Tag Archives: chirunner

VIRTUAL #runstreak: First Virtual Race in December

Why wait until January to kick off a YEAR of running with friends near and far! Im honored and pleased to announce I am now an AMBASSADOR for Running on the Wall. One of the things I love about running is actually running races with new friends near and far. Often due to our running budgets and/or travel limitations it could take years before I have the opportunity to meet and run with every running friend I make on social media. That’s why starting THIS MONTH and every month in 2016 you will see an invitation from me to join me in a virtual 5k or 10k. Even if you are a first time runner doing C25k or training for a marathon or ultra, these races should fit somewhere in your training schedule. WHO’s EXCITED?!!! ME!!

Never participated in a virtual run? No worries, I’ll help guide you on how to join in the fun. For now, I want to tell you about THIS MONTHS race and how you can get involved because we are already almost 5 days into December so I want you to get signed up and earn one more medal in 2015! Let’s Do this!

About Running on the Wall.  This onine business and resource for runners was created by two runners, a husband and wife team who felt that they themselves could give the highest quality gear for runners anything related to running. Their first product for sale was a medal holder and since they have created lots of other running-inspired items and sell everything from medal holders to race bib display to running bracelet and virtual race to running tees.

Out of their love for the outdoors, they strive to keep everything offered in store as ‘green’ as possible, making sure that all of the marathon display and medals holders are made from recycled MDF wood and non-chemical based varnishes. Shows their commitment to keep our environment looking as best as possible to ensure we all have many more great outdoor running years ahead.


For December I have chosen the #shebelievedshecoulddoit virtual 10k race. If you can believe this incredibly affordable deal, for just $29 you receive: Tshirt, Bib and Medal! The great thing about running a virtual race is YOU CAN FIT THIS RACE IN on your OWN TIME! So often I have to pass up on races because I am working on the day of the event. Plus, this is super affordable, sometimes even costing less than running your local races so more money saved in your pocket! You are free to select what race you want to run off their website and guess what….you can SAVE 10% on your order with the CODE: GiveThanks. What race theme and distance is attractive to you?

My race Packet looks like this!


The FEATURED 10k for this month is #runwithgrace and it is also a 10k, here is what that packet looks like…remember you can select YOUR OWN race to run!


Two ways to get connected with other runners who are participating in virtual races: 1) use the hashtag #virtualrunning and tag Running on the Wall on Instagram, like and share on their facebook page and tag ME  on social media: jenn on twitter, jenn on instagram, jenn on facebook. 2) Tag or INVITE a friend to join in with you, share on a running group page or call/text a friend about it too.

Since we are all ordering our packets this week, I’m planning to run my 10K the weekend between Christmas and New Years. Who is with me? If you want to join me, check out my events in my facebook page: Jenn Voss Fitness. Comment below or send me an EMAIL (click on link) and lets all end this year running together!

Your running buddy— Jenn xo

Procrastination never helped anyone reach their goals!

Happy Monday! New Year is around the corner and there’s only THREE more days left until we ring in 2015! I am getting excited for all that awaits me in the upcoming year, but there’s still so much to do to finish out 2014 which was an AMAZING year in my book!

Today I was procrastinating on getting out for a run—I let myself laze around on Saturday and Sunday and so I missed my opportunity to get that last LONG run in this year. Today’s culprit: I looked at my phone and it said “FEELS LIKE 18 DEGREES.” Now I ran all last winter in temps sometimes below zero and crazy wind chills so this really should not have been a challenge but today it was—we have been experiencing more mild temperatures here in Chicago and well, my body was revolting against rolling out of bed and into the chilly temps this morning!

IMG_0186Here’s the screen shot, taken while cowering under my covers and tweeting my friends this morning. This was taken after I had hit snooze at least 3 times–yes it was definitely feeling like a MONDAY morning!








I love social media—thanks to seeing other running friends and fitness friends posting that they actually made it to the gym or even had FINISHED their early morning workout, I knew I would feel like a schmuck if I didn’t get out for a run. Plus, 3 days left in the year–right then and there I made the commitment to myself that I would run EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM! Oh Yeah!

IMG_0187First, I needed to warm up from the inside out and so drank a cup of hot Lemon Water! Ahh….it hit the spot! I then put on my neck scarf I got from Detroit FreePress Marathon Expo and covered up my entire head, grabbed my 13.1 gloves (my first race of 2015 will be a 1/2 marathon on 1/24/15: Chicago Winter F3 Lake Half Marathon  <–Still Time To Sign UP!) and laced up to brave the elements.  Of course, safety first friends and it was DARK out there so I was sure to wear my Nathan Reflective Vest too–it is one of my most worn pieces of running gear!

