A Great 10 Miles + Quest for Perfect Jeans

It sure is nice to go into a weekend without any obligations…got my schoolwork taken care of (as far as big assignments) and have my ‘shorter’ long run in for the weekend already – and with excellent company!

Peaceful and cool.

I was so happy when I received an email from my friend Sarah yesterday, proposing a 10-mile jaunt out in scenic Whitehall, VA, a little over half an hour outside of Charlottesville. She had composed a great list of running ladies to run with and so I was stoked to hit the road with them! By evening, we had firmed out a plan for me to meet her and Alex at around 6:55 AM to drive out to the running route.

My marathon training schedule for today called for 10 miles – which worked out great, distance-wise, but since it’s a cut-back week, it asked for 3 at LR pace and 7 at MP! Sounded challenging, and as it turned out – it DEFINITELY was! Our first mile was around 9:30 and my legs felt stiff and heavy. I was concerned it would not bode well, but just told myself to “LIVE IN THE MILE” I was in and just see how it went.

Sure enough, by mile 3.5ish, I was feeling less stiff. My running belt was irking me (I discovered that it doesn’t work well with the short-type waistband, the wide one – described well here in Meghann’s blog yesterday – is much more conducive) and I had to stop several times to hike it back down. I tried to push it out of my mind and took advantage of those brief stops by taking scenic photos, like so:

Sugar Hollow Creek

Soon enough, I was in THE ZONE. Part of the route we ran on today was actually the Three Bridges Marathon – which gave me POWER UP confidence for that race. There’s this area, from the turnaround before heading to the dam that is freakishly magical – slightly downhill. I was trying to hit MP (~8 min/mile) but just as it unfolded the last time I was there in Sugar Hollow, I was in the 7’s.

Now, if I had to run a much longer workout today, I would have totally pulled the breaks on that…but since it was “just” 10, I embraced it. SNAP! So, that’s when I entered my “holy crap I am running fast” phase:

Mile 1 – 9:30 / Mile 2 – 8:36 / Mile 3 – 8:26 / Mile 4 – 8:02 / Mile 5 – 8:20 / Mile 6 – 7:12 / Mile 7 – 7:30 / Mile 8 – 7:39 / Mile 9 – 7:54 / Mile 10 – 7:34

I felt unstoppable from Mile 6! It was an amazing feeling – and magically, my overall pace came out right at 1:20:46 – an 8:03 average pace. THESE are the runs that boost confidence, especially after Sarah mentioned that the race is in almost exactly two months! YEAH!

My mantra today of living in the mile…it totally did it for me. That and this Audrey Hepburn quote I read somewhere this week:


Enough about running for a minute though – because as much as I TRULY believe that we can do ANYTHING that we put our mind to, I have to reveal something that I do not have much confidence in, whatsoever – dressing myself. Haha. Seriously. I need a personal shopper. And like many women, I’ve been on the quest…for years…nay over a decade…for the PERFECT JEANS.

These are my specifications: need space for my *ahem* athletic thighs/quads, non-existent hips, pretty average calves and super-short legs (I am 5’2″ and I think my inseam is, on a good day, with shoes, 28″).

Self-shot in TJ Maxx last night – and yes, I did buy the top!

Whenever I find a pair that *almost* works, there’s something slightly wrong with it. In the jeans pictured above, of course they were like 7″ too long, but they had cute details at the bottom so altering them would totally ruin them. Also – this could be a personal problem – but I don’t know what size I wear. Yeah, told you I was helpless…I have a pair of Gap Long and Lean that I like (they’re “ankle length”) and they’re 4’s, but those jeans above are 7’s and fit about the same. And how should jeans fit? Loosely around the hips? I tend to buy my shorts kind of baggy but I am so confused about jeans – and it’s practically jean season!

P.S. Even though this pic is from TJ Maxx and I am often on the thrifty side for clothes shopping…a good pair of jeans is something I would be willing to drop some $$ on so if you have ANY suggestions, please share!

