Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Blogiversary!

Happy Blogiversary to me!
(And yes, blogiversary IS a word, listed in the urban dictionary here.) 

I started writing this blog exactly one year ago today. And what an awesome hobby it has become!  When I hit those first buttons to create Run with Jess, I had several intentions...

KEEP THE STREAK ALIVE.  
My family may have grown up,
but I've slimmed down!
I was on a roll in my weight loss and running was a big part of that.  The blog was a way to hold myself accountable to my planned workouts.  I've always had great intentions but the follow-through is not stellar when it comes to me, myself and I.  My fitness had fallen to the back burner once I got married and had children. I struggled to find my way back. Like numerous others, my hurdle was 'time'.  For several years, my New Year's resolution was "just say no" to other people's favors and to stop volunteering my time.  This sounds harsh and selfish, but when I maxed out at 225lbs, something had to give.  I had to focus on me... not only for my happiness, but the well-being of my new little family.  So last January, I finally found myself back in a good place.  I had lost 45lbs and was starting to feel alive again.  I had to keep this going...

SHARE THE JOY OF RUNNING.  
Along with a lighter load, I had a new love in my life - running!  When I wasn't pounding the pavement, I was scouring the web for information on how to get faster, stronger, go longer.  I could talk "running" forever with whomever would listen.  And let's face it, a blog is just that...
a place to talk about your passion.
Definitely the highlight of my year!
Quad Cities Marathon

26.2 baby!

PAY IT FORWARD.
I felt a deep gratitude towards running and how it was turning around my life.  I wanted to tell the world about this great endorphin high I was on... It was free and legal (!) and they could have it too!  My hope was to share my story - my success, my struggles, my failures - with a desire that others would be motivated to take their first steps into running.

DOCUMENT THE JOURNEY.
With two years of regular running under my belt, I was ready for bigger challenges.  Although I wasn't sure exactly what that was at the time last January, I knew I wanted to keep a diary of the journey. I enjoy reading my own thoughts back from time to time.  It's motivating for me to read back on where I was ... and how far I've come.  Who knew I would be a marathoner less than a year later?!?!  So glad to have that journey documented here.

NEW FRIENDSHIPS.
What I didn't know when I started writing Run with Jess was the wealth of friendships that would come my way.  Even if they are "imaginary" as Kim would say, I feel like I know many of you quite well through our conversations and training together on DM.  It's a true community here in bloggyland and I'm happy to be a part of it. You all inspire me. Thank you for all your advice and encouragement over the first year of Run with Jess.


So after all that, you better believe I'll be hanging around for a while longer... and getting better with age!  A friend once told me that on her wedding anniversary each year, she "checks in" with her husband... How are we doing?  Do we need to make adjustments?  What can I do better?  Brave, yes!  The answers could be scary, but that's the time for growth.  So today, I ask the same of you - my readers!  Tell me in a comment below...


What do you like best about Run with Jess
What would you like to see more of?
Fitness Tips... Giveaways... Running Stories... Motivational Quotes
Product Reviews... Virtual Races... Current News, etc...

Answer in a comment below and you'll be entered into my 
Blogiversary Giveaway
a collection of my favorite things!
One entry per person.  Must be a follower of my blog via Google Friend Connect or on Facebook (See the top right sidebar to get connected on both.)  Winner will be drawn one week from today on January 17.

BondiBand headband
Sexy Mom's Running Club water bottle
Hot Sweaty Mamas book
nuun hydration tablets
Gone Running magnetic sign
velcro wrist pouch
assortment of five GU gel flavors
$10 iTunes gift card (not pictured)


THIS GIVEAWAY IS DONE.

118 comments:

  1. I like that your blog has a variety of things to it. What draws me to it is your "voice". You come from real struggles and work hard to get better at running while still having a real life. It's not all happy and shiny and you also have fun things going on on the blog (quotes, funny pictures, giveways, etc.).
    Continue to keep it real.

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  2. Happy blogiversary! I don't remember how I stumbled across your blog--but i loved following you in your running journey! I love reading product reviews (running stuff is too expensive to not get someone else's opinion first before spending money on it) and running journeys. I'm hoping to run my first marathon this year and reading everyone's journey is helping me get over my fear of not being able to mentally be ready for it. Running is not only a physical challenge, but mental too.

