Lucky week 13

Got off to a great start last week. Thought about going for a perfect week of exercise but Friday I just couldn’t rally. Saturday I was at the kids swim meet all day so we shall consider that a 2-day rest up for my 20-miler. My training plan is off from what I wanted to do but with two 20 milers done, I think I’ll be fine. I’ve been better trained and less trained before. This ain’t my first rodeo as they say.

This week’s baking challenge: none. We did not do any baking ūüė¶

Here’s the training rundown

Planned/ actual miles: 27 / 32.8

I plan for 27 every week, I suppose I should change it for long run weeks. I do like beating my artificially low goal tho

Monday. Nice easy 5 miles on the treadmill after the Maine Half. Catching up on the Affair on showtime. Can I just say how can do much stuff happen to 1 person. It’s getting a little ridiculous in season 4.

Tuesday. Killer workout at Orange Theory. Top 5 highest calories. They changed the formula for the heart rate monitors that should (allegedly) help women achieve more calories burned or more accurate calorie count. I’ve always come in on the low side for calories and time in the “orange zone” (HR above 84% max) but I also have super low resting HR and blood pressure. It takes a lot to get into the zone. I should dig into the science more but for now just try and kill it when I’m at OTF.

Wednesday. Treadmill track workout. 10 x 400M intervals with 200M ish rest in between. The hardest part is keeping track how many I’ve done. I actually bring pen and paper on the treads.

Thursday. Note to self, don’t be late for the tornado. OTF sometimes has the tornado workout and I walked into it 10 mins late due to just losing track time at the office. In the tornado, you rotate every 1-3 minutes between treads, rowing and floor work. It’s fast switching or rotating, hence the name tornado. I got a pretty good workout once I got into the flow.

Friday and Saturday, OFF. Taking some rest days to handle my other life events and issues.

Sunday. The long run, 20 miles.

I drag my feet so much about the long run.¬† My best approach is to do it Saturday morning and get it over with as early in the weekend as possible.¬† this cuts down on the sense of dread, fretting about my outfit, planning the route and all that goes through my mind.¬† It’s true, i don’t love the long run but i did it, yay me!¬† I left the house and decided to do an out-n-back run from downtown.¬† ¬†I lean toward point to point from the house if i can get a ride home after.¬† ¬†There are fewer short cuts when i run from A to B than if i am doing a loop, i can always bail out and cut short the distance.

The weather was actually nice, some clouds moving in but 60s and i was fine in my tshirt.  I took the Camelbak again and this time i drained it by the time that i reached town.  Waves at the beach were high and alot of surfers out there (not pictured on this beach but they were a few miles back at another popular surf beach).

I’m feeling pretty ready for Marine Corps. This has been a decent training cycle and look, i even got my blog back up and running for my 3 followers and a few bots! Yay!

see you out there,


Week 12: Maine Half and Holy Donut

Marine corps marathon is getting close, y’all!¬† I managed to get in some good runs in this final week of September.¬† I have to do one more 20 miler next week to meet my goal of at least 2 runs above 20, but this week i scheduled the Maine Half marathon in Portland, Maine.¬† ¬†When i signed up, i had planned to run 20 miles the week before, but family commitments and events got in the way– but I already put the money down for the half so gotta go run it!¬† ¬†I’ll simply adjust my training plan, AGAIN, which now is a series of scratched out ‘aspirational’ distances for the weekly long run.¬† ¬†Coming off a lame week 11, I ran a total of 28.8 miles this week and continue to run consistently 2 out of 3 of my quality runs (tempo, track and long run).¬† ¬† Here’s a snap shot of this weeks stats.

Monday: OTF at 0530.  My usual Monday morning rude awakening at Orange Theory Fitness (OTF) with Kellie since our usual trainer Nate was off.

Tuesday OTF @ 0530 with the spouse!

Wednesday.  The weather was pretty nice so I decided to do my track workout down at the beach.  I ran 3 x 1 mile intervals with some walking break in between.  It was also Wear the Eagle Wednesday for my new Team RWB (Red, White, and Blue) so there you go.  I was excited i ran the mile intervals in 8:12 min miles or a little less when my target was 8:25.  I also saw this bunny.

