The Runners profile, highlighting an athlete in the Triad, is posted on Friday mornings at Running Shorts. Today, meet High Point’s Adrienne Jandler, who recently completed her first marathon.
Husband, Stefan; parents, Brenda and Dan Cregar (“Both of them actually ran – not for a really, really long time, but for a brief period of time,” Jandler says. “I’m not sure why Dad quit running, but Mom had foot problems that curtailed her running eventually. As a teenager, I’d come home from school and Mom would go running.”)
Owner, Atlantic Webworks, a digital marketing firm
Why I run
“I’ve always been, my whole life, into performing arts and music; I was never particularly athletic. I wasn’t involved in sports; I was more in band and orchestra. The way I got into this is, maybe it is something that applies to other people. I had a girlfriend (Sue Hunt) who was coaching Women’s Running School (in 2015). I had been kind of griping, ‘Oh, I’m getting fat; I need to get out and do something.’ She said, ‘Great, you’re just in time. This running school starts and I’m catching the walking group.’ I thought, ‘I’m no runner, and I’m not interested in that.’ She said, ‘Come on, Ade, you’ve just been griping here; you can surely walk one hour a week.’
“I joined her walking group and had zero plans to move into running. Zero. But she coached us and coaxed us into doing some intervals. And they weren’t even really intervals like you and I would think of, as run three (minutes), walk one; it was walk three, run one. It was easing you into it. As you would expect, she increased the intervals, until it flip-flopped: Run three, walk one; run four, walk one. …
“I really did enjoy it. Our little group, after we had done the Women’s Only 5K that year, continued. ‘Let’s meet once or twice a week and keep this going.’ And we did. By the next year, I was actually in a running group at the running school, and I just continued from there. I really was surprised. Sometimes when you did not participate in athletics as a younger kid, or high school student or college student, in your mind you don’t view yourself that way. Even though you’re capable of doing something, you just don’t think of it that way. Then when you discover that you do enjoy something, it’s a bit of a surprise and you think, ‘Wow, this is interesting. I really like this.’ …
“Somebody that has inspired me for a very long time is Rosa Alonso. She was involved with running the school back then. When we were in that walking group that first year, we’d come to a point in our walk where we were crossing the road, by Grimsley High School. I get caught up in conversation; I get distracted. Somehow my group had gotten mixed up with her group, who had stopped running to cross the street. I got distracted, and I just just kind of darted across the street without looking. And then I realized the cars were coming. So I ran. When I got to the other side, Rosa said, ‘Why are you walking? Why aren’t you running?’ And when she asked me that, I didn’t have an answer for her. She said, ‘Come on, you’re coming with us the rest of this.’ I guess I just never thought to run. So I ran with her the rest of that day. After that was really when I kind of changed my perspective a little bit. …
“I stayed with Women’s Running School. I joined the Greensboro Running Club. I went on to take a few of the Fleet Feet sessions with the NoBo group under Tara Frame, which was great. Did some training with Johanna Bingham; also great. And just for about a year and a half, did 5Ks. I remember when I was training with Johanna for my first 10K. I thought, ‘Oh my God, this is crazy. This is a big deal.’ And I was so intimidated by it. I worked on that and did it.
“I ended up switching over and getting involved with RunnerDude’s (Fitness) group with Thad (McLaurin). I’ve now done four half marathons. Thad has built a great community here. Not just Thad, from Greensboro Running Club, Fleet Feet, all of them: There’s just an amazing running community. But training with that group suited me very well, because there was such a large number of people who were of all ages, people up into their 60s, all body shapes and sizes, and all of them had different goals but they were all fairly consistently every season working toward some goal. It was either a half, or a full; some were going for ultras. It really focused me in a little bit more to establishing race goals. And it’s just such a supportive group that I was inspired by them. I’m very inspired by the people in that group, and the way that they encouraged you to be your best without scrutinizing what your best is. As you were pursuing your best and excited about it, they shared your enthusiasm, which, to me, is fantastic.”
Taking aim at a first marathon
“For my 50th, which was back in February, I had gone on a run Jan. 1 with Snoa Garrigan. We were talking about the year and goals and plans. I saying what probably everyone says, ‘Oh, my 50th birthday, I need to do something epic.’ We decided that that epic thing was going to be a marathon.
