30 Minute PR: Just the Beginning

I wanted to share something you may have already read if you follow my Instagram.

I think it’s so important to love every version of yourself.


How BADASS does it feel to realize how much you’ve improved?!

👈 On the left: it’s 2016, I am running my first ever run longer than 4-6ish miles. I just randomly signed up for a local half marathon, the Big D Half Marathon. No training, newbie, and I thought “HOW do people do this?!?” It was hard. But I proved something to myself: I CAN. {Finished in 2:11/10:00 min/mile}
👉 On the right: it’s 2017, I’ve been working with the AMAZING Lifelong Endurance (game changer!), working hard, still a newbie 😜 and having fun running the BCS Half Marathon in College Station. I felt unstoppable. {Finished in 1:42/7:46 min/mile}
I love this picture because both of these pictures were taken at the finish line. 🏁 Not only can I see that I have become physically stronger, but I have grown mentally strong in ways I did not imagine possible.
👊 and this is just the beginning. Thank you to Lifelong Endurance for a coaching me through (basically a 30 min PR in a year?!) and thank you Bibrave and ALL OF YOU!!!

Let’s do this thing!!! 💪💪

Below are some race photots to remind me that I am strong during this time of such low mileage! I am healing and trying to get stronger to prevent this piriformis issue to become just that – an “issue.” I hope to get back to the grind soon!

In the meantime, I am running a few days a week, cycling, and doing some functional strength movements.

Happy Friday!

How do you stay motivated when you feel like you’re not improving?

What “fun” strength workouts do  you like/recommend?


Race Recap: Statesman Capitol 10K

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Statesman Capitol 10K race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check outBibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Austin, Texas! I love the place. I live in Dallas, about 3 hours away.

A friend of mine told me I had to do this race in Austin. That it was worth the weekend trip. She was right!

As you know, I am still on the mend form a piriformis/glute issue but was confident that I could run a 10K for fun (not pushing the pace). So, I headed down to Austin on Saturday to hit the expo before race day, Sunday.

After the car ride I was worried. The only other thing that makes “it” hurt (I’ll be referring to my pain as “it”) is sitting for long period of time (thank goodness for my standing desk at work!). So, after the car ride I was just worried that it would be a repeat of RnR NOLA and every step would hurt.

But it didn’t!

I am so thankful for Lifelong Endurance for coaching me through this speed bump the smart way. I told Coach how I felt after the car ride and he told me some stretches to do and told me to take a hot bath. I woke up in the morning feeling like I would be OK. And at this point that was huge. It’s a bummer to travel somewhere and not even enjoy the run!

So, it was race morning! I love race morning. An early alarm, extra coffee, fine-tuning my race outfit. I wasn’t sure what to wear with the weather – 40 degrees. I have that delimma of “I know I’ll warm up” but also know “I’ll be miserably cold for a solid hour before that happens.” I’ve tried actually not getting to the race TOO early (I used to be about an hour early, now I aim for about 20 minutes) to help remedy this.

I still wore my “throw away” jacket that I got for like $3 at Good Will but have yet to actually toss during a race because it’s fuzzy and warm and, well, I like it! (Thrifted clothing always ends up being my favorite).

Anyway, I was “good” and did some lunges, high knees, butt kickers, and some stretches before the race start! I’m usually that person that just stands awkwardly until the start. I have been religious about warm ups lately because Coach actually *LOADS* this into my workout. So, I read it and have to check it off my list. Plus, how could I say “it hurt” then answer “no…” when I’m asked if I warmed up and stretched?

So the run starts and I don’t push it. I start at about a 10 minute mile and then realize “I feel OK!” My goal was just to run and enjoy it. Not be in pain. Not push myself. And I did just that. It is frustrating that “it” still hurts just a tad because I FELT GREAT. I WANTED to go fast. I COULD have gone fast. But I knew I’d hurt myself even more. I’m on the “up and up” and need to continue to go “up.”

I decided to not even look at my watch and just go. Just look at everything and bounce along. Have fun! And I am so thankful for this run. It DID feel great and I DID have fun. I really soaked it all in and looked at every little thing and was happy and free.

