Monday, September 17, 2007


It's been a few tough weeks. After such setbacks as an awful summer cold, a dog bite to the hand, a sprained knee, followed by another cold and a relocation with a stressed out cat back to California, I am somewhat apprehensive about my upcoming marathon. While I know that I am fully capable of making it, I feel extremely out of sink with everything. Right now I'm dealing with a stuffy nose and head, a sore throat, a hang nail, one cat who doesn't like the dog and another cat who doesn't like the one cat nor the dog! Does anyone know how to get rid of ants? Nasty buggers they are! I can't find my watch, though I know I brought it back with me. This week is to be my longest run yet, 20 miles. I can hardly believe it! The Chicago Marathon is now less than 4 weeks away! That's less than 30 days from today! It's all madness, madness.

Friday, August 24, 2007

News Flash: Knee Sprain Hinders Jennell's Training

For what seems like years now, actually only 2 weeks, I have been trying to recover from spraining my knee. Apparently, I pushed myself too hard on that 16 mile run and I've been paying for it ever since. I've iced, bandaged, and rested as much as I can, but still pain. Coach Jack suggested skipping tomorrow's milestone of 18 miles. I shall do so reluctantly. Oh how I long to get back out there! First the cold sidelines me and now this! Roll with the punches huh? Ok, I'll do that


Friday, August 10, 2007

Sweet Sweaty 16

Well, last Saturday was supposed to be my longest group run of 16 miles, but I unfortunately couldn't make it because I'd come down with a nasty summer cold. I set all my running stuff out the night before just in case I felt better, but when that alarm went off and I awakened coughing and not being able to breathe out of my nose, I thought it best to forego the run. So I nursed my cold for another few days and set out to complete my run alone on Wednesday.

Tuesday, the night before, I laid out all my gear. Tank, sports bra, shorts, socks, shoes, watch, hydration belt, packs of sports gels, tissues (for those bathrooms without paper products along the lakefront), a little cash to refill on Gatorade, and of course, the all important iPod.

I began the run about 2 hours later than I planned, but at least I was doing it right? Man, it started out really rough and only got rougher. I couldn't run while I was sick and now I was really paying for it. Not to mention the fact that we've been experiencing a heat wave for the past couple of weeks. Wednesday wasn't just hot, but it was HUMID. The sweat poured from me and flies stuck to me. I kept going though. You're supposed to run the first leg slower than the second, but this time around it didn't happen. I was just way out of synch. Yet, after a short bathroom break and replenishing my Gatorade supply, I was back at it. By now the sun was fully out and I went slower and slower. But, I did it and I actually did 17 miles! In my delirium I passed up my 8 mile marker and logged an extra mile!

No tears at the end of this run, only thanks to the good Lord that I made it back to the car!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

14 Miles Under My Belt and Some Tears

I am just now writing about my 14 mile group run on Saturday, July 14. It isn't because it passed without having any significance to me, but I simply hadn't made the time to sit and write about it. This is in part because it held so much meaning for me that I didn't know where to begin to convey its importance. I ran at the same time as my other TNT members but without a group. There wasn't any particular reason for my doing this it just sort of happened. Not to mention it was nice to stop for the bathroom whenever I wanted and not have to lose time waiting for whole group of people to go.

Again, it was another sweltering summer day along the lakefront, and yet hundreds of people were out. Moms jogging with their sport strollers, pairs of buddies running together, other organizations holding group runs, older couples strolling hand in hand. There were people sunbathing and those wearing wet suits and practicing laps for triathlons. It was inspiring. I listened to my tunes on my iPod and kept trucking mile after mile. Getting waves and smiles from team members and those at the water stations. I ran and I finished. It was an amazing feeling.

