Jena’s Journey

Thank you so much Jena for sending us your story. It seems as though that no matter who you are, your goals, your experience or your natural talent level, the dedication it takes to get where you want to go is unchanging. It is so inspirational to talk to all kinds of people and be motivated by their own sacrifices and passionate pursuits through this race we call life.

My name is Jena, I am 31 years old, I have a 7 year old daughter and a 3 almost 4 year old daughter. I got married 12 years ago in May. Before I got married I ran almost every day and I enjoyed running local 5ks. In Junior High and High School I ran Track and Field and Cross Country. A year after High School I got married, and my Husband and I started focusing on having a family. The first 7 years of our marriage we found it was not easy for us to have children and we experienced many failed pregnancies but eventually were able to have our two amazing daughters. During this time, I focused on my children and Husband and I forgot about me. I didn’t realize I could balance both taking care of myself and taking care of my Husband

and Daughters. When my youngest turned 18 months old, I decided to make a change. I wanted to be the best Mother and Wife I could be and in order for that to happen, I realized I needed to take care of myself and lose a lot of weight and live a more healthy life style.

In August 2007 my Journey to a healthier happy me began. My oldest was 5 and she had just started school. Her school is 1 mile away from our home so I decided to walk her to school and home everyday, 4 miles a day. Then I started jogging to school while pushing my baby in a jogging stroller with my oldest riding her bike right next to me. I started getting stronger and stronger. I later found some friends to workout with a few times a week and that was very motivating. I decided that I wanted to run a half marathon so I began training by running almost everyday.

On March 28th 2009 I ran my first half marathon in Riverton, Utah and my time was 3:08. After 11 years of not running I was hooked and hitting the pavement again and I ran and completed a half marathon. My husband ran by my side and some good friends followed us around the race with our kids so that they could see us accomplish this goal. It was an amazing feeling to accomplish this. On June 13th 2009 I ran my second half marathon at Bear Lake and my time was 3:09.

As many of you know, Salt Lake Running Co. hosted the Nike+ Human Race on Saturday, October 24th 2009. My Husband and I participated in this awesome race and finished in 1:23:09. This was an amazing race because I saw a lot of people supporting one another. I witnessed friends who had finished who ran back to find friends who still needed to finish and helped motivate them and get them to the finish line. I personally had 2 friends come back and find my husband and I and it was a great feeling to have that kind of support. I came to the practice training runs that Salt Lake Running Co. provided for us the weeks previous to the race and loved the encouragement and support I received from everyone in the running group. The running community is such an awesome bunch of people and running with a group is a great way to stay motivated.

My daughters are part of my workouts. They watch me lift weights at home and they go on most of my runs with me. I have made a point to tell them that I need to be a healthy happy mommy and so they support me and never complain. I know that my example will be something that they take with them throughout their lives. They enjoy eating the healthful food I make them and they also like to exercise and be active. My husband is also eating better and trying to be more active. He is helping me reach my goals by encouraging me, being very supportive, and he runs in every race that I enter, I love having him there. I am working with a friend who is a personal trainer and nutritionist and she is also helping me reach my goals, thanks Brynnly!


Since my weight loss Journey started in Aug. 2007, I am happy and excited to say that I am 50+ lbs lighter than I was then. I still have 70 lbs to lose to reach my goals and I know I can and will reach my goal. The message I would like to share with whoever reads this is simple. Your Mind is amazing and you can do anything if you say you can. I hear a lot of people out there making a lot of excuses. Excuses keep you on the couch and keep the pounds on! Surround yourself with a support group, let people know what you are doing, eat better and exercise more and start saying you can, make it happen.
It is not always easy, but I can tell you from experience that it is a lot harder to start from scratch.
Here are a few things that help me stay on track and will help you:

Weight loss doesn’t happen overnight, it is a long Journey , but you will benefit greatly by doing it right.
-Exercise often, get your heart rate going!
-Find a group or friend to workout with or run/walk with.
-Keep a Food Journal, you will be surprised at how many calories you consume in a day.
-Avoid eating out, if you eat out make wise choices and don’t finish your plate.
-Weigh in once a week with someone, it helps to have someone other than yourself to answer to.
-Stay Positive, tell yourself you can, your mind is much stronger than you think.
-Set small goals that add up to a bigger goal.
-Reward yourself when you meet your goals, new running socks, some new music on iTunes…
-If you have a bad day get right back to your plan the next day.
-Teach your kids, explain what you are doing and why and they will be a huge motivation and support to you.
-Don’t start next week, Start Today!

I just want to say thank you to the Salt Lake Running Co. for sharing my story. I hope that it will inspire many to get out there and make a change. You can do it!

-Jena Marston

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