I finished in under an hour (56:37) although I could have finished in any amount of time and been happy to run without pain and run happy! Austin is a beautiful, unique city and I truly had fun exploring and running. It was just what I needed!

For a full review on the race itself – organization, expo details, swag, etc – check out my Race Review on BibRave.com here: https://www.bibrave.com/races/statesman-cap10k/9614#.Wst-q4gbNaQ

For my Athlinks results go here: https://www.athlinks.com/athletes/319145186

Fun Fact:
The Cap10K mascot, Dash the Dillo, has been the race mascot since he was created by Pulitzer prize-winning editorial cartoonist Ben Sargent in 1978. The dillo has changed several times over the years.

Race Recap: Rock ‘n Roll Dallas (Cheer Squad Edition)

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Rock n Roll Dallas Half Marathon race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Well, well, well.

This was going to be a Rock ‘n Roll Dallas Half Marathon race recap.

But I played it safe.

I’ve been dealing with some piriformis/glute pain in recent weeks and know my body needed a break. After taking with Coach, I was advised to partake in the cheering section. I’m so glad I did. I am continuing to feel better, but at this point running 13.1 miles would have just done more harm than good. I’m not here to prove myself, ruin my body, or run myself into the ground. So, I was happy to join the cheer squad!!!

Really, though. I thought I would be bummed that I wasn’t running – especially on the sidelines (literally) watching people run by. But nope! I was excited! I’d never cheered for a race before. I got with a group of friends (runners also!) and we had signs, donuts, drinks, jello shots (for the runners), and loads of fun.

Believe me, eating donuts and watching other people run is just as fun as it sounds.

Rock n Roll Dallas was a fun time. It was a humid morning, so not the most ideal weather for the runners but hey, for me it just meant the stickers on my sign peeled off a little. Race day is really well organized, there are a lot of spectators, and it’s a fun post-race party. I ran it last year and know the route is a bit hilly but it’s a Dallas tradition. EVERYONE is there. Running, cheering, having a good ol time.

I hope that next year will be “my” year for RnR Dallas… feeling good and maybe even some cool weather!

Congratulations to all the runners. You all looked so strong and you all inspire me! I am so glad I got to cheer for you!

Huge thank you to my amazing coach at Lifelong Endurance for helping me play it smart. Run happy, friends!

St. Patty’s Day Dash Down Greenville 5K!

I RAN! I RAN!!! Rewind… why are you so happy about this? I am dealing with some Piriformis/Gluteus muscular issues. Basically my butt is resisting the running movement and I need to stretch, strengthen, rest, warm-up and pay attention to some things I’ve neglected.

It had been two whole weeks since I ran until this past Saturday, St. Patrick’s Day. Naturally, I was signed up for the Dash Down Greenville, a major run here in Dallas on the day where EVERYONE (and their dog) is Irish. Per my coach and physical therapist, it was OK to try to run. SLOW. Like AS SLOW AS POSSIBLE.

Yes that’s a dinosaur. Yes, St. Patty’s Day is a BIG DEAL here.

So I did just that. I wasn’t sure what to expect considering how painful my last run was, so I didn’t expect much. I honestly figured I’d be walking the whole thing. But to my surprise, I started putting a little bounce in my step and next thing you know… I’M RUNNING! And it didn’t hurt!

I had so much fun with my Oiselle ladies!

I ran my record slowest 5K. Ever. And I am DAMN PROUD.

I did it!

Running pain-free is truly a gift that I will never take for granted again. Just running without a care in the world… THAT is what I love about running. Not that I’m cured or anything, but conversations with Coach have made me feel optimistic that I just need to focus on listening to my body, *actually* warming up, *actually* stretching, and *actually* doing my strength exercises.

I will be running again tomorrow and I am happy about that.

One day at a time.

THANK YOU to Lifelong Endurance for coaching me through it all. With running comes ups, downs, and lots of sideways. It’s about the journey, not the destination!

