FFFC: Please introduce yourself to our readers.
JK: Hello! My name is Jess and I am 36 years old. I live in New Hampshire with my husband and our two daughters. Skyelar is 7 and Vivian just turned 4.
FFFC: How and why did you get started running?
JK: I got into running when my chiropractor asked me if I had ever run a 5K before. I hadn’t. I only ran if someone was chasing me. They were going to be doing the Couch to 5K program to prepare for a race at the end of summer. I was turning 35 and decided to set some goals for myself that year. Running a 5K was going to be one of them. I signed up for the Couch to 5K and registered for the Cigna5K. I was going to do this, so I thought. My second day of week one in the C25K, I hurt my knee running. I landed or twisted wrong when I was out for my run. By morning I couldn’t get to the urgent care fast enough. It was so swollen and painful. Thankfully nothing was torn and no major damage was done to my knee. However, doctor’s orders: No running. As the weeks went by and the race got closer my knee felt better.
I was going to run the race even though I hadn’t properly trained for it. As long as I went out there and crossed the finish line I was going to be happy with it. It was probably the hardest thing I have ever done. Near the end of the race, when that finish line was insight, it was the most amazing feeling. Crossing the finish line for the first time was like nothing else I had ever felt before. I got it. I now knew why people ran for fun. At that point I knew I wanted to run another 5K. This time I was going to train for it and my new goal was to beat my time. And I did! Ten weeks later I ran another 5K and was faster. I ran the Cigna5K again this year and was 10 minutes faster than last year!
FFFC: What do you like most about running?
JK: What I love most about running is seeing what my body is capable of. Pushing myself to see how far or how fast I go. I love that when I am running, it’s just all about me. I am not a mother, wife or anything else. I am just me, Jess, out there doing something that is totally and completely for me. Running helps me clear my mind. I tend to over think things, so when I get caught up in my own head and need a break, I lace up and hit the road. Running helps me put things back into perspective.
FFFC: What is the furthest distance or longest time you have run?
JK: The furthest I have run so far is 3.5 miles. I am thinking about doing a 10K. One of the greatest lines of inspiration I got when I started running was, if you can run one mile, you can run two. And if you can run two miles you can run three. It’s true. I hope to someday run a full marathon!
FFFC: Do you belong to a running group? Show’em some love right here.
JK: There She Goes Again and The Women’s Running Club are two groups I belong to on Facebook. The support I get from the others in the groups is wonderful.
FFFC: What do you do to stay in tip top running shape (exercise, nutrition, etc.)?
JK: I love lifting weights! I think strength training is important to becoming a better runner. The stronger I am, the faster I can run! Right now though I am doing Focus T25.
FFFC: What was the biggest challenge when you started running or still is even now?
JK: I think the biggest challenge for me when I started running was believing in myself. Believing that I could get out there and do this. Learning that I am stronger than I think I am. To not give up during the first mile of a run. I am my biggest challenge.
FFFC: Have you ever had any major setbacks? What was it and how did you overcome it to get back out there?
JK: Other than my knee injury when I first started running I haven’t had any major setbacks so far, thankfully!
FFFC: Do you have any upcoming races planned? Share the event details here.
JK: I don’t have any races planned for the near future. I’ll admit it, I don’t like running in the cold!
FFFC: Who helped you as you developed your running skills?
JK: I think all the women in my running groups have helped me develop as a runner.
FFFC: Any advice for someone interested in starting to run?
JJK: My advice for someone interested in running is to go out there and try it. Believe in yourself and put one foot in front of the other. The hardest step is the step out the front door. You can do it; you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish when you try.
FFFC: What has been your biggest accomplishment to date?
JK: My biggest accomplishment is finishing my last 5K with a time of 36:18! It’s a personal best and fourteen minutes faster than the first 5K I ever ran!
FFFC: Who are some of your running idols (Male or female we don’t discriminate)?
JK: My running idols are anyone who runs! Whether it’s for fun or fitness, it take courage to get out there and start!
FFFC: How can our readers learn more about your running journey? (i.e. Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, etc.)
JK: People can learn more about my running and fitness/healthy lifestyle from my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/jessica.keaveny.5
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