Thursday, December 14, 2017

Nope. All Day Long.

Have you ever had disappointing experience shopping online?

I have been buying stuff via the web for years and never any issues. I buy on Ebay, on Left Lane Sports, many retailers and discount sights with a online presence and always have been satisfied.  I guess I have been lucky enough to get good service, quality merchandise, hassle free returns and nothing but great experiences...until recently.

Let's rewind to September. Now, I am NO fashionista by any sense of the word. I prefer my gym clothes, yoga pants and hoodies but one day I stumbled across this gorgeous "dressy" hoodie on FB.
Is there really such a thing as a "dressy hoodie"? yes...there is.

Feast your eyes on this example of classy casual. of functional fashion. This is the dressy hoodie I have been dreaming of for years....

add to it, that I had these amazing booties that would be PERFECT with this gorgeous hoodie mixed with my favorite super luxe leggings. For me, this was a match made in heaven. Date night with my guy was now something I could imagine being sexy, classy and comfy.

I eagerly ordered, plugged in my PayPal info and waited. 

and waited.

and waited.

Months passed and this perfect hoodie was no where to be seen. I finally messaged them and I was told there was a delay in the manufacturing process. I had 2 choices. A refund or continue to wait. 

I promptly emailed the company back and said "well...its been 2 months. If you cannot deliver the item I ordered, please refund my purchase ASAP".

No answer. 

Another month passes and I send a follow up email. No reply. Oh... no.

Finally, last Friday (12/8) I get a package in mail.

When I opened it, I was really unsure of how to respond to what I was now holding in my hand.
This is not what I was expecting. This was so sub-par to the image shown, it was almost laughable.

Then I put it on. And I LAUGHED for a while. How would any clothing company even make this?

it was thin poly. so thin. and ugly. not even sewn with any care.

My hopes and dreams of a beautiful wine colored hoodie were dashed. This was a complete disaster.
It was so ugly, I found myself laughing in hysterics until reality hit me.


So, I went to the company website and reviewed their return policy. 14 days. Ok,, fair enough. I emailed them...rejected. I emailed again. ReJeCteD again....and so this would happen an additional 8 times over the weekend.

I finally took to their FB page, where they sell this stuff. All my comments were deleted. My messages directly to the company were addressed with this:

From Honey and silk on 11/6
A month after I ordered the top.

Dear Jen ,

Unfortunately we have to inform you that we had severe problems with one of our shipping partners.
Can you please confirm if you have received your purchase from our store already?
If not, we would like to offer you to re-ship the product to you free of charge with a new shipping partner or to give you a gift voucher to our store in the amount you originally spent.
Please let us know which option you prefer in case the product has not yet arrived.
Please apologize this inconvenience!

Best regards,

Your team at Honey & Silk

I responded with the following:

I would like the item I ordered and paid for shipped to me ASAP or a complete refund issued.

I am very disappointed that this order has been such an issue to receive...

Thank you.

Finally last night the item was delivered. I emailed the following

received the item today and I am EXTREMELY disappointed. The quality is terrible and shipping took 2+ months.

I want to return this item for a FULL REFUND.

Let me know how to return this ASAP.


Honey And Silk
Dear Jen, thank you very much for your message. To be able to provide the best possible customer service to you, we would like to ask you to send us an e-mail to with the details of your request. That way we can assign the right person to your request and assist you in the best and fastest way possible. Thank you for your understanding. Best regards,
Seen by Honey And Silk at Sunday 10:32am
I DID!! AND IT'S KEEPS XOMING BACK UNDELIVERABLE. That is why I messaging you here now
Did you even read my above message that says I can't email you

so, by now, I am pretty irritated. which is hard for this happy go lucky girl.

I am beyond being nice now.

emailed, messaged, called.


at this point, I am pretty sure I am out my $$ spent but it becomes about the entire principle of the matter. The fact that they deleted all of my comments and questions really hit a nerve

How many others lost $$ and time trying to return something clearly not as depicted in the ads?

f*ck you sub-par hoodie.
i am making a statement.

after many more rejected emails and no response from them in FB, I contacted PayPal.  Boom. In less than 24hrs I had my funds returned.


So, while there was a happy ending and lots of laughs from this purchase (as well as frustration) I had to share.

