Jenna Kinzie, “Jenna Runs”
Meet Jenna, who does a fantastic job with her blog jennarunsblog and is a BibRave Pro. Jenna ran her first marathon a little over a year ago. She loves every minute of running and is committed to it. Jenna was nice enough to answer Runspirational’s 13.1 questions. Her answers are wonderful. Check them out below. I’m positive you will enjoy them as I mush I as did. Thank you so much Jenna and keep being so Runspirational!
Jenna first came to love running before she can remember. Her father took her along on his daily runs as soon as she was able to put one foot in front of the other. She always strived to be able to keep up with Dad on runs and loved the adventures they had together. From feeding ducks, to being chased by dogs – they had seen it all, and running quickly became Jenna’s favorite way to get active and explore. Jenna ran the 400 and 800 meter dash among other events in track and excelled to go on to the Texas Relays. At this time, she enjoyed it but didn’t take running very seriously. She only recently started considering herself a “runner”, about a year ago (April 2016), when she decided she had a lofty goal – to run a marathon. Distance running was scary and unknown to her at this time. 26.2 wasn’t easy, but it taught her a lot about herself – including the fact that running was something she wanted to commit to. She wanted to be a runner! Now she runs 5-6 days a week, joins in on running groups and co-ops, runs races, and loves every minute of it.
1 – What is the next big race you are signed up for and what are your race goals?
My next big race is the Plano Balloon Festival 5K and Half Marathon in September. It’s a local race. I go to this festival every year with my Greyhound, Derby, as a volunteer and advocate for Greyhound rescue, so after running the pup and I will do our volunteering! I am doing both the 5K on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday. I’m excited for the challenge of two races in a weekend. My race goal is to run a personal best as I always strive to beat my last run, though my ultimate goal is just for the run to feel good, do my best, and have fun! In order to beat a personal record for the Half Marathon distance, I need anything faster than 1:50:00 (yes my last race was exactly 1:50, even!). To beat my 5K record, I need something faster than 22:39. I’ve never done speed work or really focused on the 5K distance, so I’m excited!
2 – What is the top area of your training that you want to improve upon currently?
I want to get faster! So, I want to get stronger in my weak areas (core and hips, specifically) as well as improve at recovery. I am currently including kickboxing and cycling in my training, which are really helping strengthen imbalances caused by running alone. The kickboxing, specifically, I know is really going to help – my abs are sore after every class! I just recently started taking the class and have come to realize how weak my core is. So, I’m glad I’ve added kickboxing in to help with that! I’ve started foam rolling before and after runs to aid in recovery.
3 – What is the most challenging part of training for you?
Strength training and recovery. I find both of these quite boring (all I want to do is RUN!) so I’m less likely to do them consistently. Although I know these things will ultimately help my running, they are always areas I need to work on, which is the reason these are also the areas I currently want to improve on.
4 – What is your favorite running distance and why?
Currently, the half marathon. The full marathon is very rewarding and I’m glad I have one under my belt, but I don’t think enough time has passed for me to forget how painful it was. I still can’t decide if running 26.2 miles is just plain miserable, something miraculous, or perhaps both. Right now, 13.1 is just the right amount of challenge for me!
5 – What are three races on your running bucket list that you would like to complete?
Honolulu Marathon, a Ragnar Relay, and NYC Marathon.
6 – What inspires you to run?
Getting outside. Being healthy. Feeling unstoppable.
7 – What has been your proudest running accomplishment?
Completing my first marathon in November of last year. Hands down. I ran 26.2 miles without stopping and am damn proud of it!
8 – What has running taught you?
That it’s important to set a goal that scares you a little. If it doesn’t, what’s the point? Whether it’s a running or non-running goal – reaching it will not be easy. It might even be painful. It might consume you and take every last ounce of your energy and patience. But it WILL be worth it.
9 – What do you do to recover from long runs?
Eat. A lot. I shower, lay down somewhere, and eat. This has truly been the entirety of my long run (or any run) recovery until this point. Now that I’m recently having some hip discomfort, I am becoming diligent about foam rolling. So I suppose the new plan is: eat, shower, eat, foam roll, couch, eat!
10 – What have been some of your favorite races that you have run?
By far, my favorite has been the Rock n Roll Las Vegas Marathon – my first ever race that I trained for, my first marathon, my first run-cation… it was truly an experience I will never, ever forget. Other races that have been my favorites are a local race called the White Rock n Roll 10 miler – it’s a great and unique distance and great route around White Rock Lake in Dallas as well as the Hot Chocolate 15K (Dallas) – because, well, what’s better than chocolate after a race?
11 – What got you into running and what was your first race?
My dad is what (who) got me into running. Running was always our “thing,” ever since I could remember. It’s been a huge part of me ever since – though I didn’t even realize it until adulthood. I never ran races or considered myself a “runner” until about a year ago, when I ran my first race – the Color Run 5K. I ran it for fun with a friend and fell in love.
12 – What do you like to listen to while you are running?
Hip hop! I love jamming out when I run. Sometimes I’ll listen to a podcast (the BibRave Podcast) or just listen to the birds and traffic (city life), but 99% of the time I have my headphones on and am pounding pavement to the beat of the music.
13 – What are your favorite running clothes/gear/tech that you like to use?
I love my Aftershokz Trekz Titanium headphones. These are hands down my favorite piece of running gear considering I do listen to music while I run. They keep my safe, especially running in the city, because they allow you to hear ambient sounds – they use special technology and sit on top of your ears, but still sound amazing! I also love Feetures running socks (Elite Ultra Light, specifically), Knockaround sunglasses (so cheap! and come in cool colors), and my Loopy phone case (I carry my phone on runs).
Bonus Question – Besides running, what is your favorite hobby and why?
Playing the cello. I’ve played instruments ever since I can remember – the violin, piano, and cello (my favorite). I come from a family of musicians and it’s just a part of life for us. It’s a great creativity outlet for me and, like running, can be very therapeutic. Other hobbies I truly enjoy are volunteering for Greyhound rescue, and my newest hobby – Kickboxing!