The wonderful part of running and races, is that while you run side by side, the competition is truly only with yourself, whether it’s to beat a previous time, or just turn of that voice in your head that wants to quit.
Every race has it’s story, each mile, some great, some not so great, and only another runner really understands this. The Gals Who Run community has grown over the last few years, and many of the woman that have used the 12 week training plan to train for their first or fastest marathons, as well as participated in the private group challenges, have not only seen some remarkable success, inspired us all, but shared a little bit about why they run, and what makes its special.
Jennifer Rose, from Solana Beach, CA, wife, daughter, sister, Mother of two, and full time Development Manager at the Challenged Athletes Foundation (making athletics possible for those with physical challenges) is a week away from running her 19th full marathon. Not just any marathon. The 120th Boston Marathon.
We wonder when she sleeps too, or what we really want to know where she hides her wonder-woman cape. She’ll be the first to shrug it off and claim that all runners do what she does, balance a lot, and that running is how it’s all possible. So really, how did she complete in all those races? We asked her!
GWR: This is your 19th full marathon! Wow! How is Boston special?
Jennfier: Boston is special as is, but to me for so many reasons. I first ran the Boston Marathon in 2003 and that very next year on the same date, April 19, 2004 I donated my kidney to my sister. Then to prove that giving her my kidney didn’t take anything away from me physically and that I could still run and do everything I love, but with even more joy because she was healthy too, I qualified in 2005 and ran the Boston Marathon again in 2006. Since then I have gotten married and my husband is from guess where??? “BOSTON” .
GWR: Did becoming a Mom change your running?
I ran 1000 miles during the pregnancies of both of our children. When our son was 2 years old my husband was diagnosed with Lymphoma. He had gone into remission and relapsed in 2012. I found out one week before becoming pregnant with our baby girl. He has since gone through a bone marrow transplant and is in full remission now. So, it’s now been 10 years,a marriage, and two children later, that I am going back for the 120th Boston Marathon. I am running for my sister, for my husband, for my friends and for CAF and anyone who has experience health challenges. This is my 20th year as a runner and I am so thankful for my health and my families health and this is my celebration of it all.
GWR: We knew it. We found photographic proof!
GWR: How has running helped or changed you?
Jennifer: In more or less words, things (in running and in life) happen for a reason. I’m reminded of medical miracles when i look at my daughter. When my husband relapsed with Lymphoma he told me we couldn’t have another baby. I was devastated, for him, for me and for our son for the change to give him a sibling, knowing the bond I have with my sister. I was running with two of my friends who had both just found out they were pregnant with baby girls and I was happy for them, but also sad. I ran the Carlsbad Marathon aiming for Boston and finished in 3:41 one minute past my Boston cut off. I had nothing left in me and couldn’t figure out why I felt so sick and couldn’t push for just one minute faster. That week I found out I was pregnant with our daughter. That next week my husband started high dose chemo and there would be no way after that point. She is our miracle and has brought such joy to our lives.
GWR: Last time you ran Boston, what was it like?
Jennifer: Last time I ran Boston is was hard. I stayed at my then boyfriend, now husband’s family friend’s house right along the course in Newton near the infamous Heart Break Hill and it was definitely one of my most difficult marathons, but the people all along the course made it magnificent!
GWR: We appreciate you following the marathon training guide for your qualifying race and training this time, what made you want to go back?
Jennfer: Thank you coaches! I’m going back or the challenge and to prove that as a mom, a wife and a full time employee who is over 40, I still can.
Congratulations Jennifer, on not only qualifying for Boston in January 2015, but your dedicated training to this years race. We think it’s awesome you asked for $26 dollars for anyone who would like to support CAF too! Count us in to your efforts! Want to support her too? You can HERE! Boston Strong on 4/18/16!
your friends and fans,
Gals Who Run