felt this way during a recent hard workout. I was chugging up a hill saying to myself, I have to get up this hill. I have to finish this workout. And then all of a sudden, a few people came to mind, some sick, others struggling, and I thought about how much they would love to have the opportunity to tackle this hill. I bet they wouldn’t think they had to. In the clarity of thinking that comes with adversity, they would likely say they got to run up this hill. I wondered what might happen if I started to think that way.

I decided to try it. Instead of thinking or saying, I have to finish this project or I have to pick up my kids, I stopped myself and tweaked my language: I get to work on this assignment. I get to pick up my children from school. I get to help them with homework. I get to buy groceries and make dinner for my family. I get to do speedwork. I get to take Luke to football practice. I get to go on a long run. I get to bring cupcakes up to Grace’s class. I get to fold clean clothes for my children. I get to listen to Bella sing in choir. I get to run this 5-K, 10-K, half-marathon, marathon…

At first it felt forced and silly, but after a few days, it became natural. I felt freer, more thoughtful, and more aware of why I do what I do. Perhaps I had become so encumbered with my to-dos that I forgot to be thankful for the opportunity to do them. I realized that it’s possible to have a reawakening about the beauty in our lives, to understand that we are so damn lucky to be healthy, to have people to love and the ability to care for them.

Since then, I’ve shared the idea and gotten inspiring feedback. A friend told me she felt more joy while taking care of her kids. Another told me her running group spoke in I get to language for an entire run. A woman and her friends wore “I Get To Run” T-shirts on race day. A woman running the Turkey Trot in Santa Barbara on Thanksgiving morning came up to me and said, “What a beautiful day. Aren’t we lucky we get to run?”

Gratitude is contagious. It’s the smallest thing, but it has the power of something big. It’s a shift in perspective that can open your head and your heart. And if you want, you get to try it.

I loved this article and thought it was quite inspiring.  So, I started with this little mantra this morning as I got into my car to begin my hour long torture drive into work.  Instead of saying “OMG I cannot believe I have to go to work today,” I said to myself, “OMG I cannot believe I GET to work today.”  And it is true. I am lucky to be able to go to work today on account of several reasons, ranging from “I’m healthy” to “I have a job.”  I think that if we can all change our way of thinking in this little manner, it will do us a large world of good.  Do you agree?

What do you GET to do today!?!??

First Anniversary!


So, today is Ian’s and my first anniversary (real one at least).  We got married a year ago today in a lovely Judge’s chamber right across the river in Camden, New Jersey.

That night was our rehearsal dinner.

It was the day after that, the 25th, that we had our ceremony and reception with our extended family and friends.

It was amazing.

We took a “mini moon” to Miami, Florida that weekend, and stayed at the wonderful Icon Brickell’s Viceroy.



We later took our real honeymoon to Hawaii.

With a stop over in Oregon for Seamus and Kasia’s wedding.


So, overall, it has been a great year.

Last night, Ian planned a lovely evening for our anniversary, and this evening, I planned a few little things for him! 😉

I made up a Jeopardy game about our “us” since he is amazing at Jeopardy!  It was too fun!

Then I took him to his favorite restaurant in Philly, Tequilas.

Handsome date!

Dinner was delish!  After inhaling having some homemade tortilla chips with melted cheese (holy yum)

I was not sooo hungry for my meal, but it was VERY good!  It was grouper crusted with sunflower seeds grilled on top of sea scallops and topped with calamari stuff with lobster/crab meat!  Holy YUM!

The best was yet to come when we returned home and dug into our cake!  I had the top layer of our wedding cake recreated to celebrate this special occasion (and we left our actual top layer at the venue-oops!)…  Actual cake:

Top layer re-creation:

YUM! The inside is vanilla cake and lemon filling!

Anyway we had a WONDERFUL anniversary, and I truly believe, as they say…the best is yet to come!




I know it sounds bad…but it is a GOOD THING!  I just signed up to run Broad Street with Students Run Philly Style!  YAY!  Although registration was closed to the public (capped at 30,000) I was able to sign up last minute to run with this wonderful charity!  From their site

Students Run Philly Style is tackling childhood obesity, low graduation rates & youth violence with a unique combination of long distance running & mentorship.  Youth in this program train alongside adult mentors for nine months in order to complete a marathon or half marathon.  As mentor and student take on the challenge of a 26.2 mile race together they discover the strength and potential of both their body and mind.  To date, Students Run has served over 1200 youth.

 The statistics for youth in Philadelphia are alarming.  Over 50% of children are obese or at risk for becoming so and almost half of high school students do not graduate in four years.  

I truly believe in what Students Run is doing to provide a brighter future for Philadelphia’s youth.  I hope you will join me in supporting their mission.

If you are interested in finding out more or donating (every little bit helps) 🙂  Please click here.


It’s a Blogger’s World!


Good morning everyone!  Sorry I have been inconsistent with posting lately…I am waiting for life to present a lull where I will be able to get things done!  Anywhoooo happy Thursday!  So…here are a few things I have been up to lately…

Tuesday night I was lucky enough to be involved in a Philly Phoodie meet up at Garces Trading Company  organized by Sabrina and Leslie-thanks girls, by the way!  I can also thank them for their great recaps here and here.  It was a blast!  All of the girls were so nice and I cannot wait to meet up with them again!  Garces was really delish but I think I did not order enough as I left still hangry (which was not helped by the fact that Oscar decided to get sick while I was gone so Mama had to rush home)…

Nom Nom Nom- amazing bread and oil...I DEFINITELY judge a restaurant by its bread basket 🙂

Delicious endive salad ordered for my entree although I should have done it as an app! I was hangggry!

Because really...what's a good meal without a Diet Coke?!?!?

Ok, sorry for the brief recap…moving onto other things I have been doing…

Rewind to Monday…Sabrina KINDLY agreed to try a Zumba class with me at the Club. Shout out to Eamon who helped me get her in :-)!  Anyway, I have to say that it takes a lot of nerve to meet someone and take a Zumba class because if you are uncoordinated like me then it can really be…mortifying!  Haha!  BUT, Sabrina was so nice and we had a great time.  I even got her this hilarious card, that I must showcase on the blog, to thank her!

So funny! And so true????

I have to thank Sabrina as well for giving me a brussel sprout tutorial after I burnt my batch to a crisp the other night.  Thanks to her I was left with these yummy babies!

YUM! Great success!

I used Trader Joe’s ground chicken patties for the protein portion of the meal (and put Husband’s on a Rosemary roll from Whole Foods-he swears he’s into rosemary right now-we shall see how long that lasts) and added squash to mine, rice to his.

His and Her plates- can you guess which is which?

 SO…question- What was your biggest kitchen disaster?  DO tell!  Don’t be shy!  I guarantee mine have been worse!