Hello and welcome to Jillian Loves!  You may have found me from Finishing is Winning, or you may be new to me all together…either way, I am glad you are here!

If you want to learn more about me, there are two very easy ways…

  • Read the Who is Jillian? tab above
  • Head over to Finishing is Winning and read the 100 and 101 things

Thanks for stopping by and happy reading!

❤ Jillian

Week In Review; March 18-24

Saturday: Adrenaline 5K.  You can read about it here!

Sunday: Planned rest day.

Monday: Solo spin bike ride with a video.  I always thought the videos were cheesy, but they are definitely helping!  Followed it up with a run just under three miles.

Tuesday: Swam 1200.  Feels good to be back in the pool after a few weeks off due to my hand injury.

Wednesday: It was cold and the wind was brutal but I still met up with my group for a 4 mile loop.  I absolutely credit my consistency with my progress, so no matter what, I make the runs happen!

Thursday: You know…spin class 🙂

Friday: I toyed off and on with swimming, but I have a long run tomorrow and my body was telling me to rest.  I went for a 3 mile walk just to get out, and while I did want to swim, I think I made the right decision.

Weekly High: I am really proud of my performance at Adrenaline.  While not a PR by far, I feel myself getting stronger.

Weekly Low: Really, I just want some consistently good weather!  Spring, I am ready!

Quote of the week: 

Image result for fitness getting stronger memes

Adrenaline 5k

This past Sunday, I hit up a local (very popular) 5k to check off my March race towards my goal of racing at least once every month this year.  I have been looking forward to this race for over a year; before my accident, it was supposed to be my comeback race last year.  I absolutely had to do it this year!  And to think, it almost didn’t happen since a second snowstorm was being predicted all week.  Thankfully, it never happened and we had a nice dry morning!

Pre-Race:  It was a late start and local, so I didn’t even have to leave my house until 8am! Because the race director is also the owner of our local running store, and the founder of our #856 running club, I knew a ton of people running this race.  Pre-race was mostly just chatting and catching up with friends.

Race: I started off with a friend who runs just over my typical race pace, because I did not want to go out too fast.  Starting too fast is definitely my greatest racing flaw and I am working very hard at pacing myself!  I was also worried about slick roads, but that was thankfully, an unfounded concern.  After about a mile, I took off on my own and was feeling great.  I know the course well, since it encompasses part of our bi-weekly Monday group run and I was really comfortable the entire race.  There was great support on the course and the temperature turned out to be perfect!  Their was a huge Ainsley’s Angels turnout and it was awesome to see them on the course as well.  So proud of and inspired by my friends who run with these kids!  It was a great race and I was stoked to have come in under my goal time.  It was a few seconds slower than my last 5k, but I paced myself much better and felt stronger overall!



Post-Race:  Got a chocolate milk and bagel, chatted with friends and hit up the post-race party back at the running store.  Later that night we celebrated the race director and store owners birthday, along with the 20th birthday of the store!  The funniest part of the night was how many people commented about how much hair I have!  Most of them only see me at group runs or races, when my hair is up or under a hat!




Overall, it was a really great day and night!


Next race: Hot Chocolate 15k

Week In Review; March 11-17

Saturday: Hit up a weekend spin class, which was actually being taught by an acquaintance of mine. That was a fun surprise!  Followed it with a 2.5 mile run.

Sunday: Planned rest day.

Monday: Spring Break means morning workouts! Spin class and another 2.5 mile run! Later in the day, I was feeling antsy, so I went for a 2 mile walk.  Pretty good day!

Tuesday: We had a blizzard.  I still cannot believe it!

Wednesday: Thanks to all of the ice leftover from the storm, I was relegated to the treadmill.  My planned outdoor 8 miler turned into a dreadmill 6.5 miler.

Thursday: Met my friend Becky at the pool in the morning.  She is doing her first tri this summer and I am helping her with her swimming.  I got in 1000 meters of my own while I was there.  That night, I hit up a spin class.  I am a “regular” now!

Friday: Planned rest day.

Weekly High: Spring Break!!!!

