Breakfast/ Exercise/ Fitness/ Lunch

Reader Beware: Long Rant Ahead

Today I ran 9 miles. I’m going to say it went as well as running 9 miles at 5:45 in the morning can go. I think I figured out the tactic that works for me the best, and aside from the first five minutes, I had really no discomfort. Basically, I run my heart out as far as I can go and then I just run the rest of the way doing the ever efficient Galloway method, running for three minutes and walking for one. It works for me! Oh, and keep it slow. Real slow.

What you all don’t know is that on Thursday night I was up at 12:45 crying and writing Team in Training a long letter as to why I had to quit. My shins hurt, I said. I just can’t do it. I’m not a “real runner”.

My gut told me to wait until Monday to send that letter so I saved it in my drafts section of my gmail and went to bed with a heavy heart.

And then this morning the sermon at church totally spoke to me. Brian, our pastor, was telling us how his fourteen year old daughter just ran in her first cross country meet yesterday. There were 60 runners and she was second to last. Her one friend on the team was dead last and so far back and lost that everyone thought she dropped out. Well, Brian’s daughter actually made the decision to TURN AROUND and run the opposite direction close to the finish line just so she could find her friend and run by her side…so she wouldn’t be the last. She didn’t care about time or pace; she put someone else before herself. And she’s only fourteen. Amazing.

This whole time, I’ve been trying to make this race all about ME. I’ve been so concerned with walking less, running more and running fast while at it. I felt like in order to hold my head high in the blogworld, I had to finish the race in under two hours and run the entire time.

Now I can see just how ridiculously stupid that is. The truth of the matter is that this race isn’t about Jenna at all. Not in the least bit. This race is for all those cancer patients who will benefit from the research that raising close to $9,000 will bring in. What does it matter what my “split” times are, how fast I go, or how much I walk? What does it even matter if I walk the whole dang thing?! I’ve twisted this race around to be a selfish matter when it most clearly should not be. It’s really easy to get caught up in reading these food and exercise blogs—-thinking that if you aren’t running 30 miles a week you must not be a runner…it’s ingrained in us to be the BEST at everything and to judge ourselves based on someone else. But, at the end of the day, who cares? Seriously. I challenge each one of you to stop comparing yourself to others, stop aiming for perfection, and just accept what you are and where you are today and help someone else. It’s not all about PRs and calories; it’s about real life and real people.

Okay, rant over. Moral of the story: I’m not quitting and even though it might take me five hours to finish this thing, I’m doing it for those who can’t even walk and would kill to be in my shoes.

Hopefully I didn’t come off as too harsh. God gave me a very passionate, feisty and stubborn heart and I’m using it the best way I know how. πŸ™‚

Pre-run I had two slices of whole wheat toast with peanut butter—-


Drank watered down gatorade the whole way and it worked well. I love that stuff! When I got home I made a big shake with 1 scoop Vega, 1 scoop Amazing Grass SuperFood, 1 frozen banana, frozen peaches, 1 cup soymilk and 1 scoop peanut butter.


It was actually really gross (haha) but I was so hot and so tired and so wiped out that I didn’t care. I really don’t like this Vega stuff and am thankful that my refill for Amazing Meal is on route to me right now! I feel like Vega has a weird sweet taste. Maybe it’s just me.

The shake actually filled me up for quite some time but when I got home around 1:00, I was literally shaking again from hunger. Dangit, running 9 miles makes me HANGRY! I made the quickest and most filling meal I knew:


Mmmmmmm oatmeal πŸ™‚ I used 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup soymilk, 1/2 cup water, 1 scoop Sun Warrior protein powder, some craisins, cinnamon, sea salt and white chocolate wonderful pb. I’m just realizing now I have had peanut butter with every meal/snack today so far. Awesome.

I’m off to wander around the bookstore, my favorite Sunday afternoon activity. I’m so excited to go to California on Friday that I’m already packing….woohoo!

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  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is
    September 20, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    This is such a beautiful post and oh so true. It is very inspiring.

  • Amanda
    September 20, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Glad to hear you’re not quitting! If the Galloway method is what works best for you, do it! Don’t push yourself into injury – it’s not worth it.

  • Lindsey
    September 20, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    I completely understand what you’re coming from as far as trying to be the best for everyone else… I’ve convinced myself I shouldn’t run at the gym because essentially everyone on a treadmill can run for (what seems to me) miles and miles and miles with no breaks – And they make it look easy! Whereas I run their pace and look like I’m gonna die. I think this week I’ll challenge myself to hop on or go outside and see what I can do. πŸ™‚

    If you really enjoy running then I think you’re doing the right thing — taking care of yourself, if that means slower, ok!, because hurting yourself in the process will only end up harming the future you have of running. GOOD LUCK training and it’s really refreshing to see your new perspective!!

  • Matt
    September 20, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Good for you!

    Running isn’t about how fast or how far you go, it’s about the passion for doing something that you love. I honestly could care less about how fast I run, as long as I am out there doing it!

  • Shannon
    September 20, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    I needed your rant πŸ™‚ It’s so easy to fall down the slippery slope of comparing yourself to others. Even if you’re confident in one area of life, it’s easy to feel like you’re not good enough in a different area. Well said, Jenna! And congrats on 9 miles!

  • Sarah
    September 20, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Jenna, this post was exactly what I needed to read today. I feel like I’m always so caught up in the unimportant details of things. I often forget that life’s not a competition and the people who love me will love me no matter what, and there are more important things in life than always being perfect. I just signed up for my first 5k race ever this morning (it’s next Saturday!) and I automatically started worrying about what a “good” time is and how fast I “needed” to run to achieve that. Reading your post has helped me to realize that I’m not running this race to win or be acknowledged at all – I’m running it because my donation, however small it may have been, will help in the fight against Ovarian Cancer, and there are thousands of women in the world with this horrible disease who cannot run at all.

    Thank you so much Jenna, you’re a constant inspiration to me.

  • Emily
    September 20, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Yay! I’m so glad that you had this revelation, Jenna! Good for you. πŸ™‚ I’m so happy that you’re not quitting the race and that you feel good (as you should) about your running situation. I’m just realizing myself (after a long break from running) that I was way too hard on myself about it – always counting miles, splits, days off. And I was never good enough, fast enough, etc. I realized after about a month break that I just want it to be fun and enjoy every run and the fact that I can do it! Yay for that. πŸ™‚

    Have a great Sunday!

  • Food Makes Fun Fuel
    September 20, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Wow, amazing story. I think it’s great you shared all that. It’s definitely good for all of us to look outside of ourselves towards bigger organizations and causes and I applaud you for that

  • *Andrea*
    September 20, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    what a sweet story!!!! that girl is amazing… and so are you for being kind to yourself and thinking of the greater picture. you are so lovely πŸ™‚

  • Hallie
    September 20, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Jenna, this is really refreshing to read and REALLY hit home for me. I’m just getting into running, and it’s NOT easy for me. I debating doing a 1/2 marathon at the end of January, and I’m fighting thoughts of, “I can’t do it…I’m too slow…if I have to walk, it’s cheating.” But yesterday I hung out with a woman with serious health problems…she needs help doing simple things like loading her dishwasher. I think my working with her will serve as a wake-up call for me. Even if I’m not a hard-core runner like some bloggers out there, just going out and being able to try is something that many others can’t do, and for that I’m greatful. Thanks SO much for posting this. You are awsome!

  • Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope
    September 20, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    I’m so proud of you for sticking it out and realizing the true goal in your running. You are such a strong woman, and you just have to be the best YOU can be. πŸ™‚

    Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

  • MelissaNibbles
    September 20, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Good for you Jenna! Sometimes it’s hard for us athletes to put our pride and competitive nature aside and truly look at the big picture. Thank you for the reminder as I tend to do the same thing. Keep your head up!

  • Danielle Lowe
    September 20, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Jenna! This post was so uplifting to me. It is amazing the way God speaks to us. My father is a Lymphoma survivor and it means so much to know that people out there like you are raising money for blood cancers. Keep up the good work and thanks for being an inspiration!

