That Time I Met World Champion & Olympian Jenny Simpson

I never in a million years thought I’d be able to go for a run with and get coffee with an elite runner. My “runspirations” are Kara Goucher, Shalane Flanagan and Jenny Simpson…who I met last week!!!

It all started when I met her at the 2012 5th Avenue mile. I watched her race and was right by the finish line so when I saw her I figured I’d ask for a picture. I remember her being super nice about it.

Then, she started following me on Twitter (!!) and we interacted a few times. I reached out to her a few months ago to see if she could do a quick email interview for my blog, which she did. Read it here for some great running advice from a pro!

After the interview she said to keep in touch once 5th Ave. Mile came by again, so I went out on a limb and emailed her 2 weeks ago to see if she’d like to meet up for coffee and/or a short run since she’d be in NYC. To my own surprised she emailed back and said sure! I was so pumped!

So we met up on Thursday before the race (Saturday) at her hotel and went for a short 1 mile run through Central Park to the coffee shop. It was so cool and she was so nice and down to earth – it felt like running with a friend.

We talked about so much ranging from sneakers to travel to Rio De Janeiro to her epic race where she fell at the finish (and needed stitches). Here are a few key points I remember:

  • Pros take off after a season too. 5th Avenue Mile was her last race of the season so she is now taking 2 weeks off from running. She said she struggles getting back into it once those 2 weeks are over and feels just as out of shape and sore as us regular runners do when we take running breaks.
  • Her long runs are 15 miles (and she runs the 1,500-3K…clearly I need to be running longer since I’m half marathon training!)
  • She loves long run days. We chatted about how I like track workouts and am not a fan of long runs but she likes just getting up, going out for a run and not having to think about pace or anything.
  • When she runs in the AM she gets up, stretches and is out the door. She does dynamic warm-ups before workouts. Good – because that’s what I do too!
  • She’s a fan of Roll Recovery and suggested it to me for my shin issues. I should look into it. Currently I’m a fan of the Rumble Roller.
  • She had to get stitches after her win in Zurich when she fell. If you haven’t seen the race, check it out here:

  • She doesn’t do as many double days as Kara Goucher (who’s a marathoner). She runs doubles probably twice a week.
  • Her husband runs a marathon each year and she suggested checking out Chicago Marathon because they have a great atmosphere. She wasn’t a fun of the LA Marathon.
  • Eventually maybe she will do a half or full marathon. That’d be cool to see!
  • She’s also inspired by Kara and Shalane and we talked about Shalane’s awesome performance at the Boston Marathon.

That’s all I can think of right now but it was a great conversation. Now I can say I have run with an Olympian! I’m sure my pace was like walking pace for her ;)

So yeah, this was definitely an awesome experience, and thanks to Jenny for agreeing to hang out with me. Feeling inspired and motivated now with regards to running…now if only I could run a 4:20 mile like she just did at the 5th Avenue Mile…

PS – She won the 5th Ave. Mile this past weekend. I wish I could have been there, the field had some great runners like Brenda Martinez, Jordan Hasay, Mary Cain and more!

What athlete would you like to run or workout with if you could?

Who is an athlete who inspires you?


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  1. That is so awesome that you got to meet someone & then become friends with someone you look up to so much! I look forward to getting to know you more through the weekly #thefitdish link-ups on Tuesday!
    Elizabeth @ FitLifeWithe recently posted…What does it mean to be FIT?My Profile


  1. […] like me, you slack on the warm-up before runs. You just get up and go…well I do. And hey, Jenny Simpson told me she does too But the warm-up is so important when it comes to doing any type of speed workout. You […]

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