About Jenny

My name is Jenny.

And I’ve become obsessed with running. This blog was originally created during post-graduate chaos when I felt like I needed to find a direction. And that’s when I decided to run my first half marathon. Now, this blog is dedicated to my pursuit of the RACE. In October 2011, I ran the Chicago Marathon, my first marathon. Since then, I’ve continued to wander the streets of Chicago and many other US cities (maybe even one day, go international!) I like to ponder where I’ve been and where I’m going.


My Running Path

I guess I’ve been athletic most of my life. Growing up, my family always encouraged me to play sports and remain active. The town soccer fields were a short walk from home and we spent a lot of summers kicking around the ball in the back yard. In middle school, I got involved in both cross country and track & field. I grew to despise running around a track in circles and developed a greater affinity for running through the woods instead. In high school I turned away from running slightly and devoted time to playing soccer (midfield, of course—apparently I loved running?) and singing in a show choir ensemble (yes, it’s *just* like Glee).

When I moved to Chicago for college, I started to run more often because: 1)  the campus gym was the cool place to be and 2) my girlfriends and I went to a class called CorePower every Friday night before we umm…consumed beverages. But hey! At least I was AT the gym, people! Let’s just say it was a learning experience (as college should be). And then…graduation.


As most of you probably know, searching for your first post-graduate job is not fun. I spent countless hours scouring job postings and thinking about what I wanted to do with this life of mine. In the meantime, I needed a goal; something to get my on a schedule and up, out of bed each morning.

So, just as I do now–I put a race on the calendar. I guess my focus on long distance races like the half marathon and marathon is still fairly recent. In May 2010, I ran my first half marathon in 1:56:00. I was incredibly proud of this time considering my training was abysmal. I didn’t make any connections with other runners and didn’t have a support system to get me excited about the race. I followed a Higdon training plan and ran to get my mind off of things. But on Race Day, something happened. I remember running past my friends and family saying “I’m at a 9:00 pace! I don’t know how I’m doing this!”. After running in the Indy Mini and seeing my older brother rock his first Chicago Marathon in 2010 year, I decided I wanted to see what the buzz was all about.

My goal in 2011 was to run my first marathon to the best of my ability (no time goal in mind). It turns out even my own goals and expectations were beyond achievable. I spent most of 2011 training for the final finish line at the Chicago Marathon.

October 9,2011 was a GREAT day–first marathon and first Boston-qualifying time in 3:32:53.

After such a great experience and the indescribable feeling of “Yes, I did it!” at the finish line that day, I knew I’d be running many more marathons. 2011 was the year of “firsts” and 2012 was the year of testing myself even more and seeing what I was really made of. While I raced less in 2012, I stayed disciplined and determined to run Twin Cities in October with the same kind of energy as I did in Chicago 2011.

October 6, 2012 was another GREAT day. —2nd marathon and 15+ min PR in 3:17:47.

Now I’m reevaluating where I’ve been, where I want to go, and what I’m capable of in 2013! I’m really looking forward to starting in Hopkington and racing all the way to the finish line in Boston.

All Distance Race Results: 2010-Present

Mark Hadley Coaching

Coach: Mark Hadley

Feel free to follow me on Twitter , Instagram, or E-Mail me at: wanderandponder [at] gmail [dot] com.

And if you’re so inclined, follow my training on Dailymile!



22 thoughts on “About Jenny

  1. Hey there – I’m a fellow Chicagoan and runner. I’m doing my 4th 1/2M this year… did Virginia Beach 3x’s in a row then stopped for grad school.

    I like your site and would like to network and make new friends. I’m on twitter @TheDonCarlos


  2. Pingback: Seven Things « Life is a Run

  3. hi! I just found your blog searching for marathon recaps on chicago (I want to run it in 2012!), great great recap by the way :)

    I love running and like you haven’t been doing distance for very long …oh and I live in wicker park too! I’ll add you on twitter!

  4. this is my first time reading your “about me” page! i’m glad that i did. your first two marathon times are SO impressive! i can’t wait to see what you can do in boston! i love following your training. thanks for having such a positive blog and being a great inspiration!

  5. I hope to be where you are someday. I just started this blog in honor of registering for my first half (June) and full marathon (October), both of which are in Chicago! I am really excited about my training and seeing my mileage increase as my splits decrease. Good luck with future races, cannot wait to hear all about them!

  6. Came across your blog today while looking for articles on combining strength training with long distance running and found it enjoyable and inspiring….thanks and keep up the good work!

  7. You are so FAST!! Congrats on a Super Fast Boston marathon!! I can’t imagine what it was like this year!! So scary and sad!!
    Congrats on your Nuun HTC spot! Excited to meet you in August!
    I am doing the Chicago Marathon this year! Really excited!

    • Hi Leslie! Thanks so much. It was a scary day and it’s been a whirlwind trying to sort through all of these emotions. Looking forward to the HTC adventure very much! Chicago is a GREAT race—I’ll be there spectating this year!

  8. I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog! I started running in Chicago these last few years and have become obsessed with it. I started my blog just for fun and now it’s keeping me accountable for training for my first marathon later this year. Yours is one of the first Chicago running blogs I’ve come across but I can’t wait to see more.

  9. I just found your blog and look forward to reading through it!!! I just started my own after threatning to do one for like at least 6 months!!!
    I just met (I say met loosly because it is more like saw and did not realize it was her till I got home and saw it on her blog) Britt/ Chicago Runner Girl at the Allstate 13.1! I am really enjoying getting to know other runners through blogs!

    • Thanks Jen! Glad you made the jump into blogging! I’ve met some fun and fast runners because of it. I’ve met Britt a few times. Hope your training is going well!

  10. This is very inspiring. Good for you! Also, are you still living in Chicago? I’ve lived here all my life (except for college).

  11. Wow! I love to connect with other runners, thanks for sharing your stories.

  12. I just found your blog after seeing that you ran Hood to Coast with Dorothy, live your running story! You are so fast. Also, if your real name is just Jenny you may be my new favorite blogger :)

  13. Hi there! First time reading your blog. I love your outlook on running. It looks like you are just a “natural” at long distances. You are very fast at the marathon. Is it your favorite distance? Also, would you recommend Coach Mark’s help for a middle of the pack runner? I’m looking for some help and can’t believe how many on-line coaches are out there. Look forward to reading more of your stuff : )

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