Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cheribundi Ambassador and Amateur Runner Jen Masa

Cheribundi to Fuel Runner’s First Marathon
by Janine Frank

The Marathon. It’s the pinnacle event for runners, both elite and recreational.  It appears on bucket lists around the world. But not everyone who takes up running ends up completing a marathon. And Jen Masa, a 27-year-old runner from Albany, New York, will tell you with sincerity that if she can do it, anyone can!

Jen began running almost four years ago to try to lose some weight and become more fit. Since she was very heavy at the time and hadn’t been exercising, she began with daily walks. Once she built up some endurance, she tried running as a way to burn more calories. 

Now 70 pounds lighter, she is training for her first marathon, taking place in November in Richmond, Virginia.

Jen currently runs four times a week with a long run on the weekends to prepare for the longer distance of a marathon. And she always drinks Cheribundi to recover and rehydrate. “I love Cheribundi!” Jen says. “It tastes really good. Since I’ve been drinking it, I’ve felt great after my runs!”

She also likes Cheribundi for the nutrition it provides. “I feel good knowing that I’m drinking something that is not only delicious, but healthy, too. Anything that can help with recovery is a plus.”
Jen has also adopted a healthier way of eating to complement her more athletic lifestyle. “I try to eat a clean diet of whole foods, fruits, vegetables and whole grains because I know it makes me feel better when I do.”

Although the Anthem Richmond Marathon will be her first race at this distance, Jen has run many other shorter races in preparation. Her first 5K was in May of 2009 and it got her hooked. “Since then I’ve [run] about 40 races, from 5Ks, 10Ks and 15Ks to multiple half marathons.” She shares all of her race experiences on her blog, here.

With that much running in her life, it can be hard to stay motivated, but Jen finds that the more she runs, the more she actually enjoys it. “I know I’ll feel great after a run or workout and I know I won’t regret it. Eventually it becomes routine and working out regularly is more of the norm instead of a chore.”

In addition to running, Jen also does yoga and some weight training once a week. “I really lack upper body strength, so I’m trying to work on that,” she says. That still leaves Jen time for one day of rest per week, which is important for letting the body recover.

When asked what she wants to do after the marathon, Jen is planning for both the short term and the more distant future. “Immediately after, I hope to find some good food and refuel and drink some Cheribundi, of course! As for long term, I hope to continue racing, maybe another marathon if I have a good experience. But I’m definitely going to keep on running, even if it’s just shorter distances.”

Jen says one thing that truly inspires her is anyone who can finish a marathon. But she never saw herself in that category until recently. “So many people tell me they could never run a marathon or lose weight like I did. I was never athletic in my life until I began running, so if I can do it, anyone can.”

Good luck in November, Jen! Cheribundi hopes to help fuel you through the race and keep you going strong for a long time afterward. 

Janine Frank lives in Lafayette, Colorado with her husband, two sons and golden retriever. She writes about fitness, natural products and the great outdoors.

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