  • Lauren
    September 20, 2009 at 2:33 pm


    This couldn’t have been better timing for how I’ve been feeling lately. It is so good to see you write this because lately I have been doing the same thing. It is almost destroying me inside. I actually just put on my blog this morning that something was bothering me-and it actually happens to be this exact subject that has been bothering me, so it funny you wrote this now. I really enjoyed reading this post, and reading the message from your pastor. Thank you!


  • Stephanie Rigdon
    September 20, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    thank you so much for posting this! sometimes it’s so easy to get completely focused on ourselves and forget what got us started us running in the first place! i’ve been really down on myself since i had to quit my training for a full marathon… this was an awesome reminder that sometimes it’s really not about me. thanks again!

  • Marina
    September 20, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    You really inspired me with this post πŸ™‚ Thank you for that. I am trying to stop comparing myself to other people, and to stop thinking I’m not good enough just because I didn’t exercise enough. I helped my mom today when she really needed me, and I’m glad I’ve put her first. Instead of my silly obsessions.

  • Jenna
    September 20, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Wow Jenna, you put your thoughts down into such powerful words. I love that you were able to find the passion and real reason that you signed up to do this run and have that power you through. When people are down it is so easy to give up and compare ourselves to others. However, it is great that you realize the meaning of this race and that, hey, if you need to, you can walk the whole thing :).

    Enjoy your Sunday afternoon!

  • Viddy
    September 20, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Hi Jenna – I’ve been reading your blog for a long time but this is one of my first comments. I just wanted to say that your post today really spoke to me. I ran my first race today and I was feeling really embarrassed about my time until I had a similar realization at the end of the race. In the grand scheme of things, what was most important was that the race was for such an amazing cause and just being able to run and be a part of the whole thing was incredible. The race only fueled my desire to get stronger and possibly organize a race for a cause I am passionate about one day! I think reading blogs can be helpful to a certain degree. It’s when we cross into the area where we never feel good enough and always compare ourselves where it can lead to trouble. Anyway, thank you for putting into words what I was feeling today.

  • niecy
    September 20, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Good for you Jenna! Seriously. You’re such a wise, caring, and compassionate gal! Now if we could just work on your Ohio State fan status…heehee (michigan fan here). Enjoy the rest of your day and be proud of yourself!! Even as a “stranger”, I’m certainly proud of you πŸ™‚

  • Paula
    September 20, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Jenna, I’m not a runner, but I couldn’t agree more with your “rant” and the decision you’ve made about the race. You’re a strong, strong woman and you’ll do it for all the right reasons! Rock on! Run on!

  • Shawna
    September 20, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    I think PB overload is almost always a good thing! It’s so wonderful that you are inspired to keep going and not get caught up in details like your time.
    Since you have shared some links to your pastor before, I thought you may like to check mine out as well:
    They have an internet campus so you can watch along live, too!
    Enjoy the rest of your Sunday πŸ™‚

  • maggie
    September 20, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    I really appreciate that you said ” I challenge each one of you to stop comparing yourself to others, stop aiming for perfection, and just accept what you are and where you are today and help someone else”. I think every women/girl should do so….our world is soo messed up with the thinking of being “THE best” and “perfect” that we forget to just accept ourselves and be OUR best.


  • Shannon, The Healthy Beach Bum
    September 20, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    I love the moral of your post! Don’t compare yourself to others… listen to your body and realize that personal achievements are greater than anything else. Have a great day Miss Jenna! 9 miles is amazing <3

  • Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat)
    September 20, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Jenna, you inspire me! I can’t run 2 miles let alone 9 miles! Running is a struggle for me everyday and I have to force myself to do it because I know it’s good for me and I know I will get better at it eventually. My shin splints have stopped me so many times! It’s frustrating. I think it’s amazing that someone with shin splints can run that far! I am going to try your method and see if it helps me.

    I just wanted you to know that your post touched me. I’m glad you wrote it. I needed to read this today. πŸ™‚

  • Abby
    September 20, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    I’m proud of you! I think that we all need a voice of reason telling us what is truly important. Thanks for the reality check and good luck with the race!

  • Susan
    September 20, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    Amen Jenna! Such a well-timed rant for me. I just ran my first 10k race this morning. I finished it within my own personal goal of under an hour, but was pretty bummed to see I still placed 9/10 in my age group, and towards the bottom of the list of finishers. But I had to remind myself, I achieved MY goal, and shouldn’t be comparing myself to the other finishers!

    In my opinion, a runner is anyone who can lace up their shoes and get out there, regardless of the time or distance. And real runners understand that sometimes, a little walking is the best way to get to the finish line πŸ™‚

  • Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo)
    September 20, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Jenna- totally commendable that you turned your race around in your mind to be about others rather than striving for a fitness goal. I’m glad you waited to send the letter too! πŸ™‚

  • M
    September 20, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    My respect for you just skyrocketed. I agree that you shouldn’t feel you have to run this thing to do it well. People will relate to you even more (maybe!) if you don’t/can’t cause lets face it- not all of us are built to wake up at 6am every morning and pound out a half-marathon. Don’t stress too much about it, just enjoy the process/journey.

  • Aimee
    September 20, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    I really needed that message! Thanks for sharing your “rant”! Sometimes we all just need to be reminded!

  • Leianna
    September 20, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    I’m been feeling that way to about certain health and fitness issues, but this morning my pastor had a sermon just like yours.
    John 13: 1-17 It not’s about us, it about faith in others!
    Have a great rest of Sunday, sounds amazing to walk around a book store!

  • chrissy
    September 20, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    this is so great to read right now. i’ve been pushing myself really hard for my upcoming half marathon, and today i decided to give myself a break. it was the best decision i could have made for my running, my health, and my mind. i don’t need to hit 25 miles every week to be a “runner.” enjoying my run should always be my first goal. thanks for that reminder!

  • Bonnie
    September 20, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    I’m soooo glad you’re going to continue Jenna!!! I’m training for the full marathon as a mentor for the Georgia Chapter of Team in Training. One of the things I love about the Team coaches is that it’s all about finishing not about the time it takes to finish! It’s taken me a long time to finally start to get to where I want to be time wise with my running (2 years, and 2 marathons). Be patient!! And know that we’re all cheering you on!

  • Leianna
    September 20, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    My pastor had the same message this morning from John 13!
    Your 9 mile run sounds amazing and glad you stuck it out!

  • Kate
    September 20, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Jenna – I almost never comment, but I looove your blog and read it all the time. But I had to comment on this. GO YOU! You are completely right. You have gone above and beyond what 99% of the population would do. You have done your best to train and fundraise for this, and we are all proud of you, even if you have to walk the whole thing!

    You are an amazing person and an inspiration! Thank you! And if you ever need a reminder of that, just email me, and I will tell you.

    OK I think I’m done with my rant now. πŸ™‚ Have a great day – I think you’ve inspired me to go for a run! (I am doing my first triathlon next weekend, and have been sick for the past few weeks, and have also felt really defeated. But I am going to go out there and do my best!)

  • Callina
    September 20, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Jenna, I am with you! Thank you for this post, really. I’ve longed for a while now to be a “real runner” but no matter how hard I try, my own shin and knee pains bug me so much that I eventually just figure that I have to be a walker or a cyclist or something else because I can barely run three miles without taking a walk break. I guess your typical “real runner” doesn’t have to take walk breaks. But we aren’t all built for that! And I’ve been shutting myself down and not even attempting longer runs until I can run those three miles without stopping. But, now I can totally see that that is stupid! Why not just take a walking break when I feel like it and go on for miles and miles?! Jeez…we humans can be so stubborn!

    Glad to hear that you’re going to continue and do the race. Even if you have to take walk breaks. Even if you have to finish last. I think I might make that my mantra. πŸ™‚

  • stephanie
    September 20, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    BRAVO for you Jenna…..not for running your 9 miles (although that rocks), but for shifting your head and heart gears and keeping the “main thing the main thing”. I’ve dealt with the same thing, trying my darndest to run distances that my knees and body say I shouldn’t, but I didn’t want to accept it out of pride. But I realized I’m a ridiculously fast walker and I can walk my heart out and praise the Lord I’m able to do that each step of the way. Sometimes it’s not what you actually do, but the how and why you do it. 12 perfectly paced miles run all for the sake of yourself don’t carry a whole lot of power, but 12 miles gutted out, run, walked, endured for the sake of a bigger purpose, for the benefit of others….that’s a beautiful, glorious thing to be proud of. I appreciate and applaud your “rant”!