On the way home I shed a few tears for multitudes of reasons. I could make a list of reasons that would go on and on for pages. Was it that my body was healthy and moving with such strength? Or way the lake turned different blues throughout the run? Perhaps the kids rolling around in the sand? Was it the boats floating in the harbor, or the calls of the sea gulls? I guess it was just a little bit of everything that fell upon me with such impact that morning. It was another morning I'll not soon forget.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Alone It's a Whole Different Ball Game

It wasn't intentional but I missed my group run last Saturday. I've been so good about dragging myself out of bed Saturday mornings, but I went to bed so late, or early- depending how you look at it. I didn't close my eyes until the light came up that morning- around 4 am and I thought it best not to attempt to run 10 miles. Why was I up until 4 in the morning, you ask? Well, in one word, cable. Oh, and four other words, huge plasma screen tv. I was dog sitting for a few days (a small brown and round little baby who was my shadow the entire time and whose name is Meatball, or Meats for short. Apparently when his humans first saw him at a shelter they thought he looked just like a meatball. Meatball had something bad happen to him before he found David and Jody. He's got just one little brown eye and the other socket is sewn shut. If only he could talk and tell us what horrible thing happened to him before he became the love of his parent's lives. No matter though, now he lives in the lap of luxury. They have this great condo downtown and Meatball must have someone to sleep with under the covers. It's so adorable! He slept with me the entire time. Then any time I was on the couch in front of the tv, which was a LOT, he'd sleep on my lap and give me kisses. I haven't had my own dog in a few years now so I'd forgotten how much more attentive they can be than cats. Though most people claim that all of my cats somehow become dog-like). Anyway, I digressed from main point here. I was up until 4 am Saturday morning because I had access to not only a large plasma screen tv, but also to hundreds and hundreds of channels, as well as TIVO and Direct TV. I don't own my own television any more, a choice I do not regret, and I've never bought cable. My parents also never bought cable and I am so glad. While I'll admit that there are a FEW channels on cable that are worthwhile and have quality programming, I still believe that over 90% of it is utter garbage. But this garbage is a wonderful indulgence when you have it only on occasion. Court TV, Showtime, TV Land, Turner Classic Movies, Lifetime, home make-over shows, infomercials- I find them mesmerizing and I can watch them for hours. I think it's the sociologist in me that is so intrigued by the psychology of "the sell" tactics. Constant repetition and testimonials, pretty water beaded bottles held by pretty people. Rock-hard abs and bikinis lying on a new ab machine, celeb endorsements- so fascinating. Ok, so basically I didn't know what to do with myself and I didn't stop watching. Then, before I knew it, it was light outside and the birds were chirping.

However, I was determined to get in my ten mile run and did so on Monday morning- alone. Let me tell you it was not easy. It was me, my iPod, Gatorade strapped to my waist and the scorching sun along the lakefront. I went much slower than usual because it was extremely hot and ridiculously humid. There were tons of people out sunbathing, swimming, biking, and roller-blading. So many people that you really had to be cautious when you were passing people or trying to cross the path, especially around North Ave and Ohio St. I pushed through it though and actually ended up running one extra mile because I passed up my car. I should also mention that my running time was also off due to the fact that I stopped for about 20 minutes to help this little sparrow who couldn't seem to fly over this ledge under a bridge. At the 5 mile mark I stopped to marvel at the lake view and celebrate the half way point, when I noticed a tiny bird was in distress. It kept trying to fly up over this ledge but couldn't seem to make it. People were walking and zooming by on bikes, not noticing this little one was having trouble. I got closer and closer to it and it kept backing away- good bird! Don't trust humans because you never know! At one point it actually flew onto my leg as a man whisked by us. I tried offering my hand as a ladder up but no luck. Then, I went in search of a stick to act as a ramp to the ledge. But the bird didn't take to it. Then, finally, it dawned on me that the bird could just take the stairs to get to the other side of the ledge! So slowly I eased it to the open stairs just a little ways from our initial spot. It got to the steps and hopped down and I took off back towards my next five miles.

Bright and hot sun, no shade, and sticky air made for an even slower return, but I made it! And I made it with only myself to motivate me. I must admit that I'm pretty darn proud of me.


Monday, July 2, 2007

I did it! 12 miles- oh yeah!

Yup, 12 miles are now under my belt! Can you believe it? This is getting really frightening now. I mean how much further can I really run?

