In Her Shoes

Tackling my bucket list, one half marathon at a time.

Spreading That Marathon Love


I have exciting news that I haven’t been able to share until now.

You know how I absolutely LOVE getting people into running? And LOVE influencing people to sign up for races? Well, I’ve done it again. Back in April when I signed up for the Madison Marathon, a great friend of mine signed up with me. But she didn’t want anyone to know about it…just yet. But now word is out……


Meet JLOMeet Jen. I call her JLo. We’ve been friends since the beginning of time. Not really, but since middle school. She is one of those great friends that you don’t talk to for a while but when you see each other, you pick up right where you left off. In high school, we were sidekicks…and got into way too much trouble together. She was the girl I always went to about my boy problems…yep, always. And she gave advice like a married 30-year-old. It was great. Yeah, I still do that to this day. And still, she gives the best advice.

Jen just finished law school in Spokane, WA, has been studying her little butt off for the bar, which she took and probably passed with flying colors this week. This girl is one of the most determined, loyal, well-rounded people I know. And I couldn’t be happier to be running this marathon with her. If only we were training together! Unfortunately, Jen lives in Chicago, but we’re doing the Brewer’s Half Marathon together in September so we’ll get some miles in together before the Full.

SO…remember when I forced my Iowa friends to do a half with me and I asked them questions about their training for my blog? Well, I did this with Jen as well. And used the same questions.

She apparently follows my blog religiously (thanks JLo), so after reading her answers…any advice/encouragement you can give her would be great!

1. Have you ever run in a race before (5k, 10k, half, marathon, etc). If yes, what were they?

Yes, I’ve run the Spokane Half Marathon, BLOOMSDAY 12k twice, and a couple of 5K’s

2. How is training going?

Training has been hard! It’s so hot out, but when I reach the end of my long runs, my hands are up on the trail and I am cheering on the inside while everyone is literally staring at me because I am running with two arms in the air like I just won the gold.

3. What is the hardest part about training?

The hardest part of training I think is staying motivated and not getting bored on long runs, but I perk up when I hear Wild Ones by Flo-Rida.

4. What do you like about training?

Feeling really accomplished after every run whether it be short or long.

5. Why are you running the Madison Marathon?

I am running the Madison Marathon because I’ve been wanting to run a marathon once and who better to accomplish this goal with then an amazing person and motivator like Megan Cabalka!

6. If you normally do a different physical activity, what is it?

I normally run and love to do yoga or barre classes.

7. Any injuries so far?

I have really tight IT bands that put pressure on my knees, had it when I ran the Half, but nothing so far yet in my training!!

8. What are you looking forward to most?

I am looking forward to running the last 2 miles of the race… feeling like its only 2 more and I accomplished this extremely challenging goal that has tested me mentally and physically! And seeing my friends and family cheering at the end!

9. Do you have a time you’d like to do the marathon in?

I’d like to finish it b4 they start closing off the course 🙂

10. Tell me your best joke.

What is a DJ’s favorite sauce? Marrrra-marrinnaara (saying this as I am scratchin the vinyl)

There you have it. Jen Niesen is running her first marathon! I cannot WAIT.


7 thoughts on “Spreading That Marathon Love

  1. WooHoo!! You’re both going to have a blast running this together! Good luck with training both of you!

  2. AWESOME job. Cabalka the motivator?!?! Even more awesome. 😉

    Tips for Jen…be proactive with your IT band, foam roll it to prevent injury. If you are running primarily trail (I am assuming since you mentioned you Rocky-esque victory dance after your long run) make sure to start hitting the road for your long runs to help get your body use to the pounding. You can still hit the trail but the experts say to train on the same surface as your race if possible. Good luck!

  3. It is awesome to hear of two friends that have stayed close throughout the years. I have a couple of friends I met in the fourth grade. I don’t see them all that often, but when I do, it feels like no time has passed. It is a blessing to have those types of friendships.

    This advice might be too late but here are my thoughts…

    I don’t have any real advice, but I agree with what Dominick said earlier. Treat that IT band now, because if you don’t, it can cause you issues for a long, long time. I have had IT band issues since 2009 and haven’t been able to run any sort of distance since.

    One of these days I may try going to a chiropractor and see if that might help. For you getting a Deep Tissue or Sports Massage might not be a bad idea. They do help muscles relax.

    • Thanks for the advice! You should get your friends from elementary school to do a marathon with you 😉

      • Welcome!! First, I got to get myself right and back into running. I don’t see myself talking either of them into a marathon, and to be honest when I was running a half marathon was the most I would ever think about training for. I commend anyone who trains for a marathon, because it is serious business, so I tip my hat to you and your friend!! 😀

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