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Jennifer Allwood | 30 Days of Prayer

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1. I am almost 39 years old . If I don’t run a half marathon now… then when? The clock continues to tick whether I do it now or not.

2. I have 3 kiddos who watch everything I do. And I know “more is caught than is taught”. I want them to catch the bug to exercise YOUNG.

3. I weigh 10 pounds more than my driver’s license says I do.

(Right before the race. I may look cool as a cucumber, but really I am trying to decide if I have time to pottie And yes, it’s perfectly acceptable to have your hair done and makeup on before running 13 miles!!)

(lining up)


(Introducing myself to a pacer…. who knew they had “pacers”???)


4. I needed to know if I could commit to something that was HARD and then 10 weeks of running by myself, when no one was watching and it was cold and it was crappy weather and I had to be away from my family was lonely and humbling… yet necessary.

5. I have delivered three 8+ pound babies. It changed my body in ways I don’t necessarily like. I needed to know that even if I may not always like my “after-babies” body, that it could be still be strong and that it is still healthy.

6. I had told so many people that there was really no backing out. I had a few close friends who really encouraged me through training all the way to the finish line. They know who they are and I love them. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

(Hebrews 12:1 on my hand to get me through the tough spots)


(Thinking I may throw up about now….thinking I am surrounded by some serious athletes…thinking I must be crazy….thinking my body is about to hurt for 2.5 hours…thinking let’s get this thing started!!!)


(Mile 4 or 5….it’s all a blur)

7. I want to a “DOER of things” and not just a “TALKER of things”. I have talked about doing a half marathon for several years. It was time to stop with the excuses, stop with the lip service and

8. I am the most unlikely of runners. I am neither long nor lean…. I hated running in high school. It’s only in the last few years that I have come to appreciate the way I feel AFTER running that makes it worth it.

9. I know there were a few people who didn’t think I could do it. And I’m just competitive enough to need to prove them wrong.

(I seem to be an awfully smiley runner….)

(Noah and Easton coming to finish the race with me)

(Yeah…..the finish line!)

10. I had some things I needed to prove to myself about who I am and what I am capable of. I am still processing those things and think that may deserve it’s own post sometime.

11. (Ok…… maybe 12 pounds heavier than my driver’s license says I am.)

12. After enduring shin splints, blisters, sore knees, female issues (let’s no go there) and a hurt back during training, I was not going!

13. I feel like I give so much of myself to everything but me sometimes. Work, kids, husband, family, church, friends, commitments, laundry!!!! I know you can relate. 10 weeks of training took time away from those things…. but I needed to do something FOR ME! And those things were still there every week when I was done running.

13.1 I paid the $58 registration fee!!!! I was getting something out of it!

(“Team Allwood”… I have the best friends and family a girl could ask for! And no, we don’t let brunettes in our group…hahaha!)

(I can’t quit smiling…. and Ava? Not so much….)


(It was seriously like being a queen for the day… flowers, gifts, medals, trophies, t shirts, cards…. SA-WEEEEEET!)

Ladies, if there is something stirring in your heart that you want to do…whether that be running, climbing something, painting something, a dance class, starting your own business, sky diving….. I encourage you to seriously look at what’s holding you back and go for it. It is worth it EMOTIONALLY.

While I by no means am an expert at running, I would write another post on the subject of running/half marathons if you ladies showed interest. I feel like I could advise you on the training program that worked for me, give you my tips (the ones no one told me!) and help to encourage you! Just let me know by commenting.

If you want to watch a serious runner do her thing….follow this blog. Wow… Erin is a running machine. You go girl with your bad self!!!!!

Thank you for reading through a non-painting post. I figure I have about 10 more minutes to milk this “half marathon” thing and then I’ll have to move on! Ha!


And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.” Hebrews 12:1-3

All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:25
Linking up to Beth’s Virtual SlumberParty.


  • Good for you! Way to go. I too want to run a half marathon “someday” I haven’t gotten to that “ok let’s go” point yet. Congrats!

  • I am proud of you! Great job!!!!

    I have Hebrews 12:1 on my road id. Love it!

  • Cassie @ Primitive & Proper says:

    congrats, jennifer! you have more than 13.1 reasons to be super proud of yourself and your achievement. you look fantastic, too! you are motivatig me, too! i signed up to a marathion 4 yrs ago, and shortly after became pregnant with my daughter (earlier than planned- we were planning to start trying after the marathon!) fast forward 4 years later and i have yet to do one. i am hoping to do a local half with my husband next spring…. make me do it! 🙂 how on earth did you motivate yourself and keep going? i reach the 6 mile mark and stop!

  • Kolein says:

    What you painted, for me, was a rainbow with the pot of gold in sight!


    I had tears streaming down my cheeks!!!

