Rogue of the Week – Jennifer

Rogue of the week, Jennifer:

What is your favorite distance and why? 

My favorite distance is the Half Marathon because it takes me at least five miles to find my groove.

What do you struggle with most in running?

My biggest struggle with running is finding time to fit running in to my day (please tell me who actually enjoys 4:00 a.m. alarms?!)

Do you rotate shoes and if so what is in your current rotation?

New Balance Vongos for mid to long runs and Nike Structures for speed and shorter runs.

Do you have a mantra that you use when you are racing/training?

I have quite a few mantras: When I get tired, I think of how fortunate I am to have the ability to run.  When I want to stop, I tell myself that it’ll just take me longer to get to the finish line.  When I feel myself starting to think negative, I tell myself to think strong and be strong.  And my favorite, which I usually use when I’m about to run a 5k: “It’s only twenty minutes of suckiness” and you can do just about anything for twenty minutes.

Do you ever feel unmotivated to train and if so how do you overcome it?

Yes!  That’s usually the time I sign up for way too many races as a way to set a goal and focus on what I need to do to accomplish that goal.

What is the best thing running has given you?

Free therapy? Seriously, though, running has given me confidence and amazing relationships.  So many of us struggle through life trying to find that thing that makes us stand out. Running is that for me. It has also introduced me to so many wonderful people who are constantly trying to better themselves.  That feeling is contagious.

What is your favorite race you have participated in and why?

The NYC Marathon.  Back in 2014 I had a goal of qualifying for the NYC Marathon.  I qualified and was accepted in 2015.  I got pregnant that year and deferred my entry to 2016.  Ten weeks before the NYC Marathon I tore my abductor magnus.  Since I had already deferred once, it was either suck it up and make it happen, try to qualify again or chance the lottery.  I took eight weeks off from running and ran a total of 26 miles in the two weeks leading up to the race.   At the start line, my only goal was to get the shiny medal at the end.   The crowd and the experience of being in NYC is unreal and literally pushed me to the finish line.  I cried as I crossed that finish line, realizing that not only did I finish, but that I ran the entire race at an 8:10 minute per mile pace and snagged another BQ (barely!).  That run proved to me that if you truly want something, you’ll find a way to make it happen.

How did you get started in running?

Way back when I was in middle school.  I was on the volleyball team, yet I loved running the mile in gym class each week.  I spent an entire month running it until I took first place on the Board.  My volleyball coach told my parents that if I tried out for the volleyball team in high school instead of running cross country that she would cut me.  I ran through high school but it wasn’t until my husband signed me up for the Columbus Marathon in 2004 that I started running again.

What is your favorite running workout?

Tempo and race pace runs!  And I say that with a love/hate relationship.  I hate them at the time I’m in them, but they give me such confidence!

How many marathons have you run?


Who is your favorite professional runner?

I’ve always been a big fan of Desi Linden.

What are the craziest race conditions you have had to endure?

The Cleveland Marathon in 2016.  Thankfully, I had just run a hot and sunny Boston a couple weeks earlier so the Cleveland half marathon was more of a fun run with zero expectations.  Every single weather condition hit in the hour and a half I was on that course.  Cold, rain, sleet, hail, thunder, lightning, wind, snow, and, in the end, a beautiful sixty degree, sunny day.

Do you have a goal race you haven’t done yet and why do you want to do it?

Before I hang up my running shoes, I want to be a six star finisher and have at least one sub-3 hour marathon.

Do you listen to music while you run and if so, what music gets you pumped up for a race?

Not while I run. With four kids and a husband at home, I like to use running as quiet time or social time.  That being said, I’m guilty of blaring Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Foo Fighters and dancing to any song about sunshine on race mornings.