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!

Jenn’s Fundraiser at Flatbread Portsmouth April 7th 4-9pm

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Hello!

I am so excited to be hosting a fundraiser at Flatbread in Portsmouth, NH on Tuesday, April 7th from 4pm – 9pm!  Please come out and join me for some great food and drinks!  Flatbread will be donating a portion of every pizza sold (including take out) to my Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge campaign.  100% of the money that I raise goes toward innovative cancer research at the Claudia Adams Barr Program.    Here is how you can support me and help us reach the ultimate finishline:  a world without cancer.

Come out to Flatbread in Portsmouth on Tuesday April 7th, from 4-9pm.   Eat in or take out pizza!  You can participate in the raffle and silent auction at the door.  Or you can participate now online!   RSVP on Facebook and get updates:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1767962256762213/
Event listing on Portsmouth Patch!

RAFFLE at the door and online.   I will be holding a drawing for some awesome prizes this year.  You can participate in two ways.  First, come out on April 7th and buy raffle tickets at the door OR buy raffle tickets in advance by donating online to my fundraiser.  There will be a separate drawing (jar) for each raffle item.  If you want to put all your tickets in the drawing for one item you can.  Or spread them around.   Drawings for all items will be done at 9pm on April 7th.  You need not be there to win, I will call you so be sure I have a contact number on your tickets!

Raffle Tickets:  1 for $5  |  3 for $10  |  5 for $20  | 10 for $26.20 (marathon distance!) 
Buy tickets now or at the door on April 7th.
To buy now, donate at:  www.rundfmc.org/2015/jenniferh  then let me know how to divy up your tickets amongs the prize drawings.  Shoot me an email at jenn.h@comcast.net

Raffle PRIZES: 

1. Runner’s Alley $50 gift certificate!
2. Target Gift Card worth $30
3.  The District $20 gift certificate
4.  Cinemagic movie theater:  2 passes
5.  Blue Mermaid Island Grill $25 gift certificate
6.  Radici restaurant- $25 gift certificate
7.  Loco Coco’s Tacos – $30 gift card
8.  Cycle Fierce 5 Ride Pack ($80 value)!
9.  Book & Bar ($20)
10.  Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt!  $20 gift certificate  –JUST ADDED!

SILENT AUCTION OPEN NOW!  You can also support cancer research and get a little something for yourself at my silent auction.  The auction closes at 11pm on April 28th.  If you “win” the bid or “buy now”, I will contact you regarding payment via a donation to Dana-Farber.  If you’re a control “enthusiast” like me, why leave it to chance?  Buy now and feel great it’s all for cancer research.
Link to the Auction going on now!  www.32auctions.com/jennsbostonrun

Available a the Silent Auction:

1. Wallis Sands Half Marathon 2015 entry (the race is sold out!). Race is May 17th, 2015
2. Shio Japanese Restaurant $50 gift certificate–SOLD!
3. Original art by Jay Schadler “back channel” view of Portsmouth, canvas. SOLD!
4. Cyclefierce 5 ride pack to CycleFierce indoor cycling studio, Portsmouth.
5.  Saucony Men’s Nomad running jacket from Runner’s Alley (great for fall, winter and spring of 2015!)

I hope to see you on April 7th or please consider taking part in the raffle and silent auction online!  I would also appreciate any donation of any amount to the campaign as well.
Donations:  www.rundfmc.org/2015/jenniferh
Also I’ll have my ‘team’ at the fundraiser.  Come find out why there is a panda on our event banner?  What’s it like to run a marathon?  What the heck is “GU” and why would you eat it?  More myths busted and mysteries solved on April 7th!

See you out there,
– Jenn

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Boston Training Update

Hello friends,

Just back from Florida (my review of the Disney Princess Half Marathon coming soon) and yep, the snow is still here.  Shoveled the driveway twice this week already, a few inches of snow on Monday and Wednesday, just enough to be annoying.  Training for Boston is going pretty well.   I am following a new plan this race from a book, Run Less, Run Faster.  It prescribes 3 ‘quality runs’ per week where you focus on a specific pace or goal rather than just getting in mindless miles.  This appealed to me because with working and parenting, 3 runs a week sounds awesome.  I also wanted to take a step back from over training or the brink of over training, where I have been in the past.  The book:  http://www.runnersworld.com/race-training/run-less-run-faster

I’ve been running since January 1st on the treadmill with 2 exceptions, the 3M Half Marathon in Austin, TX and the Princess Half last month in Orlando, FL.   The snow is everywhere and roads are still dangerous– too narrow in spots, no visibility around snowbanks, ice, more snow.   I did run my first OUTSIDE run of 2015 on March 1st, and ran a 20 miler out and back down by the beach.   I find I have to go out and back, because once I am out there, I have to get back to my car.  That second half is where my motivation sometimes waivers.