  • christie, honoring health
    September 20, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    You go girl!! This post gave me chills, I feel very proud of you!! You are going to rock that race no matter how long it takes you!

  • Jamie in Arkansas
    September 20, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    Once again, thank you for your honesty. I too, have been guilty of comparing myself to others and you just woke me up!! πŸ™‚
    You are such an inspiration and I admire you for using the talents God gave you. My goal this week is to be less selfish (thanks to you!). Please keep inspiring me!
    Jamie πŸ™‚

  • christie, honoring health
    September 20, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Sorry if this is a duplicate, the first time I tried, it did not show up πŸ™

    You go girl! This post gave me chills. You are going to rock that race no matter how long it take you!

  • Ashley
    September 20, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    I love this post Jenna.
    It is really easy for us to lose sight of what “things are really about” and raising that much money for such an amazing cause is truly a feat that you should be so proud of. And in my eyes, the second you stop walking and move with more momentum and begin running, you are a runner. There is no reason to be putting so much pressure on yourself to run faster and harder and compete with others if you’re only hurting yourself in the process.
    I really appreciated this post today because like you, I am always aiming for perfection and your words today reminded me that sometimes I need to take a step back.
    You are an inspiration to many people and no matter what happens we will all be very proud of you!!

  • Chelsea
    September 20, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    thanks for that post girlie! I am not a runner and I always read the bloggie who do incredible miles in such short time spans and feel bad about myself! Good for you to get that out there. We can’t all be the best at everything, and thats ok! Though totally impossible to accept at times.
    You totally helped me not feel terrible about the fact that I stay away from running πŸ™‚

  • Jocelyn
    September 20, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Hey Jenna. I don’t think this post is too harsh at all. I think it’s what we need to read! I get so angry sometimes reading some blogs that beat themselves up for not reaching a certain pr or wanting to come in first to get a prize or trying to log 9898988 miles per week and getting angry for not making that.
    It’s frustrating..Just accept what you are today live and learn and help others out. I totally get what you are saying and glad you came to this conclusion!

  • sirenjess
    September 20, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    That was amazing what the little girl did. You’re absolutely right who cares how fast you finish or how you do it. You raised money to help with breast cancer and that’s what matters. I know how you feel about making the race about you. I’m running the Nike Woman’s in October as well and last Wednesday my doctor told me I can’t run the full. I can run the half and that’s it. I was crushed and angry because I love running. I love running marathons and to be told that I couldn’t do it made me angry. Just enjoy that day and what we are there for that’s my goal for that day.

  • Judy
    September 20, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    I’ve lost almost 30 lbs over the last year & a half, and part of that has been by running for very short amounts of time, really, really slowly.

    Many of my online buddies take up running and are soon running 5, 6, and more miles. After a couple of years, I’m still struggling to run a 5k. In about 45 minutes. With some walking.

    I don’t even particularly enjoy running — there are other forms of exercise I do enjoy more — but I really need something that pushes me a bit more.

    Basically, no matter how fast or slow you are, there’s always someone faster or slower. It really is about the journey, not the finish — altho it can sure be frustrating at times!

  • Nicole
    September 20, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    You are totally right not to compare yourself to others! Do what you can, and push yourself as far as your body will let you go. If you push yourself harder than that, you will end up being injured. And you know that. In the grand scheme of life, PR’s and calories DON’T matter!! Family, friends, and love matters! Kudos to doing what is right for you!! I think that you are doing a great thing with raising all of that money for cancer research!

  • Liz
    September 20, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    Wise words Jenna! I’m glad your didn’t quit. You’ve been putting in so much time, effort and heart into your training and the race. Now, speaking of CA, you need to visit the central coast! The wine here is amazing and the area is beautiful…if I do say so myself (I live there!). Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

  • Brie (The Fit Bride)
    September 20, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Jenna, you can do this! Don’t ever doubt yourself.

    I lost a lot of weight last year and knew I could run a race, but I’ve always been so scared to come in last or be huffing and puffing across the finish line so I never did. I knew deep down I’d love the competition and the experience, but I was terrified of what people would think when they saw me running and that I’d disappoint myself.

    Yesterday, largely inspired by bloggers like you and Caitlin and Meghann, I ran my first ever real race (and recapped it on my blog). I am so proud that I finally faced my racing demons and just did it. Know that what you do is helping people in more ways than you think! You can TOTALLY do this.

  • tess
    September 20, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Jenna, you are amazing! I want to thank you for your insight. I really needed that today.I am 42 years old and have just started to run, jog for the first time in my life. I love the way I feel……stronger on the inside and out. However, I have started to feel the need to push myself faster and longer due to peer pressure. I really enjoyed running when I was doing it for the right reasons. You have helped me see that there is not need to be caught up in others opinoins or ego. I run because it helps me relax and de-stess so I can enjoy my family and my responsibilities.

  • Jesse
    September 20, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    I am so glad for you that you can see you are in Team in Training for a cause-a wonderful one at that! Yes, making comparisons to others makes us doubt ourselves. I’m always thinking “Am I thinner than that women? Smarter?” And the truth is, that there will always be someone that is a better runner, thinner, more beautiful, etc. True beauty comes in being completely yourself-that is what I tell myself, and the more I practice that, the more it works! You’ll have a blast in CA too-the weather has been warm here but it will still be much cooler to run in than Florida! πŸ™‚ Good luck! πŸ™‚

  • Allie
    September 20, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    running or walking- it doesn’t matter, you are so very right. good luck Jenna, you will do great no matter what your finishing time is.

  • angieinatlanta
    September 20, 2009 at 3:20 pm


    When will we stop comparing ourselves to others? Even when it’s healthy habits that we want to emulate, we ALWAYS have to do what’s best for us!!

  • Denise
    September 20, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    Wow Jenna!!! What an inspiring post!! You are absolutely right! And now that you’ve taken that false pressure off yourself, I bet your shins will heal right up. I’m a SLOW runner…and it is okay! I just do it because I love it.

    I’ve been reading your blog now for a couple months. Your honesty, openness and sense of humor keep me coming back. And your photos!! love those.

    I know your parents much be very proud of who you’ve become!! I sure would be. I am a christian homeschool mom of 3 girls. I’m in the thick of it in the parenting world (ages 10, 6 and 20 months). I want you to know what an encouragement it is for me to come here. I only hope and pray my daughters turn out as well as you have: strong in your faith, well-balanced, healthy, strong, creative, funny and kind! It helps me to “see” what the fruit of my labor might possibly be if I keep pressing on!

    Thanks again!! Denise

  • christina MINDFUL LIVING
    September 20, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    jenna… all i can say to that is go you. you are right- the race is not about you but running is about you. you do it for yourself. you listen to your body. you let your body decide how fast it wants to go, how hard it can push itself, how far it wants to run, etc. you are capable of doing this… just do it at your pace and enjoy the journey because in the end- the journey is what its all about my friend πŸ˜‰

  • Amy
    September 20, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Good for you! I myself cannot run more than 10 minutes in a row without stopping to walk. I love yoga, but I am not really super flexible and can just touch my toes. I love swimming, but have never been formally trained. I am starting to really love biking and love spinning class, but I’m not going to start competing in bike races anytime soon. My motivation comes from the ability I have to use my body, to work it out, and to feel strong.

  • Andrea
    September 20, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    Awesome post, Jenna. You have a beautiful spirit!

  • Kristin
    September 20, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    This post resonates with every last bit of me. I’m also running a half marathon this fall for cancer research. I’ve also been caught up in a total frenzy of comparison. And who does that benefit? Noone. Love that you put it all out there.

    Congratulations on your fundraising efforts!

