This Runner's Trials


Hi! I'm Jen. I'm a Jersey girl at heart living in a suburb of Charlotte, NC with my husband and our young son and daughter. I'm a medical writer/ editor, runner, failed yogi and  triathlete, Clemson (BA) and University of South Carolina (MPH) grad, and avid NY Giants fan.


Thanks so much for reading This Runner's Trials. On this blog, I share some of my feelings and thoughts. Everything I write is my opinion. I'm an expert in nothing so please listen to your doctor over some random girl on the internet. I encourage open conversation here, but I will remove a comment if it attacks me, my family, friends, or another commenter.

If you have any questions, please email me at runnerstrials (at) gmail (dot) com.

Remember that putting one foot in front of the other isn't always easy, but getting to the finish line is worth it.

Comments (60) Trackbacks (5)
  1. LOVE IT! looks great Jen. can’t wait for you to start really blogging again!!

  2. So far so good Jen :) I love that picture of Nati too! So cute :)

  3. Just found your blog! My home is here in CLT (though I go to college elsewhere…. studying Public Health Ed though… holla!) and I’m definitely going to keep you bookmarked!
    Random question time… Where do you usually run? I despise treadmill running so if I run outdoors it’s usually in my neighborhood or the greenways, but I’m looking for more places to run!

    • Hi Lauren! Yay for studying public health ed! No one ever knows what that is when I tell them ;)

      I usually run in Fort Mill or the Southpark area. I’m trying out the Greenways soon though. Definitely let me know next time you’re in town and want to run!

  4. Lovely blog Jen, good luck with everything


  5. ahhh I just found your blog & got so excited when I saw you went to Clemson AND you have your MPH! I graduated from Clemson in 2007 & am currently working towards my MPH in global epi (in Atlanta & totally agree with you about the biking safety here). I’m glad you love your job – it is always so interesting to hear about what other MPH-ers are doing. Anyway, it’s great to hear your story & I love forward to reading more! :)

  6. It was so nice to meet you and your hubby at Kath’s tonight! Didn’t realize you had a blog also :) We will have to get together again sometime soon!

  7. Hey Jen, just making my way over here and reading your about me page.

    I just wanted to give you hope with the fertility thing. My aunt has faced many of the same issues as you [endo, PCOS] and she went through the surgeries, hormones, the works. She eventually quit running, quit strength training and started acupuncture and regular chiropractic visits, and is now 7.5 months pregnant with her first child.

    I’m sure you’ve probably tried a lot of the above, since your husband IS a chiropractor, but I just thought you might like to hear a true life infertility story gone good.

    • Hey Whit! Thanks for sharing her story. That gives me hope :)

      I have not tried acupuncture yet, but I will once Caitlin’s husband’s practice is up and running. My hubby wants me to do it after my surgery in a few weeks so it’ll be perfect timing.

      And as far as stopping running, my Dr said it wouldn’t help. BUT if I’m still not pregnant by the start of next year, I’m definitely going to drastically cut back on the crazy endurance stuff to see if that does the trick. I figure I better to try that before all the crazy expensive fertility treatments!

  8. hey girl – i am also a (novice!) runner with endo/pcos. thankfully, i am not trying to have kids yet, but i know how frustrating it is to basically be told it’s nearly impossible.

    your determination is so encouraging! good luck in your races, and your family. keep your chin up!

    ps – keep me posted about your surgery and how you are doing!

  9. My fiance grew up in Seneca, right outside of Clemson. He went to USC for undergrad though.

  10. Hi there! I found your blog through Kath Eats and love that you graduated from Clemson- I just finished my freshman year there studying Public Health and couldn’t love it more! I’ve enjoyed reading through your posts, good luck with your future races!

  11. Hi! I just found your blog today and I love it! I try to read as many running blogs as I can to learn as much as possible! I just started blogging…literally just started today! I have been wanting to for a while – since I started running races consistantly last fall. I hope everything goes well with your training – you’re awesome!! And, good luck on the prego thing! My sister and a couple friends went through it – I know it’s not easy..hang in there!


    P.S…we are from Greenville, SC! We were just in Charlotte at USNWC – that place is awesome!

    • Hey thanks so much for the kind words. We <3 Greenville. It's my husband's dream to live there. Have you run the Spinx Run Fest 1/2 marathon in Greenville? One of our favorite races! Congrats on starting your blog!

  12. Actually, I plan to run the Spinx 1/2 marathon this fall! It’ll be my 3rd 1/2 for the year. I’m excited about it!! I’ve heard it’s a fun race. We just LOVE Greenville! I am originally from WI but the south has grown on me and I just love where we live.

