Author Archives: jennifershere

2013

Rural Running Challenges


Running with the Bears is a very rural race which is why so many people absolutely love it.  The rolling hills, the clean, fresh air, the ranches and large parcels of land.   Continue reading

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Why Runners Make Great Fundraisers


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Fundraising in general takes a certain kind of person.  I’ve read several studies on how companies recruit fundraisers and it’s an intriguing list of qualities.  At first I thought it would help to be extroverted or maybe even zany?  Have a catchy line or tune?  Forceful or exuberant?  Not at all.  Was I surprised in my research?  Not entirely.  See what you think:

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Integrity.  #1 on every list.  Apparently being honest and having strong moral principles is the top personality trait companies and organizations look for in their fundraisers

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Determination and Commitment.  These two qualities were a near tie.  Both leadership qualities, these two show you want it and you’ll hold up to your end of the bargain

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Passionate:  People love other people who share the excitement and joy you have for your mission or goals

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Authentic:  Saying thank you and meaning it means more to people that we realize

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Optimistic.  People want to invest in success and hope.  Share your story

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Now let’s make the connection to runners.  Running events often have entries with a minimum charity amount connected to registration.  The Boston Marathon requires a minimum of $3,250 to gain entry into the starting chute.  So what’s the connection?  In my opinion the nicest, most genuine people I have met are runners.  These qualities that are necessary in hiring someone to fund-raise are qualities innately found in all of my running friends.  Take someone that loves to enter events and add a cause they can relate to and magic can happen.

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Finishing a race – of any distance – is an accomplishment.  It’s a euphoria all runners understand.  Knowing the money you spent to enter the race is being used for something BIGGER than you, that your running made a difference, that is where passion meets purpose!!

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When Life Hands You Lemons – Running with the Bears


