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

Happy Groundhog Day?

groundhog-running

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

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
dfmcfinishline

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

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

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!

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