Name: Jessica Kaiser
Number of Years Running: Off and on for 8 years, but most recently started in 2016.
What inspired you to start running: In 2016, I joined a program for people who wanted to finish their first sprint distance triathlon. At that time, I couldn't run a mile without walking, and I was very overweight. I wanted to improve my fitness and be a good role model for my kids, and having a goal helped me do that.
What is your best or worse running memory:
Best - I started a half marathon in October 2017 next to the 2:20 pacer as my stretch goal. For the whole race I was going back and forth with the pacer, and I have a finish line photo right next to her. And it was a 41 minute PR over the same race the year before.
Worst - When I had first started getting back into it, I was out running and realized I was going to make it a whole 5k without having to walk, but just before I got to it, I stepped on a rock, twisted my ankle, and fell down. I was lucky because somehow I didn't actually hurt myself.
What keeps you getting out the door everyday: I'm an introvert, and running is like therapy for me. I work through a lot of things while I'm running, and if I wasn't smiling before a run, chances are that I am after.
What is your favorite place to run: I usually run a route from my house, but the best part is when I get to the top of the hardest hill, on a clear day, I have a gorgeous mountain view. Every time I see those mountains, it makes me happy.
What is your favorite product: For nutrition, I love Honey Stinger Waffles and Skratch.
What advice would you give to new runners: Be patient with yourself. It doesn't happen overnight, and if you build slowly, you'll give your body more time to adjust. And look for the simple things to enjoy about a run - I love places where I can see the mountains, but I also look for the fattest prairie dog or a beautiful bird or a flowering tree. Find the things that make you smile even when it feels hard.