We are excited to add our newest feature to the Running Wild Training Academy.  Each month we train more than 100 athletes to reach their goals and they all deserve to be recognized.  Our athletes work so hard and we are proud of each and every one of them.  Starting this month, our coaching staff will select one athlete to highlight who has shown exceptional perseverance and effort.  It’s nearly impossible to choose just one, but we want to share some of the exciting stories and accomplishments that we get to hear each and every week.  Serving these athletes and our customers is what gets us fired up.  We love what we do, thanks Running Wild athletes for choosing to train with us!  Without further ado, now announcing this month’s “Athlete of the Month”…Jennifer McFarren!

A newly-wed and strong athlete, Jennifer added enthusiasm and positive energy to the Pensacola Marathon Training Program.  She was willing to take suggestions and work hard to achieve her goals.  Jennifer suffered a stress fracture several weeks into marathon training and had to finish up her runs in the pool.  With a stress fracture and several weeks of aqua-jogging, she was able to finish the Pensacola Marathon with a smile on her face.  Running Wild Training Academy was happy to have her as part of our marathon training program.

Q & A with Jennifer McFarren

1. Why did you start running?

Running was always a family activity in my house growing up; one that I resisted in full force.  I dabbled in other workouts but finally succumbed to running a 5K with my husband and found myself quickly addicted to the sport for many reasons.  Running is a direct parallel to so many things in life: struggles, successes and growth.
2.  How has Running Wild helped you reach your goals?
Without a doubt, I would not have been able to run my first marathon without the guidance and support of Paul, Cherie and Jess through the training academy.  The staff at Running Wild took time to understand my background and worked with me every step of the way to reach my goal.
3. What was your favorite thing about training with Running Wild?
The camaraderie (and the jokes and entertainment that started flowing around mile 17 of a long run in conjunction with the delirium).
4. What is your greatest (most favorite) athletic accomplishment to date and why?
Completing my first marathon.  Four weeks prior to the race, a tibial stress fracture threw a wrench in my plans and I broke down.  I absolutely lost it (uncontrollable tears) and thought there was no chance of me achieving my goal.  With a lot of coaching, patience and some tough love, Paul gave me strict instructions of aqua jogging every day, compression and ice.  After logging an absurd amount of hours in the pool “jogging” up and down the deep end and weeks of rest I was finally able to hit the pavement again and complete the marathon.  The best part of the race? Crossing the line hand in hand with one of my best friends and running partner.
5. What is your favorite running gear?
My Oiselle distance running shorts. So comfortable!
6.  What shoes do you train in and why do you like them?
I have gone back and forth between Sauconys and Asics, but am dying to switch to Newtons now that I have a break before training starts up again.
7. What is your next athletic goal and how do you plan to reach it?
I’m really hoping to work on my speed and set a PR for the Pensacola Beach Half Marathon in January.  As a first time marathoner, I learned so much in the training academy.  My eyes have been opened to the world of tempo runs, recovery runs, BSO’s and speed work.