Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Running To Remember.

9/11 Memorial 5k - 2003
This is me, age 23, in 2003 after running my first 5k EVER.  It was the 9/11 Memorial 5k in Arlington, VA.  My time was was 25:42 and now looking back I think, holy shit, that was fast - especially for my virgin race!  I don't think I appreciated my pace at the time as much as I do now. 

In 2002, I moved out to Arlington, VA, right after college for my first big girl job.  After I moved there I became determined to leave my late night drunken Taco Bell pig-out sessions behind and become healthy.  This was the first time in my life, I seriously pursued weight loss.  I began running and joined Weight Watchers and lost 30 pounds.  I laugh because when I started running it was long before the C25k app.  I just did it on my own.  One day, I just started running and walked when I could not run anymore.  Anyways, I digress.....

Being my first 5k, this particular race is both nostalgic and sentimental to me.  Combine that with the the purpose of the race is to remember the victims of 9/11 and to honor the firefighters and police officers who responded that day - this race is very near and dear to my heart.

Fast forward nine years.  During of which I regained and re-loss the same 30 pounds a countless number of times, was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, and developed major issues with my feet.  I've fought back all three of these issues over the years and I have finally gotten to a place where I am comfortable running again.  So I figured no better way to honor my progress then to go back to where the journey all began.  I put out the call to a few of my old friends in the area and created a team for this years run.

Team Feets O' Freedom

You may or may not notice, but my friend, Mike, who ran it with me in 2003, joined in. 

There was a terrible, terrible storm that blew in right before the race.  Things calmed down but it rained for most of the race - but not enough to dampen the spirits of all the runners.  Look at all these people!
Over 3,000 runners.
I really, really, really X 100 wanted to beat my time from 2003.  I really was monitoring my watch, but I just could not cut it.  Instead, I finished at a respectable 27:52.
Me and the BF post race.
And really I can't complain, having the opportunity to run amongst these folks, makes me a winner.
He ran the whole dang race in his gear!

Police officers running together while keeping cadence.
As we remember the fallen of 9/11, I ask that each of you dedicate your workout today to the fallen.  Because now, doesn't having the ability to work up a sweat seem like a luxury?

~ Jen J.


  1. Goodness, that picture of the guy running in his gear with the American flag is SO incredibly moving! :*/

    Great job on the 5K Jen... very cool to see it come full circle from your very 1st one!

  2. What an amazing story.. Since I live so close to Arlington I knew several people who ran it. Good Job!!!!

  3. Ok the picture of the fireman in full gear got me ... I am doing the ugly cry in my office

  4. Wow! Makes me a little teary eyed, what a great race to run in!


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