Weblog Wednesday

Coming to you live from the west coast today, so it’s still Wednesday despite the WordPress date & time!  I had to get out of the vortex, so I’m on a business trip out in San Jose, meanwhile the Boston area is getting tons of snow.  Well, I have not been living up to my resolution to blog weekly, but making good progress on my other goals!  It’s been a cold January. I am told that statistically January is not in the top 10 coldest on record.  All I know:  it’s pretty cold for winter running.  I’ve been running on my treadmill much of January and had a great “first time out” on Feb. 1st when we had a warm(er) day!  I also ran the Disney Marathon on Jan. 12th, and had as much fun as you can probably have while still running 26.2 miles.  I ran it with my husband and the good news is we are still speaking to each other!  We don’t often run together; he loves running with a group or running buddy; I’m more of a solitary runner. Some highlights from the race weekend (in no particular order):

  • Relaxing at the Cigna tent (race sponsors) before and after the race.  Nice folks, ice and medical help if you needed it.
  • Best t-shirt spotted on the run: “Stay back 100 meters”
  • Most inspiring:  Man running with a t-shirt that said he had survived cancer and double hip replacement and he was getting it done, amazing!
  • Funny moment.  Several folks were sporting Disney shirts that read “every mile is magical”.  As we passed the waste water treatment plant out on the ‘back lots’ of Disney–a few guys and I decided that particular mile was too smelly to be magical.
  • Best moment:  At about mile 13, we were running through the Animal Kingdom.  They were just getting ready to open the park and the Disney cast members let runner’s ride Expedition Everest (roller coaster)!  So we took a ride mid-race which was a nice diversion; then back on the road!
  • Best food:  Burgers and caprese salad post-race at the Hilton Bonnet Creek.  We ended up walking across the entire parking lot at Epcot to catch a cab back to the Hilton.  We were so glad to sit down and have food brought to us!  Honorable mention: Beer at the finish line received excellent review from the husband.

This was my second Disney marathon and I do like this race.  The support is phenomenal and tons of Disney cast members, families and people cheering at every turn.  Even out on the highway (between parks) there are people out there cheering;  I had to think how did these people get out here?  My only real complaint would be the 5:30am start time and catching the bus at 3am!  That is just way too early for me!
As for my other goals, my January race was the Disney Marathon.  Coming up this month is the Half a the Hamptons in Hampton, New Hampshire.   I’ve signed up for races through May.  I’ll post a race schedule soon, but I’m planning to do one race a month in 2014.  My fundraising for Dana-Farber is also going well in January as well.   I’m nearing $8,000 raised of my goal of $10,000.   I’m planning two fundraisers in March but also would love your donation to my cause.  You can make a donation on my DFMC page: http://www.rundfmc.org/2014/jenniferh  Thank you for reading! – Jenn

At Expedition Everest (mile 13) Disney marathon 2014

First Winter Run of 2014!

First Winter Run of 2014!

Kicking off 2014!

hello there, happy 2014!  It’s been too long between blog updates but a very fun and busy holidays!  (see below my resolution for more frequent updates!) Training for Boston and winter running has been going pretty well though I definitely did indulge over the holidays.   I ran two half marathons since Marine Corps and ran a PR (personal record) at the Seacoast Half Marathon in November.  I run the Seacoast half every year since it’s in my backyard and it’s a great race.  www.seacoasthalfmarathon.com  I ran a 1:52 which was 4 minutes off my previous best, so all my Marine Corps training did result in a PR, just not for the marathon.  I also ran the Yukanrun Half “Merry-thon” in Gloucester, MA in early December.  The kids loved the name of it, Merry-thon, and it was a pretty good race.  I came in just barely over 2 hours at 2:00:02 so let’s just round that to 2 hours shall we?  Here’s the link for next year, www.yukanrun.com/Holiday-MerryThon.html, just know that this is a hilly race. Just when you think you’ve finished the hills there is another one, but it is very scenic course along the coast and pretty good race support.  And there were quite a few elves, Santas and holiday costumes.   I think next year I will try the Jingle Bell Half in Atkinson, NH to change things up. They had a cute medal this year(and I do like the race medals!)  jinglebellhalf.com  I also fit in a few training runs over the holidays, the longest and coldest being 16 miles at 8 degrees.  I’ll write more about winter running in an upcoming blog but I can tell you that I am not sure I will run if it’s below 10 in future!  Winter running, not my thing.

On to the new year’s resolutions for 2014!  Of course I need to set some goals for 2014, all the kids are doing it.  No list etched on the wall, just a few posted here for the world to see, so you can keep me honest.   I’m turning 44 this year, so 4 goals sounds like a good number for 2014. Let’s not get crazy!

1.  Run the Boston Marathon and raise $10,000 for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  Have you donated a few bucks to my campaign?  Please help me out, it only takes a minute. You can go to my page and donate online.  100% of donations go to cancer research!  HELP ME break the half way mark, my current total is $4900.  Click here:   Jenn’s DFMC page (donate here).   I’m so excited to be part of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge Team for 2014.   More updates to follow on my training.

2. Run a race in every month of the year.   I have to admit that I borrowed this cool idea from a running friend but it is a cool concept.  So far I have already planned or signed up to run a half marathon or longer run every month except July, August, and September.  Still looking for some fun races to do for these months.  I plan to run Boston in April and then another marathon in October–to be determined.   Marine Corps Marathon is a lottery this year so I will enter.  I’m not sure if I would run MCM again (3rd time could be the charm) or try something new.

3.  Run a PR for the marathon, under 4:08.  Like most marathon runners, I want to improve my time.   I’d LOVE to get under 4 hours but let’s just set a goal for improvement on my best time of 4:08.  That would be great.

