I don’t mind someone beating me, just as long as I put everything into what I did.”

Jennifer Lock loves a challenge. The former self-described “overweight couch potato” made over her own life, transforming into a marathon runner and weight lifter; now she motivates and educates others with her work as personal trainer and nutrition coach at Life Time in Raleigh, North Carolina. After completing multiple marathons and half marathons since 2009, the 38-year-old mother of two tackled her next endurance goal in 2016: Spartan racing.

“I completed the Spartan Super Asheville and was unimpressed with my results,” says Lock. “I couldn’t do nearly half of the obstacles and I felt exhausted when I finished.”

Undeterred, the suffering only inspired Lock to try harder.  “I promised myself that for three months leading up to the Spartan Sprint in Asheville, I was going to train and eat like I hadn’t ever before—like an athlete,” she says. “I put in double training session days. I started religiously tracking my nutrition. I took the outward stressors of the end of a personal relationship and turned them into something positive—a focus on me and my goals. I let this race be my focus. And I admit, when I crossed that finish line, I couldn’t stop smiling. I knew I had done my absolute best.”

Best, indeed—Lock set a PR at the distance, clocking 1:33:06 and earning fifth in her age group. And she’s not stopping there; next up, she hopes to compete in a Spartan Trifecta (completing  a Spartan Sprint, Super, and Beast all in the same calendar year) in the Elite category.

Lock credits her friends with helping to keep her focused on her goal through the tough times in training and racing. “They were so supportive through the whole training process and congratulated me after the race. Having this group of people there for me each time a moment of doubt crept into my head is what kept me going on moments that I didn’t think I could,” she says.

Easily view your head-to-head competitions on the Rivals tab of your profile

Athlinks plays a role in that support, helping Lock nurture those friendships—along with some friendly rivalries. “The website is social media for athletes, which is a great way to connect with your friends,” she says. It also helps her fuel her competitive fire. “I’ve used the site for years to keep track of my race stats. As an endurance runner, I was always looking to see how I did personally and comparatively to my fellow runners. It’s a running joke that I am always competitive. And I don’t mind someone beating me, just as long as I put everything into what I did.”

How does the Athlinks community inspire you to achieve your endurance goals? Let us know in the comments below.

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