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  3. More pictures and anecdotes like the one where you drank 5 water bottles to bulk up to weigh in :-) your stories make me smile and make me wish I was your next door neighbor!!0

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  4. Happy BlogiversarY!!
    I love your story-as someone who traveled a very similar path, I love being able to celebrate and support all the other bloggers out there fighting their way to a healthy life.
    Keep on rocking in 2012!! Keep doing what you're doing :)

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  5. Happy Blogiversary! I love it all so my only advice is to keep doing what you are doing! You are inspiring me!
    Thanks for the chance!

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  6. I adore your blog...and have from the first time I read! My favorite things are your everyday stories and the virtual races!

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  7. Congrats on one year!! I'm a relatively new reader, but I love hearing running stories-- triumphs and struggles, as we all support each other. Glad to have found you!

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  8. Happy Blogiversary! I am a new "follower" but I love everything so far. Keep doing what you are doing!

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  9. Happy Blogiversary! You are such an inspiration to me and I love following your journey. I love the variety and I love your attitude. What a motivation! Keep it up- you are doing a great job!!!

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  10. I love the virtual races you put on. I love that you talk about alot of things and dont just concentrate on running only. Happy Blogiversary..

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  11. Happiest of Blogiversaries to you, Jess! I love learning about different races and your perspective on training, balancing life's challenges and staying motivated no matter how busy things get! Thanks so much for being there & I wish for many happy blogiversaries to come!!!!!!

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  12. I love your blog because you are always so generous with give aways and because it's about running (which I love). Great combo! :)

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  13. Happy Blogiversary!!! I'm almost to my 1 year as well!

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  14. Happy 1st Blogiversary! I really love hearing how you incorporate your family and "life" into your running/workout life. The little anecdotes you share are easily relatable and just about everyone can find one and say "Yep, been there." (And most of them make me giggle).

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  15. Happy Blogiversary! I'm a relative newcomer to your blog but I love it and check it daily now. You are such a motivator. I really like the motivational quotes and running stories and NEED the running tips. Basically, keep on doin' what you're doin'!

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  16. Happy Blogiversary Jess!

    What I like is that you don't just tell us all about your accomplishments; you use them to inspire others to be the best they can. You always stay so positive. It is as if I can feel your amazing energy just reading your blog.

    Let's be honest, everyone loves giveaways. :)

    I would like more product reviews. It is so hard to know how something really is from reading a description, from the company, on the internet, and I have to take the reviews by people I don't know with a grain of salt. It is very helpful to get reviews from someone I know and trust.

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  17. Happy Anniversary!!!! I absolutely love your blog, you have gotten my butt out the door more times than you will ever imagine. The one thing I like the best is your honest stories, about the struggles of training (along with raising a family and training) and the rewards of a healthy lifestyle. I also love your virtual races and would love to see more of them, especially 10ks because there is a major lack of them in my area. Thanks for all the inspiration!

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  18. I love reading your blog! I am so happy to have found it. I find it to be very motivating. I loved the virtual Cupcake Classic and would love to do another one. Your blog makes me want to run and blog! I wish we lived closer - I can tell running with you would be a blast! Don't you want to do an East Coast run?? :)

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  19. I am new to reading blogs. I really enjoy yours though as you have a lot of the same experiences as I do. I have children and a family so I can relate to your posts. Keep doing what you are doing!

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  20. Happy Blogiversary, buddy! You and you blog have had a great year. I'm so glad you started it, I've truly enjoyed getting to know you.

    Been meaning to tell you, I'll be in Chicago for one night in March. I was so sad when I figured out how far Peoria is from Chicago:(

    My favorite part of Run with Jess? Probably the good ol' virtual race. I know they are lots of work, but you come up with great prizes. As a virtual race "whore", I'll pretty much run for anything, hehe.

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  21. Happy B-versary! I'm a new follower and a fellow Tough Chik! Looking forward to getting to know you! I haven't read you before but I do like reading race reports and I'm just starting to join in on virtual races.

