Archive for May 2014

27 May 2014

10 miles??!

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random

If we happen to be connected on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, the cat is a bit out of the bag on this post, but I can dive in to what it felt like to run 10 miles in more detail here.


Ten!!!! One year ago, I was preparing for my first-ever 5K, and now, this.

I successfully completed the Soldier Field 10 Mile race in Chicago, which is the coolest fucking race I’ve done so far. Expensive? You bet ($70 for early bird registration), but it is 100% worth it.

Why would something that sounds like torture and cost that much money be worth it?


Even this Packers fan thinks that’s awesome.

A week before the race, I was having a lot of doubt, battling some calf tightness/pain and general stamina issues, perhaps due to switching to a more Paleo/gluten-free lifestyle. So my goal was honestly just to finish, and not even think about time (although under a 12 minute mile would have made me happy).

And, I finished and with an official time of 1:55:26, averaging an 11:30 mile.

My body needed to run on every single cylinder and it did. It felt amazing and so empowering.

The entire time, I just kept thinking in blocks of time so it didn’t feel overwhelming. Run 5, walk 2, eat every 45 minutes and just chill out. And take deep breaths.

When I hit mile 8, I started struggling. I was feeling tired, dizzy, and thinking OMG I ONLY HAVE TWO LEFT, TWO LEFT!??! THIS ISN’T OVER YET? So, that’s when I started telling myself, “YOU CAN DO THIS.”

And when I hit mile 9, I had to really tell myself that. People were screaming “keep going,” but if I needed to walk, I did. I was gonna keep going, I just had to pace myself. Because when I turned the corner and saw the Soldier Field concourse, it was on. I started cheering with others running beside me because I could see it.

I could see the light leading to the field and hear people leaning over that entry screaming for the runners, banging against the overhang to cheer us on and it was the coolest fucking thing.

And hearing them screaming gave me the last kick of energy I needed because I TOOK OFF for the finish line, cutting around people and just pushing my legs and body faster than I thought I could after everything they had done already.

And then it was over. I got my medal and I felt this overwhelming sense of pride.

I did it.

Marathon training starts this week, but I’m taking a few days off to just relax and chill out before the discipline starts up again.




20 May 2014


By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random

Specifically, bullying in the workplace.

I know what cyber and school bullying are, but for me, bullying in the workplace is more difficult to define. So when it came up in some meetings last week, I found myself asking (out loud) a rather dumb question. “What is bullying at work?”

And I wasn’t trying to be an asshole, I honestly did not know.

It’s not like a senior manager body checks me into a wall when I walk past him or her, or I pour milk in a team member’s lap while laughing. To me, this is harder to define.

Probably because it’s more emotional than physical. And when you deal with emotions, let’s just say, no two people are generally alike.

I remember being bullied as a kid in school. Walking home with my brother, kids from school throwing crab apples at us. Sometimes they missed, but sometimes they hit, my head, shoulder and backpack, to name a few places. And let’s just say, a crab apple bouncing off your head isn’t fun. I remember the queen bees taunting me as I matured early, grabbing at my shirt at pointing at my teenage boobs and laughing in front of class.

But as an adult, it’s a little different. To me, adult bullying is a series of calculated, personal attacks on someone. Finding weakness and exploiting it, breaking them down mentally and emotionally to make them do what you want them to, because they’re too insecure and frightened to make a mistake.

Oh wait, that was my 2012. I posted here at the end of 2012, opening up about how horrible of a year that was. Where I was bullied to the point of a complete emotional breakdown. And then bullied again about six months after that, with a low point being someone screaming at me, “are you fucking stupid?” Actually, no, I’m not. And as an adult, you don’t really bounce back from that. It takes a lot of time.

So what worries me the most about workplace bullying is that tough definition. Bullies should not be allowed to continue to torment people, but whose to say that word can’t be used as a weapon, to hurt people who don’t deserve it? Maybe that’s just bullying in general.

This is why I love lifestyle blogs, you can blog about something silly like farting at the gym, and then tackle something a little tougher.

12 May 2014

MWF Seeking BFF – Get out of my brain

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random

I’m not really a “reader.” I read magazines but only really indulge in books while on vacation. So in prep for my most recent vacation, I took the advice of my fabulous cube neighbor Gloria and finally downloaded MWF Seeking BFF, a book she and my brunch buddy Nikki have talked about several times as a must-read.

Here is an official description of the book (from the website), “When Rachel Bertsche first moves to Chicago, she’s thrilled to finally share a zip code, let alone an apartment, with her boyfriend. But shortly after getting married, Bertsche realizes her new life is missing one thing: friends. Sure, she has plenty of BFFs—in New York and San Francisco and Boston and Washington DC. Yet in her adopted hometown, there’s no one to call at the last minute for girl-talk over brunch or a reality TV marathon over a bottle of wine. Taking matters into her own hands, Bertsche develops a plan: she’ll go on fifty-two friend-dates, one per week for a year, in hopes of meeting her new Best Friend Forever.”

