Jen Pfeifer is one of many active Athlinks Staffers and one of two headed to the Boston Marathon on 4/16/2018. We sat down with her to chit-chat about what she’s been up to in preparation for the historic event that thousands flock to every year.
For those who don’t already know, Who are you?
My name is Jen Pfeifer. I am a reformed triathlete now focused on running
How many results do you have claimed to your athlinks profile?
I currently have 40 race results on my Athlinks profile.
Boston Marathon, Is this your first?
Yes, I have qualified in the past, but as a triathlete, the timing always got in the way of spring racing. I was actually signed up the year of the bombing.
Where did you qualify?
I qualified at a Revel Rockies marathon last June.
Ever since the bombing, I have been even more drawn to participating in race to support the running community. I decided with a friend, if we both qualified, we would go together. Now that we are close to the race, I am getting excited to get there.
Do you have a coach?
I do have a coach, Darren De Reuck. I have not trained with a coach in years and forgot how meaningful the quality of training is with one.
How much have you not liked him at times?
Actually, my experience has been quite the opposite. He has pushed me to work harder than I thought I was willing to do, and run faster than I thought I could. I am so lucky to be able to train with such a talented coach and team.
My coach says a lot depends on the weather. I also developed a small injury a couple weeks ago so I am trying to be realistic. With that said, I would be so excited to run under 3:10 but I know I have to run smart which is not always my forte.
How long have you been working towards this?
I qualified in June and started my training program in December.
What have you enjoyed most about the training?
I have spent a lot of time over the past few years training solo. I have really enjoyed running with a training partner and with a group. There is something cathartic about doing long or hard runs with other people.
Yes, I developed a small injury a couple weeks ago. I had to take almost 2 weeks off completely. I have had to adjust a few long runs so that I don’t re-aggravate it. The setback has been frustrating, but I should be good to go on race day.
What is the most frustrating thing about targeting one event?
I used to feel pressure training for ironman events, you put so much time and training into a day’s effort. I don’t put that same pressure on myself now. I am excited to be part of such an iconic race. If I don’t race well, there is always another event…
Any foods you no longer allow yourself to indulge upon?
I have a healthy diet naturally, so I don’t necessarily omit anything. I do pay attention to what I crave. If I am lacking something I typically will crave it- like proteins. If I am craving sugar I need to rest. And, if I drink too much wine, my training will suffer the next day.
What are your travel plans?
I fly in on Sat, home Tuesday. I am staying close to the expo so plan to take in as much as I can Sat so I can stay off my feet Sunday.
Is there anything that makes you nervous in the days before an event?
I don’t get as nervous as I used to, until race morning. Bad weather would be the only thing that would make me nervous, or if my injury acts up again. Mostly it’s anticipation.
Logistically you cannot show up at the last moment for Boston. Since it is a point to point, there are busses involved and assigned start corals. It will be an early morning.
Any touristy plans?
Heck yes! I intend to take it all in. I have coveted a blue Boston Marathon jacket for decades. I plan to put mine on and wear it all over the \city Monday afternoon!
At the end of this, what are you hoping to get out of the Boston Marathon?
My perfect day will be to take in the experience of a championship race, be able to run well and finish strong. I hope the crowds and quality of runners help me push myself beyond what I think I am capable of. I also hope I can run a smart race so I am not crawling up Heartbreak Hill.