  • Maryann @ Domestically-Speaking says:

    I’m always impressed by runners, especially since I HATE it so… I’m so tempted to really push myself sometime so I can experience that “runner high”… congrats to you!

  • Erin says:

    Congratulations on such a big accomplishment. I too am really impressed by runners…it’s just not something I’ve ever been able to do. But you’ve really inspired me here (and made me laugh and laugh)! Thanks so much for such an up-lifting post! Way to go!!!!

  • brenda says:

    awsome,great job… please please do share your training tips. I have wonted to do this as well but always find a reason not to. It is time to put myself first. So I must ask do you love to run??? Or do you just love how you feel after? Thats the problem I have. I hate to run but love how wonderful I feel afterword. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me.

  • Terri says:

    I am so impressed!!!! Good for you!! I really relate to your #4 reason. You rock!!!!!!!! Blessings!

  • Shauna says:

    First of all you look STINKING HOT! I remember the exact moment when you called to tell me you were thinking about running. I KNEW with every fiber of me that you could do it, but I worried how you would fit it in. What a blessing and inspiration it has been to me to watch you in this journey. I marvel at your strength and ability to do so much and do it with a smile and grace. I think it is so easy as Mom to forget who we are and loose sight of the strong woman that lies within us all. I am so proud of you and blessed to have you as a friend. All my love.

  • Awesome post & awesome job – I get up to 2 miles and I’m exhuasted! What you said is so true! As a Mom I felt like I lost part of myself last fall – I was a Mom or a wife, but not completely me. So I did something for me and I LOVE it! I now sit in my basement & paint furniture with my sisters for our furniture business on the side – it’s so much fun & I’m so glad I’m doing something I love now 🙂

  • KC Mom says:

    I’m so proud of you. It’s such an emotional thing to cross the finish line especially when you have such a great support group. The last race I ran, there was no one there who knew me at all. I was devastated. I felt like I had done something amazing and no one was around to share the experience with me. It does feel really great. Sometimes I wish I could go back and do it again but I think I’ve crossed that line already. I may just have to do something else!

  • Oh, I am SO PROUD of you!! You did it!

    Love Heb. 12:1 on your hand!!! cool!


  • Wendi says:

    Jen- that’s awesome- I knew you could do it!! It brings tears to my eyes because I know what an overwhelming feeling finishing is. Many people ask me why I run or make comments that I’m crazy. Well….I run because I can, and for those who can’t. Many days it is a struggle for my dad to even walk living with Parkinsons disease, yet he does not let it define him or rule his life. For him I run- and he is always at the finish line waiting for me.. and I cry every time!!

  • What a GREAT post!! I have been toying with running a marathon myself someday and this was so inspiring. I too have kids and no life besides them, the husband, and the housekeeping 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing!! And I love that you used Heb. 12:1 to keep you moving!

  • Amber says:

    Holy cow I’m so proud of you! What an example you showed to all of us and your children. I am with you all the way on #8. I’m not a runner, but next year, after recovery from baby, I want to do the beginner triatholon. You’ve given me inspiration to get that done and checked off the bucket list! Thanks Jen!

  • What a fabulous post! I loved every picture and every smile. Congrats… You deserved all the strokes you got. I love the idea of going for things for the emotional reasons. We do have so many responsibilities, but often mommy is lost in the mix of it all. WAY TO GO. So, I’ll be the first to ask — what’s next? Wanna do a triathlon with me in a few weeks? 🙂

  • workout mommy says:

    i am kicking myself for not checking in b4 your race to say good luck but judging by these pics you did not need it!

    AWESOME JOB! I love the smile on your face and the picture of you surrounded by your family absolutely warms my heart.

    Congratulations! I knew you could do it!! 🙂

  • Pamela says:

    Wonderful post Jennifer! You brought tears to my eyes and gave me swift kick in the butt! Thank you!

  • MamaBug says:

    That is AWESOME! Good for you! You should be so proud of yourself! I am almost 42 and there are many things on my “I wish I could list”….after reading your post I think I am going to have to dust that list off and get my butt in gear! Running is not my thing but dancing is….thanks for the inspiration!

  • Angie says:

    That was a fantastic post!!! Good for you! I’m almost 39 myself and your right NOW is the time! 😉

  • Jan @ bobbypins boardwalk says:

    What a wonderful and inspiring post, Jennifer. I love your spirit and your determination. If you could only bottle it up, I would buy a case! Congratulations!

  • Christie says:

    YOU encourage, motivate and challenge every aspect of my life. You don’t know the impact you are making in peoples lives. Congrats!

  • Sandra says:

    Awesome! Way to go. I would die on the first 500 ft. stretch. I’m inspired to at least try to get on the eliptical machine that is set up in the spare bedroom. I’m about the same age and if you can run that far, I can do 20 minutes of smooth gliding, non joint jarring exercise a couple times a week! I’m impressed. Good for you!

