*Jennifer crossing the finish line of the Scary Run 5K with her coach, Rachel - after running the whole thing!
Jennifer Foster runs with our Fleet Feet PNW community out of the Portland and Lake Oswego stores. We love her because she brims with good, self-deprecating humor, tells great stories, and laughs her way up every tough hill. Below is our Q&A with her.
Tell us how you found the Fleet Feet community.
First of all let me say that I would never refer to myself as an athlete. Rather, I have a bad case of FOMO. I have been part of a walking team for the last 12 years called The Joggernots. We chose this name because none of us wanted to run or jog. Well, one of these amazing ladies thought it would be a challenge to join *NOBO and like sheep, the rest of us followed.
(*NOBO = No Boundaries, the original name of our new Ignite! 5K program)
And tell us about you! Where are you from, what do you do for work and/or play, and what's something funky about you that you wouldn't mind other people knowing?
I am originally from Illinois and have lived in Portland, Oregon for the last 15 years. The most athletic thing I ever did before was being on a curling team in high school. We won the state championship and competed nationally!
How did Fleet Feet inspire you or keep you motivated in your running discipline?
Discipline? What's that?! I showed up to hang out with my friends and go for coffee or drinks after! But week after week I ran further than I thought I could. Eventually I was conquering hills and not completely wanting to die. Granted, I complained the entire time, but I was actually able to do this. I didn't want to fall behind the group or let my running coach down, so I would text her completely horrible pics of me after I finished my runs on vacation to prove I wasn't skipping!
What do you love about running? What keeps you motivated?
I love the people who have come into my life because of running. I cannot keep up with them when we run, but these friendships are precious to me. If someone would have told me I would be able to run two 5Ks without stopping I would have laughed in their face. But I pull from that a feeling of accomplishment when other areas of my life decide to be challenging.
We think running gives us funny or weird stories to tell. Do you have a story about running that's funny, silly, or strange? We'd love to hear it!
My 5K coach figured me out early and realized that if she kept me talking and laughing I wouldn't complain as much or think about stopping. I won't share details of things we've discussed running because TMI is putting it mildly!
What has been your biggest running accomplishment so far?
I have completed two 5K races without stopping. But probably the biggest thing was when I overheard a new runner tell someone that her goal was to be able to run like me during one of our training sessions. That was so crazy to hear!
What are your running goals for the next year or season?
I have to have surgery on my foot this year and am missing seeing all my people who are still getting together several times a week to run. My goal is to join them and complete another 5K. I never thought those words would come out of my mouth!
(*Jennifer at the finish line of "Portland to Coast" with her crew)