I ran the entire 12 miles with my new bud Nikki (who by the way is also an only child and an absolutely fabulous human being). We blab the entire way, take in the scenery, and before we know it, the run's over! Ok, well, not exactly. We also do a fair amount of bitching and moaning. We mix this up with our fantasy post-run meals (my most frequent cravings being creative pancakes from the Bongo Room or little Swedish pancakes from Ann Sathers. But I ultimately resist and settle for a healthy bowl of Special K Red Berries and sliced bananas in vanilla soy milk- yum- and an episode of Kojak). Then we add in day dreams about taking naps in a patch of grass off to the side of the path or plunging into Lake Michigan for a soak. But, we keep running 'til the end and high-fives all around- woo-hoo!


Friday, June 29, 2007

Almost half way

Tomorrow morning, bright and early, I will be running the furthest that I've ever run in my entire life. Wow, it's both exciting and slightly scary. Tomorrow's group run will be 12 miles! Which is almost half a marathon, but not quite. Crazy.

Hey, I've begun to think about what songs to have in my playlist during the marathon. Though I'll probably be too nervous to listen to much of anything and I don't want to miss the sounds of thousands of people cheering and supporting those running. I think it's a good idea to have some motivational songs on hand. My first thoughts are Chariots of Fire and the theme song from the movie Rocky. If you come up with any suggestions drop me a line.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I am so tired I can't really think straight, but I thought I'd try to get a new posting in. I wanted to say thank you to all of the people who have donated to this cause and support me on this journey. Tonight I did my run on my parents treadmill while watching the tele. I was so exhausted just from the day, but at 10:15 p.m., after my late dinner digested, I got on for a short run. There was a little stiffness in my left knee, and it came and went, but wasn't much of a problem. It's amazing how running puts you in tune with your body.

Part of the reason I think that I am so wiped out is because of the weather. The typical dog days of summer in Chi-town. Hot, sticky, humid, in a word, miserable. Yet, I wouldn't trade this time in Chicago with my wacky parents for anything. Summer is so fantastic here. My childhood home is one of those 90 year old Chicago-style bungalows and doesn't have central air-conditioning, so during the summer all of the windows are open. The whirl of the box fans and kids outside, the murmur of television sets, and car stereos fading into the distance are so familiar, soothing, comforting. As I write, memories come flooding back of my dad riding me on his ten speed bike to the beach on that straight bar (you know the one that "male" bikes usually had. I never understood why guy's bikes had that bar. You'd think bike makers would want to keep as much stuff as possible out of that very sensitive area). I can taste the snow cones and hot dogs (yes, I used to eat meat!) that my mom would stop and get for me on her way home from work. Or going with her to the video store and renting Rear Window for the hundredth time. Watching it in the darkness of the den with only the Technicolor glowing vibrant and vidid Crayola colors.

Chicago summers, there's nothing like them.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Thanks Everyone!

The donations are beginning to trickle in since I forwarded emails to everyone this morning. Only a few days until my first donation deadline on Sunday, June 24th.

Thank you all so much! Keep 'em coming!

Yours Truly,

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Donate! It'll make you feel good!

Every Saturday we start off our group run with an inspirational moment. Last Saturday a survivor of Leukemia informed us that one of her friends, Bob, had died just the day before from the disease. In the spitting and chilly rain 3 weeks ago we'd all lined up for a picture to send to Bob to let him know that we were all thinking about him. To let him know that we were training and running this distance for him and everyone like him. He was given this picture 2 days before he died and we were told that he was able to acknowledge it. We ran the first 5 minutes of our run in silence in honor of Bob.

Donate to this amazing cause. It will make you feel good:)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

A marathon is 2 1/2 times more of today?

It's 3:44 in the afternoon on Saturday, June 16, 2007. Today was my longest run ever! And let me tell you, it was no picnic! I went slower than I wanted in order to stay with a group, as it really helps the time go by and we keep each other motivated. Good thing I didn't keep the pace that I wanted to initially because I would have really struggled towards the end. The last mile and a half was tough enough without having over-excerted myself in the first miles. Man, the Chicago Marathon will equal two and a half times more of today's distance- scary.