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  22. I'm a follower of your blog, and I love your fun personality that, even without knowing you personally, I can get through your writing. I would love to see more motivational stuff, but really that's the only thing I can think of. From the short amount of time I've been following (about 4 months), I love everything about your blog! Keep it up and congrats on the one year!

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  23. Love your blog:) Helping me in finding the motivation I seemed to have lost!

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  24. Happy blogiversary! Mine is coming up as well.... I love the virtual races as well. They are my favorite on everyone's blog.

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  25. I love this idea of checking in each year-- it seems like it could be beneficial in so many areas of our lives. Happy Blogiversary from a fellow FitFluential Ambassador! ;)

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  26. Happy Anniversary! I don't know exactly what I love best. I know you and love you and getting to read your blog is an awesome bonus. You have inspired me so much over the last several years! I enjoy the product reviews. Thanks to you, I found and love BondiBands!

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  27. I like your honesty and motivation in your blog. And then the humor, you always add something that makes me laugh. As for what should you add, I think your blog is really good, and doesn't need anything extra. But more giveaways is always a good thing LOL. BTW - Happy Blogiversary!!!!

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  28. I like that you are real! You tell it like it is, you aren't fake, but your true personality comes through. I appreciate that!

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  29. I love the motivational quotes and find the running stories to always be motivating. I would loooove to see more virtual. I work nights and through the weekend so I find it difficult to make those Saturday 5ks that I would like to participate in.

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  30. I am a fairly new runner so I crave information! There can never be enough fitness tips and product reviews, but my favorite part is just reading your story. That's why we blog and read blogs right? It's like reality tv for the running community. Happy Blogiversary!

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  31. Happy Blogiversary!!!! Cheers to you!!! I love your honesty and inspiration. For those of us struggling to juggle family and the demands of life it's nothing short of air traffic controlling. You make it seem like a symphony. Please do more virtual races and keep posting honest posts.... Some days aren't always great running days. Your posts make me feel like it's ok to admit that I'm not super human. Thanks Jess! Cheers to you! Here's to another great year of blogging. Ooooo here's a thought, try some vlogs.....

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  32. I love your running stories. I'm a big fan of those.
    and I follow your blog.

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  33. Happy Blogiversary!

    Yours was one of the first blogs I found this past Spring when I first started blogging, too and I enjoy your wit and honest assessment of things.

    Your Jelly Bean was my first ever virtual race too - thanks so much for that!

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  34. Happy anniversary!! I read your blog daily and love it:)

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  35. Woo! 1 year! I am so glad I got to meet you 'in real life' through our blogs this year and can't wait to see you in Kenosha on May 5th! Keep up the good work!

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  36. I would love to see more product reviews. I'm always on the lookout for new and exciting running products! Happy anniversary!

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  37. I love your blog and love you! You are so inspirational to me and REAL! You are amazing and cant wait to go through this year with you!!!

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  38. You rock Jess! I love your blog just the way it is!!! I love how you are upbeat, yet very real about how things are. Thank you for being a part of this community.

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  39. Happy Blogiversary! What I love about your blog is how you speak your mind and aren't afraid to say what you're thinking. As a result of reading your blog I have a new love for spinning. I used to think I could never do it, but it produces nearly the same high as running for me so it's perfect.
    Don't change a thing, you're doing a great job!

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  40. You're awesome Jess! You made that hard decision to focus on you and in return you have given to SO many people! I love this blog for your realness and your ability to inspire so many to better themselves!

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  41. Happy Anniversary!!! Cheers to more winning moments in blogville for your!!!!


    MO-tivated

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  42. Happy blogiversary! I don't think there is much I'd change about your blog. You are refreshing, real and I enjoy every post I read. Giveaways are always fun, but I don't need them to enjoy a blog! I'm glad I found you blog, you inspire me!

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  43. Congrats on your blogiversary!! That's awesome. I've enjoyed reading your blog

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  44. Happy Blogaversary!!! I love to read/follow your blog! So very inspiring to me!! And I dont think theres anything you should change. I LOVE to do virtual races, and giveaways are always fun. I love to read about new products, (Im very new to racing, and I love to see reviews!)

