Running Makeover: Jen’s April Update

Jen from CanadaThis week we’re catching up with our Running Makeover-ees! Today it’s Jen in Canada, who’s in training for the Blackfoot “Baby” Ultra 25k at the end of May.

Looking back over your running career – can you remember how you got started?

Sitting around at Christmas about 5 years ago my brother challenged me to take up running and run a race with him in the spring. I had NEVER run before this so I took the challenge and ran with it (pun intended). He ended up injuring himself so my sister-in-law stepped in and began training with me and we did the race together instead. One of the best things that has come from my running is the relationship I have developed with my sister-in-law, it’s been so fun to run and visit and we’ve gotten to know each other so much better!

How are you finding your Makeover training plan so far?

I’m super stoked to have won the running makeover. I have been in need of some inspiration and seem to not be able to connect with any of my running buddies this season. The program has helped get me out the door and has offered me a mental challenge with all the drills and different parts incorporated in the runs!

The sprinting is probably the hardest part of the training for me. I have never challenged myself in this area and it’s hard! The drills and sprints completely mix up my normal training routine. At this point in the training I am not as far along in KM as I normally would be so having the runs done by time and drills is very different for me. Julia told me to trust her so that’s what I am doing. I already feel myself becoming a stronger runner.

I always find the first 5 KM the hardest, once I am into my 7th KM my running finds a rhythm and I am usually good to go. It’s just getting past that first 5 KM. Every time I cross a finish line in a race I am feel very proud of myself! I was never athletic and never dreamt that I could actually run like this! Last year I did a personal best and am super excited to try out trail racing this season!

What’s it like running in your part of the world this time of year?

The weather here is “off again, on again spring”, so it’s good for me to have a schedule to stick to for my running since one day it’s so nice out you want to run and the next is a blizzard that makes you want to stay inside. The days when the birds are out and I see a slip of color and a pop of pussy willows makes me smile and keep on running!

When you’re out there carrying out Julia’s orders, do you run with or without music?

I am completely a social runner! I love having someone with me to run! I rarely wear earbuds … if I have no one to chat with I enjoy listening to the birds, the wind, the rustle of the trees! I find music more of a distraction and messes up my own rhythm of steps. I love to immerse myself in the nature that surrounds me when I run. This year’s race excites me because it is my first trail race so I am expecting to really enjoy being out on in nature no where near town running!

Thanks for the update, Jen. Keep on rockin’ it!