Running to Find Herself... #FitFriday Inspiration from Jenn

Posted on August 26 2016

The Miles + Pace runner’s community truly motivates us each time we're on social media to hit our miles and continue running because we can! We were so inspired we decided to launch a "Fit Friday" spotlight on the amazing people in our Miles + Pace fam. 
Jenn reminds us that running, ultimately, is a means to connect with ourselves. Running is a journey into the self, of the self, through the self. When she suffered from an unexpected loss, running was integral to her healing and getting back to herself. She inspires us
What inspired you to get into running?
When I initially started running in 2013, it was because I was tired of making excuses. I would see my friends post on social media about their runs and I would always think, “I don’t run.”  One day I realized that I didn't have a reason not to run and asked myself, “Why don’t I run?”  So I went for a run—it wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t easy and truth be told, I hated it.  But I hated it enough to challenge myself to want to do better.  So I kept running.  I wasn’t consistent in my running or training and in early 2014 took a hiatus due to injury.  I unexpectedly lost my mom in the summer of 2014 and that’s when I rediscovered everything that running had given me.  When I lost her, I felt like I had lost myself and running gave me a place to grieve where it didn’t matter what emotions I was feeling.  In running I was able to find myself again; perhaps a different version, but running is when I feel most like me.  
How often do you run?
At the end of May, I started a running streak, so I am now running everyday.  I am currently on day 79 of my streak.  My “rest days” are shorter, easy runs mixed with some cross training.  Right now, I’m trying to average 40 miles a week.  
What's been the most difficult aspect of your running practice?
The most difficult part of running for me is the mental part.  I can be my own worst enemy and sometimes it’s hard not to let a run get in my head.  There are runs when I get frustrated if my pace isn’t what I wanted it to be or if I don’t run as far as I thought I should.  In those moments, I have to take a step back and remind myself the progress that I’ve made and that tomorrow will be a new opportunity for a better run.
When you don't feel like running, what motivates you to lace up and get out there?
When I don’t feel like running, I remind myself that there are so many people who can’t run and would give anything for the opportunity to.  Running is a gift and I never want to take it for granted.  
How many races have you run?
I have run one marathon, 20 half marathons, a 12K, an 8 miler, five 10Ks and several 5Ks.  I eventually want to add an ultra run to the list. 
What's been your favorite race? Why?
I have a favorite race and a favorite race experience.  If I am going to pick a race just on the race itself, my favorite is the San Diego Half Marathon.  It’s a local race and I love everything about it- the swag, the medal, the people and the course.  My favorite race experience is the LA Marathon 2016—the weekend was amazing.  I watched the Olympic trials, hung out with the We Run Social Crew and ran my first marathon.  Even though the race didn’t go as planned, they say you never forget your first and that is definitely true. I can’t wait to run my next marathon.
What's been your least favorite race? Why?
I can honestly say that I don’t have a least favorite race.  I have some races in which I wasn’t happy with my time or didn’t love the course, but I’ve learned something from every race that I’ve run.  Even a bad run is a good run.  
What do you love about running?
I love the running community—I have met the most amazing people.  People who inspire me, encourage me and people who have become more than just my running friends.  The kinship that exists within the running community is something everyone should experience.  And it’s not just the runners.  Race directors and volunteers who work tirelessly to make sure the runners have everything they need.  People who spectate at races as just as awesome—if only those complete strangers knew how many times they’ve encouraged me to keep going or push a little harder. 
Anything else you'd like to share about yourself, your journey and your runs.
One of the most important things to remember about your running journey is that it’s just that—yours.  Every journey is different and mine is no exception.  I am hard-of-hearing and though this doesn’t physically impact my runs, there are definitely things I need to take into consideration and there are things about running that I look at from a different perspective.  But that’s another thing I love about running—when you’re out on a run, the only thing that defines you is the run.  And whether you’re running one mile or one hundred miles, a five minute mile or a twenty minute mile, when we’re out there, we are all runners.  
To keep up with Jenn's run streak and continue being inspired by her positivity, follow her on Instagram, Twitter and her blog.