Congratulations to Step UP and Go’s monthly prize winner, Jen Westra of Spokane, WA. Jen has won a $25 gift certificate to Macy’s for logging her activity on stepupandgo.org at least 10 times during the month of May.
Jen’s running career started four years ago when she and her husband ran Bloomsday. New to Spokane had heard of the run, decided to give it a try and were hooked! “We had never been big fans of running before, but after my husband and I moved to Spokane, we kept hearing about this race that everybody in Spokane took part in, so we figured that as new Spokanites, we should check it out,” Jen recalls, “We ended up having a blast!” Today Jen participates in Bloomsday as part of a family tradition, “Every year, our parents join us in Spokane (from Boise) for Bloomsday, and we love sharing this annual event with them.”
Jen and her husband have now run several half marathons across the west including Windermere, Coeur d’Alene and various races throughout Idaho, Oregon and Nevada. Just last year the couple trained with a group of friends and completed their first full marathon participating in the 40th year anniversary of the Portland Marathon. “It was definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but I loved being able to spend training time with our friends — it made it go much more smoothly and quickly! “ Jen says about her experience. One marathon down, Jen plans on running her second this October at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in St. Louis, MO.
Jen began tracking her training runs as part of the Step UPWashington State University Study by working towards the Million Step Challenge. “Along the way, I really started enjoying having that added accountability every day. When I’m considering skipping a workout, it’s motivating to know that I won’t be able to enter any results if I don’t go,”she says.
Additionally Jen explains, “I’m a very goal and achievement-oriented person, so I really like the Step UP trackers because they help break larger training goals into more manageable pieces. Training for long distances can be difficult, because the finish line seems so far away (both in time and distance!), so it’s fun on the Step UP trackers to be able to do different challenges and actually be able to see the progress you’re making on the map. I love seeing how far I’ve gone, how close I am to the next checkpoint, and learning new facts about locations throughout the area. ”
Jen also says, “ Step UP I think it’s a great way for people to see that they can add physical activity in to their life in a way that’s not scary or challenging, and that even non-runners (as I was previously very proud to be!) can learn to add running in to their routines and eventually come to love it.”
Jen thank you for sharing your inspiring story! We hope you enjoy your Macy’s shopping spree and keep tracking your training with Step UPand go! Good luck on your upcoming race in St. Louis!