  • Samantha
    September 20, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Jenna ~ Congrats on the 9 miles, you are completely amazing! This post really touches my heart mainly because I can relate to it so much. I am not a runner. Never have been. But I am determined to make it a part of my life. I keep receiving flyers for TIT….I want to join SO BAD! But I don’t think that I would be able to do any of the stuff they want me to do. I will run for them one day, and I hope its soon. I look forward to reading all your posts; they inspire me so much. I just want to say thank you! Hope you found some good books to read!!

  • Erin
    September 20, 2009 at 3:29 pm


    That is just what I needed to hear today. I was thinking of running a 1/2 to benefit Mercy Ministries, but I didn’t know if I could do it well enough. God also gave me a stubborn heart, so when it is time to begin training, I am gonna do it. Your blog is my favorite by far- I totally relate to everything you say! You will do awesome in your race. Have a great Sunday!

    Your friend,

  • Sara
    September 20, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Go Jenna! I couldn’t agree more. Good for you for realizing this mature perspective and truly speaking from the heart. You are absolutely right; we so frequently get caught up in ourselves and our own feelings or self-consciousness and become hypersensitive or stubborn, entirely losing the bigger picture. Your resolve is so admirable and your attitude is very inspiring! I’m sure you’ll do yourself (and those patients) proud. And isn’t it amazing how we so often ‘coincidentally’ receive the “answers” we need?

  • sara
    September 20, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.

    Little Winston Churchill for you. You’re amazing – keep it up πŸ™‚

  • Cindi
    September 20, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    GREAT post, Jenna! And keep that feisty and stubborn heart strong, okay?

    Cheers from Alaska,

  • Niki
    September 20, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Way to go for not giving up on the race! I totally understand how you feel about feeling pressure to be faster and run a certain amount and whatnot. You should have no shame, even if you have to walk half the distance…you will still be accomplishing something huge for yourself (completing a half marathon in ANY amount of time is awesome!!!) and for a wonderful cause. Just keep staying positive and listening to your body. I hope when you get to cross that finish line in a few weeks, you will do so with a BIG smile on your face!!

  • skinnyrunner
    September 20, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    well put. its always a great reminder to ourselves to put things in perspective, in the true perspective and stop comparing ourselves.
    before my first marathon i was really pressuring myself about getting a boston qualifying time. it was making me mentally crazy! and then i ended up injuring myself and couldn’t run for 4 months. I think it was God’s way of telling myself to get over myself and stop being so anal about dumb stuff like that. who’s really gonna ever care besides me?
    thanks for the rant! a great perspective.

  • recipesforcreativity
    September 20, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Good for you, Jenna!

  • Danielle J.
    September 20, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    Oh Jenna, I am SO proud of you for writing and sharing this post! It’s SO HARD not to get caught up in comparing yourself to others in blogland, but it’s true – you can only do what your body can handle at any given time, and chances are it’s different than anyone else. If following Galloway works for you, then do it with all of your heart for this amazing cause! It’s going to be an amazing experience whether you finish in two hours or 6.5 πŸ™‚

    Big hugs!

  • Karen
    September 20, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    Thank you Jenna, well said, so many people only think about themselves, and talk only of themselves, it’s nice to see someone so young actually get it’s not all about them. There’s so many people out there who would love to run or maybe just walk, or perhaps even get out of bed and go outdoors. You worked hard to raise this money for cancer victims, and in doing so, did an amazing job, that made you a winner before you even started to run. Seeing the obstacles that you had to endure to run, gives you a whole new perspective on what others have to endure to get through life. I hope you can run, and even if you’re dead last, who cares, you’re already a winner before you even started. πŸ™‚

  • Jill
    September 20, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Thank you so much for your long rant. Sometimes I am uplifted by the positivity in blogs, but sometimes it helps to hear about what is really true- the struggles, setbacks and imperfections. Sometimes I wish healthy living blogs were more real. I am starting to run regularly and I am making a point of listening to my body and honoring it. In doing so, I have learned so much about myself in resting, pausing, struggling much more than if I pushed myself. I have learned above all to accept where I am today. For me, running is about fun not performance. It is a big lesson. Now I wish i could live the rest of my life that way! Running for someone else is a worthier goal- I admire you for that. God will support you in this if you let him.

  • Rebecca
    September 20, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    This was an amazing post! You inspire me! I’m glad that you decided to stay with it instead of quitting! You’re totally right, it doesn’t matter if you’re the fastest runner. It only matters that you’re running the begin with!

    Yay for PB at every meal so far!

  • Jess
    September 20, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    Thank you, Jenna! I am soo sick of reading bloggers complain about their runs, time, distance, calories, whatever. You are seeing the big picture here and are contributing to something that means so much to these patients and their families. I am not able to run myself because I pushed too hard in high school cross country and a knee injury forced me to give up running. I don’t feel sorry for myself — I am otherwise healthy, I can walk, bike, swim, etc. That is what is important in life — appreciate what your have, health, happiness, etc. not that you didn’t PR or had to take a walk break. Sometimes we need to step back and take a look at the big picture.

  • Tiffany
    September 20, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Jenna, I just started reading your blog b/c I love to find/read anything inspiring about living a more healthy lifestyle. I loved your story about the marathon not being just about you, but for so many that have cancer & that could be facing an uncertain future. My son was diagnosed w/AML Leukemia when he was four and after two bone marrow tranplants (the 2nd being from his brother) he is a healthy, normal 17 yr old today- his only problems are that he is of short stature for his age (but we’ll take that, it only has recently started bothering him) & he has to take synthroid every day. He will “graduate” πŸ™‚ from St. Judes next yr b/c he will be turning eighteen something we thought would never happen at one time. Continue to run from the heart and your legs will never fail you. I wish you the best in everything!

  • Stephanie
    September 20, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    WOW!!! This is JUST what I needed to read, Jenna! I read your blog all the time and never comment but thanks for posting this. I was thinking about stopping training for a half that I am supposed to be running on Halloween (I am having a hard time running anything over 8 miles) and this was the encouragement I needed to read. GOD IS GOOD!!!! Thank you and good luck πŸ™‚

  • Julia
    September 20, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    It is amazing how things come along at the exact right time to help us realize things. I’m so glad you aren’t quitting and have decided to finish whatever way you can.
    I don’t think what you said was harsh at all, it goes along with the general idea that we are all different people and what works for one person may not work for another. I also think it was a terrific reminder to remember to think about others, and appreciate what we do have.
    Thanks for such an honest post, and great job this morning!

  • Laura @ Backstage Pass to Health & Happiness
    September 20, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    You go, girl!

    Backstage Pass to Health & Happiness

  • MMiller
    September 20, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Good for you Jenna! And as a cancer survivor (3 times), I Thank you! I know I am not a runner! I don’t enjoy it in the least! I will do a mile on the treadmill, but I walk! It takes me about 20-25 minutes! And I am so thankful to be able to do that! We will be proud of you no matter how much you walk or run! And even if you don’t finish! You will attempt anything and give it your all! You are a great inspiration to me and to many others! I hope you have a wonderful time in CA! As you know, life is short! Live and enjoy it while you can! No one knows what tomorrow holds! I’m sure your brother looks down and smiles at you every night for living your life, and living it well!

  • Sarah
    September 20, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Your “rant” is dead on and wasn’t harsh at all. It was actually pretty inspiring. Good luck on your run!

  • BethT
    September 20, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    I have run three half marathons, and my fastest time was 2:30:00. No, it’s not the fastest time ever, but it’s MY time, and it’s more than most of America has ever done! I’m glad you’re back to Galloway if that works for you. Consider your first half the experience that tells you exactly what running a half is like; don’t worry about speed! πŸ™‚

  • Krissy - Single Serving
    September 20, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    Great post. I am new to this whole health/fitness thing. I’ve only been serious about it for a year or so. I have found too that the only person you really need to please is yourself. I just ran my first 5k and I had to keep reminding myself that the fact that I was running at all was impressive and that the point of the race was to raise money. There was no real prize in the end and I shouldn’t make myself crazy about it. I’m so glad that you were able to get through this.

  • Gwen
    September 20, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Thank you Jenna! I needed your rant just as much as you needed to let it out! πŸ™‚ You are going to do GREAT – and it has nothing to do with time. Performance is about more than that! Who cares if it takes you 6:10:44 – my marathon time with TNT last year! You are doing it! And not only for yourself! WOO HOO!!! Keep at it!