Buyer BEWARE. And always use PayPal!

And for my big Star Wars date night tonight, I guess i will be wearing my storm troopie hoodie and InkNBurn robot pants.

I'd love to hear your horror stories about online purchases!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Find some Kind this Holiday

While bumbling around the social media world this weekend, I came across this (now viral) of this young man talking about his torment from bullies at school. I dare you to watch it and not tear up, because, it broke my heart.

For the life of me I cannot understand why people have become so mean and so cruel. It's not just kids doing this kind of thing. It is grown adults too. 

When did being hateful become ok?
When did cruelty become the norm?

Even today, a couple simple errands showed me just how mean humanity has become.
Callous and self-centered.

For example #1: My trip to the local town post office. 
Guess what people! It is 2 weeks before Christmas and EVERYONE has Holiday packages to mail. Going to the post office with my 9 parcels, I know there was going to be a wait and I was ok with that. My classes were done for the day and I had a solid 2 hour window until my next client.
I did not rush in there on my lunch break expecting VIP service. I knew it would take a while.

I was right. 

45 mins in line right. But you know what? did I bitch and moan the whole time? no. I made small talk with the local family lawyer behind me in line (we got to know each other via my ridiculously long divorce proceedings over the last 3 years) and I did some last minute Christmas shopping online.

On the other hand, there were many people very pissed off and making rude and threatening comments about the workers at the desk. Only 3 with about 25 people in line. Complaining about how there needs to be more people. How they need to move faster. Making rude comments to the employees there as well as the others waiting in line.

WHOA. hold up a minute. YOU DO KNOW this is a very busy time of year, right?
YOU DO KNOW that these poor folks have no control over the scheduled hours of government workers, right?

Example #2: I was at a retail store today buying a gift certificate. The line was long and the lady ahead of me had 15 GC's to process. It took a LONG freaking time for their register to scan and add funds to each card. was a long process. took a while. Yeah...I was in line too.

But the guy behind me (and I was behind 15 GC girl) was so irate, he threw his stuff back in his basket and yelled at the cashier and walked off. Angry.

Come on world. This is supposed to be the MOST MAGICAL TIME OF THE YEAR. This is when we are supposed to love one another MORE and appreciate things like family and home.

DONT BE A HOLIDAY BULLY> fuck that. don't ever be a bully. EVER

DONT BE RUDE to those working in retail or customer service positions. They are doing the best they can most times.

Expect things to move slow and show a little kindness to others. Thank people. Be polite.

The smallest kind gesture can go a long way at time when we are all a little more stressed and a little more rushed.

Much love to you.

Friday, December 8, 2017

New Chapters to Write

I have been ready to come back to blogging regularly for a while, and it's only fitting that today while I was out on my run, I started thinking about what I had to say and where I wanted to go. For the many years I was very active with my writing, my best ideas and thoughts always came to me while running. Well, today it hit me.

I am Starting Over. 

I am truly starting over in so many ways...

-My life is starting over in sense. This new chapter ahead of me is new and exciting. I cannot wait to see what comes next. I am ready to finally close books and chapters that have been open to long. The days ahead have yet to be written and I can't wait to see what lies ahead.

-Even though I have remained active the last year, I have not been focused on training and racing. I was focused on life stuff that distracted me from my passion for training and racing.  I am ready to come back. My body has changed. I have lost muscle and fitness. But I gained so much other stuff.

-I miss training and racing. I feel like I lost a significant part of ME, who I am and what makes me happy - the quest for that finish line. But at the same time, I think the break was good. Physically and mentally. I am excited to be working with Coach Sharpie again this coming year. She is amazing and knows me. She knows how to get inside my head and do the work I need to do.

-I am committed to keeping fitness fun and doing the things that make my heart sing. Spending more time in nature hiking and kayaking. Open water swimming. Mountain biking.

-There has been so much change and growth that has happened. It's amazing what a good therapist can help you discover about yourself. It has taught me to look at things with a different set of eyes...and to look inward. I have learned and practiced a new way to respond to things that happen in life.

-I am focused on nutrition again and have created a wonderful online community of like-minded folks who want to keep eating clean fun and adventurous. We all practice different lifestyles (vegan, vegetarian, paleo, etc) but we share the common thread of eating real food. If you want to check out the group, here is a link to JERF Just Eat Real Food

-My career will even be transitioning soon and I have been taking a few classes on nutrition, fitness and life coaching, which have been really awesome. The road ahead will be exciting here for sure!!

