Boston Marathon 2014

Jessica Sowalsky's Marathon Blog

Boston Marathon 2014 - Jessica Sowalsky's Marathon Blog

Visualize Your Success

Like the Boston Red Sox and their World Series game tonight, I can also visualize my race day success.  With months of training, a person can reach his or her goal by preserving through the aches and pains. Anyone can be a winner before the race or game even begins, just by believing in oneself that one can achieve what one sets his or her mind to do.

It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and time to be the best athlete you can be. I wish the Boston Red Sox luck tonight and hopefully all of their hard work can come through.  I still have time to see if all of my hard work pays off. Only time will tell.


The Boston Red Sox have showed us Boston fans that dedication to the game is the key to winning! They have proved to us this fact so far during World Series. Well, being born and raised in the Boston area dedication to the sport means a lot to me. It means being devoted to a city that has gone through tough times during the Boston Marathon last year and being persistent at the game when the going gets tough.

Today, I reaffirmed that runners are also dedicated individuals. While driving to the gym this morning I saw at least thirty runners running on Commonwealth Avenue in Newton in the cold weather. Whether it is winning the World Series or training for a marathon both of these have one thing in common: dedication to performing ones best.

Below are pictures from the gym this morning:



Rolling, rolling, rolling

No, I am not talking about the television show “Rawhide”. My blog post today is about foam rolling. From beginner to experienced runners the foam roller is a magical item. The best part about it is that it gets the job done instead of going to a message therapist.

You use this object for about twenty minutes or so to get into the knicks and crannies out from where you are sore on your body. I usually use it on my back, IT band, and on my ankles.

The foam roller has helped a lot of runners become more flexible and resistant to injuries. I would suggest using it if you have knee pain, ankle pain, or back pain.

Here are some examples of exercises you can do on the foam roller:

Cancer Awareness

As every Boston Red Sox fan knows tonight is Game 1 of the World Series.  Not only will the Red Sox want to beat the Cardinals, but Jon Lester has another thing on his mind and that is beating cancer. One thing is for sure he did not stop persevering. He beat cancer and now he needs to work on his physical ability.

Training and passion for the sport are two concepts that are at the back of every athletes mind. The Boston Red Sox have proven that they are in this World Series and will never give up a chance to fight for what they believe in. Just like cancer patients “never quit” like Jon Lester said in the article below.

Let Jon Lester be your inspiration and have him win this series for every cancer patient.

6 months to go…

Today is exactly six months until the Boston Marathon.  I went to the gym this morning and lifted weights, used the rower, and the standardized bike.  I have noticed since I started training for my half marathons that my ability to lift heavier weights is a lot easier and I have become more muscular. The more I push myself the better off I will be in April to be able to run faster and have the endurance to finish the 26.2 miles with a great pace and time.

All day I have been thinking about what race day will feel like on April 21st. Who will be there to support me? How will I feel emotionally while I run? What will be the most memorable moment for me during the race? But most of all, I am most grateful to my GENEROUS SUPPORTERS who have already helped me surpass the 25 PERCENT MARK of my fundraising goal in only three weeks!

Each day I think to myself how lucky I am to have this opportunity and to be a part of a wonderful team. November 23rd can’t come soon enough. That is the day I run with all of the first time runners of the DFMC team. I look forward to meeting new people and learning more about DFMC.

Breast cancer awareness month

Every year the month of October recognizes breast cancer awareness and dedicates its month to this cause. The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers and breast cancer is diagnosed and treated there.

The reason why I bring this is up is because today is national mammography day. All women who are reading this blog post please get screened and encourage the fabulous women in your life to do the same.

Yesterday, I received an e-mail from a person who I work with at Boston University a couple times a semester. Initially, I sent this person an e-mail asking for a donation since I have been working with her for over three years now.  She told me in response to my donation letter that she was diagnosed with breast cancer 18 years ago and is now a breast cancer survivor. She got her treatments at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and now she is healthier than ever. She appreciated what I am doing and thinks I am running for a great cause.

I also know relatives and friend’s parents who had breast cancer or who passed away from this disease. It is a tough battle and that is why every year I try to wear pink at least one day during the month to recognize the importance of breast cancer awareness.

In 2007 and in 2008, I raised over $2,000 each year for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. I dedicated my walking to my best friend’s mother who passed away from breast cancer in 2007.  This walk inspired me to persevere and to live each day to fullest.

Watch the video below and you will have that feeling as well.

Gyming it up

Today was my first day back to the gym after the Hartford Half Marathon. I made a personal record at the race with a time of 2:29:40.  It was a wonderful race and I would run this race again in a heartbeat.  I had professors and friends cheering me on while having the opportunity to meet new people while running whom I met on the ING Hartford Marathon Facebook group.  At the gym, I lifted weights, used the rowing machine, and the stationary bike.  I am prepping for my next half marathon, which is the Chilly Half Marathon.  Below is a picture from this past weekend’s race. Hartford Half 

My second home

Today, I ran the Hartford Half Marathon in my second home of Hartford, CT. I have always want to run this race so I could see my college friends from the University of Hartford and professors cheer me on. I ran a personal record of 2:29:40. I did not train for this race because of my injury. I was happy with my results. My next race in 29 days is the Chilly Half Marathon. I am looking forward to it but it will not have the same feel or energy as this race had.

Pumping iron

Today was my last day at the gym before the Hartford Half Marathon on Saturday. I lifted weights, and used the rowing machine and the arc trainer. I cannot wait to hit the pavement and run this half marathon to my heart’s content. The cheering from the crowd and having some family, friends, and college professors in the audience will push me to run better and to run faster and harder. I am pumped! Wish me luck!

Back in the saddle again…

Yesterday, I went to a free Bikram Yoga class in Natick.  The studio was not that far from where I live and the class was free because it was the studio’s third anniversary.  The class was ninety minutes long and the room was over one hundred degrees.  Overall, for this being my first Bikram yoga class I really enjoyed it and it was a great way to stretch out my muscles for the next day’s run.

For the past two weeks, I have been in an aircast because of a pulled muscle and I have not been able to run.  Instead, I have been going to the gym like I usually do three times a week but instead of doing TRX and using the arc trainer I have been lifting weights, rowing, and using the standardized bike.  Today was my first day back in the saddle: I went for my first run in three weeks (because of the Jewish holidays and my injury) and I ran a 5K in 33 minutes.

This week I plan on going to the gym twice since I am heading to Hartford on Friday to pick up my bib number and get ready for the race on Saturday.  I cannot wait to see some of my college friends and professors during the race. The will be one of the largest races I will run until the Boston Marathon.