Today I would like to introduce you Jessica and her truly inspiring story.
She is a warrior in all the meanings.
1. How long have you been running?
I have been running on an off most of my life. Around 2010, I started to take it a bit more seriously and started by running local 5Ks – I even placed for my age division! I was training for a spring half marathon and ended up injured at a race with severe IT band issues and it put me off running for awhile. I started back more seriously again around 2015-2016.
2. How did you running journey started?
My dad was always a runner and we would travel around as kids while he went to different races. I ran a few fun run races as a kid, but I played other sports in school and never really caught the running bug until I was in my 30s. In 2016 I reconnect with a high school friend who has an extensive running history (ultras, Boston Marathon, etc), and he has been an amazing support and motivator during this portion of my journey. He is really good at helping me set realistic goals and reminding me I am stronger than I think.
High school friend and amazing motivator, Kenny
3. How did running change your life?
In the fall of 2016, I was going through a separation and running was truly my savior. I was logging a lot of miles each week with the hopes of working up to a half marathon and eventually a full marathon. I am so thankful for running helping me through a difficult emotional time – and it has continued to many times over. Running has not only taught me I am strong and capable, but it has taught me I can accomplish more than I could ever imagine when I put my mind to it.
4. A piece of advice for new runners?
Get good shoes! Use the couch to 5K app. Have fun with local races. Join some fun runs at your local running store. There are so many ways to be social with this sport.
5. What are you proud of the most?
I ran my first half marathon in January of 2017 and finished in 1:51. I was absolutely elated with finishing and my time. This was also in Chicago in January – it was a cold one.
6. The hardest moment for you as a runner?
In March of 2017 I found out that I had a stress fracture in my right hip and a torn labrum. I was on crutches for five months while the stress fracture healed and ended up in surgery for the labrum in August of 2017. I ended up missing a 10 miler, a half marathon and a full marathon that I was registered for in 2017. It was very hard to be sidelined – especially since I was still going through my separation and my divorce. I am just now starting to build miles again to kick of 2018, and also dealing with the mental part of returning to running after an injury and surgery. This has added a whole additional challenge to the sport for me.
Four days post operation August 2017
7. What do you like about running the most?
Its my “me time”, and something I really need as a single mom. I can get away and just work out things in my head or let my mind completely go blank and just relax. It also is a HUGE stress reliever for me, and I am a better person on the days I run. I am a competitive person by nature. I like setting goals and working towards them so this sport is well suited for me.
8. Anything else you would like to add?
People think I am crazy for returning to running after my injury in surgery. I always say – I would have never gone through the surgery, recovery and PT if I had no intention to return to running. This is the whole reason I did it! I am even more motivated now to cross the finish line. I have signed up for an April 2018 half marathon in Naperville, IL and a May 2018 half marathon in my hometown. I am not worried about my times – I just look forward to doing it again!
Thank you Jessica for sharing your story with us!
Follow Jessica and her journey on Instagram: jessica_chicago
If you would like to share you story, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org