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:  www.bit.ly/jennsNYC2016

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:   www.bit.ly/awesomeTNTshirts

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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!

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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?

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2015 Stratham Half Marathon

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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.

-Jenn

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.

Training.
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?

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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. www.bit.ly/jennsMiles    I will carry those names with me on the race and keep them in my thoughts.

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

Fundraising.
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!
www.rundfmc.org/2015/jenniferh
Thank you!   See you out there,
– Jenn

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Training Update- 4 weeks to go!

Thank you supporters!  In the past 5 days, I have received over $2000 in donations brining me to $6K of my $10K goal.  We are getting close!  Only 4 weeks until Marathon Monday!  I am working hard on my upcoming fundraiser on April 7th and also on my training.  The last “20-miler” will be this Saturday, running with the Dana-Farber team from Boston College out 10 miles and back 10 miles – up Heartbreak Hill.   Let’s pick up the tempo in the final four weeks!  Thanks for your continued support!

the big 2014 review!

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A little behind on my blogging, but before kicking off 2015, I decided to look back at my goals from last year that I posted on the blog.  I had 4 goals and I managed to accomplish half and let’s face it #3 and #4 were pretty lofty.  I will keep this in mind when setting 2015 goals.  Here’s a look at my 2014 goals:

  1. Run the Boston Marathon and raise $10,000 for Dana-Farber.  NAILED IT.  I did in fact run and finish the marathon (in 4h 30 mins) and raised $13,700, $3,700 over my goal.   The training season was tough and I battled plantar fasciitis (which I will forever spell incorrectly because it has too many letter i’s) but the run and fundraising was all worth it.
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  2.  Run a Race every month of the year.  SEMI-NAILED IT!  I didn’t run any race in March due to plantars in my foot but I ran 2 half marathons in May so if we spread out all my races I did 11 out of 12 months.  I also didn’t run a race in December though I flirted with a few half marathons I didn’t manage to get out there.   See below for my Race review and summary of the year’s best races.
  3. Run a PR for the marathon, under 4:08.  NOPE.  Maybe in 2015!  I ended up deferring the Marine Corps Marathon to 2015 after running Disney and Boston in the first half of the year.   Perhaps MCM in 2015 is my PR race this year!
  4. Update the blog once a week.  NOPE.  Well, I’m just not an avid blogger but let’s see how 2015 goes!  I’d like to post once a week and keep everyone updated on my running adventures and also share some funny stories from my running life (well I think they are funny at least).

I’ll post my 2015 goals in my next blog but again this year my number 1 goal is to run the 2015 Boston Marathon and raise $10,000 for Dana-Farber Cancer Research.   Can you help me raise the money and I’ll do all the running?  Just think of me freezing my lycra-clad bum off out there training for the race?  You can donate directly on my Dana-farber page here:  www.rundfmc.org/2015/jenniferh  or you can also consider Sponsoring a Mile (there are 26.2 of them in a marathon) for a donation of $126.20  or above.  Check out my Sponsor a Mile page:  www.bit.ly/jennsMiles   C’mon, my fundraising thermometer (on the blog) is colder than New England in winter right now!

2014 Running Highlights

Disney Marathon, January 12th, 2014.  I accomplished a few “firsts” this year, one was running my first marathon with my husband—together for 26.2 miles.  Well actually we were together for the first 18 miles then decided it would be best to finish independently and we were still speaking to each other after!  I wrote about the race last February on the blog (here) https://jennsbostonrun.com/2014/02/06/weblog-wednesday-2/ and it was pretty fun.  The weekend was unfortunately cut short by a sick child at home so it was also my fastest turn around for a marathon weekend.  In on Saturday, out on the first flight Monday.

The 118th Boston Marathon and 25th year of Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge!  This was a great race and experience all around.  Can say enough about it and you can read my race report here: https://jennsbostonrun.com/2014/11/10/the-2014bostonmarathon-running-again-2015/

Wallis Sand Half Marathon.
This one has become a favorite of mine since it’s it runs through my childhood ‘stomping grounds’ and past the street where I grew up.  This year was special in that I placed in my weight category!  More to follow about my thoughts on running in your weight class vs. age group but I am all for it.   I have no chance of winning a race in my age group but weight class, yes!  I didn’t run my fastest time but it was enough to place 3rd (I think) and get a medal in the “Athena” category (165+lbs) which is comparable to the male “Clydesdale” category.  Athena has a better ring to it than Clydesdale too. Also this race does not give finishers medals except to the top 3 finishers in each category so this medal is extra special since only category winners get the medal!     Thank you Wallis Sands Half!   See you in 2015! www.wallissandshalfmarathon.com

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B.A.A. Half Marathon.
This was the second time that I’ve run this race and I ran into some Dana-Farber friends on the course and at the DFMC tent.  It runs along the ‘Emerald Necklace” and then through the Franklin Park Zoo.   I saw a camel but kept looking for a red panda.  They had a lot of posters of the red panda but unfortunately we did not pass by that enclosure (pandas are my daughter’s favorite animal).   The finish line had the best amenities of any race this year.  They served hamburgers along with the usual bananas, bagels and Gatorade.  It was the best hamburger – or I was just really hungry.