Thursday.¬† ¬†I need to get another team RWB shirt!¬† Thursday I went to the first (?) Team RWB meet up at our local running store, Runner’s Alley in Portsmouth.¬† I met up with Sarah and we were the only 2 representing RWB.¬† A little colder night for a run but still nice.¬† ¬†Got dark by 7pm and almost had to break out the headlamp.

Friday. Off, rested or was just too lazy to do anything.

Saturday I decided to go to OTF on the spur of the moment and actually got in a really tough workout.   I rarely get over 400 calories per the heart rate monitor but i really killed it this time.   Probably not the best approach for the day before the half marathon.

Sunday Maine Half Marathon!¬† ¬†I drove with a friend up to Portland, ME, about an hour drive to run the Maine Half.¬† They run a Full, half and a relay on the same out and back course.¬† ¬†This was my first Maine half and it was pretty good. I picked it because it was reasonably close and cheaper than the Smuttynose or BAA Boston Half marathons.¬† ¬†The amenities are pretty basic, and one negative was the porta potties (some) did not have toilet paper!¬† ¬†But you got a tshirt and a free can of B&M baked beans – their plant is in South portland i guess.¬† ¬† I started the race not planning to really race, and to just take it easy but i was going along at a pretty good pace.¬† ¬†We were keeping up with the 2 hour pacer much of the way.¬† At about mile 11 I started to fade.¬† My friend finished in 1:59 and I got 2:01:09 which is still a PR for me for the last 5 years!¬† ¬†My half PR is 1:52 from 2013 but I don’t know if i’ll ever get back to that pace.¬† ¬† I wore my RWB shirt and got some shout outs from other Eagles.¬† Met a guy from NY who is running a half in every state.¬† That seems like a cool goal, but there are some states that I just don’t want to visit (sorry North Dakota).¬† ¬†I really need to invest in a 2nd RWB shirt with all the wear so far.

After the race we went to the Holy Donut, a popular donut shop with 3 locations around Portland.  We had to wait in line outside before we could even get into the place.  I got a half dozen gluten free donuts, which the family liked.  I would definitely go back.

On to October and the final weeks of training for Marine corps!

see you out there<
– Jenn

Week 11: Popovers and time off

Following my 20 mile run on 9/16, I took a lot of time off from running¬†last week (9/17-9/23).¬† It was due to needing some rest but also a lot of family events and commitments on the weekend.¬† For the gluten free baking challenge for the week, we made popovers and tried a new recipe for chocolate cake.¬† ¬†Total mileage for the week was only 13.1 miles and no long run.¬† ¬† I ran the tempo and track runs and went to Orange Theory twice.¬† ¬†Friday, Saturday and Sunday I took off and I feel more rested this week for sure.¬† Having hit 20 the week prior, I don’t think this will impact my overall fitness too much.¬† Trying to get back on track this week after over eating pretty much all weekend.

Planned / Actual miles:   27 / 13.1

Orange theory workout with my pal John which was actually a pretty hard workout.¬† I don’t usually get over 400 calories burned but I did today.¬† ¬†We also made popovers with dinner.¬† The recipe is surprisingly easy; it is essentially eggs, flour and butter poured into a hot pan and baked for about 30 minutes.¬† Ours did not pop up as much as some that we get at a local bakery–aptly named Popovers–but we figure they must be experts since the place is called Popovers.¬† ¬†Next time i would bake them a little longer, which is becoming a frequent bit of feedback: slightly under baked.¬† What would Paul Hollywood say on Great British Baking Show?¬† ¬†For one, they call popovers “yorkshire puddings” i believe.¬† We used the recipe from Gluten Free on a Shoestring – 2nd edition.

Track workout on the treadmill.