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  45. I'm a newer follower from Team Tough Chik and what I gather I live close by in Galesburg. We must meet up sometime. Anyway since I'm new I'd love anything you'd put on your blog. I'm loving what I see so far!!

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  46. I love reading about the races you run, and I would like to hear more about how far you've come. Of course, I could just search back through your old posts...

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  47. I like that you are in IL! I'm a new follower but so far I've found your journey inspiring, especially since you want to give back to others.

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  48. I enjoy that you are a normal person and occasionally struggle with every day issues. You're not all rainbows and unicorns and that is refreshing! I say just keep up what you're doing. :) I follow you on GFC and facebook.

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  49. I like that your links actually work all the time. As you know, one of my pet peeves is when websites don't function properly. You need to say more about how your mother influenced your life and stories like that...HA! Just kidding. The product reviews are interesting b/c I know so little about these products.

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  50. Happy blogiversary! It's so amazing how much it becomes a part of you, isn't it? Such a great network and community to motivate!

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  51. I'm very Happy for you! You have done a wonderful job on everything you have approached ... I enjoy reading everything you post..... I love doing the virtual races because as most people are i'm struggling financially so I do not get to enter local races but having the virtual races let's me run "along with everyone else" ;] And I'm always on the look for more wonderful motivation especially with quotes.!!! Cheers to another wonderful year!!!!

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  52. I love how real your blog is! Keep it coming.

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  53. I LOVE following your weight loss & running!! It's awesome to see you transform -.congrats on an amazing year!!!! :)

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  54. I'm so excited to a be a new follower and a fellow Tough Chik with you! I hope we can run together at some point! I'm most excited to learn more about you and your journey - oh, and your favorite stuff looks really cool!!!

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  55. YAY!!!!! a year later and look at you....I love your blog and happy blogiverssary girl! :Dxo

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  56. Happy blogiversary! I've been a follower since one of your virtual races - would love more of those! I recently moved from Chicago to a small California town and reeeeeally miss the camaraderie of racing.

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  57. I had no idea you had only been blogging for a year! I love your virutal races. The Jelly Bean was the first virtual race I ever did. So of course I would like to see more virtual races from you :)

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  58. Congrats on your first year! I ran across your blog a few months ago and have really enjoyed it. I feel as if I can relate to you in many ways and find your journey inspiring. No great suggestions for improvements. More photos are always good! :) I am a FB follower and follow the blog through google reader.

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  59. Happy Blogiversary!

    I like how positive you are and how you involve your family in your fitness as much as possible!

    I would like to see more virtual races, I love them! I haven't been blogging long enough to do any of yours so I would love for you to host another one.

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  60. Jess, my favorite thing about your blog is your enthusiasm. I love your smiling face and energy and your race reports with super fun outfits. You seem to have such a passion for running and life in general. You are an inspiration! I love virtual events and LOVED the 12 days of fitness. More of that kind of thing to keep me involved and motivated would be great!

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  61. Sole Sista Tracy BJanuary 10, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    Jess, you and your blog are so inspiring and entertaining and also a wealth of information. I've learned so much from you. Your stories are all real life happenings. Your Cupcake Classic was such a run race. You have a real gift in planning/organizing. You are so generous with your time and your give a ways are so fun!.. Keep on keepin on girl!.. I'm proud of you!

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  62. I like YOU best! So positive, upbeat, and motivational! Just keep bloggin' & I'll be happy! :)

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  63. HAPPY BLOGAVERSARY! im not very good at keeping up with bloggers and such but when i actually want a good challenge or to find a virtual run i tend to look here. this is a great blog you got goin' here ;)... plus i love giveaways so this blog works for just about everything i could need.... virtual races, inspiration, giveaways :), and very helpful reviews! Thank you!

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  64. I love the pictures of your real day of your real life, of you driving in the car. It is so real!