Seacoast Half Marathon  www.seacoasthalfmarathon.com
This is my other hometown favorite race that’s in my backyard.  I ran it with my friend Mik and it’s become a tradition to have victory tacos at Loco Coco’s Tacos in Kittery.  This year I hadn’t been training consistently and the cold weather at the start was a bit discouraging but we persevered.   The race turns into the local high school and runs up over a small hill to the finish about 0.2 miles.  My family was at the corner and my 9 year old daughter ran the last 0.2 with me.  I love this picture, she looks like she is walking on air.
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Those were the highlights from 2014!  Here’s to a running start to 2015!  I’ll post my 2015 goals and race calendar next, why rush into anything right?  Thanks for reading and please do donate to Dana-Farber. – Jenn

Running Again in 2015!

Hard to believe that it has been a little over six months since I finished the Boston Marathon with the Dana-Farber team! I’ve learned many things this past year, one of which is that I am not an avid blogger.  But on to the update!  It was a crazy and amazing race weekend!  First and most importantly, thank you to all who donated to my Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge campaign!  I received $1,700 in donations over marathon weekend alone which pushed me to  $13,700  raised for cancer research!  Thank you!    Overall the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge Team raised $8.2M dollars –our original team goal was $5.3M!   This was a record breaking year for DFMC and I am so proud to have been a part of it.

Marathon Monday was a chilly morning but I can’t say enough about the DFMC Team indoor retreat near the starting line.  We gathered at a local church and were able to wait indoors for the morning until our 11:30am start time.   Boston is the first marathon that I have run that didn’t start before dawn, but you still get up in the wee hours to travel to the starting line and wait for several more hours.  I was up by 4am for the journey out to Hopkinton to “hurry up and wait” as they say.   At the Retreat, we got to socialize with the team, take photos, apply our running “flair”, eat, stretch, eat more, stretch more and start all of our pre-race rituals.   At the Starting Line, there was so much excitement in the air.   I had packed my phone and some GUs in my Spibelt.  I planned for 5 GUs over the course of the race and decided to toss the 6th one at the starting line.  For some crazy reason I thought to take only what I need and ‘travel light’.  Of course when I went to grab my first GU, it fell to the ground and was gone in a sea of legs and sneakers.  Lesson learned–bring one extra GU above what you think you need. 😉
At the starting line, ready to run.

At the starting line, ready to run.

The first 10-15 miles went well, i consciously tried to keep a slower pace and not ‘burn out’ in the first ten miles.   Then came Heartbreak Hill.  It does in fact suck as most Boston runners will tell you!   Despite my training runs on the hill, it was like I had never run it before.  I forgot where the “top” was and all my plans went out the window.   Does that house or cross street look familiar?  I think the top was by that house under construction?  I struggled to get up Heartbreak and down shifted to a run/walk.  I did catch up to my teammate Kerrie on the Hill and we ran together for a while and then leap frogged a bit with Kerrie running a head, then I caught up and ran ahead, etc..  At one point Kerrie caught up and pinched my bum which made me laugh out loud and did give me a boost!    The crowds were amazing from about mile 15 onwards, there was a wall of people all the way to the finish.  With my name on the front of my shirt, I was glad for some “Go Jenn”s going up Heartbreak hill.   Finally we found the real ‘top’ of Heartbreak and had a nice downhill bit near Boston College.    My goal was to get over Heartbreak Hill and the rest would be “gravy”, but I still struggled from mile 21 to the end.   This is where my cheering section and the crowds helped me finish.   I stopped to chat with my parent around mile 22, this was the first time they came to watch me run a marathon.   My husband was at the “1 Mile to go” sign.  The crowds were 20 people deep behind the barriers.   He got everyone around him to yell my name which was great because I was stressed that I might have miss him.   Then there was still 1 mile to go.  Then there was just 1 kilometer to go!

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past the 1 mile to go, now just 1K!

I ran the last mile and when I turned on Boylston, I felt so many emotions but mainly pride and relief.   I’m not a big crier but I had to hold the back tears, it was very emotional.  I was so proud to have finished and represented all of you who supported my run and supported the Dana-Farber mission.  And the post-race support by the DFMC was amazing.  I met up with a volunteer who walked me back to Dana-Farber headquarters at the Marriott Copley.  She held my water bottle and was fine with not talking for a stretch while I regained my composure.  Back at the Marriott, the runner’s reception area had food, drinks, support folks ready to help.  I have never been one to get a post-race sports massage but it was so worth it!!!   I forgot that my husband was at the family reception area waiting for me.  After a shower, I had the best victory dinner at Abe & Louie’s on Boylston, runners were still finishing and trickling across the finish line right out front of the restaurant.  We could still hear occasional cheers of runners coming into the finish line and then the street sweepers started.  This was my 5th marathon but by far my best marathon experience!