Double fun.   Orange Theory in the morning with Kellie before work and then I went to the Team RWB meet up at our local running store in Manchester, NH.   I did a 5 mile run with the group which counted as my tempo run for the week.    The run was fun but it was in the downtown area with a LOT of busy streets to cross for the first 2 miles.  This week I am going to meet up closer to home in Portsmouth for the Thursday night run.   I work in Manchester, so evening runs there are an option.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Nothing but cake.
No workouts on the extended weekend and I ate too much cake.¬† ¬†We made a new gf chocolate cake for my husband’s birthday and it was delicious.¬† We have a chocolate and zucchini cake recipe that we like but we had no zucchini this time.¬† ¬†This recipe will be our new go-to chocolate cake recipe.¬† Our backup¬† / runner up is gf chocolate cake mix from King Arthur Flour Company which you can buy locally or via mail order.¬† ¬†We also made homemade buttercream frosting.¬† Here’s a pic!

Hope to get more mileage and workouts this week! See you out there.


MCM training Week 2

Last week went pretty well for training but I skipped my track workout. I could argue that I do a lot of treadmill sprints when I’m at orange theory fitness (OTF) so let’s call it even.¬† OTF is running a bingo game in July, so I took classes at some random times to get a bingo square–one square is ‘take Kara’s 7pm class thursday’ so I worked that into my schedule even though it’s not my usual time. For every row that you get bingo, you’re entered into a raffle for $250 cash and other prizes. Fingers crossed, I never win these challenges or raffles at the gym!

Miles planned for the week / actual miles:  24 / 26.8 miles


Monday.¬† Didn’t get up to run my track workout but I did go hit Orange Theory in the afternoon.¬† ¬†#notamorningperson

Tuesday. OTF 0530 hours

Wednesday. I did my tempo run on the treadmill after work and ran 5 miles at my marathon pace (MP) which per my charts is 10 minute miles.¬† ¬†This wasn’t too hard, I ran on the treadmill to beat the heat and it was getting late in the evening.

Thursday I took the 7pm class to get a bingo square but also it’s not helping with my aspirational goal of becoming a morning person.¬† My data has shown though that I seem to burn more calories and spend more time in the ‘orange zone’ (84% max heart rate) when i take class in the evening rather than before work.¬† But this could also be because evening classes are less full and i can start working out on the treadmills or rowing stations.¬† In the morning I usually arrive just as class is starting and typically start in the weight room which doesn’t get my heart rate going at the start.

Took a rest Day and indulged in pizza night with the family.  Side note:  made the kids watch Back to the Future with Michael J. Fox.  Reviews were mixed.  Trying to educate the kids with the 80s classics!

Saturday long run 10 miles!¬† ¬†Was pretty warm out, I ran along the beach road for the first half and inland for the way back.¬† I wanted to ‘ice’ my feet in the ocean after but it was so warm, not much cooling effect.

Sunday 90-minute class OTF.

Another bingo square but I may be overdoing it. Took the 90 minute class at OTF and was a sweaty & exhausted mess at the end. Here’s my workout summary. I average about 350-400 calories and 5 points normally in a 60 min class and this was a new calorie burn PR.


On to next week!  see you out there,

Week 13 Update

Roughly 13 weeks to go until the NYC Marathon on November 6th.¬† Here’s a quick update on my training and running life!¬† The count down is really on now!

  1. Fundraising for Team in Training
  2. Training
  3. Weight goals

Team in Training Fundraising.¬† Hey all, I’m raising money for blood cancer research and to support Leukemia & Lymphoma society.¬† Have you donated?¬† Will you donate a few bucks to support my run?¬† Donate here:¬†

I’ve also launched a t-shirt fundraiser, a portion of every t-shirt sold goes to LLS.¬† Check out the t-shirt campaign now until August 18th.¬†¬† We have enough orders to print shirts, and you’ll receive yours about 2 weeks after the close of the fundraiser.¬†¬†¬† Here I am modeling the prototype (that I printed locally because i could not wait to get one and wear it around town).¬†¬†¬† Check out the shirts here:¬†¬†

IMG_3568  13866629_1055126834524500_418584036_n
the shirt prototype!  Be the one who donates, runs, fights cancer or supports those who do!