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  65. I love that I actually got to know you in person a little bit before reading your blog. Now, when I read it, I can actually hear you saying it!! I love your energy! I can't help but feel energized and motivated when talking to you or reading what you've written! I especially love the race recaps..gives me an idea of what to prepare for logistic-wise..and menu ideas..foods to eat for energy and substance. Of course, I'd love to see more give-a-ways and athletic challenges..sort of like your 12 days of a fit Christmas..now that I'm back and able to participate! Happy Blogiversary!

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  66. Happy Blogging Anniversary! Really glad I found your blog last month. Looking forward to another great year on your blog in 2012!

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  67. Look forward to reading your blogs!
    Happy Blogiversary!!

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  68. Happy Blogiversary! I like being able to check in with a read to see how things are going since I haven't gotten to see you lately. You help keep me motivated.

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  69. Happy Anniversary!!! Love it all. Running recaps are great!

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  70. Happy Anniversary! I love the fitness tips and recaps!

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  71. Happy Anniversary. I love your awesome giveaways! Glad I found your blog.

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  72. Congrats on a a very awesome year! I love race recaps, giveaways, and just joy of running stuff in general :)

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  73. wow, i didnt realize this was only a year into you running! you are an amazing inspiration and i didnt even recognize you in that picture. keep it up and keep encouraging us "newbies" to not give up.

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  74. Happy Blogiversary!!! You have kept me motivated....whenever I need a little running pick-me-up, I just search your Facebook page and read your blog. You get me moving!! Keep up the great work in the many years to come!

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  75. Happy BLogoversary! I love love love your blog. I love that you're also a busy, mom of two, wife AND still find time to train/run! :)

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  76. oh my that is a sweet giveaway! happy blogiversary to you. personally, i don't think that you need to change anything here. your content is wonderful, you are always eager to connect fellow bloggers, you say incrediably supportive things, you are the perfect you. i always come here because you give me great inspiration to not just be a better runner, but be a better me.

    keep on being you, you're doing great at it!

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  77. Congrats on 1 year! Yeah you! And also on all that you have accomplished! Love everything about your blog and the factor that you are you and dont try to pretend to be something you arent. Keep up the good work and keep it just as you have all along....real!

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  78. Happy blogiversary! I love that you have such diverse, interesting posts and the virtual races.

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  79. Happy Blogiversary! Even though I just found your blog, I enjoy it because you are so relatable and real to me. Keep up the awesome work!

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  80. Happy Blogiversary! I love reading about all things running.

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  81. A year goes fast, eh? I like your blog, but get most infor from FB. How about doing mini posts or giveaways through FB more?

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  82. Happy Blogiversary! I love your blog because you, like me, love running. I wouldn't change a thing :)

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  83. Happy Blogiversary!!!! I love your blog as is but more virtual races would be fun!!!

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  84. Happy Blogiversary!! I Love your Blog, you Motivate me and Inspire me everyday, I love it that you just started running and you have,accomplished so much!! You are always so POSITIVE, happy and Love your work outs, never tired, All reminds me of myself!! I wish I lived closer to you!! So thankful I found you. Thanks so Much I look foward to many more blogs :)

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  85. Yeah Jess! Congratulations on your blogiversary!

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  86. Congratulations on your Blogiversary! I LOVE your virtual races, and I really enjoyed participating in your 12 Days of a Fit Christmas.

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  87. Congratulations on your blogiversary! Love your blog. You have accomplished a lot in a year!
    Thanks for a great giveaway. I liked you on Facebook and look forward to your updates there.

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  88. Happy Bogaversary!!!! I love the joy I hear when you talk about the run...you are inspiring!!!!!! Looking forward to hearing all about what this year brings you :).
    Happy Running!

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  89. I LOVE YOUR BLOG...think it's perfect just the way it is and yes, you are inspiring on so many levels! Love your pay it forward statements: that this high you get from running is legal...LOL! So great!!

    Good luck to you on your blogiversary and always!!
    ewww...and I hope I win those goodies too!

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  90. Happy Blogiversary! Keep doing what you're doing - don't change a thing :)

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  91. Congrats on your Blogiversary! Love what you have to say in your posts - you're upbeat and inspiring!

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  92. I like that you're so relatable the most. If I had to say what I'd like more of, I guess it would be running stories. Great blog!