So I will be writing about this next part of my journey. To share my joys and struggles. To hold myself accountable to me. To keep a history of what I experience. I love being able to go back to when Lola was a wee bit of a babe and see those memories. So, cheers to new chapters.

Thanks for reading

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Truth

Some days I wonder if I will ever fully be myself again, and unfortunately, those days seem to be happening more than I would like to admit. Yes, relationships take a lot of work but relationships are supposed to be fun. When you are with the right person, relationships are simple. Nobody deserves to be in a relationship that they are afraid of their partner, yet that is more and more common these days. I am ashamed to admit that I stayed in a relationship that I was fearful of the man I was with...for way too long.

All it took was one day, one day where I had enough courage to walk away. My life was threatened and I believed it with all of my being. Walking away was the best decision I have ever made, I had let someone take so much from me, and if I didn’t have the courage to walk away, I don’t know where I would be today.
I MARRIED someone who made me lose my self-worth.

I lost my smile that once lit up any room I walked into because he couldn’t stand to see me happy. My smile was a bother to him. Once he charmed me into falling for his act he knew he had me hooked and he knew he could manipulate me. He knew he had me wrapped around his finger and he knew I wouldn’t leave. Because of him, I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror anymore because he made me feel lower than I ever knew was possible. He encouraged my weight gain and loved this insecure girl who he could so easily control.

I MARRIED someone who made me lose my self-confidence

Because of him, I lost my self-confidence and care-free attitude. I was the girl that ‘didn’t deserve to be told compliments because I didn’t need them.’ Because of him, I felt worthless.

I MARRIED someone I thought I knew.

I spent so much time convincing myself that he was going to go back to the man I had first met that I was completely oblivious to the fact that it was impossible. I so badly wanted to believe that it was all just a phase, but it wasn’t. I stared to believe I was the problem.
I MARRIED someone who I didn’t even know who he was.
The man I first met wasn’t him; it was who he wanted to be perceived as. He turned out to be nothing but a liar and a cheater. I constantly made excuses for him and disregarded his wrongs. I wanted him to so badly be the man he pretended to be that I was blind. And because of this, I made our relationship appear better than it was to family and friends. I thought if I made it look good then it would be good. Because of him, I lied to everyone that asked me how we were. I lied because I thought if I lied about it enough it would be the truth. I deliberately chose to ignore all the signs because all I wanted to do was see the best in him.

I MARRIED someone who made me question everyone.

Because of him, I realized that maybe some people just don’t have any good. Because of him, I stopped being the person who saw the best in everyone. The person who gave everyone the benefit of the doubt. Because of him, I started to believe everyone lies.

I MARRIED someone who was incapable of loving anyone but themselves.
I thought if I just brushed everything aside and loved him with everything in me that it would make him love me back. It took forever to understand but I now understand that it is impossible to make someone love you who only knows how to love themselves. Because of him, I felt alone while being physically next to him. I was dating a man who refused to kiss me and refused to look at me. Because of him, he made me feel unworthy. No matter how many times I had a huge smile on my face and was excited to see him, I was never worth looking at. I was married to someone who intentionally put me down so he could have the power.

 It was like it was a game to him; the worse he could make me feel, the better it made him feel.

I MARRIED someone who I let manipulate me.

Every time he bailed on me or ignored my calls he somehow made me feel as if I deserved it. He made me feel as if I didn’t deserve to be spoken to. Every time I questioned him cheating, he somehow turned it around to me. Every lie was my fault. His drinking was over the top because of me. It was my fault he hid things because ‘if I trusted him, he wouldn’t have to hide it.’ It was my fault he messaged girls on social media because, ‘if I trusted him, it shouldn’t matter who he talked to’. He manipulated me into believing I was the crazy one. He did a great job.

I was married to someone who was jealous of me.