Today it was already over 80 degrees and ultra humid at only 7 o'clock this morning. However, that didn't seem to dissuade anyone out there. There had to be hundreds and hundreds of runners, walkers, bikers, rowers, and swimmers along the lake front today. It was really inspiring to see so many people out and encouraging each other. As I crossed my way back to base camp one of my mentors, Amy, yelled, "Way to go Jennell! Whooohoo!" Man, that felt so great!


P.S. My Fred Sanford walk is back and probably for the next few days. Apparently the muscles really take a beating and can really swell once you begin upping your mileage. So I was warned to resist the temptation to return home after the run and take a soothing hot bath. Instead I was instructed to plant my legs in ice cold water for as long as I could take it (this helps limit swelling). I filled the bath tub up with cold water and counted to 10 about 4 different times before plunging my lower body in. Whoa- hello! Invigorating and surprisingly soothing after a couple of minutes. I followed this up with a quick cool shower, some Tylenol (ideally it should be Motrin- anti-inflammatory properties, but all I had was Tylenol), 2 huge cups of water, a bowl of Special K Red Berries with sliced bananas and vanilla soy milk, a documentary on spiders and a two and half hour nap. Such bliss!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Oh boy, I can't believe that my first fundraising deadline is just around the corner! Though I have been throughly enjoying my training, I have been extremely apprehensive about the raising money part. It's some times just so difficult to ask for help- but I know that I must get over that because this entire journey is about so much more.

I decided to do run the Chicago Marathon and raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society because I never want to take for granted all that I have. I read and hear stories every day about people who are suffering physically, mentally, and emotionally. Be it because of disease, poverty, war, or any other difficult circumstances, I have so much to be thankful for. I am inspired by people who have faced and continue to tackle unimaginable things. These people are my fuel and my strength. And along with the support of my family and friends I know that I can be unstoppable.

Donate to be apart of this amazing experience!


Slownoma Break

Hello all, I'm back! I haven't written for a while because there wasn't much running to tell about. I took a little break while I was back in Sonoma. The weather was so gorgeous and our temporary digs were worthy of royalty thanks to our traveling friends the Krauses. felt somewhat guilty about my little break, but the worst of it is that my body actually misses the running! I just feel different when I haven't been running. I did do a couple of runs while back in Sonoma- one 5 miler and a 3.5 miler.

This weekend will be my furthest distance ever- 10 miles. It's so weird that I am already at this point. Just a few short months ago this was just an idea in my head. Now, I'm up to 10 miles- scary, but extremely exciting:)


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Knee Pain Free

Woo-hoo, no pain in my knees at all today! Did 4.2 miles and I can honestly say that I felt no pain or soreness whatsoever! I guess my leg muscles are really building up. Also, I talked to my coach Jack about my running stride and he gave me a few suggestions which have really helped. He said that ideally I should be aiming to land on the balls of my feet, be leaning slightly forward with my body straight, and when attempting to go faster, quicken and shorten my turnover.

Thanks Jack, my knees and joints are grateful!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Runner's High

I am beginning to experience that well known "runner's high". I did a short 3 miles on the treadmill today, as suggested by my training schedule, and I just got into sort of a zone. It was this feeling like I could just keep on running forever. It was a surreal feeling and I've had it before when running, but now I just feel it consistently when I run. It's a zen kind of feeling. I like it and I think every part of my being is fueled and being nourished by it.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Good group run today and my longest distance yet! Today's run was a total of 8 miles- woo-who! It was a miserable morning to be out running because it was chilly, windy and raining. I could barely drag myself from bed. I kept praying that there would be lightening or thunder (because then our run is automatically cancelled- you know, us being next to the lake and all). However, fortunately and unfortunately there was no thunder or lightening and we were able to complete our run with no problems.

