Cover Athlete Jessica Mueller
Calgary’s Jessica Mueller took a crack at her first marathon in 2011. “Running a marathon was on my bucket list so I set off to Vancouver to fulfill a life dream,” she says. To her surprise, she crushed it with little training and even scored a Boston qualifying time. “The rest is history,” she laughs, looking back, as today she’s obsessed with the distance. Mueller has now completed 22 marathons (and counting), ran the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim-to-rim in a day and won two Canadian national 50k titles. She’s also got an obsession with Boston. “I’ve run it six consecutive years now, and I hope to run 10 in a row,” she says.
1 What would you say are your defining characteristics as a runner?
I’m pretty mentally tough and competitive. I have learned to work through the highs and lows of marathon training and racing. Along with mental endurance comes patience, persistence and confidence. I always do the very best I can in each race.
2 What do you admire most in another runner?
I am always amazed at all the runners who get out to run, especially physically challenged athletes. I admire their perseverance and know each one of them have overcome some sort of challenge to get where they are today. They give me the motivation and inspiration to keep me going.
3 What is your idea of happiness?
Hawaii is my favourite place on Earth. Also, completing a morning run before I start a busy day.
4 Who are your athletic heroes?
All my incredible running friends. All of them have inspired me in some way. My father, who just turned 60 last year, started running only a few years ago and he continues to inspire me with his dedication to his new found sport.
5 Where would you like to live?
I love Calgary. I am proud to be a Calgarian and hope my life’s journey keeps me here.
6 What is your greatest running-related regret?
I fell in love with running when I was 11 years old. I competitively figure skated in my youth and I sadly had to pick one over the other.
7 What is your greatest fear?
Running into a bear. I absolutely love trail running but I am so scared of bears that I tend to stay on the road. I am a nervous wreck when running in the wilderness. It’s a struggle for me because I’m otherwise adventurous. My friends know I’ll only go to the mountains when there’s a huge group of us.
8 If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I’m too hard on myself if my race results aren’t what I had hoped. But over time, I am learning that not every race is going to result in a personal best so I just do my best on that day.
9 What’s one thing you can’t live without?
I can’t live without my training. I’m so thankful for my morning runs with my best friend and I love the running community as a whole. Running is more than just putting a pair of shoes on. It keeps me physically and mentally fit and I have a lot of fun doing it. Running is my life.
10 What is your motto?
No pain, no gain. Head up, spirit up!