Race Recap: RnR NOLA Remix Challenge

I almost didn’t make it. I was in so. much. pain. Every step was a struggle. I walked. A lot. I did what I had to do to finish without hurting myself even more. I don’t know what’s wrong. My left hip and leg hurt and my legs are just resisting. I learned something today. This is not an EXCUSE. I ran 13.1 FREAKING MILES. No “butts” about it. Speed is just a minor detail and this race taught me that! But. This is how I felt. It HURT. It was frustrating. Live and learn…

Not every race will be a PR. Since I’m a “new” runner, every half marathon I’d done until now brought a shiny new PR. Not today. Nope. I had a “bad” race. But I freaking did it. I’m just as proud of finishing in 2:15 as I am finishing in 1:42. It was just… different. I struggled every single yep of the way, mentally and physically. I cried.

Mile 1: I ran a bit and walked a bit. I knew something was wrong. I was mad, angry, frustrated, wanted to quit. I hate everyone around me! How dare they run so effortlessly! They suck!

Miles 2-5: Told myself to go slow. Walk if I need to. Will I finish? Should I pull out? How do I even do that? I don’t think I can run.

Miles 6-10: Just get to 10 miles. Just get to 10 miles. 10 is basically 13. Right? I walked a lot. I realized I could do anything. Right? Pain is mental. (Right?!)

Miles 11-13.1: FELT LIKE FOR EFFING EVER. I might die. I might fall over and die. I basically almost just tripped over a pebble. NOPE. I’ve come this far. I’m finishing. I’m going to finish with a 7 minute mile. Ok a 10 minute mile that feels like a 7 minute mile will do.

*Mile 9: lady yells “go Jenna! Looking strong, girl!”

I cried.

And there you have it. I will never ever forget Rock N Roll NOLA.


this trip holds a special place in my heart because I went with my AMAZING dad and my fur baby, and got to spend the weekend with my cousin and her fur baby who live in New Orleans. My dad and I ran a fun 5K the morning before the half marathon/10K race (he ran the 10K while I ran the Half), walked around Audubon Park and to the Mississippi River, rode the trolley, ate some delicious food, and had a great time together. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect and it was just truly a great and unforgettable weekend.

Link to my full race review on BibRave.com: https://www.bibrave.com/races/rock-n-roll-new-orleans/9414#.Wp2e8egbNaQ

Link to Athlinks results: https://www.athlinks.com/athletes/319145186


And just like that! I’m on to RACE WEEK! I just want to give a huge shout out and THANK YOU to Lifelong Endurance for coaching me through to each Start line and helping me run smart, stay healthy and injury-free, and just do what’s best for my goals – and most of all for keeping it fun! THANK YOU!

And thank all of YOU for your support and encouragement! You are all so amazing and inspire me every. single. day.

Let’s see how last week went taking me into race week!


Plan: 4 miles easy

Ran: 4.10 miles/39:49/9:42 min/mile

Quite honestly this run did not feel good. I felt stiff and my legs felt heavy.


Plan: 6 miles – 2 miles easy, 8 x 1:00 @ 5K pace, 1:00 easy, 2 miles easy

Ran: 0.0 miles

Yes. I skipped my run. I NEVER skip my run. I just didn’t have it in me. The energy or the desire.I think my sleep really effects how I feel and I’ve been adjusting to the new job – lately I’ve been waking up at 4:50 instead of 6:00 am, so hoping I’ll adjust soon!


Plan: 5 miles easy

Ran: 6.10 miles/53:58/8:51 min/mile

Rainy run! I was excited to run again (yay!) and this one felt good! It was cold and windy – I got “wind burn” for the first time on my legs! It didn’t last long but was a totally new thing for this Texan. I was happy that I was happy to run.


Plan: 5 miles easy + 5 x 100m strides

Ran: 6.02 miles/57:32/9:34 min/mile

Early morning run – felt pretty nice! The rain held off for me! Maybe because today was my BIRTHDAY! 🙂 Fun fact: 2/22 is (was) also George Washington’s birthday and was originally Bicycle Day!


Plan: 6 miles – 2 miles easy 30:00 tempo, 2 miles easy

Ran: 7.72 miles/1:08:43/8:54 min/mile {splits: 9:40, 9:35, 8:19, 8:06, 7:56, 8:33, 9:37, 9:36}

Another early run! It ended up being a little longer than 6 miles since I went by the description (30:00 tempo was 3+ miles). It feels good to get it done before the day starts. I almost got caught in the rain but just managed to dodge it. I did not manage to dodge all the puddles, however. Puddles – 1, Jenna – 0.