4.  Update this blog once a week. I’ll keep you updated here on the blog more often as I train and count down to the Boston Marathon! Three months and a bit to go.   I plan to blog something on Sundays/Mondays on my latest adventures in running, racing and fundraising.
Thanks for reading, check back soon or why not follow this blog or my Facebook?
-Jenn

2013 Half Merry-thon with Elf Power!

2013 Half Merry-thon with Elf Power!

Marine Corps Marathon Trip Report

It’s been about a month since MCM and I’ve finally have some time to reflect on it. This year the family came down with me and it was one of our best family trips, and the race was pretty good too! Race day was perfect weather, got there by Metro and getting through security and bag drop was all good. View of the Washington Monument, lit up in the dark of early morning was impressive. I haven’t run that many marathons, but MCM has fantastic spectators at every step! They changed the course this year, deleting the big hill at mile 8  so now the course was a bit rolling but no big hills.  I didn’t like the turn around at Mile 8-9 where everyone came to a stop to make a U-turn, uphill, and switched direction on the same road. There just wasn’t enough room for everyone to make the turn.  Coming into the National Mall area and Lincoln Memorial I got to appreciate the view so much more this year.  I saw my family at the Lincoln Memorial at mile 11 and again at 18 by chance as they came out of the National History museum. Then I got tired, hit the wall, the bleerch got the better of me, needless to say I had had enough mentally.  I had to battle with my self as I crossed the bridge into Crystal City. Just run to the next mile marker. Just run to the next water stop. It was a rough last 6 miles but I finished faster than last year, 4:12. No PR but I’ll take it.   Victory is still sweet!  The next day we probably walked 6 miles around the National Zoo, D.C. and the mall.  Legs were reasonably ok once I got going but I would have just as well laid in bed!  We saw the panda at the zoo which was a “must see” for the trip.  And we had what I would call the best lunch in D.C. at Wicked Waffle.  It was a great trip for the family, and the racing wasn’t so bad either.   Next year’s MCM registration is a lottery, hopeful I will win the lottery and get in for 2014.   What’s next? Gearing up for Boston and thinking to run the Disney Marathon in January with Scott. We had signed up before I was accepted in for Boston with Dana-Farber, but I’ll be Scott’s support team. More blog updates soon, – Jenn

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6 and 6. Days til Marine Corps and months til Boston

As of the 21st, we are counting down 6 days til the Marine Corps Marathon this weekend and 6 months til the Boston Marathon!  Marine Corps will be my 3rd marathon, the last one that I ran was last year’s 2012 MCM, which I ran on the heels of Hurricane Sandy.  This year I have had some new firsts in my training for MCM.  First time doing speedwork (intervals), first time going on a “tempo” run, first time ‘tapering’ and  first time working with a coach.   I feel much more prepared and in shape this year and hope to get a PR (better than 4:08) or even break 4 hours.   This is also the first time I have tapered (running less in the last 2 weeks before the run) and I am doing my best to not freak out and take it easy on the running.  Last week the government shutdown threatened to cancel the race. This week, I’m feeling good, mostly relaxed and ready to go.  My coach thinks I’m ready, always good to have a outside opinion.  (check out my coach’s blog about yours truly  https://www.nofinishlinerunning.com/blog/what-ppt )  I’ll have a full trip report after the race.     You can also check out weekend updates on my Facebook page.
For Boston, I also met up with a new DFMC running buddy in my town.  It will be great to have someone to run with on long runs and car pool to DFMC events down in Boston.  I am starting to think about my training plan and my fundraising campaign.  And believe it or not, planning Marathon Monday 2014.  Where will I stay, how will I get to the starting line, what things to watch out for (from my in-house former dfmc runner-advisor).  Can you tell I like to plan ahead?   More updates this weekend from DC.  Don’t forget to subscribe here and “like” me on FB. 😉

the starting line

It has been a goal of mine to run the Boston Marathon *someday* and I am so excited to join the Dana Farber Marathon Challenge team for 2014!   I submitted my application and expected that I would wait the 4-6 weeks, as advertised.  But I received an acceptance email back on September 25th which was great!   I will be running in honor of my grandmother, Peggy Murtagh, who is a cancer survivor and my inspiration to meet and overcome new challenges in life.  I’m lucky to have Scott, who ran Boston with DFMC in 2011, as my in-house expert (literally).  As well, DFMC has fundraising and marathon coaches to get me to the finish line – for the run and the fund raising.   My fundraising goal is $10,250.   It’s pretty ambitious and I’m a little nervous to meet it, but I know all my friends, family, colleagues and friends of friends will support me!   Speaking of support, have you donated to my run?  Did you know that 100% of the funds donated go toward cancer research?  I’m thinking to run a promotion,  if you donate $100 or more, I’ll send you some tasty gluten free baked goods.
You can give at my DFMC page:  http://www.runDFMC.org/2014/jenniferh  Also, don’t forget to check if your company may match your charitable donation.

I’ve run 2 marathons so far and scheduled to run Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) again on October 27th.  Boston should be a piece of cake, right?   I’m a fair weather runner, so the Boston course will be a challenge for me mentally and physically but also training in New England in winter.  I just got chills thinking about the freezing temps and snow.  But I am committed to crossing the finish line and raising funds for Dana Farber.   I plan to update my progress and post ‘news’ of my journey on this blog.  First time blogger, first time Boston Marathoner, so we will see what happens!   Stay tuned.  You can also “follow” this blog (see the button on the right) and/or follow my page on Facebook,  https://www.facebook.com/jennsbostonrun    speedily,  – jenn