My name is Jenny.
I created this blog in 2010. That’s when I decided to train for my first half marathon. I was hooked on the running bug from the beginning. In October 2011, I ran my first marathon in Chicago. Since then, I’ve continued to race (because guess what? I discovered I love it!). This blog is where I like to ponder where I’ve been and where I’m going.
How I Found Running (Or Running Found Me)
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 ran both cross country and track & field. I grew to despise running around a track in circles and found that I love 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). I don’t think I ran for myself when I was younger. I ran to spend time with my friends and to be part of a team.
When I moved to Chicago for college, I ran every now and then. I would go to the gym to run on the treadmill every once in awhile but I rarely took advantage of the lakefront path just 1 mile from my apartment. Looking back on it now, I can’t believe I passed it up! (Clearly, I had different priorities in college.) When I graduated, I was finding it difficult to find a job and keep my sanity. So, I decided to make a goal for myself. I need something that would get me back on a schedule.
So, just as I do now–I put a race on the calendar. 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 run his first Chicago Marathon in 2010, I thought, “yeah, maybe I’ll give the marathon a try.”
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 more marathons.
October 6, 2012 was another GREAT day. —2nd marathon and 15+ min PR in 3:17:47.
And, as they say, the rest is history. I haven’t stopped racing and I continue to love the half marathon and marathon distances.
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