Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Humpday Humblebrag 1.0

So the inspiration for this new, bi-weekly feature came to me when I was running 52 miles through the woods this past April. I had previously written something in the same format for a local running group and thought it might be fun to spotlight some of the runners I coach. They have done some pretty amazing things! Hence, the Humpday Humblebrag was born. I want to brag on these runners, because as I said in a post last week, their victories are little victories for me too!

This week's spotlight is on Jessica Bialowas. I started coaching Jessica last fall in preparation for her first marathon, which she ran in New Orleans, LA this past February. Jessica worked incredibly hard, made some huge gains in her running (she PR'd at a half marathon in the middle of training for a marathon!) and has already registered for marathon #2 in December! One of the things I admire about her is the example she is setting for her kiddos (twins!). Jessica runs 5ks with her daughter quite often and they always look like they are having so much fun. 

Tell me about when/why you started running.

First, let me make this clear, I am a  nerd. I was at a neuroscience conference listening to a presentation on ways to prevent cognitive degeneration. I was already doing all but one of the recommendations. The other one was exercise, but not just any exercise. It has to be exercise that increases the blood flow to the prefrontal cortex. The three best exercises for this are 1. professional soccer (recreational doesn't count) 2. running 3. ballroom dancing, but only if you are the person following. That's why I took up running. That was the Summer of 2013 and it took me weeks to build up to being able to run for one minute. I literally couldn't do the first day of the couch to 5K for almost a month.

What is your next race that you are going to crush?

Dallas Marathon hopefully!

Do you have a favorite distance?

Half - it's long enough to feel impressive, but not as painful as a full

3 words that describe your running...

Slow awkward jog, haha

What is your favorite thing about running?

Confidence. Running is something that has never come easily for me. It is something that has always seemed impossible. Each race or long run I do or new PR I set reminds me that I can do more than I ever thought possible.

What motivates you?

The crazy people around me who run ultras and my kids who run 5Ks.

Jessica with her daughter at this past year's New Year's Double
What has been your favorite race so far?

I like them all for different reasons. Resolution Run for my PR, Rock and Roll New Orleans for the random guy giving out jello shots, Fairview for the llamas

Bucket list race:

Wroclaw half (or full) marathon - which ever has the gnome medal that year. We visit Wroclaw every 2 years to visit family and the kids love to go hunting for the gnome statues that are hidden throughout the city.

I *had* to look this up...how adorable is this?!?!
Which event are you really looking forward to?

Dallas Marathon - I have two good friends who have promised to run it with me. :) They are both crazy ultra runners so if all else fails they can carry me over the finish line, right?

Show me your favorite bling: 

New Year's Double/Double 2014/2015 - 5K and a half marathon each day for 2 consecutive days. Somehow I don't have a picture. 

Don't worry...I do! This thing was H U G E!!
photo cred: New Year's Double/Active Joe
Do you have any pre-run/pre-race rituals?

Is freaking out considered a ritual?

Favorite gear?

Brooks Transcend 2

Outside of running, what are some of your hobbies/interests?

Music - I play trumpet. My kids - they are awesome.

I felt like a badass runner when....

I earned a new PR without trying at the Resolution Run half marathon this year.

What is your favorite post race treat?

Everything. All of it. Bonus if it is alcohol or chocolate.

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give new runners?

If it seems impossible, you need to try harder. 

(I happen to love this! I'm stealing it as my new mantra - Jojo)

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