Weekly Low: I mean, it’s my SPRING break and we had a blizzard.  What the what?!?!

Quote of the week: 

This.  It just has to get done, even when the weather is cooperating!

Week In Review; March 4-10

Saturday: 10 miles on the spin bike using a cool video I found.  I really like using spin class youtube videos and find it is a good substitute for when I don’t go to a class.  Followed it up with a 2.5 mile run.

Sunday: Planned rest day.

Monday: Didn’t want to run, so opted for a spin class.

Tuesday: Not a planned rest day, but still not cleared to lift or swim and didn’t feel like running.  Went for a 2 mile walk just to do something.

Wednesday: Arrived early to my weekly run, so got in two solo miles before another five with the group.  Nice to get a long run in on a weekday.

Thursday: Spin class, which is now a definite weekly thing!

Friday: Not a planned rest day but my legs were exhausted!  Listened to my body and rested.  Then listed to my heart and went to happy hour 😉

Weekly High: Pretty happy with my mid-week run!

Weekly Low: Still not cleared to swim or lift.

Quote of the week: 



Week In Review; February 25-March 3


Weekend: Last Friday night, I headed up to Pittsburgh with my Dad and boyfriend.  My boyfriend had gotten us tickets to a UNC game for Christmas (my dad and I are HUGE UNC fans) and offered to drive us up.  It was a great weekend, and other than the walking I did around Pittsburgh, I did no such exercise!


All smiles after a UNC win!!!

Monday: Missed my Monday group run, so it was a 5.7 mile run on the dreadmill for me.

Tuesday: Not a planned rest day. (See weekly low, below.)

Wednesday: Due to the predicted crazy thunderstorms, I was once again relegated to the treadmill for a 10k.  Turns out, barely even rained. So annoying when they hype up a storm.  Also, dangerous, because when a real storm comes, people won’t believe it and won’t be prepared!

Thursday: Back to the hardcore spin class.  Pretty difficult, but such a great workout.

Friday: Planned rest day.

Weekly High: Seeing UNC win, in person!!!

Weekly Low: I took a pretty bad spill at work on Monday.  All of my weight landed on my left hand and injured my wrist/hand/finger.  Other than the bad scrapes, I felt okay but because there was so much bruising, work sent me to get checked out.  Spent most of Tuesday at the medical center getting x-rays and such. Tore up my skin pretty bad, a few bruised bones and a sprain.  Thankfully, nothing is broken, but I am still all wrapped up for the time being due to the deep scrapes and sprain.  No swimming for about a week and it was definitely a little harder to spin, but I am still making it happen!  No excuses!

Three things I am grateful for this week:

  1. Getting to take a road trip with my dad!
  2. No break after my fall!
  3. The weekend- it’s been a long week!

Quote of the week: 

Twice I had to run on the treadmill.  My hand is wrapped in a bandage.  I had to modify for spin.  Not allowed to swim or lift.  But I found a way and had a good week of workouts!



❤ Jillian

Week In Review; February 18-24

Saturday: Planned rest day but I definitely got in a work out.  We are getting a new Middle School and it was moving day.  Tons of steps…lots of lifting!

Sunday: Sea Isle 5k.  Read race report here.

Monday: A day off means extra time to spend at the gym.  Did a 2 mile recovery run, got in a good lifting session and did a little solo spin bike.

Tuesday: Planned rest day.

Wednesday: Weekly Cooper River Run.  Much nicer out than last week!  Between my own run and then going back to run in with friends, I clocked over 5 miles.

Thursday: Legit the most hardcore spin class I have ever taken.  Looking forward to the next one!

Friday: It was 70 degrees!!!  I had off due to a funeral, so I was able to get in 5 miles before it got too hot.  Awesome to be in a tank top in February!

Weekly High: 60-70 degrees ALL week was AMAZING!

Weekly Low: Saying goodbye to my cousin.

Three things I am grateful for this week:

  1. Definitely sunshine and vitamin D!
  2. Mondays off!
  3. Getting back into the routine of blogging- keeping me accountable!

Quote of the week: 

I’ve been back consistent at the gym now for 8 weeks and I am finally starting to like what I see.  That is my motivation each day to keep it up!