“So we took great joy in evaluating all the marathon options, ‘which one should we do,’ looking at the profiles and looking at the dates and the locations. We committed to training for it for this year (the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon on Nov. 9). I take great joy in the journey. And truthfully, I think I have enjoyed the training maybe more than the race itself. It was certainly rigorous. But it was such an opportunity to do something I never really had thought about doing. As you get into that higher mileage, I remember walk three, run one, and one felt like a really long way. I remember thinking in that one minute, ‘This is the longest minute of my life. Are we ever going to get to the end of this minute?
“I give it my all, and I enjoy it, and I will stop and take pictures along the way. I love that. Some of those shots that I will stop and take along the way, I really treasure. I remember what I was thinking as I got to that point.
“It expands your vision. When you finish something like that, that you have worked toward and believed for and planned for and trained for, but you don’t know until the day that it happens that it’s actually going to work itself out as planned, it’s a great, great joy. …
“In the race, all I could think of was ‘it’s a 10K with a 20-mile warmup.’ If I could make it to the 20-mile point, it was a done deal. And I knew I could make it 20 because I’d done 20. The run had taken us out of town. And as we got to the 20, far in the distance, I could see the tiptops of the skyline. ‘We’re working our way back!’ It was just such a visual reminder that we’re on the homestretch now. It was a great feeling. I am so thankful it was a fantastic race for me. I did take in Melani ‘s (Pratt) advice: I soaked it in, didn’t worry about pace, didn’t worry about any of that. I just tried to enjoy it. And I did enjoy it.”
What I’m doing when I’m not running
“Spending time with my husband and family.”
My running tribe
“That would be Snoa Garrigan, Susan Carboneau, Donna Kirkman, Bobbi Steed, Charissa Peterman, Jane Kelman. Certainly the RunnerDude’s group.”
Mornings, afternoons or evenings?
“Morning is the favorite.”
Roads or trails?
Workout I hate
Workout I love
“Double hill repeats.”
“I’ve got two playlists. One of them is ’80s hip-hop and rap. And the other one is gospel music. When I was in the last 3 miles of my marathon, I was listening to Kirk Franklin-type gospel music. Not exactly what you would envision, but very inspiring (laughs).”
“One piece of toast with peanut butter and honey on it. And a banana.”
“A large Starbucks coffee and Chick-fil-A nuggets with Chick-fil-A sauce.”
Look what I did
Race everybody must do
“I ran the Austin Half Marathon, and that was a really neat experience. I don’t know if I’d say everybody’s got to do it. But I really enjoyed it, and it was very hilly. What a great city, and it was a very well-done race. Really diverse music groups along the way. Just super nice.”
“Indianapolis Monumental Marathon (Nov. 9).”
“I’m planning out next year’s race schedule. I had planned to be running the Wilmington Historic Half (Dec. 7). Thad said no, it’s a little bit too soon, too close to your marathon. So I’ve deferred that until next year. My goal would be to run probably three half marathons next year, and then I’ll start again with another full the year after.”
What I think about while I’m running
“It’s probably the one time that I have as close to no thoughts as ever, which is probably why I like it so much. I usually am running with girlfriends. And I’m a bit of a talker, so we’re usually chatting away. But when we’re not, I’m very much interested in what I’m running past and very observant of the neighborhoods and streets and little animals. That’s a nice break from daily obligations and business and all of those things.
What I’ve learned about myself through running
“One of them is just really discovering you can do so much more than you thought. With Thad’s group, I’ve surrounded myself with people that I aspire to be like. And in each of these groups, whether it was the running school or Greensboro Running Club or Fleet Feet or Thad’s group, it’s correct and honest to say that there’s so many people there that encourage others and lift each other up. Even on the Greenway, you run by people and they’ll yell out ‘good job.’
“And I try to do that. If I can encourage someone else who didn’t think they would want to try running or want to try getting out there and giving it a go, if I could encourage or inspire that to happen, then I think that would be huge. Just having had a few friends who would come out to Run the Boro, at my urging, ‘Hey, come out and join us.’ And they would come out, whether they were walking or running. And I had quite a few that came out to walk, one of whom was my husband. That, to me, is more exciting, maybe, than accomplishing the goals, just knowing that you have helped someone else figure out something that excites them, too.”
Words to the wise
“Always set your sights on a new challenge. And surround yourself with people that you aspire to be like.
“I”m very appreciative and thankful regularly. I consider myself very fortunate, very blessed, to have found my way into running and particularly with this running community that is so encouraging and inspiring.”
Contact Eddie Wooten at (336) 373-7093, and follow @EddieWootenNR on Twitter.