Any running / shopping plans for your weekend?


  1. Awesome run!!! And I hear ya about the quest for a good pair of jeans… I have a small waist, hips, and then thin (but growingly muscular) legs that are on the shorter side (I have a long torso, though, which poses a problem for shirts!). I don’t like my jeans “tight” because I hate the idea of possibly having a “muffin top” but I’ve found that I need to buy them on the tighter side because they stretch as the day goes on, and skinny jeans gone baggy are not cute, hah! My best suggestion would be to try different rises to see what works best for you (high, medium, low), then try and figure out the style you want (skinny, straight, boot), and then of course the material (more like a legging, or true jeans), and go from there. I’ve found for me, more of a medium rise works best so I’m not constantly pulling at my jeans, and I prefer a softer feel from a true denim (I like Vera Moda – you can get them at Asos.com, Hudson, and Seven For All Mankind). But unfortunately it takes time and research!

    … wow, who thought you could say so much about JEANS?! hahah

    • I SO appreciate your thorough response, Danielle! Lots of things for me to consider that I wouldn’t have otherwise considered 🙂

  2. Fantastic run! You are really speedy girl. As for jeans, I am also short at 5′ 3″, and I found jeans that I love in the Nordstrom petite department. They were long enough for a smallish heal, which is unusual for petite clothing for my height. I also found cute thin leg jeans at J Jill, but you are definitely too young to shop there. Good luck, jeans shopping is almost like bathing suit shopping, hard to find the right pair.

    • Thanks so much, Pam – for your kind words and great advice! I am gonna have to check out the Nordstrom next time we’re at a mall that has one!! 🙂

  3. Congrats on a great run–you were flying, girl! I went shopping today, too. The one pair of jeans I really like are from the Gap; it’s so difficult to find pants that fit my legs and thighs (I’m 5’10” and have an athletic build), but aren’t too big at the waist. The quest for the perfect pair is never-ending! 🙂

    • Thanks, Carrie! Funny that you say ‘flying’ – I felt that for sure, and post-run and shower, I put on my oiselle ‘fly’ teeshirt to hold onto that runner’s high all day! 🙂

      5’10”!? Wow, that’s so cool. Sometimes I wish I was that tall! Also, this makes me wonder if ANYONE can find jeans easily??

  4. Awesome run! Im heading out for 8 once my husband comes home but the scenery will not nearly be as nice as your run! As far as jeans, I’m 5’8″ so probably what works for me, woudn’t for you. As far a brands go, Lucky seems to have all different types of cuts you might want to try. Have a great day!

    • Thanks, girl! I will check out Lucky – I have a purse and some tops from them but have never tried their jeans for some reason!!

  5. great run girl! being 5’9″ with big hips but a small waist jeans are either too short or gap in the waist. It’s a nevery ending battle. I do have a pair of true religion jeans that I really like but thats just ONE pair out of ten that I own!

    • Thanks, Heather! It sure is a battle! Dang…I tried on a pair of True Religion a couple years ago and FELL IN LOVE. Of course, I worked for the Mouse then and couldn’t afford them! Might have to give them another go…thanks for the reminder 🙂

  6. Nice run!!!

    Jeans are my nemesis. The ONLY pair I’ve ever found that I loved were from Old Navy, years ago. They changed their style about 7 years ago, and now they don’t fit me any more. I have one pair left, in great condition (how?!) that must be 8 years old. I’m short, but have freakishly long legs. A smallish waist, and big hips. It’s all complicated.

    Good luck with the jeans hunt. May the force be with you.

    • Thanks, Heather!!!

      And jeans… definitely are complicated. Why don’t I have a personal seamstress?!

  7. That’s a well-executed recovery week run there. Lower miles, but higher intensity. That’s what it’s all about, and many people don’t get. You’re looking strong headed into October. Keep rolling.

    • Thanks, David! I honestly was scared when I saw this on my plan, but was excited to actually see this through this morning! And speaking of looking strong – NICE PR today!! 🙂

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