Running came to Jessica a little later in life. She was in her early 40s when she decided that she wanted to start running.
I figured it was something new and it would challenge me.”
At the time she lived on a street that was fairly flat and it ran about 1 mile from end to end. Jessica started walking it at first and then slowly progressed to running. Each time she would go one house further than the last time.
Eventually, she was able to run a complete mile without stopping!
Jessica found that during her runs, it was truly time to herself, with no distractions, and it was exactly what she needed.
I have always been told that you can’t take care of others unless you take care of yourself and running was a part of taking care of myself.
She tells us that throughout the years, running has always given her a sense of accomplishment!
About a year into her running, Jessica’s family decided to participate in a 5k charity run (iCure Melanoma).
This charity run holds a special place in her family’s heart.
I had a sister-in-law that passed away of melanoma. Since then we run for Kelli.”
Once she signed up, her goal was to run the entire race.
And she did! Jessica ran the entire 5k!
I consider that my first PB. I was then hooked on running 5k’s and ran another one 4 months later and knocked off 2 min from my previous race.”
Preparation For The Half Marathon
Jessica didn’t sign up for many races after her 5km PB as she was focused on training for her half marathon.
She tried for 3 years but always got injured…
A Much Needed New Approach
Jesica had just turned 51 and was recovering from a hamstring injury. Her running was starting to get a little harder.
She had worked with a running coach for 2 years (before she met Coach Parry), for the half marathon and both years she got injured.
That’s when we walked into her life.
I joined Coach Parry in January 2021 after attending a Running Through Menopause webinar. I found Shona very knowledgeable and the information she was presenting was very intriguing to me.”
In 2021 she joined Coach Parry.
Jessica started with the MAF program, then 35 min 5k program, then sub 75 min 10k, and lastly sub 2 hours 40 min half marathon.
Just 5 weeks ago Jessica made it to the starting line, ran, and finished her first half marathon! She even finished it with 7 minutes to spare!
Biggest Contributor to Jessica’s Success
The biggest contributor to my success…I think it would be my determination, patience, and will to get to my first half marathon.”
Jessica says that her family, for sure, helped her throughout the years. They were there to help her when she was down but also helped build her back up again.
The memories of my first half marathon are still engrained in my head so I don’t have the desire to do another one any time soon.”
She plans to continue running to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Jessica loves running around the scenic lake in Austin on a Saturday morning with her husband and dog.
Jessica had signed up in 2019 to run a half marathon to be held in Jan of 2020, she trained hard for a year with a coach.
Five weeks before my race she got a stress fracture in her left 3rd and 4th metatarsals.
I was so disappointed…I waited until I got home and cried my eyes out.”
She signed up for the same race to be held in Jan 2021. Once Jessica got out of her boot she started training again.
It was really hard to start over. I was getting there in my training and then 3 months before the race I pulled my hamstring.”
This injury took her a lot longer to recover from… Jessica says that COVID helped her with this one because the organizers canceled the race for 2021 and let her carry the registration over to the next year – Half marathon Jan 2022 was the goal! “And I achieved it!”
Hardest Part Of Reaching Your Achievements
I think the hardest part for me was just being on a training schedule for a year. There were so many things to think about…what time I had to be on for strength and conditioning, what was on my schedule for that day or the next, what I had to eat, what I had to drink, watching my heart rate during my runs.”
Jessica felt like she was just planning so many things in addition to her everyday life with her family.
It will be nice to have a glass of wine on a Friday or Saturday night…”
– She never did that while she was training.
Inspiration For The Whole Family
Jessica says that she has to credit her daughter for her running journey.
Back in 2019 my husband, daughter, and I gave each other New Year’s Resolutions. Hers to me was to run at least 2 10k’s within that year. And so that is where it all began :)”
She doesn’t consider herself an inspirational person.
I run because it’s something that I want to do and if I inspire someone along the way that’s just a bonus.”
Early in her running, she decided to run 5 miles on Thanksgiving Day. They had her husband’s family in town and everyone watched as Jessica ran up and down the street.
She was then told that her run inspired her sister-in-law to start running and she did her first half marathon before Jessica did!
My husband never thought he would be able to run (bad knees). He saw me start running and decided to give it a try.”
Jessica is very happy to say that her husband has completed 3 half Ironman races and 1 complete Ironman Race. “He credits me for the start of his running career.”
Amazing story Jessica! Keep up the incredible progress and enjoy your runs with your family around the beautiful lake in Austin. 🙂