Columbus Marathon Countdown: Fitbit Flex Helps Blogger Train

When Jenna Hatfield, blogger at Stop, Drop and Blog and Cambridge, OH resident, injured her back in 2011, her doctors said walking would be a difficult task. But Jenna didn’t just walk – she sprinted – to full recovery. On October 20, Jenna will run 13.1 miles at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon. This is her second half marathon in 2013.

You can follow Jenna’s training with our Columbus Marathon Countdown weekly video series starting this week through race day. Jenna is using Verizon Wireless’ Fitbit Flex to help with her training and will share her Columbus Marathon accomplishments in one final wrap-up video following the race.

Here’s more about Jenna, the inspiring mom/blogger/wife/runner:

Q: How did you get into running?

A: I’ve always been very sports oriented. In high school I ran track and a few 5Ks after having kids, but I never went long distances. In 2011, I developed a serious back injury that made me unable to walk. I ignored the pain for months and took Ibuprofen regularly so I could continue my responsibilities as a parent, wife, blogger and editor.

But in late 2011, the pain was so bad that one day my legs collapsed from under me. That’s when my husband and I decided we needed to do something. After undergoing several tests, I was told I would have trouble walking, let alone running, again. Well, if you tell me I can’t do something, you better believe I’ll find a way – and that’s when my running really took off.

After recovering from my injury, I got back to my three-mile runs and thought: “Why not try five?” That continued to five, six and the decision to run my first half marathon in Cleveland in spring 2013.

jenna hatfield

Q: Does your family join in the racing experience?

A: Oh yes. It’s a family affair. My two sons, Nick, 7 years old, and Parker, 5 years old, and my husband, Josh, are all very supportive. Both boys accompany me—riding their bikes on trail runs or playing while I run around a track. The whole family will be on hand, and Nick and Parker are already planning their signs and cheers for race day!

Q: What are your goals for the Columbus Half Marathon?

A: My original goal was to beat my 2:16 Cleveland time and run a 2:00 half marathon this fall. Unfortunately, my body can’t handle heat and humidity well. Now my main goal is to beat 2:16.

Q: How will Verizon Wireless’ Fitbit Flex help your training?

A: I’m a competitive person by nature. My husband also has a Fitbit, and we like to have weekly competitions to see who moves more. He’s not a runner, but being a firefighter means a lot of walking and movement – enough to put him ahead of me certain days of the week. I’m excited the Fitbit Flex is a bracelet because I’ll never forget to wear it – giving my husband no accidental advantage in our competition! My friends and family also use Fitbit devices; it’s fun to watch the entire family focus on movement, exercise and health.

Q: What’s involved in your role as a Columbus Marathon Instagram Ambassador?

A: As a Columbus Marathon Instagram Ambassador, I share my training progress, tips and motivation for race day on my Instagram account (@FireMom). The Columbus Marathon (@CBusMarathon) re-grams my content to their Instagram feed, giving all race participants the chance to comment on their progress and share their training similarities and differences. It’s interactive and fun getting to know the other runners before race day.

Q: What can people expect from your Columbus Marathon Countdown series?

A: Other than a sweaty Jenna? Some great footage of my running life, including training routes (very hilly), family, running progress and how the Fitbit Flex is helping me reach my Columbus Marathon goals. You can expect the videos at the beginning of every week after my weekend long runs. I’ll also wrap up the race with an Accomplished Columbus video highlighting my results and accomplishments.

Q: What are you looking forward to most about the Columbus Marathon?

A: I’m excited for my husband to be there this time, because this will be his first time watching me race. Not having him at the Cleveland race was difficult for me because he is my biggest supporter. When I was unable to walk, he was there for me and helped me stay positive. Reaching my goals, running hard and finishing my second half marathon will be great. But what I’m most looking forward to is Josh’s proud face when I cross the finish line. That will be incredible.

Stay tuned for Jenna's first video this week!

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Photos courtesy of Jenna Hatfield.