NESN Red Sox reporter Jenny Dell has signed up to participate in this year's Run to Home Base. The 2012 Run-Walk to Home Base Presented by New Balance honors veterans and raises money for the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program, which provides care for veterans with combat stress or traumatic brain injury and support services and counseling for wounded vets' families.
The May 20 race is a 9K loop near Fenway Park, with your last strides ending on home plate at Fenway itself. Since Jenny is in the last stages of her training for the race, we asked if she would wear a FitBit like I do, so we could watch the number of steps she's taking while training.
Graciously, she agreed.
Here's our recent Q&A with her, and a peek at her steps today.
Q. Why did you want to participate in the Run to Home base?
A. I wanted to participate in the Run to Home base to help raise funds and support the troops coming home from the war and their families. I learned that in New England, an estimated 50,000 veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan are affected by post-traumatic stress (PTS) and/or traumatic brain injury (TBI). The Run to Home Base Program and the Red Sox Foundation put together this unique event to give back to those who have risked their lives for our country. It’s truly an honor to run in support of this incredible cause.
Q. What’s the farthest you’ve run?
A. The last time I ran was at cheerleading practice at UMass six years ago, so I originally signed up for the Walk to Home Base. The Red Sox Foundation representatives told me Tom Caron was running the event, so I thought it would be fun to make this into a little competition and run with TC.
Q. We gave you and Tom devices called FitBits to track your progress leading up to the run. Are you finding it hard to hit 10,000 steps a day?
A. I run around Fenway all day, every day. From the field, to the clubhouse, to the press box, back to the clubhouse, to the field. … It’s never-ending. Hitting the 10,000 steps has been very easy for me. (I love getting the e-mail that congratulates you on the 10,000 steps. Very encouraging.)
Q. Are you getting competitive?
A. I’m naturally very competitive. Unfortunately for me, TC [Tom Caron] is a runner and I haven’t had much time to train. I am going to go out there, and do my best!
Q. Do you have a goal for race day? A certain time you’d like to hit or other goal?
A. Goal #1: Beat TC. Goal #2: Run the 9K in under an hour.
Q. What surprises you the most about the data you have available to you on the Fitbit?
A. The FitBit is amazing! It's my constant companion, always clipped to a belt loop. I’m constantly checking my current step count, calories burned, and flights of stairs climbed, and I find the fitness information it provides to be important to my well-being. During the time I've used the FitBit, I've been able to get a good idea of the average baseline number of steps I take per day and plan to keep my count to the desired 10,000 steps per day.
Q. What physical activity have you done so far today? And, if you worked out, what were two of the songs on your playlist?
A. Today, I went on a quick two-mile run around my neighborhood. I always listen to the Pop and Hip Hop Power Workout station on Pandora. Great songs to keep you going!
Jenny Dell is NESN’s Red Sox reporter providing interviews and reports during NESN’s game coverage and for NESN’s pre- and post-game shows. Prior to joining NESN, Jenny served in several different roles at ESPN, including on-air reporter. The University of Massachusetts graduate and Connecticut native reported from two Super Bowls and delivered AccuScore reports for ESPN.com. She also worked in production and covered Major League Baseball (MLB), Monday Night Football, the National Basketball Association (NBA), and NASCAR