Name: Jenn Dietz
Self-described age group: over 30 club
Occupation: Program manager for a nonprofit and head cross country coach at West Potomac High School
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 book: Running 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.