Hey! Thanks for checking out my blog.
My name’s Jenn. I’ve been running every day since 2012. I was a “retired” gymnast looking for a something to do with myself after spending so many years and so much time in the gym. Running seemed like something easy that could fit in with my crazy schedule, something I could do any time anywhere. Little did I know it would become an obsession.
Starting running at age 29 was interesting and my running career has had its ups and downs. I had a few years of solid progress, where I was running decent times and showing improvement. I ran my first half marathon in 2012, my first full in 2013. I did the inaugural Dopey Challenge in Disney in 2014. I set a few solid PR’s through out 2014 and the beginning of 2015 in various distances, and then my running became very flat and I stopped really showing any improvement and was unable to hit the times I had previously. I began to get super nervous at races and I didn’t really enjoy running competitively during this time.
In 2017 I wanted to shake things up, and I was selected to run the Chicago Marathon. I felt a renewed sense of running. I still wasn’t running the times I used to, but I was trying to change it up. I ended up getting hurt during my Chicago training, feeling some pain in my right knee. I ignored it, of course, and went into the race hopeful that this would be a break through race for me. It was quite the opposite. I struggled starting around mile 5. I could feel my knee hurting, and by mile 10 I was stopping to take pictures with dogs along the course. This was an extreme low in my running as I struggled to get to the finish line. Giving up was not an option, but the pain in my knee and hips was agonizing and I knew I had to do something after the race. Something had to give.
I started PT a few days after the race. We labeled it as potential meniscus and/or IT band, and I began going to PT twice a week, while still running and preparing for the 2018 Disney Marathon. The pain continued, so in December I went for an MRI a few weeks before the race, which luckily revealed no tears or stress fractures. I raced Disney and ran a marathon PR, breaking the one I had set over four years prior.
This was the beginning of a huge change for me. I am not completely sure what caused it. I’m sure the strength I gained from PT was huge. I’m still in PT, dealing with my knee, which we now believe is actually an issue with my fibula getting stuck, but I have been able to manage the pain while continuing to run. I began to run faster and started to push myself to race more, hoping to ease my major race anxiety. In April 2018 I won first overall female at a 5k, my first time, and I would go on to do that 10 more times that year. I chipped away at my times, finally breaking my 5k PR from 2015 several times, dropping it to a 20:48 in October. I dropped my PR in 9 different distances in 2018, ranging from the mile all the way up to the marathon. I tried a trail race for the first time. I began to enjoy running again.
At the end of August I started using the old Hansons Advanced Marathon Method, now Luke Humphrey Running, targeting the Disney Marathon on 2019. Through that plan I dropped my 5k, quarter marathon, half marathon, and 8k PR’s while training for the marathon. I entered 2019 feeling fit and ready to go, hoping to qualify for Boston, which would require a 25 minute PR in the race. That race report is posted, so feel free to read it. 🙂
Besides running I juggle coaching (gymnastics and track), teaching seventh grade English, and I’m getting ready to direct my first ever school musical. I live with my husband, who also runs, and our three corgis. My life can get pretty busy, which makes it interesting to try and fit everything in at times. But I do my best, and just keep running along.