I will not lie in saying that within the first mile my cheeks felt balmy and the sting of the fresh air upon my face was very brisk. Of course though as all winter runners know you begin to warm up by mile 1 and I had to remove my gloves from my sweaty hands. Yeah, I was beginning to overheat and I also was watching the clock—I was running out of time so of course this busy mom started to pick up the pace. The only thing with that plan was the cold air was freezing my throat and my legs were crying for a break so I did end up taking 2 short 1/2 block walking breaks on my 3mile run today. Let’s just say—I am so proud and happy I fit this one in today. I know we’ve all been there, it’s when you push yourself to do the training and put the effort into getting it done that sets you apart from the amateurs and wannabe runners. I’m ready to push my body to the Max in 2015, I plan to run smart, follow a set plan and stay injury free!

Get it done friends, your mind, body and soul will thank you! <3 I log all of my running on NikePlus so if you would like to be friends Look me up, my screen name is jennvossIMG_0191

Cheers to Ending 2014 STRONG!


Detroit Marathon, New PR and First International Race!


Marathon Number 3 Complete!

Wahoo! Detroit is my hometown, I was very excited to run this race! I trained long hours and hard for this, I knew it was going to be a good race for me, in fact I CONVINCED myself that this was going to be my best race yet.

The Journey Begins….I was laughing to myself as my husband dropped me off to catch the Metra into downtown Chicago. I said this trip reminded me of that movie Trains, Planes & Automobiles. I was taking Car, then Metra, then walking to Union Station and then another Train to make it into Dearborn Heights on Friday evening. On the way, I pondered the race, my goals and training and listened to music to get me mentally for the weekend. I was also drinking lots of water and my hubby had kindly packed me a Jason’s Deli turkey wrap to enjoy for my dinner, it was delicious!

The Expo! Wow, I had a blast at the expo, my mom and sister came with and we spent nearly 3 hours there! I can get lost in there and we spent a while at The Stick booth, the man running it looked at me and said “you have tight quads” just what you want to hear as a runner the day before a race, lol. As a gift my mom bought me a stick, just the 10mins I was using it at the booth I could tell I was working out some deep knots in my calves. It was exciting because I was able to meet up with several friends from social media in person, for the last 6 months I’ve been training and checking in with my good friend Emily White, check out her blog & read her review on Detroit Marathon here:  I only made a couple purchases, a blue hat to match my race outfit, a Girls run the D neck scarf & a jar of PB2 (only $5 a jar!). Here are a few fun pics from the expo!

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Flat Jenn was ready, everything laid out the night before, but I had a hard time settling into a deep sleep. It was like Christmas Eve, I’m sure as a runner you can relate!photo 1 (5)

Race Day Sunday! Woke up at 3:30am and did some static stretches, got dressed and had my usual 1/2 bagel w/ PB &Banana for breakfast with a cup of coffee. Bathroom, shoe and gear check and we had a later start downtown than my dad wanted we left at 5:10am. I walked out door wearing extra layer of clothing & my race belt with 4 packets of Island Boost! Traffic was clear until after we excited the Lodge off of I-94 and then I saw RED LIGHTS. Immediately my heart began to race, would my parents be able to get close enough for me to walk? My GPS was showing 8 mi from the starting line. Luckily we got off and I saw people in running gear parking & walking and not knowing how far away I left my gear check bag in car, grabbed belt and water bottle with Energy & Endurance and bolted from car to walk with other runners.

