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.
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!