Some things I’ve learned this training season or observations (so far):

1. The Walking Dead may not be the show to watch while on the treadmill.  Too many suspenseful zombie moments.  But I am looking for a new series since finishing LOST and Criminal Minds.
2.  As a runner, you should rotate your shoes.  Last month I got two new pairs to replace the pair that I have been wearing since summer of 2013 and through 3 marathons (Boston, Disney and Marine Corps).  Yes I know, I’m a bad runner.  I don’t follow some of the usual things one should do.  But I’m on the right track!
3. When you see it, buy more body glide.  You can never have too many of those travel sized sticks.  Not elaborating further for your benefit.
4. My iphone freezes at 8F despite being in an inside pocket.   On my 20 miler last weekend it died 3.5 miles in.  Ironically during a Morrissey song.  GU also semi-freezes.
5. Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.  Or enjoy the sunrise, sunset or beauty of the season.  Yes, even in this wintery hell there can be some beauty.
6.  Wear my Dana-Farber Marathon Shirt to my next race.  I wore it in Texas and Disney and had a few cheers of “Go dana-farber” or people comment how Dana-Farber has helped them or a loved one.  Reminds me what the real goal is: a world without cancer.  And if I can help reach that goal, I will.
7.  This winter must end.   Forget Elsa, this winter is the work of the “White Witch’ of Narnia!  (currently my girls favorite movie, ironically they weren’t big Frozen fans).

witch-hogFundraising update!  For my local Seacoast friends, I will be holding a fundraiser at Flatbread in Portsmouth on April 7th!  A portion of pizza sales will go to my campaign and I will have prizes for raffle and silent auction.  This year you can throw down raffle tickets just for the prizes you want– a separate drawing for each item.   And a few items for silent auction so you can secure them right away.

Please mark your calendars for April 7th, from 4-9pm for benefit night.  You can join the event on Facebook for more updates on raffle & auction prizes.  So far a few items include gift certificates to Loco Coco’s Taco’s,  Cycle Fierce spin studio, Blue Mermaid Bar & Grill, Cinemagic movie tickets.  Just a preview of some of the awesome prizes!   Join the Facebook event click here

fundraiserFBjennsbostonrunPlease support my run and support cancer research!  Still time to donate at www.bit.ly/dfmcjenn2015   I’ll be updating the fundraising ‘thermometer’ soon.  So far I have raised about $1000 of my $10,000 goal.  Help me reach my goal!

thanks, run safely out there!
-Jenn

Austin 3M Half Marathon/Gluten-Free Austin

I ran the 3M Half Marathon on Jan 25th in Austin, Texas and it was a great run and really fun weekend.   I met up with a friend from grad school and we covered a lot of ground in addiiton to the 13.1 miles on Sunday.  Here are just some of the highlights of the weekend.