Because of him, I stopped greeting everyone with a smile who I made eye contact with because he was jealous so many people knew me. Because of him, he made me feel guilty for being friendly. Because of him, ‘I was a whore’ for knowing so many people of the opposite gender. I was a "slut" who just wanted another "man in spandex". Because of him, I convinced myself I must really be a whore if he says I am a whore. Because of him, I stopped being my bubbly self in order to try to make him approve of me. Because of him, I thought if I made myself less of a person he would stop making me feel guilty for being me. Because of him, every time someone complimented me on something I didn’t want it to be true. Because of him, I wanted to be less of a person than I am.

I MARRIED someone who had to put others down to build himself up.

He was the guy who was always in a relationship, but cheated. He was and still is the guy who jumps immediately into a new relationship because he can’t survive without manipulating someone. Heck, his current girl he snagged before we even split up! lol H I truly feel sorry for the girl he is with (and the girls after her) because he will continue making girls feel the way he made me feel. He will never be happy with himself and the only way he knows how to try to fill the void within him is by putting others down.

I FOUND someone who made me stronger.

Because I left him, I feel even more empowered than ever. Because I left him, I remember what it’s like to be the girl who is always smiling but I remember the person who took that away. Because I left him, I got my quirky sense of humor back. Because of him, I know what real love it like. Because I left him I have met so many people that admire me for who I am and don’t knock me down for it. And never again will I tolerate someone who does. Because I left him, I know what it feels like to be truly loved.

Because it was in leaving him I learned to love myself again

all credit to Thought Catalog for inspiring this post. Thanks Edited to add my own

Friday, June 16, 2017

Father's Day Gift Ideas: Spartan Up!

Father's Day is this weekend (just a reminder!) and if you want to get away from the basic tie as a gift, why not take advantage of the SUPER DAD DEALS happening with Reebok's Spartan Races to celebrate the Fathers on YOUR list. 

When I tell you that these are some SUPER DAD DEALS, I am NOT joking...check out these inspiring promotions that are happening NOW.

First, let's get Dad Dirty and get registered. With the code SPARTANDAD and get in for the afternoon Sprint distance for only $69.00 race entry fee* Plus, there is more. (keep reading)

Second step, it's time to Smarten Up! 

Now, once you're IN, head on over to get 2 FREE digital downloads* from Joe De Sena books, Spartan Up! and Spartan Fit!

I have Spartan Fit and what a great book! This easy to follow book will set you up for success for your Spartan debut or get your skills dialed in even if you are a Spartan or OCR racing veteran.

This is a super cool bonus for sure. Make sure you use the code SPARTANDAD to take advantage of this free digital download.

Finally, let's get Dad Cleaned Up! Let him share his achievement with Spartan gear!!

Head on over to the Spartan Race Shop and save big on training gear, race  bags and hats, nutrition and more. Go know you wanna look! I think I might splurge and finally get that Spartan jacket I've always wanted. You know, for Dad :)

Give your Dad the gift of grit and the long lasting feeling of accomplishment. But hurry up, this spectacular special will be gone very soon...

See you out there


*The Fine Print:
Free e-book download and $69 Sprint afternoon race offer valid with an adult registration during promotional period only. Must use SPARTANDAD code during checkout. Code cannot be combined with other codes, including GovX. Offer not valid with Spartan Passes, Volunteer, or Groupon entries. New, afternoon time block registrations only, cannot be retroactively applied. US events only. Offer ends 06/18/17 11:59PM ET. E-book download instructions will be supplied by 6/22/17.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Bumps, Pizza and Donuts

Isn't life funny? Just when things seem to be going along smooth, driving down the road at a steady clip and *thwak* you hit a bump in the road. well, there ya go. That'll slow you down. I was getting in some good runs (short and slow but...) and even scored some killer new kicks for the trails up when I am up at the "Chateau" in the western Mountains of Maine.

That has been this week for me. just as things were progressing *thwak* I got hit square in the face (or chest) with a giant germ bomb. Ahh, the joys of motherhood. I listened to my inner coach and slowed things down for a few days. My general rule of thumb for my athletes is above the neck, ok to train. Below the neck, rest. So...I took 2 days off. I eased back into things with a 60 min spin session Wednesday morning and some easy core work. 

The season ahead includes a TON of fun stuff so far and I have a lot of work to do!! 