I ran a half marathon last summer. My favorite distance, my favorite race. Running With The Bears in Greenville,CA is the race I look forward to every year.  The race I planned on hitting my shiny, new PR.  Not only did my kids come, they were running an aid station.  I was even more ecstatic that I’d be passing them around mile 8.  That enthusiasm and energy and their bright, happy, smiling faces were helping me with my mental push to drive myself harder and faster.  I had goals based on last year when I came in as the 5th woman.  Last year I ran slowly on purpose since it wasn’t my goal race.  Last year it was a comfortable race.  This year I wanted to be in the top 3 women overall and get my best time ever.
In my experience we race for a cause dear to our hearts.  This race gives 100% to Mountain Circle benefiting foster kids and adoption.  After over a decade of being a foster parent and  adopting several children, the cause makes the race that much sweeter.  I’ve also gotten to know these amazing people over the years and I genuinely adore them all.  This year we stayed the weekend (thanks to their expert help), stayed for the after race Luau and they even asked me to be the guest speaker.  Truly an honor.
Here!!!  Just 2 hours away from Reno in the mountains.  I'm assuming this sign is for me....
Here!!! Just 2 hours away from Reno nestled in some of the most beautiful country you’ll ever see. I’m assuming this sign is for me….  Not sure why it’s plural????
Getting ready to jump Shauna, Director of Mountain Circle - the foster/adoption organization
Getting ready to jump Shauna, Director of Mountain Circle – the foster/adoption organization as well as amazing Race Director
Shauna and Toni hanging with me.  SOOOO  happy to see these ladies
Shauna and Toni hanging with me. SOOOO happy to see these ladies
The morning of the race I knew my stomach was off.  I rarely have an issue with my stomach so I chalked it up to the anxiety of the race.  Also not usually an issue but what else could it be??  I ate my normal breakfast, drank my normal drink but I had to gag it down and didn’t finish it.  The kids got dropped at their aid station, I got to the start/finish line and the staff informed me the kids were in the wrong place.  It took some juggling around, but we got them to their correct aid station spot, helped them set up and I started on time with the gun looking forward to seeing them soon.
Questioning the day???
Questioning the day???
By mile 2 I was hurting.  Not intestinal need a port-a-potty hurting, not breathing hurting.  Vice grip around my stomach, double over, want to throw up hurting.  I was cold, I was hot.  I watched a teammate of mine from Reno who’s goal was the same as mine pass me and I knew there was nothing I could do about it.  By mile 4.5 I was really hot, still hurting, wishing I would throw up, not able to eat or drink anything (which only adds to bonking in a race). All I thought about was seeing my kids at their aid station.  I knew where they were on the map and I couldn’t wait.  I was going to ditch my shirt, ditch my electrolyte bottle (since I couldn’t drink it).  I was going to have some watermelon and get my motivation to continue.  Everything in that first 8 miles was geared to get to their aid station and see them.  They run a couple aid stations every year and they’re amazing at it.  I’m so proud of them.  After years of crewing me, they could seriously teach a class on how to run an aid station.  I knew they were looking forward to seeing me too.  Showing off the sign they made that says “My Mommy is faster than your Mommy”.  I love that we do this together.
At mile 9 I realized I wasn’t going to see my kids.  I was replaying the race map in my head and somehow none of us realized when we moved them, they were on the marathon course after the half marathon turn around.  I took off my shirt, tied it around my incredibly tender stomach and walked for a minute.  I was so dejected in that moment.  I looked at my watch and knew I wouldn’t hit a single goal.  Not one.  Lemons.  I felt like I was getting lemons.  All my training.  The year long countdown to run this race.  The planning, the time, the money.  Lemons.  I wanted my kids desperately so I thought about them out there on the course realizing the same thing that I was realizing.  I wasn’t running past them.  I thought about how they are the accomplishment in my life I am most proud of.  I knew even though I wouldn’t hit a single goal, I could still make them proud.  I was finishing this damn race.
My kids at the aid station
Some of my kids at the aid station
It was the most difficult race I’ve run to date.  I’ve finished faster on some, had a tough go of it, but nothing like this.  I finished the race and met none of my goals, watching a teammate that crushed hers.  I crossed the finish line, found a quiet place and sobbed.  Just gut wrenching, body shuddering sobs.  I’m not the crying type generally and I think I’m generally very grateful, but in this moment I just crumbled.  I had a pity party for Jenn.  Then I got up, brushed myself off, told my teammate congratulations and checked the board.
Jennifer Adams; Reno NV; Bib # 101; Age 42; F; 25th overall; 12th female; 1st age group; Age division 40-49; Total time 1:56:41.6; 8:54 minute miles. Even though it was my toughest race, I still pulled off 1st in my age division.  I still finished.  I reminded myself that I GET to run.  I didn’t DNF.  I’m already signed up for this race next year.  My day will come.
Olivia found me (and a baby belonging to a family we know)
Olivia left the aid station, found me (and a baby belonging to a family we know) at the finish line
My daughter Olivia came to the finish line to pick me up so I could finish the aid station with the kids.  She suggested I get out of the car ahead of time and run so I could actually pass the kids aid station.  Even though my race was over, I’d still get to see them.  I’d get to experience it.   She told me to get out and wait a minute so she could get there and park…..  So I did.
Me running up to the aid station.  Look what I got to run through!!
Me running up to the aid station. Look what I was running through!! I’m so blessed to run in such a beautiful area!!!
The kids cheering me on as I came through
My kids at the aid station they RAN by themselves cheering me on as I came through
Stuffing my face with watermelon
Stuffing my face with watermelon that my kids fed me.  Running nirvana and the cutest, best, most amazing aid station is seeing my family!!!
Our gang
Our gang. This was the best part of the run today. My kids have grown up with a crazy running Mommy and they are amazing!
It’s a couple days later as I sit and write this retrospectively.  My stomach is still rebelling.  No thank you coffee and eggs I usually have.  How about water and popcorn.  A friend and teammate told me once that running is either physical or mental.  This race was physically challenging for me and because of that it also became mental.  Could I have pushed harder?  Probably not much.  That was my biggest limitation.  Mentally??  Well, I finished but not in the greatest frame of mind.  Running past the kids aid station – off the clock – was most certainly the best part of my run.  Finishing feeling so horrid was another challenge I conquered.  The change in my attitude after feeling so dejected??  Well, it’s easier to sit and have a pity party but that’s a big, fat waste of time.  There are thank you’s that should be made.  First of all to the crew at Fanatics.  I was so surprised when I went on to the Fanatics website to search for clothing!!!  I searched “Women’s Running” and couldn’t believe how much was available!  All I need to do now is figure out which team is my favorite so I can match my hat with my shorts for my next run…..  The FanaticsRewards program is fantastic.  Easy, no hassle and great pricing.  I love how fitness and athletics has kept my family together and the Family Fanatics Campaign recognizes how vital it is not only to BE active but to use being active to stay close as a family.  That’s an initiative I can stand behind.  With 13 children and all of life’s curveballs (pun intended!), fitness has been a strength in our family.  It’s nice to have that recognized!!
Thank you for the cabin in the woods that we were blessed to stay in
Thank you for the cabin in the woods that we were blessed to stay in for the weekend.
Thank you Shauna.  For everything you do
Thank you Shauna. For everything you do. From running with me, to running this race to running Mountain Circle Family Services and placing foster children
Thank you Josie for your energy and being the race director
Thank you Josie for your energy and being the race director as well as my friend
Thank you Kevin for your home, your pigs for the Luau
Thank you Kevin for your home that is the race start/finish line, your pigs for the Luau
Thank you for using hay bails as the podium
Thank you for using hay bails as the podium
Thank you for surrounding me with trees
Thank you for surrounding me with trees
Thank you gentleman at the country store with the old cash register who reminded me to slow down
Thank you gentleman at Young’s country store with the old cash register who reminded me to slow down. The day after the race, getting sandwiches to go to Indian River and soak. Because the weekend was about spending it as a family
Thank you for the leg soak in the river post race
Thank you for the leg soak in the river post race
Mostly thank you for having a race I love and get to come to.  Thank you for my finishers medal and for winning my age division.  Thank you for reminding me of the things that are more important than my goals
Mostly thank you for having a race I love and get to come to. Thank you for my finishers medal and for winning my age division. Thank you for reminding me of the things that are more important than my running goals. My family
My kids.  Thank you for letting your Mom take off to run, for running and biking with me, for being the most amazing group of little people in the world.  Most especially for loving me so much
My kids. Thank you for letting your Mom take off to run, for running and biking with me, for being the most amazing group of little people in the world. Most especially for loving me so much
Here are some of the kids and me at the Luau last year post race

Running with the Bears – blog feature


The company I work for – Mountain Circle Family Services also organizes Running with the Bears. Today my kids were featured on a blog post!!!! Continue reading