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Half Marathon How To and Inspiration from Jill Czarnick

Hot off the success of the 30-Day Running Challenge, I continue to be amazed by the sport. I’m inspired an in awe by the progress than we can make. Today I have a few more words about what I think of running and then a real treat from a bad-a** runner gal, and Women’s Team Captain at Nike Racing, Jill Czarnick. If I can’t do it for you, she’s sure to inspire you to get up and get grooving!

People ask me why I run…
And the obvious answer is “well, it’s fun and it keeps me healthy and happy.” But there are a lot of sports that can do that for you, so why do I run? Because in my experience, it’s the one sport where there is a direct correlation between the amount of work you put in and the results you get. Not to say some people aren’t naturally more gifted, but if you spend time running, follow a plan, and put your heart into it — you will get faster and you will run farther. It’s so awesome!

Real Effort = Real Results
The 30-Day Running Challenge was just another example of that. Folks followed a 30 day progressive and aggressive interval training plan and guess what? Everybody was faster after 30 days! People went from 14 min miles to 11 and even the speedsters went from 7:40 to under 6!

30 Day Running Challenge

Gals’ Guides to Running
I was thrilled and it only excites me more about my other passion project “Gals Who Run” that I’ve built with running inspiration, Sheri Marie Matthews. I feel honored to call her a running buddy, girlfriend and now partner in ecommerce-crime. We spent months writing and researching our hearts out to bring you our “Gals’ Guides to Running Your First or Fastest Marathon and/or Half Marathon”.

So here’s my treat for you today… some words of inspiration from Jill Czarnik if you don’t want to take my word for it, listen to this gal. She’s a legit, real-deal runner. But you know what? She’s also just a gal who runs and wants to encourage other gals to do the same. We all have feet – and we should use them!

A speedy run from Jill Czarnick - woo hoo!

A speedy run from Jill Czarnick – woo hoo!


Words of Inspiration from Jill Czarnik

Dear Gals Who Run,

I don’t work-out, I train. Hard.
I don’t jog, I run. Hard.

I believe that the difference between a mediocre run and an excellent run is your mindset.

My name is Jill and I have competed for the last several years as a sub-elite athlete based in the Chicago-area. As a twenty-something year old, running is one of very few constant factors in my life. While I have watched the running industry grow in such new and exciting ways this past decade, I’ve watched myself discover what I’m capable of; I’ve also watched myself reconcile the reasons I would ever doubt my potential both inside running and life.

Running is the ultimate scale of input and output. Life may not always deliver what you want to expect from it, but I promise that if you invest your positive spirit, energy, and dedication into running the rewards will be priceless.

In 2009, I entered an essay contest Nike was hosting on the early emerging ‘social media’. The topic: “why I believe in the run.” Ironically, at the time I was several months out after foot surgery convinced my stint in competitive running was over. While I began to write a response to the prompt, the passion and successful memories of my previous racing year came flooding into my mind. All of a sudden, I couldn’t believe I had looked at myself as not being THAT gal who placed 3rd (ILLINOIS)
Woman in the Chicago Marathon one year before. As I continued to write, more memories of kick-ass training runs and dominating races continued to sink in.

Don’t ever dismiss the idea that you can. Say “No” to that little voice in your head, throw on your Nikes and hit the running path with passion and determination

You have one decision each day: Are you going to own it and know that you are your own coach to tell yourself what you are capable of.

– Jill Czarnik
Fleet Feet / Nike Racing – Women’s Team Captain (Sponsored Athletes)
Gatorade Endurance Ambassador

A little more about Jill Czarnik
Czarnik has a 1:22:57 PR in the half marathon, and you can generally find her near the top of the leader board at local races all year. She most recently won the women’s division of the New Year’s Day 5K (and finished ninth overall in 22:18) amid brutal winter conditions in Chicago.
Read more about her here.

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