Hello! I’m Jennifer and am starting this blog to record my progress as a
runner and to connect to other runners. I live in the Northside of Pittsburgh,
so you’ll mostly find me running on the river trail, Downtown, and the Strip. Before
I start, I thought I’d share my story and my running goals. Thanks for stopping
by, and happy running!
I’m a relatively new and slow runner, having been heavy and
running-averse my entire life. I remember being the only kid in grade school who
couldn’t run a mile for the presidential fitness test. As the years went on, every other time I tried
to run I just couldn’t do it and gave up. In 2010, I lost more than 35 pounds
(you can read more about that on my vegan cooking blog
.) When I worked with a
trainer to plan what types of fitness I should do to maintain that loss, he
suggested trying activities I thought I couldn’t do or I thought I didn’t like.
For me, that was running and yoga.
Running was still not very doable for me when I started in
May 2011 until I started practicing Chi Running
; I continue to use this technique.
I slowly progressed and ran my first 5K in August 2011 (Run Around the Square
time: 32:48; pace: 10:35; blog entry
.) I continued running through the winter and worked
on adding distance then flew to San Francisco to visit my friend and run the
famous Bay to Breakers
12K with her (time: 1:27; pace: 11:45). Then, everything changed. I adopted a
retired racing greyhound who needed a lot of help getting adjusted to his new
life, and all my time for running became time spent with the dog. (More on that,
which is also why I stopped my vegan cooking blog.) I ran very
sporadically from May 2012 through March 2013. At the beginning of last year I
decided to get back into it and wanted to target a half-marathon to celebrate
birthday in September.
I completed my first half-marathon, the Montour TrailHalf-Marathon
, September 7, 2014, five days after my 40th birthday (time: 2:50; pace: 13:01). I made a lot of mistakes. I was so worried about finishing that I ended up following a girl who was running a minute/mile slower than I trained for. Then I got very sick at mile 11 with nausea (having made
every mistake possible related to pre-race eating) and walked the
remainder of the race, so I failed at my goal to run the entire race. I was a
big baby about it and cried the whole day because I was so frustrated. So that
very day, I registered for the Buffalo Creek Half-Marathon
because I knew I
could meet my goal. I ran it on October 19, 2013 and met my goal of running the whole race (time: 2:37; pace: 12:01). I loved the
race and the gorgeous trail.
|Me on the Buffalo Creek Half-Marathon trail|
I did the 5-mile Pittsburgh Turkey Trot
for fun but had
been thinking I wanted to get faster as my next goal (time: 49:49; pace: 9:58).
|Me after the 2013 Turkey Trot|
In 2014, I want to focus on speed instead of distance. To
meet these goals, I plan to run three races: a 5K, a 10K, and the Buffalo Creek
Half-Marathon again. I’m currently following Jenny Hadfield’s 5K Intermediate
Training Plan, which calls for four runs a week, two strength training
sessions, and a rest day. I also do yoga (yes, I took my trainer’s advice on
that too!) daily or nearly daily for injury prevention and to keep me sane.