One of the ways we pair up for our runs is by pace time groups. Meaning depending on your pace/speed to complete one mile, you kind of stick with the group that's around the same pace. Sometimes it's a compromise because you may end up going faster or slower than you want, but the camaraderie and the fact that time flies by when you're talking to others makes up for it. Other times people end up running alone or in pairs if they find someone else who's keeping the same pace. I've run alone ahead of my pace group a few times and I must admit that there is something to being alone with your thoughts. Then, every few minutes or so the others in the pace groups head of you or those running the half marathon pass you on their way back to base camp and give you a thumbs-up or a "way to go!"- so cool!


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Rest in peace my love, my Buddy

Buddy Evans-Haynes
Born: unknown - Died: May 13, 2007

Buddy, you chose us and boy are we glad. We love you and always will love you. I'll miss you taking over my entire pillow and only my pillow- never Jesse's. Who will Henry pester now that you're gone? I will miss your deep sounding meow and the way you walked so gingerly with one paw in front of the other. I'll miss your demanding echoing cries from the bathroom to get us to turn the faucet on. I'll miss your consistently disheveled fur and your deep-set emerald green eyes. You brought so much joy into our lives and it tore our hearts apart to see you go. But you rest in peace our lovely girl and promise you'll eat lots of tuna and chicken in heaven. We miss you dearly Bud Bud.

Jesse, Henry, Jennell

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Group runs are now at an earlier ungodly hour of 7am- in anticipation of the humid, hot and sticky Chicago summer. Ran 6 miles today with the other TNT members. It's been approximately 3 weeks now that I've consistently run 3 days a week on my own and 1 day with the group. On my off-running days I cross-train by lifting weights and some pilates. I am really getting into a groove now and it feels great! I still have some soreness and pain in my left knee, but it seems to be less of a problem as I continue to train and the muscles around my knees get stronger.

Hey, I got new running shoes! I was long overdue for another pair. Yea for the New Balance Stability Trainer 767! Made in the USA so I don't have to worry about someone being paid pennys to make them in a sweatshop in Thailand.


Monday, April 30, 2007

A Tribute to Bob

Last week I attended the funeral of a much beloved man named Robert (Pa) Nunn, my fiance's grandfather. He was in his early eighties and by all accounts was a truly remarkable person. His family loved him and during the days leading up to and following his funeral stories floated from person to person. What a hard worker he was- stoic in a sense. He was "old school"- took care of his wife, daughters, family and just did the things that needed to get done.

One of the most remarkable things to me was that for over 50 years Bob Nunn was in a wheel chair. He and his family were in a car accident that left him without the use of his legs. From his family you got the sense that Bob was never much of a complainer. If something needed to get done he figured out a way to get it done. After his accident he became an accountant and began his own business. He built tools to help him manuver around his home and customized a van so he could live completely independently. So many stories and such loving memories this one man left behind.

Both of my grandfathers died before I was born, but if they had lived I'd want them to be just like Bob. I took away a lot from the days in Champaign with Bob's family. I was reminded of all the things that weren't important and the one thing that is- life. Nothing else matters. Bob Nunn lived life because it was meant to be lived and he didn't let anything get in his way. I try to imagine myself in Bob's shoes and I am shamed. I spend a lot of time with regret and thinking about what I don't have. When really, I truly have everything. From Bob I am reminded that my only limits are those that I place on myself.

I am going to run the The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon in honor of two people, Eddie Velez, age 5 and Robert Nunn, age 83 (with his families approval of course). One life that had just begun and the other lived out fully. Both of them remind me of the importance of life and not to take any of it for granted. Running 26.2 miles is a paltry feat when compared to what these two human beings faced and overcame.


April Showers Bring May Flowers

I haven't written in a while so I thought I'd just post an update.

Two Saturdays ago was the last kick-off for the TNT LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon. Which means that we are completely out of pre-training and all the fun begins! I'd been doing knee strengthening exercises and some walking for a few weeks trying to build up the muscles supporting the knee. Now I am back in it! I am on schedule running four days a week, with a long group on Saturdays. I start out a little sore, but once I get about 10-15 minutes in I feel much better.

To help me with all the muscles in my body I am cross training on the off running days. Mainly I'll be lifting weights to build upper body strength- watch out I'm gonna be buffer than ever! But also a little swimming and yoga.

