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All Roads Lead to ROME!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I am sitting here writing this shaking with emotion. I remember the first day I started my blog back in 2006 feeling nervous then as well. What if I did not succeed? Here I am posting my goals, dreams and weight loss for all the world to see. I knew though that if I really wanted to make a change, being accountable through my blog would take me to the next level and now I can see years later that it did!

So now here we are in 2011 and I am going out of a limb posting yet another big goal which is ahead of me. I am scared, motivated, excited and nervous.....I would not have it any other way. 8 months from today, March 18th, 2012, I will be running the Rome Marathon!! I wanted to wait until I had final confirmation from the marathon committee to write this blog. I had to submit a doctors letter stating I was fit enough to do the race and other documents which needed to be received before they would send me my final confirmation email. So now, it is official....I AM IN :) They say the third time is a charm, well my third time going back to this city is going to be a dream come true and I will for the first time cross that finish line and will forever be, a Marathoner!!

This all started several months back, well, actually several years back. Let's start at the very beginning......a very good place to start :)

When my husband and I were living in Siberia we were fortunate enough to have the chance to travel quiet a bit. We had always longed to visit Italy and so in September of 2006 we decided to go. It was everything I had dreamed of. I was just beginning my weight loss journey at this time, but I was not fully onboard, just watching what I was eating more so than before. I was still very heavy but it was not going to stop me from going to Italy!! We traveled all throughout Italy and our final destination was Rome. I remember standing in front of the Colosseum and allowing the vast history to soak in. It is something incredible to experience. My husband wanted to take a picture but I felt too bad about how I looked so we took a head shot and therefore kept my body out of the picture. This made me so sad as I was taking memories away from my husband and I because I was so ashamed of what I had become.

Rome 2006

One year later after losing some weight in 2007 we traveled back to Italy once again. This time I felt more confident and proud walking the narrow cobblestone streets of this amazing city but I was far from where I wanted to be. I remember seeing the stores and knowing that I was not quiet able to shop as the European sizes where always a challenge for me. We had a glorious time but I always knew that someday, I would be back.....that someday is NOW!!

Fast forward now to where I am currently in my journey. I am only a few pounds away from my personal goal weight but by the official standards and charts I am right where I need to be! No more obese BMI rankings, overweight hip to waist ratios, overweight body fat %, by all definitions, I have made it, however for me, I still have a long road ahead. I have a detailed plan of where I want to be, races I want to run and goals to accomplish in the next few years.

I remember watching David Rocco's Dolce Vita when he was racing the Rome Marathon and I was standing in the living room with tears thinking about the last time I was in Rome and how it would be a dream for me to stand once again in front of the Colosseum, but this time, with a Marathon Medal around my neck, at my goal weight and healthier than ever! My husband turned to me and said, "You WILL do this someday!" Several months later, we sat down, talked and decided that 2012 was going to be my year!! This is the first of many races I have dreamed of finishing. After Rome, my dreams will start in a new direction for 2012, those who know me well can probably guess :) I will began my 70.3 and Ironman training post Rome along with another International Marathon I MUST do! I am going to discuss my plan for the next year in another blog but lets just say I am NOT holding back, and I truly am reaching HIGHER and HIGER!!

I feel blessed to have two incredible people helping me train for this race. The first is my aunt who is a physician and elite runner who has competed in the World Master's Track and Field Championships in Italy and competed in the Ironman World Championships in Kona. My aunt, along with her coach will be giving me my training schedule to prepare me for this race and to help with my current knee issues I am having. There is a strong focus on cycling and I feel I could not be in better hands for my training. I really do feel honored. They are both in such a higher class than I am, I feel so blessed they are taking the time to help little old me :) I am going to work like never before and I cannot wait!

In 2006, I was the girl who stood on the streets of Rome not knowing if she would ever get back to where she once was years ago. She was scared, afraid and did not want to live another day hating what she had become. So one day in an apartment in Tyumen, Siberia she decided to start LIVING in the moment, NOT wasting another second of this life she was blessed with and she turned her life around. Now, she is going back to Rome and this time, she will finish her first Marathon, crossing the finish line in front of that same Colosseum, hands in the air thanking God for bringing her so far! I cannot wait see how it feels to truly have a dream of a lifetime come true!

The flights are booked! The hotels are booked! In 8 months, my road, my journey will lead me back to ROME!!!

Here is a link to the full blog.... more pictures, videos of the race and all......


All photos other than my own posted here blog were from google.....
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Jen, I was so moved by this blog. And reading it made me want to return to Italy after all these years. It is so wonderful that you are about to make one of your dreams a reality. And what a beautiful place for a marathon race! It is like racing into the pages of history! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3283 days ago
    Hi! ... I saw your Feed and just had to stop by and tell you how PROUD I am of you and your journey!! Wow, what an inspiration you are here at SP! emoticon
    emoticon Blog!!
    A Marathon and a future Iron Man!!! How Thrilling!!
    emoticon ...cheering for YOU!! ~ Laura
    3373 days ago
    Very very exciting news!!! I am so happy for you!!!
    3430 days ago
    Awesome location for your first marathon!!! Have an incredible time!!!
    3432 days ago
  • no profile photo CD10468811
    I ran my first marathon this past June. It is an experience like no other. A physical and mental journey. I was so proud to finish... I say to you "enjoy the journey...it is totally worth it!"
    3432 days ago
  • AUNTIE65
    How fun Jenn! I'm so excited for you! I spent time in Rome several years back and the marathon was taking place the Sunday morning we headed out to go to church and it was amazing - running wasn't even on my radar to try at that time but I could sense the excitment and how special it was.

