My guest today is someone that I first connected with on Twitter through running.
I don’t know much about her background in the sport, but we will cover that and a lot more in our chat.
I am looking forward to going a few easy miles with Jenn Berk today.
I Can Do That
For as long as she can remember, Jenn Berk has always wanted to run.
While growing up, Florence Joyner, an American track and field athlete was her source of inspiration.
Jenn watched her performances in the Olympics and would think, “I can do that.”
Running didn’t enter her life until college, many years later.
While in high school Jenn was on the dance team which took up all of her extra time.
Jenn met an RA named Deb in college who was an avid runner.
Her new friend was the push Jenn needed to start running.
Jenn ran on her own for the first 7 to 8 years without doing any races.
The unknowns of running an actual race scared her so she kept putting it off.
It took some peer pressure and a race that excited her to finally get her to commit to signing up.
Jenn had friends that were running the Indy Mini half-marathon.
A portion of the race is on the speed track and Jenn didn’t want to miss out on that.
Admittedly Jenn was naive going into the race and didn’t truly respect the distance.
She managed to finish the race and was immediately hooked on that feeling.
Double The Distance
After her first half-marathon, Jenn went on to complete the same race two more times.
Those finishes gave her the confidence to sign up for a marathon.
Jenn was able to sign up for the Chicago marathon one year before entry to the race became a lottery.
Her buildup to the marathon didn’t go entirely as planned, but she was still able to run the race and take it all in.
She crossed the finish line in Chicago just two years after she completed her first half.
Jenn recognizes that she is fortunate to never have a serious injury or a DNF from a race.
She has since completed Chicago one more time along with a virtual marathon that gained her entry to the 2022 NYC marathon.
Jenn has been trying to get into the NYC marathon since 2016 through the lottery system.
Racing = Motivation
Covid brought with it the cancellation of most if not all races during the year 2020.
Jenn is extremely motivated by races, so she found her motivation waning when there were no races on the horizon.
She went from running a PR in every 5k she ran in 2019 to having her training derailed the following year.
One of her eventual goals now that racing is back is to run all the world marathon majors.
In the past year, Jenn has run some iconic races which include the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler and the Peachtree 10k.
Her racing calendar for 2022 is filling up quickly in her lead-up to NYC in November of this year.
Running has taught Jenn that no human is limited and to dream big.
She has a long list of things she wants to accomplish, with earning a Boston Qualifier (BQ) on the top of that list.
Along with working to get faster, she also loves to use running as an excuse to travel the world.
Jenn has dubbed herself, “the wandering runner.”
She has dreamt of the possibility of eventually joining the 7 continents club.
The 7 continents club entails running a race on each continent.
It is her hope that she can inspire others that common runners can do anything they set their mind to.
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