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The start is always invigorating, the national anthem from both countries were sang and I felt proud to be an American in this race! The waiting part is the hardest, I was saying hello to others who had positioned themselves with me around the 4:25 pacer. I was not sure if I could hang with this crowd, I knew this was an ambitious group to join but I felt confident and ready to run a good race! By mile 3-4 we were crossing the Ambassador bridge and people were stopping for selfies but I was determined to stay on track with my pack. I did snap a few but got nothing that could represent the beauty of the sky that morning. In Windsor, I paired up with a guy named Brad who became my running buddy for the majority of the race! He and I happily chatted about running, our families and our goals for the year as the miles flew by. Could we really already be at mile 9? I tossed my gloves around here, the first of my clothing to go to the sidelines. Soon we were heading into the tunnel back to the US and it was LOUD and HOT in there! I still had not removed my arm sleeves or my vest and I was happy coming out of the tunnel that I still had all my clothes with me because that cold air hit us hard! Brad and I had been ahead of the 4:25 pacer up until the tunnel and the pack caught up with us after we emerged. Soon after we were running through neighborhoods and Brad and I pulled ahead of the pack again. I was starting to struggle keeping pace, my front quads were tiring and I was praying my legs would not cramp up on me! Entering Belle Islle I knew I was fatiguing, this was the longest stretch of miles I had done at this fast pace and my body was getting wary. I stayed with Brad up until mile 22 and lost sight of him, never regaining my ground. The 4:25 pacer ran past and I was losing steam, at mile 23 I slowed to a walk and then it was a fight to do walk/run until I saw the 4:30 pacer pass me and I got to mile 25…I totally buckled down, was not going to stop running again until I crossed that finish line! It felt like an eternity and there was a sight incline uphill before that last turn when I saw the finish line and completely gave it everything I had, took in the energy from the crowd and the excitement of being a marathoner again completing such a monumental task was mine for the taking! I ignored the cameras just focused on the finish line and the clock—I knew it was going to be close, would I finish before 4:30? Well, I was close, my final time was 4:30:03. Wahoo! New Personal Record and I met my goal of finishing under 5hrs! 

After Race & Medal! I was definitely going to be sore, I knew it as soon as my body stopped moving. I was so hungry I ate so much: 2 chocolate milks, 2 waters, 2 bananas, hummus, carrots, apples & 1 granola bar. I sat down on curb, called my parents to find out where they were and they had not left their home yet to come downtown! My mom was surprised I finished already–they were just leaving. I was freezing and in the frenzy of the morning had left my gear check bag in their car. I was huddled under my mylar blanket and was wondering how I would stand up off the curb and even walk again. I could see a lull in the finisher photo opp line so I somehow righted myself and went over. I had to politely decline from taking a picture with the girl’s phone in front of me. I told her sorry, my hands were still full of 2 more waters and I was fighting to keep my blanket around my body and stay warm. I wandered to the after party area and was happy to find a massage tent which I walked into and got treated right away–they had a good system going, 2 therapists were working on 1 runner at a time. They had a whole routine for front and back and I was out of there in 15minutes. Realizing roads were still closed I wobbled over to the MGMGrand building and had my parents pick me up there. 

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Race Day Meal & Recovery, tired was an understatement. Dinner was at Red Robin, I had a big fat guacamole burger, yum! I wore my medal but didn’t get any recognition from our server and not one glance from anyone else in the restaurant but I was ok with that—the weight of the medal around my neck was a reminder of my hard work I put in over many months of training and having finished under my goal. I was definitely planning on wearing it on the train the next day home too! Post Race I did stretch and roll and although ice bath would’ve been nice I drew a hot epsom salt bath and soaked for a long time. I had also packed my Enduropacks amiono acid patches and Enduroglutamine that I used for several days post-race. After burgers my mom and I hit a food coma stage and sacked out for a television marathon session where we zoned out for hours. Next day I felt aches and pains in places I had not felt pain before and my legs were especially sore in my quads, not my hamstrings surprisingly. For the train ride home I purchased 2 large smart water bottles and wore my compression socks which really helped! Nonetheless, I was not able to run again until that following weekend, once I was able to have a rhythm and move I knew I was well into my recovery, but it was much slower than my last race but then again, the last race was 45 minutes SLOWER than Detroit and I had serious cramping issues that began at mile 16. Running faster was so worth the pain.

The Course and Recap: Detroit was an amazing experience, I highly recommend you consider running it! It was well organized, the volunteers were great and fuel stations were appropriately stocked and managed. It was a bit on the chilly side, although I did choose to wear shorts for this event it was borderline capri’s for me. The border patrol was a little intimidating, but friendly only shouting at the runners when they couldn’t see their bibs—I did not see one person stopped for ID or for them to check that they were carrying liquids across the border. Spectators were spaced out at times but all were enthusiastic and supportive and two times I was offered BEER by them, one house even had a keg out on the street pumping and handing out for free. Nothing will beat the beauty of the sunrise over the Ambassador Bridge, the sunlight reflecting off the buildings of Detroit and hustle through the tunnel. I may even consider running this race again just for those two experiences alone! For non-marathoners they did have a US -only Half Marathon and an International Half Marathon if you are not ready to run a full. So get your butt over to run the Motor City, you will not be disappointed! 


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