Training.¬† I ran a 12 mile run this past weekend and felt pretty good!¬† I’ve merged several training plans from the past into a hybrid plan that works around some upcoming races, life events and still gets in two 20+ mile runs.¬†¬† I hope to do a 22 mile run before the end or even a few miles more than 22.¬† Most/many training plans have you go up to 20 and assume that the adrenaline/excitement/fear will get you those last 6.2 miles to the finish line.¬† But in my experience, that last 10K feels like another half marathon!¬† I plan to push the last long run to 22+ miles so psychologically I know i can make it to the end.¬† NYC will be my 8th marathon, so I know I can complete the distance but I would love to complete it without hitting that ole familiar “wall” that I know so well!¬†¬†¬† Running a longer last “long” run will hopefully be a confidence booster more than gaining additional fitness levels.¬† I

I’ve also connected with Team in Training Massachusetts team and am excited to go down to MA and run with them.¬† Most of the team are training for Chicago or Marine Corps Marathon but we all have to do a long run, so it will be nice to meet up with the Team.¬† Otherwise i am on the TNT “flex” team which is made up of runners from around the country.¬† We meet up virtually on Facebook and phone calls until we rendezvous in NYC for race day!¬† I have a virtual coach and support team at my finger tips, also nice!

gif borrowed from Eric Z., TNT!

Weight goals.¬† “I lost weight training for my marathon” – said no one that I know, ever. Ok, maybe I know one person who ate kale and sweet potatoes 24/7 but anyway… ¬† I’ve had several false starts to weight loss in the last year but feel I’m on the right track toward losing 25 lbs by race day.¬† I’ve lost 12 so far and am very psyched!¬† For my past marathons, I have always had a weight goal for race day, but life, training and food (and donuts) have always gotten in the way.¬† Running and training burns a lot of calories but it also makes you ravenous. Controlling the “post-run chow down” has always been my weak spot.¬†¬† So what am i doing now that is working?¬†¬†¬† #1 I’ve been working out 2 days a week at Orange Theory Fitness.¬† I’ve only ever run to train for the marathon, but adding in HIIT workout/strength training has really helped with my overall fitness, stamina and strength.¬†¬† Secret weapon #2: tracking calories.¬† While it’s not an exact science, tracking it makes me accountable to ‘see’ where I am going wrong.¬† When you have to log a cinnamon bun, then you get shocked back to reality and to stay on the plan.¬† Secret weapon #3: lower carbs, more vegetables and fruit and I’ve added in Shakeology for one meal a day.¬†¬†¬† At the beginning of July, I went Whole30 for 2 weeks, i have done it in the past but that was too low-carb.¬† I bonked hard on my 8 mile run so I stepped back to just eating more balanced meals, but adding back in more carbs.¬†¬† Whole 30 was great for a jump start and a useful tool for future but I don’t have time to make it work with my marathon training.

See you out there,
– Jenn




2015 Running Recap!

Hello!  Hard to believe that it has been over a year since my last blog!  I thought I would catch everyone up on my running and fundraising results last year and share my latest running challenge.

Boston.¬† 2015!¬† I was so happy to finish the 2015 Boston marathon and accomplish my goals for the race and for Dana-Farber. ¬†The run was cold, wet, but still wonderful. ¬† I am so jealous of the gorgeous weather this year! (more on that later) ¬† Heading to the starting line in ponchos was not a great sign and the rain came down pretty steadily for the whole race. ¬† I tossed my poncho to a clown (totally random but true, an actual clown, full makeup and costume) around mile 13 and kept going. ¬† Once I got past Heartbreak, I was overcome by emotion. ¬†So proud to have made it that far and representing my donors and their loved ones.¬† In the final tally, I finished the marathon in under 5 hours (4:48) and raised $13,810 for cancer research!¬† At this year’s Boston Marathon, I volunteered at the finish line for Dana-Farber, escorting Dana-Farber runners from the finish line to the DFMC headquarters at the Marriott Copley.¬† I appreciated this so much last year and it was a fun day, helping folks back to the recovery center.¬† I had a great time with Dana-Farber and will run Boston again with them–it’s an amazing cause and group of people!

