Friday, November 8, 2013

Runner of the Week (11-08-13)

Name:  Jenni Ortman      

Twitter: @skidoorn2000

How long have you been running?
I have been running since I was 13. I ran Cross Country in middle school, and I immediately fell in love. I tried to run track, but found that Cross Country better suited my long legs.
In my adult life, I have only run 5K’s until after the birth of my second son in 2005. In 2009 I had a friend tell me she ran the Indianapolis500 mini marathon. I was desperate for something to get me motivated to get back into shape because I had never been a couch potato in my whole life. I struggled with motivation after my second son’s birth, so I thought; PFFT I CAN run a half marathon if SHE can. I entered the race and ran my first half marathon, in May 2010, at the young age of 45, and I’ve been hooked since.

What/who motivated you to start running?
Unfortunately, I think the death of my oldest sister got me to start running. I don’t remember the sequence of events, but after she died I had a lot going on in my head. I had a lot of crazy bad dreams. My mom encouraged me to join a sport and I remember going to the call out for Cross Country thinking, “Oh great I have to run!?” I was encouraged a lot by my coach and I remember enjoying the endurance portion of the runs but did not like running fast.
My coach encouraged me quite a bit to keep pushing forward and to never give up and that has remained with me. I remember pushing as hard as I could and coming in third place. I was so proud of myself in that moment.
After high school I kept running to keep active and to enjoy the solitude and peace with myself. It has helped me deal with lots of things in life.

What’s something that you can’t run without?
I can’t run without my phone. I run on country roads and so I like to have it just in case something happens where I would need to call my husband. I need my pepper spray because I encountered three dogs on my route and my pepper spray gives me a sense of security. I NEED my Garmin for the time of day. I run after I get off work and only have about 25-30 minutes to get a run in before the school bus drops off my son. I call this #projectbeatthebushome.

What is your favorite race you have ever done or place to run?
Okay I have two: My favorite half marathon is the IndianapolisMonumental half. It is a flat and fast course. I get a personal best EVERY time I run it.  My second favorite is the North Coast 24 hour endurance race, this is a place to push your body to its limits and see what it’s capable of.

What is the best advice you would give a beginning runner?
Life happens - follow your training plan as much as possible. Don’t try make-up any runs; just move on to the next day and trust your training.

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