The Love of the Run

The Love of the Run

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ready to Rock & Roll !

I have just resumed training due to a hamstring injury.  I was unable to run for two weeks and actually to help me forget about my injury I bought myself a present......   love it!!  Have been riding my Bianchi the last two weeks!!

I'm feeling healthy and have had 3 consistent weeks of running-- Uffda did I really feel out of shape the first few days running again! 

-- My next race will be:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Happy to have the support of IAM (Institute of Athletic Medicine) helping me reach both my career and running goals!

Jen Houck: Going the distance
At age 27, Jen Houck is hitting her stride—literally. The physical therapist at the Institute for Athletic Medicine (IAM) in Burnsville is a promising young marathon runner with her eyes on the ultimate prize: competing in the Olympics.
Her latest race, Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth on June 23, was her best yet; in the women’s field, Jen was the top Minnesota-born finisher, the second American finisher and the fifth female finisher overall with a time of 2:33:01. She beat her previous personal best time by a full minute. Up next, the New York Marathon, a half-marathon in the fall and then on to the 2012 Olympic trials in January.
“The goal is always to continue to improve, and I feel that I will,” she says. “I don’t feel that I’ve plateaued yet, and I’m driven to find out what my potential is.”
Jen says her passion for running dovetails beautifully into her job at IAM.
“It gives me the balance I need,” she says. “I like running, but I also like coming to work where running doesn’t matter. I love my job! I love helping people.”
But that doesn’t mean that while she’s at work, the runner in her is ignored. Jen says her co-workers have been encouraging in her racing career.
“Sometimes, I get into a race last minute, and everyone’s been so accommodating to make that happen,” she says. “Two months into this job, I was already burnt out. I was working full time and running 100 miles per week. My supervisor was willing to let me cut back on my hours. I was afraid it would be, ‘We hired you for full time so, if you can’t make it work, good-bye.’ But instead, it was, ‘Let’s work with you.’ I’m amazed at how supportive everyone at Fairview is.”
Steve Bauman, Jen’s supervisor, says he and the IAM team are happy to do everything they can to help Jen reach her full potential.
“We know that this is her time to shine as a competitive runner, and we make every effort to support her,” he says.
Jeffrey Vrudny, IAM Director, adds that Jen’s running career makes her a great advocate for IAM’s services.
“Physical therapists are often looked to as fitness experts, and Jen is a shining example of fitness,” he says. “Her personal experience with endurance training gives her instant credibility with her patients. Additionally, because of her success as a runner, Jen has friends in the running community spread throughout the Twin Cities. This gives her a natural platform to talk about her career with the IAM.”
Jen chuckles as she remembers coming home from her first marathon in Boston. Back at work the next day, she was, as she says, “a zombie.
“I was walking around, seeing patients all morning and finally looked up to see this huge banner they’d made that said, ‘Congratulations, Jen!’ and my finish time. I said, ‘Did you just put that up?’ They said, ‘It’s been up all day!’ You don’t get that everywhere you go.”
She adds, “I look forward to going to work, and not everyone can say that.”

New PR at Grandmas!

Great weekend at Grandma's Marathon! I completed my first athlete press conference, spent time with my family and friends and set another PR in the marathon!  Duluth is a great city and it was special to have set a new PR in front of so many friends and family there to support me!  This photo is me sprinting to the finish (I have never finished a marathon feeling so strong)!  I finished in 2:33:01 for 5th place in the women's field!

Here is a link to a story before the race

And post race