I’m Packing Up for BOSTON!

Evening all! Tonight I pack my bags to head to Boston in the morning. I thought it was time to share my thoughts on this crazy roller coaster that has helped make me Boston Strong.

I know it’s been awhile. Since I announced in late January that I had the opportunity to run the 2014 Boston Marathon for charity team Eye and Ear, I have been pretty nonexistent on the blog. When I first announced, I had visions of sharing all my training tales and triumphs as well as some reviews on great products I have been testing out on my journey to Beantown. Well, then it sunk in that I had to both train for another marathon AND try to raise $7,500 while working full time and planning a wedding.

Yeah, maybe not my smartest move ever. Ask me about a month ago and I would have said I wish I could have turned my yes to Boston to a no. It is too much. I am not that kind of runner. No one would want to help me get to the finish line. It’s way to cold outside and I can’t do this. Lot’s of negative self talk.

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The weather was tough.. I mean, this photo is from this week- Mid April.

Luckily/unluckily, since I was a late add on to Team Eye and Ear, the moment I signed up I was unable to back out. Less than 3 months is not a lot of time to train for a marathon. Definitely not enough time to raise that much amount of money.  So I prioritized. Blogging and active weight loss hit the back burner. What do they say about if something doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger? Yep, this cliche has some merit.

Fitness wise, by focusing on fitting in long runs during my lunch hour, I had no excuse to skip my work outs. I ran long runs in the freezing rain and kept going even when my body hurt. My 20 mile run was surrounded by family and friends. I woke up early to run my first 7 miles. Later, my sister kept pace with my much slower strides just so she could encourage me to cross the Scranton Half Marathon finish line with my training complete.

Cecelia and I after we finished the inaugural Scranton Half. 20 miles done! Couldn't have done it without her.

Cecelia and I after we finished the inaugural Scranton Half. 20 miles done! Couldn’t have done it without her.

The most important decision I made fundraising wise was to ask for help. I swallowed my fear and convinced two bars to host happy hours for my causes where family and friends came to support me. Both in person, by letter, and on the internet. People from all walks of life came into to help support my cause with raffle basket and monetary donations.  My former mentee from college gathered her group of residents to sell school themed bracelets to help my fundraiser. Some people didn’t even know me but made EXTREMELY generous donations.

PicMonkey Collage

Left and Center photo: My mentee Meg and I. She got together a fundraising project in my honor at Roger Williams University. Right is a photo of one of the many notes people sent me wishing me well and catching up.

And my mother and sister… no matter how crazy I thought I was, they still rallied their troops and jumped on board to help me. My sister got me in the paper to advertise my cause and called/texted every one of her friends to be at my bar fundraisers. My mom insisted on being my support system for the weekend of the race. This means she had to cancel her yearly trip to Florida with her family over Easter and give up Easter morning with her two grandchildren. My fiance Josh gave me more hugs and self esteem talks that got me through weeks of doubt that make me know without a doubt that he is the best person to have on my side through the good and the bad.

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My photo in the Scranton Times thanks to Cecelia. I was able to raise over $1000 thanks to many raffle basket donations.

In less than 3 months, I have both physical trained my self to finish 26.2 miles, but I have also raised over $5,000 for Team Eye and Ear. So now as I pack my bag tonight, I am bringing more than just my clothing, not too old/not too new running sneakers… I am bringing the love and support of hundreds of people who have faith that I can cross that finish line on Monday. Without them, I don’t think I could stand proud at the start line.

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I have my runners passport, my Team jersey, new (but not too new) shoes and my tech toes including my Jabra Wireless Sport + that I received as an Ambassador. But most importantly I have your support.

Practically, if you want to see my progress on Monday, you can sign up until 6pm tomorrow (Sunday) night here with Att Athlete Alert. My bib number is 31122. My wave starts at 11:30 and my only goal is to finish, so it may take awhile.

Last but not least, as proud as I am with my current fundraising goals, I would like to be as close to possible to my $7,500 goal as possible. This money is going to Mass Eye and Ear- a Harvard based teaching hospital that not only helps those with eye and ear problems, but also they helped those effected by last years tragedy both while it occurred and afterwards. The only reason I have my bib is that the Boston Athletic Association gave this organization double the amount as a way to thank them for helping the injured. Their goal is to raise $750,000 and I want to do my part to make it happen. So if you haven’t donated yet, please consider. No amount is too small. I can still accept checks mailed to me made out to the Foundation of Mass Eye and Ear (e-mail me at piazza.jm@gmail.com for more details) or online through my fundraising page (current amount raised is not up to date since I have donations at home).  My official money isn’t due until May, so it is not too late!

If you have donated please consider just sharing this page with your friends. You never know who will want to help. I am surprised by the kindness and generosity of those strangers out there already.

As always, THANK YOU for making me #BOSTONSTRONG


  1. says

    Love and support? Jena, I’d be asking, “Where’s the Sucre?” :)

    I’m very, very proud of your determination and know you’ll finish tomorrow making Disney wedding planning trip in two week all the more magical. xoxo

  2. says

    Well done Jena, you are an inspiration to us all and l am very pleased to read that there are still lovely people like you out there, good luck with it all and also l am sure you will read your $750,000 goal, you seem to dedicated not to. Good Luck once again

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