    Thanks! I’m excited about it.

  13. First time visiting your blog, and it’s really great! Your running is inspiring. Best wishes with everything.

  14. I feel for you on the TTC part! I am only 20, so I have about 8-12 years before I would like to become pregnant, but I want to be a mother so much that it is something I think about now.

    I also have PCOS. Because I recently has pulmonary emboli, I can never take birth control again (it’s a risk factor for more emboli). The BC was the only thing keeping the PCOS in check, i.e., preserving my future chances at fertility. I am VERY scared right now. There are very few non-hormonal interventions for this type of thing, sadly.

    I guess I’ll cross those bridges in 8-12 years. Good luck! I’m rooting for you. :)

  15. SURF TACOOOOO!!! Where in Jersey are you originally from?! I’m from Tinton Falls!

    Love the blog!

  16. Hi Jen – I found your blog through Healthy Tipping Point.
    I just wanted to say that I too have Endo and was sick of being told to “deal with the pain”

    It is such a relief to have a diagnosis so that a directed and definate treatment plan can be put in place.

    I am not sure whether you would consider it but I found that giving up all meat and animal products – Dairy included has made a massive difference to my symptoms. Unfortunatey I cannot be treated by the usual medical treatments of hormones as I have huge reactions to them and so have looked at all the other options. I know that what suits me isn’t necessarily good for you and vice versa.

    Sorry for the long post – I guess I just want to wish you the very best with your journey and I hope that now you have a diagnosis, you can begin to repair.


    • Hi Orla. I’m so sorry to hear you’re dealing with endo too. But glad you’ve found a way to manage the pain!

      The laparoscopy surgery helped me a lot, and I (knock on wood) haven’t had pain since. Thanks for the suggestions though.

      Good luck to you :)

  17. What kind of work do you do? In one of my million career crises (I’m only 26…), I thought about going to USC for an MPH in Physical Activity/Health Education…or something like that! Although I’m a nurse, I think health education is SO important and vital to our future. While it’s not my current job, I hope to be active in some sort of health promotion and I love to hear about what other people are doing!

    Like you, I firmly believe in eating ice cream daily…it’s all about moderation.

  18. Hi Jen,

    I found your blog through Caitlin’s and I just wanted to say I also batted infertility with PCOS. After 4 years of TTC and countless fertility treatments (including losing a tube to an ectopic pregnancy) I conceived naturally with the help of acupuncture and chinese herbs. I now have a beautiful 18 month old. So PLEASE see Caitlin’s husband. I truly believe in Chinese medicine. If I knew what I know now, I would have tried that before all the stressful and painful fertility treatments! A book called The Infertility Cure by Randine Lewis was also very helpful.

    Good Luck!


  19. Love your blog! I’ve been following it for a few weeks now and your pace is really inspiring. I also love that you work with Girls on the Run. What a great program! Looking forward to reading more from you! Thanks for the motivation.

  20. I really enjoy reading about your life and its trials. Prayers are with you! Staying positive is half the battle, right?! :)

  21. I’m sure lots of people have given you advice on the GI issues, but please, go to a gastroenterologist and have yourself checked out. I lived me GI issues for 6 years and after a month with a good doctor they found out I was soy intolerant and eliminating it made all the difference! Doctors can help!

  22. I just found your blog. I love it! I’m kinda in the same senario with fetility. I was told I don’t ovulate because I run so much. So frustrating!! I am def not underweight. I know reading your blog will give me useful and encouraging help.

  23. Hi Jen! I just found your blog (through Caitlin!) and I wanted to comment…first, I am a NY Giants fan too! From upstate NY (I’m Yankees fan too–my parents grew up in the Bronx and my mom lived right behind the stadium as a kid, and when my parents got married they lived in that area for my sister’s younger years. Yankee Stadium was our second home for years. I can’t help it!)

    On a more serious note, the PCOS and TTC is what caught my eye. I was diagnosed with PCOS earlier this year. I went off the pill after 14 years (yikes!) and got a period normally for 3 months … and then all of sudden, nothing. My dr. thought it was bc i was training for a 1/2 marathon but I knew it wasn’t right (for the reasons you mentioned above as healthy weight, etc.) I didn’t get a period for 4 months, got one, and then didn’t get it again for 3. Also I was gaining weight and was just MISERABLE. So after fighting with my Dr. about it, I ended up going back on the pill. Not ideal but it’s working for me now since I’m not ready to have a baby yet. I will def. be keeping up with you to see how you’re doing in that regard. Good luck, be strong and keep your head up!