Half Marathons.   I ran a few half marathons following Boston and leading up to the end of 2015.  I always love to run the Wallis Sands Half Marathon and the Seacoast Half which are our two local half marathons.  I sign up for those every year, if nothing else to try and keep in shape for a spring and fall half!

Inagural Stratham Half Marathon June 2015.¬† This race looked fun and was right in my backyard–running on some of my usual training roads. The course was challenging in itself, very hilly, but that day it rained all day–torrential downpours! ¬† This race was the wettest race I have ever run, we were drenched from the start.¬† My family watched me run by from inside the car and my youngest remarked “I don’t know why anyone would do this”.¬†¬† Good point.¬† Here I am at the finish but the photo doesn’t reflect just how wet we were!¬† Sadly, it looks like there is no 2016 race.¬† Looks like the medal may be a collector’s item!¬† I’ve run a few inagural halfs in the past few years, perhaps i’m a jinx.¬†¬† Anyone remember the Applecrest half?


2015 Stratham Half Marathon


2015 MCM










Marine Corps Marathon 2015.¬† This was my 3rd running of this marathon and it was another great weekend in D.C.¬† Unfortunately my running buddy couldn’t run it at the last minute but we still had a fun race weekend except that I had to go run 26.2 in the middle of it!¬† I love this race, the Marines, the excitement but not “the bridge” across the Potomac from the National Mall to Crystal City.¬†¬† That bridge gets me every time!¬† I am not running this in 2016 but perhaps odd years and I’ll return in 2017 to the “People’s race”.

2015 was a great year for running.¬† I ran two marathons, raised over $13K for¬† Dana-Farber and met a few of my goals.¬†¬† I’m setting new and different goals in 2016.¬† More on that coming soon!¬† Hint: you may notice I’ve redecorated this page with some clues as to my next big challenge.


2 Weeks to Go! Training Update!

Much has happened in the 2 weeks since my last blog.¬† Let me start by saying it’s 11 days until the marathon and it freaking snowed last night!¬† I don’t need it to be warm, just no snow on April 20th!¬† Here’s a run down on the latest news.

I completed my 3rd and final 20-miler two weeks ago and ran an 11 mile loop in my neighborhood.¬† I didn’t make it down to the team run in Boston as I had hoped but I got the run done which is what counts.¬† My first two 20-milers, I ran with a buddy, but this time I ran alone in starting out at 0630.¬† I have now come to appreciate running with a buddy for the long runs.¬†¬† I averaged 9:50 minute/miles which was my best of the season but the last 3-4 miles was a struggle mentally.¬† But all training is in the books now and I am ‘tapering’- cutting back on running and taking it easy until race day!¬†¬† Can I get some cowbell?


Sponsor a Mile.
Each of us on the Dana-Farber team run in honor or in memory of those affected by cancer.¬† Many of my teammates decorate their race day “singlet” (shirt) with names of friends and family to be honored.¬† I am running¬† in honor of survivors (like my grandmother) and in memory of those who lost their fight. I want to honor 27 people this year and have 12 miles that still need a “sponsor” (one for each of the 26 miles and 1 more for the 0.2 mile = 26.2). Check out my SPONSOR A MILE page and please consider donating in honor or memory of someone close to you.¬†¬†¬† I will carry those names with me on the race and keep them in my thoughts.


12 miles still need a sponsor, consider donating in honor of a loved one!

Thank you to all who came out to my fundraiser at Flatbread’s in Portsmouth!¬† The raffle and silent auction were really successful this year and we made more on pizza sales than last year.¬† The final tally was $1,425 all for cancer research!¬† I am getting very close to my goal of $12.5K !¬† Please consider sponsoring a mile or making a donation of any amount!
Thank you!   See you out there,
– Jenn