Ok, that's it. Just wanted to get a word in before April walked away and rolled into May.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Why I Can Run

Everyday in one way or another I am reminded of what is really important in life. Rent, car payments, student loans, expired contact prescriptions, stale bread, forgetting to put the recycling bin out for the weekly collection, all the "shoulds" I'm told by society and by myself, the gunk around the bathroom faucet, unpacked suitcases in the closet, the unorganized photos and the shoe box, the untouched acoustic guitar, the overdue library books, the past due oil change, the friend I haven't called back yet, the shirt of Jesse's I've been meaning to mend, running low on toilet paper, savings or lack of savings, weddings and babies I need to hurry up and have, the war in Iraq, cruel animal experiments, organic or regular, fries or a baked potato, calories in and calories out, turning 30, asthma, pollution, fitting room mirrors. I could go on and on listing the worries I carry around inside my head, but the point is that none of those really matter when it all comes down to it. All this trivial and superficial stuff is just that- stuff.

Last week my fiance's grand "Pa" died. I'd only met him a handful of times but Jesse spoke of him so much that I truly felt as though I'd known him my whole life. I never met either of my own grandfathers, but if I had I would have wanted them to be just like Bob Nunn. Sometime in the late 50's Bob and his family were in a terrible car accident that left him without the use of his legs. Doctors did not expect him to live very long after the accident, and yet last week he left behind eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren. I was there when the family spread his ashes over his wife and young son's graves. They told stories about him, they hugged and they cried. I'll run for my grandfathers I will never meet and for Bob Nunn who created the good that is the family he left behind.

The Eurythimics and Deep Thoughts

It's been a few weeks since I've posted anything. Mainly because I have been on a sort of "leave of absence" as I figure out my knee situation. I am not in as much pain as I have been, partly due to the knee strengthening exercises I've been doing. The other reasons for my not keeping this blog updated range from a lack of discipline to being emotionally exhausted. I can carry the weight of the world inside my head.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

My Aching Knees

Oooh man, my knees are killing me. A few days ago, in Sonoma, I went for my daily run and my knees were on fire! It wasn't just the usual ache that happens as I warm up, but an intense dull ache in both knees. I managed 85% of the run but forced myself to remember the advice of my coach, Jack, to listen to my body. This is so difficult for me because I have been trained to work through pain. Any shooting pains or burning in gymnastics meant that I was pushing myself beyond my previous limits- a victory! Training for a marathon, I am continuing to learn, is much much different. Therefore, as the knee pain continued I forced myself to walk briskly for the rest of my run and resolved to take advantage of the injury clinic provided by TNT.

I was put through a series of tests, prodded and probed a bit at the clinic. My physical therapy doc said it was really obvious that I had been a gymnast- something to do with the over-flexibility of my joints. As he did one test he shook his head from side to side and said, "What you gymnasts put your bodies through! I bet you have trouble telling yourself when to stop don't you?" It's as though he was inside my head.

Basically he thinks that I need to build up the muscles around my knees and hips, However, he first wants me to see a specialist to rule out any major trouble before prescribing a specific treatment plan. So, until after my next appointment I am to walk my runs. Not to worry though, this will not affect my schedule as we are only in the pre-training stages until late April.

Ciao- ouch!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Second Group Run Holds Special Meaning

Another blisteringly cold morning with tons of wind and snow flurries. Today's forecast was to reach a high of about 25 degrees, which means that by the time I started running it had to be in the single digits. But, at least it was sunny! There were clouds in the sky but beautiful sunlight poked through all over. The lake looked completely still, an exquisite mixture of blues and grays. Closer to shore there were patches of crunchy ice and snow If I were in the Arctic I could imagine penguins drifting on them and waving "hello!" to me.

On Friday night I called into our TNT hotline to check on any changes to our training schedule due to the weather. I called 3 different times because I was sure that practice would be canceled! I mean for goodness sakes it wasn't going to be more than a few degrees outside! However, practice was still to be.