  24. Love your blog. I am in the same boat with TTC. I had an eptopic pregnancy that left my uterus a mess:( Still a chance tho.
    I race as well and did my first olympic distance triathlon recently too. LOVED IT.
    Keep up the good work and good luck with the upcoming hubby’s Ironman and TTC!!

  25. Hey Jen… you need a ‘contact me’ section on your blog. I have a lot to say, but not necessarily in open forum. :)

    I’m a clemson grad (class of 1998.. god that doesn’t sound right… so long ago.), I’m a runner turned triathlete and I am a ‘survivor’ of infertility.. PCOS.

    You can check out my blog.. though most of it is ‘post infertility’ … I send my love and support to you through this. I know the times are trying. PLEASE PLEASE email me directly if you want to talk about any of it. Sometimes it’s nice to talk to a distant third party about things that are so personal…

    anyway.. I’ve walked a mile in your moccasins chica and I just wanted to reach out!

    Go Tigers!

  26. Nice to meet you, Jen! I’ve been going through similar stuff on the infertility front. My husband and I have been trying for over a year now and like you, after getting off birth control I wasn’t having a period or ovulating. FINALLY after a hysteroscopy with curettage, HSG, colposcopy, LEEP procedure, 6 months on Clomid, 12 months on Provera and a month on Metformin, I’m ovulating! I hope you guys get your BFP soon! I know how trying the journey can be when it takes so much longer and is so much harder then we expected.

  27. I’m a health educator too. I rarely ever come across another one. I would love to pick your brain. I’m looking for a new position soon. Thanks for sharing your story.

  28. Hi Jen,

    I’m so glad I found your blog! It’s so inspiring to read other women’s running experiences. I turned 40 last year and hit my goal of running 3 1/2 marathons in 3 months, but have set my sights on some loftier goals in 2011! I’m aiming to become a faster runner and you had some great tips. 2011 is going to be my year to PR in the 1/2 and run my first full. I will be happily following your adventures as I embark on mine. Thanks for sharing!

  29. Hi Jen!!! I came across your blog not too long ago and holy WOW you inspire me so much!!!! I love reading about all you have been through so far… all of your races (and CONGRATS on every single one of them, btw! Especially those PRs in 2010!), your travels, and your journey with TTC. I just know that a year or two from now, you’ll have a bouncing little bebe in your arms! (My mom adopted 3 kids before she had me… I’m her only biological kid and I’m the youngest by 12 years. So don’t worry about how things will turn out…. que sera sera).

    Also!! Just wanted to share that I live in Charlotte, as well, and I’m getting my masters in Public Health!!! I’m aiming to run my first marathon in May (Flying Pig! you ever done this race!?) too. So I am excited to read up more on your training. I am getting nervous about all of the super long runs!

    Thanks for all that you do!

  30. Hi Jen! I love your blog. I’m going to read your posts on learning how to make the treadmill work for you – as of right now, I hate it and get so bored! Good luck TTC – I’m a medical student one day hoping to go into RE. This is a blog one of the RE’s writes at NYU
    in case you’re ever curious. Good luck to you!
    -Meggie Smith

  31. Hi Jen! I am so glad to read your blog – I stumbled upon it through many health and wellness type blogs and was glad to open the page today and see that it was up and running! I am studying right now to apply to Grad School and have been back & forth considering an MPH and was curious where you studied. Thanks!

  32. Yes, you are an inpiration in more ways than one!
    I share your love of dogs and just love my sharpeis Journey and Ripley so much. See them here:
    Love your “Everything In Moderation” attitude. That is me too, don’t deprive, downsize!

  33. I came upon your page through another blog and was taken in by it…as an “IF” girl myself it was nice to read some of your posts on running and infertility…I feel like I could have written some of your posts almost verbatim. I hate that women have to go through infertility but it is also “nice” to read that you aren’t that different from other women who are also suffering–sharing a lot of the same feelings and emotions. Thanks for your openess.

  34. I’m so glad I found you! I was given a diagnosis of “probable PCOS” last year after losing my period after taking the bar exam…but I’m not convinced! Instead, I’m just trying to de-stress and get healthy again. I’m back on the pill and afraid to get off of it because of the acne issues, but I’m just taking it a day at a time. Glad I found you!! xo

  35. I am a nj girl too! I visit A lot, maybe one day we will coordinate and run together!

  36. I just found your blog!! I went to Clemson and live in greenville, sc!!! So awesome!! I’m a runner and aspiring yogi. I start yoga teacher training in August. I’m trying to learn how to swim… but not that good haha…

  37. Hi Jen! I just found your blog, congrats on your pregnancy! I am an avid runner and healthy eater and I love being inspired by stories from others similar to me! I just recently got married too and the wedding process along with my running lead me to start my blog! I am new at it but it is a lot of fun! I just graduated with my masters from USC too! :) I look forward to reading more!