  • Sara
    September 20, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    What a great post, Jenna. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Jenna
    September 20, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Great Post Jenna!!!
    good job on the run this morning and have nice relaxing day at the bookstore and keep looking forward to Cali on friday πŸ™‚

  • j.l.
    September 20, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    this is what i needed to hear today. “get out of the details and the comparison game.”

    running my first half in nov. and just got the news it is sold out and my partner (my lil’ bro) didn’t register. doing it solo. i’m the girl who refused to run a lap in h.s. and look at me now. haha.

    good luck!

  • Melissa
    September 20, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Your blog post was amazing and inspirational! I am training for a 1/2 marathon. I’m full of self-doubt and worry. I ran 7 miles today and survived but don’t know how I’ll do when it comes time to run 13.1 I was even thinking of quitting, just taking the $ paid for the entry fee as a loss, and moving on with my life. I felt like I wasn’t running enough to call myself a “runner.” And only real runners are allowed to participate in 1/2 marathons.

    So thank you for your words of wisdom. You’ve been able to soul search and help yourself, but you have no idea how many other people your blog is reaching! I have a lot of things to consider in my personal racing situation which means it’s my turn to reflect on my situation.

    You’re awesome! :o)

  • Justy2003
    September 20, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Great job on your run this morning! This is your longest run to date, no? Either way, it’s an accomplishment! And you’re right…this race doesn’t have to be done at an 8 minute/mile pace. It’s about what YOU and your body can do and the bigger picture is that you’ve raised a LOT of money for a great cause in the process!

  • faith in food
    September 20, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    im glad you’re still going. i’ve spent the last 2 weeks getting daily infusions at the cancer center among some very amazing cancer patients and i can’t tell you how each day i go home inspired from there. somedays i’ll go in feeling a little of my own pity party and i’ll leave with a big smile on my face. how THANKFUL i am that i can still taste food! i see these patients, some unable to even still feed themselves, braving it for their families, watching them sit by their side, i hear about their latest adventure, somedays its a good day, somedays a not so good day, thats just how its said. I LOVE THESE PEOPLE! what’s also amazing is the staff there. they know your name, they know what’s going on in your life, they remember everything. they just opened a new cancer hospital here, i had tears in my eyes. i know im going to win, while i am watching some ppl that sit next to me, who have become my friends, that might now. i watched a women “graduate” from her chemo on friday as all the nurses came out with their clappers and horns and a certificate for her. they also brought out cupcakes as the man across from me was turning 50, i so pray her sees 51. run and walk for these people jenna, they are fighting and smiling everyday. go see all those places and write about them and share with them. i love reading your blog, you are mking it places i might never go and i love it. thank you so much! what a great story from your pastor as well. sing praises on those “good days” and remember it’s ok to have those “not so good days” πŸ™‚

  • christine
    September 20, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    you are so inspiring and your posts always brighten up my day!

  • Chloe (Naturally Frugal)
    September 20, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Great post Jenna, sometimes we all need that little push to remind us what our priorities are, especially when it’s difficult to see outside of that situation. You’re doing an amazing job, coming back from injuries, keeping your body in check so that you can be healthy and happy. It’s no easy feat to listen to what your body needs, and I’m glad you figured out that running and walking together doesn’t make you any less of a runner.

    You’re doing an amazing job and accomplishing an amazing feat. Raising that kind of money for research is SO important, and bringing us all into the mix helps bring awareness to what kind of research and charities we can support. It’s truly amazing how many people you touch with this blog. And guess what? We all love you even if you end up walking the entire 1/2 marathon!

    Much love to you girlie!

  • Liz
    September 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    fantastic post Jenna! I’ve just started trying to get into running and I am doing a 5K in a couple of weeks. Originally, I was thinking I would only be happy if I was able to run the whole thing but I’ve been struggling a bit and I’ve recently decided its ok if I have to walk a bit even if all my friends who are runners are finished ages ahead of me.

    As an aside, I’m a blood stem cell researcher and I love that you are fundraising for leukemia/lymphoma

  • Kat (Kat's Daily Plate)
    September 20, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    I’m so happy that you had this realization… I could not agree more with your philosophy about running and doing this marathon for the right reasons.
    And, the bigger issue like you said, is that we all need to stop comparing ourselves to some ideal of perfection. Everyone is different- with a unique physical, emotional, and mental make up. That means we all struggle and succeed with different things. I know, for example, that running just isn’t good for my body. I have neck pain, back pain, and knee pain every time I run. So I walk, go to the gym regularly, do weights, and swim. Does that make me any less fit or any less athletic than people who run 30 miles a week? Not in my opinion- because I am fit for me. I feel and look great for me. That should be my only point of comparison.
    The online world is great, but things like facebook, myspace, and blogs can be very unhealthy if we use it to compare ourselves to others who SEEM to be happier, more successful, prettier, or have it more together than we do. Its all an illusion… we are all struggling, no one is perfect. And I try to take all of these social media things for what they are- just the face of a person. Not the reality.
    OK, sorry for my long rant, I just sooo appreciated this post. I have always loved your blog because you love and respect yourself and your body, and you treat yourself with care. That is something that so many women struggle with and you serve as a wonderful example. I’m so glad you came back to that realization today!

  • Wendy
    September 20, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    Ha, this is too ironic! I had this same revelation today at church, although on a different wavelength– that it’s not about me!
    I think it’s so great that you’re pushing on, and as someone with an immediate relative with lymphoma, I’m grateful! Keep up the good work!

  • EatRunLitigate
    September 20, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    Just remember that no one donated money to you because of how fast you would run. They donated because you were running/walking/trying to raise money for cancer! No one is going to want their money back or think poorly of you if you walk the whole thing!

  • Lauren @ Team Giles
    September 20, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    Jenna, this is exactly what I needed too! Someone called me a “runner” the other day in a compliment, I dismissed it in my head and thought “I don’t run long/hard/fast enough to be considered a runner”. But yet, I am. How dare I tell myself otherwise. I am SO proud of you for sticking with Team in Training, your heart is completely in the right place doing it. I loved what you said “It’s not all about PRs and calories; it’s about real life and real people.” I know it takes courage to even say that, so I thank you for doing so. You’re truly a great person and very inspiring!! I cannot wait to continue to read about your journey.

  • Joyce
    September 20, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Jenna, thank you for admitting to being a real person. I love reading the numerous running/food blogs but often feel like I can’t compare. I usually realize I’m a real person with choices everyday and all I ask of myself is to try my best. Thanks for being real by letting your followers know that life is hard but we keep on trying to do what’s best. . You’re an inspiration and a comfort.

  • chandra
    September 20, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    I’m glad you decided to stick with it. Like you said, no matter if you run, walk, or do a combo of the two you will finish. You have raised money for a great cause and just crossing the finish line for those who can’t should be a proud moment!

    I agree it’s hard not to compare ourselves to others, but we have to remember we are not built the same. We are all unique and that’s why we are all so freaking awesome. πŸ™‚

  • Katelyn
    September 20, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    Jenna I have been reading your blog for a while now and am continuously amazed at how strong and wise you really are. I admire you for many things. You just seem to have the right perspective on everything. I can only know you by what you write, but thank you for being you.

  • Katie
    September 20, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    Jenna, just wanted to let you know that while this new thinking may take a while to become natural (at least, that’s where I’m at and I relate to much of your post), you are in a beautiful transition — moving out of the old and into the new, pure motivation and outlook. The Lord is obviously helping you to become who you should be with this realization. I literally stopped reading all these blogs for a few months last year (part of my Lenten activities, no joke) because they were messing with my mind — I was letting them direct too much of my thinking. Comparing ourselves and keeping our focus on how others perceive us and how we can be “better than” or “equal to” only defeats us — all of us, because we end up resenting ourselves and those we compare ourselves to in the end (and how can you love someone abundantly when you are filled with jealousy?). You are right in stating that there is something much more important than all those details — it won’t matter how far and fast you could run and how in shape you could beat your body to be in the stretch of things. I am rejoicing with you in your decision to invest yourself in something eternal — a change of heart and a welcoming of the challenge to put love of others before yourself. Keep it up!