It was celebration day on Wednesday this week. The fine people at Rev3 always take the time to make calls to each person who registers for their races. Being part of the team means we get the chance to help out with calls. I love doing athlete calls, it is SO fun to connect with others coming to race in Maine or one of our other events. And if you don't already know, Rev3 Maine has now become Ironman 70.3 Maine. While the folks at Rev3 are still producing this race, we entered into a licensing agreement with the WTC. The race will be much bigger this year and the course has changed a bit. 

Anyway, as a thank you to the athletes that helped with calls, they treated our families to PIZZA PARTY NIGHT. WOO HOOO!!!  I have been pretty good with my nutrition lately but it was definatly a day to splurge with my favorite pizza and a big salad. 

My very handsome pizza night date, FM.
and yes, we have SNOW in the mountains...still 

Farmers market pizza, loaded with veggies


I even decided to try a local treat - The Holy Donut. Now, honestly, I am not a huge donut fan but I have been hearing about this place for YEARS. Located originally in Portland, ME they had been expanding. A local Tim Horton's closed and in its spot a new Holy Donut opened. This was literally the talk of the towns for days. Pics all over FB from my friends sharing their favorite flavors. I had client meeting so I made a stop at the new location in Scarborough. 

I got there at 2 in the afternoon and there was a LINE. I was standing at least 20 deep and I could see that the selection of flavors had been picked over and there were only a few left. The case did not look like this one (from their FB page)

photo from The Holy Donut 
at nearly $30/doz and $14/half dozen I figured these beautiful gems would be donut nirvana and I would fall in love. I even made a friendly bet with friends to see if any of them would survive the drive up to Sugarloaf. I was so proud of my hungry self for not eating any pizza or donuts...when I got to FM's place, I broke out the box of donuts and we tried one. 


I was expecting SO. MUCH. MORE. but they were just...meh. I was a little sad. The anticipation of some heavenly DONUT ended up in disappointment. Maybe I am just not a donut girl. It definitely wouldn't be worth the calorie bomb that a donut is. Especially one this big. 

I will say, the only donuts I have ever really enjoyed are the donuts from URBAN SUGAR on Sugarloaf Mountain.

But I am a pizza girl. And I am a Rev3 girl. 

So now that I am feeling better and I have goals to chase, it's back at it tomorrow. See you out on the trails!! 

What is your favorite Pizza?
Do you have a favorite donut place?

Saturday, April 1, 2017


determiner & pronoun
  1. 1.
    as much or as many as required.
    "too much work and not enough people to do it"
    synonyms:sufficientplenty, a sufficient amount, an adequate amount, as much as necessary
  1. 1.
    to the required degree or extent (used after an adjective, adverb, or verb); adequately.
    "before he was old enough to shave"

I have always struggled with being ENOUGH.  Am I enough ---
Smart enough. Pretty enough. Skinny enough. Fast enough. 

My persona is such that I seek perfection.
perfectionist is defined as a person who refuses to accept any standard short of perfection. Some might also add that they are delusional, generally nuts, and stress out everyone else around them, including themselves.

I am also one that does not do anything "half-assed" (I always use my whole ass). I am an ALL or NOTHING person. This has been both a blessing and a curse. 

The combination of striving to be "good enough" and wanting perfection was a driving force in academia, in my career and in training & racing. It also brought insecurity and a need to excel; an intrinsic desire to succeed in whatever I did. Some days I would set my bar too high and walk away from whatever feeling defeated and not good enough. 

I remember PR'ing a 5k by several minutes (from a 23:xx to a 21:12) and being so upset with myself because I did not meet my goal time by 13 seconds. All I had wanted on that day was to go sub-21. I gave it my all...and I was so disappointed in myself. After filling in Training Peaks with all kinds of horrible words about my performance, my coach sent me a scathing note, telling me I should be thanking my body for performing minutes faster than it ever had before. Instead, I was chastising myself for not being "fast enough". A PR was not good enough for me, it had to be sub-21.

People who have crossed paths in my life brought hurt and disappointment, and the message I heard was "Jen, you're not enough for .... "whatever it was in the situation. the truth. their loyalty. positive change. love. or to stay. 

Why did this person do this? or say that? I believed that since my ex-husband couldn't change for the better, it was because I was not worth it or I was not loved.  It has been a process of learning that most of the time, THEIR behavior had nothing to do with me, but their own internal bullshit. It is hard when people let you down to think it isn't some flaw with YOURSELF.

