Featured Endurance Athlete- Jen Cochran

Jen Cochran is our Featured Endurance Athlete for the month of August. Jen makes appearances at both the Tues/Thurs AM group and the M/Thurs evening group. She has seen some great improvements in her running form and times since joining CFE. We are proud of all your hard work and dedication Jen, congrats on being the CFE featured athlete and thank you for representing CFS and CFE  so well.- KT, Chad and Elizabeth 

My name is Jen Cochran. I’m a coach here at CFS, and have been a CrossFitter for 3+ years now. Prior to discovering CrossFit, I had a limited athletic background. I ran distance on the track team in high school, which I loved. Primarily, though, I was a dancer throughout my childhood. That was my passion. I ate, slept, and breathed ballet. And just so you know, if it came down to a leg wrestling contest between any strong man and a ballerina–my money would be on the one in the tutu. 🙂 Ballet dancers are strong and conditioned. So at the time, I was a natural at running. My strong legs and lungs served me well. My best 3200 time was 13:33.

Fast-forward to adulthood, where I had fallen to a deconditioned state as many of us do. I remember passing runners while driving down the road, and being so intrigued. I wanted to run and be healthy again! I joined CrossFit, and remember not being able to run to the stop sign and back without stopping. Its funny, because as much as Jessi claims to despise running–she was instrumental in forming my reclaimed love of running. I recall three runs with her, that rank among my most cherished memories in life. Seriously. First was a bootcamp run, 2.1 miles, in the early morning darkness with a beautiful full moon. It was crisp and cool, and it was the longest I’d run since high school. I was elated to finish it, and the overall sense of comraderie and achievement between those of us who ran that day is something that as a coach, I must always remember–as these kinds of experiences can be a game changer for people who are new and longing for a personal connection to what they’re doing here. Second was my first “long” run, a ridiculously hilly 5.5 miler through Ravenwood South, that left me limping and barely able to walk the next day. That was probably a little dumb in retrospect, but to this day–finishing that run is one of the most absolutely victorious experiences of my life. Additionally, that is the run in which Jessi taught me that YOU NEVER WALK ON A HILL! I’ve never walked on a hill since then, and probably never will. The third was a 7.5 miler with just Jessi and me. It was January. Twenty-five degrees and sleeting. We ran through the Nature Center. No music. Just us. While we were running along the boardwalk, the sun was shining through the trees causing the falling sleet to look like glitter in the air. It was silent, except for the quiet and graceful sound of the sleet falling on the withered leaves–and the sound of our footsteps. Jessi was a few feet in front of me, and I just vividly remember feeling the most enormous sense of gratitude that she was in my life. That probably sounds a little sappy, but this is why I love running. I don’t find any negativity, or displeasure in it at all. Running allows me to clear my head, and reminds me that I am very much alive, able-bodied, and blessed to have good friends and mentors in my life.

Speaking of friends and mentors, I absolutely love CFE’s runners and coaches! I learn from all of you every single week. I hop around between day and evening CFE, mainly due to my crazy schedule. But also because I love to be able to take from what all of the athletes and coaches have to offer. Elizabeth, KT, and Chad are each very gifted in their ability to translate their knowledge and skill on a level that we can easily understand. I very much appreciate their constant encouragement and passion for this program.
My CFE goals at this time are to stay injury-free, improve my consistency on long-interval days, and to run a 10k this fall. I’d like to be half-marathon ready by springtime. I really feel like my running form has changed (improved) drastically, and my endurance and aerobic capacity seem to have really benefited from this training. I recently did Fran rx’d in 8:53, down from 11:01 previously. It felt like a different workout. Typically, I crash and burn during the round of fifteen. I really feel like my ability to pace and maintain has translated to the WODs quite significantly. Particularly the fast, furious ones–like that dirty hooker, Fran. 🙂 I eat strictly paleo–80% of the time. When I don’t, I feel it on my runs. Eating well helps to keep me mentally engaged and strong at the gym. I try to remember that when I drive by Andy’s everyday. TRY=key word.
I’m certainly not the fastest runner on Earth. I’m keenly aware of that fact when I “sprint” next to Andy. It feels like I’m running in place sometimes next to you Fasty McFastersons. However…I’m on a mission. So watch your heels, Koch. 😉

2 thoughts on “Featured Endurance Athlete- Jen Cochran

  1. Thanks for sharing Jen! Makes me want to go run right now. Unfortunately my back doesn’t allow me to run much. I DO however want to do another session of CFE. Can you pull some strings with the powers that be and get some rowers over to the East side? 😉


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