Training for a full marathon.
Going through Physician Assistant School.
At the same time?
Who is crazy enough to attempt to tackle both asking feats? A determined 24 year old, Jessica Hoefert.
Maybe her previous years running at a DI school, St. Louis University, while studying a demanding major, biology, prepared her. Maybe it is the hardy grit and dedication that all phenomenal runners possess enabling them to make any goal of theirs happen. Maybe it is because she is such a talented runner that she didn’t even need to hammer her training for her first full marathon, letting that goal take a second seat to PA school. Hoefert currently attends Midwestern University and is on track to become a physician assistant upon graduating after this coming year. She is also on track to begin resuming running, again.
A 3:11 full marathon on a hilly course, St. Jude Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon in Nashville, Tennessee, is very impressive from a year’s break from the sport. Hoefert’s 10k PR from college is 34:36.63 and 5k is 16:43.89, after only having 1.5 years of running under her belt, as she took up the sport her sophomore year of college after leaving the sport of soccer.
Upon chatting with Jessica, off the interview, we discuss how our late start into the sport was so invigorating and such a positive addition to our lives–all due to the people we were around upon starting the game late. We have been very lucky to only experience the kindest and most supportive of teammates. Acknowledging that runners are so supportive of one another makes this sport special. I really think when we are in midst of workouts and races, the runner’s mind recognizes that the other bodies around us are not there to beat–they are there to push us and stay accountable to a true, hard effort. I have always viewed racing as: this body running next to me, in front of me, or behind me is not here to beat, they are here to challenge me and push me. Our competition keeps us from giving in to the fatigue. It is is MY CHOICE to accept that challenge when I decide to to push back, only giving the race a better setup for success. The real goal is not give up when things get hard, no matter what pace or place. Everyone out there is not there to beat, they are there to push us and lead us to a challenge that we must decide, when the race gets tough, what am I going to do? This has always how I have mentally approached racing, as for myself, it has never been about actually winning. Winning is a mere byproduct of taking the challenging and making a solid decision to embrace the pain that pushing ourselves brings. Personally, after finishing a race, I always receive and give praise to the fellow runners, even though I have no clue who they are. I also wholeheartedly want my teammates to do well, even if it were to mean that they beat me because it is not about beating the bodies around us, it is about staying accountable to yourself and your effort perception, but hopefully our ego’s and mindset allow us to run the race and not let the race run us.
Obviously, Jessica knows how to prevail the hurt of the race and leave it all there. She has the mindset that a phenomenal marathoner has: to never give up. Hopefully, we will see Jessica dipping under 3 hours in the future!