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Kamaile
    September 20, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    There will be a day when you can no longer do this….TODAY is not that day. You rock!

  • Kristin (Kristin's Nibbles)
    September 20, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    Amen to that girl!


  • Morgan (lifeafterbagels)
    September 20, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    GOOD FOR YOU JENNA! I will read your long rants any day.

  • Jenny
    September 20, 2009 at 6:14 pm


    I’ve read your blog for a while now, but never commented. I just wanted to say, this is such an inspiring post! I’ve just gotten into running, and still consider myself pretty crappy. =) It makes me feel a thousand times better to realize that I don’t have to be the perfect runner – I can even walk a bit, just as long as I’m getting out there. Thank you so much!

  • caitlin
    September 20, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    i really needed this today!!!

  • LeeAnn
    September 20, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    This made my day to read this post! Amen! I just started doing Crossfit, which is a wonderful workout, but I see people tear themselves up over not being able to beat a number or not being able to be as fast as someone else. The fact that each day we have the capability to move, just literally move at all, is a gift. Thank you for such an uplifting post!

  • Meg @ Be Fit Be Full
    September 20, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    What a great post! Thank you. What a wake up call πŸ™‚ Good for you for not quitting! How can I support your run through Team in Training?

  • Meghan
    September 20, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    Great post! I ran with Team in Training in the 04 Bermuda Marathon and was trying to qualify for Boston. Injury after injury brought me to the new place you are in today, and running the marathon meant so much more to me.

  • Megan
    September 20, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    Jenna, I really love this post. Thank you so much for writing it because it is very inspiring. Do what ever you need to do with your running, love. You know God is in control and everything he does is for our benefit, and it is always good πŸ™‚ I think if the Galloway Method works best for you…then that’s awesome!!! And, you’re so right…it definitely does not matter how fast you run or if you walk in the race…you are doing the race for cancer research and that is beautiful!!!! Just get out there and finish the race however you can…I am so happy that you decided not to send the letter about quitting πŸ™‚
    And I love how you wrote about feeling as if you had to be this top notch/perfect runner for the blog…and now realizing that you don’t! Sometimes I think I get caught up in reading the food/fitness blogs too…but we are all different. Some of us are runners and some of us are walkers and some of us are yogis. I definitely realized what exercise is right for me over this past year and I have not been happier! It’s a good feeling πŸ™‚
    I hope you enjoy the rest of your Sunday, love!

  • Madelin @ What is for breakfast?
    September 20, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    Great post Jenna! I think you have totally hit the nail on the head. It’s not healthy to compare ourselves to others all the time even though that is hard in blogland. Congrats on doing the whole 9 miles though! Hey, have you had an MRI of your leg to check it’s not a stress fracture? My friend’s shin splits in her left leg turned out to be a bad stress fracture. Anyway, have a great day!

  • 'dee
    September 20, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    Amen, sista! How wise and how real.

    “Run if you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must. Just never, ever give up!”

  • Peggy
    September 20, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    Hey Jenna, I’ve read your blog for about a year and a half but I’ve never posted before. I just wanted to commend you on this post. I wish more girls in the blogging world -and in general -could realize this. I was a cross-country and track runner in high school and college, and spent YEARS trying to be faster and thinner than the girls around me so that I could beat them in races. But eventually it started to feel just meaningless. Sure, I was thin, and I could beat some girls sometimes. But when I couldn’t, when I “failed,” I felt terrible. I quit the xc team during my junior year, got my eating under control, and ran my first marathon. I didn’t break any land-speed records, but I felt like a superhero when I crossed the line. Being a “real runner” has nothing to do with how fast you go. It has to do with the fact that you run. If you can do 9, you can do 13.1.
    This morning I went on a long, hilly bike ride with a friend, and it was hot, and we were suffering and riding pretty slow on one climb when he suddenly said, “What percentage of the population is watching football right now? We’re rockstars.”
    Totally true.

  • Donna
    September 20, 2009 at 7:12 pm


    Amazing story! Thank you for taking the time to share it with us. I experienced a similar story during my first (and only so far) half marathon. I had trained with the American Stroke Association and knew I wouldn’t be running the entire 13.1 miles, fact is, my only goal was to finish standing up with no medical treatment in the process! Around mile 9, I noticed the first aid tent. A younger girl was there, her leg wrapped in ice, her shoe and sock off. Her two friends, one on each side, decided to heck with their time..there weren’t leaving their friend behind. They hoppled right along with her as she grasps their shoulders for support. It was one of the most amazing things to witness and certainly gave me the strength to finish! I wasn’t the fastest, I wasn’t the slowest…but my heart was full of love πŸ™‚ YOU CAN DO IT!!!

  • carly
    September 20, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    Way to go Jenna!
    You’re right not everyone is a runner… I hope that you won’t quit… Even if you have to walk half at least your determined and trying! When you do run it will you be sure to write my name on your shirt… I am a 9 year cancer survivor from Leukemia… From the chemotherapy I was on high doses of Prednisone which left me with two hip replacements… I wish I could run the event with you but unfortunately with two hip replacements the Doctor says no running… Keep that positivity and you will do it! I wish you all the best and I absolutely love your blog πŸ™‚

  • Cynthia (It All Changes)
    September 20, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    I love that story from Brian’s daughter. What a true showing of love and compassion instead of self.

    Good for you for sticking with it. I’ve had to realized from the very beginning of my “running” that I would never be a real Runner. I would never be able to run and 8 minute mile, I would never be able to run negative splits and I couldn’t just go out and run 5 miles without prepping for it with training. But I don’t care because it is good and I can do it and I have friends who aren’t able.

    You are doing an amazing thing by raising money for research. Your perserverance will be a blessing to others who can’t do what you can. Even if it takes you 5 hours you will have DONE it and you will be blessed and have been a blessing. Keep it up Jenna and I’ll be praying for you and your shin πŸ™‚

  • Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope
    September 20, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    Just remember, you more than likely would regret NOT doing it, but highly doubt you’ll regret doing it. That is what I always think about when I am debating going to the gym. I definitely won’t regret going, but will if I don’t!

  • Brianna
    September 20, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Jenna- I love your blog! I rarely comment but today I can totally relate to your story. There are so many things that I wanted to quit and then once you look at the greater picture, its easy to find the reason you started it in the first place! Good luck in your half marathon no matter what the time you will do amazing!:)

  • Jaci
    September 20, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    Good for you! I’m not a “runner,” but I love to run! I’m not doing a marathon, but i finish what I started, just like you! I’m so impressed that you are sticking with your marathon. Stay positive πŸ™‚

  • Ellen (peace in motion)
    September 20, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    girl I’m so proud of you that you aren’t giving up. It’s so hard to try and try and keep coming up just that little bit short. Do what works for you girl, and leave the rest of ’em behind!

  • Whitney @ Lettuce Love
    September 20, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    That was an amazing post! Thanks for being so honest and inspiring!

  • Kirsty
    September 20, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Well done you! Well done on sticking with it and choosing not to compare yourself to others.
    I’ve pulled out of two races this year because I was so sure I would come in last/would have to cheat by walking/would look ridiculous/would not be able to finish. Notice all the “would’s” in there?? We spend so much time stressing about things that haven’t even happened yet instead of just getting on with it and having a go. At the end of the day, having the guts to start is just as important as a PR, trophy or winning a race.
    I tell myself that I’m not a runner because I can’t do 5k in 25mins or run for 10miles without stopping. But you know what, if we run then at that moment we are runners – no matter how fast we go!
    So on the back of that, I entered a run at the last minute on Sunday (one that I’d previously said no to because I would have been too slow/tired/wouldn’t beat my time) and I did it! I ran my 12km, didn’t focus too much on times, had a couple of walk breaks and finished. And I feel great!
    And I know you will feel great about yours πŸ™‚ Bring on SF!!!

  • Twizler2
    September 20, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Oh man, you are so speaking from the same place i am. I actually just wrote a post about this… how pride gets in the way and we can be our own worst enemy sometimes. Definitely check it out! Hopefully i can inspire you one eighth of the inspiration youv’e given me today.

