Pacer Jo 



Born in London, but moved to the US when I was 2.  I lived in North Miami Beach, Florida from age 2 to age 18.  Went to college in Chapel Hill, NC, lived on the NC coast for 2 years after college, lived in San Francisco for 2 years while I completed my Masters, and now I live in St. Paul, MN.  Which one of those is my hometown?!?


Current P.R.

My marathon PR is 3:39 - set at Rock n' Roll Arizona in January 2008.

Where were you born?

London, England


Number of marathons

5 since I just finished Twin Cities on October 4th)


July 4th


Favorite marathon

I have to say Boston.  I felt like a rockstar the ENTIRE time - talk about motivation!!!

Typical pace

10:00 minute/mile group.  I have informally paced friends in 5Ks, 10Ks, and half marathons between 8:20 - 9:30 min/mile paces.


Favorite running food

As in, food I eat WHILE running?  If so, my current favorite is Green Apple flavored Powergel.  If you mean pre-run food, a banana and good old PB&J for shorter runs, oatmeal and egg whites for longer runs. 


I am an environmental project coordinator at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.


Favorite running music

Vampire Weekend is super upbeat.  I also love U2 - very inspirational.

Any hobbies?

I love being outside, particularly when the ground is not frozen - running, biking, swimming, walking my dog, anything that gets me outside.  I love music and really like catching live shows.  I like going to the movies, particularly at old, unique theaters.  I am an avid UNC basketball fan - not sure if this counts as a hobby or an obsession :)


Who do you train with?

Right now, my husband, who is training for his very first marathon.  In general, I have a few good running buddies who keep me motivated for early morning or lunchtime runs.  And my dog, Lincoln - he is ALWAYS ready for a run, which is super helpful on those pitch black, below zero mornings!

Favorite book, what are you reading now?

I am currently reading "The House on Mango Street" by Sandra Cisneros.  Never read it in school, so thought I'd get to it now.  


A quotation you likeā€¦

"We cannot live only for ourselves.  A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow man." - Herman Melville

Personal goals

We just bought a house and one of my goals is to get good at managing a yard/garden without relying on chemical treatments. 






Why do you run?


I run because it makes me feel energized and/or thoroughly exhausted, healthy, strong, and humble.  I run because my body tells me this is what I need to do to feel good - physically and mentally.  I run because some of the very best friendships I've made have been built through running.  I run because I love chocolate and ice cream.  I run because I love to be outside.  I run because it's one of the easiest way to learn my way around a new place.  I run because it's the healthiest way for me to escape when life gets too overwhelming - and I run because when I get back from a run, things seem more manageable.  There are a million reasons why I run and anytime I stop to think about this question, I think of another one.  So I will stop here.


Describe your best marathon memory.


I remember running up Heartbreak Hill, hearing all the cheers, seeing people holding signs, and realizing that these people were choosing to be there to help us get up that famed hill.  I couldn't get the smile off my face if I tried - it just felt wonderful to be able to participate in such an event.


Why do you pace?


 I pace because I LOVE running and really love sharing it with other people.  I also love helping people reach their goals.  I used a pace group at one marathon and was grateful for the support.  I'd like to give that back to others.


Tell us your best pacing experience.


I paced a friend to a 5K PR.  She wanted to stop at mile 2 and we had to push her back on the course.  But, she did it!!!  I was so thrilled to see her cross that finish line under her goal time :)


Why should someone run in your pace group?


I am an extremely optimistic person.  So, even if things feel tough, I can help find a way to make them seem just a little bit better.  Also, I sweat a lot.  So, you will always look fresh next to me!


Any tips for runners about to join your group?


Do what works for you - adapt training plans to meet your needs.  Not everyone does well with several hard workouts each week, so listen to your body.  And when you are in the middle of a tough workout, think of someone who would  be proud of you for completing it - could be a friend, family member, signficant other, your dog or cat.  Whatever works!


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