  • Emily {Frilly Details} says:

    Major props to you!!! I’ve been wanting to start running and your post has given me a lot of motivation. Thank you.

    Was this the marathon in Olathe? If so, you were just down the street from us!

  • pamela says:

    Okay I just have too much to say and I tend to ramble so I will bullet point it. 🙂
    1. I am so impressed. I can’t run across the street.
    2. You are darn cute. I’m not hitting on you I’m a happily married woman. I’m just saying.
    3. I really liked the bible verse. Lutherans don’t really study their bible. Well at least this one doesn’t. I have a strong faith but I don’t really know my bible verses. That one, though, is so appropriate for you but it is also so appropriate for so many people in challenging situations. I like to put quotes on some of my pieces but maybe I have been missing the best source of inspiration all along. Thank you. That picture spoke a thousand words to me.
    Hugs and I am really really proud of you and what you did.
    Yay you.

  • Well Behaved Krissy says:

    What a super post! I am indeed motivated. We’re alike btw, its pretty funny how very similar we are. Except I have no intention of looking that awesome (hair and makeup) before sweating it all off for 13.1 miles. hahah

  • I SO needed to read this today. I am running my 1st 1/2 marathon the first weekend of June. I had been doing okay with training, but haven’t run since doing my first 8 miles more than a week ago. Today I feel like I am losing motivation…and that freaks me out because it’s getting close. I would LOVE to hear about your training and tips ASAP as many of your 13 reasons for running are mine as well.

  • Laura says:

    Congrats! What an awesome accomplishment. I’d love to hear some tips about running a half marathon. I would love to do it but I am NOT a runner at ALL!

  • Prior says:

    LOVED your story… I used to run. I will be 50 this year and want to do it once more… My son is a coach at a public school. When he had track shirts made for his team, he had that verse put on the backs, without the address, but that doesn’t matter, because God’s word is alive! Lezlee

  • awesome!!! That’s not an easy thing to do. You’re part of the club now.

  • Katie says:

    Running is the thing I do for me too. I find it relaxing, almost like meditation. It helps remind me of who I am, and gives me the capability to take some risks that I wouldn’t otherwise be able to take at this stage in my life. I love to read about people who have recently taken up running. Congrats on your accomplishment, and I hope you keep it up! I bet you could run a marathon… 😉

  • Danielle and Clint says:

    Great job!!! I love running races.

  • Pamela says:

    Jen, you look fantastic. I’m so proud of you and I have felt that same feeling of accomplishment. For some of us running won’t work – but walking will. I’ve been walking for 20 years and the year of my 50th I walked in the Breast Cancer 60 mile walk. We trained for 3 months and it was a humbling exerience. God made us so perfectly and it is truly amazing what we can do if we are prepared. KUDOS

  • jules p says:

    I don’t think that I have ever posted on your blog before…but after reading this post, I just had to.
    First, let me say how inspiring your post is. I really enjoyed reading it.

    Second, I love the verses you used to help inspire yourself-and us(who read it)

    Congrats on your achievement!

  • Tracy says:

    What a fantastic job!!! You go girl… Keep inspiring others…

  • Julie says:

    Hi Jennifer,
    Thanks so much for the nice comment! Good for you!! I ran my first half marathon in January…a race in Minnesota known and the frozen half:) I didn’t train enough and I was so nervous. I had all of the same emotions that you did! The hardest part for me was miles 10 through 13.2…oh, they were terrible:( You look adorable and I love that you were smiling all of the time:) You did great!! Keep it up girl:) I would love to read more race reports of yours! I hope that you have a wonderful day!

  • Michael says:

    Amazing! Beautiful!! I need to get on the ball! My first 10k is in 3 weeks! Maybe a half next! Who knows?? Good for you!!

  • Michael says:

    ooops the previous comment came under my hubbies email! lol …This is Patricia Hayward! :+)

  • Conratulations! You Rock!

  • Claudia says:

    I just recently started running before my 37th birthday, never ran a day before that.
    You’re an inspiration!!

  • Frosty says:

    I teared up at the picture of the boys running in with you. I remember J&T running in with me on my first marathon; nothing says, “I’M PROUD OF YOU MOM!” like your kiddos running in with you. (Or in my case, “proud of you Jackie”…)

    You looked absolutely FABULOUS after running that long! Thank you for sharing this amazing journey.

  • Girly Stuff says:

    I am so proud of you!!!

    You were by far the cutest runner out there!

    You make it look good!

  • Cindy says:

    Yay!! Great job!! And #11 made me laugh. 🙂

    I’m a year younger than you, and I want to accomplish something by my 40th birthday – I’m just not sure exactly what though, but thank you for giving me a little bit of a push to start figuring it out. 🙂

    Now that you’ve run a half marathon, any plans to do a full one?