  • justrun
    September 20, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    I’m so glad this run worked out for you (when I saw your tweet I was like “yeah!”), and that you came to the conclusion you did on your own. I wanted to suggest walk breaks, but a) you were getting SO much advice at the time and I thought it’d be repetitive, and b) I remembered having to come to that conclusion for myself on my own, too. It’s something that you have to make peace with on your own, and as a runner that’s a hard pill to swallow. Because no race, as cooperative or uncooperative our bodies may be, is really about us.
    Good for you!

  • Lauren
    September 20, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    amen sister! hah that’s all :]

  • Laura
    September 20, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    I couldn’t agree more and I am happy you are not going to quit.

    You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
    -Eleanor Roosevelt

    Oh, and I think Vega has a weird taste, too. I wanted to like it, but I do not.

  • Help Meghan Run
    September 20, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    Wonderful insights. I am running the Nike Women’s half, too, and I couldn’t give a lick about my time. I just want to finish and do it in honor of everyone who has supported me. Way to go! πŸ™‚

  • Erin
    September 20, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    I am most touched by the story of your minister’s daughter. What a truly kind soul. Pretty rare these days.

  • Kristine
    September 20, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    Thanks for this post. Personally, I get really caught up in reading other blogs and almost feel put to shame a lot of the time for running 4 miles instead of 12 or 13. Truth is, who even cares that I ran 4 miles? Life is all about being happy and healthy, and you don’t need to run a zillion miles a day or compare yourself to others to achieve that. Thanks for being so honest!! πŸ™‚

  • Jess
    September 20, 2009 at 10:05 pm


    Your post spoke to me in SO many ways! I recently ran my first race (4 miles) and since then have felt like a complete slacker because I’m only doing 1-2 miles each run. I’ve been reading so many fitness/running blogs about people running 9, 10, 12, 15 miles a day and think – Why am I only running a mile? That’s not enough!

    But, I talked some sense into myself the other day and realized that it doesn’t matter if I’m running 1 mile, or 15. Just so long as I’m DOING IT. It doesn’t matter if I run the whole 20-30 minutes or if I only run for 5. Just so long as I’m moving.

    Do this race at YOUR speed and don’t hurt yourself!

  • sherri
    September 20, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    my dear, you just discovered the joy of running…

  • Kate
    September 20, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Thank you SO MUCH for this post! It was WONDERFUL! It really is about being the best we can be and giving ourselves to others. I’m so proud of you for hanging in there and doing this! AWESOME!

  • Shelley
    September 20, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    Hi Jenna,
    I’ve been following your blog for a little while, but this may be my first comment… I’m also running the NWM 09, this will be my second time running it. It is an AMAZING experience. I promise you that once you get there, you’ll realize that it doesn’t matter at all how fast you go or don’t go. People will cheer for you, and you’ll cheer for other people. You can’t help it. “We’re all in this together.” And at the end, we’ll all be greeted by firemen in tuxedos, ready and waiting to hand us a little blue Tiffany’s box with our “medals.”
    It is an incredible experience, and I’m not only talking about running/walking insane distances. Get excited! Good luck with the rest of your training, I am sending positive healthy-shin vibes your way. GO TEAM!!

  • Vaala
    September 20, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    I’m so glad you’ve realised what you’re running the race for. I do a lot of different races and I’ve always found the best thing for me is to just focus on doing my best…it doesn’t matter how it compares to everyone else because all I want is to come away feeling like I did my best and had a good time. I want to be healthy, I want to be happy…that’s what I compete and train for. If I compared myself to others I might never get out of bed!

  • Laura
    September 20, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    Thank you Jenna! That is just what I have been needing to read lately! It not only applies to running but so many other aspects of life (for me anyway). I love reading your blog because of things like this — so inspirational!!! Keep it up and you will rock that race, no matter your time you’ll still have a great time, I’m sure!

  • gina (fitnessista)
    September 20, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    i just have to say amen. amen, amen amen.

  • Gena
    September 20, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Beautiful thoughts, J. Thanks for them πŸ™‚

  • maria
    September 20, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    Wow. I think maybe that was written just for me. I am so easily caught up in all the calories, miles, etc. that I forget my reasons for doing all of this to begin with: to be healthier and live a longer, happier life. This blog is awesome and thank you for writing it. You are totally right: what matters is the money you are raising to help those patients, not your time, but if you are able to do well in the meantime, then so be it!

  • JessJoy
    September 20, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    Amen Sister! Truely awesome post; total encouragement!

  • Leah
    September 20, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    I am so glad that you posted that because you were about to receive a kind of angry/ stop feeling sorry for yourself and buck up email from me. I know you don’t know me at all but I am runner too. One thing I have learned from running long distances — whether long is 9, 26, or 100 miles– is that something is going to hurt and actually after long training runs you may feel like hell but you just need to power through it. You need to figure out what regular pain is and what REAL pain is that is from (or about to cause) a real injury. For me running is about empowerment and believe me, it has never been about being the best, winning, or even coming close to winning. It is about doing something for yourself that makes you feel good and makes you proud of yourself while helping a great cause. I’m happy your aren’t quitting because I didn’t want to call you a big baby πŸ˜‰

    By the way, buy a foam roller and start rolling out your shins and any other aches and pains (it is like an instant and free deep tissue massage, except it hurts like hell during)


  • MissMcKenzie
    September 20, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    I really needed to hear this today..I had a dreadful weekend food-wise. All manner of foolishness went down my throat and I was ashamed. Sometimes in life we have to take the slow route and yes my junk food eating didn’t put me any closer to losing the last 20 pounds..but did make me realize that I’m not a robot and there will be days that I just don’t hit 100%. Again, thank you and I will take this post and your thoughts about selfishness and “just-finishing” with me for the rest of this week and my weight loss journey.

  • Kelly Turner
    September 20, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    I rarely comment here but AWESOME post. Blogging is hard because when people look up to you, like they do here, you can feel like a role model. truth is, you’re just a normal person, and you dont owe anyone anything, except to be true to yourself.

    And im sure all those who have been touched by cancer appreciate the message you just gave

  • Beth
    September 21, 2009 at 12:12 am

    Right on, Jenna! I’m printing this out and taping it to the front of my workout/food journal. I do the comparing WAY too often in too many areas. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that who I am right now is good for me and where I’m supposed to be. Your pastor sounds awesome! Thanks for being so inspirational. πŸ™‚

  • Jenni
    September 21, 2009 at 12:34 am

    Jenna, your words inspire me…I’ve had some things on my mind lately and your post helped me to see more clearly. Thank you for helping me take a step back in order to see the big picture! God bless you!!

  • Anita
    September 21, 2009 at 12:40 am

    Thank you!

  • Marika
    September 21, 2009 at 7:46 am

    Thank you! I loved your rant and I totally agree with you. You will do wonderfully in your run :-).

  • Lauren
    September 21, 2009 at 8:22 am

    What an amazing post, and what incredible perspective you have, Jenna. Truly inspiring. You are going to do wonderfully in the race, because you’ll be running for all the right reasons.

  • Erin
    September 21, 2009 at 9:05 am

    Amen sister!! This is so true. It’s so hard to compare ourselves and tell ourselves that we need to be this or that. It’s about pushing ourselves, yes, but also being part of the whole picture. Love the post – glad you decided to stick it out and we’ll be reading/cheering you on no matter if it takes you the whole DAY!!!

    My favorite running quote is appropriate:
    “Run if you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must. Just never give up” – Dean Karnazes

  • Jill
    September 21, 2009 at 9:14 am

    I ran the Nike Women’s Half last year with Team in Training — and it took me 4 1/2 hours. And you know what? I felt amazing at the end. I did it. I did it slowly, but I did it. I wasn’t last. No one shamed me. I still got the Tiffany necklace. It was awesome. And as I was making my way back to the hotel, still wrapped in a mylar blanket, a little girl and her family passed me. The girl tugged on her mother’s hand and said, “Look, mommy. There’s a racer.” I had never felt more proud.

    You can do this. I promise.

