I first “met” today’s guest out on the trails at the Bear Bait Ultras when she flew past me 20-something miles into the race.
Turns out she was on her way to winning the 50 miler that day and setting a new course record in the process.
I am looking forward to going a few easy miles with Jessica Jones and learning a bit more about all she’s accomplished and what is on the horizon for her.
Sense Of Accomplishment
Jessica’s running journey began at a young age.
Aside from a brief running injury that sidelined her, Jessica has been running consistently throughout her life.
The marathon gives Jessica a sense of accomplishment that she doesn’t get from any other distance.
To date, she has run over 30 marathons with each race being unique and having a story.
The Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 inspired Jessica with the sense of community that arose from the tragedy.
She vowed to work towards one day running the race.
Jessica’s narrowly missed running a Boston qualifying time at her first marathon in the fall of 2013.
In February of 2014, she earned her coveted BQ with 5 minutes to spare.
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A Part Of History
Jessica first ran the Boston Marathon in 2015 and it was everything she anticipated it to be and more.
Since that year she has run the race 4 more times with her 5th time happening in April of 2019.
Her goal is to qualify and run Boston every year.
Qualifying for Boston once is quite an accomplishment, but Jessica wants to take it a step further.
She is well on her way to her next goal of running a BQ in every state with 15 states checked off.
Running a marathon in every state required Jessica to consider doing back to back marathons in order to check off more states.
Jessica took that to the next level when she signed up for a Mainly Marathons series.
Mental and Physical Test
Mainly Marathons offers multi-day series ranging in distances and taking place in all 50 states.
For Jessica, this series was a convenient option for checking off multiple states in the span of less then a week.
In preparation for the races, Jessica often ran on tired legs which she accomplished by incorporating mid-range mileage for consecutive days.
Jessica ran the Gulf coast series where over the course of 5 days she ran 5 marathons.
If that wasn’t challenging enough, she also managed to run a BQ in each of the 5 marathons.
With the grueling schedule Jessica had to remain focused on recovery and nutrition.
To Jessica’s surprise it was the mental challenge that proved to be the most difficult.
Successfully completing 5 marathons in 5 days at her goal pace gave Jessica the confidence to pursue her next big challenge in 2020.
World Marathon Challenge
Jessica has her eyes set on finishing the World Marathon Challenge which includes 7 marathons, on 7 continents, in 7 days.
She first heard about the race when her friend Becca Pizzi became the first American woman to complete the challenge in 2016.
The urge to complete the challenge was building in Jessica over time.
Completing 5 marathons in 5 days has proven to Jessica that she’s on track for the World Marathon Challenge.
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