    You will do GREAT!
    3438 days ago
    Jen---you are an inspiration and I love your dreams and that you see them through and reach for the stars and will not stop until you reach them!! As always, love following you on your journey!!
    3438 days ago
    WOW! What an incredible thing to experience!! I am soooo excited for you!

    LOL - just like you to decide to really DO IT RIGHT!!! emoticon
    3439 days ago
  • 4_MY_LIFE
    The Rome Marathon is so cool. I have friends that ran it this year. My daughter just happened to be in Rome this year for it. She stood across the street from the Colosseum and watched the runners go by. She got some great pictures. Good luck with your training!
    3440 days ago
  • no profile photo HEEEYBOOBOO
    Your dedication and hard work truly inspire me and obviously so many others. I know you will rock out this marathon. And of all places - what a beautiful place to do it. Best of luck in your training. :)
    3440 days ago
    emoticon emoticon I think this is awesome. Good luck!
    3440 days ago
    You must have thrown coins in the fountain to go back to Rome... great job - a destination race is always a huge motivator. Going to have to put this one on my list - maybe 2013 for me.
    3440 days ago
  • no profile photo CD7146704
    amazing Jen!!!

    3440 days ago
    Amazing!!! I watched you from that first post, when I blogged on how beautiful you are and that you reminded me of my niece. You are still so beautiful and have achieved so much in this time. I am so happy to have been able to watch you grow into a very sure capable young woman.
    Congrats to a hard journey well fought and won and to continued successes!!!
    3440 days ago
  • no profile photo CD10675300
    So inspirational! Being an Italian, who has visited Italy twice and has most of my family there, I can appreciate the beautiful photos and your kind words about this amazing country. Great luck to you and thank you for sharing this lovely blog. emoticon
    3440 days ago
    Fantastic and CONGRATLATIONS!
    3440 days ago
    Wow!! Way to go. You must be so excited. I know I would be.
    3441 days ago
    You know you'll do amazing Jen! I'm ALWAYS rooting for you!!!
    3441 days ago
  • no profile photo CD10429732
    Goosebumps too! Looking forward to following your continuing journey and need to move along with mine!!
    3441 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8949377
    You go girl!!! You are an inspiration and sounds like you have such a great support system to succeed.
    3441 days ago
  • MJK0430
    You are Incredible! I teared up too and I can't wait to see you at the finish line!
    3441 days ago
    incredible!!! WHat an amazing blog and story to read! Best of luck on this amazing opportunity, and huge congrats on your weight loss!!
    3441 days ago
    You go girl! I am so excited for you!
    It looks simply amazing!
    And you get to do it!

    WOO HOO!!
    3441 days ago
    How exciting!
    I would love to return to Rome for this reason!
    3441 days ago
  • LAURIE5658
    jen, in the words of the great SHelly...Oh Me Gah!!! Are you kidding me? That is so Sparktastically awesome and this is going to be so much fun watching you prepare! What a thrill for you!
    3441 days ago
  • SUGIRL06
    Aaaah wow!! I teared up a little but out of happiness for you!!! That sounds so amazing. I can't believe all the places you've been but this seems like your one special place. You will do amazing!
    3441 days ago
    I already responded at the other site but still, yeah, you're emoticon .

    Seriously, why does this place NOT have a medal emoticon when so many people HM and marathons??
    3441 days ago
  • BOOTS1221
    OMG I got goosebumps reading this! Amazing!!! Best wishes to you :)
    3441 days ago
    Great post and best of luck to you. Your story is very inspiring! Run like the wind. ;)
    3441 days ago
    That is just SO AMAZING--I am so excited for you! What a dream come true, and you have the tools you need to make it there. WOO HOO!!!
    3441 days ago
    I was in tears reading your blog today. I am so happy for you that you are reaching for this goal, and I know you will achieve it, at any cost! You have been a huge inspiration for me, and I will be watching you as you train for this milestone. I intend to run a full marathon in the fall of 2012, and I am anxious to see how you progress! Have fun with the training!
    3441 days ago
    I am sooooooo excited for you! My first marathon was Rome just this past March and it was AMAZING!!! I remember the excitement and anticipation as I waited for my confirmation email and it carried me through all the way to the end!

    Here is my blog if you are interested...
    I hope to go back in 2014 for Maratona di Roma 20

    Happy Running,
    3441 days ago
    3441 days ago
    Jen, how exciting!!! You will do so well at the marathon distance! To be honest, for runs of that length, all you need to be successful is tenacity and determination, both of which you have in spades! So no worries, you will sail across that finish line! I can't wait to virtually cheer you on!

    BTW, LOREENYK ran the Rome marathon this year w/ her hubby, in case you want any information from her.

    Enjoy your training!
    3441 days ago
  • no profile photo CD1425027
    Knowing part of your journey, this is going to be a very special place for your 1st Marathon!!!!!!!!

    Can't believe it'll be your first!!!! WOW!!!!

    3441 days ago
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