JustRunLah!: You work as a physiotherapist, and are a mother of two beautiful children. How do you fit training into such a busy life?
Jenny: I make sure I make time for the kids first and send them to the bus every morning. Once they go on the bus, I start my morning run. My morning runs are dependent on if a client has booked in for physio at 8 am or 9 am. I do my long runs on the weekends. At the end of the day, I make sure I fit in running somehow especially working in the healthcare sector. I can’t talk the talk of being fit and healthy without practicing that myself.
JustRunLah!: For an athlete to toe the starting line in top condition, there are many aspects to successful preparation – training of course, but also proper nutrition and recovery. Could you please share opinion and personal practices some of these aspects?
Jenny: Since my daughter was born in 2001, I have been very mindful of the food I eat as she has many food allergies, so we don’t have gluten, dairy and eggs in the house; we eat whole foods (less processed). So when I started racing, I had a good foundation of a healthy diet. Race days, I make sure I stick to simple healthy carbs like steel cut oats and hydrate plenty with either coconut water or juice.
Recovery is important not only to let the body rest, but to let the body heal and get stronger. We have a 30 minute window after a race to replenish the carbs in our system and I do my best to do so. And usually after a morning race, I will find time to nap as sleep is essential to muscle repair.
JustRunLah!: Your coach Steven also happens to be your fiancé, which must make for interesting relationship dynamics! Having coached you to your win, he’s obviously an expert at what he does and given your profession you are probably more aware and in-tune with your body than most runners; out of curiosity, have you ever had a conflict of opinions in your training? How is that resolved?
Jenny: Weirdly we haven’t ever really had any conflict in training. For the very fact that we hold respect for each other’s professional field, we listen to each other and we discuss and understand the reasoning behind each training. He’s also very patient in hearing me whine (a lot) when we have to do intervals.
JustRunLah!: Any Asia Pacific Bucket-List races you wish to attempt?
Jenny: I have heard and seen so many great things about Tokyo Marathon and am hopeful to get a spot with the balloting process.
JustRunLah!: Do you have any pre-race rituals?
Jenny: It’s the same rituals as others but I MUST HAVE COFFEE no matter what.
JustRunLah!: What is your mantra for when the going gets tough in a race?
Jenny: My mantra: it’s not about others, it’s about me. (I am not going to start a race trying to beat others, I start races with the mindset to better my own timings). So when the going gets tough, I know it’s about me and that I need to dig in deep and just give it my all because there is nothing to lose.
JustRunLah!: It has been a remarkable journey for you thus far. Any special thanks?
Jenny: Special thanks to my mom and brother who support me from Texas. Special thanks to Steven for his amazing support, his patience, and his love. Special thanks to my two wonderful kids that make me feel like one cool running mama.
JustRunLah!: A sentence of encouragement for all running mummies out there?
Jenny: A happy mom is one that ran (endorphins rock).
JustRunLah!: Please finish this sentence. Running has made me…
Jenny: Running has made me… whole and complete.