Plan: 10 miles easy

Ran: 10.02 miles/1:33:41/9:21 min/mile

I ran solo because of the storms – it was hard to plan anything. So once I noticed the rain stop, I just went for it. It was actually quite peaceful. I ran right in between two storms. It was actually pretty warm, but still felt OK! My hips are pretty stiff lately but otherwise all good!


REST! No. I did not make up Tuesday’s missed run. I thought about it. I really thought about it. Then I remembered Coach saying we move on. I also realized that if I ran today, I would have 0 rest days until my races. I think this rest day will make all the difference. I also got a TON of stuff done – grocery shopping, meal prepping, laundry, and my birthday dinner with my amazing family!

I will be running the 5K this Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday. My AWESOME dad is also running the 5K (we will fun run together) and the 10K on Sunday!

Me and my birthday pie!

Are you running any Rock n Roll Marathon series races this year?

Have you ever been to New Orleans? Any must do/see/eat recommendations?

RnR NOLA Countdown: 2 WEEKS!

The countdown is on! Less than two weeks until I travel to New Orleans, Louisiana with my dad and my rescue Greyhound, Derby, to visit my cousin and her puppy and run a few races!!! I am really excited to see where my cousin lives and have her show me around NOLA (I’ve never been!) – she absolutely loves it and I’m sure it’ll be a great time.

This weekend is 100% dedicated to having fun, being with family, and enjoying the city so no pressure on myself. I plan to run the 5K (Saturday) with my dad at his pace and will do my best on the Half Marathon (Sunday)!

Thank you to Lifelong Endurance for always coaching me through to each Start line and keeping me healthy and strong!


Plan: 4 miles easy

Ran: 4.11 miles/40:25/9:50 min/mile

It was 25 degrees! Twenty-five! That is COLD for Texas. In fact, this may have been my coldest run. Ever. It was tougher than I thought! I didn’t “warm up” until my watch hit 3.48 miles. So, there was a nice half mile in there somewhere!


Plan: 8 miles – 2 miles easy, 4 miles @ 90 seconds @ 7:30-7:15, 90 seconds @ 9:15/easy, 2 miles easy

Ran: 8.02 miles/1:10:57/8:51 min/mile

This one felt good! It was 39 degrees and just perfect running weather. It felt really good other than being chased by two big dogs, which turns out is way more terrifying in the dark. I’ve had my fair share of dog scares, but usually in the day light.


Plan: 5 miles easy

Ran: 5.2 miles/49:11/9:27 min/mile

This one felt pretty good – another early morning run – I’m loving getting my runs in before work and having the evening to cook and lounge! I also did a Gold’s Fit (think Crossfit) class and it kicked my BUTT. I need to do that more often! I’m also ready to transition to lighter shoes already. Since the Turf Toe debacle, I’ve been hesitant to transition to any other new shoes so I’ve been doing ALL runs in my heavy (butt tried and true) Asics Nimbus. I’m slowly adjusting the the New Balance 1500’s and love them so far!


Plan: 5 miles + 5 x 100m strides

Ran: 5.45 miles/49:39/9:07 min/mile

I was really tired at first – I opted for a little extra sleep and did an evening run and my energy dwindles throughout the day so  I felt a bit “blah.” Plus it was 82 degrees! Yes, 82 degrees in February. That’s Texas for you! I switched into the NB 1500 on the last mile (to get the legs used to them) and boy… I felt like I was FLYING! Shoes make such a difference! I can’t wait to really run in them.


Plan: 5 miles – 3 miles easy, 2 miles @ fun tempo!

Ran: 5.35 miles/47:58/8:58 min/mile

I was tired again but it wasn’t bad. Nothing spectacular.


Plan: 12 miles – 3 miles easy, 4 miles @ 90 seconds “on” (8:15) 90 seconds “off” (9:30), 3 miles cool down, 2 miles hard like a race

Ran: 12.02 miles/1:48:53/9:03 min/mile

OK y’all. I’m super proud of this run. It was POURING rain. Thankfully I ran with a group or I would have been tempted to take cover. We were literally drenched from head to toe. Sloshing through puddles (or shall I say rivers) of water. The first 10 miles went as planned, then we were so cold and soaking wet, that we just agreed to get the miles in. At this point the rain felt like rocks against our faces. So, the last two miles were not “hard like a race” – but I tried to pick it up a bit (which is difficult when your shoes weigh 20 lb each) but was just happy with the miles. I’d never been happier to take a hot shower and put on dry clothes!