Product Review- Flip Belt

There was a time when I thought I would never find anything I could wear comfortably around my waist while I run.  This makes running more difficult than you might think, as I have to find a place for my keys, hold my phone and most annoying, plan every route around where I will be able to find water.  I used to wear a spi-belt, which I loved; it held everything perfectly and hardly moved. But, it wasn’t ideal because it didn’t solve the water problem. (And, eventually my phone outgrew it.) When I trained for the marathon, I actually did my 20 mile run on a 5 mile loop, so that I could stop at my car for water/fuel. Ridiculous, right?!?

When I started running again, I made it my mission to find a hydration belt I could live with.  I went through five.  I even went back and tried ones I had tried before.  I. Hated. Every. One.  I absolutely cannot run with something bouncing around on my waist and not one of them would stay put.  I would read amazing reviews just to find out they did not work for me.  It was frustrating to say the least and I spent the summer running the same routes with the same planned water stops (thank GOD for CVS!).  This had to stop!  I knew the search for the perfect belt was in full force.  I could not begin to train again for any distance until I found something that would alleviate this issue.

I determined pretty quickly that a handheld anything would be out of the question.  I already hated holding my phone, so I knew I wouldn’t want to hold water.  However, at the insistence of a few running friends, I tried.  It was a clear cut no from me.


Sometime in late fall I saw an ad on Facebook for Flipbelt*.  Flip belt comes in three styles- zipper, classic and water.  That’s right…a belt that comes with water bottles AND holds a phone, ID and a key.  It looked too good to be true but I could not find one negative review. I posted on my local running page and turns out, a few of my fellow runners had also recently discovered them and loved them.

A few weeks after first seeing the ad, I saw they were running a sale. I was not going to pass this up.  I emailed the link to my mom with the subject line “Christmas Gift” and crossed my fingers that this would be the belt to end the belt search!

I am happy to report that the Flipbelt has been the BEST belt I have ever used.  I love it!  I haven’t had to use it with all three water bottles yet, but so far with my phone, key, ID and up to two of the bottles, it works awesome.  I hardly even know it is there- everything fits perfectly and it really does not move at all.  It took almost zero getting used to.  At first, I was aware of the bottle on my waist, but after a few minutes of running it settled in.  I am still working on getting items in and out while keeping a pace because it can be difficult to slide them while moving, but that is a (very) small criticism, especially because the entire point is for everything to stay put!

The flipbelt is fast becoming my favorite piece of running gear.  I love being hands free while running and having water with me. (And being hands free at the gym since I don’t need to carry my phone around.)  I am most looking forward to what a relief it will be come summer to be able to run routes without having to be concerned about hydration.


Obviously terrible at side shot selfies, but you can see how nice it fits around the waist!


*Disclaimer- I received this as a gift from my parents for Christmas.  I am not being compensated in any way for my review.

Sea Isle 5k For Autism

On Sunday, I headed down to Sea Isle to check off February in my quest to race at least one race every month!  This race almost didn’t happen for multiple reasons and stands as proof that accountability works.  For one, I only had one weekend in February open to choose a race.  That left me with basically one choice; a February race down the shore, that was 17 degrees last year.  Not my idea of a good time.  Secondly, I didn’t really know anyone else racing, and those I did know, ended up backing out.  I didn’t so much mind going alone, but the idea of driving over an hour each way for a 5k, gave me pause.  Had I not had the goal of racing once a month, it may have been enough reason for me to bag this race.  However, I am committed to my goal and the weather prediction was beautiful, so downtheshore I went!

Pre-Race: I had no idea what to expect, except that I knew it would be crowded; so I headed down early to make sure I could get parking and grab my bib before the race started.  I was lucky to find parking pretty close, grabbed my bib, walked around a little a got some pictures and hung out in my car drinking coffee until it was time go head to the start.