At the beginning of practice one of the team leaders made a special announcement. Today, March 3rd, was Eddie's birthday. Had Eddie still been alive he would have been 16 years old. Wow, that really hit me as we got into our run. Here I was doubting that I could brave the cold for little more than an hour, and people like Eddie were struggling to stay alive. Every year Eddie's mother and family have a birthday party for him in celebration of his life. The fact that Eddie's birthday fell on my group training day meant something to me. The year I decide to run a marathon, Eddie's birthday falls on the same day I was having trouble finding the motivation to run out into the cold. Watching the horizon of Lake Michigan, I saw the world reach out into infinity and I was really glad to be out there on Eddie's birthday.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Thanks Kat & Bernie

A big thanks and hugs to Kat & Bernie, of Wild Sanctuary, for snagging the dubious title as the second donors to my campaign.

Thanks so much for your support!

Nice and easy

Per coach Jack's advice I took today's run nice and easy. Today was a thirty minute run at an easy pace. It went by pretty quickly because I decided not to venture out in the cold and opt for the treadmill instead. Also, it helps that I watched an episode and a half of I Love Lucy. The first episode was the one where Lucy and Ethel agree to donate money to the charity of one of Lucy's old classmates. Lucy and Ethel think that they are donating $5 each, not the $500 the fundraiser expects. To raise the money Lucy and Ethel answer an ad to act as martians in a publicity stunt for $500 each. Seeing as how I've written a detailed description of what I watched while running today should be evidence enough of how uneventful today's run was. Nice and easy- that's my new motto and mantra.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Sammy, you're the greatest!

Thanks to Sam Evans for contributing the very first donation. I know times are tough right now so it really means a lot to me:)

Did I go too far Jack?

After walking like Redd Foxx on Sanford and Son for the past two days, I decided to ask my training coach, Jack, if I'd pushed myself too hard too soon:

My email:

Hi Jack, Whew! Though I didn't experience any pain during today's run, I think that I may have pushed myself too hard, as the outside of my left knee has some soreness and I can't seem to straigten it completely. I have real difficulty gaging when I am pushing myself past my limits (this is probably due to my 8 yr gymnastics career where you are supposed to push yourself beyond and through any pain). In regards to imposing limits on myself as I begin to do runs on my own, when should I stop running and take a walk/break?



Jack's email:

Hi Jennell,

Make sure you take it easy this week, keep your runs very slow and comfortable. After hard workouts like our Saturday long runs, and later on our Wednesday speed/hill workouts, a little ice on your problem areas immediately afterwards will be beneficial.

All those cliches your gymnastics coach told you, like "No pain, no gain" and "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" are completely inappropriate for endurance running - especially for someone training to complete their first event. You have eight months to build up to the Chicago Marathon. You're not going to make it if you kill
yourself every time you run - no one's body could handle that. Even the elite marathoners do their long training runs slow (relatively).

Holding back and running comfortably is one of the hardest things to learn. Adopting a run/walk strategy may be the way to go. I think almost every first-time marathoner should seriously consider this. There are a lot of different ways to adopt a run/walk program - ranging from utilizing it on every run or only on longer runs, and I'll be happy to talk to you about this next time. The idea is to find an interval that works for you, it can be 5 minutes running then two minutes walking, or 10 minutes running and one minute walking for example, and then doing it from the beginning of the run. The idea is by periodically changing to a walking stride you are giving some of your legs muscles a chance to rest. The key is to do this from the beginning of the run. What you don't want to do is wait until you get tired before you start walking. By then the damage has been done.

See you next weekend,



Sunday, February 25, 2007

And so, it begins...

Yesterday I arose at an ungodly 6:30 am to do my first Saturday run with TNT (Team In Training). I proceeded to put on an appropriate amount of layers- enough to keep warm but not make me pass out. It was Freezing out there! The wind was fierce and the sky was gray. Not a very welcoming start to my introduction into training. Lots of people there all training for different events. I kept my own pace and was able to continue the run without breaks- yea! However, I may have pushed myself a tad too far this first time out, as I am having a bit of trouble straightening my left leg. Oooo, ouch!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Friday, February 23, 2007