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Name: Jenn Dietz

Self-described age group: over 30 club

Residence: Arlington

Occupation: Program Manager for a Nonprofit and West Potomac High School head cross country coach

Why I run: I’ve had a lot of great experiences and learned a great deal about myself through running. Currently I’m running to try and improve my fitness, but over the years running has given me a lot of discipline and strength while also allowing me to clear my head or work through tough times. 

When did you get started running: Cross country freshman year of high-school, although I didn’t get serious about training until junior/senior year. 

Have you taken a break from running: I took a break from structured training/races for a while (2009-2015), but continued running during that time. Other than that I’ll take 1-2 weeks off after a marathon or training cycle. 

Training shoe: Nike Structure, Adidas Supernova, New Balance Zante 

Coach or training group: Capital Area Runners, George Buckheit 

The hardest race you’ve ever run: Honestly, even my worse races or races on most challenging courses seem like nothing compared to how hard other times have been when I’ve dealt with loss/heartbreak. I try to remember how fortunate I am to be able to run and embrace whatever physical pain may come along with it, its easier for me to manage than other pain. 

Most adventurous decision you’ve made with your running: I guess getting talked into doing Grandfather Mountain Marathon in 2009, despite not doing any long runs/marathon training. Also counts as a stupid decision.

Running mentors: Ben Thomas, my college coach at Virginia Tech

My favorite place to run in the D.C. area is: I enjoyed the Loop before the Purple Line closed it. 

Favorite local trail: Manassas Battlefields 

My best race was: Not sure, maybe Cherry Blossom 2016. My senior year cross country regional meet was pretty special since its was a breakthrough race and put me on a path to run in college.

Favorite local race: Cherry Blossom

Ideal post-run meal: Ice cream

Favorite flavor of gel, gu, etc: When I have to take one for long runs/races I prefer Cherry Lime Roctane

Pet peeve: I hate running in the rain

Goals: Improve…set new personal bests in the 10 mile, half marathon and marathon this year

Your advice for a new runner: Be patient, don’t jump into training too quickly and make sure you listen to your body. If you’re beat up from running don’t be afraid to take a rest day or cross train, even if it isn’t on the ‘schedule’.

 Favorite running bookRunning with the Buffaloes by Chris Lear

 Song in your head during a run: Stubborn Love, The Lumineers

Have you dealt with a major injury: Been pretty fortunate to only have minor injuries over the years. Had ITB issues in high-school. I also got plantar fascistic after doing Kilimanjaro this summer, it was bad timing since I had started my training for Chicago but with some cross-training and help from massage therapist Pete Sherry is cleared up in a little under 2 weeks.

Running quote:”There’s no such thing as bad weather, just soft people.” – Bill Bowerman

Why is the D.C. area a great place to be a runner: Not sure that it is, I’d prefer to train somewhere with more soft surface trails. There are a lot of racing opportunities in this area which is great if you like racing.