GOTG Profile: Jen of FueledByFrosting
By Megan White
Want a little inspiration to stick with your resolution to get in shape in the new year? Look no further than the Instagram feed of FueledByFrosting.
This beautifully curated account is the daily devotion of Jen, a Sacramento local who went from not running at all less than ten years ago to completing the Boston Marathon this year.
Jen’s love of running and fun outlook on life has garnered her more than 25,000 Instagram followers in just a few years.
During my recent chat with her over coffee at Temple, I found out that she hasn’t always been the athlete she is today, which has landed her ambassador deals with the likes of Brooks Running and Nuun Hydration. In fact, she didn’t participate in sports at all growing up.
Instead, in her late twenties Jen happened to purchase a pair of Nikes before going on vacation with her husband, and then decided she would use them to start running when she got home from their trip.
After a few runs, Jen took a leap and signed up for her first race in 2007, the American River Parkway 5k. Her goal was to finish, and despite having to walk at the end, she did just that.
Shortly after, she tackled her next 5k, the Women’s Fitness Festival Run which winds through downtown Sacramento. She saw a nice improvement to her time, finishing in under thirty minutes which was five minutes faster than her previous race.
After seeing that her regular jogs were paying off, Jen was hooked. By the end of 2007, she trained for and completed her first half marathon at Big Sur, followed by the California International Marathon in 2009.
How did Jen make the jump from 5k to a full marathon in less two years?
Her advice is simple. Follow a training schedule and build up distance over time. And also find some running buddies.
Jen initially joined a running program that offered weekly workouts through a local running store in her community, and then she joined the Fleet Feet Sacramento Racing Team a few years ago. To this day, she still regularly runs with the friends she made at Fleet Feet.
She also suggests setting fitness goals to stay motivated. For example, in 2012 she committed to running twelve half marathons by the end of the year. She says the experience was amazing, especially because the twelfth race was the Las Vegas Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon, which takes runners down the Las Vegas strip at night.
However, her biggest accomplishment to date was qualifying for the Boston Marathon. As you can guess, to qualify for this prestigious race, you must complete a marathon in the past twelve months at a ridiculously fast time. Jen’s qualifying time? Three hours and thirty-five minutes. That’s an average pace of eight minutes and thirteen seconds per mile over the course of 26.2 miles.
All the hard the work to hit that amazing time was completely worth it to be able to run in the Boston Marathon in April of this year. She describes the whole race like a 26.2-mile victory lap. She said nearly every step of the course was filled with people cheering on either side, and the crowd’s energy was unlike anything she’d ever experienced in a race. It’s as if the spectators know how hard each runner has worked to get there, and they celebrate with them every step of the way.
So whether your goal is to run Boston one day, or power-walk a 5k, what else does someone who has run seven marathons recommend? Make yourself a priority and commit to sticking with your fitness plan.
Jen has a full-time career and is married (and has an adorable dog named Tag!), but she sticks to her running program and cross-training with workouts at studios like Instaphysique by scheduling them out each week to keep her on track to accomplish her goals.
And once a goal is met, it is very important to properly celebrate! Whether that means indulging in your favorite sweet treat after finishing a race, or getting new running leggings after completing your longest distance to date, rejoice in each victory.
She also stresses the importance of not beating yourself up when things don’t go as planned. Jen ran four marathons before she qualified for Boston. Each time, though she didn’t qualify, she still learned something new that made her a better runner. It also made accomplishing her goal even sweeter.
And finally, Jen believes balance is key. She knows running can be hard work, but it can be lots of fun, too. As you can tell from one look at her Instagram, she manages to find the bright side in even a cold and foggy morning run.
Her authentic and honest photos will inspire you to lace up and go after any goal you set. And in person, she is exactly the same. She is so thankful for the friends, Instagram followers, and companies that have supported her along her running journey.
So what’s up next for Jen in 2017? How about completing her fiftieth half marathon? As of now, she only has five to go. And she also hopes to break a finishing time of 1:40 in the process. No doubt this girl can accomplish anything she sets her mind to!