My guest today is a woman that I’ve been working with as her coach for a few years.
We were able to finally meet in person at the Bear Bait Ultras, where she was the second female finisher in the 50k distance.
I will go a few easy miles with Jennifer Jamison as we talk about her latest ultra along with a host of other topics.
From Riding To Running
It wasn’t too long ago that Jennifer was 100% immersed in dressage and horses.
She had little interest in running at the time.
A friend of hers that was a former Marine changed all that.
Her military friend suggested that she run a half marathon for the charity Team Taps.
After Jennifer finished her first half it didn’t take her long to sign up for the Marine Corps Marathon.
Jennifer quickly realized that riding horses and running both utilized vastly different muscle groups.
While she always loved horses, she also found that her love for running was growing.
Following the completion of her third marathon, Jennifer couldn’t deny that she was committed to the sport.
Science and Running Intertwine
Jennifer has a career as a chemist.
Being a chemist means that she is very detail oriented and her science brain doesn’t shut off when it comes to running.
She plans out strategies for every race leaving nothing to chance and tests out all theories in training.
Part of her attention to detail includes running 26 miles in training before the actual marathon.
Every marathon is different and Jennifer prefers to practice and know how she may feel during the race.
Jennifer’s journey into ultras came by way of peer pressure, not unlike her first half marathon.
To date, Jennifer has completed two 50k ultras.
Variety in weather and terrain created vastly different conditions for each 50k.
Venturing Into Ultras
Jennifer’s first ultra was a 2 loop course on crushed gravel.
During the first loop, the weather was hot and humid but changed to freezing rain and gusty wind for the second loop.
She managed to finish and learned some valuable lessons while on the course.
The Bear Bait Ultras was her second 50k and she was the second place female finisher.
This ultra was comprised of 8 loops of ample amounts of mud and water.
Jennifer is open to more ultras in her future but is leaning towards road races versus trails given the predictability of roads.
Jennifer has experienced her share of challenges to overcome.
During 2017 Jennifer found herself unemployed and during that time a devastating hurricane struck her city.
Hurricane Harvey damaged her home making it uninhabitable for 6 months.
These life events would be enough for anyone to put a hold on their training, but not Jennifer.
Jennifer found that with all the inconsistencies in her life at the time that her training schedule was the one thing she could depend on.
Running through her city and seeing the devastation also opened her eyes to all the inspiring actions to rebuild going on all around her.
Running for Jennifer was a blessed distraction at that time in her life.
Jennifer has gained a lot through this sport and is continuing to explore what else she is capable of.
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