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July 21, 2014

San Francisco Marathon - Preview with Jen Bigham

Kristin Metcalf

This weekend seven Oiselle Team runners are headed to San Francisco to race the San Francisco Marathon and Half Marathon. Racing the full: Emily Stone and Sophia Duluk. And the half: Paulette FerenceRobin KutnerMichelle Chang, Bret Scofield and Jen Bigham.

San Francisco is unique in that racers can choose either the first or second half of the marathon course to race 13.1. Both scenic and you guessed it, HILLY! Before we send these birds off with cheers of good luck, Jen Bigham talks about her training for this race and what has changed now that she's a mom of two. 


Have you raced the SF Marathon before? Why did you choose this race? 
I haven’t done this race before, but when I found out I would be in California for part of the summer, I contacted a few Oiselle teammates about meeting up for some runs. Robin Kutner recommended I sign up for the SF second Half Marathon so I did! I’ll be living about an hour away from SF so I’ll probably drive into the city the morning of the race.

Have you been flying solo or training with a group?
I do most of my running alone, but I recently started sharing recovery and long runs with some ladies and look forward to starting workouts with them when I get back to Pittsburgh. Since I’m traveling right now, I try to plan meetups with runners in the area. I love to share good conversations, running routes and coffee!

What do you do to simmer down nerves before a race? 
Is it crazy to say I don’t get too nervous before races anymore? I think I get the right amount of nervous energy before races where I’m not scared out of my mind, but not too laid back either. I get more excited than nervous! I enjoy racing and competing so race day is the fun part for me!

Goal finishing time or racing goals? 
I don’t have a finishing time goal, as I’m just starting a new training cycle, but I want to run as fast as I can, compete, and pass a lot of people in the last half of the race!

With two kiddos now, squeezing in training can't be easy. What are your best tips for new moms training for a marathon?
1) Be creative! I try to do the fast parts of my workouts alone, but I often push one or both kids in the jogging stroller for the warmup and/or cool down portion of workout days and on recovery days.

2) Do what you can! If I stressed over every workout I couldn’t complete as planned, I would be a sad, unsuccessful runner. I do what I can every day given the amount of sleep I’ve had and what I have going on each day. I just try to roll with whatever life throws my way and it’s helped me be a successful and happy runner and parent!


Did you add in cross training or strength training to your weekly routine? 
I do body-weight strength training a few days a week. I’m a big fan of core and hip exercises. I also do yoga.

If you could race in any #flysyle outfit, what would it be?
If I’m not racing in the competition brief, I would definitely be wearing the Mac Roga. On top I’d choose the Scantron strappy bra and the Cross Top Mesh tank.

Where can we expect to see you racing the rest of the summer and this Fall?! 
I’m still undecided on a fall marathon, but expect to see me racing another full marathon in November or December! Once I choose my goal marathon, I’ll plan the rest of my racing schedule.

With a handful of Oiselle Team ambassadors racing, do you have meet ups planned while your there? 
Yes! I can’t wait to hang out with my teammates! They are the reason I signed up for this race in the first place. We aren't 100% finalized on our weekend schedule but working on it. As of right now we are meeting at 5pm on Saturday (night before race) at the expo and then getting some food at an undetermined location (tweet me if you want to hang!)

Finally, give us your best pro advice for new marathoners...
Remember that there will be easy miles and hard miles. You can make it through the hard miles! Trust in your training.

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