All About Jenn

Team Bic Chick

Teacher

Loves to Run:  5k-Marathon

how do you feel, running for a cause?

I always wanted to run for a cause, and chose Autism Speaks because my son is on the spectrum.  As my way of giving-back, I have run two races fundraising for Autism Speaks.  Racing as a charity-runner is such a rewarding experience.  I highly encourage others to find a cause that fits their heart.

Fundraising was intimidating at first, but I always met my goals.  I raised over $2000 for the Tinker Bell Half-Marathon and $1500 for the 2016 LA Marathon!  Everyone I know donated to help me exceed my goals.  It is humbling and amazing at the same time. 

In one conversation your whole world changes.  My husband and I knew something was going on, and the pediatrician was the first one to use the word Asperger’s.  From that point we started researching, but did not have an official diagnosis until Nick was six.  Yes, if he is going to be on the spectrum that is the way to go because it is high-functioning.   Nick, has an amazing support system at school. The psychiatrist, a year ago started him on an ADHD and anxiety medications which helps immensely.

 

 

How did you start running?

About five years ago, afterschool, my teaching partner and friend Shari said, “Hey Jenn, we are going to run the LA marathon!”

At first I told Shari, “We do not run.  You do not run, I do not run… you do not even belong to a gym!”

Nevertheless, we officially put the 2013 LA Marathon on our bucket-list. 

 

What was your first race?

Couch to 5k!  We completed an eight week 5k project, and followed it to a T!  The two of us trained on the treadmill, track and outside.  Shari and I finished our first 5k together!

The first time we went to the gym, Shari was so afraid to fall off the back of the treadmill, she would not let go of the handles.  I reached over to change to change the tempo, for her!  We have come a long way. 

 

How was the LA Marathon?

The course is amazing.  I love LA because I grew up there.   

Everything starts in Dodgers Stadium and goes to Santa Monica.  We run through all iconic parts of LA, Echo Park, China Town, Hollywood Boulevard, and Rodeo Drive.

My aunt and uncle live right off of mile 19.  My entire family supported me with signs, cowbells, and everything!  I just ran LA in February,  it was really hot this year. 

 

How was running Disney?

I love the Disney Half-Marathons!  I have done quite a few Disney races. The Disneyland Half-Marathon, Tinker Bell Half-Marathon, Star Wars Half-Marathon, Avengers Half-Marathon, and almost all of the 10k’s!  They are less than an hour away from my home.

Everything starts early, 5:30 am!

The 5ks and 10ks are actually in the parks.  Half-Marathons, are in the park 4-5 miles and the rest is in the surrounding neighborhood.  You can take pictures with all the Disney characters!

How do you fuel? 

Chomps, not the gels! 

Salt tabs are great for the heat. I had a few salt-tabs during training, before trying them in a race.

My running club is the best!  The LA Leggers, have been training people for the LA Marathon, over 25 years!  We have three food stations with PBJ sandwiches, candy, and water.  I also leave my own stuff with a zip-lock bag and name.  My bag has a hydration tab and water bottle with a bag of pretzels, gum, and chomps. 

 

Have you ever been injured?

Yes.  After running a few 5k’s, I tore my plantar fascia in the right foot.  For six weeks, I wore a walking boot.  Then, for another eight weeks I went to physical therapy. 

 

Who are your greatest supporters?

My husband and kids!  I love when they come to my races.

Nick and Mady are the reason I run. They are my, why.  Mady comes home from school excited to tell me, “I ran a whole lap today.”  Mady wants be a runner like mamma.  

I always bring my medals to my third grade classroom! 

 

How do you balance running and life?

I became a runner at age 35, while married, with a five and two year old.   Now my children are nine and seven!  Planning ahead and being organized is huge. On weekends, I tell my husband a certain time I will be running and he lets me know, “Don’t worry, I’ve got it!”

 

Do you have a motto?

  1. Believe in yourself and what you are doing.
  2. One day at a time.

 

Where is your favorite place to go running?

The beach!  I live four miles from the beach.  A couple times I have run by myself to the beach, and then turned around to run back. 

On Saturday and Sunday, Shari and I go on a long run together, around 7am.  The big decision is whether to run north towards LA or south towards Manhattan Beach.

 

What is your favorite running memory?

Finishing my the LA Marathon in 2013.  Shari and I have a friend who ran with us the last 6-7 miles.  In the LA Marathon you run down San Vicente a really long time, and mile 25.5 you go onto a street called Ocean.  We made the turn and our friend goes, “You are on your own girls.”

The finish-line was coming, so we grabbed each other’s hands, holding our arms up.  When we crossed the finish-line, I started crying.  We always hold hands to cross the finish-line, together.

 

Do you have a Fun running memory?

Last year, on a visit to NYC, I went running through Central Park!  We went to the Statue of Liberty, rode the subway, explored Times Square, and took selfie-stick pictures!

Then, we spent a week in Syracuse visiting relatives and loved the elephant exhibit at the zoo!

 

How do you cross-train?

Beach Body workouts.  Insanity and PiYo. 

I found those about two and a half years ago, when I reinjured my Plantar Fascia.  Physical therapy was not helping.  I stopped running for nine months.  In that time I found the PiYo workout, it is low impact with lots of stretching.  That did more for me than physical therapy.  My foot totally healed from not running.

 

What do you like to wear, running?

  • Shorts and capris from Old Navy.
  • I run in tank-tops, even during winter, except I throw a long-sleeve shirt on top.
  • Pro-Compression socks and KT Tape saved my foot while running. 
  • Love my Bic-Band trucker hat!  Usually, I wear a sparkle skirt for races!

 

How do you like to wear your hair?

I wear my hair up in a ponytail, out of my face!

 

What type of sneaker do you wear?

I love the Asics, Kayano!

 

Do you enjoy listening to music, on the run?

I love Brand New by Ben Rector and Good to be alive by Andy Grammar. 

ROAR by Katy Perry is my power song.  My daughter likes her too!  We were listening to the radio in our car and Maddy starts singing it.  She said, “Mommy stop it’s my turn!”  So I started lip singing, and some guy in the car to the left was laughing at me!  Busted.

 

Do you have any races coming up?

The Tinker Bell 10k and half-marathon on Mother’s Day weekend.  Then the Rock Wall San Diego in June!

 

How did you become a Bic Chick?

I had known about Bic Bands from the Rock’n’Rock LA Expo. I bought a black California Runner Trucker Hat, and wore it all the time. 

Sandy posted about the ambassador application on Instagram, I filled out the paperwork not knowing I would be picked!

I love our group of Ambassadors.  There are lots of us in Southern California, running San Diego this June.  Recently, I ran into Sandy with another Bic Band Ambassador at the LA Marathon Expo.

 

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Follow Jenn's story on Twitter and Instagram!!

@JennMascari

 

 

 

 

Photography, courtesy of Jenn Mascari.

 

 

 

That Pretty Runner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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