She sews the most beautiful vintage inspired clothing, she chases a little boy around and she has defeated what most people could not with running.
MEET JENNA LEWIS
I met Jenna on a group trail run for our local running club. She wore a funky pair or spandex shorts, a black Will Ferrell shirt, tall compression socks, and had killer tattoos on her thigh and arm. I knew right away I wanted to get to know her. We ran the trail run together and chatted the whole time. I kept calling her Brenda for some reason and like a gem, she sweetly reminded me her name was Jenna. She did not tell me her story of how she got into running that day, but I was curious. Someone that neat had to have a good store. Jenna deserves this limelight and I am so happy to share it with you!
Name: Jenna Lewis
How did you get into running?
I’ve always kinda ran. After I graduated high school I would run 2 or 3 miles regularly. I remember the first time I ever ran 5 miles, it was before GPS watches were such a big thing and I had 20 pebbles in my hand for 20 laps around the track. From there through out my 20's it was on and off, never anything I did very consistently unless I was trying to lose weight, which was most of the time. About 5 years ago my travelling job became a management work from home position and I was still running 2 or 3 miles at a time, but never much more than that. I gained 40 lbs over the course of the first year at home and while I was still running, it wasn’t much. I stayed overweight for 2 years, got pregnant, ceased all exercise due to sickness, and stayed obese. About 8 months PP I decided enough was enough. I lost about 40 lbs and decided to take up running again. I started with C25K( Couch to 5k plan) while pushing my baby in the stroller. It was hard but worth it. From there I lost 30 more lbs and continued to run. About 2 years ago I realized I could be sort of fast and I fell in love with running in a way I never had in the past 12 years. It became an obsession and a way to relieve the stress from working full time, having a toddler, and a husband that was in nursing school at the time. I fell in love with it and now it is an integral part of my life.
How long have you been running?
Casually and very little, 12 years. Racing and actively trying to get better in the form of actual training, 2 years.
What is your occupation and how do you fit it into your schedule?
I’m a district manager for a retail company so I spend most of my day in front of a computer. I prefer to run after work so I will usually run around 5 pm if my husband isn’t at work. If he is then once my kid goes to sleep I’ll hit the treadmill. I’ve never been a morning runner outside of races or group runs.
Do you eat or have a certain diet because you run?
Not particularly. I try to eat a balanced diet, I eat from all food groups in moderation. I still count calories even though I’m not trying to lose weight, but it’s from a maintenance standpoint as I have a history of BED (Binge eating disorder). I also don’t deny myself certain foods. If I want pizza, then I will make it fit into my planned food for the day instead of saying it’s off limits.
What is your go to running shoe?
What are your most memorable runs?
Both of my St. Jude 10 k’s. Being able to run and do something good for sick children at the same time is amazing. I raise money every year for it and then during the run, you run through the campus of the hospital where kids come out to cheer you on and hold signs. They are so happy and it brings me to tears each time.
What are you most proud of with your running?
My consistency. I am of course proud of my PRs and all, but the fact that I haven’t given up and keep trying to get better makes me the most proud of myself.
What motivates you to keep running?
The way I feel afterwards. I definitely get the runner’s high so always feel pretty good afterwards, but also it reminds me that even though I abused my body with food and alcohol over the years, it can still do great things.
Any advice you would like to share with fellow runners?
If you want to run faster, run slower for longer. I had a friend beat this into my head and I didn’t listen for a long time. Then I got injured and after my return realized how right he was. Every mile doesn’t have to be the fastest mile you have ever ran. Base miles are your best friend.
You don’t have to be faster than everyone else, you be the best that you can be. I’m a solid middle of the pack runner and proud of it. Everyone has their own goals and your 15 minute mile is just as important as someone else’s 6 minute mile. Don’t downplay your own accomplishments because of someone else’s.
Jenna's motivation is so inspiring! I hope she has inspired you like she has me! I love her dedication to not only running, but also to her son! Keep going Jenna, you have an amazing future ahead!!