Thursday, January 22, 2009

I'm Jen and sorry, but I'm the slow one

I know it's not a contest or anything, (oh wait, I guess it IS a race) but I really am slow.  Sorry if my team had great expectations of winning the whole thing!  
I am really excited to run this race and I love that I get to train and experience this incredible journey with all you girls.  It will be fun getting to know you and finally meet you all in June.
O.K. on with the introductions:

I am 34 and have been married for 15 years and 4 months (threw that in there for you, Angie) and I have four kids; Justin's 14, Abby's 10, Caroline's 7, and Logan's 3.  They keep me busy to say the least.  They are all very different and wonderful.  I am learning as much from them as they hopefully are from me.
A year after baby number 3 and I noticed that my body wasn't just jumping back into shape.  Weird.  So I decided that I better start exercising.  I started running a little and lifting weights and doing all sorts of different cardio.  But after I lost the weight I discovered that running was the only cardio exercise that I really enjoyed.  In fact, I loved it.  I didn't care about losing weight anymore.  I was happy just running.  Later that year I ran my first 10K and was hooked.  Racing was exciting, nerve racking, made me want to throw up and then when it was all over, I wanted to do it again!  I ran it again the following year.  The following spring I was talked into running a half marathon by a friend the day before the race without really training at all.  She didn't show up but finishing that race was so cool.  A marathon was not even in the realm of possibility for me until that day.  I was just never athletic.  Ever.  Then a month later I injured my IT bands riding a horse.  I was in denial and kept running on them until they were so bad it was impossible.  So I spent the next year and a half not running and being pregnant with #4.  I used to dream about running pain free.  (And I was fast in my dreams.)  I used to cry when I'd see other runners on the road.  NOT running was killing me.  But that year and a half was the best thing for  me.
The kid's elementary school sponsored a running club for the kids.  If they ran 25 miles during the year they would be eligible to run the last mile of the Ogden City Marathon thus completing a marathon during the year.  A vision formed in my mind and I could see me finishing the marathon with the kids running at my side.  It was my new focus.  I started training and it came true.  It was one of the best moments of my life.  

So now to date I've run 3 marathons (Odgen '07, '08 and Salt Lake '08), 3 1/2 marathons, 3 10K's and one 5 K.  I still struggle with my IT bands.  But I think I'm learning how to deal with the flare ups a little better.  Running teaches me so many life lessons, like patience for example.  It's my time for me.  It gives me an identity.  It keeps me feeling alive.  It has shown me, more than anything, that nothing is impossible. 

10 comments:

Kristyn said...

Hi Jen. Your little family looks so cute finishing up the Ogden Marathon. Congratulations on all your races. That is really awesome. I'm excited to meet you!

Mel said...

You are a very determined person and I love that about you! I can't wait to finally meet you IRL. So glad you decided to run Wasatch.

Polliwog said...

Nice to meet you. What a fun photo of you with your kids. I enjoyed "lurking" on your blog this morning. :)

Tall Girl Running said...

Jen, you already know how excited I am to meet you. We're going to have such a great time! Hope things continue improving for you. Baby steps, baby steps!

Bart, Erin, Hunter & Jorden said...

I love that family picture! And I assure you I am the slow one! You do not get that spot by yourself!

The Eberhardt Family said...

nice to meet you jen... and looks like we are all vying for the 'slow one' spot!

Kelly(M&M) said...

Hey Jen, I have lurked on your blog and love reading your running stories. What a fun accomplishment to do with your kids. I am glad you are figuring out your injuries and I am impressed with the marathons you've run in spite of them! Can't wait to meet you!!

amydear said...

I love the pic with the kids! I like to run with my kids, too. Hope the IT band thing keeps under control. Chronic injuries are a pain -- really.

JP said...

What an awesome experience!! I can only imagine how cool that was for your kids (and you!) to cross the finish line together.

(That is a cute picture of you, by the way...your smile is contagious.)

Sarai said...

That is such a cool strory, very inspiring, but hey! that is why we are all here for, some inspiration, right? At least I am. Looking forward to meeting you and running with you.