  • Angie
    September 21, 2009 at 9:23 am

    I have been reading your blog for a while now and I am not sure if I have ever commented but I wanted to say I am proud of you for sticking with it! This was an inspiring post not “ranty” at all.
    In 2006 I ran(-ish) the Country Music Marathon in Nashville with Team in Training. I was going to quit at the half-way point because I had not raised enough money and that day someone donated exactly what I needed to stay in the race. I stuck with it and had to pay some of the minimum donation out of my own pocket but I ended up finishing the full marathon with a time I will never tell anyone–it felt good to finish and it felt good to know that what I had done was for more than just me. In the end the time on the clock didn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if you walk a while (enjoy the view), keep the finish line and your honored team mate in mind and you will make it!

  • betsy
    September 21, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Jenna, I appreciate your honesty. I imagine how hard this must have been to write, but it was wonderful to read. Thanks for sharing.


  • JessicaR
    September 21, 2009 at 11:52 am

    I loved this post and can totally relate. I did Team in Training about six years ago for the 100-mile bike ride. The whole experience was rocky… fund raising issues, lots of personal issues going on between team members, and then the week before, in our LAST training ride, I fell off the bike going down a hill and ended up having to go to the ER. Luckily I only had some bad cuts and bruises, but boy was it tough to do the actual ride a week later. I hyperventilated half the time (so afraid of another rough fall!), but I made it and felt so good. I honestly have not stepped foot on a bike since because the fall freaked me out so much, but I am really glad that I did it. πŸ™‚

  • Kristy
    September 21, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    What a tear jerker!! You go girl! πŸ™‚

  • Natalie
    September 21, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Amazing post!! And so true for multiple aspects of life! Way to go!!

  • Erin
    September 21, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Jenna – don’t know if this is helpful for not…but I did the Team in Training marathon in Anchorage about 10 years ago – and most of us ended up walking! Bits of it, all of it, most of it…any portion necessary. I hurt my foot around mile 18 to the point I coudn’t run on it any further – so I didn’t. I walked the last 8 miles.

    Also, I’ve BEEN last in a race before. Previously my worst nightmare…it ended up being really fun. Everyone was around cheering for me and I was just so proud of myself for freaking finishing that race that I didn’t care anymore that I was last.

  • Kristen
    September 21, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Hi Jenna,
    Love your blog, this is my first time commenting though πŸ™‚
    Just wondering what Vega you use, whether it is the smoothie infusion or one of the other kinds? I use infusion, and like it enough but am thinking I should branch out and try some different ones since you like them so much better. I got stuck on Vega since it’s the first one I tried and I heart Brendan Brazier…but there must be more to life (or at least plant based protein powders!)

  • Erin
    September 21, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    This was a great post so inspiring. Everyone needs to be reminded of this every once in awhile.

  • Jessica
    September 21, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    This post just re-affirms the fact that you are my absolute favorite blogger. πŸ™‚ You are so inspiring and I look up to you more and more each day! You have such a positive outlook on life and truly have a great relationship and respect for your body! I strive to be more like you each and every day.

    And it’s so true!! The blog world is filllled with runners, but there are a lot of us who get a GREAT workout out and satisfaction out of just a few sweaty miles. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for reminding us that this is quite alright and totally sufficient!! Have a great day Jenna! xoo

  • Jamie
    September 21, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    I just came across your website and was so inspired by this post. I’m also training for the Nike Half Marathon in San Francisco next month; however, not with TNT. I’m not a great or fast runner (still healing some shin issues) and will probably walk most of it. That is why I loved this post! I’ve been psyching myself out lately about running faster and harder, when my body just can’t do it. Every time I talk to my family/friends about the race they want to know how far I ran, did I run all of it? Which has made me embarrassed to admit that I walk…a lot. I’ve realized that I’m not going to run the whole thing, and THAT’S OKAY. Since it’s my first half marathon, I’ll be thrilled to finish it without dying πŸ™‚ Best of luck to you during training and on Race Day!

  • sarah
    September 21, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    You are so full of maturity and wiseness and I am in awe of your spirit. The tenacity you show in every circumstance is an inspiring lesson to me.

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat
    September 21, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    Well said, Jenna. I’m so proud of you. And God has great timing huh? I think it’s no coincidence you had a good run yesterday. Keep it up!

  • Tracey
    September 22, 2009 at 3:02 am

    You rock. It seems that when you really write from your authentic self, when you are so open and honest, it is just an amazing inspiration πŸ™‚ You have been through so much with the loss of your brother and life changes, but still you dream and perservere. Thank you, sweet girl, you are really touching lives and making them even better! xo

  • Tasha - The Clean Eating Mama
    September 22, 2009 at 11:46 am

    What an inspirational post! Thank you πŸ™‚

  • Becca
    September 22, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Jenna this post was just what I’ve been needed lately. In a totally unrelated realm of life, I’ve needed to take a step back and realize what is best for me rather than what other people expect or want me to do. I can totally relate to this post though, I ran my first marathon last june and two months before i got tendinitis in both of my feet. Like you, I don’t think I am meant to be a runner, but I love being a runner. Despite my injuries, I healed and I ran my marathon. I may have come in with a less than stellar time but I did it and to date, it is one of the biggest accomplishments of my life. Keep running and don’t worry about the silly stuff. Take care of yourself and the rest will come naturally!

    Thank you!

  • Abby
    September 22, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Hi , Im commenting for the first time!! I love your blog and totally appreciate how honest you are with how you are feeling. As a totally new blogger , I am always always comparing myself with others! I encourage you to keep up the good work, I love looking at your posts! πŸ™‚

  • Fitzalan
    September 22, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    I am catching up on some much missed blog reading and I just read this post. I ran my first marathon through Team in Training because I had just been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. I did it because I knew I could and there were a lot of people who couldn’t…I did it for them. Since I have raised money in 3 half marathons for the American Cancer Society. Since my first marathon, my father was diagnosed and died from Colon Cancer. I bet he would give anything to take just a few steps or do simply anything one more time in life….much less run. It is incredibly powerful when you are doing something for others who cannot. I can’t tell you how many times I have doubled over while out on training runs from crying so hard thinking about all the people and things that I am doing those runs for. Way to go.

  • Running Betty
    September 22, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    My daughter had the opposite XC experience last week. She really want to make varsity but didn’t – she’s only 7th grade so she has a few yrs for that. But she ran the JV meet and came in 1st for her school. The next day varsity ran, and the 3 of them had a time slower than hers. She’s hoping that will put her on varsity mid year. She’s really hoping by Oct 9 when the run at Disney, so she can try for a Mickey statuette.

  • bobbi
    September 23, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    WOW Jenna just catching up on your post! Love it, yes running does not have to be about “YOU” and it’s great that you are running for a cause, something I am itching to do!!!

    I tottaly agree, don’t compare yourself to ANYONE! Easier said then done, but soooo true!

  • Katy
    September 23, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    This post makes me love you even more. I’m a regular reader but rarely comment on anything and this blog post just made me smile. You’re right. So what if your not the best? Your doing it and thats all that matters! I’m aiming to start training for a 5K in the New Year and I know I will be slow but I’m just happy to actually do it. Keep running and just enjoy it. You’re not going to enjoy it if you keep pushing yourself too hard.

  • Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter)
    September 23, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    I loved this post Jenna. You need to go off on a rant more often. I think we all, myself included, get caught up in comparing ourselves to others. Thanks so much for reminding us that we are all different, and we all need to listen to and respect our own bodies.

    Vega = Nasty
    PB at every meal = Happiness. πŸ™‚

  • Michelle-pure2raw
    September 23, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    I am so glad you wrote this post. I do not think you need to apologize for your rant because it was all well said. I do the walk/run for my run and used to be happy running a 10 minute mile until I started reading other food/fitness blogs. I would see that they were running a lot more and faster than me, so it made me rethink what I am doing. I could feel the pressure but then I realized I run because I like to, not to win races or beat someone’s time because that is just stupid. I feel exercise should be fun, whatever you do, because life is too short to get all hyped up about what others are doing. Great great post Jenna!!

  • Isha
    September 27, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    Wonderful post! Thank you.