The July 2015 Multisport Mastery Athlete of the Month is Shana Jurgemeyer.
Shana started working with Multisport Mastery coach Amanda Wendorff in April 2015 with goals of improving her times in triathlon, as well as the half marathon and marathon distances. She’s made great strides in a short amount of time, and is on track for big Personal Records at the HITS – Twin Cities Olympic Distance Triathlon and the Twin Cities Marathon in the coming months.
We asked Shana a few questions about her life in and out of sports.
Q :Tell us a little about yourself: where do you live, what do you do outside of swimming, biking and running, etc.?
My name is Shana and I live in Minneapolis, MN. I am a veterinarian with the USDA, a mother of two young girls, a wife, and a devoted but talentless gardener.
Q: What is your history with running and endurance sports?
I always was an active child, though I never played any official sports. In college I could be described as a gym rat. I started running in 2001 while in veterinary school when the elliptical machine couldn’t counteract the chocolate chip cookie dough I was eating while studying. I began running in quarter-mile increments and slowly built it up to run a half marathon. My race time wasn’t too shabby! Then I graduated, started working full time and had my babies. I ran off and on during that time, but never more than a few miles at a time.
I started running in earnest again in 2011. I ran two to three half marathons a year, but wouldn’t describe myself as a runner. Over the years, I grew more confident as a runner and as an athlete. Due to all the cross-training I was doing anyway, I raced a sprint triathlon in 2013 and was hooked. In 2014, I raced a 70.3, a marathon, and a half marathon in the span of three months. I also came up with numerous overuse injuries.
Q: What are your 2015 season goals?
My original goals for 2015 were simply to heal my injuries and work on speed. But things have gone better than planned1 I have already raced [Ed. Note: and PR’d!] a half marathon, eight-mile race, and intermediate distance triathlon this year and plan on an Olympic triathlon, a full marathon, and several other small races.
Q: How has working with a coach helped you to work towards your goals?
I teamed with Amanda in April and it has been a huge game-changer. My training is completely different than anything I had ever done before. When training solo, I was only concerned about whether I could get the miles done. So, I’d practice the race distances over and over, always at the same intensity. No wonder I came up injured!
Now, my training sessions all have purpose that fit the overall goal, with varying degrees of intensity. My workouts have dramatically improved in quality, and that is reflective in my performance as well. In just a couple of months, I shaved off a significant amount of time off my personal records and my legs feel fresh and pain-free. They haven’t felt like this in a long time! Seeing my results and having the support of my coach has increased my athletic confidence and abilities tremendously.
Q: What motivates you to get up and work on your goals daily?
It is not hard for me to find the motivation to train. Exercise keeps me grounded while recharging me. It calms me, helps me focus, and makes me feel like one with the world. The feelings I feel after a great run are one of my most favorite feelings. Even if I’m not in the mood to get out the door, I know I will feel better if I just give myself a little push. I am proud of what I have accomplished, which helps me set new goals.
Q: What’s one piece of advice you would give anyone starting out in the sport?
If I could give one piece of advice to someone starting out in the sport, it’s that what seems impossible when starting out, is totally doable with time, dedication, and great support. Even after racing several half marathons, I couldn’t call myself a runner, let alone an athlete. Now, I have plans for a Boston qualifier and a full Ironman. And I know I can get there with Amanda’s help.
A Note from Coach Amanda:
I love working with Shana because she is someone who is truly passionate about endurance sports and, every single day, relishes the positive impact running, cycling, and swimming has had on her life. She truly enjoys training, works hard, is willing to try new things, and treats each session like an exciting adventure. She is driven by her desire to set a great example for her daughters and she’s doing just that — the discipline and tenacity she is showing in her training and racing certainly is inspiring to all those around her! I love that Shana has set long-term goals– she pretty much has a 10+ year plan for athletics — and isn’t going to let anything get in her way.