Rebecca Jones who trains with Steve Sisson’s Team Rogue is our featured Rogue for September. Here’s a quick interview about her running journey:
When and why did you start running?
I began my running career in middle school as a sprinter on the track team. I loved running from a young age but started out as a 200- and 400- meter runner. That quickly changed in high school when I followed in my older brother’s footsteps and joined the Cross Country team. I made the Varsity team my freshman year and realized I had an underlying talent for long distance running as well. I wish I could say I was a stud high school XC runner, but in all honesty I was more into the team and social aspect of the sport and didn’t feel like I needed to push myself to become the best runner I could be since I was already on the Varsity team, rocking my letterman jacket as a freshman. It wasn’t until college that I realized I wanted to be serious about running and push myself farther. I ran with quite a few of the runners on UT’s XC team while in college and wrestled with trying to walk onto that team for a while. But when it came down to it I decided to run “for myself” in college and have fun, knowing that post-college I would like to take up marathon running. That was definitely the right choice. I have always been the type to pursue a few things in life that I’m passionate about and really give them my all to see find full potential. Running has developed into one of those areas in my life and since I don’t believe in half-assing anything, I’m all in.
Describe your first half marathon or marathon race experience. What did it mean to you?
My first marathon was back in January of this year in Houston and it was truly one of the hardest but best things I have ever done. Prior to the race I was experiencing some IT issues and was really nervous for how the race would go and if I would be limping the entire 26.2 miles. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself when it comes to running and I don’t set little goals… so I knew I had the potential for big disappointment. When I started training for the Houston marathon I decided that I wanted to qualify for Boston and regardless of numerous Rogue coaches trying to discourage me from setting such a high bar for my first marathon, I was set in my dream and went for it. I did indeed limp for quite a bit of the race due to my IT band not functioning properly and I even tripped 100 feet from the finish line and had to be scooped up by fellow runners but my grit and determination got me that BQ in the end.
What has been your biggest running-related challenge and how did you overcome it?
My biggest running-related challenge is the fear of failure. I’m sure many runners would say this is a top challenge but I put a lot of pressure on myself and set big goals so I am always afraid of falling short. Not for fear of embarrassing myself in front of other people, but because I know what I want to be capable of and that the only person that can disappoint me is myself. It’s definitely an internal pressure rather than an external. Oddly enough, I try to overcome this fear by continuing to set big goals. It starts at a small level in workouts: trying to nail tough workouts at paces that might be a stretch for me. Then also in races as I set goals that could be slightly out of reach for my current fitness but are worth shooting for. In the small and big failures that come from each of those cases I try to learn how to meet failure face-to-face and find fuel from it rather than discouragement.
What has been your biggest running achievement, or defining moment since you started?
I would say the Houston marathon was definitely a pivotal point in my running career. It gave me the encouragement I needed to see that big dreams are achievable and it fanned a whole new flame in me for long distance running. Since that race I have joined Team Rogue and taken my training to a different level. Steve and Team Rogue have already whipped me into a much better runner and I’m excited about what my running career holds for me.
Up next for me is the California International Marathon on December 4th. I will be traveling with the majority of Team Rogue to run this race and I could not be more excited. I have some incredible runners by my side that are challenging me in my training and then will help push and see me to the finish line of that race. I have big goals ahead so we will see how they unfold!