the big 2014 review!


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.
  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:  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:   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) 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:

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!


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
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.

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!


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,

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:
  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 and receive text updates of my progress on race day.
    3. Follow me on facebook.

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   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   I really appreciate your support.

– Jenn

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

Cancer Research Benefit @ Flatbreads/Orange Leaf March 4th, 2014

hello friends,  I am so excited to hold a benefit nite at Flatbreads and Orange Leaf in Portsmouth, NH on Tuesday, March 4th!  We will be holding a drawing (raffle) for some awesome prizes at the door @ Flatbreads. And a silent auction!  You can buy raffle tickets by donating online to my campaign at   Flatbreads and Orange Leaf will donate a portion sales to my Dana-Farber campaign so please come out support my run!    Here are the details:

UPDATE Silent Auction Added: We had such a great response for donated items, we will auction some via silent action at the benefit night.

UPDATE: Raffle Tickets on Sale Now, Drawing will be 8:30pm March 4th.
We will hold a drawing (raffle) for some great prizes, more prizes being added up until March 4th.  Buy raffle tickets in advance by donating to DFMC online and shoot me an email with your phone # and how many tickets.
1 ) Donate here:
2)  Email me at:
Ticket prices  1 – $5, 5 for $10, 10 for $20 and 20 for $26.20 (a marathon is 26.2 miles!).
*You need not be present to win, but you need to answer the phone on raffle night to claim your prize!

When:  Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Where:    Flatbreads from 5-9pm @ 138 Congress Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801
Orange Leaf from 4-9pm @ 218 State Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801

Portsmouth Patch Event:
Facebook Event:

Raffle Prizes –We will draw the winners and each will have a choice of available prizes until all are claimed. Here’s what we’ve got for you:

  1. Book & Bar $30 gift certificate.
  2. Orange Leaf Portsmouth gift card
  3. Loco Coco’s Tacos $25 gift card
  4. Ava Anderson w/ Lorrie B gift certificate – personal care products without chemicals
  5. Taylor River Farm horseback riding gift certificate 1/2 hour ride
  6. G. Williker’s $10 gift certificate 
  7. Cinemagic Portsmouth movie passes.
  8. Pearsall Clean gift certificate.
  9. Moxy $20 gift certificate
  10. Vida Cantina $20 gift certificate
  11. Popover’s on the Square $25 gift certificate!
  12. more to come!

Silent Auction–Bid or “buy now” and don’t leave it to chance
We’ve decided to put a few items up for silent auction. There will be a minimum bid and a ‘buy it now’ price if you are like me and just want to win it!  Here’s what we’ve got for you:

  1. Loco Coco’s Tacos $25 gift card
  2. Ava Anderson avaBody 10-piece set ($98 value) click to view the set.
  3. Taylor River Farm horseback riding gift certificate for 1/2 hour ride
  4. SORT personal organizing – 2 hours of organizing
  5. Rumble Tumble 5 play days gift certificate
  6. Jumpin’ Jay’s Fish Cafe $20 gift certificate
  7. NEWLY ADDED  5 Rides at Cycle Fierce

See you there!

– Jenn


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:  Thank you for reading! – Jenn

At Expedition Everest (mile 13) Disney marathon 2014

First Winter Run of 2014!

First Winter Run of 2014!