So why would this relate to me? Well, minus the “M” part (married,) I can relate to Rachel, a lot. When I moved to Chicago, I was 25 years old and has zero friends. And didn’t really make one for six months. And now, as a 30-something woman, I’m going through another friend crisis of sorts. Friends are getting married, moving to the suburbs, moving away from Chicago for work, family, etc. and….I’m still here. Not that I mind, I love Chicago, but the idea of being in the city I love with not a solid group of friends is scary! How do I….start over?

And it’s not easy in the city. People have established groups of friends, boyfriends, or people they know, and it’s easy to just stick with that crew. And as you get older and dynamics in life change, your friendships change too. They aren’t the person you hang with 24/7, life gets in the way. And by the time you are hanging out again, you are looking at the next friend date being in two months because of…life.

In dating as well as friendships, I’m much  more shy in putting myself out there. Fear of rejection sucks. Or the shallow, “yeah let’s totally meet up!” and then when you reach out, they never respond. Is that always the case? No. But as I’ve gotten older, it’s more difficult to find people who are at that same kind of life spot as me.

So what did I learn from this book? I’m not alone! There are a lot of other people my age (or close to it), struggling with the same thing, and when we share our sorrows (or those who choose to), I keep trying to put myself out there, meet new people, find people with similar interests and just see what happens. I won’t have the 24/7 BFF I’ve always wanted, at this point in my life at least, but finding those who compliment me, and working to really establish a good base of people here is a challenge I’m up for.

What about you? Have you read the book? Or had similar troubles finding and making friends?

08 May 2014


By: Jessica B.
Tagged: gym

Yes, I’m dedicating a post to farts.

Running is a really hard sport on your body. Your stomach turns in to a cement mixer and god know what will happen to it when you are out on a run. Bodily functions become a loose cannon sometimes and you just don’t know what’s gonna happen.

And no, I’m not talking about explosive #2’s while running, but cropdusting, aka farts.

There is a serious cropdusting issue at my gym lately and it is killing me. Can you die from inhaling too many potent farts at the gym? I don’t know, but I feel like I might be able to test that soon.

I accept that I’m in the line of fart fire when I use the elliptical machines right behind the treadmills in the mornings, but sweet mother of Jesus, you have to hold it in sometimes. I don’t know what these guys are eating the night before (or morning of), but the smell is like curry in a diaper that has been left out in the sun, or something.

I’ve almost gagged a few times, and begged for mercy out loud. I have mixed up where I work out in the line of machines and even tried breathing in to a towel for parts of my workout but the smell, you guys, it finds me.

And my cropdusting etiquette is much better, naturally. I am cognizant of the people around me. I wouldn’t force them to suffer so that I can feel better during my run, but apparently that logic and thought is going right out the window. Seriously, you guys, the smell.

I was tempted to go up and say something to two of the guys who clearly have no self control. Oh and yeah, you know when that’s gonna happen, you can’t say that just slipped out.  NO ONE IS BUYING IT. But alas, did not. Fighting with guys at 6:15am about farting in a public gym, I’m not that crazy.

It needs to keep getting lighter out earlier in the morning because I cannot be in the fart hotbox much longer.

Maybe it’s just me.

06 May 2014

Learning a new way to eat

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Food, Random

Hello everyone. Yes, I’m still here and am still bad about writing on this blog.

But, I’m back today because there’s been something I’ve been working with lately that I wanted to share on my corner of the Internet.

Food, well, looking at food/eating in a new way.

When I got back from my promotion trip to Paris/Amsterdam, I finally decided to see the doctor about the “weird” way I was feeling. You know, that fun bloated, water retention feeling usually reserved for the week before your period, but I felt it every single day. Clothes didn’t fit, and honestly, I just felt awful about myself, all the time.

And when I went, some of my worst fears were confirmed. I was 15 pounds heavier, officially at my “scary weight,” which is also the heaviest I have been since…high school maybe?

To say I was crushed, is an understatement. It was like facing a huge fear and knowing all of my instincts were right.

But the tests she ran point at nothing. According to my blood, I’m 100% healthy. So, while we investigate a few other things, I’ve been put on a restricted diet. No gluten, dairy or processed sugar. Or, next to none in my diet.

And as someone who has never had a food allergy (or not since I was a little kid), this is really difficult because now, I am trying to look at food in a new way.

First off, dairy. This is painful to cut back on because I LOVE DAIRY. Cheese! Yogurt! Frozen yogurt! All of the cheese!But with baby steps, I’m cutting back.

Gluten, holy cow that is in everything too, same with processed sugar!

So, for now I’m reading websites about Paleo, gluten-free, sugar-free foods (or substitutes), being more diligent about cooking at home from Paleo and gluten-free websites, drinking more water, cutting back on alcohol and trying to be smarter about what I eat. It’s all about baby steps to a new way to eat.

Is it fun? No, not always. I love donuts, sweets, cupcakes, pastries, beer (BEER!), fried foods, etc.

But I hate the way I feel, so I am willing to try something new. And hopefully, it just gets better from here.