Race: Logistically, this race was a nightmare.  It was a mass start- completely chaotic- super frustrating.  It was a run/walk and SO MANY WALKERS started at the front.  I spent the first half mile dodging walkers, small children, strollers and dogs.  Plus, it was so crowded!  Once it spread out a little, it was much easier to run and the course was completely flat, so I was able to get some real speed going.  But it was HOT- like 65 degrees in February HOT- and there was ZERO water on the course.  I have never, in all my life, run a race with no water.  That was not a good time.  By the last half mile I was really feeling parched and hot and over it.  I knew I was running pretty well though, and had a feeling I would come in before my goal time of 33 minutes, so I gunned it to the finish line and hit the mat at 31:24!  I was initially frustrated, because I do think there is a solid chance I could have run under 30 minutes, which would have been amazing, but given the circumstances (variables I couldn’t control) I ran the best race I could have run.


Post-Race: I hung out for a little bit because they had a fantastic array of post race snacks.  As I headed to sit down alone, I saw an RD I used to lifeguard for and his wife (both also in my running club) so I hung out with them for a little while.  The post-race was fun- they had a bunch of Disney Prinecesses, Minions, and Mummers playing lots of music!  Overall, it was a really great day for a great cause!


Next Up: Adrenaline 5k

Week In Review; February 11-17

Saturday: Met up with a bunch of runners for a 4.5 mile group run.  Was supposed to be 5, but my friend and I missed a turn.  Ooops!  I really pushed it on this run, and definitely felt it in my legs the rest of the day!

Sunday: Swam 1000 meters.  Was feeling pretty exhausted, but wanted to get something in.  Took it easy on my legs and made good use of the pull buoy.

Monday: 856 group run.  We have two a month and I really look forward to them.  It’s a simple 3 mile out and back, but always a good time with friends, even when it is super cold!

Tuesday: Swam 1800 meters.  Did a mix up of kick board and buoy with freestyle sprints.

Wednesday: Weekly Cooper River Run.  It’s a 3.5 mile loop, but I always get a little extra because we don’t let anyone finish alone!  This was the windiest and coldest 4.5 miles of my life!

Thursday: Swam 1400 meters…and then…spinning!  Back in the saddle on that one!

Friday: Planned Rest Day

Weekly High: Pushing through the Wed night run.  I wanted to turn around and stop countless times.

Weekly Low: My cousin suddenly passed away this week.  It’s been a crushing couple of days.

Three things I am grateful for this week:

  1. The Cooper Run my friend Meghan and I started.  I love this run- I wish runs like this had been around when I was starting out.  We never let anyone finish alone.  It’s a great concept and we are gaining in numbers!
  2. Having exercise as a form of therapy.  I have had a pretty stressful month and with the emotions of this week tied in, I felt really overwhelmed.  I am thankful to have exercise back in my life, because it really does help me cope.
  3. It is now light out on my way to work!  Soon it will be light out when I leave.  Spring is on the way!!!!

Quote of the week: 

There are days when I am happy to spend a few hour


Week In Review: February 4-10

Saturday: Five miles on the treadmill. Ran inside so that I could wear my new tank top!

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling

Sunday: Planned rest day.

Monday: Ran 2 miles.  Really wanted to run outside, but I needed to get in a lift session so I took it to the gym.

Tuesday: Swam 2400 meters- mixed it up with kick board, buoy, sprints and strokes.

Wednesday: Planned rest day.

Thursday: We had a snow day, so I was able to get in a lifting session, a short 3 mile run and a quick 1200 swim!

Friday: Cross-Training-  Middle School ski trip 🙂

Weekly High: Snow day meant getting extra sleep, extra gym time and a day off work 🙂

Weekly Low: My shin splints flared a little this week and I could feel it in my whole posterior. I am taping my arches and resting/icing when necessary.  Really hoping it just needs some TLC because I cannot deal with an injury.

Three things I am grateful for this week:

  1. Snow day (even if I hate snow!)
  2. 2400 meters is my longest swim since getting back in the water.
  3. No injuries on the ski trip!!!

Quote of the week: 

It’s all about semantics sometimes!  There are definitely days I don’t want to work out- too tired, too cold or too busy- but I have started trying to find different ways to look at it.  Or, as I recently heard someone say, “Find a different way to shoot the jumper.”