Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Short Spring Update Part 2

I am excited to announce that this fall I will be attending Suffolk Law School's evening division.  I will be joining Tom for his final year where he has recently been elected as the SBA president.  Tom's election result was very impressive and he showed that hard work pays off.  I will be attending classes three evenings a week and plan on doing my training during the day.  I am looking forward to working hard to advance both my athletic and academic potential.

We have had some great TDT spring practices and it has been nice to get out on the track these past few weeks.  One of our TDT runners will get to race in the middle school 1,000m race this Saturday as part of the BAA Invitational mile races.
Getting in some warmup drills before a workout
Other than that, I have been coaching the spring running and spring cycling clubs at the Cambridge School of Weston and I have been getting my garden ready for some spring planting, although that might be a little bit delayed with last night's snow!

If you know any youth athletes check out my track and field camp and new cross country camp by clicking here.   And email me at jessbarton1117@gmail.com if you have any questions about either camp.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Spring Update

If you read my last post, you will know that I have not been training and had to cancel some of my early season races. I had a visit with the doctor a week and a half ago and found out that I am, in his surprised words, "very very hypothyroid."  This is what I was going into the appointment thinking was the issue, although I figured it would not be at as serious a level. While it is of course great to know what the cause of my issue is and to be in the process of getting better, I of course do not want anything to be wrong with me.  The doctor said that my results indicate that this has been an issue for me for many years, so it is likely why for the majority of my running and triathlon career, I have rarely been able to make it strong through a season despite taking all of the steps that would be deemed correct.

I have now been on medication for two weeks, and while it can take up to six weeks to notice a difference, I am already noticing a big difference.  For example, prior to my diagnosis I literally had no energy and the mere thought of going a run was terrible.  I am now getting back into "training" with some easy bike rides, an easy runs, and an easy swim.  I am very unconditioned, but at the same time, I feel surprisingly good in terms of form.  It will take me a little while to get back into shape, as evidenced by after going on an easy run yesterday, my quads and core are still quite sore…but it is an excellent feeling to have the energy and desire to get outside and be active again!

Thanks for reading and in the next week or so, look for another blog post on what else I have been up to these past few weeks.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Summer Track & Field and Cross Country Camps

This summer I will be directing both a youth track and field camp as well as a middle school and high school cross country camp. Below is some information about both camps. If you have any questions about either camp please email me at: jessbarton1117@gmail.com Also, for registration information, visit the Garden City website by clicking here (scroll down for the links to register for the camps.)



  • July 28 - August 1
  • 9am - 3pm
  • Ages 8-14
  • At Newton North High School
Both Newton North and Newton South, as well as surrounding area high schools, have a great tradition of track and field success and this camp is an excellent way to get started in the sport! The Garden City track and field camp is a great way for youth athletes to get introduced to the great sport of track and field.  The camp is great for both newcomers to the sport and for athletes looking to improve and gain more experience.  The coaches at the camp are all high level experienced track and field athletes with experience coaching youth athletes.  Over the five days of camp, we will work on the hurdles, distance running, shot put, sprinting, long jump, high jump, relay running, triple jump, turbo javelin, and strength and conditioning.  Campers will get to be timed/measured and try to improve their best marks throughout the week.  Campers will also learn about the mental side of the sport and competition, ways to improve on their own, and how to be a better overall athlete.  The small camper to coach ratio is great for campers to get individualized instruction on the various events.  The top notch facilities at Newton North that we have access to include the mondo surface 400-meter outdoor track, the indoor track and accompanying SOA area, the weight/exercise room, and the 25-yard indoor pool with diving boards.

The basic structure of a typical day of camp will look something like this: 

Morning:  Campers arrive and get into warmup groups with their coach.  Go over and participate in the morning event (sprinting, distance running, hurdles...) Then end with the morning session activity of a game or competition.


Swim/Lunch: All Garden City camps have access to the indoor pool at Newton North and we will eat lunch in the high school cafeteria. (The cafeteria will not be serving food so campers need to bring their own lunch.)


Afternoon: Warmup session as a group. Break into groups for strength and conditioning session (we will have access to the fully equipped exercise facility) and track and field event.  We will end the day with a wrap-up of what we covered and popsicles.



  • August 18 - 21
  • 9am - 1pm
  • At Newton North High School
This is the first year of the preseason cross country camp and it will be a great way for athletes to get ready for the upcoming cross country season. The camp is open to all levels of runners and runners will be broken up into training groups based on abilities.  

At the cross country camp, runners will gain fitness and confidence heading into the cross country season. Runners will be instructed on many topics, such as: race strategy, hydration, sports nutrition, strength training and dynamic flexibility exercises, sports phycology, proper running technique, and recovery.  We will also help introduce runners who are starting to look at running in college to the process of contacting college coaches. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Florida Road Trip and more




Sorry for not posting in a while, I will try to get back to a more consistent posting schedule.  If you follow my twitter or Facebook at all, you will know that I just took a road trip down south with Tom. We were gone for a week and made it down to Melbourne, Florida, with stops in Virginia and Savannah along the way. We were lucky to have great weather the whole week, especially since a big storm just moved in through most of the east coast! Below are some photos of the trip.
Getting some gas before heading out on the road

We took the Tappan Zee bridge to avoid the NY traffic and it worked both ways!