I arrived late morning on Friday to cold and rainy weather which I did not expect. I had a vision of sun and 70s, but no problem, anywhere without snow is good.   I met up with an Army buddy of mine at Hopdoddy burger joint on South Congress a.k.a. “SoCo” area.  The burgers here were delicious and they serve their own house-made gluten free buns!  Anytime I go to a new city I like to check out the GF options in town and treat myself to some great gluten free bakeries and restaurants.  www.hopdoddy.com was so good, i went back again on Sunday before leaving town.
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After lunch I picked up my friend at the airport and checked in at the hotel.  We stayed up by the Gateway shopping / Arboretum area north of the city because it was walking distance to the start of the race.   We went by the Texas Running Company and I ended up buying some Hoka Constant running shoes – the gal there gave me a whole run down on how they are great for marathon and half marathon.  I’m going to give them a try.    Dinner we tried Maudie’s Tex-Mex on W. 7th.  We had to wait about 20 minutes or so but the food and margaritas were worth it.    Then on to the Hole in the Wall for some live music.  Good music but it was literally a dark, semi-seedy hole in the wall bar.  But apparently a famous landmark of the Austin music scene.
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Saturday we covered a lot of ground.  Around 9am it was still in the upper 30s/ pushing 40F so we went by Target and got some cheap grey sweatshirts for the race.  “Team Hanes” was ready to rock.  We did a nice 3 mile loop on Town Lake, a runner’s paradise and the one thing that I miss most about the city.   We hit Joe’s for breakfast and it was delicious.  We were at the downtown location but drove across the river to the SoCo location for gluten free pop tarts.   I had a lavender-fig pop tart, and it was an out of body experience that I cannot even begin to describe.  Here’s a picture of the pop tart.   (Did I mention that I took a hundred pictures like a total tourist).
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We went by the capitol and Texas History Museum to pick up our race numbers.  Here’s our Capitol of Texas Selfie.
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Then on to the University of Texas Co-op for some UT swag.  I got a “hi, how are you” t-shirt and some post cards.  The main drag by campus has changed a lot.  Also if my current gig doesn’t work out, I can get a job at Jenn’s Copies–that’s Jenn with two N’s.  They are everywhere.  Back up to the hotel to kick up our heels for a bit before dinner.   For dinner we went with a gluten free and pre-race standby, P. F. Chang’s.   Then we had to see Interstellar at the movies, for our traditional pre-race movie night (to get off the feet and relax).    And in Austin, if Matthew McConaughey is playing at the theater, you simply have to go.   I give the film a thumbs up.   We laughed, we cried, I was stressed out about the ‘dramatic’ scenes. We cried some more.  Good movie in my opinion.
Enough about the food and around town, how was the race?  Chilly start, sweatshirts came in handy, it was only in the lows 30s.   The course is almost entirely downhill and billed as fast–and it was really fast.   It started up at the Arboretum/Gateway area and finished with a run through the UT Campus and finish line just steps from the capitol building.  I had a great run and didn’t realize that I was moving along at a pretty good pace (for me).  There was a slight hill around mile 9 but otherwise it was downhill as advertised.  The standout feature of this race is the ginormous goodie bag!  A huge sampling of 3M products, here’s a pic of everything included: Scotch tape, lint roller, scotch brand kitchen sponge, recovery drink mix, glass cleaner, Post-It notes of course!
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Post-race we went down to Snack Bar Austin for some brunch back South of Congress. Snack bar was very cool decor (if i may call it decor) and they serve gluten free french toast that was delicious!  (pictured above!)  We cleared out of the hotel and returned to SoCo for live music at the Capitol Club, and a final burger at Hopdoddy before heading to the Airport.
Great race in a fun place.  I would definitely recommend this race and may come again or in February for the Austin Marathon and half.  And this was my first time running outside since January 1st with all the snow in Boston!
– Jenn

Happy Groundhog Day?

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Happy Ground Hog Day?

Punxsutawney Phil predicts 6 more weeks of winter. Ugh. I think Bill Murray famously said, this ground hog must be stopped! I am feeling as though I am re-living the same day a la Bill Murray in Ground Hog Day (one of my favorite movies). Snow, no school, staying home for days on end. Granted I was out of the snow zone last week on a business trip during the blizzard, but I’m already tired of it. And I am getting very friendly with my treadmill to get my Boston Marathon Training done. I’ve nicknamed him “Fred Mill”. Cracks me up every time but I could be suffering from cabin fever.

I originally thought to write this post about outrunning wildlife while running. What’s the most ferocious animal you have out run while out on the roads and trails? I have not been chased by a ground hog, but folks in a neighboring town were chased by a crazed groundhog last fall.   Which sparked some great groundhog memes (here).    I love a great groundhog meme.  *Photo credit to Trevor Bartlett for this pic of me outrunning the Hampton Groundhog.

The most ferocious thing that I have been chased by was a small dog (think lap dog) which gave up easily. I also nervously ran through a flock of Canadian geese while running out in California. They lined both sides of the trail and a few stood in the trail. Luckily they didn’t attack but I put the afterburners on and ran for my life. I’ve seen a few fox, deer and turkeys cross my path but none were very close or suspicious looking.

Training is going well for the Boston Marathon, 11 weeks to go! Please consider donating to my campaign for Dana-Farber cancer research. Sponsor a mile or donate a buck per mile? Every bit helps. You can donate online on my Dana-Farber page.

Thank you for reading and your support!   My 3M Half Marathon trip report coming up next.
Stay warm, – Jenn

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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