There you have it! On to the next week then it’ll be race week!

Anyone else running RnR NOLA?

What do you do when it’s raining? Run through it? Treadmill? Skip it?

Medal Monday!

Happy MOTIVATION and MEDAL Monday! I ran the Hot Chocolate 15K Dallas last weekend, so I have a (really sweet) medal to share and have been having some nice early morning CHILLY runs this week for a little motivation!

Thank you to Lifelong Endurance for always keeping my running fun and helping me avoid injury by coaching me and guiding me towards big goals! Run happy!

Post-run watch & medal shot after last weekend’s Hot Chocolate 15K! My chocolate goodies are waiting for me down there!

Now for the good stuff! Hot chocolate and chocolate dipping & dippers!

I finally got indoors and got my bag with my warm clothes (and more snacks!!!) and sat there to collect myself. 🙂


I did it! Now I’m ready for a hot shower!

A few from this week’s runs – this was my long run in rapidly dropping temps!

Fortunately I had some amazing friends keeping me going. IT WAS COLD. Especially for a bunch of Texans. But we got our 11 miles in and it was actually one of the best runs I’ve had in a while.

It’s been a long-sleeves and headlamp kind of week!

I survived a week of cold weather running AND MY FIRST WEEK AT MY NEW JOB, WHICH I LOVE! Life isn’t always about running so I had to share! 🙂

There you have it! Medals and motivation this fine Monday. Here’s to a great start to the week!

How was your weekend of racing, running, or non-running?

Race Recap: Hot Chocolate 15K Dallas

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to The Hot Chocoate 15K Dallas as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

The Hot Chocolate 15K is a well known race for good reasons. #1: Chocolate. But my personal favorite, the SWAG. The Hot Chocolate races always have the best swag. This year, a super soft and nice quarter zip pullover and free race photos!

So, naturally, I was interested in running this one. I’ve run it before and knew it was sure to be well-organized and, most importantly, super fun. I knew a lot of friends that were running too, so it was like a big runner meet up!


So, how was the race?! Well, race morning I get up and brew my usual coffee (I put extra coffee ground in on race day), sat and sipped while puppy-snuggling and Insta-scrolling. This is my usual pre-run routine. I give myself an hour to wake up, feed my pup, drink my coffee, and get out the door.

I’d already planned on what I’d wear but last minute decided to do a tank and arm sleeves vs. a long sleeve. It’d be 40 degrees, which from previous running experiences, didn’t quite warrant for a long sleeve for racing. Although I probably would’ve been comfortable in a thin long sleeve as well.

Anyway, I get geared up and ready to go. I made a bowl of oatmeal and brought a banana to eat in the car. I left for Downtown Dallas with plenty of time, which is good, because although i thought I’d be way TOO early, I made it just in time (traffic! everyone and their mother is at this race!)

I met up with the BibRave Pros and a few other friends and said hi and hung out in the big gear-check indoor area until it was time to get into corrals. I was in “L” because my projected time required verification, which I never provided. I don’t believe I’ve really raced a 15K before, so I was just guessing my time based on my previous Half Marathon time.

A few days before the run, I decided I’d try for a 1:10. My goal pace for the Half Marathon distance has been 7:40 lately, so I thought 7:30 was reasonable. Holy hills I was wrong. The hills and the wind were really tough. I felt OK but not incredibly strong that morning (though my Garmin was convinced my Performance Level was a “+10!!!”) so, anyway, I felt like it was a miracle to see a sub-8 pace on my watch after the run. I felt like I really struggled. But I managed! My pace was just barely in the 7’s (7:58/mile per the official time of 1:14). This was good for 6th in my Age Group! I’ll take it! One day I’ll be up there…

Anyway, time wasn’t the most important thing for me this race. I got to see so many run buddies!!! Before the race, after, and even during! Even though I REALLY, REALLY wanted to quit at the sight of each hill, knowing that my friends were there really motivated me. It was a tough one for me – physically and mentally. But totally worth the good time and meet up with friends!

