Hi and welcome to my running blog! My name is Jennifer and I am a running addict. I started running about 23 years ago when I was a teenager. At the time, I was overweight and just wanted to look like all of the other thin girls in their two-piece bathing suits. After I lost the weight, I continued to run to stay in shape.
Over the years, running has fit into my life in several different ways. In my 20s, running helped me keep my focus as I battled stressors such as college, graduate school and work. In my 30s, running has gotten me back into my skinny jeans after two pregnancies and allows me some Mommy-free time. I’ve run through cancer, pregnancy-loss, pregnancy-found and the host of ups and downs that life has granted me. Running has kept me in shape mentally and physically and is the one thing in my life that has always been there. I’ve laced up my sneakers overseas, in the pursuit of completing a personal best and even when I didn’t think I had the mental or physical strength to go that last mile. Running has opened up my mind, brought me to the brink of tears and left me in so much physical pain that I’ve had trouble sitting in a chair or even walking down the stairs. But, like all runners, I am addicted to the high that I get after a sweaty seven-miler and wouldn’t trade the shin splints, runner’s knee or aches and pains for anything.
Since I burn through sneakers and treadmills so often, I figured that I might as well strive for something, so every once in a while, I sign myself up for a local race of some kind. For a while, I was favoring the 5k and ran several of them the year after Clara, my oldest daughter, was born. And before I had my children, I even ran a 10k in Dublin in June of 2006 — they call it the Flora Mini-Marathon, although it’s only a 10k. It was a blast and I was the first American to cross the finish line that day. And in an effort to prove that a c-section would not sideline my longest running passion (pun totally intended), I completed my first 15k in September 2012 — The Run Around the Block on Block Island — less than seven months after Elyse, my youngest daughter, was born.
On Mother’s Day 2013, I tackled my longest distance race — the half-marathon. After successfully completing another two half-marathons that year and placing first in my division during the 2013 Block Island Run Around the Block, I decided it was time to cross another item off of my bucket list: A full marathon.
I ran my first full marathon in Newport, RI on a beautiful fall morning on October 12, 2014 and qualified for the Boston Marathon (a.k.a. a BQ) with a time of 3:37:52. I was so excited that I BQ’ed! The 11-month wait from my BQ to registration day seemed like an eternity and I submitted my application the first second I was allowed to register. After 10 LONG days, I learned that I missed the 2016 cut-off by 20 seconds. But, guess what? After posting on Facebook that I didn’t make this year’s cut, I was offered a spot on the Catholic Charities of Boston 2016 Marathon Team. I accepted wholeheartedly knowing that I wasn’t just out to complete the race of a lifetime. I wanted to help people while living out my own dream.
Since blogging about my high-risk pregnancy and life thereafter on http://www.deepthoughtthursdays.com was such a therapeutic experience for me, I’ve decided to start a new blog, which will focus on my marathon training and fundraising efforts. My hope is that this blog will serve as a chronicle of my journey, while providing a light-hearted twist on my newest life challenge — running another 26.2 while raising $10,000 to help those in need. I’m looking forward to sharing with you the good, the bad and the ugly of my journey to the ultimate finish line!