  38. Hi! I just found your blog via jenn peanut butter runner and saw you are a health educator – love it! So am I! I just graduated from USC undergrad in public health with a minor in health education and can’t wait to go back and get my MPH! Just wanted to say hi and that I loved reading your story and that we share a lot of the sam interests!

  39. Hi!!! Just found your blog and I’ve loved reading it so far. I’m an avid runner and always enjoy reading/meeting other runners through this crazy blogging world! Congrats on the pregnancy, you look great. It’s wonderful to hear you are still running..that gives me hope for some day down the road :)

  40. Hi Jen, It’s Summer one of the Disney Brides :0)

    I have just been reading your pregnancy blogs and I just wanted to stop by and congratulate you on your pregnancy. I know how you feel as I too have PCOS and had to go through infertility treatment to conceive. My son Joshua is now 5 months old and he was worth everything I had to go through. I am sure you will feel exactly the same way when you hold your baby for the first time.

    Anyway a big congratulations and I hope you have an easy few months left. I look forward to reading all about your little bundle of joy soon xx

  41. On a more serious note, the PCOS and TTC is what caught my eye. I was diagnosed with PCOS earlier this year. I went off the pill after 14 years (yikes!) and got a period normally for 3 months … and then all of sudden, nothing. My dr. thought it was bc i was training for a 1/2 marathon but I knew it wasn’t right (for the reasons you mentioned above as healthy weight, etc.) I didn’t get a period for 4 months, got one, and then didn’t get it again for 3. Also I was gaining weight and was just MISERABLE. So after fighting with my Dr. about it, I ended up going back on the pill. Not ideal but it’s working for me now since I’m not ready to have a baby yet. I will def. be keeping up with you to see how you’re doing in that regard. Good luck, be strong and keep your head up!

  42. I found your blog by accident when I swore to myself that I wouldn’t Google one more infertility symptom and started to anyway. I am also an avid runner and very much enjoyed reading your story…you give me hope!

  43. Hi Jen! I’m a runner (completed my first half marathon last November, yay!) and a soccer player. I was diagnosed with a couple of subchorionic hematomas in my sixth week of pregnancy, and came across your blog when I searched for “SCH and running”. I’m in my 10th week now and still waiting for the SCH’s to resolve. I had been hoping to keep playing soccer until my second trimester, and running throughout the majority of my pregnancy. It’s been tough to give up both, but I’m very grateful my baby is doing well thus far, despite the SCH’s. Still, I’m hoping to be able to at least run again soon. I’ve been trying to stay active on the elliptical machine, but I’m worried that I’m losing my conditioning with each passing day that I don’t run. Your blog gives me hope, thank you!!

  44. Just found your blog through HTP and am really enjoying catching up. I can relate to so many of your posts – I’m a longtime runner/endurance athlete, professional communicator and new mommy (my son Liam was born 11/21/11). I grew up in Charleston, SC (and attended Furman for a year) so of course have tons of HS friends who went to both Clemson and USC. I also struggled with infertility before getting pregnant with Liam (although I think acupuncture and random chance are what did it for me). Thanks for sharing your story! :)

  45. Hi Jen! I just wanted to let you know that I have nominated your blog for the Very Inspirational Blogger Award! All of the information is in my latest post: I chose you because you are such an inspiration for my post-partum running and I love how honest you are. Keep up the great work!!!

  46. Oh man, I came here to tell you I nominated you for the Inspirational Blogger award, and I see you already have one… well, here’s another! :)

  47. I didn’t see a way to e-mail you, so hopefully this works:-) I’m wondering if you used a pregnancy support belt for running? I’m about 20 weeks and think it’s time, but am unsure which brand to try & would love a recommendation. I tried to sort through your older posts, but didn’t find anything specific; thanks!

  48. Hi, just wanted to ask a question about your GPS watches. I’m looking to make the splurge, mostly because I’m tired of my phone being way off when it comes to GPS stuff. I’ve noticed a few ones, do you have any preferences/reviews? I’m looking at a Forerunner 610, mostly because I’m totally a race junkie and love the Virutal Trainer option that it’s got.

  49. So, I know this is a crazy note but wondering if you are still on the prowl for a job. We have a 20 hour/week position open in our office. Not exactly public health but admin work and possibly some grant research in the area of wellness and sports performance. Looking at your blog, it might be a fun fit. Just thinking…..

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