 What happened since the marathon?  Subject for my next blog but in short, I ran some races over summer and took a bit of a hiatus from running.   But now I am back!  With some distance, rest and reflection since the marathon, I’ve decided to run again with Dana-Farber in 2015!   There is still cancer research to be done, the mission continues.  While I am able, I plan to do what I can to support DFMC and the vital work that we fund.   Many of my DFMC teammates run every year and we have one team member who has run 25 marathons in a row, since the team was founded.   Wow.   I’m proud to have been picked for the 2015 team for my second season and I am so inspired by those who have come before me!
Please subscribe to my blog &  facebook page and tune in for my next update.
Please consider supporting my run and making a donation to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  You can donate Here via my fundraising page.  Email me if you would prefer to send a check by mail.
Thank you and see you out there,
-Jenn
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One Week!

ONE WEEK! 7 days til the 118th Boston Marathon!  Well it has been a while since I updated the blog, but the last two months have flown by (I think we have established that I am not an avid blogger).  Between work, parenting, traveling, and marathon training–there is little time to blog.   Here are some highlights from my marathon journey.

The two most important updates:

  1. Have you donated to my campaign? There is still time, donate here:   www.tinyurl.com/dfmcjenn
  2. Sign up to track me on race day! Choose your level of stalking:
    1. Follow me on Twitter, @kenzington11 My phone will send out a tweet ever 5 miles and also read me your replies in my ear (I run with the music playing)
    2. Text “26333” to 345678 or subscribe on www.baa.org and receive text updates of my progress on race day. http://www.baa.org/races/boston-marathon/participant-information/att-athlete-alert.aspx
    3. Follow me on facebook.   www.facebook.com/jennsbostonrun

Marathon Training.  I’ve been suffering with Plantar fasciitis that started up at the end of January.  I had it before in my left foot 3 years ago, now it is in my right foot.  I laid off running for about 3 weeks in February and beginning of March, which put me behind on my training.  Luckily, I am seeing a physical therapist who has really helped.  I tape it before my runs and see the PT twice a week.  My PT sessions are really painful but as of this week I have no pain when I run!   I got back on the training schedule in March with long runs of 16, 15, 20 and then my last 20 on March 29th the day thousands of Boston runners are out on the course from Hopkinton to Heartbreak Hill. This was a great run and the excitement of so many runners on the course gave it the feel of a real marathon.  The Dana-Farber team ran from BC out to Wellesley and then back for 20-22 miles total.  I ran 20 which was a great simulation of running up to Heartbreak Hill having run 16 miles prior.  It is intimidating due to all of the marathon ‘lore’ and it’s also a really long hill.  I did some walking, some running, asked a traffic cop where was the “top”of Heartbreak.  Mt. Alvernia St.  He was right.  This is my first time running the Boston marathon but I got a great ‘preview’ of the course which will help me on race day.

Fundraising update. Goal achieved, almost to my “Stretch Goal”!  Thank you to all who came out to my fundraiser at Flatbreads and Orange Leaf on March 4th!  I raised $1765 for Dana-Farber from FB, Orange Leaf, silent auction and the raffle.   This was a huge success!   My original goal was to raise $10,000 and I am just over $11,000 today.  I am not hoping to reach $13,100 (13.1 miles is the distance of a half marathon) which would put me at the next Dana-Farber Pacesetter level!  For bragging rights but also to raise that much more for cancer research!  I attended our last Dana-Farber team meeting two weeks ago and I’m on the board as an 8K pacesetter. Help me reach 13.1K!

7 Days of Rest and Anxiety! We have entered the period of marathon training called the Taper, where runners cut back on all the training runs and relax. From what I have learned, few are good at taking this advice, myself included. I will be running a few shorter runs this week—nothing more than 6 miles and starting to think about carbo-loading starting Thursday. Contrary to popular belief you want to carbo-load well before the night before the race.   What else to do during the taper period? Try not to freak out that the marathon is in 7 days!  Plan my outfit.  Lay out my race day stuff.  Re-plan my outfit.  Check the weather.  Decide on my back-up outfit.  Repeat.   You get the idea.

Cheering Section.  I hope to see a few friends and family along the course but you can still watch and cheer me on from wherever you are in the world!  There are a few ways to track me along the course and send me cheers and encouragement.   I’ll be running with my phone and an app called Runmeter.  Runmeter will tweet my progress every 5 miles and read me your tweets.  This is very cool and I love to hear your voices out on the run.  Runmeter will also post on Facebook and read your comments and “likes”.   BAA also offers runner tracking by text and email from their site at baa.org.   I hope to hear some cheers while I’m on the run!   See the links at the top to follow or sign up for text tracking.

Thank you for reading and if you haven’t, please donate to my campaign at www.tinyurl.com/dfmcjenn   I really appreciate your support.

best,
– Jenn

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One of my training runs at Heartbreak Hill
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my race day “singlet” for Dana-Farber!