  • Bretta says:

    I’ve never visited your blog before, but wandered over here from Cheri’s party…this post made cry! In a good way :o) I am so inspired by your journey, your race, your reasons…thanks for sharing your heart. Well done!!

  • Carolyn @ My Backyard Eden says:

    Congratulations! I know how proud you must be!

    I was never a runner either and I ran my first half marathon last October at 44. I need to sign up for another race though. I haven’t been motivated to run more than 3 miles since then!

    Keep it up!

  • Theresa @ 612Riverside says:

    Congratulations!!! I love that you wrote your inspiration on your hand. I have to put that somewhere I can see it always. Theresa

  • the wiedmaiers says:

    i laughed out loud at the full makeup picture! so many of my friends have taken up running but it just seems so hard. good for you for seeing it to completion. i have a paint/fabric question (and of course am way too far away for your inperson services) but was wondering if you could point me in a right direction?

  • Always Nesting says:

    Amazing job! You did such a wonderful thing for both you and your family to run that half marathon. What a wonderful role model you are.

  • I am thrilled you linked this post up! Perfect example of doing something for YOU that makes you feel beautiful on so many different levels. I have no desire to run a half marathon, or a half mile for that matter, but I love to hear about those who are doing it! And you look all aglow for someone who just sweat for 21/2 hours!!!

  • Tracy's Trinkets and Treasures says:

    I think there is no better improvement than improving your health. A half marathon is so worth talking about. I run 5Ks and feel proud when I do those, but a half marahton…wow. Congrats.

  • Wanda says:

    Wow…..really impressive.
    And you looked gorgeous doing it.

  • Jenny says:

    How awesome! Congratulations!

  • That is awesome! I ran cross country in high school and would love to get back to running (after I have baby #2 in June though! lol) just for the ‘me’ time & the sense of accomplishment! 🙂 Thanks for sharing! I came over from Beth’s linky party!! 🙂

  • Tiffany says:

    Wickedly Awesome!!! You deserve all that luv.

  • Congratulations not only on completing your half-marathon but on doing something for you and doing something you were afraid of doing. You are a great inspiration to all who read your post.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Katie says:

    I’d love to hear your tips on running. The most I’ve done is a 5K, but would love to do a half marathon someday!

  • CHELZERS says:

    You’re so inspiring! And hilarious! 🙂 Proud of you—way to go!

  • Carmie, the Single Nester says:

    I am so happy for you! I have always wanted to do something like this but need to learn to run and get a couple of sports bras (to wear at the same time!). You go girl!

  • Kathy says:

    OH WOW! What an inspiration. I would love to run but don’t know ‘where to start’, I’m OLD — 57 and a month away from 58 — and I’m fat — and well I guess that’s enough excuses.

    I’m very proud of you and your determination from a stranger in Texas who LOVES reading your blog.

  • Tiffany says:

    I was reading Stephanie’s blog at Metropolitian Mama and saw the reference to your blog. I clicked over and noticed you were from KC, then I looked at your number again and the pictures and the date and I was running the same half marathon! Go Figure!

    Good job on your first half marathon.

  • Nini says:

    HUGE congratulations! You are inspiring! I came over from Stephanie’s blog. I have been trying to run…I too, and neither long nor lean, and I can’t say I entirely enjoy running. While I can run more than it calls for, I have been doing the Couch to 5K plan and right now have shin splints…SO FRUSTRATING! I have the desire and drive and energy to do it now, but my legs are in so much pain right now. I have to push through it I suppose…I feel like I am being thwarted…such a simple work out caused me ridiculous pain.

    Anyhow…all of that to say YAHOO! CONGRATULATIONS! You are an inspiration! Next stop for you = a full Marathon! You can do it!

  • Stephanie says:

    You are so inspiring, Jennifer! Thank you for sharing your reasons, your photos, and…your triumph.

    I especially love the verse that you wrote on your hand to keep you focused through the tough parts. I think I may “steal” that idea if I ever train for a 1/2. So far, I’ve just been a 5K girl. 🙂

    P.S. Do you think you’ll run in another one now that you have one under your belt?

    [email protected]

  • Erin says:

    I love this post! Sorry I am so late with seeing it, but it is an awesome post with awesome pictures! You did an amazing job and I can’t wait to see what you are up to next!

  • I am training for a half marathon now, and have no idea how to really prepare for it! I would love some pointers from a non-runner turned runner! Congrats on your accomplishment!

  • Andy Porter says:

    That is AWESOME!! Thanks so much for sharing the link with me!! I loved ALL of your reasons for running! You crack me up and and touch my heart!! Great accomplishment!! Doesn’t it feel amazing!?!

    Have a wonderful night!

  • Sweet Tea says:

    Just found your blog and I love it! Thanks for the encouragement!!

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