This month’s edition of Running Inspiration Interview features another running blogger, who I discovered via this crazy blog world and who is also located in Minneapolis! Jessie, who blogs over at The Right Fits, has completed 22 marathons(!!) and has a goal to run a marathon in every state. So without further ado, here is Jessie’s interview.
Tell me a little about yourself.
I’m 34 years old. I moved to Minneapolis for college at the University of Minnesota; I loved the city so much that I have stayed here since! Sure, our winters are tough, but our springs, summers, and falls (especially fall) are the absolute best. Surviving a Minnesota winter makes us tougher and more appreciative of the good weather when we do get it.
During the day, I work in the financial services industry, i.e. I’m in a cubicle at a computer, so I try to be outside as much as possible the rest of the day and weekend! I live in Minneapolis with my husband, our vizsla Matilda (who is a great running buddy), and two senior-citizen cats.
How long have you been running?
I played team sports growing up but was never really into running. In college, I started running a bit to try to lose some weight, but I didn’t love it. Eventually, I did my first 5k (the Race for the Cure) with a few friends. I had fun and started to run longer distances around my college campus after that working my way up to about 10 miles. My senior year of college, I went to Chicago to watch my sister Erin run the marathon there. I was so inspired that I wanted to do one myself! I signed up for the Twin Cities Marathon, downloaded Hal Higdon’s beginner training plan, and starting training! My first attempt didn’t go very well. It was a warm day and I did not hydrate properly. I ended up in an ambulance on an IV for dehydration around mile 24 (so disappointing!)
I didn’t want that to be my marathon story, so I registered for Twin Cities again the following year and did a lot more research on how to fuel and hydrate properly. I completed that marathon and I was hooked on distance running. I started dating my (now) husband, who was also really into running (one of our first dates was a race!). We started selecting marathons to combine with trips to other parts of the country- first San Diego, then Michigan, then Seattle. Eventually we decided on a “50 state” goal, where we are working to complete a marathon in every state.
What is your favorite thing about running?
I love running for so many reasons. It can be social; I have met a lot of great friends through running. I love combining an hour of “catching up” with a friend on an easy run. But I also love running alone – I like getting lost in my thoughts, a podcast, or great music. I also love running to explore – I spent three months in Singapore for work and saw so much just by running around the city! Running has also allowed me to see some really beautiful places, from St. George, Utah to Tokyo, Japan. Every marathon is different and shows you the 26.2 BEST and most beautiful miles of a location. Running also makes me feel strong and gives me focus. I like having a goal to work towards and honestly, I love the structure of a training program.
How many races have you done?
I have done 22 full marathons and too many other races to count. I love all the distances though, from 1 mile to 26.2 miles!
What was your favorite race and why?
Of the 22 marathons I have done, the London Marathon and the Tokyo Marathon were probably two of my favorites. You get to see the city in such a unique way, a way that only the marathon allows you to see it, running through the heart of the city past all the major tourist attractions. It also brings out the best in the people, with such friendly and supportive spectators. Though I loved those two marathons, I am, however, quite partial to the Twin Cities Marathon. I know the course like the back of my hand because I have trained on it year after year. But “hometown” bias aside, it’s truly a gorgeous course, the spectators are amazing, and it has one of the best finish lines ever.
Do you have any running goals?
I want to run a marathon in every state eventually. I have completed 14 states so far, (even though I have done 22 marathons). A lot of “50-state” runners do a lot more marathons each year, but my max is three or four a year, so it will take a lifetime to get to 50, (especially when I mix in some international marathons.) but if get to run marathons and explore for the rest of my life, I will be happy. I also have the goal of running all the World Majors as well as a marathon on all 7 continents. I love travel as much as I love running!
Are you currently training for any races?
I am training for Grandma’s Marathon 2016. I ran it last year and had a fabulous time. It doesn’t fit into my 50 state goal, but it fits into the social part of running! A lot of my friends are running it and I wanted to be part of the fun. Although I qualified for the Boston Marathon at the Phoenix Marathon this year, I didn’t qualify by “enough” to be able to register for 2017. I’m hoping that Grandma’s flat and fast course will be my opportunity to do so.
What kind of nutrition strategies do you use to facilitate performance and/or recovery?
I generally try to eat healthy, but I don’t restrict. Everything in moderation. I still enjoy beer and wine (in moderation.) I always enjoy a hearty brunch after my long runs, usually with eggs. During the week, I have been enjoying “Hello Fresh” meals as it takes the extra planning out of “what are we going to eat tonight?” while providing healthy well-balanced meals. I drink a TON of water (sometimes nuun!) and try to always have plenty of snacks available at work.
What do you want others to know about running in general?
I want people to know that running is accessible to everyone. You don’t have to be a certain size or pace to put on a pair of running shoes and give running a try. Start small- just run around the block. Build up slowly. As Kathrine Switzer said, “The road is big enough for all of us.” No matter your pace, size, shape, financial background, whatever, running is there and can bring so many wonderful things into your life!
Check out Jessie’s blog and social media for more running inspiration!