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  93. I recently found your blog through the tough chiks. I really enjoy reading it! Congrats on your 1 year anniversary!!

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  94. I think your blog is pretty awesome! You introduced me to the virtual race and I am thankful for that. Happy Anniversary!

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  95. HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY!!! I love reading your blog!! The best part of your blog is the inspiration you provide. You have turned some of my not so good days into really great days because you have a glass half full outlook (thank you for that). You have given me some great advice and led me towards finding new goals for myself. I love that you find the positive in everything =) Your giveaways are pretty cool and your virtual race was AWESOME!!!! The 12 days of fitness was pretty great too!!

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  96. I enjoy all your "real life" pictures and hearing how you juggle your training with the rest of life's duties. Keep it up! I'm at a year myself, but you are way more accomplished with your blog! LOL Good for you.

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  97. I wish I would have found you sooner, I recently found you. Your stories inspire me to keep running...I may become a runner yet!

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  98. i've been following you in my google reader for a few months and just realized i wasn't 'following'. fixed now! i love hearing about your training and find you very motivational! congrats on your 1 year and here's to another great one!

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  99. I love your inspiration! I look forward to reading your blog!

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  100. Yay-Congrats!!! One of my favorite things is to see your product reviews! I looooooover shopping for workout things, but I am always nervous about getting something that isn't worth it. I love seeing recommendation!

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  101. What I really love about your blog are your honest feelings/stories/reactions to your training and life around you as you run and set new challenges for yourself. I feel it motivates me to know that someone else goes through some of the same things I do.

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  102. What I like about Run with Jess is that it has so many good ideas and we get to see your wonderfully crazy exciting running outfits! Can't wait to rock an outfits like yours! Would love to see more resources for books to read re:running and nutrition for running! Also would love ideas for what to eat to fuel my boby before running! But really just love your blog and glad you started it!

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  103. Just found you because I was looking for jelly bean images for setting up my own running blog. Love the variety on your blog. I am following you through Google and on FB.

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  104. Happy Blogiversary! I just found your blog and the first thing that I like is this great giveaway!! Yoou blog looks great and I love your story on how you started running. Congrats on coming so far!!

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  105. Happy Blogiversary! I'm a fairly new blogger and LOVE reading your running stories (with pics of course!). Congrats! I look forward to reading more! :)

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  106. Happy blogiversary! I live the virtual running community created through bloggers like yourself. I would love more virtual runs!

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  107. Happy Blogiversary! I have been upping my mileage and training. Beig a mom also I am always interested how to squeeze my fitness goal in with maintaining my family structure. I enjoy reading your blog. Keep it up.

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  108. I love your blog - you're great at making everyone feel your excitement for running. I started running this past year and that's how I found you. More virtual races would be awesome - there doesn't even need to be prizes - just doing something with others is great!

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  109. I'm a newish follower, I love your tips, reviews, quotes etc! I follow you here and on fb.

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  110. I love reading your blog! You keep me motivated. Your knowledge of running and sharing your experiences help me on my running journey. Keep up the great work!

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  111. Happy Blogiversary!
    I love that you keep it real! Everyone has good days and bad days so when you're positive and openly share your experiences it makes me think we can all do what you do.
    Love the giveaways too!

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  112. Happy Blogiversary, Jess! Just keep doing what you do - be you! I love your stories, your race re-caps. You've been such an inspiration to me. Digging all your giveaways too! I also love following you on FB and Twitter. How do you manage to do it all? LOL. Happy Blogiversary again!

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  113. Happy blogiversary! New follower here - excited to see your next blogiversary!

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  114. My favorite thing about your blog is your honesty (and you are a good writer). I remember you saying somewhere that you gained some weight while training for your marathon. I keep that on my mind while I train for mine. You made me realize that I cannot eat anything I want even if I am running some of it off. Thanks, Jess! Keep blogging!

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  115. Im a follower!! Happy Bloggiversarry!

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  116. I enjoy your blog because you've come such a huge distance in a short time and you always have interesting things to say. I always like product reviews and running stories and tips. Keep it up girl! You're awesome!

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I appreciate your feedback and comments!