Jenny Kyle

My running journey is a long one. Growing up in England not long after WW2 without a car my family would walk or ride our bikes whenever we had to go anywhere close by. Most of my spare time was spent chasing around the neighborhood with friends. We got our first TV in 1953 to watch Queen Elizabeth's coronation on a 10” snowy screen. There was only BBC on from 5pm to 10pm daily, so there was lots of time for homework & exercise.

I played multiple sports in school: field hockey, lacrosse, netball, tennis, cricket & squash to just name but a few. I would always win the 100yd run in elementary school, but when I went on to secondary school we did not have track or cross country. I was very happy playing in team sports & became used to losing as my all-girls school was very small. I continued playing recreational sports at my university.

When my husband, Dave & I moved from the UK to the US in 1976, Dave started running & soon got me hooked. He was a bit disappointed when I soon started beating him in any distance over 2 miles. We lived in Denver from 1978-1985 when running was really booming. We ran up & down mountains without blinking an eyelid. I did my best running there & we were lucky enough to become friends with an Olympic runner, Anne Audain, & her husband, who lived with us for a couple of summers. That was great motivation.

Since coming to Savannah in 1988 I've been a member of the Savannah Striders & was on the board for a long time. Joining a running club is the best way to meet people when you move to a new city. I've run competitively for a long time & have had all sorts of injuries, some overuse & some accidental. Never step in a puddle when you can't see the bottom! You may end up with a broken foot. I love to run, training & racing both. My favorite distances are the 10K & ½ Marathon. In my 37 years of running I've run only 9 marathons. I prefer to run shorter & faster. However I just sent in my application for Boston 2015. That will be 35 years since I last ran it.

Probably because of my background the only running gadget I use is a stopwatch & I do not always use that. I enjoy the feeling of freedom that running gives me. I run outside in all weather & temperatures (-20 to 115) the only thing that stops me is lightening as it's dangerous. As much as I compete, I run because I enjoy it so much & I love to see others, especially new runners enjoying it too. It does not matter how fast or slow you go as long as it's fun. I have fun walking too.

At the moment I'm training for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah Half Marathon so I'm doing long runs once a week & the Talmadge Bridge with the Striders on Sundays. I try to get in a bit of speed work once a week, but I have not been very good about that in the hot weather. I do an upper body weight workout once a week & core exercises & stretching 6 days a week. Sometimes I do water running as cross training, I'm a really bad swimmer. Another cross training I like is the rowing machine.

My advice to anyone would be to not forget to rest, our bodies need to recover! The older you get the longer it takes also. I know this from experience. When coming back from an injury walk/run works well for me. Another little gem of wisdom, don't wear anything in a race or try anything that you have not tried before. Most importantly though, enjoy your running & the friends you meet who enjoy it too!

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