For years that quest to be enough was my own barrier to being healthy. I would try this fad diet or that fad diet and FAIL. Failure in THAT would make me feel like a failure in life, so I would quit, then soothe my feelings by trying to eat and drink my inadequacy away. I would try another fad diet, fail again and eventually I would stop. I did not succeed so, I must suck. I completely gave up on myself. I no longer cared. 

I vividly recall the day I quit on ME. I packed up all my beautiful size 4 and 6 designer clothes. I had grown to a size 22 and there was no way I would ever put on those Versace jeans or that Donna Karan suit. I took thousands of dollars worth of clothing to the local thrift shop and gave it away. 

A smile can hide a world of hurt. Me at 260+ lbs

In my mind, I would never be determined enough to lose the weight and be healthy. But if I was gonna be fat, I was gonna do it well. I would eat all that I wanted. I would drink as often as I could. And I would grow to hate myself even more. 

It took a long time to get to a place where a glimmer of hope started to shine my desire to be a better me was based on something bigger than myself. It was the hope of being a Mom that finally motivated me to change.

Getting better is an ongoing processing. I have been working on this kind of mindset and changing the internal dialog that happens. It is learning to change 40+ years of thinking one way to another. It takes practice and it is difficult most days. 

It is learning that I AM ENOUGH. 
I am smart enough. 
I am good enough. and I deserve love and wonderful things in life. 

I now set my own standards a little differently. My value and worth is not determined by a scale. or a clock. a label. or another person. I have learned that 

⇒There is no single goal achievement that will magically make me feel like I am enough. 

↠There is no such thing as perfection.

⇒As long as I know my self worth, no one else can make me feel like not enough. 

and YOU?


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Ready, Reset, GO

...sometimes you need bad things to happen 

to inspire you to change and grow...

There is no doubt about it, the past 2+ years have been filled with some incredible highs and some extreme lows. It has changed me in so many ways and life has shown me, yet again, that the storms prepare you for the sunny days.

I completely stepped away from training and racing this past season, only doing things as I felt like doing them. The stress of a 2-plus year high conflict divorce took it toll on me, both physically and mentally. I just wanted it all to end so I could focus on this new life as a single mom and with an amazing partner. I wanted to get back to ME.

STRESS can really take a toll on a person. My sleep patterns changed. I was exhausted all the time. I did not have the energy to train. When I got done teaching 3, 4, or 5 classes in a row, the last thing I wanted to do was WORKOUT. All I wanted to do was eat some comfort food and take a nap!!

Getting into therapy to sort out the toxic and abusive marriage I was in for too many years was a double edged sword; rehashing the past was not fun but it allowed me to leave it there - in the past. Plus, having an unbiased person to vent to and listen was a gift. The days prepping for court, the hearings, the mediation...ugh. I don't wish that on anyone!

As the months dragged on, I put on some weight and lost endurance. I was missing a big part of who I am and what makes me happy. Luckily, I was surrounded by family, friends and a boyfriend that loved me and supported me no matter what life threw my way. With love and support, anything is possible!! 

a few weeks ago, things fell into place for me to finally get off my ass, to stop making excuses and get back to being the kickass, happy, spunky human being I am. 

I had to LET GO of the things I had no control over. I had to leave the resentment in the past. And I had to accept my flaws and mistakes for what they are. Life handed me a more than a few lessons in the last 2.5+ years. Instead of remorse and regret, I am heading into the NOW with a grateful heart for the family and friends that surround me. For the lessons learned. For the love I have received and for the bolt of reality that RESET MY MIND!! 

Getting back to training has certainly been awesome. I am feeling better every day and I am finally sleeping better. I am making healthy food choices daily and I am being KIND to myself. I am being patient with the slow miles of running and loss of endurance. I am not watching the clock like a hawk in the pool and letting things BE.

I am excited to celebrate the finality of things (soon, I really hope!) and chase new goals.

I have so many exciting things planned for the rest of 2017! 

New things, new challenges and revisiting some of my favorite races. There is some travel & trips planned and I am so optimistic about things to come. 

  • I am still racing with the best race series ever, Rev 3
  • I have an amazing tribe of people with From Fat to Finish 

And I will be back to writing and sharing this new chapter of my journey, and it feels like coming home...