Afterwards, I got my hot chocolate goodie mug (a bowl of pure deliciuosness) and talked to a few people. It was cold and the run was DONE! Hot chocolate never tasted so good in my life. This is my favorite part of this race. Warming up with sweet hot chocolate.

All in all, this race was such a great time! For a full in-detail review of the race itself, check out my review on BibRave, and to see time results, check out my Athlinks page (and friend me!)

Huge thank you to Lifelong Endurance for coaching me towards becoming a stronger runner!

Review on BibRave.com: https://www.bibrave.com/races/hot-chocolate-dallas/9247#.WnnC6ahKtaQ

Athlinks: https://www.athlinks.com/event/19259/results/Event/618731/Course/945049/Bib/51469

Have you run a Hot Chocolate 5K/15K race in your city (or somewhere fun)?

Do you have Athlinks? What are your thoughts?

Hot Chocolate 15K Countdown: RACE WEEK!

It’s here! The Hot Chocolate 15K Dallas is this Saturday!

Thank you Lifelong Endurance for coaching me to the Start line and beyond. It’s not just race day that counts – it’s the journey to the Start line. All the days you put in work even when you may not feel like it. The amazing group runs, fun runs with friends, tough track workouts, sweaty runs, runs where you freeze your butt off at 6:00 am just to get it done. It’s the journey that counts.

So let’s see how my journey went last week!


Plan: 4 miles easy + functional strength workout

Ran: 4.01 miles/38:18/9:33 min/mile

This one felt nice! The weather was just perfect. I felt a bit sluggish but enjoyed the beautiful outdoors. Can’t complain!


Plan: Speed – 7 miles – 2 miles easy, 6 x 800m with 2:00 rest in between, 2 miles easy

Ran: 7.00 miles/59:09/8:27 min/mile {splits: 9:09, 9:21, 7:33, 7:08, 7:20, 9:12, 9:25}

It felt good! Seriously PERFECT weather! My 800 meter repeats were in the 7’s and I even looked down at my watch a few times to see a 6:xx pace! My toe/foot is feeling fine (YAY) in my Asics – not great shoes for speed (my workhorse shoes) – but I think the culprit of my hurt foot may have been transitioning to shoes too quickly that weren’t a great match for me. So, playing it safe and sticking with what works. I will be adding in the New Balance 1400’s for my speed-work shoe once I feel confident that my foot is 100%.


Plan: 5 miles easy

Ran: 5.01 miles/46:22/9:15 min/mile

Another feel-good run! Perfect weather (again!) and foot still feels fine! This one felt nice and easy as it should. Happy runner here!


Plan: 5 miles easy with 5x100m strides + Cross-training

Ran: 5.35 miles/51:20/9:35 min/mile + spin class

I did an early morning run and got my 5 miles in before 7:00 am! It felt good! It was cold but felt really nice to accomplish something before anyone else was even awake! 🙂


Plan: Tempo – 7 miles – 2 miles easy, 24:00 progression 8:00-7:45, 2 miles easy

Ran: 7.01 miles/59:37/8:31 min/mile {splits: 9:12, 9:01, 7:46, 7:45, 7:32, 8:57, 9:21}

YAY!!! My foot (still!) doesn’t hurt at ALL!!! This one was NOT easy but I got it done! AND I discovered an actual literal physical Struggle Bus that lives in my neighborhood! So there’s that!


Plan: 8 miles – 6 miles easy, 2 miles hard

Ran: 8.01 miles/1:12:40/9:04 min/mile {splits: 9:31, 9:30, 9:35, 9:39, 9:50, 9:31, 7:31, 7:29}

TOUGH! I had to stop a few times and just collect myself. I think a lot of it was mental – I decided to “sleep in” (until 7:00 am) and do this run on my own rather than run with my usual Saturday group. This was my first solo “long” run in… forever. I figured since it was a short-long one, I’d be fine. It was tough but my toe felt fine and I got it done!



Will you be running the Hot Chocolate 5K or 15K Dallas this Saturday?

What is your favorite running temperature? Cold? Hot?