Watch this Space!

I’m a runner not a blogger, Jim!  That’s what I envision Bones yelling at Capt. Kirk.  It’s been almost a year since my last blog post.  So much has happened since then.  I ran the NYC Marathon in November, 2016.  I’ve run a few half marathons since then.  I’ve gotten out of shape, then back in shape (almost).   And I am training for a few halfs this fall and the Austin Marathon in February, 2018!    More to follow on all of this and perhaps a NYC Marathon race report.  Maybe on the 1 year anniversary I’ll do a throwback post!    I’m not running with a charity for Austin though I have dreams to run Boston again with Dana-Farber.    Perhaps in 2019.    More blogging soon!

-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

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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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 www.tinyurl.com/dfmcjenn.   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:    tinyurl.com/dfmcjenn.
2)  Email me at:  jenn.h@comcast.net
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

Links:
Portsmouth Patch Event:  http://alturl.com/2838u
Facebook Event:  http://alturl.com/qgbt3

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.  www.bookandbar.com
  2. Orange Leaf Portsmouth gift card
  3. Loco Coco’s Tacos $25 gift card www.locococos.com
  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   www.gwillikers.com 
  7. Cinemagic Portsmouth movie passes.  www.cinemagicmovies.com
  8. Pearsall Clean gift certificate.  www.pearsallclean.com
  9. Moxy $20 gift certificate  www.moxyrestaurant.com
  10. Vida Cantina $20 gift certificate www.vidacantinanh.com
  11. Popover’s on the Square $25 gift certificate!  popoversonthesquare.com
  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 http://www.sortnh.com
  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 http://www.cyclefierce.com

See you there!

– Jenn

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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!