Author Archives for Jen Bendewish

About Jen Bendewish

Mom, triathlete, runner, skateboarder, and still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

One Year Later: Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

Today is November 14, 2019. One year ago today, at the age of 61, you took your last breath. I am taking the time to write you a letter today because I feel that it is the best way to recap the past year. The days and weeks after you passed were filled with to-do’s, going through old photos, and figuring out the holidays. Amidst the busy stuff and being submerged in the things that made up your life, it felt like you were still with me. I spent time sorting through your old surf shirts, looking at photos from jobsites, surf adventures, snowboard trips, and hunting days.

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2019: Resolutions and Races

As we enter into the third week of January, many will have already given up on New Year’s Resolutions, where as I am still planning them out. I consider January a special month, in part because it is the first month of the year, winter is my favorite, and it is my birthday month. I used to give myself the entire month to think and develop my resolutions and then formalize them in a day planner at the end of the month. That tradition slipped through the cracks as life took numerous twists and turns over the past seven years. This year…. things will change.

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My first resolution for 2019 is to declare and formalize some resolutions and goals for year ahead.  And look at me write… I am already working my way through my first goal. Without further ado, My goals for 2019 are as follows: Continue reading

Running Through it All: Change, Loss & Grief

As the last few days of 2018 come to a close, many will reminisce of memories made while pondering resolutions and goals for the year ahead. As 2018 comes to close for me, I reminisce with a heavy heart the journey I have been on the past seven years.

In February 2011, our little family unit decided to uproot from Los Angeles, trek across the country and call South Georgia/North Florida home. This trek meant leaving behind many relatives in a large Hispanic extended family on the maternal side and a smaller family on my paternal side– including my father, grandparents, and uncle. At that time, my girls were 2 years old and 5 months old. The decision to move was not made in haste and it would take us years to get our feet firmly planted on the East Coast. Late in 2011, my grandfather was diagnosed with prostate cancer and learned it had spread to one of his lungs. Up until his diagnosis he had played tennis, visited the gym regularly, and ate a healthy Mediterranean style diet. Once diagnosed, he had surgery to remove part of his lung and then began chemotherapy. The chemo and cancer took its toll and he passed in May 2012 (He was 81 years old). Continue reading

O2 Fitness Charleston Marathon Recap 2018

I made the decision to run the Charleston Marathon just six weeks before the race. I have never signed up and decided to run a marathon on this short of timeframe. I had gotten sick just before the St. Jude Marathon in December and wanted some redemption. Maybe that is just the excuse I will stick with. The Charleston Marathon raises money for Engaging Creative Minds (ECM), a non-profit that helps students.

I love and hate January marathons. I always think they are a great idea and the training will help me stay focused through the holidays and keep me away from all the sweets. Never seems to be the case. I tend to be diligent about getting my long runs in but skip the short weekday runs and eat all the tasty treats anyway. Which means I start January off dreading the first marathon of the year.

After running the St. Jude marathon in early December, I did the Spartan Beast in central Florida the following weekend. I was doing none of the following as I counted down the days to Charleston: diligently stretching, taking care of my body, and getting enough rest. On top of traveling 21 days in December, I also had to be mom, work my day job, meet deadlines for my PhD class, and deal with persistent plantar fasciitis in my right foot which has led to tightening in my right hip and IT band pain in my left knee due to compensating… Anyhow…. none of that was going to stop me.

Friday – Travel Day

Woke up Friday morning to rain in Tallahassee. So, had to pack the car in the rain, and drive seven fun hours in the rain. Of course I made horrible gas station food choices all day and did not focus on hydrating. Luckily, the rain came the day before race day. We made it to the Expo about 5:00pm. The Charleston Marathon usually boasts about 5,000 runners every year and this year those numbers were broken down: 800 5k racers, 3,000 half marathoners, and 1,000 marathoners. Though a small race by marathon standards, the Expo was amazing. O2 Fitness printed all the names of the registrants on a fabric wall, which was placed at the entrance of the Expo. My girls had a blast finding my name. The Expo included over 20 vendors, including free apples, a booth for kids to make custom race signs, a picture zone, free coffee, local shoe stores, official race merchandise, local artists, and more food. I would consider this a smaller race by marathon standards, and their Expo was awesome and made it feel like a much bigger race. Continue reading

Marathon #8 Training: Long Run Saturday (18-miler)

Countdown to St. Jude Memphis Marathon: 8 weeks

Long Run Saturday: 18 miles

Training Plan: Hal Higdon Novice II

So, I have this amazing life long goal of running 50 marathons in 50 states. The St. Jude Marathon will be Marathon #8 overall and my third marathon of the year.

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It’s amazing how much difference a few degrees makes. Thanks to Hurricane Nate pushing up through the Gulf of Mexico my run started out around 74° and never cooled off.

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2017 Gift Guide for Runners

I have been running for over 20 years and one question that seems to come up quite often is what type of running gifts to get that special runner. I’ve run with my kids, through the mountains,  and 5ks to marathons (no ultras yet). Runners can be quite picky about their shoes, nutrition, watches, and other gadgets. However, many runners have an ongoing wish list of running themed items they would love to have, and here are just a few.

1. FlipBelt

   

Yes, there are all kinds of belts out there but this is my favorite. I have completed seven marathons wearing a FlipBelt.  I wear it at the gym to hold my phone and iPod. I have worn my FlipBelt while flying across the country (to hold money, ID, and phone). I also wear it when I do Black Friday shopping – it holds my cards, phone, car keys, and frees up my hands to hold and carry the important stuff. FlipBelts are true to size and an excellent investment for any runner, yogi, gym rat, hiker, or walker (just to name a few). Cost: $28.99

 

2. NOXGEAR Tracer360 Vest

As the days get shorter many runners find themselves covering morning and evening miles in the dark. This vest was built with runners and cyclists in mind as it rotates between six bright colors that help passing motorists pay attention. It is lightweight and adjustable and can be worn over jackets and doesn’t affect your hydration belt or heart rate monitor. The vest requires three (3) AAA batteries and will stay illuminated for 40 hours. NOXGEAR also makes illuminated vests/harnesses for our four legged friends! Cost: $55.00 – 70.00

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Marathon #8 Training: Long Run Sunday (17-miler)

 

Countdown to St. Jude Memphis Marathon: 10 weeks

Long Run Sunday: 17 miles

Training Plan: Hal Higdon Novice II

So, I have this amazing life long goal of running 50 marathons in 50 states. The St. Jude Marathon will be Marathon #8 overall and my third marathon of the year.

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This was actually a long run Sunday, which was followed by church, lunch, movie time with the kids, dinner, meal prep for the week, and then hitting the pillow sometime after it got dark, which felt like quite the accomplishment considering I was ready to tag out and go to sleep about 7:00 pm.

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