Sunday, November 24, 2013

Runner Spotlights #63

Hey everyone! Hope you are all having a great weekend! I sure am! And I know you are all wondering how my long run went on Saturday right? Well...it went great! I ran 5 miles with no knee or hip pain or tightness! The knee was a little achy all day yesterday but no pain. And I think it was more of me being paranoid about it than anything. It felt great to be out there running longer than 2 miles! Hopefully I am on the uphill of recovery. 

The St. Jude Memphis Half Marathon is in TWO WEEKS! I'm hoping the knee is going to be ready for me to run the majority of the race. I got my bib number yesterday...#6526! It's getting real!

It's time for another runner spotlight...my favorite time of the week! I love reading other runners' stories about their running journey! If you are interested in being spotlighted on my blog please email me at mindy@roadrunnergirl.com! I'd love to spotlight you! You don't have to have a blog to be spotlighted...you just have to be a runner! ;-)

Today I'm spotlighting Jennifer from Kinetic Fix! She is actually running the Berkeley Half Marathon today! I know she is rocking it! Keep reading to learn more about her!


Name: Jennifer Hellickson
State: California

When and why did you start running?
I ended up on the Track & Field team in high school...a bit by default, actually! I was more into solo sports (horse-back riding, ballet) growing up, but was looking for the camaraderie of a team, so I thought I’d check it out. After coming in dead last in pretty much every 100- or 200-meter race, however, I finally figured out I wasn't a sprinter and switched to Cross Country. Something just clicked, and I've been hooked on long-distance running ever since!


What is your favorite race and race distance?
My favorite race is, hands down, the Chicago Marathon. It was my first marathon, so it’s an experience I’ll never forget. But it’s also in one of my favorite cities, and the environment is just so electrifying there. I don’t think it registered with my brain that I was running until around mile 16; I was having that much fun watching and interacting with all the spectators along the way!

My favorite distance, though, is the half marathon. It’s long enough where you need a solid training plan and a race strategy, but manageable in terms of time commitment and wear and tear on your body. Plus, it’s fun tinkering with the mix of speed and endurance, so it never gets boring!


What is your race day routine?
It depends on the distance – the longer the race, the more prep I usually need – but, typically, I set two alarms (learned the hard way once when I overslept – never again!), get up and have a cup of coffee and a light breakfast while I get dressed. I triple-check my race gear (again, learned the hard way when I left my timing chip in the hotel room once) and then get to the start. I’m not one to hang out in the corral beforehand, though, so I like to get there pretty close to race time to keep myself distracted and to keep the nerves from setting in.

What is your most favorite piece of running gear?
My Nike+ GPS Sports Watch. I am a total nerd when it comes to tracking stats!

Do you follow any diet or take any specific supplements that complement your running?
I try to eat as many whole, unprocessed foods as possible and eat a varied diet to give my body all the nutrients it needs. But I don’t follow any strict or specific diet because I love the occasional In ‘n’ Out (animal-style, of course), and I have a pretty big sweet tooth. That said I do try to make sure I fill in any gaps with multivitamins and a few other supplements (Vitamin C and probiotics for immunity, for example).

What do you wish you’d known when you first started running?
I wish I had known that the non-running activities are just as important in becoming a better runner. When I was younger, I focused exclusively on logging a lot of mileage. But it made me prone to injury and burnout, so now I take a more holistic approach with lots of cross-training, stretching, balance work, massage and even an adjusted training schedule (I only run 3x/week when training for a race). It’s definitely a case of learning to ‘train smarter, not harder.’

What is your fondest running memory?
My fondest running memory has been completing two half marathons (Chicago and Detroit) with my sister. She doesn't necessarily identify herself as a distance runner, and I don’t think I've officially been able to convert her, but I was beyond proud when we crossed those finish lines together.

What is one thing that most people do not know about you?
As much as I love working out, I have to really force myself to do ab exercises! I’ll run, squat, lift, etc. for days, but am a wimp when it comes to crunches. :-)


Here are all the different ways you can connect with Jennifer!



Thanks so much for sharing with us Jennifer! I hope your half marathon was awesome today!

QOTD: Who raced this weekend? Or did a long run?

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