Stopping in Savannah was great. It's a great city to explore on foot and there were some very cool Spanish moss covered trees

It's always great to cross over into Florida

Tom at the fort in St. Augustine

We had planned on camping at Princess Place Estate near St. Augustine, but, while it was very nice, it was a total ghost town and only had rustic camping


This bird sat next to me for quite some time at the beach

We were visited by lots of birds, including this large pelican who spent a long time cleaning himself
Tennis was lots of fun after a day at the beach!

We went to a pond after a bike ride one day and a whole bunch of big turtles swam over to where we were standing

One of the many cargo ships traveling through Savannah

We explored Savannah on the way back as well, and this time we discovered the cool river walk and got to see lots of  huge ships


In other news, if you have been following my triathlon racing, you may have known that I was planning on racing some indoor track races, the Clermont and Sarasota Pan American Cups, as well as the Gate River 15k. Starting in Boulder and coming to full fruition after getting back home, I have, basically, progressively gotten extremely fatigued and unable to train to the point where a 5 minute jog shoots my heart rate up to 180. To an extent, this has happened near the end of most training cycles, although previously not to this level.  This training cycle Tom and I made a very concerted effort to keep the training conservative and to stay completely relaxed and not push hard during training.  This was going extremely well and, especially in running, I was in unbelievably good shape. But, as happens most training cycles for me, I went from feeling unstoppably great one day to struggling to complete a normal run at about 90 seconds per mile slower than normal.  On Friday I am seeing a specialist and will hopefully be able to figure out what is up and move forward.

Also, I have just discovered the new blog from my former coach and friend Jon Waldron. I have only had time to skim over some of it so far, but I can guarantee it will be very worthwhile to follow as Jon has a wealth of knowledge about running as well as a unique ability to make everything he writes about very interesting. His blog can be found here: http://therunnereclectic.com

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Boudler Trip Recap

I am now settled back home and have unpacked, put my bike and Tom's bike back together and adjusted as much as is possible to the bitterly cold temperatures.  We flew back to Boston on Sunday, during the Patriots game, so everyone at the Denver airport was quite happy.  The plane ride went by quickly, partly because it was 40 minutes faster than it was supposed to be, but mainly because I got to watch the Seattle vs SF game, which was a good one.

Our last two days of training in Boulder were both good. On Saturday we went up to Magnolia Road for a long run.  It was really nice weather up there, with lots of sun and minimal wind. Running uphill at 8,500 feet is challenging in itself, but coupled with the hills being longer and steeper than what I am used to training on, it becomes extra hard.  Big long hills on the way out mean the way back is full of long downhills, which is nice. One of the hardest parts about running at Magnolia road is the steep half mile hill up to the finish.

Tom on Flagstaff Mountain
After our hilly long run at Magnolia road we had some lunch and then headed out for an even hillier bike ride.  The weather finally cooperated to allow us to ride up Flagstaff mountain, which was no easy feat after the hilly run. We started from our house, which meant about a mile uphill ride to the base of the mountain, then we rode up to the top. I underestimated how warm it actually was outside and totally overdressed.  About half the people out riding were in shorts and t-shirts, and I was basically in full winter gear, so I had to stop part way up to take off my hat and gloves. It was good to have the layers on the long descent though because even with all the warm clothes I was still chilled to the bone by the bottom. The rest of our ride was really nice and we went out on some roads that we used to ride on that provided some great final views of the mountains.

Where we ran up the canyon on Sunday

On Sunday we left Boulder at 1:30 but we still had to pack and clean the house we were staying at, as well as get in some training.  We woke up early and ran up the canyon on the creek path, which was nice. It ended up being in the 60s and sunny and the morning air felt like summer.  After the flood this summer, there are still parts of town that are damaged and when running through the canyon when looking up at the mountainside above, there were many scars on the side of the mountain from mud slides that were up to what looked like about 60 or so feet wide. After running I did some quick packing and then went to the gym for my final swim workout in Boulder.  I had to leave a bit early so that I could finish up getting ready to leave, and it was good that I did leave early because we only finished all that needed to be done with minutes to spare. Also, thanks to GU Energy for fueling all of my training sessions!

Looking ahead, I am planning on doing some indoor track races in the next few weeks and then I have two triathlons, one on March 1 in Clermont, FL and the next a week later in Sarasota, FL.  Our trip to Boulder was a great one and below are some more pictures from the trip.



Getting in some strength work
Sometimes we were the only ones at the gym :)

It was a bit chilly for a few days and we had some big icicles

The alley behind our house leading up to Chatauqua

The big tiger "painting" on the bedroom wall


Tom pondering the mountains

Running at Fairview HS, which has one of the greatest views of any track

We were treated to some nice sunsets over the mountains from our apartment

We took a break to have some GU Energy gel next to our favorite Boulder llamas

Where we parked at Magnolia Road

Before running at Magnolia Road



Tom getting ready to run at Magnolia Road

Monday, January 20, 2014

Boulder Training Log, Sunday

I am now back home after a long but nice and easy day of traveling yesterday. Below is my final training from the trip.  Within the next day or two I will post a bit of a recap from the trip but for now I have lots and lots of unpacking to do!
Last view of the mountains!
  • Morning run up the canyon on the creek path: 6 miles. My quads were sore from the hilly run and bike yesterday, but I felt pretty good running and it was super nice out.
  • Quick swim workout right after running: 1 hour total

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Boulder Training Log, Saturday

I'll have more details on today's training tomorrow

12 mile run at Magnolia Road
2 hour ride with Flagstaff climb, form sprints and other hills
20 min shakeout swim
Lots and lots of packing